Monthly Archives: November 2013

Who Is The Winner? Satan or God? Answer: God Wins!

How could a created being, like Satan for example (but we could example you, me, Stalin, Caesar, and more!), be victorious over God?  The answer is he cannot!  No one wins OVER God.  We are the results of Gods ultimate victory over sin and evil.  God is the greatest, most powerful being that exists.  And fortunately for us, being created in His image and in fact, just being created, He loves us with a love that we cannot even imagine.  Close your eyes, and imagine, deep within your heart and mind, a love that is so powerful, that even the hardest of hearts is melted and persuaded to accept and worship God willingly.  Your love for your own children pales in comparison to His love for you!

Here is but one verse that shows that God wins.

(Php 2:9)  Wherefore, also, God highly exalts Him, and graces Him with the name that is above every name,

(Php 2:10)  that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowing, celestial and terrestrial and subterranean,

(Php 2:11)  and every tongue should be acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God, the Father.”

(Php 2:12)  So that, my beloved, according as you always obey, not as in my presence only, but now much rather in my absence, with fear and trembling, be carrying your own salvation into effect,

(Php 2:13)  for it is God Who is operating in you to will as well as to work for the sake of His delight.
CLV – Concordant Literal Version

 

Loving God in this life (age)  spares one from much painful judgment in the age to come.  Knowing that God’s love wins over all is more comforting than anything anyone could ever imagine or hope for!  My hope is that you will believe now and enjoy the Father and Son in this age, rather than waiting and enduring a harsher judgment.  Comment to me if you would like many more verses showing God’s victory over sin and evil.

Blessings to you all!

Craig

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Who Is The Winner? Satan or God?

It is estimated that 108 billion people have lived on the earth for the last 50,000 years.  (check study here)  Now, I am not entering the debate here about the age of the earth (though I believe in a young earth, 10,000 years or less).  Now, if we look at Jesus’ parable of the soils, (Matt 13:1-23 see verses below) and put it into a percentage, Jesus says 75% of people do not believe.  Most of Christianity believes this parable to mean that 75% of people will be lost for all eternity in eternal punishment (ECT). So, running the numbers we have roughly 81 billion people who will be populating hell for all eternity.  Thankfully, God saves (or people and God save) 27 billion people.  Christianity would have us believe that we should be thankful that God saves even 27 billion.  Many Christians would also say that this shows us God is victorious over Satan.  I guess the victory is that Satan didn’t get them all!

What do you have to say about this?  Does God win or does Satan win?

Discerning, God-loving people want to know!

 

Loving Christ the Victor!

Craig

 

MATT 13:1-23

(Mat 13:1)  In that day Jesus, coming out of the house, sat beside the sea.”

(Mat 13:2)  And gathered to Him were vast throngs, so that He steps into a ship to be sitting, and the entire throng stood on the beach.”

(Mat 13:3)  And He speaks many things to them in parables, saying, “Lo! out came the sower to be sowing.”

(Mat 13:4)  And, in his sowing, some, indeed, falls beside the road, and the flying creatures came and devoured it.”

(Mat 13:5)  Yet other falls on rocky places, where it had not much earth, and immediately it shoots up, because it has no depth of earth.”

(Mat 13:6)  Yet at the rising of the sun, it is scorched, and, because it has no root, it is withered.”

(Mat 13:7)  Yet other falls on thorns, and the thorns come up and smother it.”

(Mat 13:8)  Yet other falls on ideal earth and gave fruit, some, indeed, a hundred, yet some sixty, yet some thirtyfold.”

(Mat 13:9)  Who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

(Mat 13:10)  And, approaching, the disciples say to Him, “Wherefore art Thou speaking in parables to them?

(Mat 13:11)  Now, answering, He said to them that “To you has it been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, yet to those it has not been given.”

(Mat 13:12)  For anyone who has, to him shall be given, and he shall have a superfluity. Yet anyone who has not, that also which he has shall be taken away from him.”

(Mat 13:13)  Therefore in parables am I speaking to them, seeing that, observing, they are not observing, and hearing, they are not hearing, neither are they understanding.”

(Mat 13:14)  And filled up in them is the prophecy of Isaiah, that is saying, ‘”In hearing, you will be hearing, and may by no means be understanding, And observing, you will be observing, and may by no means be perceiving.”

(Mat 13:15)  For stoutened is the heart of this people, And with their ears heavily they hear, And with their eyes they squint, Lest at some time they may be perceiving with their eyes, And with their ears should be hearing, And with their heart may be understanding, And should be turning about, And I shall be healing them.'”

(Mat 13:16)  Yet happy are your eyes, for they are observing, and your ears, for they are hearing.”

