Universalism

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Aug 12, 2019 at 11:45 AM.

  1. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

    Posts:
    100
    Likes Received:
    43
    Religion:
    Methodist
    What is everyone's opinion on it? I hope for it to be true but that is about it. From my understanding of the councils that is all we are allowed to do. Liturgyworks is probably better answered to answer this.
     
  2. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    51
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    almost anglican
    I think that the New Testament is pretty clear on the matter of eternal judgement. Unpleasant as it is I don't think we can get around it.
     
    Stalwart likes this.
  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

    Posts:
    311
    Likes Received:
    199
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    Well, for one thing, universalism would make Jesus a liar when, for example, He said that those who do not believe in Him are condemned.

    Consider all the evil that Satan has wrought over the centuries. The devil kills, steals, and destroys. If God gave all of mankind a free pass, wouldn't He have to give Satan a pass, too? How righteous would that be?

    God doesn't have to condemn unbelievers. Unbelievers condemn themselves by their rejection of the proffered gift. I have little doubt that an unredeemed, unregenerate person would be unable to tolerate the holy, righteous Presence of God in His full majesty and glory; the unsaved sinner would be so overcome by his sense of guilt and uncleanness, he'd flee to the one and only place (a very hot place) where God is not present.

    When people choose to have nothing to do with God in this life, they are expressing their preference for life hereafter as well, and God's not about to force Himself on them. They made their choices, and they will get what they desired: eternity without God.

    As for we few who "choose life" and blessing (Deut. 30:19) .... :gnight:
     
    Stalwart likes this.
  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

    Posts:
    533
    Likes Received:
    207
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Unfortunately they may be disappointed even with that strategy.

    Christ holds the keys to both death and Hell. He can come and go as He pleases. There is no escape from Him. Ps.139:7-8, Rev.1:18

    Perhaps it is the fact that God can no longer be avoided which makes Hell the place that it is cracked up to be.

    I am not a full blown universalist, but I am convinced that God is nowhere near as judgemental as we sinful human beings would like Him to be, where our enemies are concerned, that is.

    Hell may be a place where we are confronted with our own unrepentent, even unwitting sins and made to take responsibility for them and the eternal consequences arising out of them. Thus "judging not, lest we be judged" is wise advice indeed. Matt.7:1-5.
    .
     
  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

    Posts:
    311
    Likes Received:
    199
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    Mat 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
    Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
    Mat 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
    Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
    Mat 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
    Mat 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
    Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn...
    Mat 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
    Mat 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
    Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
    Mat 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
    Mat 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
    Mat 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
    Mat 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
    Mat 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

    Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
    Rev 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
    Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,...
    Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.


    Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever...
     
  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

    Posts:
    533
    Likes Received:
    207
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    I have no argument with any of that but how many pages of texts can you fill with references to God's sacrificial love for human kind? Let's have some balance here, shall we. Cobbling all the warnings together in one place like this makes God look like a strict and threatening bully of a Father rather than a health and safety expert teaching his children to be sensible and imploring them not to be stupid, the logical consquences of ignoring Him being dire.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019 at 1:30 PM
  7. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    51
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    almost anglican
    Good point, but thats not the point of the thread.
    And remember that God the Son is the one being quoted, the same who lived and died and rose again for us so that we could avoid judgement.
     
    Rexlion likes this.
  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

    Posts:
    311
    Likes Received:
    199
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    That's a bit like saying that if a parent loves you he won't punish you when you act up. A good parent sets boundaries. He lets you know he loves you, but he also knows that certain actions will have certain undesirable consequences.

    God certainly loves everyone, and Jesus showed us what that love looks like (if you've seen Him you've seen the Father). I see plenty of places where it's recorded that Jesus warned of extreme consequences and of how narrow the way to God's Kingdom is, but not one place where He said anything like, "In the end you'll all be in My Father's house with me."

