God is Love, Love keeps no records of wrongs, and the Judgment

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Michael Collum, Apr 26, 2010.

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  1. God is Love, Love keeps no records of wrongs, and the Judgment

    1 John 4:15-17 (New International Version)

    15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
    God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.

    God is Love . past year or so i've transposed this onto 1st Corinthians 13 and i think one of the passages in the chapter that makes it hard to do so is the latter part of verse 5 where it is written (love) "keeps no record of wrongs."

    So way back i thought on this .. and hmm . . . so if God keeps no records of wrongs .. where do all those books come from in Revelation .. that are opened up after the gog-magog conflict?

    so stumped i just sat on it . cause it's not my knowledge anyway . just let it sit . and then not too long later i was reminded of this passage in 1st Corinthians

    1 Corinthians 4:4-5(NIV)

    4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

    So when the Lord comes .. He will reveal what is hidden in us and that is the basis of the judgment .. hmm .. then this triggered a verse from James and something Jesus said .

    Matthew 7:2 (KJV)

    For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    James 2:12-13 (NIV)

    12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

    Our judgment appears from this context to be dependent on how we judge others . and those outside of Christ . will be judged on how they judge others also minus the atonement . The books opened up at the second resurrection appear to be the hearts of men . God saying .. i read you like a book and so forth .

    Romans 8:17-21 (New International Version)

    17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
    18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    Moving on to application: 1st Peter 4:17 says that judgment begins with the house of God, so it's like all this purification we're going through now (commonly called "sanctification") is really our judgment . So as we surrender our hearts to Him moment by moment, day by day, year by year, He redeems us and transforms us so "we are like Him in this world" and have confidence in the day of judgment .

    As the blood of Jesus had a greater testimony than the blood of Abel so is our judgment in Him .. Glorious . because He is faithful .

    Jude 1:24-25 (New International Version)

    24To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
  2. Thanks Michael ... Some real thought provoking statements there .

    I love this verse . OUr whole existance is because of God and His great Love for us as His Children . It is so comforting to know how much He loves you and me . His will for us was planned even before we were born and He knew us and knit us in our mother's womb . When we stop and think of the greatness of our God , it is way beyond our thoughts cause our thoughts are not His thoughts and our ways are not His ways . I just keep thinking about that song ." How great is our God "

  3. If we keep no record of wrongs that people do to us and be forgiving toward them, we are walking in the God's kind of love
  4. I suppose how one interprets these passages is very dependent upon one's understanding "judgment". Judgment can be Punitive, but judgment can also be Remedial. Though both involve some form of punishment Punitive Judgment is typically based in Vengence; whereas Remedial Judgment is based in love and for the benefit of the one being judged.

    Remedial Judgment is meant for our good. We are forced to reckon with our negative attitudes, sinful acts, and especially our twisted lifestyles, forced to understand just how much pain and suffering our sins have caused others and ourselves. Love is the foundation for Remedial Judgment, helping us come to ourselves like the Prodigal son came to himself.

    Unfortunately when people read the word "judgment" in scripture, they usually imply Punitive Judgment and have difficulty rectifying this with the Love and forgiveness of God for everyone. Judgment is the fire of truth that burns the evil from us; it's a purifying fire that we shall all face. The question is, how much of our lives is wasted on things that burn up - wood, hay, and stubble, verses invested on things that will be lasting though purified - gold, silver, and precious stones?

    Understanding eternal judgment and eternal punishment to be Remedial in nature and purpose radically challenges the traditional doctrine of Hell. God does not keep a record of wrongs, keeping a list of things we must atone for; but in order to recieve his forgiveness we must first come to recognize that we need forgiveness. The Remedial Judgment of God accomplishes this in us. It's the judgment of a loving Father bringing correction as needed to his children.
  5. Very interesting Sherman.
  6. Thank you Sherman, that really spoke to me .

    and i agree, with Godspeaks,

    Agape .

  7. Love is what's it's all about!

    I love Eugene Peterson's translation of 1 Corinthians 14:1.

    It's in my signature.
  8. Hey thank you everyone (Dusty, Godspeaks, Sherman, HisManySongs; Big Hugs :D )for responding so far . i've really been encouraged and enlightened by your perspectives .
  9. You may have noticed that the word “Hell” seems to be increasingly disappearing from contemporary English translations. The first Catholic English translation Douay Rheims (1610) had the word “Hell” in it 110 times. The 1611 King James Version only has it 54 times; NKJV (1982) – 32 times; CEV (1995) – 20 times; NLT & NCV – 17 times; NIV, ESV, Darby, & Catholic NJB – 14 times; NASB, AMP, ASV & TNIV – 13 times; HCSB – 12 times. And the Catholic NAB, Young’s Literal Translation, Rotherham’s translation, Fenton’s translation, and the WEB do not have the word “Hell” in them at all – 0 times!

    You may have also noticed that though in years gone by “Hell” was a primary element of many sermons with some sermons being wholly devoted to its horrors; in contemporary churches though, “Hell” is rarely, if ever, mentioned, especially in mega-churches.

