Is there such a place as hell, or is it as some claim, only a “scare-tactic” (just because most preachers misuse it this way), and an imaginary or symbolic place? We will see that hell is real but was never designed for man’s eternal torture (Mt 25:41). We all had a perfect chance to choose Life (Jn 1:1-4; 3:15-21; 5:37-47; 6:48-50; 11:26…).
To research, one has to go to the oldest reference(s) to your subject. This happens to be contained in one of the oldest, but the most credible books known: The Bible. If you still deny this fact, you have a lot [of facts] to learn, and myths to unlearn. But do not despair: God loves you. He made you and is the only Person that truly understands you. He wants no soul to be lost – 2 Peter 3:9. He could have helped you to [choose to] read this little summery.
For a start in the thought-process: you are on earth right now. There is a heaven, and there is a hell – they are distinctly different places. Those imagining otherwise, and try to work out their own salvation in any way other than trust [believe] on Him that is Love, is probably – sadly – in for a hell of a surprise… Sorry for the crude pun, but if you reject Jesus as Creator and Savior, it is true. God is a Perfect Father, Sustainer, Helper, Teacher, Savior and Guide – He does not look at His creation like we do. The Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior-King, He approaches behaviour from the point of service, giving [ministering], in other words: compensation, forgiveness and peace; while we (as long as we listen to the lies of the world-system, and Satan or our evil thoughts), are forever out to retaliate. Do the effort to learn what Jesus, the Prince of Peace, teach.
The Bible starts with where the planets and stars, and humans, and the whole creation come from. It continues to reveal the root of the problem [of all problems, leading to all the other problems] in the world, and the [only] solution to it. The Bible is God’s Word: it is one, unfolding, progressive revelation about His reason, His Wisdom, His Life, His Truth – Jesus Christ. God made us, and He provided a Perfect reconciliation [“reconstruction” back to Him] for those accepting His Sacrifice. I did nothing to achieve my salvation, but shall do something to exhibit it. Note the words that have their origin in the Word of God. For example: universe (“one spoken sentence”), enthusiasm (“infused or imparted by God”), Charisma (“Holy Spirit gift”), Love, peace, joy, goodness, etc.,etc.. Consider the following telegram-style comparison:
Wickedness (means “twisted”) is thus a way of mishandling perfect goodness by poor choices (1 Tim 4:4). It is more a lack of something than something, in the sense that it is a sin [separation from God] to distrust His Love (Jesus Christ). Hell is “drastic” for sure, but so is the choice to not trust a Perfect Creator-Father in the sense that unbelievers chose themselves to not be with the Lord [be wicked]. Rom 1:18-25.
Let’s reason together (Jeremiah 12:1 onwards; also Ps 73 – note how Asaph’s reasoning changed when he started talking to God, instead of about God… verse 17). God gives revelation-knowledge, the world mere information-knowledge.
So, let’s compare “logic” (left) with God’s possible answers on the right [all is: Jesus Christ]…
… If God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Love… … How do I console it with wickedness?
|Where does wickedness come from?
The Bible teaches that God created everything (Jn 1:1-3; Col 1:15-17), including evil (Is 45:7; 54:15). Does this mean God tempts man, causing man to fall?
|Wickedness is where God’s goodness is rejected.
– God made everything perfect. The destroyer is there to destroy evil, and has nothing on God or His followers (Is 54:12-17; Jn 16:33; 1 Jn 1:5; Js 4:7). Sin is man[kind’s] own choice: choosing darkness over Light, man falls through his own lust, greed, desires (Jn 3:16-21; Rom 5:12-21; Js 1:13-18; 1 Pet 2:9). See the paper “The will of man, the will of God”
|Has God created imperfect beings?
– How can a destroyer be perfect?
|No. God [Love] does not manipulate; thus gave us a free will to choose [accept] His Love (Jn 3:15-21).
– God is perfectly wise and trustworthy.
– Perfect Love gives a will free to choose, not control by fear or masnipulation.
– Rejecting God’s perfect Love + Grace [unmerited favor] is our choice. Darkness has nothing on God.
|Why does God not stop wickedness now?
– Wickedness exists
– As God is Goodness, He will stop wickedness
– As God is omnipotent, He can stop wickedness
– Thus God is not omnipotent or goodness
|Wickedness can, and will be terminated by God.
