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Saturday, February 21, 2015

I Object!


Some Objections to Universal Salvation Through Jesus Answered (at least to my satisfaction)


Following is the complete chapter 9 from Jesus and Hitler

There are many who don’t agree with what I am teaching. We’ll look at some objections I’ve encountered in discussions with others and in my study of this subject.


Hebrews 6:4-8


One argument used by some against God achieving His plan of reconciliation for all is found in Hebrews 6:


4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift,and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 7For the earth which drinks in the rain that comes often upon it, and brings forth herbs meet [fit] for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God: 8But that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and is near unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

One key to making sense of seemingly contradictory verses in the Bible is to base your understanding on the clearest verse. Another principle for understanding is to let Scripture interpret Scripture. If a part of the Bible doesn’t make sense, there are usually other passages that will enlarge your understanding. But sometimes God doesn’t reveal everything that we want to know, and we have to be content with that. However, that is never an excuse to quit searching for the truth. The gold seeker who quits taking his pan to the stream never gets the goods.

We see that this passage clearly states that it is impossible for those who fall away to be renewed to repentance. Have we found something good that is impossible for God to accomplish? Let’s see. Matthew 19 says,

25When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, "Who then can be saved?" 26But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

Mark 14:36 reads,

And [Jesus] said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible unto you...."

Luke 1:37,

For with God nothing shall be impossible.

For whom is it impossible to renew to repentance the fallen Christian brother or sister? God or man? The passage from Hebrews doesn’t say. But the previous verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke clearly tell us it is not beyond God’s capability. So, by process of elimination, it is impossible for man to renew someone who has fallen away.

I believe we are told the impossibility of the task so that we do not spend all of our effort trying to win back someone whom we are not able to win back. We need to let God deal with those who have fallen away. Like the symbolic thorns and briers, they will be rejected and burned. In other words, they will go through judgment. God will judge them and lead them to the truth in order to achieve His goals for mankind. The moral of the story? Once you come to Jesus, don’t fall away.



Matthew 25:46

 
And these shall go away into everlasting [aionion] punishment, but the righteous into life eternal [aionion].

The Greek word aionion is the adjective form of aion and is #166 in Strong’s concordance. According to Strong it means perpetual. Yet, it is based on aion, so what has already been said about aion should be applied to aionion (see chapter 4). Aionion is related to an age, or period of time, which begins and ends.

It is said by some who believe in eternal torment that because the same Greek word is used in this verse to describe the punishment and the life, that the duration of both must be the same. Since God gives eternal life to believers, they conclude that He must give eternal punishment to unbelievers. On the other hand, they say that if the judgment eventually ends, then the life eventually ends. This teaching started with Augustine in the early fifth century. However, we must keep in mind that Jesus is talking about the two distinct issues--life and punishment.

I’ll show that Augustine’s reasoning is faulty:

The little man with the little head went to his little house. Sadly, he could not enter his own home because it was too small. It was as small as his body, which was as small as his head.

What? This would make sense in a Dr. Seuss book, but not in real life. If we follow Augustine’s logic, the man, his head and his house must all be the same size because the same word is used to describe all three. Obviously, this is not true. Though all three things are relatively little, they are all very different in size. The adjective little is affected by the noun it describes. We know what men, heads and houses look like, so we can make sense of this statement.

I’ll give another example that deals with time:

I watched the long college wrestling match, then I watched the long tennis match.

A long college wrestling match, which normally lasts seven minutes, could last for eleven minutes if it went into overtime. A long tennis match could last for several hours. They are both relatively long, but not the same duration.

The problem we have is that none of us have seen the life or the punishment that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 25:46. We have no frame of reference for the duration of either based on this passage. We must look to the rest of the Scriptures to help our understanding of the span of the life and punishment. The verse at hand does not prove that the life and punishment must be the same duration.