    Luk 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

    Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
    Luk 13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
    Luk 13:26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
    Luk 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
    Luk 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

    I probably could cite hundreds of verses of Scripture. I daresay that any universalist is obliged to ignore huge swaths of the New Testament in order to maintain his view. If such a person took scissors and cut out all the parts which contradict universalism, his N.T. would look like Swiss cheese. O_o

    Thank God there are no 'full blown' universalists on this forum. Hopefully none of us are partially blown, either.... :laugh:
     
  9. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

    Posts:
    533
    Likes Received:
    207
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    No its not. God smites only to heal. I once watched as the child of a believing friend of mine reached out to a fire iron in the hearth to grab it. He smacked the child hard on the wrist that she was reaching out with. The child said, through tears, "Why did you do that daddy"? She got the answer. Because I wanted to save you even greater pain if you had just got your own way". He then explained to her what a hot fire iron would do to her hand.

    God is more that kind of Father than the vindictive, vengeful nemisis that we would invoke upon our enemies but God gets very upset when his saints are persecuted. Ps.116:15.
    .
    .
     
    Brigid likes this.
  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

    Posts:
    311
    Likes Received:
    199
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    Let's quote the entire 116th Psalm and study the context. What sort of person can expect to receive good things from the Lord?

    Psa 116:1 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
    Psa 116:2 Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
    Psa 116:3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
    Psa 116:4 Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
    Psa 116:5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
    Psa 116:6 The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
    Psa 116:7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
    Psa 116:8 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
    Psa 116:9 I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
    Psa 116:10 I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
    Psa 116:11 I said in my haste, All men are liars.
    Psa 116:12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
    Psa 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
    Psa 116:14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
    Psa 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
    Psa 116:16 O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
    Psa 116:17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
    Psa 116:18 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people,
    Psa 116:19 In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

    Universalism would have God accept as sons:
    those who did not love Him,
    did not call upon him while they lived,
    did not "walk before the Lord,"
    neither believed nor confessed their faith,
    did not accept the cup of salvation,
    did not consider themselves God's sons let alone His servants,
    and offered Him neither thanks nor praise.

    God is not vindictive. Rather, God is holy and righteous. His holiness is so great, no unrighteousness will be able to stand in His immediate presence.
    God is merciful, yet He also is just. His justice tempers and defines the bounds of His mercy.

    What God asks of us is very simple: "Believe in Me. Trust Me." People who refuse to do this cannot see the Kingdom of God. Were it otherwise, Adam and Eve would have been permitted to remain in the Garden when they chose to disbelieve and mistrust God's words concerning the fruit of that one tree.
     
    Anglo-cracker and Brigid like this.
  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

    Posts:
    533
    Likes Received:
    207
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Who God accepts as HIS 'children', is entirely God's business, not ours. No matter how we might like to impose upon God, conditions and restraints we gather from what is written in various places The Bible.

    God will decide how to discipline his wayward children, and it is not up to us to tell Him how it should be done. What you read in the Bible, at best, is a guide to what you may expect when you meet Him, not a binding rule upon God, to what other sinners will inevitably receive and which you can use to wish upon them.

    The Bible does not tie God's hands so that He has to judge his children according to OUR ideas of justice. The human race has proved that, in its unregenerate state, it has no idea of justice and absolutely no comprehension of what is in God's mind concerning it.

    An example of this can be seen in the words of Jesus to all those involved in his death. We tend to think his words were addressed solely to those who banged in the nails, but that is not necessarily the case. Christ's intercessory prayer request was probably on behalf of the entire human race, since, as we know the sins of the entire human race were placed upon him as he died. That makes us ALL responsible for his death. Were it not for our sin, he would not have needed to die. "Father forgive them, because they are ignorant and stupid" may be a rather free interpretation of his words but it may not be far from the truth.

    The interesting dichotomy that this prayer request raises is this: The request is aimed at God, by God, on behalf of us and the only excuse offered on our behalf is that we are ignorant of our culpability.

