[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Understanding God's Judgment

by Matthew

At the Preachers Fellowship meeting at church today, the pastor who is really into 'Lordship Salvation' said that it was important not to confuse the judgments of the Old Testament that involved physical calamity, such as Jonah's being swallowed by a fish, with the question of eternal salvation. Believers in the Old Testament could suffer God's judgment through suffering.

If this approach is applied to New Testament texts, which would surely be consistent, then the Calvinistic doctrine of Perserverance suffers big problems. A key text that would be affected is Hebrews 3:

3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 3:2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

3:3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

3:4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 3:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

3:10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

3:11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 3:15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

3:16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

3:17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 3:18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.



If we understand God's judgment on Israel in the Old Testament to be the physical discipline of God's own people, then we need to interpret Hebrews 3 in that light. This means acknowledging the possibility of a believer hardening his heart and falling into unbelief, with the result of facing judgment.

29 Comments:

  • I don't understand your point. I really don't. You said that the preacher said we shouldn't confuse the Old Testament judgements with eternal salvation? I was unaware that anyone made this confusion. I didn't think anyone confused judgement (the payment for sin) with salvation (the removal of the payment of sin).

    Since I didn't understand that point, I didn't understand what you were attempting to rebut.

    Please help me here.

    Truly wanting to know,
    Adam

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 7:11:00 AM  

  • Dear Matthew,

    I hope this comes to you in blessing and with a sense of God's Spirit at work in us both.

    The difference between Israel's discipline as the Covenant people and the believer in Christ is that the Old Covenant community was mostly made up of unsaved people. The New Covenant is only made up of saved people. This is a huge difference.
    It is true that believers now face discipline as children of God the Father. But the discipline of Hebrews 12 and the discipline of Hebrews 2,3,6,and 10 are worlds apart. The Fatherly discipline of 12 is to prevent the eternal wrath of 2,3,6,10. There is no temporal punitive punishment in post-life christianity.(gnashing of teeth, outer darkness, non-inheritance etc., are a huge blunder, and indecently put over as radical accountability. In reality the idea is an attack on our union with Christ as our Life, and ALL in ALL.)( The bema is for how we build, not how we sin!) The warnings are for those who commit the sin of unbelief as did the unsaved Israelites who were Old Covenant partakers. The consideration of the blood of Christ as common, and no more worthy than the blood of bulls and goats was the issue.

    The warnings are real. The believers were real. The judgement would be real. Of course this is contrary to Calvinist theology. That's why the fumble through Hebrews like a blind man in Wal-Mart. But, nonetheless, to make the warnings fit Free Grace teaching is just as wrong. God does not ask us if our systems will accomodate His truth. He expects us to be small enough to let Him know how it works.
    Hebrews is historically and contextually unique. It applies in many cases, but it's strict interpretation has to account for the bridging of two epochs, and all that that would involve for the Jew (and the one like Cornelius) at that time. There were thousands who were saved and did not yet know of the Messiah, even after Pentecost and through to the Temple destruction, and who knows when. Did they get cut off at the Ascension? No. Did they struggle with Old Testament Law? Yes. Did they desire to go back to the temple after they received the Messiah? Yes. And,the hassles they received from the world around them occasioned Hebrews 12. The dangers of an obsolete and soon disappearing system in total would leave them with Hebrews 2,3,6,10 to face for eternity in hell, with even severer punishment than Old Covenant hypocrites. Now, who has a system that will fit that?

    No man can grow beyond the system he holds. It is like a small room that entraps and governs his girth.

    The Bible refuses to be trapped by man. Again, the truth Brian brought out before is right in our face. Unfathomable. Infinite. Wise.
    We don't know. But we believe what is revealed.

    In love,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 7:39:00 AM  

  • Soyfst, I am arguing that the judgment on unbelief in Hebrews should be viewed as the chastening of genuine believers.

    There is a possiblity that believers may develope an evil heart of unbelief and fall into judgment, with the loss of physical life, as with OT judgments on sin.



