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Thread: BR XII - Will Unbelievers Spend Eternity in the Lake of Fire?

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    That's it for round number 3.

    logos_x has until Monday, Dec. 18th at 6:05pm (MDT) to submit his 4th and final round post for Battle Royale XII.



    If you'd like to discuss this battle you can do so here.
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    This will be my final post in this Battle Royal.

    Before I continue on with the battle, I wish to clear the air.

    Pastor Kevin is a man of God. He is a Pastor, a family man, does many, many things for the furtherance of the Gospel. He is an honorable man. A good man with a good heart after God.

    He deserves to be veiwed in highest regard.

    These battles are not an easy thing to do by any stretch of the imagination. You literally put yourself out on display, and are scrutenized from many different angles.

    Have my arguments been the best that could have been offered. No.
    Could someone else have done better? Absolutely.

    But the one thing that I want to make clear is I hold absolutely no ill regard toward Kevin, and no personal attack was intended. When He challenged me to this Battle Royal...and I accepted the challenge, my first inclination was to decline the battle after all...not because I was afraid of the Battle, but because I knew how it might appear.

    But my argument is not with the man, a Godly, upright, honerable man...but with the doctrine that has this good man of God saying and teaching some things that were very bad about God Himself, whom Kevin loves with all his heart and mind and to the best of his ability.

    What can convince Kevin that eternal torment is not the accurate presentation of God's Word?

    Not me. I can present an argument, I can produce the evidence. But that is all I can do. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit, and Kevin.

    If it was just Kevin accepting anything I said, it wouldn't be viewed as anything of value.

    But, regardless of Kevin's response...there will be your own as well.

    If it came down to what I think verses what Kevin has been taught and, therefore, thinks...then the time was spent on this Battle Royal with no impact at all.

    Let the Holy Spirit speak through the words. That is what I desire to happen in this exchange, and to be sure, this is the desire of Pastor Kevin as well.

    Now...back to the Battle!
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________________

    Round 4

    Quote Originally Posted by PastorKevin
    What happens when we die?

    Throughout this debate, there have been a lot of things said and suggested by Universalists and others, the Bible is very plain about what happens after we die.

    Hebrews 9:27-28
    27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

    When an unbeliever dies they face judgment. That is it. There are no more opportunities to repent after death.

    Further proof:

    2 Corinthians 5:6-8 shows us that when Christians die we go right to be with the Lord:

    6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.


    Stephen,

    You said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Logos_x}

    “See...I think that God is smart enough to at least understand that if He is going to save
    mankind, as He clearly said He would, then He would have to find a way to abolish death and see to it that death itself is not an enemy that cannot be abolished. That means, quite simply...DON'T CREATE A PERMANENT DEATH OR A PERMANENT HELL”[/quote


    My answer:
    God made a way out for sinful man to be saved through His Son Jesus Christ. God didn’t have to do that at all! He decided to do it as a result of man’s sin and His love for mankind. There is a big clue in Scripture about why the Lake of Fire was originally created. It states it was created for the Devil and his angels. That was its original purpose. But then man sinned and rebelled against God. This made man’s condemnation the same as that of the devil. You can tell God
    not to create a permanent death or hell all you want to, but He is God and that is what He did! That much is obvious, even to my feeble mind.
    Kevin,

    I'm not telling God not to create a permanent Hell...It's God telling us that He didn't!

    In my view, Christ came to destroy all the works of the adversary!
    Also, the "eternal" fire, as a description of DURATION rather than it's source, is in question...is it not?

    Just because it was "created for the Devil and his angels"...that does not make it never ending. Until this issue is resolved, it is not sufficient evidence that God made a permanent Hell.

    It is my contention that He didn't create one, nor does He intend to, and the BIBLE says just that. If God was on trial for creating one, I don't believe you have sufficient evidence to get a conviction on Him.

    That has been my contention from the beginning of this Battle...that He hasn't and won't create an permanent Hell...rather one that destroys evil. And, even though you and the believers in eternal torment THINK you have answered the issue...you haven't in a way that is indisputable.

    The reason is...you can't. I'm not even sure why you would want to.

    Quote Originally Posted by PastorKevin
    The tree of life:
    If man had been allowed to continue eating from the tree of life, he would have physically lived forever without dying. This could no longer be allowed because God had decreed that death would be a result of man’s sin. This is why God told Adam if he ate of the fruit he would die. And that death was not just a physical death but also a
    spiritual one
    . Do you realize that without the glorious sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ that not ONE SINGLE PERSON would ever be able to escape eternal torment in the Lake of Fire? This is because that death is what we have each earned due to our sin!
    I believe it does much more than just that Kevin. It literally stops a permanent misery from coming into existence. Surely you can see the logic behind this view.

    I believe your view limits God's purposes too severely. The scriptural teaching itself does not limit it to merely the body at all. This limitation is imposed by the doctrine of eternal torment itself...not by the teaching of the Bible.


    Job 31:2-4
    For what is the allotment of God from above, And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high? 3 Is it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity?

    Psalm 36:12
    12 There the workers of iniquity have fallen; They have been cast down and are not able to rise.

    Romans 6:23 tells us that the WAGES of sin is DEATH!
    I agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by PastorKevin}Because of sin we have [U
    all EARNED death[/U]. (Me included!) This is why we die physically and if we do not accept God’s atoning sacrifice for our sins found in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, we will also die spiritually by spending all eternity in the Lake of Fire.
    Again...my argument has been that it isn't permanent, and I've presented why I believe this is true, and the scriptural support for it.

    I won't presume that this was not read. So I won't repeat what I have already argued.
    The answer to this is in my previous posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by PastorKevin
    All or FEW?

    Look with me at the following passage from Luke 13:22-28
    22 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”
    Now this is a plain question. They were beginning to understand exactly what he was saying.
    Only a few actually will exercise saving faith because of the stubbornness and pride of men who are not willing to repent of their sins. Now look at what the Lord says:

    And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
    No. The Lord is not a liar.
    Here is something to consider.

    Salvation for the Jews was their participation in the Kingdom of Mesiah. Few will enter that Kingdom Age. It is this...not eternity...that our Savior was refering to.

    Those that are Christ's are resurrected long before the rest of humanity, when the Lord returns. The rest remain dead during that Kingdom Age.

    In another portion of scripture, we have this statement by our Lord as well...

    Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel go go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
    When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

    Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
    (Mat 19:23-30)

    There are many facets to salvation...and many of those facets have a whole lot to do with AGES to come, Kevin. What is impossible for us IS possible for God.

    Paul describes THE END like this...

    The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
    (1Co 15:26-28)

    What I am saying is that THIS is where everything is headed...and it might take eons to get there, and during some of those eons not everyone gets to be a part of what God is doing and instead suffer the touchstoning...but in THE END...God ALL IN ALL. That means "Hell" is NOT permanent, but Age-during. There is NO WAY AROUND THIS and have everything in the Bible say what it says and mean what it says!


    PastorKevin Question #15: Is Jesus a liar? Will all be saved as uiversalism tries to assert? Or is Jesus correct when He says many will seek to enter and will not be able?

    LogosA-PKQ15: Apparently my arguments have not hit their mark.
    We are dealing with various AGES here, not a permanent Hell.


    PastorKevin Question #16: Is the gate narrow? Jesus also said the way to life is very narrow! IS the way to life narrow and only a few find it as Jesus says in John?

