Thursday, March 23, 2017

It's NOT a Sin!

The Shack movie, much like the book that preceded it ten years ago, has stirred up a hornet’s nest among a small but loud group of evangelical Christians for the sins it’s committed – sins so grievous that they’re calling it “HERESY.”
One sin in particular has been brought up in several of the reviews and treated as if it were a dirty word.
According to some critics, the simple mention of this word should make any Bible believing Christian feel ashamed of even thinking that it could be true. So dangerous and potentially destructive to one’s faith is this “heresy,” one commentator equated it with a complete failure to understand the Gospel of Christ.
What is this sin? It’s the “sin” of universalism.
True universalism is not the misinformed belief that any and all roads lead to heaven. It’s the Christian idea that the all-powerful, all-loving, all-wise God of the Bible will ultimately get each person He created in His image into heaven! The idea that through His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ actually succeeded in His mission to seek and save the lost.
Almost completely absent from any of the discussions of the film is the fact that true universalism is one of the three major views the Christian Church has held from its beginning in answer to the question of what happens when we die.
NOT Heresy!
True universalism is not heresy! Contrary to popular opinion, it was never declared to be that by a General Council of the Church, and it was actually the dominant view held by Christians in the first five centuries after Christ.
Of the six major centers of Christianity in the ancient Church, four held the view that God will ultimately restore all of His creation to its intended perfection. One believed the wicked will ultimately be annihilated. And only one strongly favored the doctrine that the wicked will experience conscious suffering that will never end.
These early Christians include the man who wrote the first system of Christian theology. He’s considered by many to be the most important theologian and Biblical scholar of the early Greek Church – a man named Origen.
Another man of great influence was Gregory of Nyssa – who was instrumental in defining the Christian doctrine of the Trinity that we still stand on today. Gregory added the phrase “I believe in the life of the world to come” to the Nicene Creed, and was acknowledged in later centuries by the Church as “Father of the Fathers.”
They and others believed that God doesn’t defeat evil by shutting it up in a corner of His creation and leaving it there forever – like some kind of cosmic graveyard keeping sinners imprisoned for all eternity. Instead, they were convinced that God will destroy evil completely – transforming evil-doers by purifying their hearts.
It was their understanding that at the end of time, God will actually get everyone He created into heaven.
Critics vs. People
On the review website, Rotten Tomatoes, critics have given The Shack a 21% approval rating. By contrast, the audience approval rating is 86%. Somehow, there is a major disconnect between the critics and the people. That disconnect seems evident in the reviews by some in the evangelical Christian establishment as well.
People are drawn to The Shack because it addresses some of their heartfelt questions and provides answers they haven’t heard before. One of those answers is that the God of the Bible is good. He actually loves all those created in His image. He has a plan to ultimately restore all of those He created through Christ’s death on the cross. And He never gives up.
That’s not a sin! Those are good words that all Christians should seriously consider!
Portions excerpted and adapted from Heaven’s Doors . . . Wider Than You Ever Believed!
by George W. Sarris
Now available in paperback and eBook on Amazon.com

64 comments:

Julian Graham said...

Jesus, only one is good THE FATHER. And he is good all the time. So good that He forgive what mankind did to Christ on the cross. Thanks for your blog

Robert Altman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...

God has revealed in both the OT and the NT that all who die in their sins will be forever damned. He willl remember them no more, they will be cut off from the work of his hand, and they will suffer conscious torment day and night forever. ........ Universalism says the opposite. Universalism says that God is lying and that the wicked will not be eternally damned but will be allowed to leave hell and go to heaven. Universalism is heresy; it is the work of the flesh. The doctrine cannot be supported by scripture. The only support you have for UR is the opinions of man and not what God has clearly revealed in His Holy Word.

George W. Sarris said...

To the contrary Pat, true universalism is very Biblical and in keeping with the teaching of the historic Christian Church. Your view, while currently popular, makes God either weak - He desires to save all, but can't - or cruel - He could save all, but chooses not to. May I encourage you to actually read my book. It's not expensive, and it makes a very strong Biblical case for ultimate restoration. God bless you.

Pat said...

God is willing to save all George but not all want to be saved.

George W. Sarris said...

Tom Talbott gives a good illustration that I think captures the essence of the problem. He likens the situation to a chess match between a novice and a Chess Master. The Chess Master doesn't "force" the novice to make any particular move, but the Master always wins. Why? Because he understands what the game is really about so much better than the novice. God, like the Chess Master, is so superior at understanding life to any created being, that He is able to always win in the end.

A theologian I was corresponding with some time ago explained that concept wonderfully well. He said, "Divine love (precisely because it is divine) never stops, and it has its ways -- perhaps ways we don't understand -- to coax and persuade (not force) our always imperfect and sinful love to repentance and final transformation."

That issue came up in a conversation I had with a person who said he hoped that UR is true, but felt that he has to allow for the possibility that someone could decide to resist God's grace forever. My answer to him was that even if it were possible, it won't happen . . . because God has revealed to us what actually happens in the end. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. The bowing and confessing is to God's glory, so it is freely given.

Pat said...

George

The Word of God establishes what truth is (John 17:17).

John 17:17 -Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.


God's Word says:

Those who die in their sins are forever damned, will be remembered by God no more, and will be cut off from the [work] of His hand

Psalm 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:"

Psalm 9:5 - "Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever."

Psalm 88:5 - " Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand."

Those who die in their sins go to hell, will be tormented in the flames of hell, and cannot leave hell and go to heaven.

Luke 16:24,26

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

All in hell will stand in judgment at the Great White Throne Judgment and will be cast into the Lake of fire to be tormented forever because their names were not in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Rev 20:14-15,10

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The Apostle Paul never mentioned anything in hell being reconciled to Jesus; only the things in Heaven and on the earth.

Colossians 1:20 - "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."

The Apostle Paul did not say that all humanity will be made alive only those who are in Christ at His coming.

1 Cor 15:22,23

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

These are just a few of the scriptures that speak to the eernal damnation of those who die in their sins.

All you ever appeal to support/prove that the damned in eternity will be saved and allowed to leave hell and go to heaven is the thoughts of man who bases their belief about the nature, character, and actions of God based on what they are like and not on what God has revealed about Himself in the Word of God.

The god of UR is a false god

UR is a false doctrine/teaching. It is heresy.

George W. Sarris said...

Pat, I deal with all of that in my book. Let me encourage you to read it.

Jonny said...

George, while I believe there is an honest argument to be had from Rev 20 about eternal torment versus annihilation for those mortals raised in the second resurrection -

there is no real argument that can be made about the ultimate destiny of those cast into the lake of fire. They aren't going to have eternal life. Whether it is akin to the fate of Satan, the antichrist and the false prophet, or merely eternal annihilation.... the outcome is NOT eternal life.

There's no way around that

- Brett S. said...

Pat, you claim to follow the Bible, but Chrsitians BEFORE the Bible was even bound accepted a majority view that God would save all. Don't take my word for it, study your own religions history.

Here are some of the major players who asserted God's TOTAL victory on the cross. Four our of Six churches taught this outcome...why doesn't yours?