– If God intervened now by stopping all bad, so would be our freedom of choice… to genuinely love Him.
– God will- when He knows the time is right [perfect].
– Humans can not know how big their Creator is.
Main references to hell in the Bible: 2 Thess 1:8,9; Rev 19:20; 20:6,10,14,15; 21:8; Heb 10:26,27; 2 Pet 3:7; Mt 25:41; 13:40-43. Note (in Mt 25:41) that hell is designed for Satan and his followers, not specifically for man, but people that reject God’s design (“destination”, eternal fellowship with Him); but chooses to share darkness and is brazen enough to opt for the possibility [utter destruction as an eternal “destination”], dooming themselves through their choice of unbelief [distrust] in God’s Love, Grace, Goodness, et cetera. They choose themselves to believe Satan’s lies (Jn 8:30-51, especially verse 44; also Prov 12:22; Rev 22:15). Check out Numbers 23:19; 1 Sam 15:29; Titus 1:2; Heb 6:17,18; Isaiah 55:8,9; Rom 3:4 for yourself, if you are interested in the Truth (Jn 8:32,36; 14:6).
A note on Mt 5:22: The Greek word used here for “hell” is “Geenna” (equals “Gehenna”), which represents the Hebrew word “Ge-Hinnom,” meaning “the valley of Tophet” (Is 30:33; Jer 7:31; 19:6-14). This is a valley just outside Jerusalem where fires burned refuse continually. Israelite kings also reared up altars in this valley and burnt their children to the pagan god, Molech. This received harsh rebukes and prophecies of judgment (Jer 7:31; 19:6-14), and therefore, the valley of Hinnom began to symbolize eternal judgment and damnation or hell – as a good picture [for humans] of that place. Geenna is used 12 times in the New Testament (Mt 5:22,29-30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33; Mk 9:43,45,47; Lk 12:5; Js 3:6).
Jesus used the term 11 times, and 10 of those times were in reference to eternal punishment of the wicked. Jesus referred to it being a place of fire (Mt 18:9; Mk 9:43-48; Lk 16:24) and where the worm [according to Ezra Palmer Gould, which preys on the inhabitants and is a symbol of the wounds inflicted on the man himself by his sins] would not die (Mk 9:44,46,48) and the fire is not put out (Lk 16:24-25). Note that the idea of never-ending punishment is unlikely to correspond with God’s nature of not being sadistic like man but rather to destroy sin for good [so that the effect is eternal]. Jesus also taught in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus that there is no escape from hell once a person has been placed there (Lk 16:26). The word used for “hell” here as well as 9 other times in the New Testament is “hades” (Mt 11:23; 16:18; Lk 10:15; 16:23: Acts 2:27,31; Rev 1:18; 6:8; 20:13-14), and means the region of departed spirits of the lost. It corresponds directly with the Old Testament Hebrew word “sheol” which has been translated hell (Ex. Ps 9:17), the grave (Ex. Gen 37:35), and the pit (Ex. Num 16:30,33).
Are there absolutes? Are there absolutes for right or wrong?
The statement: “there are no absolutes”, is an absolute! It is a false statement, but an absolute, therefore by logic alone it is absolutely foolish to claim there are no absolutes! This is no more than a feeble attempt to reason away God’s resentment towards [judgement against] sin (Jn 16:9; Heb 10:26-39). The Word of God clearly teaches the choices we have to make between right and wrong. There has to be absolutes for norms to exist. Only God as our Perfect Creator-Father can determine these absolutes – and the way to change absolutely (Jn 14:6; Rom 12:1-2).
Is there punishment for wrong?
God is the Source of righteousness, of course there would be consequences for sin (distrust in God), and for rebellion and wickedness. Refer to even just Jn 3:3, 17-21. The tragic fact is that sinners condemn themselves because God rules His creation through Love and laws such as Rom 8:1,2 and Gal 6:7. Also read Prov 11:21,31; Is 13:11; Jn 1:17; 3:17-21; 2 Pet 2:9; Heb 10:26-39; Mt 5:29.
What is the effect of this punishment?
Js 1:15; Rom 6:23a; Rev 20:9b; Mt 10:28.
Is this punishment complete?
