Monday, November 21, 2005

Answering Tough Questions

I discovered this set of questions not by my purpose, while doing a search for a totally different issue. But it intrigued me--especially when someone pointed out that I had not looked closely enough to know what I had seen. I was unpleasantly surprised, but it was my own fault. In my haste, I forgot to "try the spirits, whether they are of God" before recommending them to other people. Oops.

Here are my answers to the "Questions Without Answers." The original website's content is in bold, and my answers are in plain lettering.

Questions Without Answers

Many people have a very limited view of God's plan of salvation and when approached with questions, are unable to give an answer, or, unable to give a correct answer. This can be, first and foremost, attributed to lack of true Bible study. It can be caused by the bias of denominational beliefs, creeds, other individual interpretations, or from relying on other people to answer for them.
But, what does the Bible have to say about the individual Christian being able to give an answer when questioned? 2 Timothy 2:15 says to:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
They are told to "Study", or "be diligent", as some Bibles have it translated. Why? To be "approved unto God" and so as "not to be ashamed" when questions are asked. How and what are they told to study? By "rightly dividing the word of truth", which is the Bible.
Next, look at what the Apostle Peter says concerning questions and answers in 1 Peter 3:15.
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
Within this short verse of Scripture, there are several thoughts that need to be mentioned. These are:
Be READY to give an Answer -- be prepared.
Be ready ALWAYS -- do not put off a Question.
Be ready always to give an answer -- evasion excites suspicion.
Give an answer to EVERY ONE that asks you.
A REASON is asked for -- not an assertion.
The answer should be a reason of THE HOPE [not the fear] that is in you.
The Question is to be answered [not in a passion, but] with MEEKNESS toward man, and FILIAL FEAR toward God.

Up to this point, I could agree with everything they said. After this, the deluge...

Below, is a list of 213 questions that will help to clarify God's plan of salvation as set forth in the Holy Bible, so that when questions are asked, correct answers can be given. To those holding a limited view of God's plan of salvation, they are truly Questions Without Answers, but, to those who rely on God's Word, the answers become apparent as His truth is revealed to them.

It is indeed a nice exercise in discernemnt, as many unbelievers have asked me many of these questions. But only the Bible will clarify God's plan for salvation. Questions by those who differ from the teachings of Scripture...not so much.

The questions were written by A. C. Thomas and appeared in a book by E. H. Lake, entitled "The Key to Truth".

The real "Key to the Truth" is Jesus Himself.

Now the Questions:

  1. As we are required to love our enemies, may we not safely infer that God loves His enemies? (Matt. 5:44) Yes.
  2. If God loves His enemies, will He punish them more than will be for their good? Punishment is not for the good of the offender. Correction is (Heb. 12:5-11).
  3. Would endless punishment be for the good of any being? Hell is given forever that man might repent now. If man knows that he will suffer only for a season and looks forward to more opportunity after to sin more still, then he will never repent.
  4. As God loves His friends, if He loves His enemies also, are not all mankind the objects of His love? Yes.
  5. If God loves those only who love Him, what better is He than the sinner? (Luke 6:32-33) But love can be rejected (Matthew 23:37).
  6. As "love thinketh no evil," can God design the ultimate evil of a single soul? (1 Cor. 13:5) He didn’t; we chose it (Matthew 25:40-46). We who side with God’s enemy (the devil) will share in his punishment.
  7. As "love worketh no ill," can God inflict, or cause, or allow to be inflicted, an endless ill? (Rom. 13:10) God can remove His blessing from us, which will cause us ill, because we need Him to bless us if we are to prosper. He does not force us to accept His blessings--He pleads with us to accept them, because He know the dreadful fate that awaits those who do not.
  8. As we are forbidden to be overcome by evil, can we safely suppose that God will be overcome by evil? (Rom. 12:21) No.
  9. Would not the infliction of endless punishment prove that God HAD been overcome by evil? No, see the answer to question #7.
  10. If man does wrong in returning evil for evil, would not God do wrong if He was to do the same? Yes.
  11. Would not endless punishment be the return of evil for evil? No, see the answer to question #7.
  12. As we are commanded "to overcome evil with good," may we not safely infer that God will do the same? (Rom. 12:21) Which is why He sent His Son into the world to die for our sin. Overcoming evil means having victory over it. Sin will eventually be put out of Heaven (Revelation 22:15) and every knee shall bow, whether friendly or not (Romans 14:11).
