Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yes or No Answer!!!! More Thoughts.

Last night I was thinking about a question that requires something more than a yes or no answer. For those of you who follow the same political news sources that I do, please bear with me as I explain… and correct me if I get any of the details wrong. (My “following” of these things is choppy sometimes.)

Here is a question. Yes or No answer.

Do you hope the new president will succeed?
If that question was answered NO by myself, without my being allowed to explain, then that could make me sound like a bitter angry Republican, at best… or un-American, un-patriotic or even treasonous, at worst.

Many conservatives have been expressing that they “hope the new president will succeed.” That sounds fitting and appropriate, and seems like what should be said at a time like this. However, Rush Limbaugh went against the crowd and said that he doesn’t hope that the new president will succeed. Mr. Limbaugh was berated for saying such. I, who love Rush Limbaugh, who finds great comfort in listening to his program on the spotty occasions that I can, just KNEW that there was a good explanation for him saying that.

Last night on the Sean Hannity program (which I only watch about once a month anymore, but I knew he was interviewing RL, so I made a point to tune in) Rush Limbaugh explained. He said that if President Obama succeeds in implementing liberal policies, for example, socialized, government–run healthcare, then that would NOT be a success for our country – it would be the end of things as we know them. Our country would become something completely different than what we have known it to be. So Rush explained that in that sense, he does NOT want the new president to succeed. On the other hand, Mr. Limbaugh also explained that if Mr. Obama decides to take the country in a direction that embraces some of the policies of, say, Ronald Reagan, then Rush would consider that a true success (as he, RL defines it) and he would want Mr. Obama to succeed in such a way.

So, in many venues, including religious and political, TERMS are defined differently and can affect the other people’s understanding of what we mean by what we say. In these cases, yes and no just doesn’t cut it.

106 Comments:

  • It is difficult.

    I always pray for the government to govern wisely, yet I find myself thinking that actually I don't want them to because I want the Conservatives to win at the next election.

    So after praying "May the government govern wisely", I usually add "may the Conservatives do well at the next election."

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 1/22/2009 11:28 AM  

  • Rose, no matter the question, a yes no answer is only as definite (and therefore informative) as the question is succint.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 1/22/2009 12:03 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Matthew:

    Matthew: How do you think God might go about answering your prayers, especially in a free, democratic vote situation?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/22/2009 12:09 PM  

  • Matthew!! You had computer access for a period. It was so fun to see a comment noification come in from you. What did you eat today? What did you wear today? Your answer is good. That is a great way to pray.

    Daniel,
    Yes, the question has to be very succinct with universally understood terms.

    Goodnight,
    You! You want to get into that, don't you? haha That is OK. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/22/2009 12:19 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Just wondering! :O)

    You can answer it if you want Rose. (Which is a bit rich, seeing it is your blog. You know you're always welcome on this blog.)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/22/2009 12:22 PM  

  • GREAT POST, ROSE!!!
    You pointed out the problem so well~!!!
    Thank you.
    :-)

    By Blogger Diane, at 1/22/2009 12:53 PM  

  • Long neglected but still ongoing FG Dictionary

    DIRECTORY FOR PRAYER BEFORE GENERAL POLITICAL ELECTIONS:

    Always remember that while God hears your prayer for candidate "A" some other Christian either to the right or left of your political views is probably praying for candidate "B" or "C" or "D" etc.

    Not to be confused with the Doctrine of Election unto Salvation where God doesn't really get involved until the ballot boxes are opened.

    OK...I know, I know...

    :o)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/22/2009 1:30 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    A shameless plug: my prayer for the President is on my blog at:
    http://thegiftandtheprize.blogspot.com/2009/01/inauguration-day-prayer.html

    your shameless brother,
    steve

    By Blogger Steve Dehner, at 1/22/2009 1:55 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    It seems to me that Rush was probably purposefully being controversial and/or antagonistic... that's sort of his job. :-) I think when people say they want Obama to "succeed", they generally mean they want whatever he does to help our country succeed. Usually a president's "success" is determined by the success of the country while he is in office. What if Obama's policies do enable the country to succeed? I would hope Rush would still be happy, even though his pet policies were not enacted.

    So I think we can safely say that Rush really does want Obama to "succeed", using it the way people generally take it to mean. Rush is likely parsing the words intentionally in order to generate discussion and to continue driving home the point that he thinks Obama's policies are wrong.

    But if we defined the terms, for example, if we said that "success" meant "causes the USA to prosper in every way", then asked Rush: "Yes or No, do you hope the new president will succeed?" I think Rush, along with most Americans, would say yes.

    Also notice that Rush can only say such a thing because he is using the term differently than its common use. If he were to use the word as it is normally defined, I don't think he would be able to make such a statement. Additionally, if he fails or refuses to explain his more unique use of the term, then he shouldn't complain when he is "berated" for his statement.

    That said though, I am not generally a fan of the yes/no question... I prefer to read people's explanations of their views and positions, even if they do give a yes or no answer. I just think that there are times when a yes/no question is at least "okay", and giving examples of times when such a question is not okay doesn't change that.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 1/22/2009 3:40 PM  

  • Ditto what Rachel wrote for me! I agree that the question is a pretty easy one to answer if you don't read too much into it.

    Rush is a great entertainer.. but I would never put him in charge of anything.. his job is strictly to make mountains out of molehills and keep people coming back for more.. without division (real or perceived) he has no job.

    If anyone is interested in a conservative voice from someone who was actually elected to office you might be interested in listening to Joe Scarborough on MSNBC weekdays 6-9am.

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 1/22/2009 7:38 PM  

  • Rachel,

    You said That said though, I am not generally a fan of the yes/no question... I prefer to read people's explanations of their views and positions, even if they do give a yes or no answer. I just think that there are times when a yes/no question is at least "okay", and giving examples of times when such a question is not okay doesn't change that.

    I say "ditto"

    If a person actually makes themselves clear there really is no need to ask a yes/no question.

    It's a shame that sometimes when there's an audience some people aren't interested in being clear.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/22/2009 8:04 PM  

  • Let us pray that Obama will not succeed in the policy preferences that he has made very clear. Today alone he signed executive orders that prevents "so-called" torture in the interrogation of terrorists and another executive order that increases the actual torture of unborn babies by easier access to abortion.

    Rush is 100% correct in his view.

    When Bush was president we were told that dissent and opposition was the sign of being a patriotic American. Now we are to believe we are supposed to hope and pray that Obama's ungodly, unrighteous, and liberty destroying policies succeed. GIVE ME A BREAK!

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 1/22/2009 10:36 PM  

  • Colin
    If believers pray for the Conservatives to win and this is in harmony with God's will, then He will use events and His influence to realise that outcome. However, this end might still be resisted by the free decisions of humans, demons and fallen angels.

    God's will is not done on earth until the kingdom comes.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 1/23/2009 5:28 AM  

  • Rose
    Yesterday?

    I had salami sandwiches for lunch and vegatable curry for dinner.

    I wore a plaid shirt, beige combat trousers and brown flip flops.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 1/23/2009 5:31 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Matthew:

    Matthew: Can you clarify your answer a bit more? On one hand, we have God using events and “influence” to “realise that outcome” which (on the face of it) I would take to mean that if He wants the Tories in power next election, then goodbye (good riddance?) Gordon Brown. Resistance by the groups you mention may be made, but will ultimately fail, for There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. (Proverbs 21:30)

    OTOH, you seem to deny all this (or, at least, your own opening statement, by assuring us that God's will is not done on earth until the kingdom comes. I would rightly assume that you are not saying that God’s will is never ever done on earth until Christ returns, but if it is God’s will for the Conservatives to win next election, can Gordon Brown and his supporters both on earth and in hell :o) still swing it?

    Regards,

    P/s Rose – do you feel like Salami sandwiches today? Or vegetable curry, for that matter? :o)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/23/2009 5:46 AM  

  • Wayne, I couldn't find any information on that 2nd exec order. Do you know where I could find it?

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/23/2009 8:24 AM  

  • And... Hi, Rose!

    Interesting play on the previous "yes" or "no" post. :)

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/23/2009 8:25 AM  

  • Missy,
    Try here:
    http://www.nowpublic.com/world/obama-executive-orders-will-fund-abortion-embryonic-stem-cell-research

    OR Google "obama executive orders"

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 1/23/2009 8:46 AM  

  • Matthew,
    You said....
    "However, this end might still be resisted by the free decisions of humans, demons and fallen angels."

    Do you believe in conflict of wills that humans, demons, and fallen angels wills negate and trump the decretive will of God?

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 1/23/2009 8:51 AM  

  • Hi Kev,
    I smiled at your little play on "ditto" heehee

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/23/2009 8:57 AM  

  • Rachel,
    I agree that Rush was probably trying to be provacative... as well as do a little straight talk. He is a needed voice, IMO. I want conservatism to make a comeback and it isn't going to if we all just have a big lovefest in the spirit of Obamamania.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/23/2009 8:59 AM  

  • Thanks for your comments, Bob.

    Wayne, I also agree with Rush. I don't want President Obama to get his way and "succeed" in getting some of the things that he has talked about, done. I can only hope that he is more moderate/conservative that he seemed to be in the campaign. That happens in reverse, right? A candidate or nominee will appear to be a conservative and then reveal more liberal tendencies when the rubber meets the road. So why can't I hope that the reverse might be true with Obama?

    Or, we can hope that he will develop while in office into more of a level-headed, more conservative leader.

    We can hope and we can pray.

    And we can gear up for the next election. Bobby Jindal is interesting to me.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/23/2009 9:32 AM  

  • Hi Missy - good to see you.

    Wayne, wasn't the execuative order the counterpart to Bush's first executive order? I remember Bush reversed some order that Clinton had made that effected how we fund overseaas abortions. Was Obama's just a reversal of that reversal or was it something more?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/23/2009 9:40 AM  

  • Matthew, I like salami sandwiches and vegetable curry, but I can't imagine ever wearing flip flops in January. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/23/2009 9:42 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Love making smiles.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/23/2009 5:09 PM  

  • Rose,

    Regarding the issue of providing tax money for non-governmental organizations that promote and/or provide abortions overseas... it's my understanding (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that Reagan "started" it by issuing an order prohibiting such funding. Bush Sr. extended the order. Clinton reversed the order. Then Bush Jr. reenacted the order. And now Obama has reversed it again.

