OK. Perhaps you're new to Universalism and you think you've stumbled across some new age, new-fangled heresy. Would it surprise you to know that Universalism was present in the early church and that people like Origen and Clement gleaned it from the scriptures? Would it surprise you that Eternal Torment (ET) wasn't commonly accepted until around the year 500?
Here are some tidbits from a very long book (about 200 pages- available online). These might might whet your appetite to learn a little more.
The doctrine of Eternal Torment is nowhere to be found in ancient Judaism. Somewhere after the close of the Old Testament and Jesus' time, this error began creeping in from the surrounding paganism. The early church was not focused on eternal destiny but rather on apologetics. However, the early church Fathers were largely Universalists. This belief came from the scripture, as it was no where to be found in the surrounding Paganism.
The church fathers closest to the beginning of Christianity and who were well versed in Greek (the language of the New Testament) largely did not believe in endless, torment for the sake of retribution. They believed in limited, corrective punishment based on their understanding of several key Greek words that have been mistranslated. Augustine, the first church father to really promote ET to the exlusion of other beliefs, hated Greek and studied mostly in Latin. When the power of the church shifted from the Greek fathers (Alexandrian) to the Latin, the teachings became largely corrupted.
Prior to 200 AD, there were three schools of thought, within Christianity, concerning human destiny- endless punishment, annihilation (the wicked would simply be wiped out no longer to exist) and universal salvation. But prior to this there was not much, if any controversy over these opinions. Origen, who was the first to really systematize Christianity was a universalist. Even though he was later said to have committed many errors for which he was condemned, Universalism was never among them. Universalism wasn't really attacked and ET didn't come into "favor" until around 540 AD, the beginning of the Middle Ages. Some of the most revered early church fathers were staunch universalists, who gained this understanding from scripture.
Here are the Cliff's notes:
- During the First Century the primitive Christians did not dwell on matters of eschatology, but devoted their attention to apologetics; they were chiefly anxious to establish the fact of Christ's advent, and of its blessings to the world. Possibly the question of destiny was an open one, till Paganism and Judaism introduced erroneous ideas, when the New Testament doctrine of the apokatastasis was asserted, and universal restoration became an accepted belief, as stated later by Clement and Origen, A.D. 180-230.
- The Catacombs give us the views of the unlearned, as Clement and Origen state the doctrine of scholars and teachers. Not a syllable is found hinting at the horrors of Augustinianism, but the inscription on every monument harmonizes with the Universalism of the early fathers.
- Clement declares that all punishment, however severe, is purificatory; that even the "torments of the damned" are curative. Origen explains even Gehenna as signifying limited and curative punishment, and both, as all the other ancient Universalists, declare that "everlasting" (aionion) punishment, is consonant with universal salvation. So that it is no proof that other primitive Christians who are less explicit as to the final result, taught endless punishment when they employ the same terms.
- Like our Lord and his Apostles, the primitive Christians avoided the words with which the Pagans and Jews defined endless punishment aidios or adialeipton timoria (endless torment), a doctrine the latter believed, and knew how to describe; but they, the early Christians, called punishment, as did our Lord, kolasis aionios, discipline, chastisement, of indefinite, limited duration.
- The early Christians taught that Christ preached the Gospel to the dead, and for that purpose descended into Hades. Many held that he released all who were in ward. This shows that repentance beyond the grave, perpetual probation, was then accepted, which precludes the modern error that the soul's destiny is decided at death.
- Prayers for the dead were universal in the early church, which would be absurd, if their condition is unalterably fixed at the grave.
- The idea that false threats were necessary to keep the common people in check, and that the truth might be held esoterically, prevailed among the earlier Christians, so that there can be no doubt that many who seem to teach endless punishment, really held the broader views, as we know the most did, and preached terrors pedagogically.
- The first comparatively complete systematic statement of Christian doctrine ever given to the world was by Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 180, and universal salvation was one of the tenets.
- The first complete presentation of Christianity as a system was by Origen (A.D. 220) and universal salvation was explicitly contained in it.
- Universal salvation was the prevailing doctrine in Christendom as long as Greek, the language of the New Testament, was the language of Christendom.
- Universalism was generally believed in the best centuries, the first three, when Christians were most remarkable for simplicity, goodness and missionary zeal.
- Universalism was least known when Greek, the language of the New Testament was least known, and when Latin was the language of the Church in its darkest, most ignorant, and corrupt ages.
- Not a writer among those who describe the heresies of the first three hundred years intimates that Universalism was then a heresy, though it was believed by many, if not by a majority, and certainly by the greatest of the fathers.
- Not a single creed for five hundred years expresses any idea contrary to universal restoration, or in favor of endless punishment.
- With the exception of the arguments of Augustine (A.D. 420), there is not an argument known to have been framed against Universalism for at least four hundred years after Christ, by any of the ancient fathers.
- While the councils that assembled in various parts of Christendom, anathematized every kind of doctrine supposed to be heretical, no oecumenical council, for more than five hundred years, condemned Universalism, though it had been advocated in every century by the principal scholars and most revered saints.
- As late as A.D. 400, Jerome says "most people" (plerique). and Augustine "very many" (quam plurimi), believed in Universalism, notwithstanding that the tremendous influence of Augustine, and the mighty power of the semi-pagan secular arm were arrayed against it.
- The principal ancient Universalists were Christian born and reared, and were among the most scholarly and saintly of all the ancient saints.
- The most celebrated of the earlier advocates of endless punishment were heathen born, and led corrupt lives in their youth. Tertullian one of the first, and Augustine, the greatest of them, confess to having been among the vilest.
- The first advocates of endless punishment, Minucius Felix, Tertullian and Augustine, were Latins, ignorant of Greek, and less competent to interpret the meaning of Greek Scriptures than were the Greek scholars.
- The first advocates of Universalism, after the Apostles, were Greeks, in whose mother-tongue the New Testament was written. They found their Universalism in the Greek Bible. Who should be correct, they or the Latins?
- The Greek Fathers announced the great truth of universal restoration in an age of darkness, sin and corruption. There was nothing to suggest it to them in the world's literature or religion. It was wholly contrary to everything around them. Where else could they have found it, but where they say they did, in the Gospel?
- All ecclesiastical historians and the best Biblical critics and scholars agree to the prevalence of Universalism in the earlier centuries.
- From the days of Clement of Alexandria to those of Gregory of Nyssa and Theodore of Mopsuestia (A.D. 180-428), the great theologians and teachers, almost without exception, were Universalists. No equal number in the same centuries were comparable to them for learning and goodness.
- The first theological school in Christendom, that in Alexandria, taught Universalism for more than two hundred years.
- In all Christendom, from A.D. 170 to 430, there were six Christian schools. Of these four, the only strictly theological schools, taught Universalism, and but one endless punishment.
- The three earliest Gnostic sects, the Basilidians, the Carpocratians and the Valentinians (A.D. 117-132) are condemned by Christian writers, and their heresies pointed out, but though they taught Universalism, that doctrine is never condemned by those who oppose them. Irenaeus condemned the errors of the Carpocratians, but does not reprehend their Universalism, though he ascribes the doctrine to them.
- The first defense of Christianity against Infidelity (Origen against Celsus) puts the defense on Universalistic grounds. Celsus charged the Christians' God with cruelty, because he punished with fire. Origen replied that God's fire is curative; that he is a "Consuming Fire," because he consumes sin and not the sinner.
- Origen, the chief representative of Universalism in the ancient centuries, was bitterly opposed and condemned for various heresies by ignorant and cruel fanatics. He was accused of opposing Episcopacy, believing in pre-existence, etc., but never was condemned for his Universalism. The very council that anathematized "Origenism" eulogized Gregory of Nyssa, who was explicitly a Universalist as was Origen. Lists of his errors are given by Methodius, Pamphilus and Eusebius, Marcellus, Eustathius and Jerome, but Universalism is not named by one of his opponents. Fancy a list of Ballou's errors and his Universalism omitted; Hippolytus (A.D. 320) names thirty-two known heresies, but Universalism is not mentioned as among them. Epiphanius, "the hammer of heretics," describes eighty heresies, but he does not mention universal salvation, though Gregory of Nyssa, an outspoken Universalist, was, at the time he wrote, the most conspicuous figure in Christendom.
- Justinian, a half-pagan emperor, who attempted to have Universalism officially condemned, lived in the most corrupt epoch of the Christian centuries. He closed the theological schools, and demanded the condemnation of Universalism by law; but the doctrine was so prevalent in the church that the council refused to obey his edict to suppress it. Lecky says the age of Justinian was "the worst form civilization has assumed."
- The first clear and definite statement of human destiny by any Christian writer after the days of the Apostles, includes universal restoration, and that doctrine was advocated by most of the greatest and best of the Christian Fathers for the first five hundred years of the Christian Era.
A careful study of the early history of the Christian religion, will show that the doctrine of universal restoration was least prevalent in the darkest, and prevailed most in the most enlightened, of the earliest centuries--that it was the prevailing doctrine in the Primitive Christian Church.
The full book is available here:
Wow — what an extensive laying out of the grounds for Universalism.
