Context often determines the meaning of a Hebrew or Greek word (for that matter, a word in just about any language). For example, the Greek word pas is seen as meaning "all sorts of men" at Romans 5:18 but not at Romans 5:12. Why ? Because at verse 19, it says: "For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were constituted sinners, likewise also through the obedience of the one [person] many will be constituted righteous." The apostle Paul noted that "many (not "all") will be constituted righteous." Hence, the Greek word pas does not, across the board, mean "all men", but can also mean "all sorts of men".
At 1 Timothy 2:4, the King James Bible reads: "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." Since the Greek word pas does not always mean "all", but can also be seen as "all sorts of men", the New World Translation reads here as: "This is fine and acceptable in the sight of our Savior, God, whose will is that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth." This harmonizes with the rest of the Bible, for the Bible clearly shows that only a "few" of the "many" on the earth that will receive everlasting life, not "all".(Matt 7:13, 14)
Jesus paralleled his (invisible) "presence" (from the year 1914 onward) to the "days of Noah" (Matt 24:37-39), in which only a "few" gained salvation by means of obedience in building the ark. Thus, he established that there is no truth to the belief of universal salvation. At Luke 13:24, Jesus said: "Exert yourselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door (to life everlasting), because many, I tell you, will seek to get in but will not be able."
Another example of context is the Greek word estin (G2076 and comes from the Greek word eimi, G1510), that is often rendered as "is", but also can be understood as "means". Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament says that this verb “is often i.q. [equivalent to] to denote, signify, import.” At Matthew 26:26, the King James Bible reads: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is ("is", Greek estin) my body." But did Jesus really say that the bread "is my body", as if saying that the "bread" literally becomes his flesh ? No. Rather, Jesus said that the bread "means (or signifies) my body".(New World Translation)
At Matthew 9:13, the King James Bible recognizes this, for it reads: "But go ye and learn what that meaneth (Greek estin), I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Context often determines how a word is to be translated, for many words often have several different meanings.
Thus, a person needs an accurate Bible translation rather than one who fails to consider all aspects of a word or the context within which it is placed. Otherwise, false religious beliefs crop up and are promoted without realization that these are wrong. When the apostle Paul recognized that his belief structure was wrong, he immediately took action, abandoning the religious system of Judaism to which he was attached to and became a member of the one "pure religion" (James 1:27, King James Bible) that taught the truth concerning Jehovah God.(Acts 9:17-20)
The Cross didn't merely abolish death in the past; it will totally destroy death in the future. Because it is the death of Christ which destroys death, and because it is the second death which destroys death, it is evident that the death of Christ is the second death (the death of the second Adam, as opposed to the first death - the death that the first Adam brought into the world). This connection is further established in Luke 12:49-50.
You might want to reconsider what you constitute as circular reasoning, because as of now, you are deeming exegesis as circular reasoning. If I were to ask you to provide a verse that teaches all have sinned, and you provide Romans 5:12, would you be guilty of circular reasoning?
But let's get our hands dirty and dig into these texts, shall we?
As for your last paragraph, it is simply a non-answer. What do you suppose happens to death when it is cast into the lake of fire? Its not as though death is an entity, so what is your understanding?
To me its quite obvious that death is thrown into the fire to be utterly consumed by the divine flames.
But v.12-v.18 reads more coherently than what you would have it read. There is simply no textual indications that would suddenly limit the scope of "all" from v.12 to v.18. Indeed, the all who sinned (v.12) is quite clearly the all who were condemned (v.18)Context often determines the meaning of a Hebrew or Greek word (for that matter, a word in just about any language). For example, the Greek word pas is seen as meaning "all sorts of men" at Romans 5:18 but not at Romans 5:12. Why ? Because at verse 19, it says: "For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were constituted sinners, likewise also through the obedience of the one [person] many will be constituted righteous." The apostle Paul noted that "many (not "all") will be constituted righteous." Hence, the Greek word pas does not, across the board, mean "all men", but can also mean "all sorts of men".
