William Andrew Dillard

Apostasy simply means the losing of one’s salvation. It is the multiple-emphasized declaration of the Holy Word that salvation is everlasting. Still some have trouble with such passages as Matthew 5:22, “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
It is important to establish context. Verse one of the chapter set it. It is the inaugural message of Jesus to His newly called out church. The burden of the message is the difference between the Old Covenant and the New one. As He spoke about personal relationships, this verse that is problematic to some is spoken. The idea of judgment is not a problem; the idea of the council is not a problem, but to be put in danger of hell fire for using the label “fool” to a brother is a problem that few know how to understand. The exposition of its meaning is herewith offered as true and harmonious with the non-contradictory nature of the Holy Word.
The problematic terminology is “in danger of hell fire.” A survey of original language of the scriptures shows this “hell fire” to be an English translation of the Greek word, “Gehenna.” The hell fire to which unbelievers,,the devil, and his minions will be assigned is “Hades, hell” in the Koine Greek of the New Testament. It is a place that born again people can never experience on the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, “Gehenna” is the name of the city dump of Jerusalem. In it were discarded all things of no intrinsic value to be consumed by fire. 
If one can say to his brother (spiritual brother in Christ; remember the context) you are a fool; a moron for living as you do in/for Him, then it is open proof that the value system of life of the one so saying is so far afield from God and the teachings of Holy Writ that such life will be lost in the judgment fires of God when ALL His people stand before Him, 2 Cor. 5:10. The apostle Paul taught in I Cor. 3:9-16 that all the words and deeds of life would be as six categories: wood, hay stubble, gold, silver, precious stones. All will be tried in judgment fire. Of course, wood, hay, stubble are consumed. And, there are some who will be saved, yet so as by fire. They will be without reward of life lived on earth. The judgment of a fellow brother in Christ as a moron is herewith underscored as wood, hay, stubble, and not the life that will be rewarded. That in itself is a catastrophe no believer should have, but it is a far cry from apostasy.


Filed under Commentary


  1. Clyde Mitchell Jr

    Excellent! Love these short powerful


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