You've quite obviously expended a great deal of effort to assemble these unassailable tidbits to point out the Universalism of early Christendom. The state-imposed dogma of Eternal Torment never set well with me either intellectually or spiritually. More importantly, in my heart of hearts, I know that it is not Jesus' Way, because fundamentally God is Love.
Thanks for this highly informative post.
Br. Aidan-Boniface, SSF
Dear Brian....you are to be congratulated on your excellent scholarship in confirming the Truth that the Endtime earthly church does not even know the Gospel of Truth ( 1 Tim. 4:10), and instead preaches the Gospel of Augustine ( Mt. 25:34-44). Few realize that everybody's New Testament has two separate and distinct Gospels of Salvation. Augustines' is the counterfeit, yet the one primarily preached by the "church". May I suggest that you change the title of your website "The Beautiful Heresy....", or put quotes around "Heresy" . Although the message is beautiful, it is not complimentary to "The True Gospel" to refer to it as a heresy, and I know that you don't intend it to be construed that way. Yet, some people will. I invite you to visit our website where we have posted 43 audio teachings on The Restoration of All . Congratulations again. Good job, well done! - Bern Zumpano
Word of Faith Ministries International
The School of Ministry
Miami, Florida, USA
Thanks for a great article Brain.
Bern Zumpano, hanks for he reference to your audio!
new paradigm thinkers-the Grace ministry of Andre Oosthizen
I have discovered a new book about the early church. It turns the traditional views of what happened on their heads. In his new book,Cover-Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus's True Heirs , Lawrence Goudge proposes that "Today’s mainstream church is the true heretic since it adopted the new religion of the dying God which arose from Paul’s visions. Peter James and John and their heirs, the Jewish followers of Jesus rejected it. Preserving the beliefs and practices of Jesus. they strove to create the kingdom of God here on earth. A new book, Cover-Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus's True Heirs, exposes the church's hypocrisy in first silencing those who truly followed Jesus and then exterminating them, just as they did the Cathars. Mr. Goudge does the world a service in revealing who to followers of
Jesus were. Then I found the book at: http://tinyurl.com/69cazll."
An interesting study of church history. However, it is still very unconvincing for me as a sound biblically based doctrine. However, I will agree with some of your thoughts on ET eternal torment. Recently I just finished a great book by Rev. Paul Humber on the subject of limited punishment called "Terminal Hell / Eternal Paradise" copyright 2013 and I recommend it. It portrays a much more just and merciful creator than ET does and is biblically based as far as I can tell. It is available on Amazon.com.
Rev. A. Craig Bracy
Thanks Reverend Bracy.
I agree this one article isn't an open and shut case. There is much, much more and it is biblically based.
I believe there probably is limited, corrective punishment. That view makes a lot of sense to me.
Brian, there's too much in scripture against universal salvation being offered for all, consequently happening for all. The opportunity may be there, but Jesus said broad is the way to destruction and many go there. People have free will and make often bad and irrational choices with permanent consequences. Many are cast into the lake of fire after the white throne judgment according to scripture. There's the parable of the sower, the parable of the separation of sheep and goats, etc. Not all roads lead to heaven and few there be that find the straight and narrow way compared to the majority of humanity.
However, I do believe the soul of man is mortal and not immortal, and therefore the lost humans and fallen angels, after sufficient and just punishment for their sin and crimes, some with few lashes and some with many lashes for the greater sins, will be terminated, annihilated and mercifully put out of their failed, miserable existence.
Last to utterly perish will be Satan himself, with whom sin began and will end after all his followers are destroyed and obliterated in the lake of fire to come, and then Satan himself will be mercifully put out of his agony and evil and sin will cease to embody anyone and therefore cease to exist and the Lord with his saints and holy angels will be all that is left to dwell in the glorious new heaven and earth to come that he will create and bring to past forever.
Everlasting peace in Christ alone,
Rev. A. Craig Bracy
Wow, Craig. That type of theology is why I very nearly left Christianity. I appreciate your comments, but I find that to be utterly depressing and makes God a failure for the most part. I don't understand people who embrace that and sign of with "Everlasting peace". That type of thinking made me depressed and nearly suicidal for the first couple of decades of my life.
Hi, I was just wondering, if you believe in universal salvation what do you make on the unforgivable sin then? To which Jesus said ppl would not be forgiven in this life or the next? Thanks and Peace.
777- I think that passage is better translated as this "age" or the next "age" not this life or the next life.
Yes but it says they shall never have forgiveness but face eternal condemnation? Don't get me wrong I love the idea of all peoples being safe. Just wondering how this factors into the equation.
It doesn't say "never" at least not in any good translation.
Here is an in depth analysis from a universalist perspective. I don't get all hung up on it because its only one verse and the Bible has some really (really) bad translations out there. The overall theme is every sin will be forgiven. I really don't think God is looking for one loophole that He can use to condemn people eternally.
Thanks for the link, will give it a good read. I would love greatly to believe this but sadly it does also say all sins will be forgiven EXCEPT said sin. I honestly hope all sentient beings may come to the peace of love one day in the grand scheme of eternity tbh. Peace to you and thanks for the reply brother ;)
In order for there to be eternal peace, the eternal peace maker, the Lord, has to be trustworthy and incorruptiable and His word always true. If the Lord broke his promises and was corruptable or impotent, then there would just be eternal mess and nightmare forever and no eternal peace. Not one word or prophecy or promise of properly translated and interpreted scripture can be broken if God is going to be trustworthy and able to give us eternal peace and rest. Hence, when scripture speaks of the unpardonable sin or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which is rejecting God's love and forgiveness and doubting and questioning His character to the point of not trusting Him or belieiving in Him, the sin is unforgivable in this life or the next. Hell may be terminal rather than eternal, but there must be just punishment for sin and correction where possible. However, due to free will, there will always be those who refuse correction in both the human and angelic realms. There is no other option but to terminate such wilfull humans and angels who choose to persist in selfish evil and hostility toward God and others.
I hope this clarifies the issues for you Brian and helps you to return to orthodox biblical teaching for the salvation of your soul and soundness of your mind. You must not insult God by saying His word is not true. Trust that the Lord is totally loving and totally holy and just and omnipotent. That is the God of the Bible and His word is always trustworth, true, and reliable.
Seek the truth at all times and believe it rather than the clever lies of Satan, the enemy of your soul who hates you with unending hatred,
Rev. A. Craig Bracy
With all due respect I must point out that God did not write the Bible, men did. While I do believe that God has (and still does) inspire men to write, I have no reason to believe the Bible is infallible because clearly it is not. And, if it ever were, we have translations of translations of copies. The concept of hell doesn't even appear in the Hebrew scriptures. When they referred to sheol or the grave, they were referring to a shadowy underworld with no sense of judgment. But, up until recently Bible translators chose to put the word "hell" in there.
This particular passage that we are discussing, the "unforgivable" sin has also been mistranslated if it it taken to say never or ever or any such thing.
Believe me I do seek the truth and I look for God speaking in all sorts of ways not just through what some claim to be his word. His word is much larger than the Bible.
I appreciate your concern. I have more peace now than I ever did when I believed the Bible was infallible.
There are many claims written here with no references so that we can check for ourselves. That in of itself is problematic.
The link to the full book is provided. If you doubt any of the claims, feel free to research them.
THANK YOU ALL for this wonderful discussion. Its nice to see us humans pondering our creator with open hearts desiring truth.
I am not sure whether or not I agree with his book as I am only about 120 pages into it, but Phillip Prown's New Wine for the End Times does put forth a very well argument that resolves many questions here. The main premise is this: we interpret the Bible, especially the new testament, in the (Greek) mindset of an instant Heaven or Hell after this life that is determined based solely on our life now, which is wrong. Brown explainswe should use the OT view of death to decipher the NT, which does not specify an instant heaven/hell upon death but EVERYONE, good and bad, go to Hades, the place of the dead; and that ALL will be raised in the Millenial Kingdom (MK) with their new body (In Adam all die, Christ all live). It is an exhaustive book that goes in to great details and I haven't read it all, but I have read enough of it to see how applying that understanding (interpreting the NT by the OT not the other way around) to this forum offers plausible resolutions.
For instance, 777, about your unforgivable sin question: yes, denying the work of the HS in your life here is unforgivable, and it will also be unforgivable if it is still maintained in the MK (the next age) resulting in the second death. EVERYONE else (infants, complacent Christians, every other religion, tribal indians who have never heard the name Jesus, etc) will have an opportunity to grow towards the end goal of complete sanctification as described by Jesus (more righteous than the Pharisees; be holy as I am holy) in their new bodies with Christ reigning in the MK.
And Rev. Bracy, many choose the broad way here and now, but maybe not in the next age (aion - the MK) where they will have the same free will to have a clearer choice for what could have such a permanent and devastating result. It is worth mentioning that Brown is not universalist. He says those who knowingly reject God (very knowingly - like in Heb 6 those who have tasted and known God) choose Hell, as would also be the cases with the unforgivable sin in the next life. I personally disagree: even the clearest insight to God here is "dim", and how can you make a decision that could have eternal (negative) consequences during this temporal/unclear life?
I myself am currently in the process of departing from traditional American Heaven/Hell Christianity and applying Romans 5 to my Biblical interpretation.
