Saviour of All Fellowship
January 2003

Dear Friends in Faith,
     We begin a new year with thanksgiving to our God and Father through our Lord, Jesus Christ, for all of you.
    This is in view of God’s gift to you of reliance on Him as the living God Who is the Saviour of all mankind. What an uplift it gives us to know that you share this blessing with us.
    We feel that those who oppose what seems to us to be clearly revealed in Scripture in such passages as Romans 5:18,19, 1 Corinthians 15:22-28, Colossians 1:13-20 and 1 Timothy 2:4,6; 4:10, ought to be answered. But doing so, especially when the arguments are based more on appeals to prejudice and emotion than careful consideration of the evidence, requires a great deal of patience and wisdom and grace, which we certainly do not possess in ourselves. Hence, in replying to such criticism, we look to God for a spirit of “power and of love and of sanity” (2 Tim.1:7).
    For instance, recently a friend requested our assistance in replying to a criticism of our teaching which is made on a certain web site. This particular critic, Don Hewey, reasons that “if ‘aion’ is temporary” then such matters as God’s wisdom and glory (1 Tim.1:17) must be temporary, and he charges that we contradict ourselves when we maintain that the life and glory of God are endless.
    It certainly does not follow that if something is described as lasting for a temporary period, it therefore cannot exist beyond that period. Because the eons are temporary does not mean that everything related to the eons must be temporary. As our friend, Jim Coram, recently pointed out, the fact that some live and reign with Christ a thousand years (Rev.20:4) does not mean that they will not live in the new creation.
    “The thousand years have a beginning and an end. So also does an eon. Neither expression can mean “forever.” That is what we are claiming. But we do not claim that the term “thousand years” means that everything that lasts a thousand years must end when the thousand years is over. To be sure, things described as lasting for a thousand years or for an eon obviously can end. The fumes of torment described in Revelation 14:11 as ascending for the eons of the eons will indeed end, but this is not because of the meaning of the Greek word aion (though it is allowed by the meaning of that word); it is because God achieves the reconcilation of all through the blood of Christ’s cross (Col.1:20) that we know torment will not last forever. It is only when the words “the eons of the eons” are taken as meaning “for ever and ever” that the Scriptures are made to contradict themselves. It is the contradiction in the King James Version between passages like Colossians 1:20 and Revelation 14:11 and 20:10 that needs to be faced on Don Hewey’s web site.
    “Many years ago, A. E. Knoch responded to a similar criticism by exclaiming, “Oh, the sordid selfishness of soulish saints!” He was reacting to the claim that condemnation must be eternal in order for salvation to be eternal. Our readers will understand Brother Knoch’s dismay at the false appeals in many of his critics’ arguments. We pray God may give us grace in dealing with such accusations. For we are concerned that all who wish to honor God may experience the joy and peace of knowing Him as the Saviour of all mankind.

Yours in God’s grace and peace,
Dean Hough and Tony Nungesser

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