Faith vs Works (Part 1): The introduction.

Faith vs Works (Part 1): The introduction.

I’m in a rather unique position with this blog. I get hit from both sides of the Faith vs Works debate. On the one side are the Catholics, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses who claim that faith itself is insufficient without man working for his salvation (funny how these three groups tend to have so much in common). On the other side are the cheap-grace, easy-believism, lukewarm crowd who love to label me judgmental and a legalist when I say that there is not only a Biblical mandate for the law, holiness, and good works, but that these will be evident in the life of a true Believer.

Scripture is crystal clear on this issue, that we are indeed saved by faith apart from works and the law. This is commonly known as “alone.” To deny Scripture’s clear teaching on Sola Fide takes an unwillingness to part from former presuppositions and religious indoctrination.

With that said, I thought I’d cite numerous texts that deal directly with our salvation being through faith alone (Part 2); what the Bible says about those who rely on the law and their good works for salvation (Part 3); what place the Law and “good works” play in our faith (Part 4); and my conclusion (Part 5).

I am not posting this five-part series in an attempt to win any arguments or even to create more (although some will be inclined to do so). I will let the Scriptures speak for themselves with minimal commentary on my part. If you have reservations about their context, I encourage you to research each one for yourselves.

If I can win 1,000 arguments but not change one mind, heart, and soul, I have done nothing. I am hoping that with the following posts I can put to rest the issue some may be struggling with when it comes to Faith vs Works. Thank you for your faithful readership and as always, your comments are welcome.

(All scriptures are quoted from the New American Standard Bible).

PART ONE

PART TWO

PART THREE

PART FOUR

PART FIVE

35 thoughts on “Faith vs Works (Part 1): The introduction.

  1. Pingback: Good Series of Posts about Faith + Works = Error « Answering the Church of Christ

  2. I received the following comment from Keith on this same post over at Reformation Nation. I have copied and pasted it in its entirety here:

    I have appreciated your effort to explain your position on the faith vs. work argument. I have always used an inner gauge to tell me what is right and wrong. If something inspires, enlarges, brings peace or leaves me feeling better then I find that it is safe to embrace. Your writing did not do that for me so I ask why? I have come to know that one cannot get a right answer when asking the wrong question. Pondering that idea I ask myself what would be a better question to find the way to God. Of course the Savior is the example so I thought of what he did. His example is true. He set the example of prayer to his Father and always responded to what the Father wanted Him to do. There did not seem to be a question of faith vs. works. It was do the will of His Father. He left us with the commandment to become perfect as He is. I know and He knows that no man will ever accomplish that on this Earth but never-he-less it is the commandment. That is the quest and to get hung up on the faith vs. work thing is not the way of God. They must be companions and not competitors if we are to follow the Savior. After these thoughts came to my mind I felt the peace that I always do when pondering a truth. I therefore reject your much study and research in favor of the harmony of the Lords example.

    It seems no matter how much we write on here, and how much we explain the gospel, there’s never a shortage of these kinds of “my feelings trump the Scriptures” comments.

    As Justin Peters put it, we need to stop interpreting Scripture based on our feelings and instead interpret our feelings based on Scripture. (That’s not verbatim.)

    I think I’ll be kind enough to let my friend Fourpointer answer this one (I can hear him chomping at the bits right now). I wouldn’t want to steal his thunder. :o)

    Saved by grace alone through faith alone because otherwise, (not only would I be under the curse of the law) but I’d be severed from Christ (Gal. 5:4).

    – The Pilgrim

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  3. “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:28-29)

    It’s almost like the Lord Jesus was telling them, that if you HAVE to call it “works,” fine. But just know that the only “work” that counts for righteousness is believing on Him: the “work” of “faith alone.”

    It’s possible to be born again and have the wrong terminology. It is not possible to be born again and have your faith in anything other than Christ Jesus.

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  4. OK, Pilgrim, if you insist :))

    If something inspires, enlarges, brings peace or leaves me feeling better then I find that it is safe to embrace.

    So, as long as Kieth feels better about himself, then he did the right thing. This is exactly the “gospel of good works”–the “gospel” that says when you do a good deed, God puts a gold star or a smiley face next to your name on His Big Chart, and when you get enough gold stars and smiley faces He gives you a magic ticket that allows you into His heavenly amusement park

    This is a “gospel” that is particularly popular today because it makes people feel better about themselves, so they think it is s good thing. This could not be farther from the gospel that Jesus and Paul preached. It almost sounds like Kieth is a Mormon, looking for that “testimony.”

    The truth of the matter is, the gospel is all about us seeing ourselves for what we are: dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking sinners who chase after rags of our own righteousness thinking we are doing God’s will when we are really heaping up wrath for ourselves until we are cleansed by the blood of Christ. We are unworthy of God’s mercy and undeserving of His grace. Yet He extends it anyway. Those who preach the “gospel of good works” distort and destroy and make shipwreck the true gospel in two ways:

    (1) They make people believe they can ever be good enough to enter God’s kingdom.

    BZZZZ!!! Wrong!!!

    No amount of “good works” will ever get us into Heaven. In fact, those that stand before the Great White Throne Judgment will be judged by their works.

    (2) It makes a person twice the slave they were before. Because not only are they now under the Law, they are under “works,” never knowing if they have done enough “good works” to be “good enough” (see also Islam, Mormonism, Catholicism).

    Kieth, we are NOT saved by our works. To teach that is to teach heresy. Sorry, there’s no other way to say it. We are saved by faith in the Lord Jeuss Christ, by repenting of our sins, and by being reconciled to God by His grace and the blood of Christ.

