Anybody else had this experience with UR.


#1

I’ve been on this journey for a few years now. My mom, and sisters have followed suit. But since then it seems that our lives have pretty much fallen apart. I have a brother who is dying, a brother in law who is dying (sister’s husband), another sister whose gone through hell in a relationship and I am experiencing trials with children and in my marriage. I’ve had to consider that maybe its because I have lost my way in what I believe.

Both sisters and my parents have stopped going to church and I no longer accept penal substitution, hell, tithing, …?

I had one sister get killed about 30 years ago and we have lost two houses in fires. I could write a half page talking about the death that my family has experienced due to cancer and car wrecks.

Are we being punished?


#2

I’m sorry to hear of the difficulties you’ve been experiencing.

No, I haven’t had anything bad happen since coming to believe in UR. My husband was not open to even discussing the idea at first, and that caused emotional pain and heartache on my part, but I grew a lot through that experience in a good way.

Don’t assume that bad things that happen are always punishment from God–though I won’t say they never are. The early Christians could easily have assumed that the persecution they faced was God’s punishment, and concluded that they were going wrong by following Christ. Maybe something like that was the issue was for the audience that the book of Hebrews was addressed to. They were wanting to go back to living under the laws and ordinances of the Old Covenant.

In all that happens to us, we need to seek God’s face knowing He is a loving Father to us. If in anything we are wrong He’ll show us. He judges our hearts and intentions, and whatever happens will be for our good; in our suffering, He suffers too. But He’s not standing far off waiting to send lightning bolts at us whenever we inadvertently mistake. I’m not sure this is what you’re thinking… but I’m exaggerating to make my point. We can trust Him and draw near with confidence to the throne of Grace, because He loves us.

Sonia


#3

Thanks Sonia


#4

I too am sorry for the problems that you and your family are facing. And I pray that things will turn around for you soon. In this world good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. I too have experienced many problems since coming to have faith in Jesus for the salvation of others too and not just myself. And they are the direct result of me going against tradition. The difficulties are relational though. People whom I love and respect are not acting so loving and respecting towards me any longer. My family and I feel very isolated, even my 10 year old daughter is greiving because of strained and broken relationships.

The more I pray about it though, the more convinced I am that it is because of righteousness. Those who profess to have the truth are not acting like they have the truth. Their actions do not flow from the love of God, but out of fear. Not being able to point out any errors in my interpretation of scripture, they instead rely on personal attacks. It’s really very sad, but Jesus did say that we should be concerned when everyone is speaking well of us; and blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness. I mean, even if what I’ve come to believe is completely wrong and Jesus is not the savior of all, they have handled themselves completely inappriately.

I believe that right doctrine influences us to live right and the way I’ve been treated is simply wrong - false accusations, gossip, baseless rejection, even trying to bring division between my wife and I, and encouraging my sons to disrespect me and dismiss what I share with them concerning my hope in Christ for the salvation of others.

Sorry for blowing my own horn, but I’ve bent over backwards doing my best to act respecting and loving towards others, to turn the other cheek andseek to live in peace with everyone. I don’t even attack what they believe; rather I simply share what I’ve come to believe. And from my perspective, UR has given me a greater love for others and a greater faith in God for the salvation of others. And the realizaion of the brotherhood of humanity and the fatherhood of God have moved me to be even more loving towards those less fortunate than I.

And I am encouraged that throughout history, those who were on the cutting edge of what God is doing in their generation suffered in like manner. And I’m also encouraged for I have gone through this before. I was raised in a very exclusive church. Shoot, we didn’t know for sure we were saved, we were much more sure of the damnation of others though. Anyhow, once I came to have faith in Christ for the baptism with the Spirit and subsequently came to understand other doctrines differently than my traditions, I was denounced, spoken ill of, and irrationally and baselessly accused of having wrong motives. At the time I was single though and was embraced by a new fellowship of believers. Now the rejection has negatively effected my family and there is no fellowship of believers outside of online.

So anyhow, I encourage you to simply continue loving the Lord and loving people. I seem to recall Jesus saying something like this is kinda important.

Blessings,
Sherman


#5

Thanks Sherman, this is the one thing that I hold on to; the change that’s come over me since coming to this hope. I certainly feel more compassionate towards others and believe in a much BIGGER God than I did before. I have shared this with a few people who have listened but for the most part I get the same reaction. I’ve just not been as brave about sharing as you. :blush: Again I don’t have the support of my wife and she got so embarrassed the one time that I did bring it up in public that she wouldn’t speak to me for a couple of days.

Your words have certainly ministered to me today. God Bless!


#6

I haven’t had any catastrophes befall me since coming to believe God will always persist in acting to save all sinners from sin.

Nor since coming to believe God has revealed His final victory about this in the scriptures.

