Monday, August 20, 2007

In God's time.....

KB: I have been wondering what salvation looks like when viewed from a timeless existence. Seems that all of life past, present and future would fold together. Viewing one's life from this timeless perspective would allow you to know how one's response today would affect them tomorrow because you would see them in whole rather than in part. It would also allow one to be chosen 'yesterday' based on one's actions 'tomorrow' because there is no difference between them. Not that I have anything but questions about this :(

KB has posed this before when he and I have discussed "eternity" or "eons" or time in general with God.
God is beyond space and time. He just IS.
There is also the question of the "second death."
My thoughts are that perhaps those who do not believe, or do the most wicked of things are punished for what may seem like an eternity, but may only be for a time. Perhaps they are given the chance to choose (because every knee will bow, every tongue will proclaim)until they may join Him in the timeless time. I can't assume from that verse that only the "saved" or predestined make up the "every." I'm taking it at its word. (After I look up the actual word!)
Thoughts?

15 comments:

Kansas Bob said...

Referring to CP's comment on my comment in Karen's earlier post:

I thought it was interesting that CP pointed out that Calvinism is in some respects really Universalism on a much smaller scale because people are seen as powerless ones having no choice in this most important matter.

My point in bringing in the timeless perspective is to say that God predestines people based on His foreknowledge (as He is outside of time) of their choices.

That said I have to say that my theology is not so narrow that I think that God has a litany of choices that people make but I do think that we are not simply Divine Calvinistic/Universalist Pets ... but I could be wrong ... been wrong before :)

codepoke said...

It's a really slow night in codepokeville, so I hope you'll forgive me if I continue. You know it's a favorite subject of mine, anyway.

> My point in bringing in the timeless perspective is to say that God predestines people based on His foreknowledge (as He is outside of time) of their choices.

I don't know whether it was clear in my reply to you that I heard and understood your point. Yes, seeing the end from the beginning, God would know at the beginning whom to "choose" to get His eternal will to align with what our human will eventually determined. This just doesn't make enough sense to me, though. And it leaves out God's part in the drama of conversion. God plays an active role in the whole show. The question is, "What role?"

> I do think that we are not simply Divine Calvinistic/Universalist Pets

You surely remember just how very, very much I loved that post of yours, right? You hit on real gold when you put it out there. You wrote as a purely anti-predestinational post, but it's 100% true. God is looking for lovers, friends, and confidants, not pets. Needless to say, I don't believe being predestined makes me a pet.

It's being saved by my free will that could make me a pet! Predestination certainly makes me a child.

Do you think I can back that preposterous statement up?

Picture a young couple. They can't seem to have any children yet, and are pretty depressed, but one day a dog adopts them (of its own free will.) They keep the dog. The dog gets lonely, so they go out and buy a dog. Now they have two dogs, one of its own free will and one enslaved. One glorious day, though, they discover the young lady will soon be a young mother. Several months later, they have a child.

One dog chose them and the other didn't, but neither of them is human. Only the child is human, but the child had no free will in the issue. The child cannot even choose to run away, though both of the pets is free to do so at any time.

Just so, as a human, I can choose to "be christian" but what does it mean? It just means I'm hanging out in God's house of my own free will. That makes me one of God's pets. I'm not really a child of God yet, but I'm exercising my free will and calling myself a Christian.

Only that which is born of Spirit that is spirit. It is the transformation from dead to alive that matters. It's the point at which we quit being human, and start being spiritual that life begins.

We "believe" and are saved the same way a baby cries at birth and everyone rejoices - it's a reflex action to being alive and suddenly surrounded by pneuma. You could say the baby was alive because it breathed and not exactly be wrong, but the life had to come before the breathing. Look at John 3:18 this way.

John 3:18
He that breathes is alive: but he that breathes not is already dead, because he is not breathing.


3:18
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


It never says that the believing saves. It says the opposite. And yet, we are required to believe. The baby must breathe, and we must believe. If we did not believe, we would quit being alive, but that will never happen.

