Yes being persuaded in our own minds is problematic if we are wrong but who decides who is wrong? You believe that you are right and I believe that I am right so how do we determine who has the right doctrine? I’d like to think that we could just let the word of God speak for itself but that is not as easy done as it is said. Paul’s admonition was to brothers and sisters in Christ that had the same faith and not to the various sects of Christianity that have broken away from the original faith. Christians who believe in hell or eternal death are not following in the same faith of the early Christians so in essence they believe another gospel (a false gospel if you will). My point in making that reference is that I AM specifically persuaded in my own mind about what I believe. I’m sure you are as well and that is fine but I just think at some point we are just going to have to leave it the hands of God to let Him sort it out because neither you nor I will submit to either of our differing views.
I understand that you think that you have provided some adequate responses to my claim of having “….destroyed virtually every fundamental Christian doctrine that is a lie on this site and not a single Christian has been able to provide even a semi-logical rebuttal….” But again, that comment was purposefully addressed to someone that believes in hell. When I converse with people who are defenders of Christianity’s pagan hell, I write in a very different tone. You of course may not have known that or realized it but that is the truth. You have presented some contentions that are common contentions that I have already heard and responded to but I will do it again just to be consistent.
You wrote: “No. I was saying that it does not make sense, period, to propose that something which a minority of psychologically disturbed people might think (ie. they are “special”) is common to belief in the doctrine of hell.….”
I think there is a larger majority of hell believers than you would probably be willing to admit to but I was specifically referring to the people that promote and defend hell. These are the ones that they think they are special in my opinion. My opinions do not have to make sense to you but that doesn’t disqualify my opinions from having any merit. How does a person reconcile believing that God is going to torture billions of sinners in hell for all eternity? Even when I believed in hell I never understood it because it is irrational and insane. If a person is convinced that they have escaped such a terrible fate that they cosign to billions of others I see no other logical conclusion but for them to embrace some sense of specialness. I have spoken with hundreds of people about hell and this theme of feeling special is recurring and consistent at least from my own experience. You do not have to agree with me on this particular matter and that’s fine. We don’t have to agree on everything. My analogy about everyone winning a million dollars had nothing to with my argument that everyone will be saved. The point that I was trying to make was that “heaven” to the Christian wouldn’t be as good to them if God opens the doors to His kingdom to the people that they believe deserve an eternal hell. It is the exclusion of people that makes the Christian feel like a winner and who doesn’t like feeling like a winner? Maybe I could’ve stated my analogy a little better because I agree that it would be sweet if everyone won a million dollars but people play the lottery because they want to be the one that wins the jackpot (or basically all the money). If there are a million people and only one person wins the million out of all the people, that one person would feel very lucky (special). Do you think that person would be okay with sharing their new found wealth with the other 999,999 people? That would only be a dollar each for everyone. This is the attitude that I believe most Christians have when it comes to salvation whether they believe it or not.
You wrote: “Well. Only if…..since you have embraced the doctrine of universal salvation, you would be willing to accept the fact that your interpretation of scripture may be influenced by your own belief system”.
This is not an answer to my question it is a deflection. I would be willing to investigate and embrace any doctrine that is sound and supported by the scriptures but you begin your arguments with your doctrine and then you use the scriptures to justify your doctrine. I begin with the scriptures to formulate my doctrine.
I wrote that “while annihilation is a far better belief system than hell, it is still a doctrine that robs God from all the glory”.
You said “….I don’t agree that it does.
Why would you willingly believe something that you think robs God of any glory? Of course you don’t agree with that because you are on the winning side of your own argument. The people you cosign to an eternal death are meaningless to you seemingly because you think they are wiped out of even God’s memory.
You stated “….that seems to be playing with the meaning of “destroyed” in the same way the doctrine of hell does….. ie. destruction does not really mean destruction….. perish does not really mean perish…… and all references to chaff, such as Matthew 3:12 and Malachi 4:1, are not a pictures of extermination by fire”.
I understand from your perspective that it may seem like I’m playing with the meaning of words but you are making that assessment based on the definition of the word and not how the word is used in scripture. I am not changing words; I am only following the USAGE of how words are used in the scriptures. Just because something can be restored doesn’t take away from the meaning of the word “destroyed/destruction”. If I “destroy” a house then rebuild it does that take away from the fact that the house was first destroyed? No, it doesn’t but it is you that assume that being destroyed or destruction has to be permanent because that fits along with your theology of annihilation. The Greek word in question here is “apollymi” which we have already been discussing but this is how the word is used in scripture.
Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him (Jesus), how they might destroy (Greek – “apollymi) Him.
In this context, the Pharisees were plotting on how to kill Jesus which is described in Matthew 12:14 as being destroyed. The Pharisees succeeded in killing – destroying Jesus but we already know that Jesus didn’t remain in such a state of destruction.
John 2:19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Matthew 10:39 He who finds his life will lose (Greek – “apollymi) it, and he who loses (Greek – “apollymi) his life for My sake will find it.
Remember that the Greek word “apollymi” is translated in scripture as the English words lose, perish, and destroy so they all have the same meaning. If “apollymi” really means destruction (or lost as it is used in this scripture) and this destruction/being lost is permanent as you have suggested, how can a person then find life as Christ proclaims in this scripture?
