Universalism

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Why is this becoming a conversation on free will? That has absolutely no impact on the question of salvation, because either way there is a strong belief in hell and damnation, and it's damnation that is being questioned here.
     
  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I think it remains a conversation on eternal damnation, though of course Calvinist predestination predestines eternal damnation regardless for most and Arminean Free will offers only some the opportunity of avoiding it. Universalism, in its various shades and hues is a rainbow of hope that "All things are possible to God" , if God actually wants something to happen.

    The question then Stalwart is: Do you actually want God to want everybody to be saved? 2 Peter 3:9. Some people don't.

    If any of us can know ourselves well enough to answer that question honestly, we will be making spiritual progress to understanding our actual degree of sanctification so far.
     
  3. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

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    Thank you for bringing this back around to the point.
     
  4. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

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    As for myself, I do WANT everyone to be saved. And I don't personally know any calvinist that doesn't. However, the Scriptures tell me that not all will be.
    I don't see how that places me in the universalist camp, as I understand the term.
     
  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    It probably doesn't. If an Anglican you should neither be a Total Universalist or a Calvinist Double Predestinationist. We can still hope for God to find a way for all to be saved, and even believe it is within His capability, but without pedantically insisting it must be so. There are some things scripture does not permit us to have certainty about, and quite rightly so, since all have sinned and our knowledge is imperfect.

    Calvinists might wish that everone could be saved, though being as they are convinced that everything is predestined I can't understand why they bother to try to convince people that they need to change what has been preordained and suddenly somehow 'decide to get themselves saved by God right now'. (As if that is not a contadictory tautology in itself), by preaching a Gospel of Salvation to them.
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  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Not really, you could posit, with 100% coherence with 'predestinationism', that everyone is predestined to salvation.

    The question of predestination and free will is entirely separate from the question of damnation.

    If you're a 100% predestinationist you can still posit either Universal or Particular salvation.
    If you're a 100% arminian you can still posit either Universal or Particular salvation.

    So let's focus on the question of universalism (which I'm 100% against, by the way). The question of free will is entirely beside the point here.
     
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Only if it can be proven in scripture that God actually has willed it to be so and recorded as much in scripture. Otherwise there can be no 100% coherence, just a humanly devised theory based upon human logic and reasoning. The same for double predestination but it could be argued that human sin predestined damnation to us all, so why is the same logic not applied to salvation through the once for all sacrifice for that sin. Scripture somewhat supports that view, 1 Cor.15:22-28, but there is other scripture which would appear to contradict. 1 Cor.6:9-10. (Both inspired by the same spirit and dictated by the same author. Did Paul change his mind 10 chapters later? I don't think so).

    Did atonement demand repentance and faith in the Old Testament or were more and regular sacrifices required? Heb.10:1-10. Was Christ's the final necessary sacrifice or not? These are questions which have exercised the church since 400 AD. Before that it had other more important things to concern itself with and universalism wasn't by and large one of them, as the early church fathers testify. Most were universalists of one shade or another. Most held a hope that God would 'sort it all out in the end, because of Jesus'.
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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
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  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    This is a slippery and perilous slope, with unbelief lying at the bottom of it. The Bible tells us enough about God's will that we can indeed have certainty about His intentions and plans for the eternal destinies of men and women.

    John 3:36 recounts Jesus' words: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    Universalists would like to think that all sorts of faithless people might 'get a pass' at the judgment. But Jesus said otherwise.
    Luk 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
    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.
    Matthew records a few additional bits of enlightenment from Jesus:
    Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.


    Universalists choose to believe that God might relent from what He's said He will do and might show mercy instead. If we suppose that God changes His mind (I am the LORD; I change not), or that He spoke harshly of "wrath" and "judgment" knowing full well that He didn't mean it and simply wanted to manipulate more people into 'playing nice', then we no longer can depend on anything He has said. The entire Bible becomes suspect; 'maybe He was serious, or maybe He wasn't.' This line of thinking is "man's reasoning" and it leads many people to think that faith doesn't really matter, or that actions taken in this life won't have any eternal consequences, or that the Bible is just a dusty old collection of sayings with no divine inspiration, or even that God is just a superstitious human concept. Once we disbelieve God's statements that the vast majority of human beings will wind up on the receiving end of His wrath, we have stopped believing in the plain words of the Gospel.

    Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
    Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

    Notice that the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ is that God has empowered people to receive grace unto salvation. By what means do people receive? By faith: it is not to everyone, but to every one that believeth. The justified people will live (in newness of life, alive in Christ) by faith. What of the others, those who do not believe in Christ? They hold the truth in unrighteousness; they refuse to believe what God has showed to them (by the miracles and the resurrection) and therefore the wrath of God will be seen coming from heaven against them. This is the Gospel of Christ.

    The 'gospel' of Universalism says something completely different. It would throw out many foundational truths of the Bible and would pervert the message. It would ignore the flood, in which all except Noah and his family were executed by God's wrath. It would ignore God's wrath toward Sodom and Gomorrah, when He righteously rained fire and brimstone upon them and destroyed every living being except Lot and his daughters. It would disregard the time that God opened a crack in the earth in His wrath and swallowed up Korah and his followers and burned 250 Israelites with fire simply because they rebelled against the leaders God placed over them. God is by His nature a HOLY and RIGHTEOUS being, and His wrath visited upon the unrighteous and ungodly (those who hold themselves apart from His grace) is a visible sign of His nature. Do not think for one moment that God has 'changed' or 'reformed' into an "anything goes," "lovey-dovey" deity now that Jesus has made the ultimate sacrifice so that people may be (not automatically are, but can be!) reconciled to Him.

    The 'gospel' of Universalism would have Jesus say, "If you believe in Me you have eternal life, and if you don't believe in Me you'll have the same, because My Father's love knows no bounds." It would have Jesus say, "I am the door for the sheep, but you don't have to come in by the door; feel free to roam around outside the pen and do your own thing, and I'll come to pull you out of your own sheit at the last second." It would have Paul's letter to the Galatians say, "Hey guys, trust in your own works or whatever, or don't even bother looking to God if that's your preference, because it's all the same in the end."

    What did Paul say to the Galatians about other 'gospels'?
    Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.


    Universalism is a false, 'feel-good gospel.' It is an "other gospel" like Paul was talking about. It is a lie from the pit of hell. It weakens the true Gospel and renders the Great Commission unnecessary. It leads people who are unredeemed into a false sense of security wherein they feel they can 'eat, drink, be merry, die tomorrow, and all will be well; either there's a loving God who will take me to heaven or there's no God and I'll just be dead; why worry?'
    Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
    Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar...
     
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