(The pain I chronically suffer was something I was going to suffer anyway; I can easily enough see God setting that up beforehand. My coming to believe and profess Christian universalism certainly made and makes a significant difference in how I meet that pain–but I would have had it anyway.)

Certainly it’s a faithful question to ask if you and your family are being punished. To be fair, I have to answer that theoretically God might be punishing you now and not me or others of us (or not yet).

But bad things happen to good people, too. Some of God’s very favorite people have suffered the worst.

God Himself doesn’t rescind Himself from that risk either, but voluntarily bears our suffering with us, whoever we are.

(Often all I can do whenever I’m in pain is keep in mind the cross; for my sake and for the sake of those I love.)


#7

I too do not have the support of my wife at this time. It grieves my heart tremendously. And I wouldn’t have been as open about my beliefs as I am but I was in church one day and during worship the Lord spoke to me saying, “Stop Lying.” Until then I shared with people what I was finding in the Word in regards to UR but would only say I was studying UR or studying about Hell and finding… And when the Lord told me to stop lying, He was 1) telling me to stop lying to myself because I was no longer just studying the topic, I had actually come to believe UR though I wouldn’t even admit it to myself. And 2) I was to be honest with others about my change in beliefs regardless of how they reacted. By then, I already had so many people mad at me for just studying the issue and admitting that I was finding things in scripture that seemed to disagree with tradition, that they would not leave me alone but kept pressing the issue. So I had to tell them that I had come to have faith in Christ not only for my salvation but for the salvation of everyone. When the Lord told me to “Stop Lying”, I knew that I was in for some trouble. I didn’t realize that so many so close to me would get so upset with me though. I’d appreciate your prayers for me for reconciliation with them.

Anyhow, I can’t take any credit for being so open and bold about my beliefs, on one side I’m just being obedient to what the Lord has firmly told me. And on the other side, I’m just so pumped about this Good News that it’s hard for me to keep my mouth shut about it! I don’t know how many people I’ve run into that would love to have a Spirit-filled UR fellowship. I hope to start one soon, as soon as reconciliation comes in my own home. And there seems to be some signs of that happening. I’m praying and trusting God to bring about his will, more of heaven on earth! And I’d appreciate your prayers for me too. And I’ll pray for you.

Blessings,
Sherman


#8

I def. can relate. Although those around me would rather keep it quiet, I press them hoping that I might awaken them from thier sleep - or from the lie that keeps them from the truth. I can’t keep quiet about it because it makes sense to me and if it makes sense to me and I find it beautiful, then what am I to do?

Press on guys and continue to study and read and share. Shine the light BUT we need to become more articulate on our ideas and sharpen ourselves in order that we might not look silly. So many take such offense to the ideas that God reserves the right to do what he pleases which includes saving people from hell.

God has not given us this community for nothing. Lets continue to sharpen each other.

Aug


#9

Thanks again folks, I hope you realize how this is helping me.

Sherman I too can see me leading a fellowship as soon as “reconciliation come in my own home.”

I keep hearing "His timing is perfect.

JasonPratt, My original question was pointing toward the idea that He might be punishing us for incorrect belief. If not for believing UR the how am I to know what He is punishing us for?


#10

nimblewell, if the Lord is dealing with you on anything specific then repent and start being obedient. Jonah knew exactly what he was being disobedient in that caused his struggles. But if there is not something specific that God is dealing with you on, don’t assume that the struggles you are facing are the result of sin in your life. It could be the sin in others’ lives. It could be an attack of the evil one because you are on the right track. And it could just be part of this “present evil age” that we live in - especially when it’s a broad range of things involving several different people. We of all people should trust in the grace, mercy, and love of God - especially for ourselves.


#11

Thanks again Sherman. I feel closer to the Lord than ever but more estranged from His people. I’m not convicted by anything in particular. I don’t feel like He’s telling me that UR is wrong but I can’t seem to move from a hopeful to a convinced Universalist. So I’m doubting as of late whether I should continue the path. I don’t think I could stop now anyway, however.


#12

My answer was that even though theoretically God might be punishing you for that without punishing the rest of us yet,

1.) The evidence is that the rest of us (myself included) aren’t suffering catastrophes (other than understandable relationship strain in some cases) for coming to believe in God’s universal salvation, and it’s improbable that God would Macross Missile Massacre you and your family without going after the rest of us if He’s trying to make a related point;

2.) Catastrophes happen to good people anyway, including to some of God’s own very favorite people, without them being punished by God for anything.

So overall I am inclined to doubt God is punishing you and your family for coming to believe UR. I would be more likely to believe Satan is hammering at you for coming to believe it.

To this I will add that the situation could just as easily be turned the other way around: maybe someone else in your close family is being punished by God for something (though that isn’t necessarily true either) and the rest of you happen to be caught up in the collateral damage, so to speak.