It is complete: “utterly consumed” – Ps 21:9; Heb 10:27; Rev 20:9. “Cut off” – Ps 37:2,9,28,34,38; Is 33:12; Rev 2:22. Perdition or ruin, utterly destroyed – Ez 28:19; Heb 10:39; 2 Pet 3:7; Mt 10:28. In 2 Pet 3:7 this looks like complete and absolute annihilation, to be obliterated, final and utter termination or cessation to exist. This further corroborates the idea of an everlasting result [effect] and thus not any requirement for continuation of torment that could (a) at some point possibly be out of proportion to the original rebellion [distrust, disbelief] and (b) keep the sinner – and in effect the sin – alive [going, giving it a status to exist to what end/purpose?].
How long will it last?
Do “not be quenched” and “eternal fire” mean “always burn”? Not necessarily, no. Certainly not when comparing Jer 17:27b with 2 Chron 36:19-21. That fire is not burning now, but what burned is consumed with everlasting effect or result. The same can be applied to Mt 25:41; Mk 9:43,48 and Lk 3:17. The fire will not be able to be extinguished by anything or anyone, for God will use it to finally and utterly destroy evil and the wicked for all eternity [the result will be eternal, once they have been completely destroyed by unquenchable fire]. The fire will be unquenchable until the fire has burned and destroyed the wicked, then it will never burn again. Evil and its practitioners will be no more and will have no more reason to exist – ever again [still].
It does not seem to be God’s nature to enjoy [or show reason to execute] never-ending punishment, He seems to rather get rid of wickedness at once – as in the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and so on. God is not sadistic; He is slow to anger and quick to forgive. As the One untouchable Holy God He is Righteousness yes, but He is a Father Who’s grace and mercy endures forever. The past reality of recurring wickedness (due to man’s misused authority [dominion handed to a destroyer out of distrust towards God, rebellion – Js 4:7], will be demolished once for all, after Jesus has dealt with it in His final judgement (Jn 5:21-23). There will be destruction, and it will only be applicable to the ungodly people (2 Pet 3:7b), and to false teachings and religion (Rev 21:8; 1 Jn 2:4; Mt 7:19-23; and so on).
God is Love (1 Jn 4:8). God is not a manipulator or a sadist, as many propagate (to manipulate people through fear, refer to the papers such as “Church”, “Christian suffering”, “Who by fire” and “The Gospel”). Even man has in his legal system a principle such as double jeopardy (non bis in idem) that declares it unfair to punish someone more than once for the same wrong done. Man also stipulates a limit to the force necessary that would count as sufficient to cease unwanted action/behaviour [superior than mere retaliatory punishment] and what more than this would account as excessive force [that would also be wrong]. Remember that God [yes, of Ex 3:14] gave man a free will and by implication will never remove that same will and ability to choose perfectly free from extortion or blackmail. For those who think God will perpetually and eternally torture [burn] unbelievers in fire without them being [eventually] killed by it, must believe that God will do this by working some kind of special eternal miracle for every individual unbeliever to have them [barely?] survive torture for all eternity! This is hard to reconcile with a perfect God of Love (refer to paper God = Love). No, even Rev 21:8 implies there is a (second) final and complete and utter absolute destruction [death]. The first would have been the choice to not believe and accept God’s grace (Jn 1:12,13,17; 3:3, 16-21; 16:9) and the second then the final annihilation by choice in that such an unbeliever will merely cease to exist when not receiving the salvation and eternal life Jesus paid for with His blood. Hell is therefore unlikely (pardon the pun) to be a place designed by God for eternal [never ceasing] punishment as if elements or aspects of insecurity or a sadistic nature can be found in God [Love], because God [Love] gave us all the same amount and level of perfectly free choice in our will – it is not false. We simply have a choice between everlasting (and eternal – see “The Testimony”!) life by trust in God’s Word (Jn 1:14;16:9) and thus a true choice to cease to exist when our bodies gives in/out. Hell is hence improbable to be a retaliatory measure, especially without a final settled conclusion. Refer to the paper “The will of man and the will of God” for more on God’s will and His expression of His Perfect Love.
Where and when comes this end to wickedness?