“Supporters of apokatastasis in roughly chronological order:
- [c. 30-105] Apostle Paul and various NT authors
- [c. 80-150] Scattered likely references among Apostolic Fathers
o Ignatius
o Justin Martyr
o Tatian
o Theophilus of Antioch (explicit references)
- [130-202] Irenaeus
- [c. 150-200] Pantaenus of Alexandria
- [150-215] Clement of Alexandria
- [154-222] Bardaisan of Edessa
- [c. 184-253] Origen (including The Dialogue of Adamantius)
- [♱ 265] Dionysius of Alexandria
- [265-280] Theognustus
- [c. 250-300] Hieracas
- [♱ c. 309] Pierius
- [♱ c. 309] St Pamphilus Martyr
- [♱ c. 311] Methodius of Olympus
- [251-306] St. Anthony
- [c. 260-340] Eusebius
- [c. 270-340] St. Macrina the Elder
- [conv. 355] Gaius Marius Victorinus (converted at very old age)
- [300-368] Hilary of Poitiers
- [c. 296-373] Athanasius of Alexandria
- [♱ c. 374] Marcellus of Ancrya
- [♱378] Titus of Basra/Bostra
- [c. 329-379] Basil the Cappadocian
- [327-379] St. Macrina the Younger
- [♱387] Cyril of Jerusalem (possibly)
- [c. 300-388] Paulinus, bishop of Tyre and then Antioch
- [c. 329-390] Gregory Nazianzen
- [♱ c. 390] Apollinaris of Laodicaea
- [♱ c. 390] Diodore of Tarsus
- [330-390] Gregory of Nyssa
- [c. 310/13-395/8] Didymus the Blind of Alexandria
- [333-397] Ambrose of Milan
- [345-399] Evagrius Ponticus
- [♱407] Theotimus of Scythia
- [350-428] Theodore of Mopsuestia
- [c. 360-400] Rufinus
- [350-410] Asterius of Amaseia
- [347-420] St. Jerome
- [354-430] St. Augustine (early, anti-Manichean phase)
- [363-430] Palladius
- [360-435] John Cassian
- [373-414] Synesius of Cyrene
- [376-444] Cyril of Alexandria
- [500s] John of Caesarea
- [♱520] Aeneas of Gaza
- [♱523] Philoxenus of Mabbug
- [475-525] Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
- [♱543] Stephen Bar Sudhaili
- [580-662] St. Maximus the Confessor
- [♱ c. 700] St. Isaac of Nineveh
- [c. 620-705] Anastasius of Sinai
- [c. 690-780] St. John of Dalyatha
- [710/13-c. 780] Joseph Hazzaya
- [813-903] Moses Bar Kepha
- [815-877] Johannes Scotus Eriugena”

- Brett S. said...

You believe your Bible? Then read this and honestly try to deal with it using your Bible and see where you end up:

https://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/univ3.html

Anyone can throw out Bible verses to support their view (like I do below), but can you RECONCILE them all like the first century Christians could and arrive at total victory of Jesus on the cross over sin and death and ALL of it's affects?

John 12
32 when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men to myself.

John 12
47 “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the WORLD, but to SAVE IT.

John 3
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save THE WORLD through him.

Luke 3:6 And ALL mankind will see God’s salvation.

Matthew 18
14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that ANY of these little ones should be lost.

Romans 5
18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for ALL men.

Romans 8
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us ALL—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Romans 11
32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them ALL.

1 John 2
2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD.

1 Timothy 2:4
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants ALL men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for ALL men

1 Timothy 4:10
9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL men

Colossians 1:20
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself ALL things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

1 Corinthians 15
22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ ALL will be made alive.

John 17
2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to ALL those you have given him.

Matthew 13
33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked ALL THROUGH the dough.”

Ephesians 1:10
9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring ALL things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

Philippians 2:10
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus EVERY knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 8
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor ANYTHING else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:19
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling THE WORLD to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.

- Brett S. said...

Whatever you read or don't read, understand this: UR (Christian UR to be exact) is not Heresy, just because you disagree with something doesn't make it so. The Bible clearly can be read under the lends of UR or eternal torment or even annhilationism, as this article makes very clear.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unsystematictheology/2016/09/christian-universalism-or-eternal-judgment-the-bibles-pros-and-cons/

I suggest you study the Christian UR side of this debate, starting with the link above to see how it clearly is not heresy, and may in fact be simply a greater hope in Christ's ultimate victory then perhaps you've dared to permit.

Christ be with you.

George W. Sarris said...

Brett, thank you for sharing that information.

Jonny, Regarding the Lake of Fire, the word translated sulfur originally referred to fire from heaven. It was connected with sulfur because it was used in pagan religious rites for purification. Pre-Roman civilizations used it as a medicine, a fumigant, a bleaching agent and in incense. And the Romans used sulfur or fumes from its combustion as an insecticide, and to purify a sick room to cleanse its air of evil. The term translated torment actually means to test by the proving stone, to test the genuineness of. For the apostle John and his readers in the ancient world, the lake of fire was not a place of unending torture with no purpose other than to inflict pain. It was a refiner's fire. Its purpose was to purify and cleanse from evil. God bless.

- Brett S. said...

George, also I want to point out for the unenlightened learner, as per your previous comment, that sulfur is named brimstone in the Scriptures. It is non-caustic to the skin, odorless, and a poor conductor of heat. Arguably if you had enough brimstone it would put the fire out. This is worth contemplating, for those who believe it is some sort of torturous chemical, rather than a purification element. God is holy/pure, God is good, God is light; we were told in the OT that brimstone comes out of His nostrils (Breath) may the Lord blessed us all with the ability to "do the math"! Amen!

George W. Sarris said...

Thanks, Bret. If you're able to read my book, let me know what you think. God bless.

- Brett S. said...

I've extensively studied these subjects, and in fact am working on a book on the early patriarchal teachings of salvation, fire and judgment as found in both ancient Christianity and contemporary pagan writings we have extant from those years, but I've never seen your book before. Loving what I see the length of it! Bigger the better! I really look forward to reading it! I'll pick it up soon.

Thanks George. May Christ be with you and keep you strong in your ministry!

Pat said...

Brett S

God said, both the OT and NT, that those who die in their sins are forever damned.

I only listen to what God has to say. I dismiss any teaching/doctrine that goes contrary to what God has said about a given matter.

I know what universalists teach having debated George Sarris and his buddy Diane Castro extensively for a number of years at their Christian Post blogs. I have shown them, as well as others have, that their beliefs cannot be supported by scripture. They ignore it and continue down the same path.

UR goes against what God has said in His Word. It is heresy. It is the work of the flesh and will result in one not inheriting the kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-21)

George W. Sarris said...

Pat, I don't know what moniker you used for my ChristianPost blog articles, but I answered all of the challenges on those posts from a Scriptural and theologically conservative perspective. Judge not, lest you judge yourself. You have always ignored the Scriptural teaching that disagrees with your statements.

Pat said...

George

At the Christian Post I posted as star2. I post as Star Hunt at your facebook page.

Your interpretation of scripture you claim teaches UR is wrong. You were shown that time and time again yet you ignore it.

- Brett S. said...

Pat,

Bald claims and assertions are not facts. Mountains of biblical and early Christian historical data I have provided and remains unchallenged. We will allow the readers who actually take the time to study, to decide who's interpretation is more accurate to scripture, and God's own character.

- Brett S. said...

Pat,

You probably don't realize this, but I post this mostly for the sake of others to read it, to do their own research, since you don't study the Scriptures in the original language (clearly), but many of these damned passages that you were referring to, the word is actually the same one translated to judged... judge does not automatically mean hoplessly damned, there's a process to judgment, which justice demands take place; we are judged according to works after all; Also the word you mistakenly believe is the English or Latin sense of forever, (Aionios) actually means pertaining to the age/ or otherworldly when in context to the afterlife judgment/life... it modifies a word that strictly means AGE (aion), you should read the 900 page scholarly work by Illari Ramelli apokostatasis, it it goes to great lengths to prove this as an absolute fact in both early Christian writings, and contemporary pagan writings of the time, that your poor translations Fail to convey this leads to you not comprehending; there is no fault in honest ignorance, but may God have mercy on you everyone you attempt to weaken and subjugate the scope and power of His actions and victory on the cross over sin and death railing against the power of the true Gospel.

Jesus 100% / Satan 0% (there is no other possible outcome) and you should be praising and thanking God for it!

"Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do!"

Pat said...


All the OT and NT scriptures that deal with fate of the unrepentent sinner in eternity are consistent with one another.

It is taught in Scripture that

(1) Where you end up when you die that is where you stay. This implies it s forever.

