|4 Esdras 9:11-12 |
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11 And those who have loathed my law, while they yet had liberty, and when as yet the opportunity of repentance was open to them, understood not, but despised it; [The law includes the law that is on every man's heart.]
12 The same must learn it after death by pain.2 [There is a forced repentance for those banned from heaven and sent to the outer darkness of Hell. Pain is used to rid a man from sins: The pain of a wound cleanses away evil, so do stripes purge the inward parts [including the heart] of man. Pro 20:30.]
2 The same must learn it after death by pain. The law of God is written on every man's heart. We must learn to live by God's law in this life, or we must learn to live by God's law after death by pain. In this life or the next, we have to: a) discover the bitterness of the passions and pleasures that our hearts desire, and b) over time suffer the consequences of our passions and pleasures, while longing to have them removed by desperately seeking the grace of God to be changed. From the Word of the Lord within: "so they must pass through the earth wise," or else, you must learn about good and evil the hard way, in Hell with pain. You cannot receive wisdom by reading a book; you must be taught by the Holy Spirit: the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor 2:14.
This passage is one of the few that shows Hell is not eternal torture, rather it has a purpose — to teach us, to correct us. God is Love. Love corrects. Love disciplines. But Love restores. Love never fails. Do you honestly think God created us so he could punish and torture us forever? If you do, you have grossly underestimated his power, his forethought, his mercy, his kindness, his compassion, and most of all — his LOVE. The purpose of life is to find God, and his purpose will not be thwarted. He values every life. We are his creation, and he loves all of us. We all are one. Every person you see will eventually be your brother, reconciled to God, after being purified with removal of our lusts, affections, selfishness, addictions, and pride. See Is There Hope for All for more on this subject.
Until we have learned from the Holy Spirit teaching us what is the true gospel, the true hope, love vs. lust, sin vs. righteousness, turmoil vs. peace, humility vs. pride, good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, bitter vs. sweet; which process teaches us to hate anything evil and love all good, we would not even enjoy heaven because we would long for our addictions that are not available there. Jesus told us the same in the parable: No one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires the new wine, for he will say, 'The old wine is better.' Luke 5:39. A man must crucify his lusts and affections on the inward cross of self-denial before he can enjoy fellowship in the heavens.