Pat's Paragraphs

January 2017

Dear Friends,

2017! How can it be that 2016 flew by so quickly!? I wonder if that’s how it’ll be when Jesus comes – maybe what seems to be taking such a long time right now will seem very fast when we see Him in the clouds. Then we’ll understand His words, “Behold, I come quickly!”

You must count the days like I do. Each year’s burden of grief and heartache makes us long more intensely for Jesus’s coming. But our heartache must be but a drop in the bucket to His – these are His dearly-beloved children suffering, abandoned, rejected, persecuted, addicted, hating, selfish.

Yet how often God is blamed for these woes, as though He caused them all.

Friends, you and I get to demonstrate to the world and the universe that God is not the bad guy! We verify that God is love. Maybe you don't feel very able or worthy, talented or helpful. Maybe you can’t do something grand. But there is something mighty you can do. You can love. 
  • “Love is power. Intellectual and moral strength are involved in this principle, and cannot be separated from it… the excellence and value of pure love consist in its efficiency to do good, and to do nothing else but good. Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful; for God measures more with how much love one worketh, than the amount he doeth. Love is of God.  (Ellen White, RH May 11, 1886)
What does that love look like? You see it in the widow with her two mites, in Mary with her fragrant ointment, in Rahab, and the widow of Zarephath, and the boy who shared his five loaves and two fishes.

In the very near future my daughter, her husband and their three little boys will be moving to another country to live God’s love. They’ll be in a place where very few know Jesus as the Son of God, and where God Himself is greatly misunderstood. We need not wonder how one small family can love enough, because we know that “whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful.”

Neither need you wonder how someone as small or unimportant as you can reveal God, because He has promised that “pure love, be it ever so little…is wholly fruitful.”

None of us can touch everyone, but all of us can touch someone. With the mind of Christ, we Love.

In 2017 we at LLT are focusing on the unique characteristics of God’s love as they relate to death. We’ll talk about His Justice, His Immortality, His treatment of the lost, His plan for eternal life, the Judgment, the soul, the first and the second deaths, and more. We will show that in relation to sin and its effects, He truly is Love. We crave your prayers and support, and we want you to use these tools we are preparing.

Wishing you His best blessings, His presence, His heart of love and His empowering Spirit in 2017.

In Christ,

Pat Arrabito
Twisted Philosophy vs. God's Word

SUICIDES IN HELL?

Arguments over the character of God can often drift away from the meaning and interpretation of sacred scriptures. Ideas of traditional philosophers lead to debates about the nature of life and death and the eternal future, which often result in confusing conclusions with no resolution and agreement.

Here at LLT we are Conditionalists and, more formally, Annihilationists. This generally means that we believe in the holistic nature of man – not a body-soul dualism but a body-soul unity. We believe that death is an unconscious state, not a semi-conscious existence in any form, any where. We believe that eternal life is possible only through Jesus Christ, and that those who reject Him will suffer annihilation. In other words, the eventual fate of the “lost” is oblivion.

Yet even among our fellow Annihilationists there are some differing views and philosophies. Here are a couple of such ideas:

  • One view, from outside our particular faith community, sees a hell where conscious torment causes such agony and hopelessness that sinners eventually commit suicide – their doorway to oblivion.

  • Another view considers death ("oblivion") to be the natural result of sin, in that “goodness” and “being,” are bound together in the natural human state. Evil is a negative force that erodes “goodness” away. For the “lost,” this eroding process continues in hell until all “goodness” is completely gone; then “being” – which cannot exist without “goodness”­– is annihilated. This is called the “privation” argument.  

As you can see, Annihilationist philosophers have come up with some rather novel ideas, but these fall far short of clear answers to the big questions about life, death, and the hereafter. Aside from an honest and intelligent application of sacred scripture, there is no authoritative answer. Twisted philosophy cannot trump the Word of God.


--Jim Wood

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