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Jesus Himself (the only Authority) said, "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Mat_7:14

 2013/7/11 12:30

Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 786

 The Score


God and Satan are not locked in some epic battle for souls. If no one ever believed, God would still be just as Great, just as glorious, just as wonderful, etc as He has always been. God's glory and goodness is in no way dependent upon us. He doesn't need us. We all, by our own selves, are condemned to die. We DESERVE an eternity in hell. Why? Because we are children of wrath. God is Holy. What does that mean? It means that God is perfect and His standards are perfect and He is like nothing else in this universe. Totally set apart. There is nothing to which we can compare Him. Being perfect, God cannot just forgive everyone. Again, not because He is bound by some law, but because it is His nature not to leave the wicked unpunished. An eternity in Hell fits the crime, because we, in open rebellion, have rejected what ALL creation has cried out from the beginning--the glory of God. And it isn't that you have sinned here and there, it is that everything you do is sin. Everything. Why? Because we are corrupt and even our best attempts at doing good are always selfishly motivated and steeped in self-righteousness. But more than that, we were wicked from our mother's wombs. God will execute His justice against the wicked, against those who hate Him--which is everyone. However, God loves the world. He takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked. Yet, we MUST pay the price for our rebellion! So, God, being rich in mercy, sent His precious, only Son--Jesus Christ. Jesus gave Himself willingly to die in our place. And God poured out the cup of His wrath upon Christ on that cross! It was not the nails, it was not the wood, it was not the agony of physical pain that Jesus sweated great drops of blood over; it was the wrath of His Father. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. So God slaughtered His only Son (Isaiah 53 says it pleased Him to crush the Messiah), and forsook Him because He became sin. Jesus Christ served as a propitiation (a sacrifice to appease the wrath of God) for us who would believe. And on the 3rd day, Christ, defeating death, rose again so that all those who would believe would too be resurrected. He was the first among many bretheren to rise and we, who have believed, will rise as well when He comes for us. Thusly, all who believe upon Him will receive eternal life. What does John 3 say? "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes is not condemned, but He who does not believe is condemned already because they have not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God."

All who believe become justified and the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to us. We become righteous because Jesus Christ has already paid the penalty of our sins. He takes our hearts of stone and gives us hearts of flesh. He takes us, who are dead in our trespasses and sins and gives us life in Jesus Christ. We were not His people, but He has called us His people. We are adopted and become children of God. We all like sheep have gone astray, we have turned each one to his own way, but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. We believe and so we live. Those who do not believe are dead. They will be cast into the lake of fire where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. Just as God made a distinction between His people who were slaves in Egypt and the Egyptians who enslaved them, so God will make a distinction between His people who have believed on the name of Jesus Christ and those who have not.

This is the Gospel. And even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you something other than what has been layed before us so clearly in the scriptures, let him be accursed.

Universalism defies this Gospel.

 2013/7/11 13:30Profile


Hi MaryJane,

I did overlooked the fact that you also cited the same verse as I. That pretty much says it all. In addition, true followers of Christ and God (OT) have always been a few when compared with the many.

TMK, there are really great papers all over the web regarding Universalism with detailed explanations of its deceptive message. I have studied it in depth and know what the Word says. With such a plethora of info available on the web, I really don't think there is much need to write more about it.

 2013/7/11 13:51

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5390

 Re: The Score


You are preaching to the choir, at least to some extent. But thanks for the excellent presentation.

All I have suggested is that people actually do some reading on their own so they can get a clearer understanding.

There are three primary views of hell that **true** born again believers may hold:

1) Eternal conscious torment
2) Conditional Immortality (annihilationism)
3) Universal Reconciliation

To make blanket statements like "universalism defies this gospel" simply illustrates the fact that you do not truly understand what responsible and capable proponents of views 2 and 3 actually teach. We all know that word "gospel" means "good news." Is it good news that perhaps 99% of the souls that have ever lived will be consigned to everlasting torment? Why would God set up a system where this is the case, especially where He is "not willing that **any** should perish?" I think this question is important to consider.

I have done much reading of the main proponents of views 2 and 3, so it is frustrating to me to see that there is so little understanding of what they actually believe and how they support these views with scripture.

Whenever this topic is discussed, people's interpretations are driven by forgone theological conclusions, particularly their 'a priori' belief that only some will ultimately be saved. This belief may in fact be true, but it is worthwhile to examine whether the scriptures truly teach this to be true, and by trying to avoid interpreting scripture through our foregone conclusions. I realize this is exceedingly difficult, especially with a controversial topic like this. We find this to be true in discussions on eschatology. People like their own eschatology and don't like to be confronted with other legitimate possibilities.

