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  • ECT: Heaven and sinlessness

    Peter makes the following statement :

    Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
    Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
    Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

    2 Peter 3:11-13

    In Revelation, we read this :

    And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
    And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
    ...
    And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
    And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
    And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

    Revelation 21:9-10,25-27

    Where it gets complicated is when one reads things like Isaiah's final words of prophecy :

    For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.
    And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.
    And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

    Isaiah 66:22-24

    It is clear from Isaiah's words that the new heavens and new earth (the same term being used by Peter in connection with the thought that righteousness dwells there) isn't as pristine as it seems. In Revelation, it seems nothing that is wicked even enters in. In Isaiah, it seems that there is some sort of memorial to the judgment of wicked men at least in the vicinity of the New Jerusalem. With that understanding, it could be that the phrase "And they shall go forth" means venturing outside of the New Jerusalem. But don't the words of Peter imply that all that is destroyed?

    With that in mind, I am wondering what answers to the following questions people may have. I realize this is not a straightforward or simple topic (as it always seems to be treated), so I'm not looking for a "gotcha" moment - but some thoughtful (or, at the least, scriptural) responses.

    The primary questions :

    1. What is it about heaven that makes it a place of sinessness? More specifically, if the gates of the New Jerusalem are always open, what is keeping the wickedness out?
    2. Why the necessity for (from man's perspective) a great length of time to "bring many sons to glory"?
    3. What is preventing another fall of man (in the new heavens and new earth) as with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? When God originally created, He called everything "good". What is the difference between the "good" of Genesis and the "holy" of Revelation 21?
    If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
    Jeremiah 17:9

    Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
    Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

    Isaiah 50:10-11

  • #2
    Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post

    1. What is it about heaven that makes it a place of sinessness? More specifically, if the gates of the New Jerusalem are always open, what is keeping the wickedness out?
    The presence of God.

    Rev. 21:22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

    A great gulf.

    Luke 16: 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.

    2. Why the necessity for (from man's perspective) a great length of time to "bring many sons to glory"?
    Perhaps the "great length of time" is of all time (as we know it)from Creation to the final destruction of the heaven's and earth?

    3. What is preventing another fall of man (in the new heavens and new earth) as with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
    The containment of evil in the Lake of Fire: Rev. 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.

    When God originally created, He called everything "good". What is the difference between the "good" of Genesis and the "holy" of Revelation 21?
    "Good" has the potential to know evil experimentally.

    "Holy" is evil-proof: 1 Tim. 6:13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
    Last edited by theophilus; December 9th, 2016, 10:04 AM.


    *Right now counts forever!

    Romans 14:12
    Matt. 12:36-37

    !



    - Psalmist
    - Desert Reign

    Comment


    • #3
      [QUOTE=theophilus;4878978]
      Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post

      The presence of God.

      Rev. 21:22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
      Okay. That certainly makes sense from a general theological standpoint, but does that mean that the New Jerusalem is only a part of the new earth - and that the new earth retains evidences of sin - or at least the judgment of it(per the end of Isaiah 66)?

      Originally posted by theophilus View Post
      A great gulf.

      Luke 16: 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.
      That is where I have a bit of a question. If the gulf prevents any on one side from going to the other, why would Isaiah speak as though there is no gulf - but that the redeemed are walking up and down in the midst of those being judged?

      Originally posted by theophilus View Post
      Perhaps the "great length of time" is of all time (as we know it)from Creation to the final destruction of the heaven's and earth?
      And I assume it is. But my question (and I think I was probably not clear enough with this one) has to do with why men aren't created holy? Adam was created and (as is generally accepted) was sinless when created. God put in the middle of the Garden the tree that gave knowledge of both good and evil. Without that, would Adam have fallen? Would he and Eve have gone right on doing what they were doing for eternity? Why, then, would God put that within their grasp?

      And the follow-up (and more what I was originally wondering) is why the necessity to go through (at least) 6000 years of suffering? Why not avoid that altogether and keep man in Eden for all time? Blissful, ignorant of sin and (as a result) without sin?

