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

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    Just livin' life one day at a time. Poly's Avatar
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    BR XII - Will Unbelievers Spend Eternity in the Lake of Fire?

    Battle Royale XII: Will unbelievers spend eternity in the Lake of Fire?
    pastorkevin vs. logos_x



    The Battle will begin Monday, December 11, 2006. Battle Royale XII will be a 4 round battle and follow the existing Battle Royale rules.

    BATTLE ROYALE XII DETAILS

    What: The debate will be titled Battle Royale XII: Will unbelievers spend eternity in the Lake of Fire?


    Where: The debate will take place on the Internet at TheologyOnline.com (TOL), the popular online Christian forum, with the moderator, opponents, and spectators all participating and observing over the web.

    Who: The combatants are pastorkevin and logos_x and the debate will be moderated by Poly.

    When: The debate will begin on Monday, December 5, 2006 at noon. IMPORTANT NOTE: BOTH COMBATANTS WILL POST THEIR OPENING POST ON MONDAY DECEMBER 11th BETWEEN 12:00 and 12:30PM MDT (2-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time).

    The coin has been flipped and it is determined that logos_x will post next, after both combatants opening posts are submitted. He will have 48 hours from 12:00pm (MDT) to submit his second post.

    THERE WILL NOT BE A WEEKEND BREAK FOR THIS BATTLE. Each combatant has 48 hours from the time of the previous post to make their next post. If for some reason a combatant cannot make their post on time they can make arrangements with Poly and we can make an adjustment as long as it is a reasonable adjustment.


    How:The debate will last for four rounds. The recommended maximum word limit for the average post is 6,000 words, but any or all posts could be much briefer or possibly longer if need be. For each round, the opponents will login to TheologyOnline.com to upload their posts prior to each round’s 48-hour “move clock” running out of time. The official BR XII clock will be "TOL time" i.e, the time that is listed with each TOL post.

    Each round should be thought of as....
    Round #1 - opening statements
    Round #2 - rebuttals
    Round #3
    Round #4 - closing statements


    Guidelines

    Clarity: Both sides will attempt to achieve clarity and avoid obfuscation.

    Responsiveness: Each side will make an effort to be responsive to the other, to interact, and to answer relevant questions forthrightly, which also ensures that the participants actually debate one another and not simply post material written for other purposes, especially if that material is not specifically responsive.


    Specific BR XII Rules

    Rule 1:
    Question Numbering: To help focus the opponent on the topic(s) of a particular post, and to enable readers to follow the debate more easily, participants will sequentially number their questions using TOL’s Battle Royale convention of first part of username, a Q for question, an A for answer, and then the question number. pastorkevin and logos_x would identify their questions with pastorkevin Q1, pastorkevin Q2, logos_x Q1, and would mark any answer given with pastorkevin A-logos Q1 (pastorkevin answers logos_x's first question), logos_x A-pastorkevin Q1, etc. After reading a post of, say, fifteen paragraphs, without such a convention, it may be unclear to the audience and even to the opponent exactly what is being asked. So this also saves participants time in evaluating an opponent’s post. And it discourages unresponsive replies that focus for example on rhetorical questions or incidental details while ignoring the primary challenges. Of course there can be valid reasons why an opponent may refuse to answer a given question
    "The most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" - Ronald Reagan



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    Just livin' life one day at a time. Poly's Avatar
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    Battle Royale XII Pre Game Thread
    "The most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" - Ronald Reagan



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    Just livin' life one day at a time. Poly's Avatar
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    Tale of the tape

    In this corner....



    logos_x

    Real name: Stephen

    I am a 50 year old father of four; one daughter, the firstborn, is 28, and three sons, 26, 25, and 22 years old. The middle son was the first to be married, and recently had their first child on October 21st of this year, making me a grandparent.

    I became a christian at 17. Graduated High School in 1974, and have not attended any college or seminary except as a "guest observer".

    I was born in Anderson, Indiana where we now reside. From 1980 to 1986 we lived in Fort worth,Texas. While in Fort Worth I read extensivly from the library of the Theological Seminary there, which was open to the public. I was active in the church we attended as a printing press and layout designer for publication.

    Theological study is my greatest interest. I prefer self study rather than attending a formal seminary training because I've found the formal curriculum in seminaries to be rather limited, and I was a father of four kids, with which I wanted to spend as much time as I could.

    I have served in a church capacity as a teacher, a home group leader, a leader in "Royal Rangers" (a scouting organizition for christian young men), an elder, and bus driver.

    Occupations include Industrial Security for an Oil Well Servicing company, First Aid Trainer, Data Processing for an HMO, and currently a Correctional Officer in a minimum security holding facility that serves as an overflow for the County Jail.

    I enjoy movies, music, and family and kids.



    And in this corner....



    PastorKevin

    Pastor Kevin Richeson was the senior Pastor at Sherwood Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis from fall of 2003 until November of 2006. He assumed leadership of a struggling church body in September of 2003. During his leadership the church saw an increase of 300% in attendance and a 350% increase of financial growth. The growth of the church included over 30 people giving their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ in the past two years of ministry there.

    Pastor Kevin and his wife have recently been called by the Lord to start a new church in the Indianapolis area. The church is in its formative stages now, and will be a multiethnic non-denominational Bible church. The heavy emphasis of this new ministry will be the church's desire and need to truly be a "Church for all people" from all walks of life, where there is no division ethnically, financially, or socially.

    Pastor Kevin attended Bible College at Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis and studied under the teachings of many Godly men such as Professor Mike Smith, Dr. Ezell Wiggins, Dr. James Odell, and Dr. Charles Ware. Dr. Ware and Dr. Wiggins have both served as mentors to him
    since his days as a full time student at the Bible College.

    Kevin doubled as the Senior Pastor and Worship Leader during his pastorate at Sherwood Hills. Before serving as Senior Pastor there, he was the Worship Leader at Crossroads Bible College for 2 semesters, leading the worship during chapel services. He also served on the planning committee for the first student council and was named Vice President of the student council while a student at Crossroads.

    Pastor Kevin also served as Sports Outreach Administrator for a 600-member church from 1998 through 2002. During this time 15-20 men came to Christ each year through the Sports Outreach ministries of the church.

    During his years of service in various ministry Roles, Kevin has had a particular ministry focus and many successes in reaching out to people from all races. One of the most passionate positions that he holds is the necessity of the church being multi-ethnic (for all people) and racial reconciliation in the church of Jesus Christ.

    In his pre-Christ days, Pastor Kevin was a rock singer who had almost destroyed his life, when he accepted Christ as Savior.

    Pastor Kevin is currently working on authoring a book, and also has an upcoming Christian Music CD that will be released through an Indianapolis record label. The CD will feature mostly original music by Kevin and his younger brother Cody.

    Kevin is going to be singing and heavily participating in the Indianapolis Right to Life’s “Memorial Service for the Unborn” in January, 2007. He participated in the event last year as one of several local Indianapolis Pastors who were invited to lead the service in prayer.

    logos_x and PastorKevin have both agree to the stated rules.
    The battle begins Monday, December 11, 2006.
    "The most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" - Ronald Reagan



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    Battle Royale XII starts Monday, December 11, 2006.
    "The most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" - Ronald Reagan



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    Opening

    Greeting

    I wish to thank Knight for the invitation and the opportunity to debate pastorkevin on eternal unending permanent misery. I'm grateful to the administrators and moderators of TOL for providing a forum where a variety of different viewpoints can be discussed and challenged.

    I would like to thank pastorkevin, too. For me, upbraiding a man of God and a Pastor of a church on any topic in public is not something that I take lightly or without some trepidation, especially when that man is one I agree with on most things and respect and hold in high esteem...as I do in pastorkevin's case. But when it comes to the doctrine before us in this debate, it's a topic and a plausibility structure that needs, and deserves, to be questioned and challenged more than any other, if for no other reason than because of what it proposes God is doing. I wish to thank pastorkevin for taking the time from his busy life for this debate and share his views on this subject, which for the last 1500 years has been a very charged and controversial topic. I consider it an honor and a privilege that pastorkevin would consider engaging in a public debate with me on this subject.

    This is my first "formal" debate, and while there are many things upon which we might disagree, especially on this topic, one thing we do wholeheartedly agree upon is the reliability of God's Word (at least in the original languages, upon which I will depend very heavily) in it's testimony concerning God and Jesus Christ: it is THE measure by which all other things concerning God is measured, in determining what God is like, in instruction and doctrine.

    What do I hope to accomplish?

    At the very least, I hope to give people who might not now believe that Jesus will save all mankind and be 100% successful in saving the world the opportunity to see just how the Bible, in reality, says that He not only can, but will save everyone from evil. If you believe it to be unbiblical you will be surprised just how biblical it is. In fact you will also be surprised just how much against the Bible the doctrine of eternal (as a matter of duration) torment in the lake of fire actually is...if you don't merely acquiesce to what translators and theologians who hold the belief that God intends to have people be tortured forever say about it and believe what they say without question.

    Why I agreed to this debate:

    Why would someone challenge a doctrine held by the Roman Church and it's offspring to be of God for centuries?

    Is it because "idiots are fun, and that is why every village wants one?"

    Is it because I have a desire to be called a "liar" and a "heretic"?

    Well, no, nothing quite so heroic. I simply do not believe that God wants an eternal Hell. In spite of the fact that I grew up believing in an eternal Hell, and still attend churches that teach that Hell is eternal unending misery without end and without any hope whatsoever, I believe God wants to save everyone...and, shocking as it may seem, He just might be smart enough to be able to do so. I believe that God's cure for our disease (sin, shortfalleness) is far stronger and better that the disease itself. And...most importantly, I believe that the Bible teaches that it is just that...stronger, and better, and far exceeds all human expectations...and that God IS powerful enough, wise enough, and smart enough to draw ALL men willingly into His Salvation...at least eventually.

    Premise

    This all adds up to one rather shocking belief. "Hell", whether it is "Sheol", "Hades", "Gehenna", "Tartarus", or the "Second Death" in the "lake of fire and brimstone" that you might be referring to...is NOT everlasting. Instead, and on the contrary, it is intended in line with God's purposes in saving all mankind...it is corrective and remedial, purposful... and NOT abusive, vidictive, and insatiable anger that knows no end. It is not meant to accomplish absolutely nothing for the one being punished and continue without end, but fosters change and repentance and RESULTS in the everlasting purposes of God.

    Many books have been written in defense of eternal torment. Dr. J.I. Packer has noted that Biblical Universal Salvation and the Apocatastasis of ALL things (see Acts 3:21) "has in this century quietly become part of the orthodoxy of many Christian thinkers and groups." and in one of his books on the subject complains that in every generation some theologians attempt to refute the veiw that eternal torment is true in spite of books like his.

    What is the reason for this? Given the nature of the assertions of eternal torment and what it proposes, it is inevitable that it should be questioned and other views be proposed. These represent fresh interpretations of the scriptural data we have been provided, alternate plausibility structures that consider the witness of the Bible from the veiw of Christ's complete victory over sin and, ultimately, death itself! (see 1 Corinthians 15:25-28)

    The Bible declares that our death is not the end.

    Like the pig-sty in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32) punishment or separation from God's provision might cause a change in the person who finds they are worthy of being shunned by God, provided that such "shunning" is not "eternally final" upon physical death or even the "second death".

    Theodore of Mopsuestia, one of the Church Fathers who lived around 350 AD to 428 AD, had this to say about that:

    "The wicked who have committed evil the whole period of their lives shall be punished till they learn that, by continuing in sin (shortfalleness), they only continue in misery. And when, by this means, they shall have been brought to fear God, and to regard Him with good will, they shall obtain the enjoyment of His grace."

    Other Church fathers in the years close to the teachings of the Apostles had somewhat to say about this matter as well:

    And God showed great kindness to man, in this, that He did not suffer him to continue being in sin forever; but as it were, by a kind of banishement, cast him out of paradise in order that, having punishment expiated within an appointed time, and having been disciplined, he should afterwards be recalled...just as a vessel, when one being fashioned it has some flaw, is remoulded or remade that it may become new and entire; so also it happens to man by death. For he is broken up by force, that in the resurrection he may be found whole; I mean spotless, righteous and immortal. --Theophilus of Antioch (168 A.D.)

    Wherefore also he drove him out of paradise and removed him far from the tree of life, not because He envied him the tree of life, as some dare assert, but because He pitied him and desired that he should not be immortal and the evil interminable and irremediable. --Iraneaus of Lyons (182 A.D.)

    The Word seems to me to lay down the doctrine of the perfect obliteration of wickedness, for if God shall be in all things that are, obviously wickedness shall not be in them. For it is necessary that at some time evil should be removed utterly and entirely from the realm of being.—St. Macrina the Blessed, the elder sister of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa

    In the end and consummation of the Universe all are to be restored into their original harmonious state, and we all shall be made one body and be united once more into a perfect man and the prayer of our Savior shall be fulfilled that all may be one. --St. Jerome, 331-420

    For it is evident that God will in truth be all in all when there shall be no evil in existence, when every created being is at harmony with iteself and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; when every creature shall have been made one body. --Gregory of Nyssa, 335-390

    The testimony of countless others could be cited as well...but this should get the whole point accross adeqately. Who am I to argue with the likes of these men and women, after all? They are still considered Saints. But...one wonders, what happened that the Church abandoned what these luminaries of the early Church taught in favor of a punishment that sees no end and nothing accomplished in the carrying out of that judgement for the one being punished? And why did they feel the need to declare these beliefs heretical and issue ananthamas after nearly 600 years of Ulitimate Salvation being the view held in MOST theological schools previous to that time?

    Yet another reason....

    Why else would one want to challenge the current Church Tradition and plausibility structure on this matter?

    Consider what effect the doctrine of Eternal Permanant Misery has had upon our history and upon our society....

    In order to demontrate what I believe needs to be considered from this perspective, I will simply quote a few other individuals, and you can draw your own conclusions as to whether you think that eternal torment is a good idea...and whether you really believe that God would think its a good idea, too.

    "God says do what you wish, but make the wrong choice and you will be tortured for eternity in hell. That's not free will. It's like a man telling his girlfriend, do what you wish, but if you choose to leave me, I will track you down and blow your brains out. When a man says this we call him a psychopath. When god says the same we call him "loving" and build churches in his honor." - William C. Easttom II

    A little later I'll address whether God really said what Mr Easttom thinks He said...because there is only one reason one would believe that He did...and that is that people have been given Bibles that say that He did...translations of God's word that portray a God that, in the end, does far worse things to His own creation than the Devil could ever dream of doing.
    But, it is not what it says in the Hebrew or the Greek scripture from which they were translated.

    Ironically, the issue of "free will" comes up frequently as an argument FOR eternal torment.
    More on this later.

