Saviour of All Fellowship
February 2005

Dear Friends in Faith,
     Tony prepared our January newsletter, but now he is in California helping Jim and Suella Coram at the Concordant Publishing Concern until February 19. In the meantime I am working here in Michigan, mostly on the Concordant Version of the Old Testament project. (We are preparing the Latter Prophets, Isaiah through Malachi, for publication sometime this year, hopefully in the spring or early summer.)
     The weekend Tony returns is when our friend Bob Evely (phone: 859-858-3652) is hosting a Bible conference in Nicholasville, Kentucky, February 18-20. My wife Gisela and I plan to be there and are looking forward to the fellowship with other friends and believers who rejoice in the truth of the reconciliation of all.
     I am planning to speak on the subject of God’s Righteousness, which is also the theme of an article I prepared for the January Unsearchable Riches magazine. I have come to the conclusion that it is almost as impossible to understand what the Scriptures say about God’s righteousness as it is to understand the subject of God’s Love, if the truth of the salvation of all mankind is not recognized. Even in the Old Testament, God’s righteousness is often identified with His works of salvation. Psalm 98:1-3 and Isaiah 46:13 and 59:16,17 are good examples. Of course His works of judgment are righteous as well, as these passages also testify, but if His judgment leads to everlasting torment or annihilation, the whole issue of God’s righteousness is made confusing and mysterious, to say the least.
     It is a great tragedy for us that God’s indignation and judgment are still viewed as final things. In academic theology such matters are treated under the heading, “eschatology,” which means the study of last things. Also in popular thinking, even where there is an expressed desire to take the Scriptures seriously, the concept of condemnation to everlasting hell or annihilation as the result of the judgment of “the wicked” is widely taken for granted.
     In his article entitled, “The Appreciation of God,” A. E. Knoch wrote: “The overwhelming glory of God’s grand ultimate has been utterly wrecked by current unbelief, and the substitution of such a fearful future for God as the annihilation of the bulk of His creatures, or their far more heartless and hideous torment for all eternity . . . . Here we have the great contrast between man’s miserable self-made destinies and God’s grand and gracious goal. Man’s not only destroys God’s creatures, but undermines His deity and robs Him of the appreciation of His heart’s handiwork. God’s goal not only upholds His deity but gives His creatures such confidence in Him that all concern as to His love and power disappears.”
     The Scriptures clearly present God’s righteousness in firm association with His work of salvation and justification (see Rom.1:17; 3:21,22). Through the righteous obedience of Jesus Christ in His death for sinners, all mankind will ultimately enjoy justification and be constituted righteous (Rom.5:18,19). God righteously locks up all in stubbornness that He may be merciful to all (Rom.11:32).

To Him be the glory!

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

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