Monday, July 21, 2008

Universalism

I don't get why there are a lot of Christians who start out in the grace of God and eventually go down a road that is no where in the Scripture. I think it's easy to get caught up in the fact that God is love that we forget sin is sin and God is also anger and wrath. Not that any believer in Christ will ever experience judgment from their Father. No way. But to say that people outside of the faith are saved is a lie people who start reasoning with their own understanding come to. Where is that in the Gospel?

They reason God is love. Yes, He is agape. But His agape is only possible because of the justice poured on Christ Jesus. I've mentioned this saying before that Jesus Himself said and I think every believer who toys with the idea of the heresy of universalism should think about. "All sins will be forgiven the children of man. But, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven."

It is those of faith that are sons of Abraham. The Scripture is clear that the unbelieving will have their part in the lake of fire that burns forever and ever.

I'm not trying to rain on anyones parade. I'm simply stating truth, whether or not it feels good. It's the truth. Telling people they're saved even if they have never believed the Gospel does them no help at all. Jesus said whoever would cause one of the little ones who believe in Him to sin, it would be better that that person should have a millstone tied around his neck and drowned in the depth of the sea.

God is love and God has lavished His grace on us. But only because of His Son, Jesus Christ.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am vehemently opposed to universalism, but I do believe that these scriptures are true: I Cor 15:22,28: For as in Adam ALL die, so also in Christ ALL shall be made alive and I Tim 4:10: It is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of ALL men, especially of believers.

I've studied this out for many, many years and have come to the conclusion that while all are not YET saved, in the end all will be saved, and through Christ alone. God will not lose even one of His creatures that He created in His image. Every knee will bow and confess Jesus as Lord.

Do you remember how when you first learned about grace that you couldn't believe all that you used to believe was in scripture you could now see had been twisted to say/mean other things in the religious system? Well, if you spend time studying out this topic, I think you will come to the same conclusion.

This little booklet, free online, is a great place to start seeing what the bible really says:
http://www.tentmaker.org/books/infinitegrace.htm

or

http://tinyurl.com/5696b5 if the above link is too long and doesn't post well!

I'm posting anonymously because this is such a hot topic :)!

Peace to you as you search out the truth on this topic.

Matthew Daelon said...

Hey anonymous,

I believe 1st Timothy describes exactly what Jesus said about all men are forgiven their sins, because Jesus has taken away the sin of the world. But, the sin of the rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit done in Christ when He raised Him from the dead will not be forgiven.

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them. But not all men come to Him for salvation. Salvation isn't just having our sins forgiven. It's receiving a new heart, a new spirit and God's Spirit into us.

I have read the Scripture and the only way I could believe in Universalism or the idea that all will be saved would be if I ignored a lot of Scripture or twisted it in some way.

I understand wanting to post anonymously. I was hesitant to make this post because I know a lot of people will see me as harsh and mean or something. But I think some people who have come to grace have went down an entirely different road all together with the idea that all will be saved.

I'm not trying to pick on people, but the idea of universalism is heresy.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that universalism is heresy, which is why that's not what I believe. I'd really love to hear your thoughts on The Outcome of Infinite Grace booklet, if you care to read it. I'm telling you there's nothing more exciting in this world when the spirit opens your eyes to see that it really is true that just as in Adam ALL died, so also in Christ ALL shall be made alive. Your heart will be thrilled.

I'd encourage you to at least read it with an open heart. You can always reject it afterwards! :)

Bino M. said...

The context of 1 Corinthians 15:12-33 is Paul addressing those who did NOT believe in the 'resurrection of the dead'.

Verse 12: But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

So, I would assume there were some people who did not believe in any form of resurrection and Paul was trying to correct them.

Then he continues:

Verse 17: And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

See the importance of FAITH?

Verse 18 says: those who are fallen asleep IN CHRIST'.

The phrase 'In CHRIST' is what makes all the difference.

Verse 19: 'Hope IN CHRIST'

In verse 22, the second 'all' does NOT mean 'all those who died in Adam', if you read in the context. The 'all' simply means, all those who will be resurrected (if at all) will be resurrected in Christ alone.

The 'all in all' in verse 28 simply means Christ has the authority over EVERYTHING, except God himself.

I am not sure how you can draw the theology of universalism from these passages

I Tim 4:10 speaks for itself with the phrase 'especially of those who believe'.

If 'faith' wasn't required to be saved what is the point of Hebrews 11, the entire chapter?

For by grace you have been saved through faith (Eph 2:10)

Matthew Daelon said...

Hey again Anonymous,

I'm sorry, I'm not willing to read it. I've read the Scriptures and they're enough for me. Again, I really don't mean to make anyone angry.

You say that you don't believe in universalism, but you believe that all will be saved. That, to me, falls into the category of universalism. I'm opposed to it. I've read the Scriptures and would love to believe all will be saved if it were true, but it isn't. I'm unwilling to move on this subject.

Bino, thanks for your reply, brother. I really appreciate you tackling that one for me as I have a load of cleaning to do around the house lol.

Anonymous said...

Okay, well, I don't have the time to explain all the scripture to you and if you're not willing to read anything else, the conversation ends, and that's okay too!

As to bino, I do believe you MUST HAVE FAITH IN CHRIST. That is why I am so against universalism and believe it's heresy. What I have found in the scriptures though, especially through studying the greek word aeonion which the NIV and other translations so wrongly translate "forever" is this: There is an age in which God's loving discipline and correction will bring ALL to faith in Christ.

My God is so big and loving that He is able to accomplish all he sent His son to do! I do not believe God is not able or not willing to bring every person to faith in His son and all that was accomplished on the cross, and if you ever care to study it out, you will see so clearly that the scriptures prove this out.

Okay, I'm done and won't respond again. Thanks so much for the respectful responses, even if you're not willing to study this further. Blessings and peace on you!

Bino M. said...

Matthew,
No Problem! I feel the heart of universalists, that they like to believe ALL are going to be saved ultimately, but like you said, it is simply NOT true.

I am also a 'universalist' when it comes to FORGIVENESS, that all are forgiven at the cross. BUT, forgiveness is NOT salvation. Forgiveness is a pre-requisite for salvation, which is receiving the LIFE of Christ.

"He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life." - 1 John 5:12

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - John1:12

Anonymous said:
There is an age in which God's loving discipline and correction will bring ALL to faith in Christ.

ALL people have ability to exercise faith in Jesus while they are in their body. Those who are dead (bodily) has NO ability to exercise faith.

