A Biblical Explanation (Let Scripture interpret Scripture):
Please be wise before you answer wrongly and come under unnecessary Judgment as His Word in Luke 12:59 in the context of [afterlife] Judgment (Luke 12:46 – 48) itself proves that the ‘age-during punishment’ being described in a parabolic way in this chapter clearly speaks of it to have an END which is signified by the word UNTIL —> yes, ONLY UNTIL one pays the last penny (Luke 12:59) proving further that the next punishment age CANNOT be eternal. Can you see it? (How a verse which does NOT contain the phrase age-during punishment at all but speaks of this SAME TOPIC with regards to [afterlife] Judgment implies an END to the duration of the next age itself).
They cannot enter Heaven next though their punishment sentence has ended (Luke 12:59) because NO one by their ‘own righteousness’ can enter heaven either (Romans 3:20, Romans 3:28) as He challenged the Pharisees and others too in (Matthew 5:20).
Matthew 5:20 means that if anyone can exceed even the Pharisees level of observing the Law, they will be allowed into Heaven but FACT is NO ONE will ever be able to exceed even the Righteousness of the Pharisees to be able to do so either as Romans 3:20 and Romans 3:28 clearly imply. This is probably to ‘give a chance’ to any human being who think that God should allow them to enter heaven on account that ‘they are good’. So He gave a mere human benchmark (the Pharisees) for us to exceed that Righteousness which NONE ever will be able to do so as prophesied Prophetically by Apostle Paul Himself in Romans 3:20 and Romans 3:28.
Thus we need a Righteousness without the Law (and NOT from us at all) to enter heaven which is known to His Prophets (Romans 3:21) —> as the Righteousness of God Himself (where Christ Alone Gets the Perfect Score, having First Place in Everything including this too, Colossians 1:18) by Fulfilling ALL Law & Prophets Perfectly by then, Matthew 5:17) —-> and then FREELY IMPUTES (Romans 3:24) this Righteousness upon ALL eventually (Romans 3:23) —> where ONLY believers get it on ‘earth itself’ being ‘elected by Grace’ as a proof of it (Romans 3:26).
Please see the Conclusion especially a post Explaining this Faith of Jesus Christ which Justifies ALL eventually (and NOT ‘believers only’, Romans 3:23) and FREELY too as HIS PERFECT GIFT (Romans 3:24, James 1:17) which CANNOT be REVOKED for whatever reason (Romans 11:29) toward ‘ALL who sinned in the WORLD’ (Romans 3:19 & Romans 3:23) as the IRREFUTABLE CONTEXT of CONSECUTIVE VERSES from Romans 3 itself proves.
That’s the meaning of His MERCY by which ONLY we are SAVED in the END as it is for believers too (mentioned clearly in Titus 3:5) and ‘our righteousness’ only determines the ‘level-reward’ in being ‘least-greatest’ with respect to having ‘broken-kept’ all Law and Prophets which pertain to us (Matthew 5:18, context) respectively as it is WRITTEN Gloriously by HIS MERCIFUL WORDS itself in Matthew 5:19.
P/S: Did First Christianity understand it as thus?
Yes, please consider the posts below for further edification:
1) Last Penny Interpretation – First Christianity
2) First Christianity – Worm that does not Die & the Fire that is not quenched
3) First Christianity – Speak the Same Thing – Not Enter My Rest Meaning
4) Universalism in Christ Alone – Secret of the Gospel – Apocalypse of Peter
5) Antichrist – Universalist Hope – Apocalypse of Elijah Explains
6) Justin, Iraneous and Polycarp – Eternal Hell, Annihilation or Universal Restoration?
7) All Men – Hope for All Mankind in Christ Alone
8) Last Afterlife Secrets – God SAVES from HELL
9) Shadow of Death – Mystery
(i) Hell’s Missed Messianic Prophecy – SHADOW of DEATH
(ii) SHADOW of DEATH – Irrefutable Context – Christ Prophesied to SAVE from HELL itself
(iii) Afterlife Salvation Mysteries
10) More of First Christianity?
Here’s an example:
End of the Age – Hippolytus – Comparison: Christ vs Antichrist – Gospel Preached to the Souls of the Dead Men – Resurrections
In link below:
Blessed be Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World!
Who is Welcome to Heaven? – Really Spongebob’s Quote in Image?
Please read: Matthew 5:19, John 12:32 by the King of the Heavens Himself regarding how He Will Save all men (1 Timothy 4:10, 1 Corinthians 15:22, Romans 5:18 – 19) & the World eventually (1 John 4:14, John 1:29) in His Own Times (1 Corinthians 15:23, 1 Timothy 2:6, Ephesians 1:10 – 11, 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28).
