God Turns The World’s Greatest Sin And Injustice Into The World’s Greatest Blessing

Greetings!

I have covered the reasons why God and Christ Jesus allow suffering and apparent injustices in general terms under the Categories of “Suffering” and “God Can Give Nothing But Blessing And Goodness” but I want to cover the title of this present Category in a little more specific manner.

I have to admit I am taken back sometimes, how-be-it if only momentarily, when I see the obviously innocent suffer pain and indignities for no apparent reason. This is especially true concerning the suffering of children and animals.

However, the main example that God has given  to insure us that His ways, in ALL that He does, will ULTIMATELY bring about the greatest of blessings for each and everyone involved….even for the justifiable suffering of the sinner, which I will explain later.

This one prime example is, of course, the crucifixion of our Lord and Savi0r Christ Jesus.

God the Father, to the unenlightened human eye and thought, certainly seemed anything but fair and loving when, after His Son had lived a completely PERFECT life in total and absolute obedience and love to Him, then required and demanded Jesus to suffer one of the most horrible ways of dying possible….as well as being beaten severely !!

I can think of no greater apparent injustice.

And, it was beyond question the greatest of sins in that the world crucified its Creator Who had lived a perfect life on their (our) behalf. I can think of no greater sin than this.

But wait! God had a way to turn this greatest of sins and injustices into the greatest of blessings FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED!!!

God knew that Jesus could handle the suffering that He went through with the Cross or He would not have allowed it….plain and simple. And because of Christ’s love for the Father and His Creation He endured it and was exalted higher than all and given the Name that is above all names (Philippians 2:9)….quite a BLESSING!!

As for the world and the Creation that killed Him, God even was here able to bring about the GREATEST OF BLESSINGS for ALL mankind in that the sacrifice of Christ was accepted by the Father as the ULTIMATE penalty for sin for ALL who have ever lived or will live. (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Colossians 1:20)

This is why Jesus could say in John 12:32: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL to Myself….”. No ambiguity here. No mincing of words. No exceptions noted.

So, the major point of this presentation is to show that even if we can’t understand why some of  the lesser sins and suffering, as well as apparent injustices, are allowed by God and Jesus then our being able to CLEARLY see how God can take the greatest sin and injustice EVER COMMITTED and turn them into the GREATEST OF BLESSINGS….He and Jesus will have little trouble  turning ALL of these lesser ones into blessings, as well.

Concerning how Christ’s sacrifice was the ULTIMATE penalty  for EVERYONE’S  sin (permanent death) please refer to these Categories for a more complete explanation:

“All Creation Will Be Saved”

“God’s Plan For The Ages”

“Eon vs Forever”

“Hell”

“Lazarus And The Rich Man”

“Misunderstanding About the Salvation of All Creation”

The last Category listed especially deals with how sinners will suffer for their continuing sins and how some of the suffering will be quite severe. However, ULTIMATELY, even the suffering they experience will serve as chastisement for CORRECTION and NOT suffering for the mere sake  of vindictive pain. Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible puts this nicely in Matthew 25:46: “And these shall go away into age-abiding CORRECTION”. And notice, it is “age-abiding” NOT ‘eternal’!

Until later, be blessed in Him.

Fred

 

Advertisements

Lazarus and the Rich Man

Hey, there! There are so many takes on Luke 16:19-31 about Lazarus and the rich man. Many, if not most, believe that it is just another parable while a good number have no doubt it is a real story. After all, a real place is mentioned (“hades” or “hell”, as the KJV has it) and even Abraham and Moses are in the picture.

If it is real, it certainly shows that there is not only consciousness after death but that sinners and unbelievers can even be in “torment” until the Great White Throne Judgement and after.

Let’s look at these verses step by step and see how they hold up to what the other scriptures say, and not just depend on our human reasoning and logic, tainted as they may be by false, religious traditions we have encountered in the past.

It is extremely important that we realize we are dealing with the “soul” of the rich man and the “soul” of Lazarus….so, what the scriptures say about the “soul” apply here. The entire person composed of the (human) spirit, the (human) body and the (human) soul is NOT under consideration….only the “soul”.

At death, ONLY the “soul” actually makes its way to “hades” (or “hell” as the KJV has it). “Hades” [ or “hell” as the KJV has it] is best defined as the  “unseen” and that is the destiny of the soul when a person dies (Psa.9:17; Acts 2:27,31).  On the other hand, the “spirit” returns to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7) and the “body” returns to the soil (Genesis 3:19 and others). All 3 (body, soul,spirit) go their separate ways when a person dies.

In this narrative about Lazarus, we are exclusively dealing with “hades” (or “hell”, as the KJV has it) and the “souls” pertaining to the rich man, Lazarus and Abraham. And, please also keep in mind the REAL “hell” (or, as it is properly translated,”hades” in Greek and “sheol” in Hebrew) is NOT the fire and brimstone fantasy concocted by false traditions and misguided religious organizations but is best described and defined by the Concordant New Testament Greek-English Keyword Concordance  as “unseen”….or, “not perceptible by any senses, imperceptible”. Please reference the Post on “Hell” for further clarification.

