Judge Judge Judge – Introduction

Because of the CrossStory Time

It has been a few years, (well nigh up to a decade if I am honest with you), that I had the pleasure of working with a fellow I will call Fred.  (Not his real name – don’t ya know!)

Anyways, Fred knew I was a believer, and would sometimes bait me (which is so easy to do) or generally make fun of Christianity (which is also so easy to do).  So with those two objectives, Fred had some good times working me over.

It just so happened that Fred was good friends with another fellow in the office that was a believer.  This fella would occasionally come to my office to discuss things of God during lunch.  It was a blessing, and we started a bit of a Bible study.

This caused some relational stress in the office, revealing itself one day with Fred telling me that Christians are too judgey.  It seemed so out of the blue, and yet somewhat providential.

You see, I had recently been reading the beatitudes and Matthew 7 came to mind.  It seemed to enforce his argument, until I asked him if judging was the same as condemning.

I think that set him back for a moment.  I hope he considered the difference.   I had to get back to my design work, so I left him with that.

Question

Is judging something or someone necessarily the same as condemning something or someone?

That difference has helped me in my general thinking regarding how a Christian is to think regarding his surroundings and those he rubs elbows with.  I hope this study will add some clarification to my thinking, and help others consider what it means to “make a judgement” in the Christian life.

As my next post in this series, I will provide a table containing the Greek words I found associated with judgement.  In each of my following blog posts, I will deal with a specific Greek word, and supply the associated verse list.

Some of these words are found often within the New Testament, and I may highlight certain verses that bring light to the subject (at least in my mind, full of cobwebs and creaking floorboards as it is!).  At other times, every verse within the blog may furnish interest and cause me to chase the concept to ground.

Nevertheless, I do hope you will interact with me in considering the topic we travel through.  Please provide comment and ask the difficult questions.

Remember, if we all see the Word as authoritative, that means neither you nor I are!  (Authoritative that is. – Just a bunch of hungry ol beggars looking for some crumbs along the way)

But as brothers & sisters, we can help each other in our understanding of the Word.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Did Jesus Go To Hell? – Concerns of a Brother – Epilogue

hell-awaits-fire-red

A while back, we were enjoying a time of Bible study in our home, after enjoying some supper together with our friends. It was a very relaxed time and I think we were discussing Mark’s gospel.

An innocent question came up and the discussion veered to the topic of hell, specifically, if Jesus went to hell.

It turns out I had wrote a blog post titled “Did Jesus go to Hell?” a few months prior and suggested that instead of chasing this rabbit trail, that anyone interested in that topic may pursue my thoughts in their free time.

One brother did. Our previous posts supplied his concerns and the responses I supplied.


Out of all his concerns, his final comment struck me.

“If you believe otherwise with all due respect I pity you.”

Brother I do not seek your pity.

I do seek an open ear and a willing heart to discuss face to face the “heresy” I may be swimming in.

Your multiple refusals to accept my invitations to meet together tells me that I am not worthy of your time.

If you consider me an erring brother, accept my invitation to discuss.

If you can’t accept my conclusions, let’s seek to maintain peace and unity of purpose – peace with each other and love toward the lost.

Petty squabbles and hair splitting over doctrines such as this does not accomplish this other than feed the pride of doctrinal purity you may assume I have. This topic is not a core doctrine. At the most, it is simply a topic that caught my attention and my post was an effort to suggest a possible interpretation.

You may accept or reject – but you are still my brother because of the primary issue – Faith in the salvation supplied by the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of the Messiah.

Let us not forget that.

This ends my final response to him. I have called and texted him but to no avail.


I struggle with folk that are hard nosed, unwilling to discuss and understand an others position. I suppose I struggle with these hard nosed brothers, those that are on a crusade to protect the gospel in areas that are not primary.

I struggle with them since I am a recovering hard nosed brother, one that would seek to find a difference with a brother.

If you know a brother or sister that has different opinions regarding the message the Bible gives forth, give them a chance to explain their position.

