Onesiphorus and the judgment

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by James_Newman, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. James_Newman

    James_Newman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    5,013
    Likes Received:
    0
    2 Timothy 1:16-18
    16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
    17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
    18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

    Romans 9 tells us that the Lord has mercy on whom He will have mercy. However, we have been told who the Lord will have mercy on - those who have mercy toward others.

    Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

    James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

    Jesus commands us to give attention to such ministry, equating the ministering to the saints with ministering to the Lord Himself.

    Matthew 25:39-40
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Likewise, failure to minister to those will be viewed as the neglect of our Lord.

    Matthew 25:44-45
    44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

    My question would be this: If believers have nothing to fear at the judgment, what is the purpose of Paul asking for the Lord to have mercy toward Onesiphorus? What would he need mercy from?
     
  2. mountainrun

    mountainrun
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tough question considering the scant information about him that we have, but here are some possibilities.

    It may be possible that Onesiphorus was not a believer but I don't know this to be fact.

    He was possibly dead at the time of the writing as Paul did not greet him but mentioned only his family.

    Paul may have been saying the 70 A.S. equivalent of
    "May God have mercy on his soul."
    Or "May he rest in peace."

    2Ti 1:16 I pray that the Lord will be kind to the family of Onesiphorus. He often cheered me up and wasn't ashamed of me when I was put in jail.

    2Ti 4:19 Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and to the family of Onesiphorus.

    No information is available on Onesiphorus any where else in scripture.

    Asking for mercy for him, if he was indeed a believer, may be akin to Jesus telling us in the Lord's Prayer to pray for our daily bread when He has already told us that God provides it for us.

    Good question, though.

    MR
     
  3. Gina B

    Gina B
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    16,944
    Likes Received:
    1
    It sounds like it may have been a common phrase during an introduction, much as "God bless you" is now.
    I kind of like it, much better than God bless you. "May God have mercy on you in that day" relates the reason for our hope and reflects the meaning of our lives.
    It's all about what happens in the end.
    We don't know what will happen to each other. We'll be shocked at both who is and who isn't, if we're stupid enough to be watching.
    That phrase also implies the idea that we're not all knowing.
    Yep, I like it!
     
  4. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    Onesiphorus is known to us only in Paul’s second Epistle to Timothy and in the second century work, Acts of Paul and Thecla. According to the second source he had been a citizen of Iconium where he and his wife Lectra were hosts to Paul on his first missionary journey.

    There is a pseudo-Christian cult that teaches that after they die, disobedient Christians will be punished for their disobedience during a future millennium in the “outer darkness.” Some members of this cult interpret the “outer darkness” to be a suburb, so to speak, of heaven; others teach that it is in hell. Any of these cultists who would hope to find support for their heresy in Paul’s words regarding Onesiphorus, “the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord” have very little to hang their hopes on because this expression and the similar expression, “The Lord grant mercy to” are not used anywhere else in the Bible and we simply do not know what Paul meant by his use of these expressions. And since there is no suggestion in either document that either Onesiphorus or his household were disobedient Christians, the idea that they needed mercy because of their disobedience could not possibly be more ludicrous.

    A much more important discussion regarding this passage is centered on the question whether or not Onesiphorus was dead at the time of Paul’s writing. Also in Acts of Paul and Thecla we find these words,

    And after the procession, Tryphaena took her again, for her daughter Falconilla, who was dead, had spoken to her in a dream: "Mother, the desolate stranger Thecla you will have in my place in order that she may pray for me and I be translated to the place of the righteous." (Translated by R.S. Kraemer)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. James_Newman

    James_Newman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    5,013
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm sure there is a good reason why the acts of Paul and Thecla is not in my bible, I just can't think of it right off hand... being a pseudo-christian I was taught that the bible was the standard for truth and that extra-biblical teachings were to be shunned. But I bet if I were catholic, that would be a very interesting topic, did Paul say masses for Onesiphorus to get him out of purgatory. But 1 John 5:16 would seem to contradict the idea that we must pray dead people into the kingdom. I doubt that is Paul's intent.