This perspective is the only thing that makes John 1:12,13 make sense:
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Somehow we all believed without our will being involved. But that's not hard to imagine if we find it was the will of God that gave birth to us so that we could believe. And if that means that we have no more choice in our salvation than a baby has in being born, is that so hard to believe?

> but I could be wrong ... been wrong before :)

Yeah. Me too. Praise the Lord He accepted us, by whatever means - even if it's yours. :-)

codepoke said...

Karen,

> My thoughts are that perhaps those who do not believe, or do the most wicked of things are punished for what may seem like an eternity, but may only be for a time.

Have you looked at those 62 uses of the word, eon, Karen? If so, do you not see the same problem I do? The authors use the exact same word to describe how long the dead will be dead as they use to describe how long the living will be alive. For example:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal (eon) life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

The people who want to limit "eon" limit it only in select places that suit a preconceived argument.

So, when Matthew says:
Mt 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world (eon).

He seems to me to say that this age, this eon, will end with the destruction of the tares. In the next eon, there will be only the saved.

Or what does this verse mean?
Mr 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world (eon) to come eternal (eon) life.

If eon means a limited time, then the verse is really saying, "... in the age to come you will have life that ends with that age."

The Greeks well understood the concept of eternity. And this is the word they used to describe that concept. There is no other word that means "even longer, ageless age." You have "eon" and that's it. The 62 verses make it clear that there are ages that end and ages that do not, and there's no reason within the texts in question to assume that the age of hell in particular is limited.

Of course, as I've said before, I believe this age ends, and it ends with the destruction of the unbelievers.

karen said...

wow...this is all good stuff, I love it.
I'm going through your comments. Hmmm. I feel stupid.... :-)

CP...what's the point of evangelism if only some are saved? What's the point of spreading the good news if it doesn't apply to some? And, seriously, for me...if we don't have a choice in our salvation, what's the point? I could be talking to God every night, thinking I have a relationship with Him, and BOOM...off to Hades I go after falling into a hole. Frankly, with a God like that...I don't know if I'd want to be with him. I don't think He's like that.

What's the point of Jesus sending his disciples out to the Gentiles if salvation is already decided beforehand? The "sent ones" or apostles weren't necessary, and Paul's journeys would be pointless. God would already have instilled the belief in His saved.

The problem with free will to believe or not to be saved is that WE are the key to being saved. I agree that it isn't a free will thing, but for different reasons than you state. You say, if I'm correct, that it's already in our spirit to believe...those of us that might be saved. I say, we do have free will...but we could ALL be saved...because:
We aren't saved because we believe....we believe BECAUSE we are saved?

Re:
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

It does indeed sound to me like you have to believe to be saved which is contrary to what you said--you said it was the opposite?
If God gave us our belief, or has withheld it in others (Romans 11:8 and Romans 11:32..and Romans 9:)that indeed seems pretty meddlesome--and a very sad set-up.

karen said...

I'm still studying eon. :-)

Kansas Bob said...

CP wrote:

You wrote as a purely anti-predestinational post, but it's 100% true.

I believe in predestination ... that He predestines us based on his foreknowledge of our choices and actions.

Karen wrote:

The problem with free will to believe or not to be saved is that WE are the key to being saved.

Here in is the rub :) Calvinists(and others) believe so much in the depravity of man that they MUST exclude man when they think about the important things of the Spirit. It reduces man to a higher form of ape. Why not believe that we are created in God's very own image with the ability to be drawn (or not) to the Father?

It is what I mean when I say that we are not simply divine pets with no choice at all in the matter - we are more than pets ... we are gloriously made by an awesome God. I think that when we exclude man from any part in salvation we call man to a dark place where it is normal to liveout his depravity.

Then again who knows?

Missy said...

Ahhh... the chicken or the egg thing, again.

depravity: the quality of state of being depraved
depraved: to make morally bad or evil, or to be morally bad or evil


So was man made bad or does man make bad?

chris said...

