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Universalism

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#1
ConnorLiamBrown

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By this I mean explicitly Christian Universalism=that all people will come to "confess Christ as Lord".  Obviously there are numerous conundrums that should make for engaging discussion (and that is why we are here, right?):  here are a few prompts..

 

1) What would it mean for freewill?

 

2) How would it work....I mean, people have obviously died without hearing the gospel...?  How can they "confess Christ as Lord"?

 

3) What about those passages in the Bible that talk of eternal hell?

 

4) What passages in the Bible support Christian Universalism...?  If they do not really promote the teaching, how should they be read?

 

clb



#2
FresnoJoe

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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. John 1:36



#3
Hall7

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Christian Universalism


Ever hear about Christian universalism? Or wonder if a Christian should be supportive of this doctrine, or instead involved in refuting universalism? Universalism is a theology which maintains that all persons are connected to the divine and that eventually, all will be reconciled to God. Universalism uses ideas which are acceptable to a wide range of belief systems in order to make inroads. Universalism easily adapts to the outward forms and practices of a particular group, while remaining steadfast in regard to its own principles. Thus the doctrine is particularly dangerous, for in the guise of seemingly 'Christian' ideas, universalism undermines the truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a Christian should be concerned with refuting universalism.




Universalist groups emphasize themes such as love, forgiveness, acceptance and reconciliation. People find these ideas attractive, and universalist principles may be found within the creeds of many religions. However, just because many people believe so does not make a theology correct. In fact, at times this may indicate just the opposite conclusion. Scripture affirms that the road to life is narrow, and comparatively few walk upon it. Therefore, a person should carefully examine the tenets of universalism, or any other doctrine.

This is especially true about Christian universalism. The problem with this doctrine is that it may at first appear to be very acceptable. Universalist principles are nearly invisible, for the emphasis is upon the idea that all humans will eventually be reconciled to God and arrive safely in heaven due to salvation provided by Jesus Christ. The belief that salvation is the work of Christ, not resulting from one's own efforts or righteousness, is a Biblical concept. The Bible does say that the free gift of God is eternal life through the atonement provided by Jesus Christ. Christ's death on the cross certainly was sufficient to atone for the sins of all mankind.

However, Christian universalism would insist that Christ's atonement did atone for everyone's sins, and that therefore now all are acceptable to God. By grace, everyone is 'home free'. Again, Scripture does say that one is saved by grace. However, Jesus never said that all would be saved or reconciled. In fact, Jesus often solemnly warned of the consequences of unbelief. That would not have been necessary if a blanket pardon would be available.

Predictably, Christian universalism emphasizes the love and forgiveness of God, and suggests that since Scripture says that God desires all mankind to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, there would be an affront to His majesty and power if He did not ultimately get what He wants. That may seem reasonable, and is especially attractive if a person has loved ones who are not particularly interested in the things of God. It would be very comforting to know that they are going to be reconciled to God regardless of their unbelief. However, one should not base one's theology upon such longings, but rather upon the Bible's teachings. If an individual is concerned with following Biblical principles in the matter of salvation, he would soon turn towards refuting universalism, for a universal salvation without repentance would be no salvation at all.

Another universalist idea is that only a sadistic God would assign unbelievers to hell. The reasoning is that a loving God would never allow such a horrible consequence for sin, or that such vindictiveness was beneath Him. No one, especially God, should wish such punishment upon another individual. However, the existence of hell does not mean that God relishes such a prospect, or that He is unconcerned. In fact, it is probably because of the fact that mankind is made in the image of God that people find hell repugnant, for God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to die so that people would not have to endure such torment. Forgiveness and salvation may be familiar concepts. However, many people, including Christians, are not quite as comfortable with the concept of the utter holiness of God. Delighting in His mercies, a person can be somewhat uncomprehending about His wrath against sin. Not being able to conceive of holiness in its fullness, people may regard sins or the rejection of His gracious salvation as small things, easily set aside. Yet the Judge of all the earth must do what is right. His character requires that He act with justice as well as love.