Matthew 15:24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost (Greek – “apollymi) sheep of the house of Israel.”
Do you really believe that Christ was sent to the destroyed sheep of the house of Israel that are destroyed beyond a resurrection? Even Paul declared that “all Israel shall be saved”.
Luke 15:24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost (Greek – “apollymi) and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
This verse proves that there is redemption after “apollymi” and this word doesn’t have to imply that destruction, perishing, or being lost has to be permanent. It only has to be for you because it goes along with what you believe.
Luke 17:29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed (Greek – “apollymi) them all.
It is clear and understood that God destroyed the city Sodom but why do you assume that God cannot restore the people of Sodom in a resurrection? In Ezekiel 16:55, we read that Sodom will return to their former state but when do you suppose that will happen since you believe that their destruction is permanent? I could go on but I think you get my point. I am not changing the meaning of any word, I am simply applying the same biblical application of how apollymi is used in scripture.
You quoted Matthew 3:12 and Malachi 4:1 as if those two verses prove that God will exterminate a significant portion of His creation beyond a resurrection. Do you deny that they wicked will even experience a resurrection at all? Surely you can agree that the wicked with rise in the resurrection as there are several scriptures that prove that… (Daniel 12:2, John 5:28-29, and Acts 24:15).Why would God sentence the wicked to death only to resurrect them and them sentence them to death again but this time it would be permanent? The dead don’t know they’re dead so it would be silly to resurrect the wicked only to send them back to the dead. You clearly do not understand what “chaff” is but it wouldn’t take anyone but a few minutes to research the connection between wheat and chaff and why Christ would use this kind of language. Chaff is a PART of a wheat seed it is not a separate grain itself. The chaff of a wheat seed is the husky outside casing of the wheat seed that is typically thrown away because it has no good purpose and no value. You take this one verse in Matthew 3:12 and you assume that Christ is talking about mass extermination likening the work of Christ to that of Hitler’s Auschwitz. The apostle Paul explains the parable of the wheat and chaff in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 and there is nothing about Malachi 4:1 that proves that the wicked are doomed for all eternity. I never claim that the wicked aren’t punished; I just believe that God’s punishment is temporary as would any reasonable loving parent and that His judgments are corrective and not punitive.
You wrote: “Where are you getting 100 billion people? That is more than have ever lived and died in known human history. But more to my point, they would not be “locked in a state of eternal death”….. whatever you think that is. They simply would not exist”.
What does it matter what number I used here? You don’t know how many people have lived on earth in human history that is unknown and you don’t know how many more people will be born in the future. 100 billion people wasn’t to depict an accurate number of the dead for that is impossible to know I just used that number to represent a large number of people. It wasn’t meant to be a significant detail. If the wicked are sentenced to a death in which there is no resurrection and no redemption then they are locked in the state of being dead for all eternity. That is not to assume that they will be aware of that because I know that they wouldn’t exist while they are dead but the living will know just like I know that my dad has been deceased for 12 years.
I wrote: “ The wicked will be resurrected from the dead in the resurrection to judgment” and you responded to this comment with argument that seemingly fits your narrative but how do you reconcile what you believe about God’s judgments with Isaiah 26:9? I know you cannot accept that verse as is so you will likely call on the idol of context to change that very to mean something other than what is stated. I know that you are not as convinced as I am and that is understood but that is because you are convinced of something else – eternal death. How can you be convinced of universal salvation when you are unequivocally convinced that the majority of the world’s populations will suffer eternal extermination? It seems like every scripture you read or study is forced into that line of thinking so there is no room for you to understand how your doctrine could be flawed.
Yes, whoever believes in Christ will not perish but Christ is talking about not perishing into the coming age for those who believe are promised “aionios” age abiding life, not everlasting life. You can’t cherry pick certain parts of scripture just to justify your own belief systems. Do believers not perish at all? Of course they do but if I was to read your cherry picked portion of John 3:16 alone, it actually contradicts you. We know that the righteous also perish so it is a contradiction to say that those who believe in Christ will not perish.
I wrote: What gives you the right to assume or interpret that “in Christ” only refers to a special group of people and not all of humanity”.
You wrote: I guess the same as gives you the right to assume or interpret that “in Christ” means all of humanity.