  13. Would the infliction of endless punishment be overcoming evil with good? Yes, because a Holy God does not allow evil to stand in His presence. In opposition to Heaven, Hell is eternity without God, and without His blessings, according to our desire. In the end, God gives us what we want: Holiness or Hell.
  14. If God hates the sinner, does the sinner do wrong in hating Him? God doesn’t hate the sinner. The sinner who will end up being damned hates God because he himself does not want to be righteous (John 3:18-21).
  15. Is God a changeable being? (James 1:17) No.
  16. If God loves His enemies now, will he not always love them? Yes.
  17. Is it just for God to be "kind to the evil and unthankful," in their present life? (Luke 6:35) Yes. It is His kindness to us that calls us to repent of our wickedness to each other, and, once we realize that we cannot remove that sin from ourselves, to fall down before Him and ask for His mercy.
  18. Would it be unjust for God to be kind to all men in a future state? Salvation is a choice of the sinner. God would gladly save all, but not all gladly choose to be saved (Matthew 23:37).
  19. If all men justly deserve endless punishment, will not those who are saved, be saved unjustly? No, because Jesus already paid the price for everyone’s sin. The only way someone ends up in Hell is by rejecting the offer of forgiveness by refusing to acknowledge their sinful state and/or refusing to turn their hearts away from it to God.
  20. If God "will by no means clear the guilty," by what means can just punishment be evaded? (Ex. 34:7) By someone else paying the price. As long as the fine is paid, who cares where the money comes from, so long as it is not stolen? Jesus willfully gave Himself up to be punished for our sins—freely offering to pay the fine. The only way we lose is by denying Him the right to pay it for each of us individually.
  21. As no man can measure endless punishment to his neighbor, will endless punishment be measured to him? (Luke 4:38) How can he not? A wrong cannot be undone. It is a permanent record of history, which we cannot change. A deed is done forever.
  22. Would it be merciful in God to inflict endless punishment? -- that is, merciful to the sufferer? Many a judge has offered mercy, only to have it rejected.
  23. Can that be just which is not merciful? Yes, because justice gives out what we deserve, and mercy withholds it from us.
  24. Do not cruelty and injustice go hand in hand? Not necessarily. Harshness may be just, may even be merciful (Hebrews 12:5-11; e.g., Matthew 23).
  25. Can that be merciful which is not just? See the answer to question #23.
  26. Does divine justice demand the infliction of pain from which mercy recoils? Yes, and that is why Jesus came to deliver us from that punishment.
  27. Does divine mercy require any thing that justice refuses to grant? Justice is not under mercy. Justice does not answer to mercy. Justice decrees what should be our punishment, God in Christ made provided so that we don't have to suffer it.
  28. If the demands of divine justice are opposed to the requirements of mercy, is not God divided against Himself? No, because justice and mercy are not one and the same. Besides, Jesus already fulfilled God’s justice for us, if we but accept His finished work which He offers to us freely to save us from our sins.
  29. If the requirements of mercy are opposed to the demands of the justice of God, can His kingdom stand? -- (Mark 3:24) See the answer to the previous question.
  30. If the justice and mercy of God are any way opposed, do they "keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace?' God’s love compels Him to make rules for us. God’s justice compels Him to punish infractions against them. God’s mercy compelled Him to bear that punishment Himself, that we might not suffer it, that we might continue in His presence and with His blessings. We who reject that offer will be dealt with according to our wishes.
  31. If justice and mercy are opposed to their requirements can Deity be a just God and a Savior? -- (Isaiah 14:21) Question makes an assumption already proven to be false.
  32. If "a God all mercy is a God unjust," would not a God all justice be a God unmerciful? No, because the penalty justly has been provided for in Christ (Romans 3:21-28). If we refuse it, we have none but ourselves to blame.
  33. Is there any such thing in God as unjust mercy, or unmerciful justice? No.
  34. Is there any such thing in God as just cruelty, or merciful injustice? No.
  35. If you had sufficient power would you not deliver all men from sin? I would desire that all should come to love me based on the fact that I use all my powers for their own good.
  36. Are you more merciful than the God Who made you? Not possible: which one of us would willingly bear the punishment ourselves that our subjects have incurred for themselves by offending us? What more mercy can there be than that which was shown in Christ?
  37. 'Can a woman forget her sucking child?' Yes (Isaiah 49:15); it is contrary to the love that God has built into our conscience, but it is done everyday.