There are a lot of things only partially revealed in the OT, such as the Trinity and the work and ministry of Jesus Christ, until clearly revealed in the NT. OT concealed, NT revealed. Scripture is really consistent throughout and it warns of the coming Lake of Fire and divine judgment but points us to God's loving mercy and grace in Christ to all who believe and receive. In Korah's rebellion the earth opened up and they were consumed in fire and swallowed up by the earth. It's a foreshadowing of hell. The OT spoke of people going down into Sheol or the pit or grave. The OT spoke of the resurrection in Job and Daniel. Jesus spoke clearly of hell as unquenchable fire. There is a good book out for the terminal hell view written by Rev. Paul Humber available on Amazon.com. I believe it is called Terminal Hell and Eternal Paradise. He has a new book coming out. I could email his draft to you if you are interested. There is an evangelical minority that advocates this perspective on hell. It's a theological possibility in Scripture at least, but not univeralism. I do not believe the Bible teaches universal salvation. God is not willing that any should perish, but we free will and choice. Some of angels fell and many people of their own free will do not listen to or believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ when it is clearly preached. Be careful you are not deceived into rejecting the truth of Scripture and succumb to false teaching. You need to believe and teach the plain, straightforward teaching of the Word of God if you want to stand on solid ground with Him. As scripture says, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my word will never pass away."
I've become a Universalist over the course of the last year. I talk about Soteorlogy mainly on my Sola Scriptura Blog.
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
CONTEMPT, noun [Latin See Contemn.]
2. The state of being despised; whence in a scriptural sense, shame, disgrace.
Some shall awake to everlasting contempt Daniel 7:1.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
3. Remorse; that which incessantly gnaws the conscience; that which torments.
Where their worm dieth not. Mark 9:44.
the everlasting contempt of and incessant gnawing of the conscience is compatible with the immortal estate of the soul.
1. The spiritual, rational and immortal substance in man, which distinguishes him from brutes; that part of man which enables him to think and reason, and which renders him a subject of moral government. The immortality of the soul is a fundamental article of the christian system. Such is the nature of the human soul that it must have a God, an object of supreme affection.
It really doesn't take much to point out the real heretics, especially the heretics calling others heretics.
Just believe the Lord Jesus, he's God manifest in the flesh and knows about eternal damnation
To be truly saved one must be born again of the Holy Spirit and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He was God the Son come down from Heaven as a perfect sinless man to pay the penalty for our sins on the cross that we might be forgiven of all our sins and be set free from sin and death. Whoever believes the Gospel of Christ and accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior will not suffer the second death and eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire. The Terminal Hell view, while possible because of the Greek language and the word "aionios" meaning "long age or age lasting" is a minority view discussed in seminaries,churches and Bible colleges occasionally etc. I must warn you that the traditional and more mainstream view of eternal hell is very possible and many translators have translated the Greek word "aionios" as eternal in the context of hell to parallel the clearly eternal nature of heaven. Hell may be terminal, and it sounds more just and merciful in line with God's character, but it very well may be eternal as the majority of Christians tend to believe and therefore be warned. Gain heaven and avoid hell. The Holy Spirit will lead the true believer into all truth. I guess wardogz considers me a heretic for considering terminal hell as a possibly accurate interpretation of Scripture. I did not come the the conclusion lightly, and I am not all together convinced of it, but do see it as a theological possibility at least. I believe in the eternal security of the spirit of the believer, but there are Arminian Christians who believe a Christian can lose His salvation. There is also the debate of recent and ancient creation. I lean toward recent creation. Terminal and eternal hell is another area of theological debate. However, univeralism is rejected by evangelical Christianity almost without exception. Come back to the truth and face spiritual, biblical realities and trust in the Lord and His word.
No thank you Craig.
I appreciate your spirit of courtesy and respect Brian. I hope you might take some classes at a Biblically based Bible College or seminary for better understanding of Scripture. I could recommend some good ones I know of. I hope you believe in the redeeming death of Christ and His glorious resurrection and can celebrate the joy of Easter Sunday this year. The Bible is the only book that God guarantees with all of its fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled prophesies. It's still the best seller and most widely read and translated book (or collection of books in one book) of all time and always will be. The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should believe in Him, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One Godhead consisting of three divine and co-eternal persons, and be saved. Free will and sin may separate many from their creator, but certainly not all. I imagine there will be billions of saints in heaven in the end. Join the elect of God by fully embracing the Gospel and encourage others to do the same while they have the opportunity to do so. Signing off for now with a prayer for you to get soundly grounded in the truth of God's Word for life now and in eternity. The Gospel remains the same for us to embrace.
Craig, with all due respect, I studied the Bible pretty extensively for 35 years or more. I have read countless books on exegesis written by evangelicals and scholars. I was in Sunday school for most of my life. My views on the Bible are not due to lack of understanding.
I don't need to go to Bible college to be brainwashed.
BTW, you may be happy to know I was baptized, spoke in tongues and received the Holy Ghost at the age of 13.
Hello fellows, brothers, sisters. We have a new 500 page scholarly commentary on U.Rec.(U. Salvation) for free review by anyone who wants to comment and spread the Word. See WeirdVideos.com or see Amazon.
THE ALL MANKIND BIBLE COMMENTARY by Ross S Marshall
Commentaries by the old Fathers and myself, and Dr. George F. Howe.
PS. The Unforgivable sin?
"not forgiven in this world or the world to come". = bad transl.
Matt 12:32 = For the Greek:
"...not / it-shall-be-pardoned him, neither in this THE eon nor in the one-empending."
"the THE eon" = the exact time (dispensation) of Christ saying it, up to the cross.
"THE one-empending" = the SOON "empending" dispensation from resurrection to Pentacost (the beginning of Grace Period)" - Holy Spirit indwelling.
From Pentacost onwards, ANY and EVERY man can repent, since the Grace-Holy Spirit is indwelling. Before that, those Jews could not receive grace and forgioveness at that time, nor during Christ's earthly post-cross ministry. But afterwards, though, it was possible. For Jesus said ON THE CROSS, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." If we take traditional interpretaions, Christ's prayer must go unanswered. Take Universalist interpretations, and we have the only way to fullfill his prayer.
The Lord is not willing that any should perish and is willing to extend forgiveness through Christ's death and suffering, but because of free will, people must choose to humble themselves and receive the forgiveness, and not everyone is willing to do so. The judgment in scripture is not a picture of everyone being saved at all. Scripture is guaranteed by the Lord Himself, and God can not lie.
Yes. The Greek word "willing", "will", "wills" means to DETERMAIN. He may not 'force it or make it happen, but he knows if He waits long wnough, that Stiff Necked person will break, give in, and confess. God's got all the time in the universe to create, to get what it wills, see His purposed WILL come to filfillment. Free-will is NOT as long lasting or stronger than God's WILL "that all come to the knowledge of the truth." SALVATION and "becomeing saved" means to "be-becoming" AWARE of Christ's atonement He gives to ALL at birth, in our innocence. Salvationn and atonement are NOT the same - they have 2 different objects: 1. atonement is what Christ does for us to Adam. Salvation is our becominmg aware of this. And we are being "punished" until we become more aware. One day, Christ will FINISH the good work He started in us all.
Orthodoxy make Christ a Liar, Failure, and a joke - it has been Judaised.
The JUDDGEMENT DAY after the resurrection is one of judging "mens works" not salvation.YOU MEAN "Salvation is guarenteed" by The Lord. Yes. JUST NOT ALL AT ONCE.
Protestants confuse SALVATION AS ATONEMENT, and put atonement AFTER the fact of salvation. Whereas, Bible points out Atonement is what drives everyone "draws" all to Christ. SAME confusion that ROME does with Salvation and Sanctification: They have Salvation a result of a process of sanctification, that doing good rituals gets you the atonement. You take the MASS and swallow the "grace" or atonement. Stop it, and loose the atonement. All based on men's works.
SAD Babylonian Religions....
I am a orthodox universalist. but there is a mistake on statement 15:
"With the exception of the arguments of Augustine (A.D. 420), there is not an argument known to have been framed against Universalism for at least four hundred years after Christ, by any of the ancient fathers."
St. John Chrysostom (died 407AD) wrote extensively against universalism and in favor of eternal torment in Homily IX on 1 Corinthians: http://www.orthodoxevangelical.com/2014/02/04/chrysostom-on-hell-and-eternity/
Augustine and Chrysostom were similar not only in their teachings of eternal torment, but also in their upbringing within paganisn/gnosticsim prior to converting to Christianity (https://oca.org/saints/lives/2009/11/13/103292-st-john-chrysostom-the-archbishop-of-constantinople), so it seems that pagan/gnostic converts tended to allow their past false ideologies influence their writings as Christians.
