The Doctrine of Hell Breeds Arrogance


As I look back at my old self who once believed in hell, I realize how many terrible consequences such a false doctrine has had on me and even all of mankind. One such consequence is pride and arrogance. I can easily think of at least three important expressions of arrogance that arise from such a doctrine.

1. I am responsible for my salvation. This notion only applies to advocates of “free will” for salvation (as opposed to Calvinism that only a select few are saved not by their own will, but by God’s predetermined will). Most free will advocates are going to balk at this suggestion, but let’s face it. If I have to be responsible for choosing Jesus over hell, I have already given myself the God-like power to determine my own fate. Even making a choice is a form of self-effort and attempt (and one that most people in the world never even have the opportunity to make, I might add). This is not what the Bible teaches.

“So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it” (Rom. 9:16).

“You did not choose Me but I chose you” (John 15:16).

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw (lit. drag) all men to Myself” (John 12:32).

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works (including decisions), so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

At this point, some people will say, “Yes, but you see that even Paul said that we are saved THROUGH FAITH. So right there, it is a choice!”

Let’s reconsider these old lenses. Sadly, through the mistranslation of one little word in many of the newer Bible versions, “in,” we have missed something very significant. We are not saved by our faith in Jesus, but by the faith OF Jesus. Consider the following passage as rendered more correctly in the KJV:

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST unto all and upon ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE…” (Romans 3:21 22).

Notice the faith of Jesus is imparted BOTH to all, AND to those who believe! You might also take note that most modern versions omit the part about “unto all” before the part about “and all them that believe.” Worth looking into why it was omitted!

2. I am responsible for the salvation of others. Of course I’m not suggesting that you are Jesus and you can possibly or actually save anyone. But isn’t it pretty arrogant to believe that you are at least partly responsible for keeping people out of hell? Why bother telling them about Jesus as a ticket out of hell unless you feel responsible? Why send out missionaries unless we think we are somewhat responsible for the eternal fate of others? Again, this puts us on a throne of sorts, suggesting that we have any power over the destiny of others. What a grave responsibility that would be if we truly had this much power over real lives and fates.

3. I must play “God” in the lives of people I love. If we really believe in hell, and hence we really believe that most people for all time are going to be sent there, and we really think we can intervene on behalf of or influence others to any extent—we come to the obvious conclusion (sometimes unconscious) that we must play God to make sure that our loved ones know the truth and are prevented from mistakes, wrong beliefs, dangerous paths, and ultimately damning unbelief. We end up believing that we have to control our universe or sphere of influence because it is crucial to keep our loved ones from choosing a wrong path that could lead to hell.

In this belief system, the world is not a safe place for our friends, our children, our families, and our spouses. In fact, it is not even a safe place for us to question our beliefs, such as the doctrine of hell and where it actually came from and IF it even occurs in the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures (which it doesn’t)! On this throne, God can’t fully be trusted and it is up to us to steer them in the right direction and to ultimately keep them out of hell.

But is this the “god” of the Bible—one who is largely subjected to the will and actions of man? Are we that powerful that we can possibly determine the destiny of ourselves and others? Can we change or interfere with the will of God?

“I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, `My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure…‘” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

What is His will and good pleasure? He has stated it over and over. Here is one example of thousands:

“This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who WILLS all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4).

Relax. Step down off the throne. Bask in the truth of your Father’s full control over and intent of GOOD for all his creation! He would no sooner banish and eternally punish any of His children than you would yours. He has spoken, and it is finished. Love. Does. Not. Fail. (1 Cor. 13:8).

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  • Great points. Thanks for sharing!

    • jferwerd

      Thanks for stopping by and reading!

  • Let's not be presumptuous. Take warnings seriously. There are plenty of warnings in the new covenant. I would like to believe everyone will be saved, but I won't be presumptuous.

    • jferwerd

      Thanks for the reminder Joe. I agree that there are consequences, just not eternal damnation. Hence, I am not responsible for the final destiny of myself or others. That is too grave a responsibility to place on mankind. And yet it is a responsibility we can entrust in the hands of a sovereign, loving God. I am not being presumptuous because presumption implies that we can't know for sure, but I say we can. There is positively no credible defense of hell in Greek or Hebrew Scriptures, yet there is complete evidence to the contrary. Of course these are my beliefs, but in my world they are not presumptuous, rather the results of plenty of responsible and thorough study.

  • Will

    Very well written. I will share this with my facebook friends. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Rachel

    Even if there is only a 0.01% chance hell is real, don't you think that it would be more logical to believe in hell, try to convince others of its reality, than to not believe & find out you might just have been wrong after it's too late?

    • jferwerd

      No. To believe in Jesus because you are afraid of or convinced there is a hell (or even unsure) is not a right motive. It does not breed a love relationship with Jesus or the Father, but merely lip service based on coercion or a fearful relationship, not based on a loving, trusting Father/child relationship.

      I think everyone needs to decide for sure what they believe because what's at stake is God's name and character, and that is crucial. If you promote hell because you think there's a .01% chance you're wrong, then you risk smearing His character to mankind, and I think that is a worthwhile consideration. The two spies who made it into the Promised Land (Joshua and Caleb) were the only ones out of the entire group, because they believed in the character and power of their God, whereas the rest didn't. The Promised Land, I believe, is the "first resurrection" for those who will believe God is bigger than hell and bigger than free will (Rev. 20:1-7).

      I believe if you ask God for wisdom and you are willing for the answer, whatever it is, He promises to give it to you. I encourage you to ask him wholeheartedly to show you the answer to this question so that you know 100% who He is and what His intentions are for His creation. Thanks for asking!

      • Confused

        Hmmm…"you risk smearing His character to mankind"…which should be okay (because he'll forgive you anyway) , vs. if hell might be true, hedging your bets that someone will end up in hell, seems to carry unequal risks…there is no risk if you're smearing God (and all will be saved) and all the risk if hell is true (and some will not be saved). That doesn't mean you talk about hell if you don't believe it is true, but I would think your burden of proof and your care should be much higher if you don't believe in it…the consequences are potentially much worse if you're wrong then if the other side is wrong.

        "To believe in Jesus because you are afraid of or convinced there is a hell (or even unsure) is not a right motive." I understand that is your opinion and you don't think starting at that point can result in a loving relationship, but it seems somewhat limiting to me to claim that God can't start out with people who are fearful for their transgressions and use that as a starting point where they recognize their own sin and don't want to end up in hell. I like the focus on love, but it seems to me that you've constrained how God can work…in effect you've said that someone coming to God out of fear is not allowed…(when combined with your earlier posts) even though they have no choice in it because they have no free will.

        Maybe this would be another blog entry, but tt seems to me that if there is no free will, then there is no responsibility, and consequently whether someone has a correct or incorrect view of their relationship to God is moot…and likewise right or un-right motives don't matter either…since it all comes out in the wash. It seems strange to me that you rail against "orthodox Christianity" when they had no choice in their beliefs (according to my reading of some of your earlier posts unless I misread them) and especially since God has already forgiven them and Christ already died for their ignorance and their rejection of your message. But perhaps I'm misunderstanding you and how people might still be responsible despite not having any say in the matter.

        Confused…I think I'm not quite getting it. I do ask for God's wisdom for myself and for His wisdom for you as well.


        • If your god has even a .01% chance of not saving all of his very own creation then why do you put your faith in him? If he can't even save the most illiterate, poor child in a jungle who never heard of hell…how can you be so 100% sure they he'll save you from his own torture chamber?

          • Confused

            Sisterlisa, I guess I start from a different starting place. I guess I say…"who is God?" rather than "I won't put my faith in a God who does x".

            I don't know ultimately what happens to those who reject God…but nor does anyone else other than God. I guess I see myself more as clay rather than a potter…so it isn't up to me to judge whether or not God is just or not…I'm to look at God's word, whatever it says, and live with that. So…I have to live with Christ being fully God and fully man. I have to live with the apparent contradiction of God being sovereign and somehow at the same time man having free will. I know some can't abide the contradiction and seek to resolve it in favor of God's sovereignty or man's free will, but I feel content trusting that God will do what is right and just and loving in his eyes even if I don't have an answer to what will happen to the illiterate, poor child in the jungle who never heard of hell. That child's story is between them and God and I trust God to do the right thing…whether or not there is a hell. I see my responsibility as not having to figure out that child's destiny, but to be obedient to what I do understand (e.g. how will they hear if no one tells them) as called by God to make sure that I share the gospel.

            Perhaps I feel more comfortable with a bit more uncertainty than some…which can be good and bad.

            To answer your original question…I believe that the Bible says that God is love and that He is just. I trust that He is both of those (loving and just), which means that I trust that He'll act according to his nature to deal with the hypothetical situations that aren't part of my story. I know first hand of His is faithfulness and kindness. For me to go beyond assertions of his character and try to resolve ambiguities is not something I feel comfortable doing.

            It seems to me that you and or Julie are trying to resolve ambiguities (out of compassion) that result in your logic taking you to conclusions that seem to me to be unnecessary at best and perhaps even logically inconsistent at worst. Just how it looks from where I'm standing…


          • Well said, Confused.
            I find that the more I learn about God – the more I realize that I know very little, and will never fully understand Him. He is beyond my full comprehension . . . and is totally amazing! :)

            Isaiah 55:8-9 – 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
            neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
            9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
            so are my ways higher than your ways
            and my thoughts than your thoughts."

          • jferwerd

            `You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." Jer. 29:13

            "It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him." Dan. 2:22

            "I will give you the treasures R1803 F656 of darkness And hidden wealth of secret places, So that you may know that it is I, The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls R1804 you by your name." Is 45:3

            God desires to reveal deep and hidden things to His children. Even if we cannot fully know Him, He wants us to seek Him as buried treasure, and continue to plumb the depths of His mysteries and plan. He is so much deeper and bigger than we have given Him credit for, and Lori I do hope you'll consider reading the book just to see if I have any merit so you can decide for yourself. There is some really amazing stuff in there gleaned from Hebrew/Jewish perspectives on Scripture. Have a blessed day.

          • Mark

            I don't think this really answers Confused' or Lori's questions.

            God promises to reveal himself to his people — but he does not claim that he will reveal all things or that human minds will be able to comprehend all the things that he reveals.

            Doesn't it strike you a bit odd that he would only reveal his true plan to a small minority of individuals (those who believe in UR)? Isn't it odd that a God who desires that we seek him out let so many people be blinded to what you believe is an obvious truth?

          • jferwerd

            Not really (it doesn't strike me as odd) these days because now so many things Jesus said make so much more sense.

            And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12 so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN." Mark 4:11-12
            To whom were the parables stated? To all the mulititudes. Jesus intentionally hid truth from the crowds and entrusted it to a few. Now does this make more sense if you know that all people are going to be saved and only a few are entrusted with certain truths ahead of the rest, or do you think it makes more sense that Jesus hid truth from the masses to damn them forever, as modern interpretations would have to render what he said in the above passage. He didn't want them to turn and be forgiven but rather send them to hell? Or did He have a plan that was much greater?


            Who blinded? Who is depicted as keeping men from healing? Will God then count them eternally guilty for something they have no power over?

            Please understand that I don't think God is necessarily favoring the few He chooses to reveal certain truths to in this age. On the contrary, I believe every person has equal status in His-Story, but it is a story no less, and must be told through us. In a later age I think we will look back and all feel so honored and valued in the role we each played, and none will be thought to be any more esteemed or important than any other. What is this purpose? To reveal HIS GLORY.

    • So you're saying it's healthy to believe in something that's not real just in case it might be real? What kind of a Father would God be if He sentenced most of His children to an eternal punishment in Hell? He's loving, gracious, and merciful- will He remain angry forever? He will judge, correct, and punish those who reject Him but He will not write them off forever. God's character is that of restoration. We love God because He first loved us, not because we're scared of going to Hell. That's not love because perfect love drives out fear, it doesn't save you from a fear.

      • jferwerd

        Jackson, thanks for commenting and especially for posting your youtube video on the topic of hell. I think it's great and I hope lots of people watch it! I can't wait to help promote your book against the horrible false doctrine of hell!

        • Good answer… looks like we were replying at the same time lol

      • You have some truth here. God is love. Perfect love drives out fear. He woos us to him and saves us by/through his love (Titus 3:3-5 – At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit)
        God is not sentencing his "children" to an eternal punishment – but those that did not accept him. When we accept Christ in our lives – we are adopted into God's family – thus, we become His children. I have an adopted daughter – but until our adoption was done – she legally was not my daughter. Unless people choose to follow Jesus – they are not legally God's kids. There is only one path to eternal life – through Jesus. John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
        Eph 1:5 – In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will . . .
        It is through Jesus that we become sons (daughters) – and yes . . . God will not banish his sons and daughters to an eternal punishment. But there is an eternal punishment for the rest.
        Matthew 25:46
        “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
        Jude 1:7
        In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

        God is loving, gracious, and merciful – but there will come a day of judgement – and those that have not chosen to follow him, will be separated from him forever. I doubt God is angry in doing this – but probably quite sad that he has to. (Here's a question for thought – What kind of loving God would force someone to come live and hang out with Him in heaven when they didn't want to live and hang out with him here on earth?)
        If there is no hell . . . where are all the people going after they die until he can restore them? Purgatory? Where is that in the bible? (I honestly don't know – so if you do – please let me know).

        You have some good truths . . .just misguided.

        • jferwerd

          Lori, eternal hell or eternal punishment is not taught anywhere in the Greek or Hebrew Scriptures, and modern well-known translators have admitted to this. It is translated that way to preserve traditions started with the early Catholic Church in Rome and proliferated throughout history. YOu should check out my arguments for yourself.

          • Thanks Julie. I am going to try and get a hold of your book so I can understand where you are coming from.