Other than rejecting the gospel message of the risen Christ, the brother or sister that thinks differently may supply a challenge that will force you to reconsider the Scripture.

Considering the Bible is a good thing – the action of, and hopefully the blog also.

The Christian life is a life of repentance and growth. Without challenges to our thinking, growth may not occur other than from outside circumstances.

Let us not be so limited.


Find below the short study I mentioned in the previous post.
“Katakrino”

Matthew 12:41

The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

Matthew 12:42

The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Matthew 20:18
“See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death

Matthew 27:3
Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders,

Mark 10:33
saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles.

Mark 14:64
You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death.

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Luke 11:31
The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Luke 11:32
The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

John 8:10
Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

John 8:11
She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Romans 2:1
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.
Romans 8:3
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
Romans 8:34
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Romans 14:23
But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

1 Corinthians 11:32
But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

2 Peter 2:6
if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

In writing this post, I started looking at the Greek words that have the root of “judge” within them. I hope to start a short study on these terms in the near future and will post as I progress through the study.

I look forward to comments and discussion. May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Did Jesus Go To Hell? – Concerns of a Brother – 3

hell-awaits-fire-redA while back, we were enjoying a time of Bible study in our home, after enjoying some supper together with our friends.  It was a very relaxed time and I think we were discussing Mark’s gospel.

An innocent question came up and the discussion veered to the topic of hell, specifically, if Jesus went to hell.

It turns out I had wrote a blog post titled “Did Jesus go to Hell?” a few months prior and suggested that instead of chasing this rabbit trail, that anyone interested in that topic may pursue my thoughts in their free time.

One brother did.  This is the continuation of my brothers concerns over my blog post.  As a reminder, my comments are indented, in red, and interspersed within my brother’s comments.


What is the point of judgment if you are going to be forgiven anyways?

Judgement (krino and its compunds – anakrino, diakrino ) have many shades of meaning, from simply to “discern” all the way to “condemnation.” To judge (krites and its compounds – dikastēs, kritērion) defines the one judging.

You surely will agree that at the believer’s judgement, condemnation is not considered. Also, we who have been forgiven, will be judged.

New Testament (Greek) for “judge”
G350 ἀνακρίνω anakrinō examine, judge, ask question, search, discern
G1252 διακρίνω diakrinō doubt, judge, discern, contend, waver, misc
G1348 δικαστής dikastēs judge
G2919 κρίνω krinō judge, determine, condemn, go to law, call in question, esteem, misc
G2922 κριτήριον kritērion to judge, judgment, judgment seat
G2923 κριτής kritēs judge, Judge

Judgement has concept of separation, or of making a determination between right and wrong.  Katakrino is the term that strictly refers to condemnation, and at that, I am not sure if there is a time element associated with it. By that I mean, the word itself simply means condemn, not necessarily condemn forever. ( I bring this up since the term is used of condemning the Lord Jesus, and we both know that He was not condemned forever – Praise God!) The context may supply that information, but I do not see where the word itself carried a time element.

It is also interesting to note that the work Katakrino is used 19 times in the New Testament. Of those nineteen time, none of them refer to God condemning any one

As a matter of fact, it looks like men do a lot of the condemning (ie the men of Ninevah, the Queen of the South, even ourselves (Rom 2:1, 14:23)). Other occurrences in the New Testament speak of the Messiah receiving condemnation. One time the Messiah spoke on condemning, but that He would not condemn the sinner. He is something else, eh? (John 8:10-11)

The “Katakrino” list may be found at the end of this note (if of interest).

(As I am studying this concept of judgment, I have found a much larger body of data in the New Testament than first reviewed. In the interest of brevity, I will leave the above mini-study as is, know that it is incomplete, and I will return to it.)

That is a minor point but has no explanation if I conceded to believing in “soul sleep” or universal salvation for all.

I am not sure your intent of the previous sentence. The soul sleep question is a nonissue for me.

So When Jesus said it was better for Judas not to have been born, (Matthew 26:24, Mark 14:21) woe doesn’t have any significance if there is no consequences for betraying the Son of the living God.?

