INFERENCE VS PLAIN STATEMENTS
I was reading the dust-up between Avanti and Wildboar… and sipping my coffee… and thinking, and thinking… one of the things that helped me love I TIM 4:10 (God being the savior of all) — and helped me not worry about “dem dare” doom and gloom verses was this…
The GOOD NEWS verses like
God is the savior of all (I TIM 4:10.)
The justification of all (ROM5:18)
The reconciliation of all (COL 1:20)
… are PLAIN STATEMENTS.
But the DOOM AND GLOOM verses
Like the lake of fire, the sheep and goats, the rich man and Lazarus, etc…. are INFERENCES about the dire topic.
For example… the sheep and goats passage, is something about a judgment of LIVING NATIONS (Not nations out of the past)… but the NATIONS that helped or did not help Israel during the prophetic future. — Nothing about individual humans punished or rewarded, but NATIONS… you must INFER a lot from Matt 25 to get the God who is not the savior of all.
For example: The rich man and Lazarus story is not only A PARABLE — it is just one part of a 5-part PARABLE… which includes elements concerning “the lost sheep”, “the lost son”, the lost coin” etc. It helped me to NOT INFER from the parable element of the rich man/lazarus story anything that was not true.
And the lake of fire? It sounds like a dire things, but the inferences about it are wild. One “plain statement” concerning the lake of fire is that IT IS THE 2ND DEATH… It’s never called “the just desserts of eternal torment for all who disagree with me.” It’s clearly called THE SECOND DEATH… a plain statement… now all we have to do is come to a conclusion as to what is death.
On the landing page at the concordant.org there is a lovely article called WHAT IS DEATH.
I’m almost out of coffee… so I’ll give you two, lovely PLAIN STATEMENTS… that encourage me…
God is the savior — I TIM 4:10
God was in Christ — II Cor 5:19.