ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is Universalism Heresy?

Updated on November 21, 2013
Does everyone go to heaven when they die?
Does everyone go to heaven when they die? | Source

Universalist teachings focus on God’s love for humanity. They believe that God will draw everyone to Himself and that everyone will go to heaven whether they want to or not. It sounds great, but is it Biblical or a heretical teaching? Unfortunately, it is a dangerous and heretical teaching that comes from the pit of hell because it deceives people into thinking that they are going to heaven whether they come to Christ or not, when the Bible is clear that you must trust Christ and Christ alone for your salvation. I write this hub out of love because I want as few people to end up in hell as possible. Let us examine how a sovereign God could choose to relate to this fallen world.

Do you believe in an eternal hell?

See results

Three Ways a Sovereign God Could Decide to Relate to a Fallen World

Now that we looked at several of God’s key attributes, let us take a look at three different ways that God could have decided to relate to a fallen world. These categories could be broken down further, but I think these three buckets give a good representation of the possibilities.

1. God Could Decide to Give no one an Opportunity for Salvation

If you or I speed through a school zone at 85 mph that has a posted speed limit of 25 mph, would the judge be a good judge if he or she let us off? He would be a bad judge, because we were endangering everyone in the school zone. It is the same with God. He is justified to execute his judgment against sinful people. After all, we are the ones who violated His laws. He is under no obligation to save anyone. Praise God that he did not decide to choose this possibility. He was willing to pay our penalty of sin, Himself. What is the penalty for sin?

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” Romans 6:23

That eliminates this first possibility. No one who has read the Bible at all could possibly come to this conclusion.

2. God Could Exercise His Power and Save Everyone (Universalism)

This is the Universalist’s position. They believe that Jesus’ death was not only sufficient for all the sins of the world, but that God will save everyone whether they like it or not. This position is not a Biblical position. I will dig into this further below, but read John chapter 3. It draws a distinction between those who believe and those who do not believe. Scroll up to John 3:16 above and look at the part that says “whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” This part of the verse draws a distinction because those who believe and those who do not. Also, during the Last Supper, Jesus said that it was better for the one who betrays Jesus to never have been born. I am not a language scholar, but Jesus makes it clear that God is going to severely judge Judas for betraying him. If you go to heaven when you die, no matter your experience in this life, it will be awesome in heaven. Jesus can only be talking about hell when it comes to Judas.

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by me.” John 14:6

3. God Could Exercise His Power and Save Some

This is the Biblical answer, as I will explain below. God gives us an opportunity to be saved. Jesus’ death is sufficient to pay for all the sins of the world, but like any gift, can be accepted or rejected. Once again John chapter three draws a distinction between believers and unbelievers. Look at the verses below:

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18

Now let us take a look at Universalism in more detail.


What is Universalism?

Universalism is the belief that everyone will go to heaven when they die whether or not they have accepted Jesus as their savior. They believe it is unthinkable that a good God would send people to hell for eternity because of his love and mercy. Let us look more closely at their claims.

Biblical Texts Used to Support Universalism

Supporters of universalism will use verses that appear to support the idea of universal redemption and universal restoration. Let us look at a few of those verses in more detail.

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:3-6

Universalists lock on to the statement “all men” and conveniently skip over the “who wants all men to be saved.” Wanting something and it happening are two different things. I agree that Jesus died for everyone and that his death and resurrection are sufficient to cover all of the sins of the world. The problem comes when they try to say that this proves that “all men” will be saved. Universalists fail to properly exegete these types of verses in light of the context in which they appear and also in light of the rest of the New Testament, which says, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31) Another common error that they make along these lines is to take the word “all” and make it mean everyone regardless of the context. For example, I say that “I will give twenty dollars to all of you.” In order to correctly interpret that statement, you have to know who I am referring to as “all of you.” By “all of you”, I could be referring to everyone or just a few of you that are in the same room with me. The context is vital to understanding what I am talking about.

“The Son came into the world not to condemn it but to save it.” John 3:17

I agree that Jesus came into the world to save it, but if you look at this verse in context, it does not mean universal salvation. Verses 16 and 18 actually tell you that only those who believe in the Son have eternal life. The key to Bible interpretation is context, context, context.

“And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Colossians 1:20

The context of this verse is a letter that is written to the believers in Colossae. If you read the whole chapter, it is clear that Paul is not taking about universal salvation, but rather the salvation of believers. Cherry picking verses and taking them out of context is not a way to prove anything. No one reads a book that way. Reading a verse in its context is crucial to understanding the meaning. These three verses are a good sample of the type of verses that supporters of Universalism use to defend their beliefs.

Theological Arguments Used to Support Universalism

Supporters of Universalism will make statements like “God is a failure if Jesus’ death and resurrection does not save everyone” or “A God of love would not send anyone to hell.” There are two problems with these arguments. First, is the presupposition that God intended to save everyone with Jesus’ death and resurrection.

“Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” Romans 9:13

“but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.” Malachi 1:3

God chose Jacob over Esau and the Bible goes so far as to say that God “hated” Esau in both of the verses above. I checked a bunch of different translations and they were all the same. For a little context, Esau was the first born son of Isaac and yet God rejected him and chose Jacob instead. The same thing happened with Isaac and Ishmael. God chose Isaac and rejected Ishmael. We need to be careful anytime that we think we have God figured out, because if we have him figured out, He is no longer God. God is always greater and bigger than we can know in this life. Second, these arguments ignore the clear teaching of Scripture. In the Old Testament, God repeatedly punished sinners for their sins, not as a way of purification, but because they simply deserved it. Sodom and Gomorrah are great examples of this along with the people of Jericho. In the New Testament, the emphasis on putting your faith in Christ and on evangelism makes no sense if everyone is going to be saved. If Universalism is true, eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die. Live however you want, there are not any consequences. If you read the Bible, that does not line up with what the pages actually say.

Key Attributes of God

Let us look at some of the key attributes of God to gain some more clarity. God is so much bigger than we can ever understand. He is always greater and bigger than we can think of Him. That is what makes Him God.

“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my way’s, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

God is a Holy God

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:3

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8

Holiness is the only attribute of God that is repeated three times in a row. In ancient writings, repeating something three times showed the importance of it. In ancient writing, they did not use punctuation marks. The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk wrote that God’s eyes are too pure to look upon evil. When God appeared in a burning bush to Moses, the very ground around the bush became holy. Years later, when Moses went up Mount Sinai to meet with God, the Israelites were not even allowed to touch the mountain because of God’s holiness. We still see the reference to the holiness of God in the writings of Peter and in the book of Revelation. God is serious about his holiness.

God is a Righteous Judge

“God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day.” Psalm 7:11

“He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.” Psalm 9:8

“It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:31

“You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged.” Revelation 16:5

God is a righteous judge who sees and knows everything. One day in the future, we will all stand before Him in one of two judgments: Judgment Seat of Christ or the Great White Throne Judgment. The Judgment Seat of Christ is a judgment that all believers in Jesus Christ will go through. They will be judged on what they have done for Christ, either to be rewarded or suffer loss, but they will go to heaven because they trusted Christ. On the other hand, the Great White Throne Judgment is for all unbelievers. They will have to answer for every sin that they have ever committed. The Book of Life will be opened, and anyone’s name that is not found in there will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Everyone at this judgment is not a believer and will be eternally separated from God in hell (Rev 20:11-15).

God is a Sovereign

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand.” Job 38:4

“Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ Just as it is written: “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I hated. What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’” Romans 9:10-15

God is sovereign and in complete control of the Universe. Nothing happens apart from Him allowing it. He is the Creator of everything; He has the right to deal with mankind however he wants. He chose Jacob over Esau before they were born. Isaac and Ishmael are another great example. God chose Isaac and rejected Ishmael. Remember the verse that I opened this section with that says God’s ways are not our ways.

God is Love

“For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“God demonstrated his own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

God is love. Notice though, it does not say that God is love, love, love. God is not obligated to love us. He could have chosen to destroy the human race when Adam and Eve sinned and start over again. He chose to be brutally beaten and crucified on a Roman cross than to spend eternity without us. However, his death and resurrection offer us the gift of salvation. Just like any other gift, we must choose to accept it. His death was sufficient to save all that will come to repentance, but that does not mean all will. In fact, Jesus spoke more about hell than he did about heaven.

Now that we know more about what God is like, let us look at the words the Bible uses that are associated with hell.

Biblical Words Associated with Hell

The Bible has three different words that are associated with hell: Gehenna, Hades, and Sheol. Let us take a look at each one more closely and look at how they are used.

Gehenna

“1. A place or state of torment or suffering. 2. The abode of condemned souls; hell.” Free Dictionary

“In Judaism, Gehenna is a fiery place where the wicked are punished after they die or on judgment day. . . Gehenna is often mentioned in the New Testament of the Christian Bible as the place of condemnation of unrepentant sinners.” New World Encyclopedia

Gehenna is the Greek word for hell. Of the twelve times it is used in the New Testament, Jesus used it eleven times. As you read the seven verses below, pay attention to how the word “hell” (Gehenna) is used.

“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” Matthew 5:22

“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matthew 5:29

“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole to go into hell.” Matthew 5:30

“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” Matthew 18:7:9

“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” Matthew 23:33

“And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’” Mark 9:42-48

“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” James 3:6

How does the New Testament define the word “Gehenna”? It is clearly described by Jesus as a place that you do not want to go to. He talked about how it is better to go through life maimed than to go into hell. It is described as a place where the worm will not die and the fire is never quenched. Read the surrounding verses and verify the context and you will find that Jesus is talking about a place of torment.

Hades

“1a. The underworld abode of the souls of the dead. 2. The abode or state of the dead. 3. Informal hell.” Free Dictionary

“The term Hades in its cosmological sense, has sometimes been used in Christianity to refer to the abode of the dead, where the deceased would await Judgment Day in either peace or torment.” New World Encyclopedia

Hades corresponds with the Old Testament word Sheol. It is used a total of ten times in the New Testament, four times by Jesus and six times by others. New Testament translators sometime translate this word as hell or they leave it as Hades. I believe the latter is the better definition because it describes the place where the dead gather awaiting final judgment. This is the place that Jesus is talking about in the story of the rich man and Lazarus. As we can tell from that story, Hades is a place of torment. Before Jesus’ death, it was a place with two compartments, one for those who were condemned and one for those who would be saved by Jesus’ death and resurrection. Now, it is only those awaiting judgment are their in a conscious state of suffering. According to Revelations chapter 20, Hades will be thrown in to hell at the Great White Throne Judgment. Let us take a look at a few of those verses.

“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:18 NASB

“In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.” Luke 16:23 NASB

“and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” Revelation 1:18 NASB

“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” Revelations 20:13-14 NASB

Sheol

“The abode of the dead in the Bible.” Free Dictionary

“In the Hebrew Bible Sheol (שאול) is the ‘abode of the dead,’ the ‘underworld,’ ‘the common grave of mankind’ or ‘pit.’ It is said to be the destination of both the righteous and the unrighteous dead, as described in Book of Job (3:11-19). ‘Sheol’ is also depicted as a comfortless place beneath the earth, beyond gates, where both slave and king, pious and wicked must go after death to sleep in silence and oblivion in the dust (Isa. 38:18; Ps. 6:5, 88:3-12; Job 7:7-10, 3:11-19; Gen. 2:7, 3:19).” New World Encyclopedia

Sheol is a Hebrew word that is used 66 times in the Old Testament. It is the Hebrew version of Hades. Some say that it should be translated as “grave”. The King James Version translates it 31 times as “grave”, 31 times as “hell”, and 3 times as “pit”. The verses below show that Sheol means much more than grave.

“For a fire has been kindled by my wrath, one that burns to the realm of death (sheol) below. It will devour the earth and its harvests and set afire the foundations of the mountains.” Deuteronomy 32:22

“The dead are in deep anguish, those beneath the waters and all that live in them. Death (Sheol) is naked before God; Destruction lies uncovered.” Job 26:5-6

“The grave (sheol) below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—all those who where leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones—all those who were kings over the nations.” Isaiah 14:9

“From within the grave (sheol) the mighty leaders will say of Egypt and her allies, ‘they have come down and they lie with the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword.’” Ezekiel 32:21

“Then I will bring you down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of long ago. I will make you dwell in the earth below, as in ancient ruins, with those who go down to the pit, and you will not return or take your place in the land of the living.” Ezekiel 26:20

Let us look at specific Bible passages in their context that will demonstrate why the arguments for universalism are unbiblical.

Universalism Exposed

God's Word
God's Word | Source

Why Universalism is Unbiblical

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for ever good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16

“Do no be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” Matthew 10:28

When it comes to interpreting the Bible, we cannot just ignore passages that we do not like. We must read each passage in its context and in context of the rest of the Bible. The Bible is filled with references to God’s wrath and judgment. Let us look at the following proof texts and their context.

Free Will

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” John Piper

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5

Everything that God does is for his glory. He created mankind to worship him. God gave us free will to decide whether to obey him or to disobey him. He wanted us to choose to worship Him. Genesis chapter 3 tells us of how that turned out. Adam and Eve decided that they would rather be “like God” than to obey God. It does not make sense that God would force us to go to heaven if he gave us free will in the first place. Think about it this way, trying telling someone you love, that you only love them because you have to. Nobody wants love like that.

“You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 4:22-23


Purpose of Evangelism

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20a

“At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him [Stephen], dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.” Acts 7:57-58a

“After they were severely flogged, they [Paul and Silas] were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.” Acts 16:23

Another great argument against universalism is the emphasis that the New Testament writers put on evangelism. His disciples were imprisoned, persecuted, and ultimately all martyred (except for John who was exiled to the Island of Patmos). Stephen preached Jesus before the Sanhedrin and was stoned to death. Paul preached all over Europe and Asia and was routinely imprisoned, beaten, and eventually beheaded in Rome. Since then, Christians have been persecuted and martyred ever since. If everyone is going to heaven when they die, why was there so much emphasis on preaching the gospel? Why lay down your life to spread the gospel? Would it not have been better to spend time taking care of the poor and sick? Why does the New Testament tell us to “believe” on the Lord Jesus Christ and we will be saved if we all are going to be saved anyway (Acts 16:31)?

Exodus 12 - Passover

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every first born—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” Exodus 12:12-13

At the time of the first Passover, the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. God was sending plague after plague against Egypt so that Pharaoh would let his people go. God told the Israelites to kill a lamb and put its blood on the doorpost of their homes so that when God passed through Egypt, He would see the blood and skip over that house. The Israelites had a choice to make; they could disobey at the loss of their first-born or obey and be saved. Remember that the Passover is symbolic foreshadow of Jesus, the Lamb of God, being sacrificed for our sins. We too have a choice to make; we can either accept that sacrifice or reject it.

Matthew 7:13-14 - The Narrow and Wide Gates

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

The context of these verses is the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus was teaching the crowds who were amazed at his teaching because he taught with authority. Jesus is clear that we need to enter by the “narrow gate” and that only a “few will find it.” John chapter 10 matches up with these two verses and gives us more insight.

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” John 10:9

Jesus is the narrow gate. We must come by him if we are to go to heaven (John 14:6). If we take the broad road, we will not go to heaven. Unfortunately, most people will make this choice. A companion passage in Luke 13:22-30 gives us further insight.

“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ But he will answer, ‘I do not know you or where you come from’ . . . ‘Away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.” Luke 13:24-25, 27

This passage tells us that many will try to enter, but not be able to. It goes on to tell us that those people who are left outside knocking will be sent away and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for all of those who worn thrown out.

Matthew 7:21-23 - A Tree and Its Fruit

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.” Matthew 7:21-23

The context of these verses is to watch out for false prophets. These verses serve as a warning that not everyone is going to heaven. They further serve to show us that we need to have a personal relationship with Him, otherwise we will be sent away.

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 - The Parable of the Weeds

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:40-42

The parable of the weeds compares the kingdom of heaven to a man sowing good seed in his field. Then the enemy snuck in and sowed weeds alongside of the good seed. The field owner instructed the servants to leave the weeds until the wheat was ready to harvest so that they would not accidentally pull up the wheat. The verses above come from the second section where Jesus explains what the parable of seeds means. He said that in the end times, he will send out his angels to weed everything out of his kingdom that causes sin and everyone who does evil. Those people will be thrown into the fiery furnace where they will be punished. This is a clear reference to hell. The passage ends talking about how the righteous will shine like the sun.

Matthew 22:1-14 - Parable of the Wedding Banquet

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:11-14

In this parable Jesus tells a story of a king who prepares a wedding banquet for his son. His servants went to those that the king invited, but they refused to come. He sent the servants again except that this time they were mistreated and killed. The king sent out his servants again but this time invited everyone. The king saw the guests coming and noticed a man not wearing wedding clothes. The man was tied up and thrown into the darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. This parable starts off by talking about how God sent his servants to the Jewish people. They repeatedly rejected the prophets and killed them. Then God sent out his servants to everyone and invited them into his kingdom. However, the parable shifts in verses 11 through 14. The king spots someone who is not dressed for the wedding and the man is thrown out into darkness, which is a representation of hell along with the weeping and gnashing of teeth. This parable is a foreshadowing of the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. Verse 14 makes it clear that many people are invited into the kingdom, but few are chosen.

Matthew 25:31-46 - The Sheep and the Goats

“Then he [God] will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels . . . Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthew 25:41, 46

In this passage Jesus is talking about his second coming when he will come in all of his glory. All nations will be gathered before him. Jesus will separate people into two groups saved (sheep) and goats (unsaved). He will then instruct the goats to depart into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Verse 41 & 46). This is a clear reference to hell. The only way that you can interpret this text differently is to make it up and ignore what is clearly written here.

Matthew 26:17-30 - Judas Iscariot

“The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Matthew 26:24

The context of this verse is the Last Supper. Jesus prophesied that one of his disciples would betray him. We know from the verses that follow this one that it was Judas who was going to betray Jesus. This is a devastating argument against universalism because the words are coming straight out of the mouth of Jesus. If it was better for him not to have been born, we are only left with one conclusion, that Judas would experience severe judgment. Since we know that he committed suicide later, the only way that this verse makes sense is in context of eternal damnation. No other interpretation makes sense.

Luke 23:26-43 - Thieves Being Crucified with Jesus

“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Do you not fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.’” Luke 23:39-43

The two thieves that were crucified on each side of Jesus offer further evidence that not everyone is going to heaven. Both thieves spoke to Jesus; however, he only told the one who repented that he would be with him in paradise.

Luke 16:19-31 - Lazarus and the Rich Man

“The time came when the beggar (Lazarus) died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell (Hades), where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” Luke 16:22-24

The context of this passage is Jesus teaching those around him with the Pharisees present. This section is unique in that if it is a parable, this is the only one where Jesus gave one of the characters a name. The NIV translators, in verse 23, translated the word “Hades” as hell. I think that is a bad translation. It should be left as Hades because it describes two chambers, one that will go to heaven, and the other that will be thrown into hell (Rev 20). The chamber that Lazarus went in was only used until the death and resurrection of Jesus because we know that from Paul’s writings that for believers if we are absent with the body, we are present with the Lord. In addition, Jesus told the thief on the cross who repented that today he would be with him in paradise. This passage tells us about how the “rich man” was in torment. It also tells us by omission that the “rich man” thought the judgment was just because he does not whine or complain. We also learn that all of our senses will be intact in eternity. The “rich man” pleads with Abraham to send Lazarus back to his brothers. He all of a sudden becomes very evangelistic. Why? Because he does not want to see his brothers in the same torment that, he is in.