Luke 16:26 - "And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence."

(2) Those who die in their sins God remembers them no more and will not work with them.

Psalm 88:5 - " Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand."

(3) Old Heaven and Earth will pass away, it will be remembered no more, and will not come into God's mind when God creates the New Heaven and Earth.

Isaiah 65:17 - " For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Revelation 21:1 - "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."

Unrepented sinners are a part of the old heaven and earth so God will not remember them nor will they come into His mind.

So if God doesn't remember the unrepentent sinner, he doesn't come into His mind, and He will not work with him then he will never be saved, and allowed to leave Hell/Lake of fire and to go to heaven and enter the New Jerusalem.

There is no hope beyond the grave for the unrepentent sinner.

UR claims that there is hope beyond the grave for the unrepentent. That belief or teaching cannot be supported by scripture. It is not true. It is false teaching.

All who try to prove that UR is biblival are not rightly dividing the word of truth.

George W. Sarris said...

Pat, I remember our interactions from ChristianPost, and I wanted to ask you one specific question. You were not kind to Diane. Have you ever apologized to her?

Pat said...

George,

At times I would go back and read what I wrote to Diane and realized that I was unkind to her and the way I said some stuff was ugly. I had admitted to others who posted on her articles and she read. Then sometime later on a different article I admitted it to her, asked for forgiveness and she responded. Also, I apologized to her one time about accusing her of something she was not guilty of and asked for her forgiveness. ...... At times I was unkind or ugly to you even though you had been nice to me. I admitted it to you, asked for your forgiveness and you gave it. Thank you for that.

- Brett S. said...

Pat,

You are simply wrong and deeper scholarship bears this out. Your belief on UR is Both theologically and historically false. You are out of your league.

1) You say: Luke 16:26 - "And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence."

This is a parable, it teaches about "doing good", about failing to do so and being judged "According to works"... the gulf cannot be traversed BY MAN, but God has no such limits, a major point you seem to miss…you will recall (if you believe the NT message of salvation), that WORKS does not save anyone. To use this has a proof-text for a literal hell is ridiculous. Why would he beg for a drop of water for his TONGUE? Can you not perceive there is a MEANING HERE? Wouldn't YOU prefer to take a BATH instead of a drop of water? You don't believe JESUS is literally a DOOR or a LOAF of bread, you still have your hands and feet, but you believe this teaches a literal hell; as a result so you fail to look deeper. This is a PARABLE in a string of several parables in the same book. A parable teaches what it MEANS, not WHAT IT SAYS; please study and learn the profound difference. This may help (or not), but I hope you take the time: https://bible-truths.com/lazarus.html

(2) You say "Those who die in their sins God remembers them no more and will not work with them. Psalm 88:5 - " Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand."

Yes people who are slain, no longer profit in LIFE, the OT writers saw blessings in context to life and judgment by God as the ENDING OF LIFE...that is all this verse says and you can't add eternity to it; What I find amusing is you miss that David applies this verse and God's WRATH to himself! Psa 88:7 - Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.

Is David lost? HE mourned in great trials, but in the next chapter we are told: Psa 89:14
Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

MERCY and TRUTH are His JUSTICE AND JUDGMENT, not your petty god of never-ending grudges.

Further contradicting your hopeless unending wrath anti-gospel (not "good news"), God tells us in fact that He will not be WROTH always, else it would destroy the souls He's made. Isa 57:16 - For I will NOT contend for ever, NEITHER will I be ALWAYS wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. // but you teach the opposite don't you Pat, that He will remain wroth (angry) to our doom or torture, contradicting this, but God says "Isa 57:18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners." - This how God's judgment works, by executing proper justice in LOVE; tough love sometimes, but love and a goal to FIX....not your idea of doom. It sets PATHS straight, God's justice RESTORES. Isa 42:3 - A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (does this give you terror Pat? It shouldn't, you need to read the rest.) EX: Isa 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

THAT IS DIVINE JUDGMENT Pat, not your Egyptian pagan notion of a torture-hell or destruction unending. Christ defeated sin and death, and this includes the second death which shall END, and you better believe that! If you don't now, you will later.

- Brett S. said...

PART 2 (was too big)

3) The old man is part of the old earth, not the new man. Our old man DIES, YES...for an example of God's wrath see Saul's conversion...God BURNED him from the inside out, destroyed his old man (1Co 3:15)...God is not going to LOSE anyone made in His image; that would only make satan happy and he could boast; I refuse to give the devil any such pleasure. satan will NOT win Pat, not even 0.0001% of a victory over God's design, and what percentage does your church doctrine teach satan claims the souls of, forever lost without hope? It's a much big number right? Be honest in the sight of God and man. Answer that and ask yourself is that to God's glory? No, saving IS the power of the gospel, so much that it's even preached to the dead (1 Peter 4:6), which your theology flat denies but God changes not and He desires the salvation of all men; even if you would thwart it. (1 Tim 2:4) FACT: Every knee will bow and tongue confess to God, in heaven, the earth and under it (Phl 2:11) and this means THANKS, it's not forced subjugation that your theology demands it must be, an this is proven by Luk 10:21 and Mat 11:25, when Jesus says 'I THANK' regarding His Father (it's the same Greek word!). Nobody would thank God for KILLING or TORTURING THEM, but teaching and saving them, OH YES, talk about praise!

The problem here is you don't understand God's nature Pt. Because of that, what you had has been taken away.. You project all of human hatred onto God and amplify it against man...despite Christ Himself commanding you to LOVE your neighbor AND enemy and DO GOOD TO THEM. Believe it or not, God is not a hypocrite; He won't do the opposite, YES his ways are higher, but that passage is IN CONTEXT to His Mercy, not His wrath, and you will one day learn the the latter SERVES the former, and you will rejoice after some shame...because GOD IS LOVE, it is His ONTOLOGY (being), is not merely an "emotion"....His justice and judgment serve His love and mercy...tough medicine hurts, YES it can be rough for some as justice demands, but it's FOR HEALING/REDEMPTION. Your idea of God comes straight from Job's original three advisers, not the final one, and only the first three God confirmed LIED about Him at the end of the book of Job, but your theology AGREES with those liars!

You haven't a clue about Christian UR, the fact is, it was the majority view in the early church, 4/6 churches taught it without dispute for five hundred years...where was your champions against the heresy of UR? Why was it not condemned formally by the Second Council of Constantinople until 553AD by a violent man, a half-pagan roman emperor (Justinian)? In fact, there is no documentation that the church councils of the first four centuries embraced the doctrine of "eternal punishment". The church councils at Nice in A.D. 325, at Constantinople in A.D.381, at Ephesus in A.D.431 and at Chalcedon in A.D.451 never embraced this doctrine. In contrast, there is documented evidence that many church leaders and teachers of the first centuries A.D. wrote acclaiming the doctrine of ‘universal salvation or "ultimate reconciliation", none of whom were censored. Writings which condemned heresies existed aplenty but never once included Universal Salvation among their attacks and anathemas. Strange for such a heresy right? You haven't a leg to stand on with such an accusation.

- Brett S. said...

PART 3 - FINAL (was too big)

This is why: UR was received all the way back by Paul (Romans 5:17,18; 10:9-17; 11:25-33; 14:11; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 15:22-28; 1 Tim. 2:1-6; 4:10; Eph. 1:10; 4:1-10; Phil. 2:9-11; Col. 1:20, 23; Heb. 2:9.) as the MAJORITY teaching because Paul taught it, and as we go out from the time closest to the time of the Apostles the religion becomes more corrupted, it WAXES WORSE AND WORSE like Paul warned; and you have NOTHING to dispute the history. How Did Christianity survive and THRIVE during it's hardest years of persecution and martyr-ship (The first 300 years) IF they taught UR, that God actually loved and actually would save everyone? In your mind they were all raging hedonists and the religion should have perished...did they fall into sin as you accused earlier with Gal 5:19-21? (which has nothing to do with it, let me remind you plenty of people who believe in unending hell sin like rabbits too) the real Answer: NO, Because they actually LOVED God, for the RIGHT REASONS; for His love and mercy, not merely OBEYED due to abject fear and dread. God is not FOOLED.

