TOPIC: Why I Do Not Believe in Universal Salvation
Re: Why I Do Not Believe in Universal Salvation 1 year, 9 months ago #4075
Thanks for sharing the genuine thoughts of your mind and heart. For my part, your last paragraph matches neither my experience of God nor of people in and out of relationship with God. My experience (including especially my reading of Scripture) convinces me that God grants actual moral agency to human beings in creating them--and does not sovereignly assign them to be disobedient, as though all of creation and salvation history were a puppet play put on by God for God. God is infinitely greater than we are, and because God created all the dimensional depths of creation, including ones that we mostly four-dimensionally-minded humans are only occasionally even aware of, God is capable of working with and through human moral choices and actions--whether those moral choices and actions align with God's own character or not. That is not the same as saying God engineers everything to the effective exclusion of human agency. It is both. God is sovereign and we have actual agency.
To me, Jesus has achieved the expunging of every human sin, and the justifying work of Jesus will, in its time, achieve the bringing to life of every mortal human being who has ever lived. The story that I read in Isa. 24:21--27:5 and Isa. 57:15-21 and Rev. 19:14--20:10, however, warns me that even when those who never repented in their mortal lives are given a completely clean slate in resurrection thanks to the justifying and life-granting work of the Son of God, they will not accept reconciliation. Without the will to reconcile on their side, all the love and forgiveness and life-giving in the world (which they have received) profits them nothing. They are, as you would say, "goners."
Re: Why I Do Not Believe in Universal Salvation 1 year, 9 months ago #4077
I really appreciate the tone of your replies and the grace and humility behind it. Thanks.
I suppose I have no problem believing that we have all been consigned over to disobedience because of my personal experience. I was raised in a Christian family and have had an unusual love for God, scripture, and the church from childhood. I preached my first full length sermon when I was only 12 years old. And get this, the title was "Heaven/Hell, Where do you want to go!" 45 minutes of reviewing what scripture says about the subject, with Flannel Board illustrations and all (now that's a long time ago.). I went to seminary straight out of High School, and... Well, you get the idea. I was a "good" boy and young man.
But then one day when I was about 24, I was reading the story of the woman that washed Jesus' feet with her tears and dried them with her hair, an extravagant display of utter humility, brokenness, and passion. And I was particularly thinking about the "those who have been forgiven much, love much" verse. Just being honest with myself, I said to the Lord, "I love you Lord, but I don't know that I've ever experienced such passionate love for you as this woman did. I've never led the sinful lifestyle this woman did, but I want to love you as much as she did, with utter abandonment. I don't think I should go out an sin more so that you could forgive me more, but I don't know what to do to love you more?" It was one of those prayers that you know went straight to the heart of God and was likely inspired by Him to begin with.
Well, over the next several months I encountered the judgment of God, laying bare the motives of my heart. I first had a vision where I saw a hand cut off from a body and the Lord said to me, "Your pride has cut you off from the body of Christ." I knew it was true. Though I was living a morally clean life, I was prideful of that morality and couldn't receive from others; and my pride kept others from receiving from me. I was cut off. I repented and then saw the body pick up the hand and restore it to the arm.
Some months later I was reading the 8 Woes in Mt. 23. When I got to the end, the Lord said to me, "That's the way you are." And He pealed back my self-deception, showing me that some of those woes fit me to a T, like doing good to be seen by others. The truth impacted me so much that I cried for 2 weeks. And it worked in me a lasting positive change.
Then some months after that I was reading the parable of the talents. When I came to the "you wicked and lazy servant" judgment, the Lord said to me again, "That's the way you are, except I've given you 10 talents." Again He pealed back my self deception, showing that He had given me so much and yet I had buried it because of fear rooted in a twisted concept of who He is and Laziness which is rooted in selfishness. But it worked in me a lasting positive change.
Some months after that, I found myself subconsciously contemplating the passage "All my righteousness is as filthy rags." I would catch myself pondering the meaning of that passage, though I had not read it recently or was studying it. And then one day I had the realization that everything about me was polluted by my selfishness, selfish motives and desires, everything! My best, my righteousness was as filthy as used toilet paper! My love for my wife, children, even my love fore God was polluted by my selfishness! Talk about a humbling truth to accept! And yet it was very liberating because I realized that we're all in the same boat named Selfish! It freed me to stop striving for perfection and to simply love God because He loves us. It freed me to stop being so critical and judgmental of others because I'm as big of a mess as anyone else.
So when Rom.11:32 notes that we've all been consigned over to disobedience, I must agree. We are all selfish to the bone, bad to the bone literally. And yet God loves us and will reconcile us and give us his righteousness and life. We cannot save ourselves through right choices. We are truly dead in our sins needing him to raise us from the dead. We are slaves of unrighteousness needing to be set free. And thankfully, God loves us anyhow, and love does not fail.