    LogosA-PKQ16: Many do not find it. This does not mean they will NEVER find it.
    Many do not get in during this life. They do not get in during this age, nor in the age to come (the Millenium) these remain dead until AFTER the Millenial reign of Christ. Many will yet be sent to the "second death" afterward...but this to is not a "final judgement" from which no one emerges.

    The LAST enemy to be DESTROYED is death, Kevin. AFTER all things are brought into subjection. Have you considered why it is LAST?

    Quote Originally Posted by PastorKevin
    25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’

    The Lord is clearly illustrating what judgment day will be like. They will be turned away because they do not KNOW the Lord!
    I agree...that is why they are turned away. This doesn't mean that this is the last we see of them. They are banished...but not forever.

    Again...you are not addressing the solution to the theological problem I'm showing you. I'm saying we are dealing with times, eons, ages..."That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."
    (Eph 1:10-12)

    Somehow the church has lost sight of this...and the reason is the doctrine of eternal torment.


    PastorKevin Question #17: Is this passage true? Will many try to get into Heaven under false pretenses and not be let in because they do not know Christ? IF Universalism is true and all are saved, why are they turned away by the Lord in this illustration?

    LogosA-PKQ17: They are turned away...but not for all eternity.
    I really thought my arguments were clear enough for this to be seen.

    My goodness Kevin...A child could understand it!

    You sound like you believe that if there was no permanent Hell...then there is no Gospel!

    Surely that is not what you are trying to say...in fact I'm quite certain it isn't...but it would help your case if you made an argument that has some bearing on our differences.

    Quote Originally Posted by PastorKevin}[I
    26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ [/I]

    This is again just talking about doing good works and serving Christ. These people were depending on their works to save them!

    27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’

    Though these people were doing things they thought would get them to Heaven, Christ calls them workers of iniquity and tells them flat out to depart. In laymen’s terms He is saying “Get lost!”

    Departing from God is also being out of the presence of God. The worst aspect of the Lake of Fire is the eternal separation from God and not the tormenting fire!
    Kevin, I know what eternal torment says. I was taught it for the majority of my Christian
    walk. I couldn't see past it either.

    Again, when you have the word of God correctly translated all these problems you are trying to present are no longer an issue in the sense of them being an ETERNAL problem that God cannot or will not resolve.


    Quote Originally Posted by PastorKevin}[I
    28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.[/I]

    Notice the statement there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. It is a very clear description of Hell that is used in the New Testament to describe what Hell will be like! It is a place of devastating torment, and according the Bible lasts forever and ever!
    No, Kevin, the BIBLE does NOT say forever and ever.
    Why do we even need an "ever" added to "forever" anyway?
    We, again, are dealing with TIME..not eternity. Eons, ages...not timelessness.

    Until people who teach eternal torment acknowledge this, there is really no point in discussing anything...because you end up in a lie and being caught up in a deception.

    Period!

    Now in our talks about Greek you repeatedly try to take away the eternal meaning in the words which are translated eternal. I have shown you time and again how those words consistently mean eternal. Well here we have a Hebrew word that means everlasting. It is the word “Olam” and it means everlasting here. Just as it does in the following places:

    Genesis 21:33 It is used to describe God as the “everlasting God”
    Jeremiah 10:10: It describes God as the “everlasting King”
    Isaiah 9:6: He is called the “Everlasting Father”
    (These are a small few uses of the word, there are loads of others!)
    See again my OPENING about this issue..it has already been answered, and answering it again will be a waste of space and my time if you can't comprehend what I'm saying anyway.

    PastorKevin Question #18: Is God an everlasting God? Is He an everlasting King?

    Is He the everlasting Father?


    LogosA-PKQ18: Yes...He is everlasting BUT NOT BECAUSE OLAM OR AION MEAN EVERLASTING!
    Is the everlasting God not also the God of the Ages?
    I really don't understand how it is you can't see this. It is quite clear.


    Quote Originally Posted by PastorKevin
    If you said "yes" to these questions, then the wicked will awake to everlasting contempt!
    I already explained this, too, Kevin. If the words in question do not mean what you say they mean...(and they don't) it would be wrong to translate them in ways in which they do mean what you say they mean.

    Comprende'?


    You cannot pick and choose! Just as you cannot pick and choose when and where you want Aion and the words that come from it to mean eternal!
    Exactly! I NEVER do. I NEVER translate these words ETERNAL.
    NEVER DO, Kevin...they always mean the exact same thing as far as the way they are translated. AGE or EON!
    MANY BIBLES DO THIS!
    Why? Because these are the same kinds of words that is in the Hebrew or the Greek...an undetermined TIME.
    SIMPLE...it isn't complicated. If the word means age it should be translated age.
    If it means "pertaining to an age" as aionion and aionios do...that what we should have in our BIBLES.

    If the duration is determined by the association when using aion in the original texts...and the same is true in English when using "age" or "eon"...there is NO NEED TO TRANSLATE IT DIFFERENTLY ANYWHERE because the words ARE the same as in the Hebrew and the Greek.

    Here is what has happened: Universalism has come along and redefined words in the Bible in order to support its false teaching. They change words to mean what they want them to mean! Everlasting contempt destroys the false teachings of Universalism and Annihilationism. If the contempt is everlasting, they don’t get out and they don’t burn up.
    The OPPOSITE is true Kevin! The Doctrine of Eternal Torment came along and redefined words in the BIBLE in order to support it's false teaching.

    I, for one, would appreciate it if you would not misrepresent these particular facts.


    In response to my question #7 you agreed and said Yes that Jesus is telling the truth. The same verbage Jesus uses in the verse I quoted leading up to that question (John 6:47) is used by Jesus in regards to everlasting punishment. It’s the same word used exactly the same way! So if you agree that Jesus is telling the truth about eternal life, why do you deny what HE ALSO CLEARLY SAYS ABOUT ETERNAL PUNISHMENT?
    It is the Life of the Ages Jesus was talking about here...and the Punishment of the Ages.
    In neither place does "of the ages" mean "eternal".
    In this verse he wasn't saying eternal in regards to either in fact He NEVER DOES...it is aionion life and eonion judgement.

    Does this mean we do not live forever? Not at all! That would simply be an overreaction.
    Look at it this way: If you have enough water to get to the well, do you die of thirst when
    you get to the well? Not likely. The same is true with salvation.

    There is this age we are in Kevin, in which only a few, like you and me, participate in God's Kingdom. Soon, all that are Christ's at His return will be raised...and we participate in a Kingdom Age where Jesus Himself rules. Few, still, participate during that future age....they are NOT raised from the dead. At the end of that age, everyone who has lived are raised to life and judged, some to life, some to "second" death.

    But...in the end...which still has not been reached even then...Death is obliterated completely, and in the end it's God all in all...that, we know, is eons away. This is why death is the LAST enemy to be destroyed.

    When death is destroyed it no longer exists.

    It's really quite simple, Kevin.

    My question #8 was: Will Satan and the fallen angels be in Heaven for all eternity? If so, by WHAT means will they get there? Please cite the Scripture verse that refutes them being in the Lake of Fire forever and ever. Please show where Salvation that is found in the God man, Jesus Christ, is also open to fallen angels and Satan. How could Christ the God-Man pay a penalty for the sins of angels?

