Salvation after death?

  1. Hebrews 9:27  And inasmuch as it is reserved to men once to die, and after this, judgment,
    • The classic attempt to prove there is no chance for salvation after death.
  2. Romans 14:11 For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
    • Maybe the sinners make fake confessions to escape hell?
  3. Romans 10:9  ....and will believe in thy heart ....
    • Thats solid proof it's a genuine confession, but there is more proof.
  4. 1 Corinthians 12:3  Therefore I make known to you, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God says, Jesus is accursed, and no man can say, Jesus is Lord, except by Holy Spirit .
    • That's very clear; all who kneel do so because the Holy Spirit dwells within them.
      • The kneeling is a genuine confession because the Holy Spirit will never inspire fake confessions.
      • That's also true before death. So perhaps it's to late?
  5. Romans 10:9 that if thou will confess with thy mouth , Lord Jesus, and will believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou will be saved.
    • At that point all have become Christians because for example a muslim will never 'believe in thy heart' Jesus is the Son of God; because their god has no son.
  6. Romans 14:11 ....every knee shall bow...every tongue shall confess to God.
    • Right now 2 billion out of 7 billion people on earth are Christians. Even less if you exclude certain denominations, sects and levels of dedication.
    • So obviously at least 5 billion knees will not bow during this life.
    • Because Romans 14:11 is very clear every knee will bow it means those 5 billion people will bow after death
      • Confession takes place before and after death. Nobody excluded.
  7. Isaiah 45:23  By myself I have sworn, the word has gone forth from my mouth [in] righteousness, and shall not return, that to me every knee shall bow, every tongue will confess to God
    • A very strong unconditional statement. The bowing is declared a fact.
 

Summary:

  • Every person  who has ever lived will make a confession. (Romans 14:11)
  • That confession isn't optional. It's declared as an fact. (Isaiah 45:23)
  • It will be a genuine confession. (1 Corinthians 12:3)
  • At that point they will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
  • Confession=saved. No other requirements of any sort are mentioned or implied. (Romans 10:9)

Summary of the article below: It's the high priest that figuratively dies once a year and then enters the Holies of Holies of the Temple to receive God's judgement.

 

 

Is God's Judgment Final?
 
Without a doubt, one of the most common passages used to “prove” that God’s judgment is final and irrevocable is Hebrews 9:27:
 
It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment. (KJV)
 
It is almost universally taught that this verse refers to mankind in general, and speaks of their inevitable death and subsequent judgment.  However, the problem with the traditions of men is that one man offers his interpretation of a certain passage, it is accepted by another, then another, and before you know it, over a long period of time it becomes universal “truth” that is accepted without question.  This verse has become sort of the “John 3:16” for the support of the doctrine of never-ending punishments.  Before we get into the text itself, I want to make it clear that I wholeheartedly believe that all men must die and submit to the judgment of God.  However, this is not the passage that teaches this truth.  If you are careful about reading the context surrounding this verse, you will see that it is not the physical death of men that is being spoken about here, but the symbolic death of the high priests who year after year went into the holy of holies to make (temporary) atonement for the people and take upon themselves the judgment of the people.  In fact, I would suggest you try something.  Before you finish this paper, read the entire 9th chapter of Hebrews for yourself and when you come to verse 27, see if I’m not right in saying that it seems to be totally out of place with the rest of the chapter and makes no sense if you interpret it the way “theologians” tell us we should.  Our English translations have certainly added to the confusion and do not convey the most accurate meaning of this verse.  There is a tiny definite article that most translations leave out—it is the Greek word tois, which could mean either “the” or “those.”  The Concordant Version translates the verse as follows:
 
And, in as much as it is reserved to the men to be dying once, yet after this a judging,
 
Who are “the” or “those” men?  I quote J. W. Hanson:
 
The plain statement is: As the high priests, the antitypes, died a figurative death, annually, (see Ex. 28:29, 30), so Christ was offered once for all in the sinner's behalf. The ordinary reference to the dying of all men leaves the “as” and “so” (verse 28) without meaning or application. But when we see that the apostle was showing the superiority of the mission of Christ over the annual sacrifices of the Jewish high priest, the meaning becomes plain. He employed “the men” as types of the superior sacrifice of Christ.
 
The reader cannot fail to see that it is not mankind, but certain men, “the men” who all the way through this chapter and the next are compared to Christ, who are said once to die. These men are the priests, or the successors of the high priests under the law. They died, figuratively, once a year, on the great Day of Atonement in the offering of sacrifices.
 
Having performed this rite, having died by proxy, the high priest entered the holy of holies, and pronounced the sentence of absolution from the mercy seat. Ex. xxv:22: Numb vii:89. “And there will I meet with thee, and will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.  And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims; and he spake unto him.”
 