Jesus speaks in Matthew 25 in general terms--nations (v.32), sheep and goats (v.32-33), those on His right hand, and those on the left hand (v.34 and 41). Obviously, Jesus doesn’t have time to speak about the details of every person’s judgment here. But we must keep in mind that this judgment is done on an individual basis, “every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2:6). In this passage the key to understanding the duration of the life and punishment for the individual is to understand the major event that is taking place, the second coming of Jesus. The punishment and life begin at the same time for these people:

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.... (Matthew 25:31)

1 Thessalonians 4 says that when Christ returns He

16shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

There’s more:

50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. 51Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15)

And Revelation 20 adds:

5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

At the second coming the faithful dead, those “worthy to obtain that world [aionos- age]” (Luke 20:35), will be resurrected and given immortality. The faithful who are alive on the earth will not die but will also be changed into immortals. They must be changed to inherit the kingdom of God (see Matthew 25:34 and 1 Corinthians 15:50). They will inherit aionion life--life for an age--the one thousand years following Christ’s return. Does that mean their life ends after the thousand years passes? No. They are immortal. But they have the special blessing of being part of the first resurrection, or being alive on the earth when Christ returns.

The wicked goats who are alive on the earth will remain mortal. They will go into aionion punishment. Because they are mortal, they will eventually die. Because they will die, their individual aionion punishment cannot last as long as the aionion life for the immortals. These goats will then be resurrected in the second resurrection, one thousand years after the first (Revelation 20:5). God will at that time deal with them accordingly.

There are many more details I would like to know about what takes place during Christ’s initial 1000 year reign. I’ll just have to wait and see. But I hope this general understanding will give us confidence to know that the judgment of unbelievers is not eternal.

 

They Had Their Chance


When the subject of God reconciling the world to Himself comes up, people often ask: “So you’re saying that all those people who wanted nothing to do with God in their lifetime are going to get a second chance?” They are upset by the very idea that a Christ rejecter would be given a second chance by the Savior of the world. But they want to say (or scream), “They don’t deserve it!” But Christians wouldn’t dare say this out loud because they know that they don’t deserve to be saved either!

Erroneously, Christians, including myself, have been taught and have believed that this mortal life is the only window of time in which we can come to Jesus to be saved. There is not one verse in the Bible that teaches this! Besides, God has not left the salvation of all men to chance. The responsibility belongs to Him and to His Son. Who else would you want running this operation? They will not give up until all the sheep, even the wayward ones, are safely home. God, Jesus and heaven will rejoice over this. Will you?

The parable in Matthew 20 is appropriate here:

1For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. 2And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4And said unto them; “Go you also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you.” And they went their way. 5Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and says unto them, “Why stand you here all the day idle?” 7They say unto him, “Because no man has hired us.” He says unto them, “Go you also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall you receive.” 8So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard says unto his steward, “Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.” 9And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12Saying, “These last have wrought but one hour, and you have made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.” 13But he answered one of them, and said, “Friend, I do you no wrong: did not you agree with me for a penny? 14Take that yours is, and go your way: I will give unto this last, even as unto you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? Is your eye evil, because I am good?” 16So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.


I believe this parable can be applied to many scenarios. I think it fits well with the study at hand. God will give salvation to all. If Hitler receives God long after everyone else, he will still have salvation and be reconciled to Him. Should we be upset be cause of Jesus’ goodness to those who are called late? No.
 
What if you or your son, daughter, mother or father were some of the last to enter God’s kingdom after the resurrection? What if it took a thousand years and a thousand “chances” or more for some? Would you be upset because Jesus brought them in, or would you party with the returned prodigals? Would you be glad that God didn’t give up on them, like those who would sentence them to eternal torment or annihilation seem to have done?

God is going to fulfill His will, whether we like it or not. If we truly love our enemies, we will rejoice when they come into the kingdom and are blessed by God. The fact that all people will end up in God’s kingdom is proof that He really does love the whole world.


