Posted by: minnow | March 1, 2008

The Cross Is Enough

If we take away a traditional concept of hell as a never ending place of torment what are we left with? To answer that question let us first look at some of the passages that call into question a need for hell. Romans 5:12, 15-19, 21 is a great place to begin:

Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned–But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many. Again the gift of God is not like the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one many the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Repeatedly this passage of scripture reminds us that sin and death entered the world through Adam but forgiveness and life came through Jesus. As a note of clarification: in verse 19 the Greek word for many is polys. Polys can also be translated all and since we know that none of us are without sin the logical conclusion is that in this verse all is a more accurate translation for polys. The fact that all is used earlier and later in the chapter further indicated that all is the better translation.

Another significant passage is I Timothy 2:3-7:

This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle–I am telling the truth, I am not lying–and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.

God’s will is for all to be saved and in order to accomplish His will Jesus gave His life as a ransom for all men. In chapter 4:9-10 Paul clarifies his point even further: “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our faith in the living God, who is the Savior of all men and especially those who believe.” Why does Paul refer to Him as the living God? Because, while His death on the cross brought an end to what God’s adversary could do (as well as Christ’s earthly ministry), His resurrection fulfilled the law. Death could not hold him–our sins were consumed but our Savior lives. God’s will was done, accomplished, complete. This is indisputable. It does not rely on man adding his faith (which incidentally is also a gift from God–check out Hebrew 12:2). Instead, Paul hints here that putting our faith in God (our work) comes after the fact of salvation. If this were not true Paul would not be saying “especially those who believe” he would have to say only for those who believe. Ephesians 2:4-5 is even more specific, “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.” Finally, In John 12:31-32 Jesus says of His upcoming death on the cross, “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But, I, when I am lifted up, will draw all men to myself.” The judgment on sin is immediate and for everyone.

I can already hear your clamor, “Now wait just a minute! Are you saying everyone is going to heaven–Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Attila the Hun, my mother–everyone?” Eventually, yes. The minute they die? No. Plenty of scriptural evidence exists to support a time of judgment. In fact, we will all face it, believer and unbeliever alike. Just listen to Romans 14:10, “You then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.”

I have no idea how long judgment (or pruning) will last. But the 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 passage I mentioned earlier illustrates the results:

If any man builds on this foundation (Jesus) using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or stray, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire and the fire will test the quality of each mans work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping the flames.

Personally I think believers may be judged more harshly than nonbelievers because we know better, or at least have the opportunity to know better. Still, the fact remains–all means all. But that is not what worries you at the moment, is it? You want to know how the likes of Hitler get in, or a little closer to home, how the people who have hurt you get in.

Quite frankly, my life experience could add a couple other names to the list I started above. I have spent more than a few nights anticipating with glee the sentence that might befall certain people who, in my judgment, hurt me and got away with it. On the other hand, I am not so naïve as to not realize that some of those same people might have similar thoughts toward me. While I continue to struggle with the “forgive so you will be forgiven” and the “first take the plank out of your own eye so you can see the speck in your brother’s” passages, the older I get the better I understand their function. Matthew 18:21-22 reveals the Lord’s heart on this matter when Peter asks, “Lord how many times should I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you not seven times, but seventy times seven.” His response actually meant time without number. Not only is Jesus answering Peter’s question He is revealing the heart of God, for a just God would not ask His creation to do something He himself had no intention of doing. Can Peter accomplish the task Jesus sets before him? Mark 10:27 answers this question. Jesus has just explained to his disciples that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” In amazement His disciples ask each other, “Who then can be saved?” With an earnest look Jesus answers, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Even, the forgiveness of an unrepentant sinner.

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Responses

  1. As far as hell goes, how do you deal with the lake of fire in revelation 21?

    Those whose names were not found in the book of life and are tossed into this lake (v. 15)—-do you perceive that their stay there is only temporary?