I am going to assume the consequence you are referring to above is Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT).

Mat 26:24

The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

Mar 14:21

For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

I understand your point, but note that the Messiah said “it would have been better” for Judas to not exist than to be born, not “Judas will burn in hell forever”

“Better” is a comparative term. If I said “I am better than Joe” this doesn’t mean I am equal to the great apostle Paul. Better simply compares to conditions, but it does not supply the extent of the difference between the two things being compared. In other words, Judas destiny was defined as being less than nothing. A negative condition.

So, if the Scriptures teaches ECT, Jesus may have been hinting at Judas destiny. (A negative condition!)

If He meant something else, (like living and dying under the guilt of condemning a just man), that is also possible. (Also a negative condition!)

Both of these destinies (I am sure there are additional destinies that may be possible for Judas) for Judas would surely fit the description Jesus provides of “not existing”

To demand ECT is taught in this passage would be considered eisegesis. The verse does not clearly inform us of Judas destiny, other than being a negative condition.

Or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

One verse in the New Testament speaks of blasphemy against the Spirit

Mat 12:31

Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

There are multiple ways to understand this passage, but if we use the grammatical, historical method, a possible interpretation could be that Jesus was condemning the people he spoke to in the historical setting, that is the pharisees that just claimed the work of the Spirit as sourced out of Satan.

Or the woes of Matthew 23.  Greater condemnation, v.33-how will they escape the condemnation of Hell?

I guess you don’t believe what Jesus said in v.35 either?  No purgatory in Scripture.  No escaping the judgment of God having received the knowledge of the truth ( Hebrews 10:26-31).

If you believe otherwise with all due respect I pity you.


With that said, my discussion with my brother has concluded.

Our final post in this series will consider some after thoughts on this interaction.  I do hope we can get together again.  Thanks for reading and may you have a blessed day.


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Did Jesus Go To Hell? – Concerns of a Brother – 2

hell-awaits-fire-red

A while back, we were enjoying a time of Bible study in our home, after enjoying some supper together with our friends. It was a very relaxed time and I think we were discussing Mark’s gospel.

An innocent question came up and the discussion veered to the topic of hell, specifically, if Jesus went to hell.

It turns out I had wrote a blog post titled “Did Jesus go to Hell?” a few months prior and suggested that instead of chasing this rabbit trail, that anyone interested in that topic may pursue my thoughts in their free time.

One brother did. He sent me the following concerns and my comments are indented, in red, and interspersed within my brother’s comments.


Brother

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my blog, “Did Jesus go to Hell?” I had been looking forward to your comments since Monday.

I would like to clarify a few items if you don’t mind. I may have written something that was not clear and I would like to correct that. With that said, I have taking your comments and inserted some of my thoughts (in red) for your consideration.

With all due respect It is written… you have a copy of scripture. I read some of it to you Saturday. I believe in a plain normal grammatical historical plenary interpretation.

Brother – I would like to discuss your interpretive methods for a moment.

Plain

    • When you mention the plain interpretation of scripture, I assume that you are referring to a literal reading of scripture. In many portions of the Word, I would agree with you. Some passages give me pause though.
      • When Acts 2 speaks of tongues of fire, would you understand it to be literal fire?
      • I am sure you do not consider the Messiah to be a door, or a sheep, or a light.
      • I think the apostles and prophets spoke in a manner that would communicate clearly to to their audience, in their culture, language, social structure and religion. It is our labor to try to decipher their message from that environment, and not to read the Word as if it has been written for 21st century American believers. (That just seems a bit provincial.)

Normal

    • I looked up normal for a definition and found “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural”
    • I would appreciate a little clarification on what you mean when you say normal. It’s seems other terms in this description describe your “normal” reading of Scripture

Grammatical

    • Definition for grammatical
      • Of or relating to grammar, conforming to the rules of grammar:
        • I assume you are describing your method of Bible interpretation / understanding as being different than my efforts. I tend to analyze a passage through word studies, the flow of the sentence structure and the context of the sentence / verse / paragraph I am studying. I think I am on the same page as you on this.

