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!
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?Originally Posted by PastorKevin
Truth is, removing the false teaching of eternal torment does not change the free gift of salvation in the least.
Kevin...that is so incredibly ludicrous I really don't know where to begin.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?
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.
I have not attempted to refute that. I'm not sure why you think I have.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 haven't attempted to refute any of these points. I'm refuting an eternal Hell, Kevin.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.
Or have you forgotten that?
Kevin...calm down!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!
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?
I really am mystified.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.
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?
Oh...so THAT's what makes it awsome...because it shows that Jesus Christ CANNOT be 100% successful!Verse #17 of this text is so AWESOME because it utterly destroys Universalism:
I thought it might be for an entirely different reason...
Yes it does fit well with the rest of the teaching of the Bible...and it is no argument at17 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!
all against Ultimate salvation. And, that you think it is really has me mystified yet again.
Boy...the Bible sure uses some strange language then, doesn't it?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.
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
I agree!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!
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”?
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!
Does it, then?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.
Very BAD NEWS indeed.
Fortunately, these are not the only scriptures available, then.
Yeah, I know what it says, and it says absolutely nothing that is against what I've said.PKA-LogosQ16
Jesus never lies! I will allow Jesus to explain Himself. The rest of the text:
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.”
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.
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.
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
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!
That's terrible news.
Kevin...that's terrible news indeed.
Well...you missed the point once again, Kevin.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.
Yes, Yes, Kevin...again I know what eternal torment teaches. And this is yet another reason it is a false teaching.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!
And yet another reason to question the doctrine of eternal torment!]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!
Thank you for sharing, Kevin.
(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