Below are three biblical arguments against universalism (and an extra one for further reading!). While they offer more than simple proof texts, it would take a much longer article to develop them more fully. Even so, I trust that you will find them useful and persuasive. Let’s first look at some relevant context, and then dive into the arguments themselves.

Personal eschatology—the study of the final fate of human beings—should be embedded within cosmic eschatology, the study of the final state of God’s created order. God is redeeming the cosmos, and human beings within it (see ). Universalists and conditionalists both agree that God will redeem the cosmos as a whole. But universalists also claim that God will eventually redeem every human being that will have ever lived, while our claim as conditionalists is that God’s work of “new creation” purposefully excludes some human beings. Despite knowing enough about the immortal God and realizing that they ultimately deserve death they still reject him (). They disobey the gospel (; ; ), and so fail to respond obediently in repentance and faith to the knowledge of God and his offer of salvation (; ). They love sin rather than goodness, themselves rather than God, and are “disqualified regarding the faith” (; ).

A related difference between the two views is that conditionalists see judgment day as a time already fixed for their destruction, making their subsequent regret and change of heart impossible (they no longer exist), whereas universalists typically see an open-ended opportunity for unsaved sinners to repent, long after judgment day. This is the common form of universalism that I’m arguing against, although my arguments may still work against other, minority forms. Typically, universalists (especially evangelicals) hold that people are judged by being cast into a hell of some description, perhaps to undergo chastisements, or at least to reflect on their predicament, during which time they may still be saved, as indeed all are due to eventually coming to repentance. Despite the difference in penultimate history between the universalist and conditionalist camps, both scenarios ultimately envision a state of comprehensive reconciliation of the cosmos and of redeemed humanity; God’s completed work of creation, untainted by any evil and triumphant over it.

Argument from the defeat of God’s last remaining enemy in 1 Corinthians 15:26

This argument states that after all of God’s enemies are defeated with the defeat of the last enemy, death, leading to God becoming “all in all” over a redeemed creation, no enemies can still exist as such—including human “enemies of the cross” ()—nor can there be any post-defeat defeat of death in their case anyway. Universalism is ruled out because the Bible links the timing and mode of this defeat of death to the immortalizing resurrection of believers.

According to , the believer’s resurrection, when “the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality,” is the moment when death itself is defeated, that is, “swallowed up in victory.”1 This conquest is grounded in the vision of new creation, when there “will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” ( cf. ).

But as makes clear, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (v26), leaving no more enemies in existence. We are told in this passage that Jesus is right now reigning over “all things,” until he has finally “put all his enemies under his feet” (v25). Only after “destroying every rule and every authority and every power” (v24) does the consummation of salvation history occur, when Jesus submits himself and his rule to God the Father, “that God may be all in all” ( cf. 24). This is precipitated, we are told, by the victory over death demonstrated in the immortalization of believers, which makes them fit for eternal life in the new creation, signaling the destruction of the final enemy, death.

The fact that death is utterly defeated at this point means that it is not subsequently defeated gradually, as unbelievers—who were already resurrected but not made immortal in a victory over death—progressively confess Christ. On universalism, they still remain in mortal corruption, just as they are now. Moreover, since all enemies are destroyed by the time Jesus hands cosmic rule over “all things” to the Father, to have been among the “enemies of the cross” () is to have already been destroyed.

Therefore, the mode and timing of the defeat of God’s last remaining enemy in , and the commensurate absence of any enemy in a fully reconciled creation, rules out universalism.

Argument from the rationale for the limited delay of Judgment Day in 2 Peter 3:9

This argument states that since the rationale given in is that God is being patient by delaying the day of judgment, “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance,” this delay expires when judgment day occurs, along with the related opportunity for repentance, thus ruling out universalism.2

In , the apostle encourages believers to pursue holiness while “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God,” the dawning of “the day of eternity” (). This eternal age will fulfil God’s promises of “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells,” given through the prophets and apostles ( cf. 2-4).3 God is patient rather than slow, and we are to “count the patience of our Lord as salvation” (v15).

The purpose of the delay, then, is so that more may repent and not perish. In theory, the delay could have been indefinite, so that all may eventually repent (universalism) and none may perish—but the logic of the passage indicates that in practice God’s will is more particular and conditional. Paul taught that God “has fixed a day on which he will judge the world” (). Jesus taught that the day of the Lord would take many by surprise, and would come like a thief in the night (). This is reiterated in , and , where like a thief in the night the day of the Lord will overtake those who are in darkness, and “sudden destruction will come upon them . . . they will not escape.” It is also reiterated right here, immediately after Peter explains the delay: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief . . . ” ().

