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March 15, 2012

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I agree with what's said here. On occasions I've heard people answer the question in the same way (all sinners are going to hell) but without making important qualifications, suggesting there is moral equivalence between, say, being impatient and sodomy.

Good post. I appreciate the value of rephrasing the question. The answer to that rephrased question will lead the discussion down a more fruitful path.

This reminds me of one of my favorite passages, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Mrs P. that is a very potent and profound passage of scripture. And the essence of that passage of scripture is,"And SUCH[sinful behaviour]were some of you. BUT YOU WERE WASHED,YOU WERE SANCTIFIED,YOU WERE JUSTIFIED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BY THE SPIRIT OF OUR GOD". All these sinful behaviours and nature of sin call for the need and provision of WASHING,SANCTIFICATION and JUSTIFICATION in the end result. That's the good news. In Isaiah 26:9,Isaiah is inspired by the Spirit of God to declare,"..for when Thy[God's] judgments are in the earth,THE INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD WILL LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS".

Unfortunately,most of us do not see any sort of similarity of this GRACIOUS,MERCIFUL,and GLORIOUS end result with those who are cast into the LAKE OF FIRE. I may cause some controversy here but along with the passage of scripture that Mrs.P provided here is a familiar passage: "But the fearful,and unbelieving,and the abominable,and murderers,and whoremongers,and sorcerers and idolators,and all liars,SHALL HAVE THEIR PART IN THE LAKE OF FIRE WHICH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE:WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH"(Rev.21:8). This is,to most of us,an end result to what we conclude as a place called "hell",but if we compare this to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 which Mrs P. pointed out,then we almost have to conclude that this "lake of fire" may bear symbolic significance to the spiritual process of having sins of all sorts BURNED OUT,PURIFIED,and the person thoroughly purged out in order for them to come out CLEANED,RE-SHAPED,WASHED and able to inherit the Kingdom of God. Well,how do I come to this conclusion? Well,apparently DEATH which is said to be the last enemy(1 Corinthians 15:26,55-57)and "HELL" are CAST INTO THIS LAKE OF FIRE(Rev.20:14). Hell and the Lake of Fire are commonly known to us as being one and the same. But,the passage in Revelation shows us something different yet so profound and deep. If DEATH and HELL are also cast into this Lake of Fire,then that would explain how DEATH is abolished completely and that sinful behaviour of every kind would also be gone in this FIRE which would mean that this FIRE would be a spiritual fire which would serve as the ultimate purifier and cleanser from all sin whatsoever. What really is this HELLFIRE that we preach daily about???

The problem is with the question itself. Post-Modernists and Liberals are not asking if homosexuals can go to heaven/be saved if they repent. Their liberal worldview grants the proposition that, "practicing homosexuals can be Christians;" there is no need to change one's lifestyle. Further, to expect homosexuals to repent is unwarranted; to claim that their sexual orientation is immoral shows one to be bigoted, ignorant and captive to an archaic theology. Some will even claim that such "conservative" philosophy against homosexuality is evil and promotes hatred in the Church.
As a Pentecostal/Conservative minister and instructor, I have seen this militant liberal view spouted at the Catholic University I attend while in my Master's program. Make sure you know the question first and then be prepared to take some heat if you hold to Christian Orthodoxy on the topic.

Rev. J, did you read the article?

Alan Shlemon states, "I'm not here to declare who is going to Hell or not. That's not the point of this post,nor is it for me to decide. That's God's job."

You know what's interesting? Just reading the first 4 paragraphs in Alan's post indicates an apparent contradiction to what he's stated above. Alan made a declaration of who's going to hell in the first sentence. He further elaborates on that point in the next 3 paragraphs by DECIDING that the punishment of hell is justified because "guilty people deserve to be punished". He's made what he has said to be "God's job" into his own. However,I think the post was just an innocent response to a question posed so in that aspect it seems premature for Rev.J to respond that way. Alan's post is not intended to highlight severe bigotry in regards to homosexuality but he is clearly promoting and encouraging the population to understand the equality of all sin and that no sin stands above or is lower than the other. Unfortunately,for the timing of Alan's post,Rev.J seems validated in his point and it could clearly be understood why he was outraged at this post. It seems like a good percentage of what is posted on this Christian blogsite is targeted at the immorality of Homosexuality. I guess it seems bigoted somehow.