Again, that is not an answer it is deflection because you obviously didn’t have an appropriate response. Do you deny that the “ALL” that die in Adam is a reference to “all humanity”? Is there anyone that doesn’t die in Adam save Christ? Tell me one person that doesn’t die in Adam? The “ALL” of 1 Corinthians 15:22 is clearly referencing “all of humanity” and you know it is, you just may not be willing to accept it because of what it means for the doctrine of annihilation that you embrace so dearly. There is a clear connection being made between the all that die in Adam and the all that are made alive in Christ. This is an obvious revelation but you will not believe it or accept it because you believe that you somehow figured out how to join the “in Christ” club while millions of other people will stay dead in Adam. Unbelievable…
Once again, you have cherry picked dozens of scriptures that you need to interpret in such a way that it leaves no room for God to redeem any of the people you believe will be sentenced to an eternal death. I don’t know why you choose to believe that but I have no other recourse but to go back to my belief of people attaching themselves to some need to feel special. You haven’t helped me formulate a different opinion regarding such matters in fact, you have strengthened them. Whatever promises God has made to “BELIEVERS” in past ages and in this present age is for them but that doesn’t mean that God will forsake the rest of the world or doom them to an eternal death in the future. God just has more work to do with them in His own timing. You quoted 1 John 4:13-16 but I don’t even think you understand what you are quoting. Do you believe that the Father sent the Son as the Savior of the world only for Him not to actually save the world? Does God make mistakes? Verse 15, “…..whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God but in Philippians 2:11 we read that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. When does this occur or is this only referring to the people that are alive at the time? Verse 10 says that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess of those in heaven, in earth, and under the earth so whose knee and whose tongue is left out? Do you believe that this confession will be a forced confession or a voluntary acknowledgment? I’m inclined to think the former seeing how you use such carnal logic to interpret scriptures like John 15:5-6. You clearly do not understand such figurative language especially regarding the usage of fire in scripture. For you, it has to be literal and permanent. You close the door to redemption for so many people that I find it difficult to believe that the love of God abides in you.
You wrote: “I can see the parallel you are constructing, and if there were no other scripture for understanding one could claim “ALL” means every human who ever existed. So it depends on whether you want to understand other verses like John 15:5-7 in light of Corinthians 15:2, or understand Corinthians 15:2 in light of John 15:5-7”. Context is always relevant. If we were at a church picnic and you asked me who could have an ice cream, and I said everyone, you would not think I meant everyone on the earth.
First of all, I have never stated that “ALL” has to mean every human that has ever existed but in the context of 1 Corinthians 15:22 is does mean every single human being. You cannot ignore the fact that the same all that die in Adam are the same all that are made alive in Christ. The only way you can come to your conclusion is to twist the scriptures or lie. You cannot use scripture to contradict other scriptures. Either 1 Corinthians means what it means or it doesn’t. There aren’t two versions of interpretation it’s either what it says or it isn’t. Now, what is the problem with all meaning all sometimes? It’s only a problem when it comes to salvation.
Romans 3:23“….ALL have sinned” – Is this “all” really everyone or is anyone left out? Who hasn’t sinned?
Romans 5:12 “….and so death passed upon ALL men” – did death skip anybody or does this “all” really mean everyone? Who hasn’t died or will die? The context with this theme is clear and that is all being subject to death because of all have sinned, the wages of sin is death.
Matthew 4:4 “……Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
The same Greek word “pas” that is translated as “all” is also translated as the word “every” in Matthew 4:4 so do you really believe that this “every” doesn’t really mean every? Can we pick and choose only the words of God that we like?
1 Corinthians 15:24 “….when he shall have put down ALL rule, authority, and power”.
All rule, authority, and power in what context since you are convinced that context is always relevant? I’m not saying that context isn’t relevant but you cannot use context to interpret scripture however you want to. Even in your own statement the “context” of people getting ice cream is obviously limited to the people at the church picnic so one would be a fool to assume that everyone (at the church picnic) somehow had to mean everyone in the world. That is foolish thinking and you know it is so I don’t know why you would even suggest that I think something so silly. We have to be consistent and we have to allow the scriptures to explain themselves so please help me understand what rule, authority, and power this is leaving out with the exception of what we read in 1 Corinthians 15:27? You know for a fact that “all” can really mean “all” you just don’t want it to mean all when it comes to salvation.
Since you brought up that context is always relevant, do you even know what the context is of 1 Corinthians 15:22? The context is clear if we read the scriptures prior to that verse and the previous verse tells us that the context of 1 Corinthians 15:22 is DEATH and the RESURRECTION coming through by MAN.
1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
How can you surmise that this scripture is not talking about all of humanity? Even the word “man” is translated from the Greek word“anthrōpos” which means humanity (all-inclusive) even though it doesn’t always have mean every single person in the world. Of course the context will change that such as, “all of Judea” or “everyone at a church picnic” but how do you come to the conclusion that the context of 1 Corinthians 15:21 is not referring to all of humanity? How did death come through man? It came through Adam and it passed on to ALL HUMANITY. Now I will ask you again, who has escaped dying “in Adam”? Nobody escapes dying in Adam and since “ALL” die in Adam, even so, shall “ALL” (the same ALL – not a different ALL) be made alive in Christ. The context is clear and the message is clear but only to those whose hearts haven’t been hardened by embracing such damnable doctrines that are contrary to the word of God.
You said, “So it depends on whether you want to understand other verses like John 15:5-7 in light of Corinthians 15:2, or understand Corinthians 15:2 in light of John 15:5-7”.
What kind of biblical scholarship is that? What does that even mean? Do you think these two verses somehow contradict each other? For someone that has boasted about the relevancy of context you have taken both of these scriptures “out of context”. For whatever reason, you have chosen to understand 1 Corinthians 15:22 in light of John 15:5-7 because that is how you embrace what may have an appearance of truth to the doctrine of annihilation. You will not even consider the possibility that your interpretation of John 15:5-7 is wrong and purely carnal. I’m not suggesting that I have to be right I’m just saying that you could be wrong. I believe your interpretation is carnal because it is clear throughout scripture that fire is used as a metaphor and the application is spiritual not literal.
