The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Matthew 7:21 never enter heaven?


But you don’t know this because when you apply your PU method you can just as conveniently say… “The account of Luke 16:19-31 may only be describing the rich man’s first few minutes in Hades after dieing [sic]” Thus thereafter when his tongue wasn’t quenched he turned and made all manner of blasphemous curses… See how flexibly like jelly your PU is.


Your adding to the word of God.


There you have it… THAT’S what PU allows you to do!


Really? That’s your response?:roll_eyes:


Scripture reveals all will be saved. The wicked are conscious in the lake of fire being tormented “into the eons of the eons” until they enter the New Jerusalem & are saved. If there is no corrective salvific purpose to them being there tormented, then why are they being tormented? Are their torments for God’s sadistic pleasure?

Are the “torments” of people in the lake of fire (LOF) for the purpose of (1) “to end the old covenant” (2) Love Omnipotent’s sadistic delights or (3) correction? The answer to this multiple choice question seems quite obvious to me.

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it. (CLV)

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.



I think I see your point. This scripture came to mind:

When that day comes, you will beg for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you on that day." ~~ Proverbs 1:28

It still doesn’t change my view that God destroys in His judgment but then resurrects. I don’t hold to the PU you describe. But a different one.


It also doesn’t change the fact that Gehenna is a valley outside the earthly Jerusalem. The new Jerusalem is a different context and therefore the lake of fire and sulfur isn’t Gehenna. Nowhere is it called Gehenna. Just as the Kings and nations were killed in battle under the wrath of the lamb and then purified in the lake of fire and sulfur as we see them entering the gates of the city.


I agree indeed it was… Jesus however uses this, i.e., its destructive nature, as a figurative picture of the fiery ordeal that lay on their horizon. In the biblical parlance of Israel’s old covenant story EXILE was DEATH. Israel’s first death came with the Babylonian conflagrations and destruction of 586BC — from this there was a prophesied and promised resurrection; not so with Israel’s second death.

Israel’s “second death” i.e., the LoF came with the Roman conflagrations and destruction of AD70 — from this there was NO prophesied nor promised resurrection; the LoF was the terminus of the old covenant world encapsulated in the end-time rout and ruin of Jerusalem and Temple.


The second death is the lake of fire. The lake of fire is in the context of the new Jerusalem. Gehenna is located outside the earthly Jerusalem. It’s still there today. This is clearly two different contexts. Nowhere does the Bible say the lake of fire is Gehenna. It’s called the lake of fire and sulfur. Not the new Gehenna. The Bible would have said this if the lake of fire was Gehenna. There’s an earthly Jerusalem and a new Jerusalem. Gehenna is located outside the earthly Jerusalem that is still there today. Two different contexts. The Lake of Fire and sulfur in not the Gehenna of 70 A.D. The resurrection comes from the fact that Christ was our substitutionary atonement.

The penalty for sin cannot be eternal death for Christ was resurrected

The penalty for sin cannot be eternal suffering for Christ didn’t suffer forever.


Yes indeed.

In terms of the forthcoming destruction on Jerusalem of old, yes — there was a 40yr transitional period AD30—70 where the two existed side-by-side (Mt 13:30) but in the end-of-the-age the old was fully done away… seen literally in the lake of fire — the very thing Jerusalem and in particular the Temple became as it was razed in a blaze, molten of flames; like the Cross it is literal history which wrought great spiritual significance.

Not in so many literal words BUT certainly in the words pictures of Jesus’ “gehenna” — I agree with Paidion that gehenna and the lake of fire are one and the same (albeit Paidion views its application as different, though both entities as one and the same nonetheless).

These were emblematic of the co-exiting respective covenants of that era, old and new, as per Paul…

Gal 4:24-26 …which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.


I agree.

Romans 9:29 says, "Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have resembled Gomorrah."

Deut. 29:23 “The whole land is brimstone, salt and burning; it is not sown, nor does it bear, nor does any grass grow there, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim which the Lord overthrew in His anger and His wrath.”

2 Peter 2:6-9 “If He did not spare the ancient world when He brought the flood on its ungodly people, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness among the eight, if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, reducing them to ashes as an example of what comes on the ungodly, and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was oppressed with the filthy conduct of the wicked, then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.”

The “old” covenant as in the Levitical/ Jewish Law was a false covenant. The “new” covenant has ALWAYS existed alongside false prophets, false covenants, foreign gods, etc.,etc, and STILL does.


