Archive for the ‘death’ category

Your believing will not Cause you to be Born Again

July 1, 2017

John 3:18 He that believes not is condemned ALREADY

John 3:36 The one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God REMAINS on them

Not all sins, not all sin, was laid on the Savior
But every sin which was laid on Christ has been paid for by Christ’s death
No sin is not paid for by our believing

The believer who points to their believing and says that this believing made peace
is not yet believing the true gospel.
Different believers believe different gospels

Even if you don’t think your believing is the righteousness,
if you believe that Christ’s righteousness was for everybody
then you certainly don’t think it’s Christ’s righteousness which saves.

I Peter 2:24 who his own self bore OUR sins in his body on the tree
I Corinthians 15 Christ died FOR OUR SINS according to the Scripture

The cross is not about how God COULD save somebody
The cross is about how God WILL save all for whom Christ died
The cross is not about sinners already being saved before they believe
The cross is not about sinners being saved without knowing or believing.

The cross is about Christ having been imputed with all the sins of those God loves
The cross is about Christ’s death one time taking away God’s wrath for those sins
The cross is about God imputing Christ’s death to the elect and giving them faith
in that death as the righteousness which will save and give every blessing

II Peter 1:1 Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ:To those who have obtained a faith of equal privilege with ours THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Christ’s blood means Christ’s death
Christ’s righteousness means that Christ’s death
satisfies God’s wrath against sins

God does not buy God’s love for His people
God’s love for His people causes God to buy His people
Christ’s righteousness pays for God’s people

Romans 5: 8 But God proves His own love for US in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! 9 Much more then, since we have NOW been declared righteous by His blood, we WILL BE SAVED through Christ from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the DEATH of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, WILL WE BE SAVED by His resurrection

Christ’s righteousness does not mean something else extra
besides Christ’s death satisfying God’s wrath
Christ’s righteousness is not Christ doing what Adam was supposed to do
God’s grace does not save apart from Christ’s death

Ephesians 1:7 in Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to His grace

All for whose sins Christ died were first objects of God’s love
God’s elect are not loved because they believe
God’s elect believe the gospel only because of God’s grace

Those who believe the gospel are free from condemnation
passed from death to life
but not because they believe and not because God saw that they would believe
believing the gospel is a gift of grace purchased by Christ’s death

Romans 8: If God is for us, who is against us?
32 God did not even hold back His own Son
but handed Him over for US all;
how will God not also ( along with His Son) GIVE us everything else?
33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?
God is the One who justifies.
34 Who is the one who condemns?
Christ Jesus is the One who died,
but even more, has been raised;
Christ Jesus also is at the right hand of God
and intercedes for us.

All for whom Christ died will in time believe the gospel
the gospel is not that Christ died for all sins and all sinners
you can’t know if Christ died for you until after you believe the gospel

But how can you believe if you don’t know first if Christ died for you?
The gospel is not that Christ died for you
Christ died for the elect to give them the gift to believe

Those who believe are those for whom Christ died
we have no Bible to say that Christ died for anybody who never believes the gospel

Hebrews 9:12 Christ entered once into the holy place, HAVING OBTAINED PERMANENT REDEMPTION for US

But how can you believe if you don’t know if God will give you believing?

how can you take a breath without knowing if God will give you another breath?

why would you not want to breathe?

why would you insist on knowing that Jesus died for you before you would believe?

would you like it better if Jesus died for everybody even though not everybody will be saved from God’s wrath?

would you like it better if at least your believing was not a gift God gives also along with the death of Jesus?

would you like it better if it wasn’t the death of Jesus that made the difference but instead your believing?

would you like it better if God loved those who will perish under God’s wrath just as much as God loved those who God will save?

would God be more righteous to you if Christ’s death was not enough to turn sinners into those who believe what God says about Christ’s death?

would God be more righteous to you if God did not care what you believe about believing making the difference?

Does Christ’s righteousness depend on what you do with that righteousness?

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The Holy Spirit Does NOT Baptize Us Into Christ

December 2, 2016

In Romans 6, Paul describes being baptized into Christ, with no mention of the Holy Spirit in the chapter. Romans 6:7 gives as its answer to antinomianism not a new enablement by the Holy Spirit which allows us not to sin (so much) Romans 6:7 is about being justified from the power of guilt because of legal identity in Christ’s death is about the indicative of being united to Christ in His death.

All the New Testament texts teach that Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit, and none of the texts teach that the Spirit is the agent who places the elect into Christ. Should the texts be understood (even if they don’t say) that “John baptizes with water, but Jesus baptizes with both water and the Spirit, and (also) the Holy Spirit is the one who baptizes when Jesus baptizes? So when Jesus baptizes with the Spirit, it’s really the oppoiste of that, so that the Holy Spirit who baptizes with Christ?