Historical

    • I believe the historical context of the passage when spoken / written is critical to understanding the message. Let me supply an example.

When Jesus spoke of thine eye being evil, I used to think He was referring to a general evil or wickedness.

Matt 6:23

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

What does it mean “if thine eye is evil”? Could it refer to a murderous intent, wicked thoughts or evil schemes? I never really understood this verse until I checked the historical background in

Deuteronomy 15:9

Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.

When I read Matthew 6:23, I assumed I understood the phrase “if thine eye be evil”. But when I studied the historical background of the phrase, and how it relates to the audience Jesus was immediately addressing, the application for my life becomes so much clearer. So I would heartily agree that the historical interpretation of any passage is critical

Plenary

    • If by plenary, you mean that the canon of Scripture is complete (plenary = full), I would also agree.

Much of your Bible reading and study methods are the same as mine. I do not understand your concern.

If we don’t believe the scripture itself when read, how can we expound upon deeper truth?

I think we need to understand the Scripture (as much as possible) in order to believe it. I consider belief / faith is an action word.

Gal 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

and not mental consent, and therefore the day to day decisions I make, exercising my faith/belief has to come from an understanding of the message God has provided.

If Christ went to the grave and that’s it. We are still dead in trespasses and sins.

I do not recall saying that Christ went simply to the grave. If I did, I spoke wrongly. What I was considering in the blog post was whether the Messiah went to hell, ie the place of torment. The few NT passages that seem to speak of the Messiah going to hell are not convincing to me in my study.

What is the point as Paul said in 1 Cor 15? The early church got it right historically as I told you Saturday. I stand with them even though the “Soli Scripta” Scripture alone speaks for itself.

Sola Scriptura is what I am trying to do as I study. I seek to find how the Scripture interprets itself, and in the blog, I made mention of a few Old Testament passages that may supply hints as to what the apostles were pointing to.

An example was the “lowest parts of the earth” phrase that Paul used in Ephesians. The OT supplied three possibilities for understanding what Paul meant when he wrote “the lower parts of the earth”

Regarding the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15) I feel you still consider my thoughts to be of denial of the resurrection. I am not sure where you get that from, but let me assure you that I believe in the bodily resurrection more now than when I first believed.

My brothers comments begin a discussion on judgement that is somewhat lengthy (Come on Carl – it is your response that is lengthy – Just admit it!)

Okay – so the next post will continue our discussion with my brother.

I do hope you can visit with us.


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Did Jesus Go To Hell? – Concerns of a Brother – 1

hell-awaits-fire-redA while back, we were enjoying a time of Bible study in our home, after enjoying some supper together with our friends.  It was a very relaxed time and I think we were discussing Mark’s gospel.

An innocent question came up and the discussion veered to the topic of hell, specifically, if Jesus went to hell.

It turns out I had wrote a blog post titled “Did Jesus go to Hell?” a few months prior and suggested that instead of chasing this rabbit trail, that anyone interested in that topic may pursue my thoughts in their free time.

One brother did.

I might better not have offered.  It seems this blog offended my brother.

Different Thinking

You know, it made me consider my own reactions to those who think and believe differently than I.

One weakness I have is to pass judgement on brothers that have differences of opinion or faith in secondary and tertiary matters.  Of course the apostle describes the foundation of our faith as

…One body and one Spirit, one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

This is a non-negotiable in determining one that is “of the faith”.  After that, many differences erupt between believers and I used to be very frustrated with those that hadn’t come around to my truth.  Oh dear – did I say my truth – I meant the truth.

Different Worldviews

Ever notice that Jesus chose Matthew (a tax collecting sellout to Rome) and Simon (a zealot, who would die to free Israel from the Romans) to be in His band of followers.  They hated each other.  They were like a capitalist and a communist trying to get along.  But Jesus chose them to be with Him, and the command to love each other must have made them choke the first time they understood it.

But differences are awesome – I have learned much after realizing I lived in a tiny, tiny corner of Christendom, not having met some of the believers that think differently than I.  It has been a blessing (and a great challenge), since I need to come to grips with what I believe and not simply what a man or organization has taught me.