Malachi 3:2 “…… he (God) is like a refiner’s fire”
Hebrews 12:29 “…..our God is a consuming fire”
Matthew 3:11 “……he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirt, and with fire”
Mark 9:49 “……every one shall be salted with fire”
1 Peter 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is TESTED BY FIRE, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
When you see the consistency of how “fire” is used as a metaphor with an obvious higher spiritual meaning, how is it that we come to verses in John 15:5-7 that you think being cast into the fire and burned is a depiction of a literal event? Even in Romans 11 Paul talks about “branches” being grafted back into the olive tree. These scriptures clearly portray “fire” as a metaphor and in 1 Corinthians 3, Paul explains how fire is used to burn up the chaff in our lives but we are purged once we come out of the fire.
1 Corinthians 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet SO AS BY FIRE.
I wrote: “You are adding your own interpretation of the second death to God’s word just to fit your belief in a destruction that never ends.”
You wrote: “I disagree. Right there you are adding your interpretation to my words. What is a “destruction that never ends”? That is an oxymoron. A second death is a pretty straight forward concept. You die once. You are resurrected. Second Death.Nothing.
I can see how that phrase is confusing but what I meant was that you believe in destruction (eternal death) from which there is no resurrection. You believe that once a person is resurrected from the dead, God resurrects them just to send them back to being dead but only this time, the second time they die it will be permanent. That makes no sense because God might as well just leave them dead the first time if He is just going to annihilate them in the second death. Your version of what the second death means doesn’t have anything to do with what the second death really means. What logic are you using to come to the conclusion that the second death is a repeat first death? What sense would it make for me to tear down a house, rebuild it, and then tear it down again? I might as well have left it tore down. You are not taking in the entire counsel of God when it comes to the second death. You totally ignore scriptures that contradict your thought line such as Revelation 2:11;
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”
If there is NOTHING after the second death as you have suggested, then why would the Holy Spirit inspire John to use the word “hurt” instead of “killed” in Revelation 2:11? It is clear that the second death causes hurt but it is not a literal death like the first death and I have already explained this. Those who are burned by the fire will SUFFER LOSS (hurt) but they will be saved after going through the fire. This is the death of the carnal man inside of us. I don’t know how else to explain this. You choose to embrace a doctrine full of holes instead of believing what is blatantly obvious. There will be no physical literal death in those days;
Revelation 9:6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.
Dying to our carnal selves will be like going through rehab for a severe drug addict. When God exposes our carnal nature to the fire of His spirit, we will want to die. Every single carnal thought, desire, or act will be purged just as dross is purged from silver. We are going to actually wish that God will annihilate us but it’s not going to happen because God knows what happens after we come out of the fire.
I wrote: “Jude 1:7 says that Sodom and Gomorrha will suffer the vengeance of eternal fire but in Ezekiel 16:55, we read that these same cities will return to their former estate. I thought they were suffering the vengeance of eternal fire?”
You wrote: “Somewhat of a moot point. You are mixing up the proof to use against proponents of eternal hell fire. I use Jude 1:7 to prove eternal fire does not mean eternal burning…… but that the destruction is complete.
My point is not moot at all and it matters little whether a person believes that “eternal fire” means eternal burning or eternal destruction because both are gross interpretations of God’s word. I know why you used Jude 1:7 and that’s exactly why I quoted Ezekiel 16:55. If their destruction was complete, then why is God going to resurrect them just to destroy them again if I apply your logic? That would imply that their destruction wasn’t complete at all and that God has to finish the job but I know better because your interpretation is faulty as well as your logic. I was under the impression that you were already knowledgeable of the fact that “eternal and/or everlasting” are NOT scriptural words. I don’t know why I continue to have to explain this but the Greek word “aionios” NEVER means eternal or everlasting. If Jude 1:7 is appropriately translated, it should read like this as the following bible versions have “aionios” transliterated correctly;
Young’s Literal Translation – as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in like manner to these, having given themselves to whoredom, and gone after other flesh, have been set before — an example, of fire age-during, justice suffering.
Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible – As, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having in like manner to these given themselves over to fornication, and gone away after other kind of flesh, lie exposed as an example, a penalty of age-abiding fire, undergoing.
The Concordant Literal New Testament – As Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them in like manner to these committing ultra-prostitution, and coming away after other flesh, are lying before us, a specimen, experiencing the justice of fire eonian.
I am aware that most popular bible translations and the translations that follow after them include the words eternal and everlasting. I am also aware that it is a natural for people to follow the status quo and that it might seem wiser to follow a majority over a minority but it’s scriptures like Matthew 7:13-14 that keep me motivated even in the appearance of such insignificance. If Jude 1:7 is read and understood correctly from an appropriate bible translation, it is clear that the fire of Jude 1:7 only last for the age(s).
