The Evangelical Universalist Forum

On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

  1. The wicked dead are punished in a place called Hades. The man died and was buried. Luke 16:19-31
  2. The righteous dead are raised to life to reign with Christ. Revelation 20:1-6
  3. The wicked dead are extracted from Hades after the Millennial time period. Hades is not empty, but will be emptied. Revelation 20:11-15
  4. Fallen angels are likewise being held for future judgment. 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6

There will be a lot of varying opinions here. For example I’m undecided on a millennial period after Christ returns or does he simply return on the last day. Also I think the unrighteous dead are simply dead until judgment day. In Luke 16, I think is a parable about Israel losing it’s favor as I think the rich man is Israel and Lazarus represents gentiles. Hades simply means grave as it is the greek word for the Hebrew word “shoel.”


Joh 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court,
Joh 8:4 they *said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.
Joh 8:5 “Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?”
Joh 8:6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Joh 8:8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.
Joh 8:10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”
Joh 8:11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]

You say for God not to punish unrepentant sinners would mean that God does not care about sin any more. Is that how YOU take the above account of the woman caught in adultery?

You’re not taking into account context… “pleasing God” was relative to their service as faithful believing servants; something fleshly Israel failed to do.

Duly noted, and I’ll raise you one… Isa 43:19Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?” God did a new thing in Christ… He abolished “the sin” that separated Him from his creation. All religianity seeks to do is rebuild that which is destroyed… and to no good end!

WELL YES exactly… and again He did something about it! You see, this is the schizophrenia of evangelicalism… it says it believes one thing and then practices the exact opposite.

Spiritual maturity into the grace of God is not marked by who you exclude, or the groups you exclude, or the life styles you exclude. The mark of spiritual maturity into the grace of God is marked by the circle that gets wider and wider, embracing more and more in understanding, that in no matter what a man does he cannot escape the incredible mercy of God.

It is little wonder that folk grow up struggling with any inner faith when we in our religiosity have learnt go around saying things like: “God loves you!” – to which a respondent might ask… “How much does he love me?” – “Unconditionally!” we will say… “He has grace for your life!” “What kind of grace?” they will query – “Undeserved and unmerited favour, it’s all yours!” “Well I’m not so sure I can believe all this” is their response – and what is our religious rejoinder… “then you’ll burn in Hell forever!” Talk about a toxic and schizophrenic message. The power and mercy of God’s grace is NOT limited to man’s ability to comprehend it, or the lack thereof!

I have a sneaking suspicion there hasn’t been a person born who has then come to stand in His Presence that hasn’t then duly “repented”.

There is of course my website… :wink: and of course on prêterism DKP is always a good read. But for the pièce de résistance on ‘covenant eschatology’ (aka prêterism) go to Max King’s opus magnum… ‘The Cross and the Parousia of Christ’ –– it is wordy and a hard slog but more than worth it.

I’m an ‘inclusionist’ as opposed to a ‘universalist’ as in I reject the typical universalist rationales around “hell” and “the lake of fire” which for the most part are no different in essence than that held by infernalists; the only real difference between the two is the amount of torturous time said to be spent therein. I also don’t buy into the philosophical type arguments lots of universalists’ often favour… I find them weak and unconvincing. IOW, I came to inclusion via biblical eschatology NOT philosophy.

Becoming an inclusive prêterist (a pantelist) was as natural as moving from partial to full prêterism, that is, it was IMO the most natural and logical progression to take when taking prêterism to it most obvious logical conclusion, that is, I found prêterism to be inherently inclusive and as such the pantelism extrapolated to be more exegetically and “prêteristically consistent”.

Example… prêterism maintains that “the last enemy to be destroyed is death” – I agree! (BTW… this “death” was the death of Adam i.e., relational spiritual] separation from God; that which Jesus rectified). LOGIC however dictates that IF this is so then by obvious extension GOD HAS NO MORE ENEMIES because there can be nothing more AFTER “the last” has been dealt with – that’s pretty simple AND pretty INCLUSIVE. There are of course other texts that feed into this pantelistic rationale.

I encountered a lot of heat and opposition from both Arminian (DKP) and Calvinist (Frost) prêterists… but the best they could do at the time (early to mid-2000s) was rail against my conclusions with pejorative name-slinging like “universalist!” But apart from disagree they couldn’t (can’t) refute said conclusions.

That $28 price tag on King’s book has discouraged me, but I’d like to read (study) it so will look around for a used copy.

davo said

“Spiritual maturity into the grace of God is not marked by who you exclude, or the groups you exclude, or the life styles you exclude. The mark of spiritual maturity into the grace of God is marked by the circle that gets wider and wider, embracing more and more in understanding, that in no matter what a man does he cannot escape the incredible mercy of God.”

That statement is so true… Thanks for sharing!

King again quoted

I believe that Romans 11:32 is the grand conclusion of grace theology in Paul magnum opus and is without a doubt teaching unconditional universalism for each individual. This verse is the center piece of my new book at and is fully exegeted here

Now I plan to buy King’s book, but I can tell we see the main point quite differently! :frowning:

One question I am researching along these lines is whether the White horse in Revelation 6 is the same event as the White horse in Revelation 19. One could try to understand Revelation as a prophesy of events and judgments, concerning Jerusalem or otherwise, beginning with the White horse in Revelation 6. John then returns to the same white horse in Revelation 19 to communicate that these events he just described in the body of the book are now beginning. This literary device would be called a framing-effect. I’ve tried to understand it that way, but after some effort it seems too cumbersome.

Have you ever considered the possibility of an Historicist approach with different beasts at different times? For example perhaps Nero was the first beast, the RCC the second, Islam as the third?

I do believe Revelation covers a larger part of history and that the Millenial Kingdom and GWT are still future. So yes I do believe the 1st and 2nd white horse are separate events. However, I have little to share about what they may be in detail. I am not sure. More important to me is that regarding the 1st Beast out of Thalassa, the sea, and the 2nd Beast out of the Earth, I think the first Beast is a fallen angel whereas the 2nd Beast is a human being. You would have to read my ebook and especially the appendix to follow my arguments.

I take a slightly different angle than many universalists, in that my understanding of the judgments assigned to fallen angels helps to properly understand passages like Matthew 25 and Revelation 20. If you cannot read my whole book, you might find this article interesting,

Please provide a quote from a text written no later than A. D. 30 that presents Gehenna as a place of post-mortem punishment. The earliest I have ever seen the Greek word “gehenna” used for post-mortem punishments was possibly by Justin Martyr in the second half of the 2nd century, and definitely by Clement of Alexandria (who was a universalist) in the late 2nd century.

I would like to emphasize in the kindest way possible that I am not interested in a quote from a modern writer asserting what Jesus’s contemporaries supposedly believed about Gehenna. I am interested only in texts unambiguously written no later than A. D. 30. (To be fair, I must admit that I have been asking for this for years, and no one has ever been able to provide me with such a text.)

I do believe Revelation covers a larger part of history and that the Millenial Kingdom and GWT are still future. So yes I do believe the 1st and 2nd white horse are separate events

Yes and how these horses are viewed is connected to ones eschatology. Some believe the white horse is the Papacy, the red horse is Communism, the black horse is Capitalism and the pale green horse is Islam.

“Houston we have a problem”. Your approach in dealing with what I’m postulating is NOT “consistent” BUT convenient. To be sure, my inclusive prêterist position of pantelism is in the paddock next door to universalism, BUT IF you cannot deal with the pantelist rationale for looking through your anti-universalist glasses, which seems apparent, then you will keep reading over my responses without giving due diligent simply skipping merrily ahead to your next question on your list… THAT won’t work qaz.

For example: IF you are a consistent prêterist, i.e., a full prêterist (are you?) THEN you need to answer from the full prêterist rationale the argument I raised from 1Cor 15:26 and not just blindly skip past it as though it isn’t there… it is there and glaringly so! So let me repeat it for you…

You need to deal with this qaz and not just brush it aside as universalism; it’s not universalism it’s preteristic… show some consistency.

To the first part of your question… Jesus’ warning about ‘Gehenna’ would have been understood by his audience (remember the prêterist hermeneutic of ‘audience relevance’) as a reference to death and destruction as typified by Jerusalem’s rubbish-heap off the southwest wall of the City, in the Valley of Hinnom… forever smouldering and endlessly crawling with “worms” (maggots).

As to your 2nd point where you state… “Gehenna was understood among 1st century Jews as a place of post-mortem punishment” I find that extremely questionable and point you HERE:

Again… taking a consistent prêteristic approach AND sticking with the Gk. text and so not just reading right over the text, consider this…

“Traditionally” verses 27-28 have been rendered as given above. Accordingly, this translation is mostly understood to assert a post death individual judgment, but is this what is really being said? – the Pantelistic view does not believe so. Read in the larger context of verses 23-28 the focus of this passage is in accordance with the perpetual sacrificial ministry of the high priests, typifying and in contradistinction to Jesus’ once for all atoning death. The conventional reading does not reflect the true intent of the passage, nor the flavour of Hebrews as a whole i.e., the “better priesthood” or “better sacrifice” etc. Between the words “it is appointed for” and “men to die once” is the Greek definite article “the” and correctly parsed reads “those” (tois – τοις). This word is used again in the very next verse concerning “those who eagerly wait for Him…” – so it should rightly read:

Read in this fashion gives those two little words as and so their proper and essential contextual meaning and application. It was in this foreshadowing ministration of the Old Testament priesthood of those men that the pattern was laid for Israel’s Messiah to come and perform the ultimate sacrifice, of Himself, “to put away sin” by His better and more perfect offering, that now sees all redemptive and prophetic history sealed – for the Great High Priest has returned!

Again, try taking “fulfilment” into consideration when reading this instead of reading yourself back into the text. IF they didn’t remain faithful to the end (AD70) they would duly “perish” i.e., they too would be “drawn back to perdition” that is, ‘destruction’ as per verse 39.

King definitely wrote from a non (I wouldn’t say anti) universalistic approach… AND HE WAS RIGHT. Paul’s “universalism” (for sake of a better word) centred around the “community” of ‘corporate’ Israel – not the individual. Having said that, King speaking of the “all in Adam/Christ motif” argues (rightly IMO) against a nominal universalist understanding, challenging this according to his corporate/community view etc, with which again I agree. Which is WHY qaz I as a pantelist haven’t raised the “all in Adam/Christ motif” universalist-type argument. Like I stated above when it comes to INCLUSION (as distinct from universalism)… “There are of course other texts that feed into this pantelistic rationale.”

SO you conclude that any such individual CANNOT be ‘in God’ as in God being “all in all” (regardless of timeframes) and this basically your OWN judgment as per “works” i.e., having “not done what God wants”. Well consider this: how could you claim to have “Christ within…” and yet in all probability possess in your life any number of errant works/sins/poor behaviour/impure thoughts etc and yet somehow judge others as being less ‘in God’ than yourself? IOW, can you draw THAT boundary, OR has God “in Christ” already done it? I would suggest it is the latter.

None of the Talmud was written before A. D. 200.

As far as I know, the Book of Enoch does not use the word Gehenna. Please give us chapter and verse references to any mention of the word Gehenna in the Book of Enoch.

4 Ezra was written in the late 1st century A. D., or in the 2nd century A. D.

We see that of the three references you gave, two of them were written long after A. D. 30, and one of them does not mention Gehenna. I have never seen any proof at all of the word Gehenna being used before A. D. 30 to refer to post-mortem torments.

Your absolutist reasoning isn’t too consistent and certainly not so helpful to your cause… consider the implications of your logic:

Do YOU sin? If yes, is this not indicative that YOU “who sin are not submitting to God” QED… YOU are an enemy of God! THAT at least IF you are consistent is the outcome of your position. What then does that do for any claim to being “in Christ” – can such be even possible according to your position??

Again qaz, putting it simply… as a prêterist, so assuming you believe Paul’s “the last enemy” was “destroyed” as per Christ’s parousia… HOW is it you say there are yet MORE enemies PAST this death and this event? IOW… can you explain what “the last enemy to be destroyed is death” means to you IF it doesn’t mean the total desolation of that which to that point had separated man from God.

If you are in the US, see if you can obtain a copy, from you local library, inter-library loan program. Or see an equivalent program, in a foreign country.

Holy Fool, Batman! That’s a good idea! :smiley:
Embarrassingly though, I still owe the Jackson County Interlibrary loan system $5 for the last search they did for me. So I’ll have to go there and pay the fine AND get the scolding from the 203 year-old mumblecrust that is in charge of dressings-down. Not a big deal: after my morning affirmations (“I am good, and I am worthwhile, and doggone it, people LIKE me!”) I should be up for it. :laughing:
(for those that might not know, the painting RK attached to his posting above is titled “The Holy Fool”)

I don’t know Dave. I have had the Carol Stream, Illinois library do many searches for me, over the years. They never charged me a fee. It’s looks like yours has found an additional way to capitalize. :laughing:

Qaz… I have some thoughts (a little dated) HERE.