God Won't Force People To Love Him Against Their Will


Obviously, you can’t force someone to love you. But can you persuade someone to love you? Can you overwhelm them with your love in order to change their mind and heart? Yes! People do it all the time. I have personally seen and heard many stories of guys who pursued girls who were, by physical appearances, way out of their league. In all of the cases I am aware of, the girl was initially dead set against having anything to do with the guy. Not one of them that I am aware of grabbed the girl and forced her on a date. Kidnapping is still illegal. But the guy that got the girl put in the extra time and effort to win the one he loved. Many of the girls grew to love their pursuer. Some of them married. My point is this: if an ordinary man can win a resistant someone with love, why can’t God? Are we wiser than God? Why can’t God use the fullness of His resources to win people to Himself?

The Bible says that all people are initially God’s enemies (Romans 5:10). They remain so until He leads them to repent and put their faith in Jesus. God has to win all of us, though we are all initially resistant due to sin and rebellion. He won’t give up! What if God does manipulate things to win us? Can the Good Shepherd use His sheepdogs - the circumstances of life - to get the sheep to go where He desires? The end result is that we are won over by God. That’s a good thing. Do you think the apostle Paul gives a rip that Jesus, acting out of love, knocked him down and temporarily blinded him? I don’t think so.


We Are Saved By Faith, Not By Sight


I have encountered this argument against universal salvation: “We are saved by faith, not by sight.” Although this statement sounds like it could be from the Scriptures, it is not found there. Those who have used this argument say that once an unbeliever sees Jesus, he can’t be saved by faith because faith is no longer an option once you see Jesus. The Scriptures do say “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), but they aren’t talking about salvation. They are referring to how a believer lives out his life, trusting in God even when he can’t yet see what he hopes for. Can those who see Jesus be saved by faith? John 20 tells us,

24But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25The other disciples therefore said unto him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said unto them, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace be unto you.” 27Then said he to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and behold my hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” 28And Thomas answered and said unto him, “My Lord and my God.” 29Jesus said unto him, “Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

Jesus told Thomas to “be not faithless” (v.27). In other words, Jesus told Thomas to have faith after he had seen Him. Thomas saw and touched Jesus before he believed, and Jesus received him. Those who believe after this occasion, and prior to seeing, will be blessed by being part of the first and blessed resurrection.

Ephesians 2 says,

8For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest any man should boast.

God gives us the faith to believe when He chooses. We hope for salvation in all of its aspects. Until we possess all of the aspects of salvation, we must hope, we must have faith that we will receive from our heavenly Father these good things. Unbelievers who are told to depart from Jesus into judgment will see Him in all His glory, yet they won’t possess salvation. They must be brought to the point where they put their faith in Him and obtain salvation. The boy who sees the new bike in the store window has faith that he will get it for his birthday because his father promised him. He sees it, but he doesn’t possess it until the promise is fulfilled.


Weeping And Gnashing Of Teeth


Concerning judgment, Jesus speaks of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:51). This will be the condition of those excluded from the kingdom as they look on those who are inside enjoying God’s blessings. The judgment will not be a cakewalk. But there is nothing that indicates the weeping and gnashing will last for eternity.


Forever Fire And Immortal Worms


In Mark 9:43-48, Jesus says judgment will be in “hell,” a place “where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched.” The word hell, used three times in the King James Bible in these verses, comes from the Greek word geenna (pronounced gheh'-en-nah; Strong’s #1067). It is derived from two Hebrew words and means valley of Hinnom. This valley near Jerusalem was used by the idolatrous worshipers of Molech in the times of the Hebrew kings and prophets. Child sacrifice was part of their wicked practices. In Jeremiah 19:6 God said He would judge the idolators and would at that time change the name of the place to “the valley of slaughter,” only now God would be the One doing the slaughtering.

The Jews that Jesus spoke to knew this prophecy from Jeremiah very well. The valley is said to have eventually become the local dump for Jerusalem, and remained so in the days of Jesus. Apparently garbage,  dead animals and some dead humans were thrown there. Fires continually burned, and worms ate their fill. The dump is no longer there. So the literal worms of the dump have died, and the fires have been quenched.