Therefore, the rationale for a limited postponement of “the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (), as given in , rules out the opportunity for repentance beyond that same event, and hence rules out universalism as well.


Postscript: Although this is not part of my argument here, we should note how chapters two and three speak of this destruction: false prophets and teachers lead many astray, “bringing upon themselves swift destruction . . . their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep” (). They, “like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing” (). But the true teaching is found in the Scriptures, “which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction” (). These are the false teachers who scoff about the return of the Lord, and who will be unready and overtaken by “the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (). According to the flow of the passage, they are designated for destruction/perishing in order that the new creation era may commence and be characterized by righteousness ( cf. ). Or, in the language of , “in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.” This explanation from the broader context includes the conditionalist argument that says point blank that just as God destroyed the ancient world of the ungodly but saved the righteous Noah, God also destroyed the land of Sodom and Gomorrah (by the agency of “eternal fire,” cf. ) but rescued righteous Lot, and this extinction is “an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly” in the end (see also )—but the godly will again be rescued and remain, this time forever.

Argument from the “removal” of what cannot “remain” in Hebrews 12:27

This argument states that a crisis of judgment between the present age and the coming age results, according to , in the “removal” of everything that does not belong to the eternal “kingdom that cannot be shaken,” “in order that” everything that does belong “may remain.” Among human beings, only believers belong to the unshakable kingdom; hence, all others are excluded from the age to come, and universalism is ruled out.

falls within the passage of , which draws to a climax an extended discussion that had been building at least since . We are told there that Jesus appeared “at the end of the ages” to purify and sanctify his people, securing for them an “eternal redemption” for “the promised eternal inheritance” (vv. 26, 12, 15). The earthly tabernacle was a copy and shadow of the true tabernacle in heaven ( cf. v2; ), and Jesus has offered himself as a living sacrifice to gain access to the holy places “in heaven itself” (9:24). But the way is not yet opened to us on earth “as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age)” (9:8). The implication of the present age being a barrier in the cosmic temple, is that the age to come involves full access to God, in a sense uniting the heavens and the earth. The temple access motif is still in play throughout , which speaks of “those who draw near” to God, such that without a sacrifice for sins, there is “a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” (). It concludes that in approaching God, “we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (). —12:17 is an excursus about that faith and its pursuit of the blessed inheritance.

In this context, describes a cosmic “shaking” event that we recognize as the day of judgment. It is patterned after the terrifying Sinai theophany, “a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest,” when “the LORD had descended on it in fire . . . and the whole mountain trembled greatly” (; Exod 19:18). The concluding statement from , “for our God is a consuming fire,” wraps up the references to this awesome historic moment, when the manifest “glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on top of the mountain” (Exod 24:17). At that time God’s thunderous voice shook the earth, but now there’s been this warning from heaven: “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens” (). There is every suggestion, therefore, that God will shake the heavens and earth in the same way as before, by manifesting his glorious presence and its consuming fire. The passage explains why believers need not be afraid at that time. They belong to an unshakeable kingdom, the heavenly kingdom, so will pass through the judgment crisis unscathed. What does not belong will suffer “removal . . . in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken . . . ” ().

The purpose and timing of this removal, therefore, rules out the subsequent existence of those who do not belong to the eternal kingdom, thus also ruling out universalism.

Bonus: Argument from theophanic infliction of “eternal destruction” in 2 Thessalonians 1:9

There is another argument against universalism that could be simply expressed, but which deserves a more thorough treatment. Indeed, I have already written about it, and would love for you to consider reading this article through, as it presents an important argument for conditionalism, that is simultaneously an argument against other views. Briefly, there is every indication in the context of that we are meant to think of “eternal destruction” (which everybody agrees relates to final punishment) as something to occur in the same mode as old testament theophanies (appearances of God). On the day of judgment, Jesus will punish “those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved,” by appearing dramatically “in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance” that issues “from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,” exactly as he will do that day to the figure of the lawless one, whom he “will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming”—an unmistakable reference to theophanic destruction (). We should allow this passage to set its own scene, and not force into it any preconceived notions about eternal destruction supposedly taking place in a separate location we’ve called “hell.” This article, as well as its second part, argue forcefully against that view.