I agree that it is not possible to receive Christ without receiving His Holy Spirit, but that in no way proves that the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ. We should not assume that the “reality” of regeneration by the Spirit has priority over God’s legal imputation with Christ’s death and justification. “We have have been baptized into Christ” is NOT about the water ritual. The baptism on view in I Peter 3 and Colossians 2 and Romans 6 Is NOT ‘an outward sign of an inward change…. Water does not fulfill the type of physical circumcision…

One, I am not giving “the baptist view” Most baptists I know are as likely to assume that “baptism” means also water as any paedobaptist. (See for example, though I like Robert Haldane’s commentary, his remarks on Romans 6.)

Two, I believe in Holy Spirit baptism, but Holy Spirit baptism does NOT mean that the Spirit “baptizes into” Christ, at least not so far as any Bible text teaches. I Cor 12:13 correctly translated reads –”in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” The text does not say “by the Spirit” or teach that the Holy Spirit is the baptizer. The I Cor 12:13 agrees with the other six Spirit baptism texts in teaching that Christ is the agent who gives the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not give Christ, and the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in Romans 6. Yes, even many baptists assume that the Holy Spirit is the agent in Romans 6, but they also wrongly agree with many paedobaptists who assume that any text with the word “baptism” must have reference to the work of the Spirit and read that idea into Romans 6 and Colossians 2 and I Peter 3.

Do you assume that there’s water somewhere (at least implied) in Romans 6 and in Colossians 2 and I peter 3? There is no text anywhere that talks about “baptism by the Spirit”, and these three specific texts a) don’t refer to water but instead to something that actually saves and b. don’t refer to the Spirit or to the new birth. All three texts are about legal identity with Christ’s death. They don’t use the word “imputation”, but their legal context has nothing about the Holy Spirit or regeneration (or water)

I never teach that Romans 6 or Colossians 2 or I Peter 3 are about the Holy Spirit,. I teach that the three texts are NOT about water. If not water, then what? Not water, but the Father’s imputation of Christ’s death to the elect. I agree that other “baptism” texts ARE about water, and about some texts, I might still be agnostic. We could go from “John the Baptist with water, but Jesus with the Spirit to the Great Commission. But in the meanwhile, we need to stop assuming “water” or “water as a reference to the Spirit”. That paradigm does not fit all the biblical evidence.

Since I deny that the new birth comes before God’s imputation of Christ’s death and say that it’s Christ’s death imputed which results in having Christ and life, am I also begging the question about what “union” means? I hope not. Christ, who was far off, is brought near by the news of the gospel (Romans 10:8), and united to the elect when God credits them with His righteousness (which is the value and merit of Christ’s death) and effectually calls them . The elect don’t first get Christ and then get His righteousness . The elect cannot first “put on Christ”, and only after that get “baptized into His death” Being placed into Christ’s death is in order to being in Christ and then having Christ in us. Being baptized into Christ in Romans 6 (which is NOT regeneration by the Spirit, which is NOT baptism by the Spirit) is another way to talk about God’s imputation. And this means that Christ baptizing the elect with or into the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13) is not first, but the result of legal union with Christ.

Berkhof—-“It is sometimes said that the merits of Christ cannot be imputed to us as long as we are not in Christ, since it is only on the basis of our oneness with Him that such an imputation could be reasonable. But this view fails to distinguish between our legal unity with Christ and our spiritual oneness with Him, and is a falsification of the fundamental element in the doctrine of redemption, namely, of the doctrine of justification. Justification is always a declaration of God, not on the basis of an existing (or future) condition, but on that of a gracious imputation–a declaration which is not in harmony with the existing condition of the sinner. The judicial ground for all the grace which we receive lies in the fact that the righteousness of Christ is freely imputed to us.”

Cal Beisner— “First, the term baptism did not mean, primarily, a ritual application of water. Second, commentators argue in two ways that in Romans 6 baptism does not denote the rite: (a) consistent application of that sense in the immediate context (verses 1-10) would yield the conclusion (contrary to other passages of Scripture) that all, without exception, who undergo the rite are regenerate, converted, justified, sanctified, and finally glorified, and (b) Paul himself, who certainly views circumcision and baptism as type and antitype (Colossians 2:11-12), had already written in the same epistle that it was not the rite of circumcision but the spiritual reality designated by it….
p 324 http://www.ecalvinbeisner.com/freearticles/AATConclusion.pdf

Paul Helm—Is not the granting of Christ’s gifts also a work of Christ? Is this giving not something that Christ does? Giving us gifts is not atonement, Giving us gifts is the result of atonement. But in giving justification Christ is at work.
Bavinck: Christ took on himself the task of really and fully saving his people. Christ will not abdicate as mediator before Christ has presented his elect– without spot or wrinkle – to the Father. The application of salvation is not less an essential constituent of redemption than Christ’s acquisition of salvation‘Take away its application and redemption is not redemption’. Christ continues his prophetic, priestly and royal activity. The application of salvation is Christ work. By an irresistible grace Christ gives himself and his benefits to his own. (Reformed Dogmatics, 3-523)

Docetism Says that Jesus was Not Really Human and Did Not Really Die

October 6, 2016

When Jesus was a baby, He didn’t sleep all that well at the beginning. The baby Jesus kept waking up his mom

Jesus was tortured to death, but Jesus is not still being tortured, and Jesus was not tortured for three days after He died.

