Every human being is in a Roman arena of sorts. The lion of their sin is after them, trying to consume them. They're fighting against their sins without knowing it. People with unresolved issues with God are generally rebelling against false notions that they have about God. God sits in the place of Ceasar watching the match to the death. He's already purposed the death of sin. He's geared everything towards the final end of all sin. If sin kills you in the ring, then that sin will itself face a burning at the stake that is unlike the burning of anyone else who's ever been burned at the stake! People are weak by nature and warring against God, trying to indulge in sin on their own terms; indulging in those sins that indulge their flesh, while at the same time warring against sins that don't have the rule over them. They are ignorant that all of those sins, whether the ones that they war against or the ones that they personally indulge in and know by another name, are all destined to eventually be no more. They're ignorant of the One Who bought them with the price of His Own Blood.
But when the veil that blinds them and hardens their heart has been taken away, then the heart trembling before it's risen Lord will exclaim as Thomas did, "My Lord, my God..." Repentance is decreed to be universally commanded. Punishment for sin is declared to likewise be universally enforced, without partiality. And all have been bought with the Blood of God. He'll turn His goats to destruction, lead His sheep through the valley of the shadow of death to the clear waters and wholesome pastures, and He'll reclaim His goats in the fullness of time according to Jeremiah 33. Wolves and lions will lay peacefully beside sheep, serpents, and "Charlotte's Web." The vision of the full knowledge of the Lord in Isaiah chapter 11 will not fail of it's appointed season!
Many question to what degree people can be finally and ultimately saved if the punishments that I assert to be Scripturally pronounced against sin will be faithfully carried through to their completion. But that they will be faithfully carried through to completion, we must not allow there to be any doubt or consideration of partiality regarding our message. Jesus Christ is the curse and destruction of sin, while being the Savior of all of mankind. Creation itself will be liberated from it’s bondage to decay and will enter into the liberties of the children of God. Our Father Who art in heaven is a righteous Father, Who though tolerant and the Creator of many differences within and between us, is the great unifier of all of Creation. He’s the Master Craftsman that we can depend upon to fulfill all of His purposes. That all of God’s purposes will be fulfilled in the very end, in spite of present contradictions of supposed evidences, continues to ellude the understanding of many people. That this continues to elude the understanding of many people forms no Scriptural argument against the truth of it. Present contradictions, in spite of the criticism as such, do not all ultimately reconcile into many facets of one beautiful, eternal truth.
Christ came to save sinners. And though I was the worst of sinners, His grace towards me was not determined and manifested towards me as an eternal validation of all of my weaknesses. The grace of God taught me to repent. The grace of God taught me to deny all ungodliness and to cling to Jesus Christ more surely than I’ve ever clung to my next necessary breath of fresh air and oxygen. His Spirit has been powerfully at work upon my life making every transgression my own personal place of everlasting destruction and everlasting shame. He’s refused to allow me the blessings of the first born of the covenant while I’ve clung to any notion of a continuance of sin, pride, and selfishness. He’s led me to wholesome green pastures and still waters at my every step of worship and clinging to Him without reservation. He’s taught me that love works and selfishness disinherits. He’s taught me that while love will cover a multitude of sins, genuine hope and faith on my part will renounce a multitude of sins!
Christ came as a medicine born among men, brought up under the tutelage of God’s Word that showed Him what was the right dose of Himself to give to mankind at every season. He’s stepped into the heavenlies, expecting ‘til all disease is crushed under His feet. The Holy Spirit has come forth, from the Father, given to all that obey Jesus Christ, in order that He may fulfill all righteousness and lead us all to the throne of God. The Holy Spirit is the One given by God towards the world and particularly to the redeemed, in order that He may reveal from the Father of Mercies the correct dosage and application of the Life, Blood, and Word of the living Jesus Christ that may be administered in times of personal, local, and global crisis. The Holy Spirit teaches us to repent, teaches us [step by step] how to listen to Jesus Christ, and teaches us, ultimately, how to profit and be well pleasing to God.
God has set His heart on the repentance and sanctification of each of us, and nothing in all of the Creation, whether poverty, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, principalities, powers, predestination, or anything else will ever separate anyone from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!
In closing, you, yourself, have to repent. The terrors of the world to come are too real and too numerous to cover at this time. From missing out on the New Jerusalem and all of the blessings of the first born of the Covenant of Christ's Blood and Kingship to remaining in the "Unseen" and perhaps in the fires of "Gehenna" where the fire is not quenched and where the worm doesn't die, you'll face torments too numerous, disgrace that'll seem like it's eternal, along with contempt, shame, and the horrors of being an abhorence to all flesh!
Being harmed by the second death, losing your part in the holy city, being refused access to the tree of life, and being among the unclean who are not allowed in the holy city until the times of indignation have passed from being upon your soul is something that you genuinely don't want to go through.
Yes, and without a doubt, when Jesus Christ hands up the Kingdom to God the Father, God will truly be all in all and you will most certainly have been made alive in Christ, just as you died in Adam. These things are beyond question. The hope of the reheading of all things in Christ at the maturity of the ages promised in Ephesians 1:10 is very real. But, so are the terrors that you don't seem to pay attention to in your daily life as you sleep in your romantic notions of never leaving the arms of God - while still being a prisoner of all manners of licientiousness, pride, coveteousness, debate, and verbal and emotional violence.
I'm celebrating a few years of believing what some would call "Christian Universalism." (Since 2001) When I came into this, I was mind boggled by the clarity of the New Testament Greek on it. Therefore, ironically, I was full of suspicions about it. My first 5 years were a love/hate relationship with it. If it's true, then why is it such a minority point of view? If it's true, even if believed by the minority, then why is it at least not a respected point of view regarding the Scriptures?
I'm not asking. I'm just showing some of my thought processes over the last few years.
Most of my "if this is true, then what about this or that in the Scriptures" was wiped away by Elhanan Winchester's "Dialogues On The Universal Restoration." So that although Jan Bonda initially converted me to this, I still regard Elhanan Winchester as my seminal moment when I was fully baptized with the message. I'd read Andrew Jukes's "Restitution of all things" at least a hundred times, along with Knoch's "All in all" and quite a few other titles that are well known and many titles that are obscure, hard to find stuff.
I'd preach it 'cause I was just doing what the Holy Spirit was telling me to do. But I couldn't ever shake the emotional "this has got to be wrong!" from my thinking because of having been emersed for so many years in the currently leading and opposing view point. My own views were kind of a mutt mix of the Evangelical C.S. Lewis spin coupled with a lot of Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the hands of an angry God." I didn't flee to formulate my version of Christian Universalism out of any horror of that image of God, as some have supposed. We're never threatened by what we think applies to everyone else but ourselves! Sure, during emotionally weak moments, I was as sure of my own damnation as I ever was of anyone else's. But generally, I was too self-righteous to personally be in any imminent danger of what I was preaching being true.
Elhanan Winchester, though, as I said, has gone far towards actually converting the deeper parts of me to this message. Even while preaching a form of Christian Universalism and having my Matthew 25, Revelation 20, and other proof text arguments under my belt, along with the 1Corinthians 15 and Colossians 1 proof texts under my belt, I still couldn't bring myself to actually believe this message. I wasn't preaching Christian Universalism with a heart to be dividing or confrontational. But the back of my mind was always full of "but what about this passage or that passage?" Again, Elhanan Winchester dealt with the vast majority of those. The Bible always has first importance, but there has been no other book of secondary importance, other than perhaps Kenneth Copeland's "Honor: Walking in honesty, truth, and integrity."
