What CAN seprate us from God’s love?
“Some of those “gospels” give you a license to sin without penalty”
Why is it that most Christians immediately assume that those who don’t accept the eternal hell doctrine are looking for a “license to sin”? By saying that, you are basically saying that the only reason why Christians don’t sin, is because they don’t want to burn in hell for eternity.
I work at overcoming sin in my life everyday and I strive to better myself as a person everyday. Not believing in an eternal hell hasn’t changed that one bit, because my number one reason for serving God has never been that I don’t want to go to hell, I serve God because it makes me happy and I don’t want to sin, because sin doesn’t make me happy. That is the simplicity of it for me.
Maybe someone can answer this for me, why does Paul say that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:38-39), when according to traditional Christianity, there is actually a hell-of-a lot that can separate us from the love of God? Like people who supposedly become “deceived” by these “false doctrines”. Is God now just going to turn around and say, “sorry, I know you sought me with an earnest heart, but unfortunately you made some doctrinal errors and therefore I’m going to torture you for eternity.” The eternal hell doctrine is just full of contradictions such as these.
Rom 8:38 NKJV – For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 NKJV – nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Be careful not to read something into this this verse that is not there.
It explicitly states no OUTSIDE influence / thing will be able to separate you from His love. It DOES NOT say, that you cannot turn your back on Him.
Love can only be love, if it is a free choice. And God will not force Himself on you – not before your conversion, and also not afterwards…
Note, you will only become deceived and led astray, if your heart is not in the right place.
Psa 81:12 NKJV – So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, To walk in their own counsels.
Rom 1:28 NKJV – And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
If you truly have a heart for Jesus, then the HS will guide you to the right truths. Unfortunately, this sometimes means we need to experience difficult times / situations, before our thick skulls actually get it…
If you truly have a heart for Jesus, you will be spending time in prayer and reading His word. The HS will open the correct truths for you, and you will no longer be deceived.
However, if your heart is not in the right place, you will become puffed up with pride and become unteachable – thus hardening your heart to these truths. And then you will be lost – even if you think you are saved…
Mat 7:21 NKJV – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Mat 7:22 NKJV – “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
Mat 7:23 NKJV – “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
– God created the world, He created human beings and He created hell.
– God knew that mankind would be deceived, fall into sin and that the majority of mankind would reject him.
So, God created hell, knowing that the majority of his creation would be tortured there for eternity. Now you say that it is not God’s will for people to go to hell, but yet He created hell in the first place, knowing that people would ultimately go there! That doesn’t add up, does it?
Why would God create hell where He would torture people forever, if it’s not His will?
Another conclusion could be that God didn’t know what was going to happen, God created hell for satan and his demons and the devil somehow played a fast one on God. In Genesis chapter 3, right in the beginning, the devil already outsmarts God and snatches His creation from Him. That also doesn’t add up, does it?
The only conclusion we are left with is that this is a bad theology and for your information, I have spent time in prayer and in the Word, but I did it with a mind unclouded by religious tradition. People, like me, who think in this direction often gets accused of reading things into the Word that aren’t actually there, as you accused me of doing, which is funny because it’s actually those who conjured up the hell doctrine who read things into the Word which isn’t there.
For instance, if hell is the ultimate fate for rebellious people, then why didn’t God make this clear in the Old Testament? Why doesn’t the concept of an eternal hell exist in the Old Testament? When God gave the Israelites the Law, He was very specific about what the consequences of rebellion would be, so why didn’t He ever mention an eternal hell?
God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil, because they would surrely DIE (Gen 2:17), He told the Israelites that they were to choose between LIFE and DEATH (Deu 30:19), Jesus said that He came so that those who believed would not PERISH (“be fully destroyed”) (John 3:16) and Paul said that the wages of sin is DEATH (Rom 6:23), so where did this idea of eternal life in hell come from?
You are asking a lot of things, which will take hours to explain. Also, some things I am also still waiting for proper answers on…
You are asking the right questions though, so I am going to give you some pointers to truths that I found along my journey. Hope these help.
While we are trapped in time, it is extremely difficult to reason how a being (God) would act, while He is outside of time. He knows the end from the beginning,
but we are still in time. We do not know the future, yet God does. So how does God knowing the future affect the decisions and actions He takes?
Time is a weird thing, because by not doing something, that future does not exist. You have to do something, for there to be a future at all. So a better question to ask is what is God’s root motivation? Why would he create the universe and hell, even though He knows that most people in it will be condemned to Hell?
There are a couple of answers to this question, but here are 2 that impacted me the most.
1. He is an artist.
He enjoys His creation. He enjoys and revels in the beauty He creates. Sometimes I believe God just goes overboard, to splash and proclaim His infinite majesty to everyone. Like the stars in the heavens, or some plant or birds. They are just too astoundingly beautiful. This is an end in it itself.
2. God glorifies Himself.
So the root motivation or reason God does anything, is to bring glory to Himself. This is a strange concept if you look at it the first time, but you absolute have to understand this, if you want to understand God (or life or the universe or your purpose). I have to give credit to John Piper at desiringgod dot org.