Jesus had told his disciples that He would not be asking the Father to save him “from this hour,” because it was “for this reason” that he had “come to this hour” (John 12:27). What Jesus did ask was that the Father glorify his name, and the Father answered: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again,”

Jesus told them that this voice had spoken for their sake because the time had come for “the judgment of this world, “when the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when Jesus was “lifted up from the earth,” he would “draw all people to himself. That was his way of indicating the kind of death he would die In the garden of Gethsemane, Peter drew his sword in an effort to protect Jesus from arrest, but Jesus told him: “Put your sword back into its sheath,” because Jesus willed: “to drink the cup that the Father has given me” (

Calvin said that the physical death of Jesus would not save anybody, Calvin said it was God’s torture of Jesus that saved but Calvin also said that the torture was before Jesus died

Calvin: “If Christ had died only a bodily death ,it would have been ineffectual. No—it was expedient at the same time for him to undergo the severity of God’s vengeance, to appease his wrath and satisfy his just judgment.” 2.16.10.

Calvin–“Nothing had been done if Christ had only endured corporeal death. In order to interpose between us and God’s anger, and satisfy his righteous judgment, it was necessary that he should feel the weight of divine vengeance. Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death. … … Hence there is nothing strange in its being said that he descended to hell, seeing he endured the death which is inflicted on the wicked by an angry God. It is frivolous and ridiculous to object that in this way the order is perverted, it being absurd that an event which preceded burial should be placed after it. But after explaining what Christ endured in the sight of man, the Creed appropriately adds the invisible and incomprehensible judgment which he endured before God, to teach us that not only was the body of Christ given up as the price of redemption, but that there was a greater and more excellent price—that he bore in his soul the tortures of condemned and ruined man. ”

Calvin argued, that In ADDITION TO his physical suffering, Christ endured an “invisible and incomprehensible judgment” and paid “a greater and more excellent price in suffering in his soul the terrible moments of a condemned and forsaken man.” 2.16.10.

Calvin does not deny the physical death of Christ but Calvin assumes that Christ went straight to heaven, and Calvin adds something else to the human physical death of Christ. Some today teach that there would be “no hope without” vicarious law-keeping imputed ADDED TO Christ’s human physical death. Calvin taught that it was the pre-death sufferings of Christ which really made the propitiation, and NOT the human physical death.

What happens to the “Calvinist extra” (deity not united to humanity) if Christ’s deity is present in two places, not only with His dead body but also with his “human spirit in heaven”? Why object to Lutheran ideas about the ubiquity of the humanity (by communication of attributes with the deity) once you have agreed to humanity present with deity in two places?

F F Bruce–One symptom of the docetic tendency appears in the description of our Lord’s manhood as ‘heavenly humanity’…Writing in 1901, W. B. Neatby said, ‘A year or two ago I heard an address from a Brother of the Open Section, who actually taught that Christ did not die from crucifixion, but by a mere miraculous act. Or C. F. Hogg’s pamphlet, The Traditions and the Deposit: ‘What He did not know, He knew that He did not know’

http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/ffb/humanity_bruce.pdf

Smeaton, Atonement As Taught By Himself, p 78—The Son of God took sin upon Him, and bore it simultaneously with the taking of the flesh, nay, in a sense even prior to the actual fact of the incarnation. The peculiar character of the Lord’s humanity, which was, on the one hand, pure and holy, and yet, on the other, a curse-bearing humanity, plainly shows that in some sense He was the sin-bearer from the moment of His sending, and, therefore, even prior to His actual incarnation.

Smeaton–And when it is said that God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, we have the very same thing…Sin was borne by God, not alone in the sense of forbearance, but in such a sense that it was laid on the sin-bearer, to be expiated by the divine Son. Thus the Lamb of God appeared without inherent sin or taint of any kind, but never without the sin of others. The sin of man was not firsti mputed to Him or borne by Him when He hung on the cross, but in and with the assumption of man’s nature.

Smeaton—The very form of a servant, and His putting on the likeness of sinful flesh, was an argument that sin was already transferred to Him and borne by Him; and not a single moment of the Lord’s earthly life can be conceived of in which He did not feel the harden of the divine wrath which must otherwise have pressed on us for ever.
Because He bore sin, and was never seen without it, it may be affirmed that the MORTALITY which was comprehended in the words, “Thou shalt surely die”—that is, all that was summed up in the wrath and curse of God,—was never really separated from Him.

