The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Matthew 7:21 never enter heaven?


#81

Got Questions also says universalism is false. If what they said mattered this site wouldn’t exist.


#82

Well, none of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox or Protestant churches - teach dogmatic universalism. However, the Eastern Orthodox church (which I will eventually become a member) and the Roman Catholic Church (where I am in their RCIA program) - allow for Hopeful Apocatastasis. And this is also my position. And with a definitive Inclusivism (1,2,3,4) In fact, here’s a copy of an email today - I sent to the RCIA program director:

Anyway, you asked me if I wanted to be confirmed Catholic. And I need to give an honest answer.

When I started my journey with the RCIA program…I also started going to an Orthodox Church…and getting to know the priests and some of the laity - quite well.

To make a long story short, I recently requested the Chief priest…to instruct me in the ways of Orthodoxy.

So in January, they will put together - a program of instruction for me.

So where does that leave the Roman Catholic church and the RCIA program? Well, I see no reason not to continue with the RCIA. And learn about the Roman Catholic church perspective.

Who knows. Perhaps down the road, I might feel a need to become Catholic. And it will be much easier, having gone through an RCIA program once. And no. I don’t come to the RCIA to criticize anything. But to learn and maybe ask clarifying questions. And I still look upon it, as a church with valid orders, saints, relics, sacraments and holy places.

But there will be some theological differences, between Catholic and Orthodox theology. But they are much closer together, then the Protestant counterparts.

So unless an Orthodox priest chooses me, to attend some class on Tuesday evening…I’ll continue with the RCIA program in January. God bless, God speed and happy holidays.

So, anyway. I’m in McDonald’s today. And I start a chat, with a Ethiopian black gentleman. And we talk about how I like Ethiopian food. And he mentions he is Ethiopian Orthodox. And I share my journey to Orthodoxy. And we exchange contact info. It’s a small world.


#83

Jesus uttered many parables concerning the Kingdom of God (or Kingdom of Heaven—same thing). He gave parables for all stages of the Kingdom, the infant stage, its growth, and the final mature stage.

He gave an example of the infant stage when the Pharisees asked Him when the Kingdom of God would come.

Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (Luke 17:20,21 ESV)

In what way was the Kingdom of God in the midst of the Pharisees on the day in which Jesus answered this question? A kingdom consists of a king and his subjects. Standing right there in the midst of the Pharisees was King Jesus and his subjects, His disciples. That was the Kingdom of God in its infant stage.


#84

Who are these saved who haven’t entered the kingdom? What kingdom are they in, the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Satan?


#85

I’m still wondering where you ever got the idea I ever thought any such thing. And still waiting for you to provide a quote of mine supporting anything resembling that. Matthew calls it the “kingdom OF the heavens”, not the “kingdom IN the heavens”. Big difference.

Here’s a well written detailed study that explains the verses re the “kingdom of the heavens” in the gospel of Matthew:

If the kingdom doesn’t exist postmortem, then do you think it is temporary?

I suggest you read the study above & below:


#86

E.G., the temporary millennial kingdom that hasn’t begun yet is obviously not the kingdom of God that exists presently.

I have no idea what your point is. BTW most of those verses don’t even use the word “kingdom”.


#87

It’s easy to assume the two kingdoms in Mt.19:23-24 are identical, but that’s not necessarily the case. If a pilot says to his passengers “we are about to land in New York. Prepare for a landing in the USA”, you’ld be in error if you thought NY was identical to the USA. To land in New York is to land in the USA, but to land in the USA is not necessarily to land in NY.

Furthermore, the context (Mt.19:16-29) relates entering the kingdom not to reigning/serving in this life, as per your view, but to salvation & obtaining aionion life (e.g. life in the millennial aion to come). It rejects the teaching that everyone is saved no matter how wicked they are living & believing.

Jesus wasn’t advocating the false gospel that everyone is saved & can live however they wish, e.g… antonimianism, & all go to endless bliss at the moment of death, while some people are chosen to reign in life & serve the rest, with self denial, persecutions & sufferings, and then at death get the same destiny of endless bliss as the wicked Christ rejecters who were persecuting them.

