Just wanted your take on this?
I never really know where to put this kind of stuff. It is negative although I myself would disagree.
Just wanted your take on this?
I never really know where to put this kind of stuff. It is negative although I myself would disagree.
Obviously that depends hugely on what it means “to deny the reality of hell”.
Even most ultra-universalists affirm God’s judgment against sin (and against sinners insofar as persons insist on holding onto their sins). Purgatorial universalists certainly do, and unlike ultra-us we also affirm post-mortem punishment by God.
Indeed, even ultra-us in my experience are more likely to hold to the direct punishment of God (in this life at least, and typically also an eschatological punishment on the Son via penal substitutionary atonement) more strongly than many Arms and even a few Calvs I’ve seen who try to deny that God punishes anyone post-mortem (yet ECT or annihilation is true–thanks to us, not to God.) Whereas purga-us universally affirm the direct punishment of God post-mortem, in my experience.
To the extent that persons insist on holding impenitently to their sins, I believe they 100% increase the chance of being punished for this by God whether later or sooner. And I believe that this is true post-mortem as well; and that it could last for eons of the eons (or even potentially forever, though that would mean affirming that omnipotence and omniscience aren’t omni-competent enough for some technical reason, to lead the sinner to repent and be reconciled to God.)
So by any criteria up to this point, universalists should be in no danger of going to hell for trusting and hoping in the salvation of God from sin.
If the author means, on the other hand, that anyone who denies a final and ultimate unmerciful hopelessness from God is increasing their chances of being treated with unmerciful hopelessness by God, I suppose that this could be true if God is actually unmercifully hopeless at heart (and especially if ortho-trin is false and God is not intrinsically love and fair-togetherness). But I recall the scriptures testifying nowhere in favor of that topic per se, no more than I ever recall the scriptures testifying that where grace exceeds sin hyper-exceeds because not as the grace is the sin.
Whereas I clearly recall the scriptures testifying more along the lines that where sin exceeds grace hyper-exceeds, and that to those who refuse to show mercy God will show no mercy!
So by that standard, who exactly is in more danger of being zorched for their beliefs and actions on this topic? (I know what I decided about that, and what I consequently resolved to avoid doing… )
First let me apologize for your last thread, please understand that was not my intent. I must say that was an interesting statement but imo a bit over simplified. As an evangelical, hell plays a vitally important “role” in the gospel for salvation. Not to say we come to Christ to avoid hell but we come to Christ because what He has done to save us from such a place.
To reject any part of the gospel can have serious consequences for one’s salvation. God Bless!
I don’t have anything to add to Jason’s post–that pretty much covers everything I would have written, and more!
If our salvation is based on our “good work” of having the right set of doctrines, interpretations, and intellectual knowledge - then yes. We’re all going to a gnostic (gnasty? ) eternal hell.
But thankfully, we have only Jesus for our salvation, who is The Truth, The Life, and The Only Way. Not by works or “gnosis”, lest we should boast.
The good news is specifically that Jesus came, died on a cross, was buried, and rose again to save all mankind. Pure and simple. There is no other gospel.
I said nothing of ignorance. Please note that I said, “rejection” which is wilful disobedience-basically calling Christ a liar. That is a colossal difference which basically renders the rest of your point moot. Please you must read carefully and not take me out of context and misrepresent my argument.
That is true but in order to have good news then it is only logical that there is bad news as well. The good news is there’s saving grace for everyone that believes, the bad news is not everyone will believe. God Bless!
it is only logical that there is bad news as well.
While this statement is true, you have the “bad news” wrong. The “bad news” isn’t that some wouldn’t believe. The bad news is that there is a terrible, insidious thing called sin in this world and that it inhabits every single one of us. We are spiritually dead and separated from God. We are lost with no hope of saving ourselves. This sin has destroyed us and the perfect world that God created and it permeates us and the world around us. This sin destroys lives, inspires wars, encourages adultery, roots for child molesters, and is satisfied with the destruction of every single one of us. THAT is the bad news. The good news is that Jesus came to remedy that.
P.S. I posted to you in "Are URist going to hell? Part 1. I would be interested in talking to you.
You make a good point in your discussion about sin relating to this:
it is only logical that there is bad news as well.