P/S: Doesn’t Romans 5:19 mention ‘the many’?
Yes as per the Original Greek please consider:
“For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19, NASB)
The SAME ‘the many that were made sinners’ (which is ALL MEN ever created) is the SAME ‘the many that will be made righteous’ (ALL MEN again ‘as it is Written’ – Can you see it in Verse above?)
In Greek it is ‘the Many’ and NOT ‘many’ pointing to this accuracy and consistency as it is well reflected in the NASB translation above.
Yes, as the previous Verse (Context) mentions it in the ‘All Men’ context Perfectly agreeing to this SAME Meaning as follows:
“So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.” (Romans 5:18, NASB)
“There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.” (Proverbs 21:30, NASB)
Saved – How are we Saved?
The righteousness referred to in Matthew 5:20 links to the previous Verse in Matthew 5:19 which points to “keeping the Commandments” .
Even so if we trust God, we are not justified by our ‘faith in Christ’ as a Reason for Salvation but by the “Faith Of Jesus Christ” (the Perfect Faith belonging to Christ Alone – Romans 3:22, Galatians 2:16 – a distinction in Greek Phrase seen only when accurately translated, e. g. In the KJV & YLT translations of the Verses quoted throughout this brief summary).
Lord Jesus Christ’s Perfect Fulfillment of All Law and Prophets is Prophesied in Matthew 5:17 and its Effect is Prophesied in Matthew 5:19 causing Universal Salvation in the Case of “All Men” (both Law Keepers vs Law Breakers) in its own times eventually.
So, “our righteousness” (the combined effect of ‘faith in Christ part – Which you mentioned’, e. g. Colossians 1:4 + ‘our works too – e. g. James 2:26’) refers to our efforts in keeping All Law & Prophets which pertains to us (Matthew 5:18, 20) but this does NOT justify anyone to Salvation and rather only determines one’s place in the kingdom of heaven eventually (Matthew 5:19, being least or greatest).
The other Verses clearly support this with no contradictions because Salvation (“being Saved” in one’s Own Order of Time due to Christ’s Work Alone, 1 Timothy 2:6, 1 Corinthians 15:23) is independent of “any of our own righteousness” (be it our personal faith & works) as Titus 3:5 reveals.
“For by Grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8 – 9, NASB)
Based on the Verse above, please note the following carefully and accurately:
- i) Salvation is by His Mercy (Grace) Alone
Phrase: “by Grace you have been saved”.
- ii) Salvation is Received by believers now through their faith as a Gift of God
Phrase: “through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”
An alternate Interpretation for this phrase is as follows:
Salvation is through “Faith” – but “which Faith”? (Does the Verse above refer to “our faith” – e. g. Colossians 1:4 or the “Faith of Jesus Christ – His Perfect Faith” – Romans 3:22?)
The Verse below contains both the distinct phrases referring to “our faith in Christ” vs “Faith of Jesus Christ” and points that Salvation is Due to the Latter ‘only’.
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, even WE have BELIEVED IN JESUS CHRIST, that we might be JUSTIFIED by the FAITH OF CHRIST, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16, KJV)
Please note carefully in the above Verse:
FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST Alone causes “justification” (unto Salvation) = phrase “JUSTIFIED by the FAITH OF CHRIST”
Our personal “faith in Christ” = phrase “even WE have BELIEVED IN JESUS CHRIST” points to us ‘receiving that Justification’ first on Earth now itself – the more special ‘believing recipients’ (please see Romans 3:26 & 1 Timothy 4:10 making sense of this too)
So, in this alternate interpretation, the “through Faith” referred to here must refer to “Faith of Jesus Christ” as other Verses clearly point.
In fact, in the phrase “through faith; and that not of yourselves” —-> “that (faith) NOT of yourselves” —> itself points that it’s not “our faith in Christ” which Saves us supporting this alternate interpretation that this “Faith” must thus refer to the “Faith of Jesus Christ Alone”.
iii) Salvation is not due to any works of the Law
Phrase: “not as a result of works, so that no one may boast”.
Mercy (Grace) is the ONLY Reason for Salvation (Titus 3:5).
And Since Mercy can Triumph over (and end) any afterlife Judgment Sentences (as per James 2:13), this proves that any sentence be it even the ‘eternal Hell Sentence can be cancelled’ as per ‘First Christianity’ & best is, this Mercy is Promised Freely to All Prophetically as the ‘Final Word of Judgment’ (Romans 11:32) toward both the ‘obedient & disobedient’ (Romans 11:30 – 31) yes, toward “All Men” eventually (Titus 2:11).
“For the GRACE of God has appeared, bringing SALVATION to ALL MEN,” (Titus 2:11, NASB)
Peace to you
Gehenna – Did the Jews understand Gehenna as an analogy to Afterlife Judgment?
