For most of us who were religionfied our minds have been brainwashed and conditioned to understand the word perish means eternal punishment in the torture chamber of a fiery hell. But is that what it really means? I think not and here is why.

Jesus used the same Greek word for perish in reference to Himself. In Luke 13:33, Jesus said, “Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.” Jesus clearly isn’t using this word in the sense of eternal suffering in hell fire. He is referring to oppression and likely using it to refer to His own death.

Three times in the gospel of John Jesus uses this word perish in connection with,  but not meaning eternal life. He uses this word in contrast of eternal life. His use of the phrase eternal life means to speak of the quality of God’s life that we can have in the here-and-now when we believe in Jesus. Therefore, to perish means not exhibiting God’s life working through us in the here and now.
In John 3:16, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

In John 6:27, Jesus said, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.”

In John 10:28, Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

Even though the vast majority of people perish (not living revealing the Spirit of Chist's life), Jesus has been “appointed heir of all things” by God (Hebrews 1:2). In order for Jesus to reconcile all people...remember God is the Father of all people therefore no one can be eternally, fully, completely destroyed. Therefore, they all will be purified by the fire of is ALL consuming LOVE.

Therefore, 2 Peter 3:9-10 says, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that done on it will be exposed.” Peter goes on to say that “the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn.”

This burning of the heavens and the earth is the full and final purification of them. Therefore, “according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

So, Jesus says if we do not repent then we will perish. As we suffer under oppression, we need to repent...not saying the "sinner's prayer" to get saved from hell...but, so we can experience eternal life of Christ in the here and now. If we do not repent, then we will be subject to God’s purifying and cleansing fire which reconciles us to God.


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