Originally Posted by thrillobyte
I have pondered long and hard over this doctrine in the last week or so. The scriptural inconsistencies to be found in the Bible between Divine election and universal reconcilation are so numerous as to be impossible to list without the aid of a computer, not to mention the lack of adequate space here. Does this make the Bible totally unreliable--a complete fraud, as the theory goes that one inconsistency in Divine-inspired text subjects the whole to ridicule? Certainly not. The problem, I've decided, lies not in the Word itself, but in the mess man has made of it over the last four, and especially the last two millennia by mangling the original texts so badly that the translations we read today are but a shell--a phantom of what the writers originally penned.
So I decided to discard everything outside the gospels and look only to the words of Jesus. Even then, I fear many of His sayings are not entirely accurate, as certain things He said seem to be in contradiction to one another (if we are to trust the texts).
I boiled it all down to Matt. 7:21, arguably one of the most famous passages in the entire Bible: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven."
Now let us strip away the superflous ..."who says to me, 'Lord, Lord'...." That leaves us with "Not everyone shall enter the kingdom of heaven" If Jesus had meant that all would enter heaven He would have said, "Everyone shall enter the kingdom of heaven." I think we can we agree on that. But, unfortunately, that nasty "not" gets in the way and ultimately nullifies the whole concept of universal reconcilation. Remember, I've thrown aside every other speaker OT and NT, since their writings, I've determined, are unreliable, not to mention the fact that Jesus' own words certainly would take precedence over anything Paul, Isaiah, or anyone else had to say. So we are left with those unalterable, inescapable, impossible-to-misinterpret eight words:
Not everyone shall enter the kingdom of heaven
I cannot get around these eight words in my mind. If someone can reconcile these eight words with universal reconcilation without resorting to Paul, or Isaiah, or any other biblical writers please help me to understand that Jesus, in saying "Not
everyone shall enter the kingdom of heaven" really meant "Everyone shall enter the kingdom of heaven." I would be "eternally' (anion) grateful!
(little Bible humor there)
You seem to think the kingdom of heaven is actual heaven - but what I see in scripture is the kingdom is about Jesus reigning with the elect ruling the nations.
2Ch 2:12 Huram said moreover, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD,and an house for his kingdom.
Dan 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom
, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,
and it shall stand for ever.
Mat 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mat 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out
into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you,
and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
(Heaven was not taken from the Jews - the kingdom is given to a people bringing forth the fruits - the kingdom is about rule and service and it is not going to heaven as a reward for belief)
He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
Mat 13:38 The field is the world
; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
Mat 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
Mat 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
Mat 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend
, and them which do iniquity;
Mat 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Mat 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Mat 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Mat 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
Mat 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
Mat 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
Mat 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Mat 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
Mat 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
Mat 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Psa 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Psa 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Psa 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
Psa 2:10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
The kingdom of heaven was near when Jesus was on earth 2000 years ago - He was the ruler of that kingdom - Jesus does not rule over heaven, he rules the earth, by his elect - the meek will inherit the earth - the kingdom of God (*kingdom of heaven) is the field, the world, that is to be ruled.