Read it here www.desiringgod.org/dg/id6.htm
You ask: “Why would God create hell where He would torture people forever, if it’s not His will?”
The most astounding most beautiful thing God ever created is Love. For love to exist, there has to be free will. This means a choice, either for God, or against Him. So Hel is actually a final and complete cut-off from God, and it is necessary for Love to exist.
See God created everything perfectly, and Adam and Eve had full access and communion with God. Yet, they made the choice to be as God and turn against their maker to have full and free reign.
Rom 5:15 NKJV – But the free gift [is] not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
So the sum total, of all God’s actions on earth, and we are where we are in time, is because it gave God the most Glory.
Another thing to remember, is that for something like love to exist – the opposite has to be true. So love cannot exist without hate, otherwise there will be no contrast and no choice. The same goes for all the things that make up love like patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness etc. The opposites also need to exist otherwise that concept or thing will be all there is. Hope you get my drift…
Anyhow, not sure why you think hell does not exist in the old testament, here is a couple of verses. It’s found all over the place:
Deu 32:22 NKJV – For a fire is kindled in My anger, And shall burn to the lowest hell; It shall consume the earth with her increase, And set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
Psa 9:17 NKJV – The wicked shall be turned into hell, [And] all the nations that forget God.
Psa 139:8 NKJV – If I ascend into heaven, You [are] there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You [are there].
Pro 9:18 NKJV – But he does not know that the dead [are] there, [That] her guests [are] in the depths of hell.
Pro 27:20 NKJV – Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.
Isa 14:9 NKJV – “Hell from beneath is excited about you, To meet [you] at your coming; It stirs up the dead for you, All the chief ones of the earth; It has raised up from their thrones All the kings of the nations.
Eze 31:17 NKJV – ‘They also went down to hell with it, with those slain by the sword; and [those who were] its [strong] arm dwelt in its shadows among the nations.
Sure, for true love to exist there has to be free will, I agree with you there, but it still doesn’t explain the concept of hell.
We are the Bride of Christ. Now, if you marry a woman, then she ultimately has free will to leave you if she wants, doesn’t she? But if you threaten to douse her in petrol and set her on fire if she tries to leave, then you’re not giving her much of a choice, are you? Where is her free will then?
If hell does in-fact exist and people end up there because they chose to do so, then that choice is made out of mere ignorance rather than rebellion, because if people knew without a doubt that hell existed and they truly understood the reality of spending eternity there, then do you really think that they would willingly choose such a fate? No one in their right mind would, unless they were just ignorant. So, does the Jesus who prayed “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” sound like the same Jesus who would suddenly torture people for their ignorance for all eternity? I don’t think that it does.
Look, the bible says that we are all without excuse.
Deep down, we all know there is a God. But we choose to turn against Him. To do our own thing, instead of stepping into and embracing His purposes for your life.
Rom 1:20 NKJV – For since the creation of the world His invisible [attributes] are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
Rom 1:21 NKJV – because, although they knew God, they did not glorify [Him] as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Now God is gracious enough to allow you to do your own thing while you are alive. But when you die, you will face His judgement. You will need to explain why you willingly turned your back on Him. Ofcourse no explanation would suffice, and you will then be for-ever cut-off and go to hell.
The above is pretty clear and straight forward. Though I’ve often thought along same lines as you – does the punishment truly fit the crime here? Do they truly need to burn, in pain, for-ever and ever and ever and ever…
This does not really sound or feel right. It’s also not logical, I mean if you are truly cut off from God, then your reality should stop existing. Nothing should be able to exist without / outside / cut off from God.
So here is another possibility, the Bible clearly talks about the second death.
Rev 20:14 NKJV – Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 NKJV – And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
It talks about both death and hades being cast into the lake of fire.
So I am inclined to argue, that hell is really temporary. And the lake of fire, could be the final end thereof. So what if once judged fairly by God, they enter hell and experience their due punishment (remember we are also dealing here with mass-murderers and child molesters etc), and then finally while the rest of us receive eternal life, hell and death is burned out of existence in the lake of fire? A true second death – where after you really will not exist anymore…
Something to think about, I am still trying to work this out – the bible is not that clear about it.
I suppose it doesn’t really matter though, we will all know for sure someday.
For believers it doesn’t really matter as the fear of hell is the wrong motivation as you seem to know instinctively.
And as for the lost, well they just don’t care or believe it anyhow…
It gets difficult with the people that think they are saved but aren’t – but luckily we have a fair and righteous judge, whom truly knows the state of your heart. All your circumstances will taken into account fairly on judgement day, and you will receive a fair judgement. 2 People with exactly the same circumstances, but different hearts (or attitudes) will receive fair judgement. It is truly up to you what you make of this life.