    Regenerate souls though are NOT ignorant of their culpability. We are enlightened. We know ourselves to be miserable sinners and there is no health in us. Like lost sheep we have gone astray. We have left undone those things we ought to have done, and we have done those things we ought not to have done. We confess our faults, (the ones we are conscious of perhaps, but there may be many more we are unaware of), and are penetent. According to God's promises we are forgiven, just as Christ prayed for God to do the day we crucified him, (the human race that is).

    My notion of 'universalism' certainly does not preclude the possibility of correction, and even the possibility of indeterminate, even eternal, correction for those who refuse to be corrected, but since I believe that human sin is 'universal' and that even after regeneration we each still "follow too much the devices and desires of our own hearts", I do not gloat over others failure to "know what they do" when they crucify Christ daily by their sheep brained disobedience to God. I see it as my God given duty to dispel their ignorance by following Christ's example, teaching, rebuking and suffering on their behalf.

    Ah! but it is otherwise. Adam and Eve, (if you read the story carefully), were not expelled as a punishment for disbelief or for not trusting God. They were expelled to protect them from the effects and consequences of eating the fruit of the tree of eternal life while still in their mortal condition. This would have rendered them eternally damned with no hope of a restored relationship with their creator, who is the author of eternal life. God had to protect them from this danger.

    So the human race is universally fallen through Adam, (not Eve you may note). Rom 5:12. I think it is God's purpose, if it is possible for God to do it, to make all of us righteous.

    Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Rom.5:18-19.

    Exactly how God will go about doing that amazing thing, currently seemingly impossible for 'those of little faith' to contemplate, I don't know, but I imagine God could do it, and have faith that He probably will.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 4:59 AM
  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

    Posts:
    311
    Likes Received:
    199
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    Sure, why not? Perhaps when I arrive in heaven I can get up a Pinochle game over cocktails with Jesus, Voltaire, and Satan. Or would Hitler make a better card partner? Could be interesting. :unsure:
     
    Brigid likes this.
  13. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    51
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    almost anglican
    I don't know, but I don't think Adolf would be any good at cards. I'm not sure he's got a good poker face.
     
    Stalwart likes this.
  14. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

    Posts:
    533
    Likes Received:
    207
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    I think if Hitler is in heaven he will be on a very short leash, muzzled and in a secure 'play pen' or perhaps a padded cell.
     
    Brigid likes this.
  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

    Posts:
    533
    Likes Received:
    207
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    You may be right there. In any case, if he is going to be found there, he will be in most desperate need of having his card marked by God. He has a lot to learn about how to be a fit member of the human race, but an eternity in which to do it. Anger management would be only the first course of an almost infinite number that he would have to attend.
    .
     
    Brigid likes this.
  16. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    51
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    almost anglican
    I did hear just yesterday on Catholic radio the story of the conversion of the commandant of Auchwisz shortly before his execution. I take those stories with a grain of salt, I've witnessed quite a few jailhouse conversions that ended in back alley REversions. But I have also witnessed a few true conversions of some pretty hard types, such that I can't dismiss the possibility. After all, Christ came to save that which was lost, and it is God who both judges and changes men's hearts, and all have sinned and fallen short. So who am I to say who MAY be saved? Never the less, that is far from universalism. To say that anyone (Hitler, Stalin, Che, my mother-in-law...) may be saved is not to say that they necessarily will be or that it is even likely, or that God is somehow obligated to. I do believe we will be suprised at some who we see in heaven and some who we don't.
     