    I think that we can probably understand what Paul meant if we were to read it carefully. The Lord, that's Jesus Christ, grant, that means to give, mercy, which is to say clemency, or perhaps pardon. You say that there is no reason to believe that Onesiphorus or his house were disobedient, thus they have no need of mercy? I think the Bible tells us otherwise.

    Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

    Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

    1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    Who can stand before God and say they have no sin? Who therefore does not need mercy from the Lord?
     
  6. genesis12

    genesis12
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    1
    Today, I might say about a deceased brother in Christ, "God love him! God bless him! Lord, thank you for welcoming him home!"

    Imagine Paul saying this, his eyes lifted toward Heaven, his hands lifted up, joy in his heart and eyes.............

    "May the Lord grant him mercy in that day!"

    I can believe that, that is a proper interpretation, or I can spend the rest of my life wondering what the proper interpretation is. In the final analysis, all scripture is spiritually discerned. One wonders, therefore, why we still have questions.
     
  7. partialrapture

    partialrapture
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am surprised that no one has asked what Paul means and is refering to when he says "in that day" WHAT DAY? and why whould he hope for God's mercy to be granted as if there were conditions involved in what could happen on that day.
     
  8. Bartholomew

    Bartholomew
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2002
    Messages:
    714
    Likes Received:
    0
    James, you're spot on. There is a day in which we need mercy. That same day also seems (from this passage - 2 Tim 1) to be a day of reward:

    v12: "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."

    Of course I know you know what it is. In 2 Cor 5 Paul said of being present with the Lord:

    "9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him."

    Obviously it was possible for Paul to be present yet NOT accepted. And why?

    "10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

    And there we have it - good OR bad. When Christians stand before the judgement seat they may receive mercy or not. This is not our absolute salvation; it is our position within/chastisement outside the kingdom in which Christ will reign on earth.

    Craig, you might call this "heresy", "from the pit of hell", "a cult" or whatever you like; but I have learnt not to be scared by such accusations from men.
     
  9. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    I must admit that your posts have proven that to be true. If a man much more learned and wise than I were to tell me that any of my beliefs were "heresy," I would be exceedingly desirous to sit down with that man and learn from him. However, true heretics are already convinced of their heresies and have no desire to learn the truth; and no amount of learning, no amount of wisdom from God, no amount of truth will persuade them to abandon their heresies and believe the truth.

    Please note that I am not calling you a heretic for I do not personally know you and your beliefs.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. James_Newman

    James_Newman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    5,013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is that supposed to be humility? I love you brother, but you think too much of your self. Who could possibly have anything to teach such an one as you?
     
  11. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    Dearest Brother James [​IMG] ,

    If thou loved me like I lovest thee [​IMG] , thou wouldest not post personal attacks against me, as thou hast done repeatedly ever since thou began posting on this message board :( . And thou wouldest not encourage me to sin by pretending to be a man of low estate [​IMG] . The Bible says,

    Rom 12:3. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

    My sound judgment tells me that God, according to His riches in glory, has most bountifully blessed me with intelligence and wisdom, an exceptionally sound mind, and an excellent education. I could post as though I am a foolish grammar school dropout with a weak mind, but that would be dishonest and make me a poor steward of the intelligence, wisdom, soundness of mind, and education that God has seen fit to bless me with [​IMG] .

    Both Moses and Jesus were meek and humble, but their speech manifested their intelligence, wisdom, soundness of mind, and education :cool: .

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    James_Newman wrote,

    A good many people could; and some of them teach me everyday. And being a faithful steward, I pass what I learn on to others. Some receive it with joy, as I did; others reject it and insult me for my kindness and good stewardship.
    :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Bartholomew

    Bartholomew
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2002
    Messages:
    714
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perhaps. For a long time I have not posted on this board, but for much of that time I did read threads with interest. I was particularly interested in reading yours, actually, since I had never really heard anyone defend what you teach. "Perhaps," I thought, "I'm just wrong on all this?" Indeed, just the way you called this particular doctrine, "heresy," "from the pit of hell," etc. made me sit up and wonder. However, I have examined the relevant Bible passages again and again and simply do not find your doctrine taught there. Indeed, I found from your posts that you believe the following things:

