A guarantee

On the back of these gospel tracks that I was given the other day by Preacher Tom Williams it says this…”You have no guarantee of tomorrow…If you don’t go to Heaven… You will go to Hell.”

image

Tomorrow is not guaranteed, in fact neither is your next breath. What is guaranteed is that eternity awaits when you leave this earth.
It is guaranteed that if you have accepted Jesus as your personal saviour that you will go to Heaven.
It is also guaranteed that if you have not asked Jesus to save you then you will go to Hell.
2 Corinthians 6:2 “… behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “A guarantee

  1. Hi,
    I agree with you that it is either Heaven or Hell, life or death. But because Hell has many borrowed popular movie like connotations, I prefer to call it “life with Christ” or “death without God”. Kind of new to blogging and think this is a very important issue so here is some comments. Hope this gives you more hope. In Christ, Christian
    Does our Loving God REALLY have ZERO alternative but to torment forever in Hell?
    There is an important on-going debate as apologists for atheism and apologists for the faith struggle to address the question whether a loving Creator would REALLY allow his creatures to be tormented forever in Hell. The atheist’s accusation is that God does not exists because a loving God would not have created such a perpetual Hell of Torment. The Free Will defense is that you basically choose your destiny and refuse God’s help, and therefore God basically has no alternative but to allow people to be tormented for the rest of eternity because love has to be freely chosen. But does God have a better, logical, and scriptural alternative? I believe so. I REALLY DO!
    Please bear with me as we briefly consider Mt 25:46 – the #1 verses used to support “Eternal Conscious Torment” or ECT – where it is stated as a matter of rather obvious fact that the length of the “eternal punishment” has to be of the same length as “eternal life”. This is perfectly logical and in fact we agree that they are the same duration. However in what follows we will briefly confirm that this issue has been important for numerous souls, and then we will help you unpack this verse with a short quiz, and finally we will logically conclude that God does have an awesome alternative where He can respect free will and be perfectly just and loving in the judgment.

    We all agree that Hell/eternal torment is a critical issue that needs explanation. In fact, think of renowned people other than Darwin for whom Hell was a huge factor alongside Evolution and suffering (in one direction Charles Templeton -Farewell to God and Brian Baker -From Faith to Reason, and in the opposite direction ex-atheist Anthony Flew -There IS a God and Greg Boyd’s ex-skeptic father – Letters to a skeptic). Note that although the logic of Creation eventually convinced Flew, he could not believe in Jesus because of eternal conscious torment. As we can see, Hell is therefore a life and death very important subject assome leave the faith and many can’t embrace it because of it. Although an oversimplification, please consider what is the Eternal Punishment by answering 6 questions:
    1-How long do you believe the judging goes on in the “eternal judgment”? Heb 6:2
    A- Basically Judged & Re-Judged each & every day every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or finally judged just once…but last judgment is permanent, eternal, for the rest of eternity
    2-How long do you believe the saving goes on in the “eternal salvation”? Heb 5:9
    A- Basically Saved & Re-saved each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or fully/finally saved once…but it is permanent/irreversible, for the rest of eternity
    3-How long do you believe the redeeming goes on in the “eternal redemption”? Heb 9:12
    A – Basically Redeemed/re-redeemed each and every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or fully Redeemed once… but it is permanent, irreversible, for the rest of eternity
    4- How long do you believe the destructing of Hell goes on in “eternal destruction”?1Th1:9
    A – Basically Destroyed/Re-destroyed each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity?
    B- Or finally DESTROYED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/for the rest of eternity
    5- How long do you believe the condemnation goes on in “eternal condemnation”? Mk3:29
    A – Basically Condemned/Re-Condemned each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or finally CONDEMNED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/for the rest of eternity
    6- How long do you believe the punishing of Hell goes on in the “eternal punishment”? Matt 25:46
    A – Basically Punished/Re-punished each and every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity?
    B- Or finally PUNISHED ONCE… (could be a state of complete death/destruction) but it is permanent/irreversible/eternal/for the rest of eternity

    Were you consistent? Think! Unless you can answer A to #1-3 (for the just), you are inconsistent to answer A to #4-6 (for unjust) because these sentences with word “eternal” are exactly the same. So, if B to #1-3, then you should at least consider B for #4-6. If not, why not? The point of 6 questions is to show that our view and understanding of eternal comes from outside ideas/texts – not the word itself.

    Now, note powerfully that the DURATION can be exactly the same – i.e. all 6 are imparted ONCE (saved, redeemed/ destroyed/punished once) but all are permanent, irreversible, for the rest of eternity, hence all ETERNAL. WOW! It would appear that “eternal punishment” does not necessarily imply endless on-going torment as it can be a permanent irreversible punishment/destruction imparted once for the rest of eternity. Do you see why I think that the typical cruel monster torturer arguments against God and the free will arguments for God both try to explain a misinterpretation of the word eternal.

