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Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:56 pm
by warhoop
I'm sorry natcat, but this seems to be your doctrine of salvation in a nutshell:
Everybody's going to heaven. If you don't want to go to heaven, God will beat you into submission, and then you'll go to heaven.

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:34 am
by natcat86
Don't be sorry warhoop. I apologise because I obviously haven't explained myself very well. That is not my doctrine of salvation. Please excuse me, I am new to all this and am not the most eloquent of people. You are all being very patient with me and I really appreciate it, I know you probably feel like you have gone over this a thousand times!
I will try and explain myself more clearly and succinctly.
At this moment in time the majority of people are not saved. They are slaves to sin and reaping the harvest of sin. Some people will not accept Jesus in this life. When they die they, like all of us, will be judged.
God will find them guilty and punish them. My belief differs to that of Orthodox Christianity in that I believe there is a purpose to the punishment-to chasten unbelievers. He will punish until they have learnt their lesson and repaid their debt caused by sin-Mattew 18:34-35

I do not believe all men ARE (right now) saved but that they WILL BE saved.
John 12:31
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.
In a nutshell the doctrine of salvation that I believe in is this, the cross is the judgement of the world, because of the cross the prince of this world shall be cast out and because of/through the cross he will drag all men to him.

He will teach them until they understand. Through His love He will get them all to the point where they give him glory and honour and praise. He is patient and kind, he doesn't fail. And eventually they will love Him for it.

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:46 am
by catherine
B. W. wrote:Points for you all too ponder...
Nah 1:3, "The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet." ESV

Job 10:11-14, "...You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. 12 You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit. 13 Yet these things you hid in your heart; I know that this was your purpose. 14 If I sin, you watch me and do not acquit me of my iniquity” ESV
The Lord will by no means acquit the guilty nor will he grant them peace in any shape and form...

BW, Is it right to speak on the lack of peace between God and man in the OT, and then FORGET or not consider the work of Christ in "making peace" through his blood in the NT? Consider these verses:

Romans 5:6-8
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:18-19
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

When Christ came the fulness of God's love ie 'reconciliation' was demonstrated. Verses like this show the reconciliation of the world:

2 Corinthians 5:18-19
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Colossians 1:16-20
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having MADE PEACE through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

I'll share some thoughts on this from my friend (he words things so much better than me):

''Here is the process: First comes reconciliation of the world, not imputing the world's trespasses to it. Now that God has given the free gift of reconciliation, salvation comes by grace through faith, which is salvation from sin. The gift of righteousness is given to the world, and nothing can subtract from that. Now, do you remember our conversation about 1 Corinthians 15? As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, by Christ subduing all to himself so God can be all in all? That is the fulfillment of the reconciliation. The LAW which is the partition, was removed, thereby reconciling the WORLD to GOD. Now, people need to reconcile THEIR MINDS to GOD who has reconciled them to himself. So, salvation is when people hear, believe, and recieve the Spirit, and saved from sin. The salvation of all was purchased by Christ by the reconciliation of all 2000 years ago.''

Next Catharine: the Greek word aiōnios spelled in its grammar form in Mark 3:29 as aiōniou translated as eternal or translated in the YLT as age enduring is used in 15 bible verses in the NT and all of these spellings indicate that this word means: 'eternal as in never ending, age enduring forever and ever and does not imply in meaning of a temporal age.

Now if your teachers are correct in that eternal spelled this way only means lasting for some unknown temporal time age then the following 'temporal age' definition must absolutely be applied to all the following 15 verses in the NT where the spelling and grammar use would indicate this need. Correct?
The points you make about 'aionios' are good points and show why it is important for us to have the right translation. This is a big subject in itself and I'll try to make some brief points for now, but will come back with a more detailed answer, if that is ok:

Why does the adjective 'aionios' which derives from it's root word 'aion' have a very different meaning to its root word? 'Aion' mainly means for an age, or epoch ie a definate period of time with a beginning and an end. Strong's defines it thus:

165. aion ahee-ohn' from the same as 104; properly, an age; by extension, perpetuity (also past); by implication, the world; specially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):--age, course, eternal, (for) ever(-more), (n-)ever, (beginning of the , while the) world (began, without end). Compare 5550.