  • Julie – I was so sad to see this post. I have enjoyed your posts, and loved your book (million arrows). I'm not sure what convinces you that there will not be "eternal damnation". Maybe my eyes haven't been "enlightened" . . . but this just doesn't sit right with me at all. I don't even know where to begin with all that is running through my mind regarding this post. It breaks my heart and saddens me.

    If only a "select few" are chosen by God's predetermined will (thus – there is no need for us to do anything but sit around on our butts waiting to see who gets to go), and you say there is no hell/eternal damnation – then where does everyone else go??? Do they just die and stay in the grave – ceasing to exist? Are some people not eternal beings then?

    What about Rev 20:14,15 -"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (and other references in Revelation, Matthew, etc). Matt 25 talks about the judgement – and separating out those that get to enjoy eternal life and those that that have to go into eternal punishment (vs 46 -"And these [the ones on the left side of the throne after he separated them] will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    I can't say that I have thoroughly studied this as you probably have, but many of your statements/beliefs sound (to me) too much like the twisting of words that the enemy did with Eve in the garden of Eden. "Did god really say . . .?" Even with Jesus in the desert – Satan used scripture to try to convince Jesus to do things that were clearly not Biblical. He's good at making something sound 99.9%right – but throwing in .1% of a lie, or twisting of the truth – in order to keep us from fully living out or gaining what God has for us. He's sneaky and a liar. A good liar makes it sound like truth. And since he is the Father of Lies – don't you think he'd be really good at it? He is.

    (continued . . . )

    • (. . . cont.)
      I hope you can clarify #2 – are you saying we shouldn't send out missionaries – or tell anyone about Jesus – because "isn’t it pretty arrogant to believe that you are at least partly responsible for keeping people out of hell?" Really? Is that what you are saying? If your son/daughter was heading down a street, straight into traffic, totally unaware (or maybe even aware) – what would you do? Just watch and see if she gets off the road and out of harm's way? Would you leave his/her fate up to God because you don't want to assume or appear that you are asserting yourself as having "god-like power" to determine her fate? HECK NO! I would run to rescue her. I would yell and send someone closer to her to grab her off the street and tell her about the traffic. That is why God put us here on earth – to love others with the love He has given us. To share the good news to all those around us. The good news is not that there is no hell – the good news is . . . that God has saved us from that hell/eternal damnation/punishment! :) Woo-hoo!! What kind of good news would it be if there was nothing to be saved from? That would just be . . . news. And not really "salvation" – as there would not be anything I need saving from.

      I do not believe that by being able to make a "choice" in choosing Jesus (and choosing to accept the free gift that he has given me), is by anyway making myself have "the God-like power to determine my own fate." If my Dad bought me a gift for C-mas, and put it under the tree – telling me "I love you so much, that I spent every penny I had, sold things, sacrificed things – just so you could have this present for Christmas. Here – it's for you. Open it." I have a choice. I could sit there and look at it. I could ignore it. I could open it and throw it out. I could open it, love it, keep it and use it. I have many choices. God did create us with a free will. He did create us with the ability to choose. Adam and Eve were given a free will. If they were not – then they would not have been able to even choose to eat of that tree in the garden. But they did.

      Jesus DID give us a free gift (he didn't give us the ability to save ourselves . . . we obviously blew that one in the OT!) He has put this free gift before us. Will we choose to open it and "use it" in our lives, or pass it by? Those that pass it by, that choose not to accept Jesus and his offer of salvation (and yes – his mercy that is freely given by God – that we didn't choose or work for – but that he wants to lavish on us), they will not reap eternal life in heaven with God. There is only one road to salvation. If there is only one road to salvation – and God says that there will be people that won't (and haven't) chosen that road . . . then where are everyone else going? There has to be another road. Where does it end?

      "3. I must play “God” in the lives of people I love." Um . . . yes . . . we are and should! :) We are called to be like God (not "God-like" or "God" – there is a difference! My daughter is "like" me – but is not me. She has many of my characteristics, personality traits, etc – but she would never assume she is me or could be me.) – to be His hands and feet, to express and pour out His love to those around us. As a nurse, if I give someone medicine to cure them of a disease – I would never assert that it was ME that cured them . . . it was the medicine. I was just the dispenser – the conduit. We are to be conduits of God's love. We are to be representatives of God – his character, his love, his compassion, his good news, etc!
      "On this throne, God can’t fully be trusted and it is up to us to steer them in the right direction and to ultimately keep them out of hell." . . . . What are we supposed to do then? Nothing. Speak no good news to them? Not share God's love with them. Not encourage them to find God/Jesus – to accept His free gift of salvation? If my sister was dying or very sick – would I not encourage her to go see the doctor? This does not mean that I am healing her, or that I am the doctor – but again – I am a conduit, a dispenser, a representative. Why else would God put us here on earth, in relationships with others, and also give us the great commission? Yes – I am not responsible for the choices she makes – but I am responsible for my choices and actions. I can tell her to go to the doctor, I could offer to give her a ride even – but she has to make the choice to go see him, and then to take the medicine, do the treatment program, etc.
      (continued . . . )

      • Anyways – sorry this is so long, but I guess I need you to clarify some things as many of your statements seem twisted around some "truth" that doesn't seem right.

        Believing in hell/eternal punishment/damnation in no way makes me prideful or arrogant . . . but fills me with an intense compassion and love for my family, friends, neighbors, and others. I am forever grateful for Jesus saving me – not just from a miserable and destructive life here on earth -but from an eternal "death". He did save us from that. And I am so thankful – and I want others to know that they can have that same kind of hope as well! :)

        Either I am utterly confused by what you were trying to say – or I'm not – and we just do not agree.

        I do agree with you on one point . . . "He has spoken, and it is finished. Love. Does. Not. Fail." His love never fails . . . but I don't assume to fully even comprehend what His love totally looks like! If I did – if I presume that I know all about God – everything there is to know about His character, His love, heaven and hell, etc – then my God is way too small! I will not reduce him to my standards, beliefs, understandings, etc – but I am continually seeking to know more about who HE says He is. He is beyond my full comprehension! His love is amazing! And if I am wrong about hell – then awesome. But I truly think you have bought into some "off" theology.

        L :)

        • jferwerd

          I can certainly see how you might think this from a precursory viewpoint. I have been writing about this topic on my blog for the past few months, so you should read back. And Raising Hell is available on Kindle for only $1 so you should at least see what made me come to this conclusion in the past few years. Thanks!

    • jferwerd

      Lori, I think you misunderstand me. Perhaps you should read Raising Hell and see what I have to say. I'm not talking about Calvinism (a select few get to heaven and everyone else is damned) or even annihilation where people just die and that's it. I'm proposing what the orthodox Church taught for the first 5 centuries after Christ–that He died to ransom all people for all time from the grave, and nobody is eternally damned. I researched this for a couple of years and if you read the book, you will find it Scripturally and historically grounded.

      • I will have to get your book. I did love your One Million Arrows book!

    • Jan

      The sentence above makes me chuckle…"Satan used scripture to try to convince Jesus to do things that were clearly not Biblical." I don't even know where to start on the this one. As if the "Biblical Text" carries more authority about right and wrong than Jesus who spoke them Himself. Does Biblical refer to King James? Written and compiled a century after the meeting in desert? If Satan used scripture to "get" Jesus to do things not Biblical, (which wasn't written at that time in the first place) would that be an oxymoron?
      Since Jesus' words are quoted in the Bible is Jesus not the author of the truth, not the "Biblical Text?"

      Seems to me that Christianity can only see God thru the lens of "The Bible" rather than thru the manifestation of God Himself. Book of Job, Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world?" After Job's human friends tried to interpret God's rules to him. God's wonder is seen in drops of dew and snowflakes, but if we can't quote chapter and verse from "Biblical text" we label it heresy. Hooray for critical thinking on matters of heaven and hell. Somehow I can't correlate a God who tells humans to do good to those that despitefully use you and to turn the other cheek, then think that He sends people to everlasting torment when they don't keep His words. Like the parents that say do as I say, not as I do.
      When we will start having a "personal relationship" with Jesus instead of the Bible??

  • Rachel

    Thank you Lori! Finally a breath of fresh air on this post. My little comment above brought up some great discussions as they were meant to, but yours truly hit the nail on the head. This article has some truth in it but has been taken out of context (like the Pharisees did & also like satan did) to prove a point. Who are we to define who God is and assume that we know everything about Him & what His character is? That's pretty arrogant if you ask me. Perhaps the writer needs to get on His hands and knees and ask God to show Himself to him. He might just get a revelation of the truth.

    • jferwerd

      Hi Rachel. The writer is a she. I will certainly get on my hands and knees to ask God to reveal Himself to me in spirit and in truth. Will you do the same?

    • Stephen

      Hit what nail?

      You mean the one that says that we can't understand it all, but eternal damnation just has to be true because if it doesn't that would be bad?
      IS that the nail you refer to?

      I submit to you that, to the Father God of Jesus Christ an eternal hell serves no purpose whatsoever.
      All an eternal hel would do is get in the way of all He has promised to do.

      An eternal hell is "you will not surely die" taken to it's logical conclusion IF Jesus never came to destroy all the work of the enemy. It is a doctrine of demons saying God loses most of what He has redeeemed…when in fact, sin loses all that it has bound.

      Don't be so quick to pass judgement on something that is clearly a new concept for you. Yes…it flies in the face of what you have been taught and challenges some pre-concieved ideas becuase if that false teaching.

      The only nail that was worth hitting was the one that kills the eternal hell doctrine finally.

      Julies article is one of those nails.

      • So – just out of curiosity (because I am not familiar with the ins and outs of why people don't believe in hell) – just what does happen to everyone that didn't accept Jesus (or that God didn't "choose")? I would really love to know what the answer is (I'm being serious -and not sarcastic or anything . . . as I would love to know the thinking here).

        • jferwerd

          Lori, it took me 2.5 years to research and 300 pages to explain it all :D. There are some very good explanations in the book for what happens. I use a lot of Hebrew perspectives on Scriptures, history, and even delve into the Greek. But that's not all. I teach my readers how to do it as well. There are so many great resources online (free). I hope you will give it a chance. I am in school full time and working so I don't have time to answer all the questions that I've already covered in the book. Thanks so much for listening.

      • John

        It's frustrating for me to see many of the comments on this blog.

        A few recurring themes:

        – Everyone who agrees with universal reconciliation gets a (like) next to their post. Anyone who dares disagree gets a (dislike). By the way, this also happens on the comments on Julie's amazon page.

        – It's naturally assumed that those who criticize Julie's arguments are simply ignorant. Perhaps they are. But just because someone hasn't read the entire book or every one of Julie's blog posts doesn't mean they have no right to disagree. And it's far from a given that reading the book and the posts will convert them to your particular truth!

        – For people who don't seem to believe in free will, you seem to get awfully angry about people who disagree with you. If we don't have free will, we don't have a choice, right? It's all in God's plan.

        – There seems to be a general 'us against them', or 'we are illuminated/enlightened and you are not — please read the Bible more carefully' vibe. Real offputting. Especially in the context of someone (Julie) whose claims that the access to truth does not require advanced degrees, specialized knowledge, or intellectual prowess. Why be so snobby about other's lack of knowledge?

        – Try giving alternate arguments a chance — and avoid casting everyone who disagrees with you as people who just love fire, brimstone, and torture. Talk about a strawman.

        Apologies for the rant. But this 'universal love' message you people spreading seems somewhat at odds with the general air of superiority that is cultivated around here.


        • jferwerd

          Hey John, can you tell me where anyone got "awfully angry" about people disagreeing with me? I just don't see that anywhere?? I'm sorry you are so offput by my claims and by the excitement of people who agree with me. It's just dang hard not to get excited about believing that Jesus saves ALL! And just so you don't feel too left out, I "liked" your comment. :D

          • I see the teaching of a loving God eternally tormenting most of the people He created as psychologically damaging and being used to control people with fear.

          • John

            Just a question — how do you know that it is "most of the people He created"? The reality is that none of us have the authority to say who will be saved and who will not be saved — that's God's judgement.

            And frankly, how is it any of our business to question the actions of God? By definition he is both loving and just. Every decision he undertakes — including the possibility of judgement — is also loving and just, even if it doesn't fit with the way we understand it as humans.

            I'm willing to trust God that he will make the right decisions that are also in accordance with his character. I don't need to abolish hell in order to have confidence that he will be good!

          • I know we all read things through different lenses – based on our own past, experiences, hurts, frustrations, knowledge, etc. It would be like me reading a letter from my sister with an inside joke. I would get it – but others might read it and be offended – or even confused. Are they wrong? No. Are they ignorant? Only in the real sense of the term – that they do not have all the information to understand the inside joke.
            If anything – when we add exclamation points and words in capital letters, it does come across as harsh and angry. We might mean it as excitement and joy – but not everyone will understand. I tend to approach posts with the assumption that there is not anger in them (though – there very well could be) – but I try to see people's hearts and their intentions.
            This post from "Thisistruth" could be one of those that John was referring to –
            "When one learns/experiences the sovereignty of the Father, then one realizes or is awakened to the truth that there is no 'free-will' We are ALL on a journey home to return to the Father. A spiritual steak to be chewed on and swallowed, when one is done with the milk."
            It does come across as a statement of "i am more enlightened than you – and the "food" you've been eating is really only milk. I have been eating meat." :) Now, I choose to not be offended, as I understand what he is saying, and yes – we all are on our own journeys. I am a different person than I was 5 years ago – and in 5 years I will probably not recognize where I am now. My past is different than any one else's – as are my giftings, talents, desires, likes, dislikes, and even my relationship with God. We are all unique – and we all carry a unique aspect of God's incredible love to represent to this world! That doesn't make us right or wrong – just different. Julie may be a voice for God, and others might be the hands (in service). Just because the foot is moving all the time, and the nose just sits still doesn't mean either of them are wrong. We are all part of one Body – and I, for one, have learned so much by listening to other parts of the body and their perspective. It doesn't mean I become what they are – but it helps me realize out we all work and fit together. :) yay!
            Anyways – that's just my 2 cents (or maybe it's more like 50 cents by now! ;) I'm enjoying the conversations!).