Was Jesus talking about the wicked being cast into the literal valley of Hinnom, or was He referring to the future judgment of the wicked, or both? I believe that the literal valley that was familiar to His listeners would have been a powerful image for present and future judgment. Was the prophecy of the valley of slaughter fulfilled, or is their more to come. Based on God’s warnings of future judgment of mankind, I believe the prophecy is yet to be fully accomplished.

I believe we can learn from the literal valley of Hinnom in that it no longer exists as a garbage dump or a place of child sacrifice. The fires and flesh devouring worms are gone (OK, worms are probably still there and would eat flesh if it were available, but hopefully you get my point). The fires could not be quenched by those being judged and thrown there. They could not stop the worms from eating them. However, the firestarters and worm watchers could put an end to them.

In the future judgment, the Judge will be in control of the fire, and the judged will not be able to quench it. The Judge will quench it after it has completed its purpose. Let’s look at some scriptural examples of “unquenchable fire:” In Jeremiah 17:27 God says to the nation of Judah,

But if you will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched. 

The judgment and fires did come to the disobedient nation. The judgment was ended after 70 years, and the fires were quenched by God, the Firestarter. The fires could not, however be quenched by the judged nation. Jude 7,

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to  fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal [aionion] fire.

These cities were destroyed by God with fire from heaven. The cities are gone. The fires are gone. They lasted long enough to complete their purpose. They were not eternal, but aionion--they began, they ended. So, too with the fires and worms of the valley of Hinnom. The fires of God’s judgment will serve their purpose then end at some point. 


Hitler Entering God’s Kingdom Isn’t Fair


Yep. It’s not fair for any sinner to enter God’s kingdom, and none will. His kingdom will be filled to the brim with former sinners. God can give His love and grace to whom He pleases. I’m glad He chooses to give it to all of us, even the worst of us.

What’s really unfair is Jesus, the completely sinless and innocent Son of God, dying in the place of all God’s guilty, sinful enemies. If you want to argue about what’s fair, talk to God about it. It’s His plan. I’d rather enjoy His amazing grace. Oh, how sweet the sound! Thank you Father and Jesus for being unfair!


All Doesn’t Always Mean All


True. But all does sometimes mean all.

Following are some instances in the Bible where the word all does not mean all people: Matthew 3,

5Then went out to [John the Baptist] Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

The Pharisees did not go to John to be baptized, and I’m assuming there were others. This statement is not literally true.

Matthew 10:22 Jesus said,

And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.

Jesus warned His followers of the result of being faithful to Him. But not all men hated the disciples. Three thousand believed, repented and were baptized after Peter’s first sermon following Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

There are many more examples of all not literally meaning all.

Following are three crucial examples of all meaning all, examples which you must take on faith because none are yet complete: 1 Timothy 2:4,

[God our Savior] will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

John 5,

28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [judgment].

Acts 3,

20And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Sinning Against An Eternal God Requires An Eternal Punishment


Based on what scripture? Please, two scriptures would be preferred, but I’m just asking for one. Anyone? I’ve personally never seen or heard this argument scripturally supported. If you have legitimate support for this, or any support for objections to arguments that I’ve presented, please let me know. I’m seeking the truth.

Jesus bore all of our sins. Why isn’t He still being punished if an eternal punishment is due Him on our behalf? If a mother kills her week-old baby, should she only go to jail for one week? Silly assumptions lead to silly arguments. I should know; I’ve had a few in my day (and still probably have some tucked away in the recesses of my aging mind).


If Aion Doesn't Mean Eternal, Will Satan Be Saved Also?


For me, this issue is secondary to man’s salvation since I am called to tell the good news to man. But it is a legitimate question. Philippians 2 shows us,

10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

This list seems all inclusive to me. Satan will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord. Ephesians 1:10:
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.