  38. Is the Creator of human sympathy less benevolent than the creature? Hardly.
  39. If God WOULD save all men, but CANNOT, is He infinite in power? Answered with question #40.
  40. If God CAN save all men, but WILL NOT, is He infinite in goodness? We accept or reject God at our will. God does not force us not to choose Him, and He does not force us to choose Him. In this, He does not act with all His ability, but He does this out of love for us. His desire is for us to want Him, but love, by definition, cannot be forced. A robot that says, “I want to be with You and live in righteousness and holiness for all eternity,” does not love. It just obeys what has been programmed into it. As God’s love is an act of His will, so when He created us in His own image, He gave us the right to choose against Him, knowing that that right would manifest itself in disobedience, but also providing a way out for those who repented. And He calls all men to repent (Acts 17:30b).
  41. Does God DESIRE the salvation of all men? (1 Tim. 2:3-4) Yes.
  42. As God is righteous, must not the desire for universal salvation be a RIGHTEOUS desire? Yes.
  43. Is it true, that "the desire of the righteous shall be granted?" -- (Prov. 10:24) Context: earthly end results. Again, it is not an issue of power, but of design. God could have created robots, but He chose to give us the right to choose or to reject Him and His blessings. By the reasoning of the question, then there should be no such thing as sin, either, because God hates sin.
  44. Did God design universal salvation when He created man? He provided the Way for all to be saved, though knowing that, because of the right which He gave to all men, not all men would accept that Way.
  45. Will God carry His original design into execution? He has; didn’t Jesus die for our sins?
  46. Can finite man frustrate the purposes of the Almighty? No.
  47. Is every individual under obligation to be thankful for his existence? Yes.
  48. Will this obligation eternally continue? Yes.
  49. Can any one be thankful for that which, on the whole, is not a blessing? The question assumes that God chose this end for us, which is false. We choose whether or not to receive God's blessing, and the consequences are eternal.
  50. If any one be rendered endlessly miserable, will he be still under obligation to thank God for existence? Yes, because he was given the opportunity not to suffer and chose against it.
  51. Would endless misery benefit the Almighty, as the INFLICTOR? Again, we inflicted this upon ourselves by rejecting Him. His blessings are there for the taking. We choose sin over God, and the consequences are horrible.
  52. Would endless misery benefit the saints, as SPECTATORS? Who says we will be watching?
  53. Would endless misery benefit the sinner, as the SUFFERER? No, but that’s the choice he made when he rejected Jesus.
  54. If endless punishment be the "wages of sin," could the sinner ever receive payment in full? (Rom. 6:23) Sure—at the end of eternity!
  55. As man is a finite being, can he commit an infinite sin? See the answer to question #21.
  56. If man cannot commit an infinite sin, can he deserve endless punishment? Assumes an idea proven false already.
  57. If one sin be infinite, can a million be any more? The only sin that puts people in Hell is the rejection of Jesus as Savior. The other sins only count for degree of punishment (Luke 12:48).
  58. If ONE sin be NOT infinite, can a million of sins amount to an infinite sin? See the answer to question #57.
  59. If sin be infinite, can one sin be greater than the other? See the answer to question #57.
  60. If sin be infinite, can it be true that, "where sin abounded grace did MUCH MORE abound?" --(Rom. 5:20) Yes, Luke 7:36-50.
  61. If sin be infinite, can it ever be finished or brought to an end? Yes. One may cease from his wicked way and have his sins blotted out by merely asking for absolution through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-26).
  62. If ONE sin deserves an eternity of punishment, how much punishment will TEN sins deserve? See the answer to question #57.
  63. Do you ardently DESIRE the salvation of all men? Personal question. Does my desire compel all men to heed me? No. So it is an irrelevant question.
  64. Is it true that God "openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing?" -- (Ps. 145:16) Context: provisions for everyday physical life, which some people reject anyway; see also Matthew 6:33.
  65. Do you fervently PRAY for the salvation of all men? (1 Tim. 2:1) No, because I know that that will not happen. I don’t know who all will reject, thus, for those people whom I know, I do pray for their salvation. But to pray for the salvation of those who have already passed into a Christ-less eternity of their own choice is foolhardy, to say the least. In any case, the verse cited is being misappropriated for this subject. The real purpose of the prayer that is comanded in that verse is stated in the very next verse.
