Does Luke 20 Teach Conditional Immortality?


“And Jesus answering said unto them, the children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for ** they**are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.” (Luke 20)

It seems that there are a specific group of people who are worthy and cannot die or else Christ’s statements become superfluous.

I am a Universalist. just curious how to answer this.

Annihilationist Interpretation:


It seems that there are a specific group of people who are worthy and cannot die or else Christ’s statements become superfluous.

I am a Universalist. just curious how to answer this.

Well as we know, those whose names are not found in the book of life go into the Lake of Fire. So then the question is whether the unbeliever can be saved through the Lake of Fire? To me it’s clear they can and then the next question is whether all will be saved?


No, it teaches the immortality of the righteous at the time of “that age” that begins when Christ returns, beyond which there is at least one more age as per Eph.2:7 (comp. Eph.1:21), Lk.1:33, Rev.11:15, etc.

It’s speaking of the “that age” to come, which i interpret as beginning with the second coming of Christ & lasting through His millennial (1000 year) kingdom to the time of the great white throne judgement when the rest of the dead will be resurrected (Revelation 20):

Lk.20:34 And Jesus answering said to them, ‘The sons of THIS AGE do marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those accounted worthy to obtain THAT AGE, and the rising again that is OUT of the dead, neither marry, nor are they given in marriage; 36 for neither are they able to die any more — for they are like messengers — and they are sons of God, being sons of the rising again.

The “rising again that is OUT of the dead” (Lk.20:35) is the particular resurrection (called the “first resurrection”) referred to in Rev.20:1-6 and the “resurrection of the righteous” in Luke 14:14:

Lk.14:14 and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Rev.20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Not only will the righteous be resurrected, but also the unrighteous:

John 5:29
and come out–those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

Acts 24:15
and I have the same hope in God that they themselves cherish, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.

Eventually even those unrighteous/evil/wicked will be raised, made alive/vivified in Christ & God will be all in all:

1 Cor.15:22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified." 23 Yet each in his own ORDER: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ’s in His presence;" 24 thereafter the end(order), whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power." 25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy is being abolished: death. 27 For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him." 28 Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.)

Jn.1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Rom.5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for all mankind for condemnation, thus also it is through one just award for all mankind for life’s justifying." 19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted just.


This is bothering me. Both sides have good arguments.


Many would concur. Some of those then look to the nature of God (e.g. Love) & His abilities, such as omnipotence, & let that decide the issue. Others are content to leave it as a mystery & hope for the best.


My former universalist friend said this:

I think the “ages” mentality in much of this debate is simply misguided and simplistic
Jewish people believed in two ages - this present age and the “day of the Lord”
They might explain it as multiple ages in a past sense, but there is only one coming age


The Apostle Paul was a Jew, even a Pharisee of Pharisees. He speaks not only of a future age (Eph.1:21), but in the same context, a few verses later, of multiple future ages (Eph.2:7). Likewise do many other passages speak of multiple future ages (Lk.1:33; Rev.11:15, etc).


Ephesians 1:21 seems to be talking about the next life whereas Eph 2:7 seems to be talking about the ages before that. But there doesn’t seem to be evidence that there is another age beyond what is called an age in the next life.


It’s not “next life” but next age, i.e., the new covenant age, which even then in Christ was breaking forth; which is why the Greek of 1:21 is in the present tense of the old covenant age and the one about to be coming, i.e., the new covenant age — which actually was already in train. The NT era was the true intertestamental period… the overlap of the ages, that is, the overlapping of the old and new covenants where the old was in demise and the new, burgeoning, as per… Heb 8:13; 10:9; 2Cor 3:7, 9, 11.

Again it is basically “this age” = OC and “the coming age” = NC. Where Paul uses the plural is simply to be understood in terms of coming or past times… but it’s all under the auspices of the now New Covenant. In fact the Greek of 2:7 reads “in these ages [and] those coming” — both ‘ages’ and ‘coming’ are in the present tense, i.e., already then occurring.


IMO Paul seems quite clearly to be speaking of a present age(eon), a future age and future ages:

far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in THIS AGE but also in THE ONE TO COME. (Eph.1:21)
so that in the AGES TO COME He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Eph.2:7)

The present age Paul referred to in Ephesians 1:21 is the age of Satan as god:

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor.4:4)

Clearly Satan is still god so we are still in that age of Satan as god. So the future age & ages Paul referred to above have not yet begun. They won’t begin until Satan is bound & cast into a pit (see Revelation chapter 20) & thereafter (following 1000 more years) cast into the lake of fire where he will be tormented into ages (Rev.20:10). Neither will the future ages Paul referred to begin until the kingdoms of this world become those of Christ (Rev.11:15) who will from that point on reign into the ages. Those ages haven’t started. So there are yet future ages which haven’t even begun.

