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|· THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Outer Darkness: What it is & Who Gets Sent There?
"And I say unto you that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matt 8:11, 12.
"And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" Matt 25:30.
In Matthew Chapter Eight, Jesus used this statement referring to faithless Jews (God's people) in contrast to the Roman Centurion who showed great faith, thus demonstrating that likewise, Christians (God's people) who lived faithless lives would have this judgment pronounced on them.
In Matthew Chapter Twenty-five, He made the statement after a very lengthy parable, demonstrating the difference between Christians who wisely invested their time and talents and those who didn't.
Finally, in Chapter Twenty-two of the same Gospel, He spoke of a guest at the wedding who had no wedding garment on and for this, he was bound hand and foot taken away and cast into outer darkness. When we examine this last scripture carefully, we get a much deeper understanding of what this "outer darkness" really means.
For instance, the word "bind" from the Greek is "deo" and means to "restrict", the word "hand" is "cheir" and means "power" and the word "foot" is "pous" translated "footstool" representing "authority". So, "to bind hand and foot," means, "to restrict in power and authority."
Not only this, but here we have a person whom the King calls "friend," demonstrating that he has a personal relationship and fellowship with the King, but he is lacking something so important that when he's found out, he has an extremely stiff penalty laid on him.
Now, in the Greek, the word "cast" is "ekballo" meaning "to expel," which means "to put a person out, to dismiss permanently" e.g. A delinquent child may be expelled from school.
The word "darkness" from the Greek is "skotos" meaning "obscurity." So, through careful interpretation, we get the picture of someone who once belonged to a special group and was promised great recognition and authority but who was permanently dismissed from that group, stripped of his power and sentenced to a life of obscurity.
This is what Matt. 22:13 is saying, "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness;" can be interpreted as, "Restrict his ability and authority, banish him from this elite and distinguished group and sentence him to a life of obscurity."
This, my friends, is what happens to anyone called to ministry who doesn't fulfill that ministry according to the standard set by God. Instead of recognition and reward for the labor of love bestowed on God's people through their ministry there's only shame and disgrace, as they are permanently dismissed from the ranks of those who wisely invested their lives in the loving service of the people of God.
Such a person is restricted in divine authority and ability and simply lives as an ordinary citizen in the kingdom of God. He or she is denied the opportunity of forming part of the Government of God on earth and sharing with Christ in His kingly reign and glory.
This is evident because in the parable of the servants who were given the pounds to invest in Luke 19:12-26, the one who did poorly was stripped of what he was given to invest and was denied any authority to rule, but the ones who did well were increased in authority and given more cities to rule over!
So, contrary to popular opinion being cast into "outer darkness" has nothing to do with the unsaved being cast into Hell. It is a specific consequence of a Christian who refuses to fulfill the Call of God upon his life. Someone who put his hand to the plow and turned back or a lukewarm believer whom Jesus vomits out of His mouth.
The final resting place for all unbelievers is the Lake of Fire. How can there be darkness in a Lake of Fire?
Everest John Alexander is a Minister/Author/Internet Marketer in public ministry for over 20 years Pastoring for 4 years. He's married to his High-School sweetheart, Loraine and together they have two grown children, Andrew and Jade.
He's written several Ebooks published online at: www.KingdomLearning.info where you can get FREE ACCESS to Video & Audio Teaching, Ebooks, Articles, Quizzes, Poetry, etc. He recently completed work on his sixth book, "Understanding How To Pray Effectively."
To read his bestselling Ebook "Understanding The 3 Levels of Salvation: Spirit, Soul and Body" visit: www.3LevelsOfSalvation.com
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