    Stalwart likes this.
  17. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

    Posts:
    533
    Likes Received:
    207
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Yours and mine are truly an Anglican approach to the problem of the 'who then can be saved' question that bothered the disciples of Jesus Christ. Matt.19:25, Mk.10:26, Lk.18:26. And when I see something repeated in scripture 3 times I know it is an important subject. The answer to their question does not help us believers in any way as long as, by it, we want to either ensure our own salvation or condemn others to destruction."With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Two of the statements of Christ are identicle and the third is so similar that it can be regarded as definitive."The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." This is why the Anglican church is most definitely not Calvinist in its soteriology. And why those who try to import and impose Calvinist categories of salvation status are unwelcome in it.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 9:54 AM
  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

    Posts:
    311
    Likes Received:
    199
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    Joh 3:16 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.
    Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    But who is Jesus to say who will be saved and who won't? :doh:
     
    Anglo-cracker and Stalwart like this.
  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

    Posts:
    533
    Likes Received:
    207
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    The passage you have chosen to illustrate your confidence in the final eternal punishment of identifiably unrepentant people here on earth is worth a closer look at I think so I will go through it raising some points of interest, if I may.

    Mat 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
    Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.


    What is referred to as 'sleeping' is obviously not culpable napping on the job but, as in the parable of the Growing Seed, the normal nocturnal habits of even the most dedicated farmers. It is well to note also that the 'sleeping one' here is presumably God. The one who has sown the field and is patiently waiting for the crop to yield.There are no necessary duties to be performed by the owner of the crop at night, he can just lay back and wait, and sleep if he wants to, whenever he likes until harvest. Every positive measure called for to ensure success has already been done by day. In this parable, unlike the parable of the sower, the seed is not threatened at all. It is not a threat to the good seed that is suggested but rather the inconvenience to the owner of the field, (God) and his servants, (us), which is implied. We are both the 'good seed' and the 'servants in the kingdom of heaven', in this parable. The good seed growing being the yet unreborn, (as yet inactive), and the active servants being 'born again' and both being a parable of The Kingdom.

    The Weeds, Gk. zizania, that the enemy sowed in darkness are in fact darnel. Lolium temulentum, an annual grass with long slender awns or bristles which looks very much like wheat indeed. So certainly does not resemble the obviously wicked, (like Hitler or Ghengis Kahn), who are quite clearly identifiable in this world.

    Mat 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
    Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?


    It is the servants, (us believers) who approach the owner (God), with the offer to rid his field of the darnel, (the wicked). They want to take direct action against the darnel but the owner seems to have in mind a grander stategy - one that involves not fighting a minor battle against transitory inconveniences, but rather the winning of an entire war, once and for all, against His enemy. Whose enemy? HIS enemy.

    Mat 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
    Mat 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
    Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn...



    In other words the parable says that the servants of God should, for the time being, adopt the owners strategy of doing nothing about judging and rooting out darnel, until the judgment, when HE will instruct HIS Angels to do the sorting, lest we earthly servants do collateral damage the growing crop in our misguidedly enthusiastic efforts to please him.

    Mat 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
    Mat 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
    Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
    Mat 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
    Mat 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
    Mat 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
    Mat 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
    Mat 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.


    Notice the only key element in the parable not explained is the servants. Jesus still wants us to find that out for ourselves. He does not ram truth down our gullets, like a bird feeds fledglings, he leads us to good pasture and expect us to graze and grow in wisdom.

    This is not a parable aimed at telling us what will happen to the wicked at the end of time. Its AIM is that of pointing out the futility of thinking we can make the world a better place by force and the dangers of assuming we can do so without also harming the Kingdom of God itself.
    .
     
  20. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

    Posts:
    533
    Likes Received:
    207
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    :doh: He will decide exactly that, but only at the judgment at the end of time. It is not for you or me to take his words and make them mean what Calvinist double predestination or Arminean Free Will theology dictates.

    There is also the issue of time immediacy to consider. John reports Jesus as saying to those who believed not in Him, “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved."

    The situation being that they opposed Him face to face. We are not talking here about vague sceptism concerning Christ's divinity in the here and now. We are talking here about outright, damnable opposition to Christ's ministry and message in the then and there. It is well to remember that I think.

    I love John 3:16, but when it is used by enthusiastic witch hunters to separate sheep from goats, making angels redundant and usurping the role of Christ as judge, I whince inwardly.
    .
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 11:39 AM

Share This Page