A good example would the story of the the rich man and Lazarous...(Luke 16:19-31)

Nicole said...

Matt,anonymouse, Bino, and whoever!!!

I don't have a personal opinion on the subject, however, I think anyone can take scpriture and use it to their advantage to justify their points in any matter under the sun. Many religious people do this, so, by saying that, it takes more than scripture to back up the truth and that is the H.P's job to make truth in ones heart known and through that you will have no question to what is truth and what is not truth regardless what one reads in scripture or elsewhere...

Just some thoughts!!!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Matthew Daelon said...

Hey Nic,

I think that the Holy Spirit will always lead us to truth and I believe that truth will never contradict the Scripture.

I don't really agree that no one can understand the Scripture. That kinda starts slipping off into postmodernism that no one can know absolute truth and all that. God isn't the author of confusion. We can, with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit understand the Scripture or we can choose to try to make them fit our own desires.

Only Look said...

The heart of all of us should be to see all men saved. Abraham pleaded with God to spare Sodom and Gammorra and God was longsuffering with Him in His plea understanding his heart and the apostle Paul wished himself accursed for his brethren according the flesh and Romans 9 states that God is longsuffering to all, but reality will come into view one day as it did in Sodom and Gamorras day. It is inevitable and will be final and eternal as well.

Until that time let us plead and compell men to come in. Oh that God would give us the Holy passion for lost souls that Abraham and the Apostle Paul had. We are running out of time down here.

Thanks Matthew for loving people enough to tell the truth.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Aida said...

Well, Matthew, I think I’m finally ready to respond to this hot potato that you’ve thrown out.

Like Nicki, this is really not a biggie on my list of concerns. I’ve only read one article on the subject and I honestly don’t think about it a whole lot. If I’m correct, the focus of universalism is really about heaven and hell and where people will spend eternity.

However, that’s the wrong emphasis. This life of faith is really about entering into an ever growing relationship with God as Father that will last for all eternity. I believe concerns about heaven or hell are really a distraction.

There is a teaching in the church that may be related but is, in my opinion, a greater danger. Each week, in churches throughout this world, people are encouraged to repeat word for word a prayer that has come to be known as the sinner’s prayer. Our faith is a faith of the heart and, when people say words out of their heads but not from their hearts, they are deceived into believing that they are saved when they’re not.

Anyway, I know I’ve gotten off topic and I’m sorry about that but your post and the comments just brought up some thoughts about a teaching that I believe is far more dangerous. I’m not easily angered but this is one teaching that absolutely infuriates me because it has deceived so many.

Anyway, Matthew, I admire your boldness in tackling a very controversial subject.

Matthew Daelon said...

Hey Aida. Thanks for putting in your 2 cents on this one.

I agree with you to a certain extent. I don't think salvation is about getting out of hell and going to heaven (though that is obviously involved). I do believe salvation is being made into a new creation and God putting His own Spirit within us. And I do believe for the believer, that the issue is no longer heaven or hell, but a relationship.

However, for the unbeliever, having no knowledge or desire for God (unless given by God) hell is very relevant to them I think. My fear of hell and my trying to be good lead me to faith in Jesus.

I don't believe the fear of hell is the only way or the best way for people to come to Christ Jesus, but if a fear of hell has created in someone a desire to get saved be right with God, then I'm all for it. The thief on the cross didn't really have a desire to know God intimately. He was a sinner. He had no real noble cause for salvation other than he was afraid of dying in his sins.

As well in the story of the prodigal son. What made the son return home wasn't that he wanted a relationship with his father, but the fact that he was hungry. But when he got home, you can definitely tell that a relationship with his father was definitely something he now had.

But again, I don't like using hell to scare people into believing, nor do I think God does. His kindness is meant to lead us to repentance, but whatever brings that person to God...I'm all for it.

AmyC. said...

Matt,
I completely agree with you, and I'm glad that you did a Blog on this very topic! Awesome for your honesty. Finally! I have been visiting some recent forums, where universalism is being discussed, & I've felt the Spirit in my heart not mesh/agree with this thinking. You are correct, sin is sin. God gave us Free Will. I know that God is love and His Love is unimaginably Big. However, He is also is a God of Justice (which is Love) and because he gave humans the ability to chose, He must respond to those who accept Him appropriately.

Now I DO believe that those who lived in ancient times, those who lived in tribes or areas of the world who did not hear the Gospel -- to automatically believe they are unsaved and "going to hell." For such people, I DO believe that God KNOWS their hearts. I DO believe that God has spoken to everyone's hearts (what seculars would call - their conscious) and given particular words to each person of what is Good and Evil, "Right and Wrong" for each person in regards to sin. Thus, I believe God has and will "judge" such people with Love/Justice according to how they respond to Him.

~Amy :)
www.myspace.com/amyinsurprise

Matthew Daelon said...

Hi Amy,

It's encouraging to know you believe the truth about all of this. I totally agree with you. In the Gospels Jesus said that those who did what deserved a beating in ignorance will receive a light beating but those who knew the truth and did what deserved a beating will receive a severe beating. I think He is talking about those who haven't gotten a chance to hear the Gospel. God is a just judge and He is a much better judge than I or anyone else would be.

Some people would like to say that those who haven't heard the Gospel are saved. But if that were true, then we should try to keep the Gospel a secret, because when we preach it to people, we would risk people losing their salvation.

Karen (SoCal) said...

Wow, IMHO, I think the idiom, "not seeing the forest for the trees", is appropriate here. If you honestly take grace to where it leads you, again, imho, there is no other conclusion to reach than that Father redeems all through the work of His Son. I did not always hold this, I was a pharisee of pharisees in my heart (didn't know I was of course)

Matthew, you said: "However, for the unbeliever, having no knowledge or desire for God (unless given by God)" So, you are saying that to come to Christ, God must reveal Himself to you to make you desire Him and give you the faith to believe?? Why to you and not to another. What is so special about you? Are you just smarter than the next guy? I'm assuming you agree with Calvin then that God elects some and unelects others? Maybe I'm missing something because you also say that all are forgiven, that would mean Christ died for all. I hear confusion and inconsistency. If Christ died for all then all are forgiven (as you said), but why does he only give certain ones faith to believe?

Do you believe all unborn children are in hell? If not, where in scripture do you support that. Where is their faith. There are many other examples/problems.

BTW, Jesus use of parables were not meant to be disssected and used for such specific doctrinal expositon.

I agree there are many passages that need to be reconciled but that is true no matter which side we take. And all positions can sound equally convincing.