As for "many", I note that it can be, and is in this context, used interchangeably with "all". For further proof, compare Matthew 10:28 and 1 Tim. 2:6. Was Jesus the ransom for all, or just many?
You must not isolate verse 18 from the context of Romans chapter 5 and the rest of Scripture. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22). Everyone is not automatically in Christ. Ephesians 2:5 - even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), through FAITH (vs. 8). It's not automatic apart from faith. Why is it so important for you to believe that everyone will automatically be made alive in Christ and justified apart from faith in Christ?
I'm not suggesting that anyone automatically receives the gift of eternal life. I'm just pointing out that verse 18 has every appearance of saying that all will be saved, thus implying that all will receive salvation. You are assuming that the fact that the gift must be received is somehow at odds with the notion of universal salvation, but there is no incompatibility here.
How do you answer the question: What must I do to be saved? You admit that the gift must be received but you say that's not at odds with the notion of universal salvation. Are you implying that everyone will accept the gift?
By that nature, it does render the need of a saviour irrelevant.
It assumes that 100% of all men will be saved.
If everyone is saved, there is nothing to be lost from, and no need for a saviour to save anyone from being lost; because noone can be lost.
Hypothetically, Christ is the the 'potential' savior of all men, 'potentially' 100% could be saved by Him, 'if' all 100% of men would repent and follow and trust Him.
So when you run across pat verses that say Christ is the saviour of all men, that is the point it is making; that Christ Has made salvation available to all, to whosever will partake of it....non-discriminatory; all-inclusive. However, UR goes too far, in saying that not only is Salvation made available to 100% all of men, it is also 100% actualized and guaranteed, no matter what men do. No men will remain lost, no men are eternally damned and no men remain in a state of reject of the salvation Christ has made available. That's where UR fails.
The offer and availablity is universal; but the actualization of it in the lives of 100% of all men is far from universal.
Romans 5:18 tells us that while through adam, the curse of sin and death plauge all of us; we all have the opportunity of salvation from that cursed sin and death through Christ. However, other scriptures make it abundantly clear that few find it; and few actually actualize that opportunity of salvation....far too many men however, reject it, and reject the eternal life in Christ that is offered to all.
UR is a pipe-dream that cannot exist and be compatible with biblical Christianity; it breaks too many scriptures that hold unrepentant sinners accountable for their rejection of the Lord.
Rev 20 is showing us that the end of the curse of sin and death will come, and will be finalized at the final judgment.
2 Tim 1:10, is a compleletly different concept though of the destruction of death.
2 Timothy 1:10 "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel"
Christ's abolishment of death here, ties to the same topics mentioned here:
John 11:25 "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
John 6:50 "This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. "
These verses are solely given to the repentant follower of Christ; as a promise that because of their belief and trust in Him, they have already conquered death and will never die; because Christ is their victor. The unrepentant sinner doesn't have this promise, nor this live; but are dead in their flesh.
Ephesians 2:1 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins"
So you have two different aspects of death. Rev 20 with the finality of mortal death ending; and the other verses that show that only a subset of mankind; those who repent and follow Christ; are changed from death to life so that they will never die.
Yes, I think everyone will accept the gift.
As for 1 Cr. 15:22, it, like Romans 5:18, utilizes parallelism between the effects fo two men on the rest of humanity. To suggest that the first all is distinct from the second all is to violate the plain, natural reading of the text.
Non-sequitir. That's like saying that there is no need for the sun in the case that the sun energizes all plants.Universal Reconciliation is the notion that every human being, 100%, will be saved.
By that nature, it does render the need of a saviour irrelevant.
We Christian Universalists believe that Jesus is the saviour of all men.
By virtue of Jesus.It assumes that 100% of all men will be saved.