You Must be Born Again

John 3 - Jesus and Nicodemus

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” John 3:36

John 3:1-21 records a conversation between Jesus and a Pharisee named Nicodemus. The context that I took the verses above is that you must be born again. All of the verses have conditions related to them. Whoever believes will have eternal life, whoever does not believe is condemned because God’s wrath remains on him. These verses are plainly written and easy to understand. Once again, the words are coming directly out of the mouth of Jesus. This section is another devastating blow against universalism.


John 5:16-30 - Life Through the Son

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my words and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24

“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” John 5:28-29

The context of these verses is Jesus proclaiming that whoever hears his words and believes the Father has eternal life and will not be condemned. Once again, we can see Jesus draw a distinction between believers and unbelievers. In verse 29, Jesus continues by saying there is a day coming where the dead will rise from the grave. Those who have done good will rise to life and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. These are not words of a Savior who is teaching that all will be saved, on the contrary, this is a clear line in the sand between those who do good and those who do evil.

Romans 2:1-16 - God’s Righteous Judgment

“But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God will give to each person according to what he has done.” Romans 2:5-6

The context of this passage is God’s righteous judgment. It starts out by warning people not to pass judgment on each other. It says if you do that, you condemn yourself. It goes on to tell us that God’s judgment is based on truth. In verse 5, Paul tells us that if we are stubborn and unrepentant, we store up wrath against ourselves on the day of God’s wrath. Verse 8 gives the self-seeking and those who reject the truth are warning of anger and wrath. Paul also emphasizes that God will judge justly and does not show any favoritism.

1 Corinthians 6 - Lawsuits Among Believers / Sexual Immorality

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

These two verses appear at the end of the section that talks about the fact that believers should not be involved in lawsuits against other believers and as a transition to the next section on sexual immorality. It is important to remember that these section headings were added after the fact and were not included in the original manuscripts. Verses 9 and 10 are a great transition into warnings against sexual immorality. If people known for these types of sins are not going to inherit the kingdom of God, it is safe to assume that they are going to hell.

Galatians 1:6-10 - No Other Gospel

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I saw again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you have accepted, let him by eternally condemned.” Galatians 1:6-9

Paul is warning the church in Galatia against turning to a different gospel. He goes so far as to say twice in this passage that anyone who is preaching a different gospel should be “eternally condemned.” If Paul taught the Universalist position that everyone is going to be saved, it should not be a big deal what gospel is preached because in the end everyone is saved, but it did upset Paul. His letter to the Galatians church is the only one in which he does not offer any commendation. The “gospel” that he warned against was a group of Jews who were teaching that you had to submit to the Mosaic Law before you could become a Christian. Paul was defending the fact that justification comes by faith in Christ. Let us look at the gospel that Paul preached:

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10

“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Notice the “otherwise, you have believed in vain” statement in 1 Corinthians 15:2. Paul uses this to make a distinction between saving faith and non-saving faith. James 2:19 adds more clarity to this verse:

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder.”

Ephesians 5:1-21 - Be Imitators of God

“For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” Ephesians 5:5-6

In this passage, Paul is instructing believers to be imitators of God. In verses 3 through 6, that no immoral person has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ. If he were to stop there, I would say that this passage could refer to believers who make it into heaven by the skin of their teeth, but Paul continues by saying that God’s wrath will come on those who are disobedient. Believers are not under God’s wrath.

“Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

2 Thessalonians 1:5-12 - God’s Judgment is Right

“All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.” 2 Thessalonians 1:5

“He [God] will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

The context of this passage is that the Apostle Paul is writing a letter to the believers at the church of Thessalonica. The two verses that I have listed above illustrate what this whole hub is about. In 2 Thessalonians 1:5 talks about God’s judgment being right and how you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom. However, if you read that verse in the context of the rest of the chapter, the meaning becomes clear. Paul is talking to the believers in the church of Thessalonica. In 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, Paul says that you will be punished with everlasting destruction if you do not know God. This verse lines up well in context and with other verses such as John 3:36.

2 Peter 2:3 - The Day of the Lord

“By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men. . . The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3:7, 9-10

The context of the passage is the second coming of Christ. Peter tells us that the heavens and the earth will be burned up on the Day of Judgment. That will be global warming! Peter also tells us that ungodly men will be destroyed in verse 7. I think that the even more important thing that Peter tells us is at the end of verse 9. God does not want anyone to perish, but for everyone to come to repentance. Notice that is says “does not want”, not “everyone will repent.” I encourage you to read this whole chapter. It is only 18 verses long. As you read, it is clear that God is patiently waiting for people to come to repentance; however, the warning is clear. Judgment is coming on this world and on the wicked.

2 Peter 2 - The Rise of False Prophets

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.” 2 Peter 2:4-9

“These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people what are escaping from those who live in error . . . If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were in the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.” 2 Peter 2:17-18, 20-21

The Apostle Peter is writing to believers to warn them to be on the lookout for false teachers. He goes on to say that their destruction is coming. Peter then reminds us that God did not spare the angels that rebelled, the ungodly people of Noah’s day, or Sodom and Gomorrah. On the contrary, God judged them severely. Verse 9 tells us that God is going to hold and punish the unrighteous. Verse 17 makes a clear reference to hell by saying that the blackest darkness is reserved for the bold and arrogant. Verse 20 also draws attention to the fact that there are people who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Jude 1:3-23 - The Sin and Doom of Godless Men

“Though you already know this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe . . . In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” Jude 1:5, 7

“They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.” Jude 1:13

“Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” Jude 1:22-23

The Book of Jude was a letter written to believers (v1). Jude 1:3-23 talks about the sin and doom of godless men. Jude reminds us in verse 5 that God destroyed the Egyptians who did not believe. He then reminds us of the punishment that is coming for the fallen angels in verse 6. Next he talks about Sodom and Gomorrah in verse 6, who gave themselves over to sexual immorality and perversion. The end of verse 6 is the takeaway for us: “They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” That is a clear reference to hell. Verse 13 further clarifies that hell will be a place of darkness that lasts forever. Jude makes a clear distinction between believers and unbelievers in this entire passage.

Fire
Fire | Source

Revelation 20 - Great White Throne Judgment

“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:10

“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14-15

The context of Revelation chapter 20 starts out at the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ and ends with the great white throne judgment of the living and the dead. It also contains the final judgment of Satan, who will be thrown into the lake of fire. This passage is extremely clear that if you do not know Jesus, you will spend eternity in hell.

Final Thoughts

“Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:10-12

Verse 12 is the whole point that Universalists miss or choose to ignore. If you have the Son you are saved, if you do not have the Son you are lost. John 3:36 is almost identical to this verse, except that verse adds that if you reject Jesus, God’s wrath is still on you. Hell and eternal punishment seems so antiquated and old-fashioned in our modern world. However, the Bible is clear on both. I urge anyone who has not trusted Christ as their Savior to repent of their sins and place their faith in Christ and Christ alone to save them. How to be saved in Christianity is a great resource that has more detailed information on coming to know Christ as your Savior.

I encourage you to not take my words for this. Grab a Bible and look up the verses yourself. Read them in their context. Pray and ask God for wisdom and help in understanding his Word.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Excellent Article. Well handled and detailed.

      I only differ on the conclusion of damning heresy. We all have doubts. If a man just cannot accept that God would make a hell or hate, I cannot judge him harshly, could God? I chose to read the scriptures in love. It is my premise that a reading of them "under the Law" is not accepting Jesus.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      The biblical god is neither moral or just. He's a bloodthirsty, ignorant tyrant, and for this reason I hope that universalism us not true, because I will never worship our serve a god whose morality I can actually surpass.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      From the pits of hell? Wow, we have a literalist ladies and gentlemen. 33% voted that there is a hell, while 67% voted no. It appears that the hell doctrine is losing fast. Praise God.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      ercramer36,

      really nice article that you have written here.

      i do see your viewpoints here and i believe that there is a God.

      Ican not judge those who do not believe, they shouldn't be forced to believe or

      judged accordingly.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      This is an intense hub, both in topic & length :) It was also well written and very systematic in presentation. The exegetical understanding and approach seems to follow pretty well. Nice article.

      Ericdierker, heresy & doubts are not exactly on the same level. And God will judge appropriately, whether or not we think it harsh... just b/c you may not judge something according to God's justice He has all the right in the world to do so. Also, Jesus came to fulfill the law (Mathew 5:17).

      JMcFarland, your understanding of God seems to be directly opposed to who He is and what He has done for you. It is unfortunate that you reject Him. Also, how is your morality superior to God's morality? If He exists then wouldn't your morality be measured by Him?

      SwordofManticorE, this hub was pretty straight forward in an explanation of God's intentions for people, and with the results of their rejection. It followed the Biblical account and was systematic in reasoning. What makes you think there is no hell... or judgment to come?

      torrilynn, nobody can force a decision to accept God and His Son Jesus, but letting people know there is a 'choice' to accept Him or not is not passing judgment of God... ist' informing them that such a judgment will take place... it is spreading the 'good news', even if people need to know there is bad news if they choose to reject Christ.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @Sojo, I don't think there is no hell. I know for a fact that it is a man made myth adopted in the catholic church anno AD500 to maintain control over commoners, nobles and royals with the tool of fear. Let us not forget the wealth that church gained by using the fear of hell. It also does not add up to the original Greek and Hebrew scripture. Slowly the word hell will be removed entirely from bible versions and that is good. Also, such a place does not glorify God's love, mercy or forgiveness. But I will tell you this. If there is a hell, it is secretly hidden in the desires of the hearts of determined hell believers and spiritual terrorists who teach such nonsense. Because they believe that God believes that those who are in hell deserve what they get, so they themselves also believe that the dammed get what they deserve and this is absolute hatred. God commands us to love, bless and forgive our enemies unconditionally, yet the determined hell believer sets God as the example as to how He will treat His enemies by letting them to be eternally tortured and roasted. God is corrective, but you make Him vindictive. The image of the god you worship can be seen when you take a long hard look in the mirror.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Sojo, Goh must read the pg version of the Bible without all of the bad stuff - except the part where everyone rose who disagrees with you will be tortured forever, and you think that's a good thing.

      If your god exists, he's a monster. You don't rip open pregnant bellies. You don't stone your children. You don't curse 42 children to be killed by a bear. You don't think that a human sacrifice of yourself to yourself to appease yourself is a logiYoucal or positive plan. I am more moral than the biblical god, according to his own word, and I reject three idea that he exists at all

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks Eric! It is common to have doubts from time to time, but when people or groups choose to ignore the written Word of God, we need to take a stand. If this was someone's view of the second coming of Christ, I would simply state my opinion and why I think I am right, but when it comes to telling people that everyone will goto heaven whether they accept Christ or not, I draw a line. Why? Because Biblically speaking they are clearly wrong. Jesus said that he was the only way to heaven and no one can come a different way (John 14:6). This is essiencial doctrine that we are talking about here. I want to save as many people from hell as possible.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks JMcFarland for your input! I am saddened by your view of God. I wish that you were able to see the goodness of God and the love that He has for you. Enough love to willingly die on a cross for you. God is so much bigger and greater than anyone can possibly understand. His ways are not our ways, nor his thoughts our thoughts. Job and his friends had some tough questions for God. God responded by asking Job if he was there when the foundations of the world were laid? Since when is the creation permitted to question the Creator?

      I want to try to answer your response to Sojourner1234 about God being a monster. God is holy, holy, holy and is the Creator of all things. He created mankind and gave us the freedom to choose to obey or disobey. Unfortunately, everyone of us since Adam and Eve have chosen to disobey a Holy God. Among the many sins that we have all committed stands the one that does us in the most, pride. Adam and Eve sinned because they wanted to be like God, the same thing that Satan did. The greatness of the offense is in who we have committed it against. Our sin was and is and will be committed against a God who is holy and cannot tolerate sin. His nature will not allow it to go unpunished. We stand eternally separated from God. He has every right to wipe us all out because we all stand guilty before him. The penalty for sin is death (hell). God chose to leave his throne in heaven and come to this earth to lay down his life for his creation. It is a story of love by a Holy God. If we will repent and turn to Him, we can be saved and go to heaven for eternity.

      You may say that you will never worship Him, but that is not true. If you will not bow your knee in this life and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be forced to bow it at the Great White Throne Judgment. I pray that you will take a deeper look at who God is.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thank you for your comments Torrilynn! People are free to make up their own minds, however, decisions have consequences. God has given everyone a choice to repent of their sins and turn to him. He has also laid what will happen if someone does not repent of their sins, eternal separation from him in hell.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks Sojourner1234! I was trying to make is shorter, but wanted to be thorough.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      SOM - Whether the existence of hell wins in the poll in hub or not, does not change its actual existence. I am more than happy to stand with Christ and the clear teaching of the Bible even if I have to do it alone.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      SOM – I think you need to relook at your church history because hell was already accepted by the council of Nicaea in AD 325. In fact, it was accepted by the early church fathers. You can remove the word “hell” from all of the Bibles that you want, it does not change the context of the verses. You can call it a garbage dump, but what is described there still describes eternal damnation and torment. Taking one word out of the sentence will not change the meaning of “weeping and gnashing of teeth”, “punishment of eternal fire”, “they will go away to eternal punishment and the righteous will go away to eternal life.” The actual word “hell” is not found in those statements, but what they describe is the same thing.

      The judgment of God does glorify God.

      “’You are just in your judgments you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets and you have given them blood to drink.’ And I heard the altar respond: ‘Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.” Revelation 16:5-7

      The context of these verses is the 7 bowls of God’s wrath. Here is some more:

      “After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heave shouting: ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” Revelations 19:1-2

      The context of these verses is the fall of Babylon in the last days. Revelation 20 contains the judgments of Satan and all unbelievers. The result is the same, they were all thrown in to the Lake of Fire where they will be tormented day and night.

      SOM, we all deserve hell. All of us. Paul writes in Romans that there is no one good, no not one. The only way you can read the Bible and say hell does not exist is to ignore most of it. Jesus spoke more about hell than about heaven. People that deny the true existence of hell are the spiritual terrorists, because they are helping to damn people by telling them that everyone goes to heaven when that goes against the clear teaching of Scripture.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I have looked. It was a part of the process in obtaining my degree in theology and biblical literature. The fact of the matter is that your god is nothing more than a bloodthirsty tyrant, and if he forces me to bow to him in the end (not that he exists) then that's by force - and not by will, and I would STILL never worship him.

      Adam and eve didn't try to make themselves like god. If you are a parent, you tell your child to not touch a hot stove, but they inevitably do it anyway because they are unable to fully understand the consequences. Do you then set them on fire for eternity as a punishment?

      The fact of the matter is that society today does not hold everybody to the same standards. If you are unable to discern right from wrong, you are not sentenced to death or thrown into prison for life - you are judged differently. God supposedly told adam and eve "hey, don't eat from this tree of knowledge and if you do you will die" How are they supposed to know what dying means? There was no death in eden. They had no basis for comparison - and until they ate from the tree of knowledge, they had no way to discern right from wrong.

      Do you stone your disobedient children or put to death rape victims? No? Then congratulations - you're more moral than your god, too.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ecramer ---- have you met my 3 yr old? He deserves hell? Think friend what you speak. How can I look into a newborns eyes and declare that their father in heaven has already condemned them?

      I am forbidden in good conscience to disdain a child. Do you know what and who you condemn?

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      If anyone deserves going to the hell you believe in ecramer it is you and your ilk. Not me, or anyone else that has lived and died and will live. Your belief that we all deserve eternal torture and my 4 year old son makes me sick to my stomach. Your belief of hell and the image of the monster you worship discust me. It is both evil and insane. My Father in heaven is a God of perfect love and more and more are starting to turn from your insane self-righteous hell teachings.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      ercramer36, no problem on the length. It was definitely not a rebuke of 'too lengthy', and I still thought it was good. Thanks again for the hub! Will toss in another two cents later.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, the Bible is pretty straight forward with the reality of Hell. It is not hidden in the hearts of haters of people... (it could be that some people want others to go to hell, but those are generally not genuine believers in God or of His salvation). I have studied Greek & Hebrew, as have many Bible scholars who believe Hell is truly real, according to what we can see in the Bible. Also, God's love, mercy, and forgiveness are not what people should glorify, it's God Himself that should be the recipient of glory. God is a competely loving God, but His love does not disregard His justice. Why else would Christ have died for sins (and be resurrected), not for nothing? If God was going to 'save' everyone whether they chose Him or not then why allow His Son to take the brunt of their sins... salvation is available to everyone, but not everyone will be saved, because they choose not to be.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Only the carnal man interprets scripture like you do. Yes it is secretly hidden in the desires of hell believing Christians I will show you how. You believe that God believes that those who are in hell deserve it, so you yourself also believe that the dammed get what they deserve. It is evil and sick. Your view of divin justice is also unbiblical and insane.

    • SiberianWolf profile image

      Eric T. Shortridge 4 years ago from MidWest

      is it biblical? too many 'christians' are worshiping a book these days... if a father were to burn his children, we would call that person evil... if a parent were to lock their children in a dark closet... we would call them wicked... and yet, you think God is justified? if a mere human knows the difference, don't you think God's love is greater? so here's a question for you, what could your child ever do, that would justify you burning them?

    • profile image

      Emile R 4 years ago

      That's a long a well written article. I would say one thing. We can all read the Bible and find justification for whatever we want to believe. And, throw out a number of scriptures to support our beliefs. However, I can't imagine a Creator going to the trouble to create a planet full of people and then mucking up the waters so terribly that it is very simple to follow a different path that leads to hell. I can't imagine why a creator would decide to ensure that things were so ambigous for what appears to be the singular purpose of condemning a large percentage of humanity to hell.

      I'm also very confused as to why anyone would want to be a part of that type of a system. It is very difficult to fathom a creator who loves unconditionally simply because we do not have it within our power to love anything unconditionally. That is our failing so some create an image of a God in their mind that matches our weaknesses. It doesn't make it so.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      JMcFarland – First of all, we are not all God’s children. Only those who have come to saving faith in Christ have been adopted into God’s family. Second, how can the creation judge the Creator?

      “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, why did you make me like this?’ Does the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory.” Romans 9:20-23

      God is sovereign and the Creator of everything. Since He is the Creator, he has the right to set the standards by which we live by and how we are going to be judged. He is beyond human comprehension.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Eric - I do not condemn anyone. If a baby dies before the age of accountability, he or she will goto heaven.

      Did you have to teach your child to sin? I know I did not have to teach mine to. They were born with a sin nature. They instinctively knew how to knowingly disobey. God is a just judge. However, mankind is wickedly sinful. Paul says in Romans that there is no one who does good, not even one. Read John 3. Jesus is clear that if we do not trust Christ, we are condemned already. Not my words, but Jesus'.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, it actually is the literal interpretation of the Bible. It indicates there is a hell. What do you use to guide you? A version of the Bible with sections crossed out?

