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Reply Topic: Re: *Eternal* punishment?
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[quote="webb" post=5135]Jeremiah wrote:[quote]number one...I'm not sure what you're saying there.[/quote]My reading of Luke 20:35, which speaks of those who "have been found worthy of taking part in the age to come and [= which is to say] the resurrection from among the dead," is that Christ's coming in glory is the occasion of a judgment of the living and the dead, which determines who is worthy of taking part in the glorious age to come. Those who are found worthy among the living are not mentioned here by Jesus because the subject is the dead. Paul says the living faithful will be translated into a resurrected, immortal state without first dying (1 Cor. 15:50-54; cf. 1 Thess. 4:13-18). What Jesus does say about the dead is that those among the dead who are found worthy [i][b]will be raised from among the dead[/b][/i], which transparently implies that the rest of the dead, for whom the verdict is negative at that judgment, [i][b]are not raised[/b][/i]. See also Lk. 14:12-14. To me the lake (or, more accurately, the [i]pool[/i]) of fire is what consumes those who have been belatedly raised and invited into the good things of the new creation thanks to the grace of God in Jesus Christ, but who, even when invited back into paradise, blind themselves and turn to their godless and violent ways. As far as I can see, there is no recovery hinted for them. I read as parallel Isa. 26:9-11; 27:1-5; 57:15-21; 66:22-24; Rev. 20:7-10; 20:13-15. There is, according to my reading of Scripture, such a thing as a being for whom no amount of grace and no number of chances will result in repentance. "There is no peace for the wicked," not because God cuts off his grace before they have a chance to repent, but because there is such a thing as a human and an angelic spirit that will never turn to God, and therefore cannot love and cannot be trusted with agency in the creation. Rather than holding stubbornly destructive beings in existence ad infinitum, God gives them one last gracious chance (esp. see Isa. 26:9-11; 27:1-5; 57:15-21, and God's plea, "peace, peace," in the latter two passages), and then expunges them for the good of the rest of creation.[/quote]
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