The Truth... What is it?

There is no "bad news" in the Gospel (the "good news")

Deriving the meaning of "The Word of God":

If you have been "working out your salvation" (getting a grip on the truth of our Christian faith) as I have [introduction], you might be interested in the following presentation of some Scripture. Was Marvin Toler, Jr. passing a profound message to his family which the media would pass to the world when he scribbled (just before dieing in early Jan. 2006 in that Sago, W. Va. coal mine): "Tell all- I'll see them on the other side. It wasn't bad, I just went to sleep, I love you."?

Being "objective"

The word exegesis means "to draw the meaning" out of a given text (for example, The Word...the Bible). Some persons contrast exegesis with eisegesis, with eisegesis meaning to read one's own prejudiced interpretation into a given find what you want to find. In general, exegesis presumes an attempt to view the text objectively & without preconceived notions, while eisegesis implies more prejudice & subjectivity. Mature adults realize that no human (we are all part of a "fallen race") can be completely objective all of the time.

Holy Spirit "indwelt" or not?

Then, as we read the Word of God, it makes all the difference in the world whether we have become indwelt by the Teacher of the Word, the Holy Spirit, who is the One that can guide a true Jesus follower to understanding. The Word is divinely closed to correct interpretation by all others than Jesus believers/followers (II Corinthians 3:12-16); and the message of the Cross is foolishness to the unbeliever (I Corinthians 1...see 1:18). Even if one has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, he/she can be in sin or distracted by the things of the world so that the relationship with the Holy Spirit is distant, leading to misinterpretation. Such distractions might even include deep involvement in socially desirable work or being involved in a struggle with other possibly unrecognized evil spirits...all leading to misinterpretation.

Progressive Revelation of God.

How you interpret the Scripture will depend on whether the Bible is seen as if all Revelation was delivered at once in that holy book or if revelation was progressive...over centuries (the entire Bible story). If progressive, surely God has not left out His earlier people.

The Word of God vs. the individual words of God

We might all agree that Scripture is the inspired information from God...God "breathed" it out through His prophets named in the Bible. But, how you interpret the Word will depend on whether you are convinced (1) that the Bible contains the actual words God specifically formulated or whether you are convinced (2) that the its whole...contains the exact messages (The Word) that God wants conveyed. Or, you may be in a struggle to try to decide (1) vs. (2). The key to the deliverance of the Jews from Egyptian slavery was the blood of the unblemished lamb smeared around each door frame. The expanded (and all-inclusive ?) deliverance of mankind from the enslavement of Satan in sin & destiny in Hell was the blood of Jesus on the cross.  If your interpretative conviction is as (2), then Jesus reflects the love, grace, and mercy of God so strongly that it is hard to think that any soul would be completely & eternally lost forever & ever & totally without hope.

Who is Jesus speaking to?

Keep in mind that the objects of Jesus' words in the Bible may be: (1) the Jews living then, (2) his followers living then (all were Jews, none of whom were indwelt by the Holy Spirit until Pentecost...10 days after Jesus had gone/ascended), (3) we people of the future, and/or (4) spirit beings (Satan, demonic beings, angels, or angelic beings).

When is Jesus speaking?

And, it may make a difference whether Jesus says a remarkable truth before or after He was crucified or was resurrected from the tomb or before or after He had ascended to the Father/God, in Heaven. For example, all revelation/Word that was given as teaching to Paul was AFTER the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to the Father.

How do you read it?

Jesus answered a Jewish lawyer (Luke 10:26): And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" As you read The Word of God, will you read out of a mindset of legalism (Old Testament...prior to having the life & words of Jesus) or grace (New Testament...Scripture put into context by God as human, Jesus)? Will you take statements meant for comfort & basic to a doctrine of comfort and use them toward a doctrine of exclusion?

"Going" to eternal or earthly Hell?

QUESTIONS: Have you ever wondered why Jesus didn't rush to and fro urgently, passionately, & intensely warning all to believe in Him right away or they'd go to Hell (He warned them of Gehenna about 12 times) explanation of Hell website? Have you wondered why he didn't plead with the disciples with the utmost urgency that they spread the word to all others that failure to believe in Him would send nonbelievers to Hell? Have you wondered why, after hearing the one thief on the cross ask to be saved that Jesus didn't turn to the other (knowing full well that it was the Father's desire that all be saved) thief and ask him to believe or he'd suffer the consequence of "unbelief" & go to Hell?