      Siberian, the book is God's Word, so it makes sense to follow it.

      Emile, God made hell for the devil and the demons (fallen angels) who followed him... but to be just those people who decide not to choose God will be justly judged by God... and cast into hell.

      JMcFarland, I read & study the regular Bible. First, you (nor I) am anywhere close to as moral as God... He invented it. Whether you believe in Him or not does not make Him vanish... He is no matter your belief. You have come to the wrong conclusions about God and now find yourself a foe of the only purely righteous Lord. Your morality is a far cry of the 'right way'. Your 'logic' has become your enemy b/c you think you have it figured out.

      Eric, there are many Christians who believe there is an age of accountability... that a child will not be 'judged' for not being old enough to understand.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I do believe ercramer36 that we are blessed. And I harken back to my law school training. Some laws are general, but with so many exceptions as to make them impractically enforceable.

      Through this learning process (I do thank you for participation) I have come to believe that the rule and hell are real. But it is my doctoral level reading and understanding that God accepts/excepts 99.9 percent.

      It also seems to me during the 3rd week of lent, the key for anyone is repentance. And I think nearly all humans though weak would like to be better for our Lord.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Siberian Wolf - Christians do not worship a book , but the God of the book. First, we are not God's children unless we know Christ as our savior. We are adopted into his family through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Second, you are using human logic to attempt to explain what a Holy God does or does not do. God is so much bigger than our understanding. He is the Creator of all things; therefore, He is able to judge all things. He is a righteous judge.

      Say you were caught speeding through a school zone when kids were being released from school. You were pulled over for doing 85 MPH in a 20 MPH zone. The Police officer writes you a ticket. On your court date, the judge finds you guilty of the offense. Would the judge be a good judge if he let you out of the ticket? After all, you are endangering the lives of school children. A good judge would find you guilty to stop you from doing it again. The difference between this example and committing an offense against a holy God is who the offense is committed against. If I punch a person on the street, I will be punished accordingly. However, if I punch a king or queen, the penalty will be so much more severe because of who I punched. The same it is with an infinite holy God.

      The real question is if you were to stand before a Holy God, would you be innocent or guilty on judgment day? Let’s take a test:

      - Have you ever told a lie? Even a so-called “white lie”?

      - Have you ever taken something that is not yours?

      - Have you ever looked at someone with lust? Jesus said to look on someone with lust is the same as committing adultery with them.

      - Have you ever disobeyed your parents?

      - Have you ever used God’s name as a swear word? God take His name very seriously.

      If God were to judge you based on these five questions, would you be innocent or guilty on judgment day???

      I am guilty of every one of those and they are only five of the Ten Commandments. Jesus is our only hope.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Emily!

      I agree that people read Bible and pull verses out of context to justify what they are saying. That is why there is so many doctrinal errors on things such as hell. It is so important to read the Bible in context and let Scripture interpret Scripture.

      Whether or not we can fathom a God who would send people to hell because of they have not believed in Jesus is not the question. Hell is a hard truth, especially if you read Matthew 25 (Sheep and the goats), but the fact is the Bible teaches that there is a literal hell. We cannot use human reasoning to explain what an infinite Holy God does. He is so much greater and bigger than our minds can even fathom.

      Christianity is not a system. It revolves around a personal relationship with a holy God. God’s holiness does not let him ignore sin. He is patient and wants everyone to come to him, but He will punish people for their sin. That is why Jesus left his throne in heaven and died on a cross for the sins of the world. All we have to do is repent of our sins and trust Christ to save us. John 3 is an excellent chapter to read that explains that we need to trust Christ.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sojourner, My only point to that, is that there so many obvious exceptions, and with out a doubt God has discretion and there will be a judgment --- Which is a decision by the one making judgment.

      That I agree there is hell, some will go there, but man is not imbued with the wisdom to understand. Only God can know what is in the hearts of men, and only God can judge it, even man cannot know what is in his heart. All mankind is like my small child. For us to decide is blasphemy and the Lord's name in vane.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Eric – You can believe that, but that is not what the Bible teaches. Read Matthew 7:13-14.

      “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Sword - God is a God of perfect love. I agree! However, He is also holy, gracious, merciful, forgiving, wrathful, just, righteous, etc. Read the passages above. You can pretend they are not there, cross them out, or rip those pages out, but that does not change the fact that they are there. Verses need to be interpreted in their context and in light of the rest of Scripture. Read Matthew 25, it is a very troubling passage, but also a very clear passage of eternal separation. Revelation 20 is another chapter that is explicitly clear that people will be thrown into the lake of fire at the last judgment. The lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels. The case for hell is indisputable.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ercramer, I do think it is an even split on what the Bible teaches. I have watched and read and listened. 1st let us agree there is hell. 2nd let us agree God, not man decides who goes there. 3rd many will deserve it. 4th many will not. Not our call.

      The very bottom line is that nothing in the Bible elevates our understanding above God. God will judge as God will judge.

      We are called to preach repentance. But no one called us or the Apostles or the Church to teach condemnation.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Let us answer the Hub Question. Belief in universal salvation is not Heresy. It is a valid different opinion of the scripture. One I do not agree with but one with validity when interpreting the scriptures in Love.

      One who would "war" or "condemn" over this belief would be assaulting the nature of Love and Christs ultimate commandments. The belief can be held and the opposite can be held, for God has not given us the power to know.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Eric - I totally agree with you that God is the judge and is the only one who truly knows who will get into heaven and who will goto hell. I also agree that we are to preach the gospel, however, in order for the gospel to make sense, we need to also present the fact that mankind stands condemned. How can someone understand that they must be saved apart from knowing from what they must be saved from, the wrath of a holy God. Look at what was taught during all of the great awakenings that have taken place. I am thinking of Jonathan Edwards and his famous sermon, Sinners in the hands of an angry God. If people do not know they are lost and headed to hell, what incentive is there to turn to Christ?

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Eric - Universal salvation is a heresy. The Bible is clear that Jesus is the only way to heaven. It is also clear that those who do not believe in Jesus, will not go to heaven. Read John chapter 3. Jesus says it multiple times. Read Matthew 25. Jesus will tell those on his left, depart from me, for I never knew you. They will go away to eternal punishment, those on his right to eternal life. Revelation 20 - anyone's name that was not written in the Book of Life will be thrown into the lake of fire. You cannot chose just to look at the love of God and ignore the clear teaching of scripture. Salvation is not a side issue, it is an issue of first importance. If we were talking about the second coming and the different views of it, sure there is plenty of room for disagreement. Not will how we are saved.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Perfect analysis my friend. And your conclusion is proper in your framework. But there are folks chosen by God - Job, my wife, Saul/Paul perhaps me, the children, the meek, the weak, the least of these, the widow and the orphan. Ultimately the Lost.

      Their incentive is the Love. If it is less than this it is a ransom or a "deal stricken" a "bargained for exchange" a quid pro quo. Alas a desire to enter into matrimony with Christ cannot be a shotgun wedding but must be of purity which is only found in attraction and love and not fear which has no place in our redeemed love.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And Jesus is Love! and Love is Jesus, this is Biblical truth. So who shall believe in Love shall be redeemed. The greatest of these is Love. And the Love above all is Love of God and Love of neighbor and enemy. But these two commandments above all others are equal. To truly love is to truly love the Spirit within, and that is the Spirit of the Trinity.

      So that if you love one another you are redeemed!

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      The Bible does not agree with your conclusion. No one is saved apart from the blood of Christ. No one. Our works are like filthy rags. We are saved by grace through faith, not by works, lest anyone should boast. The two commandments that you quote about loving God and loving they neighbor as yourself are not saving works. These were commands to believers, not the lost.

    • profile image

      Emile R 4 years ago

      I'm afraid you didn't get my point. Every Bible believing Christian appears to believe they read the scripture and let scripture interpret itself. And you guys all still argue. I find the argument that 'God is unfathomable and we don't have to understand his ways' an unfortunate attempt to sidestep.

      Why do you think Jesus chose, mostly, the uneducated to teach? Why do you think he taught in the first place? What is to be learned from the example of his life?

      Christianity has been, since the beginning, an exercise in hemming in the gift. Attempting to offset everything that Jesus taught; simply because that is what humanity does when things are unbelievable. We attempt to reason out the how and why, in order to make it personal and palatable.

      Everything that you feel a cosmic love will do for you applies to every other human. There are no parameters. There are no 'yes, buts'. No one can imagine eternity to the extent that any action on this plane of existence would forever doom them. And seeking revenge on a cosmic level for not agreeing with a point of view on this level is petty and cannot exist in a consciousness which would create this level. That type of behavior would prohibit it from following through with the process of creation. It would ensure that the words 'God so loved the world' were a lie before they were ever uttered. A lie that spanned the gap from the beginning to the end of human existence.

      Believe in heaven and hell if you must; but believe in it for yourself. Projecting our needs into the far reaches of the cosmos is an exercise in futility. It doesn't make it so and it only creates disharmony here in this existence.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @ecramer and soj, Universal salvation is only heresy to determined hell believers like yourself. You talk about Judgement and justice like it is God's priority.

      James 2: 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

      But according to you, judgment and justice triumphs over mercy when God casts the dammed into hell.

      Matt 5:44 But 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;

      But you would set God the example as to how He will treat His enemies by throwing them in hell. You set double standards for God. What you are saying is that God says "Do as I say, not as I do". You have set up the perfect role model for mankind to follow (Not). Not only do you follow another gospel than the one Paul brought us, you worship a different image of God than I do, and it is found in Daniel 3.

      1King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,[a] and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3 So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

      4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

      You have been brainwashed by church theology, and to say that my beautiful 4 year old son deserves to go to hell is the greatest blasphemy ever written. You take scripture literally and that is your first mistake (seen any wolves running around in sheep pelts lately?). The words of Christ were to be understood in its spiritual meaning (John 6:63). I agree with Emile R when she said " We can all read the Bible and find justification for whatever we want to believe. And, throw out a number of scriptures to support our beliefs" And you two are guilty, because scripture suffers more from its exponents than it does by its opponents (Leonard Ravenhill), and this quote also applies to two as well.

      No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means. --George Bernard Shaw

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Emile, whether people argue about something does not mean there is not an absolute truth about it. There can be a 'right' position on a subject, and a wrong one. Even Mathematicians may argue about a very difficult equation, but in the end there is a correct answer... even if none of them are perfectly 'on the money'.

      In this case we have the sum before us in the text of the Bible. Though some people may not agree with others that does not mean that there is nothing absolute about it. There are main doctrinal truths that should be agreed upon by The Church as a whole, and there are denominations and sects which may not agree on minor issues, but they are minor. The issue of universal salvation is actually a big issue, because it disregards God's judgment, disregards God's Word, and makes God's sacrifice of Jesus Christ a moot point... why send Jesus to suffer and die (& be resurrected) only to save all of mankind?

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Soj, what do you know about God's judgment? From what I see, very little.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, yes mercy triumphs over judgment and we are to pray for our enemies… mercy triumphs over judgment because God sent Jesus Christ to take our place in judgment; He became the sacrificial Lamb for us and now people can simply accept the free gift of salvation in Him… without that acceptance of this free gift people take back the judgment Christ paid for and put it back upon themselves. They are indicating that they do not accept the gift and are saying Jesus isn’t going to pay for my sins… I will. Thus judgment falls upon them. {Not that I want it to, it just does.}

      We pray for our enemies to become saved and to accept God’s gift. Not only do they become allies afterwards they will be saved though they may have committed terrible acts. All they need to do is accept the free gift of salvation, which I (and obviously God) wants them to do.

      The twisting of scripture comes when taking these verses out of context to fit a God who tosses judgment out the window, along with justice, to be molded into our understanding of what love Should look like… when in reality God’s love far outweighs even what we can imagine.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      You still don’t get it. The free gift was given to us all already when He said on the cross "It is done".

      1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all (Mankind) die, so in Christ all (Mankind) will be made alive.

      You don’t see an "If" after the word alive do you. No, there is a period. Every knee will bow and tongue confess that Christ is Lord, but according to you, after that, they who deserve eternal torture will be cast in hell right after they confessed. Nuts!

      I see only double standards in your belief in hell and also someone who has been brainwashed.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Are you calling the Word of God the brainwashing mechanism? The Bible is quite clear on this subject. In 1 Corinthians 15:23, following verse 22 you indicated, it is talking about "those who are Christ's at His coming". It is not a blanket covering for people who do not receive Him... it is for those who do receive Him.

      It is very clear in Revelation 20:11-15 which describes judgment of God. "And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire" (vs.15). The "book of life" lists all those who have believed and obeyed Jesus Christ. It is very straight forward, and trying to Jesus juke the problem by saying that He could not possibly send people to Hell is actually declaring His sacrifice void. The idea that 'it is finished' is certainly not saying 'everyone come to heaven whether or not you reject Me', it is a declaration that the punishment for sin came upon Christ and anyone can freely accept this great gift.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Ah the traps are set. The word of God is Christ, not scripture. Your type always make the mistake of calling the bible the word of God. The brain washing mechanism is your church or websites you visit.

      The judgment you talk about in rev 20 has already been fulfilled AD70 on Judah as prophesised by Daniel, Malachi, John the Baptists, Paul and Christ Himself.

      22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits (saints and believers in Christ); then, when he comes, those who belong to him (All mankind John 3:35). 24 Then the end will come (The end of that age). You follow a God of wrath, while I follow a God of perfect love. No sir, your image of your god is not perfect love, because perfect love is capable of doing the unthinkable. Giving mercy to all. But I understand why you believe in hell. It is as if it is unfair. You remind me of the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son. He found it unfair as well.

    • profile image

      Emile R 4 years ago

      I'm sorry to continue on and, I promise, this is my last response. You said 'why send Jesus to suffer and die (& be resurrected) only to save all of mankind?' I think that sums up the problem. What would be the point if that wasn't exactly what the appearance was meant to accomplish? To remove the rights of religion to force their spiritual views on the individual? To make the individual understand that they are known and loved regardless of how others, and even they, perceive them?

      This is one reason I am not a Christian. Simply because I do find unconditional love to be unfathomable; but that is exactly what I see as the point of the gospels. Those who display true Christian tendencies (as are fairly agreed to be principles of Christianity universally) display this unconditional love. Yes, it has only been a few that we can point to, but that is why Christianity is dying in the world. Simply because unconditional love is a difficult concept to accept or to emulate. It is easier to believe ourselves loved than to believe that others can be loved. And, when we do this, we lose the entire point.

      The Bible is an interesting progression in both the Old and New Testament. The Old worked its way to the crescendo of Moses bringing down the ten commandments which, had they been followed in spirit, would have created a harmonious society. Unfortunately it was necessary for them to devolve into the Mosaic laws. And eventually devolve into spiritual enslavement. All for the purpose of being accepted by their God.

      The New Testament which Christianity evolved from appears to follow the same progression. Bringing us a religion which attempts to spiritually enslave us, yet again. I'm sorry, but searching the text front and back for justification of beliefs and seeking to be approved by God spiritually enslaves not only the individual searching; but, in their mind, the rest of humanity. This is no different from the religion which existed prior to the appearance of Jesus.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Sword - Read 1 Corinthians 15:22 in its proper context, which is all of chapter 15. Specifically, verses 1 & 2. Paul reminds the people of Corinth of the Gospel that He preached to them. He says by this gospel are you saved IF YOU HOLD FIRMLY to the word that I preached to you, OTHERWISE YOU HAVE BELIEVED IN VAIN. Verses 25-28 talk about Jesus's enemies being put under him, if everyone is saved, who is Jesus's enemy?

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Sword - The book of Revelation is dated around 95 AD, 25 years after Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans so it is not possible that Rev 20 refers to AD 70. Plus, look around, Satan appears to be alive and well. Plus your interpretation does not make any sense contextually. You can't just make up what the text clearly doesn't say. You twist scripture to fit your presuppositions.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Emily - Feel free to comment as much as you want.

      The Old Testament laws were meant to show that it is impossible to live by them. We on our own could never live up to God's standard of perfection. It also tells of a coming messiah who would die for the sins of the world.

      The New Testament is the account of God becoming a man and laying down his life for the sins of the world. Jesus death sets us free from the law. We can go to heaven not because we follow rules, but because of what Jesus did on the cross. The New Testament says that if you have the Son you are free indeed. The difference between the OT and the NT is that we are under Grace now. We are saved on the merit of God's goodness, not our works. We just need to trust Christ as our savior.

      The question in all this is not what we like or Don't like, rather is Christianity true or false?

    • profile image

      Emile R 4 years ago

      You ask if Christianity is true or false. I would say it is like any other take on cosmic truths. It has elements of both truth and falsehood. Each branch within it, and each individual within each branch may have a piece of the truth. But, you said it yourself. The New Testament claims Jesus laid down his life for the sins of the world. That is the good news of the New Testament. That is the beginning and the end of the meaning.

      Maybe it is as simple as acceptance of this frees one's mind. In this lifetime. But, non acceptance does not negate the action. It simply negates the value of the act in your life at this moment. It was said to be a gift to all. When a gift is given it doesn't matter whether you appreciate it, or not. It is still a gift.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Emile, you are right in that the act of the sacrifice of Christ does not have to be accepted to be true (I took it as your meaning). However, one must accept a gift to receive it. It is a simple, yet (in this case) profound, truth. You do not get the gift if you reject it. It is purely that straight forward.

    • profile image

      Emile R 4 years ago

      That makes no sense, to the Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist or agnostic. Or a host of other faiths and many within your own faith. God so loved the world that he ensured the lion's share would fail? Is that love by any standard?

      Love God and your neighbor as yourself and you fulfill the law. Love fulfills the law of the universe. Nothing added to that. It was the reason for the law. How does one resolve hell to love? You can't cop out and say God is mysterious. You are expected to fulfill the law.

      Laws are not gifts and I would think the creator of the law would abide by it.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I do believe that it is clear Universalism is a valid construct and interpretation of scripture. It makes no sense to me, that one can understand and reject. So I go back to the notion that God will not punish stupidity. A universalist that does not accept Christ is a moron. But should my "neighbor" be punished because I was to lazy to bring him to Christ? I think not. (I do not have such a problem)

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Emile, the 'sense' is that God created the world and mankind. Mankind chose his own path, which condemned him. God made a way for man back to Him and to salvation. Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself to save many, though His sacrifice is sufficient for all who accept the free gift of salvation. God will not force anyone to accept the gift and will bring judgment & justice upon those who reject this gracious gift. God went above and beyond when He came as a man and was killed in our place... it wasn't the 'expected' situation... it was an amazing sacrifice for us, yet many people reject Him. We know we cannot fulfill the law perfectly, which is why we need this gift and why Christ chose to die in our place. It may not be easy to accept, that people can choose hell, but it is also difficult for people to understand why Christ died for us and paid the price, our debt, Himself.

