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Hell, Romans 8:38, and The New Living Translation

I don't dislike the NLT, but we do need to be careful to remember that an "equivalence" is not a translation (and both are subject to bias).

I noticed that the NLT has this for Rom 8:38:

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love."
A wonderful thought for Christians! However, we have some bias slipped into the NLT here. The Greek reads "archḗ" and "dýnamis." Other translations render these "principalities" and "powers." These would be evil forces, no doubt, but should we impose on them "the powers of hell?"

The latter implies that "hell" is some sort of spiritual HQ. There is nothing in scripture to support that assumption. In fact (and ironically), these principalities and powers are far from the hell of tradit…

A Quick Look at 1 Thess 4 (The Rapture Verse) - Part 2

Now let's see about the ones with whom He comes. In the traditional rapture doctrine which relies on 1 Thess 4, it is assumed these are the deceased believers.
"It is with these words that we are to comfort our selves if believers die- fall asleep in Jesus. They shall return with Him when He shall be manifested; but, as regards their own portion, they will go away as He went, whether raised from the dead or transformed, to be for ever with the Lord."
-Darby's Synopsis of the New Testament, 1 Thessalonians 4 This is traditional "Classical Dispensational" view (the believers are the "saints" who escort the Lord.

Let's not ignore the witness of scripture. First, let's correct the translation of a similar passage in the Book of Jude.
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all the…

A Quick Look at 1 Thess 4 (The Rapture Verse) - Part 1

I'll start by noting that I am a Dispensationalist. No surprise there. However, I don't identify with any of the traditional eschatological (end time) views associated with the position. That is, while I see many of the same end time scenarios similarly, I don't hold to any of the "rapture" positions (pre, mid, pre-wrath, post) while still holding to the concept of a future Tribulation and Millennium.

You can find thoughts on these elsewhere on this blog, but I just want to look at one aspect of the Second Coming of Christ; the coming in the clouds with His Saints.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
-1 Thess 4:16-18 (KJV)

The Lord coming i…