Therefore, refuting universalism is necessary because it undermines both the true nature of God's holiness and the gospel of Jesus Christ. While some may say that Christian universalism gives a positive picture of the vast power of Christ's death on the cross (in that this secured pardon for all), the truth is that this view does damage to the truth of the gospel, because universalist doctrine emphasizes the love of God at the expense of His holiness. A person must be very careful not to twist passages of the Bible to fit their own interpretation. Sometimes verses which seem to support universalist tenets may actually mean something very different when examined in context. As Hebrews 2:1-3 warns, Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip...How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him..?. It does matter if people reject so great a salvation, and those who reject Him do so at their own peril. Like two sides of a coin, justice and love meet in a perfect balance at the cross. There God is revealed as just and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus. Love is also revealed at the cross. Like a judge who metes out a just sentence and then steps down from the bench to serve the sentence for the offender, God declares the death sentence against sin and then bears the penalty Himself.

http://www.christian...niversalism.htm

#4
Cletus

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Universalism is a false teaching. The bible is clear there are two paths one can take and only those on the straight and narrow dont recieve eternal damnation. Jesus said if you arent for me then you are against me.... how is that universal? The bible says on judgment day some people will be on the right side of God and some on the left, those on the right will be told well done thy good and faithful servant while those on the left are told depart into everlasting flames. There is nothin universal about the teaching of Christ, the apostles, John the baptist, or even the prophets in the old testament. The message of the bible is clear repent and live how God wants you to. This is why its important to study The Word for YOURSELF so you wont be decieved. The truth will set you free.

#5
Sevenseas

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yeah....I don't believe there is Christian Universalism.  The Bible does not teach that.

 

 

 

Predictably, Christian universalism emphasizes the love and forgiveness of God, and suggests that since Scripture says that God desires all mankind to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, there would be an affront to His majesty and power if He did not ultimately get what He wants. That may seem reasonable, and is especially attractive if a person has loved ones who are not particularly interested in the things of God. It would be very comforting to know that they are going to be reconciled to God regardless of their unbelief. However, one should not base one's theology upon such longings, but rather upon the Bible's teachings. If an individual is concerned with following Biblical principles in the matter of salvation, he would soon turn towards refuting universalism, for a universal salvation without repentance would be no salvation at all.

 

 

Like in 'Love Wins'  (Rob Bell)

 

No hell....because a loving God would never ever send anyone to hell...well God didn't make hell for mankind according to the Bible....He made it for the devil and his angels...and we are free to join

them there if we so choose

 

Yes, there must be repentance...John the Baptist, cousin and forerunner to Christ, proclaimed "Repent and be saved!"



#6
ConnorLiamBrown

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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. John 1:36

 

 

Right.  Christian Universalism holds (correct me anyone if I am wrong) that ALL will believeth on the Son and obtain everlasting life.  Like I said, the topic is not about Universalism (i.e. the belief the all religions are basically legit, or that everyone will go to some sort of heaven regardless of their attitutde toward Christ).



#7
bopeep1909

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Universalism is a belief that everyone will be saved.The Bible says that unredeemed men will go to hell forever Matthew 25:46.It is not Biblical.



#8
FresnoJoe

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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. John 1:36

 

Right.  Christian Universalism holds (correct me anyone if I am wrong) that ALL will believeth on the Son and obtain everlasting life.  Like I said, the topic is not about Universalism (i.e. the belief the all religions are basically legit, or that everyone will go to some sort of heaven regardless of their attitutde toward Christ).

 

:thumbsup:

 

Amen Beloved

 

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

 

Sometimes It Appears To Me

 

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

 

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power,

 

but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:5-6

 

Folk Often Mix Up The Universal Resurrection

 

For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

 

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life;

and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:26-29

 

With A Mythical, Godless, Faithless Universal Salvation

 

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:

 

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life,

and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14

 

And I Believe There Is An Eternity Of Difference Separating The Two

 

And there shall be no more curse:

but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Revelation 22:3-4

 



#9
B3L13v3R

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Quote CLB from original post in black:

 

"1) What would it mean for freewill?"

Nothing, as universalism of any kind is a false teaching. 

 

"2) How would it work....I mean, people have obviously died without hearing the gospel...?  How can they "confess Christ as Lord"?"

They cannot after they have died.
Heb 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

 

"3) What about those passages in the Bible that talk of eternal hell?"
Well, Hell is temporary, in that people that are only there are awaiting God's judgment.
After they are judged according to their works, they will then be cast into "The Lake of Fire" that is eternal. 

Rev 20:10-15 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
 

 "4) What passages in the Bible support Christian Universalism...?   If they do not really promote the teaching, how should they be read?"
None support universalism of any kind.
They should read in context. A good rule of thumb is like good 20/20 eyesight.
Prayerfully read 20 verses before a verse, and 20 verses after a verse.
This will generally give us a real good idea of what God was referring to.
But... if the Word of God is twisted, added to, or taken away from, one can come up with just about any kind of fallacy, and have, including "christian universalism."