    "So revolting to my moral nature is the creed of eternal punishment that it, more than any other cause, produces the most widespread unbelief. Compared with this, all objections to Christianity fade to insignificance." --Loren Anderson


    "That any should suffer forever, lingering on in hopeless despair, and rolling amidst infinite torments without the possibility of alleviation and without end; that since God can save men and will save a part, he has not proposed to save all-these are real, not imaginary, difficulties. . . . My whole soul pants for light and relief on these questions. But I get neither; and in the distress and anguish of my own spirit, I confess that I see no light whatever. I see not one ray to disclose to me why sin came into the world; why the earth is strewn with the dying and the dead; and why man must suffer to all eternity. I have never seen a particle of light thrown on these subjects, that has given a moment's ease to my tortured mind . . . I confess, when I look on a world of sinners and sufferers- upon death-beds and grave-yards- upon the world of woe filled with hosts to suffer for ever: when I see my friends, my family, my people, my fellow citizens, when I look upon a whole race, all involved in this sin and danger- and when I see the great mass of them wholly unconcerned, and when I feel that God only can save them, and yet he does not do so, I am struck dumb. It is all dark, dark, dark to my soul, and I cannot disguise it." -- Albert Barnes

    Later in the debate I will address whether God did "not propose to save all" as Mr. Barnes apparently thinks...

    "They say that when god was in Jerusalem he forgave his murderers, but now he will not forgive an honest man for differing with him on the subject of the Trinity. They say that God says to me, "Forgive your enemies." I say, "I do;" but he says, "I will damn mine." God should be consistent. If he wants me to forgive my enemies he should forgive his. I am asked to forgive enemies who can hurt me. God is only asked to forgive enemies who cannot hurt him. He certainly ought to be as generous as he asks us to be." - Robert Ingersoll

    "The fear of hell is the basis for the Christian faith." --Madalyn Murray O'Hare

    "An idea, which has terrified millions, claims that some of us will go to a place called Hell, where we will suffer eternal torture. This does not scare me because, when I try to imagine a Mind behind this universe, I cannot conceive that Mind, usually called "God," as totally mad. I mean, guys, compare that "God" with the worst monsters you can think of -- Adolph Hitler, Joe Stalin, that sort of guy. None of them ever inflicted more than finite pain on their victims. Even de Sade, in his sado-masochistic fantasy novels, never devised an unlimited torture. The idea that the Mind of Creation (if such exists) wants to torture some of its critters for endless infinities of infinities seems too absurd to take seriously. Such a deranged Mind could not create a mud hut, much less the exquisitely mathematical universe around us." - Robert Anton Wilson

    "I see the doctrine of hell as being probably the major stumbling block to the return of a de-Christianized world to Christ. The doctrine of eternal damnation, more than any other teaching of the church, produces atheism. If you examine closely all the big name atheists— like Feuerback and Nietzsche— it is this teaching more than any other that offended them and turned them away. Out of these famous atheists came all the movements that have caused so much hell here and now. If God is to practice what He preaches, then it makes it hard to believe in eternal damnation." --Unknown

    If you read these various lady's and gentlemen's words carefully and prayerfully...ask yourself: What GOOD is the doctrine of eternal torment? What would be the point in forcing someone to live forever under the conditions of torment without any hope of redemption from that torment? Today, the Christian religion calls this "death".

    This, more than any other reason, drives people AWAY from God and our reconciliation. It alienates far more than it motivates.

    It's a millstone around the neck of the Church...and, even worse than that, it did not originate with the Bible, nor with the teachings of Jesus!

    And, collectively, NOTHING has messed with our heads so much as the doctrine of eternal torment and it's concept of God's purposes and intentions.

    The doctrine of eternal torment is, without question, the premiere doctrine of demonic success! In it, Satan wins more than God, the Devil gains the vast majority of mankind and has them sequestered away from God... and any hope, any salvation...away from any reason to exist except for misery...FOREVER!

    Surely, there are as many problems with this doctrine than with any other false doctrine...whether it be Calvinism and Arminianism or Pharisaic legalism, etc.

    LogosQ1: Why do you believe that God could not create things in such a way that eternal torment would not be the outcome for the vast majority of the human race?

    FOREVER is a big word. So big we can scarcely comprehend it's meaning. The Human mind recoils at such a notion as a punishment that knows no end regardless of a change of heart or mind...as it should recoil, hard and undeniably.

    So...what does it take to get people to believe in eternal torment?

    A Bible translation that says "eternal" or "everlasting" punishment in a (literally) handful of scriptures. That, and the belief that God actually thought THAT up from the beginning as a consequence for disobedience and offers us an ultimatum..."love Me or Burn FOREVER." This is the ONLY thing that makes eternal torment acceptible at all...the belief that God made things that way!

    Did God think THAT up...or does the Bible really say something very different than that?

    LogosQ2: Do you believe God really created the universe so that unending misery would be the outcome for the majority of people He raises from the dead?

    "Eternal Torment" and the "Authorized" King James Version

    The very FIRST mention of eternal torment occurs...not in Genesis, nor Exodus....not in the Psalms or Proverbs...not in the Prophets...not anywhere in the Old Testament at all!

    The King James Bible has "Hell" in the Old Testament 31 times. The New King James Version has "Hell" in it's Old Testament 19 times. Both of these versions use "Hell" as a translation of Sheol...sometimes, anyway.

    The following Bibles do not have "Hell" in the Old Testament at all...

    American Standard Version
    New American Standard Bible
    Revised Standard Version
    New Revised Standard Version
    Revised English Bible
    New Living Translation
    Amplified
    New International Version (best-selling English Bible)
    Darby
    New Century Version
    Young's Literal Translation (1891)
    Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (reprinted, 1902)
    Fenton's Holy Bible in Modern English (1903)
    Jewish Publication Society Bible Old Testament (1917)
    New American Bible (1970)
    Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible (1976)
    Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, Old Testament (1985)
    Christian Bible (1991)
    World English Bible (in progress)
    Original Bible Project (Dr. James Tabor, still in translation)


    So...in reality, Hell as eternal punishing is not mentioned at all in the Old Testament.

    The Jews did not, and do not, as an absolute maxim of their faith, believe in eternal torment...which means that the doctrine came from elsewhere and not from the chosen oracles of God.

    So...when is the very first time "eternal" punishing is mentioned in the Bible?

    Well...the KJV first mentions "everlasting punishment" in Matthew 25:46.

    Think about that! How much human history has transpired by the time Jesus, supposedly, brings it up as God's intention for the first time? (Up until that time, the punishment for sin was death! )

    However...surprise, surprise!!! "Hell" is not in every translation of the New Testament, either...

    While the KJV has Hell in it's New Testament 54 times...the NEW KJV has it 32 times.

    What about other translations? How many times is "Hell" mentioned in the New Testamant?

    New International Version (best-selling English Bible)...14 times

    American Standard Version and New American Standard Bible, Revised English Bible, Amplified, and the New Living Translation...13 times

    Revised Standard Version and New Revised Standard Version, Darby, and the New Century Version ...12 times

    Wesley's New Testament (1755), Scarlett's N.T. (1798), The New Testament in Greek and English (Kneeland, 1823) Young's Literal Translation (1891), Twentieth Century New Testament (1900), Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (reprinted, 1902), Fenton's Holy Bible in Modern English (1903), Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech (1903), Panin's Numeric English New Testament (1914), The People's New Covenant (Overbury, 1925),Hanson's New Covenant (1884), Western N.T. (1926), NT of our Lord and Savior Anointed (Tomanek, 1958), Concordant Literal NT (1983), The N.T., A Translation (Clementson, 1938), Emphatic Diaglott, Greek/English Interlinear (Wilson, 1942), New American Bible (1970), Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible (1976), The New Testament, A New Translation (Greber, 1980), Christian Bible (1991), World English Bible (in progress), Orthodox Jewish Brit Chadasha [NT Only], Original Bible Project (Dr. James Tabor, still in translation), A Critical Paraphrase of the N.T. by Vincent T. Roth (1960)...all do NOT contain "Hell" in the New Testament

    LogosQ3: How much confusion has been generated because of translating four different words "Hell"?


    Some, no doubt, are thinking that this proves nothing and is mis-leading, because the words translated "Hell" are still there regardless. And, yes, they certainly are...so what is wrong with translating them "Hell"?

    Well...first of all, the writers of the Bible didn't speak English, and didn't write in English either. That means they didn't say or write "Hell". That means that Jesus NEVER said "Hell". He spoke other words...and as it turns out, He spoke words that don't mean what we think of by our word "Hell" today at all.

    The meaning of "Hell" has changed since the writers of the Authorised Version chose it as a worthy translation for the words the Bible writers actually used...so that is our first problem.

    What did "Hell" originally mean in English, at least in 1611?

    In the Old Testament, the word for which hell is given in the King James Version is "sheol", a word whose root meaning is “unseen.” The King James Version translates sheol as “hell” 31 times, “the grave” 31 times (since someone in the grave is unseen), and “the pit” three times for some unknown reason.

    "Hades" is derived from the Greek verb "horao." "Horao" means "I am seeing." The Greeks then prefixed the word with "a" (alpha) which negates "to see" thus coining the noun "Hades" meaning "unseen" Therefore, "Sheol" and "Hades" mean "unseen." These two words do not describe what the English theological word "hell" means to convey.

    Why did they translate these words "Hell"?
    Because in 1611 "hell" meant essentially the same thing as the Hebrew sheol..."covered"...BEFORE theologians got ahold of it and changed it's meaning to something else entirely, that is!

    John Horne Tooke says that hell, heel, hill, hole, whole, hall, hull, halt and hold are all from the same root:

    "Hell, any place, or some place covered over. Heel, that part of the foot which is covered by the leg. Hill, any heap of earth, or stone, etc., by which the plain or level surface of the earth is covered. Hale, i.e., healed or whole. Whole, the same as hale, i.e., covered. It was formerly written whole, without the w, as a wound or sore is healed, or whole, that is, covered over by the skin, which manner of expression will not seem extraordinary if we consider our use of the word recover. Hall, a covered building, where persons assemble, or where goods are protected from the weather. Hull, of a nut, etc. That by which a nut is covered. Hole, some place covered over. 'You shall seek for holes to hide your heads in.' Holt, holed, hol'd holt. A rising ground or knoll covered with trees. Hold, as the hold of a ship, in which things are covered, or the covered part of a ship."

    John Horne Tooke's etymology, published in the late 18th century, expressed the need for putting politics together with language. Tooke felt making usage and meaning conform to established standards as essential for guaranteeing accurate communication.


    The word was first applied to the grave by our German and English ancestors, and as superstition came to regard the grave as an entrance to a world of torment, Hell at length became the word used to denote a Mythological realm of fiery woe.

    Dr. Adam Clarke says:

    "The word Hell, used in the common translation, conveys now an improper meaning of the original word; because Hell is only used to signify the place of the damned. But as the word Hell comes from the Anglo-Saxon helan, to cover, or hide, henee the tiling or slating of a house is called, in some parts of England (particularly Cornwall), heling, to this day, and the corers of books (in Lancashire), by the same name, so the literal import of the original word hades was formerly well expressed by it."

    A similar parallel thing has happened to the word "damn"...since Mr. Clarke brings THAT up..

    The Dictionary of Word Origins (John Ayto, 1990) says the following about the word "damn":

    Damn: Damn comes via Old French "damner" from Latin "damnare," a derivative of the noun "damnum." This originally meant 'loss, harm' (it is the source of the English 'damage'), but the verb damnare soon spread its application to 'pronounce judgment upon,' in both the legal and the theological sense. These meanings (reflected also in the derived 'condemn') followed the verb through Old French into English, which dropped the strict legal sense around the 16th century but has persisted with the theological one[/b] and its more profane offshoots. Condemn, damage, indemnity.

    More on this in a later point in this debate, no doubt. My point is that the ORIGINAL meaning of the English words match the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words involved...but today those words have evolved into things quite different than when the translators used them...back then they were good translations, today they are not.

    LogosQ4: Do you agree that the current meaning of both "hell" and "damn" have changed since they were chosen to translate the Bible?

    What does all this mean?

    It means that the Bible says something different than what we have been led to believe it says!

    Sheol should not be translated "Hell" if you believe Hell is eternal torment...because sheol does not mean eternal torment. End of story.

    Hades is the Greek equivilent of Sheol as used by the authors of the New Testament. It's meaning is the same as sheol in the Old Testament....not to the Greek mythological construct called "Hades". It should not be translated "Hell" if you believe hell means eternal torment...because hades does not mean eternal torment. End of story.

    Gehenna was, in Jesus' day, Jerusalem's city dump. It is located to the Southwest of Jerusalem. It was considered a cursed place...Tophet...and it is where Israel really screwed up. There, they sacrificed babies to the god Molech by burning them alive.

    Jesus used this location as a discription of the Judgements coming upon Israel...that Israel's future was to go the way of those that sacrificed babies to Molech, and, for a time the Jews will no longer hold exclusive rights to His ministrations.

    Gehenna is not eternal torment. If you believe that Hell is eternal torment, it is an inapropriate word to use to translate the proper name of a geographical location that symbolized atrocity. End of story.

    Tartarus, used once in the Bible, is used to describe Bound Angels that sinned. They are reserved in "everlasting chains" UNTIL judgement.

    Tartarus is temporary...and is not eternal torment. If you believe "Hell" is eternal torment you can't use it to translate "Tartarus". End of story.

    That leaves the "lake of fire and brimstone"...which, rather ironically, is not translated "Hell" in any English Bible.

    How long is an eon?

    So, now we come to the crux of the issue.

    What is this Biblical chastisement...and what does it accomplish...and how long is it to last?

    Aion is a word that means "undefined time"...an "eon", or "age".

    Aionion, (like "Christian" means "pertianing to Christ" or "through Christ"), means "pertaining to an age or eon" or "through an age or eon".

    How can a length of an eon or age be determined?

    By the subject...by whatever, or whoever you happen to be refering to.

    The eon or age of a redwood tree in the Redwood Forest would be different than the eon or age of an oak tree in your neighbors yard.

    The eon or age of the Earth might be quite different than other planets.

    The eon or age of a whale might be different than that of a man.

    And so on...

    Can an eon or age be everlasting?

    Yes...IF, and ONLY IF, it is associated with something (or Someone) that lasts forever.

    God lasts forever. Nothing else does, unless, God Himself, WANTS it to last forever.
    End of story.

    So...God's "aion" would be forever...not because "aion" means forever...but because God IS forever so His "aion" will not end.

    Simple...easy to understand. Logical. The language makes sense.

    Am I alone in this understanding of the Hebrew and Greek words employed in the Bible? Here is what some scholars (some scholars disagree as to what the word actually means apparently, and I'm not sure why, other than that some want to translate according to tradition rather than the real meaning of words) have to say about "forever" or "everlasting" as a translation of "aion" and its adjectives that the Bible uses:

    Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, a well-known Bible teacher, hailed as “the prince of expositors” wrote in his book “God’s Method’s With Men” (pgs 185, 6) “Let me say to Bible students that we must be very careful how to use the word ‘eternity.’ We have fallen into great error in our constant use of that word. [u]There is NO word in the whole Book of God corresponding with our "eternal", which as commonly used among us, means absolutely without end.”

    Dr. R.F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657), "Eternal, Greek aeonian, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, "during" but "belonging to" the aeons or ages".

    Dr. Marvin Vincent, in his Word Studies of the New Testament (vol. IV, p. 59): "The adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective in themselves carries the sense of "endless" or "everlasting." Aionios means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time. Out of the 150 instances in the LXX (Septuagint), four-fifths imply limited duration".

    The remaining "fifth" are when the word "olam" is associated solely to God Himself, who's "olam" would last forever because HE lasts forever, not because "olam" itself means forever.