Why,why do people WANT so badly to believe in a HELL? We are putting God's character at risk by creating such heresy. I've known lots of people in my life that have chosen to turn away from God for that very reason. An ETERNITY in HELL makes our loving God out to be a psychopathic torturer worse than Satan himself. I admit, until I found universalism...I almost walked away from it all. My 20 year old son was shot in the head while changing a flat tire on June 15, 2015. He was killed instantly and I mention that because weve all heard of the sinner turning to God on their death bed. And what are 99% of people doing at 20 years old? They aren't thinking about death. Their thinking about their future. I would hate to think a loving God would could even conceive such a notion. And if that was most of our final destination then why didn't he make it clear? So clear that we wouldn't have these debates. Please don't say he did OR we wouldn't be going back and forth on the subject. I will add that my son Jacob, his girlfriend of three years rented a motel room and shot herself in the head while holding the teddy bear my son Jacob had given to her. So someone please reply intelligently telling me WHY the confusion if that's most of our finality?
Donna, I am so sorry about your son's girlfriend.
You are absolutely right about impugning God's character with this lie about Hell. There is no way a poor father would torment one of his children forever, let alone a perfect Father tormenting most of His children forever.
The lie about hell was invented by the priestly class to keep the masses in line. It was a conspiracy between the priests and the kings to keep order. The way to keep peasants peaceful and working was to promise them an eternity of bliss if they just obeyed and an eternity of torment if they disobeyed. Thus, the lie was born.
The truth is we are all sons and daughters of God and are all walking our way back home. It will take some longer than others, but God will leave no one behind.
Sorry to hear about some of the personal tragedy and loss in your family. I would encourage you to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord and trust in His Word and love. Theologians debate endlessly about eternal or terminal hell and we may have to wait till glory to get the bottom line from the Lord. Judgment is in the Lord's hands. God is holy and just and His Word always will prove true, but He is also loving, gracious, kind, and merciful, and desires for us to know His love and gift of salvation and eternal life in Christ. I hope you ask or have asked Jesus into your heart and received the Holy Spirit and the love and hope of eternal life in Christ and find comfort for your loss in Him. ~God bless and keep~ Rev. Craig
I'd like to address comments made about " free will" ! The fact & reality is we don't possess it. Every choice we make is influenced by a cause, a cause & affect relationship if you will. There are causes of causes, but the buck stops with the Lord, the first cause of all things. None of us choose to be born or have a choice at when we will physically die. The fact that we make many choices daily, there is no doubt, but all of our choices are caused by something. Rom 9:15 For He said to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of the one willing, nor of the one running, but of God, the One showing mercy.
Rom 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "Even for this same purpose I have raised you up, that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth."
Rom 9:18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will, He hardens.
The Word of God speaks of free will offerings in the Old Testament. Scripture also speaks of God's foreknowledge, omniscience and predestination. The balance between free will and God's sovereignty has always been a challenge and the debate between calvinists and arminians and will only be settled in heaven some day. God sovereignly foreknows and chooses those who are His, but we freely respond and receive. I am a 3 to 4 point Calvinist or Calvimian myself. I do believe in eternal security for the believer. Scripture clearly teaches God's great salvation, but also His terrifying wrath and judgment against the wickedness of sin. The sacred scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit speaks of those saved and those lost, of heaven and hell, holy and fallen angels, and universalism in the sense of everyone saved is not in Scripture. Jesus made room at the cross for everyone, but many willfully refuse to come and believe the truth of the Bible and repent. Those that reject Christ and the testimony of Scripture will perish without eternal redemption.
If you're trapped in eternal torrment orthodoxy, split, divided, separated and denominated, and suckered into one of their theologies, you will NEVER understand the ballance between God's WILL (determinism) and human responsibility. Once an evangelical universalist, you will clearly see how both work together. We have ultimate destiny (determaned by God) and immediate destiny (determaned by us).
There is NO such thing as a Calvinist that holds to 3 or 4 points. This is self deception. And a true FREE-willer cannot have God intervene once at all. And anyone who still believes that God would eternally damn a folish free willer who knows no better, or believes in a God who forever damns a human without a choice, and holds them responsible, and cares not to continue to reconcile them, is a fool - a liar, deceiver, heretic and purely selfish, not to mention presumptuous. God is not a favorer of men, does not favor one man over an other, nor dividesmen eternally. He is a God of UNITY and ONENESSand has "determained" to fulfill His original intent - to have ALL MEN come to the knowledge of this truth: universal reconciliation. As ONE ADAM caused this all to crap-out, so ONE 2ed ADAM will REVERSE IT ALL back to it never happening at all. Christ MUST undo ALL that Satan and Adam did, or He is a looser. EVANGELICAL UNIVERSALISM is the original Apostolic teaching and is irrefutable and irresistable. Calvin taught Grace is irresistable, and God applied grace to ALL mankind, whether a man knows it or not. ADAM caused this all WITHOUT MY CONSENT. Even so, CHRIST destroys ALL what Satan and ADAM DID without my consent. LET US NOT confuse atonement with salvation. All mankind are atoned for, but not all become being saved all at once, but each man according to his appointed time and season. If he hears it not here, he will here it again and again until he realizes the truth - "and for this cause/reason, the evangel IS preached to the dead, that they too, like those in the flesh, may worship God in spirit." Thus, "ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD."
The only problem I have with the universalist view is that one has to ignore so many texts from the New Testament that you will write a New Bible. It is a lovely thought that all will be saved but that is not what the Word indicates. I prefer to stick to what is written. We have a clear warning, "In the future humans will only believe what their ears want to hear". Blessings TonyH
Yes, this HANSEN book was a great influence on me (us) so,....
Needless to say, after 35 years...
My professor and I composed a 500 page (technical, for advanced students of theological biblical universalism) bible commentary on Universal ultimate reconciliation of all. See amazon under my name or
"THE ALL MANKIND BIBLE COMMENTARY."
There are other shorter condensed book chapters published as well...
"HELL IS NOT FOREVER."
by Ross S Marshall, and Dr. George F Howe
Tony, the Lord warns in Scripture to not add or take away from what is written and inspired of God in His Word or you may find your opportunity to inherit eternal life loss, or the curses and plagues of the lost souls of this world to fall upon you for not letting go of heresy. Universal salvation sounds good, but it is too good to be true and does not understand free will and the nature of evil and sin and the only effective way to deal with it in Jesus Christ. "Narrow is the way to Life and few there are that find it, and broad is the way to destruction and many go that way." In the name of Christ, I urge you to examine yourself against Scripture and see that you are missing the important truths of Christian faith and are twisting Scripture to your own harm. XP~Rev. A. Craig Bracy
Hi Craig, I think you should go and read my comment. I don't believe U S is biblical at all. Many folk on this blog have stated their opinions but few back up their opinions with Biblical fact. Whatever they say is only an opinion. I believe that whatever a person believes biblically should be based on broad Biblical fact, not a text or two as I find in universalism. People quote John 3:16 refusing to read to 3:20. Verse 18 is the clincher with the "everyone who believes in Him will not perish" in verse 16. Blessings TonyH
Sorry Tony. You sound like another believer. I think I got you confused with Brian who started this chain of debate.
I spent 40 years SUFFERING limited salvation doctrine, and have seen mothers SUFFER over potentially lost babies burning in Hell; etc etc., and now am TIRED OF THE / THIS BIG FAT LIE! In my book, the majority is always wrong UNTIL proven otherwise: and I have proved E.T. a false doctrine; so have all my teachers that understoof this.
U.R or U S is the only "too good to be true" that is true TRUTH. Rather than use vague verses and obscure passages to establish interpretive systems of theology, look at the "obvious" passages: God WILLING - determains all [men] to be saved. Each in their own time (eon). For each Eternal Hell passage there are 100 Universalist passages. Destroy means ruined' damnation means judged' punish means to correct and not torture for pleasure; saved means coming to KNOW universal atonement, and NOT obtaining atonement. Atonement and salvation are TWO different things. Your "free-will" is no more important to God than a barking dog is to us; and we usually get pieved at barking dogs and do something about it - WE SHUT THEM UP! God makes all stiffed necked, so He may have mercy on ALL. LOOK UP THE PHRASES in the Bible, see them in their CONTEXT and decide first: ALL FLESH SEES (means epiphanie, see and experience what you see)SALVATION; "ALL MEN", "ALL FLESH", ALL SPIRITS" etc belong to God as an inheritance. What He created for himself, by, and through himself, He gets ALL back.
A God that gives us some slight freedom of will, and then does not determain our future sets himself up for default and loss. Satan wins if he wins just ONE SOUL forever. God is made a LIAR, a useless hopeful wisher, a LAME rather than a LAMB God, and is just plain stupid to TRUST a man's free will to decide eternal futures, when it is in a lost state. The doctrine of free-will as a determaning factor SLAPS GOD in the face, when GOD is the determiner; limitarian Calvinist not withstanding.The limitarian Calvinist is just one degree off the whole truth we have, but they are insane. At least the free-willer tries to be rational, but still looses the battle by making God irrational or stupid.
The "restoration of ALL" doctrine supplies us with ALL the answers to all the questions the Limitarians have created, and easily solves them.