  • Ladies, if you have daughters or even sisters or nieces, think about this scenario. Would you stand by and let your special girl cower before a man who threatens to torture her and her family with never ending fire if she doesn't marry him? Because that's the kind of god you're presenting to the world.

    • I'm sorry you feel that way. I'm not at all.
      Out of curiosity – Where in the Bible does God threaten torture if we don't marry him? He calls to us like a loving Father, a love-struck suitor, and a faithful friend. None of these would force anyone to marry someone. Neither does God. He's not threatening that he's going to torture you if you don't marry him (or anyone) any more than a doctor is not threatening he's going to kill you if you don't take the treatment designed to cure your cancer. The fact that there is a hell (designed for the devil and his demons) does not mean God is sending you there on purpose. You do have a choice. He's not going to force anyone to marry him (or take the "cancer treatment") if they don't want to. He is loving and not out to control – but to be in a loving relationship like Julie has said.
      I think we all see God as loving and just . . . our only difference is in whether we believe there is a hell or not.
      I know i am not going there. You know you are not going there. I'm looking forward to eternity with all of you one day! :)

  • Dot

    Julie , All will see in their own time!! Blessings to you and keep speaking the truth!

    • jferwerd

      Yes Dot, that is a beautiful truth! thank you.

  • Thisistruth

    I would NEVER send my child(ren) to the playground KNOWING they would never return to me….and neither does the Father…of all creation…

    • Can I ask – what does that exactly mean (sorry – I'm confused by your analogy)?
      God did create Adam and Eve – and put them on this "playground" – with a free will – fully knowing that they would choose to eat of the tree they shouldn't have. God is not out to control us – he wants a loving relationship filled with freedom . . . Freedom to love, to be loved, to be ourselves, to choose or not choose him, etc. Is it loving to force someone to love you who doesn't want to? (just food for thought)

      • Thisistruth

        I did not choose Him, He chose me!! When one learns/experiences the sovereignty of the Father, then one realizes or is awakened to the truth that there is no 'free-will' We are ALL on a journey home to return to the Father. A spiritual steak to be chewed on and swallowed, when one is done with the milk.

        • Amen! I am so glad he chose me! :) I do believe that! I wouldn't be alive today if I didn't – and if I didn't choose to respond to that amazing love He chose to give me!

          I do love that verse, but I think that many times we can also take verses out of context and apply them to whatever situation we want (and in the worst cases – it can skew someone's whole doctrine/theology).

          In this situation Jesus was sitting with his disciples at the last supper. He was telling them "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other."

          In that time – disciples normally chose the specific rabbi that they wanted to be connected with. So Jesus was telling them that this wasn't the case – He chose them (the disciples) – and for a purpose – to bear fruit.

          Now, does that mean we can't apply that scripture to our own lives (or the 1st part that most people quote)? Good question. Is everything in the Bible meant for us to personally apply to our individual life situations, or are some scriptures just stories to teach a greater lesson, give us historical context, etc? I think it is dangerous to take a single scripture (or even part of one) and apply it as we see fit in any situation.

          I am in no way a theological scholar (just a mom of 5 who loves the Lord passionately and desires to "leak" His love onto everyone I meet) – and I am reading Julie's book, praying about it, hearing what she has to say, seeing her perspective, asking God for His, and trying to take all the scriptures she points out and her conclusions against the context of the Bible as a whole. What is God's message? What has He done in the past? What did He do through Jesus? What is He planning on doing in the future (that's a tougher one to really know)? etc . . .

          I will never fully know, as I can't. If I did – then I would be God (he is omniscient!). But I do seek to know – not for knowledge sake, but, like Julie has said -because I desire such a close and deep relationship with my Father, my Savior, and my Friend/Comforter! I LOVE my relationship with them – and want to know more and more and more about their love, passion, compassion, grace, mercy and more! :) It has radically changed my life! I would literally be dead (or probably on the streets somewhere) if it were not for God!

          It is also dangerous to focus so much on the minute aspects of scripture, words, "letters of the law" without looking at the whole context. Jesus warned abut this in John – how the spiritual leaders were almost obsessed with the letter of the law and scriptures, that they did not see the big picture (thus they were upset when Jesus healed on the Sabbath, etc).
          John 5:39&40 – "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life."
          They missed it. So sad. It was the ones who had a relationship with Jesus who got it. :)

          I do not think this is Julie at all (ie – studying scripture but not knowing God). She runs after God and a relationship with Him wthl all her heart (and uses scripture as part of that relationship). I believe many of you do too – just as I do.

          I do believe we need to know the scriptures, but we always need to be careful at how we are interpreting them and applying them to our lives. Won't you agree that there have been some strange theologies/doctrines that have come from someone taking one or two scriptures out of context and basing everything (or a lot of things) on that?

          I'm not saying that's what Julie has done. Like I said – I am a learner – and am always seeking to know more about God – through scripture, through my prayer times with him, etc. He is an amazing and wonderful God that has so much to say and share with us! And I, for one, am so glad that He's my Daddy! :) I'm glad that He passionately pursues me and a love relationship with me! I really, truly, couldn't live this life without Him!

          Blessings to all!

  • Awesome blog!

  • Grace

    Those who objected to Julie's post should read her book – that way at least they will be informed of why she thinks as she does and can answer in a more considered and less knee-jerk way.
    I don't know how anyone could be 'saddened' by the wonderful good news she presents!

    • Are you referring to her One Million Arrows book? I did (and said so in my post) – and loved it! That's why I was surprised to read this post.
      I does sound like good news – that no one has to go to hell. No one. I sooo wish that were true. We all do. But then where does mercy and grace and salvation come in? Why would they be needed – if there is no danger of eternal punishment?
      Just food for thought.

      • Grace

        No – Raising Hell book. Have a look – well worth it

        • Thanks! After posting my last response – I then saw Julie's response about her new book. Thanks.

    • John

      I've read the book and it's still not convincing to me.

  • I believe Julie's already made the point about how it CANNOT be our ultimate responsibility for someones eternal destination to be ours. I can just picture the scenario now – at Judgment Day, God says to me, "John, I'd LOVE to send you to Heaven. I know I'm God, but my hands are tied – you didn't accept Jesus before you died because Julie didn't witness to you that time I prompted her to. I'm sorry, if Julie had only been obedient I wouldn't be forced to do this, but I'm afraid I HAVE to send you to Hell."

    • jferwerd

      That's an excellent point, John. I have always struggled with people having that much responsibility over "eternal souls." It's just not a fair idea, and I'm so glad God didn't set it up that way. He will be fair, and true justice demands that restitution be made for anyone who "falls into a pit" on His own property (Exodus 31:23-24). God dug a pit (put the tree in the Garden) and didn't cover it sufficiently (build a fence around it); therefore by His own laws He must make restitution for all who fall into it. That is all of us!

    • I hear what you are saying. We will all definitely be judged according to our own actions and deeds (Rev. 20:12&15 – And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. . . .Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.)
      Whether God decides to judge me for not witnessing to someone is different than God not letting someone in because I didn't witness to them. God is a big enough God to definitely find another person who can and will tell them about Jesus if he so chooses. But God does want to partner with us here on earth. He is not out to control us- but to partner with us. He gave us authority and dominion – and we are responsible for some things down here. No – we cannot save anyone – God definitely does that. :) (thankfully!) But he has told us to tell people about Jesus. Will he judge us for not doing this? . . . . hmmm

  • jferwerd

    Lori, one thing to consider is that the "lake of fire" is only mentioned in Revelation. Revelation is a symbolic book through and through. If you study fire throughout the Bible, it was always for the good of anyone affected by it. Fire was used for testing, refining, purifying, anointing, etc. It was never used by God for ultimate destruction. In fact, the Israelites who followed pagan gods and threw their babies into fire in sacrifice, God called their acts "detestable" and something that "never entered His mind to do." Why would God call throwing babies in fire detestable if He was going to do it to His own children (literal fire)? Study the concept of fire throughout the Bible and you will see what I mean.

    • I have to politely disagree I think (I need to do more study though).
      Here's a question . . . if it's only mentioned in one book, does that make it not valid? I'm sure there are many things in the Bible that are not mentioned all throughout scripture, but they are still valid and important.
      So help me out here . . . in Revelation – do we take everything in it symbolically? Are you saying none if it is literal? Or could some of it be literal and some symbolic? Is the "book of life" symbolic? If so, what does it mean/represent? And so then – what does "lake of fire" mean symbolically? There is obviously something that involves a horrible place – if it's where Satan and his demons are going to be sentenced to forever . . . and if it symbolically means a bad, torturous place for all eternity, and He says that those whose names are not in the "book of life" will be sent there . . . then where are they all going?

      Regarding fire used for destruction – Just off the top of my head – what about Sodom and Gomorrah? God sent burning sulfur down to destroy it – burn it up – because of it's sin. Abraham went and looked at it the next day and saw smoke rising from it – "like smoke from a furnace". (also mentioned in Luke 17:29&30 – spoken by Jesus – "But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." )

      Also, God did do it to his own creation:
      The LORD’s Judgment on Ahaziah – (2 Kings 1:10) -"Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men." . . . . So, was this "for the good" of the men who were burned up?

      Leviticus 10:1-3 – Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke of when he said:

      “‘Among those who approach me
      I will be proved holy;
      in the sight of all the people
      I will be honored.’”

      Joshua 7:15 – "Whoever is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the LORD and has done an outrageous thing in Israel!’”

      Ezekiel 30:8 -"And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed."

      2 Peter 3:5-7& 10-12 – "But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. . . . But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat."

      Would I ever set my kids/creation on fire? No. Would God? He did.
      There are many things about God and His ways that I will never understand (and God says we can't/won't) – but I hope He'll explain it all when I get to heaven! :)

      Thanks for the stimulating conversation these last 2 days. It really has got me thinking. :)
      Thanks for your answers. I know you are a busy lady! Thanks for taking time out to do that. I know I've asked a lot of questions! :)

  • jferwerd

    I agree that I didn't address those verses you quoted about God destroying people (mortals) with fire. But let's consider a few more things. Did you know that God promises to restore Sodom?

    "And I will bring back and restore them by bringing back Sodom, with her daughters, and by bringing back Samaria, and her daughters: and I will bring those that return of thee in the midst of them." Ez. 16:53

    In other words, their mortal destruction is not the end of them. God plans to restore them in future ages. So I guess I would contend that when we destroy, we can't put back together again. But when God destroys, it is with the understanding that He will fix and restore.

    I believe that is correct. The lake of fire is symbolic and the book of life is symbolic. Through a more careful study of Scriptures, you can see that the book of life is a changing document…people are being written into and erased out of it–but not eternally. I don't have time to look up all the passages right now as I'm on my way to work. Let me leave you with a few verses that I hope will be significant to you on your journey for more understanding. And please remember that I don't expect you to understand my whole premise until you read the book. I address everything in there that you have brought up here and much, much more. But for now, check out these verses.

    (Luke 2:10) But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for ALL the people" (how could it be good news for ALL people if most of them are going to hell?)


    (John 12:32) "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL MANKIND unto Myself."

    (Rom. 5:18) So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to ALL men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to ALL men.

    (Rom. 11:32) “For God has shut up ALL in disobedience so that He may show mercy to ALL.”

    (1 Cor. 15:22-23) "For as in Adam ALL died, even so in Christ ALL shall be made alive. But each in his own order…"

    (Psalm 22:27, 29) "ALL the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and ALL the families of the nations shall worship before You. ALL those who go down to the dust (death) shall bow before You, Even he who cannot keep his soul alive."

    (Isaiah 26:9) "When God's judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the WORLD will learn righteousness."

    All these verses warrant looking into it further, wouldn't you say?

    • Thanks again for your thoughtful reply. I know you don't have time to answer all my questions, and I will try to read your book.
      In praying today (about this, and for you) I felt God say this about you –
      "She (Julie) is . . . a precious and beloved child of God – a mighty warrior (using her pen and paper, her computer and resources to fight the good fight with!) – and a beautiful daughter of the King! I love this woman so much! She is after my heart. She is after the things of my heart. She may not always get it right – but neither do you Lori! [That – I truly know!] – but I love her just the same. She will do mighty things for me and in my name . . . and she will make my name famous! I love her love and her compassion and passion – and it’s this love, compassion and passion that will drive her into the darkest recesses of society – to bring light and life, truth and love. Encourage her to do just that. Life and light, truth and love!" ☺

      I also felt like He said – "She is a voice, a mouthpiece for so many great revelations that I have shown her – and I have more to give her! She writes with compassion and grace, mercy and love . . .and I love that about her! She is a student – in many ways – and loves to learn. But she is also a teacher, and has a great calling on her life."

      I pray abundant blessings upon you Julie – your life, your family, your ministry, your schooling and more!!
      L :)

  • Julie –
    I have just started reading your book. Do you address this scripture in there?
    2 Thess. 1:6-9 – "God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might"
    I haven't looked fully into it yet – but wanted to ask you before I forgot. :)

    • Keep reading :) We most certainly will reap what we sow. And people who recite the Sinner's Prayer are not exempt.

  • Nelson

    Our Creator gave us some Divine attributes – free will and reason. We are, to an extent, partially divine. It may sound blasphemous but, were we not created in God's image? When I study the Bible I rarely take any of it literally. The allegory of Eden has far more meaning and significance then a literal interpretation.