    Dr. F.W. Farrar, author of "The Life of Christ" and "The Life and Work of St. Paul", as well as books about Greek grammar and syntax, writes in [i]"The Eternal Hope"[i] (p. 198), "That the adjective is applied to some things which are "endless" does not, of course, for one moment prove that the word itself meant 'endless;' and to introduce this rendering into many passages would be utterly impossible and absurd". In his book, "Mercy and Judgment", Dr. Farrar states (p. 378), "Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, "belonging to an age", or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek- aionios could still mean only "belonging to eternity" and not 'lasting through it.'"

    Lange's Commentary American Edition (vol. V, p. 48), on Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 4, in commenting upon the statement "The earth abideth forever" says, "The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration." On page 45 of the same work, Dr. Taylor Lewis says: "The Greek aiones and aiones ton aionon, the Latin secula, and secula seculorum, the Old Saxon, or Old English of Wicliffe, to worldis or worldis (Heb. 13:21), or our more modern phrase, for ever and ever, wherever the German ewig, was originally a noun denoting age or a vast period, just like the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew words corresponding to it".

    The Rev. Bennet, in his "Olam Hanneshamoth" (p. 44), says, "The primary nature of olam is "hidden", and both as to past and future denotes a duration that is unknown". Olam is the Hebrew word for the Greek aion.

    The Parkhurst Lexicon: "Olam (aeon) seems to be used much more for an indefinite than for an infinite time."

    Dr. MacKnight: "I must be so candid as to acknowledge that the use of these terms 'forever,' 'eternal,' 'everlasting,' shows that they who understand these words in a limited sense when applied to punishment put no forced interpretation upon them".

    Dr. Nigel Turner, in "Christian Words", says (p. 457), "All the way through it is never feasible to understand aionios as everlasting".

    The Pulpit Commentary, vol. 15, p. 485, says, "It is possible that 'aeonian' may denote merely indefinite duration without the connotation of never ending".

    The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, vol. 4, p. 643, says, "The O.T. and the N.T. are not acquainted with conception of eternity as timelessness". Page 644: "The O.T. has not developed a special term for eternity'. Page 645: "The use of the word aion in the N.T. is determined very much by the O.T. and the LXX. Aion means long, distant, uninterrupted time. The intensifying plural occurs frequently in the N.T. ...but it adds no new meaning".

    Dr. Lammenois,states, "In Hebrew and Greek the words rendered 'everlasting' have not this sense. They signify a long duration of time, a period; whence the phrase, during these eternities and beyond."

    LogosQ5: Do you agree that an eon could last forever without end ONLY if God wants it to?

    So..."aionion kalasin" means what, exactly? I ask, because this is where the KJV of the Holy Bible has it translated as "everlasting punishment" for the very first time...in Matthew 25:46!

    How do we know that "aionion chastisement" (chastisement is the real meaning of kalasin) is "everlasting"?

    Ask yourself: How can you have a "chastisment" that lasts forever? Does it never accomplish it's purpose?

    According to answers.com; chastisement means...

    Chas·tise·ment
    n.

    [From Chastise.]
    The act of chastising; pain inflicted for punishment and correction; discipline; punishment.

    Shall I so much dishonor my fair stars,
    On equal terms to give him chastesement!
    Shak.

    I have borne chastisement; I will not offend any more.
    Job 34:31.

    Well...now, as I have said before...the only way anything or anyone's "eon" would last forever without end is if God Himself wants it to last forever without end.

    Where, in scripture, do we get the idea that God wants a chastisement, a punishment, that lasts forever without end and accomplishes absolutely nothing for the one being punished?

    Well, believers in eternal torment sometimes use Matthew 25:46 as "proof" that God wants punishment to last forever without end and accomplishes nothing in line with His purpose in saving mankind. The very same verse that I'm saying DOESN'T say "everlasting"...but "of the Ages"...AIONION Kolasin.

    And...ALL of the "proof texts" used to support "eternal" torment use the same four letter Greek word..."aion"...or it's adjectives "aionion, aionios" which CANNOT mean "eternal" or "everlasting" or "forever and ever" UNLESS they are associated with something that in fact lasts "forever and ever" IS "everlasting" or "eternal".

    Their entire argument is CIRCULAR...applying a meaning to aion or aionion that is not there in the original Greek Language!

    LogosQ6: Do you agree that the translation of these words as "everlasting" does not prove anything unless it can be demonstrated that the punishment of the ages is, in fact, neverending and therefore the age is neverending?

    In other words...a gross mis-translation and forced interpretation of the Bible.They HAVE to change the meaning of AION, EON, AGE to eternal or everlasting to get "eternal" torment in the Bible at all!

    An awful lot is hanging on just what you believe God wants to do.

    The issue is this...the church has convinced people that God will torment forever anyone who does not come into our fold. Since it has succeeded in that "convincing" in the past, it is now stuck with the notion as unswerving truth. The Church "saves" people from this endless misery...and if it is shown that God never wanted an endless misery to begin with, but intends to save the entire human race in the end...well, that would mean the Traditional Church got something wrong...and we can't have that, now, can we?

    People are relieved when they are saved from this "endless misery" they have never seen...but NOT so relieved that they can possibly think that the whole race could get in, eventually, the same way we did! This helps them (us) with feeling superior above other more or less educated but somehow less wise brothers and sisters, and inspires some so much that they start wearing robes and other funny looking clothing. After all, Christ can save you from endless misery UNLESS you are already in it...in which case He can't, or perhaps worse, He won't. It's a matter of physical death having the power to overcome God's Grace in Jesus Christ to the whole world, you see. If you don't have Him before...and perhaps when...you die, you darn sure aren't going to EVER get Him...in fact, He'll raise you out of death just to tell you that, and then throw you away again WITH an immortal body,(supposedly) just, I guess, to make the point really stick, and forget you ever existed (He'll even make a son in Heaven forget his own mother in eternal torment!)...or, worse, delight in your misery while allowing the redeemed to delight in it, too, FOREVER!

    IS THAT WHAT THE CHURCH WANTS US TO BELIEVE GOD IS DOING?

    Apparently...because THAT is the doctrine of eternal torment, whether you happen to be Catholic, Calvinist, Arminian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Satanist, Agnostic or Atheist...any one born of a woman.

    LogosQ7: Do you agree that this is what everlasting punishing says?

    Does one HAVE to believe this to be considered a Christian?

    According to the teachers of the doctrine of eternal torment...YES! And woe unto ye who don't believe it! Because they will consider you to be fit for everlasting flames and food for immortal worms...which flames burn forever and worms eat everlastingly, but never consume anything. Jesus being 100% successful is something you CANNOT believe without being heretical.

    The Truth is...if you are a minister in an evangelical church today, you CANNOT preach or teach anything different than eternal torment without recieving the right foot of fellowship!

    DO NOT mess with the Hell that evangelical christianity knows and loves, your career depends on it.Unless there is further reformation, we're stuck with it.


    How can we know God doesn't want everlasting punishment?

    The rest of the Bible refutes the notion. And this debate will focus on that very thing.

    For now, in this introductory opening post, I will offer you this:

    Let's say a man, who prides himself in his strength, dies in the prime of his youth having never come to faith in Christ, because his life was snuffed out by a drunk driver, who, suffering from impaired judgement because of being drunk, presumably...began going the wrong way on an interstate highway.

    His sentence is to push a boulder up a mile high, steep hill to the top. If he reaches the top of the hill, his sentence will be commutted and rescinded.

    But each time he reaches near the top, inches away from the crest of the hill...a demon prevents his climb, pushing against him...and the boulder goes crashing again to the bottom.

    He then goes tramping down to the bottom of the hill cussing and spitting to begin the process over again.

    He's already tried a thousand times before without success...but this is what his sentence is...and he can do nothing else. No other choice is available...and it will always be that way, forever.

    Who, or what, enforces this? Who or what forces the man to this torment?

    The question is not whether punishment is justified...it is whether it is just.

    LogosQ8: Do you honestly think that an unending punishment that does not allow change is just?

    A moral God, one of love, mercy, grace, peace, joy...and justice, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, IS a consumimg fire that eats everything. Does this God consider this man's sentence a just one? Can he do anything to help this man? If He can will He? If He cannot, is He really Who He said He Is? If He won't...is He really Who He said He Is?

    Well...no...He isn't if He cannot, and He isn't if He will not. So...what does the doctrine of eternal torment do, except emasculate the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God...or make Him unjust and selfish in His unwilligness to save this man for whom Christ paid for with His blood?

    Within this is the idea that any judgement one might recieve at death must be carried out for all eternity. Any possibility of salvation has been lost, forever...presumably because God is unwilling to offer grace unless one has a living body. Once one dies...he or she enters into something called "eternity", and that is permanent. No changes once that happens, I guess. One is forced to acquiesce to whatever condition they are in upon death, and must do so forever. They become "static", unable to change and with no free will...or it just isn't allowed by whatever or whoever enforces the "rules". They are either no longer capable of salvation, or God is incapable or selfishly unwilling to save...once one is IN eternal misery. I guess they really should have been able to believe before they died, before God sealed up his hate for them without end...they should've known that God loved them enough to save them from Hell unless they arrive there first, that He SAVES as long as they have never gotten there and only while they have a body to sin with.

    Well...that is what the majority in the Church TODAY thinks anyway.

    But is it TRUE? Or is it something else entirely...a misunderstanding and misaprehension of God's intentions?

    You who are Christians might want to notice something about entering a static unchangable future upon death: Where the heck did the resurrection out of death go?

    LogosQ9: Where the heck did the resurrection go?

    Is not the resurrection from death enough to overcome it completely?

    The Bible declares the Jesus Christ is the resurrection. He is the Life. He is Lord of both the living and the dead. He, not Satan, has the keys to Hell and to death.

    What do you think He wants to do with that kind of authority? what God intended to do all along...or continue what Satan started?


    Wonder what the polls will say?

    LogosQ10: What do you think Christ will do with that power, what God intends, or continue what Satan started?

    God's purpose for the eons

    Behind this concept of a punishing that can never end is the idea that God designed things in His creation in such a way that "everlasting punishing" is the result naturally for everyone that does not get "saved" from it... on purpose.

    But, as we have seen, the idea of "eternity" as something about duration is not what the words in the Greek are really trying to convey. Within "eternity" there are "eons" or "ages" in which God is moving forward with a plan to redeem all mankind...which can be confirmed with many, many more scriptures than those used to "prove" endless punishing.

    So, what is it that our scholars and teachers are missing so that they believe that the future must be seen through the eyes of an unending Hell?

    In a word...God's PURPOSE.

    Today, we view "eternity" as a matter of duration, rather than the source of all that is. To the writers of the Bible, God is the only source. He it is who created, sustains, and consumes all that exists.

    So...what does this do to the concept of a never ending Hell? Well. It consumes it. Aionion chastisement is not unending punishing with no eternal purpose other than misery...rather it emenates FROM the eternal purpose of God...FROM eternity to accomplish something God purposed for man.

    The eons...time...is imbedded within the eternal purposes of God. Within this plan of the ages is the complete victory of man over evil, not the triumph of evil over man.

    So...when we read of "everlasting punishment" we can know that that is not the whole story and that something is "lost in the translation". Aionion kolasin is not "everlasting chastisement"...it is the chastisement eminating FROM the eternal Father God. God will swallow up all that is into His victory, His purpose, and our joy. When you read "everlasting" is isn't talking about how long is lasts, but from Whom it comes and where it leads. Literally it is "the punishment of the Ages"...but it results in God's purposes for us...not unending punishing...but a punishment with purpose, remedial and corrective, righteous and enduring, just and transformative...FIRE! EVERYTHING is consumed!

    LogosQ11: Do you acknowledge that, even if you do use "eternal" as an overriding idea, then it might refer to the SOURCE of the punishment or the life...not it's duration?


    What about "free will"?

    All of the above addresses what God intends in His righteous Judgements. But I would be remiss if I didn't address the "why" of those Judgements.

    At the center of the Biblical doctrine of God's judgement for sin is the issue of our "free will".

    Judgements are proof of how seriously God takes free will.

    Just how "free" our wills actually are is a matter of many constraining factors. We don't choose many things in our lives...we don't choose to be born at all, much less where or when, and we don't choose the genetics of our parents and how we will look as a result...and so it goes concerning most everything.

    But, once born, there are factors that contend with our "free will" from the beginning.

    We might choose our career...then again we might just "get a job" just to survive. We might choose to be married...but that requires a "willing" accomplace. The same is true if we choose to sin in this area and commit adultry...you will find it much more satisfying if you have a willing partner.

    Truth is..."free' will isn't really all that "free"...but we can and do choose depending on what we are able to choose between. Doors close, and doors open...and you choose to go through or not when they open for you.

    There is also a door which only you can open, because it is to your own heart. And on that, God, and Christ, require that opening.

    You can't "will" to be born again...to be saved...unless the door is opened. And God knocks upon that door for YOU to open.

    Sometimes the knock is soft and kind...other times that knock might be harsh and demanding. And, sometimes, God will knock the door down and demand compliance...like He did with the Pharisee Saul, and make you comply just as a cop might. You might even become another Apostle Paul, like him.

    God will not be denied. Better to comply freely than go through all those hard knocks that could be needed if you defy Him. He is a consuming fire that creates all that is.

    After all, it's up to you just how much "hell" you will have to go through by denying Him Who made you and owns you. God wills the salvation of all mankind and to bring all into subjection. And...in that subjection is SALVATION!

    It's a matter of what you think it means when everything finally is in subjection, and when and how much you decide to cooperate in being in subjection.

    Free will does not necessitate a punishing that knows no end...in fact, quite the opposite!

    Resistance is futile...but your journey can be less pleasent if you do resist. God doesn't save robots...He saves human beings. He will save all of them, but some will not submit easily...only because they don't understand what SALVATION is. If they did, they wouldn't dare resist, because it's what they really have been wanting all along and trying to get in all the wrong ways and thought they couldn't have because they are sinners.

    But God saves sinners!

    But God Saves...from sin, shortfalleness (not eternal misery), by Grace, through faith. So, the fact that you might be a sinner is not in the way any longer. And...if you believe in eternal torment as todays church does (though even in this there is no consensus as to what that really is), you are going to be shocked at how much of the Bible you don't believe because of it.

    God knows how to make everything new. And He will.

    LogosQ12: When God makes everything new...does it include everything, or not?

    __________________________________________________ ________________________

    The questions again.

    LogosQ1: Why do you believe that God could not create things in such a way that eternal torment would not be the outcome for the vast majority of the human race?

    LogosQ2: Do you believe God really created the universe so that unending misery would be the outcome for the majority of people He raises from the dead?

    LogosQ3: How much confusion has been generated because of translating four different words "Hell"?

    LogosQ4: Do you agree that the current meaning of both "hell" and "damn" have changed since they were chosen to translate the Bible?

    LogosQ5: Do you agree that an eon could last forever without end ONLY if God wants it to?

    LogosQ6: Do you agree that the translation of these words (aion and it's adjectives and plurals) as "everlasting" does not prove anything unless it can be demonstrated that the punishment of the ages is, in fact, neverending and therefore the age is neverending?

    LogosQ7: Do you agree that this (Christ can save you from endless misery UNLESS you are already in it...in which case He can't, or perhaps worse, He won't) is what everlasting punishing says?