Q. WHY DOES ANYONE really want to push such a teaching as "eternal torment."?
AN: Because it supports the self-righteousness, and sectarianism (heresy);= heresy means "sect" or to divide, thus traditional E.T. theology is "divisive" because it supports a view of God that prefers to divide, or allows the eternal division between man, at the expense of complete ONENESS, as Christ prayed for. Doess Jesus get His prayer answered? That we all be ONE?, and that His Father forgive because THEY don't know? CHRIST saw that ADAM lost ALL Mankind, so, even so, CHRIST's job was/is to reverse the whole thing, or take second place to the Devil. Satan is the divider, not God. Satan's doctrine CANNOT BE one that teaches Christ reconciling ALL MANKIND! If there is ever a doctrine hatched in Hell, it is the one that teaches eternal HELL: Rev 20:13 shows us Hell is not everlasting but releases the captives unto remedial judgment - our WORKS are judged, and if found wanting, we either are equited, or God waits till we are readied to be equited.
A God that Created everything, then looses ALL to the devil, and then cannot get it all back, is not the God of Abraham, Issiac, or Jacob, nor the God of/in/as Jesus.
Jesus died for ALL MANKIND not just the elect. He is the Savior of ALL MANKIND, not just those who are believing now; and there are 1000's of verses that either allude to this or boldly demand / determain this understanding.
THIS IS A PAROPHECY: (It's not mine nor is it new): "One daym YOU will see that E.T. teaching is of the Devil, and that we are RIGHT, and God reclaims and appropreates ALL HIS CREATION back into His Heirship, ownership, so that He is the ALL in ALL.
ROSS S MARSHALL: authro, THE ALL MANKIND BIBLE COMMENTARY" amazon books
It is amazing how opinions are formed on one text. Rev20:13 is quoted entirely out of context. What about the next two verses? Folks are getting worked up by focusing on hell (or whatever one wants to call it). The focus should be on the need for redemption through Jesus Christ. The preachers who preach on hell and damnation miss the whole point of the Good News. However, whether people like it or not, the Bible teaches that there are eternal consequences for rejecting Christ. The message is always about the "Good News". I could quote many verses but I need to take note of what Christ says in the Gospels. Like it or not, Christ is the salvation of mankind. People are free to accept the offer of salvation or reject it. The only way to twist this biblical fact is to put doubt in the Word as we have it. This is of course to the delight of evil forces opposing God. People who object to the consequences of rejecting Christ, are focusing in the wrong place. Focus on the "Good News".
My days of debating this are long in the past, but if you're hell bent on convincing people that God is going to punish the majority of His children, unmercifully, forever, you might want to examine your motives. Why is it so important to you to convince people that God is a monster?
That's a rhetorical question. Answer it for yourself. This is not debatable for me. First of all, the Bible doesn't teach eternal damnation. Second, if it it did, it'd be wrong and I'd reject it. God would have to be worse than the worst human being to be so spiteful and cruel.
My simple answer is that U S is spreading a message that people don't really need Christ because they are saved anyway. That isn't biblical. What a person likes and dislikes about God is totally irrelevant. There is no spite in offering a person free choice. The most caring parent in the world has to let their children live by their choices. It doesn't make a monster out of such a caring person because they allowed the child to choose, and the choice is life destroying. This is the greatest fallacy of U S. Just because it would be nice to think there are no consequences for rejecting God, doesn't make God the baddy when the consequences are real. What we should believe is found in the broad message of the Word. I am a preacher and have never preached a message other than the Good News. I have never preached hell and damnation. I have and do preach that Jesus is the one who gives life to those that are the dead to God. The Word is very clear.
people who prop up human FREE-will (human will-POWER) up and over and above God's free-will, destroy God freedom to WILL what He desires for us as the best for us. Once removed, man is left to his free-will blindness, deadness, deafness, and for a God to DEMAND that a deaf man hear, and blind man to see, or a dumb ass to think and each MAKE THE PERFECT RIGHT CHOICE is a God that sets Himself up to loose. ADAM made that choice FOR himself and ALL HIS CHILDREN, which we had nothing to do with, nor do we have any thing to do with now. CHRIST is the second ADAM who makes the best choice for us NOW, which we have nothing to do with. Universal Atonement is different than Universal Salvation. But BOTH are inevitably universally effective and applicable to ALL. ALL MANKIND is atoned for, but "series-wise", all are not saved yet. The former (atonement) is parallel, while salvation is "Series," each man coming to know the truth in his own appointed time. Now, God does not MAKE MAN SIN by not believing (yet); but God surely does pick whom He pleases to believe as He sees fit, yet leaves no one out. The CHURCH cuts people off at death to be excluded, and the Bible nowhere says that. Fact is, Peter says that the GOSPEL IS PREACHED TO THE DEAD that they too shall / should worship God, just like those in the Flesh! Thus, all flesh shall see God's salvation.
FREE-WILL as a contingency or as a mechanism that determines whether God reconciles an individual or never does, is the greatest HERESY!
Man may decide his own destruction (being ruined, but not annihilated), but God in Christ decides who will be reconciled to Him; and He has made it very plain, that ALL MANKIND WILL BE>
Jesus said before He died and rose up, that IF/WHEN HE RISES, He "WILL" DRAW ALL [men] towards Himself. THIS IS PLAIN English for universal reconciliation.
SALVATION is just another word for OUR BEING AWARE OF THIS AND being regenerated. And just because someone doesn't, or if they die, does not mean they never will.
Protestant free-willers commit a similar mistake in confusing atonement and salvation, as ROME does with Sanctification and the sacrements with Salvation. And And both commit the big heresy of CONTINGENCES, which is the main cause of LIMITED reconciliation.
ALL of Western Christendom pervert the NOUNS "eon" and "eons" (plural) into adverb "ever." They remove the Greek determanitive "THE" from the text to do this to support "forever" or for ever and ever. The phrase does not use kai "AND." The greek transition between for and the next words is "OF-THE."
There is a big perverted difference between "for THE eon OF-THE eon(s)" and "for xxx ever AND ever."
No negative is put upon any human "forever and ever."
Any negative is for "THE eons OF-THE eons" and no longer.
I agree that nothing can overcome God's will if God doesn't allow His will to be overcome. The proof that God does allow His will to be overcome is in the world around us. It isn't God's will that evil should be done, yet the world is full of extreme evil. The example of the world shows the weakness of that argument. That is unless U S people believe that God is not at work in the world? Again single verses are quoted. When will the supporters of US start to look at the chapter and verses before and after a text. The U S folk will find that every argument that supports U S based on one verse falls flat. I demonstrated that above in my previous blog. Let's not get personal just be biblical. Blessings TonyH
You do not understand the (off) balance between God's WILL and sin (our will).
God is not WILLINGNESS or determining, nor does He ever allow that SIN/unbelief/ruination/evil has an equal strength to or above His will, that it may supersede His plan and thwart Him. Man is NOT equal to God. Free will does not necessarily demand equality. If God were to allow sin to run rampant in quality as well as quantity, He would be open to Satan winning. The threat of Satan to put his throne above God’s is a direct challenge to God’s promise that SIN never abound above Grace. You people have sin potentially abounding above Grace, and this is Satan’s theology (claim). God says, WHERE SIN ABOUNDS (where all that is not God’s will), Grace super abounds (stays ahead and above it in superiority).
This applies to the individual as well as the whole of His creation.
This is why U S wins all in the end in contrast to the evils of some people’s sin of unbelief winning over grace forever.
The evil of E T is that God applies atonement AFTER some contingency is met. THIS is old time devilish MERITED GRACE.
It also isolates the free gift of FAITH in a vacuum that God gives all men at birth, and makes it a VAIN gift from God at best.
We are saved by Grace through Faith, and Faith was a GIFT to us as well, whether we activate it or not, whether it is alive (active tern) or dead (inactive). Works determine whether Faith is active or is in stasis; has nothing to do with CHRIST’S sole work – The very work He started He shall finish. We start NOTHING and FINISH NOTHING.
FREE-WILLER is entitled to have liberty, but not POWER over God’s will to save all.
If God actually depended on the LOST man to make the right choice, He surely would be handing the Kingdom over to Satan.
Satan teaches: “DO AS THOW WILT (WILLS)” and this is a declaration of war against “DO AS GOD WILLS.”
FREE-WILL theology doctrine teaches: Man has the power and right to tell GOD to do as Man wills, “leave me alone forever – Do as I WILL you to do.”
I think traditional theology is of Satan, because it stems from ROME.
I am tired of theology that pawns off the lie that MAN tells God what to do and not to do, or that God favors one man over another at their eternal expense, whether they deserve it or not.
God does what He does WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT, whether we agree to it or allow Him to do it or not.
His LOVE is never failing, and to love the sinner and let His LOVE sit back and watch the object He loves fail to reconcile it from damnation is - A LOVE THAT FAILS to do it's job.
IS THERE ANY ONE HUMAN THAT GOD DOES NOT LOVE?
IF GOD LOVES, then WHAT DOES "His love never fails" mean?
I AM NOT DESTROYING OUR so-called free to choose, I am just giving it less power to maintain some false eternal ability.
It would be GOD that would have to impute or GIFT the man with eternal rejection, eternal un-repentance, or the power to not believe for ever. In fact, He would be a liar when He said He gifts all me with faith, grace, his love.
Man's unbelief is temporal, temporary, short lives, AND FOR THE AGES ONLY.
IS SIN (of unbelief) super-abounding above or superior in power and extant and scope than GRACE?