    Now could I prove this? Could this understanding be the plain consistent meaning for “eternal” in entire scriptures including all texts with “eternal life”, such as Mt 25:46? I`d have to say an emphatic YES! Although we have a measure of life now, Scripture indicates that eternal life is fully GIVEN ONCE at the applicable resurrection/ judgment… when mortality is swallowed up, when we will be MADE ALIVE (finally/fully ONCE but only) at His coming (1Cor 15:22-23), when we receive (once)… in the AGE TO COME, ETERNAL LIFE (Luke 18:30). Notice that in Lk 18:30, Jesus was asked “what” to do to inherit eternal life and Jesus answered “when” – in the age to come. So let’s spell out eternal in Mt 25:46 in a more consistent manner (i.e. the same for both just/unjust).

    “And these shall go away into eternal punishment (a state of complete permanent horrific destruction (Second Death) imparted once at the just judgment of God – as per examples of judgment of wicked at flood and at Sodom), but the righteous into eternal life” (a permanent life also imparted once at His coming, in the age to come).

    Again, WOW! Once it is understood that the gift of eternal life is basically imparted ONCE in the age to come (per John 6:40 at last day when raised to life from the dead), we can REALLY understand that the eternal punishment is also per 1 Thes 1:9 a last day everlasting (permanent & irreversible) destruction FROM GOD’s CONSUMING APPEARING IN GLORY (per KJV), a second but permanent/eternal death. God truly is a consuming fire…
    With the above I have shown that eternal conscious torment is not necessarily found in Mt 25:46 (#1 verse quoted in support of eternal torment), unless we want the meaning of eternal to be inconsistent between the just and unjust, based on outside inputs, or verses, most of which are quite figurative, with worms and beasts. For example the typical understanding of Rev 20:10 seems to contradict 7 verses about devil and anti-christ beasts (Rev 20:9, 2Thes 2:8, Heb 2:14, Dan 2, Dan 7:11,26, and figuratively Ezek 28 and Is 14).

    Finally, let’s think about God’s loving justice and God’s REAL ALTERNATIVE: Just like before Flood, evil and injustice is now everywhere (downtown, ISIS, Boca Haram, Paris), and our Creator will have once again to restrain evil by finally cleansing this earth via His wrath & judgment and make it completely new, where there will be no more pain, suffering, evil, death, sin, and NO SINNERS WRITHING IN PAIN IN HELL. Think of it! Earth will be re-created “very good”, just like it was in Eden, with no traces of evil, death, sufferings, or Hell (once punishment is completed and Death/Hades thrown into Hellfire lake). Just like the ark of Noah, there is again only one way to live on. The wages of every sin (big or small) is death. The choice is ours: turn, repent & live in Christ or die a permanent Second Death without Christ. Choose to live – it’s pretty simple – love your neighbor (created in His image) and love Jesus Christ the Creator and Savior.

    Note: Evangelical authors Francis Chan and Peter Sprinkle studied Hell for a full year and started leaning to this view (Erasing Hell). Another evangelical author Mr Fudge has written a very comprehensive book (The Fire that consumes). See also jewishnotgreek.com, amazingdiscoveries.org, helltruth.com, rethinkinghell.com.