    LogosQ8: Do you honestly think that an unending punishment that does not allow change is just?

    LogosQ9: Where the heck did the resurrection go?

    LogosQ10: What do you think Christ will do with that power, what God intends, or continue what Satan started?

    LogosQ11: Do you acknowledge that, even if you do use "eternal" as an overriding idea, then it might refer to the SOURCE of the punishment or the life...not it's duration?

    LogosQ12: When God makes everything new...does it include everything, or not?




    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________

    References

    The source material, quotes and reference notations on the web in this thread and throughout this debate:

    http://www.martinzender.com/index.html

    http://www.sigler.org/mckay/sovereignty.html

    http://www.drewc.net/articles/article57.doc (Downloadable Document File)

    http://gospelfortoday.org/

    http://becomingone.org/nm/nm7.htm

    http://www.godfire.net/Hellidx.html

    http://www.tentmaker.org/

    Quotes of the Church Fathers, and others, as well as references to theological commentaries and Bibles were provided by Tentmaker.org.

    At a glance

    For a quick and simple ready reference in the differences between what Calvinists, Arminianists, and Christian Universalists believe see the following article and chart:

    http://www.gospelfortoday.org/jteachings/calarmuniv.htm

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    PastorKevin's Opening Statement:

    Introduction:

    I would first of all like to start off by saying how glad I am to be participating in this Battle Royale. I have followed past Battle Royales from a distance and I consider it a great privilege to be participating in this excellent forum and on its grandest stage. I will say categorically that everything that I do in my life is done for the glory of God. So this debate that I am participating in is all about bringing glory to my Lord and looking deeply into His Word.

    It’s all about the Bible!
    My positions and beliefs will always be built around what the Word of God teaches. The Bible is the center of my life and the life of my family. I am defending the very subject of the debate because I believe it to be one that is entirely Scriptural. I will make no apologies in that I will seek to build all of my arguments around the Bible. I will not be ashamed of this fact either. I have always stated that if at any time, any of my beliefs are shown not to be Scriptural that I will abandon it to submit myself to God’s Word. This remains true for me on every subject, including the eternality of the Lake of Fire. I would love nothing more than to be able to tell people that the Lake of Fire is not eternal. I do not believe that I can do that and preach the Bible rightly. The Bible plainly teaches it is real and it is eternal.

    My opponent in this debate (Logos_x) is also someone that I think of as a friend, and hope he doesn’t mind if I refer to him as Stephen during the debate. He and I have gotten to speak to one another on a few occasions leading up to this debate and I have found his company to be a blessing. While we disagree completely on the issue in which we are debating, I want to make it very clear that I will not be making personal attacks on Stephen. I do not at any time want it to appear that way. I will ask some difficult questions during the debate, (as I am sure Stephen will as well) but I am out to attack the ideas and not him as a person. In fact, one of the things I am praying for as a result from this debate is to see Stephen have a change of mind about the position that he currently holds on the subject of whether unbelievers are going to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.

    So now, let’s get to the question at hand:


    Will unbelievers spend eternity in the Lake of Fire?

    The entire point that I will be arguing is that the Bible teaches very explicitly that unbelievers will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. They will not be alone there. Satan, the fallen angels, the Beast, and the False Prophet will also be there with them.
    There are many proof texts that we can go to in order to discuss and debate this issue. But I prefer to go right to the heart of the matter. In future posts in this debate, I will go back and examine some of the history that has led us up to this current debate. But for now, I would like to focus our attention to a couple of very strong statements in Scripture.

    What is the Lake of Fire?

    Matthew 10:41,46

    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.”


    PastorKevin Question #1: Will the righteous have eternal life?

    The Lord Jesus Himself uses the words everlasting fire and everlasting punishment. Who was He talking to? Well in the passage He is referring to those who aren’t righteous. The righteous in the text are the only ones who receive eternal life! We will talk a little later on in the debate about exactly who the righteous are, Scripturally speaking. But we need to understand on the front end that the same language that is used of the righteous and their eternal inheritance is also used of the unrighteous to describe their eternal inheritance.

    It is important for us to understand the nature of this eternal punishment. The Lord tells us about it in clear detail, using the following harrowing descriptions:

    Matthew 22:13
    “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

    In Luke 16, the rich man who dies wakes up and the first conscious realization that he has is that he is “tormented in this flame”.

    Daniel 12:2 actually affirms this very strongly:
    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.


    In Mark 9 we are told that the fire is never quenched! The Lord Jesus repeats this statement THREE TIMES in verses 42-48!

    PastorKevin Question #2: Is the fire in the Lake of Fire quenched? If so, please provide the Scriptural references that show this to be true.

    Who’s going to the Lake of Fire?

    1. Those who take the mark of the beast during the time period on earth known as the Great Tribulation.

    Revelation 14:9-11

    9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

    PastorKevin Question #3: Do the people who worship the beast and receive his mark spend eternity in torment? Does the “smoke of their torment ascend forever and ever”? If not, please cite the Bible reference that clearly shows that these people are not tormented forever and ever just as this text says they are.

    2. The Beast and the False Prophet are there:

    Revelation 19:20

    20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

    3. Satan, (the devil) will be there for all eternity as well:

    Revelation 20:10

    10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

    PastorKevin Question #4: Are the beast, the false prophet, and Satan tormented day and night forever and ever? If not please, cite the Scriptural reference that shows that they get out.


    4. Anyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life:

    Revelation 20:11-15:


    11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

    PastorKevin Question #5: Do those whose names are not found written in the Book of Life get out of the Lake of Fire? If so, please cite the Scripture reference that clearly shows this to be true.

    5. Anyone who does not know God, and has not accepted the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!

    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

    The Bible clearly spells out for us how to be saved. We must accept the gospel of grace that is granted by the mercy of God and because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord!
    (see Romans 10:9-13)
    Anyone who will humble himself before Almighty God can be saved. But he must come God’s way and not his own. We are not saved by our own good deeds, but simply by grace through faith. (Eph. 2:8-9)

    Anyone who rejects the Lord Jesus Christ stands “condemned” before God already. (John 3:18)

    There is coming a day when all will stand before God Almighty and He will judge each one. Both the righteous AND the wicked are given resurrected, spiritual bodies. (Acts 24:15)
    Those bodies will live in one of two places for all eternity. Heaven, or Hell.

    Why?
    The big question many ask is WHY? Why do people have to go to such a horrible place? The answer is really quite simple. It’s because of their sin. The Bible teaches us that we are all sinners. We have all fallen short of our own standards, let alone the standards of a Holy and Righteous God.

    In order for a person to escape the Lake of Fire he must be sinless in the eyes of God. Since no person is sinless we have a serious problem. The wonderful news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that no person has to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. God made a way out! That way is found in His Son Jesus Christ. Accepting Christ leads to a person being declared sinless in the eyes of God. This is salvation. At the moment of salvation, God declares us legally justified in His sight when we come to the cross of Christ and accept His sacrifice for our sins.

    Romans 3:23-25 bears this out for us well:

    23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

    This is what is known as justification. It is our legal standing before a Holy and Righteous God. God declares us by His grace to be “not guilty”. Before we come to faith in Jesus Christ (i.e. are born again or get saved), we are “Guilty” before a Holy God.

    PastorKevin Question #6: Please indicate if you agree with my brief definition of salvation and justification for the sake of clarity of terms in this debate. If not, please give a clear definition of what you view to be salvation and justification.

    Why would a loving God allow people to spend all eternity in a Lake of Fire?

    This question is at the heart of many different systems of false teaching. I will spend more time in a future post elaborating on this question, but two particular systems of theology have branched off from this question: Universalism and Annihilationism. My basic premise is this: Those who ask this question are missing out on the eternal righteousness and holiness of God. God is just as Holy and just as Righteous as He is Loving. We cannot take one of the attributes of God and elevate them above all of His other attributes. A bigger question would be why would a loving and just God allow His Heaven to be filled with individuals who came apart from the only way that He designed for them to get there? Why would God cast Satan and his fallen angels out of Heaven if he were going to one day allow them to come back?

    Another premise that I will seek to establish is this: IF the Lake of Fire were not eternal, then the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, a perfect, sinless, and eternal being, would not have been necessary! In other words a temporary punishment would require a lesser sacrifice then the sacrifice of an eternal, divine being!

    So I believe the doctrine of eternal punishment is central to having a complete understanding of the Gospel Message! This is not to say a person is not saved if they don't believe in eternal punishment, because Scripture doesn't tell us "believe on eternal punishment and you will be saved." It says "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!" (Acts 16:31)

    At the same time, a greater sense of what we have been saved from will lead us to a deeper thankfulness for the wonderful gift of salvation. I would liken it to being on an airplane and being told it was time to put on a parachute and jump out. We would do as we were instructed, put on the parachute and put our trust in the parachute to get us to the ground safely. But the realization wouldn't hit us as to what we were saved from until we later saw the plane we had once been flying in crash to the ground and explode. We would have a much deeper appreciation of what were saved from.

    So it is with eternal punishment. Knowing that we were saved from this eternal punishment should cause us to burn with a passion for warning others not to go there and that Jesus Christ is the only way out!


    PastorKevin's 6 Questions for Stephen

    PastorKevin Question #1: Will the righteous have eternal life?
    PastorKevin Question #2: Is the fire in the Lake of Fire quenched? If so, please provide the Scriptural references that show this to be true.
    PastorKevin Question #3: Do the people who worship the beast and receive his mark spend eternity in torment? Does the “smoke of their torment ascend forever and ever”? If not, please cite the Bible reference that clearly shows that these people are not tormented forever and ever just as this text says they are.
    PastorKevin Question #4: Are the beast, the false prophet, and Satan tormented day and night forever and ever? If not please, cite the Scriptural reference that shows that they get out.
    PastorKevin Question #5: Do those whose names are not found written in the Book of Life get out of the Lake of Fire? If so, please cite the Scripture reference that clearly shows this to be true.
    PastorKevin Question #6: Please indicate if you agree with my brief definition of salvation and justification for the sake of clarity of terms in this debate. If not, please give a clear definition of what you view to be salvation and justification.

    For now we will pause and allow Stephen to answer these 6 questions before we proceed onward. God bless everyone reading this in the name of Jesus Christ!

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    Ding Ding Ding!

    That's it for round 1.

    Logos_x is now on the clock. He has 48 hours to submit his next round post making it due by Wednesday December 13 at 12:00pm (MDT).

    If you'd like to discuss this battle you can do so here.
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    Since my opening was so unbearably long, I'm giong to make this round short.

    Before I do, I wish to rectify an oversight. I failed to thank Poly for moderating this debate.

    Thank you Poly! You are a gem.

    __________________________________________________ ________________________________

    PastorKevin Question #1: Will the righteous have eternal life?
    Well now...will the unbeliever have eternal life??

    I know...shouldn't answer a question with another. But you are depending on the gift of life
    being eternal..and want to infer the same "eternal" life upon the unrighteous.

    Whence does this eternal life come that will enable an eternal misery?

    You are infering that the righteous gain eternal life, but the question you ask implies that
    they do not possess it on their own...it is a gift.

    The unrighteous then...by your premise, do not possess eternal life on their own...therefore God grants them the "gift" of eternal punishing without any salvation for endless eons.

    In other words...God gives them eternal life in endless torment whether they want it or not.

    But...to answer your question:

    Eternal life is conditional, it is contingent on gaining access to and partaking of the "tree of life". NO ONE HAS IT UNTIL THEY DO PARTAKE.

    In Genesis 3:22-24, God literally prevents man gaining eternal life until we are ready for it!

    And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:
    Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
    (Gen 3:22-24)

    Eternity is not something we possess naturally...we must come to Him to get it.

    Now...the end of The Book presents a very different picture than the religious dogma of eternal misery allows:

    Then he showed me the river of the Water of Life, bright as crystal, issuing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. On either side of the river, midway between it and the main street of the city, was the Tree of Life. It produced twelve kinds of fruit, yielding a fresh crop month by month, and the leaves of the tree served as medicine for the nations.

    "In future there will be no curse," he said, "but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in that city. And His servants will render Him holy service and will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no night there; and they have no need of lamplight or sunlight, for the Lord God will shine upon them, and they will be kings until the Ages of the Ages."

    Let the dishonest man act dishonestly still; let the filthy make himself filthy still; let the righteous practise righteousness still; and let the holy be made holy still."

    "I am coming quickly; and My reward is with Me, that I may requite every man in accordance with what his conduct has been. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes clean, that they may have a right to the Tree of Life, and may go through the gates into the city.

    The unclean are shut out, and so are all who practise magic, all fornicators, all murderers, and those who worship idols, and every one who loves falsehood and tells lies.

    "I Jesus have sent My angel for him solemnly to declare these things to you among the churches. I am the Root and the offspring of David, the bright Morning Star. The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come;' and whoever hears, let him say, 'Come;' and let those who are thirsty come. Whoever will, let him take the Water of Life, without payment.
    (Rev 22:1-5; 11-17)

    The issue is concerning when a person is enabled to partake of the water of life. Surely
    everyone who hasn't is thirsty by this time, I should think.

    The question you ask is motivated by what you believe Jesus actually said in Matthew 25:46. But...by now you should realize because of what I posted here and in my opening post that Jesus did not say what He said to a people that believed what you believe, did not use a word that means eternal, and did not intend us to think that the unbeliever lives forever in torment.

    PastorKevin Question #2: Is the fire in the Lake of Fire quenched? If so, please provide the Scriptural references that show this to be true.
    God will create everything new. Seems to me that leaves nothing out!

    But...the fire is not quenched until it consumes everything it can consume.

    Ask a fireman what is meant by an "unquenchable fire". It simply means it can't be put out...it has to run out of fuel.


    PastorKevin Question #3: Do the people who worship the beast and receive his mark spend eternity in torment? Does the “smoke of their torment ascend forever and ever”?

    If not, please cite the Bible reference that clearly shows that these people are not tormented forever and ever just as this text says they are.
    No...eternity in torment never was in the picture. The texts never say that it is eternal in the Hebrew or the Greek.
    Since it was never the teaching that it is eternal...why would there be in scripture the
    need to refute something that was never said to begin with?

    Instead...there are plenty of scriptures that simply cannot be true if eternal torment WERE true...for example:

    And as for every created thing in Heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and everything that was in any of these, I heard them say, "To Him who is seated on the throne, And to the Lamb, Be ascribed all blessing and honor And glory and might, Until the Ages of the Ages!"
    (Rev 5:13)


    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. But, in reality, Christ *has* risen from among the dead, being the first to do so of those who are asleep. For seeing that death came through man, through man comes also the resurrection of the dead.
    For just as through Adam all die, so also through Christ all will be made alive again.
    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.
    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.
    For He must continue King until He shall have put all His enemies under His feet. The
    last enemy that is to be overthrown is Death;
    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.(note the ONLY exception! )
    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.
    (1Co 15:19-28)

    Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 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 ore on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being pedestinated 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 1:9-12)

    If eternal torment were true...then these verses CANNOT be true.
    I believe them to be true.


    PastorKevin Question #4: Are the beast, the false prophet, and Satan tormented day and night forever and ever? If not please, cite the Scriptural reference that shows that they get out.
    Again..."forever and ever" is wrong.

