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Universalist Atonement?
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TOPIC: Universalist Atonement?

Universalist Atonement? 3 years ago #3186

  • LP Dion
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I struggle to understand post mortem salvation. I know Christ can atone for all, but is he made up of the proper substance for post mortem atonement?

Let me try to clarify.

Rams and bulls cannot atone for my sins, because I, LP Dion am neither a ram or bull. A son of Adam sinned, so a son of Adam must die. Both Humans

In my post mortem state (according to popular Christianity) I will be a soul.
But Christ's soul is the very part that modern Christians refuse to admit ever died.

Maybe my penal substitution background is even making me ask the qestion wrong.
Can someone shed light?

Re: Universalist Atonement? 2 years, 11 months ago #3217

  • Givemhell
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I think that what a christian who believes in dualism would say is that Christ's soul "died" in the same sense that our souls will "die" in that it separates from the body and goes to the underworld. I guess.
What bliss will fill the ransomed souls,
When they in glory dwell,
To see the sinner as he rolls,
In quenchless flames of hell.

- Isaac Watts
Last Edit: 2 years, 11 months ago by Givemhell.

Re: Universalist Atonement? 2 years, 11 months ago #3227

  • Singalphile
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I don't think I understand the question very well, but as I see it ...

Christ died for all, and one can be reconciled to God because of His death (and life) by recognizing His Son as Lord through faith, by grace (Romans 5, 2 Cor 5:11-20).

I have no opinion about how that "works", but if God allows for any post-mortem repentance/faith/reconciliation, then I guess it would be no different after death as it would be before death, if the unreconciled are conscious between death and the judgment.

But I don't know if non-believers will be conscious in death ("alive" in some sense) prior to the resurrection (I think those in Christ will be), but if so, then I can at least imagine that there might be opportunity for post-mortem reconciliation (if not salvation in the fullest sense). I certainly wouldn't count on that, though (to say the least).

That's my $.02, and probably worth less than that, since I'm not sure what penal substitution or the reference to Christ's "substance" has to do with it.
"Singalphile" - Name chosen (hastily) to indicate being on a narrow path, pursuing the love of God. Male, upper-30's, USA.
Last Edit: 2 years, 11 months ago by Singalphile.

Re: Universalist Atonement? 2 years, 11 months ago #3256

  • webb
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As far as God is concerned (and Jesus is concerned), a human being is everything that they have been, are, and will be for all eternity (assuming that you live that long). God looks at you and me from the perspective of one who created the dimension of time, so as far as he is concerned, he can contemplate your future as easily as you can contemplate your own past or the past of someone you know extremely well. The Psalmist says in Ps. 139:2 that God knows "his path," implying that God sees everything he will ever do before he does it. [Insert standard predestination references here.]

All of this is to say that when Jesus died for the sins of the world, he died for complete persons, once for all. He didn't die for a you that was before your conversion or the you that was you at the moment of your conversion or the you that you would be from the moment of your conversion on--he died for you, all of you, the you-through-time that is your entire self.

The amends that he made for your sins and for the sins of the whole world (1 Jn 2:1-2) is valid for all time for those who take hold of it by faith and receive forgiveness and reconciliation.

Heb. 7:27 "He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself."

Heb. 9:11-12 "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption."

9:28 "...so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him."

Heb. 10:12 "...we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God....").

In principle, at any time during anyone's mortal life they stand in a position to take hold of this infinite benefit. If we speculatively imagine that a certain person was to repent beyond the grave (whether in resurrection or including the time between death and resurrection, depending on your anthropology), everything we know about the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross implies that the "eternal redemption" would be there for that person 100%.

Two questions arise from this.

Question 1. Is there anything in Scripture that explicitly indicates, contrary to the apparent sense of these passages in Hebrews, that Christ's sacrifice is like a limited-time offer? For example, suppose we imagine people who, in resurrection, realize who Jesus is and who God is, realize that they needed forgiveness, and desire a relationship with the creator whom they had unconsciously shut out of their mortal life. Say, a person from China who died at age 14, never having heard of Jesus at all, never having stolen anything of consequence, never having bruised another person, let alone injured or killed anyone. Rev. 1:7 implies that everyone will someday realize, with grief, that their sins caused Jesus to go to the cross. Many will not come to this realization until the day he comes to reign in glory and to judge the living and the dead. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that some of these people should desire to know him and to take hold of his forgiveness and to know his Father, and, in a word, to become believers in Christ? Zech. 12:10-13:1 seems to prophesy that some will repent upon being confronted with the reality of Christ's sacrifice at his coming. This may be, or this may not be. But the point is, what reason do we have to imagine that God will say to a person who truly repents after this mortal life is over, "Sorry, too late. The offer is off the table"? I for one will stand up and say that Heb. 9:26-28 is not explicit enough to overcome the presumption that Christ's sacrifice is available to all who repent--whenever they repent.