    Hell is never mentioned until the Christian (New) Testament. I believe it was a ecumencially invented scare tactic to enforce the doctrine of faith. It is nowhere mentioned in the Torah and neither is the concept of eternal damnation or orginal sin. (Keep in mind the Torah, Prophets, and Writings or Old Testament was cannonized long before Jesus was born so any time the Word of God is mentioned in the New Testament its really talking about the Old Testament because there was no New Testament cannon until centuries after the eye witness followers/apostles were dead). Satan is not an evil fallen angel – he is a servant of God – read the Book of Job.

  • Nelson

    The idea that the same Creator that gave us life and even allows the most vile and wicked people to breathe and live would then selectively choose some people to live in eternal bliss and other in eternal damnation paints a picture of a bi-polar tyrant more than it does a Heavenly Father.

    I, like Julie, spend a lot of time studying the Bible as well as the writings of other religions (the Bible – especially the Old Testament – is the most intriguing of all texts). Context is key though- you can't just read a verse here and there – you need to read at least a whole chapter and in some instances several to get the full context of the teaching. (This is particularly true in Isaiah where many prophecies are taken out of context).

    It is also a good practice to not take what you are reading as just literal. When you look at the allegory, mysticism, an practical application of what is written it enables you to weave through the interpretations planted by translation and centuries of ecumencial distortion. Living in a world where science and medicine have replaced miracles is evidence that a literal view is not exercising the mind that God gave you.

    • jferwerd

      I don't know if you have read Raising Hell yet, Nelson. But there is a whole section on Hebrew perspectives. Sure gives a lot of clarity to otherwise obscure teachings and themes in the Bible. It also reveals such a beautiful plan!!

      • Nelson

        Just ordered your book on my Kindle. Looking forward to reading it.

  • Nelson

    Jesus was a man of action. He preached a doctrine of deeds, not creeds. The Sermon on the Mount, the Good Samaritan, and what you do to the least of your brethren are what matters. Faith is insignificant without actions.

    Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself. Everything else is commentary.

    Excellent post Julie!

    • jferwerd

      Very true Nelson! We have missed the point. It is all about loving our neighbor and treating others justly. THis is how we will bring the Kingdom to earth.

  • This is a great blog, and the comment section is interesting as well. It blows my mind that people can be "saddened" by such wonderful news.

    • Mark

      Why is this good news? If it is true, it means that God has let millions of people be deceived over the course of centuries. If it is true, it means that there are no consequences for our actions, and Jesus did not really have to die as a sacrifice. If it is true, it means that we don't really have free will, which implies that God creates evil. This leads to all sorts of moral quandaries that IMO, are far more unpalatable that the doctrine of hell.

      • redhotmagma

        Isa 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil; I, the LORD, do all these things .

        Yes Jesus did have to die or else there would be no resurrection for anyone. Yes there are consequences for our actions, but how is eternal hell a just judgement for a finite life that may last 80-90 years. 80 years vs. infinity is unbalanced just a bit. But there are consequences: the wages of sin is death (not burning in hell for eternity, which you had no choice in the matter anyway because you have to be called to come)

        And how is it not good news? Billions of people have been deceived already. Believing in Buddha, Allah, Krishnah, no god. Why aren't you outraged that God(supposedly) allowed all those people to burn in hell because they were deceived? Or maybe God has a plan in mind for good for all people.

        On the free will thing, well:
        Prov 20:24 Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way?
        Jer 10:23 Lord, we know that people do not control their own destiny. It is not in their power to determine what will happen to them.
        Prov 16:9 The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

        Behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people, for today a savior is born.

        • Mark

          Who are we to say what a just judgement is or is not? I don't get enraged at God — he is good whether we think what he does is correct or not.

          I'm not a Calvinist so I believe in free will. The Bible supports both God's sovereignty and man's free will on numerous occasions — we could each marshal thousands of Bible verses in evidence for each side. So there's little use in discussing it here. But I would hope we can admit that arguments that entirely deny the possibility free will or support it to the exclusion of God's will are not built on a firm philosophical foundation. Otherwise we're just being dogmatic.

          It seems as if the entire set of assumptions/justifications associated with universalism derives in some way from the belief that hell is unpalatable (or unfair). But I don't believe whether something sounds good to us is a reason to re-evaluate its veracity. If we're using that modus operandi, I'll embrace the Islam heaven with my 40 virgins ;)

  • Lamont


    "The idea that the same Creator that gave us life and even allows the most vile and wicked people to breathe and live would then selectively choose some people to live in eternal bliss and other in eternal damnation paints a picture of a bi-polar tyrant more than it does a Heavenly Father."

    Nelson has made himself “the standard” of morality. A judge over God.
    Nelson can determine what is moral or immoral for the Thrice Holy God of the bible to do! What that God can, or cannot do with rebellious little God-hating Hitler’s.
    In Nelson’s religion, God is "obligated" to save "all" vile God hating wicked people that breathe. Kiss grace goodbye! God has to save all men without exception, without exception!

    • Nelson

      @Lamont – awfully combative tone there Mr. Jesus loving christian. It is also a bit insensitive and inappropriate to use Hitler references when addressing someone who is Jewish. You believe in a "thrice holy god" but, according to the Torah there in only ONE "Hear O Israel, the Lord Our God is ONE". The trinitarian doctrine borders on polytheism and it was not introduced until long after the death of Jesus. According to the Torah all men are created in the image of God. Which means we are born flawless and without sin. We are given reason, free will and a divine code of ethics to guide us on how to be "holy like the Lord your God is holy." . The concept of original sin is nowhere in the Torah and neither is the threat of eternal damnation. You can quote your "new testament" but, to me it has no authority. However, if you read the gospels (instead of the epistles which are merely opinionated letters) you will see Jesus spoke of deeds and of love not ridiculous creeds and hypocritcal doctrines of predestination and grace.

      "In Nelson's religion God is obligated to save all". Really? Save all from what?

      • jferwerd

        I love the Greek word for "save." It is SOZO and it means to heal, make whole, and deliver. Jesus came to do all of the above with all of us from DEATH, not hell. We are born into mortality. Jesus' death and resurrection conquered the grave for all, as the FIRSTBORN BACK FROM THE DEAD. Nelson, I am totally tracking you on the monotheistic God. He has only and ever been ONE from whom all of His children came. Thanks for your thoughts.

        • Lamont

          Jennifer. (Thank you for allowing my previous comments).
          Since your tracking w/Nelson…
          What does the Bible mean when it says that Jesus is the "firstborn" back from the dead, since other people where brought back from the dead before Him?
          What does the Bible mean by "firstborn?"
          If Jesus was truly sinless as the Bible teaches, why didn't Jesus rend His clothing in horror because of blasphemy when Thomas called Him "my Kurios and my Theos? John 20:28.
          You concurred w/Nelson's statement: "According to the Torah all men are created in the image of God. Which means we are born flawless and without sin. "
          If the above statement is then true… why do babies die?
          Why does the Torah say that David was "brought forth in iniquity" and was "concieved in sin" since there's no such thing as original sin? Ps 51.


          • jferwerd

            Lamont, I don't know why you keep calling me Jennifer. My name is Julie :D.

            I think Jesus being the "Firstborn back from the dead" means that He is the firstborn Son of God, and the first one ever raised to immortality. Firstborn, when you study it out, can mean a place of preeminence, not necessarily chronological order. We don't have any evidence that anyone has ever been raised to immortality before Jesus. In fact, we have lots of evidence to the contrary, such as when Paul spoke in Acts about David still being asleep with his fathers and that the prophetic Psalm of resurrection was about Jesus.

            People die because they are born under the curse of Adam–DEATH, or mortality. Honestly I don't know for sure if we are "born sinners" or not. I have read a bit about both sides and it is inconclusive to me. However, I think any of the theologies put into effect by the Roman teachers (Augustine, Jerome, popes, etc) are instantly suspect of human error because all of those Western teachings were rife with error and distortions. what Nelson said makes much more sense to me, and it also agrees with Scriptures and Hebrew teachings that we are His image -bearers.

          • Lamont

            I’m sorry Julie. I think it was the JFer… made me think Jenni[Fer..?]

            You are correct when you say “preeminence.” Ephraim and Manasseh are excellent examples of this.
            As for immortality, all human souls are immortal. Only location (i.e. heaven/hell) is what differs.
            Jesus Christ, being God Himself is eternal, and has always existed and will never cease to exist. Maybe you have a reference to the contrary?
            Also, sleep is a euphemism for death, and the term is never used for unbelievers. This does not mean that David (or anyone for that matter) was in a state of unconsciousness ref Luke 16:19ff. Prior to the resurrection you had Sheol. It is described as a compartment, with Abrahams bosom on one side separated by a great chasm with Hades (hell) where the wicked would go on the other. Also, to be absent from the body is to be present w/the Lord. 2 Cor 5:8.

            part 1.

          • Lamont

            Part 2

            “People die because they are born under the curse of Adam–DEATH, or mortality.”

            Yes. This is original sin. Adams transgression plunged mankind in to sin. This is what my argument w/George W.
            Children are under the curse of Adam, hence they die. Man is sinful “by nature.” Men sin because they are sinners. Jesus (Mth 7:11) himself reiterated what Jeremiah (17:9) said about the human heart.
            Here’s an excellent resource:
            …on what the Bible teaches on these (many difficult) topics i.e. doctrines. People may not like what the Bible teaches, but should not deny them if they are a indeed in the Bible.

            Thank you Julie~!

      • Lamont

        @ Nelson
        Lets talk Torah.
        You rightly state that Man is made in the image (add "likeness") of God. Was man also made in the image and likeness of creatures?
        If not creatures, when God said: "Let "US" make man in "OUR" image, after "OUR" likeness. (Caps Mine) Gen 1:26, who is the US, and the OUR? Is the God of the Torah Schizophrenic?
        Who is the other Person in the "OUR LIKENESS?" Could it be the Eternal Son of God Christ Jesus?
        Also, Who is the "US" in Gen 11:7? (Hint: Three persons One God) The God of the O/T is Triune!
        According to John 10:33 what reason did the Jews pick up stones to stone Jesus? Could it be that He claimed to be… YHWH?
        Again, where do you derive the moral standard in which you can Judge what is moral or immoral for God to do? (Keep in mind God sending the Israelites to slaughter whole nations of people when you reply with you answer).
        A Jew? Me Too! An Israelite? Me too! That explains your attempted "guilt trip?"

        • jferwerd

          Please don't take offense to this Lamont, but to try to use Genesis 11:7 as proof of the Trinity is a demonstration of the usual ignorance of most Christians (I used to believe this way too so I am not trying to be judgmental…just stating fact). A very simple study of this passage and what the Hebrew word "Elohim" means in this context, even from modern, orthodox Christian commentators will reveal the answer to you about why this does not remotely hint at a triune God.

          • Lamont

            Please don't take offense to this Julie but to try to use Genesis 11:7 to disprove the Trinity is a demonstration of the usual ignorance of most non-Christians ( I am not trying to be judgmental…just stating fact). A very simple study of this passage and what the Hebrew word "Elohim" means in this context, even from modern, orthodox Christian commentators will reveal the answer to you about why this does hint at a triune God.

  • Lamont

    @ Nelson.
    What if?
    What if God said that He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and compassion on whom He will have compassion, so that it depend "not" on "human will" or "exertion," but on God, who has mercy?
    What if God raised someone up, say… an evil vile wicked Pharaoh, for the very purpose that He (God) might show His power in Him, and that God’s name might be proclaimed in all the earth?
    What if God has mercy on whomever "He wills," and "He hardens" whomever "He wills."
    What if you then say to the God of the Bible: "Why does He still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
    What if He then say's to you, something like… "who are you, O Nelson, to answer back to God? (the clay talking back to the Potter!)

    • Nelson

      What if you had no point to this rant? Where is it written that a man can not reason with God? The clay talking to the potter??? Didn't Abraham challenge God when he was planning on destroying Sodom? Didn't Moses talk God out of destroying the Hebrews at Sinai when they sinned so horribly with the Golden Calf?

      • Lamont

        The difference being Nelson, is that you are judging and blaspheming God, by calling Him a
        Bi-Polar tyrant." You are standing in judgment over Him as if you are god.

        • Nelson

          You may want to reread my post Lamont. I was talking about a flase concept (the doctrine of hell and damnation) painting our creator in that manner. Since I don't believe any of that – I don't think of the Divine in that way. That is the picture the church paints – not me.

  • Lamont

    Actually, the biblical doctrine of hell, coupled w/the biblical doctrine of electionnot only breeds humility , but also a deep gratitude. Since no one can merit salvation, God the Father chose, according to His own good pleasure, a people to be saved. The Son atoned for their sins, then the Spirit applied that atonement, and regenerates the dead sinner. The newly born-again sinner prasies the Triune Jehovah out of grattitude and humility, for the grace that have been saved by.

    Soli Dei Gloria!

    • jferwerd

      The problem is Lamont, the doctrine of hell may be "biblical," but it isn't "Scriptural." Sure, most modern translations use the word hell, but the word nor the concept appears anywhere in Greek or Hebrew Scriptures but was later inserted into the Latin Vulgate by Jerome in the late 4th century. Ironically, the Latin Vulgate, a product of the Roman CAtholic Church, was the only Bible available for 1000 years (Dark Ages, no less). But even when they found the Dead Sea Scrolls and the ancient Koine Greek papyri that helped define and correct words, translators still did not amend the bibles because they had too much invested in the Latin Bible concepts. And now that you bring it up, the "Triune Jehovah" is not a Scriptural teaching either.