Is the Kingdom now AND eternal?

Scripture talks about both the "hereafter" and the present life on earth, and you must be very careful to discern to which various verses in The Word is referring. For example, does "the kingdom of God" refer to life & followers while on earth, only in the after-life in Heaven, or a continuum of both?

How long is "eternity"?

I'm told that, rather than only being the length of "infinity", an alternate translation of the Hebrew and/or Greek words for eternal or eternity is "for a long time". I'm told that many agree that much of the Bible is written in a common-folk, street-talk variation of Hebrew and Greek, for which there never were & are not now any dictionaries. How often do we use "over-reaching" words in our spoken and written common talk?..."If you fly to Australia, you'll be confined in passenger space for an eternity". As is, if all humans are saved, those not being Jesus followers are somewhere for the past 15,000+ years...a very long time; and the Jesus followers are "absent from the body and present with the Lord" for the past 15,000+ years. Then all humans come to be with Him in the end.

Are all of God's humans saved?

Kurt Kolstad pointed me to this, and I hope that this "universal eternal salvation" is true. If so, all humans are already saved...conciliated...for eternity, full reconciliation being the object of evangelism. A big difference in the salvation might just be whether the human is or is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, see HERE. But, at least while on earth, the "abiding ["saved"] life" in The Way of Jesus is the only true earthly hope for a great purposeful life.

As of now, I am not sure that "universal eternal salvation" via Jesus is true. So, I urgently & strongly advise the more exclusive, orthodox, guaranteed Way (Acts 4:12& here) of saving grace on which I am "can't lose" this way. I continue to struggle with what seems to be a great mystery, this hugely important thing of life after death in Heaven or Hell. The fact of it being a mystery...not clear cut and easily agreed to by all of the body of believers...indicates so strongly to me that all who hear should simply turn to Jesus as Savior.

God's desire that none be lost

But, "universal eternal salvation" is an extremely exciting interpretation. I agree that it seems that, if true, Jesus would still not get the credit & glory for what He did for mankind...and people might feel free to sin. But...that should not be a surprise...He doesn't get His due respect from humanity now (and never has...see Luke 17:11-19 where only one of the lepers Jesus healed even bothered to thank Him)!

Humans are "fallen" & innately selfish...they are plain ignorance, by natural default, by defiant rejection of truth, and by the residue of still being in "fleshly bodies". [Note man's inhumanity to man.]  Through joy and gratitude alone, on learning that He saved us, we ought to want to believe & be like follow & be thankful in worship to Him! Following below are some supporting scripture excerpts. A few links are listed at the end of this page.

I think that Christianity has many mysteries, and the mystery of "salvation" is one of the most confounding to me. On an issue of such tremendous importance, there is such diverse and contrary doctrine throughout Christendom!

Eternal torment...why?

What could possibly be the purpose of eternal punishment? A "lost person" being thrown into eternal (forever & ever) punishment or torment  (Hell) to suffer endless pain (1) would serve no purpose for the sinner and could only (2) be revenge and a justice item for God. Punishment rendered in love intends to bring one to the end of a self-serving attitude. Does the concept of being "thrown into Hell" suggest a belief that God can't change certain humans and gives up in a fit of discarding, wrathful frustration? If we reject (because of the belief the love of Jesus reflects a fundamentally loving God) an Allah who many Muslims think wants them to kill infidels, how can we think such a God is willing for vast numbers of humans to "roast in Hell"?

