Hebrews 11:1 - 2 (Playdough Version)
What do you think? Have we re-defined what faith is?
Is our faith more like a box of answers or like an unfinished puzzle?
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."Matthew records Jesus saying something like this twice, and Mark once.
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."And Paul explains this further in Romans 6. When we are baptized with Christ, we are united with Christ in His death and resurrection. We go with our sins to the cross with Christ. Our selfish ways die, and we find new life with Christ.
9:2 Then, when he had been brought in, the proconsul asked him if he was Polycarp. And when he confessed, he would have persuaded him to deny, saying, Have respect unto thine age, and other things like these, as is their custom to say: Swear by the fortunes of Caesar; Repent; Say, Away with the Atheists. But Polycarp, when he had looked with a grave face at all the multitude of lawless heathen in the arena, having beckoned unto them with his hand, sighed, and looking up unto heaven, said, Away with the Atheists!I find it interesting that the Christians were called Atheists in this period. Why would Christians be called Atheists? Was it because they did not believe that Caesar was Lord? Interesting.
9:3 And when the proconsul pressed him, and said, Swear, and I will release thee, revile Christ; Polycarp said, Eighty and six years have I served him, and in nothing hath he wronged me; and how, then, can I blaspheme my King, who saved me?So the story goes that Polycarp was burned in the arena at 86 years of age, but the fire could not kill him so they killed him with a sword. All because Polycarp remained faithful to his King.
"O Lord God Almighty, Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received our knowledge concerning thee, the God of angels and powers, and of the whole creation, and of all the race of the just who lived before thee, I thank thee that thou hast deemed me worthy of this day and hour, that I should have my portion in the number of the martyrs, in the cup of thy Christ, unto the resurrection of eternal life, both of the soul and body, in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. Among these may I be received before thee this day as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, even as thou hast prepared and made manifest beforehand, and hast fulfilled, thou who art the unerring and true God."Polycarp saw this as partaking in the cup of Christ. His Lord's words to take up his cross and follow Him were very real. I also see a similarity here to Paul in Romans 6 where we learn that those who are baptized into Christ died with Christ on the cross and are raised into new life with Him.
"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake."Philippians 2:11 (NIV)
"and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."Romans 10:9 (NIV)
"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."1 Corinthians 12:3 (NIV)
Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.1 Corinthians 8:6 (NIV)
"yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."Eph 4:4-5 (NIV)
"There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism;"Acts 2:21 (NIV)
"And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."Acts 2:36 (NIV)
"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."Philippians 2:8-11 (NIV)
"And being found in appearance as a man,Apostles' Creed
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."Here at His birth are three miraculous stories introducing Jesus as King or Lord.
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
" 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"
"But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."(Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse here. But I'm blogging this primarily to track my learning.)
But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."Matthew 21:32 (NIV)
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.Luke 17:21 (NIV)
"nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us."If any of our doctrines or teachings have portrayed God as something other than love, lets take another look at them. Yes God has other characteristics, but they can not contradict or ever take away from His love for us. God's love is Holy and pure, His love can be demonstrated through his justice, God's love for us can be shown by His anger against the sin that would destroys us.
"neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."Yes, we could quote some scripture either way. The words Love and Holy both show up in the Bible about the same number times (547 & 549). They must be both true of God at all times.
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."We can only really love God when we first know and feel loved by Him. It will then be a natural response to His overwhelming love for us.
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" —which means, "God with us."It just reminded me of the truth that Jesus is "God with us". Jesus was "God with us" when he walked on this earth 2000 years ago. Jesus is still "God with us" when he lives in and through us. That is what the new covenant we live under is all about.
But God found fault with the people and said:Related Posts:
"The time is coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."
All Scripture (the 66 books we call the Bible, some of which were not even written before 2 Timothy, yet including these and all New Testament books which would be compiled into a canon a few hundred years later by the early Catholic Church) is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (and the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative word of God)"
"every Writing [is] God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that [is] in righteousness,"But I'm still not sure what that means. Every writing? Which writings? That's what I'm concerned with. Did Timothy know which books would be included in the canon that came together over a few hundred years of the early church?
