Dear Lots O' Questions
The absolute vs. the relative
I enjoyed ZenderTalk this morning; that was my husband you were
answering. My dad started telling us about you over the past year. It is
so hard as a "born again" person to let go of that hell fire! The big
revelation came to me about a month ago when my dad gave me the
Concordant translation and your book,
Martin Zender Goes to Hell,
for my birthday. I hit myself on the forehead after reading the book and
said "Duh!" When I realized Jesus was talking to the Jews, everything
started making sense.
I’ve only really been studying this hard now for about a month, so
you may have already addressed this in some of your tapes, but from what
I am understanding, you and I and other believers will be raptured out
of here before the tribulation and the millennium and will go directly
into the celestials. Does that mean we will stay in the heavens with God
until the consummation?
I’ve talked to a few people about this and the first reaction seems
to be "well, if nobody goes to hell, then we might as well go out and do
what we feel like doing." Why shouldn’t we just get the party started?
So now that we know the truth, what is our purpose here on earth? Do
you believe missionaries are wasting their time?
Also, I agree with us not having free will, but do we actually make
any choices? Am I fat because God wants me to be or did I choose to eat
too much ice cream? Is it my choice to stay faithful to my husband or if
I have an affair, did God cause me to do that? We protect our children
when they are young, but as they get older we let them start making
their own choices. Do I choose to read the Bible and seek out the truth,
or is God causing me to do this?
Another guy that I talked to said he believes a lot of what you say,
but he’s not going to change how he approaches people because if he is
wrong that’s okay because we’ll all end up in heaven anyway.
One of the comments I made to my dad a few months ago was that my
husband and I are in sales and sometimes you have to use scare tactics
to get people to buy, so maybe pastors have to use scare tactics to get
people into church. I would venture to say that a very large majority of
people that go to church never even pick up their Bibles to study and
just believe what their pastor is telling them. Do you believe that the
"born again" Christian will not be raptured even though they love Christ
and believe He is their Savior? Is there a price to be paid if people
hang on to that eternal torment idea?
God bless, and I know I asked a lot of questions there.
Dear Lots O’ Questions,
Yes, you asked lots o’ questions, but I have lots o’ answers. I hope
you will forgive me if I seemed a little hard on your husband on the
show. Perhaps he is playing devil’s advocate, but I treat his concerns
and questions as if they are his own.
It may be tough for you to hear Friday’s show, because I answer the
famous objection (I’ve heard it many times before): "If I’m right but
you’re wrong…" Your husband says, "My traditional way of thinking covers
me," which is a terrible mistake. This touches on your last question:
"Is there a price to be paid for hanging onto the eternal torment idea?"
There certainly is. While I don’t go ballistic over this point on
Friday, I do address it strongly. Again, I ask your forgiveness if I
seem heavy-handed. It’s just that I’m a black and white type of teacher.
The eternal torment and free will doctrines are so sinister that I make
a strong stand. The idea that believing these satanic doctrines could
possibly "cover" a person, gets me going.
The free will doctrine, I believe, actually keeps people from being
true believers. Why? Because this doctrine makes belief in Jesus the
thing that saves, rather than the sacrifice of Jesus. Free will assumes
that a person’s sin still remains. Isn’t that the way the orthodox
preachers begin their "message of salvation?" They say, "You are a
sinner, dangling over the fires of hell!" Then they tell a person that
he or she has to somehow work up the faith to believe. Unless that faith
can be manufactured, the cross of Christ will not help. Is this faith in
Jesus? Not at all. It is faith in self to believe in Jesus. Free will is
rank humanism dressed in religious garb.
The guy you talked to who is not going to change his approach is
making a serious mistake, and his conception of Calvary is flawed,
perhaps fatally so.
Yes, I do believe missionaries are wasting their time. Worse, they
are teaching people about the God of conditional love Who is poised to
torment people for eternity. The heathen are much better off without
Christians teaching them about this fictitious God. If missionaries
would just go to foreign countries and build buildings and feed people,
that would be fine. But no, they’ve got to infect the people with a
Scare tactics are horrible. Nobody "converted" by a scare tactic
stays converted. It is a faith in fear, not Christ.
I deal with the "let’s get the party started" mentality in either
tomorrow or the next day’s show. Tune in.
The damning word in the phrase "free will" is not the word will, but
the word free. We do have wills and we do make hundreds of decisions
every day, but none of these decisions are made without outside
influence, and God is the outside influence. In other words, none of
these decisions are free. Since we don’t feel this divine coercion, we
assume it’s not there.
A person does get fat when he or she eats ice cream. But yes, it is
ultimately God Who is responsible for it. When I turn on a fan that
blows out a candle, who or what blew out the candle? It all depends on
whether you want to take a relative or absolute viewpoint. Relatively,
the fan blew out the candle; relatively again, I did it. But absolutely,
God did it because I can do nothing outside of God ("In Him we live, and
move, and are"—Acts 17:28). All bucks stop at God’s desk.
Who crucified Christ? Was it the Jews? The Romans? Satan? God? Every
answer is correct, but only one answer is absolutely correct: God. All
these others are intermediaries God used to effect His will. Scripture
clearly states: "All is of God" (2 Cor. 5:18).
The body of Christ is snatched away either before or during the
coming tribulation. Kingdom saints remain on earth, for this is their
realm of ministry. I don’t think the body of Christ needs to stay in
heaven; the whole universe is their "playground." I believe the body of
Christ does return to earth with Christ when He comes to set up His
Thank you for what you said about my book,
Martin Zender Goes to
Hell, in your first paragraph. I’m happy God used me to bring home
this important topic for you. Here, by the way, is another example of
relative vs. absolute truth: Did I acquaint you with these facts? Yes, I
did. But God did it absolutely, using me as a herald. You are more than
welcome to thank me for writing the book; I accept all thanks people
wish to give. But I also recognize that ultimate thanks goes to God, for
He is the One animating me, causing me to will and work for the sake of
His delight (Philippians 2:13).
Read Philippians 2:12-13 for a beautiful view of the relative and the
absolute working together in one verse. The relative is true, but
the absolute is truer. The mistake is to look at the relative and call
it absolute. But that’s the mistake most people make.
Thanks for writing.