      I'm not asking from the standpoint of questioning God. I'm simply asking if there is good evidence as for why God would do what He did. I don't doubt that there was a (good) reason.


      Originally posted by theophilus View Post
      The containment of evil in the Lake of Fire: Rev. 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.
      If evil, then, is a thing that can be contained like that, then why wasn't it contained in Eden? Why let it loose in the first place? If the works of God are all "good" (and I believe they are) what is preventing it from rising up again? If God, why didn't He prevent it in the first place (even if that means asking why He didn't prevent Satan's rebellion from spreading and judging him immediately)?

      I know these are "why"s that are not necessarily answerable. But if scripture does point to an answer (or hint at one), that's what I am asking.



      Originally posted by theophilus View Post
      "Good" has the potential to know evil experimentally.

      "Holy" is evil-proof: 1 Tim. 6:13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
      So why did God not make Adam and Eve holy?
      If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

      The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
      Jeremiah 17:9

      Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
      Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

      Isaiah 50:10-11

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post
        Okay. That certainly makes sense from a general theological standpoint, but does that mean that the New Jerusalem is only a part of the new earth - and that the new earth retains evidences of sin - or at least the judgment of it(per the end of Isaiah 66)?
        I believe the New Jerusalem will be "on" the earth...but I also believe the OT prophets didn't always know of or differentiate between a first and second coming or a millennial kingdom and a new Jerusalem. hence the scripture at the beginning of Isaiah 66 speaking to David from the Psalms and later, some will be taken for Priests and Levites. Why would the new Jerusalem need these?

        I can't imagine a "rarefied" earth (brand spanking new) would have ANY evidence of sin after it had been re-made.

        MacArthur is working on an Isaiah commentary...maybe he knows

        Interesting...

        That is where I have a bit of a question. If the gulf prevents any on one side from going to the other, why would Isaiah speak as though there is no gulf - but that the redeemed are walking up and down in the midst of those being judged?
        Sounds more like millennial Kingdom that new Jerusalem, again.

        And I assume it is. But my question (and I think I was probably not clear enough with this one) has to do with why men aren't created holy? Adam was created and (as is generally accepted) was sinless when created. God put in the middle of the Garden the tree that gave knowledge of both good and evil. Without that, would Adam have fallen? Would he and Eve have gone right on doing what they were doing for eternity? Why, then, would God put that within their grasp?
        To test their love?

        And the follow-up (and more what I was originally wondering) is why the necessity to go through (at least) 6000 years of suffering? Why not avoid that altogether and keep man in Eden for all time? Blissful, ignorant of sin and (as a result) without sin?

        I'm not asking from the standpoint of questioning God. I'm simply asking if there is good evidence as for why God would do what He did. I don't doubt that there was a (good) reason.
        Did sin begin with Lucifer's fall?

        Did he have a choice to serve?

        Are we ALL tested...for our own benefit? God knows all things but we don't. Perhaps we are tested so we may know ourselves?

        If evil, then, is a thing that can be contained like that, then why wasn't it contained in Eden? Why let it loose in the first place? If the works of God are all "good" (and I believe they are) what is preventing it from rising up again? If God, why didn't He prevent it in the first place (even if that means asking why He didn't prevent Satan's rebellion from spreading and judging him immediately)?
        If Lucifer "fell" (rebelled) in eternity past...maybe there's more going on behind the scenes than we are supposed to know (Job is my example). He was tested, sorely, and won through his faith. Perhaps we are given the opportunity to do the same?



        I know these are "why"s that are not necessarily answerable. But if scripture does point to an answer (or hint at one), that's what I am asking.
        Back to the beginning of Job 1:6-12.

        And the testing of our faith?

        So why did God not make Adam and Eve holy?
        He did. He also gave them the option of obedience to prove their love for Him by their obedience, just as it is today?