I would also encourage yu to look into it further with an open heart and w/o fear.

I also appreciate you tackling the subject and respect your position

peace....Karen

Joel B. said...

Hi Karen,

Unfortunately I don't think we can use our own logical conclusions to understand all of this. I don't believe the only conclusion that we get from what the Bible says about God's wonderful grace is that everybody is saved. In fact, the same Bible that tells us so much about God's grace also tells us about hell and the lake of fire.

Rev 20:10, 13-15
"The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.... The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire . This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."

According to other scriptures, the Book of Life contains the names of people. Why would John even bring up that last sentence in the scripture above if there was nothing to be concerned about in that regard?

I think the message of God's love and grace is a wonderful, wonderful thing! It's truly what I focus on in my life. But yet there are many other people who will hear that God is loving and kind and merciful, and yet not understand the gospel - that Christ died for us and that as much as God loves all of mankind, it's not believing His love but rather through faith in Jesus that we're saved - and these people will actually end up in the lake of fire, even though they knew God was good and loving.

Paul stresses "faith in God," "faith in Christ," "believing that God raised Him from the dead," etc, over and over again, as the way to salvation. In fact, as much as I love to talk about God's love, the very man who explained the gospel in great detail spent more time talking about being saved by faith than he did talking about God's love.

Again, God's love is the key to why He did what He did, and it's worth encouraging one another in every single day! But that's no good to the person who will end up in eternal torment! It's a serious, serious issue.

Joel B. said...

I also agree that we won't all see various doctrines - such as election - the same way. Some of the stuff is just plain hard to understand and to agree upon. But yet it can never take away from what the scriptures do plainly say... and we can't add to what they say through our own logic and feelings in order to make up things that scripture doesn't say... such as that everybody is saved.

This truly is a 'deep' subject, and it's one that I've discussed time and time again with people, to the point of being tired of talking about it. :) But when I look at the scriptures and I come back to what they say about hell and salvation, I'm somewhat compelled to discuss it all over again because it truly can mean the difference for someone as to how eternity is spent.

Matthew Daelon said...

Hey Karen,

I'm sorry but the Scripture says not all will be saved. I would love to believe they will be, but it's simply not true. Now, if I choose what Bible verses I want to believe and throw others out, then what is truth but what I want truth to be? Truth is then my opinion if it isn't based on the Scripture. And what makes you think you can believe any of it if you can't believe some of it? If truth is my opinion, then there is no truth because different people have different opinions.

We have to be careful not to let our own logic, reason and understanding get in the way of what God says. Paul warns of people in 1st or 2nd Timothy that in later times, people will not endure sound doctrine, but try to find teachers that suit their own passions.

As for election...I believe what the Bible says. I struggled with the issue for a long time. The Bible says we have free will but it also says God chooses. I never said that babies go to hell and I don't believe they do. But God is love. Much more so than you, I or anyone else and I would only trust Him to judge people. But I do not believe babies go to hell.

But I will say what Joel said. It's hard to say anymore than what he has already said. But it is those of faith that are children of God. It's by grace through faith. God doesn't put any yoke on anyones shoulder. He simply asks them to trust Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. Anyone who teaches a Gospel contrary to this, the Spirit, through Paul said "Let them be accursed".

I would seriously think through this. It's a very serious issue.

Karen (SoCal) said...

Joel and Matthew.....trust me on this one, I have never taken the issue of hell lightly. On the contrary, I could never understand how Xian's didn't take it more serioiusly! Seems to me it should never be far from your thoughts if you reallly believed the vast majority of humans are going to be suffering eteranal torment. Truthfully when I look back in the light of saying I believed in eternal torment, I would never have brought 4 children into the world knowing that the odds that at least one of them would reject Christ.....that is too much too bear. I see it now as selfishness on my part. I do like engaging on this topic and I know we could go back and forth for a long time.

I do not beleive that it was logic that brought me here, although Father does tell us to love God with all of our minds, so I don't see a prob w/logic. It wasn't feelings either. IMHO, it was God, Himself.

We all know the scriptures on both sides of the issue. There are clear texts on both sides. If anyone doesn't know them Thomas Talbott's book, The Inescapeable Love of God, is a good place to start. However, there is a big problem, with the way a ton of the verses that were translated from the Greek using the word "hell".

Gotta say one last comment to Matthew: you said that God "IS ANGER and WRATH"! oh my goodness, I hope not. Is he also Hate and Jealousy? The Bible says He is
Love. Love is the essence of who he is. I hate to say it but it reminded me of how the Hindus personify the extreme character traits with a different god, so they created Kali, the god of hate and anger and war.

Joel......I in no way throw faith out of the equation. You know from your study of the topic that we hold that it is only through faith in Christ's finished work that anyone can receive life, so that is not an issue here. This is indeed a very very serious topic.

thanks guys........karen

Bino M. said...

Karen,
You said:
We all know the scriptures on both sides of the issue. There are clear texts on both sides.

Could you point the Scriptures which you think are pointing to the side of Universalism? I am assuming that you use universalism as an 'ultimate reconciliation'. Means, the entire human kind are going to be reconciled to God at some point.

Majority of my loved ones, including my parents are not saved (haven't put their faith in Jesus and His death, burial and resurrection) and it break my hart to think that there is a chance that they might go to hell, if they die without life in Christ.

I like to believe universalism and like to see the Scriptures supporting that. If I get convinced, I have no problem believing that all are going to be saved. I truly wish that it is true.

Again, I honestly invite you to reason with me/us using Scriptures. Let's also not bring other people's books and opinions, just the scriptures!

Thank you!

Matthew Daelon said...

Karen,

Understand that when I say God is anger and wrath, I mean He is anger and wrath towards sin and all who are the sons of disobedience. The wrath of God is coming on all who do evil. Faith in the Gospel is the only way we are saved and now that faith has come, we're no longer under the Law. God's love and grace is lavished upon those who receive the kingdom of God as a child. Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a child will by no means enter it.

God is love, but His love is only possible for you if your sin is taken away through the cross of Jesus Christ. Unbelief cannot and will not be forgiven.

Hebrews talks about this in chapter 10. The Spirit says, "Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses (disobeyed) dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses, how much worse punishment, (contrast) do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned (rejected) the Son of God, and has profaned the Blood of the Covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of Grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

He goes on to say "My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, My Soul has no pleasure in him."

And with the next verse, you know that those who shrink back (from faith in Christ) will be destroyed.

And as far as I know there are no Scriptures that support the idea all will be saved.