    And another, a third angel, followed them, exclaiming in a loud voice, "If any one worships the Wild Beast and his statue, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he shall drink the wine of God's anger which stands ready, undiluted, in the cup of His fury, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up until the Ages of the Ages; and the worshipers of the Wild Beast and his statue have no rest day or night, nor has any one who receives the mark of his name. Here is an opportunity for endurance on the part of God's people, who carefully keep His commandments and the faith of Jesus!"
    (Rev 14:9-12)

    And again...read the end of the Book, where the invitation is to "whosoever will", and the desciption of those outside the city is the same as those previously cast into the lake of
    fire.



    PastorKevin Question #5: Do those whose names are not found written in the Book of Life get out of the Lake of Fire? If so, please cite the Scripture reference that clearly shows this to be true.


    You continue to ask the same question over and over and expect a different answer?

    The lake of fire is not a permanent residence for immortal men...never was and never will be!

    Again, let me point out that those not written in the book of life are indeed thrown into the lake of fire (pur) and brimstone (Theion, divine incense, because burning brimstone was regarded as having power to purify, and to ward off disease) but there is nothing in the Greek that even hints that this will be so forever. And, you should take notice that those thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone are still present...we see them again outside the New Jerusalem in the last chapter of Revelation...

    Blessed are those who wash their robes clean, that they may have a right to the Tree of Life, and may go through the gates into the city. The unclean are shut out, and so are all who practise magic, all fornicators, all murderers, and those who
    worship idols, and every one who loves falsehood and tells lies.
    "I Jesus have sent My angel for him solemnly to declare these things to you among the Churches. I am the Root and the offspring of David, the bright Morning Star. The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come;' and whoever hears, let him say, 'Come;' and let those who are thirsty come. Whoever will, let him take the Water of Life, without payment.
    (Rev 22:14-17)

    There is nothing to suggest that this grace and it's invitation comes to an end...and "whosoever" is a quite inclusive invitation. It represents everything Christ died for, and surely if anything endures forever it will be what Christ paid for with His own blood. They come late...but they still come!


    PastorKevin Question #6: Please indicate if you agree with my brief definition of salvation and justification for the sake of clarity of terms in this debate.

    If not, please give a clear definition of what you view to be salvation and justification.

    In order to answer this question I will quote what you have said is salvation and justification:

    Kevin's defining of salvation and justification from his opening post..

    [indent]"In order for a person to escape the Lake of Fire he must be sinless in the eyes of
    God. Since no person is sinless we have a serious problem. The wonderful news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that no person has to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. God made a way out! That way is found in His Son Jesus Christ. Accepting Christ leads to a person being declared sinless in the eyes of God. This is salvation. At the moment of salvation, God declares us legally justified in His sight when we come to the cross of Christ and accept His sacrifice for our sins.

    Romans 3:23-25 bears this out for us well:

    23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

    This is what is known as justification. It is our legal standing before a Holy and Righteous God. God declares us by His grace to be “not guilty”.

    This I wholeheartedly agree with, with the exception of it's legalistic overtones.

    Before we come to faith in Jesus Christ (i.e. are born again or get saved), we are "Guilty” before a Holy God.

    This, however I want to speak to...

    I believe that it is precicely that Christ died and that He is the propitiation for our sins that we are to know and believe. I don't believe our believing makes it so... it IS so, therefore we believe.

    This might sound like a subtle or trivial difference...but it isn't. We are not guilty by virtue of Christ's redemption. This is so, therefore I have faith. I don't have faith to make it true...that gets the cart before the horse!

    This means that, in reality, mankind is not still guilty before God. Mankind is not in it's sins because of Christ.

    But I will point out your own words once again that "The wonderful news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that no person has to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. God made a way out! That way is found in His Son Jesus Christ. ...Christ leads to a person being declared sinless in the eyes of God. This is salvation. ...God declares us... justified in His sight" I wholeheartedly give an AMEN to this portion. Our disagreement is not on these grounds at all...in fact, I view the whole "eternal torment" idea to be diametrically opposed to what you in fact are saying here. If what is said here is true (and I believe it must be) then why do you insist that, while "no one has to spend eternity in the lake of fire", most people will? You beg for a "but" here...and its a big "but"!

    Our whole disagreement stems from the idea that the power of this wonderful gospel can no longer be found once one dies. You insist that death of the body somehow negates this gospel which does not extend beyond the grave. People can not have a "way out" once they are in it.

    The Gospel is a powerful avoidance strategy...but is powerless in actually getting out of punishment because said punishment MUST last forever, in your view.

    What is it about physical death that saps the Gospel of all it's power and provision?

    Again...the resurrection from the dead is nowhere to be seen at all...at least with any kind of redemptive power. The resurrection becomes the means whereby billions will suffer torment forever...God raises the dead to cast them off forever. He apparently can no longer accept any profession of faith from them, and merely wants to rub their collective noses in their shortfallen wretchedness without end, in spite of the fact He took all sin away! This becomes the very reason for their resurrection within the plausibility structure that eternal torment represents.

    That turns what you have declared salvation to be on it's head!

    Now...having said that I will now say this: We are saved from being shortfallen. We are washed clean of all sin. This IS salvation. God saves us from SIN! Not eternal misery.

    The potential that eternal misery might be the outcome for man was prevented at the outset...again...

    And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and
    live forever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
    (Gen 3:22-24)

    In the religious doctrine and dogma of eternal torment, the problem is one of anthropology. Specifically...that we never really die, but live forever regardless...even if it is in a shortfallen state that produces nothing but misery. This is the very thing that God wished to prevent from happening here according to this verse! And DOES prevent!


    And...there's more:

    And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    (1Jo 2:2)

    Kevin...the WHOLE WORLD! Not just ours...everyone's!

    The way out of sin and the misery it causes...clearly...extends to the whole race.

    It follows then that just as the result of a single transgression is a condemnation which extends to the whole race, so also the result of a single decree of righteousness is a life-giving acquittal which extends to the whole race. For as through the disobedience of the one individual the mass of mankind were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the mass of mankind will be constituted righteous.
    (Rom 5:18-19)

    who did save us, and did call with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, that was given to us in Christ Jesus, before the times of the ages, and was made manifest now through the manifestation of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who indeed did abolish death, and did enlighten life and immortality through the good news,
    (2Ti 1:9-10)

    If eternal torment is really true then these verses CANNOT be true. Cross them out, delete them...tear them out of the page...they only confuse the issue of an eternal Hell, after all!


    With four words the Apostle Paul puts the issue of eternal torment to rest in 1 Corinthians 15:28...

    God...all in all!

    And agian..."Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good
    pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ". If any are eternally tormented (or exterminated), then God's plan is thwarted! God wants humanity saved, but most of humanity are too stubborn to accept His means...the cross. So, the cross is not the all-powerful and universal thing we hope it is, but an offer so weak that a single "no thanks" from a mortal human rebuffs it.

    How different the Bible really appears!...

    Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
    (1Jo 4:13-14)

    Well...we used to, anyway!


    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________

    What about eternal life?

    I don't think God is an idiot. But the dogma of eternal torment makes Him out to be.

    According to the doctrine of eternal torment, God created man with eternal life...then tells him he would die if he eats a bit of fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The serpent then tells Adam the real truth that he cannot die, no matter what!

    Eternal torment insists that it is true that we live forever, regardless...but that eternal life is a curse if you don't get reconciled to God before you die. This is possible because they think that death is only relevent concerning the body.

    Well...I think that God is the smart one and the serpent is a liar.

    I believe the truth is that we die. The only way out of that is the resurrection from the dead!

    But, if God created man incapable of death, the serpent seems to be truthful when he says "you will not surely die". After all, how can a bit of fruit bring death to someone that lives forever?

    In the eternal torment model...and ONLY in the eternal torment model...man possesses eternal life by virtue of being created in God's image and likeness as a natural possession. Therefore, the threat of death is in reality the threat of eternal life in torment.
    Therefore...they believe that the serpent was being more truthful than God was when he told Eve that the threat of death was an empty threat and that God was not telling them the truth.

    God said don't eat of that tree...lest you die.
    The serpent said that ain't true, and God lied to you so you won't get what God has.

    In other words...God's an idiot. How can a creature that is eternal die, after all?

    Well...this senario is only acceptible to those that believe in eternal torment!

    No...the truth is God is true, and every man is a liar, no matter how religious he might be.

    The serpent is the one that lies. How do we know?

    Because God PREVENTS man from eating of the other tree...you know, the one that enables eternal life. This means they don't have eternal life UNLESS they obtain the
    privilege.

    If you don't accept this as being true you are playing into the serpent's trap...and eternal torment is possible in your theology. If you do accept it as true...then God stops the serpent cold right then. His hostages can be ransomed away from him. He's already losing...in fact he has already lost.

    This is axiomatic...which is why I think its at the beginning of The Book. The doctrine of
    eternal torment doesn't even get THIS right. How can anything that follows be true? They believe the serpent's lie..."you will not surely die"...and carry it forward to the
    only possible conclusion as though that were true in their dogmatic theology. They act as if God never stopped man from eating of the tree of life before getting ready.

    Today...it is the Christian religious system that echos the serpent's lie. "You will spend eternity somewhere...you will not die...will it be smoking or non-smoking?" And God's plans are thwarted along the way....no big deal, huh?




    For the Lord will not cast off forever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth, To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High, To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not. Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

    Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned. Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through. Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people. All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction. Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission, Till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven. Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city. Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause. They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me. Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off. I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon. Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry. Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee:

    thou saidst, Fear not. O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.
    (Lam 3:31-58)



    __________________________________________________ ________________________________

    I'll tell you what, Kevin...I'll forego any questions this round and let you simply respond.
    People just percieve my questions as being "loaded" anyway.

    God bless you!

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    PastorKevin's Round #2 post


    What is the big idea?

    I would like to begin this round by bringing us back to the question at hand. We are working on answering the question: Will Unbelievers Spend Eternity in the Lake of Fire?

    You cannot know the Mind of God without the Word of God! You cannot fully understand or rightly divide the Word of God unless the Spirit of God is in your life!

    I began my opening statement by pointing out that the Bible is the center of my life, and I base everything I do on the Word of God. I believe that God has communicated His mind to us through His Word, the Bible. Apart from the Word of God, the mind of God cannot be discerned. The ability to truly understand the Word of God is only given by the Spirit of God. This is important because when I was NOT a person of faith, the Bible made little sense to me and I thought of it as a boring book. But after I became a Christian, the Spirit of God filled my mind and my thoughts with a HUNGER for God’s Word. I HAD to read it!

    Why am I opening my second round with this statement?

    It is because Universalism (like it’s opposite Annihilationism) is an entirely unbiblical doctrine. They take many extra-biblical teachings (which are the teachings of men), and insert them alongside the Scriptures in order to justify those teachings. This is why in this argument I will do very little of this, but instead will focus on the Scriptures themselves.

    Eternal, Everlasting, Forever and Ever, or just an “Age” or finite period of time?

    In your arguments you make a big issue of the words “Aion” and “Aionios”, and build your entire theology around the belief that when in association with eternal punishment or the Lake of Fire they do not mean eternal.

    I am going to briefly pull in the observations of two excellent scholarly works to see if they agree with Stephen’s definition of Aionios.

    Here is what Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance has to say in regards to Aionios:

    “Eternal, long ago:-eternal, Everlasting, world began(combined with Chronos), forever, since world began.”

    Dr. Vine says this in his excellent Expository Dictionary: Aionios “Describes duration, either undefined but not endless, as in Romans 16:25;2 Tim. 1:9;Titus 1:2; or undefined because endless as in Rom. 16:26 and the other sixty-six places in the NT.
    These are just two solid scholars’ views, but there are many others that would concur with the translations of Dr. Vine and Dr. Strong.

    An important thing to know when studying the Scriptures and trying to ascertain the meaning of Greek words: Context always determines meaning.

    The root word “Aion” is indeed translated age correctly at times, and has that as its base meaning. But that doesn’t mean that every word that comes from that word has in its meaning a limited duration of time. In fact the opposite is true.

    Here is a group of verses in which Aionion is correctly translated to mean “eternal”:

    John 6:47
    47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

    PastorKevin Question #7: Is Jesus telling the truth? Does he who believes in Him have everlasting life?

    John 10:28
    28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

    Notice in that verse the flipside is also used: “and they shall NEVER perish”. This double solidifies the meaning of the word in this context! Jesus gives them eternal life and they shall never perish! This is a gift! Jesus states is pretty plainly!

    Romans 2:7
    7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;

    Romans 5:21
    21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 16:26
    26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—

    Galatians 6:8
    8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

    1 Timothy 6:16
    16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.

    1 John 1:2
    2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—

    1 John 5:11
    11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
    (Even by your own argument, this could only be eternal because it is referring to life given us by the Son of God! And notice the PRESENT TENSE USED! It is NOT some future far off event where God saves everyone like Universalism states! We who believe on the Lord Jesus have eternal life already!)

    The weight of Biblical evidence is overwhelming already!
    These are all Scriptures which translate Aionion eternal. And rightfully so! Man is an eternal being. He will spend eternity somewhere. The way to eternal life is very narrow and prescribed by God: Through faith in Jesus Christ one is grafted into the family of God!

    It's the same word!

    Stephen, in your arguments you do not deny that one who exercises saving faith in Jesus Christ receives the gift of eternal life do you? In fact your main point is that you believe that ALL will exercise saving faith and receive eternal life, so you do not negate the verses that teach that we receive eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. And yet, the same language that is used to describe the eternal life we receive from our Lord Jesus Christ, is also used to describe the punishment of the wicked who reject Jesus Christ and die in their sins:

    Matthew 18:8

    8 “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.

    (Your argument likening the fire not being quenched to a regular fire that will eventually burn out does not hold water! It is fire that will not be quenched just as Jesus said it was! It is also everlasting fire, just as this text says that it is!)

    Matthew 25:41
    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:

    Matthew 25:46
    46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    (We have already established that the life that is eternal comes through Jesus Christ our Lord. The punishment is also everlasting. How? Because it was created by an everlasting God!)

    Mark 3:29
    29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”—

    2 Thessalonians 1:9
    9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

    (Everlasting destruction means there shall never be an end to their destruction. They are going to be destroyed forever! Oh that we would burn with a passion to reach our lost loved ones before it is too late! Reject the false doctrine of Universalism my friend, and allow God to use you to reach everyone you know before it is too late!)

    Jude 1:7
    7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    “FOREVER AND EVER” OR “INTO THE AGE OF THE AGES”?

    Further distorting of the Scripture found in the false teaching of Universalism is found in the English translation of the Greek phrase: “eis tous aionas ton aionon” (“Forever and Ever” or “Forevermore”)

    In their mad rush to redefine Scripture and remove the doctrine of eternal damnation, Many false teachers shoot themselves in the foot! (OUCH! THAT WAS MY FOOT MARV!)

    The following are 18 verses in Scripture that contain this statement:"eis tous aionas ton aionon”

    Revelation 19:3
    3 Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!”

    Revelation 20:10
    10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

    Galatians 1:5
    5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

    Philippians 4:20
    20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

    1 Timothy 1:17

    17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise,be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

    2 Timothy 4:18

    18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

    Hebrews 13:21
    21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

    1 Peter 4:11
    11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

    Revelation 1:18
    18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

    Revelation 4:9-10
    9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

    Revelation 5:13
    13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “ Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

    Revelation 7:12
    12 saying:“ Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

    Revelation 10:6
    6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer,

    Revelation 11:15
    15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

    Revelation 15:7
    7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever.