Finally, something has clicked for me emotionally. Much of it has come through continual regurgitations of Elhanan Winchester's Dialogues while preaching. You only read a book like that so many times before it comes out SOMEHOW in your preaching! For several months now, I'd take a text on perhaps even a subject not even directly related to his "Dialogues" and inevitably, you'd swear my face changed and you were listening to brother Elhanan, 200 something years ago! I had the same thing happen to me after a year in Kenneth Copeland's tapes and books. It's not an attempt at parroting, but something where your whole spirit and subconscious starts bringing to the forefront all of it's ammo at one time, and suddenly the anointing of like a Hilton Sutton or a Rod Parsley comes up and you swear that there's no way that Elhanan believed this fully and was as even tempered in his conversations and preaching as his biographer will claim as the testimony of his relatives about him. You almost swear that that had to be tongue in cheek. He's reputed to have never raised his voice. When I think of Hilton Sutton, Jack Van Impe, Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Kenneth Hagin, and various others who've been passionate about their subject materials that they were teaching on, it doesn't make sense that one could feel as deep of a vision of their message as Elhanan did and not become very animated, particularly when his encyclopedic mind comes into the picture. He's a walking encyclopedia, he's very deeply impressed upon by the clarity with which he sees a subject that easily stirs the emotions, and he's nearly docile in the summation of his biographer. Passionate and active, without a doubt, and always the itinerate Bible teacher and evangelist; a constant wanderer, but meek and mild mannered. The word "how" comes to mind, unless he was in continual bodily pain that he tried not to burden anyone with the particulars of. He was always sickly in his health. I wonder if my attraction to Elhanan is because he may have even shared this in common with me, that on a certain level this whole message was too good to be true.
Other than the Word of Faith message with it's emphasis upon God as the loving and active Providing Father, nothing else that I've ever studied has impacted me as deeply or stirred as much emotion. In a world full of Christians that say that it can't be true, it's a continual challenge to my faith not to bury this message as a hindrance to my Word of Faith ministry. It compliments the message, without a doubt. My reference to it as a possible hindrance is only with regard to offerings, open doors for ministry, and practical matters of that nature where I'm a deeply loved (or so they say) Bible teacher until I go into that forbidden territory. And it's a continual challenge to me emotionally. This is the great unifying force on every area of theology and Biblical practice that I've ever studied. This for me is THE Grand Unifying Theory that brings all of the contradictions to the table and answers them and that raises everything to a higher and more noble and more self sacrificial level.
But how to be of the fullest service to the Church and to the World with such utter hostility towards this message from the Church has always been a deep question. If the doctrine is true, then obviously opinions shouldn't matter. But then there's the desire to have a steady flow of ministry income in order to be the most helpful where Christianity and the whole World around is concerned. To get anything into print and distribution takes enormous sums of money. To take care of the needs of the poor and provide for the emergency care of the daily necessities of people in countries where the government isn't going to even pretend to be as generous as a government should be, takes enormous amounts of money. When one feels the daily burdens of a neglected humanity and very deep needs to do this and that in their behalf, and to still be in a position of needing the help of others to get it done, is generally not grounds for rocking the boat theologically, know what I mean?
When one feels particularly gifted with the anointing and with plainness of speech in Biblical matters and when one feels that one has so much to offer to the Church and to the World of healing on so many levels, it's a challenge. It's a challenge to find the mind of God regarding one's initial inclings towards thinking, "Okay, I have so much to offer in Biblical exposition, why let this one area of Bible interpretation seem like it's the thing that sinks the ship? Why not try to focus on helping others with the truths of the Word up to the level that they're able to endure and not focus on those things that they're not able to understand at the present time?" I've studied this so deeply for so long, that it's difficult to distill my Biblical subjects and articulate them outside of a context of this bottomline. Many Universalists would look at it as an act of betrayal if I had a successful ministry doing just that in keeping all references to this to a minimum.
But if I'm invited to speak somewhere that's not a specifically Christian Universalist setting, I want to focus on repentance, justification by faith, the significance of the Blood of Christ for the individual believer, and our duties to study the Word, love others, and bring others to Christ. I want to give them their revival meeting without rocking the boat with major theological revisions of the way that they would understand things. I have no desire to bury the Christian Universalist message as something tabboo, but my motivation is to help as many people as I can on the levels that they're actually able to receive my Bible teaching ministry. This message makes you love people 100 fold more and to want to be active in their lives, helping them to receive each new breakthrough in their lives in the areas that they're currently the most concerned about. Some would charge me with ministry prostitution if I do that, that I'm just on my way to saying what the churches want to hear, when I really ought to be challenging the whole basis of their religious structure and their assumptions about God and eternity. But to me, to refuse to help on the levels that they're able to receive it, smacks of too much of a Pharisaical attitude.
I'm for buidling up the Body of Christ, bringing the lost to Christ, and discipling new initiates, or converts to Christ (to use the more accepted vernacular), in things that will build the common good of the Churches and their outreaches to the world. So, if I can't set foot behind someone's pulpit and say a word about anything other than the Blood of Christ, the New Testmant commands to repent and to love one another, I'm personally 100% okay with that. Some people would too readily throw out the babies with the bath water, that because they can't wash them in their prefered solution, then they would choose infanticide to helping where they're able to actually help and be a blessing. And if the baby can't understand advanced calculus and advanced chemistry, then be damned with all of his education because it's all pointless if they don't see this or that particular law of physics, astronomy, or photosynthesis. That's wrong, regardless of whatever motive has been behind it.
If I can't preach a thing as I would understand it after the 20th chapter of the book of Revelation, then I'm okay with that, if by any means anything that I would have to say, short of declaring the ultimate restoration of all by Christ, would be of profit and blessing to the church. Too many people have too many needs, that until those needs are met, they're not going to be in a pleasant enough of a mood to view my perspective of Bible prophecy. When someone's breast, ovaries, colon, testicles, or prostate is eaten through thoroughly with cancer, shingles, or whatever else, then they're not going to be in the best of moods for anything other than for an anointed man of God to take them over to Deuteronomy 28, Isiah 53, Mark 11, and Galatians 3 and show them how to get out of this pain and immediate danger that they're facing! Most evangelistic ministries aren't looking for pie in the sky hope, but for allies in helping them win people to Christ RIGHT NOW.
I'm a faithfull ally in bringing people to Jesus Christ right now, teaching them that they must repent and trust alone in Christ's gift of righteousness, and that they must prove the fruit of their conversion by living loving, generous, self controled lives that bring praise to God and further evidence to the world's table of Jesus Christ being exactly Who He says He is. Though I see the ultimate salvation of every created being contained in the Scriptures, I'm particularly disturbed by not finding "Sonship" as a part of those who are latter fruits of the Covenant. Some would say that it's an inherent implication in the idea of "first fruits" as a pledge of the whole harvest, but I don't see "adoption" as something related to God's future dealings with bringing people out of their sins in the ages to come. I'm not comfortable with it being implied if I find nothing to specifically say it. It says that they'll enter into our liberties, but it doesn't necessarily follow that that will include being adopted into God's family, but merely deliverance from bondage to corruption. That burdens me with wanting to reach every single last person on earth with the Gospel of Jesus Christ IMMEDIATELY.
You must find peace in your soul. You must obey the Words of Jesus Christ. You must not only confess Him before men, but you must listen to the grace that's teaching you and pleading with you to deny all ungodliness and to live soberly and righteously in the present age as we expect the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ Who will transform this vile humiliation of ours until we're conformed into His own form at the presentation of the Kingdom to the Father. You must repent. You must believe what the Holy Spirit is telling you today. And you must cut off all things that are defiling you. You must separate yourself from pornography, strife, profanity and from every other sin that wars against the temple of the Holy Spirit that the Scriptures declare your very own body and soul to be.
