Milo Wilcox—July 29, 2023

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What is the fate of unrepentant sinners? There are three major doctrines to consider.

  1. universal reconciliation teaches that God will ultimately save everyone who has ever lived. God will reconcile all the wicked God haters to Himself, with no repentance.

This false doctrine is accepted by a significant number of church members and ministers before and after they left the Worldwide Church of God. Those who believe this false doctrine have no incentive to obey God's Laws and it gives them license to sin! They figure that 'whatever I do, I'm going to be saved.' That's very similar to the fundamental doctrine, but not quite, this is more universal.

  1. The fundamentalist preachers and churches teach that God will save everyone who accepts the name of Jesus. That's has been promulgated by Billy Graham and now his son Franklin Graham and many, many Protestant preachers: Just accept Jesus and you're saved! Once saved, always saved!

There are a lot of people who believe that! If you're saved, there's no incentive to obey God, because they don't even believe in the Law of God that they should keep it!

  1. unrepentant sinners who haven't repented of breaking God's Law will be annihilated

There are those are three major areas we're talking about. What does the Bible teach? Let's see what Jesus said:

Matthew 5:21: "You have heard that it was said to those in ancient times, 'You shall not commit murder; but whoever commits murder shall be subject to judgment.' But I say to you, everyone who is angry with his brother without cause shall be subject to judgment. Now, you have heard it said, 'Whoever shall say to his brother, "Raca," shall be subject to the judgment of the council.' But I say to you, whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be subject to the fire of Gehenna" (vs 21-22). That's a pretty strong fire!

Matthew 7:13: "Enter in through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it… [not the few, but many] …for narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it. But beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, for within they are ravening wolves" (vs 13-15).

And there are a lot of them out there! It's hard to imagine that there are so many of them! It's the majority because they don't believe in keeping God's Laws. They're out there teaching false doctrines!

Matthew 8:12—Jesus says: "'But the children of the kingdom shall be cast into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' When Jesus said to the centurion, 'Go, and as you have believed, so be it done to you.' And his servant was healed in that hour" (v 12-13).

He gives that comment there that the many are not going to make it!

Matthew 10:28: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but do not have power to destroy the life; rather, fear Him Who has the power to destroy bothlife and body in Gehenna."

That's pretty strong when you think about it. The book of Matthew is loaded with warnings!

Matthew 12:31: "Because of this, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; that shall not be forgiven to men. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the coming age" (vs 31-32).

That is powerful! No forgiveness! Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, that's the end of it for them! Not at that moment, but they'll get their punishment because they can't repent. It's the Holy Spirit that brings us to repentance. If we don't follow the urging of the Holy Spirit, and that guidance, how can we repent of. If we can't repent, we're not going to be saved. He makes that real clear!

Matthew 18:3: "And said, 'Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, there is no way that you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And whoever shall receive one such little child in My name receives Me. But whoever shall cause one of these little ones who believe in Me to offend, it would be better for him that a millstone be hung around his neck and he be sunk in the depths of the sea" (vs 3-6).

Verse 7: "Woe to the world because of offenses! For it is necessary that offenses come, yet, woe to that man by whom the offense comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to offend, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to offend, pluck it out and throw it away; for it is better for you to enter into life one-eyed than to have two eyes and be cast into the fire of Gehenna" (vs 7-9). Pretty strong statements by Jesus!

Matthew 23:15: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel the sea and the land to make one proselyte, and when he has become one, you make him twofold more a son of Gehenna than yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever shall swear by the temple, it is not binding; but whoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is obligated to fulfill his oath.' You fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold, or the temple, which sanctifies the gold?" (vs 15-17).

Verse 33:"You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how shall you escape the judgment of Gehenna?"

That's very strong! These verses reveal something else, that these people to whom He is speaking are not converted! He's showing that even unconverted people who reject and hate God to the point that they can't repent. They're not going to be saved! Some are going to have to be converted and then commit the unpardonable sin, and unconverted people can commit it, too.

That's very powerful to understand, because obviously, Jesus was talking to the scribes and Pharisees. Many of them were just out of it. They had Him there as a witness, they had their witness.

Matthew 24:12: "And because lawlessness shall be multiplied, the love of many shall grow cold."

You have to have the love first, the love of God. We're talking about people who were converted.

Verse 13: "But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved."

That's enduring to the end, and that doesn't sound like a lot of people are going to be there! We have to do what God says, or we're not going to make it!

Verse 14: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come."

Matthew 25:40: "And answering, the King shall say to them, 'Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it to Me.' Then shall He also say to those on the left, 'Depart from Me, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire, which has been prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you did not give Me anything to eat; I was thirsty, and you did not give Me anything to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not take Me in; I was naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not come to visit Me.' (vs 40-43).

Verse 44: "Then they also shall answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and we did not minister to You?' Then shall He answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, neither did you do it to Me.' And they shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (vs 40-46).

We want eternal life, so we have to be really striving for it! If Christians only had the book of Matthew, there's enough warning in here to avoid the false prophets and false teaching. It's astounding how many warnings Jesus put in the book of Matthew so that we will be aware of them and what we have to avoid and what we have to do to be in the Kingdom of God!

