Bible Christian Living Theology

Coffee with Job 63 – Cold Theology, Judgement Day and Justice

Job 20 – the final part of Zophar’s speech gives a Hellish picture of judgement. The real biblical position is so much better….Cold theology is heartless and useless

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Coffee with Job 62 – Good News to the Poor

 

15 comments

  1. “When theology’s become a dry academic subject or one in which only experts can can say anything, we are in deep, deep trouble”

    Exactly David! This is precisely where the Methodist church in the UK has landed, through its appalling apostasy in reinterpreting the biblical definition of marriage. Its leadership has deliberately and wickedly brow beaten its congregations into accepting that only the well learned academic can correctly interpret God’s Word.

    Blind fools who peddle a pretentiousness no different to that of the Pharisees.

    1. No different to the ‘mainstream’ then.

      I will suggest that a major – if not in fact the major – cause of the decline of the Church, at least in the UK, is that the vast majority of the scientifically illiterate clergy took the knee to atheist ‘scientists’ who wanted to rid Moses from Scripture and uncritically swallowed unscientific Darwinian evolution which does not even meet the criteria of the scientific method.

      Undermine Genesis and the rest of the Bible is undermined with the consequence that established doctrines are watered down and eventually kicked into the long grass.

  2. Job, prior to the words of Zophar, said: “For I know that my Redeemer lives.”

    And whilst Zophar was talking about the sufferings of the wicked and perhaps alluding to hellfire punishment (although we have to bear in mind that Zophar in his exchanges with Job was not speaking truthfully) he may very well have been incorrect on that point also.

    To support that point when we consider what Job said previously in chapter 14 and verse 13 “Oh that you would hide me in Sheol…”

    Job was suffering terribly and yet he longed for Sheol. If Job’s theology is correct he’s telling us – in contrast to the wrong-headed Zophar – that his suffering would cease in Sheol.

    If my understanding is correct Sheol, Hades, Hell, Gehenna are synonymous. This, of course, raises a number of questions including that of ‘where is the justice for the wicked? ‘how will they suffer? and other issues.

    1. Not strictly speaking. Sheol can mean:
      • death or the grave (e.g. 1 Kings 2:6; Is.38:10)
      • the place/state where all go at death (e.g. 1 Sam.2:6; Ps.89:48)
      • a place of punishment for the wicked (e.g. Job 24:19; Prov.5:5)

  3. Dear Will Brooks,
    As I understand it, these terms quoted by you are NOT SYNONYMOUS! The “Got Questions” Web Site gives a very helpful explanation on these differences. Basically, the O/T term “Sheol” and the N/T term “Hades” refer to “The place of the dead or departed” pending the 1st Resurrection.
    The N/T term “Gehenna” refers to hell, and “The Lake of Fire” refers to the final judgement which all the unsaved will experience, as per Jesus’ explanation of the ‘Rich Man’ experiencing seeing Lazarus in ‘Abraham’s bosom’ which is synonymous with “Paradise” and “heaven”.
    Maybe David Robertson would like to comment for clarification? Hope this helpful.
    Your comments, David, on the important difference between the purely Theological and the actual Divine are very helpful, something that needs constant emphasis & awareness of as to whether someone is truly “born again” or just a “proselyte”. You don’t make Christians by sending them on a course like the Alpha Course, you only make “Proselytes”, as Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John 3 where it MUST be a Divine work of the Triune Godhead through the Holy Ghost. “Courses” should make Disciples out of those truly “born again”! Sadly, this Discernment has been lost on the professing church today, hence the recent controversy over Asylum Seekers who have allegedly been converted to Christianity through a 5 week course, using this to appeal against Deportation which much of the church (particularly Anglican) have been complicit in.
    I fear this may be used by Government as justification for implementing a strict form of prohibition on so called “Conversion Therapy” as an embracing catch all law against even true Christian Ministry. Watch this space, as they say. Let us continue to work whilst it is yet day for the night approaches fast!

    1. Thanks David.

      I ought to have made myself clearer.