    Like

    • 1-3 B. Because to say that we are re-judged, re-saved, re-redeemed is to say that God has to keep getting a better grip on us. We are told in Eph. 1:3-14 tells us that we have both been adopted (which no adoption can be undone once it has occurred) and sealed with the Holy Spirit which is the earnest of our inheritance. That word “earnest” means down payment it is just the beginning. That word “sealed” denotes authority, ownership, protection, and permanence. So the judgment for my sins because I have accepted Jesus as my savior took place one time and that on the cross. I have been saved by Jesus Christ, so not only do I have the Holy Ghost living inside of me but Jesus promised in John 10:28 that I am in His hand (hand means power and authority) so that is double protection from loosing my salvation but also in v29 says Jesus is in the Fathers hand (again power and authority) that is triple protection. Jesus does not need to keep redeeming what is His already. Now I do still sin which breaks my fellowship with God but my relationship with my Heavenly Father cannot be changed. This is where 1 John 1:9 comes into play. I sin I confess my sin He forgives my sin and restores our fellowship. This is in no way a license to sin (Romans 6:1).
      4 C, your question is flawed because it shows a lack of understanding of the word destruction as used in 2 Th. 1:9 word as used there means ruin and death. It appears you thought is like a building being knocked down rebuilt knocked over and over again. What Paul is talking about here is the punishment is on going for the duration of eternity.
      5 C. This verse is one that is dealing with the unpardonable sin. That one sin the sin of refusing the invitation the Holy Ghost brings for salvation. Everyone is given one chance even if the only way they hear of God is through nature (Romans 1:20). According to Jesus in John 3:17-20 mankind already stands condemned. So back in Mark 3:29 the damnation for those who reject the Holy Ghost stands for eternity. The only way out is to accept His free offer of salvation as opposed to what we deserve which is eternal death ( Romans 6:23).
      6 C. Again because I am not sure how you intend the word destruction. Luke 16:22-31 makes it very clear that Jesus declared Hell to be an on going process. Here the man found himself in eternal flames (v24) that is physical torment. But also the in torments which is plural. He is told to remember all the things he had in this life, but would never have again that is mental torment (25). He would suffer spiritual torment for eternity by seeing everything going on in paradise/Heaven (23). And he had to spend eternity in emotional torment because he couldn’t keep his lost loved ones from coming to the same place (27-31).
      As far as your summation goes, I tried to answer your questions as I went verses reading all then going back over it.
      Eternal punishment is dealt with in my answers where I brought up Luke 16:22-31. Also you should read Revelation 20 specifically v10 which states that the lake of fire is torment day and night for ever and ever. The day and night part are given to us to show that there are no breaks, that our finite minds which truly cannot contemplate eternity are given a reference point to understand just how long the punishment for sins against a thrice Holy God (Isaiah 6:3) will last. Yes eternal punishment/condemnation/damnation/hell/lake of fire/eternity separated from God is just that ETERNAL.
      I do not understand your statement about the cruel monster torturer arguments part. God is nit cruel. Hell was created for Satan and his fallen angels, Adam sinned against God and with sin being the opposite of Holy there must be an opposite place for it thus hell. God is not cruel we choose to separate ourselves from Him with our sin. Jesus made a way by His grace and mercy for man to get to come to Heaven for eternity. To say punishment cannot really be eternal is to say heaven cannot be eternal. Now that would be cruel if Heaven didn’t last forever or that we could lose our salvation.
      After your reference in Mt. 25:46 I would have to say you moved into a different area that you are trying to make one and the same.
      On a side note you need to be more accurate with you scripture references. For someone trying to answer you this wrong verses make it difficult to keep up and a little frustrating because I am left wondering if I am wasting my time on someone who has simply cut and pasted this response that was actually written by someone else.
      Back to Luke 18:18 Jesus was asked how to inherit eternal life. He answered the man, the man didn’t hear what he wanted to hear v23, Jesus explains that it is a heart issue, this guy loved his money more than his soul. In v26 the people are trying to figure out how to be saved because if the rich ain’t got it then they must be hopeless. Peter speaks up wanting to know if it will be worth their sacrifices and Jesus says yes, your v30.
      Matthew 25:46 I do not know what version you are using I only use the KJV the word used here is punishment and means correction, punishment, penalty, torment. No where is the word destruction used in this verse. I agree though that life and punishment are eternal. Your examples of the flood and Sodom are more of the means by which those people left this earth verses how you are coming across which is that for them they have already been punished and now no longer exist anywhere.
      With your “Again, wow” statement I believe you are miss understanding the concept of sanctification. Sanctification is basically this: I have been saved, I am being saved, I will be saved. My spirit was saved or made alive when I asked Jesus to save me Ephesians 2:1 so while this body will die my eternal soul has now been joined with an eternally alive spirit. When the rapture takes place my eternal soul and living spirit shall be joined with a now immortal body (John 6:40; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18).
      Again I use Luke 16 to show a glimpse as to what Hell is like so Mt. 25:46 is not my #1 go to verse mine is Luke 16:23. At which I would like to point out something about this passage. This is not a parable. Whenever Jesus spoke if a “certain” person (Luke 16:19) He is telling us that this was a real event also He named a specific character in His narrative, Lazarus, in fact He also told us that the rich man was allowed to Abraham but Abraham didn’t have any words of comfort for him only more torment. Finally I believe that in Jesus’ day this was a recent event in that there was no need to give Lazarus’ name so it was possible that some of the rich man’s family who he had sudden concern for may have been present and hearing about such torment would help them accept Jesus as their saviour.