Different Faith

The arena of faith is so vast, and full of expression, so open within the boundaries of the basics.  Jesus Christ, crucified, raised and glorified has supplied to His church a multifaceted faith that can be expressed in seemingly endless ways.

We can (and will) come to different conclusions and we need to give our brothers room for their understanding.  It’s called grace and to give a brother room in his belief’s is a sign of maturity (I hope).

Somewhere the apostle tells us

The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.

We also need to be patient with those who may feel threatened by teaching that is new to them.  The apostle reminds me that

…the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

It hurts greatly when a tertiary teaching such as the topic of “Did Jesus go to Hell” becomes a litmus test for brotherhood in the faith.  I’m afraid in this instance, it did.  I have reached out to my brother numerous time to discuss and come to a peaceful resolution, yet without success.

I lost a brother and a friend over that blog post, and I wonder if I failed my brother in some way.  I don’t see any benefit in removing a blog post that might be remotely offensive from the site, since this does nothing for the readership except to supply them pablum and tasteless milk.

I also didn’t expect this topic to cause offence!  (My goodness, what other posts may cause offence?)  Deleting studies that may not conform to a specific Christian mind set seems unacceptable in my mind.  I revel in the differences I experience with my brothers and sisters.  Oh to have open discussions, where emotion does not control the comment, where there is more light than heat being generated, where the Word is considered and viewpoints are allowed.

With that long introduction, I would like to supply my discussion with my brother for your consideration in my next post.  I open myself up to your comments, suggestions and rebuke (if necessary).

Thanks for reading!


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Perishing in Eternal Torment

The lost will perish, but what does that mean?

To perish. What does it mean?apollumi 1

The greek word Apollumi is translated as

  1. perish
  2. destroy
  3. lose
  4. lost
  5. destroyed
  6. perished
  7. perisheth
  8. die
  9. loseth
  10. mar

I find it interesting that Apollumi is the word Jesus used in John 3:16, describing the fate of those that believe not.

Previously when I have considered John 3:16, I have consistently understood it like this…

John 3 :16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not experience unending suffering, but have everlasting life.

Is that what the Master meant to communicate?

What if I understood Apollumi as synonymous with “experiencing unending suffering” in all the other instances it appears in the New Testament?apollumi 3

The following verses will have the greek term Apollumi replaced with “experience unending suffering”. As you may find out, some verses make no sense at all.

I will offer a few verses to make my point in some areas, but if the reader would like to refer to each verse using “Apollumi”, see “Hell – Perish Word Study”

Bottles suffering unending torment?

Matt 9 :17

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles experience unending suffering: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

Hair suffering unending torment?

Luke 21 :18

But there shall not an hair of your head experience unending suffering.

Food (Meat) suffering unending torment?

John 6 :27

Labour not for the meat which experiences unending suffering, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Gold suffering unending torment?

1 Peter 1 :7

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that experiences unending suffering, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Those who do not take up the sword may escape suffering unending torment?

Matt 26 :52

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall experience unending suffering with the sword.

Drowning is equivalent to suffering unending torment?

Mark 4 :38

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we experience unending suffering?

The place of suffering unending torment is between the altar and the temple?

Luke 11 :51

From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which experienced unending suffering between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

Sheep suffer unending torment?apollumi 4

Luke 15 :6

And when he cometh home, he calleth together [his] friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was experiencing unending suffering.

Prodigals suffer unending torment but can escape by changing their mind?

Luke 15 :24

For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was experiencing unending suffering, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Luke 15 :32

It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was experiencing unending suffering, and is found.

Self preservation results in suffering unending torment!

Luke 17 :33

Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall experience unending suffering; and whosoever shall experience unending suffering in his life shall preserve it.

John 12 :25

He that loveth his life shall experience unending suffering it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Wisdom suffering eternal torment?