The doctrine of "election" indicates that certain humans WILL come to Jesus. The doctrine of atonement indicates that God has always required the shedding of blood for redemption from the death penalty of sin. Until Jesus, the blood of birds and animals was annually shed at the Jerusalem temple for the redemption from sin. Then, to finally redeem all mankind from sin, God sent His absolutely perfect son, Jesus, to shed His blood on the cross that the death penalty for the sins of ALL mankind be paid off. How could we believe, therefore, that any particular human could overpower God's intention to save all & cancel this magnanimous rescue for himself by being ignorant of...or even rejecting...Jesus? As blogs have broken the hold of mainstream routes of anointed, appointed, and elected thought-expressers (the media), could it be that the internet has now allowed sharing consideration of thought about God's redemptive intention?...thoughts that would have heretofore been stamped out reflexly as blasphemy and cultism?

Historical Notes:

  1. Two of the earliest creeds (summary statements of belief that both literate & illiterate could memorize & quote) of the ancient Christian church fail to mention any Hell of eternal torment (the Apostle's Creed & the Nicene Creed). Jesus died and descended to Hell (to the dead) and arose on the 3rd day.
  2. I'm told that about two thirds of the ancient church believed that Jesus died for the eternal salvation of all humans. The belief of eternal salvation limited to certain Jesus believers/followers apparently became prevalent through the Roman Catholic Church after Constantine.

Who is the verse speaking to?...Scripture citations directed especially to the Jewish Pharisees:

  1. Matthew 12:7 [Jesus speaking] "If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ [God speaking through the profit Hosea] you would not have condemned the innocent."  This seems that Jesus strongly indicates that the mercy of God can be given without regard to doing penance and repentance; therefore, men ought to also do so to each other.
  2. Matthew 12:9-14 [Jesus speaking]  "Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, 'Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?' He said to them, 'If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.' Then he said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus." In spite of the miracle they witness & all that they have heard, the Jewish leaders cannot bear to consider anything other than killing off the speaker of a new Way to interpret Scripture (with grace first, out-ranking legalism).
  3. Matthew 12:32 [Jesus speaking]  "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." Being in a chapter section about Jesus & Beelzebub (Satan), but speaking to the Pharisees, this is apparently/possibly a specific warning to Satan who speaks against the Holy Spirit...not to humans.
  4. Matthew 12:36-37 [Jesus speaking] "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." On the surface, this seems so counter to grace and salvation that it seems to mean a sort of judgmental life critique in which it is revealed to humans where their words were either righteous or sinful. Since no one can be all righteous for a lifetime, these two verses can't refer to who comes through the pearly gates and who is not allowed through.
  5. John 1:33 [John the Baptist speaking @ the Jordan River] "I would not have known him, except that the one [God] who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'" The triple miracle which took place in the River Jordan – opening of the heavens, descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, and the witness of God the Father – fully convinced the prophet John the Baptist that Jesus was indeed the awaited Messiah. Tipped of as to Messiah's identity by God, John was actually waiting for this visible descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Messiah, because in the very beginning, sending the prophet out to preach, God had said the above verse to him. From this time on, John the Baptist unhesitatingly bore witness to all about Jesus being the Messiah and the Lamb of God Who would take upon Himself the sins of the world. The baptizing with the Holy Spirit is what Jesus does to each new Jesus believer that causes the Holy Spirit to thereafter forever indwell that believer.

***Who is the verse speaking to?...Scripture citations directed to the Jews and/or all people gathered (implications for all mankind?):