      Also in Mark 9:43-48 Jesus Himself said the worm dieth not. To say that worms are purely figurative is akin to calling Jesus a liar.
      Revelation 20:7 finds Satan in his prison of the bottomless pit v3 so no contradiction where they are at the time of the fulfilling of scripture. The devouring of v9 is death of the mortal bodies of those in rebellion at end of 1000 year reign not their final punishment.
      2 Thes. 2:8 is talking about Jesus’ victory over the Anti-christ at the end of the Great Tribulation period, Daniel’s 70th week.
      Daniel 2 is simply talking about the different kingdoms that would rule the earth with Jesus being the stone that crushes them all. Again thus reference along with your 1 Thes. 1:9 when it is 2 Thes. 1:9 makes me think you have borrowed this from someone else and is not yours. Throwing Daniel 2 in here feels more like a means of simply trying to overwhelm with as much as possible to get the other person to simply give in to your point of view.
      Daniel 7:11,26 seems to be brought up for the sake of the words employed here and nothing to do with the actual subject of the chapter. Verse 11 is dealing with the man’s death not eternal punishment and verse 26 is talking about the destruction of the kingdom.
      Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 would appear you are trying to connect what God is saying about Satan in metaphor to to eternal torments at this point you are not even comparing apples to oranges. Using the word “figuratively” doesn’t justify this leap.
      Now “Finally” if we cannot agree on God is JUST God then don’t bother reading any further. There is NO SUCH THING AS LOVING JUSTICE. Justice is just that, just. To bring love into the equation is to make the ruling based on emotions and therefore not JUST. God is not a man who can be swayed by opinion or how terrible the act committed was. He is loving BUT He is RIGHTEOUS. The only way His love supersedes His RIGHTEOUSNESS is when we ask Jesus to save us and then Jesus goes to God on our behalf and pleads the blood that Jesus Christ Himself shed on Calvary and placed on the mercy seat in Heaven. God will destroy this earth one day with fire (2 Peter 3:7) at the end of the 1000 year reign. At the end of the 1000 year reign will be the Great White Throne of Judgment where death and hell and all those NOT found in the book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire ( Revelation 20:12-15). Earth will be recreated and there will be the New Jerusalem and all evil and all sinners will be forever in the Lake of Fire suffering their torments that they could have missed out on had they only accepted Jesus Christ as their saviour in this life. Also it will be better than the Garden of Eden as that there will be no Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil there.
      As far as those authors you cited, that is their conclusions. I take my King James Bible at face value. It is a faithful word for word translation unlike all the others versions out there that either use modified manuscripts (Alexandrian) or use the thought for word translation process. I do look up what words mean because I do not know it all. I have preached on Hell many times over my 25+ years of preaching and let me say being evangelical doesn’t mean much if you don’t agree with what the Bible says. Jesus said it and I believe it.
      Hell and it’s torments are real and forever. In love I would strongly suggest you do a study of Luke 16. I have constantly gone back to it but I notice you never once went there. It leaves me to wonder if those authors you mention have also missed that passage.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dennis,
        thank you for the long reply. You seem to have dedicated a lot of time to answer and to scripture in general. I’m hoping to do the same in what follows not to convince you but perhaps help you to understand this view and encourage you to look further into it, as in a short text it is impossible to fully present everything. The site jewishnotgreek.com I think is the best overview. Anyway let’s give it a try.
        As a start, it’s nice to see that we kind of agree on 1-3 B that eternal can mean basically “getting it once” vs re-getting it every minute, but it is permanent, irreversible, for the rest of eternity. Now for 4C (2 Thes 1:9), you would like me to agree that destruction has a range of meaning and it sometimes means ruin and death. On the other hand, I want you to agree that “getting it once” should work for both the just and unjust equally and eternal whatever usually means whatever is permanent/irreversible and hence all the same duration –i.e. for the rest of eternity. Based on that agreed meaning of eternal per 1-3B, notwithstanding other verses for now, let’s see the possible range of meaning for “eternal punishment”. Of course, to be a prisoner tormented endlessly in a Lake of fire is a sure way to suffer an eternal punishment. Another could be to be given an eternal permanent mark – such as a long nose like Pinocchio – for the rest of eternity. You could be given this permanent mark/punishment “once” at the judgment, but it would be “eternal” if it is for the rest of eternity. Lastly, within that range of meaning, I could squish a nasty looking bug under my foot. This punishment and this destruction would be for the rest of eternity (unless someone resurrects this poor bug), hence this would be a permanent and irreversible eternal destruction and eternal punishment that is given only once. Therefore, it would be within the same acceptable range of meaning (2Thes 1:9 & Mt 25:46) if the unjust are eternally destroyed soul & body “ONCE” for the rest of eternity in the Lake of fire judgment when everything marred by sin is dissolved 2Pet 3:9-12 and the earth is created anew; i.e. no more sin, death, pain, sinners, etc etc. This seems to be what Mt 10:28 is saying: when facing our fearful consuming God souls will die not just bodies – “Fear Him who can destroy both body/soul in hell” which matches Ezek 18:4,13,20: the “soul that sinneth it shall die,… it shall not live…”; which has to be Second death because both just unjust die First death. But more on all that below. The point of the original questions was to show that on their own, Mt 25:46 & 2 Thes 1:9 do not necessarily support endless punishment, as a complete destruction (like a bug) also fits these verses perfectly – but of course everyone wants to use them to support endless torment. So let’s slow down and check a few other verses.

