70 AD- calling you Davo


#1

I used to participate in a forum called TalkGrace with davo a few years ago. Maybe some of you here were on there too. I found his position on pantelism very reasonable and helped to make sense of some troubling aspects of scripture. I do think the New Covenant fully overcome and replaced the Old Covenant when Roman army destroyed the temple. What i found hard to process thogh, and i think many do, is what to make of how life seems to still been business as usual after. If that instituted the new heavens and new earth why then is sin so prevalent and people still dismissing Jesus?? What will ultimately cause that all to cease??? Hope you chime in Davo mate!!! :sunglasses: :smiley: :laughing:


#2

G’day Robert… “TalkGrace”… wow that was ages ago. :slight_smile:

Well plenty did change. As I understand it… man’s world changed because of Christ in terms of God’s relationship toward man; the offence of sin is no longer held to man’s charge. Yes we all still do err (sin) against each other, but we always did anyway. The problem was “the death” that ensnarled all because of “the sin” that was latent within “the law” (command). “The death” wasn’t physical but spiritual i.e., relational. Thus what was lost was “the life” – Jesus having defeated “the death” (past tense) restored “the life” i.e., fellowship (relational) with God aka “eternal life”. This is qualitative not quantitative.

Relative to “death” in 1Cor 15 Paul uses the definite article (the)… again this death is NOT physical fleshly death but rather is indicative of the separation and fractured relationship that existed between Creator and Created. Thus in contradistinction “the life” of God Christ released that John refers to is NOT endless existence (quantitative) but rather THE FULLNESS of life (qualitative) a restored relationship opens up; none other than ‘the peace of God’… Jn 17:3; 10:10; 14:27; 16:33.

These texts below have the definite article supplied in the Greek text…

This “the life” was NOT ‘heaven’ as opposed to ‘hell’ but rather, the fullness of life as opposed the lack thereof. Again…

Notice the present tense (abides) relational link associated with “the death”… clearly this is antemortem. IF as I postulate “the death” is defeated, i.e., it no longer exists, then the message IS… “come into the life God established for you!” This would match with Paul’s “be ye therefore reconciled!” IOW… come fully into that which God HAS done i.e., “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.

Between God and man the “sin” issue has been settled. The sooner ‘sin consciousness’ is put in its place by learning the benefits of “love thy neighbour” the sooner ‘new creation’ realities will flourish.


Pantelism, universalism & postmortem punishment
#3

G’day Davo!! Yes it was awhiel ago :slight_smile: Thanks for your detailed response. i wanted you to lay out your thinking again because i think so much has been taught from a premillennial dispensationalist mindset that it is very hard for your explanation of sins ending to be accepted. I agree with most of what you share here, as i did back on talkgrace, but i do disagre that we shouldn’t have a hope for heaven, whatever it may be like. Jesus and paul give varying glimpses of what resurrection bodies will be like. I totally see why you would focus so much on experiencing eternal life NOW though. Cheers mate :smiley:


#4

Ok, that’s my bad IF that’s the impression I’ve given. I have all the hope in the world of “heaven for all” beyond this life; in the past THE main reason for being harangued as a dirty “universalist” by none too few vocal prêterists… but you can’t help bad luck. :mrgreen:

From the pantelist perspective it’s more a case of acknowledging that the scriptures are more silent on what that all looks like, and so accordingly can challenge some of the more notional evangelical assumptions around this. My position is ‘post evangelical’, not bound or wedded to more “traditional” assumptions, but has a strong appreciation of the context of the historical narrative. Thus “audience relevance” is key. This doesn’t negate anyone post “end of the age” deriving personal significance, meaning and blessing from the Divine principles of Scripture, it just helps “not to go beyond what is written” (1Cor 4:6) – hopefully.

Hmm… it is amazing how these “glimpses” can sometimes become all manner of speculative doctrine more detailed than the crack of light breaking through the scriptural doorway suggests.