Why are there strifes, and tumults, and divisions, and schisms, and wars among you? Have we not [all] one God and one Christ? Is there not one Spirit of grace poured out upon us? And have we not one calling in Christ? Why do we divide and tear to pieces the members of Christ, and raise up strife against our own body, and have reached such a height of madness as to forget that "we are members one of another?" Remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, how He said, "Woe to that man [by whom offenses come]! It were better for him that he had never been born, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my elect. Yea, it were better for him that a millstone should be hung about [his neck], and he should be sunk in the depths of the sea, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my little ones. Your schism has subverted [the faith of] many, has discouraged many, has given rise to doubt in many, and has caused grief to us all. And still your sedition continues.Yes, I think it is clear the members of Christ's church have 'reached such a height of madness', and have forgotten that "we are members one of another?".
(First Clement Chapter 46, 80-140CE)
"...But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."Is there a connection between 'betraying the Son of Man' and not recognizing that Christ's Church is one body? Would a similar 'woe' apply?
"O Lord, remember your assembly, remember to rescue it from every evil and to make it complete in your love, and to gather it from the four winds into your kingdom which you prepared for it--it, which has been made holy. For yours is the power and the glory for the age." - Didache (50-120 C.E.)The early church remembered to pray for Christ's global Church. It was much smaller then, rooted closer to Christ's teachings, and had thousands fewer divisions - yet they still prayed.
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.As Christians we are often encouraged to 'be in the Word'... and I see no problem with that.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
" it has been said, Let your alms sweat in your hands, until you know to whom you should give."http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-roberts.html
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
The Problem is Our Separation
God created us in His own image to have an abundant life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. God gave us a will and a freedom of choice. We chose to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today. This results in separation from God. http://www.billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." —Romans 3:23 (NIV)
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." —Romans 6:23 (NIV)
"True or False: Sin Separates us from God"
When I rule my life by going my selfish way (sin… like the prodigal son) I can distance myself from participating in the kingdom of God…
But God is all powerful... He has the ability to reach out to us even when we are sinners…. while we were sinners, Christ died for us...
Jesus was a friend of sinners. It’s not like sin creates a gulf that God himself can not cross to reach across to love sinners... and that was the perception I've had in the past. I thought God was incapable of loving sinners because of his Holiness. My love isn't even as pure as God's, yet I am capable of loving my kids when they sin against me... I don't think we should limit God's love this way.
Sin separates us from God?
True – when we sin we separate ourselves from God’s ways.
False – God's love can always reach out to us.
More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified -- more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/04/30/religion.torture/index.html
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.Or would a renewed focus on love be a better way forward?
I just read this Post by Alan Knox, and had to repost it here:
A man had several children. He loved his children and provided for them as any loving father would. And, like most children, they often disagreed and fought. But, the father would bring the children together and make them deal with their disagreements.
One by one, as the children grew up, they moved out of the father’s house. However, they all stayed close by. One son moved into a house a block away. A daughter moved into the house next door. Another son moved across town. Each child moved into his or her own house, married, and began to start their own family.
Also, one by one, the children stopped talking to one another. Their disagreement and fights became more serious and divisive. And, since they no longer lived with their father, they no longer came together to work out their differences.
Whenever they saw one another at the store, or on the sidewalk, or at the park, they would point out their differences and disagreements. Often, the arguments would become loud and heated, such that people walking by would notice. Eventually, the people in town knew the family as “the divided family.”
The name “divided family” grieved the father, so he invited his children to come together to work out their differences. They all agreed. But, one by one, the children declined the invitation when they heard that the other children were invited as well. Each one refused to get together with their father as long as the other children were invited.
The father continued to spend time with his children one-on-one, but he could not convince the children to come together. Whenever he attempted to invite more than one of his children to his house, the children would refuse and point out their disagreements and differences with the other children.
As the grandchildren grew older and moved out of their parents’ houses, they also began to disagree with one another. They would often argue with their parents as well. While each of the children and grandchildren and (eventually) great grandchildren loved to spend time with the father, they refused to get together with one another.