    Revelation 22:5
    5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

    It is blatantly clear that rendering these verses "Into the Age of the Ages" destroys the true meaning of them!!

    It's no wonder the false systems of belief of Universalism and Annihilationism have worked so hard to try to change the meanings of these words. They utterly destroy both of those doctrines!

    Now to the questions and answers:

    PKA-LogosQ1,& 2: (I will deal with both of Stephen’s first two questions here): Stephen, these questions are really designed to elicit emotional response and have nothing to do with what I believe. I know this because I have read many online debates and had many conversations where Universalists ask the same questions. DESPITE this, I will answer the questions: I do not believe that God created things in such a way that eternal torment was the outcome for the majority of people that He raises from the dead.

    God's original creation: NO SIN!!
    God originally created the world perfect and without sin. When He was done creating He said that it was “Good”. Is it good now? NO! It is a wicked and sinful world that has gone completely astray of God’s original purposes for it. God did not have it in His mind to create people to have them do the wicked things you read about in the newspaper every day! Universalism screams about “How can a God of love send people to the Lake of fire for all eternity,” and yet Universalism attributes the very creation of evil to God? God did not in fact create evil. God created free will! God did not create Lucifer evil! God created him a perfect angel. Lucifer sinned and in a sense all sin originated in Lucifer to begin with. But when Lucifer sinned he was cast from Heaven along with 1/3 of the angels.


    What does this have to do with the Lake of Fire?


    Revelation 12:9
    So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

    Matthew 25:41
    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:

    Death:
    The everlasting fire was initially prepared for the devil and his angels. But Satan also enticed man to sin, and man (a free will being) willfully rejected God’s command that he not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is how physical and spiritual death entered into the world. There is a reason that the Bible calls being cast into the Lake of Fire the 2nd Death.
    This is because it is spiritual death. It is final! Just as final as physical death! When we die physically, we face judgment. If our names are not written in the Book of Life, we go to the Lake of Fire for all eternity. This is what is known as the 2nd Death. There is no return from it. I wish it were not so, but it is. I don’t make the rules, God does! When man sinned, he brought upon himself the same fate as Satan and the fallen angels!

    Why?

    I touched on this briefly in my opening statement and would like to expound further:

    God HATES sin!


    Psalm 5:4-5
    4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You. 5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;You hate all workers of iniquity.

    He hates sin! Not only that, but the Bible says He hates all workers of iniquity! This is a bold statement indeed! But its there in the Word of God! With an eternally righteous hate God hates sin! In fact the Bible gives no way out for the fallen angels who have sinned.

    Jesus Christ, the God-Man:
    One of the most important points of the gospel message is that God became a man! Jesus Christ, the God-man died on the cross so that fallen men can have a relationship with God. In one of my questions to you, I invited you to find a Scripture that shows Satan and his angels getting out of the Lake of Fire. That is because the Scripture clearly shows them being cast in there, and there they will stay for all eternity. You could not provide one single reference that shows them getting out. In fact your only reply was to cast doubt upon the words forever and ever. You did not find a verse that shows them getting out.

    No God-Angel to die for the sins of Satan!

    How will the fallen angels and Satan be reconciled to God, Stephen? Is it through the reconciliation found in the Cross? I think not! This is a Scriptural impossibility. The fallen angels have no hope of salvation because they have no Savior! End of story! Case closed until you can show me where in the Bible Satan and the fallen angels are saved. Because Scripture clearly closes the door of judgment on them.

    Man joined the fallen angels!
    WHEN man sinned, he chose for himself the same judgment that was upon Satan and his fallen angels!

    The Narrow Way:
    Jesus said the way to life is very narrow and only a few find it. If you have a problem with that statement you will have to take it up with Him! Jesus knows that people are stubborn and prideful, and that they refuse to allow God to be in charge of their lives. But He remains ready to have a relationship with any man who will humble himself before the Lord. This is why the Bible can rightly say that whosever will come

    PastorKevin Question #8: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?

    PastorKevin Question #9:
    If the Bible is very clear to show all those who are cast into the Lake of Fire and why they are cast into the Lake of Fire, why is there not ONE single description of them coming out? It would seem to me that if Universalism were Scripturally true, then there would be a clear reference stating “And then those who took the mark of the Beast came out of the Lake of Fire, followed by Satan and his angels, etc…”


    Major Flaw!

    Don’t you see this is a major hole in your argument? That there is not one single Scripture reference that shows ANYONE getting out of the Lake of Fire. It would seem that if Universalism were true there would be at least ONE verse that clearly states this. There is not a single one! The only way they can justify that position is to misapply verses that speak about God being the Savior of all, and misconstruing what the Bible teaches about reconciliation. But there is no WAY that the reconciliation of Christ includes the fallen angels and Satan! And there is no way for anyone to be saved apart from Christ!


    The good news:

    Again, I want to highlight the good news: Nobody HAS to die and spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Because you made such a fuss over me saying that in my opening statement, let me expound upon it.

    The message is SIMPLE!


    The message of the gospel is so simple that a child can understand it! It is not difficult. God has made the way to a relationship with Him very narrow, but also very simple. There is only one way to God and to Heaven. And that is through Jesus Christ. Every other road leads to destruction. Every other path leads to spiritual death. But the message is so simple. All it requires is a person to humble himself before Almighty God, recognize that he is a sinner that has broken God’s Law, and repent of his sin. Repentence is a change of mind. When we repent, we agree with God that our sin is wicked and we invite Him to His rightful place as Lord of our lives.

    PKA-LogosQ3&4- All you have managed to show is that some people (yourself included) do not agree with the translations of hell that are given in the English Bible. There are also many scholars that completely agree with orthodox translations of hell. This is again one of those my scholars versus your scholars things that will get us nowhere fast!

    PKA-LogosQ5- I have already strongly commented on “aion” in my arguments above. I will say, however, that God created man with an eternal spirit. This spirit will either live forever with God (if the man has a relationship with God), or he will spend eternity separated from God in the Lake of Fire. Here is why a big part of your argument is faulty: The Lake of Fire isn’t exactly what I would call livin’. It is actually eternal dying. Eternally being burned by flames, but never burning up! This is why God calls desparately to men to repent! The Lord doesn’t desire anyone to go there, that is why He sent His Son!

    PKA-LogosQ6-See my above arguments on the words for eternal, everlasting, and forever and ever. I think they clearly answer this question!

    PKA-LogosQ7-I believe that Christ saves us from our sins and from the penalty of death that hangs on us because of our sins. I believe He washes those sins away as far as the east is from the west! But only if we accept His free gift! If we reject it, there is no other payment for our sins and we spend eternity regretting the decision! Prov. 28:13:”He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

    PKA-LogosQ8- This kind of question implies dishonesty on the part of someone who holds to the Biblical doctrine of eternal punishment. I have again seen this type of question posed by Universalists a number of times. The question is not what I think is just, but what does God think is just? God says those who reject His free gift have no other payment for their sins. God did everything He could to bring men to a relationship with Him, short of violating their free will. God will not violate the free will of man. God allows men to make their own choices, because He didn’t create us to be robots. God was grieved when man chose to rebel and disobey Him. But God’s perfect justice requires a payment. God’s eternal nature demands an eternal payment for sin. The only way the punishment wouldn’t be eternal is if God wasn’t eternal. Just as the only way eternal life wouldn’t be eternal is if God wasn’t eternal. Is. 59:2 says: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” Our sin separates us from God! There is a vast gulf between a sinful man and a perfect God. That gulf is only bridged by the Lord Jesus Christ!

    PKA-LogosQ9- The resurrection of Christ? Or the resurrection of the dead? I would assume you mean the resurrection of the dead, in which case Scripture clearly tells us about the resurrection:

    John 5:28-29
    28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

    PastorKevin Question #10
    Do you believe that the wicked will be resurrected to condemnation? Please define condemnation Biblically.


    PKA-LogosQ10- Those who know Christ will be raised from death to life! Those who know Christ have the power that raised Christ from the dead living in them RIGHT NOW! Besides, if Satan is so bad then why do you think he will be with us in Heaven for all eternity? Continuing what Satan started would only be a temporary thing at worst. When the “age of the ages” is up (by your theology-not mine), why would it matter what Satan did or didn’t do? We’re all saved in the end! OR the flipside is true: only those who know Christ get to partake in the resurrection of the righteous. Those who don’t know Christ face judgment only! Their sins were never paid for!

    John 11:25:
    Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live! (It’s always conditional for believing in Jesus!)
    But what about the soul who sins?


    Ezekiel 18:4
    Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.

    John 8:24
    Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

    Acts 3:19
    [B]Repent therefore and be converted[/B], that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

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


    PastorKevin Question #12: Please cite Bible verses which show a person repenting after death. Or do you refute the Bible when it says that a person can only have his sins blotted out by repenting of them?


    PKA-LogosQ11- I would say this is a fallacy my friend Stephen. The life is eternal as is the punishment is my position based upon what the Bible teaches.

    PKA-LogosQ12- Well 2 Corinthians 5:17 teaches us that if anyone is in Christ he is a NEW CREATION! I believe that affects us right now. Yes we are a new creation, but we still have this old sinful body, and will until we are resurrected with a perfect body. Yes I believe God will make a new Heaven and a new Earth. But it never says in Scripture that the Lake of Fire is done away with!

    In my Question #2 I asked you, “Is the fire in the Lake of Fire quenched? If so please provide the Scriptural references that show this to be true.” In your answer you did not show one Scriptural reference that showed the fire in the Lake of Fire being quenched. Jesus repeated 3 times in the text we were discussing (Mark 9:42-48) that the “Fire is not quenched”.

    PastorKevin Question #13: Please cite where in the Bible it says, “The fire is not quenched until it can consume everything it can consume”.

    In my Question #3, I asked you “Do the people who worship the beast and receive his mark spend eternity in torment? Does the smoke of their torment ascend forever and ever?” You argued about the length of time not being eternal, and made a reference to all things being put under the subjection of Christ’s feet. You said that the verses you cited cannot be true if eternal torment were true.

    If Universalism is false teaching (as I am proposing), then the verses you cited CAN in fact be true by simply understanding the verse to mean that all are put under subjection to Christ, that even those in the Lake of Fire are in fact in subjection to Christ.

    PastorKevin Question #14: Can you agree that IF those who worship the beast and receive his mark are tormented forever and ever, then Universalism is shown to be false teaching? I will apply this to Satan, the Beast, and the Fallen angels, and those whose names are not written in the Book of Life spending eternity in the Lake of Fire as well. My question is simply IF that is true, then is Universalism false teaching? Also please cite the Scripture verse that shows that anyone in the Lake of Fire gets out if you persist in saying that the salvation of these folks is a Biblical doctrine. (Or else admit point blank that there is no verse in the Bible that CLEARLY states that anyone in the Lake of Fire gets out).

    What happened in the Garden?
    Stephen, your take on the Garden of Eden was quite interesting. Ultimately, Adam’s sin was the same as that of Lucifer. Pride. The desire to be like God. When he tempted Eve, he said to her “You shall not surely die”. It is funny the way Universalism takes heat off of itself by trying to bend this to mean the Biblical doctrine of eternal torment. In actuality, it is Universalism which listens to the lie of the Serpent and tells people, you shall not surely die. You shall not surely die spiritually. You will be reconciled to God who will be all in all regardless of if you repent of your sins in this life or not. Universalism says that the judgment of God is not final and that those whose names are not written in the Book of Life are not going to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.

    Now you and I have both pointed out to one another that we believe that Satan is at the heart of our theology. The bigger question I will ask is where is Satan more likely to reside? In an argument that has as many of its basic ideas completely Unscriptural doctrines. (Such as saying that people in the Lake of Fire get out, when Scripture plainly says they never get out, and not one verse in Scripture shows they do get out). In fact it is just like Satan to use Scripture to try to justify unscriptural ideas. But the arguments will always fall apart and crumble in the clear light of the truth.

    My Round #2 Questions again:

    PastorKevin Question #7: Is Jesus telling the truth? Does he who believes in Him have everlasting life?

    PastorKevin Question #8: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?

    PastorKevin Question #9:
    If the Bible is very clear to show all those who are cast into the Lake of Fire and why they are cast into the Lake of Fire, why is there not ONE single description of them coming out? It would seem to me that if Universalism were Scripturally true, then there would be a clear reference stating “And then those who took the mark of the Beast came out of the Lake of Fire, followed by Satan and his angels, etc…”


    PastorKevin Question #10
    Do you believe that the wicked will be resurrected to condemnation? Please briefly define condemnation Biblically.


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


    PastorKevin Question #12: Please cite Bible verses which show a person repenting after death. Or do you refute the Bible when it says that a person can only have his sins blotted out by repenting of them?


    PastorKevin Question #13: Please cite where in the Bible it says, “The fire is not quenched until it can consume everything it can consume”.

    PastorKevin Question #14: Can you agree that IF those who worship the beast and receive his mark are tormented forever and ever, then Universalism is shown to be false teaching? I will apply this to Satan, the Beast, and the Fallen angels, and those whose names are not written in the Book of Life spending eternity in the Lake of Fire as well. My question is simply IF that is true, then is Universalism false teaching? Also please cite the Scripture verse that shows that anyone in the Lake of Fire gets out if you persist in saying that the salvation of these folks is a Biblical doctrine. (Or else admit point blank that there is no verse in the Bible that CLEARLY states that anyone in the Lake of Fire gets out).

    God bless you and have a good night!

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    That's it for round 2.

    Logos_x is on the clock and has until Friday, Dec. 15 at 1:57(MDT) to submit his post for round 3.
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    Kevin, I'm not convinced.

    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!

    That much should be obvious...even to our feeble minds.

    I believe, again, that God prevents man from eating of the tree of life at the outset of the human race so that a permanent condition of shortfalleness, sin and death would NOT derail His Plans to save the world.

    There is only one thing that could prevent God from saving all men through the Grace he has provided through Jesus Christ...and that would be a "Hell" that is permanent and stops that Grace cold.

    I therefore don't think it is in God's best interest, Jesus' best interest, or mankind's best interest to create such a thing in the first place.

    Satan, the liar, however...want's us to believe that God is stupid...or not what He represents Himself to be..

    You can have Judgments, you can have all the fire and brimstone that would be needed to accomplish what God desires...everything at God's disposal still in tact to save men and punish men, everything that is in the Bible...and believe as I do.

    All it takes is the realization that "AION" does NOT mean eternal on it's own.
    If you MAKE it mean eternal...then God has an undefeatable foe and cannot save all mankind.

    It's the ONLY reason He can't in your theology.

    One four letter Greek word derails God's ability to save all mankind!

    By seeing this eon or eons of punishment as eternal, without any support, and then insisting that it must be this way, you unwittingly derail all of God's plans. I see no compelling reason to do this, myself.

    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________

    Everyone who supports the false doctrine of eternal torment does NOT believe they are going there!

    They also do not comprehend at all what they "believe".

    Are the fires of Hell literal? If they are...then god's righteouds judgments end up inflicting more pain in 30 seconds than all the pain yet felt in all the world for all time.

    How do you describe Hell?
    Like Dante's Inferno?