      As to your suggestion that God chooses people for salvation as well as ultimate destruction, that is not what He says about himself, nor would it bring Him glory to lose most of His how creation to evil. I hope you will pursue a more reasoned and accurate view of God's character and plan for mankind in the Scriptures.

      • Lamont
        For clairity sake, when I say its Biblical, Its Scriptural. You can consider it synonymous.

        It is a mistatement to say that "I" said God chooses people for distruction. He Elects unto salvation. Those who He does not elect are left in their sins. God is not obligated to save a single human. (Though God, by His Holy nature is obligated to punish sin). Otherwise, as I've stated before, you no longer have grace or mercy.

        Thank you Julie

        • jferwerd

          Actually, according to God's own laws of liability, He is completely obligated to save all of humanity. If an ox falls into his neighbors pit because the neighbor failed to cover it, the owner of the land is bound to pay restitution for the ox b/c he failed to keep the ox from falling into the pit. There are other rules of liability whereby God reveals that the owner of the land is liable to buy back everything that is injured on his land if he does not provide protection from injury.

          • Lamont

            Which law of liability are you going to charge God with Julie?
            I was under the impression that God was the One who's law was violated?
            So… you are going to point the finger at God now? God is to blame for the fall? Sounds like our society. The "victim" is now the "Perpetrator?"

            Pleease explain?

  • redhotmagma

    You're right who can resist Gods will,

    1 Tim 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4Who will have ALL MEN to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6Who gave himself a ransom for ALL, to be testified in due time.

    1 Tim 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. 10For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of ALL MEN, specially of those that believe.

    1 John 4:14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
    15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love

    Phi 2:9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    (this is just a dusting, and for brevity I haven't included the "context")

    • Sam

      Isn't capitalizing ALL MEN selectively in verses the same problematic reliance on the actual syntax/meaning of words that Julie argues against? It seems ironic that you question the accuracy of Bible quotations others use but then use your favorite translation to support your own points! Shouldn't you be diving into the ancient Greek and Hebrew of 'all men' as well? Seems inconsistent.

      • redhotmagma

        Sam I was just trying to highlight all men. The word there is pan in the greek, it means all. You can look it up if you want. I've read every instance of it in the Bible, and besides a handful of the 1243 times its used it means ALL. Now you ought to go actually look for yourself how aion, aionios is translated it would actually be funny if it wasn't so horrible what this doctrine of demons (which is in the context of of the 1 Tim 4:9) has done to desecrate the name of God. This is a blog comments section so I tried to get my point across in very few words. If you'd like I'll gladly do in depth studies with you to show you this beautiful truth. Although I imagine much of that is covered in Julies book, I unfortunately haven't read it yet.

        • Lamont

          1 Tim 2:3-4.
          If you believe that Christ died for all men without exception, then Christ was an utter failure. For he failed to save multitudes of humanity.
          I believe that Christ saved "His People from there sins" (the elect) therefore, to be consistant, I agree w/the reformers, that Christ died for "all men w/o distinction" of race, social standing, nationality, gender & etc…
          Rev 5:9 And they sang(A) a new song, saying,
          "Worthy are you to take the scroll
          and to open its seals,
          for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
          from every tribe and language and people and nation…"
          Notice he didn't ransom every tribe, language, and nation…"

          Ref 1 John 4:14
          Did you know the word "world" (Kosmos) is used in over 14 different way's in the body of Johns writtings? So, could you explain the context and how John uses "Kosmos" in 1 John 1:4:14?
          And explain what happens to those who don't confess in verse 15?

          I'll deal w/1 Tim 4:9 later.


          • redhotmagma

            "If you believe that Christ died for all men without exception, then Christ was an utter failure. For he failed to save multitudes of humanity."

            What you've done is taken an a priori assumption (this is a logical error) and applied it to the passage at hand. You state He's a failure because regardless of what the passage says you already believe that He won't save all. I would argue that if He says He is the savior of the world and if He doesn't save All men like it says then He was a failure.

            The work kosmos in 1 John 4:
            [1Jo 4:1 KJV] – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world[2889].
            [1Jo 4:3 KJV] – And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come ; and even now already is it in the world[2889].
            [1Jo 4:4 KJV] – Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world[2889].
            [1Jo 4:5 KJV] – They are of the world[2889]: therefore speak they of the world[2889], and the world[2889] heareth them.
            [1Jo 4:9 KJV] – In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world[2889], that we might live through him.
            [1Jo 4:14 KJV] – And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world[2889].
            [1Jo 4:17 KJV] – Herein is our love made perfect , that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is , so are we in this world[2889].

            Here's the local context, now you tell me how kosmos doesn't mean the world here, as in worldly, this present evil generation, all people including non-christians?

            Rev 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.
            Who are we to be kings and priests over? If there is kings that means there must be non-kings, otherwise the kingship is pointless. If everyone in the US was the president that title and position would become null. Same thing with priests, what is the purpose of a priest? but to bring people to God. Thats the point of election my friend. To bring in the rest of humanity. We see it later in Rev 21
            The nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their grandeur into it. Its gates will never be closed during the day (and there will be no night there). They will bring the grandeur and the wealth of the nations into it,

            Like God needs physical silver or gold, but people are described as being tormented (the word is touchstone to test the purity of a precious metal) the lake of fire is for refining

            Zech 13:9Then I will bring the remaining third into the fire; I will refine them like silver is refined and will test them like gold is tested. They will call on my name and I will answer; I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
            Mal 3:2"But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.
            1 Pet 1:7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

            there are tons more references to people being refined, and being as precious metals

          • Sam

            1. Why must the "refiner's fire" refer to hell? Why does it not pertain to life on Earth (becoming more Godly through a relationship with Christ as his disciples)?Your link to hell is entirely conjectural here.

            2. Are you suggesting that you are elect and will be a priest/king in heaven? Perhaps I'm misinterpreting you, but if not this is the height of arrogance.

            3. Christ's gift of salvation is freely offered to the entire world. In that respect he certainly died for all of men. But this does not entail that all men necessarily accept this gift by acknowledging Christ as Lord. Romans 10:9-10. Matthew 10:32. Luke 12:8. Acts 16:31. Romans 4:23-24. Romans 5:1. If this acknowledgment is not necessary, why ask people to spread the gospel? Why publicly baptize? It's certainly not so the apostles can become kings among men.

          • redhotmagma


            1. It does refer to here on earth now, but why would God who uses types and patterns all throughout the Bible all of the sudden change His M.O. of that type. Look at the breadth of scripture with fire, it is for purifying. The Lake of Fire very likely represents the Bronze Laver as the entire Book of revelation uses temple symbology, which makes sense since John was a priest. Before priests could enter into the temple they had to be washed in the laver. Now speaking of life on Earth yes fire is for sanctification, the Holy Spirit came as tongues of fire at Pentecost, which corresponds to the receiving of the law on Mt. Sinai, which came in… Fire. How did Moses see God? In a burning bush. How did the Shekinah lead the camp? A pillar of fire. He makes His ministers flames of fire. I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with… fire. The earth was destroyed with water, which will never happen again, it will come with…fire. The word for fire is pur, as in purify. The coal of fire on Isaiah's lips, to purify him because his people were unclean.
            No my link to "hell" (again which hell are we talking about? the hell thats thrown into hell?) is not conjectural at all. The word torment means a touchstone to test for purity of a precious metal.
            1 Co 3:15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
            Mark 9:49 Everyone will be salted with fire
            Rev 2:1He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death (note it doesn't say won't enter the second death, but won't be hurt, why? see 1 Co 3:15 above)
            Heb 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire.
            Works: (again see 1 Co 3:15)
            Heb 4:12 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. 12For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
            Two edged sword:
            Rev 19:12His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. (the word rule, is to shephard or tend, just as Jesus told Peter to tend His sheep)
            Rev 1:13I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow(or refined) in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

            17When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades (hell is not locked from the inside as so many erroniously say).

          • redhotmagma

            The point of all this is to show that the same judgment comes on all whether now for christians, or for those after death in the Lake of Fire, which is God's presence. We are either sanctified now by obedience, or later through having the intentions of our thoughts laid bare by the sharp two edged sword. Also notice His feet have gone through the fire
            Heb 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered.

            Suffering is for learning obedience. this is why: The creation was subjected to futility NOT WILLINGLY but by Him who subjected it in hope that the creation would be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the sons of God.
            Subjected is the same as in 1 Co 15, where ALL things are subjected to Christ , then He is subjected to The Father that God may be ALL in ALL.
            Rom 11:32For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

            33Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? 35Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? 36For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

            2. Yes, and why is it arrogance? My sheep know my voice. Like Paul, I strive for the better resurrection, not that I have attained it yet.

            3. Amen Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Every knee shall bow every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is necessary to spread the good news of great JOY for ALL people, it just doesn't happen for everyone this side of death. thus the need for the lake of fire.
            As for apostles becoming kings, I'm not the one making it up, take it up with God if you don't want to take your place as His king or queen. Don't you know we are NOW seated at the right hand of God in Christ. Its not to lord it over other men, like carnal kings and queens, no its when we will be As HE IS, when we will see Him face to face, when the dross is all burned away, that we can bring in the treasure of the nations to the holy city. As He is so are we in the world. What did He come to do? To save, thats His name, Yeshua means YHWY saves.

            The silver is mine and the gold is mine declares the Lord of Hosts, All souls are mine,

            I'll finish with this:
            2 Co:5 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

            16Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
            (The world, not counting their trespasses against them, everyone is already reconciled to God, people just don't know it yet)

            20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
            Why be reconciled so they don't need to live in hell on earth, they can be made alive,

          • Sam561

            I appreciate the Scriptural backing, but it's difficult for me to take the rest of this seriously with point #2 intact. It sounds a lot like a distorted version of Calvinism (and to a lesser extent, Mormonism). I don't think its Christlike to be motivated by future status/recognition or power over others. If you are 'elect' it's certainly not based on your own merit, because you are as sinful as the rest of us.

            If you don't see why proclaiming yourself a future king over others is arrogant, I'm somewhat at a loss for words.

          • I'm not proclaiming myself king at least not in the worldly sense. Not as one who lords it over and takes advantage of others. For sure not for the purpose of having power or any status. The entire purpose of election is to be a servant, Just as Jesus is so are WE in the world. Just because this doesn't fit into your arminian theology, doesn't make it any less true. That is the point of election, predestination, which are completely biblical btw, otherwise there wouldn't be so many scrips laying it out. And my election has nothing to do with anything I've done whatsoever. When did I say that? Oh I didn't you're putting words into my mouth. I am nothing, Christ in me is everything. Frankly I don't care about ism's at all, all they are is manmade walls to keep doctrines safe. Which is the whole point of the "anti-intellectual" stuff on the next page.

            Christianity is so filled with mens additions to the truth. And here is a perfect example. I've laid out biblical backing for what I'm saying, and you can't accept it because it doesn't fit your preconceived notions based around some other highly trained fallible mans doctrines. I was right there with you brother. I read Romans once a day 23 times (was trying for 30 but didn't make it) because my pastor who I highly respected said thats what made such a huge change in his life in college. Every time I'd read chapter 5 I'd think wow it really seems like the same all that are under condemnation are given the gift of life. But then "oh no that can't be true because I know that not all people are saved". The same in chapters 8 and 11. Now I'm not telling you I read Romans 23 times because I think highly of myself, I actually feel bad for my old self being so blinded by the doctrines of men. It wasn't until I'd come to the end of myself and realizing that I knew nothing, and that my life was still not changed by all my knowledge (which was and still is nothing) that God revealed the victorious gospel to me.

            This is where it really happens, God must reveal truth to you otherwise the Bible is nothing but a dead book, for the letter kills but the spirit gives life. All this talk will do nothing. Your mind, my mind is the problem. We have to have the mind of Christ. We must put to death the man of dust (our"selve") so that Christ the man of heaven can live.

            Back to the point of your problem with #2 ,eat more fiber ;)

            Luke 22:27 But I am among you as one who serves. 28You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Is this only to his disciples then?)
            Rev 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
            Exo 19:6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel. (a jew is not a jew by outward circumcision)
            1 Pet 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (the one who called you out, uh oh sounds like election)
            2 Pet 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;

            I am running the race to win. Not that I have achieved it. No arrogance friend, just knowing and being known.

          • Sam561

            Would you say that I am elect as well?

          • I don't know you or your heart, but I assume you are a christian, so yup.

            With that being said, there are the overcomers, that seem to be separated from the rest of the ecclesia (see Rev when He speaks to the churches), and that I don't know if I am, which is why I say like Paul I strive for the better resurrection not that I have already attained it. These may be the kings and priests, and these it seems get that glory by something on their part, dying to self, living to Christ, instead of the vast majority of christians who just want to slide in by the seat of their pants. Even with that it is all Christ, as He is the author and finisher of our faith.

          • Lamont

            Wow! 10,000 errors in the KJV and its “your scripture of choice?”

            “What you've done is taken an a priori assumption…”

            No. My interpretation is derived from the context. Something that universalist’s are, apparently, incapable of. One reason chapters and verses are given numbers, is to let universalists know that if there is a verse number like ‘14’ you know at a minimum, there are ‘13’ prior verses. In the case of 1 Jn 4:14 there is even a ‘15th’ verse provided that helps with the identification of the ‘world’ Jesus is Savior of. Because scripture differentiates between ‘believers’ and ‘unbelievers, “sheep and Goats,” etc…
            Let’s see if John is more consistent with the totality of scripture then you are?

          • Lamont

            In 1 John 4:14 “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”

            World of what?