You wrote: “It is a skinny argument to try and make something literal about a resurrection of Sodom (no Gomorrah by the way) from a personification of cities to contrast Jerusalem’s unfaithfulness and ingratitude with God’s enduring love to her”.
Are you suggesting that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah will not even rise in a resurrection at all because that seems to be what you are saying? In John 5:28-29, Jesus talks about raising the dead – a resurrection to life for those that have done good and a resurrection to judgment for those that have done evil. You have to be alive to face judgment – God doesn’t judge dead people. If there is no resurrection for Sodom and her daughters, what do you think “return to your former state” means in the context of Ezekiel 16? Other bible translations render that phrase as; return to your previous condition, return to what they once were, restored to your former status, and return to your land. How is it a “skinny” argument to liken such language to that of an actual resurrection event? How else will they return to their former estate? What does that even mean? It is utterly amazing how you eliminate parts of scripture that you do not understand. You cannot just omit complete phrases of scripture just because it contradicts yours beliefs or you don’t understand it. You are also nitpicking by adding (no Gomorrah by the way) as if that helped your argument when it clearly states in Ezekiel 16:55 “Sodom AND HER DAUGHTERS”. Gomorrah is likened as a daughter which is the whole point of God using the proverb “like mother, like daughter” as we are told in verse 44. Even in Jude 1:7 it includes the phrase, “and the cities about them in like manner” proving that the actual cities don’t always have to be named. If there is no resurrection for Sodom and Gomorrah, why did Jesus tell his disciples that it would be “more tolerable” for Sodom and Gomorrah in the DAY OF JUDGMENT than the cities that refused to receive or hear them?
Mark 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
MORE TOLERABLE? If I apply your logic the people of Sodom and Gomorrah won’t have to tolerate anything because they will be annihilated but you have to be alive to be able to tolerate anything. What is more tolerable than being annihilated? There is literally nothing worse than death and even in our earthly lives death is reserved for the worst of crimes.
I wrote: “You have come to the false conclusion that the second death has to be a literal actual death but what point would it be for God to resurrect people from the dead to send them right back to being dead? You think that’s judgment?
You wrote: “Correct. All creation must observe justice….. a fair trial. God does not just allow His curse of death to destroy an individual without a judgment. Just as a man incarcerated awaiting trial is not simply left there without coming to court for judgment”.
All creation must observe justice? Who’s justice? God’s justice or your opinion of what you think God’s justice is? I am not arguing that judgment doesn’t exist or that it isn’t necessary, what I am arguing is your analysis is God’s judgment is foolish. You cannot insert your opinion of what you think God’s judgment is just to fit your narrative. We have to use SCRIPTURE to back up our claims;
Isaiah 26:9 With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; For when Your judgments are in the earth, The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
My number one take away from this verse is that God’s judgments leads to the learning of righteousness but I can never convince the God hater’s to believe what is plainly stated in this scripture. It is amazing how people will go to the scriptures to try to figure how to change the meaning or interpretation of what God says so that they can seemingly align their dogmas with the word of God. I respect the fact that you do not believe in eternal torture in hell but you still believe in a doctrine that puts you in a special boat while conveniently cosigning millions to an eternal death that you have somehow avoided. Your arguments aren’t even scripturally or logically consistent. First of all, death was never meant to be permanent condition and that’s why death is likened as “sleep” throughout the bible because people rise from their sleep. If we understand that the wages of sin is death and Jesus DIED for the SINS OF THE WORLD, then theoretically Jesus has taken away the death penalty from the whole world.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
How did Jesus take away the sin of the world? He took away the sin of the world when He died on the cross as atonement for the sins of the world.
1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
If we believe and understand these scriptures then it is consistent with other key scriptures that talk about Jesus having the keys to death and Hades and death ultimately being defeated. God does not just allow death to reign over people for all “eternity”. Your analogy about judgment is not a complete picture because we are the man standing trial and Jesus took our place for us. We are no longer facing the death penalty BUT judgment is necessary because we still have sin in our lives that needs to be dealt with. I stand by my statement that judgment is about correction and doing the right thing and I also believe that when God’s JUDGMENTS are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness exactly how God declares it in Isaiah 26:9.
I wrote: “Revelation 2:11 says he that overcomes will not be HURT of the second death it doesn’t say he that overcomes will not be killed or destroyed of the second death”.
You wrote: “Merely argumentative”.
Isn’t this whole discussion argumentative? We are debating and arguing different biblical positions and you are of the position that the second death is literal but you have failed to offer anything even remotely convincing regarding this subject. Revelation 2:11 seems to suggest that the second death will cause hurt not literal death but the irony here is that you will reject anything that goes against what you think and believe. You apparently try to reconcile the scriptures with what you think and believe instead forming your thoughts and beliefs around what is revealed in scripture.
I wrote: “The second death is obviously not a literal death as in the end of life”
You wrote: “Not obviously. Etc. omitted”
You are right. It is not obvious to those without eyes to see and ears to hear.
I wrote: Why is it that you struggle with accepting this truth?
You wrote: “It’s not a struggle. I reject your interpretation as truth”.