      Eric, Universalism is simply not something that can be constructed by any objective reading and research of the Bible. One's neighbor is not condemned because you don't share the gospel with them, but because of their sinful deeds and rejection of God's gift. The gospel being shared is an amazing chance for them to respond properly to the free gift of God... but the lack thereof does not nulify God's perfect love & justice.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Eric - The problem is the Bible does not teach universalism. Jesus said broad is the road to that leads to destruction and many find it. Narrow is the the road that leads to life and few find it. Jesus also said that he is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE, no one comes to the Father accept through him - John 14:6. Revelation 20 says if your name is not written in the book of life, you will be thrown into hell.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Here is my point. While I choose the narrow, I cannot say with certainty that those who do not are condemned. To say you do, is to say you know the will of the Father. To say this you must think yourself equal to Him in passing judgment.

      Woe be to those who place themselves in such lofty position. To declare an act heresy, one must be equal with God.

      And so I say on a matter such as this debate, we cannot judge the other. We can only judge for ourselves. If you were to set out to UNlove those of this belief for themselves I would worry for you.

      With that said, how can a universalist possibly not accept Christ? So the debate is only about others.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      I am not judging anyone. I am just showing everyone that the Bible teaches a literal hell and that the road of salvation is through Jesus alone. Again these are not my words, they are the clear teaching of Scripture.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And so again, the question asked is answered. It is not for us to judge what is heresy.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      No, we can judge heresy in light of what scripture says. I meant that I was not judging individuals. Scripture warns of false teachers and they were called out on it.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      While I hold the same personal relationship as you with Christ, I am not as pious as you. Yes Scripture warns of false teachers. Perhaps God has given you the gift of being certain how to apply scripture. For me I am directed to my heart for guidance.

      Am I then a Heretic if I believe universalism is not Heresy? When does it end?

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Universalism says all goto heaven regardless if someone accepts Christ. Jesus said that he is the only way and those who do not come through him they will be sent to hell. These two statements cannot both be true. One has to be right and the other wrong. My source of truth is the Bible. Since salvation is of first importance, I am going with Christ.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      You're going with your INTERPRETATION of the bible - and every christian denomination interprets it differently. There are almost 40,000 different denominations in christianity alone - and all of them claim that they are correct. What makes you think that your interpretation is any more valid than anyone else's? Did god somehow give you special authority or knowledge to give you better clarity than anyone else? Isn't that arrogant to say?

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Don't take anything that I or anyone else says. Read the verses for yourself. Read the surrounding passages as well. What do they say? They talk about torment and suffering for unbelievers and salvation for believers.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I have read them. A lot of christians have read them, and they disagree with you too. The fact of the matter is simple - you can interpret the bible to mean anything that you want it to mean, and christians have been doing it for thousands of years. If you're claiming that your interpretation is the true one and opponents to it are wrong, then you're claiming to have special knowledge from god. That would make YOU a heretic if you were wrong. Heretics were burned at the stake and condemned for hundreds of years in church history and to throw that word around for nothing more than your favorite scriptural interpretation is not only baseless, it's disgusting. What I don't understand and can never accept is why you accept and worship a belief system that by default condemns the vast majority of the population at large - and you think it's not only justified but commendable and that they deserve what they get. I have a degree in theology from one of the biggest bible colleges in the country, and the majority of my professors don't even claim to have the "correct" interpretation that you seem to be boasting. Do you claim to know more than them? What gives you the authority to make that determination?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ercramer, Christ is Love, therefor we can get to heaven through Love. I think that is found about 40 times in the bible, that Christ and God are Love. How can we say it more clearly? If we Love then we have Love. If we have Love we accept Love. Christ is more and more abundant than the man. He is in part with the Holy Spirit which is also Love. Your notion as to what Christ is is flawed. Accepting Christ is not like wearing a crucifix. It is following His example which is Love. Christ held no wrath. Therefor it is not a part of Him. So to go through Christ into heaven is to accept Love as our supreme law. He came and fulfilled that Law. Do you?

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Wow, ercramer could say it a thousand ways and some still don't follow.

      Eric, we can know the will of the Father because He told it to us... in His Word, the Bible. Your perception of love is also lopsided. Do you believe love is something which leaves someone where they are at, which allows evil to thrive and disregards justice? Christ drove the money changers from the temple with a whip, and indicated that anyone who would hurt a child would basically bring wrath upon themselves... He also spoke of Hell more than Heaven... so, I'm not sure how you can simply logic away Christ's balance of judgment, along with Christ being love.

      JMcFarland, not almost every denomination interprets the Bible differently. There are various interpretations which are used: e.g.: King James, NASB, NIV, etc. And many evangelical Christian denominations may see certain passages from a different perspective, but even the gospels present the life of Jesus in such a way (from different view points). What evangelical denominations do is major on the majors and minor on the minors. When they get off on the majors they are getting away from what is agreed upon by the Christian Church and what is supported by the text of Scripture. Not everyone, nor for every church, which says (or indicates), "I'm a Christian", or, "this is a Christian church" is acurate. The main question should be posed: do you then teach and follow God's Word, the Bible?

      Also, having ten degrees from the most acclaimed colleges in the world does not mean that you, nor your professors, are right... truth doesn't change based upon a degree. And not all professors have it figured out.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I don't have 10 degrees and I never claimed to and your exaggerations are a little silly - and you're treading on the "no true Scottsman" fallacy. The only TRUE christians are the ones that interpret scripture to mean what YOU believe it to mean. Interesting. What I'm saying is the Bible is an ancient document and claiming that you have the "real" or "true" interpretation when even a lot of people who share your faith disagree is a bit disingenuous. How can anyone claim to have the "true" meaning of ancient literature when it is such a hotly debated topic that even biblical scholars and tenured, degreed, credentialed professors don't agree on its meaning?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I am so amazed that the best teachings of Jesus, were in parables. This discussion shows exactly why. Parables are not meant to provide strictness and one point of view interpretations. They are for each to gain discernment and understanding. No ONE interpretation is right. Same for Pauline writings, all to different people so that each can understand in their own way.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      JMcFarland, obviously it was an exaggeration... it was meant to indicate that a person with a degree does not determine truth. They should be able to determine it better, if it is in the area of study they concentrated in, however, it does not mean they will determine it better. It is a rather straight forward principle. The fact that the Bible is an ancient book, yet it has been so well kept in line with manusripts (as seen with evidence in archeology, with the such items as the Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.) shows how reliable it really is in the text. Also, the interpretation is understood by a realm of evangelical Christianity and it is accepted by scholars and lay persons alike who understand how to determine that a text out of a context is a pretext... to use the language, the text, and the context. Whether something is hotly debated doesn't mean something can't be determined about it... that is a little silly to assert or assume. There are also many cults that determine to focus on one part of the Bible... but objective reasoning and proper understanding of text help dissolve the arguments of such cults.

      Eric, let me point out a plain and simple fact. JMcFarland indicated earlier in this hub discussion that an acceptance of God would never be a choice: "The fact of the matter is that your god is nothing more than a bloodthirsty tyrant, and if he forces me to bow to him in the end (not that he exists) then that's by force - and not by will, and I would STILL never worship him." Do you suppose that God would force eternity with Him upon someone who really did not want it? I do hope that JMcFarland has a change of heart, but I do not see the God who gave free will stopping it to ensure that someone who hates Him is with Him forever.

      Sword, if I was brainwashed in church or online, where did you get your brainwashing? It is silly to suppose your presuppositions have nothing to do with your present perspective of a 'no hell' eternity scenario. They shape the very way you read Scripture (God's Word: the Bible). Also, the prodigal son returned to the father... just as people must do with God.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Where on earth did you get the idea that scripture is reliable? It isn't. We've discussed this before, and I demonstrated how it wasn't reliable then. I don't feel like repeating myself AGAIN when you're clearly not going to listen.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      There is more evidence that the Bible is reliable than Shakespeare or Plato ever lived. The Bible has many more times the manuscripts than any other work of antiquity.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      and none of those manuscripts are om the first century, ans all we have from the first few hundred years are scraps. i've addressed this more times than i can count.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Like I asked before JMcFarland, what ancient texts of any known books do we have with manuscripts that are closer to the year written than that of the Bible? None. There are also thousands of manuscripts, some just pieces, sure, but there are also full books and every single dot and tiddle is accounted for... many ancient books we have now do not even have all the words to them from manuscripts, but experts are sure they have the words correct. How much more can we be sure the Bible is accurate, especially after the Dead Sea Scroll discovery? The accuracy of the Bible may be questionable in your own mind, but in reality it is quite reliable.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @Eric, After reading all your comments, I have to say thank you very much. You make an excellent point about the word heresy. Lately, that is all I hear from hell believers. And I agree with you about scripture and reading it in love. That Is also the way I do it. It gives me a clear understanding of my belief that all are saved. Here is something I want to share with you when I see an unbeliever. When I see a hindue, I see God. Because that hindue is loved by Him and family and friends. That hindue also has loved or still does love someone, and knowing that, I can say, I see God.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, then why is there scripture at all? And if you believe that the Bible is of God, then how do you discount the passages about the judgment of God, about hell, and even about obeying God & following Him? Why would any of it matter if everybody is tossed into heaven whether they want to go or not?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wow!!! What kind of horrible thing would that be? If in the end, we are all so loved that we all find our heaven instead of hell. That we would all be transformed by a great commission.

      And then no one would do good works and spread love and the Gospel just so they could get into heaven. They would only have the motivation of love.

      No, your right sojourner just that scenario is enough reason to condemn others.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      See, that's the problem. Other ancient books are not being proclaimed to be the true, infallible word of god. No one thinks the Odyssey is true. It doesn't matter if all the words are correct, and I ibid of no ancient historian apart from Christian apologists that claim to know with certainty what certain fragments used to say. There are more discrepancies in surviving new testament manuscripts than there are words in the new testament. Most of these discrepancies are minor, and everyone admits that. Some of them are not minor at all, and those are the ones that no one seems to like to discuss at all. The discrepancies within the four gospels that we currently have are fascinating.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      God's Judgment from these passages you have quoted has already passed on Judah AD70. Nowhere in the original Greek or Hebrew do you find the word hell. It was added in. You wrote "…and even about obeying God & following Him? Why would any of it matter if everybody is tossed into heaven whether they want to go or not?". That question troubles me. Because it tells me that you either obey and follow God only to avoid going to hell. Or do you believe you have to earn your salvation, because if you do, the gift of it is not a gift if you have to earn it.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      JM, if you had three witnesses to an event and their testimony was all exactly the same. That would be highly suspect. And it would not be nearly as helpful as 3 different points of view(perspectives).

      I like sports, instant replay from four angles. Each tells a different story but taken seriously together tell a truth, as best we can. I agree with you, one who proclaims truth from just one perspective is failing.

      And after all that we figure in the emotions, histories and bent of the testimony and we see in Pauline literature different messages for different folks.

      I tell my son never to got into the street. Soon I will tell him to drive across the state to visit his mother. Do not ride your bike in the street, do not ride your bike on the sidewalk. Both are valid in different circumstances in different ages and for different customs.

      I respect different folks different emphasis on different matters, makes life very interesting and seeking truth a challenge.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Erik, I agree about different perspectives, but not about totally different stories. Two of the gospels portray the birth narrative (but neither were eyewitnesses to it) and they disagree on the year, the location, what happens afterwards, etc. Jesus dies on two different days, and both cannot be correct. The resurrection accounts cannot be reconciled, and we know with certainty that certain passages were added later, and were not part of the original gospels. These are not reconcilable differences by any stretch of the imagination, nor were any of the authors eyewitnesses at all

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, you make assumptions about my walk with the Lord based upon questions that do not follow... these are nonsequitirs from my perspective. I will say though that I do not believe one can earn their way into heaven, however, one can choose not to go there. Also, the Word indicates that people will turn away from evil and be saved from Hell because of fear of it; though people should mature in their relationship with God to be motivated by a that relationship and by guiding others towards Him.

      Also, where did you get the idea that "hell", or the concept thereof, was not in the original Greek or Hebrew? I studied both languages and have studied the Word... I have not come across such findings. Perhaps you have a source?

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Sword - Of course the word hell is not found in the Greek or Hebrew texts because it is an english word. However, the concept of hell is clearly found in it. Weeping and gnashing of teeth, eternal punishment, lake of fire, fiery furnace, torment, etc do no sound like heaven to me. God's judgment on sin is found throughout Scripture, culminating in the book of Revelations where his wrath is poured out.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      JM, differences need not be reconciled --- that is why I went to all the metaphors.

      The differing accounts of Birth and the Passion do not make them wrong. Later add on's do not make them wrong.

      You are applying a petrie dish and controlled scientific level of certainty.

      Let me put it this way -- Lab rats are lab rats, wild rats are different, variables abound in the later and are removed in the former. Man proof has variables beyond our control, like the wild rat. But the truths are no less valid. They simply have more variables.

      Varied accounts are like the varied situations of the wild rat. It makes drawing conclusion more difficult but non less valid, with the variables.

      Let me suggest that if I gave a rat's ass about the absolute specifics of the conduct and actions of man, I would be one of millions of bean counters on wall street. I do not. I want to hear the accounts and form a judgment based on them, not their scientific scrutiny.

      Another way -- You and I are idiots. Even with school we cannot grasp string theory completely. That makes us normal. But we can grasp the enormity of the implications and the alpha and omega new perspective of time. We do not get God either, but we can grasp the integrity and vastness of the theories of Love, Hope, Joy and Grace. The bible ain't going to make us geniuses.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      Good Job. I see you have stirred up the usual batch of liberals. You certainly have more patience with those that choose to believe what they want even though it does not line up with scripture. The majority of them only want to get you to believe what they think, not what scripture says.

      There is a need for truth in this day . keep up the good work.

      I appreciate that you don't cave as some do when they put the pressure on. I just don't waste time after they make it clear what they believe is more important than what scripture actually teaches.

      I do have one question I see you did agree with one that all babies go to heaven. How do you equate this to scripture that says it takes one believing parent to sanctify the family

      1 Cor 7:13-16

      13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

      NKJV

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Celafoe. Address your comment please. What comment or person are you responding to?

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @Soj, Eventually all will accept the gift of salvation.

      @ecramer, you wrote "Of course the word hell is not found in the Greek or Hebrew texts". You may want to tell your friend sojo that. Because for someone who claims they have studied the word hell in both Greek and Hebrew, he claims its there in both languages.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, I said: "Also, where did you get the idea that "hell", or the concept thereof, was not in the original Greek or Hebrew? I studied both languages and have studied the Word... I have not come across such findings. Perhaps you have a source?" And ercramer said:

      "Of course the word hell is not found in the Greek or Hebrew texts because it is an english word. However, the concept of hell is clearly found in it. Weeping and gnashing of teeth, eternal punishment, lake of fire, fiery furnace, torment, etc do no sound like heaven to me. God's judgment on sin is found throughout Scripture, culminating in the book of Revelations where his wrath is poured out."

      It is unreasonable that you would try and take the word itself and make it the focus of the conversation, when the situation is quite clear in the Bible. Of course hell is mentioned time and again as a destination for those who choose not to accept God's gift of salvation. Please though, as I inquired, present your evidence against "hell", the interpretation thereof, and the concept thereof.

      Also, where do you get the idea that everyone will eventually accept the gift of salvation? I would agree that would be awesome, but I just don't see this shown in scripture or with objective reasoning.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      There is no source in scripture because such a place does not exist. These words that the word hell has replaced in english have different meanings, but I am sure you have heard them all before but choose not to eccept those meanings. Eveyone will bow and confess that Christ is Lord. But when I say eccept the gift, I do not mean it as you believe it must be eccepted. Because it has already been given, and when the truth is revealed to all, they will be most grateful for having this beautiful gift.

      Yes UR is awesome, but you only need to ask yourself how does hell glorify God to know that hell does not exist.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      ericdierker

      it was addressed to the hub author so it needed no other name.

      if it was for you I would have let you know.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @celafoe, may I ask you who you refer as liberals?

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      those who put their own beliefs ahead of scripture. you would surely qualify

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Well, I don't concider myself a liberal or a conservitive, and it is self-righteouse of you to accuse anyone of anything. We are in a discussion, so get off your high horse and act childlike instead of childish.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, as has been mentioned previously, there are passages which do not line up with your perspective. Once again, Revelation 20:11-15 (specifically vs.15) details how people will be thrown into 'the lake of fire' if their name is not found in 'the book of life'. There are many commentaries of course, but here is the perspective of one commentary: “The final scene in this dark and fearful passage is in v.15. From the English rendering it might be inferred that John is doubtful whether anyone will be thrown into the lake of fire. The Greek construction, however, is not so indefinite. John uses a first-class condition, which assumes the reality of the first clause and shows the consequences in the second clause. Thus we might paraphrase the verse: “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, and I assume there were such, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” When taken seriously, this final note evaporates all theories of universalism or apocatastasis (cf. Berkouwer’s excellent discussion in Return of Christ, pp.387-423)" (Alan Johnson in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, p.590).

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Celafoe - Thanks for your comments. As for your question, I will have to take some time and research it.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Sword - Revelation 20 is clear that judgment is coming to those whose names are not written in the book of life. There is no other way that this passage can be read and make sense. John 3 is another great example from the mouth of Jesus that we must believe in him and that there will be those who do not believe and that they stand condemned. Unless you skip words, the meaning is clear and easy to understand.

      Hell glorifies God because it exalts his holiness and his righteousness.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      That's the problem right there, if you believe that Revelations was written before AD70, you get my interpretation, but if you believe that it was written after AD70, you get your hell interpretation. So the question is, when was revelations written. I personally believe that the proof is written in the book.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      unfortunately most who call themselves Christian do not understand that hell (sheol-- gahenna) and the lake of fire are two different things. They choose to just accept what they are taught without checking it out for themselves as they are commanded in scripture to do. Most churches teach it wrong and heaven forbid if you should dare to question the great one in charge. But all this is just smoke screen anyway because both hell and the unbelievers, along with satan and his minions are all cast in to the lake of fire. If you are going to teach then you should be looking beyond any translation (esp the newer ones that have a definite axe to grind) and at least looking at the interlinear bible if not going deeper into the original.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Sword - Most scholars date Revelation around 95 AD. The problem with your theory is you do not even make it out of the first chapter before you have a huge problem.

      “’Look, he is coming with the clouds,’ and ‘every eye will see him, even those who pierced him’; and all the peoples of the earth ‘will morn because of him.’ So shall it be! Amen.” Revelation 1:7

      Everyone will see him when he comes back. Second, where is he know if Revelation is fulfilled??? Third, look at the world around us, Satan is still on the loose. Fourth, what happened to the new heaven and the new earth in Revelation 21? Fifth, we still have nighttime.

      “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:5

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Celafoe – I think you mean sheol and hades. Gehenna is translated as hell in the KJV, NASB, NIV, and Geneva Bible for example. Revelation 20:14 is the Greek word “hades” which is thrown in the lake of fire. Whether you want to call it hell or not is only semantics because either description is still fitting and clearly some place that you do not want to go.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sure seems like the question is being skirted. Are you people condemning universalists to Hell? It seems straightforward. SoM is in your judgment going to hell which means forever suffering with no relief.

      And all of that because he has reasonably different understanding of scripture. Well he is welcome in my church. We make no such judgments. We leave that to God.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      What are you talking about? I have said no such thing. If he trusts Christ as his savior, he will be saved. If I remember correctly on a different hub he said that he has. I believe universalist can be saved as long as they trust Christ as savior. I also think that Sword is sincere in his beliefs, however, I think he is sincerely wrong.