    You said:

    Quote Originally Posted by LogosX
    I don’t know. I see two possibilities. Either Satan and the fallen angels are
    totally obliterated, or they cease to be in opposition to God’s will.
    Stephen this is barely a response my friend. I am glad you were big enough to admit that you don’t know. And if you had left it there, it would have been a more sufficient answer.

    But you continue on and say they are either totally obliterated-yet you give no Scripture to support that which I clearly asked for.
    The Bible plainly says they will be cast into the Lake of Fire and there they will be forever and ever. I listed a long list of verses in which contain the statement: “Eis tous aionas ton ainon” and how it is translated all 18 times to mean forever and ever.

    Included in that is a very clear reference to the devil, the beast, and the false prophet.

    Every time it is used it means forever and ever, INCLUDING when it refers to the corment of the wicked being day and night forever and ever. That is a very clear statement in Scripture. In order to prove your point you would need to supply some Scripture that refutes this, and you did not and have not. It is because NO SUCH SCRIPTURE EXISTS my friend.
    I continue to say that "forever and ever" is an English idiom that is not accurate as a translation of the Greek involved. It is properly "unto the age of the ages", which, like
    King of Kings and Lord of Lords... refers to the greater of multiple ages...and reflect limited duration, not eternity.

    To do so again would simply fall on already resistant ears, no doubt.

    Nothing has been presented that can change the meaning of the words involved, in spite of the best efforts of anyone. That, in my opinion, makes my case the stronger one.


    Secondly in your response you say they

    Quote Originally Posted by LogosX
    “cease to be in opposition to God’s will”.
    If that is the case, WHAT PAYS FOR THEIR SIN? Without the shed blood of Jesus Christ there is no remission for sins. As my question plainly stated, and I will restate again: HOW COULD CHRIST THE GOD-MAN PAY A PENALTY FOR THE SIN OF ANGELS?
    With God all things are possible Kevin. I'm not going to limit His ability to redeem whatever He chooses to redeem.

    Jesus Christ did not shed his blood for mankind only, but for all creation (see Rom.
    8:20-21). There are also "spiritual forces of wickedness among the celestials" (Eph. 6:12). Colossians 1:16-20 proves that all creation, "whether those on the earth or those in the heavens," will be in Christ. That is good enough for me.

    PastorKevin Question #19: Please cite the Scripture verse that shows that the blood of Christ was shed for the sins of angels. Please show even ONE SINGLE VERSE that clearly shows fallen angels repenting of their sins or having their sins forgiven, and by what means they obtain forgiveness, or else concede that no such verse exists for goodness sakes.

    LogosA-PKQ19: You see it as impossible. I don't. This is because I see punishments as purposful and not an end in themselves.

    I concede nothing.

    Now, again, with God all things are possible, and see my answer to the previous.


    My question #11 was: If a person doesn’t repent, can his sins be forgiven by the Lord anyway?

    Your answer:

    They already are.

    Here is what the Bible says:

    Isaiah 59:1-2
    1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened,That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.
    2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you,
    So that He will not hear.


    Sin is such an awful offense to God that it separates us from Him. Man is by his very nature sinful and thus separated from God. This is what led Christ to come and sacrifice His life for us, so that we can have that gap of separation that exists between man and God closed!

    John the Baptist and Jesus BOTH came preaching repentance right from the very beginning of their ministries. Jesus said in Luke 13:3- I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Repent or perish is what Jesus said. Not me, but Jesus Christ Himself!

    Jesus says a person must repent or perish. Universalism says their sins are already forgiven even BEFORE they repent? Once again, Universalism is shown to be false teaching when it is compared to the Word of God!
    My argument is that repentence does not make it happen, Kevin. It IS so...this is what is to be believed...that Christ's sacrifice removed all sin. Believeing that IS repentance, conversion, etc.,

    He was there all the time...we were just blind to it. We believe what is already done, and come to Him...that is METANOIA...accepting something previously thought untrue. Metanioa in English is "repentance".

    My argument is not against repentance...it is with what you say produces salvation.

    Repentance is one of many benifits of salvation. And, if you really look at what I've said without having in mind a means whereby to argue against it, you would realize what I've actually said. In the heat of battle, we sometimes argue against things that we have not understood, rather than what is actually said. I understand that. This kind of debate isn't
    easy to do, and when you're "on a mission"...we sometimes set about formulating an argument just to formulate an argument.

    Do you believe that there is no Gospel without an eternal Hell? You probably don't if you are pinned down. And yet, you have chosen to argue that the Gospel hinges upon an eternal Hell to be saved from, and this in itself has made you say some things that you will one day regret saying.

    I know that much is true in my case.





    I will address what you said was the “One thing that really, really bothers me”:

    Jesus is divine! Jesus is God!
    Jesus is the eternal, divine Son of the Living God. He is co-equal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit and has been for all eternity. Your question is best answered by understanding that when Jesus was hanging on the cross, He was man, but He was also God. He was (and is) the God-Man. When He gave His life, He paid the penalty for our sins. He bore the punishment that you and I deserved on that Cross. That is why He does not have to be in torment forever and ever. The torment He took on that cross was eternal at that time! This is what allows us to fully understand the atonement! He became a “curse for us”(Gal. 3:13).
    Jesus is eternal, thus He was able to pay an eternal penalty in a finite period of time!
    Again...you state the teaching of eternal torment and it's take on all those things. Of course you would.

    I have provided the premise of Ultimate salvation...and because it is a different interpretation of the veryy same scriptural data concerning punishment you think it is false, and that I don't uderstand the Gospel message.
    It's different alright...perhaps you should consider that the interpretation of these things
    as provided by eternal torment is wrong.

    Just a thought.

    Now, I believe that the death of this divine Jesus was sufficient to take away the sins of the world and will also be sufficient to save the world...I mean REALLY save it.

    Eternal torment and annihilationism says that it won't really save THE WORLD.

    And then says that BECAUSE of the very doctrine you are trying to defend...and ONLY because of it.


    Answering The Questions:


    PKA-LogosQ13: The answer is in the text. And it is no. Let’s look at it, but
    first let’s get something straight: Judgment is something that is forced upon us. Judgment is not something that someone generally seeks after. What is a gift? A gift is something that is freely given, and not forced. By the theology of Universalism, the free gift of salvation is not a gift, it is forced.
    I, for one, don't see your argument here as a valid one FOR an eternal Hell. Why should a forced hell be better than a forced salvation?

    Truth is, removing the false teaching of eternal torment does not change the free gift of salvation in the least.


    In verse #1 he tells us that we are justified by faith, and because we are justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Could Universalism be true if this verse is true?
    Kevin...that is so incredibly ludicrous I really don't know where to begin.

    Of course it's still true.
    This is just absolutely....

    How IS it that Jesus Christ being 100% successful negates the Gospel, Kevin? Hmmm?

    It simply means that EVERYONE comes to faith...it's just a matter of when.

    Surely you at least have this much understanding of what I'm saying...if not then you haven't been reading what I'm saying and are responding on what you assume I mean by what I'm saying.

    Try reading what I've posted without formulating an argument against it first, then see if you really have an argument to begin with.


    In verse #2 Paul makes it very clear that it is through Christ that we have "access by faith into this grace in which we stand”. Again without Christ, there is NO ACCESS!
    I have not attempted to refute that. I'm not sure why you think I have.