I don't really want to get involved in this discussion, but it's cool that it is being discussed with kindness and dignity.

Milly said...

Chris feel free to hop in we are all family in this house so we can only be with kindness and dignity


I think that God involves us in evangelism because we need to be involved. Sure He’s God so He can shout it to us from the heavens to get the message to us, but He knows how we are and how we like to be involved. One thing that I learned in management of people is that they need ownership. You involve people in the company with profit sharing and stocks and they tend to take better care of the place. God knows our minds so He involved us. We are the ones who help bring others to Him. Why bother if some are and some aren’t? Because God predestined it.

As for talking to God one night and fall the next day, I don’t think so. Sure you can have horrible things happen to you that might anger you and leave you questioning God but to have God turn from you I don’t think so. Even when you at that moment might be angry with God. Now if you over the next few years harden your heart to Him then you aren’t going to heaven, God still knew it.

codepoke said...

Hey Karen,

I'm glad you got what you wanted out of this search. That's cool. I hope you don't mind if I continue to answer questions, though.

> what's the point of evangelism if only some are saved?

None are saved without evangelism. Quitting would be a very bad thing. God ordains people will be saved, but that does not mean they no longer have to be saved. It simply means that they will go ahead do it. Pregnancy always leads to birth, but the mother still has to spend hours in delivery.

> I could be talking to God every night, thinking I have a relationship with Him, and BOOM...off to Hades I go after falling into a hole.

??????

How did you happen upon this line of reasoning? "ALL who call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved." If the Lord has moved in your heart to cause you to want Him, He will finish the work He began in you. If you never called on Him yet, you still might some day. The day of grace is long. If you called on Him, though, you will certainly follow through to salvation. Nowhere does scripture threaten that anyone who calls on His Name will be "unchosen" by God. You are safe!

> What's the point of Jesus sending his disciples out to the Gentiles if salvation is already decided beforehand?

God doesn't create babies out of thin air, it takes a man and woman spending a little quality time together. Even so, God doesn't make Christians out of thin air. He uses His Word and people as preachers of it. When God ordained that you would be saved, He also ordained the scriptures that would turn your heart, and the people who would carry the Truth to you.

We MUST go forth and preach the gospel to ALL if perchance some might believe. That God knows what will happen is His business, not ours. Paul was ALREADY IN Corinth when the Spirit told him to be bold because there were many of his children in that city. On the one hand, we see that God knew exactly who of His was there, and on the other we see that Paul didn't know and still went to preach there.

> If God gave us our belief, or has withheld it in others (Romans 11:8 and Romans 11:32..and Romans 9:)that indeed seems pretty meddlesome--and a very sad set-up.

I don't understand this paragraph. It seems like you are quoting a number of verses explaining how God makes the key decision of salvation, and then saying there's a problem with God. Yes, those verses say explicitly that God decides to withhold grace from people that would enable them to believe. (You say God withholds belief "in" people. This is not what scripture says. There is no belief in people for God to withhold. He gives belief to His children, so you could almost say He withholds belief "from" people, but not in them. If it's there, He accepts it 100% of the time, but it only gets there because He puts it there.)

But why is this sad? God decided to save 6 billion people out of 6 billion people. He decided to save everyone He created. He knew them intimately before He ever created anything. He loved them. He then decided to allow sin to enter their lives for His own sovereign reasons. Along the way, another 10 billion people (that He never knew) ended up being born. He never reached out to them, because He never knew them. He still allows them to enjoy full and happy lives on earth. He sends His rain on all equally, but they were never His children, and never meant to be.

His children live drear lives, and fight the ravages of time, temptation and evil for 70 years each. Along the way, they learn to see the face of Him Who loved them. They find life in Him, and love for Him, and love for each other.

And at the end of 70 years, each of them goes home to find the One Who called and saved them.

Where's the meddling? God loved 6 billion and saves 6 billion. His plan never changed. He didn't start with 16 billion people and play eeeny-meeny-miny-moe, as someone recently put it. The tares were sown later, by the enemy.

codepoke said...