This brings us to our first clue: the rich man asks for some water to cool his tongue in verse 24.  Oops….no tongues are allowed in “hades” (or “hell” in KJV)!!! If this was a real story, after the rich man was entombed,  the tongue would have remained with the body and eventually decayed physically (“returned to the soil”). Only the “soul” can make its way into “hell” or “hades”. This definitely is starting to look like a parable!

Next, Jesus NEVER taught the “crowds” spiritual truths and realities except by parables:

“Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables, and He would not speak anything to them without a parable”. (Matthew 13:34)

This story of Lazarus is being told to a “CROWD” of Pharisees (Luke 16:14)! Utt oh, this pretty much clinches it….we are obviously dealing with a parable.

But, let’s continue.

This doesn’t mean that Jesus did not teach His “disciples” in parables, because He did (Luke 16:1). But, He also taught them  spiritual truths and realities WITHOUT parables such as the “sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5:1 and Luke 6:20: “and His disciples came to Him”. He never taught the “crowds” (non-disciples) in “plain language”, ONLY in parables (Matthew 13:34).

Another major reason this is obviously a parable is attested to in 3 other scriptures in the Bible, or 3 other “witnesses”, if you will.

The following 3 verses clearly show that there is no consciousness for a person when she or he dies (or “sleeps”) ….much less memory, various actions, plans, etc.. You can reference the Posts on “Death” and “Hell” if you like.

Psalm 6:5: “For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks?” (New King James)

Psalm 146:4: “His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish.” (New King James)

Ecclesiastes 9:5: “For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing” (New King James)

Coupled with this is the fact that the “soul” does not and cannot experience “life”, sensation, etc. unless and until there is the joining of the (human) spirit and (human) body first: “Yahweh Elohim formed the human out of soil from the ground, and He blew in to his nostrils the breath of life; and the human BECAME A LIVING SOUL.”. (Genesis 2:7….emphasis mine….Concordant Literal Old Testament, Rotherham’s and The Companion Bible are all similar in properly translating it “soul”).

And, the soul is actually in the blood: “for the soul of all flesh, it is in the blood” (Lev.17:11, Concordant Old Testament and Companion Bible). Where there is no human blood….there is no human soul (or, life, consciousness, etc.).

As a side note: This is why animals and humans can be said to have a “soul”….because they have blood flowing within them. Even though plants, vegetation and the like are “living organisms”, they are never said to have a “soul” because they have no blood….meaning, they have no consciousness nor any type of feelings. If you chop a tree down, rest assured it feels no pain!

Now, when the combination of these 3 elements (spirit, body, soul) is dissolved at death (as in Psalm 146:4 above) the soul returns  to where it was before it became a “living soul” when the human body and human spirit merged….i.e., back to  total unconsciousness (Psalm 6:5 and Ecclesiastes 9:5).

There are quite a number of additional factors which also show the story of Lazarus is dealing with fiction (a parable) to reveal a (Holy) spiritual truth but I will just mention one other. Notice in Luke 16:1, Jesus starts that PARABLE with “and there was a rich man”; and, notice in this PARABLE about Lazarus He also begins in verse 19: “and there was a rich man”.

Bottom line: This is a dramatic and FICTIONAL PARABLE to illustrate a (Holy) spiritual truth and reality that the Pharisees would have no clue of grasping. The parable was meant to illustrate that truly evil, sinful people, who have their hearts set on living in darkness and without God, WILL NOT CHANGE….even, if someone from their family literally came back and told them about their sad mistakes and illusions, and about what lies ahead for them in the way of punishment.

Later, in Christ,

Fred

(If you wish to leave a comment rest assured your email information is never shared)

Death

Greetings!

In the Scriptures we are told that at death “the spirit returns to God Who gave it” (Ecc.12:7), the “body returns to the soil” (Gen.3:19), and “the soul returns to the unseen [sheol or hades]” (Psa.9:17; Acts 2:27,31).

Quite simply, we become as we were BEFORE we were born, that is, HAVING NO CONSCIOUS EXISTENCE ( Psa 6:5, Psa. 146:4, Ecc. 9:5)  The Bible refers to it many times as being a “sleep” (Psa 13:3, 1 Corinthians 7:39,  15:6, 15:20, 15:51, etc. ). Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, was also said to be asleep by Jesus Himself when he died; and, then He said He was going to “awake” him. (John 11:11….Young’s Literal)

In Acts 7:59-60, Stephen is acknowledged to have had his spirit return to God (where it was before he was born) and then he “fell asleep” (Darby, Rotherham’s and Young’s translations) and also in 1 Corinthians 11:30 (Young’s). Again, reference John 3:13.

Further, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 reveals that those Christians who having fallen “asleep” shall rise first.

You might want to also reference the Post on “Lazarus  and the Rich Man” for a much more detailed explanation.

Later, we will cover ‘hell’….it, too, is so misunderstood.

Take care.

Fred