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Since evil, sin and suffering will last forever, does it really matter where?

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by parousia70, Jun 15, 2002.

  1. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    From Preteristcosmos.com:


    Question:
    Is God not concerned with the evil in the world?
    Preterism teaches that the Kingdom is already here in its fullness. So this is the fulfillment? Why would God create a world that will never be rid of sin and suffering?

    Answer:
    First, most Christians believe in eternal, or everlasting, punishment. Even if we propose that it is the Devil and "the beast and the false prophet" (Rev. 20:10) who are the only ones who suffer eternally, that would still add up to a cosmos wherein sin and suffering continue forever and ever. To have planet Earth free from sin and suffering while sin and suffering continue elsewhere for eternity (i.e., "the lake of fire") does not solve the philosophical problem of the existence of sin and suffering. Therefore the idea of a universe in which sin and suffering continue for eternity is not at all a uniquely preterist problem. Unless you are a Universalist or an annihilationist, it seems that your objection may have more to do with the locale of sin and suffering than with the mere existence of it.


    Is this true?
    Is the objection voiced by so many that God can't allow sin and evil to go on forever, really an objection about the "location" of where God should allow sin & evil to go on forever?
     
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  2. Auntie

    Auntie THANK YOU JESUS!!

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    That's about the most insane logic I've ever read at this forum.
     
  3. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    So you are an annihilationist Auntie?
     
  4. Mandy

    Mandy Well-Known Member

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    It's not so much that God can't allow sin and evil continue, He has said that He won't. Rev.21
     
  5. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    So Mandy, Just so I am clear, you are an annihilationist?
     
  6. BigEd

    BigEd an adopted child of God

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    ok I se you started the post P70..

    so lets start with this verse...
    Re. 21:1-4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the
    dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

    ok so according to full preterist belifes, everything in the bible has been fufilled, form genesis to revelation.. so looking at the above passage.. so the new jerusalem is here.

    In the passage John states there will be no sea....there still is a sea.
    In the passage John there will be no more death...there still is death
    In this passage John states their will be no more mourning...their still is mourning.
    In this passage John states their will be no more crying...their still is crying.
    In this passage John states their will bw no more pain...their still is pain.

    So how is this all fufilled
     
  7. Mandy

    Mandy Well-Known Member

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    No, I'm not. All who die in their sins will spend eternity in the lake of fire. They will not continue to sin. If the Bible says that there will be no more death, etc, then I believe it. In order for their to be no more death, spiritual and physical, the sin factor would have to be removed period. God's word says it, so I'm going to take Him at His word.
     
  8. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    I'm sorry Mandy, I just need to be absolutely clear about this.

    are you saying the "lake of Fire" washes away sin, and makes those in it "sin free"?

    or do they stay sinners, in their sins forever?

    perhaps there is a 3rd option I am overlooking?
     
  9. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    Hi Ed, thanks for joining in.

    First, it might help to understand that another term for preterism is "Covenant eschatology". Preterists believe that the "last days, end times", etc, were the "last days, and end times" of the Old Covenant, not the physical universe.

    So, viewing Revelation 21 "Covenantally" as I do, I realize that it is depicting realities that were unavailable in the Old Covenant "heavens and earth", that were manifest when the New Covenant "heavens and earth" were finally consumated.

    Your statement that preterists believe all prophesy has been fulfilled is somewhat misinformed. Preterists believe all "eschatology" has been fulfilled, but we recognize that there are still prophesies that continue to unfold and be fulfilled on a daily basis, into the future.

    Do you understand the difference?

    Now, On to your points. I will take them one at a time, devoting a single post to each point.

    1) there will be no more sea

    First, I think we should realize how the Bible uses sea. Of course John drew many of his metaphors and apocalyptic language from the rest of the Bible. It would seem inconsistent to suddenly interprate the first verse of Revelation 21 in polar opposite fashion to the way we interprate the exact same language everywhere else in scripture. Wouldn't you agree?