    In verses 3-4 he talks about the mindset Christians should have about tribulations and trials.
    In verse #5 he makes it even more clear he is talking about Christians when he says the love of God has been “poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
    You cannot have the Holy Spirit in your heart if you are not a Christian.
    I haven't attempted to refute any of these points. I'm refuting an eternal Hell, Kevin.
    Or have you forgotten that?

    In verses 6-8, Paul spells out for us that Christ died for the ungodly, his enemies! God died for men who had sinned against Him and because of their sin were separated from a Holy God. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!

    Verses 9-10 clearly show us that we (those of us who are saved) have been saved from wrath through Him despite the fact that we are His enemies!

    Verse 11 shows that we who are saved have NOW received the reconciliation. It isn’t some future thing that will one day happen! We have been reconciled to God right now. Present tense.

    Now verse 12 begins a different section of the Scripture for us. But it shows us that through Adam sinned entered the world. Through Adam death came into the world and spread to all men.

    Now the exciting part is if you look at verse 15 you will see a wonderful truth: “But the free gift is NOT like the offense.” This is an important statement to understanding this text. Why? Because the gift is not forced on people like the offense was due to the
    sin of Adam. The gift is a free gift!
    Kevin...calm down!

    Look...we are talking past each other and I realy think you still do not comprhend anything I've said.

    I'm NOT saying everyone is saved right now.
    I'm not saying everyone is saved while the Millenial Kingdom...the Kingdom Age....takes place.
    Some enter the second death after the Millenium and miss out while God creates a new Heaven and a New Earth.
    That is an awful lot to miss out on, being punished instead! Isn't that enough of a punishment?

    But still...in the end it will be all things redeemed by God's Grace, and I've already provided the scriptural support that this is so.

    Does the doctrine of eternal torment HAVE to be believed in order to believe what you have said here?

    Absolutely not!

    Here is what Universalism makes God to be like:

    The Psycho Chef (By Kevin Richeson)

    Suppose you have some friends over for dinner, and you surprise them by telling them you have baked some delicious blueberry muffins. Suppose your friend’s husband says he doesn’t want a muffin. You try to offer it to him and he refuses to eat it. You try to tell him how good it is, even eating some in front of him and saying, “Mmmmm it’s good.” But he still refuses it. The muffins are still a free gift, and at any time he could pick up a muffin and eat it, but he refuses it. You still made the muffins for all of your guests too, but that doesn't mean they all accept them!
    Now suppose as he is walking out the door you grab him, throw him on the ground and CRAM the muffin down his throat! “I TOLD YOU THAT YOU ARE GOING TO EAT THE MUFFINS I MADE FOR YOU! THEY ARE FREE AND THEY ARE GIFTS! EAT THEM!” But he refuses to swallow. So you hold him down, choking him, until he agrees to eat the muffin.
    Now is he really eating the muffin because he wants to? NO! He is eating it simply out of necessity which is not the same thing as accepting a free gift! This is what Universalism
    makes God to be like! A psychopathic God! In reality, God offers a free gift, men refuse it.

    But wait, lets go one further: let’s suppose the muffin had in it a cure for a disease that the man has. Let’s say the man knows that the muffin holds the cure for his disease and still refuses to eat of it because he would have to swallow his pride, or just because he doesn’t like muffins? Would it still be right to hold him down and force him to eat the muffin? Would it still be right to hold him down until he decides to eat the muffin? NO! But
    that is how Universalism tries to paint God, and God’s free gift of salvation.

    Oh and also, another thing. The chef made ENOUGH muffins for all of the guests. (Even the ones who refused could have had muffins if they chose to). Did all of the guests want the muffins? NO!
    Christ's sacrifice being made for all means that it is available to ALL! But they must receive the free gift of salvation in order to get it! I just don't know how much more clear it can be made than that!

    So the free gift is not like the offense Paul says. Paul goes on in verses 15-16 to explain
    further how the gift is not like the offense. The judgment leads to condemnation, the gift to justification.
    I really am mystified.
    Did God cram a muffin down your throat to save you Kevin?

    Again...you make an interesting analogy here...but you neglect to point out what is going to happen if what YOU say is true!

    In your view...you eat the muffins or you will be in pain forever and never get any chance
    to eat any muffins again.

    I'm not sure why you think this is a reasonable understanding that is a better viewpoint than Ultimate Salvation...and frankly don't know why you think that this is what Ultimate salvation is saying.

    But...maybe it's just because you are Battling me, and in the heat of battle you thought this is a valid point.

    It's just another overreaction..and I understand that.

    Is being forgiven much the same as cramming muffins, Kevin?

    Verse #17 of this text is so AWESOME because it utterly destroys Universalism:
    Oh...so THAT's what makes it awsome...because it shows that Jesus Christ CANNOT be 100% successful!

    I thought it might be for an entirely different reason...

    17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
    Death reigns on the human race right now because of the sin of the one. But look, who reigns in life? Who? THOSE WHO RECEIVE ABUDANCE OF GRACE AND OF THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS! Whoa!
    Does it say ALL will reign in life through Jesus Christ? NO! It says those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness! This is a clear description of
    the saved who have received the free gift of salvation which fits perfectly with all of the
    rest of the Bible!
    Yes it does fit well with the rest of the teaching of the Bible...and it is no argument at
    all against Ultimate salvation. And, that you think it is really has me mystified yet again.

    So NOW we come finally to verse #18 (which is why it is so important to understand context), and we read its words. We see that through one man’s offense, judgment came. But we know that only those who accept the free gift are saved. So why does it say the free gift came to all men? Because the free gift is available to all men. IT’S A GIFT! A gift that is given freely. Gifts must be accepted or they aren’t gifts. They just aren’t.

    Not in any language! Greek, Hebrew, English, doesn’t matter. Gifts are gifts are gifts. And
    that is my answer to your question.
    Boy...the Bible sure uses some strange language then, doesn't it?

    Gift's are gifts Kevin. You think I don't understand that? Come-on!

    You know what...you continue to assert that these things are somehow all not true if Jesus actually saves all men. I mean...He can save 10%, 25%, 50%, or 99.9%...but NEVER 100%.

    I still find this reasoning fascinating



    PKA-Logos Q14: No. And I will tell you why: How do all who are “in Adam” get to be “in Adam”? They are born.
    How are all who are “In Christ” get to be “In Christ”? They are born again. Is everyone
    born? Yes. Everyone who lives has been born at some point. Does everyone get born again? No.

    The Bible tells us HOW a person is born again. Through faith in Jesus Christ!

    John 3:3
    3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born
    again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”


    PastorKevin Question #20: Can one who is NOT born again go to Heaven? Is one who is not born again “In Christ”?

    John 3:16-18
    16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
    believes
    in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send
    His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
    18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only
    begotten Son of God.


    Believe: Live forever. He who does not believe: already condemned by default! That is what Jesus says!
    I agree!




    PKA-Logos Q15:
    The error is in the translation you quoted. It is better translated (with the important first 2 verses included):

    1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a
    quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in
    the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the
    knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,


    It is good and acceptable to pray for all men. God DESIRES all men to be saved. This does not mean that all WILL be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth and it doesn’t say that.

    As far as your second question, God had a timetable He was working on, (see Gal. 4:4) and Christ came at the time that He was due. In fact in the next verse, Paul says: “For which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

    Paul was appointed by God to preach. It was his and the apostles jobs to TESTIFY to what Christ had done!
    So if you look at verses 5-7 TOGETHER, it makes much more sense and takes away the mystical and unscriptural meaning attached to “testified in due time” that Universalism teaches.
    Does it, then?