(Mat 13:17)  For verily I am saying to you that many prophets and just men yearn to perceive what you are observing, and perceive not, and to hear what you are hearing, and hear not.”

(Mat 13:18)  You, then, hear the parable of the sowing.”

(Mat 13:19)  At everyone hearing the word of the kingdom and not understanding, coming is the wicked one and snatching what has been sown in his heart. This is he who is being sown beside the road.”

(Mat 13:20)  Yet he who is being sown on the rocky places, this is he who is hearing the word and straightway with joy is getting it,

(Mat 13:21)  yet has no root in himself, but is temporary. Now at the coming of affliction or persecution because of the word, straightway he is snared.”

(Mat 13:22)  Now he who is being sown in the thorns, this is he who is hearing the word, and the worry of this eon and the seduction of riches are stifling the word, and it is becoming unfruitful.”

(Mat 13:23)  Now he who is being sown on the ideal earth, this is he who is hearing the word and understanding, who by all means is bearing fruit, and is producing; these indeed, a hundred, yet these sixty, yet these thirtyfold.”

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Hell Under Fire Book Review – Chapter 8 – Universalism: Will Everyone Ultimately Be Saved? Part 8

 

Examining Universalism III: The Universalist Thesis

 

 

John 5:29

 

(Joh 5:21) For even as the Father is rousing the dead and vivifying [making alive] , thus the Son also is vivifying whom He will.”

 

 

(Joh 5:22) For neither is the Father judging anyone, but has given all judging to the Son,

 

 

(Joh 5:23) that all may be honoring the Son, according as they are honoring the Father. He who is not honoring the Son is not honoring the Father Who sends Him.”

 

 

(Joh 5:24) Verily, verily, I am saying to you that he who is hearing My word and believing Him Who sends Me, has life eonian and is not coming into judging, but has proceeded out of death into life.”

 

 

(Joh 5:25) Verily, verily, I am saying to you that coming is an hour, and now is, when the dead shall be hearing the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear shall be living.”

 

 

(Joh 5:26) For even as the Father has life in Himself, thus to the Son also He gives to have life in Himself.”

 

 

(Joh 5:27) And He gives Him authority to do judging, seeing that He is a son of mankind.”

 

 

(Joh 5:28) Marvel not at this, for coming is the hour in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice,

 

 

(Joh 5:29) and those who do good shall go out into a resurrection of life, yet those who commit bad things, into a resurrection of judging.”

 

 

 

For some strange reason I have gotten hung up on this text. It could be a bunch of things going on in my life, like working a lot of overtime, or any of many other concerns. Whatever it is, there is another element that I want to bring out right now. I have been literally stunned by this text. The more I read it, the more shocked and rejoicing in the Father and the Son I find myself. Why? Man, just look at what you read here. In this chapter Jesus does several healings and is sought after by the Jews to die at their hand. Jesus heals on the Sabbath, which all by itself was worthy of the Jews seeking retribution against Jesus. But, add to that the fact that Jesus so aligned Himself with the Father that the Jews claimed that He was equating Himself equal with the Father! Blasphemy, according to the Jews! This was an offense worthy of death! But that isn’t the amazing part.

 

 

Then Jesus tells the Jews that not only is the Father rousing the dead and making them alive, not specifying whether they have done good or bad, at this point, but goes on and says that He is rousing the dead also! Jesus says He is also making some alive, those whom He wills to do so. Jesus goes on and says that those who say they honor the Father must also honor Him as well. They cannot honor one without honoring the other. Those who are hearing what Jesus is saying about the Father and believe in the Father have life. Those are the ones who have passed from death into life.

 

 

Now here comes the amazing stuff. Jesus has been talking about rousing the dead to life. He says that an hour is coming when the DEAD will hear His voice. Those who hear will be living! What? The end of this life isn’t the dividing line between whether someone can/will believe. The supposedly great chasm fixed between the rich man and Lazarus must mean something other than what we have been led to believe? The dead can hear and believe and live? Oh my! What an amazing thing! What good news! What Good News of great joy for all mankind! And this must be good news for all mankind because there is no differentiation in the dead. Jesus merely says “the dead!” He doesn’t say the believing dead and the unbelieving dead. Just the dead. And look at what comes next.