    My guess is it's an easy card to play either way for a president to "payback" groups that helped him get elected. Democrats tend to have pro-choice groups as part of their base, while Republicans tend to have pro-life groups as part of their base.

    I'm not a one-issue voter, but for all those pro-life folks who voted for Obama... I hope the price they are already starting to pay ends up being worth it - somehow.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 1/23/2009 9:38 PM  

  • Rose,

    Clarity and precise articulation should be the hallmark of our theological expression. Furthermore, we ought to be careful to use terms the way that the Bible does.

    For instance. God does not have an "eternal" wrath. The Greek word "orge" when used with reference to God never has eternal implications, only for temporal. God's anger does not last forever.

    The terms involved with the saving message of Christ are an area as well which need more precise usage.

    As pertaining the present political landscape, I fear that we will no longer be able to recognize the country that we love so dearly four years from now.

    your free grace theology brother,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/24/2009 5:12 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Antonio:

    Sorry to disagree with you, Antonio, on the eternal wrath part.

    He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath [Greek: orge] of God abideth [Greek: meno] on him. John 3:36)

    The Greek word meno which is translated abideth in John 3:36 is the same word used to denote the faithfulness of God abiding in 2 Timothy 2:13 and is used again of the Son abiding forever in John 8:35

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/24/2009 5:29 PM  

  • I believe Antonio's fears about the country are well founded and I am dismayed that so many Christians do not seem to be able to recognize the consequences of the radical left agenda of Obama and his party.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 1/25/2009 8:33 AM  

  • Rose, hello.

    Antonio said Clarity and precise articulation should be the hallmark of our theological expression.

    If only it were so.

    He also said God's anger does not last forever.

    I must be careful not to abuse his statement but God will punish those who are against Him forever.

    Rev 20:10 Rev 14:9-11 Rev 19:1-3

    If God's wrath doesn't last forever why does the smoke of the torment of those under His wrath come up before His Throne forever?

    I do wish to be careful not abuse either Antonio's statement or the Scriptures but if I were no longer angry at someone I don't think I'd want the smoke of their burning flesh in my face for all eternity... of course my thoughts are not like His.... or his for that matter.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/25/2009 9:02 AM  

  • Colin's and Kevin's statements in their last respective posts are the type of theological dialogue tht is not able to get anywhere.

    Colin,

    "Abide", Gk "meno", in Jn 3:36, is in the present tense. God's temporal wrath is "dwelling" upon them because of their sins. God's anger presently burns against their sins (see Rom 1:18-19). In John 8:35 "abide" is modified by the word "forever" and in 2 Tim 2:13 we are talking about an attribute of an immutable Person. Of the 120 instances of "meno" in the N.T. only about a half dozen refer to some kind of eternal abiding, and of course, such is found out from the context of the word rather than some inherent meaning in the word itself. 99%+ of the usages refer to a temporary dwelling. The word means simply "to dwell" or "to stay". How long one dwells or stays must be determined by some other means then the word alone.

    Kevin,

    you said:
    ----------
    Antonio said Clarity and precise articulation should be the hallmark of our theological expression.

    If only it were so.

    ----------
    I take this as a positive thing. This makes me hopeful that you are anxious to continually test your theological expression and usage of terms against the Bible and to adjust accordingly. It seems that we all (I am including myself) have become very comfortable with sloppy and uncritical usage of terms, and imprecise in our theological expressions. Such ought not to remain the case.

    On to the other matter. The expression of God's anger is here in timenot in eternity. Rev 20:10 does not reference God's "orge", neither does Rev 19:1-3. Rev 14:9-11 does mention God's "orge". But we must be critical in our reading! Briefly, God's orge is temporal, and much proved in the book of Revelation. Its expression is only denoted in time and Rev 14:9-11 is no exception. We can study Rev 19:9-11 in the context of the book of Revelations, and it will bear this out. Rev 14:10 has two sentences. One talking about God's wrath and the other about the eternal consequence of receiving the Beast's mark. It is two different considerations. Drinking the wine of God's wrath is experiencing the judgments and tribulations on the earth for sin (see Rev 16:19, where the imagery of wine and wrath are used as well). Being in torment is an eternal consequence. Nowhere is wrath coupled with eternity. John is just saying that those with the mark of the beast will suffer God's temporal judgment on earth and will also go to hell.

    We must be discerning.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/25/2009 2:23 PM  

  • Hi Antonio:

    It is hard to understand why you should dismiss these arguments against your doctrine by stating that they are the type of theological dialogue that is not able to get anywhere. It leaves you open to the charge that you are merely trying to set yourself up on high by putting others down. I will refuse the temptation to respond in kind although I must point out that your dismissal of our doctrine of the eternal wrath of God with such words is a rejection of the teaching and proof texts of some of the greatest Evangelical preachers.

    I must ask you when does the wrath of God which currently burns against sinners (which you claim is but temporary) ceases to burn and why? Does the sinner still sin in hell? Is God still angry with those sins? Does God ever cease being angry with sin?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/25/2009 3:18 PM  

  • Antonio I agree we need to be discerning.

    Not to be picky but, it is the "Book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ" as the Apostle declares in the very first verse. It is not "Revelations." Though that is a popular title for the book in the world.

    This is the Eternal Judgment, the Second Death that lasts for Eternity. And the smoke is rising before the very Throne of Majesty in Heaven.

    This is not temporal. And it clearly says all those are going to be cast in the Lake of Fire. Not Hell.

    The booklet Hades and Eternal Punishment by A.J. Pollock is probably a helpful tool. More helpful than I would be to you personally.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/25/2009 8:41 PM  

  • Colin, you write:
    ----------
    It is hard to understand why you should dismiss these arguments against your doctrine by stating that they are the type of theological dialogue that is not able to get anywhere. It leaves you open to the charge that you are merely trying to set yourself up on high by putting others down.
    ----------
    What I meant was this. The discussions will not get anywhere if I alone am doing the homework and you seem to be merely taking shots in the dark. Your arguments are easily dismissed upon the lexical consideration of the usage of "meno". We are not going to get far when you use an argument that is easily falsified with a consideration of the lexical usage of meno (and the tense of "orge"). You looked hard for those instances where the "abiding" is eternal, and must have turned a blind eye to the 99%+ usages that are used of temporary dwellings. Something more than an appeal to a verse using "meno" in the present tense (meaning should be taken as presently abiding in time at this moment), an appeal to a verse using "meno" having the modifier "eis twn aiona" (forever), and a last verse using meno with respect to an attribute of an immutable and eternal Person, needs to be given in order for this dialogue to go forward.

    Why not show a reference that refers to God's "orge" in an eternal sense and you will have a point.

    I do my homework and attempt at all times to think critically and discern all possible objections to my statements before I make them.

    This is all that I meant. Dialogues do not go anywhere fast when the research is not being done by all the parties involved.

    With all due respect, an 18 year old with a semester in a class entitled "Greek Study Aids" (an actual class taught at a bible college I went to -- I didn't attend) would have simply looked at your verse and saw that meno was in the present tense, that there are no modifiers denoting eternality, that the other two verses you give in support have contextual and/or verbal modifiers which make the abiding eternal, and that 99+% of the uses of meno denote temporary dwelling.

    I find you to be a bright man, astute, and able to hold your own in any dialogue, therefore it surprised me that you forwarded a very ill-concieved and rash response.

    You write:

    I must ask you when does the wrath of God which currently burns against sinners (which you claim is but temporary) ceases to burn and why? Does the sinner still sin in hell? Is God still angry with those sins? Does God ever cease being angry with sin?

    I don't know if all your questions can be answered with an appeal to the scriptures.

    This one thing I know, only 5 out of the 36 usages of "orge" in the NT do not refer to God. Out of the 31 usages, not one denotes an anger that is eternal.

    Ps 30:4-5

    4 Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His,
    And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
    5 For His anger is but for a moment,
    NKJV

    Sin in time is met with God's wrath. But there will be a judgement scene for those who do not know Christ; the Great White Throne judgement. Books will be consulted, and then one book will be opened. And those whose names are not found in the book of life are sent to the lake of fire. It is by the unsaved's lack of eternal life that he goes to hell. It is not because of one's sins that they go to hell. Jesus Christ is the propititation for the WHOLE world. Hell is the appropriate place and natural consequence for those who do not have the life of God. Jesus died for the sins of the one who goes to hell. They are no longer the eternal issue between God and men. The issue of life is the determining factor of one's eternal destiny.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/25/2009 10:07 PM  

  • hey Kevin,

    Did I not include myself in that admonition?

    It seems that we all (I am including myself) have become very comfortable with sloppy and uncritical usage of terms, and imprecise in our theological expressions. Such ought not to remain the case.

    You write:
    ----------
    Not to be picky but, it is the "Book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ" as the Apostle declares in the very first verse. It is not "Revelations." Though that is a popular title for the book in the world.
    ----------
    Stipulated. Thank you for this admonition. The last book of the bible, that great apocalypse given by the Apostle John is the Book of the Revelation (gk: apokalupsis) of Jesus Christ. Your clarification is duly noted.

    You write:
    ----------
    This is the Eternal Judgment, the Second Death that lasts for Eternity. And the smoke is rising before the very Throne of Majesty in Heaven.

    This is not temporal.
    ----------
    I stipulate this. But just because this information is the case, doesn't mean that the torment that they experience is because of God's wrath. Nowhere does the Bible explain one's eternity in the lake of fire as an expression of God's anger. This is your assumption which is not supported by any text.

    you write:
    ----------
    And it clearly says all those are going to be cast in the Lake of Fire. Not Hell.
    ----------
    Yes, the Book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ names the final abode of the unsaved "the lake of fire". Furthermore, Jesus calls it "gehenna" which, for some reason or another, has been translated as "hell" in the synoptics. Gehenna or the lake of fire are the precise and biblical terms.

    I stand humbly corrected and appreciate your admonitions.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/25/2009 10:23 PM  

  • Good morning, Rose/Antonio:

    Antonio:

    I have just removed an entire paragraph from my typed up (on Word) response. The closing sentence of the paragraph was this: ” However, I am not here to cross swords with you on your style of debate.