Karen (SoCal) said...

Bino.........I take this subject and your inquiry seriously. I came to the conclusion that all will be eventually redeemed with much trepidation lest I should mimize the incomprehensible work of Christ. When I first heard that some Christians held this position I considered them apostate and heretics. I thought it demeaned Christ's death and resurrection and I wondered why if all will be eventually saved, what was the point of Him coming and dying in the first place. I had to reject it. But when I finally understood it, it actually does the opposite. Instead of minimizing it, it gives God much more glory. Christ had to come. Not one of us could come to God without what He accomplished. We would all have perished and been lost. But He is not a God of exclusion. He is much more, so much more than I ever dreamed He was. Bino, I pray that what you wish were true, you will come to understand, is true. What Jesus came to do, He actually accomplished!! Now that is good news. And God has commited to us this wonderful message of reconcilliation, that "God was in Christ reconcilling the world to Himself". That is God's heart, the heart of a perfect Father. And we've missed it, because we are exclucivists and pharissees and our hearts are hardened and we judge by human standards. Stand back and look again, take another look and ask Him again.

A significant number, if not most of the early church fathers (some say all), held to the belief that God intended to save all and in fact eventually will. If you look into church history there have been a couple of significant paradigm shifts that have derailed the good news of the gospel. Along with that came mistranslations from the Greek that have clouded the issue further. I am humbled by what I have learned and I don't want to come off as sounding like I have all the answers. God just set me on a course to uncover His heart.

Here are some verses:

I Cor 15:22,28 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order... "And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all."

Lk 2:10 And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people."

Lk 15:4-7 What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing... I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance



Jn 1:29 "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

Jn 3:17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him.


Jn 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.



Acts 3;20-21 And that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the times of the restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.


Rom 5:18-20 So then as through one transgression [Adam's] there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness [Christ's] there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One, the many will be made righteous. And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more!



Rom 11:32,33 For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all. Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!


Rom 11;36 For from Him [Christ] and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.

Amen.



Rom 14:11 For as it is written, "As I live", says the Lord, "every knee shall bow to me [ie. repentance], and every tongue shall give praise to God". [ie. worship]



II Cor 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Gal 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations shall be blessed in you."

Eph 1:9,10 He make known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.

Eph 1:22,23 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Eph 4:10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.

Phil 2:9-11 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Remember, no one can say...... 'Jesus is Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit." I Cor 12:3)



I Tim 4:10 It is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.


Heb 1:2 In these last days He has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.


Heb 2:8 For in subjecting all things to him [i.e., man], He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him...But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for every one.


Heb 9:26 But now once at the consummation He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.



I John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation [ie., satisfaction or appeasement] for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.


I John 4:14 And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.


Rev 5:13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."



"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee" (Psa.22:27). "All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and shalt glorify Thy name" (Psa.86:9).

K

Joel B. said...

I don't bring up the following verses out of glee, emphasizing certain parts because I'm so happy about it, but rather because this stuff is very, very important. Some of the verses you mentioned, Karen, can appear as if they are talking about universal salvation, but they simply aren't. Especially when lined up with the rest of scripture.

An example, you brought up a favorite verse of mine, John 3:17.

"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."

"Woop, woop, hallelujah!" is what I say. That's great news, it really is! But keep on reading:

18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."

You also brought up the good news about a man going after one lost sheep. If a man has one lost sheep, he'll leave the others to go find it. But unfortunately not all sheep are Christ's sheep!

John 10:24-29
24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, "How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly."

25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.”

Some other passages that I think are important to the whole story are below. Again, it's not as if I'm "happy" about all this! But it's important stuff.

Luke 13:23-29
23 Then one said to Him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them, 24 "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,' 26 then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.' 27 But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.' 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. 29 They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.”

Acts 16:27-31
27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here." 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."

(If Paul were a salvation universalist, wouldn’t he have added, “but don’t worry too much about it… you’ll be saved in the end no matter what.”).


Rom 1:16-17
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

Rom 10:1-3
Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

(If everybody would end up being saved, why would Paul bother to pray to God that they would be saved?)


1 Cor 1:18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

2 Cor 2:15-17
15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

2 Thess 2:8-12
9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Karen (SoCal) said...

Well Joel.......you basically just came back with your own set of verses and we could trade verses back and forth all day. I understand your position because I held the same one for 38yrs. I don't have a problem with the verses you quoted. I do believe all of those texts. I see the verses about judgment and punishment in the clear context of a Father who set out to redeem all of mankind. I believe that He is both loving enough and powerful enough to accomplish that. I don't deny that there will be those that reject the good news and go to "hell". But I also believe,as scripture says,"as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."

I don't think the early church fathers were ignorant of what the gospel was and were well acquainted with Paul's teachings. I find it extremely compelling that most of them held to the belief that God would eventually redeem all.

I also think that looking into the original language and seeing what the intent of the author was is critical in developing our belief system. For instance words like destruction, hell, and eternal are worth doing word studies on.

Respectfully,

Karen

Bino M. said...

Karen,

First of all, I appreciate you taking time to list the verses you think are pointing to the idea of universal salvation.

One thing I realize While reading through all the verses you listed that you don't believe in 'free will', don't you?

God intended to save all

That is absolutely right, Bible says, it is His will that none should perish. But, we can still make our choices against God's will, do you agree?

It is not God's will that I should lust, but I still have the ability to lust. It is not God's will that I should fulfill the desires of my flesh, but the truth is, I still can. It wasn't god's will that Adam and Eve should eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but they chose to go against the will God.

I am suspecting that you missed the fundamental truth of free-will while understanding those scriptures.

I invite you to re-consider those verses while keeping the premise straight (that we, as humans have a freedom of choice)

so also in Christ all shall be made alive

Isn't that Apostle simply stating a possibility? It is like my boss telling us that all of us are subjected to Him. That doesn't mean that he just made me a robot and I can never go against his will.

I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people.

It was, is and will be a good news for all the people. Again, that doesn't mean that all are going to agree.

lost sheep

I agree with what Joel said.

"Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

Here, I want to ask you a question: What is your understanding of Salvation?
Is it getting your sins forgiven or Is it being alive in Christ (regeneration)?
In fact, Jesus took the sins of the entire world at the cross but taking the sins away was just a pre-requisite for salvation. It is like sterilizing a jar to preserve peaches. The sterilization itself is not the preservation. Sterilization was a pre-requisite for putting the peaches in the jar. Christ did the sterilization through His death, but we are still NOT saved. To be saved, we need to be alive to God, that we need to receive LIFE. In other words, Holy Spirit (peaches) has to come to dwell in us (jar). It is the resurrection what saves us, not the death.