You must collapse before the Holy One and refuse to rest in your previous visions and revelations of our Lord Jesus Christ. You must go on. The process of the present heavens and earth and of our own present vile forms is to either progress or regress. You can't stay stagnant in previous visitations of the High Priestly ministry of Jesus Christ with old baptisms of the Holy Spirit that He's previously initiated your heart, mind, and body into. You must live fresh and alive and one with the Lord. Nothing else matters. His coming is so close and so is your judgment.
Ignore this plea, if you please, but your own blood will be upon your own head. I stand here this day before you innocent of the blood of all men. I have not failed to teach you from house to house and to impart to you the very Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, the reminders that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Though endless love will rescue you in the end, your coming judgment if you don't repent will be without mercy as the judgment upon Esau was infinitely great for how lightly he regarded his own birth right.
Will He polish you as a most cherished, useful possession, or will He have to crush you as something He must entirely remake from scratch? Love, wrath, the Blood, and the Spirit of Regeneration will never ever fail!
Those who partake of the pierced piece of Bread, Jesus Christ, our Passover will enjoy an allotment of the inheritance, provided that they don't sell out their abode in the New Jerusalem. If they don't redeem their abode in the first year, what does the Mosaic law say about that? It CAN'T be released to them at Jubilee! Let's all be careful with the mysteries of the Kingdom of God that we've been entrusted with, so that we don't lose our birthright as Esau did. Though he was blessed concerning things to come - he never ever regained the birthright which he willingly relinquished for so light of a fleshly pleasure as the one which he had. Don't let that happen to you. Yeah, you'll always be able to come into New Jerusalem to worship, but don't sell out your abode there. Don't lose the right to the tree of life! Don't abandon your calling in the name of "surviving" in this world. Don't! It's not worth it, let it ever cost you so much. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like the promised city built without hands that'll arrive here in it's season, according to His promises!
Day by day the Gospel is overtaking people's lives, people are being awakened by the Holy Spirit, people are hearing their High Priest in the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, and they're being turned from darkness to light; from the power of Satan to the power of God. Day by day the Body of Christ in the earth is being completed. Some people are being won to Jesus Christ, while some people are being hardened by iniquity. Churches are growing, growing up, and becoming something of a limited expression of the Son of God in the earth. Evangelists come and go, teachers expound upon this and that, budgets are met, and orphans and widows are looked after. Missionaries are going everywhere, remembering the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ that it is more blessed to give than to receive. New nations are falling under the pressures from within the devils that inhabit them. New nations are falling under the pressures from above, from even the very throne of God as edicts of the Most High are executed concerning the boundaries of nations and the exact locations of their inhabitants, according to Acts chapter 17.
Some people are seemingly sealing their place in the kingdom of light, while some people are seemingly sealing their place in the realms of outer darkness. Iniquities abound and the love of many grows cold. The promised outpouring of the Spirit abounds and new births are pouring forth at an alarming rate. People are being spiritually awakened by the promised outpouring of the Spirit. New little Christians are coming forth all of the time, perhaps appearing something like tadpoles flooding the sea from the perspective of various types of spirits in the heavenlies, some good and some bad, but all a far cry from divine.
More and more people are coming to understand the prophecies of conscience, culture, history, and of Scripture that declared that Jesus had to come, that before a successful reign could be established a fundamental miracle would have to take place through a shifting of the consciousness and consciences of all of humanity, and that that could only come through the death, resurrection, and atoning ministries exercised by Jesus the Son of God. Along with the surety of death and taxes, hearts are being healed and broken all of the time. Some are obeying the truth, while others are trying to modify the truth for selfish ends. All are aware of the likelihood of their coming deaths, but are nontheless drunken with afflictions, cares, pleasures, riches, and other worries. They think that someday belongs to someday rather than to this day. But multitudes are in the valley of decision, in the presence of their enemies.
Centuries come and centuries go, though all of them that pass are reaching forth to a particular day of reconning. It's mocked by many as mythology, superstition, and the prudery of the sexually disfunctional! It is thought by some that religion was created by the physically unappealing (and perhaps impotent), in order that though they'd never know sexual pleasure all of the days of their lives they could still try to build their own little empires and heirs of a different kind, altogether different from the norms of society. God is a watchmaker, they argue, who's set the world on nothing, established the heavens that they should exist forever, created a jigsaw puzzle that we all call life, and is now eternally at rest watching all of us fight it out as if we were re-runs of Gunsmoke, War of the Worlds, Johnny Carson, and a really lousy cooking show!
Millions are won to Jesus Christ every century, while the hearts of some only seem to grow worse. Judgments come, arouse limited perception, and conquer some, but the vast majority of mankind appears unaffected by the divine appointments, divine decrees, and the divine acts. Time and chance, it is alleged by many historians, has favored many sects of religion from the redemptive to the grotesque. They willingly ignore the mathematical in favor of personal, familial, cultural, regional, national, and international politics. All religions are alleged to be built on familiar and similar grounds, though the fruits, alone, are ever [superficially] studied, while the foundations are ignored or dishonestly obscured.
The Day when everyone will have to give an account is ignored because it's not fashionable or because people who've known of it have been less than perfect, themselves, in either their consistency with that belief, their articulation of it, or in their abilities to demonstrate it with sufficiently infallible proofs. Day by day wrath is treasured up towards that day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgments of God that will be revealed. People who claim to repent, or to have repented, are inconsistent with bringing forth undeniable proofs of their repentance. They resist, day by day, paying back those things borrowed or stolen. They resist, day by day, paying attention to their consciences, the Scriptures, and the signs of the times. But the Everlasting Gospel is making steady progress, souls are being reunited with God through Christ, sins are being chastised and forsaken, and the clock ticks away towards the day when the righteous judgment will [visibly] begin.
People are falling into hell by the millions and even by the billions, into what appears to be a Christless eternity. The Kingdom of Christ is making steady progress, but there are apparent casualties and contradictions. The sting of death is sin and the depth of it's power weighs against the consciences and laws of men and angels. The full number of the first born company is being reached, day by day. Those appointed for eternal life (i.e., or the life that pertains to the knowledge of God and of His Christ within the boundaries of present time) are receiving their portion on a daily basis. Soon the time of the trial of the righteous will be no more. Soon all nations will be gathered to Christ to answer for their conduct towards Christians, Jews, and the Creation around them. Sanctions will weigh heavily against some nations for their conduct on a national level, at the command of Jesus Christ. Individuals will be executed for their rebellion against compassion, conscience, humility, righteousness, and wisdom. Death will take her prisoners, hell will be stirred to meet them at their coming. Enlarged, hell will roar louder and louder with the cries of the condemned and shamed. Jesus Christ will reign for the time of years that will be with a sense of thousands in number, but will in fact be a thousand years of a renewing earth. Ministry will go forth on a global scale like has never been seen before, on a day by day basis. The people will be taught to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly and righteously, resting their hearts in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. But the time will come, finally, when rebellion will rear it's ugly head once more. Fire will flood the earth, those judged to not have their names in the lamb's book of life will partake of the fury of the lake of fire as the elements melt with fervent heat, and righteousness alone will dwell in the heavens. The heavens and earth will renew, God's covenant of peace will renew with them, and nothing unclean will enter into the city of New Jerusalem. The Day of torments unspeakable which none believed would ever come, but which advanced day by day towards the present day will have finally come. Suffering such as the world has never known will reach it's zenith. The worms which never stopped partaking of the flesh of the ungodly who were judged at the beginning of the millenium will have finally died by those unquenchable fires which were destined to overtake all of the world, the flesh, and the devil. None of the unrepentant will have escaped. Death will universally reign supreme over them. It is a death that was never known in the former order, because every trace that they ever existed is wiped from the memory of the earth. Every hint at a legacy left by any of those who never humbled themselves before Jesus Christ will have been burned up. Everything that made those wicked people who they were will be gone. They will have no seed in the earth. The memory of them has been wiped from the Creation by the flames of a New and Brighter Day, brought forth by the Bright and Morning Star. Righteousness will fill the heavens and the earth. The wicked were tormented day and night for as long as there ever was a day and a night, to the eons of the eons. All hardness will have been softened, all rebellion crushed, and all iniquity purged from the face of the Creation. Death as it had been known has been cast aside, or has rather been engulfed in the flames of the second death, which raged with a fury that had never been known before as all things that were mortal and corruptible finally were challenged by a death that would overtake all death. Flames have raged for seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, centuries, eons. What else is left? The day has finally arrived when all things would be ruled with a rod of iron. That day has passed.