    Gee...that's terrible!

    Very BAD NEWS indeed.

    Fortunately, these are not the only scriptures available, then.



    PKA-LogosQ16
    Jesus never lies! I will allow Jesus to explain Himself. The rest of the text:

    John 12:42-50
    42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
    44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”
    Yeah, I know what it says, and it says absolutely nothing that is against what I've said.
    Kevin...you sound as though you thinK that "Hell" not being eternal somehow negates what this says. Why does what this teach.... require an eternal Hell?

    I'm mystified why you think Ultimate salvation goes against this. It doesn't.



    PKA-LogosQ17:
    Huh? This is the Samaritans in the village the Samaritan woman lived in. She had gone in
    telling them about what Christ had done for her.

    John 4:39-42
    39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.
    42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we
    ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the
    world.”


    Jesus IS the Savior of the whole world. But this doesn’t mean that everyone gets saved. It
    means anyone in the world who will come to Him CAN be saved. Whoever believes in im WILL be saved. That doesn’t mean everyone WILL believe in Him.
    The context of the text is that Christ is reaching out to the Samaritans. (Who to the Jews
    were dirty and filthy and not worthy of even speaking to). The men are reacting to the fact
    that salvation is now not only open to the Jews but to the whole world! All races of people can be saved! Red, Yellow, Black, or White! But this doesn't mean they WILL be saved just as in my illustration the guests won't all eat the muffins even though they were cooked for all of them!
    Oh...I see!

    That's terrible news.

    Kevin...that's terrible news indeed.



    PKA-LogosQ18
    No. He gave His life. What more could He give? He gave everything He could give. If they refuse to believe, He has not sinned and has not fallen short of God’s expectations. In fact verse 15 clearly says that it is only those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God had God dwelling in him. John showed in verse #2 that the confession must also include confessing that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. This was to combat the false teaching of Gnosticism which was teaching that Christ did not actually have a physical body. John was instructing them to test the spirits to be sure they are of God.
    Well...you missed the point once again, Kevin.


    PKA-LogosQ19:
    One day everyone will openly admit that Jesus Christ is Lord. Admitting He is Lord does not equate to saving faith. Even the demons admit He is Lord, but they are eternally damned, as is every man that refuses to repent. I do not deny that all will confess and bow. But it is not by choice! It is by the power of God. And they are not saved by bowing and confessing.

    Simply bowing and confessing doesn’t save a person. Bowing and confessing accompanied by repentance and saving faith would do the trick! But bowing and confessing are outward acts, not inward ones!
    Yes, Yes, Kevin...again I know what eternal torment teaches. And this is yet another reason it is a false teaching.


    ]I close with another illustration:

    The old king: (By Kevin Richeson)

    Suppose I was in a little country somewhere in the third world doing some archaeological research. As I am digging, I find myself suddenly surrounded by 50 men with spears. They order me to follow them. They take me to their king. I am ushered into his throne room where another 50 or so men stand guard. They order me to bow and confess that he is the mightiest king in all the world. He may very well be, and I may very well say what they want, but that doesn’t mean that I believe what I am saying. And it doesn’t mean that if I had the power or the opportunity that I wouldn’t take over the situation and escape or attack the king.

    So it is with the great day of Judgment when all of the wicked who have forever MOCKED and DESPISED God (including Satan and his demons, Hitler, etc…). They will ALL one day be forced to bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. But they won’t be doing it willingly. And nowhere in the Bible does it say that they exercise saving faith or repent of their sins!
    And yet another reason to question the doctrine of eternal torment!
    Thank you for sharing, Kevin.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________

    1Co 15:19-28
    (19) If in this present life we have a *hope* resting on Christ, and nothing more, we are more to be pitied than all the rest of the world.
    (20) But, in reality, Christ *has* risen from among the dead, being the first to do so of those who are asleep.
    (21) For seeing that death came through man, through man comes also the resurrection of the dead.
    (22) For just as through Adam all die, so also through Christ all will be made alive again.
    (23) But this will happen to each in the right order--Christ having been the first to rise, and afterwards Christ's people rising at His return.
    (24) Later on, comes the End, when He is to surrender the Kingship to God, the Father, when He shall have overthrown all other government and all other authority and power.
    (25) For He must continue King until He shall have put all His enemies under His feet.
    (26) The last enemy that is to be overthrown is Death;
    (27) for He will have put all things in subjection under His feet. And when He shall have declared that "All things are in subjection," it will be with the manifest exception of Him who has reduced them all to subjection to Him.
    (28) But when the whole universe has been made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also become subject to Him who has made the universe subject to Him, in order that GOD may be all in all.


    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________


    By now it is clear what is happening to anyone reading this Battle.

    Two different takes on scripture.

    Two competing Theologies, both using the same scriptural data, each calling the other into question and thinking that their champion is scoring points.

    What has happened in this exchange? It's indicative of a battle that has been raging for 1500 years.

    We have a Christian religious system that when one comes to proclaim that Jesus is the Savior of the world you become suspect. They ask "well...now...just WHAT do you mean by THAT?" and if your response is that you believe that Jesus Christ will eventually save all mankind they don't view it as good news at all...instead they veiw it as dangerous, and you become a primary target.

    Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

    If this were a trial...with God Himself standing accused of creating endless misery for the vast majority of His own creation...has enough evidence been presented to get a conviction?

    No. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that the Hell that we all know and love remain intact, no matter what. Many in the Church would rather people like me would just go away...because if what we believe is true they would have to rewrite too much of their theology.

    This Battle will end with Kevins response.

    The war is not over.

    Loose interpretations of scripture surounding the doctrine of eternal torment and the results of that interpretation are in evidence.

    I've presented a defense that God has not and will not create an eternal Hell. This is
    because I believe Jesus will be 100% successful in saving mankind from evil and destroy all the works of the adversary.

    Kevin, in challenging me to this debate, you wanted me to change my mind about that. But, when it comes to Jesus verses "Hell" and Death...I still back Jesus Christ. He is, after all, the resurrection and the life, and came to destroy the works of the devil, and is the savior of the world. Who am I to argue with that?

    The debate will continue in other threads, in our homes, and in churches and schools, among freinds, and among enemies.

    Corrupt religious "systems" are Satan's primary tool, because they firmly ensconce themselves in the tree of knowledge of good and evil...which brings death. Its ugly, it's hurtful, it's insideous. This is true even if you "christianize" it.

    If you want the LIFE, in truth...it isn't in THAT tree. You have to come to the Other Tree.

    May the Holy Spirit show you all truth. Amen.

    Jesus still saves in spite of this situation.
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________

    Kevin, I appreciate the time you have spent with me, and the graciousness that you have extended to us all in participating in this Battle.

    I pray that it does everything God intends it to do.

    God bless you!

    Also, to the moderators of TOL for allowing the debate, again, thank you.
    It is yet anther reason that TOL is the greatest website in the world!

    God bless you all as well.

    It was fun.

    Your's in Christ
    Stephen.

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    The end of the road:

    Closing statement:

    I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to Stephen for participating in the Battle Royale. He is a level-headed gentleman and I am grateful for that. I made it clear at the beginning of the battle that I would be asking some difficult questions. I have many more that I could ask if the Battle continued on, but we predetermined that it would be 4 rounds. I think this subject is one that has a tendency to have strong emotional effects on people regardless of what side they take. I made it exceedingly clear that my attacks would be on the ideas that Stephen holds and not the man himself. I hope that has come through loud and clear. I think Stephen is a great person, and I look forward to our continued friendship over time. I do in fact still hope to win you over, Stephen, from this system of false belief that you have embraced.