  1. Genesis 12:3 [God speaking to Abraham] "...and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." Jesus came as a blessing to mankind through Abraham: did God mean all people throughout history or not?
  2. Matthew 11:11 [Jesus speaking] "I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Jesus, knowing that His death will be the great atonement for mankind's sins, is indicating ahead of that crucifixion event that the status of all those in the Kingdom of Heaven due to what He did is in a higher position than what it might be had they done it by any earthly justification of their own righteousness.
  3. Matthew 11:27 [Jesus speaking] "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." That is, those who come to belief in Jesus & follow Him have the where-with-all to know God. On knowing God by relating to Him, one can follow The Way of Jesus the Christ (the Messiah). In no way does this say that all others are excluded from eternal salvation.
  4. Matthew 22:14 [Jesus speaking] "For many are invited, but few are chosen." This parable of "the wedding banquet" likens such to the Kingdom of Heaven...a Kingdom to which there had been original invitations...but the invitees refused to come. His servants went again to the invitees, and they paid no attention. So, He then sent the servants out to invite anyone they could find; but they actually rounded up the good and the bad. The King then had to throw those not "in wedding clothes" out into the darkness. This is a hard parable. Does it suggest eternal damnation, or does it indicate that there are people universally saved as to eternity who are brought to Jesus for The Way on earth but who are not actually among the Elect for The Way and, therefore, leave (are cast out spiritually) The Way?
  5. Mark 10:26-27: [Jesus speaking in the crowd to His disciples] "26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, 'Who then can be saved'? 27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, 'With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible'."  This rich young ruler parable had started with a question the ruler asked about inheriting eternal life. These verses very clearly indicate that nothing a human does or does not do can save himself or any other for "eternity" on earth (the doctrine of the Elect) or the eternal afterlife (the finished work of Christ on the cross). Deciding to follow Jesus is a human action. Getting water baptism is a human action. Doing good works & being obedient & being a worshipper of God are all human actions. All "eternal salvation" seems to me to be through Jesus by God's will!
  6. Luke 13:3 (see 1-9):P [Jesus speaking in the crowd to His disciples]  "Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." Modern Christians may be tempted to apply this generally & broadly to themselves: unless we repent of all sins, we perish. But, the meaning of Jesus' words was almost certainly more narrow. In Jesus' day, Rome occupied Israel and "the world" with an iron hand that extracted burdensome taxes, and the Jews hated the Roman occupiers. The Jewish culture yearned for a military savior who might free them. In the meantime, it was common for the men to carry concealed knives; and it was a great thing to catch a Roman soldier alone and slit his throat to death. Rather than saying that most of us would go to Hell for failure to repent of our many sins, could Jesus have been saying that group, culture, or national sin...we must all hate the Romans or you're not "one of us"...might cause a nation to perish (and many individuals, also)? Rome, coming to the end of its rope with the Jews, flattened Israel in AD70. Do we see group, cultural, and national hatreds today?...and who perishes?
  7. Luke 15: 11-32 [read passages here] This is the story of the man with two sons, one who would become lost (the lost or prodigal son). What about the "good son"...the one NOT lost...who was upset when his father lavishly welcomed the lost son home? Could this parable be set in place to speak to what Jesus knew would become of the organized church? Being of the all-knowing triune God, Jesus had to know that followers would eventually become so numerous that human nature would take over. In what way? In this way: only "our" group (church, denomination, etc.) is "doing" Christianity in a way that pleases God and therefore assures our place in Heaven. If you "do it" differently, you are going to Hell!
  8. Luke 23:34 "But Jesus was saying, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.' And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves." Who put Jesus on the cross? All sinners, right? Therefore, "forgive THEM"...who is THEM?...all sinners! Jesus is asking His Father to forgive all sinners...period! And when the son of the living God prays a prayer of forgiveness for all, it is a done deal!...It is finished! If we can do even one thing to save ourselves, then Jesus is out of the loop; and we save ourselves. Right? We don't save ourselves by anything we can do. Jesus Christ saved all men by what he Did. It leaves no confusion about who gets in and who doesn't. Blessed assurance! Everybody fell with the First Adam; and everybody arose with the Last Adam--Jesus Christ. The first is not greater the the second. Kurt]
  9. John 3:16 [Jesus speaking] "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Can you "perish" in this life while on earth? I nearly did. Does "eternal life" in this passage refer to (rather than in Heaven) a long period (eternal = eon) of being "saved"...walking with Jesus...on earth (I fell off in 1962 & did not return to that walk until 1991)?
  10. John 10:10 [Jesus speaking] Jesus came that we might have life! "...; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full."  I don't see that He said he came to secure heaven for us if we believe in him. This sounds more like The Way, The Truth, and The Life...the saved life on earth.
  11. John 19:30 [Jesus speaking]  "When he had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." What was finished? Had God sent Jesus to earth as a man for a time to give The Word and to pay, as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, the redeeming ransom price for the sins of all past, present, and future mankind? Did His last declaration attach any conditions at all?
  12. Romans 10:9 [Paul writing] "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Does this apply in the same different manner as above with John 3:16?..."Saved" does not always refer just to eternal after-life states.
  13. Romans 10:13 [Paul writing] "...for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved'". Does this apply in the same different manner as above with John 3:16?... "Saved" does not always refer just to eternal after-life states.
  14. Colossians 1:19-22 [Paul writing] "God was pleased to have all fullness dwell in Him [Jesus], and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things on earth or in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation." This does not confirm or refute any exclusiveness of eternity in Heaven to Jesus followers.