  66. Do you pray in FAITH, nothing doubting? (James 1:6) See the answer to question #65.
  67. Are you aware, "that whatsoever is not of faith is sin?" -- (Rom 14:23) Yes.
  68. Would God require us to pray for all men, and to pray in faith, unless He intends all men should be saved? See the answer to question #65.
  69. If you believe endless misery to be the truth of God, why should you desire and pray that it may prove false? I don’t. I pray that people will receive Jesus that they might not suffer it!
  70. Can the pleasure of the Almighty be contrary to his determinate will? See the answer to question #40.
  71. Would the infliction of endless misery afford pleasure to the Deity? No, that’s why He sent Jesus to pay for our sins (John 3:16-21).
  72. Can God be glorified by that which gives Him no pleasure? Yes, Romans 3:5-8.
  73. As Jesus "tasted death for every man," can it be true that "the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands," if a part are never saved? (Heb. 2:9) See the answers to question #40 and to question #71.
  74. If God "declares the end from the beginning," can the final destiny of mankind be contrary to His will? No; the real question is, what is His will? Read John 6:39 for the answer.
  75. Can endless misery be brought about contrary to the GOOD PLEASURE of the Almighty? Only because He has allowed it by giving us the ability to choose Him or sin. Again, by the reasoning of the question, there should be no such thing as sin.
  76. Can God WILL anything contrary to His knowledge? Who said that He did? And are will and knowledge the same thing? Knowledge can be used to determine will, but knowledge stands no matter what. Facts are facts. God made it so.
  77. Did God know when He created man, that a part of His creatures would be endlessly miserable? Yes, and He also knew that they would be so needlessly, because He knew that they would reject the divine way out that He brought to them by His only begotten Son.
  78. If God, when He created, did not know the result of creation, is He infinite in knowledge? Mute question, by reason of the previous answer.
  79. Power is the ability to do: is knowledge simply the ability to know? No. Knowledge is the cognizance of facts, past, present, or future.
  80. If God knew when He created man, that some would be eternally wretched, did He not will this to be their doom? He gave them a choice—Him or Hell—and they chose Hell, though He gave them every reason to choose Heaven.
  81. If God willed the endless misery of a part of His creatures, why is it said that "he will have all men to be saved?" -- (1 Tim. 2:4) See the answer to question #80.
  82. If the Scriptures should testify, that God "will have all men to be damned," could we safely infer that a part might be saved? Sure: if He must provide a way for men to be able to choose to leave safety into damnation, although they could choose to stay safe, then such a conclusion would be very valid.
  83. If the Scriptures testify, that God "will have all men to be saved," can we safely infer that a part may be damned? Yes, because His will is not the issue when it comes to salvation. God has done all that He is obligated to do. We accept it or we reject it.
  84. If God made an endless hell before He created man, did He know there would be any use for it? Hmm, why was Hell created? (Matthew 25:41)
  85. If God knew there would be use for an endless hell, must He not have created some men for endless misery? Yes, with the opportunity to escape it through Jesus His Son, which they will have rejected.
  86. If God made an endless hell, was it included in the works which He pronounced "very good?" -- (Gen. 1:31) Answered with question #87.
  87. If there be an endless hell, and it was not made before the creation of men, when was it made? The Lake of Fire was created as the place for the punishment of “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). It was probably created after Satan fell. (Simple logic.)
  88. If there be a personal devil, who made him? God did. He created all things (Colossians 1:16).
  89. Can there be any such thing as sin in heaven? Yes, the devil sinned while he was in Heaven, and that is why he was cast out (Ezekiel 28:14-15).
  90. If there was sin in heaven, many [sic] not sin be committed there again? That is why the Devil and all who side with him will be cast out of Heaven into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10, 14-15; Matthew 25:41).
  91. If an angel of light became a devil, was not Paul in error, when he said Satan is transformed into an angel of light? -- (2 Cor 11:14) No, because in saying so, he taught that Satan is the ultimate counterfeiter (cf. John 8:44b). He appears to be an angel of light to those who serve him, in that, because he says what they want to hear, they follow him, because following God means going against the desires of self (Matthew 16:24).
  92. As sin presupposes temptation of some sort, who tempted a holy angel to sin? Does it really? See James 1:14.
  93. If an angel could sin without a devil to tempt him, may we not sin without a devil to tempt us? Why else do you think God is just to mark us as His enemies, as He did the devil?