    John 3:36 supplies its own commentary.

    There is in John 3:36 a soul that continually refuses to believe on the Son of God and therefore will not see life. That soul, while in its state of unbelief, has the wrath of God abiding upon it. The soul that does not believe in time:

    (a) continues to exist in eternity
    (b) remains in a present experience of unbelief
    (c) remains therefore under a present experience of the wrath of God

    The questions which I pose can be answered from the Scriptures, otherwise I would not have posed them.

    1) [In effect] Does the wrath of God cease to burn against sinners? ANSWER:- No. As long as the soul remains in a state of unbelief then the wrath of God continues to abide

    2) [In effect] Why does it cease to burn? ANSWER:- Unnecessary question because of the answer of v1 that affirms that it does not cease to burn. Question originally asked to draw out further an erroneous claim.

    3) Does the sinner still sin in hell? ANSWER:- Yes. The Rich man in Luke 16 continued to contradict the will of God as expressed by Father Abraham. Furthermore, what is in hell that prevents the soul from sinning?

    4) Is God still angry with those sins? ANSWER:- Yes – God must always be angry with sin, unless that sin be forgiven. Your text from Psalm 30:5 clearly refers to the Lord’s saints. You seem here to be applying a benefit of salvation to those who are not saved.

    Your statement ”It is not because of one's sins that they go to hell.” is appalling. It has no place within the broad Evangelical basis of belief.

    I concur entirely with HA Ironside’s comments on John 3:36

    ”But Scripture says, “He that [obeyeth] not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Notice the tense, abideth on him. You cannot logically couple the thought of abiding wrath with extinction of being. And so this verse solemnly warns us that if we do not put our trust in Christ in this life, the wrath of God must abide upon us in eternity.

    Ironside takes the standard Evangelical position that those who die in their sins have the eternal wrath of God abiding upon them.

    Furthermore (same reference) he continues (no break) to tell us from whom Christ has settled the sin issue:

    But in order that this might never be, Jesus has died. He has settled the sin question for all who believe. [Emphasis mine] God has given the record of it in His Word. The Holy Spirit has come from heaven to bear witness to it. And if you and I believe, we may know we have everlasting life.

    You have the sin question settled for believer and unbeliever alike, hence your non Evangelical statement. HA Ironside, wisely and Scripturally, limits it to those who believe.

    Last point, again from John 3:36, the Greek word for wrath is orge. Even EW Bullinger (who, like you, denied that God’s wrath eternally abides against the wicked in hell) admits that orge means ”[permanent] wrath” Bullinger continues: ”Not ‘thumos’ which = [temporary] wrath. (Companion Bible)

    Sorry, Rose, that I don’t have access to our mutual friend, JVM, on this verse :o( Maybe you could enlighten us somewhat on his views?

    Homework done :o)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/26/2009 4:43 AM  

  • Wayne

    "Do you believe in conflict of wills that humans, demons, and fallen angels wills negate and trump the decretive will of God?"

    Yes.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 1/26/2009 9:24 AM  

  • Colin
    "I would take to mean that if He wants the Tories in power next election, then goodbye (good riddance?) Gordon Brown. Resistance by the groups you mention may be made, but will ultimately fail"

    God could certainly force the Tories into power, but it does not seem this is how God normally operates. The fact that the world is full of disobedience to God's revealed will indictates the reality of angelic, demonic and human free-will.

    "There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." (Proverbs 21:30)

    You need to take liteary genre into account. Proverbs is a book of generalised sayings. We should not see in them precise theological statements.

    That saying simply indicates that God is stronger than His opponents and His will shall ultimately prevail.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 1/26/2009 9:29 AM  

  • Matthew:

    (I think I lost my reply in cyber space) :o( A shorter reply:

    1) Proverbs in part of the inspired Scripture and therefore profitsable for the very thing which you are trying here to exclude i.e. doctrine (2 Timothy 3:15)

    If what you say is true, I will also avoid it when I need direction or comfort etc.,

    2) While Wayne can answer for himself, yet your reply to him re: God makes me feel very sorry for Giod indeed.

    3) If God to Satan must bow (at least in some things) then why do you pray to God for the Tories at all? It seems to me that you would be praying to the Devil who seems to be more powerful.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/26/2009 9:56 AM  

  • Antonio, I'll have to get back to you on the Lake of Fire and it's connection to God's Wrath. If I'm making assumption then that would be error.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/26/2009 11:23 AM  

  • Matthew,
    By decretive will, I am distinguishing between God's will of precept vs. God's will of decree.

    Surely, you do not believe God's will of decree can be thwarted by anyone, do you?

    If so, then Satan could have took Jesus out before his ministry even started............

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 1/26/2009 11:47 AM  

  • Antonio, I was going to quote John 3:36 as well.

    There is also the fact of eternal condemnation for those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit. This is an eternal judgment. It is surely not temporal.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 1/26/2009 3:06 PM  

  • Colin,

    Why don't we make a study of all the usages of "orge" in the N.T. and examine its usage. If my recollection is correct, I think it is roughly 36 usages. Not a single one denotes a wrath that is expressed in eternity. Not a single. In light of this factual testimony, I don't know why anyone would want to be quick to jump the gun and assume that God's wrath is executed in eternity. If the bible does not state that God's wrath is executed in eternity, neither should we.

    Your appeal to John 3:36 is full of assumption after assumption. There are many ways to take that verse, and philosophical and theological arguments against what you say.

    Take for instance your #1:

    "1) [In effect] Does the wrath of God cease to burn against sinners? ANSWER:- No. As long as the soul remains in a state of unbelief then the wrath of God continues to abide"

    There is a tasteless joke that I have seen circuit Christian circles. In the context, they are talking about an unbeliever who died. Lets say his name was so-and-so. Their comment would somewhat state this:

    "So-and-so is a believer now!"

    "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:10-11)

    The unsaved dead will indeed believe that Jesus is Lord and Christ, and will confess such. Yet their time is over by which they can believe in Him to receive everlasting life. They are confirmed in their lost state. This consideration alone falsifies your #1 argument, and the only one by which your argument attached to this text.

    Furthermore, the text does not preclude the idea (please correct me if I am wrong) that the wrath will forever abide on him. Certainly while the man is living, it abides. Remember in our study that 99+% of the usages of "orge" denote temporary dwellings. This reference in John 3:36 does not have any modifiers to express eternality.

    Surely we must admit that once an unbeliever dies he no longer has a chance to believe in Christ for salvation, although he will believe that Jesus is Lord. He is confirmed in his sin. And at the Great White Throne Judgment, the unsaved receive the natural consequence of their sins, the corruption and torment of the lake of fire.

    The only opportunity that man has to believe is in this present temporality. When the opportunity is over, and one has missed it, he no longer can believe in Christ for eternal life. To be under eternal wrath for such could be likened to this scenario:

    Imagine for a moment that a dad told his high IQ son, "Son, your mother and I understand your great scholastic potential. We fully expect you to live up to that standard at school, because we know you can get straight A's. If you don't get straight A's, it would be because you are wasting your time, being lazy, and disobeying us. If you get straight A's, we are going to buy you a car."

    Let us say that during this time, the parents found the son wasting his time and being lazy. In their righteous anger, they mete out punishments of various sorts that are commensurate with the infractions. At the time of the report card, the son gets C's, D's, and an F. This is the end! There is no more opportunity to get the car. Now he must face the NATURAL CONSEQUENCE of his actions: being without a car. It would be fully innapropriate for the parents to continue to express their anger when the opportunity for the son has expired, and the son has received the natural consequence of his sin. It would actually be quite sinful and morally questionable for the parents to continue to burn in their anger. The opportunity is over, and the son received his just desserts.

    2) Why does it cease to burn? Let us look at the evidence. Not once verse in the whole of the Bible stipulates that the wrath of God operates in eternity. You are in a dearth of verses. If John 3:36 is all that you have, then there are just too many holes with your argument to make this verse be your all in all.

    Everywhere in the bible when wrath is executed by God, it is in the context of time, not a single verse pictures God's anger lasting forever, or inflicted on anyone in eternity. And let us not mince words. God's anger can burn against the saved as well (see Rom 1:18-19 for a universal statement to that effect).

    Jesus died for all the sins that the unsaved commit. He died for them all, from the day of their birth until the day of their death. Thus the sinner does not go to hell because of his sins. Jesus is the propitiation of not only our sins but the sins of the whole world. When eternity is ushered in, and the judgements have been passed, the unsaved receive the end of their behaviors, their just desserts, so to speak. They go to hell because they do not have eternal life. If they were to go to hell because of their sin, then that would be a double jeopardy. Would the One who always does right cause a crime to be paid for twice? God forbid!

    The unsaved experience the natural consequences of their sins. They must abide in a place of corruption forever. A fitting place for those who do not have God's life.

    In all this, we must realize that in the eternal perspective of God, all sins have been dealt with on the basis of Christ's death. Thus the lost sinner goes to hell, not because of his sin, but because it is the "only appropriate place for unregenerate people who die in their sins."

    "The unsaved man cannot enter life, since he has no divine life within him. Thus he must be put into the one habitat that is suitable for him. That is Gehenna." (Zane Hodges, What do we mean by propitiation?, Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 2006).

    3) Ironside has used the present tense argument that has been shown to be fallacious by such people as Carson, and Louw and Nida. Present tense does not have an inherent durative characteristic. If it did, we would find ourselves in many troubles of absurdity in both the bible and everyday communication.

    You are discussing men's opinions. Therefore, you are letting other people do your homework. Why not do a word study on orge and thumos? You will come to the realization that my data is correct. God's wrath is never described as being executed in any other place but this temporal earth.

    As a final word:

    Imagine God being angry forever! The thought is contrary to reason and scripture.

    I don't know if you have ever seen the movie, The Return of the Jedi, which is episode 6 in the Star Wars saga. In it, the emperor sought to turn Luke Skywalker to the dark side of the force. He thought that such a turning would be complete if he killed Darth Vader, his father. There was a great fight, and Luke could have killed his father. The emperor told him to finish Darth Vader off. But Luke turned off his lightsaber and said, "No. You have not won. I will not turn to the dark side." Then the emperor said, "Then you will die!"