Fair enough. I honestly think you would reject God’s truth if He came down from heaven and spoke to you face to face because you reject any “truth” that is not in line with what you think. Truth is truth and we are either on the right side of it or the wrong side of it. I certainly do not expect you to accept my interpretation of anything as I’ve learned that being rejected is part of the deal.
I wrote: Does it make you feel special to know that you will live while others (billions) will be locked in the state of death?
You wrote: “No. Firstly I have no feelings of being special at all. Secondly, billions will not be “locked” in any state at all. They cannot be in a “state” if they have been destroyed”.
Alan, when I suggest that people feel special, I am suggesting they feel special by circumstance and not necessarily by personal identification (even though I believe that to be true for some). Let me try to clarify my position. The word special is defined as follows;
Special (adjective) – better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.
You believe that you are in the “special group” of people that will not succumb to your idea of God’s judgment – annihilation. Would you describe not being annihilated as a “better” condition than being annihilated? Would you describe the group of people that are not annihilated as having a greater calling than the group of people that you believe will be annihilated? Would you consider dying to be a usual experience? I think you would agree with that seeing that everyone dies but you have figured out how to escape the second death. Lucky you and pity for the billions of people that weren’t as smart as you to avoid God’s genocide. In the judgment would you sacrifice your “eternal life” for a stranger’s eternal death? I don’t think so because your “eternal life” is something you value dearly. You may not walk around laughing at the people you’ve doomed to an eternal death but you have associated yourself with a very special arrangement or circumstance – being with God for all eternity while billions will not.
When I said, “billions will be locked in a STATE of death”, I said that as hyperbole just as Jesus claims to have the keys to death and Hades. We both know that isn’t literal but we can understand the analogy if we understand the purpose of a key. It is your assumption that people are destroyed forever but I do not share your sentiments in that regard. I think you were being a bit over technical with my usage of the word “state” but I’m not sure I follow you logic. My dad is dead, he died in 2008. His current state is deceased and he has been in that state for 12 years. There is nothing my dad can do to not be dead so he is in a way “locked” in the state of being dead regardless of him not being aware of it. I’m aware of it because I’m alive and I remember my dad. My dad will remain in the state of being dead until the resurrection in which he will be in the state of judgment but according to you, God is going to exterminate my father by tossing him in a literal lake of fire until he is destroyed but this time it will be for good. What a fascinating doctrine you have there…
I wrote: “I’m not being facetious with you I want you to really try to investigate your feelings and ask yourself why you cannot believe what is obviously revealed in God’s word”.
You wrote: “I don’t think you are being facetious, but you are exhibiting self-righteousness, self-righteous. adjective.….characterized by a certainty, that one is totally correct or morally superior”.
Self-righteousness? So you think I’m self-righteous just because I am confident in what I believe? Should I be like the wind being tossed to and fro believing whatever doctrine is thrown in my face? Please search this entire site and quote me where I have stated that I am totally correct or morally superior? I really don’t even discuss moral issues and 99% of the information on this site is doctrinal. I’ve surely never indicated myself to be morally superior over anyone for I am a sinner just like you and everyone else and I am only who I am because of Christ. When I write or discuss topics with others, do I believe that I am correct? Sure I do but so do you and what is wrong with that? Who walks around thinking that they are wrong? I have never even boasted about being “totally correct” I just debate my position aggressively because I am passionate about the work I do. It is exciting for me to know that we have a Creator that is not an eternal terrorist or a genocidal maniac. I have never made it an obligation for you or anyone to believe or endorse what I say. People are free to think and believe whatever they want to but I also have the same freedom of expression as well. So I will not apologize for your mischaracterization of my zeal or whatever misguided observations you may have about my emotions.
I wrote: “Alan, I have to admit that I was being a little crafty here with my question. I was trying to bait “breadoflife639” into responding in such a way that he (or she) would lead me right into my next defense but you instead took the bait for them. Honestly I think you should’ve known better because I’m sure you can surmise that you are not the first person to try to tell me that God only desires or wishes to save all of humanity which means He can’t or won’t save all of humanity.” Etc omitted…….
You wrote: “You persist with the notion (which I briefly mentioned in my previous post) that somehow God is a failure if what he desires for humanity is not accepted by all humanity”.
I know that God isn’t a failure because I believe that God will accomplish what He says He will accomplish. It is you that likens God to that of a failure because you do not understand how God will achieve what He desires. We are not supposed to understand everything about God but if we believe that God is God, then we are supposed to believe that God can do and achieve whatever He wants under any condition He so desires because He is God. It is blasphemy to even suggest that God can’t get what He wants or desires. You assume that God achieving His desire is “dependent” on humanity’s acceptance of it which would actually disqualify God from even being God in the first place. Do babies and young children have to “accept” their parents? No, because babies and young children accept and love their parents because their parents loved them first. You assume that God is incapable of causing all of humanity to accept Him just because of humanity’s current condition but this is where you err. God doesn’t need humanity to choose Him. We did not create God, God created us. In the end, everyone will choose God because we will all see how much we need God and how much God has done for us. Do you believe that under all of the right circumstances, God could cause all of humanity to choose Him? How does a sinful man even choose God anyway? There are things that God has to do in a person’s life for them to even be mindful of the things of God. What did you have to do to “accept” God? You didn’t accept God you accepted Christianity’s version of Him. Many people have chosen Christianity or whatever religious sect they belong to as a replacement for God but Christianity is not God. God for the most part has remained hidden from humanity and much about God is unknown but we can see God’s majesty within His creation. What do you think a weak sinful man would do in the very presence of the almighty Creator? Reject Him? I don’t think so but the reality is that most people who think they are accepting God are actually accepting a false god all while rejecting the actual God who is the Savior of the world.