    While I have kind words to say to you and about you, I do not have kind words for the teachings of Universalism. It is a blatantly unbiblical system of belief. You said in your closing statement that we have here two different competing Theologies and two different interpretations of the same Scriptures. While I agree to a certain extent this is true, it also NOT true in many respects. The Bible and some of the beliefs of Universalism are in complete disagreement. I wouldn’t say ALL are in disagreement obviously. I know for sure that there are many things Stephen and I agree on. But if all we talked about was what we agreed upon, then this wouldn’t be a debate, it wouldn’t be formatted in rounds and run by a moderator. (Hmmm I bet Poly isn't moderate though!).

    I say that to say this: in my closing argument I am going to go through very briefly some of the things we have learned and discussed in regards to the Bible and whether or not unbelievers spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, and present some new evidence to the discussion as a closer. I know this debate has almost been sidetracked and could also very well be titled: “Is Universalism Biblical?” This is because Stephen’s answers to the basic question of the debate rely on the translations and interpretations of Universalism. I made it clear that I also utterly reject Annihilationism on the grounds of many of the same Scriptures that I reject Universalism. I will again discuss these now.

    WILL UNBELIEVERS SPEND ETERNITY IN THE LAKE OF FIRE?

    The Bible makes it VERY clear that they will in fact. But I think that what must clearly be understood is: WHO is an unbeliever? WHAT is God’s standard for one to be a believer or not to be a believer? The Bible is replete with answers on this subject!

    Consider:

    Who is an unbeliever?

    An unbeliever is someone who REFUSES to believe. A believer is someone who has faith in something or someone. That is the most generic definition I can give.

    The chair:
    When I sit down in a chair, I am placing my faith in that chair to hold me up without crashing to the floor! An unbeliever would not sit in the chair because they wouldn't put their faith in it to hold them up! Thus they could NEVER experience the benefits of sitting in a chair.

    The light switch:
    If I flip on a light switch, I am operating by faith that the light will come on. If I do not turn on the switch, the light doesn't come on. I could stand around and SAY I believe the light switch works, but it doesn't work until I exercise faith and turn it on!

    The Believer Biblically:
    A believer in the Biblical sense is someone who has faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for their sins. The Bible says it is by grace we are saved through faith, and this is not of ourselves but is a gift from God. (Eph. 2:8-9) We have no reason to boast or brag about ourselves or anything that we can do or have done. We are by our very nature sinners in need of a Savior. The gospel message is one of great hope! You see without it, this is what we would be facing:

    Romans 3:23
    23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    Isaiah 59:2
    2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.

    Romans 3:10
    As it is written: “ There is none righteous, no, not one;

    All have sinned!

    Romans 1:18
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

    The WRATH of God is revealed from heaven against ALL ungodliness and unrighteousness of men! Those are pretty powerful statements in the Word of God. The fact of the matter is that all are sinners, including me and everyone alive. And we all deserve to face the wrath of God because of our sin! Because as I said earlier in this debate: God hates sin! And until a sinner repents of his sins and exercises saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the wrath of God rests upon him.

    TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE!
    John the Baptist in the first book of the New Testament clearly introduces us to the idea that there are TWO classes of people: saved and unsaved. Believers and unbelievers. Redeemed and unredeemed. Names written in the Book of life, names NOT written in the Book of life. (Insert your own separation term). The bottom line is that believers and unbelievers are separated in the Bible and they will be separated for all eternity as well. But lets not put the cart before the horse:

    Matthew 3:11-12

    11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

    Here we see the Lord Jesus Himself separating the believers from the unbelievers. The unbelievers (the chaff) will burn in unquenchable fire. The believers (the wheat) the Lord gathers into the barn (Heaven).

    I don’t know how it could be more clear than that. I mean it is so clear that a child can understand it. Stephen you said in your response:

    Quote Originally Posted by logos_x
    if this were a trial...with God Himself standing accused of creating endless misery for the vast majority of His own creation...has enough evidence been presented to get a conviction?
    I say resoundingly yes! In fact the evidence is so overwhelming just in those 2 verses that I just posted that it would hardly be necessary to even continue. But I will for the sake of clarity and for the sake of the Gospel.

    Jesus said in Matthew 5:20:

    20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

    To understand this in context, it is necessary to understand that the Pharisees were the most religious people of the day. They had an outward standard of behavior that was unequalled in that day. They were people who had it all going on on the outside. Jesus makes it clear that the standard for entering Heaven is much stricter than righteous behavior. The Bible says:

    Romans 3:10
    “ There is none righteous, no, not one;

    None are good enough!
    NONE who bear the credentials necessary to enter Heaven! Not a one of us. Not me, not Stephen, not the Universalists, not anyone! We are all dirty, wicked sinners who need a Savior. This is a hard message, and one that is not popular these days. In fact, these days people want a gospel that “feels good”, that “sounds good”, that is nicey-nice. Well the sad fact is that mankind is wicked and sinful. I don’t say these things, God does!


    Matthew 7:13
    “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

    This passage again shows the separation between the righteous and the unrighteous, the wicked and the redeemed. We see TWO gates, one wide and one narrow.

    We see TWO ways, one broad and one difficult. And we see TWO crowds-one very large and containing MANY people, and one very narrow and only a FEW people.
    We are NOT given percentages, so Stephen's argument in regards to percentages is really not relevant. The other thing we see in this text is that the two roads that have the two crowds going two different ways lead to TWO destinations: LIFE and DESTRUCTION.

    Two Gates
    Two Ways
    Two Crowds
    Two Destinations

    My question to everyone reading this, is: do YOU know which road you are on? Do you know which way YOU are headed? Do you know what crowd YOU are in? Do you know what YOUR destination is? If you are unsure, I would like to ask you to send me a PM. I would love to talk with you further about this important subject and to pray for you.

    Universalism says this (I am quoting Stephen here):

    Quote Originally Posted by logos_x
    Jesus will be 100% successful in saving mankind from evil and destroy all the works of the adversary.
    Did Jesus Himself agree with this? Or is Universalism misleading people?

    Matthew 7:21-23

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them,I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    This is, again, a very powerful statement from our Lord! Does it show that all will be saved? Not in the least! It shows that there are indeed two classes of people, believers and unbelievers! And the sad fact is that there are even some who THINK they are ok! That is because they have trusted in the wrong things! Works of righteousness (casting out demons, going to church, etc…) cannot save us! Only faith in Jesus Christ saves us!


    In Matthew 13:36-43, the Lord says:
    36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
    37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!


    Now this is an explanation of a parable He told in verses 24-30 in the same chapter. The righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Faither! The wicked unredeemed unbelievers are cast into the furnace of fire. People can get angry with me for saying this all they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ said it!

    Matthew 25:31-34

    31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    The distinction is quite clear here that the righteous are going into the Kingdom He has prepared for them!

    But what of the unrighteous? What of the unbelievers? Verses 41 and 46 tell us of their destination:

    Stephen said:

    41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

    46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    The punishment is just as eternal as the life. No amount of arguing over the meanings of words can change that!

