When we teach or believe that our Maker will ultimately torment forever, or annihilate one single soul, we have judged our Maker as imperfect. We say that His intentions were good and that He purposed for us to be in His likeness. He declared, "let us make man in Our Image," but, somehow, things got short circuited. He then had to either eternally separate this imperfect image from His personal self, or He had to just disintegrate it. This makes Him become the builder mentioned in one of Jesus' parables of the man who started to build but couldn't finish or the one who went to battle without the resources to win. This doctrine says that ,somehow, the Creator of the Universe didn't have everything all figured out, and as a result, ends up short of His goal. The truest definition of sin is to "fall short" or "miss the mark." Our great Creator said, "Let us make man in Our Image" and fell short of His gigantic undertaking.
Religious man will never admit it, but when we say someone is going to hell or will be annihilated, we are judging the Creator. That person we condemn is His workmanship. When we created rules, creeds, articles of faith, which declared the "unrighteous" are consigned to eternal punishment or annihilation, we have just created an eternal garbage heap, a place where God can dump those vessels He couldn't perfect. It is one thing for a man to attempt something and fail, but it is an entirely different thing for blind religious men to say that God will fail, yet the doctrine of eternal punishment and annihilation does just that. Our God becomes a failure, which is just another word for sinner.
Our problem is really one of short-sightedness and self-projection. We see so much error in our lives and in the lives of others that our entire way of thinking is just saturated with images of imperfection. We naturally created images of God which are imperfect. We create Him in our image. We who are still being perfected, incomplete, look at all the other vessels around us that are also incomplete and imperfect and come to imperfect judgments about He who is doing the completing. We judge His creation before it is complete. We who are being created find ourselves judging He who is creating us. "Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand." (Romans 14:4) Be careful who you call "God's servant." The Bible is full of unbelievers who have been used by God as servant's against His own people.
The Scriptures warn many times, "do not judge before the time," but we ignore the warnings. Not only do we judge His creatures, but we judge Him also. When trying to get people saved by using the typical Roman Road scriptures, we usually say, "He did everything that He could, He gave His only Son to die for you," implying that if you reject this offer, God has no other means to bring you to salvation. Salvation becomes man's choice. If somehow, after hearing some self-righteous hypocrite preach their "so-called Gospel" and the sinner rejects this religious person's offer, God has no other choice but to toast him. Most sinners have been around long enough and have seen enough to know that the so-called "free gift" offered by churches has all kinds of strings attached to it. The "free gift" of salvation from most churches is anything but free, and the "eternal life" that is promised is anything but eternal. Most churches teach that one can lose their "eternal life." Almost all churches with the exception of just a few denominations teach that Christians can lose their salvation. How foolish! How can one lose "eternal" life. If you got it when you were born-again, how can one undo "eternal life?" Either it is eternal or it isn't. Most people in the world can see through these kind of deceptive practices and so are not so quick to accept the church's so called "gift." Unscriptural tithes, making people listen to dull sermons, all kinds of weird rituals, etc. usually go along with the "free gift." As Abraham Lincoln, a great man of God who avoided churches once said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Abe believed in the salvation of all mankind through Jesus Christ.
Now the Calvinists have gotten around this problem of calling God's workmanship imperfect by declaring that He planned from the beginning to roast most of mankind. His plans weren't short-circuited by our free will or Satan. God's premeditated plan included the exquisite sufferings of the hoards of humanity. This premeditated "hell" which He purposed for most of His creatures also included ample room for infants and children. Their lot is the fiery barbecue of the universe, called according to Presbyterian theology as their "just dessert." I use their words, not mine. I make no apology in saying that this theology concocted by Augustine and revived by John Calvin, which has been perpetuated by Baptists, Reformed, Presbyterian and other denominations, is one of the most repugnant stains ever spilled on the precious white robe of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is impossible to love such an image of God. Calvinists, in general, become incapable of expressing true love. They end up loving law and order and their perverted sense of "justice." This kind of image of God makes one try to look good on the outside with rules like "can't drink, cuss, or smoke," but the hearts of those who embrace this doctrine are full of gross darkness and all kinds of evil. John Calvin had a man roasted to death on slow-burning wood because of a difference of opinion on the concept of the Godhead. This doctrine produces murders, either physically as in the case of John Calvin, or murderers of the heart.
Perhaps part of our problem stems from the fact that there seems to be so much imperfection around us. We have been taught that after death comes the judgment. We can see nothing between death and judgment. In addition, our view of the judgment of our Maker is generally very negative. Part of this stems from that fact that many Bible translations have taken neutral Greek words like "krisis" and "krima" that simply refer to a judicial decision which can be either positive or negative, and have assigned a negative connotation to them when dealing with God's judgments. There are no grounds whatsoever for translating these words into English words such as "damnation," but leading Bibles such as the King James Bible have done this despite voices from scholars that this is improper translating. Better leading Bibles are beginning to translate according to the text instead of according to tradition. The "tradition of the elders" is slowly being driven out of Bible translations. We forget how far into darkness the church was plunged in the middle ages. We haven't come as far out of our that superstition and darkness as we think we have. Words such as "damnation," "hell," "eternal," "forever," "torment," etc. are beginning to retranslated in accordance to the original meaning instead of medieval Roman Catholic theology. Better translating has revealed a much more powerful and loving God and has removed much of the fear, superstition, and contradictions in many of our older translations.
We have consumed many doctrines dealing with what happens after death. Most of these doctrines did not originate from early Christianity, but from ancient paganism which was brought into the church through the Romanizing of it several hundred years after the first basic church was formed. These pagan concepts do not declare the "full counsel of God," but declare the height of ignorance of the dark twisted carnal mind.
The Scriptures boldly declare that all His creation is good (Gen. 1:31), His mercy endures forever (Psalm 136). This one Psalm alone declares His mercy endures forever no less than 26 times. When will we begin to believe it!? The Scriptures declare that God is Love (1 John 4:8), His love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8), His mercy will triumph over judgment (James 2:13), He kills, but is able to make alive again (Deut 32:39), He is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2), we are His workmanship (Eph. 2:10). I can go on and on citing Scriptures declaring His authority, sovereignty, love and mercy. He is ever present; though you make your bed in Sheol (death or hell), He is there (Psalm 139:8), He has death and hell's keys (Rev. 1:18), He is Lord of the living and the dead (Rom. 14:9), and He came to set the prisoners free (Eph. 4:8, 1 Pet. 3:19). All power, authority, and things (including people) have been given into Jesus' hands. He said He would lose none of it (John 6:39). Most of the church has declared Him a liar. We will see one day who is the liar.
Though He may have to burn up most of our works, nevertheless, we will be saved so as through fire (1 Cor. 3:15). Burning up our filthy religious works such as scaring people away from Him through creating false images of Him and His judgments is much different than burning up an individual's body and soul. Yes, the flames that will burn up the horrible and evil concepts which religious Christians have dreamed up in their dark carnal minds and the effects these doctrines have had upon the poor children of our Maker will produce a mighty hot fire. His anger will most assuredly devour all false images of Him. When this is accomplished, this scripture will come true: "To this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.' So then each of us shall give account of himself to God." (Rom. 14:9-12) And again: "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:9-11) No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. Can you say, Amen?