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him.

Absolutely! Again, that is not a fact, but it is statement about the desire of God.

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.

same as above.

And that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the times of the restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. Acts 3:20-21

Are you saying the restoration of all things means the entire humanity? What if it is just the ones who believed?
Anyhow, the next verse proves that Peter wasn't speaking about universalism
verse 23 says: Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.

through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One, the many will be made righteous. - Rom 5:18-20
Verse 16 says: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
I think this is about the forgiveness Jesus provided at the cross. Again, forgiveness was provided for ALL, but getting our sins forgiven is NOT salvation.

For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.
God showed mercy to ALL by sending His son to the cross. But again, it is NOT his death what saves us, but His LIFE. You are forgiven at the cross, but do you have LIFE? Have you received it?

For from Him [Christ] and through Him and to Him are all things.
I do not see any problem in this verse. It says everything is subjected to Him.

"every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God"
This is a quote from Isaiah 45:23. Have you read the entire chapter of Isaiah 45?
verse 24:All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame.
Where is universal salvation in this verse?

I will address the rest of the verses little later, as I get time.

As of now, I am not convinced of the position of universal salvation from the above verses

I would also humbly request you to re-consider your understanding of salvation and free-will.

Joel B. said...

Hi Karen,

My purpose here isn't to trade seemingly opposing verses, but rather to look at the thing as a whole. It's true that when you look at some verses it looks one way, and when you look at other verses it looks another way, but as a whole I think there is a more complete picture.

We could certainly get into word studies such as hell, destruction, etc, and I think it's also very beneficial to look into the meanings of words such as reconciliation, salvation, justification, forgiven, etc, because they don't all mean the same thing.

But for me when it comes down to it, it's been a matter of looking at the overall scriptures and seeking God about it for many years. I have universalist friends who have tried to get me to see their way through the scriptures, bringing up the same verses that you have brought up. I've discussed this many times, and more than that I've kept my ears and mind open to hear from the Lord on this - I really have - for years - and I'm not convinced in the slightest that everybody is saved, or will be. However, I can't use my own personal example of hearing from God to prove this to anyone. :)

I'll just say that in my heart (due to what I've shared here), I think it's very important to teach people the full counsel of scripture and not let anyone think that all will be well in the end for everybody.

Matthew Daelon said...

I would tell anyone who would like to look at those verses and take them by themselves that they ought to read the surrounding Scriptures for themselves. Read on in Acts chapter 3. Just a few verses below the one you put up here it says, "And it shall be that every soul who does not listen that Prophet shall be destroyed from the people."

As with Joel, I don't say these things as someone who loves the thought of hell. I say it because it's the truth and to deny the truth doesn't help anyone out at all. It would be false comfort for myself and all others.

Joel B. said...

I see Bino was posting his comment at the same time as me. He brought up a ton of stuff about what I meant when I said that forgiveness, reconciliation, salvation, etc, are not all the same.

Anyway, I'm glad for the civil tone of this conversation. :) I've had many conversations like this in which tempers flared (mainly online) and it just wasn't worth discussing.

Joel B. said...

And now that I posted the last comment, I see Matthew was there at the same time too. :) Early morning people... my type of peeps. LOL

Matthew Daelon said...

LOL we have some sort of dynamic trio going on in here.

Bino M. said...

Matthew,

Lol! I think so too..

I found the same thing like you on Acts 3:23.
Isn't that amazing that if we read just a few verses above and below, a lot of things can be clarified?

You know, this discussion has in fact helped me to strengthen my understanding that all are NOT saved.

Aida said...

I'm not really following the discussion very closely but it looks like you three guys are doing some serious male bonding. LOL

BTW, Karen's in southern Cal so she may not be up yet. She's a gutsy gal to take on the dynamic trio. LOL

Bino M. said...

that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.

Again, salvation is NOT getting our sins forgiven. Sin is not the issue, DEATH is the issue.
'The punishment of sin death'. Christ took away the cause of death, which is sin. Since he took the cause away, now we have the capability to receive LIFE (death is the absence of life).
Let's say a person died of cancer. Forgiveness is like curing him of cancer, but he is still dead. Forgiveness is not enough for him. He need life. If we were to raise Him to life, the first thing is curing the cancer, other wise, even after giving him life, he will die again. That is what Jesus did at the cross: He cured the cancer. Then He was resurrected to give us life. Since we are already cured, we are ready to receive life, to become alive.

Jesus said, the world's sin (singular) is unbelief in Him. which means, the only sin which is attributable to man is the sin of unbelief. The reason Hitler is going to be judged is not because of all the sins (plural) He did, but because of His unbelief. All his sins were taken away at the cross.

"All the nations shall be blessed in you."
A true statement. But read it along with: "...that God would justify the nations by faith".
It is by faith we receive the forgiveness provided at the cross. Again, the forgiveness was provided for the entire world.

the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.
I do not see a point in favor of universalism here.

And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Well, it is true that Christ is the head of His church. The church is those who, by faith, received the LIFE.

He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.
I do not see a point in favor of universalism here. It is simply the precedence of Christ over all things. Gospel of John tells us that He has granted all the authority including the authority to judge those who do not receive Him.

Phil 2:9-11
I already addressed this i my previous comment.

It is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

This verse speaks for itself: especially of believers

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.
Well, it is true that it is the grace of God what brings salvation to all men. Ephesians confirms this: it is by grace through faith that we are saved.

In these last days He has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
He is in fact the heir of all things. which also means, He has the authority to judge as well.

that by the grace of God He might taste death for every one.
He died for all. We already addressed this. It is not His death what provides salvation.
Look at this verse: For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled [an accomplished fact], shall we be saved through his life! - Romans 5:10
Through the death, all of us [while we were still enemies of God] were reconciled to God. But don't stop there. This being a fact, HOW MUCH MORE, shall we be saved through His LIFE

But now once at the consummation He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Same explanation as above.

And He Himself is the propitiation [ie., satisfaction or appeasement] for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
Again, the same as above.

And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
He is in fact the savior of the world, there is no other savior. god loved the WORLD that He gave His son. but we still have the ability to choose otherwise.

"To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."
That dominion also includes the authority to judge unbelief.
"And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man." - John 5:27
Who is going to judge? The ones who did not believe.