The priests represent Christ, and their death illustrates and prefigures the death of Christ; but man’s death, and an after death judgment bears no relation to the death of Christ. The common use of this text is but little less than an outrage on the sense of the apostle.  No one can carefully read this and the following chapter, and fail to see that the language is exclusively applicable to the Jewish high priests and the death of Christ, and has no reference to an after-death judgment.
 
“The men,” in verse 27, is not referring to men in general as is commonly taught, but the context shows that it refers to “the men” who have been compared to Christ the entire chapter.  It is none other than the high priests of the Old Covenant who represented Christ “in type.”  The writer is trying to make the comparison between the Old Testament type and the New Testament reality.  Verse 27 gives us the type, and verse 28 gives us the reality.
 
Verse 27:  It is appointed to the (“those”) men once (a year) to die, but after this, judgment.  (TYPE)
Verse 28:  So Christ having been once (and for all) offered to bear the sins of many, Christ shall appear a second time without sin to those expecting Him for salvation.  (REALITY)
 
The phrase “to bear the sins of many” in verse 28 implies that Christ both died and bore our judgment.  This is exactly what the writer is saying in verse 27 concerning “the men” of the Old Testament.   Notice also in verse 28 the little article “so.”  This is a transitional word, which means that in order for us to ascertain the meaning of verse 28, we must see what the preceding verses say.  Again, the whole 9th chapter of Hebrews is comparing the earthly tabernacle with its imperfect priests to the Heavenly tabernacle with its perfect High Priest.  Just as the earthly priest (TYPE) went into the holy of holies once a year to represent a sacrificial death and judgment, so Christ (REALITY) died this same death and judgment once and for all, and by doing so, secured an “eternal” inheritance for those who are called. (9:15)  The comparison made in verses 27 and 28 is not mankind to Christ as most teach, but the earthly priests (“those” men) to Christ.   This certainly makes more exegetical sense and maintains the contextual consistency that I believe the writer originally intended.  
 
I firmly contend that the common teaching concerning Hebrews 9:27 has been taken out of context and misapplied.  As I mentioned earlier, I do believe the Bible teaches the inevitability of God’s judgment for all men.  My purpose, however, in refuting the common interpretation of this verse is to point out that theologians and scholars can be wrong, and if passages such as this one can be taken out of context, what else might they misapply especially as it relates to the true purpose of God’s judgments?  Just because the majority holds a certain view, this doesn’t mean it is the correct one.  Traditions are very deceptive.  They often start out as one man’s opinion, and usually end up as irrefuted truth.  The dangerous thing is that, just as in Jesus’ day, traditions can make the Word of God of none effect. (Mark 7:13)  We must be very careful that we do not put too much trust in our “leaders” and let them do our thinking for us.
 
However, even if you disagree with my conclusion of the meaning of verse 27, nowhere in the Bible does it state that judgment is the end for man; neither does it state that salvation isn’t possible after the judgment.  Both of these conclusions are not based on this text but on other passages which seem to speak of “eternal” punishment.  However, a detailed study of the Greek words aion and aionios will help us understand that God's punishments do not last for “eternity” but simply last for the ages.  For a much more detailed study on God’s purpose and plan for the ages, Click here.
 
As already stated numerous times in this paper, God’s punishments are not directed toward the SPIRIT of man but towards his FLESH and the deeds of the flesh.  “God forgives, yet takes vengeance on the works of men.”  Let there be no doubt that God will forever wipe out sin, wickedness, and the corresponding death that follows, but if God is to be “all in all” and if He is to “make ALL things new,” then sin and death cannot be allowed to exist ANYWHERE in God’s universe.  Once again, the sinner will be destroyed by making him God’s friend!
 
Note:  There are only two theological views which takes the truth of God being “all in all” into consideration: the doctrine of annihilation and the doctrine of the “universal salvation.”  The common view of “eternal” torment keeps death and “hell” alive forever, and cannot reconcile itself with the glorious truth of God “filling all things” and being “all in all;” therefore it is to be rejected.  The doctrine of annihilationism, on the other hand, does not teach that God will torture men forever, but that the fires of the Second Death will literally burn up sinners permanently so that they have no conscious existence whatsoever.  Taken in the “letter,” this view does seem to have some credibility and at the very least denies the sadistic judgments as taught by the majority of Christendom.  However, this view falls short of what Christ came to do on the Cross.  Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw ALL men unto me.”  Annihilation simply snuffs out the spirit of man, and, in essence, believes that these sinners were too stubborn for the Cross to reach.  However, the Scriptures teach that God’s plan is bigger and Jesus did a better job than this.  God is not going to overcome the world by force, but by love.  Retribution and vengeance is only against the works of the flesh and God will prevail ONLY on the basis of what Christ has done!  (See article titled “The Work of the Cross” )
 
The Argument
 
Those who disagree with this view of God’s judgment will say that I teach that there will be no penalty for those who reject Christ in this life who choose to instead live a life of sin.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  First of all, someone who chooses to live a life of sin, even though they may appear to be having the “time of their lives,” is, in reality, living a life most miserable because they do not have true life.  All of us before we were brought to the Cross, were “dead in our trespasses and sins” and did not know the true joy and forgiveness that only life in Christ could give.  The longer we remain in that state, the greater the disappointment will be when we realize what we could have had “in Christ.”  Those who have wasted their lives on this earth by living selfishly have lost much in the way of the great reward of knowing Christ.  This is a great, great penalty—a penalty of living a life on earth without knowing the true source of life, without knowing the love of God in Christ, and without knowing the reason for their existence.  When each of us stand before our Creator, we will all feel ashamed for the amount of time and energy that we wasted on self, and the glory that we stole from God.
 