  94. If a holy angel was tempted to sin by surrounding evil, is heaven a holy place? He wasn’t, so the question is mute.
  95. If an angel was tempted by evil passions, could he have been holy? He was holy until he decided not to be.
  96. If an angel became a devil by sinning, was Adam's the original sin? Adam’s is the first sin of mankind. Satan’s sin was inconsequential for us, in that we do not come from him. We do come from that corrupted human family tree started by Adam. In any case, the Bible does not use the word original to describe Adam’s sin; theologians do, but they are men.
  97. If Adam became mortal (that is, subject to death,) by sinning, must he not have been created immortal? Might he have attained eternal life had he not sinned? Yes.
  98. If Adam had been created immortal, could he ever have died? Only if he sinned (Genesis 2:17).
  99. If Adam sinned without inheriting total depravity, why should inborn depravity be assigned as the cause of our sins? It is so assigned that by one man entered sin into the world, that by one Man sin might be destroyed (Romans 5:18).
  100. Would there be any more impropriety in imputing MY sins to Adam, than in imputing HIS sins to ME? The same sin of disobeying God’s express commands are daily manifest in each one of us. We sin just like Adam did—by refusing to obey God, by doing what we know is wrong and neglecting to do what we know is right (Romans 2:13-15).
  101. If men are totally depraved by nature, must not children be so likewise? Men invented the term total depravity; it is not in the Bible, nor is the general principle thereof taught therein. Even the most wicked are kind to someone (Romans 2:13-15).
  102. If children be totally depraved, is it true, that "of such is the kingdom of heaven?" -- (Mark 10:14) See the answer to question #101.
  103. Men are to be washed from their sins. If they are totally depraved, what is there to wash? See the answer to question #101.
  104. If evil men and seducers "wax worse and worse," (2 Tim. 3:13), can they be totally depraved at first? See the answer. to question #101.
  105. If human reason be "carnal and delusive," why did Jehovah say, "come now and let us REASON together?" -- (Isa. 1:18) If we reason together, that means that both sides are speaking in a language that both can understand, desiring to be reconciled. God condescended to speak in our terms the wonderful plan of His love. We should be thankful for that.
  106. If reason be delusive, why should some folks reason against the use of reason? I honestly have never met such people, but surely they be fools!
  107. Can an effect exist without a cause sufficiently powerful to produce it? No.
  108. If "we love God because he first loved us," is it true that we must first love HIM before He will love us? God is first, not man; so, No. Can children beget or bear their own parents?
  109. If "we love God because he first loved us," is it not plain that He loved US when we did not love HIM? Yes.
  110. If God loved US when we did not love HIM, is not our love to Him the EFFECT (and not the CAUSE) of His love to US? Yes.
  111. Was it consistent with divine justice, to love us, when we did not love Him? It is true that Justice proceeds from Love, but Love is not bound by Justice’s decrees of guilt or innocence. Because Love does not seek its own (1 Corinthians 13:5) and is unconditional, Justice has no say in whether or not Love is extended.
  112. If God once loved us, will not that love eternally continue? Of course.
  113. If the love of God is the cause which produces love in man, can anger and wrath produce the same effect? Well, they produce fear. But as the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” and wisdom enables us to walk into God’s blessings, fear can be an instrument of God’s Love; so, Yes.
  114. Is it the revealed will of God that all men should be saved? But not that all men will be saved. Those who hate the Light will not be saved (John 3:19-20).
  115. Can God will all men to be saved, knowing that a part will be forever lost? See the answer to question #40.
  116. If God has two wills, why is double-mindedness condemned in the Scriptures? He doesn’t.
  117. If God has two wills, why does the Bible say, "He is of one mind?" He doesn’t have two wills.
  118. If God has a secret will, how did you gain a knowledge of it? He doesn’t; Jesus revealed His will to us.
  119. Can that be a secret which has been revealed? It can’t.
  120. If God revealed His secret will to "the saints," why should they reveal it to "the wicked?" What secret?
  121. If God under any circumstances, wills the endless misery of a human soul, in what does He differ from Satan? He does not will that for us and He proved that when He paid for our sins so that we should not need to suffer endless misery.
  122. Can Jesus Christ be the Savior of any more than He actually saves? Can one have any more money in the bank than he actually spends?
  123. Can Jesus be "the Savior of the world," (1 John 4:14), if the world is not saved by him? See the answer to question #122 and read Matthew 7:20-23.
  124. Is Christ, in any sense, the Savior of unbelievers? “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
  125. If Christ be in no sense the Savior of unbelievers, why are unbelievers called upon to believe in Christ as their Savior? “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
  126. If unbelievers are not called upon to believe in Christ as their Savior, what are they to believe? Who said that they are not called (Acts 17:30; Romans 1:18-32; 10:18)?