I think those two verses from Psalms is saying all the nations, including the gentile nations shall come and worship Him. God gave a promise to Abraham that he will be blessed in all the nations and it is by Jesus the salvation spread to the gentiles, there by God saves even the gentiles, not just the Jews.

Nicole said...

Dang, this is the longest blog thread that I have ever seen... You all must be having fun. I haven't read everything real close but keep talk'n, great stuff!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Karen (SoCal) said...

Hi you guys, hey you're all working as a team..that's great:=)! I just had time to do a cursory reading of the posts. I love how you are thinking through your positions and articulating them. This has been helpful for me as well. It's been great to have the freedom to exchange ideas in a respectful format. I don't have all the answers in a neat and tidy package. I'm still a UR newbie. I haven't landed down on one side of soverignty or free will.(I used to be a pretty hardcore calvanist though) I know I'm risking a reprimand by bringing in extra-biblical commentary;), but here's a link that helps put the two in perspective for me: http://www.willamette.edu/~ttalbott/freewill.html
I do understand your point about what salvation is and death and life. I'm a big Bob George fan too, been to his conferences....love that guy (he uses that illustration about the jar). I don't have a problem with that concept. I do have a problem though with this statement: "the only sin which is attributable to man is the sin of unbelief". I have to conclude from this that all sin was NOT taken care of at the cross. That leaves you with another big problem. Jesus last words were "paid in full". I'd like to respond further when I have more time, later tonite or tomorrow. I've been spending way too much time on the computer and having too much fun...K

Bino M. said...

Hi Karen,

I do understand your point about what salvation is and death and life.

That's a big relief! :)

I do have a problem though with this statement: "the only sin which is attributable to man is the sin of unbelief". I have to conclude from this that all sin was NOT taken care of at the cross. That leaves you with another big problem. Jesus last words were "paid in full".

what is your point though in terms of supporting Universal Salvation?

BTW, I didn't make it up. I quoted Scripture:

And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. - John 16:8-9

“So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. - Mat. 12:31

As per Jesus, Holy Spirit comes to the world to convict of its sin, which is unbelief in Jesus. If so, blasphemy against Holy Spirit is not believing in Jesus, which will never be forgiven. It has to be repented off.

I am sorry but I wouldn't read that link. If I start posting links, I have a thousands of them :). I am curious to know your understanding on the issue of 'free will' based on Scripture. Again, let's stick to only the Scriptures...

Joel B. said...

Karen please don't think we're ganging up on you as a team. :) If you look at the timestamps of our first posts from this morning (Bino, me and Matthew), they are exactly a minute apart, which means we just happened to be working on our comments at the same time. We did not plan it that way. In fact I was very surprised that all three of us were online at the same time. That's rare. :)

I can tell you that I know that for each of us, what's important is not "being right," but looking at what the scriptures say. And since the three of us all happen to be very interested in this topic, and what it means to the world, we're simply naturally drawn to discussing this. Again, I say this just so you know that as we address things you've said, we're not trying to work against you, but rather for what the scriptures say. We can also tell that you're not coming against "us" but rather are sharing how you currently see things.

Interesting thing about "paid in full" (or "it is finished"). Yes, the debt is paid in full, but no, not everyone receives that gift. As an example, Oprah can give away a lot of things (well, it's not really Oprah who gives things away, but rather her advertisers, who line her pockets while promoting their products by giving them away, all for the purpose of selling more of their own products - but I digress... LOL)... Anyway, imagine if Oprah gave away something huge to lots of people. The gifts are paid for in full. There is no debt. There is nothing the people have to do except receive it. But if they don't receive it, it's not theirs, even if it's paid for in full! As the Bible says (and you can look back at many of the verses Bino has brought up, as well as many more), our debt towards God has been paid in full, but yet not all receive it.

About the issue of sin after the cross (after the debt was paid in full): As I think has already been brought up, Jesus talked about this before He went to the cross. He talked about how He would go away (death, burial and resurrection) and He would send the Holy Spirit.

John 16:8-11
And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

Remember, Jesus is talking about a time after the cross. All sins have been paid for, and we receive the forgiveness that God provided for the whole world by faith. Those who don't believe (after the cross) are convicted of sin. The Hebrews verse that Bino brought up goes right along with this.

One other thing... earlier you brought up God and His jealousy. I know Oprah said she had a hard time hearing about God's jealousy in church). But it's not a man-made doctrine. The Lord Himself is speaking in these two verses (two of a handful of verses that talk about His jealousy):

Ex 34:14
...for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God...

Deut 4:24
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

On the one hand, it might appear as bad news, that God is a jealous God. But really, it's a great and wonderful thing. He loves us and is jealous for us!

Karen (SoCal) said...

Hi.....I'm going to make some comments just kinda off the cuff.

First of all, I don't mind being wrong. No one has all their doctrine correct and if they think they do...well, they're wrong.

OK, so you guys don't want to use any sources but scripture. One of you said, and I'm guessing all of you hold to the belief that all babies go to heaven and preborn and i'm assuming other humans in compromised capacities. Where is your scriptural support for this? How do you arrive at this conclusion. They don't have faith and the texts are VERY clear that faith MUST be involved. Yet you are willing to make an exception..based on what? Calvin wouldn't, because he knew the texts were not there to support it. (i know the verse in psalms, but that is very weak in light of all the other clear texts on faith being required)I had a pastor once that believed that all babies went to hell and that if one of his own kids were to die before he could get them saved they'd burn in hell forever. This is just an example that everything is not as black and white as it seems.

Regarding freewill vs. sovereignty (never know if i'm spelling that right) It says in Acts that Jesus was delivered up by "the predetermined counsel of God". There are many paradoxes in the Bible. I will just say that I believe man chooses but that God will have the final say. I believe that in matters that pertain to God's redemptive will, He will accomplish and fullfill that will. Christ did not die in vain for the world. I don't believe that any part of the price He paid will be wasted.

I can agree with the analogy that salvation, being a gift, is not received until accepted. I just believe, like the scriptures say "all will be made alive". That tells me that everyone will eventually receive that gift.

You guys are great. I have 4 brothers and 4 sons and my son's love to engage in debate...especially with me because they think they can always one-up me. Anyway, I appreciate your honesty and your abiitity to keep it friendly......karen

Matthew Daelon said...

Concerning the salvation of babies, there really is no Scripture to support either side, so I am going by the love of God. But there is no Scripture that supports the idea that all will be saved. It doesn't even hint at it.

Bino M. said...

One of you said, and I'm guessing all of you hold to the belief that all babies go to heaven and preborn and i'm assuming other humans in compromised capacities. Where is your scriptural support for this?