    If we are saved, we are to “bring forth works worthy of your repentance” (Matthew 3:8) since a faith that only believes in the truth of certain facts in indeed a dead faith (James 2:20). And we are only made perfect by having all our sins removed from our account and having Christ’s reighteousness deposited in that accoount (se 2nd Corinthians 5:21). That is what the “gospel of good works” leaves out.

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  5. Thank you for your interest in my little writing. First I ask you not wrest my words in this discussion. Your belittlement of me by changing my words from feeling better to “feeling better about myself” is sneaky and a sad ploy. You know that I am talking about one of the basic premises and doctrines of the Gospel that God has given to every one of his children to know truth from error. It is one of the most sacred treasures he has given and commanded us to use in our search for truth and find our way back to him. If we cannot trust God with His great gift, then what chance has man in his search for truth (Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.)?

    Next, I did not say or infer that salvation does not come by faith or that works can earn salvation that is sufficiently clear. The lowliness of man cannot be over stated and yet man is the crowning creation of God. The Lord says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” That is his doctrine and his works. My difficulty is in your separating faith and works and your judgment of the works of man to glorify God. They are not competitors but companions and to me your argument distracts from the real works and purposes of God.

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  6. Dear Keith:

    Thanks for stopping by the new blog.

    I’ve known Fourpointer for a while now and I am fairly certain he wasn’t trying any type of “ploy” in his response to you. It appears that he was taking your comment to its logical conclusion. But I can’t speak for him and he can discuss that with you.

    Keith, your feelings are not a barometer or standard for truth. The Scriptures are. For there’s a way that seems right unto man but it leads to death. The heart is wicked. Those who think themselves to be wise are fools. This is why (for example) those who comment on here supporting Todd Bentley never defend him from the Scriptures; they only defend him from their “feelings.”

    If you seek confirmation, truth, and understanding outside of the revealed word of God, you are playing with fire. Be careful.

    Although you’ve clarified yourself in your latest comment, you left several of us with a completely different impression in your first comment.

    If you truly believe in Sola Gratia by Sola Fide and not salvation by Jesus + anything else, then I rejoice for you and welcome you to DefCon; you’ll enjoy your stay here. Judging by your second comment, it seems that this is your stance.

    However, do not misunderstand me and think that in any way shape or form that I believe “works” or following the commandments of God have no place in a believer’s life. On the contrary! In fact I practically got railroaded out of my last church for daring to say they do.

    The post Faith vs Works is not–as you assume–pitting one against the other in the life of a true Believer. It’s pitting one against the other in the work of salvation.

    We are save by faith alone and the proof of that salvation is the works that God does in is and that we perform because we are now new creatures. I strive daily to do good works and follow His commands not because by doing so I can earn salvation, but because I love Him.

    If you read all five parts of the post Faith vs. Works, you’d have seen that I believe works is very important in the life of a believer (see part four). I also hinted to that in the opening paragraph to part one.

    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

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  7. Hi Pilgrim

    Thank you for your reply. As a note I have read all 5 parts but I went back to part 1 to reread your purpose for your writing and from there I made my reply. Sometimes I read too quickly and miss some points.

    John in revelations says “and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works”. This scripture suggests that works are the testifier of ones faith. I think that we have pretty much an agreement on that point.

    I think that we are not eye to eye on the one about ones feelings. By your usage of feelings perhaps I should not use that term again but in stead use the preferred terms that I used in my first witting “inspires, enlarges, and brings peace”. They are more descriptive of the workings of the Holy Spirit. It is by this method that we believe and develop faith so that we can accept Christ as our savior. The Holy Spirit is the testifier that bears witness of all truth. It is more that just swell, nice or comfortable feelings. If it was not needed there would not be so many different interpretations of the same words of the scriptures. I read so many different ones from very sincere people who want to do right. God knows of that need so he has offered it to all who ask, seek and knock for truth.

    Sincerely Keith

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  8. Keith,

    When you wrote about those who stand before the Great White Throne (“the dead were judged according to their works”), you have unfortunately misunderstood that passage. Go back and read it again. At this Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15), these are the lost, the wicked, those who never knew Christ. Notice, it says, “books were opened, and another book which is the Book of Life.” No one at this Great White Throne has their name written in the Book of Life. They are judged by their works, and their works will condemn them.

    Why? Because their faith was a demon’s faith (see James 2:19). Or, they believed that they had done enough “good works” and they saw Christ as simply the one who opened the door so their “good works” could save them.

    Faith and works are not “in competition” with each other. But too many people have a skewed view of the relationship between the two. Faith does not flow from works–works flow from faith. Faith is the motivator of our works.

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  9. You are right about this being the great white throne judgment and the works of the wicked will condemn them because they had faith in the works of man and Satan.
    That will surely condemn them. But like wise the works of the righteous will be the works of God that glorify Him and they will also testify of that mans faith. Though they do not determine or add to the salvation, they just witness.

    In four pointer’s reply to me he conjectured that I am Mormon, he is right. I see you put much energy into denigrating Catholics, Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses. I would like to know why. Will you tell me?

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  10. I’m not sure if your question was directed to 4 Pointer directly or to us in general, so forgive me if I interrupt.

    You asked a good question, but it was not entirely accurate.

    We are not into “denigrating” RC’s, LDS, and JW’s anymore than instructing people in a burning building that they need to get out is denigrating them.

    If exposing their errors is considered “denigrating,” then you’ve missed the point. Denigration is not our aim, goal, or mission. In fact, I have deleted comments in the past where people have left rude remarks towards Mormons. Some people just hate you guys for whatever reasons, but I won’t allow them a platform here.

    Rest assured, we here at DefCon do not hate you or anyone else for that matter, or we wouldn’t take the time on here to do what we do. I’d much rather be spending my time with my family to be honest with you.

    Please don’t make the mistake (as often is made) that we derive some pleasure out of what some view as “bashing,” “attacking,” or “denigrating” anyone. And I can say that I do not like arguing with people. I’d rather watch 8 hours of this video by Hervie Villechaize than argue with people.

