One of the biggest tares in the modern church , for the last 1500 years is the wrong translation of a few key words in Hebrew and Greek. I can already feel the oppression on my head from offended brothers and sisters as they pray “for” me! Never mind that, as a brother in Jesus Christ I will continue to share the good news in the hope that someone may hear.
It was St Augustine who reasoned that if we have been given eternal life then those who do not believe in Jesus must receive eternal death.
Is it as simple as that dualistic approach?
Believe it or not the Bible says very little about eternal life…and for that matter eternal death.
The hope of the saints living in Old Covenant times was to be raised up or resurrected in the end times so as to enjoy the Life of the Age to come.
The hope of those who believed in Jesus was and is the same….Our hope is not to die and go to a faraway place called heaven…The hope clearly revealed by the Jesus and His Apostles is to be resurrected to immortality reigning with Him in the Age to come.
When Augustine presented his reasonings that we must have eternal life and so Hell must also of necessity be forever, it was adopted by the church council of the day and later stamped as official church dogma by the Emperor Justinian. What better way to control the masses than through the threat of eternal torture and punishment in a literal burning fire?
The Scriptures simply do not teach such a thing. You think they do because there has been 1500 years of compounded teaching along these lines and anyone who dares say differently is thought of as a heretic. The simple meaning of a heretic is one who causes division so in a sense I fit that bill because I am presenting the majority of people with something that will bring down the whole stack of cards.
Hell is all about controlling you and the masses of those like you. Hell is all pervasive and all over everything a Christian does. Without Hell what would a Christian do?
There will be a resurrection of all those chosen and faithful saints who shall receive immortality for reigning with Jesus Christ upon this earth. They shall also be able to go into the heavens with this new immortal body. These shall be called priests of God and they shall teach and preach upon the earth to the nations during the 1000 year reign of Jesus on this earth.
Those who died before that resurrection but who were not counted worthy to attain to that resurrection shall stay sleeping in the grave until the second resurrection at the end of the Age. We are told that that age lasts for a 1000 years. At the end of it, then ALL who sleep in the graves shall hear the voice of the son of man and shall be raised up to stand before Him. At that time they shall see Him who they pierced and shall believe upon Him and confess Him as their Lord and Saviour.
All their sins are forgiven and washed in the blood sacrifice of Jesus. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Jesus as their Lord. Oh happy day!!
Then in the Ages to come they shall learn as we have been learning….they shall be put under authority and taught by the Holy Spirit….even as we have been. This is the Lake of Fire that burns age to age. The fire is the Holy Spirit as he deals with each one individually even as we have been immersed into His fire during our time. God chastens those whom He loves and He loves ALL PEOPLE. He chastens us all so that we may be sharers in His holiness and come to inherit as sons do.
The hope of the Gospel is that all shall be saved and all shall believe in Jesus until all His enemies are made His footstool…then God shall be all in all.
How big is your God? Will your God save all or will He only save a few?
Your view of all this has been influenced greatly by saints of old…even 1500 years ago.
Saint Augustine did not know Greek or Hebrew!!
Although Augustine had a good mind yet he never fully mastered the the Greek language, and he later had reason to regret this fact.
Contrary to the custom in Rome of his day, the classical schooling that Augustine received in colonial North Africa was conducted principally in Latin rather than in Greek. Augustine later wrote in his Confessions that his first Greek teacher was a brutal man who constantly beat his students. As a result, Augustine rebelled by vowing never to learn Greek.
“The after-effect of his having had in his childhood a teacher of Greek who was cruel to his students far outlasted the seventy-six years that Augustine spent on this earth. Because Augustine was such an influence on the thought and scholarship of the Church in the West during the Middle Ages, his dislike of Greek had lasting consequences. His low motivation towards the Greek language and his recourse to Greek texts less frequently than would otherwise have been the case unduly influenced subsequent Christian authors of the West.“source
Augustine wrongly thought that the Hebrew word Olam meant forever and the Greek word Aionian the same. Yet he himself did not know Hebrew or Greek so had to rely upon men like Jerome the author of the Latin Vulgate version adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. Yet a close look at their usage in Scripture plainly reveals that these words do not mean forever but an unknown length of TIME. Time and eternity are two different things altogether. Eternity is not a very long time. Eternity is nothing to do with time. Yet all these ideas have been hidden by Augustine and Jerome.
You may not have even heard of Augustine yet his thinking and doctrinal understanding has influenced you and all Christians since 500AD. A full 1000 years after Augustine’s views of eternal punishment became official church dogma the King James Version team of translators got together. They were a product of the same Augustinian thought which majored on Latin understanding and not Hebrew or even the Greek version of the Old Testament. Is it any wonder that these men translated time words such as Olam and Aionios and aionian to mean forever and eternal?
As a result of the wrong translation of these time words to mean forever the Bible does not declare the Good News as fully as it should. Thankfully though, God is beginning to bind the Tares into bundles to burn them at the end of the Age. One of those tares is the eternal punishment dogma which has ruled over the minds of dear Christians for centuries and driven them to strive in the flesh in all that they do. This has worked to stunt fruit bearing for unless we abide in Jesus we cannot bring forth fruit. Fear of Hell keeps the Church from being able to rest in Jesus for long.