            World of those who believe! Not just Jews, but gentiles who believe, abide, remain, obey, trust, those “GIVEN TO THE SON”… The ones “drawn” to the Son by the Father,” “given out of the world of unbelievers”

            Christ is the savior of “All Men,” who believe, abide, remain, obey, trust, are “GIVEN TO THE SON”… The ones “drawn” to the Son by the Father,” “given out of the world of unbelievers”

            John 3:16 “ God so loved the world that… “…EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM will not perish but have eternal life.”

            Wow! Only the ones “believing in Him will not perish!”

          • Lamont

            Jn 17:1b-2 “…Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life ‘To ALL THOSE YOU HAVE GIVEN HIM.” (Jesus)

            Jn 17:6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.”

            Jn 17:14 “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.”

            In verse 15 “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”

            And those who don’t abide in God… “they parish! Are destroyed in HELL! Sent to destruction!

          • Lamont,
            1John 4:
            1because many false prophets have gone out into the WORLD.

            3 this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the WORLD. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the WORLD. 5They are from the WORLD; therefore they speak as from the WORLD, and the WORLD listens to them.

            14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the WORLD.

            17 because as He is, so also are we in this WORLD

            I've posted every instance of world in 1 John 4. I don't know if thats enough context for you or not. I didn't post the whole chapter for brevity.

            Please tell me how the world doesn't mean the world, and I don't mean the planet earth. I'm sure you've heard the christianism be in the world but not of it. That comes from John also (the gospel of), but I'm sure I'm not really getting the right context right? So go ahead and explain how the world in 1 John 4 is christians.

            You say its the world of those who believe then the world is out of unbelievers?? um yeah

            John 12:32"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."
            Here's the word draws definition
            1) to draw, DRAG OFF
            2) metaph., to draw by inward power, lead, impel
            or helko hel'-ko; probably akin to 138; to drag (literally or

            John 6:44"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
            (same word for drawn)

            John 6:39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all(G3956) that He has given Me I lose(G622) nothing, but raise it up on the last day.

            Luke 10:22"All(G3956) things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. (some things handed over?)

            "Perish (appolumi G622):
            Luke 19:10"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (lost is the same word for perish)
            Matt 10:6but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
            Luke 15:4"What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? (same word used for the lost coin, and the lost son)

      • Lamont

        Of course he's inconsistant.
        He and Julie. They're using the Bible to support their theology, then they say that a bunch of "pagen" works have infiltrated the Bible?
        How then can they even attempt to prove anything that they say? How can they say that what they are telling you now is the truth? With their secret anti-pagen decoder ring?
        So they're actually telling you that an "ALL-POWERFULL, ALL KNOWING, EVERYWHERE-PRESENT" God who created all that exists, controls peoples and nations, lift kings up, and puts kings down, controls the planets, stars, tides, ad-infinitum, ad-nauseam, is incapable of preserving His Word?
        Well, now theres sound logic for ya!

        • rednotmagma

          "ALL-POWERFULL, ALL KNOWING, EVERYWHERE-PRESENT" God who created all that exists, controls peoples and nations, lift kings up, and puts kings down, controls the planets, stars, tides, ad-infinitum, ad-nauseam, is incapable of" saving all people?

          I agree with you that God is all of the above. If thats the case and we both agree on it, then if He created His children only to be tortured for eternity, then He is a cruel tyrant worse than Hitler. He is all powerful, therefore He is powerful enough to save all. He is all knowing therefore He knows everything that will happen hmm I think theres a verse that goes something like:

          Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;

          Therefore when God says it is His will that ALL men are saved then I believe Him. When He says that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the Glory of God the Father, I believe Him. When He (Jesus) says when I am lifted up I will draw (drag) all people to myself, and it also says that no one can come unless they are drawn, I believe that He will do it. When He says Jesus is the savior of the world I believe it. When He says He will lose none that the Father has given Him I believe it. He also says the Father has given all things into His hands, well you get the point.

          As for the pagan stuff, its plain history bro, the OT has NO mention of an eternal hell. Ask Jews now what they think, they will tell you punishment lasts up to a year.

          Preserving His word: Why does the catholic church have more books in their bible? How did an all powerful God let that happen?(if you're a catholic then how did He let the protestants remove them?) How is it that the KJV had over 10,000 mistranslations in it? Why do none of the translations really match? I'd encourage you to look at the NET bible online. ITs from conservative evangelical scholars. Anyway the notes is the point. They explain why they chose this or that rendering. All the MSS do not agree (if you don't know what MSS are then do a search on textual criitcism). It comes down to a vote many times as to what rendering goes into a translation. In short we do not know exactly what was penned by the original authors, those are called autographs, and we have NONE.

          • Lamont

            @ RHM P.1

            “…then if He created His children only to be tortured for eternity, then He is a cruel tyrant worse than Hitler.”

            Jn 1:12 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”

            1. You make a false statement. God’s children are those who receive Christ & believe in His name Jn 1:12-13. Who are adopted into the family of God: Rom 8:15-17, Gal 4:5-6, Eph 1:5.
            In fact, Christ told the Pharisees that their father was Satan. Jn 8:39ff, that they were not of God! (Vs 44).
            Where do you ‘redhotmagma’ derive the moral standard you use to judge God?”
            Nebuchadnezzar said: “all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?"
            2. Because God is Holy by nature, whatever He does is Good “NECESSARILY!”
            …”for all his works are right and his ways are just…” Dan 4:37.

          • Lamont

            “Isa 46:10…”
            “Therefore when God says it is His will that ALL men are saved then I believe Him.”

            Your reference is to 1:Tim 2:4, (which means there are some verses prior, in which you fail to explain the context, Paul lists the “types” of people to pray for, i.e. “Kings and people in authority…” Why? “…that we (X-Tians) may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
            Therefore the “ALL MEN” in vs 4 is all “TYPES” of men/people, since it is obvious (to me and many others) that God has never intended to save “all men without exception” as you maintain. It is also Gods will that men keep the Ten Commandments, and how many do? “ZILCH!” That is because there is a difference between God’s “Sovereign” will, or, “Will of Decree” and His “prescriptive” will or, will of command!

          • Lamont

            You give a list of verses and say “I believe Him when He says… But, when He (God) says something that doesn’t fit your presumption (i.e. a loving God wouldn’t send rotten God hating Hitler’s to Hell) then your forced to explain away what doesn’t fit “your” view of what God should be like, which is Idolatry. So yes! I get the point quite clearly!
            @ RHM P.3
            “As for the pagan stuff, its plain history bro, the OT has NO mention of an eternal hell. Ask Jews now what they think, they will tell you punishment lasts up to a year.”

            Bro! Christ thought different! And the O/T scriptures were the only scriptures! That’s what the Lord taught from! (I will get to your interpretations later and their context later!).
            Ask Jews now? Are these Messianic Jews? Secular? Atheist? My Dad was Jewish. I know more about scripture then my relatives! And, you’re forgetting something else: “Unless a man is “born

          • redhotmagma

            I've never said there isn't punishment for sin. But when it says every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, well it means just that. It means swear allegiance in the OT. No one can confess that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

            My presumption is not that God wouldn't send Hitler to hell, hey which hell btw? Its that He uses his punishment to restore. And my presumption is based off scripture.

            Sheol is the only "hell" in the old testament, everyone goes there, its the grave.
            Ask any Jew that actually studies Torah. Look at all the Mishnah and the talmud.
            (not that its authoritative or matters, but just from an historical argument)
            Zeph 3:8,9
            “Therefore wait for Me,” declares the LORD,
            “For the day when I rise up as a witness.
            Indeed, My decision is to gather nations,
            To assemble kingdoms,
            To pour out on them My indignation,
            All My burning anger;
            For all the earth will be devoured
            By the fire of My zeal.

            Look at that fiery anger, destroying the world those evil nations (goyim as you know are heathen, the non saved)

            9“For then I will give to the peoples purified lips,
            That all of them may call on the name of the LORD,
            To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.

            Now look at the outcome, His fire produces pure lips, and they all (same all as were destroyed) serve Him, fire purifies, just as when Isaiah had the coal put on His lips

            Here's another picture of that great day
            Isa 25
            6The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;
            A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,
            And refined, aged wine.

            7And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples,
            Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.

            8He will swallow up death for all time,
            And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces,
            And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;
            For the LORD has spoken.

            9And it will be said in that day,
            “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us.
            This is the LORD for whom we have waited;
            Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”

            The covering that is over some people? He wipes away the tears from some faces?

          • Lamont

            "I've never said there isn't punishment for sin."

            If punishment is not eternal, or everlasting (which the bible teaches it is) then, according to you, neither is heaven eternal or everlasting!

            "But when it says every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, well it means just that."

            That's correct! They will not be able to deny it! They are standing face to face w/Him!
            The sheep worship and are saved, and the goats are sent to the lake of fire!

          • Let me ask you Lamont, is Christs reign eternal? How about the levitical priesthood? How about the covenant of circumcision? sodoms destruction?

            Thomas had to see and believe, Jesus didn't curse him, oh I know he was still alive, because theres that cutoff time when Jesus' mercy ends, hey wait a minute

            Lam 3:31 For the Lord will not reject forever,
            32For if He causes grief,
            Then He will have compassion
            According to His abundant lovingkindness.
            33For He does not afflict willingly
            Or grieve the sons of men.
            34To crush under His feet

            Psalm 106:1 Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (yes everlasting is likely translated wrong here, Owlam means properly to the horizon, or as far as the eye can see, there is no Hebrew understanding of forever)

            Psalm 103
            8The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
            slow to anger, abounding in love.
            9He will not always accuse,
            nor will he harbor his anger forever;
            10he does not treat us as our sins deserve
            or repay us according to our iniquities.
            11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
            so great is his love for those who fear him;
            12as far as the east is from the west,
            so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
            13As a father has compassion on his children,
            so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

            Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (however you want to translate it there:)

            The lake of fire is for purifying, just like fire is used in the rest of the bible, the word is pur, PUR, I don't think it gets much clearer than that.

          • redhotmagma

            Ok in 1 Tim 2, He first says all people, then says even kings and people in authority. That doesn't disclude the all people. I'm sorry but your argument here is again making use of logical error.
            "Therefore the “ALL MEN” in vs 4 is all “TYPES” of men/people, since it is obvious (to me and many others) that God has never intended to save “all men without exception” as you maintain."
            this is circular reasoning: because it can't mean all men because I said so, then it doesn't mean all men

            We can talk about the differences in Gods will, "Nebuchadnezzar said: “all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?"

            There are two words in the NT for Gods will boulemai, and thelo. I'll leave that to you to search out.

          • Lamont

            My interpretation is consistant w/scripture. He say's "pray for all people" then gives an example of the "types" of people to pray for, especially for Kings and people in High places. Why? t1. Those people are the ones who where persecuting believers. 2. Paul says: "that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way" vs 2b.
            That's called context!

            "I'm sorry but your argument here is again making use of logical error."

            I derive my interpretation from the context.
            You have shown no ability to do so.You quote a verse and then pour your own meaning into it. Its called Eisegesis…
            Re: vs four, it's also "Gods will" that "all men" keep the Ten commandments. How many men in all human History have done so? only Jesus Christ, because he is God in the flesh! Therefore, there is a distinguishing of Gods will to be considered, (just as I have stated.) I love the consistancy of Gods word!

          • redhotmagma

            Have we not all one Father?, has God not created us all? For from Him, through Him, and to Him are all things.
            All things are from Him yes? He upholds all things by His mighty word yes? what we just don't agree with is : to Him are all things.
            Theres a difference between the words children and the usage of the words for children. Adam is the son of God, therefore we are all the son of God by birth. Yes there is a special usage for those who become His children by becoming one in spirit and mind with Him.
            Here is a great article on this concept… He does a much better job at explaining this. Here are a couple verses Matt 7:11, Matt 6:14,15

            Do you think that satan actually fathered them? Thats actually Persian dualism, which is where we get our modern view of hell from btw. Or is he using hyperbole, and talking about who they are with in spirit and mind?

            You really think creating human beings who through no fault of their own are born into bondage, who are described as dead, deaf, blind, without a hope in the world, are then tortured for all eternity. Thats good? Oh I know Gods ways are higher than our ways right?
            That passage that gets used to justify an unbiblical god, is from Isa 55. Read the whole chapter, its all about mercy and nations turning to Him.

          • Lamont

            "Have we not all one Father?"

            No! Unbelievers father is Satan! Man rebelled and jumped ship as it were! When God saves us we are "transferred into the Kingdom of His Son. We are "adopted"

  • JeremyJK

    Yes God is merciful. But I wonder how God being Just plays into all of this too. I see as part of the questions about your book that you say early Church doctrine does not have hell. I guess I wonder what you consider the early Church. What about apostolic succession and tradition? I mean, most of the patristic fathers believed in hell…I mean at least the ones that weren't heretics. I would love if there is no hell. However, the scary part is it is in the Bible and the teachings of Jesus and the early Church fathers. It complies to the Vincentian Canon and is seen in the Seven Ecumenical Councils. This sounds a lot like Rob Bells "Love Wins." It seems Hell is being dismissed off hand to easily to sell books. I guess I could swallow an argument for time or degrees of Hell be limited as a sort of Purgatory, but not to be dismissed altogeter…seems dangerous.

    • redhotmagma


      Hell as we know it doesn't exist. The one based off pagan doctrine that crept into the church along with all the other pagan dogma and traditions, as the church was institutionalized, and finally glorified/fleshed out in Dante's inferno is what people are talking about. Hell is translated from a few words in the Bible. Sheol in Hebrew, which means the grave, all the OT people went there, its just the place of the dead. Hades in the NT is the corresponding word to Sheol. Tartarus is the place for the angels that sinned (only used once in the entire Bible).

      Gehenna or the valley of Ben HInnom where the Jews sacrificed their kids to Molech (God said the idea never even entered His mind to this), when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD by Rome, the Jews who stayed in Jerusalem were thrown into this place and their bodies were burned, this is likely what Jesus was referring to. This is the only term for hell that Jesus used.