Conclusion

There are some interesting philosophical arguments in favor of universalism, and some biblical passages that do speak of a future time when God will be “all in all,” as creation is no longer infected by any evil. But universalism has a core tenet that may be directly challenged, namely, its assertion that there will be an indefinite opportunity to repent and be saved beyond the day of judgment, into the everlasting age of a new heavens and earth.4 , , and (as well as ) give good reason to seriously doubt that scenario, if not to reject it outright. Together, they present a picture of a climax to redemptive history in which—through means of those climactic events of resurrection and judgment—nothing and nobody persists beyond that point, should they be judged not to belong to the new creation.5

 

 

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  1. As I survey in my next article at Rethinking Hell, the Bible categorically distinguishes between the redemptive transformation of believer’s resurrection, and the resurrection of unbelievers. The former is one of honor and glory in life, incorruption, and immortality, while the latter is one of shame and condemnation, in corruption and mortality.
    []
  2. It’s not my intention to refute the universalist claim that God’s desire here is being expressed unconditionally, with a kind of mathematical literalness suggesting that anything less than universal salvation makes God powerless to achieve His own will. However, the reader is invited to consider that the reading of the passage presented here mitigates against abstracting the statement in that way. contains a general statement that isn’t meant to be a comprehensive disclosure of God’s sovereign will, which is often conditional and qualified by other things God also wills. []
  3. Many assume that this involves the creation of brand new places called heaven and earth, such that the present heavens and earth will be obliterated. But Bible scholars and commentators are increasingly arguing that it is only the world in its present form that is passing away (), the foundations of which will remain in order to be redemptively renewed. []
  4. Universalists will often argue or simply assume that depicts unbelievers showing up in the new creation. However this is not part of what John sees, but belongs to a postscript to John’s vision running from until the end, in which the vision’s symbolic terms are being used to reiterate to readers the important invitation to become part of the church, the Bride of Christ. This is symbolized by the sacred city ( cf. 21:9-10), and is said even now to exist spiritually in heavenly realms, where believers are already enrolled (; ; cf. ). []
  5. This paradigm of exclusive belonging to the future age can be fleshed out further through certain passages. In , for example, Jesus refers to those “who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead . . . for they cannot die anymore . . . being sons of the resurrection.” Or in , where Jesus interprets the Parable of the Weeds to say that at the end of the age, reaper angels will “gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace.” After the “sons of the evil one” are so removed, the righteous “sons of the kingdom” will flourish in God’s kingdom. This explanation is soon followed by the Parable of the Net, which is overtly parallel to it ( cf. 13:39-42), and likens the coming kingdom to keeping good fish and throwing away the bad, at the end of the age. Jesus often spoke of the kingdom in terms of the prophecies in and 7, where at first the kingdom rule was given to Nebuchadnezzar (), yet after successive worldly kingdoms is given to the Son of Man as a conquering “dominion and glory and a kingdom” that will last forever (; cf. vv. 18, 26–27). In the prophetic imagery, a stone cut without human hands demolishes an idol (which are made by humans), and then the stone of the Son of Man’s kingdom grows to fill the whole earth (). This is also prophetically realized in . []

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Romans 1:32

32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”

And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

Romans 16:26

26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—

20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.

18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.

24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God 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. 28 When 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.

28 When 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.

18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.

26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!

2 Peter 3:18

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”)

For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction,

2 Peter 2:13

13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you.

16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.

if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— 30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.

27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.

27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.

18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

9:1 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”

23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

10:1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,”

17 then he adds,

“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For,

“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

10:1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

Hebrews 10:27

27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest

29 for our God is a consuming fire.

25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”

27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

2 Thessalonians 2:8-10

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.

20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,

and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

34 And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

49 So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

2:1 In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him. Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. And the king said to them, “I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.” Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.” They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation.” The king answered and said, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see that the word from me is firm— if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.” 10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11 The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

12 Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13 So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them. 14 Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He declared to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. 16 And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
22 he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him.
23 To you, O God of my fathers,
I give thanks and praise,
for you have given me wisdom and might,
and have now made known to me what we asked of you,
for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”

24 Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation.”

25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: “I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.” 26 The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: 29 To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. 30 But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.

31 “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. 47 The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.

31 “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.

31 “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”