Smeaton–As the sin-bearer, He all through life discerned and felt the penal character of sin, the sense of guilt, not personal, but as the surety could realize it, and the obligation to divine punishment for sins not His own, but made His own by an official action; and they who evacuate of their true significance these deep words, bears the sins” allowing Christ to have no connection with sin, and only dwelling on His purity and spotless innocence as our example—they who will not have Him as a sin-bearer—are the most sacrilegious.

There are dangers to describing sin as corruption instead of guilt, because guilt is cause of inability. There is great error in describing “made sin” as the “spiritual death” of Christ. Christ did not become corrupt, and Christian do not become righteous by infusion or by imparting (one more extra nature ) but by God’s legal imputation. …..

If Christ died spiritually, then Christ Needed to be Regenerated

Glenn Peoples—many reject the view that Jesus atoned for sin by suffering in hell after death . The problem, however, is that they still assume that the punishment for sin is suffering the wrath of God in the form of torment, and so the solution, whatever it is, is assumed to be that Jesus suffers that torment somewhere, either on the cross or in hell – and since it wasn’t in hell it was on the cross.

Smeaton—We Died When He Died—Don’t Reduce Substitution Into Participation

May 1, 2016

Smeaton, The Apostles Doctrine of the Atonement : To understand what is meant by dying with Christ, we need to see the connection between the previous chapter and Romans 6. In Romans 5:12-19 Paul described our standing in Christ, and then he added “where sin abounded, grace much more abounded.” Anticipating the objection that would be made to such a view of God’s grace, Paul says, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” and then he rejects that thought with total abhorrence of the idea.

But not content with his mere “God forbid” rejection of the thought, he then goes on to prove that this type of perversion of grace could not logically follow for a reason which touches the deep elements of God’s moral government, and makes it totally impossible. Paul argues from a fact-the great objective change of relation that comes from dying with Christ.

We need to ask, then, what Paul means by these expressions that he uses, on which he makes his point so strongly (verse 12): “dying with Christ”, “dying to sin”, “buried with Christ”, “crucified with Christ”. One particular verse of Scripture will give us a key to the meaning of the above phrases: For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 2 Corinthians 5:14

In this passage, Paul uses two expressions interchangeably; that is, “He died for all”, and “all died in Him.” He is describing the same thing from two different points of view. The first of these expressions describes the vicarious death of Christ as an objective fact. The second phrase speaks of the same great transaction, in terms that indicate that we too have done it. So then, we may either say, “Christ died for us”, or “we died in Him.” Both are true. We can equally affirm that He was crucified for us, or we were co-crucified with Him.

We are not referring here to two acts-one on Christ’s side and another on ours. Rather,we have but one public representative, corporate act performed by the Son of God, in which we share as truly as if we had accomplished the atonement ourselves.
It is a mistake to not carry Romans 5 into Romans 6. If we carry the thought of the representative character of the two Adams from the one chapter into the other, then the difficulty vanishes.

All men sinned in the first man’s act of sin; for that public act was representative, and all Adam’s offspring were included in it. From God’s perspective, there have been but two men in the world, with the two families of which they are the heads; there have been just two public representatives. The idea of Christ being our Surety and the representation of His atonement as the act of “one for many”, run through this entire section of Romans. But the passage we are studying (Romans 6:1-8) contains one difference as compared with other passages, and that is that here we are described as doing what our representative did.

Let us notice the expressions used in Romans 6:1-8: It is said that “we died to sin (verse 2). As this phrase is misunderstood quite requently, we must discover what it really means. It frequently occurs in the writings of Paul in different forms, and it always alludes, not to an inward deliverance from sin, but to the Christian’s objective relation. It means that we are legally dead to sin in Jesus Christ.

This is made very clear by two other expressions occurring in the section. The first of these passages applies the same language to the Lord Himself; for He is said to have died to sin once (verse 10). Now the only sense in which the Sinless One can be regarded as dying to sin, is that of dying to its guilt, or to the condemning power which goes along with sin, and which must run its course wherever sin has been committed. He died to the guilt or criminality of sin when it was laid on Him. He certainly did not die to sins indwelling power.

The second of these phrases shows that this dying was the meritorious cause of our justification. “He that is dead has been justified from sin” (verse 7). The justification of the Christian is thus based on his co-dying with Christ; that is, we are said to have died when Christ died, and to have done what Christ did. The words undoubtedly mean a co-dying with Christ in that one corporate representative deed; that is, they mean that we were one with Christ in His obedience unto death, just like we were one with Adam in his disobedience.