      Finally the Lake of Fire, which death and hades (hell) are thrown into. So you have hell being thrown into hell?

      Originally the word hell was a good translation as it meant a hidden or unseen place, like sheol or the grave. Unfortunately the meaning of the word now has all sorts of connotations likely derived from Dante's inferno, or movies, or hellfire sermons.

      The real battle ground is really whether the lake of fire is eternal, as thats the final "hell". I'd urge you to do a word study on fire in the Bible, you'll see things like:
      God is an all consuming fire
      He comes to refine with fire, in fact the Greek word for fire is pur, as in purify
      Brimstone is Sulfur which was used to purify temples/people, its an antimicrobial
      The word torment (as in the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever) means a touchstone to test the purity of a metal.

      • JeremyJK

        So Red do you think people will go to the lake of fire and suffer for an eternity?

        • redhotmagma

          nope its literally translated to the ages of the ages, forever and ever is nonsensical english btw. IF something is forever it can't be longer. The greek phrase is aion of aion. That word aion is our word eon, which is an age or epoch. I'm sure Julie covers this fully in her book.

          Most people think that the book of Revelation is the last thing that happens in the Bible. That revelation was given to Paul in 1 Cor 15

          22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For “Godc has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

          A couple things here. We see Christ handing over His kingdom to the Father. Which means His kingdom comes to an end. We are told in Luke 1:33 that Jesus will reign for ever. But again the word aion doesn't mean never ending.

          To my point the final point in "history" we see is 1 Cor 15:28 when God is All in All. Not all in some. its the same all (pan) as in v 22. Note:
          AS IN adam ALL die (I think all christians would agree here)
          SO ALSO IN Christ shall ALL be made alive

          as in: so also, its like a mathematical formula, the same all that died in adam will be made alive in Christ, but each in his own order:
          1 Christ the firstfruits: corresponds to the harvest of passover
          2 then those who are Christs: pentecost or the wheat harvest
          3 then comes the end when He subjects All things this word subjection is the same used as wives to husbands and the church to Christ: this is tabernacles or the fruit harvest

          • jferwerd

            Redhotmagma, you make so many wonderful points. I can tell you are an excellent student of the Word! Thanks for all your thoughtful contributions this week!

  • jferwerd

    Redhotmagma and/or Nelson…I have spent a lot of time trying to unravel "kosmos," as I don't believe it means "world" the way we apply it. The Interlinear translates it as "system." Do you think it represents the "world system" or the "religious system"? I have often wondered if the NT even speaks to "the world" because practically all the passages are directed at the "called out." If you change "world" to "religious system" (called out who do not follow the spirit but have settled into doctrines and creeds) throughout the NT, it reads quite differently and to me, seems to make more sense! What do you think?
    Food for thought, the Greek also suggests "ornament," or "decoration."

  • JeremyJK

    Out of mere curiosity I wonder who has training or an education in religious studies or seminary of any sort here. Are you self-trained and educated? I mean I applaud you for your research but I am a little concerned in accepting a teaching that goes off on its own. That seems kind of arrogant, more so than "Belief in Hell Breeds Arrogance." It is a genuine concern not an attack.

    • jferwerd

      Since when did the Bible ever support the idea of professional training or education for interpreting God's word and will to people? Isn't that the tactic used by the Pharisees and later the Roman Catholic Church? We need professionally trained people to interpret Scriptures for us? What did Jesus say about that? Paul?

      • JeremyJK

        Well it is apparent that at a young age Jesus was already in the temple learning, conversing and even teaching. At the time in Palestine the Temple was the closest one was going to get to a seminary and a good one at that. Paul was highly trained and educated. When he says his education compared to Christ is crap (to use a euphimism) he was making the point that EVERYTHING compared to Christ is crap. He isn't dissing education. Anyone can interpret scripture but that doesn't mean everyone's interpretation is okay especially when it dismisses Christian teaching that goes back to the apostles.

        • JeremyJK

          As far as the tactics of the Pharisees, Jesus never attacked there education but where their hearts were. Also, training and mentorship are important because it teaches accountability and assistance so people don't get lost out into heresies. I don't know why people wouldn't want to be trained and taught and sit under teachers who care about them. It seems like one would want to to ensure they were teaching the truth. It seems arrogant for someone to go off on their own without training. I wouldn't do that with a job and certainly not with something as delicate as preaching truth and the Word of God.

          • jferwerd

            Hahahaha…that is funny Jeremy. You said, "Also, training and mentorship are important because it teaches accountability and assistance so people don't get lost out into heresies." The Church has been rife with heresies under the teachings of fallible men since the days of its inception. Since when did education and mentorship ever safeguard against such things? I'm taking a Middle Ages history class right now and the heresies promoted by the educated, mentored popes and abbots throughout the history of the Church was precisely BECAUSE they were controlling doctrines from the lay people. Why do you think there was the Reformation? And though some things improved, the Reformation brought with it many heresies, among them the doctrine of eternal torment. The Church today teaches no fewer heresies than the church then yet you say we need trained theologians to keep from error. Where does the teaching of hte Spirit come into play for you?

          • JeremyJK

            I don't think this is funny Julie and I haven't laughed at the obvious errors you are making in regards to your understanding of scripture. The Church has been rife with heresies and you are proving it in your book. You are dismissing a teaching of Christianity that has tremendous support and history. You are starting in the wrong place if you are taking a Middle Ages history class. Start earlier like ancient Rome and Palestine, Constantinople and the ancient Chruch. But you don't throw the baby (training) out with the bath water (rebel flames and apostates). That is just ignorance. You mention heresies but they are known as heresies by those who were trained in interpreting scripture and historical theology. As far as the Holy Spirit, he is the third person of the trinity and should be given more attention than much of the Church does. He has power to change our lives if we let him. I was raised Pentecostal so that should tell you where I fit as far as the HS goes.

          • jferwerd

            Their hearts were where they were because of the pride of their education. Yet all the things they knew never led them to Living Water!

          • Sam

            How is this not anti-intellectual? Education is only a barrier to getting to know God if one lets pride get in the way. But surely God wants our arguments to be informed.

            Based on your logic, your Middle Ages class is a barrier to your relationship with God.

            Let's put it another way. You don't know Greek or Hebrew. You haven't studied ancient primary documents. So you are relying on others to tell you that things are mistranslated/wrong. But you have no way to check that this isn't hogwash — you believe what you are told and then spread it. Jeremy is exactly right — there is an accountability problem here.

          • JeremyJK

            There is something suspicious about your anti-intellectualism and education. But yet you find the need to take a history class.

          • jferwerd

            Never said I was anti-intellectual or education. Just that it's not a prerequisite to the topics here and in fact relying on religious education is a deterrent when used as a tool to control the uneducated.

          • Sam

            Religious education is certainly not a prerequisite for faith. But it may be a prerequisite for making sweeping claims about history, translations, and Biblical interpretations and disseminating these claims in a book. In this context, it's reasonable to ask for qualifications to see how seriously you've engaged counterarguments and done your research.

            James 3:1 "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."

            It seems to me as if dismissing current (or educated) religious beliefs as a tool to control the masses is a self defense mechanism. I don't see much serious engagement with counterarguments in your posts/book — and the claim that you were an evangelical for 40 years is not sufficient, because IMO you've distorted what evangelicals believe (strawman arguments all over the place). If you are serious about this, you really need to be grappling head on with the best arguments the other side can offer, and stop dismissing them as outright lies or tools of mind control. If your ideas can't be subjected to logic/scrutiny, they're not worth much.

          • Confused

            Whether Sam allows himself to be identified or not has nothing to do with his arguments, right? Whether he is a money-grubbing pastor or someone who genuinely cares about truth is irrelevant I would think to the validity of his arguments and questions and whether they should be addressed head-on. The only place his motivations might be a factor would be if he was a troll and I don't get the sense that he is.

            I read his post as him saying that you aren't addressing the counter-arguments head on, or at least in a fashion that he sees as head on. You may end up agreeing to disagree. :)

            It seems to me that from what he has written that he either 1) did not read your book and is lying that he did as you allege, or 2) he read your book and he was not convinced by what you feel are great arguments. You may be making an assumption that anyone who reads your book and who is open will agree…but that seems a stretch to me. There are a lot of books written where readers are not convinced for reasons other than the fact that they are being obstinate or intentionally blind.

            Given that he said he had read the book I'm inclined to think that #2 is what happened rather than him being the liar you accuse him of being.

            I haven't made it through your book yet, although I've started!, but since I have issues with what seem to be assumptions that are held even before the book starts, I'm stuck on those. :) I will get there eventually.

            I think the charges you make against the orthodox church are very serious as you've pointed out. I think it is reasonable to question your previous assertions that all bible translators are either lying or in a conspiracy since the bar seems to be a lot higher for you to prove that, at least to me.

            I am truly sorry that your experience with the evangelical church was so bad…but it doesn't match my experience so I'm clearly not starting from the same place…which means that if you want what you're presenting to stand you need to be able to address the issues for folks that aren't coming from the same place as you. The fact that you've written a 300 page book says that you care deeply about what you've written and you care enough to share it with others…both admirable…but there some, including me, who have difficulty accepting your words as authoritative given the assumptions you've laid out…some of which I happen to disagree. Given that they are assumptions on your part, everything built upon those assumptions is potentially speculative no matter how well meaning or how deeply believed…at least in my opinion.

            I do think a dialog is important for figuring out truth, as long as folks don't get personal or lose their tempers. Any ideas should be debatable I would think, although if your blog is intended more for folks who don't have counter opinions but rather for folks who come from a similar place with the "evangelical church" then perhaps debate isn't the goal. Sam clearly seems to think that if your ideas have merit then they will only be helped if debated…he said as much in another posting someplace in the blog. If there are places where the ideas are a bit weak then they'll either be strengthened by the debate or they'll be discarded if they don't stand up. I'm assuming you have the ability to control who posts or doesn't post so in that sense the fact that you're allowing open debate without deleting posts or banning folks indicates your openness to be able to discuss the issues.

            I'm sure Sam will respond to your post in his own words shortly.

            Just how I see it from where I stand.

          • jferwerd

            Thanks for your comments confused. I will let you know up front that I have no interest in debating. If I wanted to debate, I would engage more in these conversations. I have spent a lot of time debating to sharpen my beliefs, as you suggested. Now I am in nursing school and I don't have the time or energy for debate, but would rather share with those who are more open and perhaps where I was at– not satisfied with the answers they've been given. Perhaps that's the disconnect for people like Sam and JeremyJK. I am not interested in dialogue/debate with people who are very certain and content with what they believe. I am interested in thoughtful conversation with people, like me, who are searching for viewpoints on Scripture that answer more of their questions (there are commonalities with some people's types of questions). Is this narrow-minded? Perhaps you could accuse me of that. But there are a lot of folks out there, like me, who seem to be "waking up" to the fact that they don't have all the answers and that the answers they've been taught in church are full of holes. And they want to address the holes to find out if there are alternative viewpoints on Scripture that make sense to them.

            Just my two cents. Nobody has to agree with me, but understand that I am not here to debate. There are plenty of sites out there for that if that's what a person wants.

          • Confused

            What is interesting to me in your reply is that you don't feel that Sam and JeremyJK are like you, i.e. interested in thoughtful conversation with folks who are searching for viewpoints on Scripture that answer more of their questions. I think you interpret their questions as somehow hostile or an indication that they are closed minded, which I'm not sure is a valid assumption to make.

            I'm interested in understanding God's truth and am in a different place than you. Although I don't know, but it strikes me that they and I may be questioning some of what they see as your assumptions…which you don't feel are assumptions and consequently aren't interested in talking about them. For example, it seems as though you believe that "traditional" religious scholarship is very untrustworthy compared to your scholarship. You base that on the different place you end up when compared to that scholarship. For you that isn't something to be talked about since it is settled in your mind and you feel you've put enough energy into that already. I'm guessing that in their minds, 'cause it is in mine :), that that is a key assumption that should be tested, as a lot of your beliefs seem to be based on that on that starting place.

            It helps me to understand that you are more interested in talking with folks who start from a similar place to you. Understand however, that folks can be interested in the truth, can be open to God's prompting and still not be in the same place as you (translators=liars, hell=God torture, interlinear=only valid translation, evil=God causes, free will=none, evangelical=bad).

            I understand that you don't want this blog to reach out to folks who are still stumbling over those assertions but instead be for folks who are starting with the same confusion you started with about how a loving God could allow hell, but the questions are still there and, it seems to me, are still valid, even if they aren't valid in this forum. :)

            Just saying… :)

          • JeremyJK

            Which brings up an other issue I sense here in your statements, anti-authority and accountability. Sure many have used education to control the uneducated. But once again you cant throw out the baby with the bath water. There are many and have always been many educated men and women of God who care about people and don't use education to control them but to protect them because love protects. And it protects against people who are teaching contrary to scripture and what has been handed down to us according to apostolic tradition. I think you are putting all your eggs into one basket instead of searching out sound doctrine and teachers who have a heart for people. You can't just dismiss things because it sounds good or feels better. I was brought up anti intellectual bu I chose to get an education and I thank God I did because I learned so much. Not about how I can control people but how to better understand what God is up to and what his word says so that I can help others.

        • JeremyJK

          Even Paul went back up to Jerusalem before James and Peter because of accountability to show that what he was preaching to the Gentiles was of God and scriptural. I guess I would like to know that someone who is dismissing something as tantamount as Hell has some sort of training in hermeneutics, Hebrew, Greek, Biblical exegesis, Historical Theology of some sort. How do we know someone who isn't can be trusted? Would you trust an untrained pilot to fly you to an important destination?