  2. Lance–I will assume you have read the other parts of this series and so won’t go over those specifically. I believe Revelation is apocalyptic and therefore it is difficult to know exactly what all the images are refering to. At the same time I do believe we will all face judgment and that the Holiness of God will burn away our unrepented sin. Some, I believe will escape through the flames just with their lives. Others, like Daniel illustrated, will not even smell of smoke.

  3. I agree that many of the images in Revelation are debated, and often mysterious.

    Assuming the lake of fire is symbolic, rather than literal, what do you think we are to learn from its symbolism?

  4. That sin is “burned away” so to speak as God prunes, disciplines, produces a spotless bride. Death is destroyed or perhaps a better image, consumed.

  5. Thank you for your responses.

    I have three questions, and if any previous post can answer them, please refer me.

    1) The text does not say that sins are thrown into the lake of fire, but those whose names were not found in the book of life (i.e., people). Exegetically, how do you conclude that John was speaking of sins, rather than people?

    2) Since the text also says that devil will be cast into the lake of fire. Is this also figurative? Will the devil not be punished forever and ever in the lake of fire? Will he, perhaps, be redeemed, as his sin is burned away?

    3) If there is no hell, and all will be saved, no matter what they have believed, why is there such an urgency in the NT to preach the gospel? Why have so many suffered so greatly to get the message out, if indeed, all will be saved anyway?

  6. I appreciate the polite way in which you have engaged in this conversation. However, after looking at your website I have come to the conclusion you most likely already have a position on this topic and it is unlikely to be similar to mine. Thus, I have a few questions for you.
    1). What does Paul mean in I Timothy 4: 9 and 10 when he says “especially those who believe”?
    2). How do we reconcile Revelation 20:12 “…The dead were judged according to what they had done…” with Ephesians 2:5 “…it is by grace you have been saved.” if the lake of fire is a symbol of everlasting punishment and we are sent there because of what we did?
    3). What do we do with Romans 11:26: “and so all Israel will be saved…” if the concept of hell as an everlasting life of torture is accurate?
    4). And, what do we do with the passage in Romans that started this post?
    5). If all was not finished on the cross and we must add our works (our confession of our conscience decision) to it in order to be saved then how is the cross any different from the law, just what exactly was accomplished that could not be accomplished before?
    6). Finally, if it is God’s will that all men be saved (I Timothy 2:4) how then do we explain it if God’s will is not accomplished?

    To address your questions: 1). I did not say that sins apart from men are thrown in the “Lake of Fire”. I said that sin is what is burned away. 2). I do not know what will happen to the devil. Quite frankly I haven’t given the devil’s fate much thought. 3). What is the essence of the gospel? I say: 1 John 3:16. God loved us while we were yet sinners and gave His son so that death and sin could be defeated and we could be reunited with Him. Jesus told us the greatest commandments were to love God, love our neighbors/selves, and love our enemies. In addition He preached the Kingdom of God on earth as in heaven. The urgency of the message is due to the fact that Jesus was not talking about a future event when believers would be transported to heaven but was describing life on earth if as residents of the Kingdom we act like King’s kids.

  7. Good questions. Appreciate your answers as well.

    I can’t answer all of your questions at this time, but allow me to approach a couple of them.

    I completely agree that all was accomplished at the cross (“It is finished”). I do not believe that we add anything to the work of Christ. The good works God prepared for us beforehand (Eph. 2:10) come after saving faith (2:8-9). I believe emphatically, that nothing we can do can add anything to Christ’s work. We believe by faith, and we walk by faith (Col. 2:6-7).

    The question is, “for whom was Christ’s work finished?” I think the NT is very clear here: “those who are in Christ Jesus,” i.e., those who have believed in His finished work (John 3:16, Eph. 2:8-9).

    I take it that you have been taught, however, that the finished work of Christ applies to every human being who has ever lived, though, whether they trusted in God or not. I don’t think the Bible teaches that at all. As a matter of fact, it is written to us that we might believe and escape God’s wrath (Rom. 8:1–no condemnation for those in CJ).