SIN IS and HAS NO ETERNAL VALUE or QUALITY, even though the concept or knowledge of evil (?mistake, missing the mark") is a constant part of God's knowledge. The act and consequence of trespassing has no everlasting quality. SI is transitory and FOR THE AGES ONLY.
You have a lot of theories and a lot of opinions. What does the Word say? You are living in delusion. "Thy word is a light unto my feet". God's Word doesn't say what you theorise. You have one choice. Accept God's grace in the sacrifice of Jesus or you spend eternity separated from God. That's what Daniel said in 12:3. That's what Jesus said over and over. That's what Paul and Peter said over and over. Don't come with theories and complicated words. Just bring the Word. You seem incapable of this because your opinion overrides whatever you disagree with in the Word. Just like all U S theories the Word exposes false theories as just that false. Next time come with a discussion based on solid Word then we may have a discussion. I lean on the Word any day, over theories and opinions.
Well first of all, I am not going to argue with someone deluded with the A.V. KJV, or other English mis-translations. You belong to the last days wide spread delusion that God said He would bring upon you, that you would rather believe the lie, than the truth. Debunk and refute these passages: The following satisfies your demand request. I am sorry you are duped by the Roman Harlot and her Protestant Daughters, the religion of Simon Magus - the Contingency God: I NOW DEMAND YOU REFUTE THESE VERSES!
1. 1Tim. 2:4 God will have all to be saved. (KJV) Can the will of God be thwarted?
2. 1 Tim. 2:5 God wills all to come to the knowledge of the truth. Does His will come to pass?
3. 1 Tim. 2:6 Salvation of all is testified in due time. Are we judging God before due time?
4. Jn. 12:47 Jesus came to save all. Will He succeed?
5. Eph. 1:11 God works all after the counsel of His will. Can your will overcome His?
6. Jn. 4:42 Jesus is Savior of the world. Can He be Savior of all without saving all?
7. 1Jn. 4:14 Jesus is Savior of the world. Why don't we believe it?
8. Jn. 12:32 Jesus will draw all anthropos (humans) unto Himself. How does He do this if we only have an offer for this one life time?
9. Col. 1:16 By Him all were created. Will He lose a part of His creation?
10. Rom. 5:15-21 In Adam all condemned, in Christ all given live. Is this the same all?
11. 1Cor. 15:22 In Adam all die, in Christ all live. Again, is this the same all?
12. Eph. 1:10 All come into Him at the fullness of times. How many is all?
13. Phl. 2:9-11 Every tongue shall confess Jesus is Lord. Will the Holy Spirit fail to be given to everyone?
14. 1 Cor. 12:3 Cannot confess except by Holy Spirit. See what I mean? How many shall confess? See No. 13.
15. Rom. 11:26 All Israel will be saved. But most Jews don't believe yet!
16. Acts 3:20,21 Restitution of all. Does not mention any exclusions.
17. Lk. 2:10 Jesus will be joy to all people. Is there joy in an eternal Hell?
18. Heb. 8:11,12 All will know God. How long, O Lord?
19. Eph. 2:7 His grace shown in the ages to come. Have we cut grace off where God has not?
20. Titus 2:11 Grace has appeared to all. Experientially or prophetically? A statement of promise to a future reality.
21. Rom. 8:19-21 All Creation set at liberty. How much of creation?
22. Col. 1:20 All reconciled unto God. There's that word "all" again.
23. 1 Cor. 4:5 All will have praise of God. What for?
24. James 5:11 the End of the Lord is full of mercy. Is "hell" mercy?
25. Rev. 15:4 All nations worship when God's judgments are seen. Could His judgment be mercy?
26. Rom. 11:32 All subject to unbelief. Mercy on All?
27. Rom. 11:36 All out of, through, and into Him. All into Him? As ALL came out of, so ALL goes back in.
28. Eph. 4:10 Jesus will fill all things. Including an eternal hell?
29. Rev. 5:13 All creation seen praising God. No comments.
30. 1 Cor. 15:28 God will be all in all. What does that mean?
31. Rev. 21:4,5 No more tears, all things made new. "All" made new?
32. Jn. 5:25 All dead who hear will live. How many will hear?
33. Jn. 5:28 All in the grave will hear & come forth. How will the "righteous" Judge, judge?
34. 1 Cor. 3:15 All saved, so as by fire. How can fire save you as defined by tradition?
35. Mk. 9:49 Everyone shall be salted with fire. Including you?
36. Rom. 11:15 Reconciliation of the world. Will fire save the world instead of destroy it?
37. 2 Cor. 5:15 Jesus died for all. Did He died in vain?
38. Jn. 8:29 Jesus always does what pleases His Father. What pleases the Father? (1Tim. 2:4)
39. Heb. 1:2 Jesus is Heir of all things. Does "things" include people? Is Satan an heir to anything?
40. Jn. 3:35 All has been given into Jesus' hands. Can you accept this? How long does most of this stay in the hands of Satan?
41. Jn. 17:2 Jesus gives life to all that His Father gave Him. How many did the Father give Him?
42. Jn. 13:35 The Father gave Him all things. Study the word "things" in the Greek.
43. 1 Tim. 4:9-11 Jesus is Savior of all! Can't seem to get away from that word "all."
44. Heb. 7:25 Jesus is able to save to the uttermost. How far is uttermost? To the extent of the whole universe?
45. 1 Cor. 15:26 Last enemy, death, is destroyed. Actually, it is the first THING destroyed!
46. Is. 46:10 God will do all His pleasure. Does the Old Testament agree with the New?
47. Gen. 18:18 All families of the earth will be blessed. Here comes that word "all" again.
48. Dan. 4:35 God's will done in heaven and on earth. What can defeat His will?
49. Ps. 66:3,4 All Enemies will submit to God. Can any stay rebellious “forever”? Or, for “the eons”?
50. Ps. 90:3 God turns man to destruction, then says return. How can one return from "destruction” is defined as annihilation?
51. Is. 25:7 Will destroy veil spread over all nations. All nations?
52. Deut. 32:39 He kills and makes alive. Kills to bring life?
53. Ps 33:15 God fashions all hearts. "All" hearts, including men like "Hitler?"
54. Prov. 16:9 Man devises, God directs his steps What about "free will?"
55. Prov. 19:21 Man devises, but God's counsel stands. So much for "free will" and tradition.
56. Lam. 3:31,32 God will not cast off forever. Why does He cast off in the first place? (1 Cor 11)
57. Is. 2:2 All nations shall flow to the Lord's house. "All" nations?
58. Ps. 86:9 All nations will worship Him. "All" nations!
59. Is. 45:23 All descendants of Israel justified. Including the wicked ones?
60. Ps. 138:4 All kings will praise God. Are you catching on? Did you start out wicked?
61. Ps. 65:2-4 All flesh will come to God. That sounds wondrous.
62. Ps. 72:18 God only does wondrous things. I wish we would believe that.
63. Is 19:14,15 Egypt & Assyria will be restored. Really?
64. Ez. 16:55 Sodom will be restored to former estate. Sounds impossible.
65. Jer. 32:17 Nothing is too difficult for Him. Nothing? No, nothing! Not even reconciling ALL.
66. Ps. 22:27 All ends of the earth will turn to Him. For what purpose?
67. Ps. 22:27 All families will worship before Him. Praise His name!
68. Ps. 145:9 He is good to all. Including your worst enemies.
69. Ps. 145:9 His mercies are over all his works. Let's start believing that. Even the works He throws into Hades.
70. Ps. 145:14 He raises all who fall. Who hasn't fallen in SIN?
71. Ps. 145:10 All His works will praise Him. For "eternal torment?"
72. Is 25:6 Lord makes a feast for all people. And you are “willed” to be there.
73. Jer. 32:35 Never entered His mind to torture his children with fire. So, what is fire used for?
74. Jn. 6:44 No one can come to Him unless He draws them. You can't "chose" to follow Him. And you can't chose not to. See No. 75
75. Jn. 12:32 I will draw all mankind unto Myself Amen!
76. Ps. 135:6 God does what pleases Him. If it pleases Him to save all, are you upset?
OK, TonyH, let us have you start the debate. Send me 2 proof texts supporting ETERNAL HATRED of God; Eternal Unforgiveness by God - Rather an Eternal everlasting Hell. Just show me some verses about the eternal damnation of man. I wait your first pathetic attempt at proving traditional orthodoxy. ROSS
I have no desire to "debate" this anymore. It is settled for me. If you believe the Bible is God's word, then study to show yourself approved. This blog offers a ton of information, more than just my opinion. These are quick summaries for the lay person. Read Thomas Talbots's The Inescapable Love of God for a biblical as well as a philosophical refutation of eternal conscious torment. Or visit TentMaker Ministries (tentmaker.org).
If the Bible claimed eternal conscious torment, I would reject the Bible. It is the words of men written thousands of years ago, approved by other men, all of whom had an agenda. However, the Bible is quite clear in its support for the notion that God wills all be saved and God gets what God wills.
Peace to you and I'm glad I don't have to believe you're going to Hell for not believing what I believe. I'll see you on the other side.
