I have some “Grace” friends who now believe that everyone will be saved in the end. They say that the word eon is not everlasting. Also I believe they are teaching soul sleep. How do you answer someone who says they follow Paul but they don’t believe Eternal means eternal. I ‘m very disappointed as this is the person that introduced my husband & I to grace. How do they explain Matt 25:46. If the unsaved don’t have everlasting punishment how can the saved have eternal life? Any suggestions on how to refute their teaching. I don’t want to lose their friendship but this is very disturbing. Thanks & Blessings to you.
This universal reconciliation teaching is spreading in every denomination and is even embraced by those who know how to rightly divide. The verse you mentioned, Matthew 25:46 is a verse that tells us that the lost will suffer the same length of time the saved experience life. If their time ends, so does ours.
I don’t know if the people you know believe the lost suffer for a short time, like purgatory, or if they don’t suffer at all because all get saved. Some say since Paul does not use the word hell, then he did not believe in eternal punishment. But he did. Consider the following:
Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”
Since wrath, hell, eternal punishment was already revealed Paul did not have to write about it.
Romans 2:3-9 “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;”
Paul believed in the great white throne judgment, the lake of fire, and the second death of Revelation 21:11-15.
Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
God promised those who have suffered injustice that there will be justice. Today a person kills several people, then kills himself to avoid punishment. According to Romans 12:19 he did not escape justice.
II Thessalonians 1:6-9 “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”
Everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, is not the same as a person’s destruction ending and coming into the presence of the Lord.
II Thessalonians 2:11,12 “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Somebody is getting damned!
II Timothy 4:14 “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:”
Judgment according to a persons works takes us back to Romans 2:3-9 and the great white throne.
There is a book that we will be adding to the web page of be www.ForgottenTruths.com next week called: “The State And Place Of The Dead” by W. Edward Before who was the former President of Berean Bible Institute. It is a good book on this subject written by a “Grace” Believer.