Secondly, each man will be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Cor. 5:10)  Remember, God’s judgment will be in “righteousness and truth.”  Not everyone will be granted the great reward of ruling with Christ in the next age. (Rev. 3:21)  Not all will be a participant of the first resurrection (Rev. 20:5).  And even though we may not think much of these now, they will be considered great losses when all of us stand before the Lord on that Day.
 
Additionally, there will be many who will be hurt by the “second death.” (Rev. 2:11)  There will be great pain for those to whom this judgment comes.  All men must give up their stubborn will, and the “second death” is the process that God uses to do this.  Christians “mortify the deeds of the body” through the Cross now—this is, in a sense, our “second death” (death to self).  Unbelievers will experience this “death” in the ages to come, and because the language of the scriptures would seem to indicate that this future judgment is much more severe, we must warn men of it.  “God is calling all men everywhere to repent,” (Acts 17:30) and we should exhort men that “…now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2).  I would much rather submit to God’s chastisement in this “age of grace”, rather than experience it in a future “age of judgment.”  I do not claim to know exactly how long this judgment will last for each man, but the language of the scriptures is such that we should not be willing that any man go through it.
 
So as you can see, there will be great losses for those who either reject Christ in this present age or for Christians who live a selfish, carnal life—for those who reject the Cross in this life, there awaits for them a more severe judgment; for those Christians who live carnally, they will lose their soul and loss of rewards (See the article titled “Press on to Maturity”)  However, that having been said, why must we “force the scriptures” to say something it does not—to say that God’s judgment is never-ending designed to torture men, women, and children for all eternity?  Is this the only thing that will satisfy our carnal, fleshly desire for vengeance?  Thank goodness God is not like us.  Eternal punishment is not eternal in the sense that it punishes the offender forever, but it is eternal in the sense that the old person will be totally abolished—forever.   “Behold, I make all things new.”  The same Person who is destroying the old in us (2 Cor. 5:17), will be the same One who will continue this destroying work until every last created thing is in complete harmony with the purpose and will of God; and this will be accomplished “every man in his own order” (1 Cor. 15:23), and “to be testified in due time” (1 Tim. 2:6).
 
Conclusion
 
The fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring forever.  The judgments of Jehovah are true, they are righteous altogether. (Ps. 19:9)

The concept of eternal punishment as taught in the church today, is neither true nor just.  It is a perversion of the judgments of God, and a mischaracterization of the nature and character of God.  The modern teaching says that “eternal hell” is fair, just, and right.  It says that God is a good God and therefore cannot allow sin in His universe.  While we wholeheartedly agree that God is good and cannot allow sin to continue, the doctrine of “eternal torment” allows sin, death, and “hell” to exist forever in some literal, burning lake of fire.  Will there be some dark cesspool of sin and death that will continually exist as a constant reminder to God’s creation on how the Cross of Christ could not save a great portion of God’s creatures?   Will the saints continually cast their eyes on that “eternal black mark” called the lake of fire, and be content to worship God merrily without any desire to reach out with the good news that scarcely saved them? (1 Pet. 4:18)  How arrogant and pompous we are to think that God is only concerned about the “elect” while myriads of His precious creation get thrown into some supposed eternal dumpster to suffer the horrors of unspeakable torture.  May God have mercy on us for thinking that God could act so carelessly toward the creatures He created!
 
No, my dear brothers and sisters, God is not going to do any such thing.  He is marking out an “elect” people (the true ekklesia) in this age to demonstrate His grace to all nations and peoples in the ages to come. (Eph. 2:7)  All of God’s creation is waiting and groaning for the manifestation of the Sons of God so that it might be set free from its bondage (Rom. 8:19-23).  Anything less than this would make God partial and exclusive—both of which should be reprehensible to any believer.  God’s purpose for the Church is a glorious and grand calling (Eph. 1:18) that, up until now, remains hidden to the “orthodox” church, but is being revealed by the Father to those overcomers who have “ears to hear.”
 
Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? (Gen. 18:25)
 
This author does not claim to know all things, but every ounce of my being tells me that what the modern church teaches concerning the judgments of God cannot be true.  It goes against the scriptures, God’s justness, and His everlasting love—a love that cost God His dear Son.  God did not send His Son to save the world only to have Him lose most of it forever.
 
May the Lord anoint our eyes with “eye salve” that we may see His truth. (Rev. 3:18)

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