    At this point the emperor has the most hideous and angry face coloring his entire countenance. In his anger and hate he zaps Luke Skywalker with lightning from his fingertips.

    But I can never forget the face. When I picture God expressing His anger for eternity, I think of the emperor's face as he zaps Luke. That is not a picture of God that sits well with me -- God being angry for eternity.

    Those of us who have felt and expressed anger do not ever want to have a prolonged bout of it. The feeling of anger and its expression is something that we Christians all hope to have subside.

    As a final illustration:

    A mother's son is shot by a gangbanger in cold blood. The woman is full of anger. She knows who the culprit is, but the police don't have the proof to convict him. Because of the dangerous business that is being in a gang, this murderer is himself shot and killed. The ordeal is over. The woman's anger against that man will subside. He has recieved the natural consequence for his iniquity.

    Antonio da Rosa

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/26/2009 10:39 PM  

  • To be under eternal wrath for such could be likened to this scenario:

    should be

    My position could be likened to this scenario

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/26/2009 11:39 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Antonio:

    Rose: I appreciate you hosting this discussion with Antonio. Sorry that it seems to have moved from the original post. I ask you (and others) to intervene below for the purposes of clarification.

    Antonio: The Bible is a Perfectly Unified Book. Word studies are fine and acceptable, but words fit into sentences and sentences into verses and verses into chapters etc., until we have one, complete, perfect, Book that is 100% consistent with itself.

    When I read my One, Perfectly Unified Book, I read of people dying in their sins and going to hell. I read that hell is a place of torment where the fire is unquenched and where the worm dieth not. I read that the smoke of their torment rises for eternity. (I’m sure that you are aware of the various references and since I must keep moving this rather busy Tuesday morning, I’ll forgo looking them up myself.)

    It is true that some references to the wrath orge of God evidently have a temporal aspect to them. No one is claiming that the word always carries an eternal aspect to it. Ephesians 4:31 is a classic example, where we are called upon to put away our orge etc., But there are many other references that refer to the wrath of God and that in hell. For example, in Romans 5:9, our justification by the blood of Jesus Christ means that we are saved from orge through Him. Does this mean that we are saved from earthly wrath? In your non-mincing of words, you claim that “the wrath of God can burn against the saved as well.” Evidently then, this cannot be the orge that Christians are saved from, for the justifying blood of Christ ensures that we are saved from orge through Him. It is therefore a reference to the orge of God that “is to come” (Matthew 3:7) Mr Spurgeon rightly observed that there is always wrath to come in hell.

    You are playing havoc with the gospel by introducing the matter of people in hell at last confessing that Christ is Lord. The faith that lifts the wrath of God from our shoulders in John 3:36 is a saving faith. If your notion that the folk in hell are no longer under the wrath of God because they are brought at last to confess that Jesus is Lord, then any one who makes that confession here on earth – even if they have no desire to be saved in the Evangelical sense of the word – will be saved anyway. I must put this among your more reckless statements.

    Perhaps some of the other FGers who frequent this blog could comment on this matter. Is Antonio here on a solo run with this thought or is this standard fare on the FG menu? If any one from my Evangelical camp made a statement like that, I would immediately rush to distance myself from it.

    Secondly, your various references to human situations fail to take on board the deep anger which God has against sin. I have never seen the Jedi or Darth Vader films (apart from the odd trailer clip on film reviews on TV which leaves me none the wiser.) I certainly wouldn’t let them influence the way I read the Bible. If this is the standard by which you are judging the orge of God against sin, then you will probably find the Saviour’s words in Luke 16:19-31 very repulsive indeed. Naturally, I wouldn’t put the orge of God verses among my personal favourites, but I dare not water them down as you are doing.

    I find this debate rather sad. I can accept easier the debate among Evangelicals over (say) the Doctrines of Grace. I find I can still read men like JVM or HAI etc., with profit. By and large, the basic gospel is still secure. They still have God pouring out His wrath in Hell against sinners, not in any unjust way with a hideous face, but in righteousness and holiness etc., In this debate, the Evangelical goalposts are being shifted. Doubtless it is an exciting thing to do, but it is also dangerous. I think I will stick to the old paths.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/27/2009 4:51 AM  

  • Wayne,

    I think you need to define what you mean by God's decretal will.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 1/27/2009 7:08 AM  

  • Colin,
    1) Proverbs has great value for doctrine. However, to gain that value we have to take into account its liteary character. That way, we can understand the insights it gives.

    Proverbial sayings can have a huge amount of meaningful content that gives much insight into many areas of life (and hence God's creation- there hangs part of your doctrinal content) but they must be read in a quite different way to how we read the Westminister confession or the Athanasian creed (or the book of Revelation to use a biblical contrast).

    2) As I said, God could choose to defeat Satan instantly, but He has chosen to do so in time and allow Satan to engage in a course of warfare for a season.

    Would we not think a fighter was greater if he thought genuinely powerful opponents, as opposed to taking part in a fixed fight with a fixed outcome?

    3) You seem to be suggesting that I am arguing that God is powerless to affect the course of history.

    This is quite contrary to what I am saying. God is able to influence the outcome of events through many means.

    While God may not fix the outcome of the next UK election so that the Tories win, if believers pray about the outcome and it is God's will for a Tory victory, God's actions can make it very likely.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 1/27/2009 7:20 AM  

  • Matthew,

    Thanks for your note.

    1) I must say that I read Proverbs entirely different from how I read the WCF. I accept that the WCF is a human document and could therefore be wrong, although (by and large) I believe it to be right. OTOH: I believe Proverbs was given by inspiration and if it says that there is no counsel against the Lord (i.e. no successful counsel against the Lord cp. Psalm 2:1-2) then unless God is either mistaken or being deceptive. I believe that my salvation is due, through means. To the counsel of God to save me. I certainly wasn’t saved through chance! Furthermore, I have no inkling to trace my salvation to anything from within myself. If there is successful counsel against the Lord, then my salvation is not so sure. All those great promises may be “Yea and Amen!” in Jesus Christ, but then, all those lovely things about Jesus Christ just aren’t as sure any more. Jesus said that He would build His church. I hope He meant it and I hope that He can do it, (I speak as a fool!)

    2) I have no problems with God taking Satan on over a number of rounds (as opposed to the k.o. blow after 2 seconds in the ring) Your comments on this second point seem to allow the possibility of a Satanic victory. Is it not fixed already that every knee (including that of Satan) will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father? Is it less great if you answer in the affirmative?

    3) If the Tories should win the next lesson, it will be because through the Wisdom of God that they will reign (Proverbs 8:15) Of course, we will all go to the ballot box and vote according to our consciences. But God won’t be sitting up through the night, tuned into the BBC/ITV, to see whether or not, His preferred choice have scraped over the 300 odd seats needed for an outright majority. If God knows beforehand who will win the next election, then it is certain because you cannot foreknow an uncertainty.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/27/2009 7:40 AM  

  • Colin

    1) "I believe Proverbs was given by inspiration and if it says that there is no counsel against the Lord (i.e. no successful counsel against the Lord cp. Psalm 2:1-2)"

    I notice that you don't interpret the verse literally. We both agree that there is counsel against the Lord, but that it is unsucessful.

    I believe that counsel against the Lord is ultimately unsuccessful because the Lord will have the ultimate victory in defeating Satan. However, I do believe that in the history, Satan may have his temporal successes; as seen in the evil course of the age.

    I think you would go a bit further and view those temporal victories of Satan as occurring within the determinative will of God.

    2) Perhaps it is a matter of semantics, but I would not say 'fixed'.

    I believe that God has total foreknowledge of the future, so God's victory will certainly happen (I know there are some difficult philosophical issues in the relation between free-will and foreknowledge, but I do not think that they are incompatible).

    I would also say that God's victory is ensured by His infinite wisdom and power which none can ultimately defeat.

    3) "But God won’t be sitting up through the night, tuned into the BBC/ITV, to see whether or not, His preferred choice have scraped over the 300 odd seats needed for an outright majority."

    True, because God knows the outcome beforehand. But I would argue that this does not mean He has determined it.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 1/27/2009 8:07 AM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    I suppose we will have to agree to disagree!

    Last point: I do take Proverbs 21:30 literally. I must interpet it relatively since Psalm 2 forbids me to interpet it absolutely - but I am prepared to hang a lot more on it than you do.

    Thanks for your time

    P/s Do you run with Antonio's point above that the Confession of the lost in hell that Jesus is Lord lifts the wrath of God from them? I have never seen you write anything like this...but then again, I am on a learning curve with the thoughts of the FG community :o)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/27/2009 8:39 AM  

  • Colin, not a point I had ever considered. Antonio is pretty smart and I often end up agreeing with him (except about the rapture and taste in music).

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 1/27/2009 9:13 AM  

  • Rose, are you feeling victorious today?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 1/27/2009 9:17 AM  

  • Hi Matthew!
    How wonderful to see your question.
    To answer: not quite as I should. The snow and cold has got me down a little.

    God will win in the end. Surely he will banish snow and cold.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/27/2009 9:26 AM  

  • Colin,
    I am just taking it all in and thinking about it.

    Honestly, whether or not God would be eternally angry was not something I had ever considered before. I tend to think the "dealt with it" aspect Antonio is mentioning makes sense though.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/27/2009 9:27 AM  

  • Hi Sis. I hope you’ll forgive me for joining in this discussion that has strayed from your post.

    Colin I love you, but…. ;-)

    You said:

    “You are playing havoc with the gospel by introducing the matter of people in hell at last confessing that Christ is Lord. If your notion that the folk in hell are no longer under the wrath of God because they are brought at last to confess that Jesus is Lord, then any one who makes that confession here on earth – even if they have no desire to be saved in the Evangelical sense of the word – will be saved anyway. I must put this among your more reckless statements.”

    Antonio did not say this. I understood his point to be that your premise that unbelief was the reason that the wrath of God was eternal could not be valid because those in hell most certainly confess and believe that Jesus is Lord. The remainder of your argument would then seem to me an agreement against your own position and by no means a reason to make any distance from Antonio.

