Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lukewarmers: Resurrected, Saved from Hell, No Eternal Life.

Many Christians have a dichotomous idea of the afterlife. They understand the Bible to teach about heaven and hell. You either go to one place or of the other. However, if you read the Bible in detail, you see that God differentiates the ideas of heaven and hell a little more than that. Jesus Christ and his apostles made distinctions between believers. Now it doesn't matter how long you were working hard and being profitable in the field, those that worked diligently one hour received the same reward as those who worked through the heat of the day.

Matt 20:12-14 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

However, Jesus Christ talked about the sheep vs. the goats, the profitable servants verses unprofitable. But Christ also made a distinction between the wise and the unwise virgins who were all waiting for the marriage but only the wise had extra oil for their lamps. Paul talked about those who would be considered the children of the bondwoman referring to Abraham's son Ishmael by Hagar, vs. his other son Isaac who came by Sarah. Pauls says true Christians will be considered the children of the promise. John in the Book of Revelations doesn't just talk about the wicked and the righteous but those who are hot, lukewarm and cold. So what will happen to the goats, the unprofitable servants, the unwise virgins, children of the bondwoman, and lukewarmers?

Yes, the lukewarmers will be saved. Christ will save them from hell and the unjust will be resurrected.They will go to spirit prison and experience eternal punishment or God's punishment, but eventually the prisoners will go free. This isn't a doctrine of Universalism, but is a doctrine of a loving and merciful Father in Heaven.

Isa. 24: 22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.
John 5: 25. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
1 Peter 3:18-19; 4:6 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;. . . .For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

The unjust will be resurrected.

Acts 24: 15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Paul says that if you confess Christ even right after the resurrection then you and your saved. This means that you can still confess after your resurrected. You will be saved from hell, but that doesn't include the reward of eternal life.

Rom. 10: 9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Paul says that everyone will confess and accept that Jesus is the Christ. Confession of Christ is all that is needed for salvation from hell. According to Paul it is possible that you can be saved after death but before the final judgement at the end of the Millennium if you confess the Lord Jesus after the ressurrection. That person who procrastinates will be saved but they will not be exalted or receive eternal life. That is a gift of God.

Rom. 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.

The only sin that can not be forgiven in this life or the next is the sin against the Holy Ghost. Even blasphemy against God will be forgiven, but not against the Holy Ghost. And this suggests that some degree of forgiveness of sin is possible in the spirit world before the final judgement at the end of the Millennium.

Matt 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Paul teaches that everyone builds a foundation of works upon which his life stands. We either build upon Christ or some other foundation. If we are truely built upon Christ we will be saved and be rewarded with the gift of eternal life. But even those who are built on another foundation which fails when tested, will suffer loss, but eventually will be saved from hell.

1 Cor 2: 11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 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. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

Those who are cold or lukewarm in Christ, or are unprofitable will be cast into outer darkness as the Bible says and endure endless torment and eternal punishment. But Christ says the punishment really isn't endless. Because God says the Joseph Smith that "Endless" and "Eternal" are His name so "Endless torment" and "Eternal punishment" are Gods punishment. And eventually the prisoners will go free and the unjust will be resurrected. They will not receive the same reward with the children of the promise but they will be saved.

D&C 19:10 For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore— Eternal punishment is God’s punishment. Endless punishment is God’s punishment.


Anonymous said...

I guess that is one way to look at through the glass. I have often wondered on just what principles man is saved by. In our theology we talk quite openly about the three degrees of glory, assigning principles and laws to each one and making rules that apply for each. In a recent class we were talking about the millennium and the question was brought up about the fate of the terrestrial in regards to why they merit a lower glory. Typically there is the usual seminary answer- "because they were less valiant in mortality", or- "they were blinded by the craftiness of men".

What we seem to miss though is that the resurrected terrestrial folks at the millennium are those who have paid their penalty for sins in the spirit prison, have accepted Christ and repented, and then have been baptized in accordance with the change of heart they have received. At that point (when they are resurrected) at the beginning of the millennium, they will be spotless converted "saints" of Jesus Christ.

They will reign with Christ as resurrected personages who will help to build up and secure the work of the "kingdom" that will be presented to the Father at the end of the millennium. By every definition they have become "celestial" people. Sure, they may have been "blinded" before but now they can see- Christ has set them free from their sins. By every right they should be part of the kingdom that they have been building up and have been part of when the earth is celestialized. I cannot find any reason why they would be unworthy to be a part of that celestial kingdom.

It may be that there just is not any "lukewarmers" who are saved in the end. It would suggest that they have not yet been able to cut off all ties with Satan's influence. How are they to be saved if they have not been cut off totally from Satan? The Book of Mormon teaches avery strict dichotomy and what is required to be saved from eternal hell. That salvation is a perfect faith and unity to becoming born again into the kingdom of heaven- anything shy of that merits no salvation at all!

In fact, in the modern translation of the parable of the goats and the sheep and eternal life it speaks of either receiveing eternal life as a sheep on the right hand of God or being cast off into outer darkness because you were found as a goat on the left hand.(see D&C 29) This is all after the millennium too in the explaination. The Book of Mormon also teaches this same dichotomy of all of the saved receiving eternal life while the unsaved all receive eternal death (the second spiritual death) with no inbetween ground for fence sitters or the lukewarm. In the end it is clear that the fence sitters and the lukewarmers will all be considered part of the "cast off" into outer darkness. God cannot save in the end if one refuses to fully accept Christ. A saved individual cannot serve both Satan and Christ.

BRoz said...

Anything short of eternal life is eternal death or eternal separation from the fellowship of Our Heavenly Father.

In the virgin and sheep examples Christ does say that the unwise virgins and the goats would be cast into outerdarkness. This term is used interchangebly with spirit prison and should not be confused with the place prepared for Satan, his angels and the sons of perdition of deny the Holy Ghost.

Those that go to this temporary outerdarkness will be eventually delivered and resurrected at the end of the Millennium and if they confess Christ will be saved to a degree of glory.

Anonymous said...

Merely confessing Christ willnot save a person from outer darkness. Salvation is eternal life. The scriptures equate the two. If one is saved from hell he thus merits eternal life. If he is not saved from hell, he will then partake of th eternal death awaiting him. "Eternal Life" means that a person has eternal spiritual life- that he is alive eternally to the things of righteousness. All of the saved will get this gift while the unsaved have no part of it.

I am interested in what part of the scriptures speak of Christ saving the "lukewarmers"?

BRoz said...

Salvation in some places in scripture is used synonymously with Eternal Life. But other places a distinction is made. But it is clear from scripture that all but the sons of perdition of deny the Holy Ghost will receive some degree of salvation and will not be left in outer darkness or spirit prison forever. While the cold and lukewarm will be save eventually, they will be damned forever meaning they will not have eternal progression or increase. LDS usually explain this by saying "Salvation without Exaltation = Damnation"