***Who is the verse speaking to?...Scripture citations directed to the original apostolic disciples of Jesus or by Paul to key disciples:

  1. Matthew 10:22 [Jesus speaking]  "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." Wasn't this specifically stated to the 12 disciples, and didn't Peter later reject Jesus 3 times? Yet Jesus forgave Peter. Wasn't Jesus simply letting them know that being His followers would be tough and that they needed to "hang tough"? Why must anyone think that this verse is a message to all true Holy-Spirit-indwelt Jesus followers that they are lost if they "back slide"?
  2. Matthew 10:33 [Jesus speaking] "But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven." This is rough & fearsome! Again Jesus is appealing to disciples who will not have the indwelling of the Holly Spirit & Spirit power until after His resurrection that Sunday evening when He breathed the Holy Spirit onto them (John 21:22).
  3. Matthew 16:27 [Jesus speaking] "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." Does this limit who Jesus will reward? Would Jesus reward all and then condemn some?
  4. Matthew 18:14 [Jesus speaking] "Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." Jesus seems clearly, in the context of the beginning of this chapter, to be talking about those who follow Him.  Doesn't this verse mean that, of those in The Way of Jesus on earth, none will not be lost from that way? Might it NOT be talking about the after-life? So, while it may not be a universal eternal salvation statement, it is also not an exclusionary statement.
  5. Matthew 18:35 [Jesus speaking] Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive a brother, and Jesus says 7 times 70. Then Jesus recounts the parable of the unmerciful servant who owed the king a debt of 10,000 talents (a talent being 15 years of annual income of a laborer). He forgave the debt. That servant then went to another servant who owed him 100 days of wages and threw him in debtors' prison. The king found out and had the first servant jailed and tortured until he could pay off his unthinkably huge debt! "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." Jesus seems to be making the point of the huge importance of forgiveness. I think this is about consequences on earth...unforgiveness being a way to defeat your salvation while on earth. God created mankind and the way that mankind functions psychologically in a fallen world. It really is the one who won't forgive who gets tortured psychologically for life! The Father "does it" by having created us as we are. This parable sounding so unlike Jesus, it "makes sense" by way of my interpretation.
  6. Mark 9:38-50 [Jesus speaking] "Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us". "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.' Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."
    Jesus seems clearly, in the context of earlier in this chapter, to be talking about those who follow Him.  In verses 38-41, Jesus suggests that anyone doing an action (miracle) that brings His name up, or is helping His followers, is doing a thing which He wishes not to stop...unless that action is clearly "against" him. There is nothing very exclusive in these verses. And verses 42-50, do not necessarily condemn certain folks to a burning we not "burn" our lives away if we are separated, deliberately or by circumstance, in this earthly life from a God relationship? Why must our thoughts and doctrine leap to a distant fiery Hell? And, as to amputating body parts which offend/sin, couldn't Jesus have been using extreme examples to make the point that we must eliminate parts of our lives on earth if they cause us to yield to the temptation of sin? If not...and if He were being literally exact...why didn't Jesus suggest eliminating brain parts and sex organs (surely the source of great amounts of sin)?
  7. Mark 16:16 [Jesus speaking] "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." Is this a statement of comfort rather than exclusion? Is this hinting at the difficult life of the unbeliever who lacks the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (rather than eternal damnation)?
  8. 1 Tim 2: 1-6 [Paul writing to Timothy] "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time." Paul is teaching & mentoring a key worker in the faith that Jesus was a ransom for all. Why would he use the word "ransom" if Jesus had only met part of what it took to be effective and efficient for eternity (Jesus had declared on the cross that it was finished)?
  9. 1 Tim 4: 9-10 [Paul writing to Timothy] "This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe." Note this very clear & plain statement as to all men. If it were untrue or mysterious, why would Paul teach such so plainly to one who Paul hoped would spread the word after Paul was gone?