1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of ALL MEN, SPECIALLY (malista) of those that believe.

'specially' (Greek malista) does not mean EXCLUSIVELY, and for proof look at every other usage of it the Bible:

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3122&t=KJV

One of several examples: 2Ti 4:13 - The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but ESPECIALLY (malista) the parchments.

Did Paul not receive the cloak, the books AND the parchments? ESPECIALLY means IN ADDITION TO and you have Scriptural proof of it now.

God willing, you will either accept what it says or continue to reject it, but God saves all men. Burning them forever or ELIMINATING them is not saving them. It's the exact OPPOSITE Pat.

1Ti 4:11 These things command and teach.

So I will, and I do.

Christ be with you and open your eyes to the His absolute victory on the cross so you can start sharing the ACTUAL GOOD NEWS, which inspires and changes lives, with sincerity! Amen!

George W. Sarris said...

Pat, thank you for sharing that in answer to my question. God bless you.

Bret, thank you for all the information you shared. God bless you, too. He is good, and His love endures forever!

- Brett S. said...

God bless you George! I'll be adding your book to my collection this week. I look forward to it! Maybe Pat will take the time and read it too. (Hoping)

Pat said...

Taken from http://freecdtracks.com/testimony/Rita_Chuter.htm

The testimony of Rita Chuter who died in her sins, experienced hell, and was allowed to come to life.

Continued to Go Down"

I had major surgery on my legs in 1969 when I was 32 years of age. Whilst on the operating table, and under anaesthetic, I had a cardiac arrest.
The only way I can describe it is that, although my body was on the table, and the doctors were fighting to get me back to life again, part of me was above them, and began to float away from that operating theatre.

[Rita's experience in hell]

I started to go down and down. It was horrific. I could see faces in pits, contorted with agony and pain. As I continued to go down, I began to be tormented by demons of all shapes and sizes. Not only were they ugly, but the smell was dreadful.

What made this downward journey even more terrifying were the lost souls I could see. There were many other awful things of which I cannot bear to speak. I came into a room where I could smell sulphur, and I saw a lake of fire. I could feel the flames and heat from that fire. My thoughts were that if I hit the bottom I would stay forever. There is never ending night and day for eternity in that dreadful place where the fear, pain and torment never cease.

It was bad enough hearing the screams and seeing indescribable horrors. But then I saw my own father in that place. I wanted so much to help, but knew I could not do anything for him. My father had been a good man, and became very sick with cancer. The vicar came to see him and asked if he could pray, but my father refused any prayer, or any mention of Jesus. He wanted nothing to do with Him. Now, as I looked at him, I knew he regretted that decision to turn his back on Jesus. It was his free will choice, but what devastating consequences! As I continued to look with horror at the situation he was in, it was if his thoughts spoke to me again. He told me to warn my mother, so that she would not have to come to this terrible place where there was no respite, and no end to the torment.
The heat was unbearable. I also knew there was nothing I could do to release my father from his 'chosen' destination. I was also terrified lest I should dragged down and forced to stay there. In my desperation I cried out to God, 'Oh, God, please help me!'

[What Rita experienced in hell give validation to what God has revealed about what hell is like.]

Pat said...

Rita Chuter's testimony continued.

Taken from http://freecdtracks.com/testimony/Rita_Chuter.htm

Continued to Go Down"


At the moment of crying out to God, I heard another voice crying, 'We have a heartbeat!' I wanted to tell the surgeon, and the rest of the team, that I had been to Hell, and was terrified. I was put on oxygen. They kept telling me to rest because they were concerned about me, and wanted me to get well. Nevertheless, I kept trying to tell them, 'I've been to Hell, and I never want to go there again!'

Yet still I did not come into a close relationship with Jesus. I allowed Satan to deceive me, and to draw me away from a true walk with God. There were further major operations. Each time I went into hospital I was in absolute terror of death and Hell. I kept seeing myself burning in the flames, being tormented like my poor father. My mother and sister would not listen to what I had to say about dad and Hell. The problem was I did not go to the right people for help, and I became more and more taken over by the torment and fear with which Satan and his evil spirits confused me.

It was when I was 50 years old that my lovely daughter Michelle came to see me one day. She told me that she had given her life to Jesus, and that she knew of someone who would be able to help me. Thank God I agreed to allow Canon Jim Fry to come and pray for me. On 23 February 1987 my life was completely changed. As Canon Fry prayed for me, God spoke to me saying, 'I have sent my beloved Son, Jesus, to deliver and set you free.' I saw the battle going on for my soul in the spiritual realm, but Jesus dealt with it all. I was set free to go and tell other people what He had done for me, in order to set other captives free.

What a wonderful day that was. My husband was there too, and he also gave his life to Jesus. We were both set free, born again by the Spirit of God, never again to be tormented by fear.

In 1995, Rita Chuter died at her appointed time, and we know that she is now with Jesus.

Pat said...
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Pat said...

reader123 (His CP posting ID)

A carnal Christian who died in his sins, experienced hell, and was allowed to come back to life. He said that hell is everlasting if you stay there.

He gives his testimony in the two links below. Part 2 he talks about hell and how long it last.

http://blog.godreports.com/2016/01/computer-scientist-engineer-experienced-frightening-near-death-experience-of-hell-glorious-vision-of-heaven/

http://blogs.christianpost.com/god-reports/computer-scientist-engineer-experienced-frightening-near-death-experience-of-hell-glorious-vision-of-heaven-part-2-27119/


From: Former Atheist: My Time in Hell

Excerpt from CP's interview with the ormer atheist.)

CP: So tell us about hell, what is the first thing you want people to know?

Botsford: ".........I want people to know that hell is real and it's a place that definitely has to be avoided; it's a place of ETERNAL torments."

CP: What happened in hell?

Botsford: "..... It was pitch black. I knew I was going to be there FOREVER ......"

Read more at christianpost.com/news/50071/#6LRvywBsYrOmfX82.99


There are many who died in their sins, experienced hell, and allowed to come back to life. They all say that if they had stayed it would have been forever. Not one has ever given testimony that they would have had hope of eventually being saved and allowed to leave hell and go to heaven.

Scripture does not support UR and neither does reality.

- Brett S. said...

Pat, you reject the majority view of the Christian church that taught God was the savior of ALL MEN (eventually, after judgment, etc), and replace it with a handful of SUPPOSED misadventures and woeful experiences of people in hell-holes, who are alive and having dreams, many contradictory if you look at enough of them, and are motivated by selling books, creating sensation and basically diminishing the perfect and awesome love of God. You can't be serious! WOW!

These so called testimonies are not proofs, they are subjective ravings and nonsense...they do not defeat 1 Tim 2:4 and 1 Tim 4:10 or the other hundreds of Scriptures that teach God will save all men and restore all the earth. They are not INSPIRED. You do realize that if they escaped hell, than that gives us hope that hell isn't a CHASM that cannot be crossed. Also hell without being raised to the WHITE THRONE judgment FIRST is UNJUST, it's punishment without a trial! Such nonsense contradicts itself! God open your eyes!

THEY LIE AND MAKE GOOD INTO EVIL AND EVIL INTO GOOD! BELIEVE THIS INSTEAD! THIS WITNESS IS TRUE! SCRIPTURE DOES SUPPORT God's absolute Victory on the Cross, even as you DENY IT!

John 12
32 when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men to myself.

John 12
47 “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the WORLD, but to SAVE IT.

John 3
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save THE WORLD through him.

Luke 3
6 And ALL mankind will see God’s salvation.

Matthew 18
14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that ANY of these little ones should be lost.

Romans 5
18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for ALL men.

