Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Eschatology: The Destiny of the Unsaved Essay

In answering Steve’s comment about the destiny of the unsaved certain definitions need to be dealt with along with reference made available to us and I have just what we need. Steve I understand what you have read and the comment was made from the standpoint of the author â€Å"Clark Pinnock. † However, if you will allow me to answer your questions in defining words such as; â€Å"Hades, Gehenna, Sheol, Eternal punishment, Annihilationism, Universalism, Hell and Apokatastasis. You also asked the difference between Hades and Sheol. Since we are dealing with Sotereology, Eschatology and Ecclesiology it is only fair that we reference the Word of God. Our definitions will come from Elwell Evangelical Dictionary of Theology and some citing from Towns, Theology for Today. In defining Sheol, Elwell (2001, 1099) notes,† A place where men experience rewards, or punishments that will come to them in final judgment and a place whose power cannot withstand the church. † Hades is noted as; â€Å"A grave or the place of bodily decay; a place of punishment for the wicked,† (p. 1099). Gehenna,† according to Elwell (2001, 480), is defined in this manner; â€Å"A place that shares some common ground with Hades/Sheol; however, both good and bad souls after death prior to judgment, while Gehenna is the final and everlasting place of punishment for the wicked following the last judgment. † In answering Steve’s question of the difference, if any, among Sheol, Hades, and Gehenna and the concepts that best corresponds to the traditional understanding of the eternal abode of the Wicked? Sheol and Hades best corresponds to the traditional understanding of the eternal abode of the wicked. Contrary to popular belief hell is explained in the Bible as a final place for the wicked, this will be brought out further in our discussion. As we continue on in our definitions, Elwell (2001, 395 Eternal punishment as; â€Å"One being cast into a lake of fire where the fire never goes out. † (Mark 9:43; cf. Luke 3:17). â€Å"He referred to ‘†hell,’† where the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. ’† Elwell (2001, 64), further defines Annihilationism as â€Å"expressing the position of those that hold that some, if not all, human souls will cease to exist after death. Our next word is Universalism, Elwell (2001, 1232), defines the word as; â€Å"That doctrine which asserts that all men will eventually be reconciled to God. Universalist believes that the efficiency of the Atonement is not limited and therefore extends to all. † Furthermore, Elwell, (p. 548) states Universalist also believe that all will eventually go to heaven. † Elwell, (2001, 547) further defines Hell in a general sense, he notes; â€Å"Hell is used in Scripture to [describe] or refer to a place of future punishment for the wicked. As we have elaborated on the more detrimental states of eschatology there is another state that is quite attractive to the theologian and media evangelist. This state is better known as the Intermediate State, Elwell, (2001, 608 – 609), defines this as; â€Å"The period between death as an individual phenomenon and the final judgment and consummation. If Christian thought held to not final state of affairs for all creation, then perhaps ones final situation could be conceived as being settled at death. Elwell further include the theory of Purgatory; you will not be lost, yet God will be just. At the present time, with much awareness of life as a process or evolution, purgatory has also allowed for speculation about continued development of the soul. As such, it continues to be attractive for some in a greatly modified form. † Lastly, Elwell, (2001, 81), defines the Apokatastasis, he state that; â€Å"Jesus must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through his holy prophets. Further, Elwell states that most evangelicals, while insisting on an eschatological restoration by Christ, deny the corollary assertion of the ultimate salvation of all humans. Now that we have defined the terms necessary, let me give you my understanding of the destiny of the unsaved from a biblical stand point as well. My understanding is that â€Å"Gehenna† or the â€Å"Lake of Fire† is prepared for the Devil and his angels, consequently the â€Å"Wicked,† or â€Å"Unsaved† after the â€Å"Great White Throne Judgment† will be cast into hell where they will spend â€Å"eternal punishment. † (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:12-15). Towns (2008, 795) notes; â€Å"All those who are judged at the Great White Throne are consigned to hell because they have rejected God. Hence], The Great White Throne Judgment will determine the degree of punishment the rejecters will endure, based upon the nature of their evil work. † Furthermore, in my research the most common objection comes from many sources, however the objections used for an our example is that of the Universalist. Elwell (2001, 1232), notes; â€Å"Universalism is that doctrine which asserts that all men will eventually be reconciled to God. A Universalist believes that the efficiency of the Atoneme nt is not limited and therefore extends to all. † Furthermore, Elwell, (p. 548) notes, â€Å"Universalist also believe that all will eventually go to heaven. [The Scriptures biases for this belief are as follows]: (1 John 2:2; Philippians 2:10-13; 2 Peter 3:9; Romans 11:32; 2 Timothy 2:4). † Now Steve, there are many that may not share my point of view and that’s common in religious society. However, In responding to objections one has to point out that when Christ returns it will be for a â€Å"church without a spot or a wrinkle,† (Holy Bible, Ephesians 5:27). This does not mean that God does not love everyone, it simply means that He will save those who have answered his call to salvation (Holy Bible, John 3:16-21). All of this can be summed up in one word â€Å"Atonement. Elwell notes (2001, 114), â€Å"This truth is repeated, and enlarged upon in the NT, where it is made clear that all are sinners (Romans 3:23) and that hell awaits them (Mark 9:43; Luke 12:5). But it is just as clear that God wills to bring salvation and that He has brought it in the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of His Son. The love of God is the mainspring (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). We are not to think of a loving Son wringing salvation from a just but stern Father. It is the will of the Father that all be saved, and salvation is accomplished – not with a wave of the hand, so to speak – but by what God has done in Christ. In reconciling the idea of hell and eternal punishment one has to understand the offer that Christ made to all mankind, (Holy Bible, John 3:16; Romans 10:9-17; Ephesians 2:1-22). Not only did God make the offer, but he also gave the consequence if one did not except Christ. God does not make our decisions for us; however, He has made a way of escape from sin to eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. What is the impact that my view of hell has on evangelism/missions? The impact that my view has on hell and getting the word out to all that will hear is to know that we all have a decision to make as for as our eternal destination. We can choose heaven or hell the choice is ours as individuals. The impact that I would like to make from this point on is to paint a picture such as explained in Towns, Theology for Today (2008, 802), â€Å"The Millennium will fulfill all the biblical desires that have been expressed towards it (Hebrew 11:10). That which brings joy and fulfillment to life will be included in the kingdom. Those things which produce sorrow or discomfort in life will be excluded from the kingdom of God. †

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