Death has been absolute in it's judgment upon the ungodly. Those who failed to embrace the Lordship of Jesus Christ in a former age have been consumed in nearly every conceivable way that they could have ever been consumed. The screams of the condemned and of the shamed were beyond comprehension! Iniquity has been purged from the Creation. Unrighteousness has not only had it's mouth stopped, but has felt the fury of the all consuming God. Every legacy of ungodliness is not even a memory any more after the horror of the tragedy that has past. It was a tragedy that was declared thousands of years ago, or by that time in the nearly infinite past, though it was heralded throughout the ages. All mockery of the counsels of the holy has been stopped! Nothing of the former ways is even perceptible in the New Creation. The conquest has been nearly absolute. But, as William Barclay said, the only true victory that love can have is when the offer of it's love is returned. The only possible triumph over a universe loved by God is for that universe to be in love with God.
Death must be swallowed up in victory as well as in judgment. Death has, at the time that I'm describing in the future, only been swallowed up in judgment. The only victory that righteousness can ever actually know is reconciliation, atonement, and restoration. The price for reconciliation and atonement having been paid long ago, the only thing left is restoration to yet be accomplished. Promises and threatenings were universally made to the same people, both to be carried out at different times with regards to and in proportion to how they responded to the love of God. Threatenings and promises were made to the same people; threatenings that they better repent, promises to heal and prosper them if they would obey, threatenings that all disobedience would finally be annihilated from the creation, and promises that Christ bore the chastisement needful to abtain peace and well-being for all. The Word has gone forth in righteousness and cannot return void. It's gone forth. Now it's returning, but where's the promised fruit? The first fruits were secured. The vine was made holy. The disobedient branches were broken off and cast into the fire. But, God knows how to graft them in again! The promises, gifts, and callings of God are without repentance! Love promised to make all things new. Love promised to wipe away every tear. Love must wipe it's own tears away for every tear to be wiped away. Judgment was without mercy towards those who had shown no mercy, but love must triumph in any and every judgment, because judgment came from the heart of a Father and not from the heart of a dictator. By this time, all of the dictates of every conceivable divine law with regards to the handling of the rebels has been executed. The rebels themselves have been executed and they've been brought to everlasting shame and contempt. The root of their bitterness has been ground to powder and then consumed in the flames. The everlasting flames have gone out because there's nothing left for them to consume. Judgment has been absolute. Disobedience has been repudiated by this distant date in the future. Ungodliness is no more. But where does that leave the heart of a Father bereaved of many of His children? Every jot and tittle of the threatenings has been fulfilled. The law has been fulfilled. Heaven and earth, as they'd been formerly known, have passed away at that unknown date in the future, but the heart of the Father can never pass away! All righteousness has been fulfilled, and all of the firstborn elect have been conformed to the image of the Son of God. The Body of Christ is One in the Father and the Father is One in them. Death has passed away, but now that God has proven that He's right, the greater burden is to now prove that love has never failed. Every thought, word, action, intent, and wicked imagination has been avenged, burned, consumed, destroyed, engulfed, frustrated, granulated, harvested at last. Sin has passed away. The day that Creation never thought would ever come has come. Ages of ages have been completed. The wealth of the sinner has come into the hands of the just and the sinner is no more in the earth forever! All punishments have been exercised towards their proper ends, that all wickedness would be put under foot. One thing yet remains to be fulfilled. Just one thing:
"As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive..."
"In the dispensation of the fullness of the times He would gather together in one (Gr: rehead) all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth..."
Every tear must be wiped away and there shall be no more curse (Gr: katanthema, literally "damnation"). By this time every tear has been cried, every drop of blood has been shed for iniquity, every sold inheritance has been eternally lost by those who've yet been blessed in the counsels of God concerning things to come, and the triumph of Christ as King has been accomplished. But what of the final triumph of His mediatorial office? Shall the Holy Spirit never be consoled? Shall Christ never be satisfied with the fruit of the travail of His soul? Shall first man Adam's treason have actually caused an eternal loss to God that God's wisdom and riches can not reclaim? Shall the lessons of overcoming evil with good have no deeper meaning and fulfillment than to have restrained the flesh of those who enjoyed imputed righteousness during the ages of a previous heavens and earth? Were those not eternal lessons? Shall God not be as perfect towards His enemies as He demanded of us all of the days of our former sojourn in our previous state of mortality? [See: Matthew 5:38-48]
Was "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" the eternal truth after all, in repudiation of all that Jesus Christ taught us all of the time of our former lives? Shall the Spirit of God never return to His Rest in the loving embrace of the entirety of His family ever again? Though immortality was granted to a special class elected by grace and patience, shall a mythology of death have the final echoing say at the basic, subconscious level of every being in all of Creation? Or will the Sons of God rejoice in the final work of God's hands? Will mercy prove to have been the basis of all judgment? Will wisdom be justified in her children? Will some have ever been [eternally] separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord? Or is it too much to limit the God of heaven, the riches of His grace, wisdom, and sovereignty to say that He'll never recover all He'd formerly lost on His terms, because of the nature of His terms? Though He is the unchanging God, can any being remain outside of His redeeming/recovering reach for all time and all future Creations? Why limit the holy One of Christ Jesus (i.e. "Anointed Salvation")? Doesn't limiting Him day by day prove to be too presumptuous?
If the pages of the Bible are capable of conveying to you even a tenth of all that Jesus Christ really is, would you trust Him with your heart, with your sins, with your weaknesses, and with your ego? Some may question the justice involved in a presentation of the ultimate universal recovery of all, but if the Christ revealed in the pages of Scripture really is the all-wise and all-loving Redeemer of all of mankind that the Scriptures hold out to us as the ultimate hope and promise for both the present and the future, can you personally see yourself resting in such Omnipotence? He only wants to recreate your world and make sense of all of the pains and injustices you've seen, experienced, and heard about!
If restoration really is the full scope of the intent of God for every created being in the cosmos, do you want to be a part of this in sharing the full meaning of God's love, intent, wisdom, power, and righteous throne with others?
The reality of restoration gets rid of the ideas that fill Hollywood about God being an incompetently slothful Being in the heavens that has left us all as orphans to make life work for ourselves; to find our own bread and water and rest for our souls. Surely such a God can be forgiven much since He's actually loved much. Though all of us may yet face concerns from time to time about the sincerity and depth of His love, the real question is how many times has He silently had the same concerns about the sincerity and depth of our love for Him, eh?
The Day is coming when He'll put us all under the gun, so to speak, in asking of us questions that we've sought the answers to all of our lives about who we are, what we're about, and why we do the things that we do. None of us can escape that Day. It's an appointment that none of us can miss or put off forever. Thankfully, Christ has become our advocate and has taken charge of our case, no matter how desperate it's looked throughout the ages. And even if we temporarily lose our liberties because of the evidences against us that span the course of our lives, Christ will easily win our case on appeal after we've each served Christ's purposes in conforming us to His image by whatever means He deems necessary in the course of time.