    Yes, the dead are judged for what they did. And if we are judged for what we do, we have no hope but condemnation, which is why ALL of them are then cast into the lake of fire. If we are judged for our works, we have no hope, for “no one does good; no not one” (Rom. 3).

    The judgment for believers is different, however, and it seems that this is the judgment you are referring to, which is found in 1 Corinthians 3. If you are open to it, I would like to converse with you via email and have us both exegete this passage and its context. I believe what Paul is teaching in 1 Cor. 3 applies to believers only, who will either receive reward based upon how they served the Lord post-faith, or will make it into heaven with no reward, having either done nothing after salvation, or most likely having done things out of wrong motives (cf. 1 Cor. 4:5).

    I agree that God has not simply saved us for the hereafter, and you point out some interesting texts which seem at first glance to proclaim universalism. But the teachings of Jesus, especially, speak of God’s wrath, which will either be placed upon His Son for those who believe (substitutionary atonement) or upon the backs of those who don’t believe (hell). No one preached on hell like Jesus did. He preached strongly for us to believe, and so escape God’s wrath.

    You can contact me so that we can study 1 Cor. 3 together. Just go to my blog and click on the “contact” tab.

    Yes, I def. believe differently than you, but I would like to interact with you on this.

    If you are right, neither of us has anything to lose, but if you are wrong, you have eternity to lose, so I hope you’ll take up my offer to seek to rightly divide the Word in this crucial matter.

    Peter tells us that the present heaven and earth are reserved for judgment and will one day be burned up. If you are right, all humans will live in the new heavens and the new earth. If I am thinking correctly, only believers will live in this place.

  8. I prefer to agree to disagree then to continue the conversation.
    You will have to look a long time by the way to find Biblical evidence that says if I don’t believe in a hell doctrine I will go to hell.

  9. To be saved, one has to be saved from something.

    That something is the wrath of God.

  10. I believe Christ’s death on the cross is enough to pay for my sins. I further believe His ressurection defeated death. Even if the Bible supports hell as a never ending place of torment my faith in Christ’s sacrifice is enough to save me from such a place. I believe salvation is not from but for. I am saved for a relationship with my loving Father.

  11. According to your beliefs, one need not believe in anything to avoid hell.

    And so the unbeliever will say to you, “Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die (and we’ll all go to heaven, anyway).”

  12. Is not God’s grace amazing!

  13. It truly is, which is why we must either trust in it or face God’s wrath, for “how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3)

  14. So you are a universalist.

    At worst your theology is man-centered, at best your exegesis is incredibly poor. I do not know which contributes to the other.

    Dialog is fruitless with you because when you are backed into a corner, you think it is simply time to agree to disagree. That is not a characteristic of one searching for the truth.

    Your new theology creates too many problems for you, most notably the pruned Satan. You call God a liar by saying the second death isn’t bad at all, but the same as when God prunes those whom He loves. You forget that God hates the sinner (Psalm 5:4-6), and that we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).

    Are my words harsh? Only as harsh as your’s are against the word of the God of my salvation.

  15. Greg. If God hates the sinner, then why did Jesus sit with them while he was alive? Why did Jesus tell the prostitute in John 8: 11 “Then neither do I condemn you.”? Why did God even send his Son. I mean wasn’t the non-sinners going to heaven already? I don’t think David or Moses or many other old testiment poeple went to hell do you? Ok God might hate the sinner. But is there a person who is a complet sinner? There is good in all people. Even if that goodness only extends to a small act like openning the door for someone on your way to work.

    What is minnow supose to do, rather then “agree to disagree”? I mean it seems like you have stated your argument and have your biblical reasons, and Minnow has stated her argument and she has her biblical arguments. arguing “Yes it is” “No it isn’t” “Yes it is” “No it isn’t, Over and over and over isn’t going to help anything.

    Arguing a point that you arn’t willing to even consider is true, dosn’t seem to help anyone.