    Consider these uses of sea and those to whom it refers:

    Isaiah 60:1-5 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. {2} For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. {3} And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. {4} Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. {5} Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

    "Sea" here, is obviously referring to the Gentiles. This passage speaks of a uniting of Gentiles and Israelites. This is remarkably similar to Ephesians 2:

    Ephesians 2:11-19 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; {12} That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: {13} But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. {14} For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; {15} Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; {16} And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: {17} And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. {18} For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. {19} Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

    The Psalmist speaks of the prophecy that God would gather the Israelites that were scattered among the nations or the sea:

    Psalms 68:22 The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:

    The Psalmist also makes a distinction between the sea versus those upon the earth:

    Psalms 65:5 By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea:

    It is interesting here how the Psalmist describes those upon the sea as "afar off." That is how Paul describes the Gentiles in Ephesians 2:

    Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

    Even Ezekiel prophesies of the time when the living waters would flow to the Gentiles:

    Ezekiel 48:8-10 And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the west side, shall be the offering which ye shall offer of five and twenty thousand reeds in breadth, and in length as one of the other parts, from the east side unto the west side: and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it. {9} The oblation that ye shall offer unto the LORD shall be of five and twenty thousand in length, and of ten thousand in breadth. {10} And for them, even for the priests, shall be this holy oblation; toward the north five and twenty thousand in length, and toward the west ten thousand in breadth, and toward the east ten thousand in breadth, and toward the south five and twenty thousand in length: and the sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the midst thereof.

    Daniel describes the four beasts (Babylon, Greece, Medo-Persia, and Rome) as the beasts of the sea:

    Daniel 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

    Zephaniah pronounces a woe against the nations:

    Zephaniah 2:5 Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.

    Of course Zechariah predicts the reign of Messiah to cover the world:

    Zechariah 9:9-10 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an [wash my mouth][wash my mouth][wash my mouth], and upon a colt the foal of an [wash my mouth][wash my mouth][wash my mouth]. {10} And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

    Isaiah says:

    Isaiah 24:14 They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall cry aloud from the sea

    Israel was scattered among the nations, her enemies that were described by the prophets as the sea or the seas Throughout her physical existence Israel was plagued by the seas, particularly after being taken captive into Babylon. Israel began to trust in the nations for her protection rather than God. She trusted in the very enemies that she hated. There was always division between her and the nations, yet so often she feared the power of the nations to take her into captivity and destroy her.

    In Revelation Israel (i.e. Jerusalem) was that great harlot who trusted nations rather than God. She forsook her Husband. The Bible describes Israel as the harlot sitting upon many waters. These waters were the seas or the nations in whom she trusted:

    Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
    Revelation 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.


    Once we are able to see the division that existed between Israel and the nations and her constant fear of being destroyed by the nations, then we will be able to appreciate the fact that God predicted a time when the Gentiles would come to believe in the God of Israel and that as Isaiah predicted, they would flow together:

    Isaiah 60:4-5 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. {5} Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

    According to Paul, there would be no more distinction between Israel and the nations:

    Colossians 3:10-11 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: {11} Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
    Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.


    The citizens of this nation would all be one in Christ Jesus. Indeed, they would all rule as God-they would be the Israel of God. In this land there would be no more Gentiles:

    Zechariah 14:21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

    There would be no more strangers or Gentiles in this land. There would be no more sea. It would be a New Heaven and a New Earth wherein would dwell righteousness. The union would be those in Christ Jesus, thus there would be no more sea, see?

    Please reply with any questions before I move on to address
    your next point "no more death"

    Preace in Christ,
    P70
     
  10. BigEd

    BigEd an adopted child of God

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    Interesting P70:
    Basically you see the sea (ha, see the sea, had to inject a bit of bad humor) as a metaphor rather then an actual sea.

    I am most interested on your explination about "no more death".
     
  11. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    Yes, because, as I laborously attempted to show, I am bound by hermeneutical consistancy. When "Sea" is used over, and over, and over, and over, to describe gentile nations and peoples, And when John, in the Revelation, is quoting those same passages, interprating it any other way is entirely scripturally unfounded. To believe John speaks of the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic oceans, etc... would be making the scripture speak a language that was never intended by the author. If you disagree with my stance, I'd be most interested in your alternative exegesis.

