Author Archives: paul.noble@envizu.co.uk

Are the ungodly punished in hell?

What will happen to the ungodly after death? Are they punished? Indeed, what will happen to evil men like Adolph Hitler? Do they have a hope in Hell? Will they have to pay for their crimes?

The day of judgement – the ungodly are punished

the wrong way2 Peter 2:9 “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished :”

This verse clearly shows that the unrepentant wicked will certainly be punished on the day of judgement. Consequently, Adolph Hitler will not escape his crimes! However what is the nature of this punishment? Is it vindictive or restorative and in the interest of the sinner?  What is interesting, is that greek word for punished ‘kolazo’  used here is very specific:

Kolazo (G8249 Strongs)

1. to lop or prune, as trees and wings
2. to curb, check, restrain
3. to chastise, correct, punishment
4. to cause to be punished

Therefore, according to this verse, unrepentant sinners are pruned, corrected and chastised; repentant believers are delivered out of all trials!

Chastised

Discipline and chastising therefore, are only necessary for those who refuse to be trained!

Romans 2:5 “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous” judgment of God;

Kolaso (G8251 Strongs)

A derivative of the word ‘kolaso’ is also used in the following scripture – often quoted by those who advocate eternal conscious torment!

Matthew 25: “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: G2851but the righteous into life eternal.” KJV

“And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.’ YLT

Again therefore, the punishment is pruning and discipline for the good of the sinner and his or her ultimate repentance. Additionally, as YLT makes clear, the word for everlasting doesn’t mean for ever: it means for an age – a period of time.

No fear!

Additionally, another scripture where again the same greek word kolaso is used is:

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. G2851 He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

Imagine, an unrepentant sinner comes into the presence of Jesus Christ the judge, the God who is described as a consuming fire and yet perfect love! It would like an ice-cube meeting a blow torch!

Indeed, Saul of Tarsus  experienced something like this when he encountered the risen Christ on the Damascus road! It took him three days to recover! Some pretty extensive soul-searching repentance took place – I imagine!

Hebrews 10:31 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Yes, it is if you don’t know the love of God!

Previous article: ‘Has Hitler got a hope i Hell?

Universalism true?

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Has Hitler got a hope in Hell?

Has Hitler got a hope in Hell? Are there people that are just too bad to save? Does God ever give up on anyone? Does his grace run out at death? Is there a finite limit to the amount of grace and mercy available? How many chances do you get? These are the sort of things I think about and unfortunately some believers avoid thinking about!

According to Calvinists and Arminians (if you don’t know what they are then read click the link)  then yes, God does indeed give up on the individual and that point is death. That’s the point of no-return; a bit like paying your taxes: if you don’t pay by that date then its a hefty fine for you!

What are the consequences of this thinking?

Autumn treesTherefore, for the Calvinist, grace is only available for the elect – damm the rest. For the Arminian grace is available to all but seems to be earned by repentance and like the Calvinist – ends at death.

Indeed, they both sternly intone: “after death the judgement”, forgetting that the throne of judgement (in the same Epistle) is called the throne of grace and mercy!

However, if God gives really does give up on the sinner, then maybe they should rewrite the words of Jesus contained in the parable of the Good Shepherd (Luke 15) to better fit their theology?

Calvinist version:

The Good Shepherd has 100 sheep but only one of those lost is elect so he leaves 99 un-elect to perish in the wilderness while he rescues the lost sheep – which is destined to be rescued anyway!

Arminian version:

The Good shepherd has 100 sheep. All are lost and he would like to save all of them but he just doesn’t have enough under-shepherds to help him in the task and most of the sheep don’t seem to want to be saved anyway – so saving one out of a hundred is a pretty good result!

Of course, most Christians I know have a mixed up Calvo-Arminian theology: which asserts that people are elected by God (keeping the Calvinists happy) but only in the sense that God knows the choice they are going to make before they know it themselves – so he elects them……… sounds like a fudge to me!

The actual parable

Let’s have a close look at the real parable though:

Luke 15:14 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Therefore, in the light of this parable: “Does God ever give up looking for the lost sinner?” Is it really true that the minute you die then that’s it? No more chances? Jesus is powerless to save you even though he has the keys of death and Hell?

I mean, wouldn’t it be a good thing therefore if children died before the age of responsibility? At least that would save them from hell! Indeed that was the twisted thinking of Andrea Yates who murdered her children to save them from hell! 

Personally, I can’t believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ever gives up on anyone or is unable to save anyone – even someone as evil and twisted as Adolph Hitler! Do I believe that Hitler will just waltz into heaven. No of course not! As St Paul found out on the Damascus road an encounter with the risen christ can be a terrifying and painful experience!

My belief is that the words that we sing in the song taken from Lamentations 3: “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercy never comes to an end” – are in fact true!

In the next article we will look at what it actually means to be lost.

 

Previous article : is Universalism true?

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Will everyone be saved? Is universalism true?

Will everybody be saved? If your a Calvinist then your answer is most definitely NO: only the few elect chosen by God will be saved; the rest are dammed for a miserable future in hell.

If however, you are of the Arminian persuasion, then your answer will also most likely be: no. It’s up to their free-will choice and to a large extent whether the church preaches the Gospel.

What are the choices?

a few leaves savedThe Calvinist therefore believes that: God chooses the individual. There is no choice!

The Arminian: that the individual chooses God and therefore heaven rather than hell.