    However, truth must be defended at all costs. Take the three groups you mentioned above; each has a different view of essential doctrines of Christianity. They all can’t be right, and in light of biblical Christianity, none of them are.

    The JW Jesus is a created being, Michael the Archangel who is not God. He died on a stake (not a cross) and he did not resurrect in his physical body, but as a “spirit creature.”

    The Mormon Jesus is one of gazillions of gods. He was conceived by God the father and the “virgin” Mary’s physical sexual encounter. He was a polygamist who fathered children and he paid for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane (not on the cross). Furthermore, his shed blood is insufficient in many cases to remit sin, and thus a man’s own blood must be shed (see more on the Doctrine of Blood Atonement here and here).

    The Catholic Jesus is more aligned with biblical Christianity, but his sacrifice was incapable of completely saving mankind because the RCC (just like the Watchtower and LDS) teach that one must earn his salvation, (hence the whole point of this 5-part post). Additionally RC’s rely on priests and saints (and even Mary) as mediators. Jesus is removed from His position as the only mediator and thus, these people are placing their faith elsewhere.

    None of these groups are correct, and in fact they are all heretical.

    And don’t forget, Keith, Mormonism’s own existence is contingent upon their “denigrating” of Christianity. LDS leaders have taught some very harsh things about Christians and Christianity.

    Why we discuss, deal with, and expose these groups (with so much fervor and energy) is because to believe in a counterfeit Jesus will not save you and those who have put their trust in such a one for salvation will be shocked when they open their eyes on the other side of eternity and discover they were deceived by the very false prophets Jesus warned us about over and over again and told us to beware of lest we fall victim to them and become deceived.

    It’s love, not anger, hate, or any other force that drives and compels us. I hope this helps, and I hope I answered your question sufficiently. Can I ask you a question?

    – The Pilgrim

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  11. Ok, Keith, here it goes:

    It’s late at night.

    You hear something at your front door.

    You investigate.

    You find me laying on your porch step covered in blood.

    You see a blood trail where I dragged myself which leads to the street where fresh skid marks are present on the asphalt.

    I was just hit by a car that sped off.

    You call to your wife to dial 911 and you kneel down to offer any assistance that you can.

    I only have a few minutes left to live (and by your estimation of my condition you know it’s true).

    I’m in fear of facing God and I ask you one simple question.

    How do I get saved?

    You’ve got five minutes.

    The clock is ticking . . .

    – The Pilgrim

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  12. Ok, this is a trick question for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but this is what I will say. My dear friend you are not lost because God in his wisdom has made a plan for every one of his children. Your acceptance of Jesus Christ at this time will be to your great advantage and your sorrow and asking for forgiveness for your sins will be of merit for you. When you get to other side you will find that you still have an opportunity to learn of his work. Through the miracle of the restoration of the Gospel the Lord has made it possible that your baptism can still be done and you can upon meeting the requirements have the blessings of the Gospel in your life. Now Pilgrim, rejoice in the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ because it is through him that you will live again and receive his great blessings. I love him and I want you to know that I know that he lives and that through him you will be resurrected and can receive forgiveness of your sins and be accepted into his presence. Now should we pray together and ask for God to hear your plea.

    As you know Pilgrim your understanding of the term of salvation and mine are different and just because we understand the same scriptures differently does not make me wrong and you right. I am interested in your reply.

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  13. Keith,

    What you do not realize is that if that is what you tell the person in their last five minutes on earth, you have just allowed them to slip into Hell unsaved, they will stand before the Great White Throne, they will be judged to be unrighteous, and they will suffer in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. Because once we die, there is nothing anyone can do for them.

    The saved, however–those who trusted in Christ ALONE for their salvation, and did so in this life, the only chance we have to do so–they will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ (1st Corinthians 3:11-15; 2nd Corinthians 5:9-10). They will not be judged for salvation (that has already been established, or they would not be standing here), but their works will be tested by fire to determine the reward they receive.

    See the difference? At the Great White Throne, the people are judged by their works, whereas at the Judgment Seat of Christ, their works are judged by their worthiness.

    Here’s another thing to consider: Think about when God sent the fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people and the people died. God commanded Moses to lift up a brass serpent on a pole, so that whoever looked upon it would be saved. Now, suppose one person made a serpent out of stone, and another person made a serpent out of wood. They both lifted up their serpents, and called the people to look upon them. Would the people have been saved? No. Why? Because they would not have been doing as God commanded.

    This is the same today. We have the Catholic system, which is lifting up (as it were) a serpent of wood, Jehovah’s Witnesses lifting up a serpent of stone, and the LDS church lifting up a serpent of something else. Each of these is promoting salvation in a way that is contrary to what is written in God’s word. That is why we do what we do: to warn people to not follow these false systams.

    We do not do is out of hatred, but out of a genuine desire to see people saved, and to see God glorified.

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  14. Keith;

    I’m not quite sure what you mean by a “trick question.” What was the trick? It was an honest inquiry about what you would tell a dying man about salvation. And furthermore, what do you mean by it’s a trick question for members of LDS? You really lost me with that. It’s a question I’d ask anyone, LDS or not, who claims to have the “truth.” Don’t read more into than is there.

    It appears you’d take the easy approach and allow him/me to die in his/our sins forever damned based off a heretical twisting of Scripture by false Mormon prophets; never telling the dying man that he is appointed once to die, and then the judgment.

    So if I can gather correctly what you said, you {LDS} can offer me absolutely no help, yet Jesus could assure the thief on the cross salvation that very day. Instead of pointing the man on your doorstep to Life, you sputter LDS rhetoric. How discomforting.

