Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:47 pm
Sherman wrote:"The problems is.......scholars don't all agree".... about anything it seems.
As I noted, to me the passage is speaking of the punishment that comes from God upon those who are immature, selfish, so wrapped up in themselves that they do not even see the needs of others around them much less seek to meet those needs. Of course, such immaturity is not only seen in unbelievers, but also in believers. To take this passage and interpret it to speak of Hell and salvation one must then make salvation and not going to Hell based on works regardless of faith. The focus of the passage is God's judgment of how we live, the good works we do or lack thereof, and does not mention salvation, grace, or faith.
If we are selfless, mature, and naturally take care of the needs of others then God will bless us. If we are selfish, immature, and rarely even note the needs of others, God will punish, chastize us, seeking to bring correction in us. If one reads heaven and hell into this passage it would then only affirm that salvation is by works and has nothing to do with grace. In this parable the people "earn" their reward, positive and negative. Don't be fooled, what a man sows, so shall he reap.
But isn't faith manifested by our works? Yes it is!