      Universalism is no small error, it goes right to the heart of how we are saved.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      this has gone beyond any reasonable discussion. sorry i got involved.

      goodbye

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Let me try to bring this discussion back to the topic at hand. Salvation is by Grace through faith in Christ and Christ alone. That is the clear teaching of Scripture. The issue at hand is whether all will be saved or not. The Bible makes a clear case that most people will go to hell. It may not be a pleasant truth, but it is clearly Biblical. You have to choose to ignore all of the verses that back that it up. Let us try to move beyond the personal attacks and trap questions and focus on the merits of the issue and that is what does the Bible say?

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Eric - Universalem is not a reasonable different understanding of Scripture. It is wrong and clearly not Biblical. This is an issue of first importance because it deals with salvation. salvation cannot have a higher issue than this. What I am saying is that if you do not know Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will spend eternity in hell. Why? Because that is the clear teaching of Scripture. The Bible is clear in that if your name is not in the book of life, you will go to hell. Again not my words but Scripture.

      "All Scripture is God-breathed . . ." 2 Tim 3:16

    • wba108@yahoo.com profile image

      wba108@yahoo.com 4 years ago from upstate, NY

      God is Holy, Holy, Holy- to understand God you have to understand that He's not like us but is absolutely Holy! God very character is the essence of Love, everything God does is motivated by love. In the Ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies the mercy seat was the sole item made with pure gold, signifying God's highest purposes for man was mercy and love.

      So why doesn't God just allow all to go to heaven? I not sure we'll ever completely understand why, an explanation can be found in Romans 9:14-22.

      "Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?...

      Continuing...

      ..."What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory"...

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @ecramer, to say that universalism is not biblical is a little arrogant don't you think, because I can say the same about the hell doctrine. It isn't an argument. I had to leave the church, because of these teachings. Something inside me was dragging me away. My wife was angry at my decision to leave. Ecramer, I asked God that if this the direction He wants me to go, He needed to put it in my wifes's heart too. The very next day, she left the church and we did some bible study and both came to the conclussion that we are all children of our Father and He will save all. It was a very interesting journey for us. Btw way, I don't put much faith in scholars and an answer is found in Rev 1:1-3 when it was written.

      @Eric, I appreciate your kind thoughts sir.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, ercramer is not overstepping bounds to say universalism is not biblical if it is not aligned with what we can see in the Bible. It simply does not line up, and to say such about the 'hell' doctrine also does not line up with scripture.

      Also, just because something does not sit well with you is no reason to up and leave church altogether. The Bible also says in Hebrews 10:24-25: 24 "and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near" (NASB). Just because both you and your wife felt the same way does not mean it was God leading you to go a different path than the church. Even if the church was not preaching the Word would you not think that God would bring you to a new church? Christ is the head of the Church (Eph.5:23), and God has organized us into a body of believers: 1 Corinthians 12:27 "Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it" (NASB). Also, do you think scholars are wrong because they are scholars? Learned people can be wrong if they approach a topic subjectively, but many of these scholars are recognized by the body of the Church as having great input. Why toss their perspectives out the door, especially if they have studied to ensure they have doctrinally sound insight?

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Of course it does not line up with what you see in scripture, because you read scripture the way you want to read it, not as it was meant to be read. The hell doctrine is the most unbiblical, evil and insane doctrine of all time. You would have me believe that an all knowing God who knew the end results of all mankind before time is still a God of mercy? That alone does not add up to God's loving and merciful nature. It makes no sense at all. The image of God you two hold before me has double standards. He does not set a very good example for His creation according to your beliefs. James 2 tells us that Mercy triumphs over judgment, but God's judgment and justice triumphs over His mercy? We are commanded to love our enemies and bless them, but you set God the example as to how He will treat His enemies by casting them in a pit of endless hopelessness and torture? I would rather be an atheist than worship your image of the god you worship. If any of my sons were in such a place, I would rather be with him instead of this image of god you worship, and give my son love and hope that he will never be alone. His holy father may have deserted him, but his biological father will not.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, your understanding of God as mercy seems to trump your understanding that God can be love and can be just. I know it's not my longing for a God of judgment that shapes my perception, it is scripture that does... and it is the understanding that God can still maintain His mercy while using justice and equity to properly judge all things. Also, you would not be able to console someone who has been judged by God, and you would not want to be with that person in such a place away from God. The exact opposite of God is true as well... many biological fathers fail their children, but God (who loves your children more than you could, even more than you could imagine) is the ultimate Father... He is a Father to the fatherless and will be there for the widow and those who are helpless. The focus on God's mercy makes His possible judgment seem wrong, but you need to refocus on Who God is... that He can completely love people, but still be just.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      You are trying to blow smoke up my butt and it doesn't work, because I know perfectly well what image of god you worship and he is far from merciful. You cannot tell me what I want or don't want. If my son is going to hell, then I want nothing to do with your god. It is that simple. He is not a just god, because injustice and cruelty go hand in hand. If your image of god is truly that merciful, why did he create my son knowing full well his pending doom? Such a deity is not holy, such a deity is a selfish sadistic monster worst than most pagan gods. You wrote " that He can completely love people, but still be just." Is an absolute joke and an insult to the God of love. Because according to you, his justice triumphs over his love? His judgment triumphs over his mercy. It is people like you and your belief system is the reason why I left the church, but I must say that I can only feel pity for you.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Wow Sword, this seems very personal... First, not blowing any smoke here, just saying that God is the true author of the Bible. The Bible is God's Word; it indicates in multiple passages (even Jesus Himself indicating) that hell is real and people can end up there. Also, the Lord (the God of the Bible) isn't just "my God", He is 'the God'... and we cannot put Him in a box built by our preconceived ideas. It seems your perception would tie God's hands with a 'love' knot and not enable Him to fulfill His Word. You don't get the 'mercy triumphs over judgment' situation... God has given us the perfect sacrifice and gift of His Son, who took our place, and all we need to do is accept this amazing gift. God is truly merciful, because He first loved us and sent His son as a sacrifice for us... the penalty has been paid. But to reject this gift is esentially to spit in God's face and tell Him, "I don't care that Jesus died for me... He won't be my savior!" The truth does not change because it is difficult to accept. Instead of coming up with reasons why God could not possibly allow something, perhaps it would be better to read about what He has done for us through His son and understand that all people need Him desperately. I serve a God of love, I do. But His love must be accepted while there is time. He will say to some, "depart from Me, I never knew you", so why would we want t omislead people by telling them everyone will get to spend eternity with Him, whether you choose to accept His love, and gift, or not?

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks wba108! Amen to that!

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Sword – Truth is narrow. We cannot both be right. I am standing on what the Bible says and not what I want it or do not want it to say. Hell is not some obscure, hard to understand doctrine. It is all over the New Testament. John chapter 3 is crystal clear that some people will believe and others will not.

      Jesus said:

      “Whoever BELIEVES in me will have eternal life.” John 3:16

      “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but WHOEVER DOES NOT BELIEVE STANDS CONDEMNED ALREADY because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18

      “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people LOVE DARKNESS instead of light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19

      “Everyone who DOES EVIL hates the light, and WILL NOT COME into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” John 3:20

      “Whoever BELIEVES in the Son has eternal life, but whoever REJECTS the Son will not see life, for GOD’S WRATH REMAINS ON HIM.” John 3:36

      These verses are plainly written and not in some secret code. Which line should I read in between??? The problem with the way that you interpret Scripture is that two people can look at the same text and come up with different “spiritual” meanings. Who then is right? Do I just believe what you say? Or better yet, do I believe what my heart is telling me?

      “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 KJV

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Sword Wrote: “An Answer is found in Revelation 1:1-3.”

      You are basing the dating of Revelation on that? It just says that the time is near, does not say how near. Don’t forget that the Bible also says that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, so near does not have to be as near as you think. Plus, all of the prophecies that the Book of Revelation have yet to be fulfilled. You cannot take your ideas and jam them into Scripture and then go ah-ha! We do not live in the New Jerusalem, every tear has yet to be wiped away, evil is still very present, etc. Revelation 22 says that the curse will be gone, look around it is all over. War, famine, disease, violence, theft, and so on occur on a daily basis.

      You wrote “Btw way, I don't put much faith in scholars” in the context of when Revelations was written. Now that is an arrogant claim. You know better than all of the scholars who make it their life work to look into these things. I am supposed to trust you to tell me when it was written? You claim that your source of truth is found “between” the lines, which leads to chaos because 100 people could look at the same text and come up with different meanings. My source of truth is the infallible Word of God, the Bible read in context. Not special context with a decoder ring, simply in the context of the passage.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ecramer -- your first rule: We cannot both be right. So are you saying that Jesus as God turns away the Samaratin, the leper, the possessed. Because they are wrong and His way is right. And all the stupid little children and whores, the deaf and the mute, the outcasts and the prisoners because they are wrong? Paul made many errors, Peter maybe more. I read nothing in Pauline literature that he confessed this. I find when Paul speaks of his spiritual infirmity he does no boldly confess and repent --- but claims the thorn is there for purpose -- God's purpose.

      In your mind does SoM have a thorn, that you say is so wrong as to be heresy. And when Peter, before his dream, denied Gentiles their place in heaven I heard no confession and only a changing of ways which is not repentance without confession.

      And did Peter repent of the 3 crowings or Thomas for his doubt? I think not. I think differing views are and were acceptable to my Lord as we are not perfect and therefor neither are your translations. If you claim your understanding perfect and mine wrong. Then you are better than our Saints Peter and Paul. If you claim you cannot be in error you place yourself even above Gabriel and Moses.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      cramer i will not address anything else here but want to let you know that those two liberals are wrong as usual and you are correct thanks for standing your ground and being more kind than i can be to them

      but you are wasting your time

      yes dierker this time its about you and sword

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Eric – Do you actually read anything that I write??? The Bible is clear, if you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will not be saved. Why?

      “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but WHOEVER DOES NOT BELIEVE STANDS CONDEMNED ALREADY because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18

      This is Jesus talking, not me. You want me to say person x is going to hell. That is not my call. I stand on God’s Word and am proclaiming what it clearly says. John chapter 3 is clear that there must be belief.

      You want Paul:

      “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

      “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with the heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10

      “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” Ephesians 5:5-6

      “He [God] will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

      How about some Peter:

      “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men. . . The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3:7, 9-10

      How about Jude:

      “Though you already know this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe . . . In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” Jude 1:5,7

      How about John:

      If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14-15

      What is funny is that you and SOM love to sit here and try to use trapping questions like your last post, but I do not recall seeing any Scripture to back up your positions. How do you determine what is true? Your heart? Feelings? The truth that I stand on is the unchanging Word of God, the Bible. I have listed verses and talked about the context in which they appear. You act like the doctrine of hell is some mysterious doctrine that cannot be found in Scripture. Read all of the verses in this hub in their context.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks Celafoe! I realize that the odds of getting them to change their minds, I would love to be able to, but that is not my goal. Just trying to stand on God's Word since this is such a serious issue.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You are right. You live under the Law that you define, while I live under His Law which is Love.

      If you live by the scripture/law so shall you die by it. We live by love and shall die by it.

      And as you know I am not a universalist. I believe fully through Christ. I just was not appointed the Judge.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Once again, you seem to think that I keep saying specific people are going to hell. I am not. The Bible is clear that you must trust Christ as your Savior and if not you are condemned. All of the verses I just quoted are not my words, they appear in the Bible. The “law” and the Bible are two different things. The “law” was given in the Old Testament to Israel. The Bible is the entire, inspired Word of God. You say that you live under His law of love, but that is only part of God. First and foremost, He is Holy. If you do not like the doctrine of hell, take it up with God, it is in His book.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Eric - What does John 3:18 mean?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      The Grand inquisator: "if not you are condemned." Burn the Hereitic at the stake and go after those who believe differently.

      (hey that is just a little drama for fun -- but point made) Absolutism in scripture leads to hate and crusades. This is weird but worth mention. NIV on line read by billions says thusly; ""Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's."" All BibleGateway interpretations carry the lower case. Beautiful as King James on- line versions also drop the capital in "h"im. That of course means something totally different that I think you read as truth, but fail to recognize as meaningful.

      Him -- I believe to be love because He has told me so. "him" only can mean earthly matters which are love when speaking of him.

      So much can turn on a single capitalized or not letter. That we are left to only interpret in Love.

      (you can nitpick on what I say but the concept is sound) Within this early part of a decade meanings have be changed yet some claim to know absolute truth. --- Cool but I have not met that saint yet.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Eric - Who said a anything about burning heretics? I need to get your 's and SON's recorder ring because the meaning is straightforward. Stop inserting your presuppositions.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ecramer if you could just step back and compare yourself to a 1st century pharisee or sophist. If you believe in heresy, you must rid the world of them or you are a --.... what? Inquisitions are made of such stuff. Look up your scripture what are you to do with Heretics? Are you not to persecute them? Does your scripture say to love them or raise up against them and defeat them? If you do not kill the heretic are you not a hypocrit? Or do you allow blasphemy and heresy and do nothing? At least the pharisees were honest.

      The Pharisees had to crucify Christ to keep their laws intact. They did not kill Him in love they killed Him in fear through their interpretations of scripture. How could He be the Messiah, He was not a King and rode into town on a donkey --- not in accordance with their interpretations of scripture.

      I make a misinterpretation and I forgive, wrongfully --- is that possible.

      You make a misinterpretation and condemn,, wrongfully -- that would be Hell.

      Obviously you have decided that me and my family and SoM are condemned to Hell because we do not interpret as you. I think logically you are required by your belief to come kill us as Saul did those of the Way. If you do not you blow a wind that only partially fills your sails and your charted course is broken. Do you feel that strong? Or are you empty words. Do you honor and obey completely or only so far as your comfort zone in loose speech.

      Look up Heresy the notion requires you to act. And act now to prevent the poisoning of your brethren.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So this guy helped us to understand:

      23 So Abraham drew near and said, 'Would You also destroy the righteous

      with the ungodly?

      24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also

      destroy the place and not spare

      it for the fifty righteous in it?

      25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous

      with the wicked, that the

      righteous should be as the wicked; far be from You! Shall not the Judge

      of all the earth do right?"

      26 Then the Lord said, 'If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the

      city, then I will spare all the

      place for their sakes.'

      27 So Abraham answered and said, "Indeed now, I who am but dust and

      ashes have taken it upon

      myself to speak to the Lord:

      28 But suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You

      destroy all of the city for lack

      of five?' He replied, 'If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.'

      29 Again he spoke to Him and said, 'But suppose there should be forty

      found there?' So He said,////'I would not destroy it for the sake of forty

      /////

      The point being do not think for a second you are with and even with God as to who and who does not make it to heaven.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @celafoe, your prejudice comment is very much noted and it says a lot about you and how you represent Christianity and your church unfortunately. Am I a liberal? Hmm, I voted for the conservatives last time I check, but I would rather be a free living liberal believer in Christ than a right wing pharisaical conservative christian.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Eric - I must have been tired when I replied last night because the meaning of he is simple in that verse. He refers to you and me and everyone else. It does not refer to Jesus or God in any way, shape or , or form

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So I was reading away and noted the last two Popes were declared Heretical by many by basically agreeing to St. Augustines view on this matter. The Catechism kind of leans this way also.

      So now I must understand more about Heresy --- maybe it is not all that bad and I should lighten up when it is used.

      Perhaps I am a heretic, like the Popes.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Eric, the conversation is growing intense. From my perspective it seems you have misunderstood ercramer and the intentions of the hub. Ercramer is not out to burn anyone at the stake, nor am I, but to indicate that God's Word says 'thus and so' and we can know that the Bible is true. To say otherwise is saying we can determine what we want the Bible to mean, even when it states something plainly.

      Sword, I think celafoe is frustrated at the situation because it seems you will not yield even to the possibility that scholars or even the scripture itself can be trusted, nor followed fully. Do you believe that God, in His power and wisdom, could keep His Word as an infallible inspiration... not changing in meaning? I think so, and I believe we have evidence to back up such a claim. If this is true then we can know that proper translations today really can be relied upon and read as 'God's Word'.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Heresy is a Catholic Notion. There is nothing regarding how God views a heretic. It is really all about dividing "the Church". Punishment for heresy is basically two warnings, then kicked out, shunned and avoided by members of the "Church".

      The verb concept references a person with an opinion that is his own and different from the church. At the extreme is any opinion a man has.

      I think I will go read my hub on Unity versus Uniformity again ;-)

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      A heresy is a false teaching outside the pale of accepted church teachings. I do not throw the world around loosely. Universalism is a serious false teaching because it gives people false assurance of salvation if they do not repent of their sins and put their faith in Christ and Christ alone for salvation. The Bible is clear that if your name is not written in the book of life you will be thrown into the lake of fire.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      The bible is clear that God will bring all His children home. The church has done nothing but create heresy. Look at all the thousands of denominations and their different beliefs. The belief of hell is evil to the core.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Yes God will bring his children home, those who have accepted Christ. Those who do not accept him will be sent away (Matt 25).

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Thank you!!! You have just declared our divine Father the most hateful Father in the history of time. Not a human that has ever lived to be a biological father would ever send their child to this place you believe in. Your image of your god has double standards.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Eric, unity is a wonderful thing. However, it is second to obedience to God and to His Word. Uniformity is not necessarily a negative, unless it is aligning oneself with the world, but being uniform as a Church body is a good thing... wouldn't you agree? The Church, as a whole, should use the God given info and tools that we have, such as the Bible.

      Sword, the Church is the bride of Christ, and one should be careful not to malign it or spend words trying to condemn it. There are many denominations, but this does not mean that only one is right and the other ones wrong... many denominations see each other as close in doctrine, just with a different set of people running it in accountability. The denominations which teach God's Word as truth and line themselves up with the teachings of the Word and the leading of God's Spirit are good for people to be a part of, not apart from. Also, God's place is more than the Father, He is also our Creator and Judge. We owe him our allegiance, but many put 'self' first and keep it that way. For those who choose 'self' in the end God gives them what they choose... an eternity away from Him. It's not double standards, it's God's standards, which are always just.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @soj, the church like israel was is following the road of corruption with all its false teachings. This hub is evidence to that. Btw, hell is not just to God, it is just for hell believing christians, and yes, your image of your god has double standards. That you will never convince me otherwise. Even the unbeliever sees it.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, I would agree that the church does have some areas where corruption and false teachings have been creeping in, though not all of the church... usually segments of the Church that have cut themselves off from the rest of the body. I will say that the corruption of our culture needs to be addressed by the Church more/better as it has infected it on some levels.

      I do not agree that the doctrine of hell, or eternity separated from God, is false (as you probably have gathered), because it is so very straight forward in God's Word. Again, do you think God could keep His Word infallible or not?

      There are no double standards with what the Bible teaches, nor with what I, nor Ercramer have been saying about hell, or choosing eternal life or eternal death. Nor are there double standards about God being loving and just.

