Saviour of All Fellowship
March 2003

Dear Friends in Faith,
    First of all, we need to correct our announcement of the conference in Willard, Ohio, this coming June. It will be held the second weekend of June rather than the first, that is, June 13-15.
    We enjoyed the “First Annual Kentucky Conference” sponsored by Grace Evangel Fellowship (P.O. Box 6, Wilmore KY 40390) on February 22. It was a full day with a total of twelve talks on the theme “Recognizing Christ as the Ultimate Saviour of All.”
    Among the speakers was Phil Scranton of Corydon, Indiana, who pointed out some contradictions arising from the words “eternal” and “everlasting” in our common English translations. For instance, we read of an everlasting covenant (Lev.24:8) which is to be replaced by a new covenant (Jer.31:31-33), and of the earth abiding forever (Ecc.1:4; Psa.78:69; 104:5), but also passing away (Matt.24:35; Heb.1:10,11). He commented: “If the Bible is inspired by God, and I believe it is, then there can be no contradictions in it. If the Bible is inspired by God, and yet we find contradictions in it, the source of the contradiction must be in our understanding or in man’s translation. There can be no contradiction in the original texts.”
    Other speakers outlined the eons and drew attention to such passages as Ephesians 1:10,11; Romans 5:12-19; and 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.
    As mentioned last month, our March conference will be held at the Pilgrim Manor chapel, 2000 Leonard St.NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the 15th and 16th. The theme will be: “Seeking That Which is Above” (Col.3:1).
    Several readers have drawn our attention to J. I. Packer’s article entitled, “Hell’s Final Enigma,” in Christianity Today, for April 22, 2002. Packer begins with an expression of sorrow over his loved ones who do not share his faith in Christ, but it ends with the conclusion that when we are “fully conformed to the character and outlook of Jesus our Lord” in the future, “love and pity for hell’s occupants will not enter our hearts.” How different from Paul, who suffered unintermittent pain in his heart over the opposition to Christ of his relatives according to the flesh (Rom.9:1-5), but was given grace to see the fullness of Christ’s love (Rom.5:18,19; 2 Cor.5:14; Phil.2:5-11; 1 Tim.1:15; 2:4,6; 4:10). Hence Paul exulted in the conclusion that God locks all up together in stubbornness so that He may be merciful to all (Rom.11:32). And then he was immediately led to the great word of praise to God, found in Romans 11:33-36, seeing that out of God, and through Him and for Him is all: to Him be the glory for the eons! Amen!
    We hear of others who defend the concept of everlasting damnation as an exhibition of divine justice in view of heinousness of defiance and rejection of the Lord. But the good news is that God gave His Son to die for the sins of all mankind living in rebellion. The sins of humanity have been died for. Therefore, based solely upon that, it would be a travesty of justice for God to torture anyone forever for what Christ already died for. The idea of everlasting hell makes a mockery of Christ’s death.

Yours in God’s grace and peace,

Dean Hough and Tony Nungesser

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