I believe God has to justly punish the unrepentant. Hitler is not going to get away with the atrocities he committed and I doubt he ever accepted Jesus Christ's atonement for him and received Christ as his Savior and Lord and repented of his abominable sins. Justice has to be served. The Lord will not let the guilty go unpunished. Abominable crimes and horrors have been inflicted on human beings and animals by godless human beings. The Language of the Bible in Greek on Hell mean's literally "Long Age" so the terminal hell annihilation view is possible and potentially biblical rather than eternal hell. However, eternal hell like eternal heaven as a parallel is possible too because the souls in hell would continue to curse and blaspheme God in their bitterness and therefore the punishment would continue like a never ending vicious cycle. I like the terminal hell view where they are made nonexistent as if they never where after they have been sufficiently and justly punished for their sins. It is justice tempered with mercy.
However, because the Bible is not completely clear on this I do feel I have to warn people that hell could be eternal, and even if it was just terminal, you don't want to go there and miss out on heaven. However, you have to come on God's terms and repent of sin and self and look to Jesus' suffering the penalty of sin in your place with His substitutionary death on the cross and sincerely follow Him. Otherwise your soul is in danger of judgment and the wrath of God against all unrighteousness and hardness of heart in mankind and fallen angels. Debating theology and interpretation of Scripture can get tiring after a point. Everyone must prayerfully search the matters out with the aide of the Holy Spirit and Scripture to come to a sincere understanding and we all have to wait for the Lord to ultimately settle some of these debates and finer theological points. So let's stop fighting amongst ourselves and go win the lost for Jesus. Focus on fruitful evangelism and discipleship efforts that God is blessing where people are getting saved, delivered, and transformed.
Hi Craig, I agree entirely with you. I posted a whole list of scripture that agrees with you. This was blocked because the editor seems to only see what suits US.
Funny, TonyH. I am "the editor" and nothing was blocked.
Just because Hell isn't eternal doesn't mean anyone gets a "free pass". We all face judgment in the form of a life review. We will face what we did and know exactly how we made others feel. Evidence suggests the and the Bible indicates it as well. Hitler is everyone's favorite punching bag. But, does even Hitler deserve ETERNAL TORMENT. Think about those two words separately, then think about them together. What kind of monster would punish someone eternally for temporal crimes?
There are many good reasons to live a good life. First of all there is doing good for the sake of doing good. There is pleasing your Heavenly Father in whose image you were made. There is personal growth. And there is the reward of going Home to a celebration of a well lived life. Isn't that enough? Do we really need the threat of eternal punishment to be decent human beings?
Like I said, I prefer the terminal hell view rather than eternal hell view and I think scripture reasonably allows for the interpretation. However, it has always been a minority view and not a majority view throughout church history. I think you have to at the very least warn people that scripture allows for the eternal hell interpretation too, and the debate will ultimately be decided by God anyway and not us. I feel I have to let people know of both views so they are aware of the liabilities if they reject the Lord. I do not see universal salvation in Scripture though and reasonable hermeneutics in my mind just does not allow it when you look at Scripture as a whole. It's a nice idea, but unrealistic and it just does not square away with Scripture for me, and the Lord only guarantees His written Word and all three branches of Christianity at least accept the Protestant Canon books and the Apocropha and other books like Enoch are worth reading. Even with the threat of eternal punishment and hell, some people still refuse to repent or believe because of free will. However, the devil and the fallen angels tremble at the thought of God's wrath and judgment and they have the hardest hearts around. They obey to avoid more severe judgments such as being cast into the bottom of the pit of hell. They were always concerned that Christ had come to torment and punish them already for their sins and wickedness, but the Lord has appointed times for everything.
Scripture only supports an eternal conscious torment if one uses poorly translated texts and makes stretches like confusing “eternal fire” with eternal torment. Even Sodom and Gomorrah will be redeemed, according to scripture.
I see no need to continue to put forth the possibility that a loving Creator would torment any of His creation, without chance of redemption, for eternity. It’s deplorable and it would actually drive a thinking, feeling, caring person from Christianity.
Hey guys, I think Ross Marshall made a spot on comment about the way once we're into eternal torment orthodoxy, we would never understand the balance.. etc.
I dunno if this is a good argument or not, but I personally think that this statement is true, I'm a guy with a so-so logical capabilities, and I thought I had found the answer when I took in the orthodox doctrines.
there are times, trying as I might to convince people of the logical coherence of eternal torment etc, I encounter extreme resistance from people who I find to have better logical grasp than mine, they could never take in the logic of orthodoxy as I had. and I could also somehow sense the feebleness of what I was trying to propose compared to the soundness of the mind that they have.. I could never understand why, sure there seems to be gaps in my logic, but I usually attribute it their logic being based on a Greek man-exalting philosophy. (2 of these guys are computer science graduates, 1 a psyche grad).
long story short, what I mean to say is, eternal tormentis just not good logic.
although for me the question of Greek logic being valid or not still remains unsolved, I try to convince myself by saying: how far can you stretch a person's conscience beyond what's inherently given by God, that people can be made to surrender their minds to a system of logic that is wholly fallacious. well I dunno, just doesn't seem plausible enough to me.
Ross, I first want to say that I do not agree or disagree with US at this point but am currently studying for my self to find truth. With that said from someone on neither side, your approach will not be effective, you are coming across as angry and pushy. Regardless of what anyone here believes if we truly believe in God as the savior of some or all one characteristic of those that are His is Love for Him and love for our neighbor, I know the Bible teaches that. “By their fruit you shall know them” would indicate we can recognize HIS people by their actions and words and my perception of your words is that your words betray you as being His. I say this for a couple of reasons 1) you will always struggle to convince anyone of your point using this approach and 2) if you truly believe what you say then I would think you would be happy to share your points but what is coming across, as I said before, is anger. I only say these things because you seem passionate in you beliefs but nobody likes to feel as is they are being pushed/forced to believe something and if what you believe is true that would be amazing news to ALL so share it with joy instead of anger and in a spiteful manner. God bless!
Sorry for the anger feelings; thn again, go to the Old Testament and complain to God - He spent half the book being "angry."
Anyway, go here and check out the U.S. books, and the other Genesis-10 books I have published...(and some for my Professor, too.)
I sincerely hope that all beings may one day escape suffering, from the very bottom of my heart I wish that. I'm not really a big bible fan but Jesus mentioned an unforgiveable sin, being blasphemy against his holy spirit? How would you reconcile that to universal salvation?
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can not be reconciled with universal salvation. According to the Bible it is the unpardonable sin because of the free will rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord that can not be forgiven in this life or the next. Universalism is not a soundly based biblical faith but unrealistic wishful religious thinking. It sounds too good to be true from what we see of the nature of evil and free will in the world and the testimony of Scripture, and it is not true, but a delusion that side tracks people from biblical truth and reality. Narrow is the way to eternal life and broad is the way that leads to destruction and many choose to go that way.
BLASPHEMERS WILL "NEVER" ENTER THE KINGDOM?
The majority maintain that there is a class of men who will never enter the kingdom of heaven, and hence their final condition must be one of endless wretchedness. To sustain this position, they quote several passages of scripture, which declare that the wicked and unbelieving shall not enter or inherit the kingdom of heaven. But, it will very easily be seen that they seek to make more of these scripture declarations than what God wants to say. What are we to understand when the Bible says that wicked men shall not enter the kingdom of God? That they will ''never'' attain to that blessing? Not at all. This is rediculous, atrocious and out-right twisting of the Greek word meanings! The meaning is that they can in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven, while they remain in sin and unbelief! There is not a word in the scriptures that goes farther than this. The moment men forsake sin, abandon their unbelief and become converted to to the truth, they are allowed to enter and enjoy the kingdom of God, whether in this world or the next. This is the fundamental principle of the Glad tidings of great Joy towards ALL MEN! The Elders of Babel believe a man who is a sinner, may enter the kingdom of heaven, on repentance. Let him not deny it here, for the sake of gaining a point. St. Paul corroborates the view. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU! But ye are Washed; but ye are sanctified; but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God." (1 Cor. 6:9-11) This shows us that although at one time, men may not be allowed to enter the kingdom of God, owing to their moral and spiritual unfitness, yet at another time, the same individuals. having been turned away from sin in regeneration, will be permitted to enter and participate in the enjoyments of that kingdom. This principle extends through all worlds and all existencies. It is the way by which men can enter the kingdom of God here and the way by which they can enter that kingdom hereafter. For remember, it is the same kingdom both in this world and the next. Though many may be so long blinded by sin and unbelief, as to die under their influence, yet hereafter they will still have the privilege of entering the kingdom of heaven on the same terms—through repentance and faith. This is the rule of the kingdom of heaven here and it will be the rule of the same kingdom of heaven hereafter!
Does any opponent deny this? Then, the monkey of proof is on him to show to the contrary. Let him point to the passage which declares, that if a man does not enter the kingdom of God at one particular time, he cannot be allowed to at another time. Let him give the evidence that the principles on which men enter the kingdom of heaven in the world to come, are different from those on which that privilege is granted here.