So Strong's seems to be saying that it can mean 'for a period' but ALSO 'forever'. This is rather strange.........

I'll paste a small section from the article I recommended earlier:

Aionios: what it really means
Word meaning changes over time. This is natural. To understand an old word, two methods may be employed: knowing a word's roots (etymology), and studying its usage to determine how much the word usage matches the etymology. Many words we use today adhere to the etymology. Dictionaries use etymology to give clues on either present meanings, or to demonstrate how word meaning changes over time to mean something other than originally intended. First, let's look at the etymology of aionios, then we will examine the Biblical word usage. Consider this: the English name Christian was first used by non-Christians to describe Jesus Christ's early followers. The term means "of Christ" or "pertaining to Christ." Why is this revealing when considering the word eonian?

"Pertaining to"
Christ Christ - ian
Edward Edward - ian
Armenia Armen - ian
Orwell Orwell - ian
history histor - ian
eon eon - ian

Likewise, in considering the parts of the Greek aionios, it is formed from two: aion (age) and the suffix -ios (pertaining to). Thus, aionios means pertaining to aion or pertaining to ages.

Example: In ancient Greek texts - notably in Homer - a man's hometown would be part of his name. The suffix
-ios would signify which town by modifying it into an adjective. Thus, "Ajax son of Telamon" translates to "Aias Telamwvios." The English is the same: if a man is from Italy, he is an Italian.

Dr. Marvin Vincent, a notable New Testament scholar, in Word Studies of the New Testament wrote the following regarding aion:
Aristotle says: "The period which includes the whole time of each one's life is called the aion (eon) of each one." (Peri Ouravou, i.9, 15)''

I strongly exhort you to read the full article as the short quote I've provided does in no way do this justice. It goes on to explain why it has been mistranslated 'eternal' or 'everlasting'.

In a nutshell, just because God is a God of the ages, in no way has any bearing on His eternal nature or qualities. If we look again at Romans 16:26,

“and now having been made manifest, also, through prophetic writings, according to a command of the age-during (eternal) God, having been made known to all the nations for obedience of faith—“ YLT then this translation does not make sense. It would be better to put: ...according to a command of the God of the age...'

And I'll leave this for now at Mat 25:46: “And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.” YLT. If we understand 'aionios' here meaning 'punishment pertaining to the age, and life pertaining to the age', this in no way negates the idea that God grants immortality. This verse is talking about the nature of the life and the punishment rather than the duration of it. :ewink:

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:25 am
by catherine
There is no question that Christ died for all. Now, whether all will receive Him and come into salvation is another story. There certainly are verses that if taken outside the WHOLE counsel of God would give some suggestion that everyone will be saved. That is why we must consider the WHOLE counsel. That is what B.W. has done exhaustively. When considered in the whole counsel we can see that yes, the cross of Christ covers all sin. But we all know that while some were added to the number, some scoffed. Some names are written in the book of life, others not. A good example is in John 3

Jesus says, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." So, if we stop right there we have a good universalist doctrine. However Jesus didn't stop there In verse 18 He goes on to say. "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." Maybe Jesus was confused. He just said to save the WORLD through him. But then He adds a condition of belief/faith. No, Jesus wasn't confused. But someone is. [/quote]

If you read verses like the one from John above and you believe that 'aionios' means eternal and that words like 'sheol', 'hades' and 'gehenna' mean 'hell', then you will believe that those who aren't 'born again' in this life, will NEVER be reconciled to God and hence they will remain 'condemned'. That makes sense. However, I've discovered that 'hell' is not in the Bible at all. I could provide numerous links to articles, but I recommend folks google 'hell' for themselves and check out it's real meaning. I mentioned a bit about 'aionios' also having been mistranslated in my previous reply but again I recommend you google it for yourself.