Think about it! Each of us being conformed to the image of the Man we read about in the Gospel accounts in the Bible. It staggers the mind and makes havoc of the emotions while bringing to light the true nature of our egos before the Divine scrutiny of Him Who alone will render to each man according to his deeds. Christ can yet bring us to our Day of mercy out of the days of many sorrows that we've each experienced and will yet experience til all fear, impurity, death, enmity, and estrangement are done away with in their entirety by His Blood and the rule of His throne.
You can't escape it! So, why fight against coming to your own personal Day of universal reconning and the destruction of all you've held as dearly important reasons to put off obedience to God and separation to His will? Hasn't your ego punished you long enough? Embrace the universal oneness in the Body of all life that Christ has come to bring to birth within you. Take charge of your life and humble it before His Divine Majesty for Him to make of you what He wills. He's come to destroy all of your false opinions about yourself, about Him, and about the reasons for being and doing. You'll never escape His demands upon your life. He'll chase you to the highest heavens or into the deepest hell until bankrupt of all of your resources to resist the disciplines that the Lord would impose upon your life, you'll come trembling to the end of self.
Do you want to make things just as hard on yourself as you can? Do you want to find out what true misery is? Do you really want to have first hand knowledge of the end intended by the Lord against all sin and apathy to His will? It actually is easier to just simply humble yourself before Jesus Christ, to begin to obey everything He's ever
said, and to worship God until His power overtakes you and makes you into the loveliest butterfly or the most powerful eagle in the pursuit of His Divine plan. Spend some time today simply taking Him at His Word, reading the Bible, and learning to listen to the groans of God's Heart as He groans for the rebirth of everything He can see. In the end, infinite love is wise and true, infinite pain is destined to come to it's end through your rebirth, and creation is destined to finally be delivered from it's bondage to decay, filth, stupidity, weakness, and sorrow through the all-consuming God.
After death, I've finally come to see that most people will know a fully conscious total disemboweling of their being by the fires and consuming worms of God, until the only thing left of them is what's incorruptible and redeemable through the merits of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. If you were looking for sloppy agape and greesy grace that would let anything go without consequences and serious reprocussions, you were misinformed that you would in any way find that here! Every sin and disobedience will know a just penalty, no matter what. Father God is forgiving and will never let you go, but you're deceived if you think that anything gets by Him or that He will ever look the other way with regards to sin. His forgiving nature is simply a matter of His not holding prolonged frustrations and ill-will towards you, but He will punish every single sin that you have ever commited. There is no way out. There's no way around it. The message is the same as it's always been: turn or burn!
Turn away from all that defiles mind and heart and that creates doubts of the loving, redeeming parental nature of God. Turn away from all of your coveteousness, hostilities, blasphemies, arrogance, and self-delusions. Or you will burn under both the consequences of not managing your heart and your life by God's Word and you'll burn under the stern, disciplining hand of your righteous Father, Who's eternally against your sins and eternally insistant upon the two of you walking in agreement about His plan for your life.
God will destroy your disobedience. The only question is whether it will be surgical or whether God will have to do it as a matter of His crushing war against sin. Surgery is something that you have to lay down on the operating table of God's Holy Word and allow the prophecies and judgments of the ages, revealed to us in the Holy Bible, to do their cleansing work.
Ever taken a laxative? Ever had diahrea that seemed to come from almost nowhere? What was the difference between the two? Both purged your body. One of those forms of cleansing your body was something that you signed on the dotted line to receive, so to speak, while the other one was imposed on you by things at work in your life that were more powerful than you were to manage it.
You can take the Word of God as a laxative. You can keep feeding it into your heart and feeding it into your heart until your spirit reaches it's bowel tolerance level and filth begins to be purged from your life, from your circumstances, from your past, and from your destiny. Or you can refuse to turn at God's rebuke in Scripture and not accept His loving offer of reconciliation and the fire of God will go to work on you as the judgments of God are unveiled over and within your life. And that'll have a much more painfully burning sensation as you're being cleansed.
You're already His. You were bought with the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ and He's never stopped keeping the ears of God tuned in your direction; He's always kept the eyes of God upon you. That's not hard for Him to do. God's always seen you as a new creation. God's never been ignorant of the means necessary to bring that about in your life.
If you're tired of your disobedience being used to turn you over to Satan for the destruction of your lower selfish nature, then simply turn and you can finally eventually come to the place where you're not burning any more at God's rebuke. You can know the love that's the meaning of it all! God loves you and no matter what you've ever been taught, Jesus Christ has invested too much in your recovery to God to ever let you go.
Haven't the judging fires of God finally done enough in your life for you to get a clue, get a grip, and find your resting place on the heavenly Rock that won't roll out from under you? God loves you and is passionately commited to your peace, your initiation into holiness, and your restoration into all that He ever meant for your life to be, to exhibit, and to share of His provisions, promises, and potential. Will you turn, or will you continue to burn for a little while longer?
What if you woke up one day in a burning devil's hell being tormented because of something that you forgot to repent of, or because of some area of light of God's Word that you actually had, but for whatever reason in the human equation you never quite walked in the light that you had up to the measure that you actually had? What if you were there because of having some unforgiveness in your heart towards someone, perhaps a parent, but because you never personally called it unforgiveness, you somehow thought that that made it alright? What if you were there engulfed in flames to the point where every cry for water was only met by a sinking feeling as the ground gave way under you and you fell into a deeper lake of burning brimstone? What if you were there grieving like few in the Creation of God have ever grieved, not because you got caught --you were well past the initial time of grief over having simply gotten caught or because of thinking you were in an unjust situation-- but because you'd sinned against God?
What if you're there grieving because of the depth of your sin and suddenly you felt a hand on your shoulder as you're sinking deeper and deeper in your grief, snot, and feeling as though you'd failed your loving heavenly Father? What if as you turn around you see that it's Jesus, and with arms opened wide He were to tell you, "I know you've repented. This fire's done all that it can possibly do to burn the wood, hay, and stubble out of your life. Come on home with Me!" And suddenly the two of you begin to ascend towards the throne of God. You feel the brightness of God's glory and the ever increasing shame for your wickedness as Jesus is telling you, "I've paid the ultimate price in Blood, Sweat, and Tears before God and all of Creation to bring you home and to give you My righteousness, so cheer up! I love you and our Dad loves you!"
Would you love Jesus Christ more or less in that situation? Would you feel the desire or the need to abuse that graciousness on His part? Would you feel as if your sins had been less than thoroughly condemned by God? Do you think that anyone seeing God's gracious judgments in totally condemning your sins and bringing you out of them would have any remaining curiosities about a life apart from God? Would you think more of Jesus Christ or less of Jesus Christ after that? Would Jesus be less worthy or more worthy of praise and adoration? Would fear, blasphemy, coveteousness, or self-delusion ever again find it's way into your emotions, mind, or mouth after that? Would you have finally understood the lesson of loving and praying for your enemies, whomever they may be? Would you put it off or would you put it on and immediately begin acting like Jesus, alongside Jesus, in interceding for anyone who's yet unreconciled to God through Christ?
What if this is very likely the very hard and painful process that either you or someone you know will eventually trod to Father's house? Would you call this an "easy" salvation or put in this light, can you see how this perspective of God's saving judgments are all of the more dependent upon the Blood, Intercessions, and Witness of Jesus Christ because of God allowing for absolutely no margin for error where a single soul is concerned 'til all are purged, purified, tempered, and presented to Him by Christ?
Would you think more of Jesus Christ or less of Jesus Christ if He never compromised either His deity or His humanity and if He never compromised His wisdom, judgments, righteousness, and love and still found a way to eventually reconcile every heart in Creation to God?
