Monday, April 11, 2011

Considering a Vineyard

So let's pretend for the moment, for the sake of argument, that in the end - the very end - every knee shall bow before the Lord Jesus and every tongue shall confess Him as Lord. That there will truly be, at some point down the line in a time far, far away, a "restitution of all things" as in Acts 3:21.

That word "restitution" is the Greek word apokatastasis which only occurs once (which in itself is signifigant) and means: Restoration of a true theocracy of the perfect state before the fall! How can you get so much meaning into one little word?! I'm not saying that some people will not burn in hell. They will. I'm not saying that there won't be weeping and gnashing of teeth, oh there will. But ultimately after every sin has been paid for and when Death has been done away with and Jesus has put everything under his feet and He has won every last person - because that is who He came to save. Every one. Oh I know this is what is hard to swallow. Because the WHOLE WORLD through Him will be saved - not in this age - because it's just too big a job for just one age. Maybe it will take 70? You know, an age a week? Because didn't God tell Daniel there would be 70 weeks? But that is just a kernal of an idea that the Lord has put on my heart - Just speculation for chewing purpuses - I don't know if the idea is true or not yet, I just started considering it, but the Holy Spirit woke me up to write this whole post tonight.

Anyway, back to our hypothetical situation. If Jesus saves everyone in the end - what is the point of "our" cross? Why strive to go on the narrow way? Why fast? Why pray? Why the whole wilderness experience?

Jesus told a parable about just that exact situation.
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. Matt 20:1-16
This parable is for us - those that want to BE chosen - who strive to obey and pick up our cross and deny ourselves. The penny symbolizes a day's wage - and it is not insignifigant that in Revelation - it is a day's wages that will buy a loaf of Bread. I think there is more here about that, but it has not yet been revealed to me.

So the question that has assaulted me the last couple days has been, why be good? But see, that IS the test! It is the same test in the same wilderness that the Isrealites had to go through!
And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:

But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. Numbers 11:4-6
First, us little kids are afraid of our Father - very concerned about getting a big scary spanking in the form of hell. We look around at the "other" kids and say "nyah nyah, you are getting a spanking and we are not!" Then we get a little more mature and find out that the spanking will not be what we first thought it was. So we love our Father for His extreme mercy and realize that we have to love the "others" as ourselves because the Father will save them too. Then maybe the thought occurs that we should just go out and party like the others are doing? I mean, isn't that what teenagers do?

That is the test because - the Lord is testing us to see if we REALLY DO love HIM with our WHOLE HEART, SOUL, MIND and STRENGTH. And of course, our neighbor as ourselves, but it is really about God. God wants to have a loving and sweet relationship with us. We have to want God because of Who he IS not because we want to avoid hell, or because we believe we have somehow hit pay dirt because we are saved and the others are not. It's not about hell and it's not about our "rewards". Those in Revelation cast their crowns at the feet of Jesus. Because all honor and glory does belong to Him. He saves the whole world and everyone in it.

It's not about us anymore. I guess, it never has been. That is the plan that the Lord has, that a little glimpse has been given. A plan for the ages. That is why it is so important to love our neighbor, like Christ loved us and DIED for us. Because it is still better to be saved in this life. Part of the test is whether or not we will love our neighbor. Love them enough to let them know that Jesus died for them too. We have to grow up, we have to be mature sons and daughters of the King, and bring the gospel of salvation to those who are lost.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. REV 21:1-8
I know, that last verse appears to contradict what I have been saying. But it doesn't. Someone has to be the bad guy. We can't crucify ourselves, just as Christ couldn't crucify himself. But woe to that man right? The lake of fire will still suck, for any length of time. Better to be saved in this life and even better to be good, obedient children. Love God and love your neighbor.

Blessings in Christ,


Tanya said...

In the last paragraph you said "for any length of time" concerning the lake of fire. What do you mean by that? I'm new to your blog.

wendyworn said...

Dear Tanya,

Thank you for stopping by my blog. What I meant by that is, I no longer believe that those who are thrown into the lake of fire will be burning for all eternity, millions and millions and millions and millions of years into infinity. Whatever crimes and sins are committed in this life cannot possibly warrent that kind of punishment because the Lord is an eye for an eye kind of Father. I believe the lake of fire is corrective. They will be in the lake of fire until they have paid the price of their disobedience, and unbelief and not a moment more.

I'm not saying that I can't be wrong - that is for people to seek the truth from God Himself and from the scriptures, but I believe that Jesus died on the cross so that ALL would be saved, and that forever means for the age or the age to come, but that there are many ages.

Please feel free to comment further.

Tanya said...