  16. Good questions Striker!
    Greg–
    I responded more fully to you on my “Is Hell in Revelations” post. As I explained to you before I do not know universalist doctrine well enough to know whether or not it fits. Forgive me if I don’t accept your judgment. As for everything else you have said–I have either countered your arguments, matched them or conceded. I have only suggested we agree to disagree when we both have made arguments the other neither counters nor concedes.
    If you do not wish to continue this conversation that is your prerogative.

  17. Striker, what do you think of the fifth psalm I quoted? It says:

    For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not dwell with you.
    The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
    You destroy those who speak lies;
    the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

    It says there that God hates the evil doer. What more can you ask? If God does not hate the sinner, then who does God condemn to eternal punishment, the sin, or the sinner? It is clearly the sinner.

    You confuse God the Father and God the Son. Jesus was sent on a mission of mercy, to make a way for sinners to be forgiven of their sins. His first coming fulfilled that. His second coming will not be the same, but will be as a king taking rightful claim over his kingdom, and purging it of those who oppose his rule.

    God’s wrath still remains on those who have not had their sins forgiven. It will either manifest itself presently in God’s actions with the world, or on the day of judgment. You must remember also, that the term “sinner” is not to be used of one who has already been saved, as they are now called saints. They have moved from God’s wrath, through His mercy, and now reside under His grace. Their past, present, and future sins have been forgiven. As John 3:18 says, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” The passage from John you quoted probably was not in the original document. Read the fine print in your Bible for that section, as it should explain that.

    We are all complete sinners before the holiness of God, as Paul has stated in Romans 3:9-20. What goodness is left in humans simply is not good enough to appease the wrath of a holy God. That is why Jesus had to come and do it for us.

    First, I would like you to read the conversation that has taken place here: https://minnowspeaks.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/is-hell-in-revelation/

    I have clearly and repeatedly shown how the main points supporting her argument do not hold up to scrutiny. She creates too many problems for herself, the most notable ones include allegorizing everything to the point of being meaningless, interpreting and redefining scripture out of context, not understanding salvation, doing away with eternal life along with eternal punishment, and a pruned Satan who will one day be joining us in Heaven with his newly budded fruit.

    So what is she supposed to do? If she is after truth, as she says, then it would be good for her to recognize it. You have to realize that simply because we both have opinions that that does not mean they are both equally valid. Her reasons do not hold up to scrutiny, and I have demonstrated that much. She refuses to answer my objections, but instead ignores them. I, along with a previous poster on this current blog post, are still awaiting her answer to the pruned Satan. If she wishes to revise 2000 years worth of Christian belief, she needs to be able to clean up the mess that results from that.

    This isn’t about “her opinion versus my opinion”, but about holding her responsible for the problems she is creating. And those problems are truly dangerous. For if she is right and I am wrong, than what of it? All this discussion is meaningless anyways, and in the end, despite what anyone believes, they will eventually end up in Heaven. But if she is wrong and I am right, than only those who believe in the Son of God, as John 3:18 above says, will see Heaven. You see, if she is wrong she has the potential to mislead others at the expense of their eternal salvation. I don’t think she realizes this. And that is why I oppose her here and elsewhere. That is why I cannot simply “agree to disagree.”

  18. Yes, I have read it and will respond shortly.

    Universalism, in a nutshell, is the belief and doctrine that all will eventually be saved. That, as best as I can tell, seems to be what you are advocating. I’m not sure whether Purgatory is included in universalism, but the main tenet is evident in your writing, namely that all will eventually be saved, or as you put it, enter Heaven. If you want to brush up on the belief system, this site interacts with it fairly well: http://www.carm.org/universalism.htm. I have found many of your views mirrored there.

    I agree that our conversations are becoming redundant, but as I told Striker, if your viewpoint is wrong, than it is an incredibly dangerous view to be spreading. That is why I sought to contrast it to the orthodox view of what scripture says and to highlight the view’s shortcomings and newly created problems.

