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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?

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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.

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    • 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.

    • profile image

      Hell N0 2 years ago

      What happenned to the other comment?

    • 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

      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.

    • 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

      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

      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

      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.

    • ercramer36 profile image
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      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

      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.

    • profile image

      Hell N0 2 years ago

      Do u even know what hell 400 years ago?

    • 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?????

    • 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

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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

      “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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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).

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      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.

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      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.

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      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!

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      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.

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      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.

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      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, 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.

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      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?

    • 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

      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.

      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

      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.

    • 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.

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      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.

    • 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...

    • 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?

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      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, 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.

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      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 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.

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      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, 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.

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      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, 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.

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      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, 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.

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      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.

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      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.

    • 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, ???

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      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?

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Eric, you are confussing me.

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      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

      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.

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

    • 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?

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      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

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      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

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      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

      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

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      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.

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      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.

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      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 !!!

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      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Not a problem Sojourner. Peace

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      John Marshall 4 years ago from Ohio

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

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

    • 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?

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

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

    • 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.

      "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

      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

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      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).

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      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

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      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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

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      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

      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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

      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

      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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

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      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.

    • 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.

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      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.

    • ercramer36 profile image
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      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?

    • 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.