The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Objections to Univeralism

Verse 13 indicates that it is the WORKS (not the people) that are tested by fire to determine what kind of works they are. So if their works endure the fire (as gold, silver, and precious stones endure fire) the person will be saved. The text doesn’t say that the person will be “saved by the fire itself” but that he will be saved so as THROUGH fire.

Re the Nephilim: actually 1 Peter 3 and 4, regarding the evangelization of the impenitent sinners destroyed in the flood, is talking about them (possibly some other statements in the Petrines and Jude, too). Although either they weren’t all wiped out at the time (did one of Noah’s sons marry a woman of the Nephilim???), or they came back later in some other way since they and the Rephaim (descendants of the Neph) show up again later in the Old Testament occasionally, most famously with Goliath.

Qaz is correct, though, that treating them as though they are not God’s creatures simply because they are hybrids (whatever else may have been true about them), is not even supernaturalistic theism anymore, thus also denying trinitarian theism. All not-God realities depend upon God for their existence not only originally but in continuance. To claim anything less than that, devolves immediately into some kind of mere polytheism (e.g. Mormon Christianity). Do they depend upon Nature solely for their existence? Then either God is only a creature within Nature, too, or you’re talking at best about a God/Nature cosmological dualism. Do they depend upon Satan for their existence? Then either Satan is the real God and “God” is only a creature; or both Satan and God are creatures within an overarching Nature; or at best you’re talking about a God/Anti-God cosmological dualism. There can be no ontological argument against God intending to save the Nephs or being capable of saving them, which does not instantly deny supernaturalistic theism.

Re Isaiah 66 being out of chronological order: this happens a lot in prophecies, but since the cleansing of the Temple was mentioned as a parallel, that opens up another solution (which I already discussed about Isaiah 66) – that it’s talking about a different event in similar language. (I regard the Synoptic and Johannine cleansings as separate events, though I recognize in principle they could be the same event ported by topic one way or the other. The anointing by Mary of Bethany must have been transposed either by the Mark and Matthew or by John, for example; but then relevantly, Luke’s anointing scene is probably a different incident – though I suspect involving Mary.)

Re “the inspired New Testament Greek only ever uses the word to refer to sheep” – I never said that, I said that’s how English and other languages tend to translate it. I specifically said that where the general flock word (probaton) appears in the New Testament, it could just as easily mean goat as sheep, and indeed the earliest Christian art about rescuing the one lost herd animal shows Jesus bringing back a goat!

Re eriphos being used in the LXX for Isaiah 11:6 – yes, it’s the same word. The difference you’re seeing is simply the grammatic dative form of the word, which I suppose should be translated a little more accurately as the leopard going to the baby goat to lie down with it. (I’d like Paidion’s opinion on that, too, although I know he’ll agree that the word isn’t actually different just a dative grammatic form.)

But don’t be distracted by the kid there; that isn’t the important connection to Matt 25. The important thematic connection is the wolf and the leopard and the young lion. Those are being treated as ravening enemies, typologically as sinners, coming back into their originally planned peacefulness. When the prophecy is repeated in Isaiah 64, God goes so far as to show the bronze / glittering serpent himself eating dust in peace on the Holy Mountain, thus completing the prophecy of Genesis 3! – that’s no less than Satan being saved! (This tends to be obscured in English, as might be expected. :wink: )

If even the bronze serpent eating dust equals Satan living in peace with God again, then obviously God intends to save the Nephs and can do it; ditto those people slain and thrown in Gehenna at the end of Isaiah 66. (Which again should be read in context of Jesus’ explanation for the purpose of the unquenchable fire when He cites the verse in Mark 9:49-50. It’s hard to keep all these interconnected things in mind, of course, but they are all interconnected – quite amazingly, to me! :sunglasses: )

Re Zechariah 13:8-9, some people get refined before the general resurrection, others after. The refining purpose of the fire stands either way. And while Mal 3:2-3 is talking about the sons of Levi specifically, that doesn’t mean the action is restricted to only those ultra-sinning rebel servants of God. That’s why I always connect Mal 3 with Mal 4! – Mal 4 shows the extent of the fire to all sinners; Mal 3 shows the purpose of the fire using those ultra-sinners as an example; thence also connections to John the Baptist’s denunciations, especially in GosMatt, with connections thereby to the main Gehenna block in Matt 18 / Mark 9. (Though I also typically grant that the scene in Mal 3 probably has rebel survivors of the start of the millennial kingdom in immediate view.)