1 Corinthians 1:19

For it is written, I will experience unending suffering the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

A Christian suffering eternal torment?Lake-of-fire

Is this really saying what I think it is saying? Either it means eternal torment, which means a Christian may loose their faith/salvation or the word does not necessarily mean unending conscious torment and suffering.

Rom 14 :15

But if thy brother be grieved with [thy] meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Don’t force unending suffering on him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

1 Corinthians 8 :11

And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother experience unending suffering, for whom Christ died?

The world experience unending torment?

2 Peter 3 :6

Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, experienced unending suffering:

The heavens and the earth will experience unending suffering – Now that is beyond me!

Hebrews 1 :11

They shall experience unending suffering; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;

The resurrection of Jesus Himself may be compromised if the definition of Apollumi equals suffering unending torment.

We know that He was raised from the dead so this can only be an error on the part of Caiaphas! (If only John hadn’t mentioned that this statement was a prophecy of the Messiahs sacrifice!!!)

John 18 :14

Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should experience unending suffering for the people.

So what is the conclusion of the matter?apollumi 5

It is not as clear cut as I had once assumed! Apollumi seems to have the meaning of destruction/perishing/lostness, but not necessarily eternal unending suffering. Of course, some verses may seem to make sense by bringing this meaning to the verse, like the following

Matt 18 :14

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should experience unending suffering.

One could import the idea of eternal suffering into this context, but it is not the only way to read it!

Luke 13 :5

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise experience unending suffering.

Of course if Jesus meant that the hearers would be destroyed by invading armies due to their sin, the idea of eternal suffering need not be imported.

Matt 10:28

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to experience unending suffering both soul and body in hell.

If Jesus was referring to hades/the grave when he mentioned hell (check Strongs Concordance), the Father is able to destroy both body and soul after death. Either both body and soul endure eternal torment, or both body and soul are destroyed. It is interesting to note that the first phrase does not use destroy but kill. The body is not destroyed, but simply lifeless. (Soul and body are separated!) The destruction of both is up to the Father.

Eternal Fire 3

Some verses may be used to prop up the eternal torment teaching and may be viable interpretations. If I seem to be doubting the teaching of eternal torment, it is because I think I wanna figger out what the apostles want to teach me.

I cant learn from them if I keep correcting them.


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Universal Reconciliation & the Church Fathers

ThatallshallbesavedIn years past, I delved into the doctrine of hell and came across the teaching often referred to as Universal Reconciliation (UR).  As a tried and true Eternal Torment (ET) believer, I struggled with the initial concept of this teaching.

Emotionally, this is my baby, this is my hope against all hope, my desire and heart.  But my heart is a deceitful animal and my flesh often (always?) whispers sweet nothings in my ear.  I so want to believe this in my heart, but my head is screaming no.  My understanding of the Word, at this point, will not allow this to become a settled belief.

But if I am honest with myself, the doctrine has much more biblical support than I first assumed. (More support than ET?)  A recent post on this blog  “God – What is HE like?” gives a list of verses that UR proponents point to in order to justify this teaching.  It may be interesting to consider in light of the quotes supplied below.

I’ve read that a great many of the church fathers expressed their faith in this teaching, and the following are quotes from them.

The Church Fathers on Universal Reconciliation (UR)

The mass of men (Christians) say there is to be an end to punishment and to those who are punished.

St. Basil the Great

There are very many in our day, who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments.

Augustine (354-430 A.D.)

For the wicked there are punishments, not perpetual, however, lest the immortality prepared for them should be a disadvantage, but they are to be purified for a brief period according to the amount of malice in their works. They shall therefore suffer punishment for a short space, but immortal blessedness having no end awaits them…the penalties to be inflicted for their many and grave sins are very far surpassed by the magnitude of the mercy to be showed to them.

Diodore of Tarsus, 320-394 A.D.

And God showed great kindness to man, in this, that He did not suffer him to continue being in sin forever; but as it were, by a kind of banishement, cast him out of paradise in order that, having punishment expiated within an appointed time, and having been disciplined, he should afterwards be recalled…just as a vessel, when one being fashioned it has some flaw, is remoulded or remade that it may become new and entire; so also it happens to man by death. For he is broken up by force, that in the resurrection he may be found whole; I mean spotless, righteous and immortal.