Again, would you think more or less of Jesus Christ if this message proved to be 100% true in the end?
Every single day things seem to be getting harder and harder. You don't know what else to do. You don't know what else to cry out before God and these mysterious heavens that we've all heard about all of the days of our lives. The pressure on you is getting worse and worse. No one seems to care. No one seems to listen. What if through some sad combination of the "sins of the fathers" and some fluke of predestination you were predestinated either through the course of the last few generations or perhaps - Gasp! - from the foundation of the world to go straight to hell?
What if through no apparent fault of your own, things seem to be getting more and more hellatious because that's EXACTLY where you're going? Do you commit suicide and jump from the frying pan into the fire? That would really cool things off, wouldn't it? Do you scream profanities at God and become twice the son of hell that you have apparently always been?
Where's the justice? Where's the mercy? Where's the "love" that's supposed to "never fail?"
What if that's true? What if that's why it hurts so much? What if that's why the pain won't go away? What if that's why every single person that you ever put your trust in proves to be just another demon?
Can you hear them laughing at you? Can you feel them plotting your ruin, yet again? On your way to work, today, you even saw a bumper sticker that said, "It's not paranoia because they really are out to get you!" What if they are?
What if your spouse really is cheating on you? What if all of your fears about your spouse, about your health, about your children, about your bills, and about your destiny are true? What if it really is a conspiracy on a level that you never before imagined? What if it's God Who has your feet to the fire?
What then? Start cursing Him? But you want all of the hell to end, don't you? Right at this point where you don't think that you can take any more you don't want fresh strength and vigor poured through you just so that the temperature can be turned up and you can be tormented even more in the Presence of God and of the Lamb. Already seems like "forever and ever," doesn't it?
No one has to tell you that things are getting hotter and that it doesn't look like you're going to make it. You're past the point of ever being fooled by anyone ever again. You know that you can't be good enough. You know that every time that you have the holy audacity to do something good for someone that you just get kicked in the teeth again. Things are only getting worse and you know it.
What if you're destined to eventually go to heaven via the "scenic route" of hell? Everyone has a story to tell about why or how things aren't fair, why there's not enough love in the world, and how many doubts that they have of ever seeing another kindness from God ever again, whether they're what you would call "normal," "strange," "wicked," or a "saint." Everyone seems to have a story, about this or that, don't they?
God's never going to let go of you. There is light at the end of this dark tunnel. And it's a "Good Light," even though it seems by now that it's probably just another cavern with more tormenting flames. God really does love you, no matter how much this is hurting right now. Though He's all-knowing, He's working through things just like you are. He knows where all of this is heading, but not even He's getting a "free ride" through this life. It's painful even for Him, but He has hope that things won't always be as they've been on this earth up until now.
Yes, He's a terribly judging Saviour, but His judgments have a purpose. They're surgical in nature, to either remove from you things that couldn't be removed any other way, or to bring through and out of you things that couldn't have come to the surface in any other way, to make eternity richer and better for everyone.
What if you don't think that you're going to make it? It's not your God-given assignment to "make it." God is the One Who has promised to make all things new, to wipe away every tear, and to swallow up death in victory. You don't have to "make it," because Jesus Christ has already secured the peace by His sacrificial Blood. You just have to know that He's coming back for you. He won't leave you in hell! There's an old hymn that says something like:
"His eye is on the sparrow and I know He's watching me..."
How many sparrows has He seen freeze to death and barely getting by? These birds are often frustrated by a world with demon possessed cats that are bent on their destruction. In cities across the world they have to wade through broken beer bottles trying to find something to eat. And they're constantly having to deal with the filthy cigarette smoke of a lot of people. But Mark chapter 4 and Hosea chapter 2 promise a real future and hope to these birds, inspite of all of the cannibalistic preachers that they're having to deal with in this world.
"Why did the chicken cross the road? - To try to get away from the preacher."
God's not ever going to let go of either you or them. Sometimes He'll turn you every way but loose as He's dealing with character issues in your life, or character issues in the lives of the people and the creation around you, but He's always there...even when you think you hate His guts! He loves you and Jesus still has the keys to the grave that you're in.
Work with Him and His work with you will be a lot easier on both of You!
Worship, prayer, and thanksgiving still have their place. You'll never get out of bondage until you've paid back the last penny. When you forgive, then you'll be forgiven.
What if praying for your enemies, like Jesus Christ would and does, is what will take you from the back of the line and put you on the front of the line? This is just something for you to think about.
Apart from considerations of it looking like Jesus Christ couldn't complete what He started in saving the whole world, there might be a thing or two that can be said in favor of the doctrine of eternal punishment. People who've embraced Jesus Christ as merely fire insurance have yet embraced Him, though to a limited extent. Jesus Christ is particularly wise at how to take even the slightest open door to Himself as an actual entry way into people's lives. He's a lot more aggressive than most Christians realize and though He'd prefer, obviously, to be embraced on better terms it's still something He can work with.
The doctrine of endless punishment though feeding the carnal nature with needs for sensual comforts still hinders a final suicide in many cases of depression. The fear of God finally abandoning them utterly is present because of it being thought that suicide might be something for which there could never ben any repentance and divine restoration from. Though it's horribly lacking as a doctrine for producing either the fear of God or the hatred of evil, it limits sin's commital in a very limited context. It caters to the flesh to say that some things may at last be unforgiveable. However, as anguish surpasses fear - any level of fear - then the suicide committer enters into the unseen, or unperceived, as is the proper interpretation of "Hades" and leaves the realm of "Gehenna" where they had no sense of the love of God and only burned in their flesh and minds continually with anguish, addictions, and further and more unspeakable things that pertain to this life. In "Hades" they're still further hidden from God's ultimate intent and they've believed "THE" lie that they've wandered beyond God's chastening, loving, and redemptive hands and only face "eternity" in anguish, weeping, and further and further regret as they realize the Majesty of God - without a context of a revelation of His love and wisdom. They only sense the King Immortal and Invinsible and the weight of their crimes against the divine will, nature, and conscience become an ever-increasing weight that thankfully the firstborn of every creature will ultimately reclaim them from. The doctrine of endless punishment while promising to prepare people for the afterlife only expands the knowledge of sin. It darkens the knowledge of God's righteousness and of His intent and power to save.
At what exact period, dispensation, era, age, eon, or date in the future that the immutable, or unchanging Christ shall no longer be able to be called the Savior of the World, in lue of His "eternal judgments against" a portion of mankind is a sticky topic that I've not yet seen a Calvinist or an Arminian willing to touch! If all are not at last saved, then there does come a time when Christ can no longer be justly called the Savior of the World. In an eternal punishment mindset/context, Christ may be said to be King of all, but cannot be called the Savior of all. But at this particular time, He's clearly called the Savior of all by the inspired Scriptures. But when He'll no longer be the actual Savior of all, and when His judgments are to be a tragedy and a blight upon His title as "Savior of all" is something that no fundamentalist Christian is willing to touch in their decrees and doctrines. But, in the Christian Universalist mindset, Christ clearly judges all and saves all. In a very real, literal, practical, and systematic sense He only saves by judging what's evil! And Scripture does call Him the Savior of the World.