    This is why it says very clearly in the Old Testament, in the book of Daniel:

    Daniel 12:2

    And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

    And this was not a verse that was ever responded to by Stephen in the debate. I think that is probably more by oversight than anything, but it is a very important verse because it shows clearly the everlasting destinations of the believers and the unbelievers.

    This is supported clearly by the New Testament:

    2 Thessalonians 1:8-9


    8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power


    So we have seen in these verses and many others that the punishment is eternal. Why would God allow people to be punished for all eternity in Hell if He loves mankind? As we said earlier in the debate, God didn't originally create man sinful. God created him sinless and innocent. Man CHOSE to sin and plunged himsef into the consequences of that sin: namely, sickness, pain, suffering, physical death and eternity separated from God.

    THE WAY OUT:

    Of Jesus the Bible says:

    John 3:15-16
    15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

    John 10:1-4
    1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

    John 10:7-9
    7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (Notice He says "IF ANYONE" not "EVERYONE enters by Me"!)


    John 14:1-6

    1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
    5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
    6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.


    Remember the two gates? Jesus is the gate to life! Remember the two ways? Jesus is the WAY the truth and the life! The fact is that it is only through Christ that a person can enter Heaven!

    What does that mean?

    In order to enter Heaven, a person must exercise saving faith! They cannot enter any other way! They must be “Born again”! They must repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And they must do so in this life. While Universalism dogmatically asserts that only their belief that all will be saved is accurate, it is in fact a false belief. It is not belief in Universal Salvation or any other doctrine that saves a person! It is belief in Jesus Christ! If a person believes in Universal Salvation, but does not have a PERSONAL relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, he will spend eternity apart from the Lord Jesus Christ! Remember the Lord said, “Depart from me, I never KNEW you!”

    We must have a relationship with the Lord in order to go to Heaven. If we do not, we fall short and are unbelievers!

    Is there Salvation after death?

    Universalism teaches that there are further opportunities given after this life to repent. And yet the Bible never shows this to be true anywhere! In fact it says just the opposite:


    Hebrews 9:27-28
    27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment

    Psalm 9:4-5

    4 For You have maintained my right and my cause;You sat on the throne judging in righteousness. 5 You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever.

    The judgment is clear:
    I have already previously in this battle posted the verses that clearly show that the Beast, the False Prophet, Satan, all those who worship the beast and take his mark, and all those whose names are not written in the Book of Life are all cast into the Lake of Fire. Those verses make it clear that this is the second death, and that it is permanent. And not only permanent, but eternal punishment. The Lake BURNS with fire and brimstone. There will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

    We die, we are judged. It is that simple. There are no more chances. There are no further opportunities!

    A message of love:
    God’s message is a message of love and hope. The sad thing is that Universalism calls God evil if the Bible is right about eternal punishment for unbelievers. This is the most wicked position of all! The sinful creature who rejected God and turned its back on Him is blaming HIM because of their spiritual condition? This is because Universalism clearly does not understand the utter hopelessness of man because of his sin. The emotion-driven question of: "Why would a loving God send helpless individuals for all eternity and torture them for no reason?" Is repeated OVER and OVER by Univeralists everywhere. (And Annihilationists for that matter). I have found so many times that the folks who are the most dogmatic about this are usually (not always, but usually) someone who has lost a close relative or friend that they were unsure of their salvation. This is one of the deceptive tricks of Universalism. It thrives on appealing to the emotions.

    God told Adam in Genesis chapter 3 that it was BECAUSE of what HE HAD DONE that he was cursed. And that same curse passes to each one of us! Because of what I have done (as a sinner) I deserve to be judged and spend eternity in the Lake of Fire! Sinful wicked people have to get it out of their mind that they DESERVE anything. We don’t deserve Heaven! We don't DESERVE the death of the Holy and Perfect Son of God! If one person went to Heaven it would be to God’s praise and glory that He showed grace to that one. But the Bible says that all who believe will go! They are on the right path, they are in the right crowd, they are going through the right gate, and they will be in the right destination!

    Romans 1 tells us even further why the objection of the Universalist that God is unfair is so wrong! The Universalist and the Annihlationist come along and say that God would not send someone to the Lake of Fire for all eternity who had not heard the name of Jesus Christ, that it wouldn’t be fair. The Bible says:

    Romans 1:18-25

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
    24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.


    Close in on verse 20 there for just a moment, because it crystallizes this for us:

    20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

    They are without excuse. They have made their own decisions! We are not God. God doesn't force Himself on anyone!

    Jeremiah 49:13
    13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.



    One of my favorite quotes from John Macarthur is this:

    “Now if men...and I want you to understand this, if men will accept the light they have, affirm that light, believe that light then I believe God will give them more light to bring them to the knowledge of Christ. And it’s important at this juncture to say this; nobody is ever saved short of faith in Jesus Christ. No one can be saved apart from Christ. “Neither is there salvation in (what?) any other.” Only in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we must reach people with the name of Christ. You say, well what about those people who are off in some remote place? If they live up to the light they have I believe God will allow them to hear the message to be saved.”

    Well put indeed brother John! If a person who has never heard the name of Jesus Christ will truly humble himself before God and seek God, God will make Himself known to that person! There are missionaries going all over the world right now and doing this work, and people are getting saved in remote places all over the world.
    Praise God! He is not to be demeaned or talked badly about just because a group of PEOPLE decided they didn’t like something that was in His Word and wanted to change it! And make no mistake. That is exactly what has happened. The Universalist dogmatically asserts that the words in the Bible are translated wrongly. They will only accept verses that are translated in a way that agrees with their doctrine of Universal Salvation.

    The debate over the Greek:
    The fact is that the VAST MAJORITY of Greek scholars utterly disagree with the Universalists take on these verses. It is not even close! For the soul truly seeking: Just go to a parallel Bible online (or Biblegateway.com) and enter in some of the verses that are translated "everlasting" or "eternal" that I have quoted in this debate (Matthew 25:41,46; 2 Thess. 1:8-9; Rev. 14:9-11;Rev. 20:10 would be good ones to start with), and see if the vast majority of translations agree or disagree with Universalism!

    It is not enough to say that they are just basing their beliefs on an eternal hell and making the translation say what they want it to say. This is so completely fallacious! The Greek scholars who translated the many very good translations of the Bible such as the NAS, the KJV, the NKJV, and the NIV are an outstanding group of Greek scholars. Check the list of the names of the people who worked on these translations sometime. It is a who’s who of Greek scholars. They have faithfully and willingly translated the Word of God into English for us. One of the things I agree wholeheartedly with Universalists on is the need to have a good Bible translation. The translations of the Universalists do not fall into that cagegory.

    The fact is that in this debate, my friend Stephen could not answer a number of questions that I asked him with any clear Scriptural references. I don’t blame him completely. It is the teaching of Universalism which he has embraced that has misled him. I encourage you Stephen to turn from this false teaching. I implore you to do so. Not just for the sake of this debate, but for your sake as well! If not now, some time down the line I pray you will seriously consider all of the things I have said to you in this debate. I hope I have not angered you with my strong statements in this closing argument, but I wanted to take a different route to close the debate. Time will tell if it was successful or not.