But there is another aspect that may be more relevant to oxymoron’s interests. Specifically, the bad news is not that “not everyone will believe,” (after all, this is not explicitly stated in Scripture, and in many passages is apparently contradicted) but rather the bad news is, as John 3:36 says, “whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” In other words, as long as people reject Christ, they have nothing to look forward to but God’s wrath. As soon as they receive Christ (ie, stop rejecting him), the wrath of God leaves, and they are saved. The “bad news” is that God gives us over to experience the results of our rebellion (ie, his “wrath”), as long as we reject the Son and persist in rebellion. Of course, from the other side (after receiving Christ), we see that this is actually “good news”. It all ends up being “good news,” for everyone. To hardcore rebels against God, it may seem like “bad news” that the only way out is through turning from our rebellion to trust in Christ alone. But we who have made that repentance recognize it as good news.
PS I’ll put an intro in the intro thread in a little bit. Just wanted to reply to this while I had a chance.
Oh I am sorry for that. I only have a small time frame to respond so I have to pick my “battles” carefully but I will be back and I accept your invitation.
I could be wrong but what I have stated is mainstream orthodox Christian teaching which I can verify in scripture therefore my position is quite feasible. God Bless!
It takes a ridiculous amount of ignorance and stupidity to permenantly reject God in such a way that would reduce all of God’s options to eternal torture.
You said specifically, “reject any part of the Gospel” - I take this in context of you saying that if one rejects the doctrine of eternal damnation, they are in danger of losing their salvation, or some other negative variation of consequences.
Our salvation is not based on our gnosis or knowledge or acceptance of doctrines, Hell, Heaven, or otherwise. But on our acceptance of Christ in the least, or on His work solely at the infinite and uttermost best, in “accepting” us while we were yet sinners, so that we in turn shall all accept him.
Possible, but more or less a dualistic outlook on life that in order for good to exist evil must co-exist. Possible I say, but bad news is not permenantly a part of good new’s existence, neither does good news necessitate bad news with it.
“I have good news! I got the job!”
“what’s the bad news?”
“…what do you mean? I got the job!”
“Good news always has bad news…”
“…That is very pessimistic of you, can’t you just be happy I got the job without having to add bad news to it?”
If Eternal Hell is the bad news, then the bad news is that God is a failure in his task, incapable of acheiving his will - to save everyone. That is bad news indeed.
This is where you are incorrect. Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess. Belief does not necessitate pre-disposition in unseeing faith. Doubting Thomas, for example.
Excellent point! There is definitely a part 2 to the bad news.
Who believes. God Bless!
That’s right Oxy, and everybody WILL bellieve in the end.
I know this is difficult as this is your worldview but I believe were getting off topic so out of respect to the OP let’s get back on course
P.S. I would love it if someone could create a new thread so we can continue this wonderful discussion. God Bless!
Interesting what you said but you basically painted a picture of God in how you interpret scripture as a universalist and then concluded for yourself that universalists are safe. Isn’t that circular reasoning? Why would universalists be in danger of going to hell if hell didn’t exist? I think you are missing a point in all this because he is touching on a sensitive topic.
The writer is saying, that to reject any part of the gospel can have serious consequences to one’s salvation. Whether hell is or isn’t part of the gospel or even if you don’t believe in hell is irrelevant and quite pointless to a universalist. The point is can you not see in scripture how others can interpret it in that manner?
But my point up to the middle of my comment was that even ultra-universalists believe in the wrath of God and the direct punishment of God, and that purgatorial universalists (such as myself) believe in the existence of hell as well. We agree with non-universalists about this. If being in danger of hell involved disagreement with non-universalists on these topics, we would not be in danger anyway.
It is not the hell we disagree with, but the hopelessness of hell. If we are in greater danger of a hopeless hell by not believing in the hopelessness of hell, then, as I said, I certainly do not find such a warning against rejecting such hopelessness in scripture. I do find very express warnings about the danger of punishment coming to those who deny mercy and hope however.
But all right, let’s look at it another way. Suppose I am wrong and in fact there is hopeless punishment post mortem. (Not only hell, since I do in fact believe in hell and quite strongly so. But not that hell is hopeless.)