    I appreciate your forthcoming in your answer. It reveals a lot about LDS teachings that most Mormons desperately try to hide: the absolutely stark night-and-day differences between biblical Christianity and Mormonism.

    So, I ask you again, how can I be saved?

    I’ve got four minutes left.

    – The Pilgrim

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  15. Fourpointer and The Pilgrim

    Thanks for your reply. The reason that it is a trick question is because your and my understanding of the word salvation does not match. We will never satisfy your desired results. I did not think you were trying to trick me but for and LDS person the question is wrong. And as I have said before one cannot get a right answer when asking the wrong question. If you understood my reply you would know that I am actually offering you more, but enough of this talk we are too far separated to make sense of it. Can we go the real question that separates us?

    Will you tell me why God does not have a living prophet in these latter days? Noting that he says he is … “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb 13:8). He also says “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). If God from the beginning of time set his pattern of having living prophets and an open cannon of scriptures, why not now in the most risky and troublesome time of the Earth? It makes no sense and says that God has changed. Man should be able to trust God to tell his prophets what we need to know and do in these perilous times. I know you will try to soothe the problem over with quotes that you have found to try to substantiate your lack of a living breathing prophet but the answer does not satisfy or meet the needs of man especially in this day of Satan’s great power, the deceptions and wickedness of the world.

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  16. Keith:

    Ok, so far, what I’ve gathered as I lay here dying, is that:
    1. I don’t need to worry about dying in my sins because I’ll get another chance after I die (in direct contradiction to Heb. 9:27).
    2. I wouldn’t be able to understand it all anyway because you define “salvation” differently than Christians.
    3. My genuine plea for help is a “trick question.”
    4. The more important issue at hand is whether or not living prophets exist today.

    Are you serious? This is how you’re going to answer a dying man who is seeking an answer from you for salvation? Forget how LDS “defines” salvation, for crying out loud, LDS has twisted the definitions of almost every single essential Christian doctrine imaginable and now you’re concerned about definitions? A dying man needs answers, not an admission that LDS has redefined Christian doctrines to suit their teachings.

    We both know LDS has changed meanings of Christian doctrines, and as much as I appreciate your honesty and conceding to this (many LDS try to portray otherwise) this is not what the dying man is asking of you.

    LDS and JWs are experts at changing the subject rather abruptly to a non-essential when confronted with something outside their ability to answer, but “how to attain salvation” shouldn’t be that hard to answer.

    I will permit Fourpointer to go down the path of distraction with you (if he so desires) and I imagine he’ll start with Hebrews 1:1-2, but as for me, the issue of “living prophets” is NOT that important right now.

    Remember, I’m the guy bleeding to death on your doorstep. The debate about living prophets mean nothing to a man about to die. The only thing a dying man needs to know is how to be forgiven of sin (to get right with God). I’m beginning to think I chose the wrong residence to seek help from. But it’s too late now.

    Sirens can be heard in the distance.

    I’m beginning to fade.

    Three minutes left.

    – The Pilgrim

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  17. Hi Pilgrim

    I have answered your question and you are trying to manipulate me so that you can make me look like a fool but I know what you are doing. You have lived your life and will answer to God that is my answer. There are no such questions as you ask ever ask of our Savior or a prophet that has been recorded in scriptures that lead us to a definitive answer excepting that one must answer to God for his life. Your answer to your question never gives the poor millions who have lived upon this Earth without ever hearing the name of Jesus Christ any hope but a forever life in Hell. That is not the way of a loving Father. He has provided a way for every single one of them. If not God is a respecter of persons which He is not as declared by His own voice. As I said one cannot get right answers if he is asking wrong questions. Will you not respond to my question? Why do we not have a living prophet upon the Earth?

    Respectfully Keith

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  18. Pilgrim,

    It seems as though Keith is stuck in the LDS “victim” mentality, that we evil evangelicals are just out to persecute him and his beliefs. He has invented this idea that we are trying to “manipulate” him.

    Keith, you said, Your answer to your question never gives the poor millions who have lived upon this Earth without ever hearing the name of Jesus Christ any hope but a forever life in Hell. That is not the way of a loving Father. He has provided a way for every single one of them.

    Those “millions” would also include the men of Sodom, the Babylonians, the Chaldeans, etc. All those in the Old Testament who knew about YHVH but worshipped a pagan god instead. All these, I guarantee, are still suffering in torment Hades along with the rich man in Luke 16, until they are all resurrected at the Great White Throne and cast into the Lake of Fire.

    Will there be many who never hear the gospel? Yes. Will they get a second chance? Absolutely not. That’s just how it is. He is a loving Father, but He is also a God whose justice is perfect, and we cannot dwell in His presence if we are still carrying our sins with us after we die.

    As far as Why do we not have a living prophet upon the Earth? We don’t need one. We have His written word, and we have the Holy Spirit (or, as some call Him, the Holy Ghost. They are one and the same.).

    But, I don’t expect you to answer this, since you didn’t answer my previous response to you (comment #14).

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  19. If Justification is only a declaration by God about the sinners status before God, and does not work an inward change, how can the sinner do sanctification?

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  20. Dear Keith:

    I know you may not believe me since it seems like you’re trying to convince yourself otherwise, but I am not trying to “manipulate” you or make you look like a “fool.” I am asking a simple question. I am affording you a golden opportunity to proclaim the Mormon road to salvation.

    You said, “There are no such questions as you ask ever ask of our Savior or a prophet that has been recorded in scriptures that lead us to a definitive answer excepting that one must answer to God for his life.”

    Really? I seriously urge you to consider putting down your JoD, your BoM, your PoGP, your D&C, and any other LDS church indoctrination material and begin reading your Bible ALONE! You may be surprised at just how many times the New Testament alone deals with the issue of how a man attains salvation (and no, not to become a god, but to be cleansed of our sins before a righteous and holy God).