Christ’s death to sin belongs to us, and is as much ours as if we had born the penalty ourselves. And the justification by which we are forgiven and accepted has no other foundation. It is noteworthy that Romans 5 describes all this in the third person, whereas Romans 6 describes it in the first person, and from our own share in it.

Paul also says in this section that our old man is crucified, or co-crucified with Him. The entire section of which this is a part is to be regarded not as an exhortation, but as the simple statement of fact; this passage does not set forth anything done by us, but something done on our account, or for our sake, by a Surety, in whose performance we participate.

It might be asked, “can’t we understand that these statements designate two separate actions, one done by Christ, and a similar or parallel one by us?” NO. The acts are not two, but one, described from two different points of view. There is not one crucifixion on the part of Christ, and a second, parallel and similar but different, crucifixion on the part of His people. There is but one corporate act—the act of “one for many.”

But what is the old man that is said to be co-crucified with the Lord? Does not this refer to our inward corruption? NO it does not. Such an explanation is untenable, as it would make the expression synonymous with the next clause which is not only bad theology but also inept reasoning. Instead, the first clause is made the condition of the second.

The old man is crucified in order that the body of sin (sin within us, or the flesh) be destroyed. Now there must be a difference between the two clauses, as the former is in order to attain the latter. The old man said to be crucified with Christ, is therefore our standing “in Adam”, which is terminated so that we have a new relationship to God in the crucified Surety.

To summarize, Romans 6:1-5 says we have been crucified with Christ, which tells us that our standing has changed from being “in Adam” (with its curse and condemnation) to being “in Christ” (with all of its blessings and benefits). The first five verses of Romans 6 are statements of fact, then verse 6 is an exhortation, so a one-sentence summary is, “because we were crucified with Christ, we should no longer be slaves of sin.”

But to bring even more clarity to the mind of his readers Paul says we were baptized into His death (verse 3). Christ is presented to us as laden with sin, and satisfying divine justice; and baptism, as a symbolical representation, shows our connection with Him, or rather our participation in that great corporate act which Jesus did on the cross, in the place of all His people.

We are seen as having done what He did, and to have done what He did, and to have undergone what He underwent, to satisfy divine justice. The symbol of baptism teaches this, and Paul tells us the fact that it was a baptism into His death, an emblem of oneness with Christ, or fellowship with Him in His death to sin (verse 10).

The death was the price of the life. The one was the cause, the other was the unfailing reward or consequence. The apostle declares that not only was the death of Christ a substitution in our place, but that the consequences of it being a substitution are that we may be said to have done what He did. And, because of our oneness with Him, we are discharged from sin as a master.

The Glory of the Atonement

Is Hell Where God Lets Some Sinners Keep Living and Sinning?

May 1, 2016

Revelation 22: 14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, in order to have the right to the tree of life and to enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

Revelation 21: 8 But the cowards, unbelievers,[f]vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21: 25 Each day its gates will never close because it will never be night there. 26 They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 27 Nothing profane will ever enter it: no one who does what is vile or false, but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Are those who have not been given the right to the tree of life going to live also, but just in another place?

http://www.afterlife.co.nz/2013/theology/evangelical-annihilationism/revelation-221415-the-fate-of-the-wicked/ Don Fortner—-We are creatures made in the image and likeness of God. We live in these bodies but we are immortal, undying souls. You are going to spend eternity somewhere, either in everlasting life in heaven or in everlasting death in hell.
http://www.donfortner.com/sermon_notes/47_2_corinthians/2co%2005v01-06v02%20We%20Persuade%20Men%201485.htm

CS Lewis, The Weight of Glory—“there are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal”

Genesis 1: 20 Then God said, “Let the water swarm with living beings, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the large sea-creatures and every living being that moves and swarms in the water, according to their kinds.

Genesis 2: 7 Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.

Matthew 10: 28 Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body
Mark 8: 36 For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his LIFE ? 37 What can a man give in exchange for his LIFE

C.S. Lewis describes Gehenna as filled with sinners to whom God says “your will be done”, with the gates are “locked from the inside”. But no human has life or will have the lasting life of the age to come unless God has elected them and give them this life by grace. The lake of fire is “the second death” and that will be final and permanent closure, with no more life for all sinners who die outside Christ.

Revelation 20: 13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH, the lake of fire. 15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Many people seem to assume that a second death after a first death means there will be more dying to come, and they conclude that this means that death is not really death. But a dying which never gets dead is NOT death. The confusion about different kinds of death (one death is not another kind of death) is caused by the reality that all humans are born dead. We are born guilty, and deserve death because of God’s imputation of Adam’s guilt to us. Even though as babies we just started to live (we were not immortal) we were born condemned, without justification, without any right to the lasting life of the age to come. Even though the first death and the second death have not yet happened to a new born baby, all babies are without the life which comes by being placed into Christ’s death (being imputed with Christ’s righteousness.)