        • JeremyJK

          Are they being held accountable? When they quote the patristic fathers do they know Greek or Latin? Do they know the historical-cultural elements that existed that caused those who agreed on Creeds and doctrine to make the decisions they made? Do they understand apostolic succession and that an eternal punishment of some sort was taught not only by the apostles but also the fathers as early as Polycarp and Justin Martyr (pretty early)?

          People do not just entrust themselves to teachers, they entrust their lives and children too. Being a teacher is a heavy burden because it comes with enormous responsibility/accountability as Paul says. I as much as anyone else would like to do away with Hell. But it is too present continuously throughout the Christian faith to set aside so easily.

        • jferwerd

          None of the apostles were trained theologians. Except for Luke, they weren't even literate. Their only claim to fame is that they had been with Jesus. Also, Paul explicitly stated that the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God. Paul's education was a deterrent to his encounter with Jesus, which is why he first had to be made blind in order to see with his spirit. Lord, make us blind to the ways of man so that we may see you!

          • JeremyJK

            Paul was a trained theologian under Gameliel who was a/if not thee leader teacher in his day. John couldn't read? He wrote a gospel, three letters, and possibly Revelation. Peter did the same in pretty good Greek I might add. Luke is not an apostle! Paul stated "the wisdom of THIS WORLD" is foolishness not wisdom, knowledge and education. His education was only a deterrent as long as he let it but it is evident from his writings that once the Holy Spirit got ahold of him he was able to empower his education to interact with Hebrew Scripture and bring out elements of the law that uneducated people could not.

          • jferwerd

            Paul made the point that he was a trained theologian to show that his formal training was a deterrent to his finding the truth. He was in a sense criticizing his education as a hindrance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And no, John could not read or write. In fact, none of the gospels were actually written by whom they were attributed to. I hope you will look into this and do a little research. The gospels were written long after the fact, and probably were written by the students of the apostles. It was not uncommon for people to have others write for them in that culture. They hired people to write for them. In that culture, very few were literate. Neither Peter nor John wrote their own gospels. Here is a link that might give you more insight:

          • JeremyJK

            Okay I'm not going to argue with you about the need for education. I think you make my point by the fact that you are taking a Middle Ages history class. And as far as the apostles not writing there own gospels is disputed among scholars. You say the Gospels were written "long after the fact" but even the most liberal scholars date the gospels pretty close…and thats the most liberal.

          • Sam

            We should all have faith like children. But this is entirely separate from abandoning reason and logic.

            Should we all stop getting college educations in order to bring us closer to God? Perhaps it would be better if none of us could read so we would have no barriers? It seems you are claiming that the lower the education, the closer man is to God. Why would God grant Solomon wisdom and knowledge if they are worthless to us?

            I am taking this to the extreme but you are clearly not realizing where your arguments lead.

        • redhotmagma

          Matt 13:54 He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 55“Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56“And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57And they took offense at Him.

          He had no formal training, and they took offense at Him.
          He would have gone to Jerusalem 3 times per year, that hardly counts as theological training.

          Acts 4:13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. 14And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. 15But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, 16saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17“But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.” 18And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus

        • I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God (Ac. 20:27).
          If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet…his blood I will require… (Ez. 33:6-8).
          Paul never mentions hell. except here:
          Oh Hades, where is your victory?(1Co.15:55)

          Clement of Alexandria, (190 A.D.) ―Head of the catechetical school there. He speaks of having learned from a disciple of the Apostles.— Strom. lib. ii. His wide and various learning, and his sympathetic spirit combine to give special weight to his teaching.‖5
          All men are Christ‘s, some by knowing Him, the rest not yet. He is the Savior, not of some (only) and of the rest not (i.e., He is actually Savior of all) for how is He Lord and Savior if He is not Lord and Savior of all? But He is indeed Savior of those who believe…while of those who do not be- lieve He is Lord, until having become able to confess Him, they obtain through Him the benefit appropriate and suit- able (to their case). He by the Father‘s will directs the sal- vation of all for all things have been ordered, both universally and in part, by the Lord of the universe; with a view to the salvation of the universe….But needful correc- tion, by the goodness of the great overseeing Judge,
          through (by means of) the attendant angels, through vari- ous prior judgments, through the final (pantelous) judg- ment, compels even those who have become still more callous to repent.—Clement. Strom. lib. vii. pp. 702-6, Co- logne, 1688.6

          Eusebius of Caesarea, (265-340 A.D.) ―Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine; friend of Constantine; the greatest of the early Church histo- rians, wrote on Ps. 2:‖9 ―The Son‘s ̳breaking in pieces‘ His enemies is for the sake of remolding them, as a potter his own work; as Jer. xviii. 6, says: i.e., to restore them once more to their former state.‖–Eusebius. De eccles. theol. iii. 16.10
          Athanasius, (296-373 A.D.) ―Called ̳the Great,‘ ̳Father of Ortho- doxy,‘ ̳Pillar of Orthodoxy;‘ Bishop of Alexandria and writer of many works; especially noted for defending the deity of our Lord.‖11 ―While the devil thought to kill one he is deprived of all cast out of Hades, and sitting by the gates, sees all the fettered beings led forth by the courage of the Savior.‖— Athanasius. De pass. et cruce Darn.12

      • Sam

        Certainly access to knowledge should not be restricted, but you wouldn't want a self-trained engineer designing your car or a self-trained doctor performing surgery. In the same way, I don't want someone who doesn't know Greek telling me how the Bible is mistranslated. There is a difference between imposing a barrier between people and God and being anti-intellectual.

        • JeremyJK

          Well said Sam that is exactly it. I don't understand the anti-intellectualism unless I don't want other to hold me accountable to make sure I am correct. To me that is what breeds arrogance not the doctrine of Hell though some apparently allow both to breed arrogance. Theres mention of the reformation here but even that was led by men like Luther…intellectuals.

  • jferwerd

    I'd say you all have taken intense debate to a new level. Thanks for all the comments!

  • JeremyJK

    Matt. 23:2 "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach." It was not about their education but their hearts as I said earlier.

  • Nelson

    @Julie. The rabbinical commentaries state the cosmos to be the whole of creation. This would mean the physical objects like people, planets, stars, etc as well as the spiritual realms (yes plural).

    @Jeremy. No formal seminary education. I'm a Former Christian turned Jew. The problem with a "formal" religious education is that there is no one qualified to teach it. Man will always be subject to exert their own opinions or beliefs and that then alters the truth. Only Moses received instruction from our Creator and Moses gave us the Torah. Because of that fact I view all other scripture inferior to the Torah. On the surface that may sound harsh but, not a single word in either the Jewish Tanakh, the Christian Bible, or the Muslim Quran has any basis or authority without the Torah.

    Ironically most Christians and Muslims no very little about the Torah. If they did they would no ridiculous doctrines like hell, eternal damnation, and original sin are man made fabrications.

    • jferwerd

      Thanks for the input on Kosmos Nelson. I will try to read it through those lenses.

      Well said on the Torah and the lack of understanding and that no human is qualified to teach–it is a journey of the spirit! That is partly what irks me about Christians who read the beautiful Hebrew perspectives and carelessly toss them aside or worse, scoff at them. I have come to see the Torah to be deeply spiritual, not so much surface. The 70 Faces of Torah says that the whole of Torah's teaching can be seen in every single verse through careful analysis of language. To me, I have seen that the whole of Torah is the same message, like a fractal, repeating itself over and over. You and I both know what that message declares! Thanks for your input.

    • I don't know what common ground we have to discuss this if you are a jew (rejecting the new covenant), Paul received revelation directly from Christ (along with all the other apostles), who is the logos=dabar. Even if you reject all that: And the Word of the Lord came to me… The Dabar, has a form, touches people, they talk face to face. Many of the prophets spoke face to face with the Dabar.

      What are your thoughts on this? Do you not consider the DabarYHWH to be the creator?

      • jferwerd

        RedHotMagma I can't speak for Nelson, but the Jews don't regard the Scriptures as all having the same merit. It doesn't necessarily mean they reject other scriptures, merely that the Torah is the foundation stone without which the rest of Scriptures can't be interpreted correctly. That's what I read in Nelson's comment, and I wholeheartedly agree. I read a whole book once about Genesis 1:1 and how, within the complexity of Hebrew Scripture, the whole of the Gospel is contained in that one verse…the REAL Gospel!! :D

        • Nelson

          First of all – I had typos – Probably because it was 3 AM and I was suffering from insomnia. The last sentence should have been:
          "Ironically most Christians and Muslims know very little about the Torah. If they did they would know that ridiculous doctrines like hell, eternal damnation, and original sin are man made fabrications."

          @redhotmagma – I do not reject the concept of Divine revelation. However, I think it still happens today – just as much as in the times of the prophets – people just don't listen anymore. If you think we have no common ground because I am Jewish, then you need to evaluate your connection with Jesus. Last I checked, he was Jewish too.

          @Julie – you hit the nail on the head. The opening line of the Torah has significantly more meaning then most people realize.

          • Nelson, thats not what I meant. I meant Paul receiving revelation directly from Jesus. Who I consider to be the creator, for all things were created by him. I didn't mean we have no common ground to discuss on.

            I agree with you both about the significance of the first line.

            The firstfruits birthed elohim aleph-tau the abode of God aleph-tau the abode of men

            What do you guys think about that translation? all taken from strongs

          • Lamont

            "I'm a Former Christian turned Jew"
            Only those who trust in Messiah are the true Israel of God! For not all Israel is Israel, but the Children of the Promise. You were a Christian in name only. If you were of us, you would have remained. Because you no longer remain shows you were never of us! Because you reject the Son, you do not have the Father either!

            "The problem with a "formal" religious education is that there is no one qualified to teach it."

            Eph 4:11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service…"

            Looks like God disagrees with Nelson again?

          • Nelson

            Not really Lamont just your "new testament". Show me in the Torah where I am wrong.

  • JeremyJK

    Fair enough Julie Inc. After pulling myself away from the topic at hand and thinking about it I accept what you're saying about not "needing" a formal theological education. My father never had one and may be the brightest person I have ever known. My main concern as I initially stated was one of wondering about your qualifications for saying something as bold as "there is no hell." My concern is perhaps how you say it so conclusively and definitively as if you know for certain that it does not exist. I am going by the few posts I have read and haven't read any of your books. However, out of fairness and respect to you I will add it to the list:) I am sure you know what that is like.

    • jferwerd

      I appreciate your gracious words JeremyJK. I understand why my words would concern you, but from my intense studies, I personally came to see that hell just can't be true. There just isn't any real evidence for it when you start digging in. To be honest, if I had any doubt, I would never knowingly risk anyone's eternity (if I believed I had any influence whatsoever to do so), especially that of my children. I only say so exclusively because every angle and every question was answered so emphatically and thoroughly for me that hell cannot exist and that God's character and plan for mankind is much bigger and better than we have imagined. I don't engage these conversations too deeply because if people want to know how I arrived, they can read the book. That's why I wrote it. I'm in school full time now, I work, and I don't have time to rewrite a lot of content from my book for every blog entry. I use this as a springboard to get people thinking, and to hope that they will find out more.

      I am glad you are going to read the book. I hope that you will let me know what you think. And I also appreciate your comment below about remaining close to the orthodox church. Problem is, in my experience, that as soon as they realize I don't believe in hell, I am no longer welcome. That is why I use my blog and facebook–to reach those Christians who are interested in learning more and being open to the possibilities. Regardless of whether or not someone comes to the same conclusion I have, they should hopefully realize that it's not as cut and dried as we've been led to believe and there are lots of "holes" that need to be acknowledged and addressed. Thanks…

  • JeremyJK

    You raise some good questions. I guess I wish that people like you would remain close to and in the orthodox church for the sake of conversation. The orthodox church is going through many debates and changes such as questioning hell as you are, homosexuality, social justice, etc. I encourage you to stay in conversation with ALL people including the orthodox. We need people like you as well as those who are literalists for the sake of dialectics. You do not deserve to be treated unkindly and I hope I did not come across that way even though our conversation got somewhat intense. However, please do not lump all of us who subscribe to a more conservative orthodoxy all together. I suppose we all feel somewhat passionate about our stances but should never write each other off or treat each other unkindly. Blessings!

  • Great Job, Julie, and a very enjoyable read! Amen!

  • Is Julie just sitting around waiting to see who gets to go? OR, is she sharing the Gospel of God's exceeding Grace with the world with abounding Joy and Thanksgiving! :)

  • Sean

    Quite frankly, anyone who believes in a hell of unending anguish has failed to grasp the true nature of God, as well as the multi-dimensional nature of manifest reality, including man. The 'lake of fire' is actually an Egyptian and Greco-Roman concept that reappeared later in the highly symbolic Judeo-Christian Book of Revelation, which any competent historian could demonstrate. And in any event this 'lake of fire and sulphur' is an esoteric symbol that relates to the Divine Energy of God's Holy Spirit and the painful purifying and transformative work effectuated in man's second 'body' — the bioelectromagnetic plasma counterpart of the physical form, composed of much higher energy ('supersymmetric') particles than the material organism.

    The reality of this second electromagnetic 'body' will soon enough be commonly accepted knowledge in scientific and psychological circles, and will force us as Christians to reappraise several key aspects of our soteriology and eschatology, irrespective of our theological and denominational orientation and allegiance.

    Blessings in Christ Jesus to all, now and always.

    • jferwerd

      Sean, that is fascinating. I am always trying to pay attention to the ways that science can help us learn about our destiny. Can you expound on this electromagnetic body? Are there any videos you can direct us to?

  • thanks a lot for your personal facts.

  • The world never even have the opportunity to make, I might add). This is not what the Bible teaches.