You are right, there are no clear scripture supporting either sides. Can we prove biblically that all babies will go to heaven after they die? No, we can't! So what I am going to do? I will leave it to the hands of a perfectly just God...
But, at the same time, I can't do it in the case of those who reject the gift of life, because Bible is so very clear about their destiny.

Karen, I hate to ask this. But, do you believe in hell? Is it going to be empty based on your theology? just wondering...
Also, how do you interpret this verse?

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. - Matthew 7:13-14

I am still not clear on your position on the freewill...

I believe that in matters that pertain to God's redemptive will, He will accomplish and fulfill that will.

I too believe the same. In fact, In His fore-knowledge He knows the end of each person and everything. But He wouldn't 'pre-destine' that, like the Calvinists say. That would be a refutation of the freedom He has given to human kind. I don't think He is a controlling God, thats against His nature as I understand.

Christ did not die in vain for the world.

I couldn't agree with you more on that. But, Isn't the idea of Universal salvation what tells that He died in vain? If anyone can be saved regardless of whether they acknowledge His suffering death on the cross, isn't that conveying a message that His death wasn't that significant?

I do appreciate your patience in sharing your thoughts. For almost 30 years I believed all the wrong doctrines and still thought that I loved God. I put my dependency on people to understand Scriptures. But Scripture itself says, God has to reveal the meaning of His word to us. I am open for other's thoughts and opinions but ultimately I have to be convicted by God. So far, I am not convinced of universal salvation and on one side it saddens me because like I said I have many of my loved ones not saved. But again, truth is not pleasant always...

Karen (SoCal) said...

Matthew........YIKES!! you said:

Concerning the salvation of babies, there really is no Scripture to support either side, so I am going by the love of God. But there is no Scripture that supports the idea that all will be saved. It doesn't even hint at it.

First off: you are going, by the love of God...why not go by the anger of God? why choose his love to dictate your decision?

Second: there are NO scriptures to support the idea that God will redeems "ALL". ok, that makes my blood boil..just a tad. I can concede that there are verses that say the opposite and that there are problems with holding that belief but to say there are none..oh my.....all i can say is "let him who has ears..."

Bino.......I can see that my position is still very unclear to you and I apologize that I haven't been clearer. I'll definitely answer your post soon. gotta run..K

Joel B. said...

Karen,

What's with the "gotcha" all the sudden?? :) For a couple of days, at various times, we've gone line by line, addressing the various comments you've made and verses you've brought up, showing exactly why we don't agree that they make your point, and in fact at times even make the opposite point. Not to show that we're "right," but just because it's what we really see in the scriptures. Then suddenly you hone in on one little sentence and say "yikes!" Do you know how many times we could have said "yikes!" to some of your statements? :) Your blood's not the only blood that's had a chance to boil here. :)

"Let him who has ears..." agree with your interpretation of scriptures, right?

Anyway, just as we both said at the beginning, this isn't going to be much more than you show your verses, we show ours, you show your interpretations, we show ours. It's been civil, and I appreciate the sharing of ideas, but I'm personally dropping out of this one. I actually like this type of conversation, but I've had this particular conversation too many times in my life and it quickly loses its luster.

I do think there's plenty that we do agree on, and I'm looking forward to more interaction in the future on some of that stuff.

Matthew Daelon said...

I think I agree with you in dropping out, Joel. I think the scripture speaks for itself. And this does seem to have gotten a little repetitive. I'd like to stop before arguing ensues.

Anonymous said...

This has been such a respectful conversation and I think you all have handled yourselves in the best way possible on such a controversial topic. I've read along with great interest and my respect for each of you has grown immensely.

The one thing I'd like to add here is that individual scriptures can be used to prove anything, and I do mean anything, as I'm sure you all know (for example, think of snake handlers who believe they are demonstrating their faith!).

When I first began to study this topic many years ago, I really thought it was heresy to think all would eventually be saved. I set out to really study it, and started with individual scriptures. However, I quickly saw that I had to look at the entirety of the bible to find the truth. Only then could I really see the heart of God.

I have often read that if you want to understand God's ultimate purpose and mission that you really only need to understand two men: The first and second Adam. The first Adam brought all of us into death. My free will had nothing to do with me being dragged down into death. I can argue with God all day long that I want to exercise my free will, but it does not matter: Adam chose for me and I am dead! Then the second Adam comes along--Christ. Now we want to believe that all of a sudden free will rules. So, this means that the first Adam is more powerful than the second Adam! We say the first Adam has the power to bring us all into death, but the second Adam (Christ) does not have the same power to reverse that curse unless we choose!

I do believe we have free will as to WHEN we choose, but I have come to see that the second Adam is more powerful than the first!

Is there judgment? Yes!

Is there a lake of fire? Yes!

Is it eternal? No, absolutely not. Do a greek study of the word "eternal" and you'll be amazed at what you find. Way too long for me to go into here. The lake of fire will be God's instrument to bring us the discipline his wayward children need. Revelations is true when it says every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord! Father is able to bring all His children to that point, though as Hebrews tells us, his discipline may not be pleasant at the time!

The other sweeping theme that I saw in scripture was that of Redeemer. The shadow and types of redeemer in the OT are a glorious pointing of Christ the Redeemer of all, in the NT. People often say in these types of discussion that Jesus would like to save all, but he is JUST and the therefore has to walk by that standard. But his argument only shows how little they have studied the facts of kinsman-redeemer in the OT, a shadow of our Jesus. The law of redemption as set forth in the OT allows the Kinsman-Redeemer to claim all that he purchased! Jesus is, therefore, able to be perfectly just in claiming all that he purchased, and He will do so. It is interesting to me that in the OT if no Kinsman-Redeemer could be found, then in the worst-case scenario after so many years, jubilee was declared and ALL were set free. By most people's arguments, then, the way of the law in the OT was a far better "deal" than what Jesus offers in the NT! May it never be said!

I know how hard it is to see these truths because we have all been so saturated from our earliest years with the concept of hell being an eternal place of judgment and torment, but I'd encourage you to study this out. When you see how utterly magnificent the work of Christ really is, how sweeping and grand it is, you will worship Him and glorify and magnify His name like never before. He is amazing in all He has done.

Thanks for letting me share. I have much more I could say, but I know this is already too long.

Bino M. said...

