Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Universalist Heresy?

"In doctrine, unity;

In opinion, liberty;

In all things, love.

I am getting very frustrated with so-called orthodox Christians calling Universalism a heresy. I don't understand how anyone can consider the following five verses and
still say that they are not saying that the scope of Christ's salvation does not extend to all of mankind.

Now keep in mind that I am fully aware that there are ways to get around the universal scope of the individual verses. I have ways of getting around the verses that are anti-universal. My point is that the plain meaning of these five verses taken together argues for Universalism.

I can also understand how someone with much greater intelligence than I have can understand how these verses teach that all are not saved by Christ's work on the cross, but I would much rather be called stupid than excluded from fellowship as a heretic.

2 Corinthians 5:18,19

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.

1 Timothy 4:10

For 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.

1 John 2:2

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

Romans 5:18

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.

1 Corinthians 15:22

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.


At 12:58 AM, Blogger NotWithoutSin said...

You missed a couple:

The Really Good News (aka real Gospel)

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 Timothy 2:2-4 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Timothy 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (due time - later ...not now )

John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; { That is, what is not of God?}

Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Colossians 1:16-17 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Malachi 3:2-3 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

And Isaiah 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? - Lake of Fire -

Isaiah 45:22-23 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Corinthians 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Romans 8:19-23 For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

1 Corinthians 5:4-5 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Matthew 19:25-26 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. - Question: What is that which is lost?

John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Mark 10:31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's just not the case that all are in Christ - consider Iscariot.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Thanks for you comment. I suppose that you are referring to

1 Corinthians 15:22

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

I'm sorry but I don't see how this verse makes an exception for Iscariot. Can you explain a little more fully for me please?



At 1:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two verses of Scripture which have not yet been discussed but which direct one to the correct direction, both spoken by Christ himself:


Matthew 12:31-32 (NLT)
And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

John 6:26-29 (NLT)
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don't be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.
They replied, "We want to perform God's works, too. What should we do?"
Jesus told them, "This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent."

The first of these (Matt. 12:31-32) demonstrates the first point: that yes, all sin was forgiven at the cross with the exception of one sin. That one sin is clear and largely understood throughout church history to be this: rejection of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The objectives of the Holy Spirit is made clear elsewhere, but it draws people to Christ. Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, telling them that what they were doing (rejecting the ministry of the Spirit) is dangerous business.

The second verse elaborates and expands this idea. Jesus suggests that something is needed of the people he is speaking to. This need, belief, is core to the message of Jesus and the Church. Jesus spoke of this belief to Nicodemus in John 3:16, "whoever believes will have eternal life." So the two are linked. Out of this belief comes change, and this change demonstrates to the believer and those around him that they do, in fact believe, and have in fact done the work God required of them. It is a wonderful fact, for the believer. A lot of people cannot accept it, because they feel they have to earn it. Others reject it because they do not feel they need it. Christ came to call sinners to repentance and to place their trust in him.

So, bottom line: All sins were forgiven and a new command was given men, that command was this: to change your mind about your sins and believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. That is how one attains eternal life, belief in the One who was sent. It is simple, but apparently not easy, since Jesus said "spend your energy" as though it could be a laborious soul-searching process. Grace and Peace.

At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I won't add much to the previous blog which did a good job of pointing out the reciprocal nature of salvation - namely that it requires OUR belief (i.e. acceptance) in what Christ has already provided. However, if you would, can you elaborate on your comment, "..I have ways of getting around the verses that are anti-universal.."?

When I engage most people in a discussion of this topic (Universalism), they usually discard scripture up-front and tell me something like, "I can't see how a loving God could subject his own creatures to eternal torment..." etc.

But it seems to me that our premise in the above statement about judgement is that everyone would CHOOSE eternal life over eternal destruction (damnation). I have a question then. Why doesn't everyone "choose" God now before they die? You might object and say that this decision must be made after one dies and sees God face to face on the other side of this world. Well, I think God gave us all a face to face(without our having to die) some 2000 years ago. At its core, the question of Universalism concerns our will and whether or not we have one that is free to choose to love God or reject Him.

Here are some passages I have found that refute Universalism that you would need to consider.

2 Thess. 2:5-12
Rev 20 11-15
2 Pet 3-13
Heb 12 25-27
Heb 10 26-31
Rom 4 23-24
Rom 2 5-8
John 6 36-40
John 5 22-30
Luke 16 19-31
Luke 13 22-30

Thanks for the opportunity to respond to your important question.

Love in Christ.

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At 12:52 PM, Blogger Bob said...

The Pope, the Rabbi & the Mullah

"We are the Way the Truth & the Life"!

The Gospel according Benedict XVI


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