    Some believe that contemporary churches have gone soft, preaching only to please people, afraid to preach the full counsel of God, afraid they’ll offend and loose their numbers. On the other hand, some believe that the message of Hell promotes little, if any, lasting positive change and thus elect to not teach from that perspective. Rather, they minister from a grace-based perspective, believing that it is the goodness of God that leads people to lasting positive change (repentance). And a few go so far as to believe and teach that Hell (i.e. conscious endless torment) is actually not a scriptural concept, but one that was mistranslated into English versions.

    Are older translations better than contemporary translations? Is there some type of conspiracy to remove Hell from Scripture? Are mega-churches only offering Christianity-lite? Is there another explanation for this trend? What is the truth; what does Scripture actually teach concerning Hell?

    The word "Hell" is an English word derived from the Old English Norse word "Hel" which was a concept of Old English pagan mythology and connotes a place of "conscious endless torture" though the one they pictured was freezing. "Hell" is used to translate 4 words from the original Hebrew and Greek text of Scripture - Sheol, Hades, Tartaroo, and Gehenna. Let us review the actual meaning of the 4 words. As you know, "Hell" implies "Conscious Endless Torment", but:

    Sheol- Hebrew, means the realm of the dead, often translated grave. It does Not imply "Torment".

    Hades- Greek, means the realm of the dead, used to translate Sheol in the LXX. It too does Not imply "Torment". In Greek mythology, Hades had several sections – Elysium, Asphodel, and Tartarus. The Elysium fields were the final resting place of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous where they would enjoy immortal bliss. The Asphodel Meadows is where ordinary people went after death, a place of utter neutrality, a ghostly place where people are given over to an endless monotony. Tartarus is the torturous realm of Hades and is reserved for the especially wicked.

    Tartaroo- Greek, the torturous realm of Hades, used only once in scripture in 2 Peter 2:4 to reference the place where sinning angels are held "until judgment". The Only scripture where Tartaroo is used does Not imply "Endless", nor are humans consigned there.

    Gehenna– Greek, transliteration of the Hebrew "Ga Hinnom," literally means "Valley of Hinnom" – a valley just outside of Jerusalem that was used as a trash dump where there was a continuous (eternal) fire consuming the trash and never a shortage of maggots (worm dies not) consuming decaying flesh. "Gehenna" would best be translated as "the city (Jerusalem’s) trash dump".

    Note that this metaphor does not specifically indicate that people will be tormented forever; if anything, without other information, it would indicate annihilation. Though the fire is continuous, the trash cast into the flames burns up. However, it is important to note that Gehenna was used as a metaphor by 1st century Rabbis to speak of punishment and purification in the afterlife - Remedial Judgment and Remedial Punishment!

    Most 1st century Jews believed that when people died (except for the especially wicked) they went through a season of purification where they encountered the Truth about themselves and it, well, burnt the evil from them. Some of the Rabbis spoke of people being tormented by the demons of their own creation until they fully understood just how evil their attitudes and lifestyles were. They believed that this season of purification was remedial and terrible, but not endless for most people. For most people, especially loved ones, Gehenna was a season of purification less than 12 months. In fact, to mourn the passing of a loved one more than 11 months was to imply that the person was especially wicked.

    The Jews believed that Gehenna was for both Jews and Gentiles and that people were judged according to the revelation and covenant they lived under - the Old Covenant (Testament) being strictly for the Jew. During the 11 months of mourning, Jews would offer prayers, sacrificial gifts, and even be baptized for the dead (which Paul spoke of affirmatively in 1 Corinthians 15). Some believed that even the most wicked persons would be purified and go on to the Garden of Eden (Paradise). Others believed that those who were especially wicked, wholly given over to evil, would be either consumed (annihilated) or stuck indefinitely in Gehenna.

    If one was going to translate Gehenna using a Theological term (instead of metaphorical), the predominant meaning of Gehenna as understood by the 1st Century Jew would be "Purgatory", not "Hell". Jesus actually indicates that purification was the purpose of Gehenna’s fire in Mark 9.

    Warning of the terribleness of Gehenna, Jesus say that “if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell (Gehenna), where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched’” (9:47-48). And Jesus goes on to say that “ Everyone will be salted with fire” (9:49). Jesus warns of the terribleness of Gehenna, but indicates that such is apparently for the purification of the soul, not the destruction of the soul, for everyone shall undergo such purification, salted, seasoned by fire.

    It reminds me of what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 3:13 “Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.” What is burnt up is that which is worthless. Gehenna would be best theologically interpreted as “Purgatory,” and certainly should NOT be interpreted as “Hell.”

    None of the four words commonly translated "Hell" in English translations should be translated as such. The mistranslation of these four words actually began with St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate. St. Jerome was an advocate for the doctrine of conscious endless torment of all who are not part of the Church, which stood in opposition to others in the early church that believed in Universal Salvation like Origen, and Gregory of Nyssa, and others that believed in annihilation. He, St. Jerome, translated his beliefs “INTO” scripture, mistranslating Sheol, Hades, Gehenna, and Tartaroo as Infernum 110 times in his Latin Vulgate. The 1610 Catholic Douay Rheims translation is based solely upon the Latin Vulgate and thus uses the word “Hell” 110 times. And the Roman Catholic Church was strongly influenced, one could say even built upon, the Latin Vulgate. English translations have been progressively correcting this error, with some English translations today not having the word "Hell" in them at all.