Whenever the father tried to bring them together, the children and grandchildren and great grandchildren would complain to the father about the others, and tell him that their family was right and the other families were wrong. They explained passionately to their father why they could not get together with those other families.
One day, in his grief, the father wrote a letter. In the letter, the father acknowledged the hurt, disagreements, and arguments that had split his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. He acknowledged that it would take great efforts on all their parts to bring them all back together again.
“However,” he concluded, “in all of your arguments and disagreements and divisions, you have forgotten one thing: In my perspective, as long as you live as separate families, you are living a lie. You are one family – my family – and I will never see you nor treat you as multiple families.”
"Heavenly Father, I know that I have sinned against you and that my sins separate me from you. I am truly sorry. I now want to turn away from my sinful past and turn to you for forgiveness. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, that He was raised from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become my Savior and the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You and to convict me when I sin. I pledge to grow in grace and knowledge of you. My greatest purpose in life is to follow your example and do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."and you will be saved.
It's really interesting that people say that they are 'Bible believing', but they don't know how to hear the voice of God. It's not like God wrote the book and stopped talking... I mean what is that?... that just makes me giggle. I think God is always talking. And the promise of Jesus is 'my sheep know my voice'.
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
"Basically, the Messiah in Jewish thought is a descendant of King David who will also be a king and will bring the Jews together to live in the Land of Israel and to keep the commandments. He will fight wars against the enemies of the Jews, will prevail, and will inaugurate an era of everlasting peace when the Third Holy Temple will be built in Jerusalem. It is commandment to long for the Messiah every day and to expect him to arrive. There is no time that it is impossible for the Messiah to come, even in the darkest hours. "The Muslims are also waiting for a Messiah/Savior:
"According to the unanimously accepted saying of the Prophet Muhammad, God will bring about a saviour before the end of time to establish the global domination of Islam over all religions. In other words, the saviour will establish the Kingdom of God on this earth. In Islamic traditions, that saviour is known by the name of "al-Mahdi".Christians are waiting for the second coming of Messiah:
The second coming of Jesus Christ is the hope of believers that God is in control of all things, and is faithful to the promises and prophecies in His Word. In His first coming, Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby in a manager in Bethlehem, just as prophesied. Jesus fulfilled many of the prophecies of the Messiah during His birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection. However, there are some prophecies regarding the Messiah that Jesus has not yet fulfilled. The second coming of Christ will be the return of Christ to fulfill these remaining prophecies. In His first coming, Jesus was the suffering Servant. In His second coming, Jesus will be the conquering King. In His first coming, Jesus arrived in the most humble of circumstances. In His second coming, Jesus will arrive with the armies of heaven at His side.What are you waiting for?
The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4:25-26 NIV)However His Kingdom was not of this world:
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." (John 18:36 NIV)His Kingdom was starting during that generation:
I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:28 NIV)Jesus core message was about this Kingdom of His. He often used parables to describe it, and focused his preaching on it.
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew 4:17 NIV)You don't have to be like the religious leaders of Jesus day:
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him. (Matthew 21:32 NIV)The good news is that God's Kingdom is here now. Change your way of thinking, believe this message:
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15 NIV)
"What's the Gospel?
What’s the gospel? I’ll put it in a sentence.
The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. "
Question: "What is the true gospel?"
Answer: The true gospel is the good news that God saves sinners. Man is by nature sinful and separated from God with no hope of remedying that situation. But God, by His power, provided the means of man’s redemption in the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.Matthew 9:35 (NIV)
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.Matthew 11:5 (NIV)
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.Matthew 24:14 (NIV)
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Mark 1:14-15 (NIV)
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.Mark 8:35 (NIV)
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.Mark 10:29-30 (NIV)
"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.Luke 3:18 (NIV)
And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:Luke 4:43 (NIV)
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him,
But he said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."Luke 9:6 (NIV)
So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.Luke 16:16 (NIV)
"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.Luke 20:1 (NIV)
One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. (NIV)
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."I pray that this Counselor, the Spirit of truth, would be with me at all times... I desperately need Him.
