The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Gehenna?


#81

I know. It’s a little maddening, jumping from death to paradise - and surrounded with people who also make it paradise. What makes us all so lovely to be with all of sudden? That’s the mystery to me - because a new body is nice, but that’s not going to cut it…because that’s still not a new creation, that’s merely a re-clad creation.

Is the resurrection about MoreofMe and MoreofYou and MoreofThis? God help us if it is.

So I look to Christ on that question. God will do right in all this, and I will let Him solve the problem.

When Christ says that ‘everyone will be salted with fire’ I say, ‘Aha - that’s where the fixing occurs’.

In all this it’s the same Christ who took away the sins of the world and the same Father who is not counting men’s sins against them and the same Spirit teaching men the truth.

What is it about an eternal fire that scares you when His love is in it? I don’t want MoreofMe, I want ME with my true eternal name.

What I can’t decipher from your argument is when or where all this magic happens.


#82

Not as salty a language as in the past but the fire is still there! :mrgreen:

That was a grand message in it’s simplicity and it’s well placed trust. You write with a rare clairity, Ran.


#83

Thanks John. In the lesson given to His disciples in this short segment of scripture, He covers a gamut of possibilities: from being certainly rewarded for giving a cup of water. That’s sounds easy, except it may be better for the same guy to cut off the same hand that gave the cup of water for causing someone else to sin. If he doesn’t do that ‘surgery’ he ends up on a burning garbage heap but still is rewarded. If the rewarded are or are to be or can be salted with fire without losing their reward, then why not everyone?

OR, if the salting by fire is to be avoided at all costs, why not give someone a cup of water, then shut-up and wait it out? Of course, THAT might be sinning and if others follow the example…

The rewards of trepidation?? Then we got Luther saying “If you are going to sin, sin boldly!” Man, is he ever going to burn for that one! Meanwhile, the powers that be here, are figuring out a way to make this all a sweet little dispassionate tea party.

What could be clearer? :mrgreen:


#84

I don’t have all the answers, Ran. While I’ve suggested how this “jump from death to paradise” might be accomplished elsewhere on this forum, it’s still largely a mystery to me. But what I am confident of is that death is the last enemy, and that when, by Christ’s command, death is swallowed up in victory, all people will be subjected to Christ and reconciled to God. Consequently, no sin or self-righteousness extends beyond this mortal existence.

I certainly don’t think so. But if, after the resurrection, people are still in need of being humbled and purged of sin by the “fire” of Mark 9:49 (which I don’t think you’ve even defined yet), then it would, in fact, be the case that the resurrection is “MoreofMe and MoreofYou and MoreofThis.” :confused:

The fire of Mark 9:49 doesn’t scare me. And that’s not only because of the fact that I see God’s love being present in all the trying circumstances of life, but because I see Jesus’ words in Mark 9 as referring specifically to a judgment that took place almost 2,000 years ago. :wink:

It happens when death is destroyed (1 Cor 15:21-28). As to where it happens, apparently it happens right here on earth, just before we’re caught up in the clouds to meet Christ in the air (1 Thess 4:13-18).


#85

Agreed. I can’t imagine the resurrected being infested like that. Of course, a self-righteous person doesn’t believe that at all - they expect those ‘bad’ people to carry their sin and their sinful attitudes into the resurrection - much like their own.

Is one’s understanding of these things then a TEST? How can one side with those who say that some of the resurrected are resurrected with their sin, while not recognizing the same possibility for themselves?

Remember in all this, He was addressing believers - His own disciples. So to argue that one is ‘washed’ still doesn’t address the possibility of bringing one’s ‘actual’ sin and sinful attitudes (peccadilloes?) into the resurrection. If they claim that those ‘little sins’ will be shed before entering. Then I would submit that that propensity to sin is shed by the same salting by the same fire they claim they are immune to and will never undergo.

So Christ’s “Everyone will be salted with fire.” Stands as a universal truth, just as the rewards for faith stand as just that - Rewards!


#86

Good point. Most Christians will admit that they are far from sinless now (“not perfect, just forgiven” is a common evangelical expression), yet they’re confident that, after death, they will be made sinless and thus fit for heaven - and that not gradually, but instantaneously! Well I submit that if God can do it for them, then he can - and will - do it for everyone.


#87

There is the matter of the corporate soul of the mystical body of Christ. You throw in loving your neighbor as yourself and you may not be complete until the last soul is free from the corruption of the world and bows with bended knee. The principle of “the last being first” and "the least becoming the greatest " paints a picture where time with it’s events might never end.

Do we THINK in our resurrected state. If so the move toward perfection in love marches on.

My belief is that there is nothing instantaneous with regard to our loving God who’s Love ever increases. What kind of a state is “INSTANTANEOUS!”

I am opting out of “INSTANTANEOUS!” RanRan salt me with some more of your fire … and give me some four letter words while you’re at it! :laughing:

John


#88

John, you already are a four letter word!

Looks like we got a vote for growth IN the resurrection. Are you saying that things start out a little awkward or rough at the beginning and then smooth out - especially, if He lets ME in? :angry:

Even if it was instantaneous new thinking in our resurrected state - one could still grow in it, right? Endless depths and all that. And it might take you two million years just to beat me at ping-pong with Aaron chattering on the sidelines, “Hey, He really IS God!”


#89

I’m all for growth in the resurrection - I just deny we’ll be growing less and less sinful. :slight_smile:

Well after I recover from the shock, I’ll whup you both at ping-pong, left-handed and blindfolded. :laughing:


#90

Still laughing at Ran’s retort. :laughing:

What is sinful? Do we ever perfectly hit the mark?

If so, the Trinitarians better get out their adding machines and start making some new rooms in the Godhead. :mrgreen:


#91

“Sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). So according to your view, every past, present and future citizen of Heaven (with the exception of God alone) is going to be a moral lawbreaker for all eternity. What a beautiful and glorious view of Heaven you have, John…so much to look forward to! :unamused:


#92

until the last soul is freed from the law of sin and death we are all lacking in whatever state … such is the body of Christ and the corporate son. Jesus suffers man even today and and until the last man is made free His reign is not over. With the last man made perfect in His image we become one in Christ. Christ then moves over into the seat of the Father where God rests as All in All and One.

Then the dawning of a New Day for Love’s nature is increase. Jubilee is always followed by a New Day.

I have never seen your “instant” Aaron but i know a little of forever. Don’t get tired on us bro, God’s gig is just getting started. :mrgreen:


#93

John, it’s clear that the resurrection is instantaneous. The those living are changed in the twinkling of eye. And it’s universal - everyone is apparently resurrected at once. One doesn’t ‘grow’ into a resurrected body - one is resurrected from death.

You seem to have death being dragged into and along with the resurrection. There is no reason to believe that death isn’t destroyed almost immediately as well.

It’s clear that both the good and the bad are resurrected - but this idea that one or both groups carry sin and death into the resurrection - like some infestation - seems self-defeating in claiming a victory. By that scenario, death hasn’t been destroyed at all and may never be if one ‘stubborn’ sinner can hold up the party.

This is what remains eternal: Christ took away the sins of the world and died for all. HE destroyed death - not us. Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t bring it back or drag into the resurrection something that doesn’t exist.

We have to seriously consider what a new creation (all things being new) looks like. People do not ask to be resurrected - they just are - and there is no going back to something inferior. But the argument continues that some people will resent being given new life - that they are enemy and not death itself. But being born into this life and being reborn a new creation are quite different - but some treat them as though they were the same.

I think that understanding everyone being salted with fire is the key here. No one asks for it and many think they don’t deserve it. But without it, sin and death would surely be dragged into the resurrection, or at least, the residuals of it. It’s a Holy fire and critical to the quality of the resurrected.

But I don’t agree with Aaron that the fire is mere ‘trying circumstances’ - I think it’s much more radical than that. It’s God’s fire - how can it not be good?

So yes, we have faith that He has redeemed us from death - but, seriously, who thinks that’s the end of His purpose for redeeming mankind?


#94

It is universal, but it is not apparent only assumed that everyone is raised at once (though it could be true). What we do know is It will happen to everyone but each in their own turn. So, it happens to all, but not necessarily all at once.


#95

You’re probably thinking of these verses:

But the above begs a couple questions:

  1. Was there more to be revealed about this after Christ was risen?

  2. Did Christ know the extent of those given to Him by the Father (and would arise on the last day) at the time He said the above?

‘Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable…’

‘I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.’


#96

Ran, with regards to the resurrection, you and Aaron seem to be looking at the threshold moment rather than the whole of our resurrection journey. I believe you have to look at our resurrection as a continual process that is quite hidden. There is an inward working of Christ from the inward out with regard to resurrection. It is His resurrected life overtaking the whole of our man of which the body is the last element to manifest such life. The “twinkling of eye” body change, I believe can be likened to a man completing a long journey and finally stepping over the threshold of home. There is a journey of crucifixion and resurrection that leads to the twinkling eye threshold experience. As part of us dies it is resurrected, such is the process of transformation into His Image. The truth is Christ’s resurrected life is already at work within us even this very day.

I will share a couple notes from some old files that you might entertain. Maybe you will understand my thinking, with the emphasis on the process rather that the closing eye fluttering culmination. I might even think the twinkling of an eye, is likened to closing one’s eye to a scene and then reopening it to see a different reality. Now Ran, with regard to the following notes, perception is everything my friend, and I hope I to gain your “eye” rather than your “nay”, or worse yet your ire. :mrgreen:

Truly the resurrection is not a future hope - it is a present reality. As those in Adam “are dying” so in Christ men “ARE being made alive.” Receiving of His life we find it to be a RESURRECTION LIFE. The word “resurrection” is from the Greek word ANASTASIS meaning - a standing or rising up. It denotes much more than our English word resurrection which we term to mean a restoring to life again. The Greek word means the WHOLE PROCESS OF ADVANCING AND RISING UP UNTIL THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE REALM IS REACHED, and our goal is nothing short than full conformation into the image of God that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him. Resurrection is the process of STANDING UP and ADVANCING, it is arising from the dust and the low realm of the earthy, to bear the image of the heavenly. Resurrection is the process of having our life lifted up from the earth, to be raised to the heavenlies, joined in one with the fullness of the Spirit of God. Our alienation and separation from God, with all the dreadful attending sorrows, are already beginning to end in this life as through Christ we ARE MADE ALIVE! And, blessed be His name, in Christ shall A-L-L be made alive!

“Resurrection is the process of STANDING UP and ADVANCING - it is arising from the dust and the low realm of the earthy, to bear the image of the heavenly.” (Eby)

*"…we all shall be changed, in an instant, in the twinkle of an eye, in the last trump…" 1 Cor 15:52 *

“In an instant,” or, “moment” in Greek is in atomos, meaning “un-cut,” or, “without division or separation.” About 300 years earlier, Plato used atomos to refer to what we in scientific terminology call the elements. Anything that was purified by “cutting” out everything mixed with it until there was nothing that could be separated from it any more was an element, such as gold, or sulfur, or iron, etc. We are now in the process of being purified and everything corruptible is being cut away that only Christ remain. This is the working of the Cross which is far from instantaneous and the Christ’ cross works on both sides of the grave, in heaven as well as on earth. The Cross of Christ truly grows into Tree of Life.

So pick up your cross pilgrims, resurrection life is astirrin in ya, even this moment! :smiley:

*But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.1Cr 2:9 *

John


#97

One minute you’re dead and next minute you’re a alive again - with nothing, literally nothing in between but death which is nothing and nothingness. That’s what Paul was communicating in a his use of an ‘instant.’

The Great Hope is still a hope because no matter how esoteric one may wish to get about it - no one on this side of death has experienced it - it remains our HOPE.

Now, can we relate your hope becoming more real and hopeful as it nears? Yes. But we are talking reality here - ultimate reality for men - THE reality for which we were made. I think most of these things are so simple and straightforward that a child can get it, so if these things are hidden - then they are hidden from them.

Anyway, you’re probably talking more about faith, hope and charity than the resurrection per se. Only Christ has returned to show us just how real it is. No esoteric mush. 'Touch me - it is I, myself!" That’s the resurrection I put my hope on.

I hate mush. It literally gums up my hope and I lose focus.


#98

Ran it seems you have physical death as some kind of magic bullet that travels around the cross. I believe heaven’s time or even the gulf between heaven and earth may well run by a different clock than by the earths orbit, allowing for the realization of the transformation of the cross. I might even suspect the souls departure from the body and this earth could be an event filled experience where the cross works it’s transformation. Either way time and events transpire and patience will still have her perfect work. Oh yeah, that patience is a real motha! Possibly an instant in one world is as lifetime in another or the measure of the scale of a day being as a thousand years. .

Cut a physical life short and what is the purpose for such a life. With your scenario Ran, infanticide would go out the roof.

Jesus experienced much in his three days … hardly an instant!

Raising my goblet, here’s to a big grave spanning Cross not gumming up your hope my friend. :mrgreen:

John


#99

I fear some are still under the lingering effects of the Church’s rapture drugs as they mix some dung in with the chocolates by their use of “instant” in relationship with our resurrection.

Bottom line, one must experience the cross to know the Son and be made into His image. The soul, the seat of the flesh, is transformed by the realization of the cross and there are the virtues of patience, endurance and longsuffering gained by the experience. These virtues are anything but “instant” for by their very nature they are gained through process. This process takes place on earth, in deaths transition or at the steps of the heavenly throne and most likely all three. The processing of the soul is gain, as the cross is a positive experience culminating in the glory of a resurrected body.

The soul ever fearful is dragged through the cross where it learns to love the cross which is the very center of the heart of God. Our crucifixion is our resurrection!

It’s bout time some get their eyes off of scripture and experience that which is in scripture. Embrace the Cross!


#100

I would tend to agree with that because the continuity of the individual is important.