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13. The last loophole
michelle yim  2013-05-18 02:52:23, 조회 : 2,999, 추천 : 638

Michelle Yim
Chapter 13

                                                    The last loophole

        In the previous chapter, we talked about what Universalism is and looked closely at the Bible for any signs of it. However, we concluded that Universalism doesn’t exist in any page of the Bible. In today’s chapter we will be discussing the “last loophole” that Blanchard brings up. Firstly, he brings up the final kind of annihilationism. This last one teaches that the righteous goes to heaven and the wicked goes to hell. But, the pains of hell is temporary and it will come to an end after the wicked suffers. Another topic of the last loophole is “conditional immorality”. This teaches that man is naturally mortal but that God will grant him immorality if he turns his back on sin and puts his trust in Christ.

        One of the main arguments that annihilationist point out is “if God alone is immortal than all of humanity MUST be mortal”. In 1Timothy 6:15-16 states “the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal”. However, when Paul had stated this he was talking about Gods “essential immorality”. He is a God of no beginning or end and a God of “everlasting to everlasting”(Psalm 90:2). Although in the Bible it doesn’t say a “mans soul is immortal” the Bible strongly points to the direction of human immorality. For instance, unlike any of the other creatures that God has created man is made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27). Man is also “made in Gods likeness” (James 3:9). Therefore, a life of a human being is more important than any other creature in this world. Also in Ecclesiastes 12:7 it states “the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it”. John Calvin sums it up by saying “There can be no question that man consists of a body and soul; meaning by soul, an immortal though created essence”. Our sense of immorality is God given, as we discussed in our previous chapters.

        Another argument that is brought up is said by Clark Pinnock “It just does not make sense to say that a God of love will torture people for ever for sins done in the context of a finite life…It makes no sense to suppose that, alongside the new creation, tucked away in some corner of it, there exists a lake of fire with souls burning ceaselessly in it”. The weakness of this argument is that we rely on our human logic and try to fit our answers so that it’ll make sense for us. Nevertheless, the truth of the doctrine should be relied on the Scripture and the scripture only. There are many times when God dealt with His people in ways that we may never understand. However that doesn’t give us the leeway of trying to fit it into our earth bound ideas. Conditionalist teach that there isn’t any evidence to support everlasting punishment. We can diminish this teaching quickly because the Bible speaks of the “unquenchable fire and the undying worm”. This shows us that the pain and agony will be unending.

        Many people argue for annihilationism because they cannot accept that fact that God will eventually have a final triumph over all the evil in the world. So the answer to this dilemma is by stating “everybody will eventually be saved”. Sadly, throughout the bible it speaks of the separation of the “wicked and righteousness” “sheeps and the goats”. Jesus always spoke of the opposite destinies. This brings up another question that Roger Forster asks “Why shouldn’t God, who first made the creature, be unable to unmake it? If God could extinguish the pain of those who are unwilling to be saved, wouldn’t that be a more merciful thing for a loving God to do?”. The problem with this statement is if what Forster said is true than this particular attribute is held higher than all of his other characteristics (holiness, justice and righteous anger). Another thing that is problematic with this statement is that just because God has the ability to “unmake” doesn’t mean that he has to do it. For instance, God has the ability to heal every disease and sickness, however he chose not to. Does this mean we should blame God for this too?

        The next argument is “Even at a human level, it is one of the principles of justice that the punishment should fit the crime. How can it be right for God to punish twenty, or sixty, or eighty years of sin with suffering that never ends?”. Blanchard brings up numerous points to argue this question. First, he gives us a story of a man that attacked a 45 year old man in broad daylight. They severed his arm with a billhook, pummeled him with a baseball bat and sprayed hydrochloric acid in his face. The assault was over in less than a minute. So would a minute in jail be an appropriate jail sentence for this man? This story shows us that the length of the crime doesn’t fix the length of the punishment, but rather the nature. We must also understand  that it isn’t up to us for whats a fitting punishment for our sins. God alone has the ability to settle on the nature of the sin and the punishment. Another argument that Blanchard tells us is that our obiligation to God is to give Him glory. In Psalm 29:2 it says that it “is infinitely great”. So the failure to do so is infinite evil. And infinite evil = infinite punishment.