Therefore, the Calvinist is sure that God is gracious only to a select few who seem to live in certain cultures and countries of the world.

On the contrary, the Arminian: that God is gracious to all but not all receive it.

 

Both, believe that God’s grace is extended for a limited period – death is the cut-off point.

What if both the Calvinists and Arminians are partly correct and in error? More about that later!

A ransom for all

In either case, it would seem that the majority or people throughout history don’t actually make it to heaven. Either, as per Calvinism because God chose a very small quota of people to be saved in the first place.

Acts 13:48 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”

Or, that not many people chose to respond to the Gospel possibly because the message was corrupted anyway – take the Dark Ages for example.

In that case, was it really worth Jesus paying a king’s ransom – his own painful death – for the sake of few individuals? What’s the point?

1 Timothy 2:6 “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

Imagine a hostage situation, where, even though the ransom price has been paid for everyone, only a few hostages are in fact in the end released out of hundreds! Would anyone consider that a successful outcome?

Let’s be real. Can you say, hand on heart, that only saving 2% of the UK population (estimated born-again christians) from eternally burning in hell-fire is at all a successful rescue?

Does God ever Give up?

We will look at this question in the next article!

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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/case-christian-universalism-non-universalist/

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The Angel of the Lord

Most theologians will tell you that the term ‘the Angel of the Lord’ is appearance of the Lord Jesus in the Old Testament. To be honest, I am uncomfortable with this idea and believe it to be completely wrong.

Who is he?

angelFirstly: the word angel means messenger. So, how can the messenger of the Lord – be the Lord? This really doesn’t make any sense at all.

Now, people will say: he speaks in the first person – so he must be God? However, this ignores the fact that as God’s representative and messenger- that’s perfectly normal – even to the extent of reverence.

The book of Hebrews tells us that God did speak before Jesus but, that He’s spoken to us in these last days through his son. If the Angel of the Lord was the son in pre-incarnate form – then he has spoken several times already!

Hebrews 1:1 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;”

Acts 7

Secondly, several New Testament writers clearly show that the personage of the Angel of the Lord in the OT is not a pre-existent appearance of the Son of God: Jesus Christ. The following: is part of the martyr Stephen’s address. Note, he doesn’t suggest the Angel of the Lord is Jesus Christ to his Jewish listeners which would have actually been a powerful theological point!

Acts 7 “And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.”

Acts 7:38 “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:”

He’s in the New Testament

Thirdly, the Angel of the Lord appears IN the New Testament. In fact, at the birth of Jesus and at the resurrection! He can hardly be both persons at the same time – even if He (Jesus) is God! Later on in Acts, the Angel of the Lord appears in order to set Peter free from prison. In addition, he strikes Herod down with worms because of blasphemy. Indeed, the Angel of the Lord is a fearsome person. He doesn’t act at all emotionally or with any mercy and grace:

2 Kings 19 “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.”

Therefore, he seems to be very much a destroying warrior and protecting angel. That hardly seems to equate with the character of Jesus Christ who alone fully reveals God as He is the perfect image of God. An angel, although greater and power and might than human beings – could never do that. They know nothing of God’s love! Only reflecting his power and might.

In conclusion, I don’t believe Jesus Christ was ever an angel (even a mighty one). Until the incarnation of Jesus no one had seen God at any time:

John  1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

This explains, in my view, the apparent inconsistencies in the Old Testament where several people – including Moses –  claim to have seen God. I think they were mistaken. What they saw were angels not the face of God! This could also explain the harshness of the Law of Moses which several scriptures inform us was given by angels. That’s for next post though!

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What is salvation? – Video

In this video Fran and I talk about the biblical concept of salvation:

NOTES:

Jesus is the saviour. Jesus or Joshua means saviour!

John 10 : The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. G4982

John 10:19 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, G4982 and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

Matthew 9:21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. G4982

Lost or saved?

1 Corinthinas 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved G4982 it is the power of God.

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, G4982 and in them that perish:

What does he save us from?

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Romans 5 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved G4982 from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved G4982 by his life.

1 Thess 5 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Matthew 27 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

How are we saved?

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; G4982 but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. G4982

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved G4982 us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. G4982

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. G4982 Acts 4

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Acts But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, G4982 even as they.

Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) G4982

For by grace are ye saved G4982 through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Titus For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. G4982

1 Corinthinas 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save G4982 them that believe.

1 Cor If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; G4982 yet so as by fire.

To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved G4982 in the day of the Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. G4982

1 Timothy This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save G4982 sinners; of whom I am chief.

Who will have all men to be saved, G4982 and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Hebrews 7 Wherefore he is able also to save them G4982 to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

1 Peter 1:19 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

2 Corinthians 6 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

2 Corinthians 7 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

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Speaking in tongues

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The priesthood of all believers

Why do we meet together?

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The gift of prophecy

In this video we delve into the gift of prophecy. Give us some feedback. Tell us what you think?

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Download my FREE PDF book: “Christ in You.”

Speaking in tongues

Who gets to play?

The priesthood of all believers

Why do we meet together?

New Piano music

My new Kindle Book!

bookBuy Amazon Kindle Book (UK) 
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167 total views, 1 views today

Speaking in Tongues?

In this video we delve into the whole contentious area of speaking with other tongues or languages. Give us some feedback. Tell us what you think?

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Download my FREE PDF book: “Christ in You.”

Who gets to play?

The priesthood of all believers

Why do we meet together?

New Piano music

My new Kindle Book!

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