***Who is the verse speaking to?...Scripture citations directed to all true followers of Jesus:

  1. Matthew 5:20 [Jesus speaking] "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." In this statement, isn't Jesus saying that there is no way for a person to merit entry into the Kingdom on one's on account...that Kingdom entry is on the coat-tails of Jesus (which will become evident later)?
  2. Matthew 6:15 [Jesus speaking] "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Does this mean that your eternal salvation by conventional, mainstream views, is cancelled when you have not (often unconsciously) forgiven someone? In other words the work on the cross is null and void for you if you do not  forgive all. Or does it mean that your relationship with God is hindered in that He will relate only so closely while you lack forgiveness toward others?  So, how can you ever really rest in the peace of blessed assurance of your destiny? Are you positive you forgave all? No, we in the flesh never can pull off forgiveness perfectly.
  3. Matthew 7:11 [Jesus speaking] "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" This seems to me to address the children of God (Jesus followers) as to their time on earth.
  4. Matthew 7:13-14 [Jesus speaking]  "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction , ..." That does not say "Broad is the way which leadeth to Hell". But rather it says, " destruction".  "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life , and few there be that find it." It does not say "Which leadeth to heaven" says "Which leadeth to life". These 2 verses probably are alluding to the abiding life "in Jesus" of the true Jesus follower...not our eternal destiny. The narrow road or, the abiding life, leads to the actualization of that Holy-Spirit-indwelt good life with the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. The Broad road leads to negative living ("death") of life on earth.
  5. Matthew 7:21 [Jesus speaking]  "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." As the term "Kingdom of Heaven" is understood, this appears to talk about entering that group of those who are Jesus followers and "saved" into the ability to follower The Way of life on earth.
  6. Matthew 18:14 [Jesus speaking]  "In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost." Jesus is referring to the one lost sheep out of 100 and how the shepherd will go find that one. So, do you really think that God not been able to arrange that no humans are to be lost?
  7. John 8:31-32 [Jesus speaking] "31Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man [how could they forget 400 years enslaved in Egypt?]: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." This applies to the earthly state. The truth that sets one free from The Law and "religion". If a person is not absolutely convinced of his eternal destiny, he is not really free indeed. In his deeds. In his life. And, if not truly free, is he not still in The Law (alone with the rules of the Old Testament)? good...earn eternity with God!? There is only one foundational truth: Jesus Christ and him crucified for all! Jesus is the Truth! Believing in The Son will cause the indwelling of the Holy Spirit &, therefore,  power & freedom while on earth.
  8. John 17:3 [Jesus praying] "And this is life eternal, that they might get to know you, the only real God, and Him whom You did send, Jesus Christ." So, Jesus defines "eternal life". Would the opposite be eternal death?
  9. Romans 8:1 [Paul to believers in church @ Rome] "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." While this seems at first to say that only those who have accepted Jesus as Lord are not condemned, the rest of chapter 8 seems clearly to be referring to the effect of "choosing Jesus" on their life on earth. I do not see this verse as documenting exclusiveness of after-life salvation to those who choose Jesus. The condemnation that sin brought effects two domains: (1) the life of a person while alive on earth and (2) the after-life of that person in eternity.
  10. Ephesians 1:9-10 [Paul writing to church members @ Ephesus] 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to 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. Doesn't this say "all things"? Is there a restriction?
  11. Colossians 1:15-20 [Paul writing] "..., and God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross." Has the blood of Jesus done it all?
  12. Colossians 3:11 [Paul writing] "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." Could this also mean Christ includes women, homosexuals, CEOs, street-gang thugs, Islamic terrorists, & even Adolph Hitler? Do you see any restriction or limitation in this verse? Remember, Jesus came directly and blindingly and personally to Paul (Paul never asked for Jesus at all!).
  13. 1 John 2:2 [John writing] He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world. This indicates that the atonement of Christ for the sins of the world was and is inclusive and is not limited to a few fortunate believers...right?

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(posted 12 February 2005; latest addition 17 April 2015)