If we have a quick look at Matt 25:46 and understand the full meaning behind 'kolasis' as well as 'aionion' we find that 'kolasis' is not only defined as 'punishment' but as 'correction': ... umber=2851 ... ersion=kjv ... 3D%2358558

Here is Strong's definition: ... ex=kolasis

What IF that verse in Matt 25:46 SHOULD read:
''And these shall go away to corrective punishment of the age, but the righteous to life of the age''. That would put a whole different slant on it wouldn't you agree? ;)

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:31 am
by B. W.
natcat86 wrote:Ok first things first. I DO NOT think that God winks at sin. I think that those who do not accept Christ in this life will be punished. However, I think that there is a purpose to that punishment. It is to correct the unbelieving. God will punish them as long as it takes for eah one to accept the truth about Him. It will be a fair punishment and a loving punishment.....
The bible does not speak of God's punishment as restorative correcting the unbelieving for the following reasons as it is written:
Isaiah 26:10, "If favor is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly and does not see the majesty of the LORD." ESV
There is only one Land of Uprightness as revealed in Revelations 21:27, Revelations 22:3, 11-16, Isaiah 66:22-24 and that is in Heaven itself as that is only when the Land of Uprightness is possible during the new earth and heavens.

The Hebrew word translated in Isaiah 26:10 in English, Shown Favor means -- shown grace, shown favor, pity, shown mercy. Therefore, if favor was shown to correct people, then the bible tells us that such people will not learn righteousness and would deal corruptly instead.

The Hebrew word translated 'corruptly' in text means to 'act wrongfully or unjustly, deviate from.' Instead of being reformed they would act wrongfully, unjustly, and deviate away from God again all because they do not see (consider, recognize) the majesty of the Yahweh. In other words, they will abuse the majesty of the LORD again and again. .
Isaiah 26:10, "If favor (grace, pity, mercy) is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness (Heaven) he deals corruptly (wrongfully, unjustly, deviates) and does not see (consider, recognizes) the majesty of the LORD (Yahweh)." ESV
Why this is so is explained in:
Ecc 7:20, “For there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” JPS

Job 21:11-15, "They send forth as a flock their sucklings, And their children skip, 12 They lift themselves up at timbrel and harp, And rejoice at the sound of an organ. 13 They wear out in good their days, And in a moment to Sheol go down. 14 And they say to God, `Turn aside from us, And the knowledge of Thy ways We have not desired. 15 What is the Mighty One that we serve Him? And what do we profit when we meet with Him?'" YLT
It is the attitude of the heart:
Ecc 8:11, "Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil." ESV

Jer 17:9-10, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceeding weak - who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” JPS

Rom 2:4-11, "...Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality..." ESV
Please re-read my post again on this thread and discover why God does things his ways. He cannot deny himself or who and what he is. He will not destroy life into non-existence as that is contrary to his life giving nature. He shows no favoritism and offers to all in this mortal life their only chance to change and be reformed.

If an unrepentant sinner would be allowed into heaven after they die unrepentant and still a sinner then God is proven that he does indeed show favoritism as there is no need for anyone to accept him, be changed by his hand, or lovingly obey him during this mortal life. God shows no such partiality.

Universalism and Annihilationism teaches that God to shows partiality, as well as makes God deny who and what he is like. That is why these doctrines are false. A person needs to look at the whole counsel of God to uncover such knowledge of the Lord's ways and not take scriptures out of contextual balance as did Satan when he tried to tempt Christ.

If all enter heaven, then there is no need for the Great Commission or to help the downtrodden, feed the poor, take care of widows and orphans, do good, do justly, love mercy, or walk humbly before God. Universalism is contrary to the bible and the need for the cross, need for even the Holy Spirit to indwell anybody, as well as any need to be transformed at all.

For them that reject, he already knows and can place them in groups, nations, in epochs of times during this mortal tenure however he so wills and sending to their future progeny the great commission as he so wills. God keeps his word, denies not his gifts, nor his callings. This mortal life prepares us for the one to come. There is no injustice with Yahweh.