Another all-inclusive list. All things will come together in Christ. Is Satan excluded? I have no reason to believe he will be.

Jesus' peaceful kingdom will have no border. The peaceful kingdom will not stop at Satan's feet. It will include all beings in harmonious relationships. This will be the ultimate expression of God's grace.

 

 

The Rich Man And Lazarus


In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar. Is the story literal or symbolic? By those who take it literally, the story is seen as proof that the wicked will suffer eternal torment. However, this is a parable rich with symbolism that teaches very real lessons. Scholars in Mainstream Christianity and Universalism call this passage a parable. John MacArthur is the most notable scholar in the eternal torment camp. The parable follows:

19There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23And in hell [hades] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” 25But Abraham said, “Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented. 26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from here to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from there.” 27Then he said, “I pray you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house: 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” 29Abraham said unto him, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” 30And he said, “Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.” 31And he said unto him, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

I will point out a few things in this parable that relate to the main topic of this book. If you wish to study this parable further, there are full commentaries available online.

Jesus’ audience for this story included His Jewish followers (16:1), and the Pharisees (16:14), the high and mighty religious leaders who were actually low and snakey. The Pharisees were sneering at Jesus as He told His parables (16:14).

The rich man in the parable represents Judah, who had five brothers (16:28). Genesis 35:23,

The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun. 

Leah, one of Jacob’s wives, bore him six sons. He had twelve sons total. Has not Judah, the Jewish nation, undergone torment consistently on the earth? Human history would say “Yes.” Judah did not listen to Moses, and for the most part the nation was not moved to repentance by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (16:31). The nation was destroyed in 70 AD.

This is not a story about how to be saved. No one is condemned simply because they are rich and enjoy good things in life. No one is saved simply because they received evil things in life (16:25). We are saved by knowing Jesus.

Notice there is no indication in the parable of the duration of the rich man’s (Judah’s) torment. He is excluded from the comfort of Abraham’s bosom, but for how long we are not told.


I Hate That S.O.B.!!


Probably the most unspoken objection to God’s saving all is that some people just don’t want their enemies to be saved. There are people they really want to see burn forever. When they are told this won’t happen, they protest, sometimes using Scripture to justify their hatred for the person or group of people they loathe.

Some cannot envision God’s kingdom being joyful with certain people in it. But it will be all lollipops and giggles with them and their hatred in the kingdom! I think not. In Matthew 5 Jesus said,

43You have heard that it has been said, “You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.” 44But I say unto you, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans [tax collectors] the same? 47And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even the publicans so? 48Be you therefore perfect [complete], even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect [complete].”

 

Famous Universalists


When the subject of Jesus being the Savior of the world is brought up, Christians often ask me, “Who else believes in Christian Universalism?” or “Who did you learn this from?” They want to know if there are any “famous” Christians alive today who are universalists. Are there any TV preachers or bestselling Christian authors who believe this? I don’t know if there are. But does that really matter? I know of some very famous universalists that have complete confidence in God’s ability to save all people. I’ll briefly cover some of them.

God (He's pretty famous) “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

Jesus (also quite famous) in Luke 9:56 said, “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Jesus said this to two of His closest followers, James and John, after they wanted to call down fire from heaven on the Samaritans who did not receive Jesus. You can see the difference between man and Jesus when it comes to how they treat their enemies. Man desires to destroy, Jesus saves.

John the Baptist (famous guy) said of Jesus in John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.” John knew why Jesus came--to take away all of our sin.

John the Apostle (another famous man) wrote in John 5 these words of Jesus: “21For as the Father raises up the dead, and quickens them; even so the Son quickens whom he will. 22For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son: 23That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.” Through His righteous judgments Jesus will cause all people to honor Him. And when Jesus completes His work all people will be more than happy to humbly bow to Him.

The (famous) Apostle Peter preached about Jesus in Acts 3:21, “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” All things will be made right in God’s time.