Theophilus of Antioch (168 A.D.)

Wherefore also he drove him out of paradise and removed him far from the tree of life, not because He envied him the tree of life, as some dare assert, but because He pitied him and desired that he should not be immortal and the evil interminable and irremediable.

Iraneaus of Lyons (182 A.D.)

These, if they will, may go Christ’s way, but if not let them go their way. In another place perhaps they shall be baptized with fire, that last baptism, which is not only painful, but enduring also; which eats up, as if it were hay, all defiled matter, and consumes all vanity and vice.

Gregory of Nazianzeu, Bishop of Constantinople. (330 to 390 A.D.) Oracles 39:19

The Word seems to me to lay down the doctrine of the perfect obliteration of wickedness, for if God shall be in all things that are, obviously wickedness shall not be in them. For it is necessary that at some time evil should be removed utterly and entirely from the realm of being.

St. Macrina the Blessed

In the end and consummation of the Universe all are to be restored into their original harmonious state, and we all shall be made one body and be united once more into a perfect man and the prayer of our Savior shall be fulfilled that all may be one.

St. Jerome, 331-420

For it is evident that God will in truth be all in all when there shall be no evil in existence, when every created being is at harmony with iteself and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; when every creature shall have been made one body.

Gregory of Nyssa, 335-390

The wicked who have committed evil the whole period of their lives shall be punished till they learn that, by continuing in sin, they only continue in misery. And when, by this means, they shall have been brought to fear God, and to regard Him with good will, they shall obtain the enjoyment of His grace.

Theodore of Mopsuestia, 350-428

We can set no limits to the agency of the Redeemer to redeem, to rescue, to discipline in his work, and so will he continue to operate after this life.

Clement of Alexandria

Do not suppose that the soul is punished for endless eons (apeirou aionas) in Tartarus. Very properly, the soul is not punished to gratify the revenge of the divinity, but for the sake of healing. But we say that the soul is punished for an aionion period (aionios) calling its life and its allotted period of punishment, its aeon.

Olnmpiodorus (AD 550)

Wherefore, that at the same time liberty of free-will should be left to nature and yet the evil be purged away, the wisdom of God discovered this plan; to suffer man to do what he would, that having tasted the evil which he desired, and learning by experience for what wretchedness he had bartered away the blessings he had, he might of his own will hasten back with desire to the first blessedness …either being purged in this life through prayer and discipline, or after his departure hence through the furnace of cleansing fire.

Gregory of Nyssa (332-398 A.D.)

That in the world to come, those who have done evil all their life long, will be made worthy of the sweetness of the Divine bounty. For never would Christ have said, “You will never get out until you hqave paid the last penny” unless it were possible for us to get cleansed when we paid the debt.

Peter Chrysologus, 435

I know that most persons understand by the story of Nineveh and its king, the ultimate forgiveness of the devil and all rational creatures.

St. Jerome

“In the end or consummation of things, all shall be restored to their original state, and be again united in one body. We cannot be ignorant that Christ’s blood benefited the angels and those who are in hell; though we know not the manner in which it produced such effects. The apostate angels shall become such as they were created; and man, who has been cast out of paradise, shall be restored thither again. And this shall be accomplished in such a way, that all shall be united together by mutual charity, so that the members will delight in each other, and rejoice in each other’s promotion. The apostate angels, and the prince of this world, though now ungovernable, plunging themselves into the depths of sin, shall, in the end, embrace the happy dominion of Christ and His saints.”

COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT – Jerome (347-420 A.D.)

Our Lord is the One who delivers man [all men], and who heals the inventor of evil himself.

Gregory of Nyssa (332-398 A.D.), leading theologian of the Eastern Church

While the devil thought to kill One [Christ], he is deprived of all those cast out of hades, and he [the devil] sitting by the gates, sees all fettered beings led forth by the courage of the Saviour.

