Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another evangelical apologist advocating belief in the new earth.

Hat tip to Jay Hess for advocating the biblical doctrine of the new earth.  I hope more apologists will stop defending the idea that Christians will spend eternity in heaven, as this is not only unbiblical, but unproductive.  I was also very surprised to see that Charles Stanley, one of the most prominent figures in evangelical circles, defend the doctrine of the new earth.  So much for the belief of many JW's that they are the only ones believe in the new earth.

10 comments:

FredTorres said...

Hi Mike:

I and other JW's acknowledge that there are others that teach a new earth.
The problem is not with us as JW's. I'm with you in that I wish more people would believe and advocate for a new earth.

One of problems is that you all have Evangelists like Billy Graham having taught millions of people over decades that they are now going to Heaven.

The other problem is that most of the people that buy books like Stanley's, et. al., are people like you, that already hold to these beliefs.

My question is that if this is such an important message, when was the last time an evangelist went out of the church property to reach out to his local community to reach every single resident with that message?

I mean, at least that's the way I see it.

take care,
Fred

Mike Felker said...

Fred, with reference to your last question; I see it all the time.

FredTorres said...

Hi there Mike:

Hope you are having a great weekend.

Well that's commendable. Would you be able to tell me if there is a systematic approach, door to door, street to street, follow up to not at home visits or public/street witnessing, telephone witnessing etc.?
Do they leave flyers at doors or do they ask to speak to the householder?

Kyle said...

Very valid questions raised in this clip regarding children of the 144000 , that also always bothered me. From my perspective this is why not only the 144000 are in heaven , but so are the great multitude , which may well include their children if they were not old enough to make a personal decision about faith ... Also I see no reason why it is not possible that those who do receive a heavenly reward will not be able to materialise and visit the earth just as the angels can, and that brings me to another question , if God is coming to live on earth with mankind , will this include the multitude of angels ? Also why is Heaven called Gods throne and earth his foot stool ?

The Apologetic Front said...

Fred, I don't know of many who do door-to-door ministry. The people I know are more involved in open-air preaching, street evangelism, etc. or a "witness everywhere you go" ministry.

The Apologetic Front said...

Kyle,

Interesting points. I would view it in a slightly different manner whereby the primary dwelling place is earth with the potential capacity to visit heaven. But this would be pure speculation on my part and don't know of any Scriptures which speak of the possibility.

I don't know about the angels living on earth for two reasons.

1. Angels are immaterial.
2. The Bible doesn't talk about angels on earth.

I think God can be present in heaven and on earth, just as He did in the OT when His glory was visibly present in the temple and/or the encounter with Moses.

However, I do find it interesting that God and Christ's throne is in the city in Rev. 22:3, with the great crowd being "before the throne" in 7:11. Of course, I believe the city is on earth since it is on earth where the city is surrounded in 20:9.

Benjer McVeigh said...

Love it. I recently read Randy Alcorn's Heaven, and agree with him that what we believe about heaven says a lot about and informs our theology. It's not just something we can dismiss because we (as believers) are all just going to get there one day...it really matters.

Kyle said...

I posed the following question to the Bible Students:

what happens to the children of those who are members of the 144000 or the Great Company – who for example die before being old enough to make a consecration of their own ? Do they go to heaven also or are they resurrected onto the New Earth and if its the later how are these families blessed by being separated ?..

This was their answer..

"The default is that everyone everyone will be resurrected on Paradise Earth. Jesus Ransom (Greek – anti-lutron = corresponding price), means that Jesus as a Perfect Man, died for Adam, a Perfect Man, so that all Adams decedents could one day be resurrected on earth as Perfect Men (and Women) –Rom 5:12, 18; John 5:28, 29; Matt 8:11; Isa 11:9.

The Anointed/consecrated, on the other hand, receive the benefit of Jesus Ransom sacrifice now, justification to life-Rm 59, 18. Through this justified standing that they now have with Jehovah, they are able to present their bodies a living sacrifice -Rom 12:1, 2. Only those baptized into Christ’s death – Rom 6:4 – have this heavenly opportunity (2 Cor 5:1). Eph 4:3-4 says, “you were called to the one hope of your calling.” This “one hope” is the heavenly hope as the Apostle Peter explains in 1 Pet 1:3 saying, “…God… has caused us to be begotten to a living hope … to obtain an inheritance …reserved in heaven for you”

The children of the anointed who do not consecrate their lives to Jehovah (baptized into Christ’s death), will be brought back to Paradise Earth with the rest of mankind.

So Kyle, you asked, “how are these families blessed by being separated.” The answer is faith. “For we know that all things work together for good to those who are called according to his purposes.” Do you trust Jehovah (God is love – 1 John 4:8)? Do you believe his plan is the best possible plan for your family and the whole human family? What is there to say that as a divine being you will not be able to communicate with your children whenever you want to? Why would a loving God prevent that?

Rev 21:4 says, “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Kyle said...

I just wanted to add that ultimately from my perspective it should not matter where faithful ones end up Col 1:20 says God will "reconcile all things to himself wether things on earth or things in heaven", also at the end of the 1000 years we are told in 1 Cor 15:28, that "Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God's authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything EVERYWHERE." ...

The Apologetic Front said...

Kyle, thanks for sharing that. I find it very interesting that the Bible students are actually still around and continue to teach what Russell taught. And I find it even more interesting that they are dismissed by modern JW's. After all, didn't Jesus Christ personally choose the JW's in 1919, only several years after Russell's death? Why wouldn't the Bible students have been included in that choosing?

Anyway, that's another discussion for another time I suppose. But its something i'd like to starting asking modern JW's more often.

As far as the question you asked them, I personally didn't find Jay Hess' argument/question overly compelling. In fact, I think a similar argument can be made to evangelicals who believe in eternal conscious torment. That is, in this view, wouldn't Christians be eternally separated from their loved ones as well? Unbelieving children separated from believing parents and vice versa?

It seems more of an argument from emotion rather than an argument from Scripture. I think if one wanted to argue this consistently, they'd have to be a universalist whereby no one would be separated.