    Upon retrospect, I believe I spent too much time on the "sea", although I felt I needed to get the point across.
    I will now endeavor to answer the rest of your points in a more concise response of resonable length in this post.

    Here goes:

    no more death...no more mourning...no more crying...no more pain

    I'll again stress that I veiw these verses, covenantally, and I see that these are all realities that Christians Enjoy today, in the New Covenant "Heavens and earth", which were unavailable under the Old Covenant "Heavens and earth".

    "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their Shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes." (Rev. 7:16-17)

    "And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no longer; nor mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things passed away." (Rev. 21:4)

    "...And there shall no longer be any curse..." (Rev. 22:3)


    Under the old covenant, God's servants were under the curse of the Law. (I Cor. 15:56; Gal. 3:13) They were alienated from God, and they cried out to Him with tears as they wandered through a sun-scorched wilderness of sin and condemnation:

    "Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry. Do not be silent at my tears. For I am a stranger with You, a sojourner like all my fathers." (Ps. 39:12)

    The Savior wiped away the tears of His saints when He wiped away their sin and condemnation and saved them from Death. (Acts 3:19; Col. 2:14; Heb. 2:15; 5:7) In His Presence, God's children no longer mourn for their perpetual sin and condemnation before Him. No longer do they hunger and thirst for want of Christ's Righteousness. (Matt. 5:6; Jn. 6:35) No longer do they wander in the desert wilderness, longing to enter into His Rest. (Heb. 4; 11:13-16) No longer do they suffer the pain (sting) of Death. (Acts 2:24; I Cor. 15:55-56)

    In the new heavens and earth, the Lamb is our Shepherd, and we no longer cry out for salvation from sin and Death. For He leads us to the springs of living water (Jn. 4:10; 7:38) under the shade of the Tree of Life. In Him, there is "no longer any curse":

    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ." (Eph. 1:3)

    In the Victory of Christ,
    P70
     
  12. BigEd

    BigEd an adopted child of God

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    That dosen't really seem like an real explination.
    There is still suffering in this world. The saints suffer ,and the non-belivers suffer.

    There are still many christians around the world who suffer and die for thier faith. The saints still suffer disease and illness.

    While i respect and admire, the preterist view, that the kingdom of God is within us, It is all a reality that the Earth is still a battleground. Also the battle rages on in my mind.I have great hope and joy that Christ is the victor, but still each day i'm called on by the Lord to bear my cross.

    It seems like the story "the emperors new clothes." If we "say" their is no pain and suffering, then their is none.
    All you need to do is go to the prayer section of this forum to see their are still many Christians, fighting the good fight of faith, and some have great struggles and trials.

    That all said...
    I am thankful you are taking the time to explain the preterist view. I do respect the fact you are doing this. I don't see you as a "heretic", but rather a brother in Christ that has a different view on escatology.

    I do have another question:
    The first coming of Christ was fortold in very concrete ways throughout the old testament. Why is it, based on the ideas you have presented P70, that the second coming is fortold in metaphore? Is their any scripture to explain this difference?
     
  13. davo

    davo Member

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    G'day Ed :wave:

    It would be a misunderstanding to have the impression that covenant eschatology is about denying reality i.e., the emperors new clothes. Where in the Apocalypse and other OT apocalyptic writings it talks in language of "no more pain hurt tears and trife, or lions laying with lambs etc" it needs to be seen that the language is flavoured with "poetic licience." What is being described is descriptive of the joy and peace to be experienced in the New Covenant salvation Jesus brought. No longer in mourning over sins unforgiven, only really covered [unable to be removed permanently under the Old Covenant -always needing continual and perpetual sacrifices] until completely fufilled in Christ.

    davo
     
  14. jenlu

    jenlu Member

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    parousia...

    definitely a labor...wow...very good at explainging your points with the Word...

    Do you have like a database on the computer to answer questions about each topic of controversy of preterism or something...seems like it...Keep the replies comin'...
     
  15. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    Thank you for your kind words. I am humbled by them.

    While I enjoy answering your questions, before I continue down this ever changing topical road, perhaps you would do me the honor of answering my original thread question, which I asked of you before in another thread, you replied that it was indeed a valid question, and recommended another thread be started to address it.