(I notice after the fact that Sherman had some similar things to say! :slight_smile: )


#13

Thanks for clearing that up. I wondered if that might be what you were saying but just wasn’t sure. What you say makes perfect sense now that I think about it. :bulb:


#14

Actually, the trials you are facing will force you to dig deep and become more firmly convinced. It’s like the heat of the sun on new plants, it forces them to grow their roots deeper in search of water and nourishment as the grow. I’ve been studying this subject intently for two years now. Within the first couple of months I could see why some people believed in UR, but was not hopeful that it was true. In fact, I kept looking to find something to persuade me otherwise because deep inside I knew that if I accepted UR I’d be rejected by many whom I love and respect. But once I see something in scripture that is different than what I’ve always believed, it bothers me and I cannot simply set it aside. So I study it until I become convinced one way or the other. And to me the evidence in support of UR was so overwhelming that I couldn’t help but become convinced. It took time and much study though to rethink so much of scripture in the light of the possibility that Jesus actually saves all humanity.

And then when I started sharing my findings with others and they started responding irrationally and out of fear, I felt pressed to study even more, pray even more, and discuss it with others even more. In fact, other than studying scripture for myself, I invested most of the remainder of me efforts in studying anti-UR material, searching for someone who could present a strong case against UR. The more I studied these sources though, the more holes I found in the traditional doctrine of ECT.

It’s been a very stressful journey for me, but the more heat I receive because of UR, the more I study, the more I pray, and thus far the more I am convinced that Jesus is the savior of all humanity in deed, not just some bogus meaningless title that’s actually a lie!

It’s been trying, but I believe that it’s a precursor to a great move of God. The younger generation especially seems open to UR. And I believe that a great wave of truth concerning UR is about to break into view. And it, like a tsunami, will change the church universal forever. We must be brave though, and harden ourselves for the battle. Do we believe that love wins, that good will overcome evil, then we need to be the most loving people anyone knows, the most kind, the most gentle, the most forgiving, the most understanding - and the most prophetic!

Along with UR, I believe we also need to point out what scripture actually says concerning the judgment. It is terrible, and it is for us all. Those of us so blessed as to have been given faith in Christ in this life have the most responsibility to live it out, to bless others, to live righteously. In the parable of the talents, we have been given 10 talents, but are we falling into the same traps of fear and lazyness that the 1 talent man did?

We must live out our convictions. And like Jesus said, “the kingdom of heaven violently forces it’s way in, and the violent take it by force.” There is a peace that only comes on the other side of war. Let us not shy from the fight, but give ourselves over to the Lord of the hosts of heaven! Well, I’m preaching to myself, so I’ll hush up. Be encouraged brother and do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season you’ll reap if you don’t give up! Keep on keepin on!


#15

Sherman, I could have written most of your first paragraph and much of your second. I think I am convinced but just not bold enough to speak it. God has brought a few into my life that are receptive. I talked with a co-teacher the other day and before I knew it I had spilled the beans. He is somewhat older than I am (I’m 49) but like most was somewhat receptive and has been back several time to ask more questions. He now calls me the resident “liberal theologian.” He’s the resident liberal politician" LOL. I too tried to convince myself that UR was just wishful thinking, but like you, the more I study them more convinced I become. My biggest problem and I think I’ve alluded to it before on these boards is that I’ve worked all my life to develop the reputation that I have. I do, however, believe the Lord has told me that the only thing I haven’t given Him is my reputation. Too scary. Can He really be trusted with it? :unamused: The guy that I was talking about above told me that if people knew what I believed they wouldn’t call on me to pray (can you imagine being called on to pray at a public school staff meeting?) or ask me to pray for them. The Lord is getting me there. I can sense it. Its just like pulling teeth though, its a slow painful process. I feel like if my wife could get it I could move forward. She told me when we were first married that she wasn’t sure that we should have children together because I believed in Once Saved Always Saved. She now believes it. She comes to me often with spiritual questions but had a hissy fit the first time I mentioned UR to her and ask me never to speak of it again and that I better not tell my children about it. She said that she didn’t want to know what the Bible said. I trust the Lord with her though and know He’ll change one of us.

I asked myself one time if UR was too good to be true and I felt like the Lord said, “Is it too good to be Truth, in other words Me.” I honestly don’t think its too good to be God.

You have blessed me brother. We have much in common. (I’ve done a little snooping) :smiley:
enotalone.com/article/4402.html


#16

Not in the same way as yourself, but things certainly have gone poorly for me since having come to accept UR. I know it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we are being punished; not that I don’t have issues that God needs to deal with me on, but UR isn’t one of them.
I mean, just look at Paul, or Jesus for that matter. If they hadn’t known who they were or what they were about, I’m sure it would have been easy for them to doubt themselves just as you have.

