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Ronald

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About Ronald

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    Theology, especially Eschatology, Family, Music, guitar, writing and my dog.

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  1. There is no implication between chapter 3 and 4, there is nothing! There is no implication in chapter 4 or 5 of the Church in heaven yet. I have learned many lessons for many years from the great teacher, John MacArthur. He got to be one of the best on the planet. However, there are some teachings that I disagree with and this teaching is one of them, that the Church has been raptured by chapter 4. He doesn't see the church in any other chapter as being persecuted during the GT period. The 144k Jews are sealed and as scripture implies, a 1/3 remnant of Jews are saved. If there are currently 14+ million Jews in the world, than 1/3 of them will be saved - that's not an innumerable number. John fails to mention (yes he ignores Rev.7:9, 14) : "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb." Then the question was asked who this multitude was. Obviously, it was the Church. And scripture informs that they just came out of the Great Tribulation - meaning they were in it for some time than taken out. " ...These are they who have come out of the great tribulation, they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." This is the rapture. Since the events in the chapters of Revelation are not in chronological order, we can discern that Revelation is like a sphere of events, where the sphere is turned so that we can see the events from different vantage points. And so we also see the rapture in Rev. 11:15, AT THE SEVENTH TRUMPET. So many things happen at the seventh trumpet: 1. The mystery of God is revealed. (Rev. 10:7) 2. Christ appears and every eye sees Him. 3. The resurrection of the Church occurs. (1 Cor. 15:51-53, 1 Thes. 4:16, 17) 4. The kingdoms of the world have become the Lord's. 5. The dead are resurrected and judged. 7. We receive rewards. 8. The Temple of God is opened in heaven. (Rev. 11:19) 9. The Bowls of God's wrath in full are opened. This one flaw of MacArthur changes much of the meaning. He of course teaches the 70th week of Daniel, that no events precede the rapture and so all of Revelation 4-18 pertains to either the remnant Jews who will be saved but must be put through testing and the fire and of course the wrath against the ungodly. He goes on teaching chapter by chapter explaining and interpreting the things he understands but leaves out the order of events. If the Church is gone before chapter 4 and than the multitude in chapter 7 is the remnant Jews, who are the Two Witnesses evangelizing to in chapter 11 - if no one is left but the ungodly? And the Antichrist in Chapter 13 is ... wait a minute _ against who _ when the Church is gone??? You see this whole perspective of the Church not suffering any tribulation and being absent doesn't work. MacArthur fails to attempt to rectify that the events are not chronological nor does he recognize the different vantage points, the overlapping. He doesn't see the Church going through the first Six Trumpets, and fails to see the Seventh Trumpet as the Last -- as many do. I listened to MacArthur's Jet Tour a long time ago ( maybe 20 years) and I suspect he runs through it quickly because he doesn't completely understand it. It's like the Preterists depending on all the events being fulfilled before 70 A.D. resting on one assumption, that the book of Revelation was written before 70 A.D. To them it had to be or the whole view is false and that would prove all or most of the events to be future. Likewise, MacArthur rests on the Church being absent from Chapter 4 on, therefore his interpretation of the rest of it must support that view - hence the quick trip ... skipping over and skimming through important aspects of the book.
  2. Jesus, who is God is fulfilling prophesy, that He would rule as King in Jerusalem. The Jews throughout history looked for the Messiah, their Savior to do just that. To return, judge the ungodly and rule as King. They expected Him to do this upon His First Coming, but that was not His purpose. His Second Coming will fulfill the promise. Jesus gains His Bride, the Church at His Coming. He already has them in His time domain, spiritually. "Then the King will say to those oh his right, 'Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." Matt. 25:34. At the sound of the Seventh Trumpet, " ...The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever." Rev. 11:15 When judgment is served, when sin and evil are removed from the earth, what come next? Peace, for 1000 years, paradise reborn. The lion, the wolf, the cobra will be at peace as well with man. "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." Rev.20:6 The "second death" come after this when Satan is once again released for a while to deceive and is finally thrown into the Lake of Fire and destroyed. "They also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven,'" Heb. 9:28 "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the Earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen." Rev.1:7 "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven ..." 1 Thes. 4:16
  3. Jesus is the narrow gate. He is the way ... same concept. "... No one comes to the Father but by Me." Every other way outside of Christ leads to destruction. Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna, any and all other so called spiritual guides, religions, philosophies, atheism, humanism, witchcraft, black magic, spiritism, IDOLS (including yourself), etc., ANY WAY OTHER THAN THROUGH CHRIST WILL LEAD TO DESTRUCTION.