        2 Thes 1:9 (sorry about misquote): What does the KJV say: “9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction FROM the presence of the Lord, and FROM the glory of his power”. Here in KJV, the destruction seems to occur because of the presence of the Lord when He appears in glory. Now, this plain translation perfectly matches our understanding of God, as He is a dreadful consuming fire (Heb 12:29) and sin/sinners will not be able to stand in His full revealed presence at judgment, and will be consumed (Mal 4:1-3 & Ps 37:20). Now I don’t know if you noticed before but most modern Bibles have added words there like “away from” or “shut out from” to better match the general understanding of Hell as some kind of separation away from the Lord, but I think the KJV is right.
        When is the Fire – Considering the judgment and fires of Hell, Mt 13, 2 Pet 3, Rev 20-21 all explain that there will be a fiery final judgment at the end of the world. I think we would all agree to that, but also, all texts with “gnashing” are also linked to the coming, the judgment day, or the Kingdom of Heaven, & not at death. It is the same with most texts with Hell; the notable exception being Luke 16:23. In Mt 5:29-30, in fact, we find that the whole body is cast into Hell, which has to be after resurrection. There seems to be only one place in entire Scriptures where perhaps the disembodied dead soul goes straight to torments at death. So let’s slow down and consider all of Lk 16 carefully.
        Luke 16: First, could Luke 16:19 be a parable as it is sandwiched in the middle of a long list of parables that all start with a “certain man”:
        A certain man – 10:25, 14:16, 15:11, 20:9
        Certain rich man – 12:16, 16:1, 16:19
        Certain nobleman 19:12
        Second, the point of the story seems to be to confront the rich Pharisee who just derided Jesus with their tongues (Lk 16:14) about riches. So Jesus used one of their favorite explanation and twisted it around – the rich Pharisee who thought they were blessed by God would find themselves in judgment (as they did not love their less fortunate neighbors) while the poor unblessed Lazarus would find himself with Abraham, in their place.
        Third, let’s think about it. Would we really want to be able to watch and talk to the tormented for the rest of eternity? Could we even carry a regular conversation with someone being tormented in a fire… across a huge gulf? Would a drop of water to his deriding tongue provide any relief? Anyone here look forward to be in Abraham’s bosom (as opposed to being with Christ)? Although narrow is the way, would we all fit? Do the eyes, body and tongues belong to a disembodied soul needing water? The point here is that many of these things do not seem real about Heaven or Hell.
        Fourth why Lazarus: Lazarus was probably the most famous resurrection (and the Jews plotted to kill him) and Jesus own resurrection was just around the corner. As the rulers were being chastised by Jesus who told them basically they are not ready for the judgment or second coming and even if someone rose from the dead (think of Jesus and/or Lazarus who did!), most of the stiff necked Jewish rulers would still not believe. Note also that Jesus wanted to record in scriptures that no one will ever come from the dead to tell us about Heaven and Hell. All we have is the scriptures; i.e. we don’t need (and should not trust) all these conflicting near-death experiences that now sell books… See NDE at creation.com
        Fifth, as per para above about when, Lk 14:14 tells us that we get our reward at the resurrection and next chap Lk 17 discusses that the wicked will be ruined/destroyed when the Son of man is revealed (2 Thes 1:7-9), and it wil be as it was it the days of Noah & Sodom (where in fact fire came down from Heaven just like Rev 20:9) & destroyed them all (see also 2 Pet 2-3/Jude 5-7). Note that Jude’s eternal fire of God on Sodom was also unquenchable (irresistible as from God) but it is not endless/burning today.
        Sixth, although the rich man apparently found himself a disembodied soul in Hell (Hades) at death, how come then Hell (Hades) is thrown into the Lake of Fire which everyone believes is also Hell (Rev 20). Well, how can there be two Hells, how can something be thrown into itself, be gobbled up or destroyed by itself? It is possible there are things that are not too clear about Hell/Hades? In fact in 1 Cor 15:55, Hades is translated grave in KJV, and to have death and the grave (Hades) thrown into lake of Fire/Hell at the end of time would make complete sense (no more death, no more grave as both gave up their deads and are now all empty Rev 20:13-14). Also in Christ we rise from the dead, but I hope we do not have to go through and rise from Hell (O death/O Hades…1 Cor 15:55). Maybe hades should always be translated the grave, the resting place of the sleeping dead awaiting the resurrection and judgment (1Cor 15:51, 1 Thes 4:13-15, Dan 12:3/13, John 5:28-29, Mt 9:24 & John 11). Isn’t it a bit weird that in all these verses the dead always seem to be “sleeping” in Jesus awaiting the resurrection; this is kind of very very surprising and anti-climactic if the word “sleep” is the best word Jesus & NT writers have to describe being a happy blessed soul in Heaven at death. If you feel like it, I would like to challenge you to find all the texts about our hope (with hope, look for, etc) and see if it is not always linked to (unless irrelevant) the second coming, or judgment or day of the Lord or resurrection. There is never any hope in death, nor should there be as it is the world #1 enemy since Adam. Instead of finding hope in death, the dead are sleeping (not singing at the top of their lungs), Christ conquered death, the wages of sin is death, death is always seen as a negative. But somehow, we have transformed death into a positive thing – as apparently in death we go straight to bliss in Heaven – totally apart from our usual hope: the resurrection. Anyway, this bring us to one of the few texts 2 Cor 5:8 that seem to support hope to go straight to heaven. See if we can slow down a bit.
        2Cor 5:1-10. Here Paul clearly says that he does not want to be found naked or unclothed (v3-4). To Him then being a soul without a body he tells us twice has ZERO value. In addition, the heavenly spiritual house/body and mortality being swallowed up matches very nicely Pauls’ previous expose in 1 Cor 15, which is all about the resurrection, and seems to conclude with the judgment (5:10). So the hope of 2Cor 5 is per 1 Cor 15 the resurrection with an heavenly body/house. Note also that the whole chapter has also a lot of links with Rom 8 (earnest, spirit, groaning) which is about the redemption of our body (8:23). It looks to me that Paul is pretty consistent and wants to be transformed into a new resurrected body/house made in Heaven; and wants nothing to do with a naked unclothed soul. Again, per the little challenge above about hope, this would be why almost all texts with hope, look for, etc etc are linked to the resurrection, except for a few verses like 2 Cor 5:8 which seems to be taken alone out of context I think.
        SOUL IN THE HANDS OF GOD: Let me try to briefly explain what I think happens at death. Considering that in death we will be outside of physical time with God… as LUTHER wrote: we will pass away and immediately (the next conscious moment – in an instant) wake up at the resurrection. In that sense, existence is not stopped at death (to non-existence), but outside physical time it is briefly suspended/paused, where we are said to REST IN PEACE (sleep) in God`s hands awaiting the resurrection (again the only hope of Christians) – we sleep in Christ unaware of what`s happening in physical time on physical earth, all awaiting our wake-up call from Christ (hear His voice from the grave or the dust) when He comes back to get us! (John 5:23-29 matches nicely Dan 12:2 & 13). In Dan 12:13, Daniel is not told you will die and be with me, but you will rest/sleep like Lazarus and awake at the end of the day. (to rest & sleep in the dust does not sound like singing in Heavenly bliss)