Romans 8
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us ALL—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Romans 11
32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them ALL.

1 John 2
2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD.

1 Timothy 2:4
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants ALL men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for ALL men

1 Timothy 4:10
9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL men

Colossians 1:20
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself ALL things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

1 Corinthians 15
22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ ALL will be made alive.

John 17
2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to ALL those you have given him.

- Brett S. said...

PART 2 (too long)

Matthew 13
33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked ALL THROUGH the dough.”

Ephesians 1:10
9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring ALL things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

Philippians 2:10
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus EVERY knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 8
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor ANYTHING else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:19
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling THE WORLD to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.

Second chance (salvation after death):

1 Peter 3:19
18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits IN PRISON 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently

1 Peter 4
6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those WHO ARE NOW DEAD.

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...

Brett S

Jesus said that He is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6)

God is a Holy God. He requires all that be in His presence and that dwell with Him to be holy (without sin) as well.

All mankind are sinners. No one can stand in God's presence in his own merits.

God created hell for Satan and his angles. All who have sinned against God will be there as well.

How can sinful man become holy, to be without sin? They can'f; it is impossible.

God made a way for sinful man to be forgiven and to be able to stand before God without sin and to dwell in His presence by having His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus took God's judgment for our sins upon Himself when He died on the cross.

Jesus won the victory over satan on the cross and He won the victory over death when God raised Him from the dead.

Jesus died for the sins of all mankind.

Salvation is available to all of mankind but in order for any of them to receive salvation they must believe and receive what Jesus did for them.

Not all of mankind want Jesus. They reject Him for a number of different reasons.

God is loving. patient. and merciful to mankind here on the earth. He gives the unrepentant sinner time to decide for Him. But there comes a time when the door to salvation is shut.

If a person dies in their sin they will stand before God in their sins, will be found quilty of sin, and will be thrown into hell/lake of fire for all eternity and will suffer conscious torment day and night.

If a sinner believes on and receives what Jesus did for them on the cross and walks in obedience to Him until his end he will go to heaaven and be with God for all eternity knowing only God's love.

Jesus said that once you die where ever you end up, heaven or hell, that is where you stay (Like 16:26) Salvation must take place here on the earth; it cannot take place in eternity.

George W. Sarris said...

Pat, we've gone over this before, but take another look at my blog post on The Rich Man and Lazarus - http://georgesarris.blogspot.com/search?q=Rich+Man+and+Lazarus.

Much of what you have said is true. However, God doesn't cease to be gracious toward sinners simply because death intervenes. His grace is at work in the ages to come according to the Apostle Paul.

George W. Sarris said...

Brett, thanks for your posts.

Pat said...

George,

I am glad that your CP articles are here.

I disagreed with much of your interpretations and spent much time giving my interpretations.

I still disagree with your premises.

Basically the Jews believed that if they had wealth then they had favor with God and if not then they did not have favor with God because of sin.

Jesus illustrates in the parable/story that those who go to hades are there because they didn't repent. He also let them know what hades was like and the finality of it.

The testimonies I shared here validated what Jesus said. If what Jesus said was not true then they would have not experienced it.

The OT and NT scriptures dealing with the fate of the damned in eternity are consistent with one another. A person who dies in his/her sins are forever damned.

Eph 1:10 and Col 1:20 supports that truth.

Eph 1
9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring ALL things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

Colossians 1:20
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
20 and through him to reconcile to himself ALL things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

The Apostle Paul made no mention of anything in hell being reconciled to God. If it was true that the damned in hade(hell)/lake of fire could be saved and leave hell and go to heaven then Paul would have added hell to those two verses. But he did not.

There is no hope beyond the grave for the damned.

- Brett S. said...

You say: "Jesus said that He is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6)"

I say: Absolutely True. All Christian Universalists (note: not Unitarian Universalists) teach the exact same Truth, from classic 1st-2nd century ones to modern proponents of the glorious total victory of Jesus on the Cross over sin and death.

You say: "God is a Holy God. He requires all that be in His presence and that dwell with Him to be holy (without sin) as well."

I say: True, that is the final state,'lest you forgotten Christ DINED WITH SINNERS, and The Father LOOKED FOR ADAM after he sinned..oops...so much for God running away from sin...it is man that separates from a holy God, not God from man; else nobody could be saved. Your doctrine has inverted this Truth. Holiness is PURITY

You say: "All mankind are sinners. No one can stand in God's presence in his own merits."

I say: True, and this includes you PAT...tell me, did you save yourself or did God save you? Who is the executive will behind it? Be honest or you are only lying to yourself, because I KNOW the answer. The bible teaches this plainly, God chooses the Elect (Jhn 15:16), and He chooses the saved (Eph 2:8) which is all eventually (1 Tim2:4 and 1 Tim4:10 and 1Co 15:22-24) because He CANNOT and does NOT FAIL)

You say: "God created hell for Satan and his angles. All who have sinned against God will be there as well."

I Say: For what purpose, to roast marshmallows over the damned while you rejoice in the loss of some friends and family? What do you THINK the ELECT DO? Maybe they will BE AS CHRIST WAS in this world, which is what the BIBLE you claim to honor SAYS?? Have you learned nothing of what judgment DOES Pat? Is your heart so hard, so callous, that you cannot receive this? What fruit is this spirit? It is not of God that rejoices in misery and infinite sin in some hell-hole that God couldn't save people from, that is boasting material for satan, not glory for God...can't you see it Pat? Are you humble enough to repent of this and ask God to give you PEACE...I mean TRUE PEACE? Psa 18:26 - With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

You say: "How can sinful man become holy, to be without sin? They can'f; it is impossible.
God made a way for sinful man to be forgiven and to be able to stand before God without sin and to dwell in His presence by having His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ."

I Say: True, it takes GOD...but then you teach man must save himself and believe on his own....double-speak Pat....is your God good enough and willing enough to do it for all, or is He not? Apparently yours is not. That saddens me, I'm glad mine is willing and able and WILL DO IT.

- Brett S. said...

Part 2 - (too long...)

You say: "Jesus took God's judgment for our sins upon Himself when He died on the cross."

I know you don't see this because you've been brainwashed by an atonement theory that wasn't in existence before 1000A and formalized until after about the 1300AD's, but Penal Substitution theory was invented by AQUINAS; before that for nearly a millennia Christians and the majority of them Universalists that existed in the first 5 centuries believed that JESUS took the judgment of man, brought on by the devil as an attempt to end God (not God himself doing it) thus He absorbed all of his evil and sin, TO BREAK IT with love and forgiveness...

You need to look up Christus Victor atonement theory and LEARN what Christians believed for 1000 years. Were they all wrong? Really? Stop attributing darkness to God, who is light and has no shadow of turning in Him...The devil accuses and murders...The Father DOES NOT. Jesus fully revealed the Father we are told, did He go around murdering or healing and dying for His enemies? Think about it...WAKE UP! You've lost this crucial understanding of WHY CHRIST DIED with your much later theological addition, first added by a man who believed we offended God's honor (Anselm) who quite naturally lived in a FEUDAL culture....then by Aquinas, a lawyer. Hmm, it's not surprising he would take it from honor to justice impugned to God....

Truly the popular church is indeed waxing worse and worse (2Ti 3:13) as Paul warned and you didn't take serious notice of, those people (V5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away._ - They deny the power of the cross! They DENY IT! TURN AWAY PAT! It's not too late to humble yourself and be teachable (that is the meaning of "meek" in the Scriptures) - Are you not still teachable? How sad!

I REBUKE such a lack of faith in Jesus's sacrifice, I rebuke any strong idols clouding your mind to this victory of Jesus Christ! I rebuke it in JESUS NAME!

You say: "Jesus won the victory over satan on the cross and He won the victory over death when God raised Him from the dead. Jesus died for the sins of all mankind."

