The Truth... What is it?


As far back as historians have been able to study, human cultures everywhere (not every human) have believed in an afterlife (many did not see a "good" afterlife). Religion as to a god, gods, or God has prevailed in most cultures. As one writer notes in his 2009 book, "The universality of belief in the afterlife [throughout the history of mankind] is truly astonishing!" We Christians construct our beliefs on what we are convinced through study & faith is the reality of Jesus Christ & the full salvation available through Him.

We must guard against using Jesus' "assuring" sayings to His followers as a basis for doctrines of exclusion...exclusiveness. Because of the “fall” of then-innately-good mankind from a naturally intimate relationship to God (YHWH) in "The Garden of Eden", man became innately faulty..."fallen""...(though created "good") & readily subject to satanic/demonic influence, Satan being "the ruler of The World". The perfect Jesus was & is the only & final solution. God so loved all humans that He sent His Son to die as the final atonement for human sin (and there is no way that God Almighty can fail at what He intends!). Jesus provided reconciliation between God & man as to the "Fall" & sin.

I am told that original words in the Bible for eternal can either mean “for a long time” (for example, the rest of your life on earth) or infinity (earth time plus afterlife time). The original...none survived...Bible books (original “autographs”) are thought to have been seldom if ever written in scholarly Hebrew or Greek and probably have ancient “street” meanings for many words. Bible translations do not appear to attempt to differentiate “eternity” meanings. I think this failure is the “fallen” effect of human nature among translators (fallen human nature subconsciously  wants exclusiveness). Also, maybe God allows such imprecision of the words in His Word because He can use all of the failures (humans: none are righteous…no not one) of Truth in each of the thousands of Christian denominations to work in the lives of our extremely varied humans. Maybe there are different denominations for different people at different points in their journeys/“walks” as Jesus followers. Satan, as the ruler of all who...deliberately or by default...have not chosen YHWH,  can go to work against Christianity as he works to confuse the details of the words in the Bible & blur The Word in the minds of believers to make dissention prevail (rather than unity). The devil is in the details! Thus, there are two meanings for “eternity”, as follows:

  1. Eternal (rest of your life on earth) salvation: Jesus is the key through Baptism by water & the Holy Spirit, and those who follow Him tend to credit Him with their being saved. These "saved" ones are indwelt by the Holy Spirit & have a divine purpose in life & now the ability to follow The Way of Jesus (the "unsaved" are NOT indwelt & not able to follow Jesus in The Way). They are “the Elect”…God chooses Jesus followers…“those who follow Me”. And His believers/followers become indwelt with the divine, co-pilot/mentor-helping power of the Holy Spirit which (a) cancels the automatic enslaving-power grip of sin & makes one able to aspire & have success at keeping the 10 commandments delivered to Moses and (b) able to even elevate above those 10 and aspire believers toward keeping the two great commands of Jesus about loving the Lord your God…and love your neighbor as yourself (we still fall short…we sin…so much by sins of omission & commission). Followers are delivered from “Hell on earth”; non-followers are already in Hell on earth…separated to some unknown degree from God. Jesus is acknowledged Savior of all of these & Lord (boss/leader) of many (can't be fully Lord of anyone lacking the indwelling Spirit).
  2. Eternal (afterlife) salvation: Jesus is the key; He did this for you (all humans [here]) whether you know, care, or give credit/honor or matter who/what you worship/idolize. His death  redeemed & reconciled all humankind, atoning for all the past, present, and future sins of mankind. All will go to Heaven (“be with God”) for the afterlife and none go to a flaming Hell ("Hell" = separation from God). The divine Jesus knowingly underwent the most horrible human death (as a human) knowing full well that almost all of mankind would fail to love & honor Him during their lives on earth for His sacrifice. The ultimate act of unselfishness!…Oh, how Jesus-like! God’s (Heaven) house has “many mansions”…so, maybe there will be differing zones…differing “seating” (as at a concert…close to the front vs. in the “nosebleed section”) for the variations of the sinful lives of every single human. Could such degrees of separation (front row vs. nosebleed section) be the “separation from God” some  definitions of Hell are talking about (rather than absolute separation)? Or, might salvation that folowers of The Way hope for is additionally actually that, in the afterlife, that indwelling Holy Spirit becomes not a wee, small voice, but an optimizing amplifier of perfection in that indwelt person's communion relationship with God (I hope and believe this)?

This reconciliation neither cancels rules against sin nor the earthly consequences of sin. We still have the life to live out on earth. And...see tends to have far fewer negative consequences to a person's "peace" when a life is lived with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is Savior of all  humans & Lord (boss/leader) of a smaller percentage. I am not 100% sure of THE TRUTH of the above, but I believe that I'm on the right track (and, again, hope all will choose to believe in Jesus). Therefore, (1) no one has the power to over-rule God & deny a person the eternal afterlife. And you can live with the certain & comforting knowledge of this truth while on earth (you cannot be excommunicated from going to Heaven). AND, (2) if you become a Jesus follower, you get the power to live a better life on earth (available to you from the internally residing Holy Spirit)! This second benefit is like a beginner golfer being granted the guaranteed aptitude to play “par” golf or better. Even more, you have The Word (Bible) which the Spirit can use to teach you wise and right living. These benefits become "unlocked" or manifested to a greater or lesser extent through the earnestness & obedience with which you live that Christian life of worship, study, "doing", and fellowshipping. All of this brings the believer into a closer relationship with the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit. And the closer that relationship, the closer one can have relationships to other believers, family, coworkers, and citizenry. And through those closer relationships, God helps us keep our joy and positive outlook as we suffer the consequences of (1) mankind's biological and social "fallen-ness" and (2) our own sins! The believer, then, finds peace.

I hope that (1) the final judgment that each human failed miserably and that each deserves a sentence in Hell will be rendered & (2) immediately become set aside because of Jesus. And (3) that the Old Testament afterlife Hell, which exists, will be empty of humans.

[translation info & some verses dissected]

[click here to my beginning outline of universal reconciliation]

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(posted 1 October 2006; latest addition 4 September 2016)