KB,

> It is what I mean when I say that we are not simply divine pets with no choice at all in the matter - we are more than pets ... we are gloriously made by an awesome God.

I agree with you again, Bob. I made a choice to love and accept God. I am not God's robot, with no free will. The difference between your view and mine is not to be found here.

We differ when I say I could not help but make that choice. After God revealed Himself to me in the spirit, I could not resist Him. Many babies turn away from their mother's breast the first time or two they try to nurse, but eventually every baby nurses. After I was born of the Spirit, I needed to believe on Jesus. It took me a couple shots to figure it out, but I got there.

God did not let me fail.

Again, no mother could ever allow her baby to fail to figure out how a breast works. She won't let that baby die for lack of interest in nursing. It simply cannot happen. But even if a mother could forget her child, our Father will not forget His perfect love for us. He will teach us perfectly to believe in His Son.

The fact that a mother will not allow her baby to turn away from his salvation, does not make that baby a pet. Even so, we are saved by believing, and we believe because He teaches us how. His teaching does not make us less human.

Kansas Bob said...

CP, when you say:

"I say I could not help but make that choice."

You redefine what choice is.

I'd be interested in your thoughts about people who say that they could not help but choose to do evil. How can they be held accountable for their actions when they are simply doing something that they have no control over.

karen said...

CP No problem....be patient with me!

She said/He said! ;-)

Karen: what's the point of evangelism if only some are saved?

CP:None are saved without evangelism. Quitting would be a very bad thing. God ordains people will be saved, but that does not mean they no longer have to be saved. It simply means that they will go ahead do it. Pregnancy always leads to birth, but the mother still has to spend hours in delivery.

Karen: Where does it say that none are saved without evangelism? No one "evangeled" me. My revelation was by Him, no one else. If God has picked out the number that will be saved, then it will happen--God's way--nothing anyone does would be by their own choice. With what you...and Milly just said ( if my heart becomes hardened, then God knew it would happen, and I won't go to heaven) then it just seems that we are indeed puppets, and God is watching His big play.

Karen: I could be talking to God every night, thinking I have a relationship with Him, and BOOM...off to Hades I go after falling into a hole.

CP: ??????

How did you happen upon this line of reasoning? "ALL who call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved." If the Lord has moved in your heart to cause you to want Him, He will finish the work He began in you. If you never called on Him yet, you still might some day. The day of grace is long. If you called on Him, though, you will certainly follow through to salvation. Nowhere does scripture threaten that anyone who calls on His Name will be "unchosen" by God. You are safe!

Karen: Apparently, not all who call upon the Lord...this verse about people with "non-saving" faith, that causes fear among Christians: Matthew 7:21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
So, only God knows --I (or many of us) could indeed die, thinking that we're going to heaven and not.

Karen:What's the point of Jesus sending his disciples out to the Gentiles if salvation is already decided beforehand?

CP: God doesn't create babies out of thin air, it takes a man and woman spending a little quality time together. Even so, God doesn't make Christians out of thin air. He uses His Word and people as preachers of it. When God ordained that you would be saved, He also ordained the scriptures that would turn your heart, and the people who would carry the Truth to you.

Karen: See, again.....this sounds like one big puppet show. We're all playing out our roles. I never looked at scripture like this.

CP: But why is this sad? God decided to save 6 billion people out of 6 billion people. He decided to save everyone He created. He knew them intimately before He ever created anything. He loved them. He then decided to allow sin to enter their lives for His own sovereign reasons. Along the way, another 10 billion people (that He never knew) ended up being born. He never reached out to them, because He never knew them. He still allows them to enjoy full and happy lives on earth. He sends His rain on all equally, but they were never His children, and never meant to be.

Where's the meddling? God loved 6 billion and saves 6 billion. His plan never changed. He didn't start with 16 billion people and play eeeny-meeny-miny-moe, as someone recently put it. The tares were sown later, by the enemy.