    Blaurock, thanks for your thoughts.

    I would question your view that most of the Old Covenant community was unsaved. By what evidence can we evaluate their eternal destiny?

    Typologically, we are in a mess if we deem most of those who experienced the first Passover, the crossing of the Red Sea, the Wilderness, and the next generation after this that crossed Jordan were mostly unsaved.

    Is it meaningful to call the Israelites a redeemed people if most of them winded up in hell?

    Soem Free Grace interpreatations I find convincing, others I have my doubts about, Blaurock.

    I am not sure that you have dealt adequately with the warnings of Hebrews 3.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 8:20:00 AM  

  • Matthew, if that is what you are arguing, then I think I would be inclined to agree...;)

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 9:02:00 AM  

  • That is interesting, Adam and rather encouraging.

    3:12 'Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.'

    Do you think this is a possibility for a believer in Christ?

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 9:31:00 AM  

  • Dear Matthew,

    Thanks for your response. The passover was for redemption from Egypt, not sin. It typifies sin to us, but it was not that to them.
    Typology is based on the events of the community, not the individuals only. Can we say that there was ever a majority of saved Israelites? Really? It would be like saying there is a majority of true believers in christendom. What does scripture say?

    Hosea 2:4
    " I will have no pity on her children, because they are the children conceived in adultery. For their mother has committed adultery; she who conceived them has acted shamefully."

    Only in rare moments did Israel prefer the Lord to Baal or calf worship. Rare moments that only lasted for moments. The priesthood on down was corrupt and filthy. Yet, as covenant administrators they were deemed holy for service!
    They were under a theocracy that was administered and designated along much different lines than the New Covenant.

    The testimony of the Old Testament scriptures is always pointing to a remnant of the actually redeemed individuals. Even at their rebirth in the future it will be only 1/3 that are there to be saved in a day. Today it's less than that. In the past, as in the day of Moses, the true Israelite in heart was rare. Israel was preserved through the intercession of Moses. That's how wicked the majority were.
    It would help to read Psalm 106 on this subject, but I'll quote a small part.

    Psalm 106:21-23,

    "They rejected the God who delivered them,
    the One who performed great deeds in Egypt,
    amazing feats in the land of Ham,
    mighty acts by the Red Sea.
    He threatened to destroy them,
    but Moses, His chosen one, interceded with Him
    and turned back His destructive anger."

    The whole Psalm leaves no other conclusion.

    Hosea 12:13

    "The Lord brought Israel out of Egypt by a prophet,
    and due to a prophet Isarael was preserved alive."

    Again Hosea says:

    "O Israel, do not rejoice jubilantly like the nations, for you are unfaithful to your God. You love to receive a prostitutes wages on all the floors where you thresh your grain." (9:1)

    Israel was a nation redeemed. But, with "most of them He was not pleased." (1 Cor.10:5)It has always been and always will be a remnant that are true. In Israel this was a national covenant that did not necessarily include individual salvation. The warnings of Hebrews 2,3,6,10 all go together. They cannot be filed apart. The issue is eternal wrath and indignation, not familial parental discipline as in 12.

    A theocratic nation redeemed from slavery in Egypt is not dependant upon the destiny of a percentage of it's national membership for meaning.

    Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 are only the second of five warnings for the same purpose. (2:1-4)(3:7-4:13)
    (5:11-6:20) (10:26-31) then the concluding warning in (12:18-29)given after the parental passage of 12:1-13. Chapter three cannot stand without the other passages giving it their weight also. Not that it is weak, but they are like a rugby squad moving down the field in purposeful force.

    Taken as a whole there is no way to escape the implications.

    With much respect,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 9:49:00 AM  

  • The ruin and apostasy of Israel was consistent.

    However, we cannot be certain how many of those apostate individuals had saving faith.

