Huck Finn Explains Salvation
Hi. My name is Huckleberry Finn. You might know me on account of my boyhood
adventures. Mark Twain, he told mostly about my life of leisure. But I come to
take things serious at the ripe age of eleven. Mark, he never knowed about that,
on account of I never told him.
Mainly, I started reading the Bible. The widow Douglas, she always harped on
Bible reading. I tried, generally, but I never saw no use for it. But then the
widow, she finally gave up on me; then I knowed for sure there was a God. Then I
seen for the first time the attraction of God’s Word.
I learned a tolerable great deal about God since then, though I daren’t
brag about it. But even Miss Watson allowed she never seen anything like it. It
kind of stunned her, I guess. Tom Sawyer reckons I "got religion." But
it ain’t nothing of the kind.
Today, I’m down here in Big Craggy, Missouri. Likely, you’ve never heard
of it. Big Craggy is a little bit down from Hector, but if you get to
Hattieville, you gone too far. The maps give us a black dot about the size of a
grasshopper eye, but it’s better than what they give Tom Sawyer down in Toluca,
which is nothing.
How this come to be
When Martin Zender, who usually writes in this space, inquired as to me
filling in a little bit for him, I says to myself, Sounds safer than flying a
kite in lightning. But maybe I’m all wrong.
Martin brung his family down here last year for a conf’rence and we set to
ironing out all the problems in God’s creation. Well, I reckon we got pretty
far. Martin allowed he never seen a boy my age who knowed his way around God’s
Word so good. (I’m thirteen years old, starting next year.) I knowed he never
meant no harm by it, but I got to swelling over it so bad that Miss Watson had
to fetch it out with a switch. I don’t give no other sickly details of what
Martin said, for humbility’s sake. But there it is.
I never fixed to come in on this eternal torments talk. I usually don’t run
up against such luck. I got lots to say on it. Since I got nothing to lose
except a seashell collection (and most of them’s broke), I might as well say it.
Folks generally don’t fool with it
Most folks don’t fool with even the possibleness of God saving everybody.
They shut their eyes on the Bible verses that teach it. (I got some of them
verses down the page a ways, but there’s plenty more, you can bet.) But when it
comes down to verses that seem to teach Ben Whittlin’s going to get the hot
seat forever, they ogle at it till the tears come and somebody’s got to tell
‘em to blink. (Ben Whittlin, he robbed a bank in Bog City a few years back,
and folks didn’t take to him after that.)
Such is folk’s hearts. You’d think they’d fix on the good news, then
sweat blood trying to see how the bad fits in. Nope. They ignore the good news
and sweat blood to keep Whittlin in the fire. According to them, any verse what
puts Ben Whittlin in their camp by and by, can’t be right. So they
whack the verse short to line up with their view. According to them, if God had
knowed Ben Whittlin, He’d ‘a’ been a little carefuller on them verses that
gives Jesus’s crosswork to all.
I don’t take no stock in it. Paul was the dangedest sinner of all, worse
than Ben Whittlin. Paul said so hisself (1 Tim. 1:15). Jesus cured Paul with a
light brighter than the sun. It took somewhere near half a second, I think. I
always figured that light was a glow from the cross and all it done. After Paul,
it’s all downhill to Jesus.
Which verses are you going to whack out?
I ain’t blind. I know there looks to be a tug o’ war in the Bible on this
matter, so I penciled it up on a chart, in case you never seen it so plain. It
ain’t as nice as them pictures Martin puts up, but I already told you—I ain’t
worried. Besides, I can’t work a computater.
It’s better to believe all God’s Words, rather than whack some
out. You got to believe the bad and the good. So how can both sides in
the chart I drawed up be true?
This word "forever" in them verses on the right side is what throws
everything out of kilter. Make this word to do with time instead of eternity and
everything makes sense and fits right.
This word "forever" is drawed up on a Greek word "aion,"
which don’t mean forever no how; it always has to do with time. The
transmutators bungled it. All a common man has to do to see that for hisself is
look up aion in a concordance (See Young’s Concordance, page
311. If you got Strong’s, look up word numbers 104 and 165
on pages 8 and 9 of the dictionary).