But here are some words for you from scripture:

2Thess. 1:1-53 "We ought always to R6 give thanks to God for you, brethren, R7 as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love R8 of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; 4 therefore, we ourselves speak R9 proudly of you among the R10 churches of God for your perseverance F1 and faith in R10 the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. 5 This is a plain R11 indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered R12 worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering"

2 Tim. 1: 6 “For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the R16 gift of God which is in you through the R17 laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit R18 of timidity, F6 but of power and love and discipline. F7 8 Therefore do R19 not be ashamed of the testimony R20 of our Lord or of me His R21 prisoner, but join with {me} in suffering R22 for the gospel R23 according to the power of God, 9 who has saved R24 us and called R25 us with a holy calling, R26 not R27 according to our works, but according to His own purpose R28 and grace which was granted us in Christ R29 Jesus from all R30 eternity, 10 but now R31 has been revealed by the appearing R32 of our Savior Christ R33 Jesus, who abolished R34 death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for R35 which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. 12** For this reason I also suffer these things, but I R36 am not ashamed; for I know whom R37 I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard R38 what I have entrusted to Him until F8 that R39 day.**”

1 Pet. 2: "20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when R127 you do what is right and suffer {for it} you patiently endure it, this {finds} favor F42 with God. 21 For you R128 have been called for this purpose, since R129 Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an R130 example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED R131 NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; "

Sounds to me like we should expect to suffer when we believe (which includes acting on) the truth… :wink:


#17

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.


#18

I only found this stream yesterday and found it very moving to read these testimonies. I’m praying for all who have shared here, especially those whose changes of beliefs have brought persecution and relationship difficulties. It made me appreciate how fortunate I am to have a supportive church which allows breadth of difference in theology - I’ve discussed EU with my Bishop - … a wife who is with me on the journey and at least hopes for UR, and a supportive local church family which accepts my quirks and keeps on loving me, even though only a minority are convinced UR is true. I am very blessed and thankful.

NOW THE INTERESTING BIT… This discussion also got me thinking back to my first marriage. Neither of us were believers when we got married at 21, then when I was 25 (and my wife was expecting our second child) I had a damascus road type conversion and got involved full on in the local church. My hope and expectation was that my wife would soon come to faith too. She never did (I’m still praying that she will BTW, even though we divorced 5 years ago) and the sticking point was the doctrine of hell.

However much I talked with her about God’s love, grace, mercy, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and so on - she would always bring it back to the question “Do you believe I’m going to hell if I don’t believe the same as you?” I couldn’t give her a straight answer - Often I’d have a tract in my hand which proved it with Bible verses and little pictures of bridges over chasms and so on! I hadn’t become a Christian just to avoid hell, but it was in the book so it must be true. So yes, I would tell her, the Bible tells us that unless you believe in Jesus you will go to hell when you die. I was uneasy with it but thought I was stuck with it - there was no choice. Then she would say things like “That God you are worshipping is just an evil monster, if he burns people forever in hell just because they don’t believe in him.” I couldn’t accept this ‘blasphemous’ opinion she was expressing and so… years of pain, tension, disagreements about what to teach our kids, and the rest… It wasn’t the reason for our divorce but I’d have to admit it was part of the reason the marriage failed.

I suppose the moral is that if you come to accept the doctrine of hell (as part of your born again induction pack or whatever) it can make things just as messy as accepting UR has been for some of you. The difference is that UR is part of a comprehensive and consistent theology of love, so I think there is more hope for couples or communities divided by UR than those divided by a doctrine based on fear.

I hope this helps some of you and I’ll keep on praying. And take this as an open invitation to St George’s Barcelona, where you can be sure of a warm welcome, whether you are a believer in EU or not.

Love and peace, Andrew


#19

Andrew, thanks very much for sharing. What an amazing, but sad, testimony! I’m sorry that ECT created such a struggle in your marriage. And it’s amazing to me that unbelievers see so clearly the hypocricy of ECT, or maybe the bipolar nature of it; God is love on one side, but on the other side a despot who tortures people forever if they don’t give him their full allegiance! Those who are on his side He rewards extravagantly; those who are not on his side he tortures endlessly.

I wonder how things would have been different for you if you’d have shared with your ex-wife a faith in Christ that included faith in God for her good, not for her destruction. And I wonder just how many people have not come to faith in Christ because they cannot reconcile these two oppossing concepts Love/ECT? I also wonder how much missionary work is hindered by ECT for when one comes to faith in Christ and leaves one’s traditional religion like Hinduism, one then must also accept that one’s deceased loved ones are in Hell; what a terrible thought!


#20

Hi Sherman! It would be amazing for anyone to convert to this bad news faith, except of course it is the Holy Spirit who does the converting. You can see why I think it is so important that we give new christians some better news to share with their family and friends. This is a big responsibility.