Where? Mal 4:1,3; Rev 20:11-15; Is 24:21; 1 Cor 15:25; Eph 3:10; 6:12
When? Acts 17:31; Rev 20:6-12; 2 Pet 3:7-12
Where will the “grinding of teeth” occur? (Mt 8:12; 13:42,50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Lk 13:28)
The following comment
“The outer darkness” in Mt 8:12 and 22:13 is Gehenna, the place of burning (Mt 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9), but the “outer darkness of Mt 25:30 does not mean Gehenna. It is said by scholars to be applied not to unbelievers or hypocrites but to the believers who neglected to exercise their God-given talents. In v 26 the Lord calls such a servant ponēre, wicked, and in v 41 katēramenoi, cursed, but these terms may be applied to believers who have failed the Lord in their service. The parable of the talents shows the necessity of serving Jesus Christ faithfully according to His investment in us (1 Cor 6:20; Jn 3:16). Therefore, in this instance “outer darkness” seems to be a place of far less rewards for the servants who proved themselves less diligent than those who used and exercised their talents to the fullest – to bring Him glory (1 Cor 10:31; Heb 11:6b; Rom 10:9,10; Rev 12:11). This expression can then refer to degrees of enjoyment in the heavenly realm rather than hell. This teaching of varied rewards is taught by some as part and parcel of the N.T. to reflect the justice of God. But remembering that God’s grace and mercy endures forever and His plan for us is not necessarily the idea religious scholars have (Acts 10:34; Gal 3:11,28; Rom 10:12 et al), we might well find that our “rewards in heaven” will depend more on what we exercise here in His authority [faith, trust, belief] than on what we have done for Christ (Mt 5:3-12; 7:21-23; 10:15; Lk 6:20-26; 12:47,48; Acts 10:4,31; Rom 2:1-16; 14:10-23; 1 Cor 3:13; 4:5; 2 Cor 5:10; 1 Jn 4:17; Rev 20:11-15). The sin of neglect (of Christ’s follower) is of such paramount importance that the same simile is used by the Lord, “the outer darkness”, to indicate the punishment of the unbeliever for his rejection of the only salvation plan of God and also the everlasting Life He provided for. The teaching that says that, in the case of the believer, it will be weeping which is an indication of sorrow over self-centredness and not having used his God-given opportunities; and that the gnashing of teeth indicates anger at oneself for missing such marvellous opportunities [authority in Christ] that the believer had on earth but chose to be absorbed by himself instead, implies that regret [repentance] is [will be] evident [present] in hell. This seems to not be what Jesus taught in Lk 16:19-31. That rich Jew never repented and kept his hardness of heart even in hades! That rich man still would not understand that Jesus Christ is the only savior, but offered to go and save his brothers through his effort. The Lord teaches that then, no one can go back to do it over; and that He will be proven as being fair because no one in hell will try to turn back – they have made their choice to not love Him, to not hate what He hates and for some even their love was feigned (Rom 12:9; Ps 119:104; Prov 6:16-19; 11:20; 12 ;22), and this will be so in [effect for] all eternity. Consider again Jn 1:10-13; 3:17-20; 16:9; Mt 7:21-23.
The Lord stresses an element of exclusion awaiting the unrepentant. The background is the demonstration of great faith by a Roman centurion, a Gentile, who came seeking healing for his servant and understanding of Kingdom-principles. “Sons of the kingdom”, in this instance, refers to the unrepentant Jews who thought that because of their ancestry, they had automatic entrance into the kingdom of God (Jn 8:31-59). These false children of the kingdom are not to be confused with the true children of the kingdom referred to in Mt 13:38 who are the believing witnesses on earth sent forth by the Sower. Those who came “from the East and West” are Gentiles who exercised personal faith in Jesus Christ even as this centurion (Gal 3:16,25-29). In Lk 13:28, we have the expression “yourselves” referring to the unbelieving Jews. In larger context Lk 13:22-30 combines what Matthew tells here and in Mt 7:23. The whole context is Jesus’ teaching concerning the final exclusion from entrance into heaven [of those whose bodies perished] of anybody who proved to be a hypocrite. The groups of liars mentioned in Rev 21:8 that will experience second death in Gehenna, are listed in 1 Jn 2:4,22; 2 Jn 1:7. Take special note here that faith that produces no works or confession – for Christ – is dead (Js 2:14-26; Rom 8:1,2). O hell, yes, the hypocrite faces a grim reality!