  127. Must not the thing to be believed, be true before it is believed? No, because we do believe lies. Oh! You mean, what God asks us to believe? Yes. What is better for us to believe? Yes. What is wiser for us to believe? Yes.
  128. Must not the thing to be believed continue to be true, whether it be believed or disbelieved? Yes, if God actually decrees it.
  129. "What if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith, [or faithfulness] of God of none effect?" -- (Rom. 3:3) No.
  130. Is it true that "God hath concluded all in unbelief that he might have mercy on all?" -- (Rom 9:32) [sic: actually 11:32] Verse is talking about Israel, not all mankind. Read the context. And mercy can be trampled upon, just like any other of God’s blessings.
  131. Can God be "especially the Savior of them who believe," unless He be actually the Savior of all? -- (1 Tim. 4:10) See the answer to question #122.
  132. If belief and good works in this life, be essential to eternal salvation in the next, can infants be saved? The assumption is wrong (Romans 4:5). And infants do not refuse Jesus the opportunity to pay for their sins (definition of rejection), so the answer to the question is Yes.
  133. Can the good actions of finite man merit an infinite reward? No, James 2:10.
  134. Can the evil actions of finite man merit infinite punishment? No, see the answer to question #57.
  135. If men are saved by works, is salvation of grace? No, Romans 11:6.
  136. If one man is saved by grace, why should not all be saved in like manner? All who are saved are saved by God’s grace. Grace is extended to all men, but, like any other blessing, it can be rejected or trampled upon.
  137. Is God a partial being? No, Acts 10:34.
  138. Can the faith of the Partialists be based in the wisdom that is "full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality?" -- (James 3:17) What is a partialist? One who believes the Word of God that says that some people will perish and thus only a part of mankind will be saved (how about Jesus' own words in Matthew 25:41)? Or one who shows favoritism to those who please him and not love to all mankind, which is what that verse is condemning in context (see also 2:1-9)?
  139. Can sufficient provision be made for the salvation of all men, if some men are never saved? Can there be enough money to buy all the goods in the world, and yet they be not all sold?
  140. Must not sufficient provision be sufficient to subdue the will of the creature? Hmm, good question...Then why do we ever sin? God provides for us all sufficiently without need for us ever to sin to get what we need; and yet we steal still. So, No.
  141. Is there any other way to determine the sufficiency of the means employed, than by the accomplishment of the end designed? Need a man to spend all of his money before another will believe that he has it?
  142. Does not the law of God require all men to love him supremely, and their neighbors as themselves? Yes.
  143. Is it true, that "not one jot or tittle of this law shall pass till all be fulfilled?" -- (Matt. 5:18) Yes.
  144. Does not justice require of us the fulfilment [sic] of the law of God? Yes.
  145. Will not justice be eternally violated, if the law of God be not universally fulfilled? That is why Hell is eternal!! [This is based on the idea that we can actually fulfill God’s justice. We can’t. Christ did and then suffered for us not doing so. That is why we can be saved.]
  146. Can they fulfil [sic] the law of love who are rendered eternally miserable? “As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one:...” (Romans 3:10)
  147. Can justice require the obedience of the sinner, and at the same time require his eternal disobedience? No; those who disobey God continue in their disobedience throughout eternity (Revelation 22:11).
  148. If whoso "offereth praise glorifieth God," (Ps. 1:23), can He be glorified by those who have no cause to praise Him? Paul explains it better than I can in Romans 3:4-8.
  149. If any one be rendered eternally miserable, can he have any cause to praise His Maker? He had his chance to praise Him, and he refused to do so; thus he continues in that state which he desired (Revelation 22:11).
  150. Will God ever place some of his creatures in such a situation they cannot praise him? No, they will choose to refuse to praise Him for eternity. That is their own fault.
  151. Do you believe that endless punishment would manifest the glory of God? Does the Bible teach it?
  152. Can you rejoice in the hope of the glory of God? Yes.
  153. Would not the salvation of half of mankind glorify God more than the salvation of one-fourth? Please Him, yes; glorify Him, no: what more can God do to be glorified than to personally pay for the sins which His own creatures committed against Him?
  154. Would not the salvation of nine-tenths of mankind glorify God more than the salvation of one-half? See the answer to question #153.