    Why is the word “Hell” disappearing from English translations? Because English translations are getting better and more accurately convey what the original text says. Hell, conscious unending torment, is not a scriptural concept.
  10. Hmm Sherman, did you notice in the post resurrection discourse in revelation .. the Spirit and the Bride saying "come to whoever would drink of the water of life and drink freely?" well The Spirit is the Holy Spirit and the Bride .. is the redeemed people of God .. so who praytell would we be saying "come" to after the rez?
  11. In light of many things .. i am interested in seeing what happens after what is written .
  12. Hi Michael, which passage specifically?
  13. Revelation 22:17 (New International Version)

    17The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
  14. It's actually summing up the call of God to people, a call of acceptance and love to life. One could say it's summing up the message of John's Revelation - to come to the Lord.

    Also, concerning Revelation, it is important to note that there are at least 4 significantly different views of interpreting it - preterist, historical, metaphorical, and futuristic. Due to it's nature of being prophetic literature heavy in metaphors, I tend to not rely upon it to establish doctrine, especially to affirm a specific eshatological doctrine. I look more to scripture that is more didactic in nature like the Law, the Gospels, and Paul's letters to the churches. I also tend to interpret Revelation from a metaphorical view which speaks to the ongoing struggle between good and evil in ourselves and in our cultures today.

    The metaphor of the lake of fire and brimstone is especially interesting. Not only is God called a consuming fire, but fire itself was used both to consume, annihilate worthless material, and to purify that which is valuable. Also, brimstone (theon) means divine fire in the Greek, fire that originates with God. Lightening and especially volcanic lava were called brimstone. Both of which have the smell of burning sulfur, so sulfur came to be called brimstone. And sulfur was burnt as incense by the Greeks and Romans for spiritual purification and even physical healing. Hot sulfur springs were well known for their healing powers.
    Sulfur is even the foundation of may drugs today used for healing.

    When one puts together these facts that were commonly known during that time, it makes sense to me that the lake of fire and brimstone speaks of Remedial Punishment. Oh yea, also, Rev.14:10 even says that the lake of fire is in the presence of the Lamb and the presence of the angels. It could thus be interpreted as "the volcanic lake of the revelation of the atonement and benevolent provision of God that purifies and heals!
  15. the first time i picked up the book i saw probable parallel storylines . of course all my peers kind of discouraged that form of study . maybe i'll examine that stream and see what comes up now that i'm more free in Him .

    as for the restorative fire and such . i recall something about "where fire is not quenched and worm does not die" . but def . i experience a lake of fire every day and some times my nostrils even feel like they're burning .

    i like the streams of living water . but corruption is inevitable . so there remains a balance .

    between the mercy and the judgment and the glory offsetting one another to grow us to maturity in Him to the praise of His glory .

    very very deep stuff .

    so if God keeps no records of wrongs .. then the judgment may be a device to remove all the stuff that began at the original blame game at the fall . notice .. God was pretty forebearing until all the accusations start flying around and .. well judgment is declared based on their pointing fingers .. God just listened and asked questions .. truth?
  16. "Where the fire is not quenched and the worms die not" is phrasing from the metaphor Gehenna. Gehenna, Jerusalem's trash dump had an ongoing fire fueled by not only the rubbish from the city but also by sulfur (brimstone). Sulfur kept the flames burning so that no matter what was thrown in there, regardless if it rained or not, the fire would continue to consume the trash. Of course, foul meat, discarded animal products, even the bodies of the poor and criminals were discarded in Gehenna which provided the food for an unending amount of maggots, seemingly never dying. These are both part of the Jewish theological metaphor of Gehenna. And as noted before, Gehenna would best be interpreted as "Purgatory" not "Hell". Gehenna was a place of Remedial Judgment and Remedial Punishment.
  17. Intriguing . thanks Sherman .

  18. 1 Cor. 5:18-20
    18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

    God does not keep a record of wrongs against us, against anyone! This is the basis of the Gospel, the foundation of the ministry of recociliation. Love never fails, and God loves us all! Hallelujah!
  19. Thank you for the encouragement Sherman .
  20. Sherman,
    I found it interesting how you explained Remedial Judgment being in a corrective sense dealing with sins and wrong ways. And I agree God's purifying fire will burn up the wood, hay and stubble in our lives.

    But I'll have to disagree about the doctrine of Hell. It's not just figurative. Its a literal, real place for those who reject Jesus Christ who will suffer for eternity. There are only two places to be and those who want nothing to do with Jesus will not be in heaven. I believe Jesus spoke of Hell more than He did heaven.

    Mark 9:47And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

    Revelation 20:10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    Revelation 20:14
    And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
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