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/27/2009 9:36 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Matthew:

    No one doubts that Antonio is smart - but is he scriptural?

    Another thought re: John 3:36 and the confession in Philippians 2:10 that supposedly lifts the anger of God.

    Is "confessing that Jesus is Lord" by the citizens of hell in Philippians 2:10 an act of faith - such as is spoken of in John 3:36? I say that "Jesus is Lord"now in an act of faith. I battle off the doubters like atheists, agnostics etc., and in faith make my confession. I expect to be fully vindicated for my stand on this issue and I am willing to wait God's own time for this to happen.

    Wherein is the faith of the wicked dead in Philippians 2:10? By then, no act of faith will be needed when the facts will be fully revealed so that even the wicked could not deny it, even if they wanted to.

    Surely you must both admit that Antonio's answer to John 3:36 seems pretty unique? From both your answers so far, there is certainly "not shooting it out of the water" as I might have expected.

    Only might" :o)

    Kc: Surely unbelief is actually John’s inspired point why the wrath of God abides on the unbeliever? I contend that the wicked dead never come to faith in Christ and therefore the wrath of God continues to abide upon them. It was Antonio who introduced the thought of the wicked confessing that Christ is Lord as if this satisfied the argument from John. As indicated above, it can hardly by that stage be called an act of faith? Even if it should be called an act of faith, yet it is a saving act of faith? Millions of people around the world confess that Jesus is Lord, but we do not count them among the Redeemed?

    P/s Love you too…

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/27/2009 9:51 AM  

  • Good catch, Casey - you lurker :~)
    I wasn't reading carefully enough, but now that I looked it over again, I see you are right.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/27/2009 9:52 AM  

  • Thanks Sis and to you dear brother Colin as well.

    It may be best to let Antonio clarify his position but I hope he would agree that those referenced in John do not come to the knowledge of Christ by God’s grace through faith but rather by witness of the all mighty power and judgment of God, but still they do know beyond a shadow of doubt that Jesus is Lord.

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/27/2009 10:19 AM  

  • Kc:-

    I agree that Antonio should clarify his views here.

    If (or IMVHO "since") he is wrong - would you then hold with me that John 3:36 teaches that as long as the unbeliever remains in his state of unbelief that the wrath of God abides upon him. Therefore for the chronic unbeliever who will die without faith in Christ, this then will be forever and ever, world without end. Amen?

    Yes or no? :o)
    (To try and at least acknowledge the original intention of Rose's post)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/27/2009 10:34 AM  

  • Sis you’ve got to be at least giggling by this point! ;-)

    Colin I never did beat my wife! (hehe)

    Brother I’m with you down to the “therefore”. I would understand the scripture to state that everyone will confess that Jesus is Lord. Doesn’t this mean that the unbeliever will come to believe, not by faith but by proof, in judgment?

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/27/2009 10:46 AM  

  • Kc:-

    Exactly. So my point stands, then, does it not?

    We cannot invoke, as Antonio has done, Philippians 2:10 to answer John's (3:36) threat of wrath abiding on the believer. The unbeliever dies and ever remains an unbeliever. Therefore the wrath of God abides on him for all eternity, hence the eternal wrath of God.

    P/s I'm glad you don't beat your wife. I hope she doesn't beat you :o)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/27/2009 11:14 AM  

  • (Thankfully no, she’s never tried but I fear she could take me! :-0)

    Brother thanks once more for your kindness in discussing these things. I’ll have to assume a safe posture once more (lurking) and see what has yet to unfold.
    ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/27/2009 11:32 AM  

  • I do giggle a lot when you and Colin are around, KC :~)
    I think it is such a provacative and interesting point of discussion that I decided to create a post on it, rather than avoid it any longer. Feel free to continue here or go to the new post and post your thoughts.

    I don't have time to study it out so I am going hope some comments get me started for now. John and I talked about it this morning. He will rpbably find it interesting too - if he ever gets time.

    BTW - he posted this morning on the Earnest Contender if anyone wants to check it out.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/27/2009 11:34 AM  

  • Matthew,
    God's will of decree cannot be overridden by anyone. EXAMPLE: Acts 2:23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

    Whereas his will of precept can be overridden: EXAMPLE:
    Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder.

    Accurate prophecy would be impossible if God were not sovereign!

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 1/27/2009 1:04 PM  

  • provocative

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/27/2009 1:10 PM  

  • Hi All,

    Interesting subject, yes. Much talk... and many assumptions and traditions being questioned.

    I must say that Colin did have me wrong. My argument does not state that because lost men and women will believe in the hereafter that the wrath of God is not on them.

    Casey picked up on what I thought you all should have, that the reason I discuss Phil 2 is that it throws a monkey wrench at Colin's position removing the premise of his argument.

    Remember, in theological discussions we must be clear and precise. If there was some other considerations to his argument, they should be included.

    I believe if you read me more critically, you would not fall into errors. I try very hard to be precise. If I fail, I am sorry. I will try harder.

    The reason that there is no eternal wrath of God in eternity is:

    1) Jesus Christ is the Propitiation for the sins of the world. God is eternally satisfied with the death of Christ. God's eternal justice has been served on Christ. Therefore, no one goes to hell as a judicial penalty for sin. They go to hell because they do not have eternal life and as a natural result of dying in their sin.

    2) At death, the time for the lost to receive Christ is over. They are forever confirmed in this state. They receive the natural consequence for their sin (opposed to a judicial penalty for sin), which is eternal corruption (we must remember the law of sowing and reaping in Gal 6:6-7). Like the woman in my above illustration whose wrath subsides because the murderer of her son received the natural consequence of his sin, so God's wrath ends when the lost reap the natural consequence of their sin, an eternity of separation from God.

    I hope now that I have made myself clear!

    Your free grace brother,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/27/2009 5:54 PM  

  • I re-read what I wrote, and I want to make a clarification.

    I wrote:
    ----------
    I believe if you read me more critically, you would not fall into errors.
    ----------
    I didn't mean that if you read me more critically that you will have no theological errors (although I do admit that I am convinced that what I am stating is truth, mind you) :) :) :)

    I merely meant that if you read me critically, you won't fall into errors of misunderstanding what I am saying.

    But maybe you will... who knows!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/27/2009 5:57 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/27/2009 5:57 PM  

  • I didn't want to sound puffed up or prideful, and I thought that my statement could have been taken that way.

    Here I go rambling again.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/27/2009 5:58 PM  

  • Oh,


    and, "Hi!" again, Rose!!



    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/27/2009 5:59 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Antonio:

    Antonio: I’m afraid your Philippians 2 argument threw a monkey wrench at more than my position! You haven’t explained the relevance of why it was necessary to introduce it. My attempt to take some kind of reason from it has failed and you haven’t put it into the context of the ongoing debate. All it has done (so far) is create a distraction that isn’t relevant to the main discussion.

    My point therefore still stands. As long as the unbeliever remains so – effectively calling God a liar – then the wrath of God continues to abide upon him. This wrath is lifted when the unbeliever becomes a believer. Then (and only then) is he no longer under condemnation (John 5:24) We both know and admit that this cannot be done after death. Your second point above is clear: 2) At death, the time for the lost to receive Christ is over. They are forever confirmed in this state. Agreed. Therefore as long as the unbelieving soul exists (and it does for all eternity) the wrath of God continues to abide upon it. Only a conversion can bring the soul out from this state of condemnation and abiding wrath – and in hell ,that ain’t going to happen. Furthermore (the point which Rose has helpfully given space to in the next posting) the soul keeps on sinning, keeps on being void of saving faith, and keeps on bringing fresh wrath upon its head.

    The issue of whom Christ made propitiation for belongs to another debate – one which we often combed over on this and other blogs. I don’t want to get into that debate again and we do not need to. Suffice to say this, that there are those within Evangelicalism, but without the Reformed camp, who teach (even if ultimately illogically) that the wicked are in hell as a judicial punishment for their sins. All the aspects of a judiciary are there. We have a crime – witnesses - a charge – a Judge – a jury – a guilty verdict already – a sentence – and a prison house. Yet according to you, we do not have a judicial punishment.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/28/2009 6:19 AM  

  • Hi Sis, Colin.

    Colin I think I understand why and where we’re not connecting now. We both agree that the lost in hell do not and cannot have saving faith. It seems you are saying that saving faith is the only means whereby these lost in hell could possibly believe that Jesus is Lord and therefore they do not and cannot believe that Jesus is Lord. Is this correct?

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/28/2009 8:52 AM  

  • Hi Kc,

    In effect what I am saying is that those who are in hell cannot exercise saving faith. This being so, they are still (obviously) unbelievers and therefore still abiding under the wrath of God as threatened in John 3:36. I therefore draw the only conclusion that is possible i.e. that God’s wrath is displayed in hell and therefore is eternal.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/28/2009 10:04 AM  

  • Hi Sis.

    Colin would you then say that those lost in hell confess that Jesus is Lord but do not believe it?

    (I'm not trying to be smart. This just seems the quickest way to clear the confusion.)
    ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/28/2009 10:21 AM  

  • I hope you don't mind if I jump in on this discussion. :~)

    Colin,
    You said:
    those who are in hell cannot exercise saving faith. This being so, they are still (obviously) unbelievers

    I think I am just going to take this comment up to the other thread. Is that OK?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/28/2009 10:31 AM  

  • Hi Kc,

    Yes, they believe it in that they will bow the knee and confess it (Philippians 2:10) However, it can never be called saving faith and therefore should not be equated with what we read in John 3:36 and this leaves my argument from John 3:36 standing intact. I am unsure why Antonio saw it necessary to introduce Philippians 2:10 into the debate. IMO, all it has done is confuse the issue, or (to use his own illustration) throw a monkey wrench into the middle of it.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/28/2009 10:33 AM  

  • Go ahead, Rose. On both accounts.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/28/2009 10:34 AM  

  • Antonio,
    I really appreciate your answers here. Thank you. I am quoting you in the comments of the above post. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/28/2009 10:37 AM  

  • Hi Sis.

    Colin thanks, as always, for your clarity. If I understand your argument then it is not that those in hell do not believe in Christ that maintains God’s wrath but rather that they do not and cannot have saving faith. Is this correct?