The concept of "eternal fire" is entirely absent from the OT, and is only mentioned 3 times in the NT (twice in Matthew, once in Jude). The word translated as "eternal" is "ainios" and does not necessarily mean "eternal" as in "never ending." In Jude 7, it definitely does not mean this:

"just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of **eternal (ainios)** fire."

Was the fire that rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah eternal- as in everlasting? If so, then it would qualify as the chief wonder of the world --- fire that is eternal and unquenchable. But we know that this fire is no longer raining or burning.

Is. 34:8-10 (apocalyptic genre) reads:
"For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance,
The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
Its streams shall be turned into pitch,
And its dust into brimstone;
Its land shall become burning pitch.
It shall not be quenched night or day;
Its ****smoke shall ascend forever***."

Compare this to another passage in the apocalyptic genre, Rev 14:11:

"And the smoke of their torment ***ascends forever and ever***."

Q: Is the smoke in Edom still ascending?


 2013/7/11 14:26Profile


Notice that one kind of eternity is compared with another kind.

Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Strongs on Everlasting: a synonym of eternal.
From G165; perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well): - eternal, for ever, everlasting, world (began).

Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Strongs for Everlasting in the Hebrew

עלם עולם
‛ôlâm ‛ôlâm
o-lawm', o-lawm'
From H5956; properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point; generally time out of mind (past or future), that is, (practically) eternity; frequentative adverbially (especially with prepositional prefix) always: - always (-s), ancient (time), any more, continuance, eternal, (for, [n-]) ever (-lasting, -more, of old), lasting, long (time), (of) old (time), perpetual, at any time, (beginning of the) world (+ without end). Compare H5331, H5703.

Mar 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire THAT NEVER SHALL be quenched:
Mar 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire IS NOT QUENCHED.

No annihilation since the EXPERT (Jesus) says that we are all RESURRECTED.
John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

 2013/7/11 14:48

Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257



Are you leaning toward those who deny the power of God.

Universalism does not only teach that hell is not eternal but that all will be saved in the end anyway or come out all right.

Jesus said that "ye must be born again" in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.

John 1:12-13 (KJV)
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

This is dangerous heresy that denies the very words of Jesus. It gives people false hope and it sounds like it is having an effect on you.

Blessings...from brother rbanks

 2013/7/11 14:50Profile

Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 786


Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:27, and Luke 20:38 all say that the OT does in fact speak to Eternal Life. There are many, many verses that say such. They may not say "eternal life" but it is not necessary when so clearly stated. Look at the last few verses of Psalm 17. David makes it clear that those who have there hope in only this life are foolish. But when David awakens, he will be satisfied with his likeness.

Matthew 25:46--"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Both use the exact same word. Is heaven only temporary? Most of the arguements made that hell is not eternal can be used to say heaven is equally uneternal. That isn't a proof in and of itself, but it does significantly weaken all arguments based on that kind of logic.

Revelation 20:10 makes it clear through the use of "night and day" that eternal does not just mean an age or eon. It goes on and on and on.

I have heard and read arguements for both Annihilationism and Universal Reconciliation. Both are false. They are generated from a misunderstanding of the Scriptures, a misunderstanding of the fallness of man, a misunderstanding of the holiness and righteousness of God and they both completely invalidate the need for Jesus Christ to come.

 2013/7/11 14:53Profile

Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 786



I was looking up those same verses the same time you

 2013/7/11 15:00Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5390


Hey Guys-

I dont this to be a thread about universalism.. trust me it would go on for the next 3 years. I visit another forum on occasion and there are discussions there on this topic at least that old.

Plus I now recall that this is not a subject the moderators want discussed here at sermonindex.

For the record, I am not a proponent of universal reconciliation.

But I will admit that I have a HUGE problem with the doctrine that hell is a place of eternal conscious torment. If it is true, of course I will have to deal with it.

As a practical matter for myself, I don't plan on having to ultimately worry about which viewpoint is actually correct.


 2013/7/11 15:58Profile



I agree with your sentiments, especially with the fact that we all have to deal with hell being a place of eternal conscious torment.

God does not give us any easy outs, does He? If annihilation were true, then there is no need to struggle, endure, be disappointed or go without down here, because there is no penalty for checking out.

And if annihilation were true, then you couldn't fault the elites for trimming the population down to 500 million because for the living it is the "reasonable" thing to do. Afterall, those who have been exterminated will just be annihilated, anyway.

 2013/7/11 16:05

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