Other references to multiple future ages:

and He will be King over the House of Jacob for the Ages, and of His Kingdom there will be no end." (Lk.1:33)

And the seventh messenger did sound, and there came great voices in the heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of the world did become those of our Lord and of His Christ, and he shall reign into the ages of the ages!’ (Rev.11:15)

and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night – into the ages of the ages. (Rev.20:10)

and night shall not be there, and they have no need of a lamp and light of a sun, because the Lord God doth give them light, and they shall reign – into the ages of the ages. (Rev.22:5)

Some introductory historical remarks are required for the next point. The New Testament quotes from the Greek OT much more often than the Hebrew OT. An Old Testament in the Greek language accepted by the early church was known as the translation of Theodotian (see urls below for details).There was also the early Greek OT known as the LXX or Septuagint which has significant differences with the translation of Theodotian. … theodotion

“Theodotion’s translation of Daniel supplanted the original LXX version which was quite different. The Book of Hebrews (11:33=Daniel 6:23) and Revelation both agree with Theodotion’s translation (Origen’s Hexapla contained these translations).” … uagint.htm

“[Theodotian’s] translation, however, is seemingly “quoted” in Heb. 11:33 and several times in Revelations! This strongly suggests that Theodotion’s version was based upon either a lost Greek translation which competed with the LXX or upon a “revised” LXX…Theodotion’s version of Daniel is the one officially accepted by the Church and usually printed in modern editions of the LXX…”

The book of Daniel is closely associated with the book of Revelation which contains our many references to the phrase “the ages of the ages”.
It seems, from the quotes above, that John was more likely to have used a Greek OT in harmony with that of Theodotian’s rather than the LXX.

In Daniel 12:3 this Greek OT of Theodotian, unlike the LXX, speaks of the “eons and further” αἰῶνας καὶ ἔτι]. This is in the context of resurrection spoken of in verse 2, which recalls the resurrections of the book of Revelation. Could Daniel’s reference to “the eons and further” be to a time beyond “the eons of the eons” spoken of in Revelation? Both make reference to eons, but Daniel speaks of what is beyond “the eons”. It seems Daniel may be speaking of a time after that of John’s Revelation references to eons, which would make “the eons of the eons” of a finite duration. If John had wished to convince his readers of the idea of endless eons, readers who may have been familiar with Daniel 12:3, it seems that speaking of mere “eons of the eons” was not the way to do it.

For further reading re God’s Plan of the Eons:


[size=150]Pfff good luck to that… :unamused:[/size]


I really think this whole “AGE” thing is way overplayed. I get it. It sounds so, I don’t know, cool. Like some kind of fantasy novel that you very much want to read. We’re attracted to that sort of thing; I don’t know why. At least I know that I find it attractive. Now there’s plenty of mystery to be had, so don’t be downcast–but this “age” thing is just semantics in my opinion.

Here today, in the U.S., we have the “Bush years,” the “Clinton administration,” the “era of Obama,” the “age of Trump”… It’s all just a manner of speaking. There’s nothing magical about ages. It’s simply and frankly, mundanely, a way of talking about periods of time in which certain things are (or will be in the case of prophecy) happening. Would it be better to talk about the time period following the first resurrection? It might be better because it doesn’t (at least to me) evoke the pseudo boundaries of a particular mystical “age.” I honestly don’t think we can scientifically dissect these “ages” one from another like they’re some kind of discrete entities. It’s just a way of talking, of classifying and categorizing events. It’s not like one day it’s the Jurassic age, and then all of a sudden at midnight, the Cretaceous age takes over and everything changes.

As for Luke 20, though, Jesus was merely calling out the Sadducees for their stupid attempt at a trick question. His conclusion is: “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for all live unto Him.” If all live unto Him, I don’t understand what the problem is. Is that going to change? Does God change? NO.