The Apostle Paul (pretty well known) wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:28, “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” One universe under God. He truly is the Almighty.

Moses (very famous) wrote about God’s command to Adam in Genesis 1: “27So God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; and replenish the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’” Even though Adam did not accomplish God’s plan to fill the earth with very good people bearing God’s pure image, God hasn’t changed His original plan. It will be completed by the “last Adam,” Jesus. Read the very encouraging verses in 1 Corinthians 15:21-28 to see how He will do this.

(Famous) Isaiah 46, “9...I am God, and there is none like me, 10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.’” God’s desires are good and He will accomplish them all.

(Somewhat famous) Daniel 2, “35Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth....44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." These verses speak of God’s righteous kingdom ending all of man’s ungodly kingdoms, filling the whole earth and standing forever.

Abraham Lincoln (world renowned): I read somewhere he was a universalist: (The Almost Chosen People: a study of the religion of Abraham Lincoln, p.105 [William J. Wolf, Doubleday & Company Inc., 1959])

This is enough famous people support for me to put my faith in God’s ability to save all men. He will complete His goal of having the earth filled with very good people who bear His pure image. We will all worship and obey Him with hearts full of love and gratitude for His mercy and grace toward all, though none of us are deserving.

Praise His name!

To see more about God's plan to save all people, get your copy of  Jesus and Hitler.



8 comments:

  1. Do you believe in reincarnation?

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    1. No, I do not believe in reincarnation. I believe in the resurrection and restoration of all people to God the Father through Jesus the Savior. We do not need to come back to life as someone or something else when God is going to raise us to live as ourselves. You will be you, I will be me. We will be made better versions of our former selves.

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    2. Salvation is by grace through faith, and faith comes through hearing.

      Is it not possible that those who do not come to saving faith in Jesus in this life, will come to saving faith in Him in a next life, here on earth?

      Is it not possible that we are already in the Lake of Fire, and Jesus came in to get us out?

      Our sun is a big ball of fire, as are our stars, and it is this place among the big balls of fire that Adam and Eve were put as punishment for their disobedience. After Adam and Eve return to dust, would there be any further punishment for them somewhere else, other than here on earth?

      There is day and night torment here on earth, in outer darkness among the balls of fire. We are in bodies (coats of skin) that experience pain and perish and are destroyed. Then what?

      The first mention of fire in the bible is the flaming sword preventing Adam and Eve from gaining access to the garden of Eden. Why didn't they try and get back into the garden from another direction?

      Have you ever read the bible from the objective viewpoint that reincarnation could be true? There are a whole lot of verses in the bible that make a whole lot more sense, without doctrinal gymnastics, if reincarnation is true.

      Jesus is the only way out of here, and we have to die to leave (remember he said "follow me"?), and if we die without faith, we are sent back.

      If the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, the new heaven and the new earth are the second heaven and the second earth. If someone is able to go up to the third heaven, then the third heaven must exist, which by deduction means the third earth must also exist as heaven and earth pass away together, and to go up to the third heaven, you must have been on the third earth.

      This is the second death, the "life" we are living now, after having been cast into the Lake of Fire for the second time. We are not alive here, we are dead, until we are made alive in Christ, after which we only need to die once to gain immortality, at which point we ourselves become ministering angels to those who are left here who didn't make it.

      The bible makes so much more sense, if reincarnation is true.

      Gehenna is here on earth. How is it possible to be cast to Gehenna, here on earth, with 2 eyes and 2 hands and 2 feet, after you have been killed, without being reincarnated?

      Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead, how many times did he die?

      Hebrews 9:27 does not say "and as it is laid up to men once to (live and to)die, and after this-- (to be resurrected and face) judgment"

      The words I added that I put in brackets are missing for a reason. This verse has nothing to do with reincarnation. In context Hebrews 9 and 10 are about things that happen in cycles, and the cycle is broken through faith in Christ.

