I don't go along with the whole total depravity bit anyway nor original sin. I wasn't born bad, evil and/or defective. I'm not so hideous that God had to kill Godself to "save me". But, let's assume all that is true. Let's assume I can't accept that because my ego won't let me accept it. If there is nothing I can do to save myself, no act that I can do to save myself, wouldn't that include forcing myself to believe that God killed Jesus to save me? Wouldn't that be an act that I have to perform to save myself? Isn't that going to puff up my ego, believing that my belief just saved me and your unbelief condemns you?
As the pastor was going through the sermon (which of course, I am highly paraphrasing here) he actually pulled out the number one proof text us universalists use. If we had to pick one verse in the Bible that clearly shows all are "saved", it would be this one.
1 Timothy 4:10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe,
When this one popped up on the screen I pulled my palm away from my face and waited with bated breath to see how the pastor would handle it. God, the savior of ALL people, ESPECIALLY (not exclusively) those who believe. Oh boy, here we go. I wish I could remember his exact words, but it went a little something like this. He acknowledged that while God is the savior of ALL people, in a general sense, he is not really the savior of all people in an actual you have been saved sense. He's just potentially the savior of all people and is exclusively the savior of those who save themselves by believing. Doh! Yes he did. A masterful sleight of hand (words) pulled off and I'm not sure how many people even noticed.
There are several things about mainstream Christianity that defy logic and are completely inconsistent. Perhaps the two that bug me the most are that Jesus died for all of your sins. All of them, except one. The sin of "unbelief". Not believing that Jesus died for your sins is the single sin that can send you to the eternal torture chamber. The other is that God is the savior of all men, especially those who believe, but not really the savior of all men, just those who believe.
Oh well, the church does do a lot of really good things, they have great music and my wife likes it. I've heard this all before, I can stand to hear it a few more times again. :::: deep sigh:::::