Here is a good paper on the Premillennial view. It concludes:

"The testimony of Scripture is clear—the millennial kingdom of Jesus the Messiah is earthly and future from our standpoint in history. The Old Testament offers evidence for an intermediate kingdom, and this intermediate kingdom is explicitly stated to be one thousand years according to Rev 20:1–10. In addition, the consensus of the early church was that Jesus’ millennial reign was both earthly and future. The truth of premillennialism should cause all Christians to pray what Jesus taught us to pray in Matt 6:10: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” "


#88


#89

I’m doing my part, for Eastern Orthodoxy and Christianity…and leading folks into the kingdom. I hope I’m going about this, the right way! :blush:


#90

Origen:
///
Who are these saved who haven’t entered the kingdom? What kingdom are they in, the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Satan?
///

My guess is the people who don’t live up to the standards you love to quote (1 Corinthians 6:9, etc).


#91

@Origen
///
If the kingdom doesn’t exist postmortem, then do you think it is temporary?
///

It’s earthly/this worldly. Whether or not it’s temporary depends on if humanity finds a way to survive in this universe forever. Scientists predict that one day the sun will die and that the universe will collapse. As long as humanity continues to find a way to survive, the kingdom will exist.


#92

@Origen
///
the temporary millennial kingdom that hasn’t begun yet is obviously not the kingdom of God that exists presently.
///

I think the millennium was the period from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry to the destruction of the temple.


#93

Only Matthew uses the phrase “kingdom of heaven,” and he uses it 31 times. He also uses the phrase “kingdom of God” 4 times. Mark, Luke, and John do not use “kingdom of heaven” at all. Does that mean that Mark, Luke, and John didn’t believe in the kingdom of heaven? Not at all. It’s just that they used exclusively the phrase “kingdom of God” in reference to the same kingdom. Mark used it 13 times, Luke 31 times, and John twice. All this shows is that Matthew preferred the phrase “kingdom of heaven” when writing about the one and only kingdom of God.


#94

Right paidion. Matthew didn’t want to offend Jews, who may have found it irreverent to say “God”, so he said “heavens” instead.


#95

Okay. So would it follow that Mark, Luke, and John didn’t mind offending Jews?

Also, If that were Matthew’s concern, I wouldn’t expect him to use the phrase “Kingdom of God” at all. Yet he did use the phrase 4 times in his “gospel.”


#96

BTW there is no hint that the LOF is for “correction”. Revelation says those cast into it are tormented. If they were receiving moral instruction, I would think John wouldn’t leave out that important detail.


#97

The rich man in Hades who was being tormented was receiving instruction.

John already wrote that Jesus takes away the sin of the world & is its Savior (John1:29; 4:42; 1 John 2:1-2, etc). And saw everyone worshipping the Lamb (Rev.5:13).


#98

The rich man and Lazarus is a parable. I don’t think it’s even about the afterlife, but the reversal in Jew and gentile fortunes during the transition of covenants.


#99

I don’t know what the lake of fire has to do with Matthew 7:21 or this thread, but it’s often equated with Gehenna which is referred to earlier in Jesus’ teaching in chapters 5-7.

The context of Matthew 5:25-26, both before & after those 2 verses, is making references to Gehenna. Verses 21-26 have to do with anger & being reconciled & v.22 warns of Gehenna. In verses 27-30 the subject is adultery & v.30 warns regarding Gehenna.

Matt 5:25-26 Come to terms quickly with your adversary before it is too late and you are dragged into court, handed over to an officer, and thrown in jail. I assure you that you won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.

“They must pay (as GMac says) the uttermost farthing – which is to say, they must tender the forgiveness of their brethren that is owed, the repentance and sorrow for sin that is owed, etc. Otherwise they do stay in prison with the tormenters. (their guilt? their hate? their own filthiness?) At last resort, if they still refuse to let go that nasty pet they’ve been stroking, they must even suffer the outer darkness. God will remove Himself from them to the extent that He can do so without causing their existence to cease. As Tom Talbot points out so well, no sane person of free will (and the child must be sane and informed to have freedom) could possibly choose ultimate horror over ultimate delight throughout the unending ages.”

Mt.18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon…
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Compare the torment of Mt.18:34 with torment in LOF passages in Rev.14:9-11 & 20:10.

Also compare the Matthew 5 Gehenna contexts, 1 Cor.6:9-11 & similar Pauline remarks with:

Rev.21:8 But to the cowardly and unbelieving and having become abominable and murderers and the sexually immoral and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their portion is in the lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

1 Cor.6: 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous ones will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor coveters, not drunkards, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And some of you were such. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.


#100

And WHAT was the instruction the rich man in Hades received… betwixt the two there was a GREAT IMPASSABLE CHASM FIRMLY FIXED!!!

Lk 16:23-24, 26 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

So much for the PU doctrine that views postmortem fiery torments as a mere transit station on the way to better destinations.