      Christ is rejected when He is packaged with eternal torment, as eternal torment in hell is rejected, and 98% of Christians do not share their faith in Christ because of fear of being rejected and ridiculed.

      Pythagoras (a Jew), Socrates, Plato, Philo (a Jew), all were reincarnationists, belief in reincarnation persists to this day in Judaism. Have you ever looked?

      Why did God send Israel into Egypt for 400 years (without a bible) for them to be indoctrinated with reincarnationism if reincarnation is not true? Why did God raise up Alexander the Great to Hellenize (read Socrates, Plato and Aristotle) the world with belief in reincarnation, if reincarnation is not true?

      Reincarnation is not an option, as if it is true we can only be reincarnated back here, and we could be reincarnated as a baby who is sacrificed in fire to a strange God, in a place called Gehenna.

      Here is not in the Garden of Eden with our Father.

      Jesus came to save us from here.

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  2. No, I have never read the Bible with reincarnation in mind. Those who were resurrected in the Bible did not come back as a totally different person. Jesus came back as Jesus when He was resurrected. Lazarus was Lazarus. The others came back as the same person. The Bible makes enough sense to me seeing resurrection instead of reincarnation.

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    1. Why do you believe reincarnation implies a totally different person will come back? Is it not possible that the same person (spirit) comes back with their memories (soul) erased?

      Where then, in your mind, if not on this earth, is the place of torment described in the bible where people will be tormented day and night to the ages of the ages, and what will this torment be?

      Where will every knee bow, and every tongue confess, of those who do not do so in this life?

      Can one not possibly be reincarnated after resurrection and judgement? Do they have to be mutually exclusive, or can one not simply follow the other?

      Does the Great White Throne judgement necessarily have to be all on one day according to our perspective, or is it not possible that it could be an ongoing process, every time one dies they face the throne, and every time found guilty be sent back here?


      Do you believe in the physical resurrection of this body of flesh, and that this body of flesh that has returned to dust (and not a transfigured body) will be the bodies we will occupy in front of the Great White Throne? If yes, why?

      Are you going to make any attempt to answer the questions you have not answered? :)

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  3. Brad (I'm going to call you Brad because it helps me picture you. Anonymous just doesn't work for me.) I see nothing in the Scriptures that indicates a resurrected spirit has their memories erased.

    The lake of fire, and I believe all judgment - even the judgment we undergo in this life, takes place on the earth. This judgment will be varied as each individual is judged according to his deeds (Rom 2:6). The judgment will be terrible (Rom 2:8-9).

    All will bow to Jesus on this earth sometime after His return.

    You need to give me your thorough definition of reincarnation for me to know what you mean when you use that word.

    The Great White Throne judgement could take a while. we are not given a lot of details on it. Brad, you say, "every time one dies." I don't see in the Scriptures the multiple deaths you speak of.

    We will have resurrected bodies, but they will be different - see 1 Cor 15.

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    1. I chose Anonymous in the hope that it would assist with addressing logic rather than a person. My name is Martin but if you'd like to continue calling me Brad that's OK if it works for you :)

      Did Adam and Eve remember the Garden of Eden after they had been put here?

      There are 10 bible verses with the phrase "left hand" in the bible, the last is Jesus speaking of those on the left hand being cast into outer darkness, the first is Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh being blessed by Jacob. Manasseh, upon whom the left hand was placed, means "make to forget".

      Upon which bible verses do you base your belief that judgement, including the Great White Throne judgement, takes place here on earth. Why could it not be in heaven? Jesus was taken up to heaven in His body, and heaven is where Stephen saw Jesus.

      Act 7:55 and being full of the Holy Spirit, having looked stedfastly to the heaven, he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

      Upon what scriptures do you base your belief that all will bow to Jesus on this earth sometime after His return?

      Those nations who gather to make war against Jesus after His 1000 year reign here on earth (Rev 20:9), did they bow to Jesus after His return, or will they bow to Jesus after fire has destroyed them?