Matthew refers to the false disciples reporting their miracles (Mt 7:22; also religious leaders following Moses and the law in Jn 9:28; 16:2), whereas Luke mentions the ones who reminded Jesus that they once ate with Him in the streets of their city (Lk 13:26). The Jews thought they were first, but the Lord reminds them that they could be last and those who thought themselves last, such as [ex-] sinners, to be first. Remembering that God resists the proud (1 Pet 5:5,6), the self-righteous, because pride makes a man think he is equal or even superior to God with His salvation-plan and everlasting life. Pride gives man the feeble notion that he has to test/approve of God’s justice first before taking the invitation of “come to Me” (Mt 11:28-30). Remember that faith (Heb 11:6) need not exist if you know everything. You worship God because He is infinitely greater than you are, not because you have to understand or approve of His righteousness first! Neither to prove your own righteousness first. He is the Source of righteousness, Love, intellect – of all good things – goodness is not originated from man made by Him (Jer 1:5; Is 55:7-9). Sinners are saved if they exercise faith in [trust in-, reliance on-, and commitment to] Him (Jn 14:6). The cross of Jesus brings man to the point of realization of the utter helplessness to save himself, that only the Son of Man, the Son of God, could have reconciliated mankind [back] to God the Father (1 Tim 2:5). There is no other way, and there can (could) be no other way (Lk 22:41,42; Jn 14:6).
“Shall be cast out” is the Greek ekblēthēsontai which is the punctiliar future passive of ekballō from ek, “out”, and ballō, “to cast”. It refers to a particular time when this is going to happen; an action which is done by someone else [other than themselves]. It is not a capricious throwing out of the hypocrites but it is something they brought upon themselves through their hypocritical pretence that they were the children and followers of Abraham when they were really not, thinking they could fool an Omnipotent, Omnipresent God. Abraham was the father of the faithful, but they themselves were not faithful. The expression “into outer darkness” occurs three times: Mt 8:12; 22:13; 25:30. In Greek, the expression is preceded by the definite article. It was an area outside a well-illuminated banquet hall where there was darkness (see the wedding feast in Mt 22:1-14; the true story but simultaneous analogy of Boaz and Ruth in Bethlehem; and Jn 1:9-14; and so on). The person who tried to sneak into the banquet hall without the proper dress (Rom 13:14; Rev 7:9) was cast into the outer darkness. That meant an area farther away than the immediate darkness next to the banquet hall where the darkness was not so dense as in the area farther away. In the first two instances, “outer darkness” refers to the place of suffering for the unbelievers contrasted to the light were the believers dwell (1 Jn 1:5-7). Unbelievers will be thrown into the furnace of fire, whereas believers will shine as the moon [Bride], reflecting sun [Son, Bridegroom] – and even now, in the kingdom unto the dark side of the unrepentant [legalistic, self-righteous, superficial religious system of this] world.
Luke 16:19-31 was not a parable, but a significant and profound enlightening given to us by the Lord. Parables were told in a different style. Jesus here lifted a veil. A few short notes on this passage:
– The rich man did not go to Hades (not hell, or Gehenna, yet) for being rich, but for not accepting [confessing with his mouth and following] Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation. Note here that his name is not known [in heaven; Mt 7:23; Rev 20:12,14,15; 21:27], and that even in Hades he tried to devise his own version of a salvation plan for his brothers (from Hades!). Furthermore, this rich man said “no” to the Word of God, the Bible – for us – today, in v 30 (“Moses and the Prophets” mentioned in v 29 was the Scripture they had in Jesus’ time). The rich man’s funeral [ceremony] was most likely a rather impressive affair with much good to say about him by his fellow humans, but Jesus revealed the reality of his eternal, irreversible fate with God [his Creator].
– Lazarus, on the other hand, was despised by people and looked down on. His body was probably thrown on the refuse site outside town to burn, as was done with lepers and beggars who could not afford a funeral. Note that his name was known in heaven and that angels [plural] carried him to Abraham’s bosom. Lazarus did not go to heaven because he was poor, but Jesus shows that He [and all in heaven] knew Lazarus and that Lazarus had a personal [continuous spiritual] relationship with Jesus. It seems as if Lazarus never came into physical contact with Jesus [to be healed], but believed (Jn 3:16).