26 [Jesus] has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

The author's use of the fact that there is mortal life and then judgment is not for the purpose of denying, say, reincarnation or post-mortem repentance, but to illustrate the fact that Christ's sacrifice is valid for all time for those who take hold of it by faith. He won't be coming again to deal with sin (which he dealt with on the cross), because he has dealt with sin once and for all.

Question 2. Is there anything in Scripture that explicitly indicates that some of those who have rejected God in this life will, in resurrection, turn to him--i.e. that explicitly indicates that there will be post-mortem repentance? This question is about the nature of human being. If we accept in principle the idea that God's nature implies that any created being that exists, as long as they exist, can take hold of the forgiveness and reconciliation of Christ, then what remains is, do we have hope that humans who have not repented in their mortal lives will repent at some later time? Like the much-spat-upon Rob Bell, I am persuaded that the biblical answer to this question is no. But, also like him, I would be very happy to find out I was wrong.
Last Edit: 2 years, 11 months ago by webb. Reason: formatting
The following user(s) said Thank You: LP Dion

Re: Universalist Atonement? 1 year, 9 months ago #4073

  • Sherman
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Good morning LP Dion,

I see no reason why a person cannot accept the grace and forgiveness of God in the hereafter just as well as in this present life, neither the grace and forgiveness of God nor our need/ability to receive grace and forgiveness cease with our passing from this physical existence to the reality of our spiritual existence, however that manifests.

Re: Universalist Atonement? 1 year, 9 months ago #4085

  • Sherman
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Concerning "Universalist Atonement", the Universalist need not limit the Atonement in either scope or effect.

Calvinism limits the Atonement in Scope affirming that Jesus did NOT die for All, but only for some. The reason they limit the Atonement in Scope is because they believe that it is the Atonement that effects salvation, but they also believe that some are not saved; thus they must limit the Atonement in Scope even though scripture affirms that Jesus died for all.

Arminianism limits the Atonement in Effect affirming that Jesus' death does not ultimately save anyone, but your right choice saves you. Of course, they don't put it that way, but ultimately the difference between the saved and unsaved is a person's right choice. They limit the Atonement in Effect because they believe that Jesus died for everyone but that some are not ultimately saved; thus they limit the Atonement in Effect even though scripture affirms that it is Jesus/Grace/the Atonement that saves us and not we ourselves.

Both Calvinism and Arminianism are forced to Limit the Atonement because they do not believe that Jesus is Savior of All, even though that is what scripture declares Him to be.

The Christian Universalist does not limit the Atonement in either scope or effect affirming both that Jesus died for all and that His sacrifice ultimately reconciles all to God, fully accomplishing His purpose in being born of woman, living as a man, dying, conquering death and raising into the fullness of life in God.

For those Christian Universalists who believe in post-mortem punishment of sin, that punishment is not to atone for their sins, but for remedial purposes however God brings that about. Personally, I believe that when people die they come into the full reality of whichever kingdom they are a part of at the time of their death, whether that be the kingdom of light or darkness. If they experience the full reality of the kingdom of darkness, they instinctively cry out to God (there are no atheists in fox-holes) and are saved by a revelation of who Jesus is just like you and I have been saved by the revelation of God's love in Jesus. And somewhere in there we all experience the judgment of God which delivers us all from evil, especially the most pernicious evil of self-deception! Truth, well, burns the hell out of us! But though we might suffer terrible lose, the destruction of all we love, God purifies and heals us because He loves us all and sees in us tremendous value no matter how much we've damaged our souls through sin. We are pearl of great price, the treasure hidden in a field, and God has sold all so that he can have us. God loves us and love does not give up and love does not fail! We can resist the love and grace of God for awhile, but ultimately, like Paul, we'll give in and realize that we were born for relationship with God, born to live in the presence of God and not being in His presence is like a fish being out of water!
The following user(s) said Thank You: LP Dion
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