Rev 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

 

 



#10
ConnorLiamBrown

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The verses in the Bible that have traditionally been employed in defending Christian Universalism (Oh, just one more time, all verses quoted from the Bible like these:

 

 

 


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. John 1:36

 

 

 

 
Or comments like these
 
The bible is clear there are two paths one can take and only those on the straight and narrow dont recieve eternal damnation. Jesus said if you arent for me then you are against me.... how is that universal? 

 

 

Are missing the point.  There are only two paths: Universalism holds that, in the end, ALL will choose the narrow path; ALL will eventually be FOR Jesus.

 

....and back to the traditional verses:

 

9 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Col 1:19-20 ESV)
 
 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. (1Co 15:28 ESV)
 
 25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob";
 27 "and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins." (Rom 11:25-27 ESV)


#11
FresnoJoe

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Choices

 

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:

 

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14

 

~

 

....There are only two paths: Universalism holds that, in the end, ALL will choose the narrow path; ALL will eventually be FOR Jesus....and back to the traditional verses:

 

 25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
 
26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob";
 
27 "and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins." (Romans 11:25-27 ESV)
 
 
25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
 
26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob";
 
27 "and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins." (Romans 11:25-27 ESV)

 

~

 

And Beloved, Back To The Simple Facts On Israel

 

In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me:

 

for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.

 

I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.

 

The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. Zephaniah 3:11-13



#12
shiloh357

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Christian Universalism is a false teaching, pure and simple.  It is not a new heresy.  It is, in fact, an old heresy dating back  to as early as Origen and Clement.

 

The main problem with Christian Universalism is that it offers an opportunity for salvation after one has died.  The notion that everyone will eventually accept Christ is not in Scripture and it denies what Jesus said.

 

If everyone will at some point be saved, if every person who has ever been born will eventually receive Christ and since God isn't limited by linear time, then everyone has already been saved when Jesus finished the work of redemption and the Bible simply makes no such claims.  From the standpoint of a Christian Universalist, Jesus has already objectively saved everyone, but they simply need to subjectively experience it.

 

One popular notion among Christian Universalists is that hell is not eternal and that it serves as place of purification.  The Bible only ever presents hell as a suffering and misery and punishment for rejecting Christ.   In the Bible it is the blood of Jesus that purifies and that purification is efficacious only for the person that believes on Jesus.  Nowhere in the Bible is hell presented as a place of purification for sinners.  As such, this view presents another possible path for salvation apart from the finished work of the cross.

 

Christian Universalism makes Jesus out to be a liar when He said that few would find the narrow path that leads to live.

 

Christian Universalism then there is no real need to live a holy life.  You are saved anyway and you will go heaven whether you want to or not.  You don't need to worry about developing a prayer life or deeper relationship with God.

 

If Christian Universalism is true, then why would anyone need to repent of sin as a response to the Gospel?  They are already saved, what good is a doctrine of repentance from sin in order to be saved??

 

If Christian Universalism is true, then evangelism is a waste of time, as everyone is already saved.  Everyone is already going to heaven non matter what.



#13
OneLight

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There are only two paths: Universalism holds that, in the end, ALL will choose the narrow path; ALL will eventually be FOR Jesus.


I am sure we understand what you are saying, and no matter how you put it, it is wrong. Your statement "Universalism holds that, in the end, ALL will choose the narrow path; ALL will eventually be FOR Jesus." goes against scripture. Not ALL will choose, not ALL will be saved. IF you truly believe this, you are venturing down a vary dangerous path that could lead to destruction.

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

Luke 13:22-30
And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”

And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”


God searches the heart of all people. If their heart is not of Him, their fruit will not be of Him. You cannot like like a sinner and expect to blessed as a saint.

#14
*Zion*

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There are only two paths: Universalism holds that, in the end, ALL will choose the narrow path; ALL will eventually be FOR Jesus.


I am sure we understand what you are saying, and no matter how you put it, it is wrong. Your statement "Universalism holds that, in the end, ALL will choose the narrow path; ALL will eventually be FOR Jesus." goes against scripture. Not ALL will choose.

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

Luke 13:22-30
And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”

And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”


God searches the heart of all people. If their heart is not of Him, their fruit will not be of Him. You cannot like like a sinner and expect to blessed as a saint.

 

 

Absolutely.  There's just no way around this one.  God's Word always has the first and final say.






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