Karen: Not allowing people to do things their way is meddling and predestined. That would make Adam and Eve puppets because God knew what was going to happen. I can see where He knows everything that will happen to the end of time, but He doesn't MAKE it all happen, He KNOWS what will happen.
I absolutely bow to your scripture knowledge, but I don't get that the devil made PEOPLE like God does. God is the creator of humans. HE created human, male and female. Eve is the Mother of all Living...the seed of her is human...and the seed of the serpent is not. The "tares" are the demons who can possess people and "make like humans" but only God creates a man or a woman. I'm pretty sure my ignorance is showing, but I'll plow on...and the Holy Spirit isn't showing me that we have "podpeople" walking around in human flesh, although my evil neighbor might be a good example. And, yet, here's the odd thing....when I watch him mowing, or moving around with his angry face on....everything mean that he said to me flies away, and I can see pain in him, some hurt that made him cranky and mean, and I feel an incredible compassion well up in me and I pray for him, for his heart. This is one mean dude, and this compassion is not of ME. I don't believe that ol' mere me can feel more compassion than the Creator of our Universe who loves beyond all love! And He IS the Creator; satan is not. Satan is a liar, a slanderer, but not a creator of humans. He has power, but no authority.

Didn't Jesus tell us to forgive all of those who sin against us? So, if I am commanded by Christ to forgive all who have offended me, then why would it be unreasonable for God to do what He expects of me--and, of course, more? Wouldn't He be a hypocrite otherwise? He is not. Christ died for all of our sins. Apparently, though, there is one sin "undied" for...the sin of unbelief. So, the work at the cross wouldn't be complete (I think it is). When Jesus comes back, He will reign for a thousand years with His believers. What if this is what He was talking about when He said, "I am commissioned for the children of Israel only." Why do we ignore that statement? What if He means the nations as those who stand with Israel and are believers? His work wasn't for the Gentiles till after His resurrection. What if after the thousand years are over (eonian), that those who were hidden from Him (Hades) have been cleansed, paid their price, and all join God as He is the all in all? What if all evil is conquered? It has to be for Christ's victory. If there remains a hell, then the victory is not. The idea of hell for eternity would contitute it remaining in the universe. Maybe time is a factor only until we join with the Lord, as the all in all, then exist outside of time.

codepoke said...

KB,

> I'd be interested in your thoughts about people who say that they could not help but choose to do evil. How can they be held accountable for their actions when they are simply doing something that they have no control over.

Who said I was not accountable for my choosing? The choosing is real and effectual, and I have insisted so from the beginning.

So what about people who say I had no choice? Offenses must come, but woe unto him through whom they come.

codepoke said...

Hello again, Karen. :-)

Patient with you? I'm impressed at your patience with me! You started with one simple question, and I have expanded it into a much larger one.

> Where does it say that none are saved without evangelism?

Rom 10:14
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed ? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard ? and how shall they hear without a preacher ?


There are exceptions, but this is the verse I was thinking of when I typed my blanket statement.

> nothing anyone does would be by their own choice.

Choice is doing what you want to do. If you want to call on God, then isn't doing so your own choice? And if you want to call on God because you are suddenly spiritually alive, and suddenly see the world in a completely new way, does that make it not your choice? A baby chooses to nurse, right? But does he have a "real" choice? Sure he does. But he always makes the right choice once he knows what his mother can do.

> then it just seems that we are indeed puppets, and God is watching His big play.

Why does it have to be a play? Why can't it be a kingdom? When I read Isaiah, when I read Romans, when I read John; I see God declaring in no uncertain terms that He determines my fate. So why, if I choose to believe Him, do I have to consider myself a puppet?

Jesus says,
John 10:26-28
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.


Note why the people don't believe. They don't believe because they are not His sheep.

God did not make me a puppet. Sin made me a puppet. Again, Jesus says:
Joh 8:34
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
8:47
He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.