    If you wish to revise certain teachings based on a perceived inadequacy, while I am agreeable to the endeavor, the result must be consistent with the rest of scripture. Take for example, the pruning of Satan. Both the “goats” and Satan are cast into the same fire. If that fire is not for eternal punishment, but instead for pruning and eventual restoration, than by all respects Satan will one day emerge from that as a restored being. But there is no indication in scripture to that day, either for Satan or for the “goats”. But there is scripture that states that Jesus came so that the devil might be destroyed. Elsewhere, it says he will be thrown into the lake of fire, referred to as the second death. Revelation 2:11, 20:6, 20:14, and 21:8 paint a picture of that death that is not pleasing at all. Every indication is that one does not return after being cast into it.

    As the Bereans do in Acts 17:11, so I try to do when I encounter new teachings. It is really all that I can do.

  19. Greg–
    You stated: “I have clearly and repeatedly shown how the main points supporting her argument do not hold up to scrutiny. She creates too many problems for herself, the most notable ones include allegorizing everything to the point of being meaningless, interpreting and redefining scripture out of context, not understanding salvation, doing away with eternal life along with eternal punishment, and a pruned Satan who will one day be joining us in Heaven with his newly budded fruit. ”
    I do not believe you have done nearly as thorough a job refuting my position as you seem to think you have done. I have not allegorized anything. Instead I have pointed out several who agree with me that Matthew 25:31-46 is the last in a series of three parables in Matthew 25, and that many scholars suggest that Matthew 24-25 is actually predicting the destruction of the temple which occurred in A.D. 70.
    I have not interpreted or defined scripture out of context. Rather I have shown where many portions of scripture line up to make the argument against a literal everlasting place of torment we call hell. I have also used legitimate alternative definitions for certain Greek words to clarify what scripture is saying. I may not understand salvation as you do but I assure you my understanding is solid. I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father; that His birth, life, death, and resurrection are what make it possible for me to be reconciled to my Creator; and that without Christ’s forgiveness for my sins and intercession before the Father I stand condemned. Unlike you, I think when scripture says “all Israel will be saved” and “Christ came as a ransom for all men” and “we have put our faith in the living God, who is the Savior of all men and especially those who believe” it actually means what it says. I believe God/Jesus is quite capable of accomplishing what He set out to accomplish on the cross without man’s help. Like Thomas, some may need to see a resurrected Christ face to face in order to believe. Did Jesus condemn Thomas? No, but He did say that those who have not seen and yet believe would be blessed. I have not done away with eternal life or eternal punishment. Instead I suggested a more accurate word for “eternal” would be “everlasting” and a clearer understanding of “punishment” would be “pruning”. I also argued that the verse can just as easily speak of the effect of the life and the punishment as being eternal, or everlasting as the actual life and punishment. Yes, that can create the potential problem of a pruned Satan. Again, I do not see the same problem you see. the 1 John 3-8 passage you quoted talks about the works of the devil being destroyed not the devil himself. I am continuing to study Revelations but quite frankly, if hell can’t befound any where else in scripture it is pretty unlikely it would be found there.

  20. Let us look for second opinions then.

  21. Why don’t you trying answering my objections with evidence and not simply declarations of disagreement. You might also try answering a few of the questions I asked you on the “Is Hell in Revelations?” post.

  22. I will as soon as you address Satan pruned.

  23. Greg–
    I honestly do not understand judgement completely. Initially the thought of a “pruned Satan” was inconceiveable to me. In fact when I first wrote these posts I was unwilling to go there. But the more I began to realize that my former willingness to believe in hell was motivated in part by my desire to make certain that those who had hurt me in my past were “properly dealt with” by my Big Daddy God the more I knew I needed to change the direction of my thinking. Who am I to say that God cannot choose to have mercy on whom He desires to have mercy? Romans 11:32 tells us, “For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that He can have mercy on them all” And 9:15 declares, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and compassion on whom I have compassion”. Then James tells us in 2:13b, “Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
    Unless it is “fear” of the Lord, fear is not an expression of faith. Threatening people with hell does not honor the cross, nor bring glory to God. An abusive earthly father may have an obedient child but the child’s heart is hardened toward his father not open. As I explained to Lance earlier in these comments, I do not need to be saved from something because I am saved for something–an incredibly amazing and intimate relationship as part of the bride, as the beloved to the Lover of my soul. How wonderful is that!
    This probably isn’t what you were expecting to find as my response but it really does need to be said.