Thank you for your prompt reply. I need to chew on this for a little while in order to respond. I've enjoyed your blog immensely and to be honest, I was hoping in the Lord that you wouldn't say something "way out there" so that I'd have to stop reading. I'm glad and relieved. I'll comment as soon as I can.

wendyworn said...

Phew! I'm glad I didn't say anything "way out there" too! : )

Blessings in Christ!

Tanya said...

I've had 2 unsuccessful attempts at replying. I guess my wordy response is not meant to be. I'll just ask your view on the unpardonable sin in Matt. 12:31. This sin will never be forgiven. If hell as eternal punishment isn't so, what happens to these people?

wendyworn said...

Here are the verses you are referencing from the King James:

Matt 12:31-32 - Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy [against] the [Holy] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come.

The word "world" can be translated as age

So it is not forgiven in this age or the next one. There could be many ages to come.

It might help to read "The restitution of all things" from Andrew Jukes

But really just ask the Lord Himself to reveal out of His Word.

I hope that helps.

Ma said...

Hi Linda,

This topic has been on my mind lately. What have you studied on perhaps the annihilation of the unsaved?

To be quite honest, I have not wanted to touch any of this with a ten foot pole, but am beginning to consider the possibilities of a perhaps non-eternal suffering.

Any thoughts?

wendyworn said...

Hi Ma,

I guess I haven't really studied the annihilation of the unsaved. I really don't believe that God is going to annihilate anyone. I think the doctrine of annihilation was a man-made doctrine because people cannot reconcile the idea of a God who is love that would mercilessly torment his created beings for all eternity even if they were evil. They were evil because they were created that way. The idea of annihilation is far more merciful than eternal torment.

I know it is a hard subject because we are so indoctrinated to the idea of hell being eternal instead of just for an age or two.

along with andrew jukes above - try this:

I haven't read all of it, just surface stuff for now, but it was the Lord that began to show me these things. Ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you and watch out for new age interpretations because even some of the best resources I have seen have also been borderline new age. The closer you get to the truth - the more the devil will try to deceive you.

You can email me if you want

Ma said...

Thanks Linda;)
I will check that out, and your email addy has been noted for further queries:)

musemater said...

Hi Wendyworn, I can't reconcile how carefully all your other beliefs have been based on the bible alone with this one, I never heard of this andrew jukes, but why would you go there if you really just did as you keep urging everyone to just read the bible for interpretations?

This makes no difference to my belief, but nonetheless I think it goes against all your wise interpretations in other areas. I'm no authority, but I wouldn't want to hold out any hope for escape from the lake of fire.

I have a view that the persons who go into the lake of fire will have simply lost all ability to have goodness of any kind, and therefore will have degraded to their "worm that will not die" in their eternal separation from God in that lake of fire. These would therefore become much less than human and we could never pity them because their souls and bodies simply degrade. Very unpleasant picture, yes it is, but I think that's how it really will be, like the shrinking and deforming of a life form absent the sun.

I appreciate your not wanting anyone to perish and God is God, but it is the way He says not us. I admit that I don't have perfect understanding to declare my idea is right, but am just going to, in fear and trembling of our heavenly Father's omnipotence, leave it to His realm of perfect justice. :)

I absolutely love your honest searching for truth and how you lean upon the Word of God in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. I'd be proud to call you my sister in Christ.:)

wendyworn said...

Interesting musemater - how can you reconcile your belief of "the persons who go into the lake of fire will have simply lost all ability to have goodness of any kind, and therefore will have degraded to their "worm that will not die" in their eternal separation from God in that lake of fire. These would therefore become much less than human and we could never pity them because their souls and bodies simply degrade." with what is in the bible. The bible does not say all that about the lake of fire. continue on next comment -

wendyworn said...

fire in the bible is always purifying - Not everyone can receive the idea that the lake of fire will be a purification process and not eternal separation from God. God's will is that all will be saved. In Adam ALL die, In Christ ALL will be made alive. It's already a done deal, The purification process is going on all around us, some can see it and some can't.

"we can never pity them." that is the saddest thing I have ever heard. Surely a God of love would not be like that. Try to see past the letter of the Lake of Fire and ask the Father to show you.

with much love!

musemater said...

Thank you for replying to my comment and the others I left for you yesterday, Linda, I still love your honest inquiring for truth. You might be right and God will correct me if so and He will correct you if I'm right but,God isn't like us. He keeps his own council. He is holy. He makes vessels of honor and dishonor. How about Satan then if nobody is going to stay in the lake of fire? Is he going to be rehabilitated too? The other 1/3 of the angels who followed Satan in rebellion too? That's where your new belief leads, so no, I can't reconcile universal salvation to the bible word. Sorry. Best wishes for your new adventures in your great new job opportunity, you have a wonderful energy for the Lord, I know He will lead you all the way into His plans that He has made for your good.