  155. Can we give "glory to God in the highest," without believing in the salvation of all men? Yes.
  156. If "all have sinned, and (thus) come short of the glory of God," (Rom. 3:23), would eternal sinning mend the matter? No, that is why we are called upon to repent.
  157. Shall "every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father?" -- (Philippians 2:11) Yes: victorious through Him or defeated by Him, all ill bow the knee.
  158. Is endless misery "good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people?" No.
  159. Could man be endlessly miserable without being endlessly a sinner? No.
  160. If sin exist eternally, can it be true that Christ was to finish the transgression, and to make and end of sin? -- (Dan. 9:34) Yes, in that the power of sin has been taken away. Sin need no longer reign over us, because Christ is come and paid for our sins and sent His Holy Spirit to enable us to overcome sin in our daily walk (cf. John 8:34-36).
  161. As Jesus gave himself a ransom for all men, can he ever "see the travail of his soul and be satisfied," if endless misery be true? The verse being quoted (and misapplied) is Isaiah 53:11. The fine which we owe has been sufficiently provided for—and that is what satisfies the Righteous Judge; if we reject the benevolence of Jesus, there is no other remedy for us.
  162. Do you hope that endless misery is true? My emotions do not determine reality.
  163. Is "faith the substance (or foundation) of things hoped for?" -- (Heb. 11:1) Faith believes the promises of God, which are true: whether eternal life for the believer or eternal damnation for the unbeliever.
  164. If endless misery be not a thing hoped for, can it be a part of the Christian faith? See the answer to question #163.
  165. Is it certain that one soul will be eternally lost? It is certain that many souls will be eternally damned (e.g., Matthew 7:20-23; 25:41-46; etc.).
  166. Is it certain that one soul will be saved? It is certain that many souls shall receive eternal life (e.g., Matthew 25:46).
  167. Is it certain that all will not be damned? It is certain that not all will be damned.
  168. Is it certain that all will not be saved? It is certain that not all will be saved.
  169. Can that be certain which is not decreed? God must reveal the truth to us for us to be certain of it.
  170. If it be certain that one soul will be saved, must there not be a decree concerning the salvation of a definite number? And God knows what that exact number will be, but it is not our business. We are commanded to preach the Gospel in order that people might believe it and be saved, not to be "bean counters" of hte members of His Kingdom (cf. John 21:21-23).
  171. If the number of the saved be definitely fixed, must not the number of the damned be equally definite? Yes.
  172. If there be no certainty in relation to the final destiny of man, is not salvation a work of chance? We are not certain because God has not told us, because it is information we do not need to know to do what He has called us to do—preach the Gospel.
  173. What better is chance than Atheism? Nothing, really, which is why one should believe the sure words of the Holy Scriptures.
  174. If God knew, when he created, what the end of each soul would be, is not that end as certain as if it was decreed? So, God’s knowledge of our wicked hearts is the same as asking for us to sin against Him? Not!!
  175. Is not the merciful man always merciful to his beast? “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast...” (Proverbs 12:10)
  176. Will not the merciful God be always as merciful to His creatures, as the merciful man is to his beast? How can a King be more merciful to His subjects than by Himself paying the infinite fine they incurred by hating Him and His rule over them?
  177. Is it true that the "tender mercies of the Lord are over all his works?" -- (Ps. 145:9) Yes.
  178. Is it true that the Almighty is without variableness, or the shadow of turning? Yes.
  179. Would there be any tender mercy in the infliction of endless misery? No, but the question assumes there was not a Way provided to avoid such misery.
  180. Are the tender mercies of the Lord like unto the tender mercies of the wicked which are cruel? No.
  181. If God is not the Father of sinners, why should sinners pray, saying, "Our Father, forgive us our trespasses?" All those who are born again by faith in Christ, though they have God as their Father, do still sin, and thus are still sinners.
  182. "Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?" -- (Mal. 2:10) And we all act like the prodigal son: we demand our inheritance before its time (here rather than in Heaven), and walk away from the blessings He would gladly bestow upon us (cf. Isaiah 53:6 and Matthew 6:19-21 and 16:24-27).
  183. If God be the Father of all men, will He do less for His children than earthly parents would do for theirs? Ask Jesus (Matthew 7:11).
  184. Is it true that God punishes us "for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness?" -- (Heb. 12:11) No; that verse speaks of chastening, not punishment. Two totally different things.
  185. Would endless punishment be for our profit? No, but it is punishment: it is the consequences of our rejection of God’s love, much like an untimely death is the consequence of many a young man’s disobedience to the good instructions of his earthly parents (Ephesians 6:1-3).
