Are There Three Incompatible Principles In The Bible That Show Inconsistency? NO.
If you have not read Stories Versus Truth, you may want to read that before reading this.
Don’t forget where you are going. You get past the questions/attacks so you can proclaim the Gospel. It is the proclamation of the Gospel, not argumentation, that transforms minds. See Give Them the Gospel.
Lies About the Bible–Falsely Claiming Inconsistency
One common lie is to say that the Bible is inconsistent. The following is an example:
I was talking to a man who claimed that there are three incompatible principles:
- God has all power.
- God would have all to be saved.
- All people will not be saved but rather, most people will burn in hell forever and ever. In other words, the devil mostly wins and God mostly loses.
If these three principles were in the Bible, then there would indeed be an inconsistency in the Bible. If God has all power, why would He lose most people to an eternity in Hell when that’s not what He wants to do? Some Calvinist insist that this is exactly what God wants to do–that God’s plan was that some people would suffer eternally, and they can’t do a thing about it. Some Arminians insist that God is stuck doing what He doesn’t want to do. Both of these theologies are rooted in some presuppositions about Hell and the definition of “for ever.”
Let’s look into these statements one at a time.
Does God have all power?
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Revelation 19:6
Yes! God has all power.
Is it’s God’s will that all are saved?
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4
Yes! God will have all to be saved. God wants everyone saved.
Will most people burn in hell forever and ever?
At this point, some theologians have come up with an extra-biblical theology known as universalism. Universalism claims that there is no hell. These theologians seek to deal with this problem by trying to eliminate hell.
Anyone who has even a little knowledge of the Bible will tell you that hell is very real. If there were no hell, that would mean that those verses of the Bible that tell us about hell are not true, so that would mean that the Bible is just an interesting book, but certainly not reliable. It would be, as the liberals love to state, just a book written by men. Of course, the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and the liberals are not dealing with reality.
There is a second leg to this scoffer’s question, and it relates to 1 Corinthians 15:22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.“Doesn’t this seem to violate the theology,” says the scoffer. Some have added a rationalization to this Scripture and said the since all shall be made alive in Christ, there is no hell because believers and unbelievers will all escape hell through Christ. Hell is real and more terrible that words would be able to describe. Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.
One must always be amazed at how clever Satan is in bringing these questions. The reality is that there is a twisted bit of logic that makes these questions seem legitimate.
Another theologian has the notion that, because there are a few translations that do not use the word, hell, that there is no hell. Translations are of very little consequence since we have the original text in the textus receptus. We can always check in the original text in the original language. In addition, those translations that do not use the word, hell, do give the description of hell. Hell is real. That door has been closed.
This we know. Hell is more awful than any earthly sorrow. It is a fire, but much more terrible than natural fire. It is a fire that can burn angels and the spirits of men and women. There is no rest from it, but it is continual. A natural fire eventually would kill you and you would no longer feel the pain, but this is not the case with the fire of hell. The Scripture is plain: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:46
This is a fire that is so horrible that one second of hell would seem to be an eternity. If you had to endure one second of hell, you would never forget it.
So hell is real. Doesn’t that confirm the scoffer’s claim that we have three incompatible statements? Not at all.
The Scripture states that Hell’s duration is forever and ever. What is that duration? What is the meaning of forever and ever?
The original language gives us the answer. There is a word in the original language that means never-ending or eternal, but that is not the word that is used to describe the duration of hell in the original language.
The word that is translated as forever is the word, AION. That word means literally, age or eon, in English.
Forever and ever means until the age of the ages. No one knows exactly what that means, and God forbids speculation.
Hell is terrible, and being in hell for ages of ages is almost unthinkable. Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade man.
Others questions may be answered at these links:
- Genesis – Deuteronomy
- Joshua – Esther
- Job – Song of Solomon
- Isaiah – Malachi
- Matthew – Mark
- Luke, John, and Acts
- Romans – Philemon
- Hebrews – Revelation
- Race in the Old Testament
- Slavery and other sins of the Jews
- One or Many Gods?
- God’s Punishments
- Unedifying Stories in the Bible
- Justification in the New Testament
- Difficulties/Mistranslations from Hebrew
- Prophesies of the Messiah: Genesis”
- Prophesies of the Messiah: Isaiah”
- Prophesies of the Messiah: Psalms”