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Why I believe Jesus is Savior of All
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TOPIC: Why I believe Jesus is Savior of All

Why I believe Jesus is Savior of All 1 year, 11 months ago #4046

  • Sherman
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In short, I've come to believe that Jesus is savior of all because after much study, prayer, fasting, and discussion with other believers, I have come to believe the many passages whose prima-facie message affirms UR to really affirm UR. It seems to me that UR is foreshadowed wonderfully in the Jewish scriptures, and clearly revealed in the New Testament, especially in Paul's letters! These passages have filled me with faith in Jesus to not only save everyone, but to even save me!

UR also makes the most sense to me when I consider that God is love and God is sovereign. In fact, Calvinism and Arminianism can be most clearly compared when examining their foundational affirmations of who God is using the following 4 statements:

1) God is Love in all.
2) God is Sovereign over all.
3) God is Judge of all.
4) God is Savior of all.

There are many passages whose prima-facie message affirms each statement. But both Calvinists and Arminianists because they believe that "God judge of all does not save all" find it necessary to elevate either the love or sovereignty of God and minimize the other position. Calvinists believe that God does not savingly love all. Arminianists mitigate the sovereignty of God and affirm that in regards to salvation man is sovereign, man chooses. Graphically illustrated:

Calvinism Arminianism UR
1) God is love in all mitigate affirm affirm
2) God is sovereign over all affirm mitigate affirm
3) God is judge over all affirm affirm affirm
4) God is savior of all mitigate mitigate affirm

UR can affirm all four perspectives of God because we believe that God's judgment is rooted in his love and sovereignty and results in delivering us from evil, deception, and selfishness. Judgment burns the hell out of us. It purifies us like gold in a fire. But all people are gold; all people are loved by and valuable to God! Calvinism and Arminianism must mitigate either the love or sovereignty of God because they believe that the judgment of God does not result in delivering people from evil but either locks them into evil forever (Infernalism) or destroys them in their evil (annihilationism.

Also, both Calvinism and Arminianism find it necessary to Limit the Atonement. Calvinism limits the atonement in Scope; Jesus did not die for all. And Arminianism limits the atonement in Effect (power); Jesus' death does not ultimately save us, rather it is our right choice that is the difference between the saved and unsaved. Universal Reconciliation does not limit the atonement in either Scope or Effect! Jesus died for all and his grace is like an ocean and we're all sinking! You can oppose the grace and love of God for awhile, but ultimately Grace and Love wins! God loves all and love does not fail!

I believe that Jesus is savior of all, especially (not only) we who now believe (1 Tim. 4:10). I believe that Jesus came to reconcile all of creation, and that he accomplished that in the cross, Col. 1:20. I believe that ultimately every knee shall bow in worship and submission and every tongue shall joyfully proclaim that Jesus is Lord (Isa. Rom. and Phil). I believe that God sovereignly consigned all over to disobedience so that He could have mercy on us all (Romans 11: 32). I believe that after the judgment as pictured in the lake of the fire and the brimstone in John's Revelation, that even the kings will come into the new Jerusalem and worship God, though before the lake of the fire every mention of the kings were aligned with the anti-Christ! I believe Jesus is savior of all because scripture has filled me with faith for not only the salvation of all, but even my salvation!

Re: Why I believe Jesus is Savior of All 1 year, 11 months ago #4049

You mentioned Paul's epistles. Have you actually noticed what Romans says, every time it mentions eternal life? I can't imagine how one would interpret it to mean everyone shall receive eternal life.

Seriously.

Re: Why I believe Jesus is Savior of All 1 year, 11 months ago #4050

  • Sherman
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Kentucky Reign wrote:
You mentioned Paul's epistles. Have you actually noticed what Romans says, every time it mentions eternal life? I can't imagine how one would interpret it to mean everyone shall receive eternal life.

Seriously.


Umm, I suppose it depends on how one understands "eternal life", is that "someday" or "now, today". We repent now, so that we can participate in eternal life now. Those who don't repent now, don't participate in eternal life now. One of the most important passages is Rom. 2

Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. 3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who will render to each person according to his deeds: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

Notice that the purpose of this passage is to encourage people to stop being judgmental of others and walk in the kindness, tolerance, and patience of God. It also is an encouragement to us to live holy lives personally because judgment is based on what we do, how we actually live, not just what we profess to believe. Judgment isn't based on faith, but on how we actually live. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, not just some, but every person whether they be believers or not. Frankly, the passages about judgment scare the hell out of me because to whom much is given much is expected; and I have been given so very much, especially faith in God, biblical education, and a tremendous desire to study the Bible since I was a child.

Also note that "tribulation and distress" is not specific as to whether this is in this life or post-mortem; it doesn't say. Much "tribulation and distress" comes to us in this life because of how we live, especially when we are judgmental of others, for judgmentalism is rooted in pride. And God in his love opposes the proud!

Also note that text "those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life" does not in any way say that ultimately not all shall be restored into right relationship with God. And note again that it's based on actually "doing good", not on faith, not on grace, not on being chosen or choosing, but on how everyone actually lives.

Majority tradition in the church has interpreted judgment passages to be about salvation and ultimately getting into heaven. This actually nullifies the power of these passages to call anyone to repentance because 1) the saved say to themselves, "No worries, I'm saved by the grace of God." And 2) the unsaved say to themselves, "I don't believe it and don't concern myself with judgment." When all along, the judgment passages are meant to call believers to repentance and a holy life filled with doing good!