I came up with a saying that my students had put on a shirt for me. The front says "I'm Okay, You're Okay" with a big Not-sign (circle with a line through it) over it. The back says, "Truth is, I'm a mess and I think you're an even bigger one!" A little tongue in cheek, but true. The only reason I think anyone is a bigger mess than I am is because I'm a such a mess!
These encounters with the judgment of God tore me up, but I can say that I loved God all the more for it. They were truly an answer to my prayer to love God like the woman loved him. I had been forgiven of pride, self-righteousness, apathy, selfishness, etc. I have been forgiven 100% just like she had been forgiven 100%. And if not for God intervening in my life, I'd still be stuck in pride and self-righteousness, separated from Him and yet thinking I was doing everything right! Now when I look at the their, drug addict, murder, child molester, etc. I can honestly say, "There go I except for the grace of God" and have compassion and grace towards them.
Well, anyhow, thanks for reading my thoughts. Yep, "I'm a mess and think you're an even bigger mess!" haha
Last Edit: 1 year, 9 months ago by Sherman. Reason: spelling
Re: Why I Do Not Believe in Universal Salvation 1 year, 9 months ago #4078
Webb said- (when those who never repented in their mortal lives are given a completely clean slate in resurrection thanks to the justifying and life-granting work of the Son of God, they will not accept reconciliation. Without the will to reconcile on their side, all the love and forgiveness and life-giving in the world (which they have received) profits them nothing. They are, as you would say, "goners.")
I once heard James White (who I think is a good apologist) say that the wicked -even if let out of ECT, will want back in because they are so wicked. Now as much as I respect James's hard work for the Christian faith, I really thought he missed it on that one.
Unless I am misunderstanding you, it seems as if you are saying the wicked who die now, will be given a chance to repent and turn it down. If that is what you are saying, its basically the same thing White is saying, but he is saying it based on a sinner's total depravity and so by nature they could only will to do so. I think you are saying it from the perspective that people really will have the power to repent, which if that is the case, is actually a more extreme and unlikely scenario than Mr. White points out.
Maybe I am missing something, but if someone is hung over a lake of fire (spiritual or not) and the alternative is eternal life with no pain, no tears, complete joy forever, it would take a huge leap of faith to believe anyone would willingly turn that down.
I may have misunderstood you, but if not, what you are saying is very speculative at best and would seem to fly in the face of common sense at worst, if indeed you see people facing this from a neutral which one is best proposition.
Re: Why I Do Not Believe in Universal Salvation 1 year, 9 months ago #4079
You would make a great Calvinist I think, with your very proper critique of the nature of man.
Just so happens and I kid you not, I was out in the yard today (very beautiful day) and contemplating the exact same thing you said. That is, by nature every thing we do has at its core a selfish motivation. (How Providential is that?)
I had discussed this before with another Christian brother (I think he had mentioned it first) and its always kind of stuck with me.
As part of our growth from babes to mature, I believe the Lord takes us down that path and yes, it makes us have more compassion on those who by nature, we would judge as being worse.
We end up realizing though that we are exactly the same, that God is merciful in our sin, and it propels us to lean into Christ.
Although we would always since salvation say that we are no better than anyone else, it takes God's grace and chastisement to really get it down in our hearts so that its real.
With you, a lot of scripture etc...with me, a lot of illness, but same result.
Now if we could just straighten you out on this UR thing...
By the way, love your sincere attitude and honesty.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Sherman
Re: Why I Do Not Believe in Universal Salvation 1 year, 9 months ago #4081
...it seems as if you are saying the wicked who die now, will be given a chance to repent and turn it down. ... I think you are saying it from the perspective that people really will have the power to repent, which if that is the case, is actually a more extreme and unlikely scenario ... if someone is hung over a lake of fire (spiritual or not) and the alternative is eternal life with no pain, no tears, complete joy forever, it would take a huge leap of faith to believe anyone would willingly turn that down. I may have misunderstood you, but if not, what you are saying is very speculative at best and would seem to fly in the face of common sense at worst, if indeed you see people facing this from a neutral which one is best proposition.
I'm coming from a different theological and eschatological paradigm than James White, and the best way to understand it is to read my short book The Bad Place
Isa. 26:10-11 || Isa. 27:1-5 || Rev. 20:7-10 reveal the resurrection of the unrepentant. They do not know that they are faced with the prospect of annihilating fire, because as at the first in the Garden, the devil deceives (himself and) them and they think they are invulnerable. They think they have the upper hand. If their hearts were open to repentance, they would know that they have an open invitation to take part in all the good things of God along with the holy ones, but their hearts are closed. Why? That is a mystery that lies within them. The profundity of the wickedness and self-deception of the unrepentant heart is indeed counter-intuitive, even offensive. But it is what it is.