  24. Striker–
    I wanted to add a couple thoughts–there are lots and lots of verses in the Bible that confirm God’s love for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8, 8:35-39, John 3:16, and 1 John 4:7-21 just to name a few.
    As for not being sinners, perhaps we are to be called saints but that does not mean we are incapable of sin. Check out 1 John 1: 8-10.

  25. Greg I’m finally done.

    I just got finished reading both of your conversations to the point of you writing me. Wow that is allot.

    It seems like you have been putting up some hard questions. I do think though that Minnow has award them pretty sufficiently and asked some hard questions of her own. It seems like a one side debate. Minnow is getting asked all the questions and she needs to have a answer (that is good enough for you) for every one of them. I have looked up a few of Minnows references, and find them very compelling. Such as the Roman 5 verses, it does seem to be pointing to Jesus dieing for all.

    Yes I have read the Psalms verses. I can not think that God see’s sinners as nothing, (the bible says that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16) , and I think that we are fooling our self if just a few words “I believe in Jesus” will save us from eternal hell. It doesn’t seem like Minnow is saying that their is no consequence for our sin. But it does seem like you are saying if we believe in Jesus their is no consequence for our sin.

    I was very discouraged to see you think the John 8:11 verse is not to be taken seriously. I was just using that as one example. Jesus is among sinners all the way through his ministry. Are you saying that wasn’t Gods will?

    I really hope people aren’t choosing to fallow God because of their fear of Hell. It is not true from what I have read that Minnow is saying “Anyone no matter what they think can make it to heaven.”

    I believe that their is no fruit in the matter when no one seems to be writing because they want get closer to God. I don’t think God has appointed either of you guys to just be the teacher (even Jesus had some help their). In other words if we are just here to tear each other down then that is FRUITLESS. Not saying we shouldn’t continue the conversation. But we must ask ourselves, why are we continuing this?

  26. Minnowspeaks: Do you see now the man-centered approach to this issue in your 4/11/08 11:01pm post?

    By the advice of others, I have decided not to continue our conversation any further. Until our vantage points are the same, I think it will be useless.

    Striker: I want to continue talking with you about this. If you want to, you can reach me through my blog, or email me here: Link648099@gmail.com

  27. Greg–
    To answer your latest question: No, I do not see how my approach is man centered, especially compared to your own. Based on your post I am sure it has been explained to you by others whom you respect. Still, I am disappointed that you have chosen to avoid my questions to you. I believe if you gave them serious study you might discover we indeed believe in a Big God, who is not so predictible as we would like to make Him, and whose ways are truly greater than ours. Good luck in your studies. I will most likely bump into you now and then on the Parchment and Pen blog.

  28. Wow, Minnowspeaks, you ought to submit your post to Michael Patten to see if he will choose it for his new Friday routine of choosing a post submitted by readers! You were brave to put it here and you would be even braver, maybe, to put it THERE. But there will be a few of us there supporting you.

    I don’t have all the answers for Greg either, but I do believe that Jesus died for ALL of us and I do find the passage with the “especially those who believe” to be quite amazing. Yes, there are other passages that are difficult to line up sometimes with a forgiving, loving God. But the loving God WILL judge people and the sticking point seems to be HOW he will judge them and whether the torment that some people will experience will be forever, a long time or quick.

    Guess I better go read the other post about hell.

    Joanie D.

  29. Great post, thank you.

  30. […] If you want to know my full views on hell you can check out the archives (here, here, here, here, here, and here), I will try not to repeat myself in this post but I do have a few thoughts that include […]

  31. […] March of 2008  I wrote several posts about the concept of hell.  You can find them here, here, here, and here.   In 2009, 2010, and 2011, I wrote other posts that encourage a loving God point of […]


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