      Also, though you may not be convinced about what I am saying perhaps more study will help... but I think it may be more of a heart issue than a brain issue... you are struggling with this concept of hell as if you were the one who had to send people there, it is personal to you. It is a terrible reality and a terrible destination that some will go to, but God is a merciful judge and does give opportunity to people to accept Him and His Son, Jesus.

      And finally, it will not matter what the unbeliever sees, according to your own theology, because the unbeliever is just as 'saved' as any other people... so, why would you worry about them? In my view I think it a tragedy that all do not agree on this important truth because people will not necessarily see their need to accept Christ as Lord & Savior if they are going to be fine and dandy in the end anyway. They are missing out on a relationship with Him now, and will miss out in eternity.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      It is from my experience that most ex-atheists have now embraced the truth of Universal reconciliation with God. It is very much my concern that the atheists come back to their Father. Because they lose out in the blessings of truth and relationship with their Father, but it is the hell belief that repeals them. It tells them that the image of the god you worship is just a mean hypocrite of a god. Yes, your image of god has double standards and you are in denial. Christ is the standard we are to follow, and in Heb 1, it tells us that Christ is the exact representation of our Father. Christ commands us to love and bless our enemies, yet you would have me believe that God will do the exact opposite to His? Another double standard is in James2:13. Judgment without mercy? This is the exact image of the god you worship, yet James tells us that Mercy triumphs over judgment. This the image of the God I worship. There are very few churches that may even come close to the glory the early ecclesia was and had, yet I highly doubt the church you attend even qualifies as such according to your belief.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      SoM, I think that you have to look at the question again. Universal Reconciliation is heresy to most "churches". The author is right.

      It is a strange state of affairs. If you believe in UR, then you must believe in Jesus. It is that simple.

      So the argument is for "other people". When I think of that, I can only see a powerful spiritual Love that clearly is loving others as you do yourself. That to me is the Word above quoting scripture. The pharisees could do that but they could not love.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Good point Eric.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      So, Eric & Sword, if I believe in hell then I cannot love? Or, if God allows people to choose poorly and they end up in hell because they denied Christ He doesn't love? No, neither one make sense. The Word is Scripture, it is 'God breathed' and is very clear on this matter.

      Again, Jesus spoke of hell, He indicated that there will be people going there and yet... He is love. Also, if you pick and choose certain verses to use from the Bible, outside of context, you can 'proof text' your way into (or out of) any situation... whether it is true or not. Use the whole text of the Word and put it all in context. The situation is that one must ignore Scripture to come to the idea of Universalism, one must ignore the fact that God could (and did) keep His Word infallible, and one must try to 'trump' God's justice with His love instead of understanding He can be both loving and just.

      Also, Christ Himself used scripture to help people understand God, so believing someone is a pharisee because they use scripture does not line up.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sojourner,

      The problem is that your interpretation is not "God Breathed". Or are you claiming that power?

      Lumping me with SoM makes clear you do not understand me. I am not a Universalist. I also do not think that strict interpretation and literalism is a good method by which to interpret the Bible or the Constitution.

      If one interpretation makes the meaning of scripture Loving and the other filled with hate. Having a degree in Linguistic Philosophy I must accept the one that reflects love because that is the context in which it was meant to be learned.

      Christ taught in metaphors for this exact reason. But for some like atheists they just do not get that type of abstract knowledge and wisdom. If you choose you can call that sinful nature, I prefer to think of it as a birth defect, as they undoubtedly think that of me.

      That person who is incapable of feeling love through both nurture and nature is not denying God he is just incapable of understanding. Why God made people like that is clear to me. He gave differing gifts to different people, so we would rely on each other for understanding. How lacking of the need for love would a world be without differences.

      Why did God make black and white and day and night but also gray and also twilight and dawn?

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Eric, the problem seems, first: it is not my interpretation, but scripture itself is 'God-breathed'. "16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

      2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV). Also, there is not either an interpretation of love or hate, if you refer to the scripture, it is just the plain textual interpretation of what is said by the Word of God. We use the words and their meaning, the text, and the Holy Spirit to understand what is being said. So, your determination to use a 'love covered' interpretation is not justified because God is love, but needs to take into consideration that God is more than love... He is all that and then some (all that and a bag of chips). He is love and just; He judges with mercy and complete justice at the same time. Christ also taught about the reality of hell and judgment to come.

      It seems that though you do not claim to be a Universalist it does not seem you are indicating that it is an incorrect stance to take. I also wonder if your belief is that the Bible is unclear on this subject, or whether anything in it can truly be known, since it is very clear on this matter (as I have indicated time & again). And though God made black, white, gray, twilight, dawn, purple, pink, and so forth does not mean that Scripture cannot be known and interpreted properly... that would mean that God is either misleading, doesn't want people to read His Word and follow the principles thereof, or just doesnt' give a rip about us. No, I believe, with good reason, that we can have an idea what He is saying and that we can know His intentions for us... as well as know that we need to respond to His gospel, the 'good news' of Chrits's sacrifice. This is of vital importance, this issue, because if people think that Universalism is true then they don't think that they need to become a follower of Christ and give their life over to Him.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Eric, I know you are not a UR, but I appreciate the open mind you have about us and scripture.

    • SiberianWolf profile image

      Eric T. Shortridge 4 years ago from MidWest

      to quote Paul.. and say that his words are the 'word of God' is crazy! that would mean that Paul is God... didn't Jesus say there is Only ONE Teacher? so why has 'christanity' forgotten that important message ?

      Paul was NEVER an apostle... it was Matthias that replaced Judas.. not Saul of Tarsus... Saul the one that brought about the persecution of the saints, just as Jesus said would happen...

      Acts 8 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

      Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

      8 And Saul was [not only] consenting to [Stephen’s] death [he was [a]pleased and [b]entirely approving]. On that day a great and severe persecution broke out against the church which was in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles (special messengers).

      Revelation 2 2 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

      I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

      What other 'apostle' went to Ephesus? who is this false apostle? Didn't Paul write Ephesians...

      Revelation 21:14

      And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb

      Paul would make 13, if he were truly an apostle... having some kind of vision in the desert... doesn't make him an apostle... and yet Christianity loves Paul... You cannot follow both... you cannot follow Jesus and Paul.. you cannot serve 2 masters... compare the writings of Paul to that of Jesus... they don't even come close... they contradict one another... My sheep know MY voice and another they will not follow

      and doesn't the bible say that the word of God is a name of Jesus? so to give the name of Jesus to a book... doesn't make any sense

      and lest we forget... those that 'wrote' the bible were those that slaughtered Gods servants and finally His only Son. That is equivalant to somebody writing your autobiography... but that same person also killed your brothers and sisters, then finally you... could you really believe everything that person wrote about you?

      Matthew 21

      There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

      And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

      Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

      Jesus, the same yesterday, today and forever... and also, God does not change... so you cannot have a God that commands adulterers to be stoned... then have that same God forgive them... as Jesus did.

      so be it

      Peace

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      My friend, do you not see that all Universalist are saved? They are but they pine and ask for the others who are weak. If one is a Universalist they are saved for they believe in Christ. I think you do not grasp that. SoM is reborn and saved. He argues and intercedes for others. He is Christ Like as you should be.

      ercramer is not judging, he is setting forth word to be understood. His understanding is good for him, but he loves SoM and leaves judgment to God.

      Are you confident that you should judge others?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sojourner,

      Rest my friend for your mantle is not of love but a burden. You will find peace when you let go of judgment.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      SiberianWolf, though I like your name I must disagree with you. The situation is that the entire Bible is inspired by God. Saul became Paul; he did terrible things, but became a man of God. He wrote much of the New Testament and these letters are Bible books which are recognized as part of the cannon of the Bible. He did not have to be one of the twelve to be added as an apostle, Jesus Himself initiated that situation. The issue overall is if you cannot trust part of the Bible as reliable, then how can you use any of it? If it is not infallible then why quote from it to contradict other parts of it?

      Eric, I think you misunderstand. First, just because someone says they are 'saved' (or someone else indicates someone is saved, as you have done) doesn't make it so... so by definition someone may be a Universalist and not be 'saved' whether you think they are or not. So, you indicating 'all Universalists are saved' as a sweeping statement is not truly accurate (by the knowledge that you or I have, b/c we're not God). To add to that, however, I am not judging on the level you seem to think I am; I'm not addressing the salvation of Sword or other Universalists as a whole (just that you cannot toss around the salvation card when it suites you, that is also 'judging'). {Also, judging my 'love' for others by my support of the truth should reveal to you that I do love... is part of love not to point out truth?}

      I have simply reiterrated ercramer's position that hell is real, then argued additional points to support the premise. The situation is that truth needs to be understood and that it can be determined through God's Word, the Bible. Again, do you think God could keep His Word infallible? Do you believe the Bible is true?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Do not claim to speak the wise ercramer's mind. You just showed that you think you are all knowing. I call you out oh sophist. You do truly think that what you say is Holy inspired and what I think is the less of inspired.

      Sojourner, you have lost your way through ego. You no longer speak of the triumph of God but to your own triumph.

      Do not worry, ercramer, SoM and I still love you.

      What Church do you speak for, for I feel you have no one guiding you or even to consult with? Only your own mind and such is heresy.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I just want a literalists' point of view on this:

      Psalm 102:8. Compassionate and merciful is the Lord, long-suffering and plenteous in mercy; not unto the

      end will He be angered, neither unto eternity will He be wroth.

      9. Not according to our iniquities hath He dealt with us, neither

      according to our sins hath He rewarded us.

      Now it would not be fair to interpret this using context. I posit it here to show that quotations taken out of context are iffy.

      Yes this is followed by some caveats such as fear, but you literalists' do not get to use that for interpretation --- Right sojourner?

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      I think the 4 Gospels about Christ tells us just how loving and compassionte our God is.

      I think how Christ judged the adulterous is a shining example of God's mercy.

      And the book of Hosea is symbolic for the pain and long suffering God felt when His people abondanded Him.

    • SiberianWolf profile image

      Eric T. Shortridge 4 years ago from MidWest

      Concerning Saul... he fulfilled the prophecy which Jesus spoke of... Jesus told those around Him... at THAT time.. that THEY would suffer a great persecution... and as soon as Jesus died... Saul arrives on the scene, a murderer from the beginning... who then changes his name to Hide who he really is... so lets examine this famous 'conversion' again

      Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth… And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

      So in this famous story The men stood speechless… hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

      Compare to Acts 22:6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me… And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

      So which is it? First everyone heard the voice… then suddenly nobody hears the voice?

      How can that be? How can everyone hear the voice... and then the next time the story is told... Nobody hears the voice!

      The only reason you believe what you do about the bible, is because that is what you have been told to believe… and as long as you hold so tightly to that doctrine… you won’t be able to see the truth – you cannot follow two masters – and there is only One we are to follow - I was just like you once... until I asked God to open my eyes to the truth - It's hard to let go - but the truth shall set you free - Peace

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Eric, first, I was not speaking ercramer's mind, I was indicating what he indicated in this hub: that hell is real. Your claims about me are really presumptuous as well. I have said that the scripture is truth and is what should be used to shape our doctrine. Also, you spoke for SoM (Sword), did you receive permission to do such? I imagine so, since you were quite upset with me for doing a 'name drop'. I do attend a church, and it is part of a denomination... but I have been referring to the Church as a whole, which should be in agreement about the reality of hell.

      I'm fine with the Bible, and what it says about God's mercy and grace, without such we would all be lost and doomed. What's not ok is to take such verses and use them to try and discount passages about hell and judgment. I don't want people to go to hell, it is simply a reality... the goal is to try and keep hell as empty as possible and fill heaven by evangelism & discipleship.

      Siberian, It is assumptive to think I only believe what I do because I've been told. I have studied and have come to different conclusions than you. The situation is that there is 'nothing new under the sun', as it were, and anyone who believes about anything could believe it because others have also believed a certain way. I wonder, would you have thought the same about the apostles if you were alive at the same time as they? Does having doctrine and using the Bible bother you?

      Still, noone has addressed my question: could God have kept His Word infallible?

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      According to your belief, I must answer with no!

    • SiberianWolf profile image

      Eric T. Shortridge 4 years ago from MidWest

      the bible is not the Word... you're taking a title given to Jesus in the book of John and giving it to a book... mostly written by those that murdered the prophets then finally God's son...

      the reason the jews didn't know who Jesus was, is because they didn't know His father... and yet they had the old testament didn't they? If Jesus came with anger, jealousy and rage like the god of the jews... then they would have accepted him.. but because he came with love, forgiveness and mercy... they didn't know him... the only god they knew was that of the OT... therefore the father of Jesus and the god of the O.T must not be the same...

      do you believe Jesus, the same yesterday today and forever? Do you beleive that God does not change?

      You won't find Jesus in the book of Numbers... you won't find Jesus in the book of Leviticus...

      and yet christianity has all kinds of doctrines and beliefs into convincing people that God does change...

      Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

      John 8:18-20

      Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

      would Jesus command someone to be stoned for picking up sticks on the sabbath? or for committing adultery? No... so there is your starting point.

      Peace

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      The Bible declares itself to be God’s Word. Read 2 Timothy 3:16:

      “All Scripture is God-breathed. . . “ The Bible was written by men and women under the direct inspiration of God.

      God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Remember John 1, “the Word was God and the Word was with God in the beginning.” Jesus shows up in the OId Testament as “the Angel of the Lord.”

      The John 8:18-20 passage that you reference is a claim by Jesus to be God, not to be a new form of God. God is a triune God, made up of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all of which existed from eternity past and will exist forever.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Eric Wrote: “SoM, I think that you have to look at the question again. Universal Reconciliation is heresy to most "churches". The author is right.

      It is a strange state of affairs. If you believe in UR, then you must believe in Jesus. It is that simple.”

      Oprah is a universalist, she does not believe that Jesus is the only way. There are many people that believe that all roads lead to God. The problem with all of this is Jesus w said that He was the only way. Not one of the ways.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Sword-Eric - Is The Bible True? All of it? Part of it? If part of it, which parts and how do we know?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ercramer and SiberianWolf, those two positions are excellently laid out.

      I do not tend from one side or the other, I am firmly planted in ercramers' position. But I am so steeped and blessed with God's gift of empathy I totally get the Wolf.

      But what is just miraculous is the respect and knowledge that we could all attend a wedding banquet and be amazed at the good wine coming last.

      ercramer, I thank you for one of the best hubs I have ever read.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ercramer, It is all true, every mark. Gods only instruction in reading it is love. Was there a prodigal son? Who gives a darn. Christ taught with the parable, that is 100% true.

      Is there a Lake of fire. Who gives a darn. There is evil where all of us can dwell if we choose.

      Blind men healed and burning bushes. Only a small mind cannot understand. A sea parted and judas physically killing himself --- who cares? The stories are true in sense that they truly teach of what is good and what is bad.

      If I have an evil eye --- it is quite true that I shall pluck it out. And equally true that I shall forgive it and keep it welcome in the body.

      The absolute beauty of Swords understanding of the intent of the most sacred texts and scripture is that it is not for him. His commitment and passion make me see truth in reading the bible and understanding it in Love. Yep even the punishments.

    • acts2and38 profile image

      acts2and38 4 years ago from Texas

      This is a very good study. A thought to ponder if you will. There are three things in common. The man without a wedding garment, those who said Lord, Lord (Jesus is Lord of all things - Acts 10:36) and the five foolish virgins. What were they all lacking? I will now explain them out, with the word of God. The robe of righteousness, which comes from the Lord upon the day of salvation, is where their name is written into the Lamb's book of Life. And the wedding garment is where we (the bride) take the groom's name (Jesus). Next, the ones who cried Lord, Lord did miracles, casting out of demons and healings in Jesus' wonderful name, but they did not accept it where it counted the most, in their baptism (Colossians 3:17). Lastly, the five foolish virgins who all lived clean lives, but not all were filled with the spirit of God from within; as Jesus said His spirit was like a river running from belly. So the wise had the Holy Spirit in and on them, whereas the foolish only had it on them from without. Desire to be the wise and not those who built their walk with God on man made, sandy foundations and vain traditions. (Colossians 2:8-12) Peace.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Siberian, what then do you follow if not the Bible? By what standard do you measure this life?

      ercramer, I appreciate your continued effort to reveal truth. Thanks again for the hub and your perspectives shown throughout your comments.

      Eric, I must say I appreciate unity, I really do... but not at the cost of truth. If you do not believe Universalism then how can you defend it? I am sorry, it just does not make sense. Does not true love bring correction at some point?

      acts, I would certainly say these were all lacking a relationship with Jesus, and reap the consequences.

    • SiberianWolf profile image

      Eric T. Shortridge 4 years ago from MidWest

      Jesus said "My sheep know my voice"

      Isn't that all the guidance we need? there was no bible during the dark ages, and yet christians were still willing to die for their faith... Peace

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Someone who believes in hel asked if the bible is true? The answer is yes, just not some of your interpretations of it.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Siberian, we have an amazing tool which God has given us. Why would we choose not to use and follow it? The Bible is God's Word, and we can know His voice by reading it. If something does not line up with the Bible then how can we know it is right?

      Sword, one would have to pick and choose what to use from the Bible... this is beyond just interpretation, it is text-proofing and picking what sounds good.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sojourner1234, If we interpret the bible to our understanding then we are not interpreting it to God's understanding, for we just cannot do that.

      So out of 100+ Christian sects, which is God's? Well that is just simply not for me to understand. All I have to help me understand is the greatest commandment Love.

      So if one interpretation is consistent with Love and the other with something else. I must follow that commandment in my judgment and understanding. To do less would be to break that covenant of Love.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      I dont pick and choose anything from scripture, and I agree with Eric. I approach scripture with a love for God above all, and my love for all mankind. Doing this has lead me to believe that hell was not created by God, but man alone. The funny thing about your belief ih hell is that in almost all the pagan religions before Christianity, they had the belief in a underworld for the dead. Paganism is ripe in the church today.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Eric, what you suggest may at first make sense. But if we could not 'understand' anything about the Bible or God's Word why would He give it? He would have simply said, "'Love' is My one command, and by the way everyone will be saved". We can know which sects are 'God's' by knowing whether they follow His Word, and sure, whether they love... but the concept of love goes deeper than forgiving whatever anyone does to you, it corrects and points people in the right direction so they can experience God's love and ultimately His great grace and mercy for eternity.

      Sword, there are still the undeniable presence of scripture which simply does not add up to your perspective. It is not just 'my belief' as you claim, that it may be possible to spend eternity apart from God in a terrible place... it is in scripture itself.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Like I said before, Scripture is true, just not your interpretation of it. Btw, I have noticed your hateful stalking methods to my questions.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, first: like I said, it is not just my interpretation. There are many scholars and denominations which understand scripture the same way. Also, the concept is throughout scripture, so which texts do you ignore? I understand the idea of looking at something with a certain 'lens' (of love like you indicated), but there is a balance with using the lens. God is love, but again, He is just. He indicates in His Word He will judge... I am not condemning nor putting judgment upon people, it is simply written in the Bible itself.