 

 

There is an hour coming when all who are in the tombs will come forth. Those who hear and believe in the Father will come forth, just as Jesus said earlier, being roused from death and made alive to life. The others who are dead and not believing in the Father will be roused from death and made alive to judgment. There is hope, even after death, to believe in the Father and have life (and consequently in Jesus, though that doesn’t seem to be the focal point. But we know that Jesus and the Father are one.)! Nowhere here in these verses, nor the context of this chapter is there anything about a final rejection or final destruction. The life spoken of here that those who believe have is not said to be forever or eternal. It just says life. Nor does it say that the judgment is final or forever. It merely says those not believing will be in a state of judgment. When we ask the question, “What is this judgment He speaks of?” we can go back to chapter 3 and see that the judgment Jesus judges with is that the unbelieving ones love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil (3:19-21). The believing ones love the light and want to make their deeds manifest to all, which corresponds to resurrection life.

 

 

What these verses are for the world is words of hope! What these verses are not are words of final rejection or destruction. That concept must be read into these verses for it cannot be read out of them! I encourage you to read and re-read these verses and see if what I am saying is true. If you do not see what I see, and you are not amazed by the hope for all mankind that is shown here, comment on this post so we can dialog and we can learn from each other.

 

 

I do not expect to spend so much time on one verse, but what if it was so? Would it be terrible? I am thankful for the light God has given me and what a blessing it has been to try to “figure” out what to write about these verses. I kept coming back to the same thing, AMAZEMENT! Will you be, can you be amazed with me concerning this verse (really these verses!)? I hope so and I hope God expands your hope in Him and your amazement in Him, and your desire to see Him for who and how He is: The Father of all who loves all of His children with such a special love that His love will one day melt even the hardest of hearts! To Him be all praise and glory and honor!

 

 

Love in Christ,

 

Craig

 

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Hell Under Fire Book Review – Chapter 8 – Universalism: Will Everyone Ultimately Be Saved? Part 7

 

 

Examining Universalism III: The Universalist Thesis

 

 

Packer says the “task for the universalist, as we can now see, is to circumvent the seemingly clear New Testament witness to the eternal destiny of those who live and die without Christ, under the self-serving sway of the anti-God allergy in human nature that constitutes our original corruption….Today’s universalists for the most part posit that the unconverted will spend time in hell exposed to postmortem evangelism as previously described, along with steady divine pressure on their spirits to change from what they were, until the moment comes when they emerge, transformed, to join in the ongoing praises of the Lamb.” (pg 185)

 

 

[NOTE: I find it interesting that Packer, from pages 185-187 (the whole section spans from page 185-189), explaining the universalist position on eternal punishment has ten footnotes. Of these ten footnotes, eight are footnotes referencing only one author, Nels F. S. Ferre. I did an internet search to try to find out info on Ferre, but had a hard time finding any biographical info on him that went beyond his credentials. I do not have time to read the 31+ works of Ferre for this review, but want to raise this question: Why does Packer rely so heavily on one author for the “universalist view” on hell when, although seemingly prominent as a universalist, there are many contemporaries of Packer’s that are advancing universalism that he could have quoted from? (such as Thomas Talbott, Gary Amirault, Robin Parry, aka George MacDonald, to name a few) I have found in my own research, a tendency from my seminary days, to cherry-pick authors to support my view and to pick radical authors of opposing views to show how radical they are as opposed to the mainstream. This is one of the reasons why I am undertaking this project, to expose the problems and false claims of the ruling mainstream theologians that continue to oppress Christianity with false readings of the Scriptures. I merely wanted to point out this “strange” occurrence as I was reading this chapter. One other footnote was from Emil Brunner and the other was a reference to a work by Dixon discussing Ferre’s views.]

 

 

So hell must be seen as really a means of grace, a house of correction and place of conversion. Universalism is an unlimited optimism of grace. The final triumph of God’s love will be when ALL people will finally be saved. “In these terms,” he states, “universalists seek to turn the flank of the historic Christian understanding of the Bible’s witness to eternal punishment.” (pg. 187)

 

 

Packer asks, “How do the universalists justify their hypothesis about hell? Some have claimed specific exegetical justification, citing as their front line three linked classes of texts: six allegedly predicting the actual salvation of all (John 12:32; Acts 3:21; Rom 5:18; 11:32; 1 Cor 15:22-28; Phil 2:9-11); two supposedly announcing God’s intention to save all (1 Tim 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9); and five held to affirm that through Christ’s redemptive death on the cross, followed by his resurrection and dominion, God must and will eventually save all (2 Cor 5:19; Gal 1:20; Titus 2:11; Heb 2:9; 1 John 2:2).” (pg. 187)

 

 

The arguments, he states, in support of universal salvation is “forlorn.” (hopeless) First, the universal terms “all” and “world” [in the previous paragraph’s list of passages] are limited or too general “by their context to maintain that every human being everywhere, past, present, and future, is being clearly, specifically, and inescapably spoken of as destined for salvation.” He then defaults to standard commentaries saying that all the commentaries find in theses passages is that God will save the elect or that the Gospel invitation goes out to all people equally. He also states that universalists read out of the text more than what is in them. I have dealt with, if memory serves me correctly, most or all of these verses in previous chapter reviews and I believe I have provided an adequate explanation of these verse to at minimum, cast doubt on the traditional interpretation, and at best offer a true explanation of what God was communicating through the authors of the texts. I will not go back over these texts unless I deem it necessary to reinforce a future point.