The Savior accused the Jews of seeking ''to shut the kingdom of heaven against men'' here; will he do the same himself hereafter? What worse is it to shut up that kingdom in this world, than it would be in the next? All men who do not from any cause, enter the kingdom of heaven in this world, will, on the clearest equitable and gospel principles, have the privilege of doing this, in the life to come, on complying with the stipulated terms. That they will in time avail themselves of so gracious a privilege, comply with the conditions, and be at length received into the kingdom of God, is the clearest deduction of reason and analogy. It is moreover supported by many declarations of the Bible, especially that most luminous passage in which Jesus declares that he will draw ("DRAG") ALL MEN unto him! (John 12:32)
BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT
Matt. 12:31, 32, and Mark 3:28, 29
The Sin against the Holy Gkoit, (Matt. xii. 31, 32, and Mark iii. 28, 29,) is a portion of scripture upon which Elder Holmes relies for support of the affirmative of this question. I am constrained to express my conviction that he places his chief dependence for the aid this passage yields his doctrine, more upon the ignorance of people in regard to it, than their knowledge of its correct import. He calls the sin against the Holy Ghost, "the unpardonable sin," by which a false impression is conveyed of its nature. It is by the utterance of such phrases—by the indulgence of absurd conjectures, and groundless and unauthorized descriptions of this sin—that the partialist clergy have very effectually succeeded in darkening the public mind in respect to its true nature, and clothing it in robes so black, as to drive multitudes to insanity and suicide, in the fear that they have fallen under its dread anathema!
Yet the intelligent portion of these clergymen know better than to make the use they do of this passage of scripture. Their own minds'have been enlightened in regard to its genuine intent. Have they enlightened the minda of their hearers? They know there is a general misimpression in regard to the nature and consequences of this sin. Have they taken pains to disabuse the public mind of the false views under which it has so long labored upon this matter? When was a clergyman of a limitarian sect, ever known to preach upon the sin against the Holy Ghost, without falling into the old track in which his benighted predecessors walked centuries ago? When has one ever taken the pains really to instruct and enlighten hearers in regard to this subject? The same questions may I asked respecting several other disputed passages of scripture. In truth, many of this class of preachers would seem to be laboring more to keep their people from the light, than to lead them into it, as in duty bound!
1. What is the Sin against the Holy Ghost? It consisted in ascribing the power by which Jesus performed his miracles, to an imaginary evil spirit—to Beelzebub, an idol which the heathen Ekronites worshipped as "the god of flies"—instead of ascribing it to God. That this alone constituted that sin, is the opinion of all commentators. Dr. Adam Clarke says—" The unpardonable sin, as some term it, is neither less nor more than ascribing the miracles of Christ, wrought by the power of God, to the spirit of the devil" —i. e., to the idol Beelzebub, the devil of the Ekronites. Thus the sin was peculiarly a Jewish one. It was also a national sin. It was committed alone by those in whose midst Jesus performed his miracles. No other people—no other individuals—have committed it, or can.
There is no unforgivable sin.
There is no unforgivable sin except to reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of your sins. If you reject Christ you end up rejecting God's forgiveness and Christ's payment of the penalty of sin for you on the cross. I don't believe a born again believer can commit this sin as he or she has already received God's forgiveness by receiving Christ as Savior and Lord.
"In this 'world' or the next."
This passage is molested into saying "LIFE" or "WORLD" against the Greek word "EON" which means "AGE."
The Greek word for LIFE is different and is NOT used. The Greek word "Kosmon" is ALSO not used. The passage uses "EON" a noun meaning AGE.
Now, if the blasphemer cannot be forgive in this AGE (present tense of Christ's time), nor the AGE to come, then we have a problem with Jesus' promise He would not cast away ANYONE who would come to Him.
Plus we have a problem with Him praying a useless request to the Father when He hung on the cross and asked, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
To explain this verse and dispose of that time-limited statement: The age they lived in was the first. The "Age (world) to come was the transition age between the Cross and Pentacost. This one is still the "Next one" the Jews could not be forgiven. Because it was STILL prior to the third age "The Grace - Church Age." Once Jesus ascended, the and sent the Holy Spirit, then anyone could be forgiven EVEN those who had Blasphemed the Holy Spirit. This is STILL going on today. People blaspheme the Holy Spirit all the time today, but are UNDER THE GRACE PERIOD.
Unless you are a DISPENSATIONALIST, you are going to CONSTRUE passages and run off with Heresy.
This passage is very easily explained within UNIVERSAL RECONCILIATION teachings.
Carl is right. Good translations and an overall understanding of Jesus's message are critical to good exegesis rather than picking out a verse from a poor translation.
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! USE this one..
IT IS the most advanced accurate translation available.
Just watch a few "p"'s and "q's" thats all.
FOLLOW the GREEK very carefully and COMPARE with the transliteration, and you will be amnazed how SCREWED all the ENGLISGH translations are.
After 40 years, and now this, my stomach churns with PUKE!
And what is shocking is, 90% of Orthodoxy follows those crappy versions, plus the KJV.
Wowzers!! Praise God! Thanks Brian! Westozzie on CF.
Who said that we have "free will?"
There's that pesky "free will" again. It is one of the most damnable myths Man ever concocted. Man never ever had free will. Not even in the Garden of Eden. Look at Ge 3.6, 13; Is 10.5-7; Rm 9.16f; 1 TM 2.14,; 1 Jn 2.16; etc. Adam and Eve were by God's design and intent created as creatures of the earth; carnal and corruptible by their own lusts and by external forces, such as the deceiving serpent. Man is "free" and capable of making thousands of choices, but Man does not have the ability to make any choice in a vacuum devoid of internal and external factors and influences. "Free will" is an idol that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
The Word of God is pure. Unfortunately, Augustine and others introduced pagan ideas of "eternal" punishment. Augustine was not a Greek scholar. Whether a thing is "eternal" or not depends on the subject being described. God is eternal. Death is not. BTW, RV 21-22 is not the end. 1 Cor 15.22ff describes the summation of all things, when God will finally be all in all.
There are great scholarly studies on "eternal," "everlasting," aion, aionios.... Look them up.
So sorry about your son and his girlfriend. Rest assured , they are NOT being tortured in some "hell." Their spirits retuned to God who gave them breath, and they're at peace, and you and they will one day be reunited in a glorious happiness of the ages to come. Pray for them. Plead the blood of Jesus over them. Everything is going to be okay. Have Communion and understand that its beneficial provisions along with Jesus' resurrection are in full blessed effect since Jesus' death. See Heb 9.16; RM 5.10. He will not lose one sheep. Not one coin.
Rev. Craig, you really need to examine this fallacy of "free will." It's a myth based on Man's arrogance and self-idolatry. Not scriptural. Once you read the Bible through the lens of Universal reconciliation ala Rm 5.12-21; 1 Cor 15.22ff; Col 1.20; 1 Tm 2.4-6; 4.10; Tit 2.11; 1 Jn 2.2, 4.10, 14; 2 Pt 3.9; Is 45.23; Phil 2.10-13, etc...Then the whole of the Scriptures from Genesis to the Revelation show that they are comprehensive and cohesive. It's the only "world view" that makes sense of all scripture.
God has no weak wishes. Everything He wants, He will get. Man cannot subvert the holy will of God Almighty "forever." God is drawing ALL to Him through the Cross of Christ. All will eventually come to the point that they will come to their senses ala the Prodigal Son in Lk 15.17, and each and every person will enjoy the glorious reconciliation that God has already effectively achieved through Christ, and then they will joyfully declare and affirm that Jesus is Lord, and they will happily bow their knee to Him, not as vanquished foes, but as adoring children of God. Is 45.23; Phil 2.10-11; Col 1.20
The last three comments by Thomas quote many verses. Every single one of them can be debunked as proof of universalism by: Reading the whole chapter or book, by seeing who the writer is writing to and by Paul's theology of salvation in all his letters.(Rom 5:12-21)see Rom 3:21-22;Rom 10:9 - 10, 13, 11:20,23, 21:4; and (1 Cor 15:22)see vs 23; (Col 1:20) see vs 23; 1:12;(1 Tm 2:4-6) see 1 Tm 2:16; 4:10: (Tit 2:11) see Tit 1:15; Rom 10:9-10; (1 Jn 2:2,4:10) see Eph 2:8-9, Rom 10:9-10; 1Jn 3:23, 4:15, 5:1, 4:3-5, 5:12, 5:13; us means believers; (2 Pt 3:9) see Heb 9:27 One life then....,2 P 5:1, 2 Pt 12, 17, 3:7 be destroyed, Rom 3:14-16; (Phil 2:10-13) see Writing to believers, of course every knee... the demons did it to Christ when He walked on earth and proves nothing other than God's authority.
Anyone can prove anything by cherry picking scriptures out of context of the book, chapter and ignoring who the writer was writing to.
Universalism does not square with the Bible and main stream Christian faith currently or historically. Sin and judgments are reality and narrow is the way to eternal life and broad is the way to eternal destruction. Universalism sounds too good to be true and is not true in light of mankind's sinfulness and the fallen angels. Bottom line is that universalism is an old heresy that will come to an end when the Lord sets up the White Throne Judgment. Stop deceiving yourselves and get back to sound biblical faith and personal relationship with God through receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and being born of the Spirit of God and led of the Spirit of God into all biblical TRUTH and not heresies and deceptions of the Devil. Stop wasting valuable time on senseless arguments and hold to God's clear teaching in the Word on this issue.
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