Go read some of my previous posts as well, that deals with rewards in heaven. I believe no-one truly knows where God will set the bar – where you are either condemned to hell, or where you get heaven as reward. Also note that even when you enter heaven, there are still different gradings or rewards that you will receive in addition …
Kind sir, you have just read into the scriptures what’s not there. You have implied that since the scriptures menitons only “external things” that he doesn’t mention you inwardly. However – you have neglected to mention that the scriptures state nor any other created thing….That includes yourself.
Notice also – your quote from Matthew…. most of the things listed are things that we pentecostal types thrive on (casting out demons, prophecy, signs and wonders). And the answer from Christ is that he never (and that means never in the greek 🙂 ) knew them.
I believe those that know Him, know Him not by their works, nor by signs, nor by a prayer said at an altar – but by the witness that God places in the hearts of believers.
well, why do you think it says “…nor any OTHER created…”. If Paul wanted to include you, he would simply said “nor anything else” or “nor any created”, in which case my interpretation would not make sense. The word “other” here seems to me to indicate he is talking expressly about outside influences.
Let’s say your interpretation is correct, then that means my salvation is eternally secure correct? So that means once saved always saved, I cannot lose it again. So how do you explain all the other verses in the Bible, that seem to indicate your salvation CAN be lost? So that means the bible is contradicting itself – which cannot be true seen as it is word of God…
Regarding the Matthew quote, yes the quote just re-enforces how deceived people can be. We also need to remember, that should even a lost soul call on the name of God for a miracle or to exorcise or to heal, God may act on the call if He will get the glory from the situation…
Mar 9:38 NLT – John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.”
Mar 9:39 NLT – “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me.
Mar 9:40 NLT – Anyone who is not against us is for us.
So I believe God will even use the lost to spread His word and cause – even though the message might be mixed with errors…
And yes, you are quote correct, you cannot get any assurance of your faith from being able to perform signs or miracles. I need to caution against purely trusting your heart though. Our hearts are deceitful things, and you will not know whether God or Satan is murmuring in there, if you do not know His word and His character…
Here is the verses that indicate your salvation can be lost. Now granted, you get very varied interpretations on these, but if even just one of these are true, that means your salvation can be lost. I pray this will awake a new urgency in people to seek God with all their might and become holy – as He is Holy…
Mat 7:19 NKJV – “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 NKJV – “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Luk 8:13 NKJV – “But the ones on the rock [are those] who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
Hbr 2:1 NKJV – Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
Hbr 3:12 NKJV – Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
Hbr 3:13 NKJV – but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Hbr 3:14 NKJV – For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
Hbr 5:9 NKJV – And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
Hbr 6:4 NKJV – For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
Hbr 6:5 NKJV – and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
Hbr 6:6 NKJV – if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put [Him] to an open shame.
1Cr 15:1 NKJV – Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
1Cr 15:2 NKJV – by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain.
1Ti 1:18 NKJV – This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,
1Ti 1:19 NKJV – having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,
1Ti 1:20 NKJV – of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
1Ti 4:1 NKJV – Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
2Ti 2:12 NKJV – If we endure, We shall also reign with [Him]. If we deny [Him], He also will deny us.
2Ti 2:13 NKJV – If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
2Ti 2:14 NKJV – Remind [them] of these things, charging [them] before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.
2Ti 2:15 NKJV – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Jam 5:19 NKJV – Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,
Jam 5:20 NKJV – let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
2Pe 3:17 NKJV – You therefore, beloved, since you know [this] beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
When you become a believer, your name is written in the book of life:
Phl 4:3 NKJV – And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names [are] in the Book of Life.
Note however, that IT CAN BE REMOVED AGAIN!!!
Rev 3:3 NKJV – “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
Rev 3:4 NKJV – “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
Rev 3:5 NKJV – “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
“or where you get heaven as reward” hmmm. Eternal life is supposed to be a free gift right? It appears that we have a tendency to teach Christ as a stop gap, as an opprotunity to perfect in the flesh that which God has begun in the Spirit, mans opprotunity to prove himself worthy by accepting Christ then proving it by living up to the plumbline (be ye holy…how holy? As holy as God). But when you view the truth – you can’t do it
We attempt to view things in black and white – while others try to infuse shades of grey. I truly believe – in the matter of salvation – God only wants to see one color, Red (The Blood of the Lamb).
Ok, so how do you interpret:
Hbr 5:9 NKJV – And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
If salvation is free gift and I do not need to anything, then do I need to obey Him? This verse expressly states, that Jesus is the author of salvation for all whom OBEY Him – present tense. What if you never obey Him, or what if you stop obeying Him? Will you still be saved? Or do you only need to obey Him once, say some prayer and that’s it. You are eternally secure…
Or what about this:
Jam 2:14 NKJV – What [does it] profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
Jam 2:17 NKJV – Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Jam 2:18 NKJV – But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have
works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my
faith by my works.
Jam 2:19 NKJV – You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble!
Jam 2:20 NKJV – But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
Jam 2:22 NKJV – Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
Jam 2:24 NKJV – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
Jam 2:26 NKJV – For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
This seems to me, to expressly convey the message, that without works that prove your faith, it’s dead. And you could be lost.