More specifically on Zech 12 through 14: two parts of a population are slain in the coming of YHWH, repenting of their sin when they see their rebel populations saved and empowered by the One Whom they have pierced (Zech 12:10 and the 12th chapter generally) but the third part is kept alive to be refined by fire. These are certainly repenting of their sins and coming back to loyalty to the YHWH Whom they have pierced Who is pouring out a spirit (or the Spirit) of grace and supplication on them, the Shepherd Whom the false prophets wounded between the arms in the house of His friends (13:6-7). In that day to come, a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to clean them (implicitly) from their sin and their impurity. But although this is talking about the penitent survivors, the two parts who are slain are not excluded from repentance necessarily; the prophecy just isn’t talking about them.

For that matter, not all the pagan armies assaulting Jerusalem are slain by the coming of YHWH either, and their survivors, “every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem”, go up from year to year to worship YHWH of Hosts and to keep the feasts of tabernacles (which are connected to the Incarnation and also to the atonement for sin). This is connected to what is happening in the final verse of Isaiah 66:24 (“from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another”), except that (per Zech 14) in the first seven months they will have to pass by dead bodies of the rebels which haven’t yet been interred in Hammon Gog (the valley of Hinnom, now renamed for Gog (Ezekiel 39:4-12)).

Regardless of what may be the fate of those people destroyed in the rescue of Jerusalem at Christ’s Second Coming, this text (along with others) explicitly states that YHWH allows (and expects and encourages) repentance and true fellowship from those among the pagans who survive that debacle. These verses aren’t talking about post-mortem salvation (except maybe in using the survivors as a type for what will happen later at the general resurrection), but it’s definitely salvation after the Second Coming. So the eschatological punishment is not hopeless to that degree at the very least!

Actually, I recently saw the movie **Noah **on TV. And the Nephilims (The Watchers), played a major role - in the movie. :exclamation: :smiley:


Yeah, not at all the same concept of Neph as in Genesis (other than a super-literal rendering of “giants” being “in” “the earth”). The filmmaker avowedly took his notion of the Watchers from somewhere else, whether the Qabbalah or the Talmud I don’t recall – and I don’t know how much he changed from that source either.

Often a fun movie, tho! Watching the Rocky Ents help build and defend the Ark was certainly interesting, among other things happening.

That’s a great film. Aronofsky’s childhood reading of the KJV of Genesis informed his Watchers: “There were giants in the earth.” Read that as literally as a 10-year-boy possibly could: Giant IN the earth. NOT “giants living on the earth”. No. Giants inside the earth, coated with earth, trapped inside a layer of earth. And there you go. :slight_smile:


1 PETER 3:18-22:
-18: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
-19: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
-20: Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
-21: The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
-22: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

However, some may view ‘prison’ as ‘ταρταρόω [tartaroō] (Strong’s Reference Number G5020)’, one of the words mistranslated into ‘hell’ which would mean it’s talking about angels, still that’s unlikely though since the are reserved in literally everlasting chains unto the day of judgement:

JUDE 1:6:
-6: And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

the word translated as ‘everlasting here’ is not aion or aionios, it’s ‘ἀΐδιος [aïdios] (Strong’s Reference Number G126)’, this word LITERALLY means everlasting - which can place doubt on ‘αἰώνιος [aiōnios] (Strong’s Reference G166)’ meaning anything other than everlasting due to the fact that aiōnios and aïdios rhyme, sound similar, and are spelled similar, which means they could have similar meanings, like one could be a verb/adjective/noun, etc of the other.