Mistakenly finding the scriptures to mean that God’s wrath is not ultimately hopeless but is ultimately hopeful, I believe that this is the testimony of scripture instead of hopeless wrath, and (by this hypothesis) I turn out to be wrong.
I have still been exhorting people to be reconciled to God, to repent of their sins and accept God’s forgiveness, to put their faith in Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God–indeed as God Himself, the Person of God Self-begotten Who sacrifices Himself on the cross for our sake. I have still spent uncounted hours meticulously working at trying to help sceptics have at least a little more belief (and so perhaps the beginning of conscious faith) in the Father and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit, including in the Son Incarnate as Jesus Christ. I have still been warning people that any sin we do, no matter how small it seems, leads directly to annihilation apart from the grace of God, and that only by the grace of God do we continue existing despite being sinners. Moreover, I have still been warning people that impenitent sinners are only storing up for themselves the righteous wrath of God (though mistakenly I believe this to be loving wrath, having wrongly believed that trinitarian theism is true and so that God is essentially love, also thus wrongly believing that the way of the Trinity of God is fair-togetherness between persons); and that God’s wrath will certainly continue to abide on persons for so long as they insist on fondling their sins. I even have been warning people that there will be persons who continue being thus punished by God for the eons of the eons! With the Calvinists I taught that we can trust God to persist unto victory in saving those He intends to save; and with the Arminians I taught that we can trust God to act to save all sinners; but hypothetically we shall say I was wrong about one (or both?) those beliefs being true (and also being biblically testified, not incidentally.) In both ways I was teaching faith in God for salvation from sin, while warning of oncoming and ongoing wrath to come for those who refuse to accept the grace of God’s salvation from sin. But in one or both ways, I was wrong to have that much faith in God and in God’s salvation from sin.
And now I have died, a penitent sinner myself, trusting in God to save me from my sin, not through any merit of my own but because of Who God is. I believed in visiting those in prison and bringing a cup of water to those who thirsted, healing the blind and feeding the poor, and believed I was following Christ in doing so, although not that I could earn my way into heaven in such a manner.
But I was wrong: I was not in fact supposed to believe in visiting those in prison or healing the blind or giving a cup of water to the thirsty. Or I was supposed to believe that, but not for all such people. Or I was supposed to believe that for all people, but after a while I was supposed to stop believing it for some people. I believed that love hopes for all and that love never fails and that when all else has passed away these three shall be remaining, faith, hope and love (but especially love). But I was wrong. That wasn’t even how mere human servants of God were supposed to love, much less was that the love exemplified and done by God Himself for us to follow. I believed in the eonian evangel proclaimed by the angel of God to a rebellious world, but the evangel wasn’t eonian after all. I believed in the comfort of the rod as well as the staff of God Almighty, but the rod was not in fact that of the good shepherd (although that was what the scriptures said, old and new testament both). I believed grace hyper-exceeded sin, but I was wrong: sin hyper-exceeded grace, for not as the grace was the sin.
Supposing I was wrong about all that–still, I did trust in God to save me from my sin, threw myself in this life under the mercy seat of the throne confessing that I amounted to the chief of sinners, evangelically exhorted people to repent of their sins and accept the reconciliation of God in Christ, warning them of a wrath to come that might technically last forever. I loved my enemies (wrong though that was apparently to do after all, but I thought I had been instructed by God to do so, including through the scriptures), and had mercy on them, acting self-critically against myself and in their favor to ensure fairness toward them. I promoted other people (even my enemies) over myself, loved justice, sought to make peace, hungered and thirsted after righteousness and purity of heart, loved God with all the gifts He gave me, gave freely to others as I had been freely given to, loved my neighbor as myself–and I did all this not for sake of earning a place in heaven but putting my faith in Christ alone and in His righteousness and His salvation. I took up the cross God gave me to bear, choosing ongoing chronic pain over a selfishness that might have pleased me for a time had I only murdered my brother in my heart and adulterated my sister; choosing instead to bear the stigmata of Christ against myself and my own selfishness, forever if that was what Christ required of me, rather than to hope for the death of the hope of someone who by any worldly reckoning would be accounted my enemy.
