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

Book Look – Heaven’s Doors – Jacob I Loved, Esau I Hated

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 Jacob I Loved, Esau I Hated

As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” – Romans 9:13

This passage is one of a few that I have addressed under a series I called “Calvin’s Concerns“. It turns out the series has spawned off a number of posts on Romans 9. If this is of interest, please search within this blog for “Romans 9” to compile the posts available for your consideration.

For the sake of this post, I would like to consider how this verse has been interpreted to understand that Esau is condemned to hell for all eternity. Is this a proper understanding of this passage? I would say no, and Mr. Sarris’ book repeated much of my understanding of this passage.

Paul, in discussing Jacob and Esau, speaks to the choice of God in who to serve Him as the family through whom the Messiah would come. Eternal destiny seems to be imported into this passage by those who are fatalistic and follow after a philosophy that takes away all our responsibility of following after Him, of claiming to believe in Him as our Savior.

During a discussion with a Calvinist, I asked if I am to hate my mother and father. Of course he knew where I was going to take him in the New Testament.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:26

If God hates Esau in the common understanding of “hate” (i.e. to have an intense hostility towards someone), how is it that we are not to understand this call to discipleship in the same manner? Is Jesus telling us to have an intense hostility towards our parents? This creates confusion and contradiction in the Word and we know that this just ain’t so!

So, let us compare Scripture with Scripture and see if we can find a bit of clarity for Romans 9:13. You see when I read a passage such as Luke 14:26 and consider the overarching message of the Word in relation to our parents, it seems that the command to hate our parents is to be understood as defining priorities.

Consider the following passages that define our obligation to our parents if we are to please God.

We are to honor our parents.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12

“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), – Ephesians 6:2

We are to obey our parents as children.

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. – Colossians 3:20

How can we satisfy these injunctions for the believer, in relation to Luke 14:26? I believe it is in understanding that the term “hate” is a relative term, a term that defines a priority. That is, in relation to the Lord, parents are to be considered the next level of the love commitment for the believer.

This is the same sense we are to understand Romans 9. God’s “hatred” of Esau is relative to His love for Jacob, in the arena of service for the kingdom. To state otherwise causes confusion and conflict.

As we find in Romans 9, the choice of Jacob to be the family bringing the Savior to the world was a tremendous privilege to have bestowed upon them by God. Esau was not granted this privilege, but this does not require that Esau is doomed to eternal torment and suffering.

Service, not salvation is the topic here folks!

The “salvation” interpretation of Romans 9 that some believers preach and teach is possibly revealing more of their desires for the lost than that of the Master’s desires. As a former Calvinist, it disturbs me that I had such a low view of our Heavenly Father, that I viewed Him as One with mixed emotions and desires for His creation.

Why do we sometimes struggle with the good news being really good? Is the possibility of hell not being permanent a difficult concept to accept?

Is not the alternative as difficult to accept?

For myself, I have spent the majority of my Christian life believing in the horrors of an eternal suffering for all that are without Christ. My understanding that the Bible teaches of the eternal never ending conscious suffering and torment of the lost to be without relief is becoming the difficult concept to accept.

Of course, I would appreciate your thoughts and comments.


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.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

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.

One thought on “Book Look – Heaven’s Doors – Jacob I Loved, Esau I Hated

  1. Thanks for the debate, i will trust that the Lord’s love endure forever, He is the author of our salvation, we endeavour – at times with difficulty- to speak of Jesus-Christ great love on the cross to whoever we meet! The Lord bless u and yours in the mighty name of Jesus Christ Amen

    Like

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