    If you do, I challenge you to find that kind of description in the Bible.

    Again...ETERNAL torment came not from the Jews, who were responsible for giving us the Old Book!

    Eternal torment came out of religions believed by some of the nations OUTSIDE of God's "chosen people".

    Eternal torment does not have Biblical origins.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________


    People want to say Hell is eternal because "AION" means eternal. They do that solely to support an eternal Hell.

    A permanent Hell that stops God's Grace cold in it's tracks!

    Does this mean eternal in the Bible so that a permanent Hell that stops God's Grace cold in it's tracks... and cannot be defeated no matter what God does about it...MUST be believed without any doubt whatsoever?

    Obviously not! Nothing yet said is compelling enough to make me believe that God, in reality, wants an eternal permanent Hell!

    Hence this debate.

    Even our English Bibles are not in agreement!

    But, at the risk of being accused once again of citing extra-biblical material, I will point out something out of Church history:

    The Emperor Justinian, directed Mennas, the Patriarch of Constantinople, to call a local council in the year 544 to condemn errors. Among these errors was the doctrine of universal restoration. Justinian, in his letter to Mennas, presents an elaborate argument against that doctrine, among others, and concludes it with a careful statement of the faith. Here, now, was a call for an unambiguous word to denote eternal, as applied to life and punishment. The emperor, writing in Greek, had his choice of words. What word, then, from the full vocabulary of Greece, did he select?

    Did he rely on the word aionios as, of itself, sufficient for his purpose? Not at all.

    Aware that it could denote simply “pertaining to the world to come,” he prefixes to it a word properly denoting eternal, so that his language was this; “The Holy Church of Christ teaches an endless aionian life to the righteous and endless punishment to the wicked.” Here the word used to denote endless in both cases is ateleutetos. In the case of punishment he omits aionios entirely. To denote the endless life of the righteous he uses the same unambiguous word ateleutetos, but prefixes it to aionios. But when he thus said the Church teaches an endless aionian life to the righteous, did he mean so flat a tautology as an "endless endless life"? Or did he prefix to the life of the world to come, as used in the creeds, a word that truly denotes eternal?

    It deserves particular notice that, in a deliberate and formal effort to characterize the punishment of the wicked as strictly eternal, he does not rely on or use the word aionios at all, but employs an entirely different word, ateleutetos.

    There was good reason for the distrust of Justinian of the power of the word aionios to express endless life and endless punishment. One of his contemporaries, the philosopher Olympiodorus, had pointedly used the word as directly opposed to endless punishment, and denoting a limited period. ...he says, "Do not suppose that the soul is punished for endless aions... Very properly, the soul is not punished to gratify the revenge of the divinity, but for the sake of healing. But we say that the soul is punished for an aionion period, calling its life, and its allotted period of punishment, its aion.” Of the very worst sinners, he says that they need a second life, and a second period of punishment, to be made perfectly pure, and that Plato called this double period their aion (the Bible calls it "second death").

    With this distinct denial of endless punishment before his eyes, and a recognition in its place of aionian punishment as the direct antithesis to it, how could Justinian express endless punishment except by another word denoting endlessness?

    This usage of aionios coincides in principle with that of Dr. Tayler Lewis, who I quoted earlier in my opening post. Aionian punishment is for an age, or aion. Besides, the view of Prof. Lewis is in striking accordance with the usages of ancient creeds and ancient fathers, and has a presentation of truth so remarkable that it should satisfy even a skeptical mind. It is a new instance of that linguistic wisdom and sound judgement for which he is so highly distinguished.

    The the early fathers so understood the words of Christ in the sentence of the day of judgment, that they were free to adopt different views as to the duration of the sufferings of the wicked. By this the way has been prepared to take a preliminary view of the state of thought and feeling on future retributions in the centuries before the age of Justinian, in the sixth century.

    Then, for the first time, the doctrine of future restoration was condemned by a council that was not ecumenical, but local. This too, was more the arbitrary act of Justinian than the result of any free movement of the intellectual leaders of the Church.

    Up to the time of Justinian no article as to future punishment was introduced into any creed, but only an article as to the life of the world to come, and that up to that date no great controversial work on future retribution had been written by any one, on any side. All that is said on the subject is said incidentally, or in exhortation and practical works.

    Origen’s work on the principles of theology is the nearest to an exception to this. But this is not written controversially, and by far the greater part of the work is occupied with other themes. But it is a striking fact that, though the positions of Origen were clearly stated, and also his reasons for them in his own works, no one undertook a formal argumentative reply to him. What the Emperor Justinian has said about him on this point, in his letter to Mennas, has a profession and show of argument, but he makes no statement at all of the arguments of Origen, and no reply to them.

    Three interesting facts stand out on the page of ecclesiastical history:

    One, that the first system of Christian theology was composed and issued by Origen in the year 230 after Christ, of which a fundamental and essential element was the doctrine of the universal restoration of all fallen beings to their original holiness, and union with God.

    And second, that another word that is not in the Greek manuscripts had to be added... ateleutetos.. by the emporer Justinian...to force a meaning upon future punishments as eternal.

    And third, that no arguments AGAINST universal salvation was prevelent until this time frame in history even though the FIRST system of Christian Theology composed was a Universalist theology.

    The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (1908) by Schaff-Herzog (volume 12, pg. 96) "In the first five or six centuries of Christianity there were six theological schools, of which four (Alexandria, Antioch, Caesarea, and Edessa, or Nisibis) were Universalist, one (Ephesus) accepted conditional immortality; one (Carthage or Rome) taught endless punishment of the wicked. Other theological schools are mentioned as founded by Universalists, but their actual doctrine on this subject is not known."

    I believe we ignore these facts to our own folly.

    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________

    Biblical?

    So, Kevin, just how much of the Bible do the believers in eternal torment really believe?


    Here is a list of current contradictions created by the doctrine of eternal torment...it is not an exhaustive list, and not all applies to everyone, but please consider them and see where you might have some difficulties:


    Do they believe the fire in I Cor.3:15 burns mans’ works, but not the man himself? Yes.
    But do they teach that this same fire in Rev.20:15 also burns works, not the man? No.


    Do they believe that God is absolutely and totally sovereign (Eph. 1:11)? Yes.
    But do they teach that God exercises sovereignty over man’s supposed "free" will? No.


    Do they believe that Jesus came to destroy all the works of the Devil? Yes
    Do they believe He will? No



    Do they believe that Jesus Christ IS the Saviour of the whole world (I Jn 4:14)? Yes.
    But do they teach that Jesus Christ will SAVE the whole world? No.


    Do they believe that presently Christ only has immortality (I Tim. 6:16)? Yes.
    But do they teach the truth therefore that men’s souls are mortal and not immortal? No.


    Do they believe that the original manuscripts of God’s Word were inerrant? Yes.
    But do they teach us that the King James translation, which some say is "inerrant" has gone through THOUSANDS of error corrections since 1611? No.


    Do they believe that the soul that sins shall DIE (Ezek. 18:4)? Yes.
    But do they teach that souls of deceased sinners are actually DEAD? No.


    Do they believe there are many cults today that need exposing? Yes.
    But do they teach that the Christian religeous system, by its OWN definitions, is also a cult? No.


    Do they believe that Sodom is "suffering the vengeance of eternal [aeonian] fire? Yes.
    But do they teach that Sodom will be restored to their former estate (Ezek. 16:55)? No.


    Do they believe in a future resurrection of dead people back to life (John 5:29)? Yes.
    But do they teach that a resurrection is imperative for dead people to live again? No.


    Do they believe the first half of I Cor. 15:22 that "For as through Adam ALL die?" Yes.
    But do they teach the last half, "even so through Christ shall ALL be made alive?" No.


    Do they believe that "...the end of the world [Gk: aion -- age]" ends in Mat. 24:3? Yes.
    But do they teach that this same "aion -- age" in Matt. 25:41 & 46 will also end. No.


    Do they believe ALL God purposed, spoke, and willed (Isa. 46:10-11), He will do? Yes.
    But do they teach that God’s "will" to save all, I Tim. 2:4, etc., will be done? No.


    Do they believe that Satan lied when he told Eve, "thou shalt not surely die?" Yes.
    But do they teach the truth that sinners really do DIE at death as God has stated? No.


    Do they believe that Christ is totally responsible for our salvation? Yes.
    But do they teach that "no man can" come to Christ of himself (John 6:44)? No.


    Do they believe Christ really died for the sins of the world? Yes.
    But do they teach that Jesus Christ was dead when they placed Him in the tomb? No.


    Do they believe the many Scriptures that liken death to "sleep?" Yes.
    But do they teach that dead people are "sleeping" till resurrection? No.


    Do they believe that the last enemy to be destroyed [Gk: abolished] is death? Yes.
    But do they teach that ALL death, including the second death, will be abolished? No.


    Do they believe that all things are possible with God (Mark 10:27)? Yes.
    But do they teach that it is possible for God to save nonbelievers after they die? No.


    Do they believe that every tongue in heaven and earth will confess Jesus as LORD? Yes.
    But do they teach that the Holy Spirit inspires this sincere voluntary act (I Cor. 12:3)? No.


    Do they believe that God’s love will never fail (I Cor. 13:8)? Yes.
    But do they teach that God’s love will never fail in saving the world He loves? No.


    Do they believe that the masses did not understand Christ’s parables (Mat. 13:13)? Yes.
    But do they teach that Christ purposely didn’t want them to understand, (Vs. 14-17)? No.


    Do they believe that loving our enemies means doing good and not evil to them? Yes.
    But do they teach that God will never subject His enemies to eternal torture and evil? No.

    Do they believe that Jesus' death took all sin away? Yes
    Do they believe all sin is taken away? No.


    I'm one of those people that is bothered about this situation...and I want to learn from these mistakes.

    But here is one thing that really, really bothers me:

    Jesus came and died, and His death was sufficient to pay for our sin. He came and took yours and my punishment upon Himself. If the punishment for sin was eternal torment, then He simply could NOT do that...unless He is in torment right now, and will continue to be in torment forever, paying my debt and your debt.

    __________________________________________________ _________________________________________

    You insist that Ultimate Salvation is not Biblical...while I insist that eternal torment is not Biblical...here's why I believe Ultimate Salvation is more Biblical than eternal torment:

    A few words of caution: I hope I have made it clear that in teaching universal salvation, I have not tried to minimize sin, nor have I taught that sinners will be saved while still clinging to their sins. I believe that many people have terrible sufferings awaiting them after they leave this life-how long and how severe I leave up to a loving and just God. But I believe that God never punishes for punishment's sake. He always has the sinner's repentance and restoration in view, and in His wisdom He knows exactly what it will take in each case to bring about the desired results!

    The general peception of some, apparently, is that I am peddling a false doctrine that says God is soft on sin.
    Any God who would allow for sin to exist for all eternity would be soft on sin...compromising and allowing it to exist at all is compromising with evil.

    I am opposed to the popular creed partially because I believe that it in fact teaches men to make light of sin in two ways:

    first, because it teaches a plan of retribution that is so unjust as to make people secretly believe its penalties will never be inflicted; and next,

    because it asserts that God either will not, or cannot, overcome and destroy evil and sin, but will bear with them for ever and ever, allowing sin to exist under conditions of burning torment.

    I am NOT saying that God is a "good ol' boy" who winks at sin and considers it a light matter when someone violates His holy law! God forbid that I should teach such shallow theology! It is in the light of the crucifixion that we see sin as exceedingly sinful, so sinful that nothing less than the death of God incarnate could pay for it. But let us be careful, lest in thinking we are honoring the atonement we are actually dishonoring it by limiting its power to save by teaching that Christ failed in His mission as Savior of the world, making Him a liar. Because He never said, "If I am lifted up I will draw SOME men to myself," or "I will TRY to draw all men to myself," but, "I WILL draw ALL MEN to myself!"

    We are talking about just how successful God efforts will be in saving the world...not sin reigning or succeeding in the world to come, but it's COMPLETE OBLITERATION! Jesus Christ will be 100% successful in saving the world!

    So...Just how Biblical is Universal salvation?

    Let’s start at the beginning; at Creation, when all things were made by Christ. I believe the Scriptures state that He began His work knowing full well about the fall of man that was to come. He had a plan already in place to redeem mankind, since He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). He, who created all things, will "reconcile to himself ALL things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross"

    (Colossians 1:20). This reconciliation or restoration of ALL things was foretold by God when He "spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago" (Acts 3:21). God has appointed His Son to be the "heir of ALL things" (Hebrews 1:2) and in God's Son "shall ALL the nations be blessed" (Galatians 3:8) and all the families of the Earth will be blessed. (Gen 12:3; 28:14)

    God has given His Son "authority over ALL flesh, to give eternal life to ALL whom He has given Him" (John 17:2). "The Father has given ALL things into the Son's hands" (John 3:35) and so "ALL flesh shall see the salvation of God" (Luke 3:6). Because of "the unchangeable character of God's purpose" (Hebrews 6:17), because His love for His enemies is unchanging and "He is kind to the ungrateful and evil" (Luke 6:35). "He desires ALL people to be saved" (1 Timothy 2:4). He "gave himself as a ransom for ALL" (1 Timothy 2:6). He "is not wishing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should reach repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). He "has consigned ALL to disobedience, that he may have mercy on ALL" (Romans 11:32) "for from him and through him and to him are ALL things" (Romans 11:36).

    So God's plan is "to unite ALL things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth" (Ephesians 1:10). The Father has "put ALL things under Christ's feet" (Ephesians 1:22) and has "given ALL things into his hands" (John 13:3). Jesus has promised to "draw ALL men" to Himself (John 12:32) because "the Father loves the Son and has given ALL things into his hand" (John 3:35). Jesus said, "ALL that the Father gives me will come to me" (John 6:37).

    Jesus says that like a good shepherd, He will search for each of His lost sheep "until he finds it" (Luke 15:4). "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him" (John 3:17). "The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for ALL people" (Titus 2:11).

    Jesus is the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Jesus gave His flesh as bread "for the life of the world" (John 6:51). "He gives life to the world" (John 6:33). He is "the light of the world" (John 8:12). "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2). "He is the Savior of ALL people" (1 Timothy 4:10), “the Savior of the world” (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14). "He appeared to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).

    Jesus "abolished death" (2 Timothy 1:10). "He has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). His power "enables him to subject all things to Himself'” (Philippians 3:21). "The gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does" (1 Peter 4:6). He has "the keys of Death and Hades" (Revelation 1:18). He will throw "Death and Hades into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:14).

    "In Christ shall all be made alive" (I Corinthians 15:22). He "accomplished the work" that the Father gave Him to do (John 17:4). "He restores all things" (Acts 3:21). "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11). "Every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, `To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever! "' (Revelation 5:13).

    "Then comes the end, when he [Jesus] delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For `God has put all things in subjection under his feet.' But when it says `all things are put in subjection,' it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are
    subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in
    subjection under him, that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

    These verses are the expression of that purpose that runs through the Bible, a purpose first stated in mankind's creation in the image of God, a purpose that can be traced throughout the entire Bible, in the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets, and most clearly in the New Testament. From it we learn at least three things:

    1. Christ came claiming the entire human race as His own, to the end that He would save and restore the entire race, not just part of it.

    2. He came with full power and authority over all men, having received all power in heaven and earth over all hearts, all evil, all wills.