      If they bow to Jesus sometime after His return, sometime after being devoured by fire, will they bow to Jesus in a resurrected earthly or heavenly body?

      Does it not make more sense that they would bow after being reincarnated in an earthly body, being born again amongst men in the usual way we are born? On the new earth, outside the city?

      Reincarnation: The spirit of the deceased returning to inhabit a new body here on earth, and although this is not a rule, the soul (memories) having been erased/destroyed, although ultimately to be restored (Psalm 23).

      As for multiple deaths, I am sure the term "second death" will ring a bell as something you probably will have seen in scripture. Death is being thrown into the lake of fire, just as Adam and Eve were, the first mention of fire in the bible is the "flaming sword", which I believe is allegorical for our sun and stars, as angels are also called stars. Adam and Eve on earth were already dead, in perishable coats of skin (our earthly bodies) when they landed on earth when they were driven from the garden of Eden (allegory for heaven). We all were dead until made alive in Christ, although trapped in these earthly bodies until liberated by the death of the body.

      On 1 Cor 15, will resurrected bodies be earthly bodies or heavenly bodies? What kind of body will sufferers of torment be in, earthly or heavenly, if judgement takes place on earth and the lake of fire is on earth?

      What do you believe the lake of fire is? Does it have to be a lake as we understand water lakes to be, on this earth?

      Could it not possibly be our universe?

      Have you ever read the anathemas against Origen by Roman Emperor Justinian, and wondered if they might be true and not heresy?

      Why do so many different isolated cultures all over the world have essentially the same belief in reincarnation? Could this belief not simply be the belief of the 8 who survived the flood, who all nations have in common as their ancestors, and could it not be the truth?

      Which scriptures seal the deal for you that reincarnation is completely out of the question?

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    2. Martin,

      Some of your questions I have no dogmatic answer for. I'm very content not having all of my questions answered, though I will continue to seek the truth.

      I will attempt to answer your questions.

      I see no reason why Adam and Eve were given amnesia. We learn and grow when we remember the things in our life that did not go well.

      I don't see the importance of the "left hand" in the Scriptures...at least as it relates to the discussion at hand.

      I believe the judgment takes place on earth because of 2 Thess 1:7-10, 1 Cor 4:5, 2 Tim 4:1 & 8, Rev 21:1-10. Though Jesus will return to earth to judge, God is now judging humanity from Heaven. Judgment takes on many forms for the many situations that need to be judged.

      All will bow to Jesus - Phil 2:9-11. This will be done on earth based on my previous paragraph.

      Those who make war with Jesus and the saints will bow after their judgment, which will lead them to honor Him - John 5:22-23.

      They will bow to Jesus in an immortal body after their resurrection.

      No, it makes more sense that they would bow after their resurrection and judgment.

      Resurrected bodies will be like Jesus' body - Phil 3:21.

      The lake of fire is unique and unlike anything else we know, although I think it will probably contain elements of things we are familiar with. Regardless, it will be a terrible place of judgment.

      The lake of fire could be a lot of things. We are simply not told a lot about it. I have faith that God will use it to accomplish His purpose - all people coming to honor Jesus - John 5:22-23.

      I have read some about Origen and Justinian. I would rather keep my focus on the Scriptures and what they say.

      Martin, your definition of reincarnation is very similar to resurrection if you get rid of the amnesia. I'm still not sure where you get the idea of erased memories from.

      And why would God want to erase our memories? Remembering the rough parts of life gives us a greater appreciation for the goodness of God Who saves us from these things. Are we going going to forget what Jesus did for us on the cross?

      There are no Scriptures that say reincarnation is not true. But the Bible does not have to address every single thing in the world that is not true.

      Jesus came back as Jesus in a glorified body. He is the One Who is the pattern of things to come for us. He had no amnesia when He rose from the dead. Neither will we.

      Have you read my book? It may answer some of the questions you have. The link is at the top of the blog - click on the book.

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