    By Blogger Kc, at 1/28/2009 10:49 AM  

  • I hope you fellows don't mind if I butt in (Hi Rose!).

    Colin, I wouldn't mind your opinion on a thought this conversation brings up.

    If Jesus did not come to the earth to redeem mankind, would the gospel save anyone? If we answer "no" (as we ought), then we recognize that the "saving faith" can only save if that which is trusted is actually supplied or promised.

    The thought that immediately comes into my mind is that it is not valid to reason that the same offers made to men before judgment (the gospel offer), is available to men after judgment;

    That being the case, I don't expect that there will be even one sinner in hell who does not fully and ardently believe the truth of the gospel, but believing that the gospel offer was valid during creation, will by no means be a means of salvation to them, since it was a "limited time offer" as it were.

    Would you agree with that, or am I missing the point?

    By Blogger Daniel, at 1/28/2009 10:52 AM  

  • KC,
    Ooh! ooh! ooh! Can I guess?? :~)

    I think Colin will say it is because they are confirmed sinners.

    Am I right?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/28/2009 10:59 AM  

  • Daniel,
    If you don't mind, I think you are right... and that also covers the demons - they might believe that God is one, but they are confirmed in their wickedness and therefore there is no seeking God or finding Him, no offer of salvation for deomons.

    Comparing the faith of those in hell is akin to comparing faith of demons. These are different ballgames than living, breathing human beings.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/28/2009 11:02 AM  

  • Kc:-

    The people in hell have no option but to believe in Christ. They will discover all that He said about Himself was true, and therefore it cannot be denied. But it is too late for them to do anything about it. Their day of grace and gospel opportunity is gone. Therefore, seeing they do not believe on Him (in the saving sense of the word as envisaged in John 3:36) then they are still abiding under the wrath of God and will continue to do so.

    Again (as the new post takes up the thought) they continue to sin and therefore continue to pull down more wrath upon their heads.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/28/2009 11:04 AM  

  • Was I right, Colin? It is because they are confirmed sinners?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/28/2009 11:20 AM  

  • Wow! This is a fast moving debate. 3 of you are awaiting an answer (and I am in the middle of sermon preparation on the Lord thinking of me because I am poor and needy: Psalm 40:17)

    Daniel, I tend to agree with you, but Rose’s guess at my answer seems to see a question in there that I cannot find (?) You did not ask a “why” question but Rose has me going to supply one. (?)

    Re: the wicked in hell. Do you think, Rose, that they are beyond thoughts or feeling? Are they in a kind of vegetative state? Are they still rational? Wherein lies the torment and the remembering that we read of in Luke 16? Do they (as Daniel asked above) love the Lord their God with all their heart and soul and mind? Are they required to? Does God require this of His creatures or are they excused from it? If required, can they deliver? If they don’t, then surely this is sin?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/28/2009 11:25 AM  

  • Oops!

    Re: the wicked in hell. Do you think, Rose, that they are beyond thoughts or feeling? Are they in a kind of vegetative state? Are they still rational? Wherein lies the torment and the remembering that we read of in Luke 16? Do they (as Daniel asked above) love the Lord their God with all their heart and soul and mind? Are they required to? Does God require this of His creatures or are they excused from it? If required, can they deliver? If they don’t, then surely this is sin? belongs to the other post. I'll transfer it there.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/28/2009 11:27 AM  

  • Still working on my sermon. but keeping an eye on these debates. Came across this quote in my preparation (My context: God has thought of peace towards us, including the sinner who seeks it. Otherwise (drawn from the parable in Luke 14:30-31) they are thoughts of war.

    Cue: Christ coming In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (2 Thessalonians 1:8)

    Surely, "...flaming fire... taking vengeance...punished with everlasting destruction..." = everlasting punishment?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/28/2009 11:54 AM  

  • Where's Missy for the 100th post?

    The way we're going, she'd need to be in about 17:30 BST (or 12:30 USA time)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/28/2009 11:55 AM  

  • Thanks for the heads-up, Colin. I'm watching - will strike when necessary. :)

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/28/2009 2:17 PM  

  • While I wait, may I ask what "wrath" is? Is it vengeance or correction? I think that would certainly make a difference in consideration.

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/28/2009 2:22 PM  

  • Hi Missy,

    Certainly the wrath of God in hell is not corrective. Those who go there are beyond any correction or redemption.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/28/2009 2:27 PM  

  • Hi Missy,

    That is a good question. I think we must be very careful to distinguish between human wrath and God's wrath, which is what I was alluding to when I mentioned earlier about Antonio's seeming denial of God's impassibility.

    God's wrath is not some sort of emotion that flares up in God when he sees some heinous sin occurring, then later calms down, as it happens in us. This is why I think Antonio has the wrong perspective. He seems to be saying that God could never be all bent out of shape (wrathful like Palpatine's face) for all eternity, apparently believing that the above is an accurate description of God's wrath.

    My view is that God's "wrath" is more like appropriate rejection and/or judgment. Thus, IMO, to say that God's "wrath" is upon someone for eternity is tantamount to saying that God's "judgment" is upon them for eternity.

    However, if one desires to separate some sort of "feeling" of "wrath" from actual judgment, that still doesn't impact my view. As I said earlier, God does not need "wrath" to execute a sentence of eternal judgment.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 1/28/2009 3:37 PM  

  • I think I'm getting these two threads confused! I said "I mentioned earlier", I think what I mentioned was in the other thread. Sorry! But the rest still applies here (I think).

    By Blogger Rachel, at 1/28/2009 3:41 PM  

  • Colin wrote:
    ----------
    Cue: Christ coming In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (2 Thessalonians 1:8)

    Surely, "...flaming fire... taking vengeance...punished with everlasting destruction..." = everlasting punishment?
    ----------

    Christ coming In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    Colin, those of us who employ the important hermeneutical principle of literal translation believe in a time of the unprecedented display of God's wrath, called the Great Tribulation. The content of the above italicized verse is the picture of Christ in the book of Revelation, where God's wrath is being meted out on this temporal world. This is the picture of Jesus taking wrath on His enemies here in time. Notice it in verse 7 (NKJV) it says "when He is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels". Your version says "coming". Surely this is the advent of the Son of God in the time preceding Him sitting on the throne of His father David during the Millennial kingdom.

    The NKJV rightly makes verse 9 another sentence:

    These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power

    It is very instructive to understand that both here and in the book of Revelation, that the punishment and torment are in the passive voice. I believe that the punishment is the torment, and that the torment is not being inflicted upon them by God. I believe the torment of Gehenna is that which comes from within. These men and women do not have life. They now know the truth about God and Christ, about their sin, and about their rejection of Jesus. And they are now faced with the realization of neverending existence separated from God. These all, I believe, will produce the most intense and acute torment.

    Furthermore, they idea of punishment (and there are several words being used of punishment in the N.T.) does not inherently have a judicial connotation.

    Rachel has made an interesting point that really undercuts Colin's equivocation here. Colin is trying to equate God's wrath with God's judicial justice. We must note that a judge is to be impartial and dispassionate! A judge's verdict of guilty, and his subsequent sentencing is not done in wrath but in the dispassionate dispensing of the law. Have you never seen the portrayal of justice as a man (or is it a woman) holding a balance and being blindfolded?

    Is it a judicial sentencing as a penalty for sin? Or is it God's wrath (anger) against sin? Seems to me that my point above argues that it cannot be both.

    Now as to Rachel seeing hell as legal justice served as a penalty for sin. Her point takes wrath off the table for Colin. But it does have God inflicting punishment on the lives of the lost for eternity. But this would be a case of double jeopardy.

    Jesus Christ has successfully paid for the sin debt of the entire world. To ask for payment again would go against the justice of God. Remember, not only is Jesus's work on the cross the propitiation (Ro 3:25) but He, Himself, is the eternal propitiation for the sins of the world (1 Jn 2:2).

    The option left on the table is that of the law of sowing and reaping (Gal 6:7-8). The unsaved has only ever sown to the flesh, and will of the flesh reap corruption.

    Alvin, in the new thread above, says it right. Their existence is the corruption of existence without life.

    The lost receive the consequences commensurate with their lives. They do not have life, and therefore cannot be with God.

    You all must comment on the fact that the judgment of God on the Great White throne was based upon one not having their names in the book of life and not because of God's wrath for sins or as a punitive legal pronouncement for one's sins.

    They are sent to the only appropriate place for them. A place that was reserved for the devil and his angels. A place where they will be tormented day and night, receiving the natural consequence for their actions here in this temporal time.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/28/2009 3:54 PM  

  • Antonio:

    First of all, you have no monopoly on the belief of the Great Tribulation. This is the common belief of all Evangelical Christians, disagreeing perhaps on the “when” but agreeing on the fact itself.

    Re: the “coming” and “appearing” – my “version,” as you refer to it, was from memory. If I had used the cut and paste method, then it would have been the AV, word for word which renders the verb “revealed”.

    Hard to know why you should accuse me of “equivocating” when I have honestly (as I always do) stated my case as clear as I can. To “equivocate” is to “to talk in a way that is deliberately not clear in order to avoid or hide the truth” Do I smell a conspiracy theory here? If so, then trust is gone and our discussion one with another cannot continue. None of the rest seem to question my integrity here.

    Your views on anger and judgement here do not fit. First of all, even human beings can be “angry and sin not” (Ephesians 4:27) – the anger being at the sin and the punishment following not be excessive or wrong in any way. Furthermore, the Lord certainly can be angry and sin not. None of His attributes jar against each other. In Mark 3:5, Christ viewed the Pharisees both with anger and grief, (two potentially volatile emotions if present in you or me) yet we cannot indict the actions that followed. In John 2:17, He was actually eaten with zeal (another volatile emotion if present in you or me) for God’s house which led him to take the whip of small cords and drive the traders out of the Temple – yet again, none of us cast any aspersions on what He did. God is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11) – are the calamities that sometimes befall them for their sins, sent by God, then tainted by the least suspicion?

