Sorry to start so many threads, but I have lots of questions that I’ve been trying to answer for years.
My mother used to warn me about the “outer darkness”, which is kind of strange since she believes in eternal security. I was reading that passage one day and it is where Jesus is warning the children of the kingdom. I picked up on that “children of the kingdom” business and thought, “Aha! These are not unsaved, unconverted people, but those belonging to God.” So I knew He could not be talking about Hell.
Later I got in with this group who expounded on that. They believe that the holding place of the righteous dead is not in “Heaven” (wherever that is) but that it is still in the heart of the earth in what was called sometimes “Hades” or “The Bosom of Abraham.” They told me that the “outer darkness” is where Jesus comes back to rule and reign for a thousand years. It is the time of the wedding feast and those who did not overcome must remain there until there are no offenses left in them.
That made a sort of sense to me, except that I wondered later why God would stash the righteous dead in Hades for all those years and then just begin to start work on them during the thousand-year reign. But then I read that angels will gather all things out of His kingdom that offend, and then the remarks of Jesus “If your right eye offend you…” began to click again.
I truly believe that many righteous do not have completely clean walks and that God works all of our lives to weed things out of us. We have to cooperate with Him in working out our salvation/sanctification even after we are “saved” (get in the door before going down the path). So, I tend to believe that the outer darkness serves this purpose, but that we shall be reconciled to Him at the end in the fullness of our reward when we can enter into His kingdom without offenses.
This is where other Protestants do not agree with me. It sounds a little like Purgatory, and indeed I think it is a purging. But that name gets in the way and I don’t even know if what I am describing is exactly the same. But my personal spiritual goal is to overcome all things in THIS life. That is why I stress transformation so much and losing our live for His sake.
Am I crazy, Protestants? Is this Purgatory I am describing, Catholics? What is it?
Okay, I will not start any more new threads… the crowds began to throw tomatoes