The question that is often aimed at the Universalist should be turned upon the fundamentalist instead. The question to the fundamentalist should be:
Can you accept Hell? Can you accept that there's a place where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched, until all things that can be consumed of the character and the works of men have been consumed? Can you accept that there's a place filled with gargoyles, centaurs, and other creatures with pitch forks testing to see if you're done yet? Can you accept that there's a place where one fears that God will never reclaim them again? Can you accept that there's a place that the book of Revelation says is where absolutely, unquestionably, and without qualification that all of the fearful will be placed? Have you ever had a single fear? Have you ever had a prolonged fear? Didn't you realize that none of the fearful will inherit the kingdom of God? Can you feel the flames licking up through the ground tasting your feet and savouring every morsel of sweat that's rolling off of your legs and feet? All of the fearful have their place in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, from which you may be among the company who claims that there is to never be a casting out of the torment of that place. Has fear ever pulled at the pit of your stomach, made you doubt God's promises, and raised your blood pressure and heart rate as it's declared that you're irrevocably afraid? Can you feel a oneness with fear? Have you ever feared the wrath of God, not knowing that both the goodness and severity of God are meant to lead you to repentance? Can you feel the pain? Can you feel the anguish? Can you feel the flames surrounding you? Can you feel the worms crawling up and all over your body, weaving in and out of every body opening, indulging more and more upon every abominable thing in your flesh, even as the fires are indulging more and more upon every abominable thing in your soul and spirit?
While St. Paul says that God is no respecter of persons, James, John, Peter, and Jude in their epistles seem to say that God is no respecter of faith either, but only looks for strictest obedience. Have you indulged the fearful nature? Do you watch horror movies, or delight in a good prank? Can you feel the spirits in prison reaching towards you, from behind you, to pull you to themselves? Can you feel the gates of iron and brass behind you? Can you feel the ground giving away underneath you? Can you feel the weight of your disobedience causing the ground to give away underneath you? Have you been lazy in your meditations upon the Lord and upon His Words? Have you neglected prayer so that you've not been strengthened for the day of temptation? Can you hear the laughs of demons as they approach you, closer and closer, day by day?
You hear a jet passing in the distance, but is it really a jet? Or is it the faint voice of God reminding you that without holiness, no one will see God at work? Where's your sense of peace? Scripture even makes it clear that without peace you won't see God!
Are you as sure of Hell, as if you were already there? Can you hear the clock ticking, your heart pounding, and the royal gong announcing the soon return of the King? Are you among the 5 foolish virgins that Jesus warned about in His parable? Are you among those to whom the gates will be closed, and who won't be allowed inside by even Jesus Christ Himself? The gates, according to the book of Revelation, will be thrown open in the future, to never again be closed, but that does you little good right now, right? Things are tightening in around you and you know it. The maze you've wandered through all of your life with a mixture of sincerity and presumptuous arrogance in your heart towards God is coming to an end. Your back is up against the wall, and there's no way of escape. The wall behind you, is again, even morphing into a gate constructed of bars. Hands are reaching through it, long fingers are reaching around your face and covering your mouth, and nose, and eyes! They're pulling you to themselves. Their grip is growing tighter and tighter and tighter! You struggle to escape, only to realize that you're a prisoner of all of your own ideas, your own precepts, your own man-made convictions. Your own ego has betrayed you!
The sweat, the slime, the steam of hot breaths - they're all on your neck. Things are getting darker and more suffocating. There's no where to run and no where to hide. You did it yourself by rejecting what you were taught about Jesus Christ. Rather than having a humble heart to enquire into the full meaning of all of this, you presumed in your arrogance to already be cleaving to the Way. The time has run out, the judgment has fallen. You're "guilty as Hell" and you know it. Jesus wouldn't even stand up for you, because you never stood up for Him! At this point of sinking, distress, and darkness you have only a couple of choices. You can believe what you vaguely heard all of your life from religious people who themselves were imperfect in knowledge. You can believe that you're eternally damned and there's not a single thing that you or anyone can ever do about it. You can fall into your pitty-pot and believe that it's all over, that you're in the final place of pain from which there is no place of suicide that you can reach for to relieve you of the world that you're now in. Or you can believe...you can choose to believe that though God's justice and judgment are final in settling all matters, that you may yet find mercy from God, that there may yet be a day of deliverance for you and those that seem to surround you in this pitch blackness that you now find yourself in.
You can choose to believe that no matter what God has to do to you, with you, and ultimately through you that you'll eventually find mercy, comfort, and joy in His loving and favoring face. You can choose to believe that though judgment and damnation have been to the exact letter of all of theology and even mythology, that there is yet a Father God Who didn't create you intending to abandon you to inextinguishable agony, blasphemy, condemnation, disgrace, and excess. Though your mind, will, and emotions seem to be a lost cause - as lost as any of those around you - you can still choose to believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins. You can choose to hang on, inspite of all of the screams, laughs, and stench around you. No matter what you feel of flames, worms, and other creepy crawlers all over and around you (and even within you, as no one would understand who's not there), you can still remember the former days of mercy that you had. You can choose to repent and worship.
You can choose to wake up from your own mess, resign from your own mess, and at least remember the Name of Him Who judged you justly.
Do you feel as if you're dangling in mid-air over something really big, though you don't know what it is? Have you been told in the past that this feeling of dangling is because you're dangling over the flames of Hell? Have you feared that that may very well be the case? You feel as if you're dangling neither here nor there. Though you may be on top of the world, something feels off balance, right? You can't shake this feeling of being upside down. You even feel sometimes as if you're hanging upside down by just one shoe-string, right? You feel as if it wouldn't take very much else for you to suddenly find out what you were dangling over, and by whom you were being dangled.
You're actually dangling over the brink of God's everlasting love. It's making you feel sick because you are so full of this world's goods, so full of it's cares, so full of it's worries, and so full of it's apparent wisdom. When you're full and you're being held upside down, that's not a pleasant feeling. What if your stomach were full to the brim with half a pound, or more, of mashed potatoes, half a dozen cups of tea, maybe some bread rolls, apple or pecan pie, and a few other things? And let's say someone picks you up and dangles you over the largest, most comfortable bed in all of existence. The longer you dangle, the more you're on the verge of being purged of all that you've eaten, right? You try to hold down your holiday dinner, but in the weird position that you're in - down is actually up! Imagine being dangled in this position and in this circumstance when suddenly all 6 cups of tea want to be eliminated from your system at the same time! You're upside down, and though it's over something gentle and kind, the position that you're in is not very kind. You're about to both throw up and urinate in your pants! But you keep being dangled upside down, seemingly mercilessly.
What if you hang that way for hours and hours, only to discover that through some system of madness developed by you alone that you're somehow responsible for the situation that you're in? What if God were to send an angel of some type, whether human or actually angelic that were to cut you down from the paranoia that you're entangled in? Your own attempt at your own security by your own means has brought you to the very brink of throwing up, urinating all over yourself, and fairly elevated high blood pressure from hanging there in that way for hours. You're embarassed. You're hurting. You want to both urinate and throw up at the same time. Your continual cry is something approximating, "would someone please come let you down?"
Something so gentle, so nurturing, so relieving and relaxing as a grand-king-sized sleep number bed and you couldn't get to it. From the angle that you were staring at it, it was even an abomination to you, because of what you were going through.
How much of a personal experience of the divine love do you deny yourself every single day because of unanswered questions, selfish interests, or because you are simply too busy to rest at the feet of Jesus Christ and have Him direct your steps for the day?
When will you cease to do evil and learn to do good? Say what you want, but in the eternal view of things, you're dangling over more love, personal crucifixion, and genuine hope for yourself and all of creation than you're willing to admit, acknowledge, embrace, and share with others! You'll never successfully, eternally set aside the Word of God through your unbelief. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will triumph over all opposition and transform every being through the authority that He's been given to conform all things to Himself!
Are you in Hell yet? Does everything in you burn with desires that you know will realistically never be fulfilled? Have you honestly never been in love before? Are you doubtful that you'll ever be in love with more than simply the idea of love? Do couples that pass by, in public, make you feel like life has passed you by? Are you in a loneliness that seems like it will never be quenched? Do your very bones seem to ache with loneliness, despair, fear, rejection, and other kinds of pain that you can't even put into words?