      What I ought to have said is that it’s my experience in talking with others that most people think of Sheol/Hades/Hell/Gehenna as being synonymous when in fact there are differences.

      Hellfire/Lake of Fire/Eternal Punishment is a very controversial topic and even amongst respected Biblical scholars there isn’t, at least to my knowledge, a consensus of opinion.

      Generally speaking people are in one of two camps: eternal concious punishment/torment or annihilation.

      Perhaps it’s an idea to explore this in a new thread?

    1. This is too big a subject for a thread on a blog, and the biblical references too numerous. Revelation 14:9-10 teaches that the suffering of hell is “forever and ever”, literally “unto the ages of the ages”, the same phrase that is used of God and the worship given to him. One writer says, “Had John wished to convey the impression that the punishment of the wicked was only of limited duration, he could hardly have chosen a more misleading phrase to describe it.”

      Jesus spoke more of the reality and duration of hell than anyone else, in such places as Matthew 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 16:18; 23:15,33; Mark 9:43,45,47; Luke 12:5. The same language is used of the duration of torment in hell as of joy in heaven, yet no believer I know denies the eternity or reality of heaven!

      In the entire history of the Christian Church, the almost unanimous, consensus, view of every branch of the Church has been that the punishment of the godless is both conscious and everlasting. It was largely as a result of the Higher Criticism movement that began in the 17th and 18th centuries that the denial of everlasting torment and the advocating of annihilationism became more popular. But to come to such a view you have to do some hermeneutical gymnastics and twist the clear teaching of the Scriptures, most of it from the lips of Christ himself, which refer to the torment of the condemned unbelievers as being eternally unending.

      1. Hi John,

        Thanks for your response.

        It’s all in the detail. This article – there’s many similar – drills down into the details and is a Scriptural rebuttal to ‘eternal torment’ which is not something that has ever entered God’s mind.

        “They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.” Jeremiah 19:5

        https://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/death/hell-torment-or-annihilation.php#.YZjdwtDP3IU

  4. Believe me, Will, I’ve studied the details in great detail and teach theology. and, with respect to you and the article you link to, the handling of words like death, and perish and destruction in the Greek is weak.
    I have had more than one student come convinced of annihilationism and then, when they study the text carefully and in detail, realise they had been seriously misinformed. But apart from some very weak handling of the text in the article, what bothers me more about the approach of this article is that it seems to be largely based on premise that ‘the God we believe in wouldn’t do that’. But we cannot interpret Scripture to make it compatible with our view of God. The incomparably and uniquely holy and just God is capable of doing anything Scripture speaks of…and more that has not been revealed to us. Unpalatable and politically incorrect eternal torment may be, but it is linguistically, biblically and theologically true. There’s a good reason why the overwhelming majority of true believers over more than 2,000 years have held to the ‘traditional’ view, and that’s because it’s the inescapable teaching of the inspired, inerrant and infallible word of God. We should always be suspicious of anyone, whoever they are, who claims to have discovered a new truth that has been kept hidden from the vast majority of saints down through the years who have somehow been deceived. Anyway, someone else’s blog post thread is probably not the most helpful place to continue this discussion about such an important subject so this will be my last word on the subject. The Lord bless you.

    1. John, thanks for your time.

      You are arguing for, let’s say, a 35-year-old man, who although he has rejected the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ has led an otherwise respectable life , his punishment in the form of torture in the Lake of Fire for eternity.

      Where is the Justice in 35 years worth of sin equals Eternal Torture? Where is “an eye for an eye” in that situation? Ancient Israel copied the degenerate evil Canaanites who burned alive their own children up to age 4 and God said he never commanded such a thing and it never even entered his mind to do so. But you are advocating even worse!

      Your argument consists of one long general sweeping statement which lacks any references to Scriptures and is also the appeal to you having studied the details -but without giving those details – and that you teach theology.

      Well, others too have studied the details which they provide and some of them too teach theology and come to a very different understanding than you have.

      You may want to check out this article which drills down into the meaning of apollumi

      https://rethinkinghell.com/2012/10/27/the-meaning-of-apollumi-in-the-synoptic-gospels/

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