    There are countless occasions in the Scriptures where the issue of salvation is addressed. Remember the Philippian jailer? What question did He ask? What was the purpose of Nicodemus’ visit to Jesus at night, especially in light of Jesus’ first recorded words to him the he must be born again.

    I could go on and on where Scripture deals with the very subject that you’re so desperately trying to avoid: justification, forgiveness, salvation, etc.

    You said, “That is not the way of a loving Father. He has provided a way for every single one of them.” Please provide chapter and verse to support this.

    You complain that, “Your answer to your question never gives the poor millions who have lived upon this Earth without ever hearing the name of Jesus Christ any hope but a forever life in Hell.” What “answer?” I never got or gave an answer.

    And what’s even more frightening, Keith, is so far your replies to my question have failed to give the poor millions who are LDS any hope, but a forever life in Hell. How can one who can’t tell a dying man how to be forgiven offer any hope to a lost and dying world?

    Now to get back to my question, which I’ve tried to reword to accommodate your LDS definitions (which is a cruel thing to tell a dying man, “You’re trying to trick me, manipulate me, make me look like a fool.”):

    I’ve lost a lot of blood, now.

    I’ve never darkened the door of a church.

    I’ve lived a sinful life.

    In fact, I was crossing the street in front of your house to go sin some more when the car hit me.

    I’ve only got a couple moments left as I lay on your porch.

    Shortly I will slip into a Christless eternity in Hell for my sins.

    With every ounce of energy within me I utter, “Please help me sir, I don’t want to die in my sins, how can I be forgiven?”

    I’ve got two minutes left.

    – The Pilgrim

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  21. Pilgrim, fourpointer, et-al

    I am submitting the following analysis of your site and work. As I have read your site and experienced our discussion I had learned of how you work and what seems to be your goal.

    Your site is full of sophistry (a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but fallacious method of reasoning.) using several different methods to confuse the mind and control the conversation. You are very expert in the use of such tools.

    The first I will mention is one called piling (a mass of building piles to be considered collectively). This method is taking quotes out of context and pilling them up so that it confuses the mind. For example, you’re listing of many scriptural quotes from the Bible on the subject of faith. One quote used out of its context is no problem because a reader can remember its context or go read it and understand what the writer/speaker is expressing. Piling them up is sophistry. It allows you to give any meaning to the pile because the readers mind has become numb. Tyndale would be offended because he spent his life and gave his life to get the common man out of the grips of the clergy. He knew that if every home had a Bible they could understand their meaning without interpretation or manipulation of a clergy. You not only use this trick of control for your own believers but to denigrate other Christians. You do this by making multiple quotes out of context to make it so that there is no meaningful conclusion but your own. You further try to make any explanations meaningless by naming the type of arguments (out of context, manipulation etc) that show your error thus trying to destroy any reasoning that opposes your position. These are very clever tools of sophistry.

    There is more. You use terms like “natural extension” to arrive at conclusions. Like your “sex” of God and Mary. You scintillate and sensationalize for your demeaning propose of denigrating (to speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner; sully; defame, to treat or represent as lacking in value or importance; belittle; disparage ). No such meaning can be had without your “natural extension”. You tried to use this on me in our early discussion and I caught you in your trap. It is common in your site.

    You do a very interesting thing in justifying yourselves with strong words in denigrating other faiths. You quote the words of our Savior as He condemned the Sanhedrin for their desire to destroy Him and His work. He did not attack there religions which were protestant to the ways of the Lord through the prophets. He only exposed their hearts as He knew, that they, would have Him crucified and kill His prophets as they had already done. Your denigrating is more like the Sanhedrin than the methods of the Savior. They were trying to protect themselves and their position and not promoting the work of God. This advice from Acts 3 would be wise for you also. “38 And now I say unto you, refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to naught: 39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” Remember one cannot do God’s work using Satan’s tools.

    I asked the question “Why do we not have prophets today?” and your answer was very close to that of the Sanhedrin “They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father.”(John 8:39) These are the words they used to say that they have no need of more prophets or words from God. They thought what they had sufficient. God has never said we have enough. In fact he said that before the second coming there would be a “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:19-24) meaning that things have been lost and need to be restored.

    The most amazing thing you said was in response to my question about the millions who never had a chance hear the name of Jesus was: “All these, I guarantee, are still suffering in torment Hades along with the rich man in Luke 16, until they are all resurrected at the Great White Throne and cast into the Lake of Fire”. I am sorry but you and I do not worship the same God. Do you realize what you are saying? That means that all little children who die are consigned to Hell. These are innocent children of God who are incapable of making a sound decision. It means that an estimated over 25% of Gods children (several billion) have no chance of ever receiving any hope of the very purpose of this Earth. That makes God worse than all despots put together. They after all could only take the life of the people but God is confining them to “the Lake of Fire” forever. Where is the justice or mercy in that? Where is the Grace? How is this a God of Love? I am appalled at such doctrine and say that I can not worship your god.

    There are more tactics that I could mention but enough is enough. I want to invite all who are serious minded truth seekers to make a test. Read this site and then go to http://www.lds.org (or the official sites of the Catholic Church or the Jehovah Witnesses whom this site denigrates) and read on that site. The Holy Spirit (also known as the Holy Ghost) has promised to let all who are honest in heart to know what is truth and what is not. After reading if you feel inspired, uplifted and the Peace of God then you will know you have found truth. If you feel confused, cold or contention then you know the source of that information. I want to tell all who read my words that I know by the witness of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ and the only way to God and fulfillment of the purposes of this Earthly experience. In the name Of Jesus I speak my witness.

    Keith

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  22. Wow, Keith. You will spare no expense to avoid a simple question on how your faith (which I certainly agree–you’re worshiping a different “god”–I won’t argue with you there) saves a man.