        Meaning of DESTRUCTION: Note that even if the meaning of ruin would be intended meaning for word destruction, we need to consider that a carcass of a house destroyed/ruined by fire no longer operates as a house although there is some remains left – it is nevertheless ruined, destroyed, useless, and has perished and been consumed unless it is re-built/resurrected/re-created. In Mt 13 and 3:17 we are told that the unjust will be gathered at the end of times and burned up (just like reward at resurrection Lk 14:14). I would say then that the gnashing of teeth is reserved for the end. In addition, similar to the word day in Genesis’ 7-DAY CREATION controversy (where day is re-interpreted to mean millions of years), many have worked very hard to redefine words like consume, destroy, burn up, devour, and even death, etc to always mean the opposite – not fully consumed, not fully destroyed, not fully burned-up, not fully devoured, not fully dead but assuming instead it mean “living” in torment. (Again compare Mt 10:28 & Ezek 18 soul shall die and not live).

        Rev 20-21: First, it sure looks like everybody on earth would be dead Rev 19 (all small & great) at His coming at start of the millennium, so then who will be on the earth at the end of the millennium? Chap 20-21 talks about the resurrected unjust dead and we are told kind of in the introd to millennium two things that would happen at the end of millennium (20:1-6) – 1) Satan will be unbound and 2) the billions of unjust dead will have the Second Resurrection. Simply putting these two together (without importing ideas from outside texts), we see that at end of millennium Satan is free to deceive the resurrected nations which are as the sand of the sea. Now in utter desperation, having nothing to lose, and showing to the rest of the universe their true colors, the Devil & his minions and the unjust resurrected will in no time surround & try to attack the holy city New Jerusalem (so every eye will see Him at once), and fire will come down from God as He reveals himself and devours/consume all. This big picture summary introd the rest of Rev 20-21 with details about two books, judgment, dead rising from death, sea, hades, that this Lake of Fire is the Second Death which also cleanses the earth and a new Earth will then be re-created over those ashes (matches also Mal 4, 2 Pet 3). The Second Death would normally mean some kind of second end of life – in this case the end of resurrected life for unjust – which was only for a short while for the judgment when God ultimately kills both the sinning soul and body Mt 10:28/Ezek 18.
        Now you may struggle with this plain understanding of millennium because of your conditioning to the 70th week of Daniel pre-tribulation rapture & Jewish millennium kingdom. But in my view, we combine Second Coming/rapture at beginning of millennium & go to reign up there at the capital of the universe with God at His Throne, where we can check the books/judge angels and humans and become fully satisfied that God is just, and have all our questions answered. So instead of rapture, 70th wk trib, second coming, we have Second coming/rapture together followed by millenium. The 70th week of Daniel 9 is where sacrifice cease and covenant is made apparently by anti-christ. But 70th week happened exactly on time ending 3 ½ year after cross ~ AD34 (see Usshers timeline at Creation.com) and belong exactly to Christ (not anti-christ) when He caused the sacrifices to cease by His death in 31 AD (temple veil was rent), and Christ made a new covenant in His blood. This view is confirmed by many commentaries worth reading on Dan 9:24-27 including Wesley, Matthew Henry, Jamison Faucet Brown, Clarke, Geneva Bible, etc etc.

