NDEs and the Bible affirm Universal Salvation-Continued
G. “Light" is a metaphor, similar to "fire," used to describe God.
The verses below use the metaphor of light to describe God and God's purifying power.
"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." (I John 1:5)
"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)
"There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light." (Matthew 17:2)
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12)
One can see the scriptures using the metaphors light and fire interchangeably to describe God and God's manifestations.
H. "Light" is a metaphor also used to describe spiritual knowledge. "Darkness" is spiritual ignorance.
"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)
"If you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth -- you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?" (Romans 2:19-21)
"Then Jesus told them, 'You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.'" (John 12:35)
"But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him." (1 John 2:11)
"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.
Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you." (Luke 11:33-36)
These verses show the spiritual condition of hell to be darkness, the lack of the knowledge of God. This spiritual condition begins as a spiritual condition on Earth and is realized at death.
I. “Darkness" is a metaphor also used to describe hell.
The verses below describe how the metaphor of darkness is used to describe hell.
"And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home -- these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day." (Jude 1:6)
"These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm -- shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--
twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever." (Jude 1:12-13)
"But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:12)
"These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them." (2 Peter 2:17)
From these verses, one can conclude that hell is darkness, a metaphor for ignorance of God.
J. "Darkness" is a metaphor also used to describe the world.
Similar to hell, the world is a place of darkness, spiritual ignorance. The following verses point this out.
"Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles -- the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." (Matthew 4:15-16)
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)
"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves." (Colossians 1:13)
"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light,
so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." (John 3:19-21)
This world and hell have something in common. Both are filled with the darkness of spiritual ignorance.
K. Suffering is necessary to attain spiritual perfection in this world and in hell.
The scriptures are clear on how suffering in this world leads toward spiritual perfection. The scriptures show God giving us suffering in order to create character and perseverance, and to cause us to rely more on him and not in our own strength (or weakness). Suffering should never be viewed as a curse from God, but rather a blessing in disguise. The same should be viewed of the suffering in hell. It is God's will for us to suffer in this world and in hell in order to bring about spiritual perfection. The following scriptures prove it:
"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author [Jesus] of their salvation perfect through suffering." (Hebrews 2:10)
"Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him [Jesus] and cause him to suffer." (Isaiah 53:10)
"For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him." (Philippians 1:20)
"For this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you follow in his steps." (1 Peter 2:21)
"To keep from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you,' for my power is made perfect in weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)