Athanasius, the Great Father of Orthodoxy

Our Lord descends, and was shut up in the eternal bars, in order that He might set free all who had been shut up… The Lord descended to the place of punishment and torment, in which was the rich man, in order to liberate the prisoners.

Jerome

In the liberation of all no one remains a captive! At the time of the Lord’s passion the devil alone was injured by losing all the of the captives he was keeping.

Didymus, 370 AD

While the devil imagined that he got a hold of Christ, he really lost all of those he was keeping.

St. Chrysostom, 398 AD

Stronger than all the evils in the soul is the Word, and the healing power that dwells in him, and this healing He applies, according to the will of God, to everyman. The consummation of all things is the destruction of evil…to quote Zephaniah: “My determination to gather the nations, that I am assemble the kings, to pour upon them mine indignation, even say all my fierce anger, for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent”…Consider carefully the promise, that all shall call upon the Name of the Lord, and serve him with one consent.

Origen (185 to 254 A.D.) He founded a school at Caesarea, and is considered by historians to be one of the great theologians and exegete of the Eastern Church.

The nations are gathered to the Judgment, that on them may be poured out the wrath of the fury of the Lord, and this in pity and with a design to heal. in order that every one may return to the confession of the Lord, that in Jesus’ Name every knee may bow, and every tongue may confess that He is Lord. All God’s enemies shall perish, not that they cease to exist, but cease to be enemies.

Jerome (340 to 420 A.D), commenting on Zephaniah 3:8-10

Mankind, being reclaimed from their sins, are to be subjected to Christ in he fullness of the dispensation instituted for the salvation of all.

Didymus the Blind

So then, when the end has been restored to the beginning, and the termination of things compared with their commencement, that condition of things will be re-established in which rational nature was placed, when it had no need to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; so that when all feeling of wickedness has been removed, and the individual has been purified and cleansed, He who alone is the one good God becomes to him “all,” and that not in the case of a few individuals, or of a considerable number, but He Himself is “all in all.” And when death shall no longer anywhere exist, nor the sting of death, nor any evil at all, then verily God will be “all in all”

Origen, De Prinicipiis, 3.6.3. (Origen founded a school at Caesarea, and is considered by historians to be one of the great theologians and exegete of the Eastern Church.)

The Son “breaking in pieces” His enemies is for the sake of remolding them, as a potter his own work; as Jeremiah 18;6 says: i.e., to restore them once again to their former state.

Eusebius of Caesarea (65 to 340 A.D). Bishop of Caesarea

Our Savior has appointed two kinds of resurrection in the Apocalypse. ‘Blessed is he that hath part in the first resurrection,’ for such come to grace without the judgment. As for those who do not come to the first, but are reserved unto the second resurrection, these shall be disciplined until their appointed times, between the first and the second resurrection.

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (340-397 A.D.)

We think, indeed, that the goodness of God, through His Christ, may recall all His creatures to one end, even His enemies being conquered and subdued…. for Christ must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet.

Origen (185 to 254 A.D.) He founded a school at Caesarea, and is considered by historians to be one of the great theologians and exegete of the Eastern Church.

For it is needful that evil should some day be wholly and absolutely removed out of the circle of being.

Gregory of Nyssa (332-398 A.D.), leading theologian of the Eastern Church

In the present life God is in all, for His nature is without limits, but he is not allin all. But in the coming life, when mortality is at an end and immortality granted, and sin has no longer any place, God will be all in all. For the Lord, who loves man, punishes medicinally, that He may check the course of impeity.

Theodoret the Blessed, 387-458

When death shall no longer exist, or the sting of death, nor any evil at all, then truly God will be all in all.

Origen

All men are Christ’s, some by knowing Him, the rest not yet. He is the Savior, not of some and the rest not. For how is He Savior and Lord, if not the Savior and Lord of all?

Clement of Alexandria

What think ye?  This is a list of fallible men’s thoughts and I by no means imply the list carries the weight of Scripture.

I suppose the quotes above bear the same weight as, I suppose, an elder or deacon you may know in your church, whom has lived for Christ and is worthy of listening to and comparing with Scripture.


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