    Things that are irrefutable Biblical facts and were shown to be so in this debate:

    1.Believers will live for all eternity in Heaven.
    2. Heaven and the Lake of Fire are both eternal destinations.
    3. Unbelievers will spend all eternity in the Lake of Fire.
    4. There is not one verse in the Bible that clearly shows that they get out of the Lake of Fire
    5. God loves all men and sent His Son, Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for their sins on the cross of Calvary.
    6. Not everyone will accept the message. To God all those who DO accept the message were worth the sacrifice of His Son!
    7. A person who is not born again cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
    8. Jesus said the fire in the Lake of Fire is never quenched. This is a fact.
    9. There is not one verse in the Bible that shows that Jesus was wrong and the fire is quenched.
    10. There is no hope of redemption for fallen angels and Satan. The Bible does not contain one verse that supports such a wild claim. The Bible clearly says that Christ was sacrificed for men and not for angels.
    11. There is no Scriptural evidence of angels having their sins paid for, repenting of their sins, or spending eternity in Heaven after a period of “ages” as Universalism claims.
    12. There is no Scriptural evidence of people being allowed to repent of their sins after death. The Bible makes it clear that God’s judgments are just as eternal as He is.
    13. There is no Scriptural evidence that people are saved after they die.
    14. Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life are never in Scripture shown to have their names written BACK into the Book of Life at any point!
    15. The Bible says that those whose names are not written in the Book of Life are cast into the Lake of Fire. There is not one single verse that shows they ever get out.
    16. He who believes in Jesus Christ has everlasting life. He who does not believe is condemned.
    17. Without repentance, we cannot have our sins blotted out!


    Now, I will close by examining the verses you posted which Universalists believe makes many of the above statements that I make untrue:

    1 Corinthians 15

    In this wonderful chapter of Scripture we find many great things to be true. But the teaching of Universalism is not there!

    Verses 1-11:
    1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
    3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
    9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.


    Wonderful passage of Scripture! In verse #1 we see Paul declaring the gospel, and saying that it is only by the gospel that they are saved! What is the Gospel? That Christ died for our sins according the Scriptures. That He was buried and rose again, and was witnessed by many people and then finally by Paul himself later on. Paul views himself as the LEAST of the Apostles because he had so persecuted the church.

    Verses 12-19

    12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

    Ok so here we see why Paul was making the point he was making. Some of the Corinthians were still holding onto their pagan beliefs that there was no resurrection of the dead. But as Paul says, if there is no resurrection, Christ is not risen. If Christ isn’t risen, we have a false hope! He uses very clear logic here. If the dead don’t rise, Christ isn’t risen either and their faith (and ours) is futile! That is why he says that we are to be pitied if our only hope is in this life!

    Verses 20-22:

    20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

    It is important to understand what we have already clearly shown earlier in this debate: that one is in Adam by being born. This is why ALL are in Adam. ALL have been born! But a person is in Christ only by being BORN AGAIN! If a person is not born again they cannot see the kingdom of God Jesus Himself said.

    The big problem with false teaching:

    We must interpret Scripture with other Scripture in order to understand it rightly. So if we read these verses and think they mean that all are saved, we must say, ok does that fit with the rest of the Bible? The answer is a resounding NO because of all the reasons I have stated over and over in this debate. There are too many verses that clearly conflict with Universal Salvation for that doctrine to be true.

    Romans 8:1

    1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    Those IN CHRIST are not condemned, and would thus be those made alive in Christ in verse #22 of 1 Corinthians 15. In Adam all die. Since all are born in Adam, all die. Only in Christ are they made alive. What happens if they don’t believe? (remember the whole topic of this debate: Will unbelievers spend eternity in the Lake of Fire?)

    John 3:18
    18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    So the best way to understand 1 Cor. 15:22 in light of other Scripture is this:
    In Adam all die, but all of those who are IN CHRIST shall be made alive!

    Now back to 1 Corinthians 15:

    Verse #23:
    23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

    These verses do not teach all will be saved. They do NOT teach that at all! Instead it says each is raised in his own order: Christ was raised first (the firstfruits), then those who ARE CHRIST’S at His coming! So those IN CHRIST are raised. Where again does this teach that all are saved? Oh, that’s right. It doesn’t!

    Here is the interpretation of this verse that fits in the context and with all of the REST of Scripture:

    Christ was raised first. Following Christ, those who are in Christ will be raised up at His glorious coming. Some will be raised at the Rapture (living believers at that time and all of those dead in Christ). Then those who come to Christ during the Great Tribulation and the Old Testament saints reign with Christ during the Millennium. (See 1 Thess 4:16-17;Rev. 20:4; Dan. 12:2;Is 26:19-20

    At the end of the Millennium, the end will come and the Great White Throne Judgment occurs. This is when all unbelievers come to stand before God. This is when they are cast eternally into the Lake of Fire. (See Revelation 20,21 and be sure to be reading a faithful translation not tainted by false teaching! The KJV, NKJV, NIV, and NAS are all pretty good-although the NIV might be the weakest of those for individual verse by verse study.)

    THEN comes the end!

    Verses 24-25:
    24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.

    Where is salvation for Christ’s enemies here? They are put under His feet! This is not a term used for believers. They are made subject to Him. They are made to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father! This is the end result of all the pagan unbelief that runs rampant in our world. This is the end result for Satan and the fallen angels. They will ALL be put under His feet! Again this does NOT say they are saved.
    Christ delivering the kingdom to God the Father is a reference to the end of the Millennial Kingdom. When the Millennial Kingdom is up, Satan is allowed to be loosed one final time and will lead a final rebellion against God which will be utterly WIPED OUT! Then Satan and all those who hate God and reject Jesus Christ will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity to receive their JUST PUNISHMENT!

    Verse #26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

    The Bible tells us that death is cast into the Lake of Fire. This is indicative that there is a force that causes physical death. I believe it to be closely associated with Satan. The Bible says that Christ broke the power of Satan at the cross and that Satan held the power of death. But Satan will not lose that power finally and completely until the end of the Millennial Kingdom when he is cast into the Lake of Fire. Then Death and Hades are both cast into the Lake of Fire also! What does that mean? It means that there will be no more death! No death ever again! This doesn’t mean that it repeals the 2nd death! The 2nd death is final! All those cast into the Lake of Fire never get out. That means we better do our job of warning this world fellow Christians! The time is short! The Lord’s return is imminent! Get busy for the Lord warning those friends and loved ones!

    Verses 27-28:
    27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

    This describes the glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ to His pre-creation state. He will always be Jesus. He will always be God. But He will be in all of His full glory for all eternity! And God the Son is eternally subject to God the Father.

    The statement that God may be “all in all” is one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted statements in all of Scripture! It doesn’t mean that ALL will be saved. It simply is showing that God has put an end to ALL rebellion once and for all, for all time! If you read the verse that is exactly WHAT IT SAYS!


    Closing:
    Well I have much more to say, but time and space would really not allow me to continue. I guess we will have to leave it to further discussions on the wonderful message boards of TOL.

    I would like to say again to Stephen how thankful I am to you for participating in this debate, and I hope that my final post has cleared up some things for you and for others who might be struggling or on the fence.

    My honest and heartfelt exhortation to all reading this is to study the Word of God for yourself! Allow God to teach you and guide you through His Word, the Bible. Don’t take things that I say or another person says over what God says.

    If I have said anything that you have questions about, please feel free to hit me with a PM. As I said earlier, if you are reading this and are unsure which road you are on, the road to life, or the road that leads to destruction, I would very much like to hear from you!

    May God bless you all!


    Pastor Kevin

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