Well that is incredibly confusing, besides, “the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me” (Isaiah 66:24) is in the last verse of Isaiah 66, it’s not just a matter of Isaiah 66 being the last chapter.

I was re-listening to The Wondering Pilgrims video on the Sheep and the Goats (link - heard you talk about the the artwork depicting The Lord Jesus Christ with the goat, HOWEVER, since you mentioned early Christian art, what do we do with early Christian quotes:

-Do not err, my brothers. Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If, then, those who do this in regard to the flesh have suffered death, how much more shall this be the case with any one who corrupts by wicked doctrine the faith of God, for which Jesus Christ was crucified! Such a one becomes defiled and shall go away into everlasting fire. So shall every one that listens to him. (Letter to the Ephesians 16)

-Then you shall despise that which is considered to be death here, when thou shalt fear what is truly death: the one reserved for those who shall be condemned to the eternal fire, which shall afflict to the end those that are committed to it. (ch. 10)

-Among us the prince of the wicked spirits is called the serpent, Satan, and the devil, as you can learn by looking into our writings. That he would be sent into the fire with his army and the men who follow him, and would be punished for an endless duration, Christ foretold. The reason God has delayed doing this is his regard for the human race. For he foreknows that some are to be saved by repentance, some even that are perhaps not yet born.

  • In the beginning he made the human race with the power of thought and of choosing the truth and doing right. As a result, all men are without excuse before God, for they have been born rational and contemplative. (First Apology 28)
    -He shall come from heaven with glory, accompanied by His angelic host, when also He shall raise the bodies of all men who have lived, and shall clothe those of the worthy with immortality, and shall send those of the wicked, endued with eternal sensibility, into everlasting fire with the wicked devils. (First Apology 52)
    -But in truth I do not say that all souls die because that would truly be a a piece of good fortune for the evil! What then? The souls of the godly remain in a better place, while those of the unjust and wicked are in a worse, waiting for the time of judgment. Thus some who have appeared worthy of God never die, but others are punished so long as God will them to exist and be punished. (Dialogue with Trypho 5)
    -We pray for you [Jews] and all other men who hate us, so that you may repent along with us and not blaspheme the One who by his works, by the mighty deeds done through his name, by the words he taught, by the prophecies announced concerning him, is the blameless and irreproachable-in-all-things Christ Jesus. We pray that, believing on him, you may be saved in his second glorious coming and may not be condemned to fire by him. (Dialogue with Trypho 35)
    -At the second coming of Christ himself … some are sent to be punished unceasingly into judgment and condemnation of fire, but others shall exist in freedom from suffering, from corruption, and from grief and in immortality. (Dialogue with Trypho 45)

-I do not disbelieve, but I believe, obedient to God, whom, if you please, you submit to as well, believing him, so that you do not wind up continuing in unbelief, then become convinced later, when you are tormented with eternal punishments. These punishments, when they were foretold by the prophets, were stolen by later-born poets and philosophers from the holy Scriptures to make their doctrines worthy of credit. Yet these also have spoken in advance of the punishments which are to light upon the profane and unbelieving so that no one will be left without a witness or be able to say, “We have not heard, nor have we known.”

  • But you, if you please, give reverent attention to the prophetic Scriptures, and they will make your way plainer for escaping the eternal punishments and obtaining the eternal prizes of God.
  • For the One who gave the mouth for speech, formed the ear to hear, and made the eye to see will examine all things and will judge righteous judgment, rendering merited awards to each. "To those who by patiently continuing to do good seek immortality, he will give life everlasting, joy, peace, rest, and abundance of good things … But to the unbelieving and despisers, who do not obey the truth but are obedient to unrighteousness … there shall be anger and wrath, tribulation and anguish, and at the last everlasting fire shall possess such men.
  • Since you said, “Show me your God,” this is my God, and I counsel you to fear him and to trust him. (To Autolycus I:14)

HERMAS, c. A.D. 170:
-The sinners shall be consumed because they sinned and did not repent, and the heathen shall be burned because they do not know him who created them. (Shepherd of Hermas. Similitude 4th.)