    If we go back to 2 Thessalonians 1:8, we have an everlasting destruction. You want to pack it all into a short period of time on earth. Those of us who employ the principle of literal translation will let it stand as it is translated both in the AV and in the NKJV i.e. everlasting and see it being played out in the only place where it can i.e. in hell itself. The passage itself tells us that He comes to take vengeance – surely (to go back to your strange view of the Judge) this must then cast some doubt on His capacity to judge? He is not only Judge, but executor – where does that fit in your expectancy of what is required?

    Getting late here in Western Europe. Good night. Safe home.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/28/2009 5:25 PM  

  • Antonio,
    what did you mean by "equivocate"? Did you mean what Colin thinks you meant? I think he was offended by what he thinks you meant but you may not have meant it that way.

    Please clarify.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/28/2009 5:46 PM  

  • Colin,
    I didn't know that Amillennialists believed in the Great tribulation. From my understanding, Ammils view it as having already happened, or is that Preterists? I think both may view it as a past thing.

    Some smart person can correct me if I am wrong on that. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/28/2009 6:02 PM  

  • I think that is why A said "who employ the important hermeneutical principle of literal translation" because he was talking about dispy premils. I see that sounded condescending, but perhaps he didn't mean it to.

    (I can hear LM's voice in my memory accusing me of "running interference" haha)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 1/28/2009 6:05 PM  

  • Sorry Colin,

    God metes out vengeance based upon his wrath. We are to give place to God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay".

    I never equated the exercise of wrath with sin in God. You see there is a difference between wrath and judicial sentence. You seem to no grasp this.

    1) execution of wrath = the vengeance taken upon the sinful action of man which are against and offend a holy God

    2) judicial sentence = legal pronouncement handing down penal consequences for infractions that one has been found guilty of. This is a dispassionate process.

    They are two different things. You seem to be equivocating in this legitimate sense of the word:

    to express one's opinions in terms which admit of different senses

    wrath and judicial pronouncement are admitedly different, but you use the arguements for one (with prooftexts) as the arguments for the other. This is unsound.

    I don't know the line of reasoning and argument that you are taking. I am well aware that men and women and especially God can express their wrath in ways that are not sinful. But like I said, expression of wrath and legal pronouncement of sentencing upon conviction of infraction are two different things. To equate them is to fall into a whole mess of problems.

    I am sorry, Colin, but you seem to not read what I say critically. I stipulate that the destruction of the lost is eternal. This is their just deserts, the natural consequence for their sin. But it is something altogether different than the acts of vengeance taken upon the earth by Christ and His angels in the Great Tribulation.

    The text you give does not have any correlation between "taking vengeance" (which is done temporally) and "everlasting destruction) which is reserved for eternity, except to note that it is the same group of people experiencing both. Nothing in the text states that these two separate executions are given upon the same basis.

    From other texts we must conclude that the vengeance is based upon God's anger, His vengeance, for his holiness and righteousness being offended. But the everlasting destruction or equally translated "ruin" is based upon the natural consequence of not having life, the natural consequence for one's sins. It is neither a judicial sentence nor a vengeful act.

    The judicial nature of God's concern was dealt with on the cross of Christ.

    The wrath of God has subsided because lost men and women have receieved the natural consequences of their actions.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/28/2009 6:09 PM  

  • I am 100

    naaa naa naaa!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/28/2009 6:25 PM  

  • What? I sent a comment, like, right before you Antonio. It got lost. :( Bummer!

    By Blogger Missy, at 1/28/2009 8:16 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Antonio:

    Rose: Prophecy isn’t my strong point. I find it hard to classify myself into any of the 3 main schools (A-Pre-Post Mill.,) although I would not be a Dispensationalist. I would be a Post Trib man as well. While there might still be a few around who hold that the Great Tribulation was either fulfilled in AD70 or perhaps the 10 great post Apostolic persecutions, my experience is that most believe the GT is still a future event.

    Antonio: I accept that you did not equate wrath with sin in God (hence, I did not accuse you of this) but you gave us a short paragraph on how the Judge cannot be passionate when dispensing justice. Hence my reply to you that it could be done and indeed is done.

    If (according to you) I am confusing two separate issues and blending them into one, then again, I stand in good company. Although I would disagree with much of HAI’s prophetic views, I must agree with him in his words on the very verses in dispute (2 Thessalonians 1:8) I quote: (Emphasis mine) http://www.plymouthbrethren.org/article/5466

    “The guiltier class are those who “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [My note: i.e. guiltier than the heathen who never heard the gospel at all, as per the previous sentence.] Men and women who live in this favored land should consider this fact with intense solemnity. When I hear people talking glibly about the heathen and what God will do with them, I feel that it would be far better for them to be thinking about themselves. What will God do with those who have heard the message over and over again and have spurned it? What will He do with those who have known of Christ all their lives and have rejected His love and grace? [My note: Gives example of those brought up in godly homes but who reject the gospel…]

    When the Lord Jesus comes in the clouds “in flaming fire,” He will punish those who have sinned with no knowledge of Christ; but with more intense wrath he will punish those who have sinned against the light and knowledge that God has given them concerning His beloved Son. The latter, we read, “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). What solemn words! What terrible warnings God has given men in order that they might face the question of their guilt and turn to Him in repentance! Like the danger signals at railroad crossings, He is saying, “Stop! Look! Listen!”

    How sad it would be to be found in one’s sin “when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe” (1:10). What a great separation there will be “in that day.” Gathered about Christ will be those who believed the message, trusted Him as Savior, and maintained a testimony for Him on earth, but were misunderstood and persecuted for His name’s sake; these will rejoice with Him in the day of His power. On the other hand, those who spurned His lovingkindness will experience the awfulness of divine retribution.”


    Furthermore, Paul then must be guilty (if guilt it be) of confounding the two. In Romans 2:5-7 he writes: “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;” Paul continues, speaking of this day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God, and how it affects those contentious ones who obey not the truth but obey unrighteousness: To them comes “indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness,

    It is not that I am bringing together in illicit union what not ought to be. It is you that is dividing asunder what God has put evidently joined together.

    Please excuse the long posts, but I do try to keep them as brief as I can.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/29/2009 7:37 AM  

  • Hi Colin,

    I appreciate this conversation, as I have my framework for my position cast from the Scriptures, but there are details that I am working through.

    A discussion like this has limits, and I believe that we are coming upon them. It will take a paradigm shift for you to see things my way. The comments I have made here in this thread, I stand by. It seems to me that, in relation to persuading you, I would have to spend alot of time reinventing the wheel. There is a methodology and perspective on the Bible and its study that is at the heart of my position. My position is based upon critical distinctions made in the Bible, and a very careful study of words and context. I have found that the Reformed traditions' interpretations have been passed down through the centuries, and upheld, but their actual examination of the text many times proves superficial. God's book has many things, that if read in such a way, could cause one to distort his truth and create havoc.

    Needless to say, I do not agree with Ironside's commentary, nor with your understanding of Rom 2:1-5.

    The Bible has many distinctions that good people often fail to recognize. These would be such things as the difference between the invitation to receive everlasting life and the call to discipleship; the difference between inheriting the kingdom and entering it; the difference between eternal salvation and eternal rewards, only to name a few.

    Words have senses to them that are picked up by their usage and context. You are right to note that God's judgment is correllated with His wrath in Romans 2:1-5. But what we must realize is this is the temporal display of God's wrath (anger) against the sins of men and women, whereby His righteousness and holiness is offended (see Romans 1:18-19 and following). This is judgment in this sense, and this sense alone. The judgment meted out is God's righteous wrath against sin (whether it be that of the believer or the unbeliever), and this is done in time. There are many senses to the word "judgment" and it does not necessarily have to do with the judiciary setting of a court room proceeding.

    What we have in Matthew 7:21-23 and Revelation 20:11-15 are descriptions of the lost's day in the heavenly court room. Jesus will be the officiating judge, and justice is dispensed impartially and dispassionately. The defendents are able to make their case, their case will be thoroughly heard and compared to the evidence of the books. Finally the last book will be consulted, which is the book of life. Those whose names are not written in that book are sent to the lake of fire, the natural consequence of dying in their sins. The probationary period to believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life is over. The lost are not sent to hell as a judicial sentence for their sins nor a legal, punitive judgement for their sins. Their sins were paid for, eternally, by Jesus Christ, whose work on the cross propitiated the Father, and who He, Himself, is the eternal Propitiation for the sins of the world. To demand that these lost men and women pay the judicial penalty for their sins when they were paid for by Christ, would be double payment and double jeopardy. The probation period is over. They are now faced with the natural consequence of dying in their sins: the corruption and torment of hell for eternity. Since, therefore, the probation period is over, and the lost have received the natural consequence for dying in their sins, God's wrath on them is over.

    The view that I take of Romans 2:1-5 is found here for the benefit of your consideration. Zane Hodges wrote this article that would go far to show the temporal nature of God's wrath, generally in the book of Romans, and specifically in Rom 2:1-5.

    The Moralist Wrath-Dodger- Romans 2:1-5

    For evidence that believers can experience God's temporal wrath, please refer to:

    Do Believers experience the wrath of God? by Rene Lopez.

    Finally, and most importantly, here is a study on propitiation done by Zane Hodges that goes into greater detail some of the things that I have been discussing here:

    WHAT DO WE MEAN BY PROPITIATION?
    DOES IT ONLY COUNT
    IF WE ACCEPT IT?


    Please read these articles for your own edification and consideration. I pray that you and all here will read these articles with an open mind and a willing heart to see if the Lord desires to show you something new from His Word.

    respectfully,

    Antonio da Rosa

    By Blogger Antonio, at 1/30/2009 9:27 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Antonio:

    Antonio: I appreciate the time that you take not only with me, but with others to expound your position. That we seem to radically disagree more often than not does probably makes the time that we spend more profitable.

    One of the issues here, however, is not that you are in disagreement merely with Reformed Christians. As I wrote somewhere else recently (perhaps to you?) I can cope with that. Although I contend earnestly for the Reformed convictions which I hold, yet I recognise that there are effectively two main tents within the Evangelical camp, and I would not for one moment consider ditching the others. However, the fact that I have been quoting HAI (and when I can with my limited access to JVM) shows that your problems here are not so much with Reformed Christians in particular, but Evangelical Christians as a whole. It would be that in particular that I would find worrying. Doubtless every side has its superficial advocates, but they also have their giants who were willing to take

    I’ll look up the links that you give, although I do have a lot of reading to do and a lot of other things on my plate. I always find it better if the proponent of a particular view takes its main thought and hammers away with it, either until it is accepted or seen to be flawed, or if he is being fought to a stalemate.

