Those who are perishing

When I looked into his eyes I saw the horror and despair of a life full of pain. He sat there in his grubby clothes, stained from urine and snot from a runny nose. His eyes were yellowed where they should have been white and they were weeping but not with tears. He had run out of red wine and cigarettes and was waiting for the next welfare payment to arrive. No one comes to see him, no one.

I asked him why he drinks so much, why is he trying to kill himself by alcohol? And he said it is because of the voices in his head…”I hear voices”, he said.

It is the mainstream Christian view that the Gospel is all about where you go AFTER you have died. But the man I wrote about above is already perishing right now. The Gospel is always about RIGHT NOW.

Today is the day of salvation!! This man is already perishing even while he lives.  The Gospel if believed reverses this condition and imparts LIFE immediately and for the Ages to come.

John 3:16 is referring to a present possession

You can have aionian life now or you can continue perishing in unbelief….this is the true meaning of John 3:16.

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have(ἔχω
echō) everlasting life.
 

Joh 3:17  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 
Joh 3:18  “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

The King James and New King James has “whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life”

The Greek word ἔχω – echō translated here as have  is most frequently translated as “to possess” according to Vines Dictionary—so–shall not perish but possess everlasting life. If it is true that we shall possess (aionian zoe) ‘everlasting’ life then by not believing what are we possessing? Condemnation!! Those who do not believe now, in this life, are ALREADY CONDEMNED (verse 18).  They are already condemned whereas those who believe are in possession of life. He who has the son has life he who does not have the son of God does not have life but the wrath of God abides upon him.

The Concordant Version shows beautifully how the Good News of Jesus effects the here and NOW

John 3:15 that everyone believing on Him should not be perishing, but may be having life eonian.
16 For thus God loves the world, so that He gives His only-begotten Son, that everyone who is believing in Him should not be perishing, but may be having life eonian.
17 For God does not dispatch His Son into the world that He should be judging the world, but that the world may be saved through Him.
18 He who is believing in Him is not being judged; yet he who is not believing has been judged already, for he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.

It is common for Christians when they read John 3:16 and see the words perish and perishing…as opposed to everlasting life that they automatically read it as HELL and Heaven….

So their interpretation reads like this in their minds…

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not die and go to hell but go to heaven when they die. (OCV-unofficial church version)

It does not do much good to believe in a hereafter whether that be a Hell or a Heaven when your present life is Hellish.

When Jesus came and walked among men it was for the sole purpose of destroying the works of the Devil.

Mar 1:38  But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” John 12:27  “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 1Jn 3:8  He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Every time Jesus preached it was so that people would believe the Good News about Him. In believing they ceased perishing and entered into Life in His name. Since the Cross and Jesus Resurrection this is actual and real!

All people are perishing until they believe in Jesus Christ. The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who ARE PERISHING lest they believe.

2Co 4:3  But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing
2Co 4:4  whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 

The Gospel was written by the Apostles so that we may see what God has done and so believe.

John 20:31  but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

 The Life that we receive is not a TICKET TO HEAVEN UP THERE!! The Life is JESUS HIMSELF! You receive JESUS as Life in your spirit when you believe the good news. While you are yet perishing you do NOT HAVE JESUS as your Life. Instead you have another master living in your spirit giving you a FALSE LIFE– which God identifies as PERISHING.

The thief only comes to kill, to steal and to destroy. That is the false life you possess if you do not have Jesus Christ.

Does that mean you are eternally lost to God if you die in such a state? The church would say so.

John 3:16 has been used to support the belief that perish means to be eternally lost. The reasoning is based upon the last  phrase…”shall not perish but have everlasting life”. But as I showed above the true rendering of the Greek makes the meaning a present reality for those who are not believing versus those who are believing.

John 3:15″…that everyone believing on Him should not be perishing, but may be having life eonian.” Concordant version

And more importantly in regards to this question of being eternally lost…or eternally perishing if we die without believing in Jesus..is to see the phrase life eonian.

In my view the wrong translation of aion, aionian and aionios by the translators in the 16th century is a monstrous TARE sewn by the enemy to blaspheme and turn many hearts away from the LOVING FATHER.

Life eonian is NOT EVERLASTING LIFE!! Eonian does not mean forever. Eonian means for an age—or –pertaining to an age. Eon means Age, and the adjective eonian means pertaining to an age. Whether that age is short or long we do not know, but it is still an age of TIME…and not ETERNITY which is outside of time and not even in the same sphere at all. 

If Life eonian is for an AGE…then dear one, PERISHING in UNBELIEF is also limited to an age of time.

God has sworn by HIMSELF that all shall be saved in the end. It may be a long long time before every knee willingly bows before Jesus, but it shall happen.

There will be a resurrection of all the dead. Those who died without Jesus shall yet come to believe through the same Gospel message as we have. You no doubt find this unbelievable. I encourage you to see every occurrence of the TIME words aion, aionian and aionios for yourself. See limited duration….do not see everlasting. If you see this you will come to see that you have been believing a monstrous thing about God which He never intended nor did it ever enter His mind. God is merciful and kind, yet He chastens all those who are His….and guess what…ALL ARE HIS!

 

Author: Dennis Rhodes

Perfect in Christ

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