It is for example interesting how mention is so often made (not in scripture) with reference to Jesus’ “glorified body” and this in relation to his seemingly miraculous appearances post resurrection… and yet the body (pardon the pun) of scriptural evidence indicates that this activity was normal fare for Jesus BEFORE his crucifixion and resurrection… Mt 14:25; Mk 6:48-49; Jn 6:19.

As to Paul… his language is interesting when speaking of what is being raised (present tense) in 1Cor 15. They lived in the true intertestamental period CE. 30-70 where one testament (OC) was drawing to a close (Heb 8:13) while the other testament (NC) was burgeoning (2Cor 3:7-11)… they were overlapping ages i.e., Paul’s “not only in this age but also in that which is about to <μέλλοντι> come.” Examples of mellonti Act 20:3; 27:2 = ‘about to’ i.e., that which is “at hand”, on the verge or near to happening.

According to the Greek text what Paul describes as occurring in terms of resurrection is ALL in the PRESENT TENSE… actions as occurring THEN in that age of covenant renewal. The parsing of 1Cor 15 reads like this…

35 But someone will say, “How are the dead being raised up? And with what body are they coming?
42-44 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is being sown in corruption, it is being raised in incorruption. It is being sown in dishonor, it is being raised in glory. It is being sown in weakness, it is being raised in power. It is bring sown a natural body, it is being raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

The “natural body” aka “this body of the death” (Rom 7:25) i.e., “the Law” or body of Moses was “weak and beggarly” (Gal 3:9) but the “spiritual body” aka “Body of Christ” was LIFE.

The dead” in this passage, which some gentiles in the Corinthian church were denying resurrection (vs. 12), was “Israel” – “dead in trespasses and sins”, yet being raised through the gospel from the old covenant (natural body) to the new covenant (spiritual body); by this means was “all Israel” being saved, i.e., redeemed (Rom 11:26-27).

According to Paul ONLY God possesses “immortality” (1Tm 6:16), and in keeping with his “putting on / putting off” motif of the epistles to “put on immortality” (vs. 53-54) meant putting on the very life of God (2Pt 1:3-4)… it was for them in that ‘end of the age’ a then PRESENT reality, a process they had embarked upon.

This is not the conventional reading/understanding of the Corinthian passage BUT IT DOES reflect the nuances of the Greek text.


#5

Davo,

Absolutely fascinating!

Please go on to explain (in as much detail as you can stomach) what we, post 70ad Christians, do have to look forward to, specifically pertaining to what you said “it just helps not to go beyond what is written.”

As I see it, this is a big emotional argument against preterism.

Thanks :smiley:

Chad


#6

Davo- Ah this is exactly what i recall from TalkGrace mate!!! Thorough detailed analysis and exegesis i echo the sentiments of fascinating :smiley: :ugeek: :laughing: I can see well the nuamces of the greek as you parsed it. The Israelites under the Old Covenant did not really have a true doctrine or position on the afterlife right?? Sheol was the place of the dead and perhaps they had a notion and hope for eternal life after death?? What do you see John 3:16 meaning to the audience at the time in reference to eternal life as opposed to perishing?? If heaven was not a specific hope then surely hell could not be either?? What do you think the disciples thought Jesus meant when He told them- I go to prepare a place for you. In my Fathers house are many mansions?? Also, on the Mount of Transfiguration, were Abraham and Elijah really there or was it a vision of some kind??

I really like your stating that only God is immortal and by putting on Christ he assigns us immortality right?? A curious thing though, Jesus tells the jewish leaders God is a God of the living. So,did He give immortality to some then since Jesus said that??

Truly enjoy your taking time to wade through davo and look very much forward to your response!!!

