Friday, March 25, 2011

Conversation on Twitter takes more than 140 characters

On Friday 25th March 2011, said:
OK, I need to be careful here. The damnation of a soul is something that should cause us the greatest grief. We sing Charles Wesley's great hymn with gusto and feeling: "O that the world would taste and see the riches of His grace, etc." But OTOH, we should not be blind to the fact that God sees fit, as Judge, to banish guilty, impenitent sinners, whom He pronounces as "curs├ęd", into everlasting fire. If He does not do so for His own glory, then what He has done is at odds with His glory. Furthermore, when He comes to judge wicked Babylon the Great in Revelation 18, the redeemed are urged to "Rejoice over her, thou heaven and ye holy apostles and prophets, for God hath avenged you on her." (v20) and consequently, the many people in heaven respond to this command to rejoice at God's avenging hand, and say, "Alleluia" (19:3)

1. You seem to lack skills in reading apocalyptic lit.

2. If you read John's gospel you might find that Jesus did not come to judge and condemn us but to save us. In fact Jesus states He judges no one and that we judge ourselves by means of hear His words.

3. Hebrews states of Jesus return 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Heb 9:27-28 (NIV)

Notice it is a contrast between judgment (which happened at the Cross and in 70ad) and what Jesus will come a do.

Now, back to #1. John is writing in code to show that while Caesar may claim to be King, Jesus is King of all. Much of the image of Revelation is around Ephesus and if you read up on the buildings rulers and other things there they line up to Revelation and showing Jesus is King of all. Also, how do we "overcome"... "by the blood of the Lamb and our testimony". That is not about bloodshed of others, but salvation as noted in Hebrews. If you take symbols and images in apocryphal writings literal, you then get into real trouble fast... and get stupid things like the Rapture and other non biblical teachings. Even Luther and Calvin knew better than to write about Revelation.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pray for Japan

Here are my thoughts on the recent tragedy in Japan.

Friday, March 11, 2011

John Calvin: His own words on certainty

For those who think doubting and having questions is wrong... should bone up on Calvin more.

Calvin on certainty:

Unbelief is so deeply rooted in our hearts, and we are so inclined to it, that not without hard struggle is each one able to persuade himself of what all confess with the mouth: namely, that God is faithful.

While we teach that faith ought to be certain and assured, we cannot imagine any certainty that is not tinged with doubt, or any assurance that is not assailed by some anxiety. On the other hand, we say that believers are in perpetual conflict with their own unbelief. • Inst. III.ii.15, 17.

Sounds rather Arminian of him.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Is your ministry of condemnation or reconciliation?

Hell is more complicated than you might think

When people ask me about hell, I ask them back, "which one?" If you get buried in the ground, that is referred to as Sheol or the grave translated as Hell so all of us will be in hell sometime. The Christian will not be saved from going into the grave (hell) unless Jesus returns... but we will be saved from the grave (hell) if we die before His return. Another hell is Hades. It is temporal... not eternal as it is tossed into the Lake of Fire (another hell of sorts). This is the Greek realm of the dead mentioned in the NT. 

Then there is Abraham's Bosom which is the abode of the righteous and also Paradise that is said to be those in Abraham's bosom rose with Jesus. Hell is also Tartarus... where Peter writes the fallen angles are kept in chains. This is also part of Greek mythology of where Zeus kept prisoners. Hell is not straight forward as many Christians believe. It is more complicated than just I get to go to Heaven and not go to hell... As I stated, that is even wrong. 

There is also Gehenna where the garbage was burned outside of Jerusalem. Jesus passed through Gehenna on His way to be executed. This is also were prisoners were buried. This is the closest “hell” there is to the Lake of Fire. Now, theologians debate whether the Lake of Fire is to purify annihilate or to punish. It may be a matter of perspective. Yet, even that is stated to be eternal punishment however the word in Greek to mean “eternal” could mean “ages” or “a very long time” or “generations”.