Don’t let this upset you. God made truth hard to find on purpose so a body
has to work for it. Proverbs 25:2 says that it’s the glory of God to conceal a
matter and the glory of kings to investigate it. If you don’t investigate this
matter, it’ll stay concealed to you and you’ll miss out on how much sense
the Bible really makes and what a joy it is when you read it aright.
Checking up on the transmutators.
The King James transmutators transmutated this word aion "ages"
a couple times. They should have done that all times, but they got
nervous other places, like above. But look at Ephesians 2:7. Here, they done aion
right. This verse talks about "the ages to come." You can see
plain why they didn’t transmutate aion "forever" here. Can
you dream up more than one forever? Can you conjure up "the forevers to
come?" Unless I get hit in the head with a steel pipe, I’ll never
make mention of such.
For consistency sake, the transmutators should have done like they done in
Ephesians 2:7 every place. But they got all panicky where aion described
God, torments, and the life of believers. Here’s where they gummed it up. The
transmutators reckoned they knowed what God meant to say (they already "knowed"
God was going to fry up the sinners forever, you see), and they judged to
help Him out. In the places they was sure God meant to say eternity
instead of time, they transmutated aion "eternal" and
"forever." Do you reckon God was pleased for their help? Other times,
when they took an itch to it, they transmutated aion "world,"
never mind God already had a fit word for that, kosmos. One time—on a
dare, I reckon—they even transmutated aion "never." (This
confusion is documented on page 57 of the Index-Lexicon in Young’s.) If
you got a sound mind, you can see that something terrible fishy is going on. One
word can’t mean different things, and sure not contrary things.
So now you can believe all them verses above. Don’t it make sense
now? God does all them things on the right side, for sure, but He don’t do
them forever—that’s the thing. God ain’t crazy. He disciplines a
body or supervises his torments or makes him dead only as long as necessary to
bring about the things on the left side.
I ain’t never seen anything make so much sense in all my life.
A good English word
Now, we have an English word that matches up good to >aion. It means
the same and it nearly sounds the same and it only misses the spelling by a
hair. The English word is eon. What’s an eon? Why, it’s a tolerable long
time, that’s what. I know, because the widow once sent me to my room
for an eon. It seemed an eternity, but mind, it was still a time because
I ain’t there now. The way I figure it, time is t’opposite of eternity.
The widow Douglas, she says that our English word eon was drawed up on
this Greek word aion. So it’s a fair trade off, like I told you.
So why didn’t the transmutators use it? Why, because it does away with the
notion of eternal torments! And without eternal torments, the preachers can’t
scare anybody into their churches. Taking eternal torments away from a church
man is like taking a switch away from Miss Watson. Things just don’t go right
for ‘em without it.
Don’t God go on forever?
I know you got questions on this. Likely, here’s one of them: "If aion
don’t mean ‘eternity,’ then what about when it talks about God?"
Now, don’t be like Tom Sawyer and jump to occlusions.
In the Bible, God sometimes calls Hisself the God of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob. Does that mean He’s not the God of you and me? I don’t think you’d
jump to that occlusion. So why jump to a similar occlusion in Romans
16:26, where God calls Hisself the "eonian God?" (This is from the
Concordant Literal New Testament. I know your Bible might say "eternal
God," but that ain’t what God has said here. The transmutators gummed it
up, remember? Don’t panic, because it ain’t good for your stomach.)
Try reading "eonian God" with fresh eyes. God says here that He’s
the God of the eons—time. Ain’t that pleasant? He ain’t just some fuzzy
God out in the hairy forever; He’s a now God. Does that mean He don’t
go on forever? There’s the similar occlusion I was speaking of! Of course He
goes on forever. But other verses say that, like Psalms 102:27, which
says that His years don’t end. Romans 16:26 don’t say what Psalms 102:27 has
already hashed out. Romans 16:26 gives special information: He’s the
God of now. He cares about you this minute. If I says to you,
"He’s the God of today," would you jump to the occlusion that He’s not
the God of tomorrow? Not unless you either lost your mind or you’re in
love. I seen both, and neither one is very good looking.