I Say: True! But more importantly he died to DEFEAT SIN AND DEATH! How defeated is sin and death if the sin of blasphemy against exists in some dark corner of the universe as people curse God in torture? Did God actually DEFEAT it or will he stuff a lot of under a big cosmic burning rug? My God defeated it; It's GONE...DEAD....RECONCILED TO GOD...WOW how much more glorious to God! Someday you will see just how amazingly the work of the cross was! You haven't a clue Pat; your god is sooo tiny; a tantrum-baby in comparison! I look forward to that day when we can both rejoice! You grasp the barest threads of HOW VICTORIOUS He was.

You say: "Salvation is available to all of mankind but in order for any of them to receive salvation they must believe and receive what Jesus did for them."

I Say: "You still put it upon man to SAVE HIMSELF FIRST. Be honest with yourself if not with me here now....man's will FIRST, only then can God SAVE...how twisted, really think about it....Can you not see the cart in front of the wagon in your doctrine? Can you not recognize the only power in all of existence that your church and most churches teach is the ONLY one that can "shew himself that He is God"? (2Th 2:3-4), that their ministers can shew SIGNS and wonders (have you even been to a healing service? Heard tongues and prophesy?) and can deceive all EXCEPT the VERY ELECT? (Mat 24:24)"

- Brett S. said...

PART 3 too long...

You say: "Not all of mankind want Jesus. They reject Him for a number of different reasons."

Some are abused by priests, that doesn't help their choice, but God is good and eventually he promises all will choose, confess and THANK HIM; which nobody would for an eternity of torture. (Phl 2:11 / Rom 14:11, ἐξομολογέω exomologeō, translated 'I THANK' in Matt 11:25 and Luk 10:21 when Christ thanked His Father...was Christ FORCED to, was He not sincere?)

You Say: "God is loving. patient. and merciful to mankind here on the earth. He gives the unrepentant sinner time to decide for Him. But there comes a time when the door to salvation is shut."

I SAY: FALSE! you have no such Scripture; your doctrine demands this, but you have no Scripture for it. You have a Scripture that says there is death and then comes judgment (which I agree with, ALL shall be judged, that doesn't mean TORTURED because it says judged), and you have one that says NOW is the time for salvation, which is only expressing that joy and the freedom, the hope that comes from living a life in Christ, it's not saying ONLY IN THIS LIFE...you have to ADD that....that's it, that's all you have! ACCEPT you could be wrong and God could be better than your imagination and your hell loving doctrine will allow.

You Say: "If a person dies in their sin they will stand before God in their sins, will be found quilty of sin, and will be thrown into hell/lake of fire for all eternity and will suffer conscious torment day and night."

I SAY: You obviously don't care to study the INSPIRED languages for fear of over-turning your doctrinal idols of eternal misery for those you hate and don't want to be saved. Let's be clear here. The lake of fire IS NOT HELL (not even what you imagine with your pagan notion of hell), as we are told that that hell is thrown INTO IT (it means those in the grave): "Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second DEATH.", we are told that DEATH ENDS. (Rev 21.4) This includes the second death. DO THE MATH Pat. NO MORE DEATH. What is this judgment FOR? What glorifies God more? Torture? Is that what you see in Jesus? Is that Jesus fully revealing the Father?

Is the Father more like ZEUS, or more like JESUS?

You Say: "If a sinner believes on and receives what Jesus did for them on the cross and walks in obedience to Him until his end he will go to heaaven and be with God for all eternity knowing only God's love."

I SAY: So you believe MAN SAVES HIMSELF. (see above answers), if not, who's executive (first deciding) will is doing the saving PAT? Can you be honest and choose ONE, because it cannot be both. Not at the same time. Who gets the glory for the EXECUTIVE SOVEREIGN ACT? If you choose God correctly as this FIRST DECIDING WILL, how can you deny that Christ's will to save the world shall happen? That He will fail his mission from His Father? (1Jo 4:14). Did Saul use his free will to choose God right before his conversion to Christ while he was using his free will to travel on the road of Damascus to murder more Christians? OH REALLY? Let me make this super clear so that a child could grasp it...does a fireman ask permission before reaching through a burning window to grab a child blinded and choking on smoke (sin), or does HE EXECUTE HIS WILL AND SAVE THAT CHILD BECAUSE HE LOVES HER (add to that fact this fireman is a father and this happens to be his daughter too), but even a half-baked fireman that can barely do his job, would do THAT MUCH.

- Brett S. said...

PART 4 - Looong....this is last post here, I have a life I need to go live, and you've been given enough material even if you reject MY words to "study and show thyself approved", I wish you the best Pat, and far more grace and revelation on the heart of Jesus Christ, the saviour of ALL men.

You say: "Jesus said that once you die where ever you end up, heaven or hell, that is where you stay (Like 16:26) Salvation must take place here on the earth; it cannot take place in eternity."

I Say: I've already addressed your literal parable nonsense. If this is literal, why do you still have your hands and feet Pat? (Mar 9:43), WORKS DO NOT SAVE US and if you take this parable as literal, you invalidate your entire Gospel/salvation basis. Read the links provided and learn a deeper Scriptural interpretation of this parable.

The gulf if FIXED, but Christ can cross it...even if man cannot...GET THE POINT...Concerning salvation after death, you apparently missed these PAT:

1 Peter 3:19
18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits IN PRISON 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently

1 Peter 4
6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those WHO ARE NOW DEAD.

So much for NO salvation after death! Straight from the Bible! If Christ can do it once; if He desires the salvation of all men, and the whole world, who are YOU to deny Him it? He has the keys to death and hell, and HE WILL USE THEM! PRAISE GOD FOR HIS MERCY! "Mat 10:14
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet."

Pat said...

Brett S

Before you pass judgment on my salvation experience read my testimony.

My Spiritual Journey Part 1

I made a profession of faith in a Baptist Church when I was about 8 yrs old. God had revealed to my heart that hell was real. I knew you needed Jesus to go to Heaven so I asked Jesus to save me. Being raised in a home that was not conducive to spiritual growth and a lack of making Jesus Lord of my life resulted in me making friends and decisions that led me into living a life of sin.

Even though I lived in the flesh I never lost my belief in God or that I was saved.

Though my mother drew away from God over the years I still attended Church through the rest of Elementary School and through Junior and Senior High School.

When I left home to go to college I attended Church some in my freshman year. Afterward, though, I stopped going to Church.

Sin grew in my life as each year passed. Later in life God allowed sin to take its toll. It brought death to me intellectually, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. But before sin completed its work in me God allowed me to graduate from college and to attend graduate school.

I was not successful in graduate school. I 'flunked' out of three schools and eventually after having lost two jobs I had to go back home to live with my mother.

At the suggestion of my boss at the shipping yard where I worked as a Junior Draftsman, I returned to graduate school so I could get another degree that would enable me to get a better paying job.

It was December 10, 1976. I had just found out what my grades were for my first quarter in graduate school at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). I was worried. I had received one B, 2 C's, dropped a course, and had to cheat to get the grades I got. I knew that if I didn't do better the next quarter I would be kicked out of school. There would be no more chances to get another degree and to get a good paying job. That meant that I would have go back home to live with my mother, and work as $3/hr draftsman (which gave me no hope of having anything in life).

Worried, depressed because I couldn't succeed, and having nothing to do, I picked up a Bible that was in my hotel room that was being used as a dorm room and began to flip through the pages. I could not read anywhere until I came to a passage in Matthew 6 (Matt 6:25-33) where Jesus was talking to His disciples about not worrying about what they were going to eat and what they were going to wear. He talked about how God fed the birds when they neither sowed nor reaped. He told them how God beautifully adorned the lilies of the field and they neither toiled nor spinned. He told them how much more valuable they were to God than the birds and the lilies. He said that life consists of more than food and clothes. Then Jesus said, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33).

My mind was clouded; it was numb. I did not understand anything I read. When I came to Matthew 6:33, for some reason, I read it twice.