Sin is never “overlooked” by God, but was removed by the Blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary – outside time for anyone who will accept that perfect sacrificial price (Is 1:18). He created time, and us, for a specific purpose, and our repentance shows whether we have [really] changed our minds and as a result also changed our words and actions following, or not. He never changes: He alone is worthy, He is God. We tend to still be impressed more by the prophets and the law [represented by Elijah and Moses on the mount of transfiguration, Mt 17:3, as witnesses that Jesus Christ is the fulfilment thereof] than by what Jesus came to reveal to us in Person. Jesus simply commanded us to not only believe God, but to [also] believe Him (Jn 14:1,10; 16:9; Mt 22:39; Jn 5:39). Faith was given as a free gift in an equal measure to all (Rom 12:3 mentions “the” measure, not “a” measure), as a means, a mechanism, an ability to accept, trust and rely on [God]. Believe is our response to God [specifically in Jesus Christ giving His Spirit to indwell us as His church – not buildings made by man]. Faith is thus not our problem, but believing, and then the short burst(s) thereof. Jesus is asking you that question again right now: after blabbing what the world says about Him, what do you say – Who do you say is He? Do you believe Him? Your answer is the most pivotal and most important of anything you have ever said all your life. Be careful not to scoff at your only chance to obtain eternal Life. See “The Testimony” on www.gospel-truth.co.za for a tragic possibility in all of us missing the difference between afterlife and everlasting life.
If you realize Who you are dealing with, and you really accept Jesus as your Savior, He will be your Holiness and your Righteousness before God the Father, not any attempts [works] on your side (Rom 8:29-39). But you will be altered [by choice] to follow Him with results proving this as fact. He will also radically change your mind [way of thinking] by enlightment (Jn 8:32,36; 14:6) because of your commitment (Rom 12:1-12) . His Spirit Word will be like a river of Life bubbling up from within you and you will [have the power to] testify about Him (Jn 7:38). His kingdom is not a secret service! A [credible] witness has a personal testimony, not hear-say or mere reading [head] knowledge. Don’t be caught in the wrong place. Don’t try and sit in His judgement chair, or try and be the accuser (devil), or an advocate for God (He Himself is), or passive in the spectator seats with the cowardly and idiotic “political correctness” of the world (Rev 3:15-16; Mk 8:38; Rev 3:5,15-16) – you [we] are meant to be witnesses. And witnesses for Him, what He paid for to mean to us here on earth in His Theocracy where He is King. A “democracy” (majority rule) is stupid, for it does not in any way change God’s clear Word on right and wrong (1 Tim 5:22; 1 Tim 6:20-21; Js 4:3-10). The majority will vote for murder on unborn, pornography, prostitution, lotteries, and be “tolerant” of homosexuality; basically amazing apostasy that ends in hell. His kingdom on earth is not about heaven or hell, though, but Love and Life.
By the way, a common interpretation of 1 Pet 3:19-20 that subsequent to our Lord’s death, possibly between His death and resurrection, His disembodied Spirit went to the unseen world and there preached to the disobedient dead, must be rejected because this passage only speaks of the dead in the days of Noah. Verse 18 also makes it clear that there is no justification at all that such a small number of people who lived during the span of about 120 years should be singled out from the great mass of mankind for so singular and great a blessing. Such a theory of interpretation would extend it to include a doctrine of probation after death, meaning the impenitent dead have a second chance. Nowhere in Scripture do we find any indication that those who die unrepentant have a second change. 1 Pet 3:19 simply says that Christ preached. It does not say what He preached. We must not take for granted that every time we hear the word kērussō (“preach”), it means “to preach the Gospel”, which can simply be an announcement of Truth (Jn 8:32,36; 6:63; 14:6) or the fact stated in Jn 3:15-21. Even the word euaggelizō “to proclaim the good news”, does not necessarily mean to preach salvation. In Eph 2:17 the same verb is used but the object of the verb is peace, “He came and preached (euēggelisato) peace to you”. We will leave this subject here for now, but suffice to say that Love [God, not emotion] does not manipulate at all.
A suggestion now, is to read the paper entitled “The Will” by the author, as a supplement to this.
Consider also the paper “The Testimony” by this author, if you will… and 1 Thess 5:23 to you…
Joy and peace to you in Jesus Christ.