The refining purpose of the fire stands, but the verses place doubt on universal salvation due to the refinmenet only affecting some people.
Is it also possible that the fire has a dual purpose, refining fire for the ‘Sons of Levi’, confusming fire for the lost?

As for Malachi 3 and 4, well Malachi 4 has some strong annihilationist language:

-1: For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

-4: And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.

I stumbled across an old topic from 2013 (before I even became a Christian) titled ‘Annihilation places huge doubt on Universalism’ (link - and I agree, I don’t think Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT) is the biggest obstacle of Univeralism, Annihilationism / Conditional Immorality is. Out of curiosity, do you agree?

God Bless
Christ Be With You All

That’s the problem. You use the words “I think”. Rather then here’s some polling, statistical sampling, etc., that surveys various churches, attendees, theologians, etc. And identifies the different variables for consideration.

Without research, it’s just an opinion. And one opinion is no better or worse - than another.

…I think Randy was sarcastically approving your personal responsibility in evaluating things for yourself rather than relying on an average of polls, btw, STT. He likes to be obscure in his humor sometimes.

No, they don’t have similar meanings due to sounding or being spelled similarly – in fact they aren’t spelled similarly at all, except in completely trivial ways. The {-os} at the end is a gender suffix form, and {aiônios} actually has {-ios} which indicates an adjective not a noun. That leaves {aidi-} and {aiôn-}, but the alpha and iota at the beginning of each have different derivations for each word and that assumes the {aidios} is meant to be a dipthong (with the {a} and the {i} together being one vowel). If it isn’t, then the reading is actually a-idios not ai-dios, and the former would be a word for invisible very similar to {hades} or {haides} both of which refer to the unseen. There weren’t diacritical marks in the original Greek texts, so the identification of the word depends on the context.

I’ll be talking about the usage of {aidios} in Jude, whether as a-idios or as ai-dios, on the next TEUS episode along with a lot of other discussion related to Sodom; but you can get a preview of that already on Youtube from my Theopologetics debate with “Turritinfan” hosted by Chris Date (shortly after he decided to go with annihilation), around the time this forum was set up (somewhat coincidentally). Links can be found here: JRP vs TurretinFan Oct 2011 debate (official thread+YouTube)

Sorry, I was being geeky there. :ugeek: What I meant was that there are differing theories in the Gospels about whether certain events like the Temple cleansing have been ported radically out of their actual chronology in order to fit the authors’ inspired topical plan, or whether multiple similar events are happening.

One (partial) explanation for Isaiah 66:24 is that it’s being reported out of topical order; which I agree is true – it doesn’t happen after the salvation of the bronze serpent on God’s Holy Mountain in Isaiah 64, to give one example, nor after the general resurrection.

Another (partial) explanation is that it’s referring to something topically different from but conceptually related to what Jesus is referring; which I also agree is true – it’s referring to the end-result of a climactic siege of rebel Jerusalem saved by the appearance of YHWH to smack down the pagan armies, thus leading the survivors among the Jewish and pagan rebels to repent of their sins and come to follow Him faithfully. Jesus is referring to something beyond that which the coming battle result typifies, but Jesus’ remarks explain the larger purpose, which also applies to the (still coming) lesser fulfillment.

(I say “still coming” because YHWH, visibly or not, didn’t save rebel Jerusalem from being destroyed by the pagan armies, whether soon after Isaiah’s day or soon after Christ’s earthly ministry. Preterists and I are going to disagree about that, of course. :wink: )

Ignatius is, unfortunately, not a good source to appeal to since his works have been subsequently so heavily added to and snipped (both!), that textual critics hotly dispute whether we even have enough evidence to reconstruct the autographs substantially. Also, that’s eonian fire, so the question is whether the English translator imported context from what he/they think the scriptures mean about it, or from what the local context of (this copy of) Ignatius seems to be implying – but I’m not sure how original even the local context is!