        Anyway, here is a few more notes thrown in as it is already getting pretty long sorry. Maybe we will have to concentrate on one area at a time.


        Rev 20:10: My point before was that the devil and the last “anti-Christ” beast kingdoms are basically destroyed/consumed according to 5 other scriptures (Figurative Ezek 28, Is 14, Plain Texts 2 Thes 2:8, Heb 2:14, Rev 20:9). Note that just before Figurative text Rev 20:10 (beast, prophet, lake of fire), we have Rev 20:9 which explains in very plain texts that fire comes down from God above to earth (exactly like Sodom, an example to us) and devours the masses of resurrected wicked. But in addition, note that this matches the end-times Consummation according to the other apocalyptic book of Daniel, where we find that the “last anti-christ beast” is slain and its body destroyed /consumed in fire (Dan 7:11, 26), and that the big statue (Daniel 2 kingdoms) is also destroyed to powder or chaff to “be no more” when our “rock” of salvation comes and establishes His everlasting kingdom. So on one hand, we have texts like Rev 14 & 20:10 that support endless torment at first view. On the other hand, we also have 7 texts which at first view support endless destruction of devil and anti-christ beastly kingdoms to ashes. Notwithstanding the likelihood of colored biased interpretation and translation of those texts (i.e. from outside), in the end, should we put our trust in our interpretations of very symbolic texts like Rev 20 & 14, from a book we can’t agree upon, or in these 7 other texts, with 5 plain texts including two in Daniel where the prophecy and symbolism is solidly interpreted by an angel no less (unless of course, as is usually done, we work very hard to redefine words destroyed, perished, consumed discussed above).

        NO REST DAY OR NIGHT (Rev 14): Since the fall, we all have been hoping for the promised rest. So, in Rev 14: “no rest day or night” seems to refer to never getting the promised “rest with God” which is actually mentioned two verses down at Rev 14:13.

        WHERE BEAST AND FALSE PROPHET “ARE” is usually interpreted to mean “being tortured” Rev 20:10 – however, look a bit further where the DEAD “ARE” IN THE SEA – are we to think that the chemicals of the dead lost at sea are actually living/conscious and being tortured in the sea, awaiting their resurrection? With this comparison, “to be” in the Lake of Fire may not mean “being tortured”. It seems to mean where they were thrown in or went (apart for another resurrection, they are burned up and are dust again).

        WILL IT BE A PERFECTLY GOOD RE-CREATION: Consider the flood judgment! God did Control-Alt-Delete once (RESET of creation except for fallen men & angels which is leading to upcoming judgment). However, I would expect perfection (FULL RESET) in the lake of fire judgment (where all the elements are melted and Heaven & Earth renewed), with no more pain or sorrow or sin or sinners, or death. Thinking of the re-created all encompassing New Heaven and Earth, will God make it NOT PERFECTLY GOOD by creating/sustaining Hell/sinners on the earth somewhere on the side of New Jerusalem Rev 20:9; i.e. would this be another partial RESET (as remaining sinners, death, pain, sorrow) that would lead to another RESET? I’d say NO, as death & Hell/Hades will be melted away and conquered (victory over) in that Lake of fire, and there will be no more death!

        Rev 20:5. says that the dead lived not again until the end of millennium. To me that means rather totally dead – they are both dead and not living (until their resurrection). I think that these dead ones are really dead with no life at all (that is why everyone that talks about resurrection tells us that the dead are sleeping awaiting the resurrection (not in bliss nor in torment but rather dead & not living until Christ calls them Jn 5:25+).