Immediately afterwards, the Lord spoke to me in my mind saying, "Pat, put me first in your life and I will take care of what you are worried about." He repeated it twice, just like I read Matthew 6:33 twice. Then He said, with a little anger in His voice, "You have been trying to run your life apart from me!"

Immediately after He said that, my mind cleared out. I knew that God was real, and that I had sinned against God and God alone. He showed me my life after I left home to attend college. I saw how my actions and my choices destroyed my life. Then I began to pray. "Yes, Lord, you are right. I have been trying to run my life apart from You, and I made a mess out of it." I repeated to Him how I understood how my sin destroyed my life. Then I said, "I'll put you first in my life. I will go to Church and I will tithe."

Pat said...

My Spiritual Journey Part 1 continued

I went home for the Christmas holidays.

The first Sunday after I returned to school, I remembered that I had promised God I would go to Church. So, I went.

I continued to go every Sunday and later on Wednesday nights too.

Then, when I received my first pay check, I remembered that I had promised God that I would tithe. So, I did.

The next day after I paid my tithe, my life changed. God increased my finances by giving me a tutoring job. I became a better student and a better teacher. I went from being an introvert to being an extrovert. I went from being a failure to being a success.

God changed me in many other ways too. I use to be entertained by sinful programs on TV. No longer did sin entertain me and I stopped watching TV. My study habits changed.

I graduated with a 3.5 average (up from the 2.333 I had my first term) and I got a good paying job at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Tx with a NASA contractor.

I was faithful to my commitment to God to put Him first in my life and God was faithful to His promise to take care of what I was worried about.

Pat said...

My Spiritual Journey Part 2

when I was first saved, how I did not live for God, and then how God dealt with me later in life that resulted in me making Jesus Lord of my life by putting Him first in my life. I mentioned how He changed my life in the natural after I kept my commitment to Him. I mentioned some of the ways He changed me. Some of the ways I changed were in my ability to teach. He changed my study habits, and I became a better student. I was socially awkward and introverted. God changed that and made me an extrovert. I use to be entertained by sinful TV programs. He changed all that and I was no longer entertained by those programs and I stopped watching TV.

In general I was a failure in life and He turned it all around and made me successful.
God also did a work in me spiritually.

When I first received Jesus as my Savior when I was about 8 yrs old I knew that hell was real and I didn't want my friends to go there. I witnessed to two of my female friends and told them that hell was real. I asked them if they wanted to go to Heaven and not hell. They said they wanted to go to Heaven so I told them they needed to ask Jesus to save them and they needed to walk the aisle and tell the Pastor that they wanted Jesus.

In graduate school after I got right with God, things changed more dramatically for me spiritually than what it had been originally when I was about 8 yrs old. Again, I knew hell was real, I didn't want my friends to go there, and I knew that they needed to be saved to go to Heaven.

God gave me favor with people which I didn't have before. I had one student that came to my office, shared with me his martial problems, and wept. I told him that Jesus was the answer to his problems. I gave him the gospel. I invited him to Church. He came.

I had a Chinese friend who was a graduate student at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) who said he believed in God and he believed in Jesus. I just sensed that he really didn't know Jesus and was lost. I would witness to him at times.

I talked about God to others as well. To one I told him how God changed my life. He responded with disbelief and said, " Sure, God changed your life." He was a Catholic Priest who had a PhD in Psychology, was the Clinical Psychologist at FIT's Counseling Center, and I had gone to him for counseling my first quarter at FIT. He saw me a couple of quarters later and asked where I had been. I briefly gave my testimony, told him that God changed me and healed me, and I didn't need him any more.

I told another one that the reason I was successful in school was because of God. She was an atheist and could not understand how a 'smart' person like me could believe in God.

When I finished my course work I had obtained a good paying job with a NASA contractor at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. I went to work for them. I joined a Church and attended regularly.

I finished my master's thesis at work, wrote the draft, returned to FIT to defend my thesis, typed it up professionally, and graduated.

(to be continued)

Pat said...

My Spiritual Journey Part 2 continued

Things began to die out for me. I wasn't experiencing the same success I had when at FIT. I was having problems in my relationships with people and things were not going so well at work. I became worried.

I went to see the Pastor because I was having problems. It didn't go well. I got mad, stormed out of his office, slammed the door shut, and left the Church.

The following Sunday I asked God where He wanted me to go to Church. He told me where He wanted me to go. I went.

The service was OK, the people were active in their service to God, but the Church was dead. The Spirit of God was not there.

That Sunday afternoon a couple I was friends with from the Church I left were going to come over to visit me and to help me put my lawn mower together. While I was waiting for them I was reading my Bible. Again I was reading Matt 6:25-33. When I got to Matt 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." again, like at FIT, I read that verse twice for some reason. Then God spoke to me again, twice, saying, "Pat, put my will first in your life and I will take care of what you are worried about."

I thought about what God had said for a moment and then my friends pulled up in my driveway.

I invited them in. We fellowshipped for awhile. Jack put my lawn mower together. They invited me to Church that night because there was a singing group that was coming to perform.

I told them that I didn't want to go. They said, "OK" and left.

After they left I went for a long walk and talked to the Lord about putting His will first in my life. I agreed to do so.

The following Sunday I didn't go to Church because of a hurricane that hit Houston. But the Sunday after that I again asked God where He wanted me to go to Church. He told me and I went.

This particular Church had a Singles group that had about 100 or so singles and they had just gotten a Singles Pastor. I liked the Church and decided to go there.

Our Singles Pastor was teaching us on why people have relationship problems. He said that barriers come up between people because of sin. He taught us what God's Word says that we should do about it.

I decided to put what he was sharing into practice.

Then circumstances led me to a point where I needed to deal with the unforgiveness I had towards my mother. Before I dealt with it, I recommitted my life to the Lord, and told God I would remain single all my life to serve Him.

God helped me to forgive my mom for the things I held against her. That brought healing to me. He set me free from many sins in my life and gave me the supernatural ability to love people as defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

(to be continued)

Pat said...

My Spiritual Journey Part 2 continued

Then on December 31, 1980 as the new year approached I made four prayer requests. I told the Lord that

1) I wanted to be a woman of prayer,
2) I wanted to grow in the knowledge and wisdom of the Lord,
3) I wanted to know what my spiritual gift was and to use it, and
4) I wanted to be a soul winner.

These four prayer requests thrust me into a walk with God that I had never known before. God was faithful to answer these prayer requests and He still is answering them.

In 1981 and since God has given me my own ministry. It has taken on many different forms.

For the first six months of 1981 God taught me why I did what I did. This was useful in my ministry to people that God brought into my life that were experiencing similar problems for I was able to relate to them and to share with them why they were having the problems they were having.

Starting in June 1981 God gave me on the job training in discipleship. He directed my steps. He had me meditate on the Word of God and gave me insights. He used those understandings as He had me share the gospel with people. He gave me a ministry to those of other faiths like Christian Scientists in particular, a few Jehovah Witnesses, and a few Mormons and a few Buddhists. I would share the gospel with those from other denominations and anyone I came across.

He had me minister the love of God to people at Church, at work, at the hospitals and on the street. Some were healed and at least one was saved.

On Wed nights we had fellowship time and a dinner before our prayer meeting. On Sept 17, 1986 when I bowed my head to give thanks for my meal God revealed my heart to me and my heart wanted to be a missionary. I told God in prayer that I wanted to be a missionary. That following Sunday, I made that public during invitation time.

Afterwards God had me leave the Church and to attend elsewhere.

God expanded my ministry. It incorporated what I had learned since 1981, and it made use of my skills in listening to people share their hurt. I shared the gospel with them and taught them some biblical truths when it was needed. I prayed for them, clothed them, fed them, and etc.

God gave me several different ministries. Even though I was not nor was I ever a drinker, God gave me a ministry to skid row bums and all their alcoholic friends.