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:31 pm
by natcat86
Thank you very much for your reply BW you always write such detailed replies and it is really good of you to put in such effort. bless you.

I am going to go away and do more research. I'm thinking that you might be right about punishment from God's perspective. BUT my initial thoughts are that because God is all the things the OT says He is, he doesnt aquit the guilty etc as you have posted- that is why Jesus came, to reconcile. The OT is about crime and fitting punishment but the NT is about grace...

anyhooo I'll go off and hopefully come back with more insight. As I have said before I am new to this and I really want to know the truth.

Last night I prayed tht the Lord would show me the truth. I felt Him reply that when my motives are right the truth will be apparent.

Many thanks again to all of you for baring with me :ebiggrin:

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:30 am
by catherine
I will just make one last comment about this. B.W you said: ''If an unrepentant sinner would be allowed into heaven after they die unrepentant and still a sinner then God is proven that he does indeed show favoritism as there is no need for anyone to accept him, be changed by his hand, or lovingly obey him during this mortal life. God shows no such partiality.'' This is definately not what UR or indeed myself is saying. I am asking if the unrepentant ones in this life will get a chance to become repentant and free from their sin in the life to come? You would say 'no' and shout it from the roof tops. In my previous posts I referenced verses that seem to be saying ALL will eventually be reconciled ie they will no longer be sinners. But I think I'll leave it here because we are going round and round and each has his own understanding. I've written down the main things I'm not too sure about and popped them in my Bible and each day I'm going to ask God to help me understand His truth. God Bless :wave:

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:51 am
by B. W.
catherine wrote:...In my previous posts I referenced verses that seem to be saying ALL will eventually be reconciled ie they will no longer be sinners. But I think I'll leave it here because we are going round and round and each has his own understanding. I've written down the main things I'm not too sure about and popped them in my Bible and each day I'm going to ask God to help me understand His truth. God Bless :wave:
Hi Catherine,

I suggest you read the book, Hell Underfire, Morgan-Peterson, by Zondervan for more info regarding the verses you cited earlier.

To make it short as possible, regarding the scriptures such as:
1 Ti 2:4, “…who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ESV
The Greek words translated 'who desires all' is used much the same way we use these words. KJV uses the word 'will' and not 'desire' but it means desires nevertheless. The word 'all' is qualified by 'desires.'

In other words, as EZ 18:23-32 and EZ 33:11, The Lord wants people to turn away from sins and live, yet, if they do not, they will die. That expresses God's desire to save yet he knows not all will be saved. He sent Christ to be a propitiation for our sins and the whole worlds but if one does not believe this and coming to Christ to be saved, they remain unsaved. Faith accounts for righteousness. If people would but read the bible a bit more, then they would not take scriptures like 1 Timothy 2:4 out of context. Look at:
2 Th 2:10, “and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved." ESV
Another verse declares there are people who refuse the love of the truth so to be saved; therefore, not everyone will be saved. Balance this with 1 Timothy 2:4 and EZ 18, 33 and you'll see the truth of what is being said: God desires all to be saved but not all will.
2 Pe 3:9, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” ESV
Again the Lord does not want any to perish but that all should reach repentance. However, not all will. The word of God tells us in:
Rom 10:9-13, “…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." ESV
That only those that believe in the Lord's work on the cross and resurrection will be saved. There is no carta-blanc salvation but only for those that believe and confess. Jesus says the same thing in:
John 3:15-31, “…that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

“19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God." ESV
Jesus states that those that believe in him will be saved and those that do not remain as they are, condemned because their works were evil (twisted, diseased, blind, bad…always twisting towards unethical-ness).
John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” ESV
There is a passing from death to life and that comes through believing in Christ and what happened on the cross. Two sets of people mentioned — saved and unsaved. The cross confronts us with what we love more — darkness or light and thus forcing us to choose. As it is written:
Psalm 98:9, "... or he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity." ESV
The Lord judges the world by sending his righteousness (Jesus Christ) so that he judges with equity all people. Those that believe will be saved and those rejecting will be rejected. Though God desires all to be saved and provided the means (the cross) so that all can be saved, he knows not all will be saved as they love darkness more than light.
John 3:36 brings out as well: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Therefore the "all" saved scriptures are explained and qualified as 'all who believe'...