    By focusing on their disobediance as giving character to their eternal standing, you run the risk of making the law a means of salvation, as Covenant theologians do.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 10:02:00 AM  

  • Matthew, great points!

    I would suggest that the honor of being Christ's house, his partaker (Greek: Metachoi), and entering rest, are all rewards in eternity.

    I believe that the author of Hebrews, in this passage, was making a comparison with specific correspondences between temporal Israel and the eternal church.

    Perseverance is a very hard work, as even Traditionalists will admit. The fact of the matter, though, is that if perseverance is a work, and being a partaker with Christ and entering rest merely means justification salvation, then our entrance into heaven is based upon works.

    But seeing that this passage is considering rewards for faithful endurance, which is a major theme of encouragement in this epistle, there are no problems with seeing endurance, perseverance, and faithful confession (works) resulting in rewards (misthos: wages, recompense, reward).

    Thanks for this thought provoking article!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 1:17:00 PM  

  • Excellent post, Matthew.

    I thought of 1 Corintians 10:1-8

    I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.


    Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play." We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.


    It seems like this is only coherent if your premise in this post is accepted.

    God bless,

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Saturday, May 06, 2006 2:23:00 PM  

  • Jodie and Antonio, thansk for your encouragment. You both make excellent points.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 12:45:00 AM  

  • Dear Matthew,

    Good Morning Again!
    It's very good to get to know you.

    There is a problem with running from one context to another to prove a point. The Hebrews context is "apostacy" not "faithlessness" but "faith" less-ness. Your injection of a modern debate into a foreign context is not valid or helpful to the observation and interpretation of Hebrews.
    To make "apostacy" less than what it is, is to distort the whole book. Your debate with the Lordship people is more fitting in Romans 6 and 7. Not Hebrews.
    Again the identification with Moses and the supply of Christ's provisions for Israel in the wilderness does not equate spiritual salvation. The parallel is in the danger they faced through provocation and judgement as a people. Sin brings punishment, and certainly for the professing community of God His judgement is expected without discrimination. But, to make this
    co-equal with the Hebrews passages is just very bad hermeneutics.

    Who?: Hebrew Christians
    When? Pre-70 AD
    Where? Diaspora community
    What? Danger of Apostacy
    How? In returning to an obsolete Covenant
    Why? Persecution and doubt

    For 2006 Free Grace or Lordship Americans? No. Only in applicaton, and that in much care. We are reading the mail of others. We have to be really careful when using their mailbox as is it were ours.

    These people were not in danger of "losing reward" or merely being "disciplined" (although that was happening too), they were in danger of forsaking Christ for the old economy that was paramount to treading underfoot Christ's blood and counting it as common or profane. The reward in question was their eternal life.

    Does this fit Calvinism? No
    Does it fit Free Grace? No

    Can we live with that?

    In Hope for a yes,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:56:00 AM  

  • Dear Matthew,
    Sorry about this:
    "For 2006 Free Grace or Lordship Americans?"
    I forgot you were in England!
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 2:00:00 AM  

  • Matthew, I don't think verse twelve speaks of falling away, so yes, I think it is possible for the Christian to gain an evil heart of unbelief and 'depart from the living God'.

    I don't interpret this to be as a final departation, as I don't think verse thirteen allows. I think it speaks of a hardening. A turning from God because of sin...

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 5:25:00 AM  

  • Sofyst,
    Before you conclude with that idea look at 10:26-39, it is apostacy that is the issue. Not backsliding.
    Or carnal living. It is bigger and more terrifying than that.
    Your Brother,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:06:00 AM  

  • Don't try to fit it into your theology. Let your theology fit into it.

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:08:00 AM  

  • Soyfst, exhorting each other daily is vital as verse 13 urges. However, I think this text is clear that the possibility of final apostasy for a believer is there.

    I fail to see how my interpretation contradicts the plain meaning of this text. Texts such as this lead me to question my previous commitment to the doctrine of Perserverance. When I allowed the texts to shape my theology, suddenly the Bible made a lot more sense and barring questionable interpreatations, such as the that of the Outer Darkness, I believe the Bible teaches Free Grace Theology as advocated by Zane Hodges.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:21:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    Can I then call you a Hodgite? Perhaps a Hodginist?

    Your interpretation may not contradict the plain meaning of the text, but it may contradict the plain meaning of other texts. The 'plain' meaning of some texts are what is to be regarded as the actual meaning. Jesus said 'destroy this temple and I will rebuild it'. The plain meaning of that statement was considered by the disciples to be in reference to the physical temple there. However, the actual meaning of Jesus' words were not that temple, but the temple that is His body. So you can obviously see that we are not always to take the 'plain meaning'.

    Afterall, us being the children of Abraham doesn't mean we are Israel does it?

    But back on the topic.

    Verse thirteen is a clarification of what is meant in verse twelve. It is set up as a juxtaposition and thus clarifies what it means to 'fall away' or to 'gain an evil heart'.

    This whole passage is speaking about the hardening of the hearts of the Israel's and by implication a warning to not let similar hardening occur within the Christian.

    We see in verses eight through eleven that the Holy Spirit rebukes the Israelites. He tells them not to harden their hearts. He tells them that they shouldn't harden their hearts like their father's did. For because their father's hardened their hearts, He did not let them enter His rest. The rest He is speaking about is the rest within the promised land, He does not forbid them eternal rest, as in damning them to hell, but rather makes them wander for more years within the desert without entering the rest of the promised land (8-11).

    Luke (or whoever you believe the author of Hebrews to be) then warns the Christian as well. He tells him not to harden his heart, not to gain an evil heart and turn from God (12).

    He then says to rather exhort each other so that this hardening of the hearts won't occur. He tells them that if they do exhort each other, so that none of them are hardened by sin's deception (13).

    You see, the whole passage is speaking about a hardening of the heart. It never speaks about a falling ultimately away from the LORD. It rather warns against a hardening and rebellion towards God.

    We can't take the phrase 'depart from the living God' and then assume the worst, assume that this means an ultimate departing when the passage suggests that it simply means a hardening of the individual.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 8:58:00 AM  

  • Adam, I am happy with your approach to the text.

    Hardening of the heart does suggest an increasing of resistance to God. If we interpret htis in the light of Hebrews 6:4-8 then it would appear that there is a point of no return that comes form this hardening of the heart. Reaching this point leads to inevitable and irreversible judgment.

    There is the implication in verse 6 that if the believer fails to hold fast, he or she will not be of Christ's house, whatever we understand this to mean. I view this as being accepted into the intimate company of Christ and of a greater heavenly privilege eschatologically.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 11:51:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    This is the most bizarre interpretation of Hebrews I've ever come across. The plain sense of the text (taking into consideration all the variables of metaphor and such) is that of apostacy. This "impossible to renew again to repentance" and "again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame" labguage is not for the under achieving christian, but for the one who " no longer has a sacrifice for sins," and awaits "fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries."
    This is not a lesser degree of glory, but a falling away from grace and having "insulted the Spirit of grace," having regarded Christ's blood as "unclean."

    If there is a doubt as to what this language entails, it did not come from the text, but from some book or teacher who didn't like the implications.

    As 2 Timothy says,

    "It is a trustworthy statement:
    For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him;
    If we endure, we shall also reign with Him;
    If we deny Him, He will also deny us;
    If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself." (2 Tim.2:11-13)

    The recipients of the Hebrews letter were in danger of moving from the "faithless" catagory to the "denying." Could this actually happen? I don't know, but I'm not going to water it down for the sake of myself or another. God forbid that we reinterpret scripture to make our theology consistant with itself.

    That is what you are doing. Please don't be offended at the frankness here.

    In Truth,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 12:34:00 PM  

  • I totally agree with you that this text deals with open and total apostasy.

    I do not for a moment believe I am watering down this text.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:09:00 PM  

  • Joseph, have you read Zane Hodges' section on Hebrews in the Bible Knowledge Commentary (ed. Walvoord and Zuck)?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:12:00 PM  

  • Blaurock, if I'm not mistaken, Matthew and I are discussing chapter three of Hebrews. Not chapter six nor chapter ten. Lets try to stay on topic. We can't go jumping to the middle or end of the book if we haven't even figured out the beginning. Chapter three suggests that it is speaking about a simple hardening of the heart. Chapter six or ten may be interpreted as final apostasy, but we are not discussing those this second are we?

    Matthew, verse six may be applicable in suggesting that if we harden our hearts inevitably a disowning from the house may follow. However, the language appears different. It appears that Luke is saying that if we hold on to the courage and confidence of our faith, we will remain in that house. He then speaks about a hardening and an exhortation for our exhortation of our brothers so that hardening will not follow.

    It seems to me, right as of yet, that these two are related, but not so closely linked as to be identical. It seems he is suggesting that we need to hold on to this courage and confidence. He then tells of their forefathers who hardened their hearts...

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:13:00 PM  

  • Sofyst,
    3,6,10 go together.
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:27:00 PM  

  • I would agree with Joseph on that point, Adam.

    The reason the author raises the Israelites is to demonstrate God's judgement on apostasy. This is developed througout the epistle. To deny this possibility is to ignore the structure of the epistle.

    The author does not elaborate on the possibility of apostasy here or the severity of God's judgment. This is developed later in the epistle.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 3:30:00 PM  

  • Then Matthew, you wouldn't agree with Joseph on that point. You concede that the author does not elaborate on that point here, but develops it later. That is my point. The specific passage in question is not dealing with the apostasy, but what leads up to apostasy, the hardening of the heart.

    Joseph, yes they all go together. No one has denied this point. However, when addressing three, you needn't bring in right away six and ten. You needn't either plead to six and ten when three is addressing something different. That is my point. Three is addressing hardening, six and ten may be addressing apostasy. However, we cannot extrapolate from six and ten the seriousness and apply this seriousness where it is not warranted.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 4:31:00 PM  

  • Dear Sofyst,
    With respect to you and in light of the seriousness of the issue we should be aware that your approach to hermeneutics in this case is not acceptable. Within the same book, a sound interpretation will look at the whole to see the parts, and the parts to see the whole. This is a basic principle.

    Matthew,

    You previously said that your view of the non-apostates was that they would receive a higher position than the apostates.

    Below is your quote:

    "I view this as being accepted into the intimate company of Christ and of a greater heavenly privilege eschatologically."

    The apostate is not in a lesser state of heavenly company. He is lost, never again able to repent, and never again able to have a sacrifice for sin. This is not what Hodges teaches. In an attempt at human consistancy Hodges stretches the text to teach "saved apostates!" Matthew, I want to stress this point, Hodges puts the believer in flaming indigation and fire!(pg.805 BKC) This is a protestant purgatory. No sacrifice for sin, so he burns in some non-hell hell?
    Is that a position to hold along with union of the believer in Christ? Will Christ's body burn? Are we not members of one another and all members of Christ? This apostacy is a "cutting off" a "falling away" never to be able to be restored, through repentance, fire(!) or otherwise.
    This theology has caused many people distress. The idea of two catagories of believers is not sound. The carnal and spritual issue is something other. All believers will be co-reigning with Christ in a greater or lesser degree as to authority, but none will be outside, or burning for 1,000 years or any other type of punitive punishment. The devil has enabled himself to spoil an otherwise decent commentary. Why? I don't know where the other Dallas guys were, or what they were thinking. We must not let an extreme person like Hodges reinvent the book.
    In Christ,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 10:22:00 PM  

  • Joseph, your assumption here is that fiery means hell. This is not at all a warranted conclusion.

    The reference to burning in Hebrews 6:8 is metaphorical. It must be understood in the same sense as 1 Cor 3:13-15.

    How would you understand John 15:6? Fire is used here, it seems in reference to believers.

    These verses need not be simply understood in reference to loss of eschatological rewards. There is an earthly aspect to this in that apostates are very likely to face the physical judgment of the Lord in terms of physical death, the 'sin unto death'. 1 John 5:16. I believe this kind of judgment is just as much in view here as loss of eschatological rewards.

    Joseph, I would like to know why you think all believers will reign with Christ in the eschaton.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 08, 2006 12:23:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    Listen again to the language applied to these apostates, then tell me they are believers.

    Crucify Christ afresh
    Put Him to open shame
    Impossible to repent
    Insulted Spirit of Grace
    No longer has a sacrifice for sins
    Certain expectation of judgement
    More severe jugement than under the Law as a transgressor
    Trampled the Son of God underfoot
    Regarded Christ's covenant blood as unclean
    Under God's vengeance
    Shrunk back to destruction
    Willfully sinning

    Yes the fire in 10:27 is metaphorical, but metaphorical of what? Heaven? Matthew, come awake.
    The text in 1 John is clear that there is a sin of apostacy that we are not to pray for to be remedied.
    Is there a person who is saved that we are not to pray for? The "Hebrews" apostate is the one we are not to pray for since it is useless. If we see them headed that way we must pray, but once they're there it's done.

    1 Corinthians 3 is the burning of the work as building up the temple of the Lord with worthless material, not the burning of the person through the judgement of apostacy.
    The branches in John 15 are most accurately seen as "professing" believers who are not "actual" in their faith, as Judas was in prime example.
    The people in Hebrews are not explained in context as anything "but" believers gone away into apostacy and eternal doom.

    What is the destiny of a man who has no sacrifice for sin?
    Or a man who has counted the blood Christ as profane?
    or
    A man who will have more severe judgement than those who knew the commands of Sinai and waved their fist at the glory of YHWH in disdain?

    Matthew, You then asked me:

    Why will all believers reign with Christ?

    Romans says that we are united with Him in all aspects. We are co-heirs with Christ, and co-rulers of the ages to come.

    Have you forgotten the promise to the less-than-straight walking Corinthians?

    1 Cor.6:2
    "Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged "by you," (emphasis mine) are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?"

    verse 3a:
    "Do you not know we shall judge angels?"

    Glorified saints will reign, and make no mistake, all saints will be glorified, and not after some burning apostate sin washing. They will all be spotless through the once and for all sacrifice of the eternal Son of God which has been nullified as to effect in the case of the apostates you are trying to bring into the Holy place of God through the doctrines of Zane Hodges.
    Which believers would not reign with Christ, if all our righteousness is as filthy rags apart from the beauty of Christ as our completeness?
    This is very important Matthew. I know a very dear person who was tortured by this "overcomer" type theology in her youth. She would cry and beg God to let her be one of the upper classman. I wish she had read the expose's on Hodges and the others and been set free from the nonsense. But, it took many years. I hope and pray that your efforts and that of the others is stopped dead in it's tracks by the zeal of the Lord of Hosts.
    In seriousness,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Monday, May 08, 2006 7:44:00 AM  

  • Joseph
    'The people in Hebrews are not explained in context as anything "but" believers gone away into apostacy and eternal doom.'

    I see no proof that these apostates face eternal doom.

    I do find it hard to understand a warning of a hypothetical fate.

    The apostate has no more sacrifice because he has no sacrifice that can save him from God's judgment on his apostasy after he is already sanctified by Christ's blood (10:29).

    Corporately all believers are o-heirs with Christ, but individually they may or may not be active participants in Christ's reign.

    1 Cor 6:2 provides no promise that every believer in Christ will actively share in Christ's reign.

    You warn me of the doctrine I am bringing here, but I believe your interpretation leads only in the direction of Arminianism. Deadly stuff.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 08, 2006 12:43:00 PM  

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