    1. Evolution
    2. The earth is millions of years old
    3. Works play a role in our ultimate salvation
    4. The killing of an embryo is not particularly serious

    Please forgive me if what I have said is untrue - if it is not then you must believe something similar to the above, since these impressions come forth strongly from your posts. Not only are these teachings not found in scripture, but for all I can see they run completely contrary to its obvious, straightforward teaching. I do not really care for what you call "education", what you call a "sound mind", etc... All these things are claimed by militant atheists and those who teach the Bible is wrong. I have the word of God and His Holy Spirit dwelling within me. I trust Him to show me the truth if I come letting Him teach me; not trying to make what I read fit my own ideas. I do not claim to have all the answers; but this one thing I know: your teachings listed above run very much contrary to God's clear, overall message in the Bible.

    That is why I am no longer scared to have you call my beliefs "heresy".

    Now, perhaps we could continue the discussion of the topic at hand...
     
  14. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    1. Evolution—The theory of evolution was not known in Biblical times and, therefore, the Bible says nothing about it. The same is true of all scientific theories that postdate the Biblical times. Therefore, we must look to science to evaluate these scientific theories. Virtually all Christians today, including fundamentalist extremists, acknowledge that microevolution has taken place among plants and animals. If one goes to ultra-conservative websites such as Answers in Genesis and reads what they have to say about Noah’s Ark, one will find that they argue out of necessity that there were only thousands of species on the Ark and that the two million that we have today evolved from those thousands of species. What they don’t tell you is that evolution on the scale that that would require is definitely macroevolution rather than microevolution and that it would require a rate of evolution hundreds of if not thousands of times faster than natural selection could possible account for.


    2. The earth is millions of years old—there is no more doubt that the earth is more than millions of years old than there is that the earth is round rather than flat. The very few so-called scientists who teach that the earth is only about 10,000 years old are fools that refuse to honestly look at and evaluate the data that incontrovertibly proves that the earth is more than a few million years old. The Bible does not tell us how old the earth is and those people who claim that we can calculate the age of it from genealogies in the Bible simply don’t know enough about the Bible to read it intelligently and come to a reasonable interpretation of it.

    3. Works play a role in our ultimate salvation—The Bible expressly says that “faith, if it has no works, is dead.” Many Baptists who don’t know their Bible confuse the works of the Law with the works that Christ taught his followers to practice. Much worse, they pretend that the second half of the second chapter of James is not in the Bible.

    James 2:14. What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
    15. If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
    16. and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
    17. Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
    18. But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
    19. You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
    20. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
    21. Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
    22. You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;
    23. and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God.
    24. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
    25. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
    26. For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

    Personally, I believe with James that we are saved by grace through faith, and that true, saving faith always includes good works.

    4. The killing of an embryo is not particularly serious—The Bible is absolutely silent about this issue. But it is not silent about poverty and the Christian responsibility of loving our neighbor. It doesn’t cost very much money to stand in the front of a supermarket and harass the shoppers and tell them that stem cell research is murder, but adopting three kids in need of a home can be very expensive, especially if one of them needs open-heart surgery to survive (unless you are fortunate enough to live in any industrialized county other than the United States where open heart surgery on a child can cost the parents as much as $100,000). In the United States, thousands upon thousands of children die every year because no one is willing to pay for their medical care. In third-world countries, millions of children die every year because no one is willing to pay for their medical care even when that care often costs less that on U.S. dollar per child! Is it more important to save the life of a dying child, or the life of a blastocyst?

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    2,364
    Likes Received:
    0
    What a horrible, bloody distinction. Shame on you.

    Lacy
     
  16. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    Lacy Evans wrote,

    :D :D :D [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,454
    Likes Received:
    0
    We know that Jeremiah wrote that God's mercies and compassions are new every morning. Paul may have been speaking of an abundance of compassion and kindness upon Onesiphorus' house because of the good deeds done toward him.
     
  18. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    Amen! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page

Loading...