The Lord wants none to perish so His equity provides us all with a choice in this matter. Even though God already knows our response to this call, He calls to all anyways, which proves His equity true. There will be those that love darkness more than light remaining unsaved and those that will come to His light thus becoming saved.

How can equity be true equity if it denies the creature the liberty to freely choose? How can that prove justice true to the creature as well as to the Creator if true equity is denied?

Universalism denies God's true equity and seeks to manipulate the name (character) of the Lord (his love, mercy, etc) to deny who He is so humanity is of the hook by dictating to God how He should be and demands the Lord to prove it so on their terms. Who is really sovereign providing true equity here? This is why Universalism is a dangerous doctrine as it violates what Deu 5:11 speaks about.

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:16 am
by jlay
I'm not too sure about and popped them in my Bible and each day I'm going to ask God to help me understand His truth.
Could it be that God has already answered and provided for your prayers, through the expositions of B.W.? I think it is quite likely He has. Now what will you do with that is another issue. I can personally testify to trying to pray God into agreement with me. I certainly thought I was genuine and sincere at the time. What Christian hasn't slipped down that slope. And I am not saying that is for certain what you are doing here. There is certainly a need to pray that our eyes may be enlightened. But, B.W. has certainly demonstrated through the scripture, the realities of Hell. He has also exposed much of the fallacy of cherry picking scripture out of context to support a Universalist's view.

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:21 pm
by catherine
Thanks for your reply B.W and the scriptures. I must be honest and say that when I read those scriptures I come to the same conclusion you are saying, that not all will be saved. I'm very aware that we can think something seems right with our human reasoning (it sounds great to think we'll all make it) but that may not be the case. My 'default' position, for want of a better way of phrasing it, is that not all are saved. I'm still 'making sure of all things' so to speak. I'll try to get hold of the book you recommend. Thanks again. :)

Jlay, thanks for your thoughts too.... :ewink:

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:05 pm
by catherine
I've finally got my copy of 'Hell under Fire'. I ordered it a few weeks ago, but they mixed up the order.....

I'll come back to you when I've read it. :ewink:

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:39 pm
by warhoop
I think if a Universalist was honest with themself, they could not abide by the doctrine of salvation for all. That line of thought is usually only held in regards to that long distance plan, "friends & family." I would be curious to see if they would feel the same way about the pedophile that raped their 10 year old daughter or the con artist that drained their parents savings with promises of lottery winnings or the drug dealer that trades drugs for sexual favors with their teenage son.

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:19 am
by catherine
warhoop wrote:I think if a Universalist was honest with themself, they could not abide by the doctrine of salvation for all. That line of thought is usually only held in regards to that long distance plan, "friends & family." I would be curious to see if they would feel the same way about the pedophile that raped their 10 year old daughter or the con artist that drained their parents savings with promises of lottery winnings or the drug dealer that trades drugs for sexual favors with their teenage son.

So if any of those above 'evil' people 'repent' before their death and ask Jesus to forgive them, would that be ok? You see, we can envisage Jesus being able to deal with all kinds of evil and 'changing' the most wicked of people, so why is it so strange that He will 'draw' (helkuo= to drag) ALL men to Himself? John 12:32 Can He not deal with ALL the evil in His creation by removing it entirely and thus restoring ALL creation? Col 1:19,20. 1Tim 4:10. y:-?

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:03 pm
by MBofMB
The real questions are: Do you think GOD is Big enough and loving enough to accomplish it? Or are the parables of forgiveness and acceptance not to be applied to His creation? Having been mentally whipped all these years and generations, are we not able to step back and really see GOD ... as GOD?

Re: Christian Universalism

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:08 am
by natcat86

Matt 5:43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.