        You ask hard questions, brother. They exercise a saint.



        *Right now counts forever!

        Romans 14:12
        Matt. 12:36-37

        !



        - Psalmist
        - Desert Reign

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by theophilus View Post
          You ask hard questions, brother. They exercise a saint.

          At least I may be good for something....
          If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

          The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
          Jeremiah 17:9

          Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
          Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

          Isaiah 50:10-11

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post
            At least I may be good for something....
            I'm pretty sure you're good for much more than you think.



            *Right now counts forever!

            Romans 14:12
            Matt. 12:36-37

            !



            - Psalmist
            - Desert Reign

            Comment


            • #7
              Isaiah and Peter are referring to two different things.

              Isaiah's prophecy is about this: "Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21)

              The new heavens and referred to by Peter are not a restoration.

              Peter is referring to this: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." (2 Peter 3:10-13)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post
                What is it about heaven that makes it a place of sinessness? More specifically, if the gates of the New Jerusalem are always open, what is keeping the wickedness out?
                God is holy. Those who are interested in being holy will live with him forever. 1 Pe 1:16

                Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post
                Why the necessity for (from man's perspective) a great length of time to "bring many sons to glory"?
                He’d like a family.

                Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post
                What is preventing another fall of man…?
                Been there done that. Our new family agrees —God’s way is the best way. Re 3:5

                “Men are judged for what they’ve heard and what they would have heard had they listened.” ~ Adrian Rogers


                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by serpentdove View Post
                  He’d like a family.
                  Yes, kingdoms are based on families.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jamie View Post
                    Yes, kingdoms are based on families.
                    You're not his (2 Pe 2:1).

                    As a reminder jamie is number 18 on Satan, Inc. (TOL Heretics list) in "The 'Jesus is not God' people (Non-trinitarians) category.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jamie View Post
                      Isaiah and Peter are referring to two different things.

                      Isaiah's prophecy is about this: "Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21)

                      The new heavens and referred to by Peter are not a restoration.

                      Peter is referring to this: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." (2 Peter 3:10-13)
                      How do you justify saying Isaiah's prophecy is about Joel's prophecy (which Peter was quoting from directly in Acts) when both specifically mention a new heavens and a new earth?
                      If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

                      The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
                      Jeremiah 17:9

                      Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
                      Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

                      Isaiah 50:10-11

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by serpentdove View Post
                        God is holy. Those who are interested in being holy will live with him forever. 1 Pe 1:16

                        He’d like a family.
                        Jesus declared He could raise up descendants to Abraham from the rocks. Why does God's desire for a family (assuming that is the right word) require time.

                        Originally posted by serpentdove View Post
                        Been there done that. Our new family agrees —God’s way is the best way. Re 3:5

                        “Men are judged for what they’ve heard and what they would have heard had they listened.” ~ Adrian Rogers
                        And that concerns me...not least because it means it is up to man to decide whether to "continue on with God" or not. Satan, you will recall, had far more understanding of God (and his ways and who He is) than Adam and he still rebelled. What is keeping that from happening again (whether by angels or redeemed men)?
                        If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

                        The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
                        Jeremiah 17:9

                        Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
                        Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

                        Isaiah 50:10-11

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post
                          What is keeping that from happening again (whether by angels or redeemed men)?
                          God's Spirit.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post
                            How do you justify saying Isaiah's prophecy is about Joel's prophecy (which Peter was quoting from directly in Acts) when both specifically mention a new heavens and a new earth?
                            One prophecy is about restoration, the other prophecy is about annihilation. Restoration and annihilation are not the same thing and do not produce the same result.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by serpentdove View Post
                              You're not his (2 Pe 2:1).

                              As a reminder jamie is number 18 on Satan, Inc. (TOL Heretics list) in "The 'Jesus is not God' people (Non-trinitarians) category.
                              Satan offered Jesus' the kingdoms of the world. Jesus declined the offer but who was the greater authority, Satan or Jesus?

                              Comment

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