…happened in Church today when our pastor (much loved for his keen pastoral insight and abilities and preaching) shared that on July 4th, a niece (his sisters daughter) in Iowa had committed suicide. The entire family and community there was shaken and devastated. And he shared that John 3:17 had proven to be of great comfort and hope to all of them.
Now to me, and perhaps many of you as well, this passage simply shouts of Universal Restoration. Emphasis away from condemnation and on salvation. And all because of Jesus. And underlying this whole sad story was the unmistakable awareness that we simply cannot know the inner chaotic mind of one who would see this as any kind of solution.
The Universalistic overtones of this revelation were, for me, overwhelmingly obvious. For if in the end the wicked “die” because of their own “choice” might it not be the product of just as chaotic and distraught a mindset? And that God would have no basis on which to condemn forever one so deluded and tormented as to do such a thing?
… But my pastor, good and moral and noble as he is, cannot see the truth of Universal Restoration. (Yes, I’ve discussed it with him many times and he knows exactly where I stand!) But I’m thinking this tragedy affords the perfect opportunity to bring the topic up again with him…
What do you think? Is this just my human pride and folly wanting to win an argument?
Or is it an opportunity to bring new insight into a matter he might now see with new eyes???