John 3: 17 For God did not send His Son into the world in order to condemn the world, but in order that the world be saved through Him. 18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.

These verses do not mean that babies are not condemned until after they reject the gospel. The gospel is a promise to only as many as believe, and there is never any grace for the non-elect. These verses teach us that God by God’s sovereign nature will not and does not give life apart from the gospel. Those who don’t hear the gospel stay condemned in the guilt in which they were born. Those who reject the gospel are not condemned by the gospel but they do stay condemned in the guilt in which they were born.

I John 5: 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us the lasting life of the age to come , and this life is in His Son. 12 The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you know that you have the lasting life of the age to come.

Despite talk of an “absolute contrast” between the saved and the lost, many traditional preachers assume that both the saved and the lost will “live for eternity”. So they don’t think the antithesis between life in Christ and “existing in eternity” without Christ is so opposite as they say.

Revelation 21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. 2 I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:
Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity,
and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.

One day the old will be gone. One day the old age will be gone. One day heaven will come to earth. One day heaven and earth will be together. One day heaven and earth will be new.

Ephesians 1: according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to UNITE ALL THINGS in him, things in HEAVEN and things on EARTH.

Isaiah 66: 17 “For I will create a new heaven and a new earth;
the past events will not be remembered or come to mind.

Revelation 21: 25 Each day its gates will never close because it will never be night there. 26 They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 27 Nothing profane will ever enter it: no one who does what is vile or false, but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Why will the gates of the New Jerusalem never be closed? Why will the new Jerusalem have gates? Is it because the condemned non-elect will still living outside the gates and still wanting to bring their sin into the city? No. There will be no inequality in the new Jerusalem, no margins, no fringes, no one percent, no death…

Revelation 21: 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.
5 Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.”

Revelation 21: 8 But unbelievers….their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

God does not plead with the sinners—“believe in me or go your way with your life and your own sin”. God says to sinners— you were born legally dead and you will die. You will not go your own way. You will stop going. You will die. The wages of sin is death. Your only hope for life is the gospel.

II Timothy 1: 9 God has saved us and called us
with a holy calling,
not according to our works,
but according to His own purpose and grace,
which was given to us in Christ Jesus
before the ages began.
10 This has now been made evident
through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus,
who has ABOLISHED DEATH
and has brought life and immortality to light
through the gospel.
11 For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher, 12 and that is why I suffer these things

According to the purpose of God, death will be abolished. Now that Christ was both priest and and sacrifice on earth, Christ has died the one death which abolishes death. Even though the abolishing of death has been legally secured by Christ’s one act of righteousness, that death is not legally counted to all elect babies when they are born, but only in time with the result being life by God’s effectual calling.

If the Lord Jesus does not come before they die, the justified elect will die the first death but they will not die the second death. Those without justification WILL die the second death and then there will be no more death. Death will be abolished. God does not give the life of the age to come apart from the gospel, but through the gospel.

Revelation 14 : 9 And a third angel followed them and spoke with a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, which is mixed full strength in the cup of His anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the sight of the holy angels and in the sight of the Lamb, 11 and the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or anyone who receives the mark of his name. 12 This demands the perseverance of the saints, who keep God’s commands and their faith in Jesus.”

Revelation 20: 10 The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night for ages and ages 11 Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. 12 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and BOOKS were opened. ANOTHER BOOK was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. 13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Earth and heaven fled from the presence of the one seated on the throne, and no place was found for earth and heaven?

Death and Hades gave up their dead.

Death and Hades were thrown into the second death.

Matthew 25: 45 “Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.’ 46 “And they will go away into permanent punishment of the age to come, but the righteous into the lasting life of the age to come.”

Packer: The assertion that in the age to come life is the sort of thing that goes on while punishment is the sort of thing that ends —begs the question.

mark: would it change anything if we said that life is the sort of thing that goes on living while death is the sort of thing which stays dead?

if you stay dead, is that a “sustained event”?

if you substitute punishment for “perish” or ‘destruction”, does that change anything?

is ‘eternal redemption” a “sustained event’?

if redemption is “once for all time”, does that mean that redemption is not “everlasting’?

why does exclusion rule out destruction?

has the thing destroyed been excluded?

or does it have to be destroyed in such a way that it is never destroyed in order to keep on being excluded?

Paul—I am a Citizen of the Occupation

March 3, 2016

Martin was the son of a Lutheran pastor and a submarine commander in World War I. By the time World War II came, Martin had become a pastor like his father. Martin spoke positively of his country—“When this great nation was formed, God gave it Christianity for its soul, and from these Christian roots it has grown.” Martin joined the army with his two sons.

Martin’s allegiance should have to be Christ’s kingdom, not to the earthly nation where he lived. Martin Niemoller was a German citizen. He volunteered to serve in the Nazi army in submission to his earthly nation.