    3. He lived and died and rose again, completely victorious, having fully accomplished the work His Father gave Him to do, which was the salvation of the world.

    Now...which theological construct really acknowledges this?

    To deny universal restoration and reconciliation is to mutilate the Scriptures. We are not dealing with a few isolated verses in which it might be possible to say that "all" was used loosely and doesn't really mean "all." We have a connected series in which link follows link-a series that teaches the actual, not potential, universality of Christ's Kingdom.

    If you take the time to look at these scriptures without them being obscured by the traditions of men then you have Universal Salvation.

    The only thing that PREVENTS belief that these scriptures really say what the say and mean what they mean is the belief that "Hell" is permanent...and THAT is based on one four letter greek word, AION, EON, AGE...in their collective blindness... lasting forever when applied to CHASTISEMENT!

    Your Questions are already answered Kevin. There is no "permanent Hell" (find THAT in scripture!) to get out of. You are looking for a rebuttle of a straw man in scripture that refers to someone "getting out" of something that does not exist!

    What is the compelling reason the Hell is unending and permanent? It is that Christ gives eternal life...and since that life is eternal then Hell must be eternal! That has been your argument for Hell being eternal without end, torment without hope, chastisment that never corrects anyone but just causes misery without end for eternity.

    I think that's pretty twisted!

    __________________________________________________ _________________________________________

    PastorKevin Question #7: Is Jesus telling the truth? Does he who believes in Him have everlasting life?

    LogosA-PKQ7 Yes

    PastorKevin Question #8: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?

    LogosA-PKQ8 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.

    I leave that up to God.


    PastorKevin Question #9:
    If the Bible is very clear to show all those who are cast into the Lake of Fire and why they are cast into the Lake of Fire, why is there not ONE single description of them coming out? It would seem to me that if Universalism were Scripturally true, then there would be a clear reference stating “And then those who took the mark of the Beast came out of the Lake of Fire, followed by Satan and his angels, etc…”


    LogosA-PKQ9 God all in all, Kevin. All things in Christ....anything ring a bell here?
    How about this?
    Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
    (1Ti 2:6)

    It is all over God's word, Kevin!

    PastorKevin Question #10
    Do you believe that the wicked will be resurrected to condemnation? Please briefly define condemnation Biblically.


    LogosA-PKQ10 Condemnation means a negative judgment.

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

    LogosA-PKQ11 They already are.


    PastorKevin Question #12: Please cite Bible verses which show a person repenting after death. Or do you refute the Bible when it says that a person can only have his sins blotted out by repenting of them?

    LogosA-PKQ12 Are you saying they can't?

    Joh 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:


    PastorKevin Question #13: Please cite where in the Bible it says, “The fire is not quenched until it can consume everything it can consume”.

    LogosA-PKQ13 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
    (Deu 4:24)

    Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.
    (Heb 12:26-29)

    If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
    (1Co 3:14-15)


    PastorKevin Question #14: Can you agree that IF those who worship the beast and receive his mark are tormented forever and ever, then Universalism is shown to be false teaching? I will apply this to Satan, the Beast, and the Fallen angels, and those whose names are not written in the Book of Life spending eternity in the Lake of Fire as well. My question is simply IF that is true, then is Universalism false teaching? Also please cite the Scripture verse that shows that anyone in the Lake of Fire gets out if you persist in saying that the salvation of these folks is a Biblical doctrine. (Or else admit point blank that there is no verse in the Bible that CLEARLY states that anyone in the Lake of Fire gets out).

    LogosA-PKQ14 Now who's asking a loaded question?

    What do you really want to know? How about you prove that it is true first, and that it is impossible for God to save men after they die? Prove that all the scriptures I've cited above don't really say what they say and all the points I've made are wrong. Prove that it
    IS forever and ever, Kevin.

    So far, your entire arguement has been that Christ gives eternal life... therefore Hell is eternal!

    Is that what you believe? You expect that to be believed by everyone that hears it?

    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________

    My Questions this round:

    LogosQ13: In the verse "Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (Rom 5:18) Does "all men" mean the same thing in both places it is used?

    LogosQ14: In the verse "For just as through Adam all die, so also through Christ all will be made alive again (1Co 15:22) Does all mean all in both places in the same sentence?

    LogosQ15: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.(1Ti 2:3-6)...does all mean "all" here? If not, why not? and when IS due time?


    LogosQ16: And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.(Joh 12:47) Was Jesus telling the truth here, Kevin?

    LogosQ17: And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.(Joh 4:42) Were they wrong about Him? Will He succeed if they weren't?

    LogosQ18: And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (1Jo 4:14-15) Since the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world, if He does not save the world...has He sinned, falling short of God's expectations?

    LogosQ19: I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. {Isa 45:23)

    For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Rom 14:11)

    Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
    That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Phi 2:9-11)...since Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God (1Jo 4:14-15) how are they NOT saved when they do confess? Does God mean what He says here, or is He lying...or just wishful thinking?



    Have a wonderful day!

    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/EarlyChristianView.html

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    PastorKevin is now on the clock and has until Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2:40am (MDT) to submit his post for round 3.
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    Just livin' life one day at a time. Poly's Avatar
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    It has been determined that large portions of Logos_x 3rd round post are not his own words. And while Logos did give a source link at the bottom of his post it is very hard to determine what if any of his post was composed by logos himself. For instance the entire 10 paragraph section "So...Just how Biblical is Universal salvation?" is word for word copied from another source.

    The spirit of debate at TOL and especially in Battle Royales has always been that we debate one another and not use too many outside sources, when we do use outside sources we should CLEARLY define when we are making a point and when we are quoting an outside source.


    Which is why the following rule is part of the BR stated rules.

    Furthermore.... let's keep in mind that the "BATTLE ROYALE" is a debate between participants at TheologyOnLine, NOT a debate between external authors, or theologians so let's attempt to use external sources sparingly. The obvious exception might be The Bible (Gods true word), due to the fact that many theology debates will be centered around the Bible in the first place.
    Pastorkevin has been made aware of the indiscretion in logos_x's 3rd post and pastorkevin has asked that Logos_x not be disqualified nor have his round 3 post be disqualified so we will honor pastorkevin's wishes. We would however request that logos_x be more clear in future posts when he is quoting external sources. At this point we are not really sure how much of logos_x's 3rd post (or his first two posts for that matter) is actually composed by logos_x, which of course disrespects the amount of work that logos_x's opponent (pastorkevin) is personally investing into his end of the debate.

    Because of this unexpected finding and due to the inconvenience it might have caused, PastorKevin now has 48 hours after this notice to submit his 3rd round post which will now make it due by Sunday, December 17th at 4:40pm (MDT).
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    PastorKevin's Round #3 Post:

    I would like to start this round by again saying thanks to Theology Online for putting on these Battle Royales. It was from hearing about them on Bob Enyart’s radio shows that I originally began to read the Battle Royales on TOL. I didn’t officially join the site until this year, but it has been very enjoyable for me. I believe this is the greatest website in the world!

    Ok so on with round #3!!

    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”
    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.

    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!


    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!

    Because of sin we have all EARNED death. (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.

    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.

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

    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?

    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!

    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?

    26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’

    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!

    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.

    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!

    Replies to General Statements:

    You said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Logos_x
    There is only one thing that could prevent God from saving all men through the Grace he has provided through Jesus Christ...and that would be a "Hell" that is permanent and stops that Grace cold.
    This isn’t true. Hell doesn’t prevent God from saving all men. SIN keeps God from saving all men. Unless they repent of that sin they cannot see the Kingdom of God!

    You said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Logos_x
    “They also do not comprehend at all what they "believe".
    Dah Nope, George me no comprehend. Me only comprehend that Universalism be false teaching ayup ayup!

    Quote Originally Posted by Logos_x
    “How do you describe Hell? Like Dante's Inferno?”
    No. Dante’s inferno is a false conception of Hell as well. It is only fiction, however and not the Bible!

    Quote Originally Posted by Logos_x
    “Again...ETERNAL torment came not from the Jews, who were responsible for giving us the Old Book!” Eternal torment came out of religions believed by some of the nations OUTSIDE of God's "chosen people". Eternal torment does not have Biblical origins.
    Really? Were the Jews the authors of the Bible? Yes. Were the Jews the authors of the Old Testament? Yes! Do we find a description in the Old Testament of eternal punishment? YES!

    Proverbs 11:7
    7 When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish,
    And the hope of the unjust perishes.


    Psalm 11:6-7
    6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup.
    7 For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.


    Psalm 140:10
    10 Let burning coals fall upon them; Let them be cast into the fire, Into deep pits, that they rise not up again.

    Is. 66:24
    24 “ And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

    This is the verse that our Lord Jesus Christ quoted in the New Testament (Mark 9), and He repeated it THREE TIMES to add the emphasis that it had not changed. The wicked unredeemed who do not accept Christ’s atoning sacrifice for their sins will be cast into the Lake of Fire, where their worm does not die (their bodies will NEVER be destroyed by the fire, but will burn forever), and the fire is not quenched!(Never goes out)

    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.

    PERFECT description of what the New Testament plainly teaches and expounds upon. It is CRYSTAL CLEAR from this verse that everlasting life and everlasting punishment were in the teachings of the Jews.

    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!)

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

    If you said "yes" to these questions, then the wicked will awake to everlasting contempt! 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! 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.

    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?

    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 Logos_x
    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 torment 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.

    Secondly in your response you say they
    Quote Originally Posted by Logos_x
    “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?

    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.


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

    Your answer:
    Quote Originally Posted by Logos_x
    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 Question #12 was: Please cite the Bible verses which show a person repenting after death. Or do you refute the Bible when it says that a person can only have his sins blotted out by repenting of them?

    You answered:
    Quote Originally Posted by Logos_x
    Are you saying they can’t?
    Then you quoted John 11:25. Now first of all you did not provide a verse that shows a person repenting after death. Here is John 11:25 IN CONTEXT:

    Jesus has gone to where Lazarus had died.

    Martha when she hears Jesus is coming goes to Him and here is what happens:

    21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
    23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
    24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
    27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”


    Now this verse takes a completely different meaning then the one you tried to force upon it. It doesn’t show in any way that a person can repent after they die. Jesus says when someone believes in Him, even if they die, they will live. Jesus doesn’t say “He who believes in me AFTER he dies will live”.
    This is proven to be true by the very next verse: verse 26: “And whoever LIVES AND BELIEVES IN ME shall never die”! Not only does this clearly speak against the belief that people can repent after they die, it clearly shows that the requirement for believing includes believing while WE LIVE!

    My Question #13 was: Please cite where in the Bible it says, “The fire is not quenched until it can consume everything it can consume.”

    This question was a direct feed off of your statement of the same words after I had asked you to show Scripturally that the fire in the Lake of Fire was quenched. You had responded with this statement:
    Quote Originally Posted by Logos_x
    The fire is not quenched until it can consume everything it can consume.”
    I asked you to show where that is in the Bible. I guess I should have been more specific and said to show in Scripture where it says that in relation to the Lake of Fire. But you answered by quoting Hebrews 12:26-29, Deut. 4:24, and 1 Cor. 3:14-15

    Is God the Lake of Fire, Stephen?
    In the passages in Hebrews and Deut. it says that our God is a consuming fire. You never showed anywhere Scripturally where the fire in the Lake of Fire is quenched. Or are you trying to make the assertion that God is the Lake of Fire? Also the passage in 1 Cor. 3:14-15 is about believers being judged for rewards and the motives with which they did their works. It has nothing to do with the Lake of Fire being quenched nor does it say anything remotely close to that.

    Again, Jesus repeated THREE TIMES in Mark 9:42-48 that the fire of torment is NOT QUENCHED.

    And for my Question #14, you never actually supplied an answer, but were non-responsive in your reply. You were right. I was asking a loaded question. I was going for the knockout punch too early. But you could have answered honestly. I mean IF Satan, the Beast, the False Prophet, and all those whose names aren’t written in the Book of Life do NOT ever get out of the Lake of Fire and are tormented day and night forever and ever then Universalism IS false teaching. That was the only reasoning I was trying to apply in asking this question. I still hold out hope to win you away from these false doctrines of Universalism and hope we can talk about it further privately long after this debate is over!

    Oh those contradictions:

    In your response under the term Biblical you posted a bunch of “contradictions” that "you" say people who believe in eternal punishment believe. Some of them are downright silly to be honest, and many are not the positions that I myself or others who believe what the Bible says about eternal torment in the Lake of Fire believe.

    Here is an example of a verse used in those “contradictions” that is clearly taken out of context:

    1 Cor 3:15 is about Christian rewards. If a Christian does things out of the wrong motives his rewards will be burned up, but he himself will be saved. This is referring to the Judgment Seat of Christ when all Christians are judged for rewards.

    You didn’t pose any of these as direct questions for me, so I will not spend a lot of time responding to them. I will only say that many of them contain complete and total misunderstandings of our position or outright misinterpretations of the Scriptures themselves. I would be glad to talk through these with you privately sometime if you like.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Logos_x
    Jesus came and died, and His death was sufficient to pay for our sin. He came and took yours and my punishment upon Himself. If the punishment for sin was eternal torment, then He simply could NOT do that...unless He is in torment right now, and will continue to be in torment forever, paying my debt and your debt.
    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!

    Answering The Questions:
    Quote Originally Posted by Logos
    LogosQ13: In the verse "Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (Rom 5:18) Does "all men" mean the same thing in both places it is used?
    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.
    Now lets look briefly at the text you quoted, Romans 5:18 (IN CONTEXT):with the rest of the chapter:

    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? Not at all. Without faith we cannot have peace with God. Without our Lord Jesus Christ we cannot have peace with God! By the false teaching of Universalism, it wouldn’t matter if a person were a Satanist, an atheist, a God-hater, whatever, they would all die and eventually get to go to Heaven anyway. You can argue this isn’t what you believe all you like, but it is. You believe that all means all. That all will be reconciled to God. But the Bible doesn’t teach that. Only the misinterpretations of Universalism!

    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!

    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.

    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!

    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.

    Verse #17 of this text is so AWESOME because it utterly destroys Universalism:

    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!

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Logos
    LogosQ14: In the verse "For just as through Adam all die, so also through Christ all will be made alive again (1Co 15:22) Does all mean all in both places in the same sentence?
    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!


    Quote Originally Posted by Logos
    LogosQ15: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.(1Ti 2:3-6)...does all mean "all" here? If not, why not? and when IS due time?
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Logos
    LogosQ16: And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.(Joh 12:47) Was Jesus telling the truth here, Kevin?
    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.”


    Quote Originally Posted by Logos
    LogosQ17: And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.(Joh 4:42) Were they wrong about Him? Will He succeed if they weren'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 Him 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!

    Quote Originally Posted by Logos
    LogosQ18: And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (1Jo 4:14-15) Since the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world, if He does not save the world...has He sinned, falling short of God's expectations?
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Logos
    LogosQ19: I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. {Isa 45:23)

    For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Rom 14:11)

    Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
    That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Phi 2:9-11)...since Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God (1Jo 4:14-15) how are they NOT saved when they do confess? Does God mean what He says here, or is He lying...or just wishful thinking?


    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!

    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!

    My questions for you again:


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

    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?

    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?

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

    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.

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

    God bless you!

    Pastor Kevin

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