    As of this point, to my knowledge, you have yet to answer it from your perspective.

    Could you please?

    Thanks in Christ,
    P70
     
  16. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    Jenlu,

    I have collected quite a database, yes.
    I do not posess any "New" revelation. Nothing I have said has not been espoused before by folks far more knowledgable than me.

    I will say that everything I have read, heard, been told, and espouse myself I have tested against scripture, and have found to withstand the test, again and again, and again.

    I continue to test this view daily, for only as long as it holds up to scriptural scrutiny, will I continue to accept it. As soon as it can be shown to me from scripture that I am in error, I will joyfully recant, for I favor "truth" above and beyond any doctorine I now, or have ever, or will ever hold.

    My views are always subject to correction and reproof.
     
  17. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    I'll continue a bit on your questions while you take the time to respond to the thread topic....

    John, in describing the New H&E, is quoting Isaiah, and in Isaiah, we can see a bit more clearly what the "former things passing away" mean...
    Isaiah 65:17
    "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind."


    The former things (sorrow, crying, death, suffering, etc) will not be remembered.

    Not be remembered by who?

    Back up to verse 16 and it tells us..
    "So that he who blesses himself in the earth Shall bless himself in the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Shall swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My eyes.

    The former things are hidden from God's eyes. We remember them, but to God, they are blotted out, just like our sins.

    You and I remember our sins, but you do agree that God does not, yes?

    Same goes here.
    I find, again and again, that The Bible is the best interprater of itself.
     
  18. NumberOneSon

    NumberOneSon The poster formerly known as Acts6:5

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    I'd like to present a very popular scripture verse that can help bridge the gap between futurist thinking and preterist covenantal thinking. I know it can be extremely difficult for Christians to understand why preterist interpretation is correct when John said there would be no more "death" or "crying" and yet there still is. Maybe this will help...

    "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.(Isaiah 53:5)"

    This well known verse teaches that by Christ's stripes "we ARE healed". Every Christian believes this. But in what way are we healed? Despite Christ's stripes, Christians continue to get physically sick, and require healing. Despite Christ's stripes, Christians continue to suffer from mental illness and require mental healing. Despite Christ's stripes, Christians have needed spiritual spirtual healing due to spiritual sickness.

    So even though Christians believe that Isaiah 53:5 has been fulfilled in the past, physical, mental, and spiritual illnesses are still present realities for us. Even though Christ has "healed" us by his stripes, we still suffer certain kinds of sickness.

    My point is this; Christians that believe preterism recognize that the sea, death, mourning, crying and pain have ended from a covenantal perspective, in the same way that our wounds have been healed from a covenantal perspective". Christians in general have no problem recognizing that the "healing" in Isaiah 53 is not from a physical or mental perspective (except some extreme Charismatic groups, of course), so why do we not recognize that truth when "crying", "death, and "mourning" are spoken of by John? When Isaiah promises our healing we realize it isn't a physical promise, so why do we get confused when John promises the removal of pain?

    For those of you who object to preterist hermenuetics and say "well, we still cry and feel pain so those promises cannot be fulfilled yet", I could just as easily say "well, we still need healing so I guess that promise hasn't been fulfilled either". See what I'm saying?

    When you read Isaiah's and John's words from a covenantal perspective, then what we preterists are trying to say won't sound as outlandish as you might think. As a matter of fact, it starts to sound quite, well...biblical. ;)

    In Christ,

    Acts6:5
     
  19. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    Hi again Ed, I guess I can't help but keep going while I wait for your response.....

    When you say the first coming was fortold in very concrete ways, I'd ammend that by saying that the OT fortold, in concrete ways, only 1 coming, in 2 phases, servant & Judge, in one messianic, last days generation.

    Nowhere in the OT can we find evidence of a postponed "Judge" phase, especially a 2000+ year postponement, and The apostles (and Jesus) were exhaustively clear that they did not teach anything the prophets didn't fortell.

    This might not have been the answer you were looking for, but I believe this must be addressed before one can address your question adaquatly.
     
  20. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    Well, if sin and suffering don't continue forever, what happens to Satan? Is he saved, too?
     
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