You wrote, “You ask who can stop God getting what he desires. No one can. But what if you do not understand God’s stated desires? You are assuming you understand the totality of what God desires. God is capable of infinite desires without contradiction. You seem to imagine you can fathom those depths”.
Are you kidding me? What is there to understand in the context of God getting what He desires? If God says that He desires to save all of humanity after declaring that He will do all of that He desires, how do you conclude that I may not understand God’s stated desires? Do you believe this to be so complex that it is far from any human understanding? A kindergartner could understand this simple connection. I believe that it is far more plausible that you are willing to come up with an alternative conclusion because the most obvious conclusion is not what you like or believe. So you fight with the scriptures and you twist them so that they bend to your will. God most certainly is capable of infinite desires without contradiction but how is me believing that God will actually accomplish what He desires an example of me somehow claiming to know the FULL DEPTHS of what God desires? Your accusation is insulting. How is it that you accuse me of thinking I understand the TOTALITY of what God desires just from me quoting 1 Timothy 2:4 in the context of what God plainly states Isaiah 46:10? If there was a scripture that said, God will NOT save all of humanity, you and hell believers alike would quote that verse every single time as your number one proof text but you’re trying to make me the fool for simply reading and understanding scripture as it is written. You seem to be trying to change what God desires so that it aligns with what you desire and you desire that God exterminate the majority of humanity. You think genocide is a good thing? Genocide is literally the epitome of human evil and this is what you think God is going to do to His own creation? You don’t believe that God has the power, the wisdom, and the love to draw everyone to Himself? You are likening God to that of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong and all of the other genocidal lunatics that killed millions upon millions of people. Eternal destruction is a despicable doctrine.
You said, “It is not ridiculous to say that God is capable of deciding for Himself if His desires will be fulfilled. Otherwise you find yourself saying that God is limited to what we think He means when He says His desire is that all should come to repentance. Why is there need for repentance? You may as well ask why a good God can’t stop evil in the world”.
I’m sorry but it is very ridiculous and also incoherent. I think when God declares that He will do something; He has already decided that He will do it. You make it seem as if God is unsure of Himself which is totally ridiculous. I think that when God chooses to speak, He is sure;
Isaiah 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
I think YOU are trying to decide for God if His desires will be fulfilled because you choose not to believe that God can and will do what He says He will do or accomplish what He desires to have accomplished. There is no way for you to get around Isaiah 55:11 you either believe it or you don’t. If God says the sky is blue, I don’t think we need some special revelation to understand what God is saying. I will admit that there are scriptures that require divine understand but then there are others that only require an ability to read. I Timothy 2:4 is not a scripture that requires a special revelation of God’s innermost secret desires. The problem is not with what God has spoken, it is with your ability or lack thereof to believe what He has spoken. You don’t agree with it therefore you reject it. You don’t believe that God is going to save all humanity so you need to endorse an ideology that supports what you believe. So it seems that you are limiting God to what you think He means when He says His desire is that all should come to repentance because I don’t have to think about anything. I believe whatever God says His desire is to be exactly what He says it is and I also believe that God can accomplish exactly what He says He desires.
You said: “You may as well ask why a good God can’t stop evil in the world?”
Why would I ask that question? Just because God doesn’t stop evil in the world at this specific moment doesn’t mean He can’t. God has a purpose for evil because you cannot instruct in righteousness without the presence or knowledge of evil.
You said, “We know he does not desire that men sin….. but they do. And wasn’t God capable of preventing sin in the first place? I do not ask these immature questions. God is God. He wills what he will. I am responsible for my actions…… while at the same time, without God I am incapable of doing good”.
Of course God does not “desire” that men sin but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t allow men to sin. Your usage of the word “desire” in this context is not appropriate. I don’t desire to get up every morning and go to work but I do it anyway because it serves a different purpose. Maybe God figured out that it was better to create imperfect beings to teach them perfection as opposed to what Christianity teaches which is the total opposite of that concept. Christianity believes that humanity was created “perfect” and then chose to be imperfect. How can a “perfect” creation choose to not be perfect? That would eliminate them from being perfect I would think. We know that man was made FLESH and with the flesh comes all of the lusts thereof.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
Do you think God didn’t know that man wouldn’t be able to follow His commandments in the beginning? You don’t think God could’ve stopped them if He wanted to? Everything that happened in the garden happened EXACTLY how God intended for things to happen. God made man in his sinful weak condition;
Romans 8:20-21 For the creature was made subject to “vanity”, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
The word vanity is translated from the Greek word “mataiotēs” and it means worthlessness, that which is devoid of truth and appropriateness, depravity, frailty, and perverseness so if your theory was true (wasn’t God capable of preventing sin in the first place), it wouldn’t make much sense for God to do this to humanity but I know better. This is not a matter of what God is capable of or not because God is capable of doing and accomplishing anything He so desires. This is a matter of God’s intent. You assume that God never intended for man to sin but Romans 8:20 proves that to be false. Most people do not understand how God uses evil and man being a sinful condition as an opportunity for God to teach and for us to learn. Your questions aren’t immature they are just bad questions. You contradict yourself by suggesting that man must “accept” God but then you go on to say that without God, you are incapable of doing good. That of course is part of the Christian paradox.