Btw- i once told a ful preterist that if we were in the literal new heaven and new earth now- why do we not see Paul and peter and others walking around since we all should be raised. lol I wonder why preterists would give yo ua hard time over universalism??/ i would think they would be on board moreso than most others :unamused: :confused:


#7

Hi Chad…

I’m all for the “emotional” however it can lead to conclusions that are other than what given texts might say. There is a proverb… Prov 13:12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Israel was promised resurrection, not individual casket resurrections but a ‘collective body corporate’ resurrection in terms of ‘covenantal restoration’ i.e., renewal (Ez 37:1-14; Jer 31:31-33)… this in time was none other than Paul’s “the hope of Israel” (Acts 28:20; 26:6-8 [vs. 8, again [i]present indicative singular tense = “is raising”]; 24:15; 23:6)

The modern church to an extent has had ‘the heart sick’ because like Israel of old she has not recognised the ‘Day of Visitation’ (Lk 19:44) and what that meant, having ‘deferred’ to endless forestalling of Christ’s Parousia out into countless eons, making IMO a mockery of many of Christ’s prophetic words about what was ‘about to’ shortly occur on THEIR prophetic horizon, and what THAT meant in terms of Israel’s redemption drawing nigh… Lk 21:28.

As someone who holds to a pantelist view of scripture my hope (not a hope-so, but a sound assurance) is in the power and mercy of God’s grace and is NOT limited to man’s ability or the lack thereof to comprehend it, and so the good that awaits all beyond can find traction already in this life.

I have some other thoughts on this HERE.

Doctrine? no. They simply assumed such was so. I like what Tom Wright has to say…

In light of “audience relevance” I understand the principle is “to the Jew first then the Gentile” and so read this text as being more pertinent to Israel than has been appreciated and subsequently universalised. I’m NOT saying it can’t have general meaning to any past the scope of NT Israel, BUT that Israel was the primary focus of Jesus’ words and so I understand it thus…

Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world [of Israel]* that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever* [of Israel]* believes in Him should not perish* [in Israel’s fall]* but have life unto the age.*

Or to paraphrase a bit further:

Jn 3:16-17 For God so loved Israel that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever of Israel believing in Him might not perish (AD70 lake of fire)* but might have life into the age about to come. For God did not send His Son unto Israel to condemn Israel, but that Israel through Him might be saved.* Mt 1:21; Lk 1:68; Rom 11:26-27]

As you can see, in the life and story of Israel I understand “world” is decidedly “Israel" in focus, but again, not to the total exclusion of all else (Jn 1:12b) but that Israel as personified in Jesus and His elect firstfruit saints (Gal 6:16) were God’s redemptive means and focal point (Jn 4:22) to the rest of humanity, who were predestined to benefit from Israel’s redemption. Remember, Israel were to be “a light” to the nations, and were actually a kind of firstfruits of humanity (Jer 2:3; Jas 1:18) – in keeping with the covenantal working of God of restoring humankind back to Himself. So, I see much of the NT “world” and “all” language as “exclusively orientated” by virtue of the fact that that was the divinely pre-ordained redemptive path through Christ and the firstfruit saints; but having the wider divinely pre-ordained “all inclusive application” that all humanity through Israel’s redemption has been reconciled to Him [the message of Romans 11].

Thus it is not wrong in that sense to acknowledge that God indeed pursues all, as He does indeed “so love the world".


#8

Davo- thanks so much for taking time to be meticulous in responding mate!!! Could you go back though and tell me your thoughts on when Jesus told the disciples * i go to prepate a place for you so that where i Am you wil lalso be in MY Fathers house are many mansions*?? Your scenario makes so much sense, especially including when Jesus told the woman He was sent to the lost sheep of the tribes of israel. A question though is what about Pauls ministry. He addressed all to the gentiles, sharing how he longed for the jews to come back to the fold. What puzzles me is why, and your thesis makes incredible sense in every way, almost the entire history of the church has been so offbase on truly understanding what Jesus was all about. Since Job is highly regarded as the real first book, do you think the way in which God leaves things unanswered and a mystery is His intent for alltime, until perhaps at some point in eternity he chooses to explain?? Maybe intellectual explanation is utterly impossible for us to handle?? Thanks so much for all you share davo


#9

Not totally sure but I’d think this to be a special placement particular to the apostles… those who “continued with Me in my trials”… those who ‘in the regeneration’ were to reign over Israel Lk 22:28-30 Mt 19:28.

Jesus came as Israel’s Redeemer (Mt 1:21; Lk 1:68; Rom 11:26-27) thus Israel’s covenantal restoration was his primary focus. This was not to the total exclusion of the Gentiles, BUT their inclusion was contingent upon Israel’s redemption; this order is reflected in part in Paul’s “to the Jew first then the Greek” ** Acts 3:26, 13:46; Rom 1:16, 2:10; 15:8**.

What was begun in Christ in terms of Israel’s redemption would be outworked to fullness in the Parousia in terms of Gentile inclusion and ultimate reconciliation… THROUGH the firstfruit saints aka “the Body of Christ”. Following on from the “mansions” comment to his disciples Jesus said, “greater works than these shall he do…– not greater in magnitude but greater in scope. Jesus was but one, “they” however were the many; joined to Christ in the Spirit they would bring to fullness that which He began…

“What is lacking” :astonished: – NOT in efficacy BUT in scope or reach. The disciples were appointed and anointed to become part of what Christ was doing ON BEHALF OF historic Israel and THEN in divine consequence on behalf of humanity beyond. Cf. Phil 1:29; 2Tim 4:6

This again is indicated here…

Again, back in the gospels Jesus had this to say…

This was the baptism of suffering… of laying down one’s life ON BEHALF OF the brethren (Israel – Rom 9:3, 10:1-2; 11:1-2, 28-29) that Paul & Co were called to fulfil. This “baptism” then answers to Pauls…

“The dead” of vs 12 is ‘Old Covenant Israel’ that Christ came to redeem. Some gentiles in Corinth were supposing that God had rejected and replaced Israel with them (replacement theology). Paul was saying “NO” – “IF Israel (the dead) rise not, of which was Christ, then surely neither has Christ been raised… and thus by implication neither have you!” I.e., “the root” supports you NOT the other way around! (Rom 11:18)

Again in Acts Paul demonstrates the unity of Christ’s mission WITH his firstfruits saints…

Get the gravity of this… this above is Isa 42:6; 49:6; Lk 2:32 with CLEAR prophetic reference to Christ and yet here is Paul (inspired) applying such prophetic words in fulfilment to themselves! How could Paul legitimately do this? Answer… the Disciples were “the Body of Christ” aka the “church of the firstborn” ones (‘firstborn’ is plural). Thus this joint work of Christ AND the firstfruit saints is seen…

Note Paul’s “through us”… as an extension of Christ to the degree that such was being cemented through themto the glory of God.


#10

Davo, I agree with a lot of what you are saying here. The fall of Jerusalem did mark the end of an age and the beginning of a new age for the people of God. The nation of Israel had become an “island unto itself”. According to Israel, one had to be Jewish in order to be considered a person of God. A lot of their rules and laws had become intermixed with the laws of men and were self prescribed. God’s word/ way of life ( all that Jesus said and did), was and always will be open to all men. I believe Jesus came to restore God’s word to it’s pure state as it was given in the beginning of creation, before it became defiled by man. I think that all who heard and believed in the word were to follow it and teach it to others. Israel and the nation of Israel are two different things, Israel being the man who loved God and followed His word. When the New Testament speaks of redeeming Israel, I think that they are talking about any man who follows the true God. These were to be raised under a new name, that of Jesus.


#11

Davo- ah this is what i have missed from being on talkgrace :slight_smile: You always spell out your thinking in such marked detail it is awesome!!! A question for you, and again i know you have dealth with i am sure in the past. How do you answer people who will say- great paradigm davo makes so much sense. But why do people still commit such horrible acts, whether you call it sin or something else, if all is now a new creation?? The whol mess started with people who were NOT jews so why should all this be centered upon a covenant resoration to them?? When will evil cease???

i am trying to play devils advocate here and also get help from you for anytime i share pantelism with anyone and get this kind of question Thanks mate!!!


#12

As I understand it… there are numerous prophet words recorded in the OT of a redemptive nature regarding historic Israel of the OC, and so when Matthew records “He will save His people from their sins” it means exactly that – “Israel” shall be redeemed. And IF words mean anything Matthew’s words ring true to historic Israel. Again, Paul is resolute in his love for his “brethren according to the flesh” (Rom 9:3-5; 11:1-2)

As long as humanity holds breath some are going to act in self-interest and for some that shows itself in caring less of others’ boundaries, i.e., they will SIN (regardless or not of recognising it as that) against any they choose to get what they want.

The ‘new creation’ is a covenantal reality reflecting the position of those called to minister God’s blessings. Israel was called to be His light/blessing in the world; Jesus and the firstfruit saints fulfilled what historic Israel failed to do. Thus when Paul says… “if any man be in Christ he is a new creation” he in essence means “if any man be in Christ he is new Israel” aka “the Israel of God” – those through whom His blessing can come.

There is scope (and I agree) for understanding “Adam IS Israel”. But that aside, historic Israel was called and appointed to be God’s presence in the world to bring His peace. The OC people through constant unfaithfulness abrogated their call and as such were leaving the world beyond sitting in darkness. Israel’s covenant renewal (restoration/resurrection) which was promised and subsequently fulfilled in Christ was needed to bring God’s plan for humanity back on track; this could only happen through a covenantally restored Israel.

“Evil” is simply wrong done by one, either individually or collectively, to another. “Evil” is NOT some ethereal or mystical entity, power or force of its own existence. To the degree humanity learns to practice “love thy neighbour” to that degree blessing will flow.


#13

Davo- thanks mate!!! You delineated an understanding very well which can be used in conversation about such things. I think theological overload gets in the way of so much of what you talked about here. In stepping back and looking at the overall mosaic of the Bible, all you say can really be objectivwely understood. But, i think we all get lost in certain pieces of the overall mosaic and then can’t see the forest for the trees!!! One more verse for you to deal with. When Paul says the natural man is unable to understand spiritual things What exactly is paul meaning here?? A common interpretation is that unless you are born-again you cannot understand the Bible at all. Also, would you say God blinds people in any way shape or form to understanding His Truth for some reason at all??? i see many teachings saying God blinds people to Him until they reach a heart level of obedience and faith. Just a few things to get your thoughts on.


#14

I seems to me that the new covenant had already traveled the world through the apostles and those who had gone out from jerusalem in the 37 years or so since Pentecost, which was the real “new paradigm”. The fall of Jerusalem was more like the death throws of the old covenant than the beginning of the new. Most of the New Testament scripures, if not all, were already written, and there were dynamic new creation/new paradgm communities in Ephesus, Corinth, Colossae, Phillipi, and cities no less than Rome and were experiencing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit through new covenant communities made up of Jews and Gentiles incorporated into the “one new man”- for decades.

I think we are outposts, forerunners, and first fruits of the coming age when Jesus will rule the world in righteousness and the present evil system of principalities and powers, against which we struggle. Soon and very soon, it will be overthrown and bound(Come quickly Lord Jesus)-

He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

The leaven of the kingdom was planted on Pentecost. The 120 saints in the upper room received the new paradigm, fulfilling the law through love in the power of the Holy Spirit, adding to the covenant from every nation, through the gospel. On that day a renewed testament was born, and Abraham’s children began to rise up from the stones of Jew and Gentile, barbarian and Scythian, slave and free.

“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day** there were added about three thousand souls.**

These three thousand were saved from the perverse generation and added to the new covenant in Abraham. They were just the beginning.

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. Gal 3:27-29

Many thousands, tens upon tens of thousands were added over the next 37 years so that by the time Jerusalem fell the new covenant in Christ had already been in force and transcended the shadow of the old as the revolutionizing force of God re-creating the world and gathering all things into the all in all.Old covenant Israel was already rendered impotent, as the light of the world and lampstand to the nations. In this age(as I see it), in Christ, we suffer with Him, as the leaven is worked throughout the kingdoms of this world, until the epiphanea of the Lord Jesus Christ when we will be revealed with Him in glory, and the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

And the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and were great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become that of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign to the ages of the ages.”

This coincides with the first resurrection(1 Cor 15:52), aftr which we, who have the first fruits of the Spirt will continue the task of reconciling all as the word of the Lord and the glory of the Lord covers the earth like the water covers the sea- the ministry of reconciliation.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Rom 8;18-25

In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. James 1:18

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father,** when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power**.
1 Cor 15:22-24


#15

To me, there was ,is, and always will be only one covenant with God. It starts from the very beginning of creation in Genesis 1:26. Those who love God with all their hearts, minds and souls, who follow His word ( His laws, His truth and His ways) shall be blessed and will have dominion over all the earth. Romans 9:6-8 tells us this: "For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called. “That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God. The seed of Abraham doesn’t mean his physical descendants, but it is referring to the people who carry the seed(the word of God) in their hearts and minds and live accordingly. Also, Galatians 6:16 says"And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” God is seeking those who walk according to the Spirit of God. So to me, Israel= all believers and followers of the one true God, and these are the ones who are to continue building the kingdom of God. The reestablishment of Israel doesn’t mean the reestablishment of a political state, although this has occurred. But it means the reestablishment of a people who follow the one true God.


#16

I agree with that. In succeeding ages that covenant has evolved with the processes of God, in an administration suitable to the fulness of times, the gathering together of all things into one in Christ… and will be fulfilled when God is all in all.


#17

The ‘natural man’ was someone of the ‘old covenant’ world/age, not able to grasp the realities of the ‘new covenant’ world/age, i.e., Israel’s “spiritual things”. And yet when the “veil was lifted” all manner of glorious vistas came into view. (2Cor 3:7-16)

That is indeed a common belief. Here’s an interesting read on what “Born Again” means.

Back in biblical times for varying reasons there seems some evidence for this; but as a general principle today I don’t think so, but I could be wrong.

This verse is a good indicator that Paul’s “as many as” are distinct from and yet in conjunction with Paul’s “and upon the Israel of God.

As I understand it… by virtue of Christ’s parousia “God is all in all” NOW.


#18

I think what Galatians 6:16 is referring to in saying “as many as” and “upon the Israel of God” is the individual as well as the collective body of believers.


#19

Davo- very excellent responses as always. i am wondering why, since the Paousia happened when it did and as Paul said the great commission ws fulfilled in his day, that life has gone on with so many who show and claim no faith in Christ?? I see the underlying opposition to UR being that there are those who just will not and should nt be allowed in so to speak. Is the best response to this that at some point their resistance and unbelief will be purged??? Or, will they be there but just more like people in the bleachers as opposed to actual participants?? Hope i am being clear in my question. Just trying to get at the main undercurrent for people who reject Jesus AND UR :question: :bulb:


#20

As I understand it there are no hard and fast scriptural descriptions either way and so the best we can do is say “I believe…” and fill in the space with our given speculations. I do find it difficult however to conceive that at the point of facing God as we all step through death’s doorway that we won’t all crumble in awe of His love, mercy and grace… no matter how hard one’s heart might be in this life.

It may well be that as it is in this life, come ‘the beyond’, there may be folk who are closer to God than we are. I’m sure you’ve probably come across someone who in your estimations is “closer to God” (and they may well be) than you, and yet in reality you’re no less important to God than them. It might be similar on the other side of eternity??

I’m also inclined to think there may be scope for injustices in this life to be somewhat squared up in that which is to come (it would IF I were God… lucky I’m not) but I DON’T see that (if it were a possibility) in terms of any fiery hell or lake of fire… those images as I see it were pertinent to THIS LIFE and specifically relevant as symbols of the demise of the old covenant Mosaic age/world.