Do you feel as though you've never heard the voice of God? Do you feel as if there might be a cruel God if there's any God at all? Has life been a saddening joke on you? Has life been an ever saddening joke on someone you've dared to care about from afar? Does confusion seem to drown your mind? Does loneliness seem to almost chase you, at times? Does your loneliness feel demonic? What I mean is, is the loneliness in your life so thick at times that it almost seems both personal as well as sinister?
Perhaps loneliness doesn't haunt you as much as missed opportunities, where either through your own negligence or someone else's thoughtlessness you seemed to miss the opportunity of a life time with either the right career, the right mate, or any other area or combination of areas of life. Do you feel as though you've totally blown it? Do you feel as if what you perceive as your own lack of wise decision making has cost you either something dear, or perhaps everything?
Do you lift up your eyes in torments wishing for a cool breeze of opportunity again? Do you pant for something refreshing to come along your way? Are you burning with the lack of concern that you think that God is showing for your loved ones? Are you almost at the point where even if you were to see the dead raised in your personal situation that you still couldn't excuse God for all that you've been through?
Do you want to know a secret?
Do you promise to tell it to everyone that you know?
God has raised Jesus Christ from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand specifically with your situation in mind! His resurrection is God's promise that you're coming out of the Hell that you're in. You'll be with Him in Paradise!
While there's more than one word that gets translated as "wrath" in the New Testament, there's one particularly special one that I want to major on today. It's the Greek word "orge" (pronounced or-gay'). It indicates a violent expelling of the substance of the love that God is upon those who are the objects of His intensive passion. It's the same Greek word from which we get our English words "orgy" and "orgasm".
How did Jesus manifest the "wrath" of God upon the "ungodliness" of sickness and disease? Did He burn the people alive (forever and ever) with chemotherapy? Or was the intercessions that He gave before the Father sufficient enough to bring a Holy fit of God's love (i.e. wrath) upon the scene?
The wrath of God is God's projectile love. He literally (or figuratively if you prefer) "hurls" or "vomits" and the people are disciplined and healed.
If you look this word up in Strong's Concordance, it'll major on the "intensive passion" aspect of this definition. But if you think about it for a minute, "intensive passion" is abstract and subjective. The nature of that passion that is being "released" is going to find it's origin, nature, objective, and outcome in the nature and abilities of the one who's being volatile in their intensive passion.
Now with that understood, then it's clear that the way that this word might be used of a finite and flawed human individual is not an indicator of how this word would apply to the nature of the divine.
The nature of God is what gives this word it's character and force and not the other way around in New Testament usage.
Because God is love, then the nature of this "intensive passion" (Gk: orge) is going to be determined by any inherent limits upon or within God's love.
Since most would agree and even argue that there aren't limits to the love of God, then that necessitates that the nature of this "wrath" must be curative and restorative rather than destructive as a matter of it's first principle and final result.
Destruction may clearly be involved, but only to the degree necessary to cause a bursting forth of a new level of life out of the hard, bitter, and brittle dregs of the former existence and state of being in all of it's dynamics and inherent meaning.
Since God gives definition to all things, rather than the other way around; and rather than all things being left to define their ultimate selves, we may clearly depend upon God to be and to do all that is necessary to tear us out of our formerly limited and degrading existence. And He'll faithfully propel each of us through the might of His judgments into the new world that He has for each of us.
The time is coming when we'll each look as fully and longingly to the wrath of God as we've looked to the "grace" of God from the days of the Protestant Reformation until the beginning of the 21st century.
According to a lot of religious sects, you are either eternal heaven bound or eternal hell bound, based upon your clarity of reasoning regarding the Name, creed, and perfections of a particular deity. In other words, your own actions determine your own eternity, rather than those of the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Heaven is thus a reward, rather than an abundance of grace and a gift of righteousness. Atonement is reduced to a roadmap for the wise rather than the ambulance for the hurting. The Saviour rather than being a Physician is in reality a facilitator of the salvation of those whose studiousness and clarity of reasoning and conscience [untainted by the world] achieves for them the proper principles and practices by which they are alone saved.
Is the Gospel message a message only to the wise, discerning, and those who are able to adapt their lives on a moment’s notice to the pathway of the soldier, academician, philanthropist, and radio commentarian? After all, how does one demonstrate one’s achieved faith, in the view of the religious world, but by demonstrating their depth of reasoning regarding it with lucidity of tongue? I’ve actually heard some to imply that Christ will only eventually save those who are by nature very talkative:
“If you deny Me before men, I will also deny you before My Father in heaven…”
It is said that the above portion of Scripture indicates that only the boisterously religious ever achieve any real salvation from the Son of God. By such a definition, then only the 10% amongst us are fit for salvation, though perhaps an additional 10 - 15% can work something up with their own personalities by careful conditioning of their lifestyles to where they are a walking evangelistic tract!
Is this glad tidings of great joy for all peoples?
Obviously it is, because while the rest of us 75% to 90% of mankind are burning in endless agonies, we’ll at the very least have the consolation that there was a remnant created and chosen by grace to represent the whole to all endless ages of eternity, and that the misery of the many is outweighed by the happiness of the righteous in the final scheme of things!
Again, according to many preachers, this is the good news of the Gospel! Is there anyone besides me that sees the parody of this? Some fundamentalists would squirm about what they consider to me my creudity about their precepts, but in what area have I failed to list their convictions? Is there a thing that they could say against my presentation of their principles that wouldn’t with the same choice of wording on their part defend my paradigm rather than their own?
While it’s true that a gift must be received, name another gift in all of creation that if not laid claim to by an indepth knowledge of the gift and of the giver that would create the consequences that are said to be created by the grace of Him whose very grace isn’t either very gracious or very free if it’s an ultimatum rather than a free-will offering?
Because Jesus lives, love never fails!
The Gospel of John, in the Bible, says that those who don't believe on Jesus are condemned already, because the wrath of God abides on them now.
Perhaps you've been a Christian for a while. Have you ever thought about the wrath of God on your own life before you embraced the Lordship of Jesus Christ? The Bible doesn't say that you were destined for wrath while in that state of unbelief. It says that you were already under the wrath of God.
Some people would probably say that that just means that you were alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that you were in, as if that were the full expression of the wrath of God upon all of mankind.
Think with me for a moment of how God behaved towards you before you were entirely receiving of His Person. Think of all of the gentle wooing. Think of God stripping from you every pretense and defense against His divine majesty - one lie at a time.
The Bible calls this the wrath of God. The God Who shows no partiality or respect of persons, but is the Ever-Unchangeable chased you through the deepest personal hells until He had you cornered. He stripped away every excuse and opened your eyes to quite a bit, didn't He? The Bible calls this being a child of wrath, viz., one through whom the divine process is still at work.
Remembering that God is love and that love never fails, can we not see that the simple wrath of divine Providence revealed to us by the Scriptures is God's declaration in Christ that He's never going to let you go; He's going to hold you in His arms forever?
Why not let Him today, and let the love affair begin? Why not come out of your burning Hell today? Why do you cling to doubts any longer? Why do you rehearse your pain any longer? If you'll begin to rehearse Jesus Christ as your answer to everything that you face, then He'll step in and begin rehearsing your ultimate triumph over all of the Hell that you've ever faced, or ever will!
Ever get tired of being refered to in the third person as a "soul" to be reached by Gospel ministries? Ever notice the word "soul" being used with the same sense as when those very same people speak of "cattle?" Ever wish that someone would think of you as just a person? Ever wish that it wasn't about the differences, or similarities, that you have with other people, but that you were regarded as someone special for whom Christ died with, in order to rescue you and bring you to God?
Jesus won't leave you with eternally draining wounds in Hell!