Re: Why I Do Not Believe in Universal Salvation 2 months ago #5250
This page turned up on a web-crawler search and since I am a universalist I thought I would see if I have a 'reasonable reply' to your post.
But the question is not what we should yearn for, but what we are justified in believing will happen, based on the scriptures.
Always, in my case I ise only the 1611KJV as it is based on the original Greek fot the NT as the original Hebrew for the OT. (as translated into English by Jews in Jerusalem) Literalism promotes taking the words at face value unless it is stated that it is a vision o a parable. It's almost as if God wanted the ones in re:1 to have an e-bible as that is what you need to be able to follow along.
I would say, to capsulize the issue, that the vast majority of scripture passages that address the subject assume that many will refuse to be reconciled to God and will therefore not be saved, and that those passages which appear to hold out a promise of universal reconciliation can be understood so as to cohere with the majority. To give just one example, Rev. 21:23-26 could, taken by itself, be interpreted as a promise of universal reconciliation:
By itself it is lacking a lot of information that is included in other parts of the Bible. The ones called 'the rest' are the men that are in the most danger of not being alive at the start of the new earth era as that is the next event after Judgment Day.
For instance, Hebrews:12 takes place where Mount Sion is and that is the location of Judgment Day so the people being chastised are the ones resurrected at that specific time. It is chastisement and then forgiveness or chastisement and even worse punishments for a longer period of time. Easy to tell which way it goes.
For instance the whole of Isaiah:65 is about the ones sent to hell. The word in the last verse in re:19 is the same sword in that chapter and the sword sends them to the grave and they remain aware so that can only be hell, The people alive are having a great time and when Jerusalem is mentioned it is New Jerusalem related to the New Earth verses. That means the Servants mentioned are in the city as that is their promised home and that leaves the ones being punished as the ones whose tears are wiped away and then they build their home outside of the city.
During the 1,000 year reign animals would be able to enter Jerusalem if there were any alive. The 1,000 years is void of 'other' flesh as they would die in the fire that comes at the end of that era. In the new earth era they cannot enter because they do not know about good and evil.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock:
and dust shall be the serpent's meat.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain,
saith the LORD.
23The City [the New Jerusalem] doesn’t need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations are going to walk by the light of it. And the rulers of the earth are going to bring their glory into it. 25And its gates will never be shut for the day, because there isn’t going to be any night there. 26And they’re going to bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.
It is the temple the rest of this planet ends up looking like the ground that was Satan's Babylon after Jesus burns it for an hour with the same fire, when God is finished sending Satan to the fiery lake the whole earth looks like the verse below. It will be the 'courtyard' as the universe is empty as the angels are in their new home, same Mount Sion.
But 21:27, the very next verse, forecloses the optimistic reading:
27And nothing unholy, or anyone that does filthy things, or any liar, is ever going to enter it—only those who are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
That is the same law that the sons of God in Ge:6 were under. It is part of the way things go when 1,000 years with God is as if it was a single day. Adam died at the age of 930 years, 70 years short 1 day. The law comes into effect on the day the two witnesses are resurrected and the Re:21 words are for the last ones to come to be alive and under the same law. They are the larger of the two groups by about 1/3. Re:10 is when the book of life is opened up for the 1,000 year group, the Re:20 time is for 'the rest' as well as the ones in vs:4 There is no 3rd group.
The Lamb's Book of Life is, in fact, the citizen rolls of the New Jerusalem. Her citizens will indeed come from all nations. But only those who accept God's invitation to reconciliation through Christ and repent of their lies and filthiness and violence and godlessness will become her citizens. Revelation urges us to understand that most of humanity is not destined to repent and be reconciled to God. Just as there is a predestined remnant of the Jews that will be saved, so there is a remnant of the Gentiles that will be saved.
God enters names in at conception. It includes all flesh so it is opened again when living water starts to make the dust as healthy as the living water makes the Dead Sea healthy in the 1,000 year reign. Eze:47.
For example, we see in Rev. 7:9-17 that people from all nations will rejoice at the inauguration of the everlasting rule of God and of his Christ, Jesus. That, however, does not mean that all individuals from all nations will be reconciled. The great crowd from all nations "comes out of the great tribulation/persecution," having been persecuted by the majority of humanity, who remain in stubborn and violent opposition to God and everyone associated with God.
Wrong, because the Lamb is mentioned it is who appears at Judgment Day. They look pretty saved, yes? That means Re:7 is about the first that are gathered and the 12 Tribes is the first of the people gathered at the start and 'the rest' are going through 'great tribulation' and they are gathered at the end of that 1,000 years, just before that 1st day ends'.