        Another argument that annihilationist cling on to is when a “second death” is mentioned in the book of Revelations. When this second death was mentioned it didn’t mean annihilation but rather “separation”. It says in Revelation 21:18 “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death”. In Revelation 2:11 tells us that the faithful believer “will not be hurt at all by the second death”. This shows us a clear distinction of the “separation” (second death) that will be followed.

임 바울
죽음이 무엇인가?라는 단어를 생각하기 위해서 우리는 에덴동산으로 갈 필요가 있다. 에덴동산에서 처음으로 죽음이라는 단어가 등장하기 때문이다. " 여호와 하나님이 그 사람에게 명하여 가라사대 동산 각종 나무의 열매는 네가 임의로 먹되 선악을 알게 하는 나무의 실과는 먹지 말라 네가 먹는 날에는 정녕 죽으리라 하시니라"(창 2:17). 우리는 이 말씀에서 정녕 죽는다는 그 사건이 언제 일어나는가 싯점을 주의해서 보아야 한다.

실제로 아담과 하와가 선악을 알게 하는 나무의 열매를 먹었을 때에 일어난 사건은 무엇인가? 우리가 짐작한 죽음이라는 사건은 일어나지 않았다. 일어난 사건은 사실 에덴동산에서 쫒겨난 사건임을 알 수 있다.
그렇다면 미셀 선생이 말한 것처럼 죽음이라는 것은 존재의 멸절이 아니라 분리임을 알 수가 있다.

처음 아담이 하나님과 분리가 되고서 겪은 것이 무엇이냐? 엄청난 고통이었다. 그리고 여전히 살아있었음을 알 수가 있다. 그렇다면 계시록에서 말하는 두번째 죽음도 이런 맥락에서 살펴보아야 할 것이다.
첫번째 죽음에서 생명이 여전히 유지되었던 것처럼, 두번째 죽음에서도 생명이 여전히 유지된다고 주장해야 한다.

그리고 첫번째 죽음에서 고통이 증가되었던 것처럼, 두번째 죽음에서도 고통이 증가되는 방향으로 해석을 해야 한다. 그렇다면 두번째 죽음을 영원한 형벌, 그러나 멸절당하지 않는 것으로 해석하는 것은 성경적이라고 할 수 있다.


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번호 제목 작성자 작성일   추천 조회
17  16. The way to heaven  [2]  michelle yim 2013/06/16 655 2966
16  15. The roads to hell  [1]  michelle yim 2013/06/08 666 3082
15  14. The decisive words    michelle yim 2013/06/05 499 2715
 13. The last loophole  [1]  michelle yim 2013/05/18 638 2999
13  12. Happily ever after?  [1]  michelle yim 2013/04/25 628 2888
12  11. Too bad to be true    michelle yim 2013/04/12 502 2438
11  10. The pains of hell  [1]  michelle yim 2013/03/30 579 2447
10    [re] 10. The pains of hell    michelle yim 2013/04/05 478 2516
9  9. The Ultimate Horror  [1]  michelle yim 2013/03/27 553 2307
8  8. The Great Day    michelle yim 2013/03/22 514 2311
7  7. The Moment of Truth    michelle yim 2013/03/13 512 2313
6  6. Where do we go from here?    michelle yim 2013/02/27 543 2180
5  5. Is anyone there? - Whatever Happened to Hell    michelle yim 2013/02/09 456 2294
4  4. Forbidden Subject- Whatever Happened to Hell    michelle yim 2013/02/02 527 2124
3  3. Windows on the Words- Whatever Happened to Hell  [1]  michelle yim 2013/01/25 612 2460
2  2. Database- "Whatever Happened to Hell"  [1]  michelle yim 2013/01/18 593 3125
1  1. Fact or Fantasy? - "Whatever Happened to Hell?" by John Blanchard    michelle yim 2013/01/12 490 2095

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