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"And what will this Spirit of truth teach me?
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.Hmm... will the Holy Spirit teach me all things? What could this mean?
Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"Jesus came to testify to the truth... the truth that He is King.
"Is that your own idea," Jesus asked, "or did others talk to you about me?"
"Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?"
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."
"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.(Do all souls live forever? - Ezekiel 18:20 repeats "The soul who sins is the one who will die")
"His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."('burning up the chaff' - does this sound like the chaff keeps burning, or burns up.)
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."(Destruction for some... life for others)
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy(destroy both soul and body in hell)
both soul and body in hell."
Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"(doesn't everyone get eternal life? what does eternal life mean? will those in hell live forever?)
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.(again what does eternal life mean? will those in hell live forever?)
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"(again eternal life for some... implies some won't have eternal life.)
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you to will all perish."(what kind of perish? Like having a tower fall on them? Not very eternal. If Jesus wanted to say "unless you repent, you to will all be punished eternally in Hell", I think he could have said it, and also found a better analogy.)
that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life(again eternal life for some... implies some won't have eternal life)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."(some get eternal life... and others will not see life)
but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."(again eternal life for some... implies some won't have eternal life)
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.(here eternal life means they have crossed over from death to life)
For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."(again not everyone will get eternal life? will those in hell live forever?)
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.(everlasting life? will everyone live forever, even those in hell?)
But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die(who will not die? everyone?)
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."(who will live forever? will those in hell live forever?)
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.(not everyone will get eternal life? will those in hell live forever?)
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."(who will live forever? will those in hell live forever?)
I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."(who will not see death? will those in hell live forever?)
"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."(not everyone will get eternal life? will those in hell live forever?)
The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.(not everyone will get eternal life? will those in hell live forever?)
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life(Do we all possess immortality? Will everyone live forever?)
which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.(Do we all possess immortality? Will everyone live forever?)
so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.(not everyone will get eternal life? will those in hell live forever?)
Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.(what could it mean to be brought from death to life?)
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."(death for sinners - eternal life is the gift God is offering)
For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,(sinners will die - those living by the Spirit will live)
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.(some will perish, others are being saved)
and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.(some will perish, others are being saved)
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.(some will be destroyed, others will receive eternal life)
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.(some will be destroyed)
The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.(will everyone live forever?)
Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.(will murderer's have eternal life in Hell?)
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.(Is God giving everyone eternal life? Some get good eternal life, some bad eternal life?)
"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 majesty of his power."(what does destruction mean? Are they destroyed for eternity?)
But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.(perish 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 ungodly men.(ungodly men are destroyed?)
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.(what does perish mean?)
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?(some are saved, some are destroyed)
let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.(can a soul die?)
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.(contrast is death vs life... not eternal torment vs eternal bliss)
"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."(What kind of example was Sodom and Gomorrah? Are they still being punished? The fire may be eternal, but we know that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.)
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.(What could second death mean? To die a second time, after the final judgment?)
Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.(What could second death mean? To die a second time, after the final judgment?)
"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. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."(What could second death mean? To die a second time, after the final judgment?)
"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 sulfur. This is the second death."(What could second death mean? To die a second time, after the final judgment?)
If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.Matthew 25:30 (NIV)
And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'Matthew 25:41 (NIV)
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."Matt 25:46 (NIV)
"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."Luke 16:22-24 (NIV)
"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'Revelation 14:9-11 (NIV)
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name."Revelation 19:3 (NIV)
And again they shouted: "Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever."Rev 20:10 (NIV)
"And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
This passage is often used to support the idea that hell is eternal. But we also need to consider that Jesus is quoting Isaiah 66:24 here:
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where " 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'
"And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind." (NIV)Note the reference to dead bodies, not living bodies. Also Gehenna (translated hell in our Bibles) was a burning garbage dump near Jerusalem. Things thrown into the burning garbage dump would be destroyed. The fire burned forever, but the things thrown into it perished.