    Talk about “where is the love, mercy and grace“? You have an opportunity to share the good news with a dying man on your doorstep who–with his last breaths–has repeatedly asked you (a church going man) how he can get right with God from his life of sin and so far you spent four of his last five minutes:

    1. Telling this man that his plea is a “trick question.”
    2. Then when he asks again, you change the subject and ask him about whether or not he believes in “living prophets.”
    3. You tell him he wouldn’t understand anyway.

    Now you not only avoid the desperate plea altogether, you begin “piling” a bunch of rhetoric on him and go on, and on, and on, and on, and on, about how much of a victim you are.

    The closest you’ve come to answering the man’s dying plea is to lie to him, telling him that he’ll receive a second chance after he dies. So far it appears that that’s the LDS gospel of good news . . . and it doesn’t sound that good.

    I’ve got only one minute left, Keith.

    – The Pilgrim

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  23. An even more conclusive test for those TRULY serious minded truth seekers –

    First, do NOT look to the official sites of those organized religions which DO NOT TEACH:

    1. Salvation by grace through faith alone – a Biblical doctrine;
    2. That Jesus Christ is the ONLY BEGOTTEN Son of God;
    3. That Jesus Christ is 100% God and 100% man;
    4. That salvation is 100% of God and 0% (zero) of man;

    AND which DO teach things like:
    1. Joseph Smith (a womanizer, a false prophet, a dabbler in the occult) has much to do with our ultimate salvation;
    2. Mary was sinless and is therefore part of the redemption of true believers;
    3. Popes and priests are able to mediate between us and God which is contrary to 1 Timothy 2:5;
    4. That Jesus and Satan were/are spirit brothers born of a celestial physical relationship between God the Father AND one of the wives from his innumerable harem;
    5. That (again contrary to Scripture), we all have the capacity and the ability to become a god and will one day get to start and populate our own little world by procreating with our own harem – hmmmmm, sudden thought, sounds ALOT like the ultimate ideal for a Mus1im man — might just be a similar connection and I can bet it’s NOT the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, but I digress;
    6. That to get up the celestial rungs of the heavenly ladder, you must live a life of duplicity in abject fear that those around you will find out your downfalls and be able to go higher in one of the most perverse games of one-up-man-ship ever devised by a fallen, depraved man who dared to call himself a prophet;
    7. etc, etc, etc.

    INSTEAD, DO THIS –

    1. Go directly to the Word of God which alone is infallible;
    2. Pray to God for mercy;
    3. Pray that God the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth of Scripture to your sin-darkened heart;
    4. Seek to understand why God/Jesus Christ had to come to this earth to become the ultimate sacrifice;
    5. Realize that there are a multiplicity of ways to reach eternity – HOWEVER, there is only one way that will keep you in the holy presence of God forever;
    6. Accept that you and ALL of mankind has transgressed against a holy and righteous God Who must demand payment for falling short of His glory;

    Finally, realize that what is shared here comes not from a manual out of any of the variety of churches represented by the writers of this blog. Realize that it does not come from a book or a creed or a tradition that has done and will continue to damn the souls of men, women, and children to a Christ-less eternity. These truths we share have NOTHING to do with OUR opinions – it comes directly from the pages of the Holy Bible which comes directly from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as He guided the prophets of old to write.

    Oh, a little sidenote, by the way, what they wrote didn’t require goofy looking glasses or the plagiarizing of another book already in existence by over 65% of its purported content!

    Still thankful for the grace of God that saved a wretch like me!
    The Desert Pastor

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  24. By the way, there are billions who are “like” Pilgrim but are truly 1 minute from eternity!

    The greatest double-cross in history will occur one day when Lucifer/Satan/the evil one will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever, but before he goes, he will be forced to state that “JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!” All those who have and continue to follow the evil one’s leadership are following the wrong god – and this includes ALL who follow man-made doctrine and religion!

    Pilgrim, as you well know that for those who only have one minute to go (and we do not know when it will be our time) – THERE IS HOPE!

    “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name! On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND!”

    My hope is in Jesus Christ ALONE!
    The Desert Pastor

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  25. There are more tactics that I could mention but enough is enough. I want to invite all who are serious minded truth seekers to make a test. Read this site and then go to lds (or the official sites of the Catholic Church or the Jehovah Witnesses whom this site denigrates) and read on that site. The Holy Spirit (also known as the Holy Ghost) has promised to let all who are honest in heart to know what is truth and what is not. After reading if you feel inspired, uplifted and the Peace of God then you will know you have found truth. If you feel confused, cold or contention then you know the source of that information. I want to tell all who read my words that I know by the witness of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ and the only way to God and fulfillment of the purposes of this Earthly experience. In the name Of Jesus I speak my witness.

    Keith

    Well isn’t that amazing!

    The Pope would certainly be proud of your ecumenism here, Keith, but methinks the Watchtowerites would shun you as an apostate and well, Joseph Smith would probably have required a blood atonement had you made such a profession in his presence back in the halcyon days of the LDS before it began prostituting its doctrines in a vain effort to mainstream itself and win the approval of the world.

    You speak of Jesus Christ and God as though religion are the same as the REAL Jesus Christ and the One True and Living God as He has uniquely revealed Himself solely within the 66 books of the Holy Bible – but they’re not.

    As a Mormon you’re following after a false christ and a false god spawned from the pit of hell – a satanic construct vomited forth from perdition to lead men and women unto eternal damnation in hellfire.

    Sadly this is not unlike your spiritual kissing cousins within the JW and RCC false religious organizations which are doing the exact same thing! This is the reason we speak out against these false religions because they’re false and under the admonition of scripture true believers in the real Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible are required to expose the evil works of darkness for which you are an ambassador.