Don’t my life go on forever?
Likely, here’s another one of your bothers: "If aion don’t
mean ‘eternity,’ then I reckon my ‘eternal’ life ends."
Hold your horses.
This may rattle you at first, but God don’t talk much in the Bible about eternal
life. He talks about eonian life, which—like I been straining to tell
you—has to do with time.
This don’t at all mean that you don’t live forever with Jesus. You do!
But you do that because Jesus makes you immortal. I know that’s a big word,
but all it means is that you can’t die no way. First Corinthians 15:53
explains it. It’s this verse, not them eonian life verses, that proves
you live forever.
Eonian life is a special kind of life that gets you through the eons.
Not all have it. Thank God you have it. The widow says there’s five
eons talked of in the Bible; two is past, we’re sweating through the third,
and two good ones is future. Them two good ones is the ones we’re fixing to
live through. Them are the ones eonian life gets us.
But eonian life ends. It ends when the eons end. This time when the eons end
is called the consummation. That’s just a fancy word for "finish,"
but I like to use it. You can read about it in First Corinthians 15:24.
What happens at the consummation? First Corinthians 15:26 tells that, at that
time, death is abolished. That’s just a fancy word for "throwed
out." Now, if death is throwed out, what is left? If you answered,
"life," then you are right. At the consummation, you don’t need
eonian life no more because time is done. This lines up exactly to when death is
throwed out. If you have enough life to make it to a time when there’s nothing
but life, do you die? Not the way any sane person reckons it. You don’t
die no more than you would die of thirst if you have enough water to make it to
a well. That makes more sense than anything I ever heard.
More on Ben Whittlin
Don’t think Ben Whittlin’s going to waltz into Paradise. He’s got to
weep and grind his dentures first, then die a second time (Rev. 20:13-15). That
sounds fearful, until you know that Jesus throws out death. Then you find peace,
especially if you’re Ben Whittlin’s mother, and I s’pect he’s got one.
It’ll make some hard-hearted folks happy to hear that Ben Whittlin comes up
short. But it’s true. Only those God calls now live during the kingdom for a
thousand years and during the new heavens and new earth. This is eonian life.
Ben apparently don’t have it. But Ben and billions others will come out into
life when Jesus throws out death (1 Cor. 15:26). The Bible speaks of God being
the Savior of all mankind, especially of believers. That’s First
Timothy 4:10. The especially part is eonian life. If you ain’t got it, you don’t
live for the eons. But you still live for eternity after the eons is finished
and death is throwed out. See, everybody lives for eternity, because God
is the Savior of all mankind. But not all live for the eons—that’s the
rub. A Savior of all mankind has to save all mankind. If He don’t, He’s not
the Savior of all mankind. Even Tom Sawyer’s got that much ironed out.
And the winner is: Adam?!
I’ll ask you something: Who is greater, Adam or Jesus? Unless you ain’t
been getting enough sleep lately, your answer’d be: "Jesus." But
look! If Adam pulls down more than Jesus pulls out, how is it Jesus is
greater? Here’s a chart I dictated to Miss Watson, who typed it up:
Adam All mankind condemned because of him--Rom.5:18.
Jesus On account of the stubbornness of all mankind, this Man can
justify only a smidgen of them who Adam condemned.
If that’s how it lays, here’s the score:
How does that answer? If each body stands for a point, and this was
the score of a tiddlywinks match (and a tolerable long one), what player gets
the trophy? As long as you ain’t been insomniating, your answer’d be:
"The one with the most points." I lay with you there. I don’t see
how it can be no other way. Who’s got the most points? It’s right in front
of you: Adam. The way you’d have to reckon it, then, would be: Adam
gets the trophy. Do you allow that’s how you reckon it?