Consider the following: Sodom and Gomorrha were destroyed by fire and brimstone and are now set forth as "an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. But are these cities still burning? Scripture affirms that these cities were overthrown in a moment. Fire came down from God out of heaven and "consumed" the messengers from the King of Samaria during the time of the Prophet Elijah.
Two passages serve as an illustration: "Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall turn, and shall not be quenched. Nevertheless God will have mercy upon Zion when the "set time is come". Jerusalem will be the city of the great King. Luke The fire was not quenched until it had consumed all that could be burned. The fire is not now burning. Exactly what are the "all things" which are to be the subject of restitution?
In Philippians when Paul said, " I count all things but loss Obviously not. So here, the "all things" are limited by what follows. Nowhere is there a prophecy of the conversion and restoration of the wicked dead. I'm on the verge of giving up over this. Reading these nit-picky arguments over body, breath, soul, totally mind-numbing.
I've argued basically a reformed version of Christianity for most of my long life, and now, coming to where I can see the end coming, for me, I am realizing I've been supporting a horrible horrible teaching, because back in my youth, I didn't listen to the warning of my own conscience. I do not any longer believe in a god who would knowingly create billions of human lives, lives made in His own image, only to leave their eternity dependent on the bad choice of one human couple.
Worse, under this version of God, it was never uncertain these billions would be lost. He had to know he was creating only to destroy. And does it matter, ethically, whether they are lost in eternal torment, or just erased, like a mistake? Who is the god who would do this, knowing all this misery would come from it? It would make Him either a complete failure at love, supposedly his most essential quality, or else an irresponsible imbecile, not to know, or not to care, it's hard for me to say which would be worse.
The reason universalism has its appeal is because it is intuitively more just that God should accept responsibility for the consequences of his creation going awry. None but those with a dead conscience could accept God as the biggest destroyer of human life in the history of the universe. It is the Devil who is supposed to be the great Die In Hell - Black Torment / Invocation War - Nocturnal Chants Of The Iron Flame (Vinyl), and perhaps he could count himself successful, if by one act of deception in the garden, he manages to trick God into destroying nearly all the human race.
If there is a God at all, this cannot, cannot, cannot possibly be who he is. But I understand that universalism has adverse consequences also. And so does atheism, pantheism, etc. There is no satisfactory solution that I have yet found. I only know this. I have come to question everything I thought I once believed, and hold myself an uncaring idiot for having propagated such bad ideas for so long, in the name of being 'faithful,' without being honest with myself, without listening to that voice within, the one I first heard when I read the story of the slaughter of the Canaanite children, saying, 'No!
Every human being will be judged for their own bad choices and not for "the bad choice of one human couple" Ezek. Adam brought death and sin into the world but God also allows man to choose righteousness and life over sin and death through Die In Hell - Black Torment / Invocation War - Nocturnal Chants Of The Iron Flame (Vinyl) freely offered grace; "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse.
Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him" Deut. No one will be able to stand before God and blame Adam for their choosing Satan rather than God; Death rather than life; Sin rather than righteousness; Hate rather than love. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.
For God shows no partiality " Rom. Could God not have created a perfect world where there would be no sin and death? The answer is He already has. God has prepared a Kingdom wherein perfect righteousness dwells. A place of perfect love and peace with no more death, sorrow, pain or tears. All its inhabitants will have freely chosen to live there, as "They desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city" Heb. Could He create this perfect world wherein its inhabitants, without programming them as robots, would have a genuine love for Him and His righteousness without giving them the choice to rebel against Him and do evil? It would seem to me to be utterly impossible. Could He then ultimately have a perfect world without first destroying those who chose evil rather than God? Again, impossible. The truth is, the God of the Bible has a perfect plan with a righteous purpose which could be accomplished, as far as we can contemplate, in no other way.
Through Christ, God mercifully allows whosoever wills to live in that perfect world if they will simply repent of their rebelliousness the sole reason why this present world is so vile and corruptand get for themselves "a new heart and a new spirit" Ezek. If one chooses to continue to rebel against their Creator, living in opposition to the purpose for which they were created, is there any rational reason why He would Die In Hell - Black Torment / Invocation War - Nocturnal Chants Of The Iron Flame (Vinyl) them the gift of eternal life?
Those of such character as do "not like to retain God in their knowledge"who choose "to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, Die In Hell - Black Torment / Invocation War - Nocturnal Chants Of The Iron Flame (Vinyl), backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them?
Rom No, these, even as those with the exceedingly wicked character of the Canaanites, can have no place in the Kingdom of God and will justly be destroyed.
If they corrupted His original creation would they not also corrupt the new heavens and new earth? Would it not then prevent any possibility of the perfect world the whole of creation longs for, when "the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God"? God was under no obligation to give us life and is certainly under no obligation to extend it any longer than He deems just.
God is indeed "the biggest destroyer of human life", however, it is also the case that apart from Him there would be no human life and therefore He alone has the right and wisdom to do with it whatsoever He wills necessary to accomplish His ultimate purpose; the perfected creation of the "Paradise of God" Rev. When considering the sinfulness of man the greatest mystery of all is that He allows anyone to live another day.
How thankful we should be that He allows us to live at all let alone that He would offer us the good news of the choice of living forever with Him in perfect love and peace. To torture His created beings for all of eternity as opposed to taking back their life is an entirely different matter as the one is easily justifiable while the other is, biblically or otherwise, next to impossible to justify. To destroy all that choose evil, as in the slaughter of the Canaanites, is the natural consequence of perfect love as it must, by its very nature, destroy all that stands opposed to it.