There's no room for universal reconciliation or the once saved always saved! The Apostle Paul also gives warnings to Christians:

Hebrews 3:6: "…Christ was faithful as the Son over His own house; Whose house we are, if we are truly holding fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. For this reason, even as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart, as in the rebellion, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, where your fathers tempted Me and tried Me, and saw My works forty years'" (vs 6-9).

It's hard to grasp people seeing miracle after miracle for 40 years, and they still didn't believe back then! We have people like that today! Miracles are very helpful for some people. For other people miracles make no difference! So miracles can be helpful or the other way!

Verse 10: "Because of this, I was indignant with that generation, and said, 'They are always going astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways.' So, I swore in My wrath, 'If they shall enter into My rest—' Beware, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in apostatizing from the living God" (vs 10-12).

We have to be there before you can apostatize! So, Paul is writing here, and this applies to brethren in the Church:

Verse 13: "Rather, be encouraging one another each day, while it is called 'today,' so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we are companions of Christ, if we truly hold the confidence that we had at the beginning steadfast until the end" (vs 13-14).

Not just part way, but until the end! Not just say, 'I accept Jesus' but all the way to the end! It's a lifetime process that we go through.

Verse 15: "As it is being said, 'Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.'" Paul repeats himself here a number of times!

Verse 16: "For some, after hearing, did rebel, but not all who came out of Egypt by Moses."

Verse 19: "So, we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief." It telling for people who have had the opportunity to go that way!

Hebrews 6:1: "Therefore, advancing beyond the beginning principles of the doctrines of Christ, we should go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith in God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment" (vs 1-2). Talking about judgment for eternity!

Verse 3: "And we will do this, if indeed God permits. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and who personally obtained the heavenly gift, and became partakers of the Holy Spirit, and who have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they have fallen away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing that they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves, and are publicly holding Him in contempt" (vs 3-6).

That's so powerful when you realize what Paul is saying there!

Hebrews 10:22: "Let us approach God with a true heart, with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water. Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful; and let us be concerned about one another, and be stirring up one another unto love and good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, even as some are accustomed to do; but rather, encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near" (vs 22-25).

Verse 26: "For if we willfully go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of inevitable judgment and of fierce fire, which will devour the adversaries of God" (vs 26-27).

Verse 38: "Now, it is written, 'The just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul does not delight in him.' But we are not of those who draw back unto destruction; rather, we are of faith unto the saving of the soul" (vs 38-39).

So, we have to hang in there all the way to the end!

Revelation 21:5: "And He Who sits on the Throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' Then He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.' And He said to me, 'It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts, I will give freely of the fountain of the Water of Life. The one who overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death'" (vs 5-8).

We covered Matthew and jumping over to Revelation, which is written after those original apostles, because Revelation wasn't written until 90+A.D. by the Apostle John. A lot of the early Christians were already dead by then.

Revelation 22:12: "'And behold, I am coming quickly; and My reward is with Me, to render to each one according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who keep His commandments, that they may have the right to eat of the Tree of Life, and may enter by the gates into the city" (vs 12-14).

If we keep the commandments we have a right, but if we don't keep the commandments we won't have a right to be there. It's just that simple.

So, these other doctrines of 'universal reconciliation' and 'once saved, always saved' are very damning and very seriously wrong, because they lead people astray! It allows people to have a license to go ahead and sinning, which we shouldn't be committing. If they're going to be saved no matter what they do, then there's breaks there, nothing to hold them back. They're not accepting the Laws of God and applying them.

We have to obey God to the end!

Verse 15: "But excluded are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and everyone who loves and devises a lie."

That's really powerful! God hates lying! Liars aren't going to be there! We have to repent when we realize that we said something wrong, but we have to hang in there all the way to the end!

Verse 16: "I, Jesus, sent My angel to testify these things to you in the churches…. [this is converted people in the Churches] …I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who thirsts come; and let the one who desires partake of the water of life freely" (vs 16-17).

Verse 18: "For I jointly testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, that if anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and from the Holy City, and from the things that are written in this book. He Who testifies these things says, 'Surely, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." (vs 18-21).

We really need to avoid these false teachings; and it's out there. I'm astounded at how many people that I knew personally fell away with it. I even know a number of Protestants who profess Jesus and I feel sorry for them in one sense, because they think they're saved and they're not!

We've got hang in there and endure all the way to the end! God bless you!

Scriptural References:

  1. Matthew 5:21-22
  2. Matthew 7:13-15
  3. Matthew 8:12-13
  4. Matthew 10:28
  5. Matthew 12:31-32
  6. Matthew 18:3-9
  7. Matthew 23:15-17, 33
  8. Matthew 24:12-14
  9. Matthew 25:40-46
  10. Hebrews 3:6-16, 19
  11. Hebrews 6:1-6
  12. Hebrews 10:22-27, 38-39
  13. Revelation 21:5-8
  14. Revelation 22:12-21

Transcribed: 8/9/23

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