    I have a testimony for you, Ambassador Keith:

    That there is one true and eternal God, unchangeable, unique, all-powerful.1

    That this one true God created all things; there is nothing that exists anywhere that He did not bring into existence.2

    That this one true God is spirit, and is not limited to time and space, both of which He himself created.3

    That man is the creation of God, and God should not be thought of as an exalted man.4
    That Jesus Christ has eternally existed as God.5

    That Jesus Christ created all things.6

    That the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin.7

    That man is spiritually dead, enslaved to sin, unable to come to Christ outside of the Father’s enablement.8

    That full and complete salvation is the work of God’s grace.9

    That the Bible is God’s inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient revelation to man, in need of no supplements.10

    This is my testimony, one that I believe is given to me by the Holy Spirit of God. The Bible says the Spirit of God witnesses to our spirits that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16) and that He leads His people into all truth (John 16:13).

    I share this testimony with you because I believe the issues mentioned above define the gospel itself. The gospel requires that we know the one true God (John 17:3); a false god cannot save us. The gospel requires that we know the true Jesus Christ, for a false Christ cannot save (John 8:24, 2 Corinthians 11:4). And the true gospel alone can bring salvation, which is why we are warned about those who would preach a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, denies every single one of the beliefs I shared with you above. Every one.* It is because of this that I share this literature with you. If you are LDS, I sincerely wish to warn you that you have been misled. If you are not LDS, I wish to inform you of the great differences that exist between Christianity and Mormonism at the most fundamental levels. While we often use the same words, we fill those words with very different meanings.

    If you are LDS: I have given you my testimony. Doubtless you may say you have your own. The two testimonies contradict each other, however. What can we do now? The difference between us, my friend, is just this: my testimony does not determine truth. My testimony is a wonderful and precious thing, but it is not how I know the truth. My testimony must be subjected to a higher authority: the Bible. No matter how strongly I may “feel” about something, I must submit my feelings to the correction of the Word of God. So while you and I may have testimonies that conflict, I can take my testimony to the Word of God and demonstrate how it is consistent not only with some of the Bible, but with all of the Bible. My beliefs come from the Bible, and I would be glad to demonstrate this to you.

    If you are not LDS: Christianity claims to be God’s truth. As such, there is no room, nor reason, for compromising on the essential elements of the faith. Mormonism is a fundamentally different religion, for Mormonism openly proclaims a “plurality of Gods” (see the Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-20, 37, Book of Abraham chapters 4-5, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pp. 345ff). Christianity is unalterably monotheistic: we believe in only one true and eternal God. Mormonism presents a different God, a different Christ, and a different gospel. Because we love God, honor His truth, and desire others to know Him, we share this information with you.

    (1) Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:10, 44:5-8; Psalm 90:2, 96:5; Mal. 3:6; James 1:17. (2) Isa. 40:22, 41:4, 44:24; Jer. 10:10-11; (3) 2 Chron. 6:18; Jer. 23:24; John 4:24. (4) Zech 12:1; Psalm 50:21; Isa 29:16; Hosea 11:9. (5) John 1:1, Phil. 2:5-6; Heb 1:10. (6) John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:1-3. (7) Col. 1:19-20, 2:13-14; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7. (8 John 6:44, 65; Eph. 2:1-5. (9) Eph. 2:8-10. (10) 2 Tim. 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21

    In Christ,
    CD

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  26. I could not read all of the posts here, and what I did read got pretty wild.

    If I were to claim that Evangelical theology and Catholic theology on faith and works are the same in substance, would I find that some, in the interest of intellectual integrity, would want to see if I could substantiate my point? Or would I be shouted down?

    The two sides use the term “Justification” very differently, and that is the cause of the dispute.

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  27. From Keith’s thesis:

    The first I will mention is one called piling (a mass of building piles to be considered collectively). This method is taking quotes out of context and pilling them up so that it confuses the mind.

    Examples, please? Where did we do this? See, this is one of FAIR’s tactics–They can’t answer a question about their beliefs, so they say “This has been addresed by many BYU articles”–without providing any articles.

    He did not attack there religions which were protestant to the ways of the Lord through the prophets. He only exposed their hearts as He knew, that they, would have Him crucified and kill His prophets as they had already done. Your denigrating is more like the Sanhedrin than the methods of the Savior.

    That’s cute how you use the word “protestant” to try and equate us with the Sanhedrin. Besides, which of us is more like the Sanhedrin? Those of us who hold to the truth of Scripture? Or a group like the LDS that adds to the Scriptures and seeks to justify their “righteousness” which is of their own works?

    I asked the question “Why do we not have prophets today?” and your answer was very close to that of the Sanhedrin “They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father.”(John 8:39) These are the words they used to say that they have no need of more prophets or words from God.

    No. They used the we are children of Abraham” excuse to cling to thrie belief that because they were Jewish by birth that they were automatically guaranteed entrance into the kingdom of God. This had nothing to do with prophets.

    The most amazing thing you said was in response to my question about the millions who never had a chance hear the name of Jesus was: “All these, I guarantee, are still suffering in torment Hades along with the rich man in Luke 16, until they are all resurrected at the Great White Throne and cast into the Lake of Fire”…That means that all little children who die are consigned to Hell. These are innocent children of God who are incapable of making a sound decision.

    And see, this is the foundation of the differences between the teachings of the Mormon church and the truth of the Bible. The LDS teach that we are born “innocent” and that we cannot be held guilty until we reach some arbitrary “age of accountability” (a totally unscriptural doctrine based on man’s own whims). The truth of the matte ris, we are all born sinners:

    Ephesians 2:1-3– And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

    We are, by nature, children of wrath. Children of disobedience. There is nothing good that dwells within us. There is no such thing as a “good person” (Mark 10:18). And becasue we are born with the stain of sin, we must accept Christ’s blood as payment for our sins, or suffer for eternity. Does this include children? Your appeals to human emotion notwithstanding–yes.