That said, some early Christians were not universalists and some were. Ignatius, as far as the evidence can be sifted, seems not to have been. Whether that means he himself falls foul of his own warning here, remains to be seen!

The “how much more” could refer to suffering death even more than those who corrupt families, but since they shall not inherit the kingdom of God I don’t know what Ignatius could have had in mind as being much more punished than suffering that death! The “how much more” is probably meant as a rhetorical emphasis: if X surely happened due to Y, even more certainly shall X happen due to Y+. Also, I would want to look up the prior context of what Ignatius means by “the faith of God”, since nowhere does the Bible teach that Christ was crucified for doctrines! – but He could be coherently considered to have been crucified for the faithfulness of God in several ways. If Ignatius (or some rescensioner) is teaching a crucifixion for doctrinal sake, though, then his teaching here is conceptually suspect.

What counts more in any case, is what the scriptures (the faithful deposit) teach about the purpose and goal and end-result of the eonian fire and going into it. That at least some early Christians came to misunderstand it, one way or another, must be acknowledged on all hands; for that matter, the apostles themselves are being rebuked by Christ in the relevant passages for misunderstanding it. So even if they eventually learned better, it shouldn’t be surprising (if sadly so) that their own disciples could come to misunderstand it.

But anyway, while I can read Ignatius there as having a purga-u meaning in light of the scriptures, I wouldn’t want to claim he himself meant that.

He does not mention what end they shall be afflicted to; but shortly thereafter compares this fire to that which lasts but a moment in comparison, so we know he must mean the eonian fire lasts at least a long time.

This phrasing is why, upon its discovery in the late 1500s, this epistle was counted as Justin’s; but the author may have known of Justin’s work, or vice versa if this epistle is earlier; or the concept may have simply been common coin among Christians. If the Diognetus addressed is the tutor of Marcus Aurelius, the author (who calls himself a disciple of the apostles) could be Pantaneus, teacher of Clement of Alexandria (technically a disciple of St. Mark); in that case, we would know the goal of the fire is remedial and that the end or goal shall be achieved. (But there is no surety about whether we know the author elsewhere, or even who Diognetus is supposed to be.)

Justin is certainly among the non-universalists. He teaches an undefinably long period of unceasing torment for the resurrected wicked (not merely for a thousand years), but also sometimes teaches that the wicked will finally be put out of existence by God. He notably does not appeal (directly or by allusion) to verses indicating that all persons in creation shall come to submit to Christ and that all evil shall cease.

On this he can be compared and contrasted to Polycarp in his only genuine surviving epistle, writing at the end of the 1st century or the start of the 100s: if Polycarp is not denying the resurrection of the wicked, but simply happens not to mention it, then what he teaches about the submission of all creatures to Christ in the resurrection would point toward their universal salvation eventually, although those who post-convert would not reign with Christ. If he means to deny the resurrection of the wicked, he would be teaching annihilation or perhaps a bodiless ECT; but then he would be sacrificing a clear scriptural testimony (about their resurrection) to do so.

This is Theophilus of Antioch, in his oppositional books to his pagan anti-Christian opponent Autolycus. After warning Autolycus about the sort of things you quoted from I:14 (the 14th and final chapter of the first book, chapters being basically paragraphs in this style), Theophilus begins the second book with great friendship to Autolycus and recounts how after Theophilus retorted rather harshly to Autolycus’ own “somewhat hard” treatment of him (upon which exchange the first book is based), they had parted with much mutual friendliness each to his own house! (It’s hard to tell whether Autolycus is a real person or a fictional prop for Theophilus to write about, somewhat like Lewis’ fictional “Letters to Malcolm”; but ultimately Autolycus’ historicity isn’t important for evaluating Theoph’s beliefs.)

Going on into Book 2, then, Theophilus spends most of it discussing the Biblical account of creation, and in doing so he either has changed his opinions about a warning of never-ending eternal conscious torment, or else he shows that wasn’t using “eonian” and similar words with that meaning in mind to begin with.