Yes but NOT as ‘forever’; To Quote (from pages 380 to 382 of the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book):
Here are some interesting quotes proving the ‘same meaning’ of Gehenna or the Lake of Fire as the Last Judgment especially in regards to the question,
‘Is the Lake of Fire (Gehenna) eternal?’
Canon Farrar’s “Eternal Hope.” (He gives in a note these testimonies to prove that the Jews to whom Jesus spoke, did not regard Gehenna as of endless duration).
Asarath Maamaroth, f. 35, 1: “There will hereafter be no
Jalkuth Shimoni, f. 46, 1: “Gabriel and Michael will open the
eight thousand gates of Gehenna, and let out Israelites and righteous Gentiles.”
A passage in Othoth, (attributed to R. Akiba) declares that Gabriel and Michael will open the forty thousand gates of Gehenna, and set free the damned,
and in Emek Hammelech, f. 138, 4, we read: “The wicked stay
in Gehenna till the resurrection, and then the Messiah, passing through it redeems them.” See Stephelius’ Rabbinical Literature.
Why did these Jewish Rabbis use the Term “Gehenna” which already had an earthly meaning as to a specific physical location In Israel? Simply because they didn’t have an equivalent word to denote the ‘spiritual truth’ of an ‘afterlife punishment region for the Final Judgment itself’, to quote:
Rev. Dr. Wise, a learned Jewish Rabbi, says: “That the ancient Hebrews had no knowledge of Hell is evident from the fact that their language has no term for it. When they in after times began to believe in a similar place they were obliged to borrow the word ‘Gehinnom,’ the valley of Hinnom,’ a place outside of Jerusalem, which was the receptacle for the refuse of the city-a locality which by its offensive smell and sickening miasma was shunned, until vulgar superstition surrounded it with hob-goblins. Haunted
places of that kind are not rare in the vicinity of populous cities. In the Mishna of the latest origin the word Gehinnom is used as a locality of punishment for evil-doers, and hence had been so used at no time before the third century, A. D.”
From the time of Josephus onwards, there is an interval of about a century, from which no Jewish writings have descended to us. It was a period of dreadful change with that ruined and distracted people. This explains ‘why’ Josephus and Philo did not use it to describe future punishment.
Please note that Lord Jesus Christ employing the same term Gehenna when teaching afterlife Judgments in the Gospel approves the Jewish Definition but not necessarily all their facts regarding it where Christ Corrects and Reveals further, for example in Matthew 10:28 our Blessed Saviour Reveals that “Gehenna” is the Place where both “Body & Soul” can be “destroyed” (or ‘cease to exist’) which clearly points to the ‘afterlife context’ as He also mentions in the same breath (in this Verse) that ‘do not be afraid of those who can kill the body & do nothing more’ (meaning that ‘any earthly death, e.g. the 70AD destruction’ can only destroy the ‘body only’ & ‘not the soul’ – can you see it? Yes, Christ compares that the ‘soul can be destroyed too’ – in Matthew 10:28 together with the ‘body for resurrection of Judgment toward the wicked – John 5:28 – 29’ proving that this “Gehenna” refers to the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:11 – 15 making this Point Irrefutable with Scripture itself).
Peace to you
Here is another quote which proves ‘Gehenna’ on the ‘same timeline’ (i.e. ‘after the thousand year Millennial Reign of Christ’) as claimed:
Commodianus (c.240 A.D.) alludes to Revelation 3:14
“There will be no succour nor ship of the sea. Amen flames on the nations, and the Medes and Parthians burn for a thousand years, as the hidden words of John declare. For then after a thousand years there are delivered over to Gehenna; and he whose work they were, with them are burnt up. (Instructions of Commodianus ch.43 p.211)
P/S: To quote from Page 227 of the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book
Can the Messiah [Lord Jesus Christ] Save from Gehenna (the Final Judgment, Lake of Fire) itself?
To quote (Page 38):
“Bernard (1915:290) quotes two passages from the Bereshith Rabba to show that this idea was prominent in Jewish literature. He is, however, unsure of the dating of the literature.
Nevertheless, it still demonstrates the basic purpose of the descent:
‘When they are bound, they that are in Gehinnom, saw the light of the Messiah, they
rejoiced to receive him’; and ‘This is that which stands written, We shall rejoice and exult thee.
When the captives climb out of hell, and the Shechinah at their head.’
The only difference here is that the captives are in Gehinnom and not Sheol.”
“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:12, NASB)
If we read apostle Paul’s letters and ‘First Christianity’ Writings beyond the ‘four Gospels’, we ‘realize the above’.