You said, “I understand all the arguments that you made and your rationale is not without merit, but I do not agree that your conclusions are as incontestable as you believe them to be”.
I don’t need you to agree with my conclusions but for you to make that claim you haven’t even offered me any contests that I haven’t been able to reconcile or respond to appropriately. You will never convince me that our God is going to annihilate any of His creation. It’s just not going to happen. I have discovered several inconsistencies in your theology but you do not respect me enough to listen to what I have to say and is totally fine with me. I will say what I have to say regardless of your respect for me. If your doctrine was sound, I believe that a person in tune with God would respond accordingly but I always experience the polar opposite with Christians. Christians are some of the most arrogant stubborn people I have ever met. They think they know everything and the majority of Christians know very little. I don’t expect someone who embraces unscriptural doctrines to believe what I say because my beliefs are backed up by what is revealed to us in the scriptures. When my faith is tried by the fire, I shall see then what will be burned and what will remain.
You said, “Yes….. in Isaiah 46:10, God says that HE WILL ACCOMPLISH WHAT HE DESIRES! (In capitals with exclamation) And yes this has been made clear enough. Nevertheless, it still begs the question as to how you consider your understanding what God has revealed in the entire scripture regarding His desire to be incontestably correct”.
It is interesting that you consider my connection to some very obvious scriptures that it somehow becomes my understanding as if I wrote the scriptures. I simply allow the scriptures to teach themselves and I don’t argue with the scriptures. I have studied a lot to come to the conclusions that I have; so I will always put more stake in what I believe over what anyone else believes. Shall I consider “YOUR UNDERSTANDING” over my own? I have presented scripture after scripture as proof of how I reconcile what I believe to what is revealed in the scriptures yet every time, you find ways to make the scriptures mean something else because they don’t agree with what you believe. Like I said before, if there was a scripture that said, “God will not save all of humanity”, you would use that scripture against me and you would be justified in doing so. It would be very difficult for me to argue that God will save humanity but that is not the case. We have a very clear scripture that tells us that God will (desires) to save all of humanity but the only problem is that people do not agree with it nor do they want God to save all of humanity. Most will not admit their own selfish bias and need to feel important but it is there whether they realize it or not. You cannot tell me to interpret the scriptures in a way that contradicts the scriptures. If God says He will do all that He desires then I believe that God’s word will not come back to Him void when He declares that He desires to save all of humanity.
You said, “I do not find any need to lever the Word of God so that death does not mean death, or destruction not mean destruction, or perish not mean perish…… nor in opposition to the doctrine of hell that eternal punishment means eternal torture, nor eternal destruction meaning continuous destroying, nor any of the other euphemisms such as “eternal separation” & “eternal darkness” etc”.
But you do need to lever the word of God so that “will” doesn’t mean will and “all” doesn’t mean all. You seem to only lever the words that contradict what it is that you believe. You are the one that said context is always relevant and I agree with that to a certain extent but you seem to be leaving out the context when it comes to death, destruction, and being perished. You don’t seem to understand the context of how these words are used in scripture. I have never stated that death doesn’t mean death or that destruction doesn’t mean destruction, or that perish doesn’t mean perish. These words clearly have concrete meanings but what is death to God? What is destruction to God? What is being perished to God? Are these things that God has no power over? That’s absurd… God can resurrect the dead/perished and He can rebuild/restore what has been destroyed. Even man can rebuild things that have been destroyed. Any honest student of scripture should be willing to lever all of the words of God if we are to “rightly” divide the word of truth.
You said, “Having said all the above, if in eternity I find that I am wrong and every human that has ever existed will be saved to experience eternal paradise with our Creator, I will not have a problem with that. (Maybe that surprises you.)”
If doesn’t surprise me but I do find it to be a bit dishonest for you have a problem with God saving everyone right now. You have put up quite the opposition to God saving all of humanity.
You said, “Even that YouTube lady who says she will curse God to His face if there is no Hell. Although I suspect she is not really one of the redeemed at all….. but rather one of those to whom Jesus says, “depart from me I never knew you”. (But of course you believe she will also be saved) If that is what God does then all will be well regardless”.
Yes, I do believe that she will be saved whether she is eventually chosen and converted in this life or she learns righteousness and is saved in the resurrection to judgment. That is not my call to make but the irony here is that there will be many that will think and believe that they are God’s chosen only to realize that they were deceived by the devil and they will have to go through the same judgment of the very same people that they consigned to hell or eternal death and that’s why there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in the resurrection.