  4. Mick, thanks for this. Rosh Hashanah includes the Feast of Trumpets. It is the civil new year, first month. But it is the seventh month of the Ecclesiastical/Biblical calendar. Whichever it is, it appears God or an angel blows the last trumpet as I have believed to be #7 (Rev.11:15) for many years. I was just asking the question: Is this the Last Trumpet?" Red Sky At Morning, Thanks for this. it was a very interesting view. He's sounds logical. Although I don't think he is any more scholarly than the rest of us. The idea that we should be looking for an event(s) is what signals His return. All eschatology points to events. However, as mentioned, events such as the Rev. 12:1 did happen, but it was a sign not a date. The blood moons came and I believe they were significant signs as well,. So we can know the season. That "the Lord blows the trumpet" I think if very key. That completely dislodges earthly trumpets blown by man. So any so called "Feast of Trumpets" during Rosh Hashanah or during the month of Nisan would include blowing of trumpets by man, not the Lord. Damascus along with many Islamic nations will be destroyed and I do believe Islam is the Beast, a group of ten Islamic nations that will come against Israel. Iran is the #1 terrorist funding state. The bad nuclear deal with them will be realized by all when they attack Israel with a nuke. We know the Bible says, all nations who come against Israel will be destroyed. Many cities will be destroyed. That this event will come first or an asteroid ... who knows. As far as Planet 9 goes, they haven't discovered it yet -- it's inferred based on elliptical movements of other objects out there. This is an interesting video and this guy seems pretty smart, yet I don't put my faith alongside astronomers, they seem to have the math in place without God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTlr9Se2DbE This video does put the previous accumulative ideas of Planet X in the trash, because he says they were based on erroneous data prior to 1993. Also the sensationalism tied to it, the idea that it is in our solar system now and that we'll be able to see has been disproved for the last few years. There have been fraudulent photos created to deceive people as well. Placable37, Revelation 18 is about the Fall of Babylon, the entire world system. The ancient city of Babylon was corrupt and God confused their language and so the people were dispersed throughout the world. Babylon is where all the false religions, cults, astrology, false philosophies such as humanism, etc., come from. It spread throughout the world and corrupted the world. Babylon is not Rome although Rome was referred to as Babylon, it was a product of Babylon as all the world powers were influenced by HER. So, I beg to disagree with you that the above scriptures pertain to Rome or the Catholic Church.
  5. Apostate means a person who renounces Jesus, abandons Christianity. I don't know what church you attend but no church is perfect. Sin corrupts. You would be surprised at that secret sin of those you might uphold as spiritual deacons in the church. The first century saw problems in the various Christian churches. The Letters to the seven churches were rebukes and messages to repent to at least five of them. Only Philadelphia and Smyrna were faithful. So they are a template of churches today, filled with corruption. God has factored in all our failures and flaws to fulfill His purpose. He is Sovereign and so evil is in check. Man cannot thwart God's purpose. His plan is perfect and so let's not be judgmental about almost half of the Christians on the planet. He chastised those He loves. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God knew, He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn of many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." Rom.8:28 - 30 Remember, the sin that has been forgiven includes past, present and future sins. If we die at any moment, we go to the Lord, white as snow. The Word is able to separate our spirit from our flesh at death or in a twinkling of an eye at the resurrection. The Father sees us a pure, forgiven. We don't look at everyone that way, we see their sin and corruption. But if they have been born again and the Holy Spirit is within them, that part where the Spirit dwells is likened to the Holy of Holies in the Old Temple. That part of the person is and remains pure, while the sarx/flesh is where sin dwells. That said, there are tares among the wheat, those who corrupt the church. Satan sends his boys among us. They were there 1900 years ago and they are there now. By their fruit you will know them. Honestly, I do not see bad fruit produced by the Pope, the last Pope either. He has his flaws too. Pope John Paul II was a good Pope.
  6. The RCC, all Catholics, the pope, and 99.9 % of priests, bishops, cardinals believe in Jesus and put their faith in Him. Most of them are devoted and love their flocks. Some should have never been priests, not having this love, nor the ability to control their sexual desires. Regardless of our differences, they have faith and therefore not "anti" (against) Christ. They love the LORD as we do. This division is unfortunate between us. The Protestant Reformation was necessary to correct some doctrinal errors, traditions, and escape the power the RCC had over it's people. We are all sinners. Let's not forget pastors on the Protestant side who have been just as sinful.
