Book Look · Church · Eschatology · Hell · Kingdom of God

Book Look – Heaven’s Doors – Forfeiting Your Soul

In oversimplified terms, universal reconciliation speaks of the eventual redemption of every soul ever created through the work of the Messiah and His sacrifice on the cross. This teaching does not remove the existence of hell, or the suffering associated with it, but it does challenge it’s never ending duration, and the purpose of the flames.

This series of posts, on the book “Heaven’s Doors” will be my last on the topic of universal reconciliation (not universalism). I am thankful to my Calvinist friend for directing me to this “heresy”. The teaching of universal reconciliation has more Scriptural support than I imagined and is worth considering if you are of an open mind and willing to consider alternate views to expand your understanding of the Word.

Of course if you are convinced you are completely right, without error, and doctrinally pure, this topic would be a waste of your time. Please move on!

This post will address – Forfeiting Your Soul

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?
For what can a man give in return for his soul? – Mark 8:35-37

I’m confused. I have chatted with my wife a number of times on the difference between soul, spirit and body, and if we are a three part creation or a two part creation, that is if the soul and spirit are the same entity. It is not something that keeps me up at night, but this verse we are looking at has made me consider my priorities on a number of occasions.

Since I have read Mr. Sarris’ book, and even prior to understanding his teaching, I understood life and soul to be two different entities. You know, my life is that which I experience on earth, between birth and death, whereas my soul is understood to go on after death.

Although I am beginning to see a few cracks in this thinking, was Jesus making a difference in these verses above. Notice that the first verse refers to “life”, with verses 36 & 37 referring to a man’s “soul”. Did Jesus intend to use two different words in these three verses?

Lets take a closer look at what the Master said with the following interlinear tool (using Blue Letter Bible – I like it!)

I have circled the term “life” along with the associated Greek word used in the Gospels of Jesus’ speech. Of course, we should have expected consistency in translation and we have it within this verse. Psychē, Strong’s number G5590 is translated as “life” both times. Very good.

Mark 8:35

Ok, let us move onto the next verse, Mark 8:36. I have likewise circled the same Greek word in the following two verses for your convenience.

Mark 8:36

Okay, so the Lord continues his warning in verse 36, but what is going on? Why has the same Greek word, psychē, Strong’s number G5590, been translated as “soul”?

That must be a glitch! (A bit bothersome, no?)

Lets take a look at the next verse!

Mark 8:37

Again, the Greek word is translated as “soul”, instead of “life”. I don’t get it! Why the difference? The audience in Jesus’ day didn’t hear a different word, (and therefore didn’t come away with a possibly different thought.)

So what is it that Jesus was teaching? Was he addressing our destiny in heaven or hell, or something else?

One explanation is that Jesus was speaking of our earthly existence, our lives, that period of time between birth and death. He was bringing the gospel of the kingdom to earth, for His followers to enter into, in this life. When I hear the term soul, I automatically think of the afterlife, but I am not sure Jesus was referring to the afterlife in this passage.

How many people do you know that have sold their lives to gain the world, to gain possessions, prestige, power? They have sacrificed everything in this life that was of any quality. Things that are of infinite worth, such is their integrity, their honesty, their relationships, the love of God and the love of others.

Maybe Jesus was speaking of this life, of a quality of life, of an abundant life in the here and now, and not of eternal torment in hell, of loosing all hope and of gnashing of teeth, of burning forever.

Maybe we have understood something a bit incorrectly.

What think thee? Leave a comment.


For other books on this same topic, I would refer you to Jesus Undefeated – a 10 part series, and The Inescapable Love of God. One additional book that I have not posted on is by David Artman, Grace Saves All.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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