 

 

Second, and going back to the point he made in the previous section, is the fact that the same authors who seem to imply universal salvation also make statements about “final rejection and destruction” of people due to their unbelief. He comments that unless the authors couldn’t realize they were contradicting themselves, one must conclude they did not believe in universal salvation. He lists a plethora of verses, a longer list than that of two paragraphs before, that I feel, by their sheer weight, are supposed to make the universalist cower in fear, or the everyday Christian feel secure in their belief in ECT in hell. Well, I am going to take on the whole list and put them in context and let the reader decide whether Packer has done his homework and is correct, or whether he, like so many others, grabs verses out context in the hopes that no one will check their work and catch them stretching the truth to fit their theology. Keep in mind what he said about these verses; they talk about final rejection and destruction of people due to their unbelief.

 

 

Here is the list of verses that were listed above in that he says are verses about “final rejection and destruction.” I will be answering the question: Do these verses deal with final rejection and destruction of people due to their unbelief?

 

 

John 3:18, 36; John 5:29; John 12:25, 48; Acts 13:46; Acts 28:24-27; Romans 2:5-12; Romans 6:23; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Cor 4:3-4; Eph 5:6; Col 3:6, 25; Philippians 1:28; Philippians 3:19; 1 Tim 4:16; 1 Tim 5:24; 1 Tim 6:9; Hebrews 3:14-19; Hebrews 6:4-8; Hebrews 10:26-31, 39; 2 Peter 2:3, 6, 9-10, 17, 20-22; 2 Peter 3:7, 16; 1 John 2:19; 1 John 3:10, 15; 1 John 5:16.

 

 

[NOTE: All verses listed will be from the Concordant Literal Version (CLV), also known as the Concordant Literal Translation (CLT). The reader may find this version free in pdf format or their nice software program called Interlinear Scripture Analyzer from www.concordant.org or through Tentmaker Ministries website http://www.tentmaker.org/e-sword_modules/index.html. You would need to download the E-Sword program and then load the additional modules. It is well worth the time involved!]

 

 

I begin with John 3:18, 36. I will also include some surrounding verses to help you with some context. I encourage the reader to go back and read the whole chapter these verses are found in, keeping in mind the question we are seeking to answer, based on the claim by Packer that these are all verses that deal with final rejection or destruction.

 

 

John 3:18, 36

 

(Joh 3:16) For thus God loves the world, so that He gives His only-begotten Son, that everyone who is believing in Him should not be perishing, but may be having life eonian.”

 

 

(Joh 3:17) For God does not dispatch His Son into the world that He should be judging the world, but that the world may be saved through Him.”

 

 

(Joh 3:18) He who is believing in Him is not being judged; yet he who is not believing has been judged already, for he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.”

 

 

(Joh 3:19) Now this is the judging: that the light has come into the world, and men love the darkness rather than the light, for their acts were wicked.”

 

 

(Joh 3:20) For everyone who is committing bad things is hating the light and is not coming to the light, lest his acts may be exposed.”

 

 

(Joh 3:21) Now he who is doing the truth is coming to the light that his acts may be made manifest, for they have been wrought in God.” (CLV)

 

 

 

(Joh 3:35) The Father is loving the Son and has given all into His hand.”

 

 

(Joh 3:36) He who is believing in the Son has life eonian {age-enduring}, yet he who is stubborn as to the Son shall not be seeing life, but the indignation of God is remaining on him.” (CLV)

 

 

 

Conclusion: The judging of verse 18 is the judgment that the non-believing one loves darkness and their acts are wicked. There is nothing final about this judgment. And, verse 36, says nothing of a final judgment, but merely states that God’s indignation is still upon the one who stubbornly refuses to not believe in Jesus. There is no “final rejection or destruction” shown in either verse as Packer would lead us to believe. I see no future aspect to this passage in John 3, but see more a temporal, present aspect that Jesus is passing on to His disciples for their present age.

 

 

I will stop here for this section and resume with John 5:29 next time. I will try to keep the remaining sections a bit shorter so as not to be overwhelming, but also to give the reader an opportunity to ponder the texts being discussed, raise questions or comments, have them answered, and then move on. I hope this works for you (and me!) Until next time, God’s blessings to you!

 

 

In Christ’s love,

 

Craig

 

 

 

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