Nonsense. Salvation is from sin and death, and both are very real, even in the case that all are finally delivered from it.If everyone is saved, there is nothing to be lost from, and no need for a saviour to save anyone from being lost; because noone can be lost.
Jesus is never called the potential saviour, He is called the saviour. Big difference.Hypothetically, Christ is the the 'potential' savior of all men, 'potentially' 100% could be saved by Him, 'if' all 100% of men would repent and follow and trust Him.
What verses do you have to support this? How can death have the final say on the fate of any of God's loved ones, when death itself will be destroyed? And doesn't God's mercy last forever?This life is the only life we have. There is no such thing as a post-life, after-death salvation opportunity.
Does that mean, then, that the text is merely telling us that we all have the opportunity to die in Adam? Nay, Paul is speaking matter of factly about how two different men brought about opposite results that affected the rest of humanity. Paul could have hardly been more clear.Romans 5:18 tells us that while through adam, the curse of sin and death plauge all of us; we all have the opportunity of salvation from that cursed sin and death through Christ.
Where does the Bible say that some will remain forever lost, and that some will NEVER find it?However, other scriptures make it abundantly clear that few find it; and few actually actualize that opportunity of salvation....far too many men however, reject it, and reject the eternal life in Christ that is offered to all.
I know of no Christian Universalist who denies that unrepentant sinners are held accountable for their rejection.UR is a pipe-dream that cannot exist and be compatible with biblical Christianity; it breaks too many scriptures that hold unrepentant sinners accountable for their rejection of the Lord.
Last edited by LightofTabor; Apr 4th 2012 at 11:51 PM.
Scripture doesn't teach us to say, 'I think blah-blah-blah will happen.
Scripture tells us what to believe, and we share the truth of Scriptures with others; so that they believe the truth.
It isn't an opinion party.
Many times the New Testament asks, 'What Saith The Scriptures?'....when revealing how to properly answer a question.
It doesn't ask us to wonder, or surmise, or guess, or think what will happen.
Scripture is emphatic that everyone will not accept the gift of eternal life.
Matt 25:41"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:And these shall go away into everlasting punishment"
Psalms 83:17 "Let them be confounded and troubled for ever"
Mark 3:29 "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation."
Romans 2:7 "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath"
Psalms 9:5 "Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever."
Jude 1:7 "giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
Psalms 92:7 "When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: "
Luke 16:9 "And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations."
II Peter 2:17 "to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. "
Isaiah 33:14 "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"
Jeremiah 20:11 "my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten."
Jude 1:11 "Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. "
Jeremiah 23:39 "Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence: And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten."
Daniel 12:2 "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."
These scriptures, tell us without a doubt, and without us having to guess, or to wonder or to think of our own opinion, what is the eternal destiny for the wicked who reject God.
Christians don't have to think whether or not there is an eternal destiny of damnation for the wicked; we know it will be; for Scripture tells us it is so.
I was asked my opinion, and I gave it. Did I say that my opinion is necessarily accurate? No, I did not. We all have our opinions and interpretations, and we would do well to admit as much. Yours is not the only viable interpretation of Scripture. Please do not mistake your interpretation of the Word of God with the Word of God itself. Now, if you want to get your hands dirty with me and examine the relevant texts, then let's do. Let's see who is misreading the texts, ok? Let's start with the first verse you quoted, Matt. 25:46.
The Greek adjective aionios is used in different ways, and applied in different ways. It need not mean "forever", and when it does mean "forever", it need not apply in the narrow sense you are insisting on. For instance, Hebrews 9:12 speaks of our eternal redemption, but we can hardly understand this to mean that the redeeming process is unending. Rather, we know that it is the end result of said process that lasts forever. Likewise, "eternal punishment" need not refer to an unending punitive process, but to the end results of said process. What makes you think that the aionios is being applied to the noun kolasis in such a way that it is describing the punitive process as unending? Please give some thought to this. Knee-jerk reactions are not conducive to discussion.
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