The ministry I had to street people since 1981 was expanded to include feeding the homeless, and helping them according to their need, praying for them and, of course, sharing the gospel with them.
He gave me a ministry to those in nursing homes. I visited them frequently, listened to them tell me about their life, shared Christ with them, and prayed for them.

He allowed me to minister to the homosexuals that I worked with. I gave them the gospel, and prayed for them.

Then God had me teach the youth in my Church. I wrote their Sunday School book.

God directed my steps and gave me those ministries. He started them and ended them when the time came. Some were saved, some received healing, and miracles happened.

- Brett S. said...

Pat,

Thank you for sharing your personal story. I will take the time to read it later. (work is crazy this week), but I wanted to respond to your earlier comment (before your story) on Col 1:20 and Eph 1:9-10 though, YOU SAID "The Apostle Paul made no mention of anything in hell being reconciled to God. If it was true that the damned in hade(hell)/lake of fire could be saved and leave hell and go to heaven then Paul would have added hell to those two verses. But he did not." and that there is no hope for those judged as such.

That isn't good news Pat, to forever lose those you love in this world would be an eternal misery for those who understand the selfless nature of true love. As a friend of mind pointed out to be recently as we discussed (ironically) the same supposed fact of hell not being included in these passages, he pointed out some important things to consider - IT ACTUALLY IS:

"Both verses above (Col 1:20 and Eph1:9-10) contain the term: “all things”. It was explained to me that there is no exact Greek equivalent to the Engish “things”. “All things” is used to better correspond to English grammar. The Greek words are “ta panta”, which is literally: "the all." It is the common Greek expression for "the universe", everything and everyone. Read the verses above substituting “the all” for “all things” and you will clearly see the universalism of the passages. If there is hell, it’s coming along too!" ALSO "There are two realms of creation (according to Genesis 1:1), heaven and earth. That's it. Colossians 1:20 covers creation. It's so simple. "Hades" is "the grave", it is not the same thing as GEHENNA in the NT (Gehenna is a LAST DAY judgment that only applied to the religious pharisee elites of Christ's day; even so it will end once it accomplishes it's goal...Gehenna was the garbage dump in Jeresuelm where refuse and burned bodies were discarded...but now look it up online...it's a beautiful garden....), The word HADES in the Greek is equiv to the OT Hebrew SHEOL...it's literally the GRAVE and that is obviously on the earth, as per the verses."

May God bless your understanding in this; and give you the deep and Godly peace that comes with it. PRAISE GOD for His Mercy that ENDURES.

George W. Sarris said...

Well, Pat and Brett, I read all of your posts. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts - I think people who read the comments here will be very well educated in the issues!

Brett, you have provided a lot of great information and insightful comments. Thank you.

Pat, though I clearly disagree with your position, I was encouraged to read your testimony. May I simply point out that God was gracious with you. He didn't give up on you. He loved (and still loves) you. Why wouldn't He treat others in the same gracious way? What you are not seeing is God's heart. Your mother may have given up on you (you mentioned how you needed to forgive her). Your teachers and employers may have given up on you. But God never did. Why? Because it is His nature to love. As I say in my book, God's love is unconditional. His power is irresistible. And He never gives up! I will pray that you see that more clearly in the days to come.

Brett and Pat, God bless you both.

- Brett S. said...

Thanks George for the kind words. God bless you both too. May we all continue to learn and grow in Christ.

Wes Fahlenkamp said...

Good post George. When you gave the statistics on Rotten Tomoatoes versus the public, it brought to my mind the Pharisees and the "sinners" that Jesus hung out with. It seems the critics just don't understand God and His ways, while us "simple, uneducated" people do. Yep, that's the wisdom of God.

George W. Sarris said...

Amen!!!

- Brett S. said...

Amen! Totally agree Wes! Leaving aside that the "world" believes the Shack is rubbish anyways, agreeing with many Christians on that front; We were asked in Luke "when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luk 18:8) to which big church and public Christian leaders affirm "YES, Lord over 2 Billion strong!", when the answer is clearly meant to teach us the exact opposite. Very few BELIEVE in Faith that Jesus Christ really IS the "saviour of the world." (Jhn 4:42 / 1Jo 4:14); that He WILL draw all men to Himself. (Jhn 12:32)

Anonymous said...

George, you can't answer survey question #4 "No" and then answer #5 at all. You might want to add a possible response that indicates "does not apply." Ordered your book thanks to accidentally catching the Metaxas radio show. How does one communicate with you? If it's obvious on your websites I'll find it eventually. Otherwise I'll look for your comment in this here comment section.

George W. Sarris said...

Anonymous, you can email me at george@heavensdoors.net.

God bless.

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...

Brett and George

I don't look to man to tell me what to believe. I use to prior to the early 1980's but praise be to God He set me free from that.

I accept the Word of God by faith and look to God to give me understaning. This is something you all do not do. Instead when you come across a truth you are uncomfortable with, like the eternal judgment of the unrepntant sinner when he dies, you reject it and replace it with a belief that is opposite to revealed truth by reasoning in your flesh that surely a loving God would never do that. Then you preceed to take other scriptures, apply carnal beliefs and erroneous understandings, wrong assumptions, and wrong arguments to make other scriptures say what it does not say proving that God didn't mean what He said throughout His Word both in the OT and NT.

Universalists often refer to the God who says that those who die n their sins are eternally damned as a cruel tyrant, who is mentally ill (Diane Castro's declaration).

UR, whether you realize it or not, is declaring Almighty God whose Son the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, to be a liar.

It is a sin to call God a liar and it is even a greater sin to try to prove it.

Jesus died for the sins of the world and salvation is available to all who call on the name of the Lord from their heart. Scripture makes it plain that salvation has to take place here on the earth and cannot happen in eternity. If you want nothing to do with this Jesus who died for your sins then He will not want you either and you will be rejected by Him when you die

Repent! Accept the Word of God by faith and look to God to help you deal with how you feel about His eternal damnation of the unrepentant sinners when they die.

George W. Sarris said...

Pat, you keep saying that you look to God for your understanding and we look to man, but that is clearly not true. Over and over, we have pointed out what the Scriptures actually say while you have simply made blatant statements supporting your ideas. As I said in a previous post, judge not lest you judge yourself. You are the one who is looking to man and not to God for understanding.

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
- Brett S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
- Brett S. said...

Amen George, if what Pat accuses were true, then the majority view of Christians living (and certainly TEACHING, as we have records/writings of major seminaries/churches of, not merely people writing sensational stories) looked to man instead of God in the first 5 centuries, and this despite Christianity surviving and thriving during the harshest years of pagan condemnation and martyrship! An absurd notion!

Why? Closest to the time of the apostles the religion the apostles taught would lean toward LESS corruption vs. so many years father out (both common sense and Scripture bear this out, as we are taught things would WAX WORSE AND WORSE, not get better...), and as I've shown in great detail, including the names and even years these church teachers thrived, UR was the dominant belief during those earliest years.

Those are the historical FACTS.

Pat has nothing but speculation and accusation, which as this conversation as shown, is supported ONLY by much later English translations of INSPIRED Greek and Hebrew Scriptures; oh and stories of various people supposedly coming back from hell (so much for that uncross-able chasm, huh?...) all so they can sell books, get interviews, and recruit others their "love God or else you burn forever" groups. Fear is a big money maker, and it can keep small children in line; obedient and unquestioning. That isn't perfect love however, which CASTS OUT FEAR.

We shall have to let the reader decide which view gives more glory and victory to God. Will God win 100% or only far, far less, with His actions on the cross? Will Adam's transgression result in a GREATER LOSS than Christ's Sacrifice REDEEMS? I think the choice is clear. Let God be true, and every man a liar.

Kenneth Nichols said...

Brett, are you on Facebook? After reading all your excellent responses here, I'd like to get in contact with you. In my experience, we Christian URers need all the mutual support we can get. You can find me on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/fivecentfather. Thanks.