  7. Well, the sun just set in Jerusalem, last trumpet in the Feast of Trumpets has been blown ... I guess this one was not it. Of course a shofar is blown on the Day of Atonement, which may be more significantly assigned to our Ressurection. Could be another year or have nothing to do with the Feast of Trumpets at all. As I said, my view has been Mid-Trib all along and have been comfortable with the 7th Trumpet being the last. I must confess, I expected this Great Tribulation to at least begin by the end if 2018 because it has been one generation from 1948. Then again, we are a strong generation, so maybe 10 more years. One more observation I would like to share before I finish this post. If the Antichrist is Islamic and many suspect he is, along with the Beast being Islam, when would be the ideal time for him to attack Israel and the U.S. ? When would our guard be down and our troops be on leave? Historically, even during times of war, a pause, a respite is observed during Christmas. That has been a day of peace for the world. But of course, the Antichrist hates Christians, so attacking us on our Holy day should be considered a possibility. I don't know if this is a coincidence or not, but it seems suspicious that the Iranian Nuclear deal was created on July 14, 2015, and agreed upon by the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, China, Germany and the EU as well and if you add 1260 days to that date, we arrive at 12-25-2018. Remember, a peace treaty between many nations is supposed to be broken by the Antichrist which would ignite the Great Tribulation. It wasnt labeled a treaty, since a treaty needs to be ratified by Congress, so Obama called it something else to get by the Constitutional law. But we all know it was a peace treaty. Most of us were expecting an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians along with a UN involved as well; but lets face it, Iran wants Israel annihilated, they stated so many times and so it does gravely concern Israel. And then of course we are all waiting for the headlines, "Peace and Safety" to preclude the GT. We have also observed tribulation in the Middle East since the revolts began in 2010 am with Tunisia, then spread like dominos to Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc. Leaders were plucked out of their leadership to further destabilize the region. Hussein, Mubarek, Qudhafi may very well be the horns plucked from the Beast with seven heads and ten horns. So, who is the little horn that will emerge, the Ayatollah or Assad? Far be it from a revised Roman empire, the EU or the POTUS. No, Islam is the Beast, they have always been Antichrist and anti-Semitic throughout history.,They currently have over 80 terrorists groups with Jihad on their agenda. Iran is the #1 funder if terrorism in the world and they received $150 billion in that deal to use for that purpose.
  8. There are many views and lots of confusion, but make no mistake, we are close to the Second Coming of Jesus. He said in Matthew 24:14: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Another major sign that many of us believe started the clock ticking was when Israel became a nation in 1948 and Jerusalem was recaptured in 1967. After almost 19 centuries the Jews came back home after being scattered throughout the world. (see Jer. 16:15; Luke 21:24; Ezek37:21; Zeph. 2:1-3 After twenty years of exhaustive study, I have come to the understanding that the "last trumpet", (you know, the trumpet in 1 Thes. 4:16 & 1 Cor. 15:52), is the 7th trumpet that sounds in Rev. 11:15. Many things happen at that time aside from our resurrection: * The mystery of God is revealed. (mentioned in Rev. 10:7); * Christ appears and every eye sees Him; *The kingdoms of the world become the Lords; *The dead are resurrected and judged also; *We receive rewards according to our deeds; *The Temple of God is open in heaven; and the Seven Bowls of God's wrath are released. So it would appear that this last trumpet is number Seven in the series. However, there is another view that this "last trumpet" is NOT part of that series, but a different series of trumpets blasts. The previous trumpets are blown by angels. But during the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah -- which btw is going on right now), trumpets are sounded during this time, up to 100 times. They are blown to sound an alarm, to repent, prepare yourself for the coming Day of Atonement, etc. The last trumpet in this series, which will be blown prior to sunset on 9/11/2018, is different. This "last trumpet" is blown to express victory. So why is this year any different than any other? It has been 70 years since Israel became a nation in 1948. According to David in Psalm 90:10 a generation is 70 years or 80 if you are strong. So, could this be the Last Trumpet. If so, the Pre-tribbers are right, that no event precedes the Rapture of the Church. The Bible does say that He will come at a time that we do not expect Him. So with the previous scenario with the last trumpet being the seventh trumpet, events would seem to come before and therefore give us warning, unless they were all blown rapidly or simultaneously and the events accumulated over a 3 1/2 year period. We are shown what they mean individually, but that does not mean they are spread apart with all the events being completed before the next trumpet blows. The world seems ripe for a harvest. So, whenever this trumpet blows, it will transform us (in the twinkling of an eye). That means all at once. If the last trumpet in Jerusalem is blown just before sunset 6:50 PM Jerusalem time, every Christian in the world will be transformed. That's pretty soon, 10:50 AM Texas time for me ... too soon? You got something planned? You working, getting married ... it doesn't matter. People will say, nah, tomorrow ... life will just go on as it always has. Maybe. Maybe since we have a strong generation, He will tarry another ten years. Can we wait? Sure, but Judgment Day waits for no one, you must be ready. Got everything in order? Have you made your peace with God, asked for the Lord's forgiveness? Do you believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose on the third day according to the scriptures? Jesus said He would return and the angels confirmed it when he ascended. I'm OK with waiting a little longer. I'm OK with going through some tribulation as well since I adhere to the Mid-Trib view anyways. I would however prefer the Pre-Trib view. The Bible says "the multitude seen in heaven that no one could number" (Rev. 7:9) -- just came out of the great tribulation (Rev. 7:14) This is a vision, a different vantage point of the same event in Rev. 11:15. That's right, the events in the book of Revelation are not chronological. They overlap, are accumulative and God shows us different vantage points of the same event. It is not a linear series of events one after another. It is more like a multi-dimensional sphere of events. So to confuse you more, the trumpets and bowls fall within the Scroll with Seven Seals. The Scroll is the orders, like written play and the actions are in the trumpets and bowls. Another example would be the great earthquake in Rev. 6:12 is the same as the one in Rev. 16:18. I'm not setting a date for tomorrow, just giving you a heads up. ^ I really don't know!
  9. God appoints the leaders of the world for a purpose. He is sovereign and allows good and evil. Trump is trying to clean the swamp of corrupt politicians and their policies. This is one reason he got elected, he is not one of them. Even Cruz said that Congress contains 400 active lobbyists, who have been bought and pander for their own profit - on both sides of the aisle. Trump made some mistakes in not cleaning the swamp quicker. Also with Sessions agreement with the Democrats to recuse himself from Hillary/FBI investigations into her alleged crimes was an unfortunate deal to get his appointment. Obama, Hillary, the former DOJ, the FBI, IRS, EPA, media, Hollywood have corrupted the government and influenced Americans to believe their lies. Even the Medical industry with the Pharma Cartel behind their trillion dollar business holds Americans hostage to their risky drugs, frivolous tests and expensive procedures that could be slashed by natural cures and healthy lifestyles if Americans would wake up and be responsible for their own health. I don't think Trump can make this country great again, I think it's too late. We've gone down a spiral of immorality for decades and now the state of the Union looks like a dirty rag. Sure, if He remained president for his term, the economy would improve and it already has, but what about the $20 trillion debt? And then there is N. Korea and Iran with their agenda. Look at us now with government funding abortions, gay marriage legalized, Planned Parenthood recently selling baby parts for profit, and Obama causing racial dividing slope that the nation has continued on. The hatred by the Left-Wing media, Hollywood, and Democrats is vial. It is as if they are living in and alternate reality where right is wrong with their socialist agenda -- as if that ever worked anywhere. No, I think Trump has been appointed not just to clean the swamp, but to press the buttons when the nukes start flying towards us. We needed a president with balls, sorry for the imagery. Trump will not allow us taking a hit or to be threatened by some punk or be invaded by criminal illegal aliens who may also be Islamic terrorists. He's not afraid to call them what they are. Bill Clinton said that he would take a nuclear hit! Can you believe that? What is that, some sort of turning the cheek? Forget about what this country would look like if Hillary was elected. I could be wrong, but the Great Tribulation may ignite sooner than any of us think. 1948 + 70 (one generation) = 2018 If we get by this year without major catastrophic events, maybe we can have hope to heal America, but I'm sorry to burst everyone's bubble, it really looks like the harvest is ripe and the trumpets will soon start to blow! ???
  10. "Heaven is For Real"was a good book and movie too. That boy who claimed he came back from heaven told his mother that he met his sister in heaven. She was shocked when he also said she died in your belly. His mother had a miscarriage but never told the 4 year old about it. She cried and asked what her name was and he said, she didn't have one, you didn't name her. He also saw his grandfather too. His father was amazed to hear that as well so he got a picture of him. "Is this who you saw," his father asked? His son said. "No, no one wears glasses in heaven and no one is old, everyone is young." So his father scrambled to find a young photo of his dad ... "Is this him? "Yep, that's him." But the big deal was meeting Jesus. His father tried to gather all historical paintings he could find and would ask him if each one looked like Him. His answer was no each time until he heard of a young prodigy girl who painted heavenly pictures from visions that she had since she was a few years old. Her name, Akianne Kramirak At seven years old, she painted Jesus. It is so good it looks like a photo. He then showed his son the painting ... "Is this Him?" He looked and said, "Yes."
  11. God will be quite emotional, in His wrath, when He makes His judgment -- won't He? There are too many scriptures to discuss this topic in any depth. I could just copy and paste portions of my book, "Hell ... If I Know", which is a book on basic Christianity, but I'd rather just post what I did to summarize my thoughts. The book includes two chapters that address the nature of Hell. In those chapters I reference 120 scriptures from several different Bible versions to support my views. But you have left the discussion, I hope this didn't cause you emotional discomfort?
  12. Tormented with fire and sulfur (as in a physical volcano). A lava lake could very well be what this Lake of Fire is, since as I mentioned in Deut. 32:22, the fire comes from beneath the crust of the earth and sets on fire mountains (volcanos). A super volcanic eruption could form a giant lava lake. In the presence of the Lamb -- Where is He going to be? He will come again and plant His feet on the Mt of Olives in Jerusalem. What happens then, it splits in two, creating a fissure in the earth. Btw, the area of the wilderness, Dead Sea, is known as the Great Syrian Africa Rift, historically known for volcanic activity. It stretches from Syria to Mozambique has many dormant volcanos and some active. The Dead Sea was also called the Devil's Sea, the Sea of Lot. This is where Sodom and Gomorrah were on the NE side, destroyed by fire, swallowed up. During the Great Tribulation, 1/3 of the planet will be on fire, so it should be no surprise to even witness a Lake of Fire. In Rev. 9:1,2 the bottomless pit is opened and out of it comes the "smoke of a great furnace" that darkens the sunshine and air. In Isaiah 24:17-22, terror comes to those on earth, people falling into the pit and trying to climb out, the foundations of the earth shake, the earth is broken and split and reels to and fro like a drunkard. It tells of people trying to climb out of the pit and getting caught in a snare. Psalm 140:10 describes burning coals falling on people who are cast into the fire ... into deep pits from which they cannot rise. So Jesus and His angels with him witness this, but take note, no where in the Bible does it say they go into the Abyss or some spiritual location to witness these things. The Second Coming of Christ is for judgment on the earth and the devastation will occur on earth. * I think the scene where Golum in the Lord of the Rings, falls into the volcanic lava river and burns is as close to a visual idea to what will occur.
  13. One true Gospel, absolutely! Please don't misinterpret my post and try to put words in my mouth! God is perfect, man is flawed and sometimes his understanding of scripture is as well. I don't think it's God's injustice, I think it is man's interpretation of God's justice that is flawed. Whatever the truth is, how could anyone be unhappy about it in heaven? I can give many variations of those words, that have both a temporal and legitimate eternal meaning. But one question for you: How would feel if you arrived in heaven and your child didn't make it? And then you thought he'll be forever tormented in Hell --- oh well, I'm here, what's for dinner?
  14. Welcome, I am also new here to this Christian forum. I am not like many Protestants who would discard the faith of over a billion Catholics just because they follow traditions, rituals and beliefs that are not in the Bible, that is, the Protestant Bible of 66 books. I believe the body of Christ includes all believers, so to date, 2.3 billion and counting. I would also say that the Word of God is perfect, yet sometimes we see variations in translations. For instance, there are dozens of versions available in the English language and if you compare them, you would find differences and sometimes the doctrines themselves are based on only a few words, such as "eternal", "everlasting", "destruction" and "Hell" itself. First off, the word for eternal comes from the Greek word, aion, aionios, or aionion. When you do a study of the usage of this word you will find that it is used to describe temporal realities, not just God, His domain or our salvation, which would mean forward into a spiritual existence without end. The temporal usages refer to generation(s), lifetime(s), age(s), epoch(s), world. Even words like everlasting, should be translated as age-lasting or age-during. Ever also is temporal. Never would equate to not ever = not in this age Another word is Hell. Hades is not Hell. Hades is a place where damned souls go after death and await punishment. "Sheol" is deeper than the grave and many scriptures support this. However, the former earth and heavens will be destroyed (those are temporal). So Hades, referred to as the underworld, which is also part of the earth, will also be destroyed, along with Death and thrown into the Lake of Fire (HELL). After the Millennial Kingdom, the former things, earth and heavens will pass away -- all former physical things created. Unbelievers will be resurrected and thrown physically into the Lake of Fire and burned. Other words, such as destruction and perish should also be examined. It is contradictory to say that when a person is destroyed or perishes in Hell, that it somehow is an existence without end. It removes the meaning of the words, which means to put an end to. Again, death itself will be destroyed. Think of it, these altered meanings imply an indestructible destruction or imperishable perishing. That's a contradiction. Destruction is what it means, equivalent to a piece of paper that is thrown in the fire, it burns and is destroyed - quickly. People burn to death sometimes with only ashes left behind or bones -- how long does that take? I also have to say that Luther himself had reservations about "eternal Hell" and might have included an argument against it with his 95 Thesis but Calvin discouraged him from doing so. I don't know this for sure, it's something I read. But I would believe it, because that would be too much too swallow. The 95 Thesis was enough to cause division and it did. Nevertheless, the Protestant church for the most part accepts this traditional doctrine of eternal hell. I don't. I am not a Seventh Day Adventist either and the views of annihilation that are common, I would also disagree with. I do not believe the soul goes to sleep, out of existence, then is recreated at the resurrection. There are too many verses that describe Hades as a place much deeper than 6 feet, a place of darkness and utter gloom or the gates of the deep darkness. And let's not forget "For a fire is kindled in My anger and burns to the lowest part of Sheol, and consumes the earth with its yield, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains." Deut. 32:22 That is a key verse describing what will happen during the Great Tribulation period. Also, "... her guests are in the depths of Sheol." Prov.9:18 other verses to examine (Is. 38:18; Prov. 23:13, 14; Psalm 9:17; Jonah 2:1-7, 10; Num.16:31-35; Job 38:17; Matt.16:18; Luke 16:23-31; Matt. 23:33; Jude 1:6; Is. 24:17-22; Psalm 140:10; Rev.9:1, 2 So how does Christianity justify God sustaining billions of suffering, tormented souls in a endless fire? They spiritualize it, turn it into some spiritual location. Even the fire itself they reason not to be literal, but spiritual. How do they justify God not having mercy on these souls? Condemn them, punish them -- yes, but for an infinite time forward without end? Some teenagers die without Christ and have sinned for 15 years or so -- should they be punished for an endless time? We need to ask if this is fair justice. Am I questioning God's justice? No, I'm questioning if these words have accurately been translated. If you look at Young's Literal Translation and some others, they us age-lasting and age during. In Matt. 25:46, the KJV differentiates between everlasting punishment and eternal life -- IT'S THE SAME WORD. The translators knew there was a difference, a variation in meaning, otherwise eternal should have been used for both (which the NIV and NASB use) Honestly, this idea of "eternal punishment" is a stumbling block for many to become believers. Many would use the argument, "I cannot worship a God who would create and eternal torture chamber." And that's a valid argument. You can't get your mind around it. It's like giving a kid life imprisonment for stealing a bar of candy. Even Hitler, who murdered millions, should suffer and be punished for that (even millions of life sentences), but eventually it should come to an end. But why sustain this spiritual place, why not just destroy these souls (put an end to) and move on with eternal heaven? How does this glorify God, what is He getting out of such a place? I've heard this argument also: Sinning against and eternal God requires and eternal punishment." No where in the Bible do we see God's judgment implemented unfairly. Sin was judged according to it's degree of severity, for a time and then it ended, always. The Jews sinned, rebelled against God, and were punished -- for a time! I will get heresy notes and such to this effect -- go ahead. I've done my research and have studied all the arguments. The only person who could convince me otherwise will have to be Jesus Himself, when I see Him. He will certainly straighten out much confusion and divisions that divide us all won't He! And if I am wrong, He will have to remove my memories of all those who suffer in this eternal place (if it exists), people I know, and billions of others. How could I enjoy heaven with this knowledge? Then again, maybe that is Jesus wiping away the tears. What would be the point of erasing our memories of sin and judgment? I don't think any of this is the case, since we read in scripture of those in heaven saying: "Worthy is the Lord Who was slain ..."; "How long, O Lord holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Those are souls in heaven who were slain for the word of God and want justice. They are aware of those who have sinned against them - this knowledge wasn't wiped away as He wiped away their tears. We will never forget what Christ did for us and where we came from. So anyways, try to digest that. I'm comfortable with it. If the rest of you are comfortable with eternal damnation, good for you. We'll see up there won't we?
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