      As to the 'hateful stalking methods', I do not know what you are referring to. I definately do not hate you nor anyone I have encoutered on 'hubpages'. My intention is not to seem hateful, nor 'stalking' in my methods of responses. I do try and reply to comments, especially if a comment is directed toward me. Please do not take my responses as any type of a hateful method... seriously not my intent at all.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sojourner, You are not interpreting such scripture in love but in condemnation of others. That is cool. But it don't jive with the Love Christ gave us. Too bad man. But alright for you. And Universilism is not heresy of the bible, only heresy to your sect. Not to mine.

      So does that mean that to you and cam only your sect is right?

      I just cannot get my head around one group of Christians condemning others -- for what ever reason. Maybe your church is higher on the hill, maybe you are smarter, maybe you are closer to God, maybe your are wise and my sect a fool. But that just tells me that God does not judge as you do, in your understanding.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      sojourner do not listen to this fooishness. you are correct in standing against this false doctrine that has been trying to deceive Christians for hundreds of years. I know it well and it is truly an abomination/ Let these liberals that do not understand scripture believe what they will but dont let them make you feel bad for your condemnation of this their old and terrible misuse of scripture. harsh correction is for those who forsake the way.

      and dierker it seems you cant get your head around a lot scripture that goes against what you wish to believe, but that is your problem not that of anyone else.

      You have shown here clearly that you do not comprehend scripture when you talk about "your sect" which is something that God hates and tells us is wrong and not to do. There is one church and there is no place , according to Jesus in it for sects. This is a Christian discussion not a sectarian one.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      celafoe, If there is one thing I have learned about you, it is your self-righteous arrogance when you approach anyone who does not believe as you do. That attitude will most certainly not help new believers get started.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      thank you for your non scriptural opinion which I reject along with all your non scriptural ramblings.

      I have no desire to help new believers believe the false doctrines that so many of you liberals on here post. My desire is that they learn to read and understand scripture for themselves, and to do so correctly, not to follow unscriptural posts and posters

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      yes, and by correctly, celafoe means whatever they deem to be correct. Nevermind the other 30,000 denominations that all believe something slightly different.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And the old man was walking down the street and came upon a wretched homeless man lying there. He did not follow the scripture of the "good Samaritan". Instead he used his cellphone and called an medical transport vehicle to take him to the hospital, and paid the bill.

      By Celafoe reasoning we see that he did not follow the scripture. So he know doubt is a heretic. Well that old heretical man is welcome in my home any time.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      Yes and the word of God says all denominations are an abomination because they are founded on schism and division.

      1 Cor 11:17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

      NKJV

      there is only true interpretation of scripture and instead of everyone trying to push what they believe, all should be striving to find the one true interpretation. I am open to scripture truth and correction , but only by scripture taken in context which so many of you are not willing or unable to do.

      I will not consider anything anyone thinks or any source other than scripture, which is the correct path to take.

      So many of you liberals want us to believe what you do without scriptural support and a biblical Christian cannot do that.

      I always give scriptures and am willing to look at other interpretations to see if the be of God or not. and will give my reasons for rejecting or if they are correct i will repent and change my stance. But I will not play the games with scripture that so many on here do.

      as far as universalism, i have studied it at length and it does not pass the scripture test. Virtually all of their scripture references are taken out of context and the main support word is questionable at best.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      dierker dont worry i wont be coming to your house.

      and that childish example is what i would expect from you. its time for you to grow up

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      As of now, I will make it a point to ignor anything you have to say celafoe. And please stay away from my hubs and questions. (Gal 1).

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      so what is new you ignore anything that does not fit your false universalism doctrine.

      and as far as I know this is still a public forum

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      "Stir it up" Paul directed. And so does Celafoe. But I read through these comments truly trying to come to a better understanding. And with all apologies, I find the anger of Celafoe as the most outstanding feature of his writings. And Hence that is how he percieves "our" God.

      Let those that follow such anger also follow Celafoe. Let those with kindness and yet the same understanding follow Cam.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      thank you for another false diagnosis. But yes i do get angry when liberals like you play games with the scriptures.

      I am through playing your silly games with you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And we are blessed by you being through. Carry on elsewhere.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      anger and judgement. Such a perfect christ-like example. You do realize that the only people that jesus was ever angry at were the religious leaders who suffered from self-righteous indignation at what he was teaching, right?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Much more than this JMcFarland. I must be angry with myself, long before Christ is upset.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thank you for sharing a Biblical perspective on the doctrine of universal salvation. I'd just like to note two things, from a scholarly perspective. First of all, "universalism" may not be the best term to use for what you are talking about. It is more precise to say, "the doctrine of universal salvation." For example, Unitarian Universalists hold to universalism, but do not agree on universal salvation.

      Secondly, not all Christianity derives its authority or interpretation of Christ's life from the Bible. Scholars believe, with good reason, that the Gospel of John was probably written some 200 years after Christ's death. And early Christians were already debating the question of universal salvation long before that. Origen (184-253) was one early Church father who believed in universal salvation.

      So, if we take the historical view, Christians have been struggling with this question for 2,000 years. No person or group within Christianity can be certain of God's ultimate intent, and to claim to know what is heresy and what is not is dangerously close to hubris.

      I once asked a conservative Christian woman who's beliefs were similar to yours but who had a very open-minded attitude how she came to that place. She replied that she had come to see that "God is the judge." I suggest that until we meet God fact to face, our place is to "love our neighbors and our enemies as ourselves.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @Sojourner, when I posted "hateful stalking methods to my questions". It was aimed at celafoe, not you friend. He just trolled some of my questions the other night with that arrogant style of rederick he uses.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, I did not realize. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Not a problem Sojourner. Peace

    • profile image

      PAMITCHRUS 4 years ago

      Hell is the doctrine of devils and demons, an absolute insult to our Father's Holy Name.. Those who hold proudly hold to this doctrine shall find that the Golden Rule is a two edged Sword !!!

      Greetings to you Brother Sword, our day, that is to say his day, is coming and then this lie shall be put to rest in a most fearful way..

      God will punish those who speak evil of his name, it is a lesson that will change them forever.. But for now God has chosen the simple basic things to confound the wise.. God is love, and Love is not hate.... Woe unto those who can't tell the difference !!!

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      So God isn't going to judge unpentant sinners but those who believe in hell in which the Bible clearly teaches? Your own statement makes your beliefs inconsistent. If God is not going to judge unrepentant sinners than why would he judge anyone? Read John chapter 3, which is clear that anyone who does not have the Son is still under God's wrath.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Who said God will not Judge? John 3 is meant only for the Jews of that generation ecramer. It is a sad thing that your ego blocks you from reading scripture the way it was meant to be read.

    • SiberianWolf profile image

      Eric T. Shortridge 4 years ago from MidWest

      In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus says over and over... Ye heard that it was said... but I say unto you.

      "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

      But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."

      so Jesus tells those... that what they heard was Wrong! How do we know this? Because Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever... and God does not change.

      If the truth changes, then it ceases to be true...

      It's no wonder they didn't know who Jesus was... because they didn't know who His Father... and yet they had the O.T. to tell them...

      he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone... and yet, Jesus was there, the One without sin... and He did not cast a stone...

      people have elevated the bible to the status of God... instead of relying upon His Spirit... because it's easier to read, then to listen

      Peace

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @SiberianWolf "he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone... and yet, Jesus was there, the One without sin... and He did not cast a stone..."

      Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

      It is not God who demands hell as His justice, it is the determined believer in hell that demands this justice my friend.

    • SiberianWolf profile image

      Eric T. Shortridge 4 years ago from MidWest

      Sword... did not Jesus say that there is only ONE Teacher... and to call no man teacher... if we take these words to heart... then the words of Jesus are the only ones we should consider living by....

      we're all like Nicodemous... who asked, how can one be born again? must he enter into his mothers womb a second time?

      because the words of Jesus are spirit... yet we take every word literal... therein lies one of the problems...

      considering hell... since God is omnipresent... that means that God will also be in hell forever... for there is nowhere where God is not...

      in the O.T. a man is stoned... for picking up sticks on the sabbath... and yet Jesus purposely trangresses the sabbath by picking corn in a field...

      would Jesus give a command to stone that man who picked up sticks? then neither would our Father...

      in the O.T. God said to stone the adulterer... and yet Jesus forgives... just as his father does, and always has...

      because God does not change...

      if Jesus came like the monster of the old testament... the jews would have believed him and followed him... so why didn't he?

      He came to show the jews who God really is...

      the last argument people have, is 'isn't God powerful enough to keep his word pure' = that's like asking, 'is God powerful enough to keep babies from being born with brain tumors'

      it's a mute question... questioning the bible isn't questioning God... but that's what christnaity would have you believe...

      Gods spirit will guide us into truth...

      Peace

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @SiberianWolf, I hope with time that more and more Christians understand who our divine Father truly is as you do. I am glad that I am not alone. peace

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Siberian, I am trying to understand something. You are basically indicating you are fully Spirit led it seems. And you are using the Bible to back up your perspective, yet you claim the Bible is not to be relied upon. So, does the Spirit reveal to you what Scriptures can be used, is that how you feel confident you can remove some and not others? Is not all Scripture 'inspired by God', according to His own words in His Word?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wonderful teachers of the Law. You look like those who crucified Christ.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Did the early believers (gentiles) during the days of the Apostles have scripture to confirm what the spirit gave them?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Happy Easter!!! Wow these guys did not believe on this day. And no scriptures to rely on --- well they could of if they had listened to Jesus about what prophets said.

      And they were not yet filled with the Spirit. hmmm What would have happened to them if all the disciples died that day?

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Eric, you are confussing me.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Right now if you follow the liturgical readings --- Christ is gone!! Death could not hold him down. But our group of disciples/ including Mary Magdalene are still not getting it. They are confused about this death thing and the resurrection. Though they followed for years they still do not believe.

      What if they died at this point? Would it be hell for them. Christ spoke to them of old testament prophets and about this day, but they did not get it still! If the soldiers got them and crucified them on this day ---- what then?

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, they had the writings of the prophets and they had what Jesus said. The situation is also that God used these people to write much of the New Testament. He is no longer 'writing' His Word... it's written, and we have it.

      Eric, ???

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Reading and writing on the hearts of men. Is the newest testament. Teaching us from one another is not done or over. Text writings are done for they confound and make us static for we are small minded. We have misplaced our trust again in writings and rules and laws.

      God will watch our maturation and know when and by who more should to teach us.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @Sojourner1234, what are you talking about? All the gentiles had was the letters of Paul, James and Peter. Their true teacher was the Holy spirit. They tested the spirit in love, not through the spirit of condemnation like the typical hell believer does.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, they had access to more than you indicate, however, the main point is that we now have the full Word of God. What sense would it make if we simply don't use, or misuse, the Bible because we feel the Spirit is telling us something different. We are to 'test the spirits', and are to be guided by 'the Spirit' yes, but we are also to follow the gospel that has been laid out for us and understand that 'even if an angel preaches a different message' we are not to follow such (eg. like Islam w/supposedly the angel Gabriel). That is also very strange that you use "hell believer" to describe any Christian... I am simply a 'believer', hell just happens to be one of the realities mentioned by the Bible.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Again you call scripture the "Word" of God, and that creates confussion because the real Word is Christ, not scripture. I have learned never to assume anything outside of scripture, so should you. yes you are a hell believer, because hell does not exist and you so ardently endorse and defend this evil doctrine. This hub testafies to that. The gospel according to you is "turn or burn", and that doesn't sound like good news at all.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, the 'good news', the gospel is that God sent His Son (Jesus Christ) to be the ultimate sacrifice for people. He took our place in His sacrificial death, and defeated death in His resurrection... in order that we might be able to be 'saved' from hell. The doctrine of hell is not only not evil it should be understood so people understand that they are saved from something... it's not a scare tactic either, it's a truth tactic. Use the truth to let people know they need a savior... why else would Christ have sacrificed Himself on the cross if not to save those who would accept the sacrifice and accept Him as savior (& Lord of course as well).

      And the "Word" has been referenced to Christ, sure... it can also be used to as a reference to the Bible and scripture.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Ok, it still does not sound like good news no matter how you twist it. You use the word "saved", but do you truly know what this Greek word “σωζω” (sōzō), means? The word translated as “save” clearly refers to physical healing in 15 of the 103 occurrences of the word in the New Testament, and no translation renders the word as “save” in any of those occurrences. Your translations create confusion, and that you state that the doctrine of hell is not evil convinces me even more that you desire this doctrine, and here is how it works. You believe that God believes that those who are in hell deserve what they get, so you yourself also believe that they get what they deserve sir, and that in a nut shell is insane hatred.

      I have already discussed the difference between scripture and Christ is the "Word" with you, but your own belief systems has convinced you that you are right and everyone else is wrong, so it is a waste of time discuissing anything with you in regards to scripture.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, I am not the only one who believes that 'Word' can, and does, refer to the Bible... so, it's not that I am holding tight to this thought while everyone else, who has studied the situation, is coming up with something different. Also, I have studied Greek & Hebrew and 'salvation' and being 'saved', with regards to this discussion, is being 'saved' from an eternity away from God and in hell. I believe that all people really deserve to be seperated from God and cast into hell because of our rejection of God and His commands. But I believe that God's grace has triumphed over these sins because of His Son's sacrifice... whenever someone accepts the free and good gift of 'salvation'. Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

      You seem to want to focus all of your energy on the fact that I believe in hell, well... yep, you got me. I also believe that we should use the Bible to put our own beliefs 'in check'. But the focus of the gospel is that we can spend eternity with God because of the sacrifice of Jesus... all that needs to be done is to accept His free gift.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      "Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Wow, the wage of sin is death, not eternal torture in a pagan hell. Death is a state of unconscious sleep in our graves because the living know the will die, but the dead know nothing nor have they a memory. All pagan religions have their underworlds of the dead, and the church is no different. This is what God is to me. The exact opposite of pagan beliefs, ceremonies or religions. Christ's death freed us all from foolish pagan beliefs, but you still hold on to this pagan foolishness, and I already told you why.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, you indicated: "This is what God is to me." And so, you have your opinion about it. I follow what the Bible says about the situation. It's certainly not pagan to believe the Bible, it is quite the opposite. When you believe what you see as truth without the comparison to the Bible then what are you using to understand truth? I use the Bible as the plumbline, level, standard of truth.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Everything I know about my Father comes from His blessings and scripture. I see how you twist words to support your pagan beliefs. Of course it is not pagan to believe in the bible, I have only pointed out how you use pagan traditions and your carnal minded interpretation of scripture to support your pagan hell. Anyone who clains to know the truth is a liar (with the exception of Christ, the prophets and the saints). You determined hell believers throw the word "truth" around so recklessly while you scratch your heads and wonder why so many are leaving the church. You have a pharisaical spirit in you sir.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, you are being very accusatory right now. The spirit I have is the Holy Spirit, and the truth can be known because God has revealed it. You yourself claim to know truth as far as hell goes... you believe the truth about the situation is 'there is no hell'. I am saying that according to scripture there is a hell... nothing more. I'm not happy people are headed their, I'm not Bible bashing anyone, I am not twisting anything... just stating what I read in the Bible.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      I have never claimed to know the truth to you, I only tell you what I believe and nothing more. I am not as half an accuser to you as I should be, because you preach spiritual terrorism. Christ called the self-rightiouse pharisees vipers, liars and hypocrites. I just said you have a pharisiacal spirit in you and you now play the innocent victim. Woe on to him who preaches the false gospel of condemnation. Woe on to him that preaches another gospel than the one PAUL brought us. The gospel of reconciliation of ALL with God. Many have commited suicide because of the hell fire teachings, and some have even murdered their children to save them from such a place. No sir, you and your ilk are not the victim here. You are spiritual terrorists and guilty for all the deaths of those who could not bear the thought of going to hell. Guilty of tarnishing the image of our divine Father and His love for all His children with filthy lies from pagan beliefs. I get it, fear sells.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, once again you have gone off the deep end in your tone against me (and it seems anyone who believes in hell). People should not commit suicide or murder their children because they are afraid of hell... of course that is wrong and foolish. Just because someone is motivated by something does not make the thing wrong... their actions following such a motivation needs to be curtailed by wisdom and by truth. "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" my friend.

      I am not a victim, but your position being so offensive against mine does not make sense. I am merely using the Bible to support what it says, and thus what God has shown us threw scripture. It also makes sense because why would Christ die for all if we are saved anyway? Also, why would someone care to make God Lord if He can just be their Savior and ensure they are not going to hell anyway?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I again saw hell on earth the other day in the suffering of a child. Perhaps in witnessing it, I was in hell on earth. I do not even think it a metaphor anymore. It is a real space for my soul.

      So I firmly believe in a hell. That does not change my position: Christ decides, not us.

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Universal...

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @Sojourner, I did not accuse you of anything based on your belief. I have accused you on how you endorse, teach and support the hell doctrine. You deceitful weasel. How you like to twist my words and intenhtions around like the liar you are. If there is a hell, the ones who deserve to go there the most are people like yourself, but only for a miniute. That would be enough time for you to see how horrible you have made the image of the god you believe in. None of you know who He is. You say with your lips you do just as the pharisees, but in your hearts and minds, you know Him not.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, that is certainly out of order for you to call me a "deceitful weasel" or "the liar you are"; I have called you no such names nor implied anything like that about you. You are attacking me verbally despite your previous indication that you were not accusing me of anything. So, if you are not accusing me of something simply say so, but don't then turn around and attack me, that is uncalled for.

      Also, just because you call someone a pharisee, or indicate that is who they are in spirit, does not make it true. I certainly am no pharisee and anyone who actually knows me would counter your argument. Though my intention here is not to defend myself, but to say that the Bible clearly indicates that hell is a real place and I support the Bible because it is truth.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Call me out of order all you want. I call a weasel a weasel and a liar a liar. If you don"t like, tough. May you be cursed because of your sûpport of this foolish pagan belief.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      No SoM, we do not step in that direction and claim right. You must apologize now. Brutal as our calling is, we must follow it, lest we return to the days of the Old Testament.

      Sojourner 1234 is our brother. We cannot cast him or his teaching asunder. We get the good portion but we must also give it.

      I love and you love. Be it so!

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Eric, I am not obligated to take direction from you. You have already admited that you believe in hell. You may not teach, endorse or support the doctrin, but you still believe in it. I simply did what Paul taught us in Gal 1. Sojourner brings another gospel than the one Paul brought us. I do not hate Soj, I just love him less than I do most people just as Paul did. You hell believers simply do not know who our Father truly is. I have never claimed to tell the truth or that I am right. You simply lack the understanding of what perfect love is.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So be it I cause no obligation. I am saddened.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Don't be saddened Eric. I encourage you to seek our Father more than you now know. Ask yourself this. Is perfect love capable of forgiving all trespasses unconditionally? The God I know is the Father in the parable of the prodigal son. He demonstrated an example of what perfect love is, but most Christians can't see it. I do not apologize for something I know is not out of line. But I will say what saddens me. How the church with all its thousands of different denominations and different beliefs, can still hold on to the pagan belief of hell. Do you know what the difference is between the Christian hell and the pagan underworld beliefs are? Most of the pagan underworld beliefs are far more merciful than the hell that Christians believe in. Btw, the pagan Norse goddess of the underworld is called hel. Hmmm?

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, you again call me a ‘weasel’ and a ‘liar’; this is unacceptable and is simply mud-slinging. You Are out of line! Please refrain from such a name-calling method and discuss your opinions instead of attack those who differ in opinion from you. You claim that God is perfect love and thus cannot send people to hell, yet you attack me personally with obviously a less than loving process. Really?

      You joined this discussion, on this hub article, which was asking the question of the serious nature of the rejection of hell. The hub outlined in great painstaking detail how hell is real and we have a choice whether to accept God’s gift of salvation. We would need to completely ignore the whole of the Bible to come to a different conclusion because the concept is repeated again and again, even in Christ’s own words He outlines the reality of hell.

      The attempt to remove hell from the Bible, and the consequences of rejecting Christ is serious because it removes the need of people to accept the free gift of God. It also downplays sin and the death it brings, and even the eternal separation from God it can lead to. You indicate the concept of hell is pagan, but the reality is the omission of hell is a pagan idea that tries to put God in a love strangle-hold. God is truly loving, but He is just… and your attempt to remove hell and separation from God does not negate the truth of the Bible. If you have something more concrete to base your argument on rather than just name calling then go ahead and present your perspective, otherwise we have already heard your attacks and attempts at trying to juke around this issue.

      Thank you again to the hub author for a great hub! I apologize that any of my responses provoked someone to start mud-slinging on your hub.

      Sword, awaiting your apology, and you should apologize to the hub author for your behavior as well.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      @sojourner, I have only this to say to you. Gal 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

      I will not apologize to you or anyone who endorses, teaches or supports the belief of the hell doctrin. We are done.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sword, yes, discussion between us is no longer a help to anyone unfortunately. I would use the same passage for you actually as I believe you are preaching a different gospel than is true.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      The gospel Paul taught was the gospel of universal reconsiliation of all mankind with God. In other words, universal salvation. Paul never taught about hell, he taught the opposite. He taught that God is the saviour of all, especially we believers. No, the gospel I know is the one Paul brought me.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Sword - The gospel that Paul gave you must be missing a 22few Thes 1:5-10.

      "He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might." 2 Thes 1:8-9

      Sure sounds like hell to me!

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      It is not everlasting destruction. What is everlasting destruction? Pure foolishness. The proper translation is "eonian extermination", meaning their physical deaths at that time. You need to do a history lesson to understand what Paul was telling the Thessalonians. The Thessalonians were facing persecution by the Jews in that region. Paul was giving them encouragement by telling them this persecution will end soon, and it did AD70 with the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, 1,100.000 deaths of the Jews, and the expulsion of the Jews from Palestine. Nowhere in Paul's letters did he warn the gentiles of the fires of Gehenna, let alone a place called hell. So stop trying to twist Paul's letters to suit your own twisted beliefs. It doesn’t work.

      This is the Gospel Paul brought me...

      2 Cor 5: 11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

      16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Dictionary.com defines “eonian” as “everlasting.” Free dictionary.com defines it as “everlasting, eternal.” In the Greek NT that I am looking at it also references “aiOnion”, which means eternal. Just because you can pull a word out of Greek, does not give you permission to alter its meaning. Besides, natural death does not fit in context with the rest of verse 9. Also, this cannot be a reference to AD 70, because God was not revealed from Heaven then. Last time I check, we are still waiting on Christ’s return. The other part that makes your interpretation wrong is that there has been more persecution of the church after AD 70 than before. For instance, there were more martyrs in the 20th century than ever before. How can this be if as you say that God ended their persecution in AD 70????

      Paul may not use hell, but he does speak regularly about the wrath of God.

      2:5 “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed! 2:6 He will reward each one according to his works: 2:7 eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, 2:8 but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness.” Romans 2:5-8

      Verse 7 is conditional, eternal life to some, but wrath to others. The Bible is filled with passages that talk about God’s wrath against unbelievers (John 3:36, Rev 20:15, etc).

      You have a bad habit of reading your presuppositions into a text and taking the actual verse out of their surrounding context. The gospels are full of references to hell and judgment for unbelievers. Even the 2 Corinthians 5 passage you quoted has a condition in it. Verse 17 says IF ANYONE IS IN CHRIST, not all are in Christ. The small words in a text have meaning.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      So why isnt “eonian” in matt 24:3 written everlasting then?

      The wrath that Paul was referring to already happened AD70 on Judea. This wrath is also found in the four chapters of Malachi. It is also found in the book of revelations.

      We are all in Christ. Every single human being ever created before, during and after Christ's life time. (1Cor 3:10-15).

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Because "eonian" was not used, rather aionos was used instead. It means age-long. This is another example of you using a presupposition to make rhe text say something it does not. Matthew 24 talks about the coming of Christ, not AD 70. Christ has not returned yet. Beside read the rest of the chapter. Verse 29 says before Christ comes the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. We still have the sun and moon as we always had since the creation of the world. When Jesus returns everyone will see him -to verse 30.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Correct, it means age, and eonian is plural form for age meaning a number of ages, at least two as I understand it. Christ said at the end of John that John would still be there when His second coming would happen, and that the destruction of Jerusalem would happen during that generation. Matt 3 John tells us that "it is at hand", soon, not two thousand years later. Rev 1:1 says "things which will shortly come to pass (AD70) not 2000 yearsw later. There is no presupposition on my part. I have both scripture and historic proof that your hell belief and rapture stupidity is as foolish as the pharisees were.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      “22Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” John 21:22-23

      Jesus if I want him to remain alive. The second part of verse 23 blows up your assertion that Jesus said that. Jesus never said that he would not die. It says it plain as day.

      It is also important to remember that the Bible says that a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. You approach every prophesized event and try to jam it so that it fits your presupposition that it must relate to AD 70. You can say that you have scripture and history but you have neither. Christ has not returned! If he has, where is he? Why is the sun still shinning? Why is the moon still visible??? You cannot ignore verses that do not fit your presupposition. I never mentioned anything about the rapture. I love when you get pinned down how you then make a personal attack and call people names. You do it to me and you have done it to Sojourner on this hub.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      “22Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” Peter wanted to know when Christ will return a second time, and he hoped he would still be around to witness this event, and Christ gave us a hint or a clue as to what time frame it will happen. If you choose not to believe it, that's your choice.

      Matt 3:2…Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” AD70, not 2000 years later.

      Matt 3: 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

      The Ax is symbolic for Rome, who was already at the root of the Jews. Jerusalem! And the trees are symbolic for the Jews (Isaiah 60:21).

      The fire in Matt 3:10 is the same fire found in Malachi 4: 4 [a]“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. 2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. 3 Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty.

      4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.

      5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

      Elijah returned as John the Baptist. There are a number of times in the OT when God calls Jerusalem a harlot, and in Revelations, Jerusalem is once again called a harlot just before her destruction.

      Rev 1:1 This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events THAT MUST SOON TAKE PLACE…

      I know that revelations was written before the fall of Jerusalem, because shortly afterwards, the apocalyptic event AD70, was so horrendous for the Jews, that nothing afterwards can even compare to this one event. So you decide, If I am correct about the dates, then there can be no doubt that Revelations was about the seven churches in minor Asia, which btw only existed before AD70 if you do your historic research, and about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age of the old covenant. But if your dates are correct, in Revelation 10:11 John is to prophesize again, but if the book was written AD95-96, John would be over 90 years old, and it would have been very difficult for him to travel to the various "nations and…many kings" and preach. However, with Revelation written earlier, John would have been in his mid 60's and at that age, his traveling would have been more feasible.

      Also why is it written in Rev 11 that the temple is still standing if the book was written after its destruction?

      Revelation 1:7, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him (Rome): and all kindreds [Greek word #5443] of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."

      Matthew 24:30, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes [Greek word #5443] of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

      these two verses are speaking of the same event. Matthew 24:30 is a verse that speaks of the fall of Jerusalem. And that is just the case that I am making about the book of Revelation -- it speaks of the fall of Jerusalem.

      This view is further reinforced with the phrase, "kindreds of the earth." ("kindreds" is from the Greek word phule, which means "tribe"). This is a direct allusion to the Jewish tribal system. Now, we must identify, from Scripture, who those "tribes" were. To do that, we must keep in mind this simple rule of interpreting the Bible: let Scripture interpret Scripture. We can do that quite easily by looking at Zechariah 12:10-14.

      Zechariah 12:10-14, "And I will pour upon the...inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son...In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem...And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart."

      If a person doesn't believe the first three verses of Revelation (i.e., the near expectation of the events), neither will he believe the rest of the book. For if a person is unwilling to accept the time constraints of the text, the rest of the document can mean anything that the reader desires.

      If the Apostle John was banished to Patmos under the reign of Nero, as the internal evidence indicates, he wrote the book of Revelation about AD 68 or 69, which was after the death of that emperor; but the gospels and epistles some years later. One of the oddest facts about the New Testament is that what on any showing would appear to be the single most datable and climactic event of the period — the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 — is never once mentioned as a passed fact.

      As for name calling, I call it as I see it, just as Christ and Paul did. The pharisees also saw it as a personal attack from Jesus when He called them vipers, hypocrites and liars. They got all offended, but you all demand an apoligy when I call you what you are, and that is unchristian like, because demanding an apoligy is a condition to recieve forgiveness, when we all should forgive unconditionally. You all need to start acting childlike instead of childish. Then you may start to recieve the blessings of revelations from our Father.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Back to the John 21:22-23 discussion. Context, context, context. The context of this passage is the restoration of Peter. Jesus tells him that he will be crucified for his faith. Peter then sees John and asked what about him. Here is where the context is important. Jesus basically said Peter it is none of your business. If I want him to be alive he will, if not he will not. John specifically says that Jesus never said that he would be alive at the second coming (verse 23).

      Thank you for making my case with the verses that you have posted. Revelation 1:7 and Matt 24:30 both say that every eye will see Christ return. Where is he???? Why are there no accounts of Christ’s second coming if he already came?

      “10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:10-11

      22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. 29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” Matthew 24:22-31

      Matthew 24 from which you love to quote from tells exactly how Christ will return. Again, I can still see the sun and the moon. Verse 27 says that his return will be visible like lightning, visible from the east to the west. Another clue that this is not talking about AD 70 is verse 21 it tells us there will be more distress than ever before. Hitler caused more distress then Nero ever dreamed of. Verses 22 & 23 also do not make sense in relation to AD 70. Plus, if God hates Israel as you seem to be saying, why are they back in their land again? Seems to fit that verse 32 says to watch the fig tree (Israel) and when it is ready to bloom you know his coming is close. That cannot refer to AD 70 because Israel was oppressed by Rome throughout the first century. It makes sense with the rest of Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation that Christ’s return is yet future.

      In regards for you love of name calling, you are not Paul or Jesus. Besides, did Paul not say to overcome evil with good?????

      We are both passionate about our positions on the topic of hell, however, one of us is wrong. Let us not lose focus of what that means. Either you are right and everyone goes to heaven or I am right and hell is real. Those are the only two options. For the sake of argument, let us say that you are right, then everyone goes to heaven, however, if you are wrong then there is a huge problem because you are leading people to hell by telling them that they are okay and not to worry. Jesus did not stutter when he said there was a narrow way and a broad way. The narrow leads to life and the broad way to eternal damnation. The teachings of Jesus are filled with talk about judgment, hell, weeping and gnashing of teeth, etc. John chapter 3:1-36 is crystal clear that if you do not know Christ you are still under God’s wrath. The only way that you cannot see that is if you completely skip over the verses.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Let me ask you this cramer. which of the two glorify's God the most.

      1, Allowing billions to roast for what ever the reason.

      or

      2, unconditional mercy and forgiveness for all for what ever the reason?

      Keep the answer to yourself.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      God is glorified when a sinner repents and is saved. He is also glorified when a sinner is sent to hell because His nature is upheld. I wrote a more detailed explaination here - https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Is-God-Gl...

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      His nature according to you is selfish and hateful. He is a product of your own image as well as your belief system. You dont read scripture as it was meant to be read, you read scripture the way you are. You set God with double standards and will spew and excuse to support this image you worship. Dan 3:1-6 sums up this image you worship. I wont waste time on the other hub as I am sure it is just as hateful as this one.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      No SOM, I read the Word of God as it is written and in proper context. I do not add things that are not there nor do I skip over passages that I do not like. I can backup my beliefs using the Bible, not my opinion. To say that everyone goes to heaven as you do is a lie. The very words of Jesus teach hell repeatedly.

      SOM, you are the one that is angry, not me. I stand confindently on what the Bible teaches plainly.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      I truly admit that this doctrine angers me and there is nothing wrong with this emotion when it comes to pharasaical lies about my Father's love, mercy and blessings. Yes, I do believe you are confident in your self-rightouse, cozy stand, but I would love to see your face when you learn that all are saved and that hell is a myth. When Christians such as you create lies about our Father and who He is, it is good for you that He has already forgiven you for this vile stench you teach called hell.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      It is Biblical truth. You have a great way of judging me when I could say the same things to you. The problem is that hell is found throughout the Bible as this hub demonstrates. The only way you get it to say what you believe is to blatently ignore parts of it. Jesus' teaching about plucking your eye out to keep from sinning rather than having your whole body thrown into hell only makes sense if there is a hell. Was Jesus wrong? Mistaken?

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      The word hell was added in screipture. How foolish can you be in not noticing this error. But it doesn't matter. I know that you are a determined believer in hell, and that you desire hell existance.

      Jesus was not wrong nor was He mistaken. It is your ignorance in your understanding of His words that are dangerously mistaken. But it is not up to me to help you learn, because your heart is black with the desire for vengence. Therefor, the Holy Spirit will not reveal to you what He has revealed to me. When you learn how to emplement the 2 commandments given to us from Christ in your life and thoughts, you may learn something wonderful for a change.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Right because hell is an English word. It was added when the Bible was translated from Hebrew & Greek into English. You can call it whatev er you want the concept is clearly taught. Weeping, gnashing of teeth, eternal fire, lake of fire, etc.

      Again, you choose to attach rather than answer the question. Why would it be better for someone to go through life without one body part than be thrown into fire of hell?????

    • profile image

      Hell N0 2 years ago

      Do u even know what hell 400 years ago?

    • profile image

      Hell N0 2 years ago

      What hell meant that is. It meant to cover. Never meant a place of torment but i imagine the meaning changed quickly the way the word gay has changed. See, hell closely represents unseen and grave. So what did the translators do? They used hell for sheol 31 times and grave 31 times. They used hell when it sounded scary. But it should have always been unseen. In the NT hades was translated hell all except for one time. It was translated grave when it spoke of man having victory over death. Afterall, hell had to be eternal right? These truths come with real research. Not listening to preachers and so called scholars who make their living on the backs of self righteous churchians. It's all there for u to know but as i said, i think u need hell to be real for ur ministry. Gehenna is no different. Body parts don't sin. We sin from the heart. Christ was telling His chosen that it's better to live without our sinful nature than to enter death (essentially what gehenna represented) with it. There is a coming judgment. It will not last forever. And it is that judgment where hellers and all sinners will bitterly repent.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 2 years ago from Chicagoland

      If you want to ignore what the Bible actually says, be my guest. I am taking my stand on it.

    • profile image

      Hell N0 2 years ago

      Well then if thats ur stance then the bible says that everyone will be covered because thats what the old english word meant. You r as blind as a cave fish.

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 2 years ago from Ohio

      Why is it your stance that hell is temporary? Can you not imagine such a place lasting for eternity?

    • profile image

      Hell N0 2 years ago

      Hell is an improper translation so don't put words in my mouth. Hades is the unseen realm of the dead. There is no thought or experience there. Check sheol for proof. The lake of fire is tempory and is not literal fire. It will burn all impurities out of the lost just as fire burns the impurities out of gold. And like gehenna, it will never be quenched. It will do it's job and then be no more. God is this fire. There are examples all throughout scripture but you must be given sight to see it. Pray for the eyes to see the truth. Nobody is going to be tortured with literal fire for God sakes!!

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 2 years ago from Ohio

      No, you are mistaken. First, I did not put any words in your mouth, I asked a question relating to a temporary existence of torment (you just indicated the lake of fire is temporary). You may believe hell is not a proper translation, but the idea that torment is temporary is what you hold to. No need to try and dodge the question by stating that you think the word usage is wrong... I'm sure you understood the focus of the inquiry.

      Also, there is quite a bit of scripture and debate that has occurred regarding the existence of hell, and the reality of the lake of fire continuing. Why do you think the lake of fire is temporary? How is this a fake fire... 'not literal' in your words? Does it go out at some point? Is God evil if He punishes evil... for eternity? Is He somehow unjust if justice means terrible consequences?

      I think it is actually good for us to remember that God is just, as He is love. These do not counter each other, they compliment each other. We can look forward towards reward forever if we respond to His love, but if we reject it we will have a terrible consequence; it is one or the other... we may want to have more opportunities after the last opportunity, but when we die we must give an account of our life, whether lived for the Lord... or not. Luke 16:19-31

    • profile image

      Hell N0 2 years ago

      I dodge nothing and u r quite deceitful in ur amature way of slander. A fake fire? No, u r a fake teacher of God's word. You don't understand how real spiritual things are. U r not even able to drink the milk of God's word. The fire is identified by countless scriptures. First comes the physical, then the spiritual. U don't even understand the physical attributes of death or gehenna, gold, fire, nothing. You don't pay attention to the words that identify spiritual things. You instead equate symbols and spiritual with fake things. You r not a child of the word but a fetus. Forget meat. You would choke on milk. Those r symbols and spiritual things as well. Things that u don't understand. I have no problem with pre child understandings of God. But you teach the worst and most blasphmist teaching of all and call it the good news. Please, get real.

    • profile image

      Hell N0 2 years ago

      Oh and to answer ur question about what a god of eternal torcher is. If even one person were made to suffer for all eternitty it would make god more evil than all the evil ever connitted put together. Thats my oppinion. Thank God there is a lake of consuming fire coming to burn such evil thoughts out of man.

    • profile image

      Hell N0 2 years ago

      What happenned to the other comment?

    • Sojourner1234 profile image

      John Marshall 2 years ago from Ohio

      Unfortunately there is a problem with the anthropomorphism that you have displayed in your assertion about God's allowable punishment. It seems that mankind in general has a lack of understanding about how holy and righteous God is and how much evil we have done. Hell was made for the fallen angels who, knowing God's creation power, rose against Him... so, it makes sense that such a place exists for them. But what about people? God is completely just, and justice demands payment. People have chosen the same route that demons have, and therefore get to share in their terrible fate. It's not like God made people for an eternity in the lake of fire... on the contrary, He made them for relationship with Himself and with other people. He made people with free will because He loves them, but He knew they would betray His love at some point... so, He made a way for them to come back to Him. Jesus is that way; people can choose to respond to God's love and accept the sacrifice of Jesus as their substitute for evil they have done against God or they can try to use their righteousness to get them to heaven... unfortunately, all people fall short b/c our evil against God is far greater than we can imagine. But we can accept a free gift and then we are not only not in danger of a terrible fate, we can live forever in an unimaginable place with the One who made us, the beauty of this world, and who made untainted pleasure in the first place... I think that is a better choice for us to make. God made us, then purchased us for Himself... the opportunity for relationship is available and should not be difficult to realize if we truly seek to know truth.

    Click to Rate This Article