For in Book 2, chapter 17, Theophilus explains that the quadrupeds, wild beasts, and reptiles, who receive no blessing (on Theophilus’ reading), were made to represent some men who neither know nor worship God and do not repent. However, Theophilus remembers that even these were not made evil originally but good, and they shall also be restored to their original goodness and gentleness. His word for this restoration is the verb form of {apokatastasis}.

And that there should be no mistaking his meaning, Theophilus goes on in chapter 26 to explain Genesis with a mystical meaning, that God gave the mortality of death as a gift to all mankind so that mankind might not sin forever but would instead be remade after death and resurrection without its sin. “As a vessel, which, after it has been made, has some flaw, is remade or remolded, that it may become new and right, so it comes to man by death. For in some way or other he is broken up, that he may come forth, in the resurrection, whole – I mean spotless, and righteous, and immortal.” This seems to be referencing the Jewish prophet language about shattering and remaking the pottery, which is presented as fatal but remedial punishment. But even aside from that, this explanation of Genesis means that Theophilus thinks the goal of God’s fatal punishment is to lead the sinner to repentance and immortality in the resurrection, after the final fatality; thus immortality is more of a quality of having no death/sin, than a statement of continuing existence, and similarly mortality is a quality of having death/sin rather than a statement of ceasing existence. Theophilus appeals to this idea to explain why there are two Genesis accounts; one placement in Paradise happened before the fall, but the other placement (apparently referring to the first version which doesn’t have a fall story) shall happen not only after the resurrection but after the judgment! A number of well-known Christian universalists will be saying much the same sort of thing soon after or contemporary with Theophilus (plus Ireneaus, who occasionally seems to be teaching that all mankind will be saved at last by Christ even though the rebel angels will be annihilated.) These ideas will also be picked up by the universalistic founders and teachers of the Antiochian catechetical seminary a few centuries later.

Hermas also says the same fire shall burn backsliding Christians, who are guilty of greater sin and so shall be punished more harshly. He also often says that those being burned shall die into the eon, until and unless they repent and reform; so he teaches that the burning is remedial in purpose. He does seem to think that some backsliding Christians shall never repent and return to the tower of Christ, but also that it is possible for them to do so after death. He simply doesn’t talk about the non-Christians much, but since what little he says indicates they have not sinned as greatly as backsliding Christians and so will be punished less, he may think it is possible for them to be saved post-mortem, too. Relatedly, perhaps, he teaches that the Apostles evangelized in hades, like Christ, after they died. He does not seem to be a Christian universalist, and I’m unclear about whether he thinks those who do not repent after death will continue to exist or not. (Worth noting that nothing in “The Shepherd” necessarily needs to date later than 70 CE, so the text could in fact date back to the Hermas, companion of Paul, whom it is attributed to.)

This is rather like a couple of the other minor prophets placing doubt on any sinners, or even on anyone at all being saved, because no sinners or even anyone at all are mentioned as being saved in them! OHHHH NOOOOOOESSSS!

Or rather, this is like trying to argue that only the worst of the rebel priests will be saved and no one else at all because those verses only mention formerly rebel chief servants of God being saved. Sucks to be you, since you aren’t a rebel Jewish priest!

They’re mentioned because, like St. Paul, they stand as examples of the grace of God to save even the chief of sinners. They aren’t mentioned to exclude other sinners than sons of Levi from being saved.

No, the referential context doesn’t allow this. Those rebel sons of Levi were themselves the worst of sinners, they weren’t some special category of unlost; nor did they typify people God has special care to save like widows and orphans – they oppressed widows and orphans!

Except we know from Malachi 3 that those rebel chief servants of God won’t be annihilated by the same punishment, but refined. That’s why both must be kept together in the account.

Not really. They each have strengths and weaknesses, sometimes shared, sometimes typical of their approaches; I regard them as equal obstacles. I haven’t checked that thread from 2013, but I’d be surprised if I said I thought anni was more of an obstacle than ECT.

I just checked the thread, and you said much the same thing back then:

I just have to respectfully ask,

How long did it take you to write all of this? :question:

I have to qualify my last post… Jason, what you write is enormous! And thanks for your insight and intellect. I appreciate your knowledge.

Chad :slight_smile:

But I would still like to know how long it takes you to post a post like the one above. I am amazed!


Don’t worry, you never even come across as Geeky, since death is what Isaiah 66:24 is talking about, what is to stop one from thinking death is what The Lord Jesus Christ is talking about, this goes back to what I said a month ago about Gehenna being a place of annihilation.

I’m not too familiar with the early Christians themselves but I don’t understand, if there were differing views in the early church, why do simple Google searches keep on bringing up quotes supporting Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT).

But weren’t the sons of Levi part of Israel? God’s chosen nation?

Well who are the people who are shall be burned up leaving “neither root nor branch”. (Malachi 4:1)
And who shall be ashes under the souls of one’s feet? (Malachi 4:3)

Well regarding annihilationism, as we know, God is “kind unto the unthankful and to the evil”, HOWEVER, apponenets of annihilatioism and affirmers of ECT will argue that annihilationism would be kind and merciul to a lost person (although annihilationism terrifies me also, I can understand why they say this):

LUKE 6:35:
-35: But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

HOWEVER, this may be paralleled with could be paralleled with Matthew 5:45, which is clearly talking about THIS LIFE:

-45: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

How do we know that God is “kind unto the unthankful and to the evil"in the next life”?, after all, we know that God has appointed a DAY of judgement:

ACTS 17:31:
-31: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

and it is appointed for men once to die, and then to face judgement:

-27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

So anyway, can God be “kind unto the unthankful and to the evil” in this life while extending His hand an offering salvation (possibly by making an extremely difficult to live by standard a pre-requisite for salvation, yet somehow, it is considered a free gift and good news.), but once they day He has appointed for judgement comes along, there is no longer kindness.

[tag]Geoffrey[/tag], if Hebrews 9:27 by itself doens’t disprove ultra-universalism, Hebrews 9:27 combined with Acts 17:31 DOES disprove ultra-universalism.

God Bless
Christ Be With You


I found an inspired use of ‘αἰώνιος [aiōnios] (Strong’s Reference Number G166)’ to mean a clearly temporal length of time.

LUKE 16:9:
-9: And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.


I’ve heard the verse interpreted to mean to help those in need and they will help you when you are in need, but that is beside the point, the point is, that THERE IS A USE of ‘αἰώνιος [aiōnios]’ in the inspired New Testament Greek to mean a temporal period of time.

With all that being said, it is spelled ‘αἰωνίους’ in Luke 16:9 and ‘αἰώνιον’ in Matthew 25:46, what does this difference in spelling mean?

God Bless
Christ Be With You All

It’s just a grammatical thing. They are different forms of the same word.

“αἰωνιος” is the nominative singular—used to modify a singular noun used as subject of a verb.

“αἰωνιους” is the accusative plural—used to modify a plural noun used as direct object of a verb.

“αἰωνιον” is the accusative singular—used to modify a singular noun used as direct object of a verb.

Good question! But I think SOME people believe that death is the cutoff point. After that (they think) nothing can be altered.

Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.

There may well be certain consequences to be faced in terms of postmortem recompense/restitution, BUT IF there is I still don’t see that evidenced anywhere in Scripture, nor I don’t see any postmortem “fire/burning” accomplishing such; THAT assumption has to be read INTO the text. My thoughts around the possibility of such adjusting is based purely on the human sense of justice, BUT I have to add… MY sense of human justice does NOT determine God’s.

As for the likes of Heb 9:27… the “judgment” i.e., verdict, could just as likely be “not guilty!” — based on the ultimate covering work of the better High Priest — Jesus!

Davo said:

Well I agree… though I still like the ice cube and the sun theory :smiley: And your comment about humans sense of justice would be well considered. :astonished: