So Bob, you believe in postmortem punishment but you don’t think every imperfect person ends up there… On what basis do people then escape or end up in hell? Does God weigh our good and bad deeds on a scale, and determine our immediate postmortem state based on that? I know that at least one of the rabbis in the Talmud taught something similar.
Great question, qaz. I don’t know any precise measure for this, and assume only God knows the details of how we should be evaluated. I just trust that God knows the general direction of our life and whether our heart moves toward his righteousness, and thus whether more correction would be valuable in our journey.
For me, such imprecision is no worry, since I reason that affirming the goodness of God, means that God can be trusted to do whatever is appropriate with this. Indeed I assume any ‘hell’ will be consistent with the Bible’s pattern of allowing judgments that let us experience consequences of some of our choices, but that this thus will not involve retribution, or anything less than a way of ensuring our own blessing.
For my impression is that the essence of healthy religion is coming to trust that the ultimate reality (‘God’) truly is good and seeks our good.
This is kind of interesting.
Bob then said:
Thanks Bob but you did try to sidestep much of qaz’s inquiry.
To think that people end up in post mortem punishment comes from what scripture verses?
And what (if you provide the verses) is the criteria for a soul to either enter into post mortem punishment/correction or move on to blessed Glory with Jesus? Or perhaps be positioned into a never ending torment?
You did say: “For me, such imprecision is no worry, since I reason that affirming the goodness of God, means that God can be trusted to do whatever is appropriate with this.”
I appreciate that but there are folks (evangelicals) that put a huge condition on the person to do something to somehow escape the retribution of God. qaz was simply asking simple questions that most evangelicals can not answer. And that is the bottem line.
Look forward to your answer.
True. They need some educating.
Thanks But does that mean the conditions stand IF THEY DON’T GET SAID EDUCATING?.
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No, qaz didn’t ask reasons to believe that judgment could be suffered beyond death. Given that I accept a sort of traditional reading, he asked on what basis I assumed different outcomes would be distinguished. While many texts present criterion for how God will judge, it’s fine with me if you think my honest answer was not knowledgeable or precise enough. It could be that you have more ability to decipher texts than I do.
Various judgment texts have been debated at length on many EU threads, but If you are asking for a text that sounds to me like judgment could actually be suffered even after death, Hebrews 9:27’s statement comes to mind that “People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”
Yep I’m sure this cuts both ways… deciphering each other’s nuances is one of the difficulties of forum discussions.
Ok so I can see you’re extrapolating beyond what I’m trying to say or mean with regards to the completeness of the parousia (AD70). That God has already dealt with and removed the sin condition that stood over and against man (your… completely exonerated) that did not excuse away, in terms of believers, poor sinful behaviour from one toward another — as per numerous NT injunctions.
Just because the Parousia can be viewed as a past event does NOT preclude anyone recognising it as such from assuming that said injunctions made prior must needs be null and void thereafter. Any instruction can be made applicable in terms of engendering or releasing spiritual or practical blessing. Take for example this same principle… JUST BECAUSE the OC came to an end does not preclude anybody from imbibing of certain or given principles contained therein having traction in one’s life in the here and now IF THAT’S what one might deem as appropriate for them — same deal.
You’ll note I didn’t make your claim to “most” but rather… “quite a deal…”. Do your own google search on the matter and you’ll see what I mean.
Well that is not so much any point to make given that the fulfilled view in evangelical circles is a minority view, so of course not; and thereby misconstrued.
Yep and that’s ok IF that’s a point you think you can make.
Yes I can appreciate that. As I alluded to earlier… many gentile believers (in Corinth) had come to an errant conclusion that fostered an attitude of superiority, that was — assuming God was done with His people Israel — WRONG! Paul was pointing out that the gentiles in fact needed Israel BECAUSE she was the Tree into which they were grafted via Jesus who came as true Israel to save (redeem) his own people Israel.
IOW… IF Israel fell over or failed, i.e., were actually “cast away by God” THEN the gentiles had no hope BECAUSE gentile reconciliation was reliant and predicated on Israel’s redemption. This is the essence of certain Corinthian’s claims against the resurrection of the dead — a REALLY bizarre claim when you think about it for supposed Christians to make. So where was the trouble, what was going on? It all came down to “the dead” and the resurrection thereof — who were the dead being denied?
The dead was old covenant Israel… “dead in trespasses and sins” and in need of resurrection, i.e., covenant resurrection aka renewal — and THAT was the NATIONAL resurrection promised to historic Israel of old (Ezek 37:1-14; 36:26-27; Jer 31:31-33) and NOW occurring on their behalf in Christ. “IF the dead (Israel) rise not” of which Jesus was the firstfruits then no one had life… all was lost IF what some were saying was true — again they were WRONG!
So what do you perceive of the promises made to historic Israel that found their ‘yes and amen’ (confirmation) in Christ? — was this just all empty superfluous rhetoric on the part of the OT prophets? So does the likes of Mt 1:21; Rom 11:26-27 et al actually mean anything?
It’s ok to add that if you will… BUT is there any evidence that they did?
I don’t really have an issue “…that the church’s Gentile readers would expect that God’s priority seen here upon his people’s deeds toward the least would reflect God’s unchanging nature and values, and thus his consistent approach to evaluating our standing with him.” But to maintain, as I do, that the Mt 25 passage was pertinent to the AD70 parousia doesn’t change that. I’m not sure why you think it would.
Well, He said…
Thus my inquiry!
That is of course standard fare for the evangelical take, and given that’s the thrust of this site a natural given, BUT that doesn’t preclude other understandings of that text, which I’ve for one made elsewhere. But that aside… IF you only stick with said “judgment” — there is NOTHING in the passage suggesting a negative outcome in terms of postmortem trauma. Said judgment can just as easily be seen as verdict — the Judge passed his judgment (verdict) “NOT GUILTY!!”
Not only that and much more to the point… when it comes to ALL the NT passages where judgement is mentioned ALL such are recompensed in terms of REWARDS or their loss, relative to WORKS — not postmortem destinies!
Yes, I expected that you’d say Hebrews leaves room to hope that the outcome of God’s judgment will be positive for everyone. But in reality this text says that “salvation” is only in store for those with the rightful response of “waiting for Christ.” Indeed, most N.T. judgment texts, including those in Hebrews, are in the form of dire warnings. E.g. in the following chapter, some will face, “a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire… The Lord will judge_ his people. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Indeed, judgment texts are regularly not describing a universal finding (Not guilty), but concerned with the reality of differing outcomes. Even you acknowledge that many such texts use the language of possible “loss.”
I have no investment in what such language meant its’ authors thought would literally be involved in the first centuries consensus that there would be judgment beyond death. I tend to see all such language as quite metaphorical, but see no reason to think these writers expected that death brought exemption from all their experience of God’s ability to deal with unrepentant rebellious trajectory by using some form of sober correction. Reasoning that the results at the judgment as excluding the “negative” appears to be wishful thinking to me, and based on a Biblical hermeneutic which I have difficulty grasping.
Yep, wow, Davo, I agree that mutual clarity gets difficult here.
E.g. when I said that you see everyone as unconditionally ‘exonerated,’ I didn’t mean you reject NT ethics, but that they are unconditionally saved from any future judgment.
Just your doubt (“is there any evidence”) that Bible writers wrote for their generation’s readers shows that our perception of the nature of the text involves very different assumptions.
I also didn’t grasp your distinction between “most” scholars and “quite a deal,” but glad we agree the interpretation that “faithful obedience” is a calling until AD70 is a minority view.
I’m confused about you saying it’s OK to hold that the calling of obedience extends beyond AD 70, the difference that launched my initial dispute.
I don’t follow saying, “If Israel failed, Gentiles had no hope.” I don’t see the storyline claiming that Israel was a success, Rather, a la NT Wright, that Jesus was a success in fulfilling what Israel was called to be. Thus while I see much NT reinterpretation of how the OT’s literal promises would actually be fulfilled, I see Jesus as the one who fulfills the promises made to Israel to bring blessing to all the nations, and ultimately to save all Israel and indeed all people from their sins.
But if you are saying that it is AD 70 which saved ethnic Israel from their sins, and that Gentile salvation rests on that, I’m clueless to what that means. Indeed, I’m no dispensationalist, and I suspect that I have no real grasp of why or even what you meant when you responded to my case for obedience that "the call to “faithful obedience was—until the day” i.e., AD70.
This might surprise you Bob but I kind of agree with you (but for different reasons)… I was somewhat playing devil’s advocate along evangelical lines — just the other side of the coin. What I really think the writer of Hebrews alludes to I’ve made clear right HERE and HERE.
Well… don’t put words in my mouth Bob. There “may” be judgment postmortem for all — I kind of think yes — BUT only following the biblical pattern. I can only see ‘judgement’ as possibly relevant to one’s “works” (and thus rewards / loss thereof) and NOT so-called “eternal destinies”, NOR in particular as some universalists promulgate… of a ‘purgatorial penance’ in a lake of fire etc, as I’m sure you’re familiar with has been touted here before.
You’re being a bit cheeky as you know that’s a bit of spin on your part.
There is a bit/lot in this to unpack so I might deal with this in a subsequent post…
A “postmortem destiny” to the LOF in Rev.20:11-15; 21:8 appears to be an exception. There the resurrected are judged by their acts/works & the lost/wicked/unbelievers (i.e. those not found in the book of life) are sent to their first “postmortem destiny”, i.e. the LOF. Compare for example Dan.12:2, Jn.5:28-29; Isa.45:21-25; Mt.25:41,46; 1 Cor.3:15.
Rev.20:11 And I perceived a great white throne, and Him Who is sitting upon it, from Whose face earth and heaven fled, and no place was found for them." 12 And I perceived the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. And the scrolls were opened. And another scroll was opened which is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged by that which is written in the scrolls in accord with their acts." 13 And the sea gives up the dead in it, and death and the unseen give up the dead in them. And they were condemned, each in accord with their acts." 14 And death and the unseen were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death-the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone was not found written in the scroll of life, he was cast into the lake of fire."
Since Origen brought up, the subject of Revelations. It is POSSIBLE that some on planet earth - past or present…will see EVERYTHING as literal and straightforward. What a WIERD world that will be.
I see this forum as a bar. I got into a bar and say:
I’ll have the Eastern Orthodox, Hell Version drink.
Followed by what the Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Baptists, and Methodists are drinking - the Amillennialism special.
And I want that SPECIAL drink - the Zombie Apocalypse special.
As the Zen saying goes, “A bird has no fear of the branch breaking because its trust is not on the branch but in its own wings.”
I see Davo in this bar, drinking his usual 70 A.D. cocktail. I could NEVER get used to that drink’s taste. But I’ll ask him, if he seen any zombies - in the bar today.
Never mind. I will ask the bartender.
To which I’d reply… “only now since you’ve crawled in”
@davo you’ve avoided expounding Hebrews 10:26, which seems to clearly indicate that Christ’s sacrifice doesn’t save everyone from punishment.
Bob, I like your idea that not all people who die in a state of imperfection go to hell.
Please forgive my egotism, but despite having Fuller’s Masters and Doctorate in Biblical theology, I increasingly sense that I seem unable to grasp what your view actually is, and that its’ obscurity and unfamiliar way of handling texts may frustrate desires to promote it.
You asserted, NOTHING in Hebrews suggests any negative outcomes are possible. I replied that this text declares that “salvation” is only in store for those with the rightful response, and that judgment texts here and usually present dire warning of differing outcomes. So sure, I’m surprised, that you say you agree!
I said that I understand you to hold that everyone is now saved from the future (i.e. eschatological) judgment. And you respond, yes, that you believe in postmortem judgment too, distinguishing that from disbelieving in “so-called eternal destinies.” But that’s not a term I’ve used, and I assume universalists reject that anyone has a disastrous ‘eternal destiny,’ much less that I’ve said I’m not invested in any specific interpretation of how God will deal with the unrepentant in order to restore them (just that the warnings don’t sound like the Bible writers thought God’s style of judgment was necessarily all peaches and cream).
I had perceived that you thought that in some sense all judgment and dealing with sin was satisfied by AD70 (the year up to which you said 'faithful obedience" was called for), and so that God’s only response to the unrepentant now at the judgment will be, Not Guilty.
Of course, I realize that the devil is in your repeated phrase now that you “kind of” agree with my exegesis. But I’m not seeing a clear statement of what you think “postmortem judgment” actually was in the mind of the Bible’s writers, and thus this obscurity makes it difficult for me to even begin to evaluate whether I would perceive the texts as consistent with your view.
Agreed bob. Davo keeps flip flopping between postmortem punishment and no postmortem punishment.
Does Pantelism believe Christ’s sacrifice saved Jerusalem from punishment in 70 AD.
Pantelism seems to apply most, or all, “punishment” (wrath, etc) texts to this life, or 70 AD.