Well… I’m being a little dogmatic here. The problem is that people get all wrapped up in weeds and they miss the main point. Jesus is rolling His eyes at the Sadducees. Even a couple of them realized this and commended him; “Rabbi, you speak well.” (And I’ve heard people teach that the Sadducees were incorrigible–apparently a few of them had one or two neurons left capable of sustaining a synapse.) They had asked a stupid question… as if women would still be OWNED by men, and who would be this woman’s owner in the resurrection?!! What a bunch of ‘full-of-themselves’ morons. In the resurrection, she is an equal–they are all like the angels, undying, glorious, sons of God (not in the sense of males, but in the sense of mature heirs). Please don’t misunderstand; I do not see marriage today as an institute that amounts to slavery (at least not by and large in the 1st world western nations.) BUT in Jesus time, that is far too often exactly what marriage WAS.

Forgive me; I’m getting off track. I’m going to leave that, though. The point is that our institutions of this world simply can’t be expected to carry on in the larger “age” or “ages” to come. We are doubtless absolutely incapable of understanding that vast expanse of freedom and glory that will appear to us. One thing we do know from the passage, however, is that ALL LIVE UNTO HIM. Don’t make the oft-made and exceedingly silly mistake of remarking, in effect, that “All who live, live unto Him.” Of course they do, but that’s a saying that says very little. “ALL live unto Him” stands on its own, and THAT (not the other) is what Jesus actually said. ALL. Unqualified. So don’t be afraid. God is Good. All the time.


Yep, I couldn’t agree more. The point I’ve simply highlighted being… Paul’s use in the context of covenant transition in terms the old order/age/world drawing to a close with the coming new order/age/world that was dawning “in Christ”. Understood accordingly gives clarity to these texts…

Thus John and Paul’s “passing world” or OC system correlates with the disciples…

Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”


Hi, Davo

Yes, I agree. When I see people talking about ages and asking things like ‘how many are there?’ and seemingly seeing the various ‘ages’ as discrete entities (or at least as discrete entities with some overlap), I keep seeing guys with charts and pointers explaining minutely detailed particulars regarding the various ages which they have extrapolated from scriptures that were (imo) never intended to be used that way. :unamused: It doesn’t sound like that’s the way you see it. Though I’m not a preterist (well, maybe partial), I appreciate your clarifying your position on that. :slight_smile: Thanks!


Where, then, is Satan? Is he still the god of this world? Is he still blinding unbelievers minds, as per 2 Cor.4:4? Or do you think he is already in the lake of fire? Or perhaps already saved? Or is it your position that Satan is just a myth & that the Divinely inspired writers of the Scriptures didn’t believe Satan exists as a person?

According to your Pantelist theology God is already “all in all” (1 Cor.15:28), death is already abolished (1 Cor.15:26), all the resurrections of Scripture have already occurred, Christ returned in 70 AD, & all the prophesies of Scripture have been fulfilled, correct? Also you say that Scripture is silent as regards the question of afterlife correction (or punishment), yet this doesn’t keep you (for unexplained reasons) from leaning against the teaching of there being an after death punishment. Do you also lean against there being punishment for Satan, demons & fallen angels?


Correct… though I doubt you understand the full gamut of these things.

I’d have thought the apparent “for unexplained reasons” rather obvious… there is NO biblical teaching on “afterlife correction or punishment”.

Such ended with the AD70 parousia courtesy of the lake of fire, i.e., the destruction of Jerusalem. That which opposed and accused the brethren, aka the High priest and Co. had their place in the lake of fire.

You really don’t get the language do you?? Israel’s eyes were “veiled” — a clear reference to the Temple, i.e., law righteousness. Their ignorant hankering (Rom 10:3) for law righteousness was the very thing condemning them, i.e., “accusing” (satan) them, aka “the law” Jn 5:45.

Well what is your concept of saved? If the satan be a human figure, i.e., the High Priest then as a human and despite his ignorance and demise in the lake of fire… duly reconciled.

The Scriptures attest to ‘satan’ — whether they agree with your reddish, horned and pointy-tailed ethereal being is totally another thing altogether.


Neither is there, according to you, teaching against afterlife correction or punishment. After all, you claimed Scripture is silent on the issue. Yet, as i said, for no apparent reason you take a side (in your lean against such punishment).

If Scripture teaches anything from Genesis to Revelation, it teaches that Divine punishment is coming for those who do evil. God does not change.


Well Origen… you’ve got me befuddled as to why you keep talking in circles… is it because you can’t answer anything else. :blush:

OF COURSE, I “lean against such punishment” BECAUSE as I pointed out… “there is NO biblical teaching on afterlife correction or punishment”. :unamused:


Well…only if everything was all wrapped up in AD 70. :mrgreen:


:laughing: Well… perhaps you can explain what your master means :laughing: