6 Comments

    • Dirk Waren

      The LORD is Almighty and indeed reigns supreme (Psalm 103:19, 93:1, Isaiah 37:16, Exodus 19:5 & Zechariah 6:5), but within God’s Sovereignty he allows humans (and angels) freedom of moral will. As such, although God could force us to make righteous choices, he instead grants us moral volition. This means our Creator won’t make us to do what’s wise or right even though he has the power to do so.

      Think about it in terms of something as mundane as choosing your clothes for the day. Does the LORD force you to wear a certain shirt or pair of pants? Obviously not, although He certainly could. In short, you choose what you’re going to wear. That’s freewill.

      Here are a few examples of moral freewill from both the Old Testament and the New Testament:

      This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
      – Deuteronomy 30:19

      The LORD encouraged the Hebrews to make the right choice, but didn’t force them to do so. The point is, they had a choice.

      Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
      – John 1:12-13

      People choose to receive Christ because they believe; they’re not forced to do so. It’s freewill.

      Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”
      – John 7:16-17

      People obviously have the choice to discern and carry out God’s will or not. No one is forced to damnation and no one is forced to eternal life (2 Peter 3:9).

      However, freewill does not mean unaccountable. God’s sovereignty can be observed in the fact that everyone will stand before the Almighty and give an account of their lives, which includes answering for their impenitent choices, thoughts & actions – believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ and the unsaved at the Great White Throne Judgment (1 Corinthians 4:5, Romans 14:10-12 & Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). If the LORD didn’t reign supreme then we wouldn’t have to answer to our Creator. Even archangels and satan have to give account to the Almighty (Job 1:6 & 2:1).

      Why does the Creator allow freedom of moral will? Obviously because God desires people (and angels) to serve & love their Maker because they want to rather than because they’re programmed to do so, like robots.

  1. Dickensheets Thomas

    Cults calling Jesus a liar!!
    Jesus considers hell to be a place of judgment (John 5:24, 29), of fire (Matt. 5:22; 13:40, 42; 18:9; John 15:6) that was originally prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). That fire is eternal (Matt. 18:8; 25:41). Jesus references the wicked descending into Hades (Matt. 11:23; Luke 10:15) who are in flame (Luke 16:24). This punishment occurs at the end of the age (Matt. 13:40). They are thrown into this place bodily (Matt. 5:29-30; Mark 9:45, 47). He says that people are destroyed there (Matt. 10:28) and perish there (John 3:16). They will experience torment (Luke 16:23-24, 28), agony (Luke 16:24-25), with weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 13:42, 50). It is eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46) in a fire that is unquenchable (Mark 9:43, 47-48). Finally, there are also sons of hell (Matt. 23:15). Hell is a sentence (Matt. 23:33) and God ought to be feared since he sends people there (Luke 12:5).

    • Dirk Waren

      Hi Thomas.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      We are not a “cult,” but rather an Evangelical ministry. Secondly, we proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Truth and therefore the furthest thing from a liar (John 14:6).

      Your post leaves out some important details on the subject of human damnation, not to mention you curiously mix-up two separate topics: 1. the nature of Sheol/Hades and 2. the nature of the “second death” in Gehenna, the lake of Fire.

      Sheol (or Hades in the Greek) refers to the intermediate state of unredeemed souls between physical death and resurrection on the Day of Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). When the unsaved are raised from Sheol on Judgment Day they will be evaluated and, if their names are not found in the Book of Life, discarded in the lake of fire where Christ plainly said that they will be destroyed, both body and soul (Matthew 10:28).

      The book of Hebrews describes this destruction in terms of “raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:27). The Lord leaves no doubt about what this destruction involves in one of the very verses you reference: “AS the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age” (Matthew 13:40). What happens to weeds when they’re cast into fire? They burn for a little bit and then “burn up“, just as John the Baptist declared (Luke 3:17). Was Christ giving a proper illustration or was he lying?

      The lake of fire is eternal because it is “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). This eternal fire was prepared for the devil & demons because they possess intrinsic immortality and can never die, even in their fallen state (Luke 20:34-36). However human beings only possess immortality through Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 1:10 & Romans 2:7). This is why the most famous passage of Scripture says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

      Please observe that there are two possible destinies for people: To either perish — soul and body — when they’re cast into the lake of fire (Matthew 10:28) or accept the gospel of Christ and receive eternal life.

      All of this explains why God’s Word proclaims: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23) and “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:36).

      For important details on the nature of the “second death” in the lake of fire start with this chapter of HELL KNOW.

      For a rightly-divided study from Genesis to Revelation on the nature of Sheol (Hades) — which, again, is a separate topic from the “second death” in the lake of fire — start with this chapter of SHEOL KNOW.

      You evidently take the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus as a literal account. It’s not, it’s a symbolic tale with important morals. See this chapter of SHEOL KNOW for scriptural insights.

      As Jesus said, “the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). Amen.

      Your Servant,

  2. Samual Yoder

    All organized religion has some truth mixed with error. Christ is the head of the assembly so we follow him not man. Those who put their trust in man are fools.
    This thing with eternal torment is that it’s a man-made doctrine and can not be supported by scripture without taking scripture out of context or changing the definitions of the Greek and Hebrew words. Death does not really mean death, perish does not really mean perish, destroy does not really mean destroy, etc. Start down that road of redefining words and the words of scripture becomes worthless because you can make the meanings of words mean anything you want. Which is exactly what the majority of Clergy do: reassign new meaning to the words instead of keeping the meaning that the author of the text meant.

  3. D Barry

    Hi Josh,

    Sounds like you have a good understanding that if traditionalism is true – then the lost actually DO live forever and have eternal life.

    Actually the Biblical doctrine of Conditional Immortality is more about the nature of the unsaved soul. We do believe in hell (as many falsely accuse us of not believing), but the difference is – we believe the human unsaved soul is not immortal and can be destroyed by God.

    And the whole website is specifically out to prove that BIBLICALLY.

    Bless you,
    D.

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