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The National Soul – 3) Refiner’s Fire

July 10, 2011

Now we come to another ism: Annihilationism. If spiritual equivocation is a true concept, then there cannot be eternal conscious torment, at least for humans (I have no problem with fallen angels being eternally, consciously tormented, and as an aside, I’ll have to make it plain that I embraced annihilationism long before I happened upon this new idea). If my belief in and love of truth (Christ) is retained in my new (resurrection body) self after the final judgement, and my desire to steal forbidden cookies along with the thoughts that that would be okay is separated from me forever, it would be a far stretch indeed to suppose that there would be some doppelganger (evil twin) copy of me – a sort of cookie monster – suffering endlessly in hell, always desiring cookies and never getting any. No, that part of me will be destroyed. Its common to hear traditionalists say “annihilationists don’t believe in hell”. That is not only untrue, but if spiritual equivocation is true, then to some extent it may also be true that every human ever born (aside from Christ) will experience hell to some degree as the “bad stuff” is burned away forever, never to appear again. (I will go into the reasons I believe annihilationism is the correct biblical interpretation in a future chapter)

Finally, lets talk about the unforgivable sin:

Mathew 12:22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.

30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

I believe this is similar to the parable about the two brothers:

Mathew 21: 28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

To sin against Christ (the Son of Man) but end up forgiven is like being the first son in the scripture above. Its an external sin, either of commission (doing something wrong) or omission (not doing something you should) in relation to the people around him. It is a sin done by the person “as a whole”. One part of you may act in a sinful manner, but because you later repent (or have truly repented at least one time in your life) Christ can forgive you. The one who sins against the Holy Spirit is the inner attitude that sins itself, as the Holy Spirit acts inside of us – at the level of our inner being. It is the belief “I deserve this cookie, and neighbours be damned! I’m eating it!” Its that aspect of you in full confrontation with the Holy Spirit that will be cast into the lake of fire, and to realize this and perhaps still be entertaining such thoughts and actions when you die should give you pause… Do you really want to experience God’s full wrath of judgement as he burns that part of you from your alive and conscious soul, or would you like to deal with it now by asking for Gods help in humility?

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