        Like

      • I am going to keep this reply brief as that I am under the weather and do not wish to spend another 2 hours typing up another rebuttal so please forgive me for keeping it short. Bugs do not have souls. Souls are immortal. The time spent in the Lake of Fire is that of people living forever, as that the dead are to also be resurrected, this means they will be forever alive yet forever dying. So again you are trying to put time constraints on eternity, where time does not exist.
        I do not use modern translations, see previous reply for details.
        You declare Luke as the exception yet it is the most specific passage on hell. This passage spoken from our Lord is the rule, the backbone of our understanding of what is going on right now to those who have died lost. It is further carried over by the what we are told in Revelation 20.
        Also I have already given my proof of Luke 16 not being a parable but an actual event. Yes Jesus was using this to get His point across, sermons and lessons that incorporate real life events are the most practical, powerful, and easily understood.
        So because God allowed Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation, to speak with a man in hellfire this narrative must be just a story. Well in that case we all know donkeys can’t talk so Balaam must have dreamt that conversation.
        As for a drop of water, tell me when was the last time you worked in a steel mill or visited one? A drop of water is very refreshing. And as far as Abraham’s bosom no I am not looking forward to that BUT at that time Jesus hadn’t died so for those people in paradise Abraham was THE MAN.
        Again saying that Jesus just made this up is the same as calling Jesus a liar.
        Lazarus was also a common name. Do a study on the time line you will find that this event is before the event in John 11. Also you will note that this Lazarus is a beggar where the Lazarus of John 11 had a home and was well enough off that he and his sisters were able to host Jesus at their house. So 2 different men.
        I agree these “near death” experience people are all wrong.
        Rev. And 2 peter are describing future events while Jude is telling us about how unavoidable the destruction of Sodom was. Even though Abraham was praying as hard as he could, God finally had to walk away from Abe on the subject. So the coming judgment and its power are unavoidable.
        The hell of Luke is the abode of the dead the greek word is Hades. There are 2 side the side for the damned and the side called paradise. To answer a little more on previous question we will not spent eternity conversing with those in Hell because we are not spending eternity in paradise, Jesus led captivity captive, delivered those in paradise to heaven and at the rapture is bringing the souls back to join up with the body 1 Thes. 4. Anyway the problem is how we think of hell , true hell is the lake of fire hades is actually how we should be referring to what we call hell.
        Sleeping is in regards to the body not the soul or spirit. So you need to study 1 Thes. 4:14-18.
        I am sorry but at this point i must stop i am making too many typos and having to go back and correct. I will try to pick this up later, after the dead are sleeping part.

        Like

      • Not sure who Luther is, my 1st thought is Martin. While I have no Bible to back it up I personally believe along the lines of how you describe the Rest In Peace part to a certain degree. I feel that once dead our soul and spirit are now outside of time though they are with God, 2 Cor. 5:8. And returning with Jesus just as far as the clouds to be joined up with our new, perfect body 1 Thes. 4:14. Being unaware of what is going on here in earth is backed up by Ecclesiastes 9:5.
        At Daniel 12 reference. You are trying to tie in Old Testament where there is no sign whatsoever of the church with the sleep of the believer. Not a terrible stretch but still a reach. Also at this point you seem to be trying to cloud your original issue with other things. My understanding being you have a problem with eternal punishment but now I am beginning to feel as if the problem is just simply about eternity itself. I don’t know if there is going to be any singing done while the departed wait for the rapture, if there is “time” to do it then I know I certainly will. But either way the sleep that the Bible is talking about is that of the body not the soul.
        As far as the word “day” it never means millions of years. Nor do I attempt to redefine words I simply use the Strongs Concordance with Greek and Hebrew numbers to learn what the words mean.
        The unjust are not resurrected to go to war at the end of the millennial reign. Those who follow satan there will be those born during the 1000 year reign and choose to not accept Jesus. So what does this have to do with the eternal punishment?
        At this point I am through. To not understand that the rapture and 2nd coming are 2 different things is enough.
        You may keep your “conditioning” I do not wish to debate this any longer. I figured you were going for something else the other day but do to being ill I forgot about it.
        I have had this conversation before with far too many people to care to do it again. You have your beliefs spout them on your own blog.
        DO NOT BOTHER TO REPLY AGAIN.

        Like

  2. Djs, very interesting discussion. I’m not sure how I got to the web site, first i was on pastor Greg
    Locke’s Facebook page, then through searching more, I ended up here. I love the dissecting & the figuring out & searching you do.

    Like

    • Thank you melissa, my best guess would be somehow my sharing pastor Greg’s video to my Facebook page Digging in the Word and from there i would speculate the next thing to come up would be one of my blog post. Both the blog and facebook page are meant to help get my book out, just not an “in your face” everything is about the book type deal. Don’t know if you will be able to make it but thus Tuesday Dec. 1st Sonrise will be having Billy Sampson and his family singing for us.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s