    What about those who never hear the gospel?

    Romans 2:12-16–For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

    Even though someone never hears the gospel, they will still stand before the Great White Throne and be judged by their works. Why? Because although they never hear the law, they have had the law written upon their hearts. They do know right from wrong–somewhat. But they do not acknowledge the one who wrote that law that is in their hearts. They will still be judged, though less harshly than those who do hear the law and reject it (And MUCH less harshly than those who make up their own gospel and lead people away from the truth [see Psalm 138:2, Galatians 1:8-9]).

    There will be many “good people” in Hell. That’s not just my opinion, that’s biblical truth. God’s word is quite clear that “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:18-19). Men love sin. It’s what we are born to do. Put two children in a room with one toy and watch what happens.

    Keith, there is a great fiery lake awaiting those who never trust Christ as their Lord and Savior. Whether they heard His name or not. I know that’s hard to hear, and it doesn’t asppeal to our human sense of “fairness.” But it’s not about our sense of what’s “fair.” It’s about God’
    s justice being done, and His glory being preserved.

    Like

  28. 10 seconds . . .
    9 . . .
    8 . . .
    7 . . .
    6 . . .
    5 . . .
    4 . . .
    3 . . .
    2 . . .
    1 . . .

    Times up, Keith. You allowed a soul slip into a Christless eternity of wailing and gnashing of teeth, a soul who—in his last few minutes on earth—sought an answer from you on how to get right with God and be forgiven of his sin.

    Now putting this simple illustration behind us, let’s apply it to real life. I know a man right now who is dying in a hospital bed. A man who has lived his life in sin. What hope can you offer this man? It is obvious that there is none!

    I testify to you right here and now that LDS is false religion, that LDS offers no hope, and that Joseph Smith was a false prophet.

    Ironically there is good news in all of this, though. If I wrote on Mormonism every day for the rest of my life and compiled volumes of information on its heresy, blasphemy, and out right damnable doctrines, it still wouldn’t be as helpful at pointing out the hopelessness of the false LDS gospel as was presented here in the short exchange in this thread between you and I.

    You have undoubtedly shown that the cult of Mormonism offers no hope for a dying man whatsoever. The “good news” of LDS doesn’t exist.

    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

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  29. Pilgrim, fourpointer et-al

    Thank you for this forum where you have expressed your position and opinions and I have expressed mine. I am sorry for your man Pilgrim who chose how he lived his life and he will find himself wanting in the presence of God. But I rejoice over the billions of real people who are the innocent and pure of heart whom God will claim as His own.

    I invite all to come to the living waters of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints where in lies the promised “restitution of all things” and living oracles of these days abide just as they did in ancient times. Anyone can know by the peace in his own heart of its truth.

    Remember that no words or actions can stop the fulfillment of Gods plan or work. Watch and see all things fulfilled.

    I Love you and bid you farewell.

    Keith

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  30. That sounded like a very nice and flowery comment Keith, however, it is steeped in the wisdom of the world and full of false doctrine, heretical theology, and Scriptural error.

    The Bible says (contrary to your assertion) that ALL have sinned (Romans 3:23) and that the road is NARROW and FEW find it (Matthew 7:13-14).

    You say ALL is o.k. and billions of people (many of which reject the true Christ and God’s only plan of salvation) are still “innocent and pure.” Keith, you and the rest of the world are not exempt from John 14:6.

    The Bible says that the only ones that God will “claim as His own” (read: children of God) are those who have received (the true) Jesus (John 1:12).

    What you are teaching is universalism and is a lie, and cannot be supported Scripturally. You are seductively advancing lies and in doing so, you are one of the very false teachers that Jesus warned us about over and over again.

    And Keith, as this thread has shown, LDS has nothing to offer a sinful, depraved, and wretched individual for the forgiveness of sins. This was proven as I offered you numerous opportunities to help the dying man but you offered absolutely nothing! That itself speaks volumes as to the hopelessness of a hollow and false religion based on the lies of a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9) following a false “Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

    I pray that God will open your heart (1 John 5:20) and mind (Luke 24:25) and grant you repentance for the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 2:25).

    Defending truth. Contending for the Christian Faith.
    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

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  31. Strange, you have all these people at the Great White Throne judgment awaiting their final judgment, yet, you say when they die they go to Hell. Are they being twice judged. I will have to say I believe in conditional immortality and the sleep of the dead until Christ returns.

    The discussion regarding JW’s and Mormons is very interesting as I have always wondered just what their beliefs are.

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  32. Randy-
    When the Christ rejecting sinner dies, he/she is cast into outer darkness {Mat. 25:30} until the final Great White Throne Judgment. From Rev. 20:13, ‘The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.’ The dead are ‘delivered up’ to stand before God for final judgment.
    Hades/ hell means ‘the realm of the dead, later use of this word: the grave, death, hell’. When those who reject Christ die, they are well aware of their fate, they step into a Christless eternity surrounded by the blackest black. This is from Job 10:21,22 “Before I go to the place from which I shall not return, To the land of darkness and the shadow of death, A land as dark as darkness itself, As the shadow of death, without any order, Where even the light is like darkness.’ ” This is not a form of judgment, this is where they await their final fate, which is now sealed. It is NOT purgatory, for there is no getting out of what awaits. They are guilty as charged and await the final verdict of their own guilt.
    This is the terror they face, along with the nagging reality of their rejection of the Messiah; all of which now is too late. This is also where they remain until the final judgment spoken of in Rev. 20. It is at this judgment they receive their eternal punishment, which is the lake of fire.
    Hope this helps

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