"It seems like a good percentage of what is posted on this Christian blogsite is targeted at the immorality of Homosexuality. I guess it seems bigoted somehow."


One need only look at the vast archives at STR to realize just how rarely the topic of homosexuality is actually addressed.

John/T, you're absolutely right. I exaggerated on that aspect.

I guess I was just leaning toward explaining how the topic of Homosexuality just keeps popping out of the blue as if there is no way we can find some degree of tolerance for its existence. For example,out of the last 10 previous posts,there was two posts, "Are Homosexuals Going To Hell?" and "Does Homosexual Behaviour In Animals Mean It's Natural For Humans?". Then,counting from those 10 to the previous 18,there was 1, "Is 10% Of The Population Homosexual?". And lastly, counting from those previous 18 to the 25 previous posts,there was 1,"Are Homosexuals Born That Way?"

I'm aware of the rarity of the topic,but it's just the way it just keeps popping up out of the blue--like BOOM! Here we are again engaged in the topic of Homosexuality.

I have no problem with that. I love engaging in debatable topics. Initially,I was just trying to understand why Rev.J seemed so outraged about Alan's post and the posed question, so it was more of just a casual observation for me to just notice how the topic of Homosexuality seemed to come up every now and then. Ha ha, I tried.

It's not out-of-the-blue, Richard Wedderburn, it is a weekly series.

Oh, it's a weekly series. Okay,I do apologize for the misunderstanding. As I have said,I personally don't mind the topic being brought up at all. Thanks for telling me that it's a series though.

YW

While it appears the homosexuals (and many others) will go to the Lake of Fire for the reasons stated above, it is interesting that Ezekiel 16:53,55 appears to prophesy the eventual restoration of Sodom.

Richard

"s "lake of fire" may bear symbolic significance to the spiritual process of having sins of all sorts BURNED OUT,PURIFIED,and the person thoroughly purged out in order for them to come out CLEANED,RE-SHAPED,WASHED and able to inherit the Kingdom of God. Well,how do I come to this conclusion? "

How does this view square up with Jesus' words when he said that he is the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by him? Are you not proposing another way...that of going through the lake of fire to be CLEANED, RESHAPED, WASHED?

Louis Kuhelj,I cannot make you see wondrous,marvelous,deep spiritual truths of God. Only the Holy Spirit can do that,and God has given all His children that glorious gift and a whole lot more through His precious Son,our Lord Jesus Christ--

"He that hath an ear,let him hear what the Spirit saith.."

"Which things also we speak,not in words which man's wisdom teacheth,but which the Holy Spirit teacheth;comparing spiritual things with spiritual.."

"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned".

Louis,I understand why you would come to the conclusion that I would be proposing another way contrary to Jesus Christ being the way because on the NATURAL surface,it does look that way. You have to be in the Spirit to see that I am actually speaking of the Lord Jesus Himself in the reference of the Lake of Fire: The revelation of the glorious Rock of Ages which many of us have yet to see in all His glory. I can't just shine the flashlight in your eyes because it may blind you. Your eyes must get used to the light first. So,as God guides,let me explain some this and leave it for you to meditate on.

Louis,it's not so much of what the Lake Of Fire is,but it is who the Lake Of Fire really is and represents. I know many will go crazy and I may cause some controversy,but the Spirit bears witness. In the book of Revelation is the Lord's command,"He that hath an ear,let him hear what the Spirit saith to the church.." Throughout His earthly ministry,the Lord Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables and mind-boggling spiritual symbolism and He often referenced things which one with spiritual eyes would see that He would be making reference to Himself and God. He does the same in Revelation which is in fact the very revelation of Himself.

I submit to you that Jesus Christ is the Lake of Fire. I will stop there....Just read some the following scriptures and let God guide you:

Psalm 12:6,Malachi 3:2-3,Luke 3:16-17,Luke 12:49-50,Mark 9:49,I Corinthians 3:13-15,Rev.20:14,Rev.21:8

Louis,here are some other scriptures as well:

1 Thessalonians 1:7-8, Hebrews 12:6-11
*Hebrews 12:29*(Our God IS a consuming FIRE),
2 Peter 3:7-13
I Corinthians 3:3-5 and Rev.20:13 go hand in hand.

It's a spiritual fire. However,it does not excuse how terrible and severe it is for one to "fall into the hands of God"(Hebrews 10:31),and be cast into that lake of fire and brimstone. Interestly enough,it may look like an end to an end,but let's consider the definition of the Greek word which translates into "BRIMSTONE",we are forced to look deeper into the real purpose of the fire itself and why "brimstone" is added to it.

"Brimstone" in the Greek is THEION which means DIVINE INCENSE,regarded as having the POWER TO PURIFY and to ward off disease. The word THEION is derived from THEOS which is God Himself. When brimstone is referenced in spiritual symbolism,we are forced to see what the Spirit would have us to see. In essence,to purify means to make something pure; to clear from material defilement or imperfection or it means,on a personal level,to free from guilt or moral blemish.
This is the ultimate purpose of the fire of Divine purification. Think about it. No one in the sinful condition will be able to enter nor inherit the kingdom of God,but what is the end of those who are cast into this divine fire? Louis,I won't say anything other than impart the Lord's word for many of us,including you and myself, to perceive in the Spirit:

"Blessed are the PURE in heart for THEY SHALL SEE GOD"

"And DEATH(the last enemy 1 Corinthians 15:26,55-57) and HELL were cast into the LAKE OF FIRE,and whoever was not found in the BOOK OF LIFE-Christ Himself("I am the way,the truth and the LIFE") was cast into the lake of fire"

"And God(the CONSUMING FIRE)will WIPE AWAY all tears from their eyes;and there shall be no more DEATH,neither SORROW nor any more pain:for the former things are passed away.."

Sorry,(1 Corinthians 3:3-5 should be rendered as *1 Corinthians 3:13-15*).

Correction: "1 Corinthians 3:13-15 and Revelation 20:13 go hand in hand".

You stated...

Sometimes you can’t answer the question this post raises with a simple yes or no.

If I may offer an opinion: I don't see this as difficult. God is not willing that any should perish. God wants to save us by God's grace. Therefore, the answer to this question is simple: Yes, gay folk, straight folk, bi folk, conservatives and liberals, etc, CAN be saved. That is what God wants, to seek and save the lost.

Our salvation is not predicated upon agreeing with tradition or on one group's understanding of a series of behaviors, our salvation is based upon Grace, sweet Grace. Those who accept Grace are saved (and sadly, God does give folk the free will and the option to say, "No thanks" to grace and folk can choose to reject grace). But salvation is not based upon sexual orientation in the slightest, so the question is a bit moot.

Could we agree that this is a reasonable, fair, Christian response?

And, if I may offer one other comment, Rev J said...

Their liberal worldview grants the proposition that, "practicing homosexuals can be Christians;" there is no need to change one's lifestyle.

Speaking as a Christian (from the anabaptist tradition, but who is called "liberal" with a good deal of regularity), what progressive folk say is that we are saved by God's grace. One's orientation does not affect salvation.

Further, we disagree with the presumption that all gay behavior is sinful. We don't find that to be a biblically or logically valid conclusion. Thus, if it is not sinful to, for instance, be in a committed marriage relationship between two gay folk, then of course there is no need to "change one's lifestyle," any more than it would be prudent to change one's lifestyle if one were in a marriage relationship between straight folk.

On the other hand, we fully believe in living aright, in following God's ways and in following the teachings of Jesus and, if that requires a lifestyle change, well then we think that is for the best.

We fully believe in following God, we just think the Rev J's of the world have misunderstood God's position on some topics.

For what it's worth.

The only topic here that is of pointed importance is calling sin what it is--sin. No amount of politely saying that mainstream Christianity has "misunderstood" the Word of God regarding homosexuality makes it so. And those who joyfully reassure Believers that gay "marriage" is perfectly good and acceptable and is desired by God, are wolves in sheep's clothing. "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." 2 Cor. 11:13-15. It is a severe evil to encourage someone's sin, preventing them from acknowledging their guilt before God. They remain lost in their rebellion, right along with their leader.

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