> Apparently, not all who call upon the Lord [will be saved.]

Let me treat this more as a real fear than as a doctrinal issue. I lived with terrrors myself for years before I began to understand what the Lord was saying. First, be assured that the Lord will not fail in His promise:
Acts 2:21
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.


Remind yourself of the parable of the seeds scattered along the path, among the weeds, in the rocks, and on the fertile soil. The seeds sprouted everywhere except on the path. But the seeds in the weeds and in the rocks sprung up and died. So, we know that there can be signs of life where there is no fruit.

The question is what happens when life rises up, and when the heat of tribulation is on you. Do you seek comfort in the salvation of this world, or in the Lord Jesus? You've survived a couple summers in your spiritual walk. It's time to rest and trust in Him. Really. You've labored to make your calling and election sure, and God has worked in you of His own good pleasure. And you have continued to call on Him.

It is a mistake for our pulpits to pretend that one prayer a salvation makes, but it is just as much a mistake to believe that we must doubt our salvation. The balanced approach is to learn to recognize fruit and labor to bear it in season and out - without fear. The wheat of the field does not worry about whether it is wheat. It just grows its little heart out.

> See, again.....this sounds like one big puppet show. We're all playing out our roles. I never looked at scripture like this.

Well, if nothing else, I've opened up a new way to read a bunch of verses for you. :-)

Let me do you a further disservice with John 3:
3:3
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
3:19&20
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.


Read John 3:1-20 over and over and over and notice that nowhere does it say the difference between the alive and dead is a decision. It says a man must be born again, and then it studiously avoids saying how that happens. Verse 15 says that every one that believes will have eternal life. That's different from saying every one that believes takes into himself eternal life.

It's not until John 6 that Jesus offers a bit of an explanation for how one becomes alive enough to believe.

6:33
For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.


> I absolutely bow to your scripture knowledge

I'd like to ignore this sentence, but that would not be right. Seriously, I'm not able to accept this compliment. I can point to many less gifted than me who know the scripture better. This is a point of shame for me, and I hope the Lord will be merciful to me.

> I don't get that the devil made PEOPLE like God does. God is the creator of humans.

I agree with you here. The devil did not make anyone. Still, God told Eve that she would have lots more babies than she would have had she obeyed Him. And Jesus did say:
Matt 13:38
The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

And
John 8:44
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.


> Didn't Jesus tell us to forgive all of those who sin against us?

Jesus told us to forgive all those who ask forgiveness of us, every time they ask. So, no, I don't believe Jesus is under any blanket self-restraint to forgive everyone. He is jealous of His holy Name, and will judge those who offend against Him.

I'm glad you put in your last paragraph, because you brought the discussion back to its origin with that. The original question was whether all would eventually come to submit to Christ. Would all taste the fruit of the Spirit, and eventually be forgiven? The scriptures are very clear that there will be a judgement, and that the guilty will not be excused. And ugly men everywhere hold a disgusting kind of glee in believing that those more beautiful than they will be condemned to hell forever while they get into heaven because they held to right doctrines. There should be no joy in a sinner's death for anyone .

Still, I cannot accept that all will eventually go to heaven.

The word, "eon," is used to describe how long the sinners will be dead, but it is also used to describe how long the righteous will be alive, and how long God will be glorious. One cannot be shortened without shortening the others.

Rev
1:6 ... to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever
4:9 ... who liveth for ever and ever,
14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever:
15:7 ... God, who liveth for ever and ever.
20:10 And the devil ... shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
22:5 ... and they shall reign for ever and ever.


It's the same words used by the same author in the same book. I see no way around the conclusion that eon is not necessarily a limited amount of time. And when the leverage around that word fades away, the argument does too.

You asked a very tough question, and got a whole lot more back than I think you bargained for. I hope, in the end, you see things the way I do, but because I think you will find more peace in this view than any other. No matter what, I'm glad that you are digging and finding treasures in Him.

May the Lord continue to bless your search.