I too was going to drop out before I saw Anonymous's comments...
But now again I am forced to comment :)

Anonymous,

So you think God is playing a pretty long ugly game with humanity from the time of Adam to the time of ultimately saving all?
What is the significance of the time between?
If our freewill is going to be nullified at some point, why didn't he let that happen in the Garden of Eden?
He could have saved the entire humanity from all the pain and heartache!

Then the second Adam comes along--Christ. Now we want to believe that all of a sudden free will rules.

I think there is a fundamental issue here. We think God is who sending people to hell, that is why we come up with a theology as though we want to defend God and tell others that God is too nice and He will ultimately save all from hell. God do not need our defense!

First of all, It is not God who sends us to hell. We go by ourselves.
Hell to me is a life alienated from God. We are born dead, and if we don't chose LIFE, we remain dead. It is that simple.

This in any way or fashion diminishing the significance of Christ's death. Instead, if we think, God, after sending His only begotten son to cross, now also has to discipline us in hell in order for all to accept Him is what makes His death insignificant. That conveys to me that the suffering death of Christ didn't make it, so now He is in a desperate situation that He has to discipline (shove it down our throat) us to make us accept His Son. That is a pathetic situation, if we think from God's side!

So are you saying the word "eternal" doesn't mean eternal? It's not meaning eternal in case of the Lake of Fire, but does it mean eternal in the case of eternal life in heaven?

Anonymous said...

Bino, I really don't want to argue and you sound quite upset. It was not my intent to anger you or rile you up. My apologies if anything in my tone brought this out in you.

You said, "Hell to me is a life alienated from God. We are born dead, and if we don't chose LIFE, we remain dead. It is that simple."

I absolutely agree. Every person must choose life or they remain in their death. Where you and I differ is whether God, as a loving Father, is able through his discipline to bring his children to this place. I say yes and you say no. You view God's discipline as "shoving it down our throats." That is never how I discipline children, and I see no evidence in the word that this is how God disciplines his children, either.

As to the eternal question: Seriously, do a Greek study on it and you will discover what it means in relation to eternal life and in relation to the lake of fire. If you need help in your studies (i.e., if you do not have Greek reference studies at your home), Stephen Jones is an excellent scholar in both the Greek, Hebrew, and both OT and NT theology (I think he has Ph.D in some of the above) who also believes that all mankind will be reconciled back to God through Christ. I sure don't agree with all of his theology, and I always double-check my own resources against his, but overall he helps to point one in the right direction when studying words that shed light on this topic.

I will abstain from further commenting as I really have loved the peaceful tone of this conversation and think it should end on that note. Feel free to respond in any way, but I won't respond back as I'm not looking to convince anyone, just trying to toss out some new trains of thought you may not be familiar with.

Shalom!

Bino M. said...

It was not my intent to anger you or rile you up.
You didn't! In fact, I was writing my previous comment with a smiling face. I don't know why it sounded to you as if I was angry. But I wasn't...

You view God's discipline as "shoving it down our throats."

No, I don't. I have a pretty good understanding of how God discipline us (His children). When I said "shoving it down our throats.", what I meant was putting people in the lake of fire in order to discipline them. That sounds a bit harsh to me.And yes, as a father I wouldn't do that either.


I see no evidence in the word that this is how God disciplines his children

Absolutely! But it looks like you believe God puts His children into the lake of fire in order to bring them to repentance and ultimately accept His offer of salvation.

I see some paradox in your statements... you said lake of fire is a place of discipline. But now you says a loving Father wouldn't discipline His children like that. Which is right? To me, 'Lake of FIRE' doesn't sound like a good place to discipline in a loving manner...

Bino M. said...

To quote your own statement, this is what you said:
The lake of fire will be God's instrument to bring us the discipline his wayward children need.
I just can't see the picture of a loving father in this.

I hope you see the illogic in your understanding... I really do.

Anonymous said...

You made me smile, Bino. Temporary discipline to bring someone from death to life seems much more in line with a loving Father than the torment without end that you believe Father will subject people to.

I lied in saying I wouldn't comment again, but your comment put such a wide grin on my face that I could not resist. I'll try to restrain myself better in the future!

By the way, there's a free book called "Hope Beyond Hell" if you want a great book that looks at the Greek in great detail. You can google it to find it.

Bino M. said...

Temporary discipline to bring someone from death to life seems much more in line with a loving Father than the torment without end that you believe Father will subject people to.

God is NOT the father of those who do not choose life and end up in hell. I don't know why you say a 'loving father' disciplines people in hell (no matter whether it is temporary or eternal). They are in hell because they didn't choose God as their father in the first place.

Bible says, Devil is the Father of those who do not choose LIFE, not God.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. - John 8:44

So your argument that a 'loving father' gives a short period of discipline to people in hell to bring them to life is illogical.

Now, pls. don't tell me that you don't believe in Devil. If he goes to the lake of fire at the end, his children goes along with him as well.

Do you believe God may ultimately save Satan as well? After all, He is a loving God right?

BTW, Have you ever considered the possibility that God could have chosen some other mode of discipline other than the 'lake of fire' to bring people to accept Him?

You mentioned one book but there are hundred other books which says the opposite. One thing I have learned from my own experience is that we shouldn't let other people dictate our doctrines. God says He will reveal it to us (directly), we only need to trust Him. This is not to say other teachers and authors have no role in our spiritual life. But beyond their interpretations, like the Bereans, I would double check and validate it against scriptures, without any bias.

I'll try to restrain myself better in the future!

You don't have to! (as long as Matthew is okay with we using his blog space :) ) I am not making a hard core rule that I will or will not comment again. I leave it to God. If He wants me to comment, He will make it happen. If not, no!

I am not doing this so I can feel like I won an argument or anything. I am learning myself and I have nothing to prove or disprove. If it convicts me, I will accept it, why not! I too like to see all people going to heaven.

Karen (SoCal) said...

I don't really have much more to say either.

Joel.....what I was reacting to with the "yikes" was the fact that from my perspective, the LOVE of the Father was at the core of my argument, the overriding factor. It's who He is. You guys were putting out his other attributes,like jealousy, anger, wrath as if they were equal to His love. I saw Matthew's comment as being disingenuous, or at the least inconsistent.

Bino....for the record, I do believe in hell and yes I think it will ultimately be emptied. Regarding the "lake of fire", I can't speak with authority since I haven't studied it much, but I wouldn't be suprised if it's not what we have imagined it is. Just consider the use of language in Revelation. I mean when I first became a believer I thought there was going to be an actual beast and I seriously argued for that. I figured if scripture said it it must be true.

I have nothing but admiration and respect for all of you and I'm glad we had this exchange.

much grace...karen