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Author Topic: Eternal  (Read 2589 times)

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Craig

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Eternal
« on: July 14, 2006, 03:25:23 PM »

 Dear Ray,
 
In Matthew 25:46 the Bible says the "[wicked] will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."  Now, you say the word eonian should be substituted for eternal (because by your definition eonian means a very long time, though not an eternal time).  However, why would Christ use the same word for life as well as punishment?  That would mean that we (the "righteous") would not spend eternity with Jesus, just a long time.  But that contradicts not only what you yourself say (I think), but also 1 Thessalonians 4:17, " Thereupon we, the living who are surviving, shall at the same time be snatched away together with them in clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And thus shall we always be together with the Lord."  That verse was from the Concordant Literal New Testament, your ver sion.  The original word in Greek which you call "aonian" (sorry if I misspelled it), can either be translated as "eternal" or "a long time,"
according to my Greek lexicon.  Due to the contradiction above, as much as we don't like it, we have to translate "aonian" as "eternal."
 
You say that "God is Love," which is true.  However, God is also "Holy, Holy, Holy;" as much as He loves His creation, sin must be punished, otherwise He couldn't be holy.
 
I do not claim to be a scholar, but to me, the two above truths are obvious.  Believe me, I do not like the idea of eternal punishment.  But we don't know the mind of God.  His ways are better than our ways.
 
Thank you for taking so much of your time to spread the Gospel.  I'm open-minded when it comes to Christian doctrines, and would love to hear your perspective on this.
 
 
Sincerely,
Justin
 
P.S. -- I read your letter to John Hagee (or most of it, anyway).  While I do believe in eternal punishment, I do not believe babies and children, if they die unsaved, will suffer it.  They can't take responsibility for their actions.  Christ Himself said that "the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these."
    And yes, I think the way that Hagee seems to "enjoy the fact that people are suffering in hell" is disgusting and horrible; I'm with you on that one.
 

Dear Justin:
If you believe that "aionios" means "eternal," then there is nothing I can say to convince you of all these verses you question me about. Read my paper on "Is EVERLASTING Scriptural?"  As the word "eternal is not the proper translation of any word IN THE ENTIRETY of the Bible, it is silly to argue over those verses that use the word "eternal."
God has not promised the Believer "eternal" life, but rather "eionian" or "age-abiding life" with His Son as Kings and Priests ruling the nations. That rule is not eternal, hence the life we are given with Jesus ruling during the ages is also not eternal.
After the consummation of the ages, the ages end. Our life does not end, but our "eonian" life does end. One cannot be living "for the ages" WHEN THERE AFRE NO MORE AGES.  He continues to live, however, because we are promised in the resurrection to be given IMMORTALITY.  Immortality has nothing to do with time or eternity. The word means DEATH-LESS-NESS.
God be with you,
Ray
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