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Thursday, 17 October 2013

More Spiritual Insanity: Charles Stanley Declares that the “Outer Darkness” and “Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth” Is NOT A Description of Hell!

More Spiritual Insanity: Charles Stanley Declares that the “Outer Darkness” and “Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth” Is NOT A Description of Hell!

The topic of the eternal security of the believer is an interesting topic indeed. In this short article I examine the teaching of Charles Stanley (Atlanta, GA) and compare it with the simple teaching of Jesus Christ regarding those who are cast into the furnace of fire.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)

This is a very interesting passage of scripture. The Jewish apostle Paul, the same one who was converted on the road to Damascus, and a former murderer of Christians, wrote those words. Paul knew what it was like to be deceived. Paul was a Jewish Pharisee, and if one were to examine his life they would probably find an extremely moral man. One might even call him “holy”, but in the sight of God he was religious but lost! He did not know the true and living God until he met Him that day on the road to Damascus.

Keep that in mind whenever you read the letters of Paul, because you are hearing from a man who was ever so grateful for the mercy shown to him on that day. His desire was that others would come out of deception and come to know Jesus Christ. In the passage above, which is from the first letter that Paul wrote to Timothy, Paul tells us that the Spirit had spoken, that in the latter times [the latter days] there would be some who would depart from the faith, and give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines [teachings] of devils.

The Greek word for DEPART in that passage is the word APHISTEMI and it is defined as follows: To remove, instigate to revolt, to desist, desert, depart, draw [fall] away, refrain, withdraw self.
Now is this talking about people who truly knew the Lord at one time, or is it talking about those who merely professed to be saved, but in reality they were lost.

The passage above is talking about GENUINE believers in Jesus Christ, who get seduced by false teachers, and their doctrines, and depart from the faith.

1] An UNSAVED man cannot depart from the faith, because they never had faith to begin with.
2] Why on earth would the Holy Spirit [of truth] come forth with a warning about the UNSAVED departing from the faith?
3] How can the UNSAVED be seduced away from a place of faith that they were never at to begin with?
4] Why would the devil come with his doctrines to seduce the UNSAVED, who he already holds captive at his will? [2 Timothy 2:26]

Taking The Warnings Seriously

It is spiritually dangerous to attempt to make the scriptures say something that they are not saying. An example of what can happen, when you try to make the scriptures fit your own preconceived theology, can be found here:

In the book of Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus spoke about the parable of the talents. He is speaking on the subject of the ”Kingdom of Heaven”. Jesus shows us the fate of the “unprofitable servant” in the following verse from that passage:

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30)

INTERPRETATION: CHARLES STANLEY

Charles Stanley, the well known Pastor and media minister from Atlanta, Georgia, said this concerning that same passage of scripture:
Pastor Charles Stanley
Here is Matthew 25:30 as it is found in the King James version of the Bible:
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30)

This is what Pastor Charles Stanley had to say regarding Matthew 25:30 which is the last verse in the “parable of the talents.”

“The final verse of this parable is so severe that many commentators assume it is a description of hell. It is not.

Stop the clock right there folks. Charles Stanley just made an incredible statement in his best selling book “Eternal Security” when he said that Matthew 25:30 is NOT a description of Hell. When you study the scriptures for yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, (John 16:13) I assure you that you will see that Matthew 25:30 is most certainly a description of Hell. I assure you that the very point that Jesus Christ was making in that parable was that people can TURN away from the Lord and end up in Hell. You have a choice to make here. You can CHOOSE to believe the words of a mere man by the name of Charles Stanley, or you can CHOOSE to believe the words of the infallible Son of God who came down from Heaven to save mankind! Charles Stanley went on to say the following in his book:

“Where is this place represented by the ‘outer darkness’ in Jesus’ parables? To be in the ‘outer darkness’ is to be in the kingdom of God but outside the circle of men and women whose faithfulness on this earth earned them a special rank or position of authority. The ‘outer darkness’ represents not so much an actual place as it does a sphere of influence and privilege.”
Concerning the ”gnashing of teeth” Charles Stanley goes on to say that these people were
“extremely frustrated with themselves” and
“As some are celebrated for their faithfulness, others will gnash their teeth in frustration…” And
“we do not know how long this time of rejoicing and sorrow will last. Those whose works are burned up will not weep and gnash their teeth for eternity.”
[Charles Stanley: Eternal Security, Can You Be Sure? Pages 124-127]

So according to Charles Stanley there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in the outer darkness of Heaven! I don’t know about you but the place that he is describing sure sounds a lot like Hell to me.

Do you know why? BECAUSE IT IS HELL!

INTERPRETATION: JESUS CHRIST


If you read the full parable in Matthew 25:14-30 you will see that the Lord Jesus Christ referred to the ‘unprofitable servant’ as “WICKED” in Matthew 25:26
Are the WICKED going to enter the kingdom of Heaven along with the faithful? Not according to Jesus Christ, the creator of all things.

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the WICKED from among the just, And shall cast them into the FURNACE OF FIRE: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:49-50)

Jesus said that the WICKED were going to be cast into the “furnace of fire” and that is where there is going to be ‘wailing and gnashing of teeth.’

The Greek word for WICKED in Matthew 25:26 is the word PONEROS and it is the very same Greek word used in Matthew 13:49 describing those people whom Jesus said would be cast into the “furnace of fire”.
The Greek word for WEEPING in Matthew 25:30 is the word KLAUTHMOS and it is the very same Greek word used for WAILING in Matthew 13:50 describing those people who Jesus said would be cast into the “furnace of fire”.

The Greek word for GNASHING in Matthew 25:30 is the word BRUGMOS and it is the very same Greek word that is used in Matthew 13:50 describing those whom Jesus said would be cast into the ”furnace of fire”.

Are there people weeping and gnashing their teeth in Heaven?

When a Christian shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the unsaved, should they tell them that they have a choice between Heaven or Hell, as to where they can wail and gnash their teeth?
The answer to the questions above are obviously an emphatic NO!
In fact the whole idea of wailing and gnashing of teeth in Heaven is ludicrous.

The apostle Paul was truly speaking in the Spirit, all those years ago, when he told us that some “shall depart from the faith”, but the question is this: Is anybody listening?
On the back cover of the classic book on this subject, “LIFE IN THE SON” by Robert Shank, the following is written:

“Are the proof passages used to support eternal security possibly misconstrued? Dr. Shank convincingly argues that the question confronting us is not, Is the believer secure? but rather, What does it mean to be a believer? If apostasy is an actual peril for every Christian, the Scriptural warning passages must be frankly accepted rather than interpreted into irrelevance or circumvented by theological hypothesis.”
“LIFE IN THE SON” by Robert Shank was also endorsed by Dr. William Adams of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.