  186. Would endless punishment "yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto them who are exercised thereby?" No, but that is not the purpose of it, although it is the purpose of chastening. Chastening drives people who heed it away from punishment. But it is not punishment. Punishment is far worse than chastening, and punishment is final.
  187. Is there an afterward to eternity? -- (Heb. 7:14) No.
  188. Can any doctrine be too good to be true? 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
  189. Will God contend forever and be always wroth? -- (Isa. 62:16) No.
  190. Will the Lord cast off forever? -- (Lam. 3:31-33) Context: God has promised to restore the nation of Israel, but not those who reject His love.
  191. Can he be a Christian who worships the Lord through fear of the devil? What kind of question is that? The devil causes people to worship God because they fear the devil? It is the devil who rages when we worship God! How can fear of the devil produce worship of God? If one would appease the devil, then he must worship the devil, not God. (I know what they are trying to say, but it does not make sense.) If one would escape the slavery to sin by hating the consequences thereof, then he must go through Jesus, or he has no hope at all.
  192. Can he be a Christian who affirms that if he believed in the salvation of all men, he would not worship God? So someone acknowledges the sinfulness of his own heart (Jeremiah 17:9); that’s a bad thing (1 John 1:9)?
  193. Can he be a Christian who inquires, "if all men are to be saved, what use is there in being virtuous?" If all are to be saved, then why do you care?
  194. Some persons say, that if they did not believe in endless punishment, they would take their fill of sin. How much sin would it take to fill a Christian? If all are to be saved anyway, then why do you care?
  195. If "the goodness of God leadeth to repentance," why should His eternal wrath be preached to sinners? Ask Jesus: He started it; see also Jude 23a.
  196. If "the goodness of God leadeth to repentance," why should it not be supposed that repentance leadeth to the goodness of God? Because God is good to all men whether good or evil (Matthew 5:43-48); that is to say, His goodness is there whether we repent or not: we who do repent have received the benefits of His goodness; those who do not repent have rejected them.
  197. If "the goodness of God leadeth to repentance," are not the impenitent the objects of His goodness? We are all objects of His goodness, whether we repent or not. That is what condemns us so much for refusing to repent.
  198. Is not the goodness of God co-extensive and co-eternal with His wisdom and power? Yes.
  199. As the wisdom of God can never change to folly, nor His power to weakness, will His goodness ever change to hatred? No.
  200. Can Deity be universally and eternally good, if endless misery be true for a single soul? Yes, because that soul rejected the blessing that was offered to him.
  201. If all men deserve endless punishment, would it not be right for God to inflict it? Yes.
  202. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Yes.
  203. If it would be right for God to punish all men eternally, would it not be wrong for Him hot [sic] to do it? He being the King of the Universe also has the power to inflict it upon Himself that we who would otherwise be lost for all eternity might not have to bear it.
  204. As the infliction of endless misery would be returning evil for evil, would it be right for Deity to inflict it? Would it be? The question assumes that the item stated in the clause before the question is indeed an established fact, which it is not. God allows us to have what we want: Him or Hell.
  205. If the return of evil for evil be right in Deity, would it not be equally right in man? See the answer to question #204.
  206. As "fear hath torment," and true religion is happiness, can fear produce true religion? Where does the Bible say that true religion is happiness? Nowhere (James 1:27). See also the answer to question #113.
  207. As "perfect love casteth out fear," will not fear cast out perfect love? Jesus, who is Perfect Love personified, commanded us to fear God (Luke 12:4-5), so you must be misunderstanding that verse. Love of God and fear of God both cause us not to sin against Him, so...No.
  208. Can fear imbue [sic] the soul with perfect love? See the answer to question #113.
  209. Must not they who "believe and tremble," be possessed of the faith of devils? See the answer to question #113.
  210. Does the belief of endless misery cause the believer to "rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory?" -- (1 Pet. 1:8) See the answer to question #113.
  211. Can a belief of any thing short of universal salvation, fill the soul with "joy and peace?" Yes: that a Holy God will one day banish the one thing that causes all of our problems—sin.
  212. Will not the devil and all his works be destroyed? -- (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8) Yes, banished forever into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10, 14-15).
  213. Will not death, the last enemy, be swallowed up in victory and destroyed? -- (Isa. 25:6-8; 1 Cor. 15:26-54) Yes, Revelation 20:14.

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