In other words, He is the "the biggest destroyer of human life" because, as we find throughout Scripture, and by our own experience, human life is the biggest destroyer of all that is righteous, loving, and just. Thank God He will ultimately eradicate all that is evil and thank God that He has provided us all with a way of escape through the last Adam which is Christ 1 Cor.
To question God's methods of accomplishing His ultimate goal and purpose is to assume we could come up with a better plan than He has which is the height of arrogance considering our knowledge is infinitely inferior to His, not to mention it is filtered through a sinful and fallen nature. Would you discredit My justice?
Would you condemn Me to justify yourself? To those who love truth and righteousness, as they grow in their understanding of the God of Scripture, they can see the unfolding of a beautiful and brilliant plan of redemption and restoration even in the midst of all the suffering and pain of this present fallen world. We, therefore, walk by faith and not by sight. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal" 2 Cor. Praise the Lord!
Indeed the more I study the scriptures and search their meaning, it seems the more questions arise and the more difficulties I encounter. It was easy back when I simply believed the scholars, preachers, evangelists, experts, and bible translations end of page commentaries. I commend all of the writers and contributors to these articles because you like me have an insatiable thirst to know what God really means and what He wants to communicate to His people.
What I know now more than ever is that the Word of God is truly eternal. Written by the Eternal God who transcends all time, space, and matter with incredible complexity in some things yet so simple in others. At some point in our journeys, each one of us must arrive at a place of contentment to accept what we know of what we have been given.
I struggled for years trying to understand the controversy between Calvinism and Armenianism siding on each bank of biblical supporting texts to arriving after 20 years of grueling study to honestly admit today that I am not altogether certain which is right or absolutely true. Both seem utterly plausible and defensible and at the same time altogether improbable that both can be simultaneously true and yet that is where I have landed.
Spurgeon admitted a similar conclusion. My point is that the human finite and sin tainted mind is very limited in what can be confidently asserted as absolute biblical truth. Don't get me wrong, I have my strong opinions but I now temper them with only The Lord knows for sure and that has to be good enough for me.
We see from Psalmist that Sheol is again referring simply to grave where the dead have no work or device or knowledge of wisdom. In other words, it is his grave if he dies. Therefore, Sheol or Hades refers to grave. The reference in Daniel is extremely clear that there is no suffering in Hades and all will be sleeping in the dust of the earth.
While the righteous gets everlasting life, the wicked will get shame and everlasting contempt. The verse does not say anything about everlasting torment. Peter refers to a different word used only once which is translated as hell. We see the actual meaning is now lost and now has a different meaning.
This is exactly the case with Greek speaking Jewish population and early Christians. Ps You have laid me in the lowest pitIn darkness, in the depths.
Before we explore about annihilation or eternal torment, we need to find what hell is. Those who are unworthy for the kingdom of God will be thrust out into outer darkness. This is where some have suggested that hell is about absence of God. John gives more details that the everlasting fire mentioned by Jesus is the lake of fire and brimstone where those who rejected Christ will be tormented day and night as an Die In Hell - Black Torment / Invocation War - Nocturnal Chants Of The Iron Flame (Vinyl) punishment.
When Jesus revealed about Judas who betrayed Jesus, He gave an important revelation. The existence of a worse punishment, far worse that is better for him not to be born. Jesus Christ mentions the existence of hell where worms does not die and the fire is not quenched. While eternal torment is a suffering in hell for eternity, annihilation as the name suggests, all sinners are completely destroyed as if they never existed.
The first evidence for annihilation is from the book of Matthew where God will destroy both soul and body in hell. If the soul is destroyed, then the sinner is annihilated. But Luke on the other hand mentions the same spoken words of Jesus a bit different, which supports eternal torment where sinners are cast into hell after being killed.
Jesus Christ is able to destroy the spirit of an unclean demon. If the spirit of an unclean demon is destroyed, then demon is annihilated. When Christ is referring to the unquenchable fire where worms does not die, He is referring not about everlasting torment, but a punishment of their the corpses of sinners being burnt forever, as prophesied by prophet Isaiah. The first death is about our physical death and our soul going to Hades but the second death is about the end of death itself.
Christ has the keys to Death and Hades who can redeem anyone He wants. Bible does not say He will redeem everyone neither does it say He will not. Weeping Die In Hell - Black Torment / Invocation War - Nocturnal Chants Of The Iron Flame (Vinyl) gnashing of teeth is often referred to torments in hell. Sheol or Hades is grave where the dead have no work or device or knowledge or wisdom.
There is no reference in Old Testament that suggests eternal torment in Hades. Let us focus on what Jesus said especially about Hades or after death by revisiting some of the verses. When Jesus said, God is not the God of the dead but the living, He is referring with context to resurrection of the dead. He is not necessarily referring to Abraham being alive but sleeping and will one day resurrected from the dead.
Further, only those who are worthy will attain the age to come, which suggests, the rest will be annihilated. Jesus always referred to dead people as sleeping during both occasions with the only exception of parables. If Abraham was sleeping, just like the Lazarus and the little girl who were also dead, how can Abraham have a conversation with the rich man until the resurrection of the dead? In the book of Matthew, we see the dead were referred as fallen asleep.
Hence, Jesus Christ and His disciple Matthew, consider death as falling asleep in Sheol where no knowledge or wisdom exists.
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