I am often told that the apostle Paul “used his Roman citizenship” and that this means that I have a duty to vote in the “democracy” which is the American empire. Back during the situation of Romans 13, I am told, we Christians were not citizens of Rome, but now things have changed and we Christians are now ourselves the magistrate, and so now we only submit to ourselves. And then I am told that submission to the powers, in this new situation, means becoming part of the powers, so it’s my duty to vote or even to kill for the American empire.

What is being left out of this story is the fact that the Roman empire was an occupation force within Israel. Did only Roman citizens have a duty to support or kill for Rome? Or did non-Roman citizens also have a duty to obey the Roman empire?

When we are reminded that “Paul used his citizenship”, should we conclude that only Paul needed to submit to Roman occupation? More importantly, is it true that those with an extra ‘citizenship” are in a better position to live as Christians in the world?

pastor Martin Luther–“When Christians went to war, they struck right and left and killed, and there was no difference between Christians and the heathen. But they did nothing contrary to Matthew 5;38-39 because they did it not as Christians. but as obedient subjects, under obligation to a secular authority.”
http://ollc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Secular-Authority-To-What-Extent-It-Should-Be-Obeyed.pdf

I Corinthians 7—I don’t need to be out of jail, but also I don’t need to be in jail, therefore there is nothing I could gain if Roman citizens had the vote about occupying Israel.

Paul used his Roman citizenship twice:
Acts 16:37 The first time was after being beaten and imprisoned in Philippi. He used it to no apparent benefit to himself. He announced his citizenship after his beating and humiliation. The effect was to put the public authorities on the spot. Paul got a severe beating-and then an apology. He didn’t get, or try to get, an audience with the powers. They wanted him to leave town, and he did.

Acts 22:25-27.The second time Paul used his Roman citizenship was after the Jews had tried to kill him, but BEFORE he was flogged. The consequences of this dragged on for the rest of Paul’s life. It did not keep Paul from being killed. Most likely Paul was never ‘free’ again, spending the rest of his time in the Roman legal system/under arrest..

Paul did not use his Roman citizenship as a means to spread the gospel, because there was nothing about his being Roman that could add to the gospel or create an “apologetic” for the gospel. For Paul the crucial issue was being in Christ, not the various options on how one can be in the world. Being Roman didn’t make being in Christ more significant or effective. Being Roman didn’t create opportunities for the gospel. God’s effectual calling does not depend on what liberal political theory likes to call “religious liberty”.

Acts 21—You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law. 21 But they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, by telling them not to circumcise their children or to walk in our customs. 22 So what is to be done? They will certainly hear that you’ve come. 23 Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have obligated themselves with a vow. 24 Take these men, purify yourself along with them, and pay for them to get their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that what they were told about you amounts to nothing, but that you yourself are also careful about observing the law. 25 With regard to the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter containing our decision that they should keep themselves from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality.”
26 Then the next day, Paul took the men, having purified himself along with them, and entered the temple, announcing the completion of the purification days when the offering for each of them would be made. 27 As the seven days were about to end, the Jews from Asia saw him in the temple complex, stirred up the whole crowd, and seized him, 28 shouting, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this place. What’s more, he also brought Greeks into the temple and has profaned this holy place.”

Acts 26: 29 “I wish before God,” replied Paul, “that whether easily or with difficulty, not only you but all who listen to me today might become as I am—except for these chains.” 30 So the king, the governor, Bernice, and those sitting with them got up, 31 and when they had left they talked with each other and said, “This man is doing nothing that deserves death or chains.” 32 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been released if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

Paul could have simply gone to Rome. God had been able to direct Paul before without having to resort to such convoluted arrangements. Paul had enough popular appeal that people, influential people, wanted to see and hear him. But Paul didn’t go to Rome: he went to Jerusalem. The prophetic word his brothers and sisters received before he went there led them to strongly urge him not to go. He rejected their counsel. Their wisdom was driven by their concern for Paul and was under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Even if one has a “word from God”, that word does not have self evident meaning— it must be evaluated.

The chief men of the church in Jerusalem were concerned about appearances, so they had Paul do something which was unnecessary in an attempt to improve his standing with the Jews. They had him take four men through the rite of purification with him, a practice the Jews might appreciate but which had no value for the maturing of the church in Jerusalem. In fact, it seems more like accommodation to the religious culture than anything. This is the event that caused the problem; not Paul or the men being there, but the assumption by some Jews that Paul had gentiles in the temple. This might be a good example of what results when we are concerned with appearances. Paul accepts the counsel of those in Jerusalem he is not particularly close to, of whose high standing he professes to have no particular regard, and who are motivated by their concern for appearances.

http://www.englewoodcc.com/NLArchive/504JA.html

Martin Luther —I will not oppose a ruler who, EVEN THOUGH HE DOES NOT TOLERATE THE GOSPEL, will smite and punish these peasants without offering to submit the case to judgement. For he is within his rights, since the peasants are not contending any longer for the Gospel but have become faithless, perjured, disobedient, rebellious murderers, robbers, and blasphemers, whom even heathen rulers have the right and power to punish….