The Church is a 'remnant of the nations' so the nations are not whole until all the ones from Judgment Day are also inside New Jerusalem.
Now, if there were a theological principle that had overwhelming weight in favor of universal salvation/reconciliation, I might be able to maximize the significance of those passages that appear universalistic and play down those that appear to say that most of humanity is destined for destruction. But I don't personally sense any such principle. Here is a sketch of my theological thinking, which assumes that God has complete foreknowledge of what human beings will do and become.
Hebrew:12 is chastisement and forgiveness and Isa:s has them building houses in the New earth. That seems pretty save to me. Not living inside New Jerusalem but you can see it from their 'front porch'. Door # 1 or door #2 and all of humanity enters the Kingdom of Heaven via one or the other.
Is it unjust or unloving for God to create beings that he foreknows will ultimately refuse the invitation to everlasting life?
Nobody refused, the resurrection things leaves you a tad thirsty before the water is available. it is almost as if God planed it that way. Stacking the deck is not cheating, it is helping prophecy get fulfilled. The 'rain' that fell on the 'high hills and mountain tops' took 150 days before it was gone again. Odd for rain, perfectly normal if it fell as snow rather than rain.
The fallen angels are alive in the fiery lake. Satan got his kingdom, it may not be all he had dreamed of but there is also a very good chance that when the new earth is full of life there has to be more let into the 3rd heaven.
I don't believe so. Let me give an analogy. Suppose a woman prophet becomes pregnant, and before she is even showing, she has a dream that is so vivid and convincing that she just knows it is true. In the dream, she sees her two sons, a blond and a redhead, growing up to age 18. The blond son is destined to be a preacher of the good news and a loving man of God. The redhead is destined to reject God, fall in with a bad crowd, take drugs, steal things, do violent things, and finally take his own life before he reaches 19 years of age. Two questions, which I ask you to answer on the improbable assumption that she actually knows the future, and that she knows with total certainty that she knows the future. (1) Is the most humane and loving thing she can do to secretly euthanize the redhead soon after he is born? (2) If the woman has a Christian heart, will she love the redhead any less or treat him any differently than his brother?
A male and female angel fall in love in their heaven but because they are not perfect they are not given in marriage because there is a chance the child could fall into sin and he would have to be sent to the fiery lake. If they wait until they are perfected and can be given in marriage and the child is born perfected brings up the question. Should they wait or risk all 3 ending up in the fiery lake.
Since neither died from being caught doing something sinful when 'mom' came home they are punished but not killed.
Everybody dies just before the age of 129 as that is what God determined. He also determine that the experience would be like a dreamless sleep, equal to one blink.
All go unto one place;
all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:
and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do,
do it with thy might;
for there is no work,
in the grave,
whither thou goest.
So man lieth down,
and riseth not:
till the heavens be no more,
they shall not awake,
nor be raised out of their sleep.
O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave,
that thou wouldest keep me secret,
until thy wrath be past,
that thou wouldest appoint me a set time,
and remember me!
If a man die, shall he live again?
all the days of my appointed time will I wait,
till my change come.
Thou shalt call,
and I will answer thee:
thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
For now thou numberest my steps:
dost thou not watch over my sin?
My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
and thou sewest up mine iniquity.
My answers to these questions are, (1) No, she will respect the life that she has engendered. She will respect her son's process of learning to be a human being and deciding whether he wants to live, rather than summarily removing him from life based on knowledge of what he will do in the future. (2) She will love both sons equally, and do everything she can to nurture both of them, regardless of whether they are both going to pass on to others her love and nurture.
Abel's gift was accepted because it was suitable for a sinful earth. The rejected offering will be acceptable starting at the beginning of the 1,000 year reign.
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth,
and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening,
God dealeth with you as with sons;
for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement,
whereof all are partakers,
then are ye bastards,
and not sons.
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us,
and we gave them reverence:
shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure;
but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous,
nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down,
and the feeble knees;
And make straight paths for your feet,
lest that which is lame be turned out of the way;
but let it rather be healed.
Follow peace with all men,
without which no man shall see the Lord:
God is not being unjust or unloving in creating beings that he foreknows will ultimately spit out the gift of life. He is being loving and just in freely offering the gift of life to them, and giving them the freedom either to take hold of it or throw it away (Isa. 55:1--56:8; 57:15-21; Jn 6:35-41; 7:37-38 || Jer. 2:13; Rev. 22:17).
You have it wrong.
Test question, In Ge:6 was God mad at the people because they were about to be exterminated or was He mad at the fallen angels that were trying to exterminate all 5-fingered people do the 'seed of Eve' associated with Ge:3:15 could not be born and ruin the kingdom the fallen angels were hoping to build for themselves?
BZZZ. Times up, your answer please.
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