Re: Why I believe Jesus is Savior of All 1 year, 11 months ago #4052

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As we know, some statements can be reasonably interpreted differently. The difficulty that I have with the UR interpretation of the passages you mention (including 1 Tim 4:10 that you reference in the topic title) is that I can't always square them with what seems like the best interpretation of other statements.

So for me, the passages that emphasize the finality of the fate of the saved vs the lost are very difficult to fit with UR. On the other hand, the verses that UR proponents use can more plausibly be interpreted differently, to my mind.

To the extent that "the Bible" seems to tell us anything about final judgment and punishment, I'd have to be convinced that all of those passages are not actually referring to what we call hell. There are times when I think that we probably don't have enough info to know for sure, so that's not impossible, but it would be difficult.

It would be cool to have a book that lays out every such passage and has three columns of commentary, one with the UR view, one for the ECT view, and one for the CI view.
"Singalphile" - Name chosen (hastily) to indicate being on a narrow path, pursuing the love of God. Male, upper-30's, USA.

Re: Why I believe Jesus is Savior of All 1 year, 11 months ago #4053

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I was a traditional infernalist for 40+ years, being raised in a traditional Christian family and going to seminary with that same perspective. About 8 years ago a friend asked me what I thought of a well-known Pentecostal preacher that had embraced UR. My initial thought was that he was way off base because scripture so clearly warned of Hell, but I told my friend that this was an uninformed opinion because I had not given the minister or UR a fair hearing. So I started reading the minister's book. I didn't like the book because, well, it did invest much time explaining his differing understanding of scripture. But it did note a few of the UR passages like Rom. 5:18, 11:32, Col. 1:20, etc. So I began studying these passages in their literary context assuming that I'd quickly uncover to my satisfaction that Paul didn't really intend "all" to mean "all". But the more I studied these passages in their literary context, the more they seemed to me to indicate that "all" really meant "all".

I found Rom. 5 to be especially compelling to me. In short, Paul is affirming how much more powerful is the atonement than the sin of Adam. The sin of Adam got us all in this mess (sin and death for all), but the sacrifice of Christ gets us all out of this mess and into righteousness and life. In fact, the sacrifice is so much greater than the sin of Adam because it not only overcomes the effect of the sin of Adam but ultimately overcomes the effect of the untold resulting trillions of sins of all humanity.

The more I studied these UR passages, the more "all" seemed to mean "all". Frankly this scared me because I knew the trouble I would get into with family and friends if I came to really believe Jesus is savior of all. So I decided to set that aside and begin a study of scripture on Hell and judgment, assuming that this study would effectively counter what I was seeing in the UR passages. I thought Hell was a granite rock-solid doctrine, an unassailable castle; but as I began to study what scripture actually affirms concerning the penalty of sin and judgment, the more I began to see the doctrine of Hell crumble before my own eyes! l did not want to believe in UR because I knew it would cause me much trouble, so I began studying anti-UR books and material. But after several months of devoted personal study of the issue I had to admit to myself and others that I had come to believe Jesus really is savior of all, not just savior of some, but savior of all.

Since then, some 6 or 7 years ago, I've continued to study and discuss this "heretical" belief with many people, actually hoping someone or some book would help me move back into the mainstream of acceptable theology of infernalism or at least CI, but with no success. The more I've studied scripture, prayed, and discussed UR with other believers the more I've come to believe that Jesus is truly savior of all as scripture declares him to be. I see UR in scripture. It makes sense to me. It fits my personal experience of the grace, mercy, holiness, and righteous judgment of God. And it does have some support as a minority Christian tradition; though the majority by far embrace infernalism. If it wasn't for believing "all" means "all", I'd believe in CI and not Infernalism because 1) Infernalism is so little supported in scripture. 2) Infernalism doesn't make sense if God is Good, much less Love. And the only thing imo that Infernalism has going for it is it is the majority tradition; but I've never been one to really value majority opinion, especially when the majority finds it necessary to be unloving towards those of the majority. But of course I could be wrong, likely am in some of my beliefs; I just wish I knew which ones so that I could repent (funny but true).
Last Edit: 1 year, 11 months ago by Sherman. Reason: spelling correction

Re: Why I believe Jesus is Savior of All 1 year, 11 months ago #4055

  • Sherman
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The following are some of my favorite passages that to me picture Universal Reconciliation:

a. Psalms 22:27-29, “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations…. all who go down to the dust, those who cannot keep themselves alive shall kneel before the Lord.”

b. Isaiah 25:6-8, “On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine— the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.”

c. Zephaniah 3:8-9. “Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them My indignation, all My burning anger; for all the earth will be devoured by the fire of My zeal. For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder.”

d. Romans 5:18 “Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.”

e. Romans 11:32 “For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”

f. Rom. 14:10-12 “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written,
"AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD,EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME,
AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD."
So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

g. Colossians 1:19-20 “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

h. Revelation 5:13 “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!’”

To me Universal Reconciliation is a theme woven throughout the tapestry of scripture. It is God's intent to reconcile all of creation; thus was the purpose of the atonement - "to reconcile all things to himself".

This is really "Good News". If it wasn't for scripture and the character of God I'd say it's too good to be true. God will ultimately "destroy the shroud that enfolds all people". Even God's judgment and his burning anger results in the purification of people and the changing of their desires so that they serve the Lord in true fellowship with others.
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