    As you have indicated, maybe we have come here to our stalemate. Suffice to say that I agree with your argument that sin cannot be atoned for twice, but I take this to indicate a particular redemption for those who will never see hell. We both may clap ourselves on the back for being consistent here, but again, we must divide into different camps with men like HAI bearing the charge of being somewhat inconsistent.

    Anyway, the exchanges were good.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 1/31/2009 5:41 AM  

  • Antonio,

    I see that you are indicating that you are essentially done with this conversation, although maybe you only meant you are done talking with Colin about it. That is unfortunate, because in the other thread here at Rose's I asked you to answer my questions and you never did. It is also unfortunate because you have made several statements that you have not explained or supported. Again, I realize you implied that you are done with this topic, but I post this anyway for readers and potential future reference (and who knows, maybe you'll respond).

    You said,

    "We must note that a judge is to be impartial and dispassionate! A judge's verdict of guilty, and his subsequent sentencing is not done in wrath but in the dispassionate dispensing of the law."

    Here again, for some reason you are equating God's wrath with some kind of "passion", as if God's wrath is equivalent to Palpatine's anger welling up inside of him and finally exploding in a fit of rage against Luke. I said earlier that IMO God's wrath is (or at least can be) equal to God's judgment.

    In a later comment you defined God's wrath as, "the vengeance taken upon the sinful action of man which are against and offend a holy God". What exactly is the "vengeance" God takes, if not judgment? Does God get really mad, then calm down later? Does he get worked up into a frenzy, only to settle back down once justice has been served? I fail to see a distinction between God taking "vengeance" on sin and God judging sin.

    You said,

    "Is it a judicial sentencing as a penalty for sin? Or is it God's wrath (anger) against sin? Seems to me that my point above argues that it cannot be both."

    This is the same thing. Why can't they be both? The only reason I've seen from you is that you define God's wrath as some sort of "feeling" that builds up inside of God and causes him to be really upset, a "feeling" which subsides once justice has been served so that God isn't so mad anymore. You then determine, based on that premise/definition, that God can't possibly have this really mad "feeling" throughout eternity, yet we know that judgment does last throughout eternity, therefore it must be (according to you) that God's wrath and God's judgment are separate from each other.

    This argument is logically sound, however its premise is flawed. I have said several times now that God's wrath is NOT some sort of "feeling". God is impassible, and therefore does not experience the ebb and flow of emotions as we do. So, if we define God's wrath more as an appropriate attitude toward sin, then it easily includes God's judgment upon sin. Which then invalidates your argument, indicating that God's wrath, in the form of his judgment and hatred of sin, can indeed last forever.

    Also, if we go with your definition of God's wrath, when exactly does God begin to feel this wrath? Since he has foreseen all of sin from all eternity, did he feel wrath in eternity past, and will constantly feel wrath until the point in time when justice has finally been served? Did God feel wrath until Jesus died on the cross? Did his wrath only well up inside him when he saw the sin actually be committed in time?

    In addition, you seem to not be reading me very critically, as you said,

    "Rachel has made an interesting point that really undercuts Colin's equivocation here. Colin is trying to equate God's wrath with God's judicial justice."

    The strange thing is that I agree with Colin here! In case I haven't been clear, I'll say it again: I am also equating God's wrath with God's judicial justice. I was merely saying that even if I grant you a separation of God's wrath from God's judgment, that still does not negatively impact my view that hell is God's judgment upon sin forever. You seemed to think that claiming that God's wrath doesn't last forever was some sort of deal-breaker for my view, but I have shown that it isn't.

    A closely-related yet separate discussion is the one you have raised regarding whether or not Jesus actually paid for the sins of all people, lost and saved, at the cross such that no one goes to hell because of their sins. To help with readability (since this comment is already long enough, I'll address that in my next comment here.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 1/31/2009 10:27 PM  

  • Continuing...

    Antonio,

    You said,

    "You all must comment on the fact that the judgment of God on the Great White throne was based upon one not having their names in the book of life and not because of God's wrath for sins or as a punitive legal pronouncement for one's sins."

    Okay, I'll comment on it. :-) I believe you are incorrect to say that, at the GWT, God's judgment was based upon people not having their names in the book of life and NOT because of their sins. Let me quote Rev. 20:11-15 here:

    "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."

    We learn from this passage that those who are not in the book of life are cast into hell, and that there IS some sort of judgment of these people that is based on their works. You must comment on this fact. You and Alvin have tried to sort of sweep this away by saying that their works are looked at and simply found wanting. But then what is the "judgment"? If Jesus already paid for all their sins (according to you), and if the reason they are in hell is because they don't have life (according to you), what is the judgment? If the judgment is "not good enough for heaven", how is that not equivalent to "hell"?

    This passage does not give us a lot of specifics. An equally valid interpretation of this passage is that they were judged "according to their works" in order to determine the level of punishment in hell, but that of course all of them were thrown into hell since their names were not in the book of life. There is nothing in the passage above that contradicts this interpretation.

    And in fact, this is perfectly congruent with what seems to be happening in heaven: people are judged according to their works and given rewards (i.e. their works determine their level of reward), with their entrance into heaven being determined not by works but by their names being in the book of life. The deciding factor for where people spend eternity is whether or not their names are in the book of life. How they spend that eternity is determined by their works.

    A question you never addressed that I think is quite pertinent, is this: if the lost go to hell as a "natural consequence" of their sins, how is that different from going to hell because of their sins?

    Finally, I've addressed the issue of whether or not Jesus actually paid for the sins of unbelievers quite some time ago at my old group blog. A very interesting discussion ensued here, and I explained my problems with that view here (granted, this post was responding to Alvin specifically, so some may not directly apply if it's not your specific view).

    Ultimately, I do not see how your view is practically any different than mine. My view is that the judgment people will receive for their sins is the "natural consequence" of dying in their sins. Your view simply removes the "judgment" aspect. Yet we both have people suffering in hell forever as a direct result of their sins. As I mention in one of the links I provided, how does it help for Jesus to actually pay for everyone's sins, if some suffer eternally because of their sins anyway?

    One of your links included this illustration from Hodges:

    "Going to hell is like being marooned on a rotting boat that is going in circles on a sea of boiling water. That is the natural, future consequence of human sin. The judicial consequence would be like being on the same boat but chained to the oars night and day, compelled to row the boat without letup or relief. The first is dreadful enough. The second is far worse."

    However, Hodges doesn't explain how he knows that the "judicial" consequence would be different and "far worse" than the natural consequence. Why can't the judgment be that people are sentenced to "being marooned on a rotting boat that is going in circles on a sea of boiling water"? Why would a "judicial" consequence require something extra and/or worse? My view is that God's final judgment upon the lost sinner is to condemn him to the eternal fate he has chosen: life away from God and all his characteristics and qualities. This could also be called the "natural consequence" of dying in their sins, as well as an expression of God's wrath.

    This is not "double jeopardy" or paying twice for sins. Yes, Jesus IS the propitiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world. But let's think about this. Did Jesus add up everyone's sins and pay precisely that amount to God, no more and no less? What if there existed humans on another planet? Would Jesus' sacrifice cover them too?

    My point is that Jesus' payment was simply sufficient for all people for all time, regardless of how many sins were ever done or would ever be done. His payment wasn't a tit-for-tat, list-out-the-offenses-and-I'll-pay-for-them-one-by-one type of payment. Rather, it essentially created a limitless "well" from which to draw payment to cover any and all who will come to God in faith. The payment is there. But if it is not accepted, then it cannot be applied.

    One of your links included Hodges discussing the illustration of a bank account with enough money in it to cover everyone's account, yet each person must individually accept the payment before the money is applied to their account. Those who do not accept the payment still have their sin debt that they must pay for (hell). I would concur with this illustration. Yet Hodges dismisses it by saying that it disagrees with his position. Unfortunately that is a non-answer, as of course it disagrees with his position... he needed to explain where this illustration contradicts Scripture, rather than simply point out that it contradicts his own position.

    To your prooftexts, 1 John 2:2 doesn't specifically state that Jesus actually paid for everyone's sins, just that he IS the payment, and he is that for everyone. Works aren't our payment, our faith isn't the payment, there aren't different payments for different people, Jesus is the payment, as he is for all people.

    Rom. 3:25 simply says that Jesus' work on the cross is the specific payment. It says nothing about whether or not anyone's sins were actually paid for on the cross.

    And speaking of Scripture, I think John 3:36 that Colin brought up is much more opposed to your view than you have given it credit for. The verse is clearly speaking of eternal issues, NOT temporal. The first part says, "He who believes in the Son has eternal life". So right there it sets the tone that this verse is discussing the eternal fate of human beings.

    Next, the verse says, "but he who does not obey the Son [i.e. does not believe in the Son] will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." So this part is the opposite of the first part. What then did we see in the first part of the verse? The one who believes in Jesus is given eternal life. And what is the opposite? The one who does NOT believe in Jesus does NOT get eternal life, but instead the wrath of God abides on him.

    I see nothing there at all that has anything to do with anything in this life, on earth, other than the belief or unbelief. It is clear that the believer receives life, while the unbeliever receives wrath. If the life is eternal, why won't the wrath be? Especially since this verse plainly sets up "the wrath of God" as being in direct opposition to "eternal life". God's wrath is what the unbeliever gets in the end, while the believer gets eternal life. Even in the second section, God's wrath is stated to be what is "on" the unbeliever in place of the eternal life that the believer has (the unbeliever "will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him").

    And as I have already made clear, "the wrath of God" is not some sort of fit of rage or really angry feeling inside God that couldn't possibly last for all eternity. The wrath of God, according to John 3:36 above, is simply what people receive if they don't receive life. IOW, you're either with God or you're against him. You either get life or you get wrath. So try to remove the image of Palpatine's face from your mind - it seems to be muddling up issues that don't need to be muddled. ;-)

    By Blogger Rachel, at 1/31/2009 11:58 PM  

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