Luther—If the ruler can punish and does not, then he is guilty of all the murder and all the evil which these fellows commit, because, by willful neglect of the divine command, the ruler permits them to practice their wickedness, though he can prevent it, and is in duty bound to do so. Here, then, there is no place for patience or mercy. It is the time of the sword, not the day of grace. Therefore will I punish and smite as long as my heart bears. Thou wilt judge and make things right.’ Thus it may be that one who is killed fighting on the ruler’s side may be a true martyr in the eyes of God…On the other hand, one who perishes on the peasants’ side is an eternal brand of hell…

The Magisterial Reformers insisted that the problem was with “anabaptists” sneering at the benefits the “natural order” which has been preserved for us by those whose vocation for God is to kill. The problem is not German or Genevan lesser magistrates at war against emperor and pope or peasants. Though the earth in the age to come will be the Lord’s, to be practical in this present age the earth must be kept from the parasites and preserved for the invisible hand of providence. And this means we can vote (and be glad that other people don’t vote, democracy does not depend on majority consent). Only idealists cannot compromise between two evils, and we can accuse such people as those who immanentize the eschaton…

So when we fear the Muslim Turks, we do not need to tempt God by only relying on the second coming of Christ, because we have our American citizenship. And we can either make alliances with them or bomb them. And in the same manner as Paul was saved from death by the hands of the Romans (because he was a hybrid, both Roman and Christian) , we too will not tempt God by trusting God to save us, even though two swords may not be enough,

Hitler (after the failure of the assassination plot)—“it was providence that spared me. This proves that I am on the right track. I feel that this is the confirmation of all my work.” But all things happen because God predestined them to happen not because God approves these things. God works all things for the good of the elect does not mean that all things are good. Job’s friends— all suffering is evidence that God does not like you?But Psalm 7318 speaks of the prosperity of the non-elect. “Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.”

George Eliot describing a preacher loyal to the status quo or tradition “Let him be ardent and imaginative on the coming advent of Christ, but cold and cautious toward every other infringement of the status quo. Let him be hard and literal in his interpretation only when he wants to hurl texts at the heads of adversaries, but when the letter of the Scriptures presses too closely on hi genteel Christianity, let him use his spiritualizing alembic and disperse the letter of the Scripture into impalpable ether. ” http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/42612/

The death of Jesus is never called “sleep”

January 13, 2016

Jesus died but did not perish. The death of Jesus is never called “sleep”. Those who die outside of Christ will perish on judgment day. Those who die in Christ will sleep until Jesus comes and raises them from the dead.

The punishment for sin is death, not only what happens before death. The wages of sin is death. The soul that sins shall die. The degrees of infinity thing does not impress me much, if people who talk about that are saying that the non-elect being punished are never quite punished enough, even when they are punished more than others.

David Wells, Christianity Today, March 20 1987 — “If God is as good as the Bible says, if his character is as pure, if his life is as infinite, then sin is infinitely unpardonable and not merely momentarily mischievous. To be commensurate with the offense, God’s response must be correspondingly infinite. Annhilationism instead looks instead for a finished, finite, temporal response. An infinite response, however, is what we see happening at the cross. Was Jesus annihilated? Jesus could exhaust infinite punishment because he himself was the infinite God? Jesus did not bear a punishment MERELY LIKE that which sinners deserved. Jesus did not bear a death that was MERELY ANALOGOUS to theirs..”

Mark: To be “commensurate”, is Jesus still dying on the cross and will He do so forever?

If Jesus is not still dying on the cross, how is His death even LIKE that of non-elect people dying but never getting dead?

Where does the Bible talk about “infinity”? And where does the Bible talk about the suffering before the death being “infinite”? When did the “infinite punishment” of Jesus begin and when did it end?

If Christ only suffered an equivalent of “eternal torment in Hell”, does that mean that God’s (nominalist) grace arbitrarily (merely, only) “accepted” the punishment of Christ as the same?

Since the punishment of the non-elect will never be finished, does that mean that the punishment of the non-elect will never be infinite?

Since there will always be more to repay, does “I will repay” mean that “I will have never repaid”?

If duration of the pain is the real punishment, why is there any need to die after that punishment is done?

If the punishment is never done, so that the condemned can never die, why does the Bible teach that the wages of sin is death?

When you translate, the result is a translation.

When you destroy, the result is destruction.

When you finish dying, you are dead.

If you never finish dying, you are not yet dead.

http://rethinkinghell.com/audio/meta/notes/demler_handout.pdf