Okay Davo. I’m going to look more into this. I’m holding that the destruction of the temple closed the covenant. Those in the lake of fire were destroyed forever. Is that correct? We now live in the reconciled era. God is the savior of all. Especially them that believe. This is referring to post 70 AD. Those that were destroyed in the lake of fire are gone. Is that right?


Yes… all things related that OC age — temple / priesthood / sacrifices / service etc, etc. They were all denuded of any redemptive worth at the Cross BUT still maintained sway UNTIL being finally removed as per AD70 (Heb 8:13 et al).

Not quite. From the pantelist perspective (not necessarily prêterist) annihilation means nothing more than cessation of the physical being, and does not translate into any consequence beyond the grave as per the likes of standard postmortem annihilationism. IOW… “destroyed forever” just means physically dead, though carries the connotation that such death was likely the result of judgement, e.g., AD70. Warnings were duly given to avoid these perilous times but if they didn’t heed such and so repent they would perish and many as history records did.

Well really, from AD30 forward through 70 and beyond.

Only in the sense that all who died in the conflagrations of those days have long since perished, having then passed through death’s veil stepping into God’s greater domain… something that awaits each of us in our turn.


Perhaps this may help. It comes from today’s Patheos, Evangelical newsletter! :wink:



Been reading your articles on the site. Good stuff. I need to go over some of this. It’s new to me but makes sense.


@hollytree you may also want to listen to these:



Do you think it’s possible that the lake of fire is eternal since the context changes from the earthly Gehenna (still in existence today) to a heavenly new Jerusalem? You yourself said that this is symbolic. It describes eternal realities and is therefore symbolic. Those that were judged in 70 AD had rejected the God Christ and therefore committed the eternal sin. As a result they are forever in punishment. Judgment Day is over and God has reconciled all to Himself This describes the reality in which we now liveGod is the savior of all - especially them that believe. Post 70 A.D. we are all in a state of righteousness before God. Those with faith are sanctified but all are justified because of the faith and obedience of Christ and the ending of the old covenant after Judgment Day.

The new heavens and earth is the new Jerusalem. This is a different context than the earthly Jerusalem and earthly Gehenna. They are still here today. All things in the new Jerusalem are made new. The lake of fire isn’t included in the ALL THINGS RECONCILED.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

The word BUT separates from all things made new. Excluding those in the lake of fire from all things.




I don’t know that there remains a literal refuge tip smoldering in the Valley of Hinnom beyond Jerusalem’s walls… somehow doubt it, but no… Jesus’ ‘gehenna’ was an object lesson — putting in figurative language that which was real to them, showing that if they didn’t pull their heads in (with regards to Rome) they would become in-kind the same, i.e., a smoldering heap of refuge full of worms, gnashing of teeth in out darkness — the rubble and ruin of exclusion, etc.

Symbolic yes, eternal as you’re using it, no. Besides, I said “spiritual” NOT eternal. You seem to be thinking of eternal in terms of longevity, whereas I tend to see it more in terms of TOTALITY or fullness, i.e., qualitative more than quantitative — “you shall have LIFE and have it to the FULL” and also Jn 17:3.

Those who rejected Christ did so in ignorance (Lk 23:23; 1Cor 2:8; 1Tim 1:13) and although most paying the temporal price and consequence (note: not temporary) of AD70 did so as part of those who were temporarily hardened, i.e., Paul’s “in part” (Rom 11:7, 25) — thus having “their part in” the lake of fire (Rev 21:8). Those hardened ones were vessels chosen by God (Rom 9:18, 21-22) to be part of His greater redemptive plan for Israel (that’s a big thought when you really consider it)… a plan that ultimately in Christ and His chosen firstfruits saints wrought the reconciliation of all.

Thus through the Parousia even these hardened ones came to know, i.e., realise, the forgiveness they had in ignorance spurned in life, even though it had ALWAYS been there.


The New Jerusalem is the NEW Covenant come down out of heaven from God (notice the similarity wherein the old covenant likewise came down out of heaven from God). Thus the lake of fire was part of and pertinent only to THAT OC AGE… therefore, it carries no continuing presence thereafter, having fulfilled its role and function. Nothing of the OC age was to survive into the NC age, i.e., Peter’s designated ‘age of righteousness.

The word BUT appears nowhere in the Greek text. IF in the Christ’s Parousia the LAST enemy to be destroyed be DEATH (1Cor 15:26) THEN these other reprobates or enemies prove to be the hardened ones of that transitional period AD30-70, and NOT persons postmortem and or post parousia thereafter.