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Old 03-10-2020, 10:42 AM   #72
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217

Originally Posted by manna-man View Post
Maybe it isn't yours to decide or execute but just maybe it can be yours to understand the motives of our God that is...if that matters to you.

Before this post, I never heard of Rob Bell and Brian McLaren. I reckon they have their say in the matter and I've been open enough to read some about what they are up to but I have to tell you that in my world they are meaningless and had no effect on my leading. I seek Gods leading and I believe it is He who has stirred up the desire in my heart concerning this matter of eternal torment.

What does The Spirit have to say...?
(Sorry for not responding sooner, but I don't frequent the site as much as I used to.)

When you ask "What does The Spirit have to say . . ." you raise an interesting question. I do not deny that the Spirit speaks, and even does so independently of the words found in scripture. But the problem is whether the thing we want to attribute to the Spirit is actually from the Spirit and not from another source, whether our own desires, those of someone else, or even something "spiritual" that is not the Spirit.

In many ways, the understanding of any passage that in some manner refers to punishment (torment) is like trying to pin down the meaning of the many prophecies in Revelation. What they mean precisely is unclear. But what they should mean presently to anyone who is a believer or considering whether to believe is more clear. Whether torment is eternal or temporal; whether temporal torment (if that is what is meant) ends with annihilation, or with restoration; whether horses, bowls and seals mean this or that; there is a clear warning to believe and to live in accordance with that belief.

In other words, the warnings are meant to be less a detail for the results of failure than a shepherd's rod to direct us along the right path. Understood in this way, the point is to move us in the right direction, not to give us details of the result of moving in the wrong direction.

So if the goal is to support the detailed account of what happens to the unbeliever, there is some concern that what we come up with is a false teaching. But if the goal is to support that there is a cost and that saying that is for the purpose of moving us along the correct path, then it is a true teaching written in metaphors and types.

I think that anyone that tries to develop an absolute teaching on hell, eternal torment, temporal torment, annihilation, or whatever on the negative side is working with nothing more than types, figures, and metaphors. So at some level, any "absolute" teaching in this area is potentially false, though it could be true. The point (to me) is that it is not about the negative outcome, but ensuring that you don't have that outcome. To dwell on the negative outcome and seek to pin it down is to miss the point.
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
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