I was, in a word, zealous for the name of Jesus: “THE LORD GOD SAVES!”–that He should save His people from their sins. And I refused to deny this even under threat of my own life (whether the threat was against my natural life or from my selfish life); but rather I was prepared, like Moses and St. Paul, to even be blotted out by God rather than that any of those beloved of God, regardless if they happened to be enemies of mine in this vale of separation, should be lost!
Well, I guess that answers the question I was going to ask, hm? Since some of those whom God loves with saving love will (if I am wrong) be lost anyway, I shall not be surprised to be blotted out like Moses and Saint Paul. I think I can say I will be in good company anyway.
But supposing I am wrong in another way, and in fact none of those loved with saving love by God are lost after all, but I was wrong about the scope of who was really loved by God, then… what? I might be randomly condemned by God anyway, I suppose, but that was going to happen anyway no matter what I believed or trusted in God about. The same goes if God randomly elected me to salvation!–your attempt at estimating ‘chances’ of me being hopelessly punished (despite my penitently trusting in God to save me from my sin and confessing God’s salvation in and as Jesus Christ) is worth less than nothing compared to the sovereign choice of God to elect me or not; much less does what I believe or do (including my faithful confession and praise of Jesus as my Lord and my God) earn me any such salvation. God led me to confess the name of Jesus, the name of God’s salvation, above every other name as part of my salvation. Or as part of my damnation. Whichever. Estimation of chances is an Arminianism, that no Calvinist ought to be appealing to.
But whether I am saved alive or whether I am blotted out, God’s will be done: I will stand according to the light of the Holy Spirit and continue to proclaim the name above every name, the name of the king of all heaven and earth, the Lord God’s Salvation, Who sits in the throne worthy of worship reserved for God alone; and I will continue to implore, with the extent of whatever two cents God has given me to do so: be reconciled to God! If the scripture is true that the Spirit goes forth with the water and light of life from the never-closed gates of the New Jerusalem, exhorting those outside to freely slake their thirst in the river without cost and wash their robes and so obtain permission from God to enter the City and be healed by the tree of life, then I will go out with the Spirit to do so. And if the scripture is wrong about that, then that at least will explain what I am doing still outside the city when the gates close forever after all and the water stops flowing and the light stops shining. For I was still preaching the eonian gospel that the angel of God was preaching. Except that it wasn’t eonian after all (though the scripture said it was.)
Not irrelevant to any Christian universalist I know, or have ever read, or even have ever heard of, past or present, including not irrelevant to me. You have learned us very very very wrongly. Or maybe you have forgotten you aren’t at a (so-called) Unitarian Universalist forum. (Although even among them I get the impression that a denial of hell is the only doctrine they positively believe in, not being fond of doctrines otherwise, and so would in ironic fact be the only doctrine per se of constant relevance for them. )
Considering that I used to be (for most of my life so far) a non-universalist, I absolutely can see how other people can interpret the scriptures in that manner, not least because I can see how I myself used to interpret the scriptures in that manner. But I learned from years of studying the scriptures and of contemplating the glory of the unique, holy and sovereign Trinity of God, that I was wrong.
Or, I was wrong to so learn I was wrong. Unlike God, I’m not infallible.
Oxy, no universalist here disagrees with this point. Everything I’ve read on this discussion board would absolutely 100% agree with you that repentance is necessary for salvation. Might I suggest that it is your preconceptions which determine your reading of the gospel, so that you see restrictions in all the Scriptures which state conditions. They are not the same. Just because something has a necessary step one must take before experiencing it, somehow you infer that that guarantees that some people will never take that step. Can the Bible be interpreted as saying that some people are lost forever, never repenting of their sins? Sure it can–you yourself interpret it that way. Is that an interpretation that deals justly with the entire counsel of Scripture? I don’t think so.
Consider these facts:
–Nowhere in the Bible does it say some people continue in their sin for eternity
–Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God stops desiring people’s repentance
–Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God stops providing a way to be reconciled to sinners
–Nowhere in the Bible is the atonement of Christ limited to just some people
–Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God stops acting lovingly towards sinners, giving them what they don’t deserve. (Now it does say that He “punishes” or “disciplines” them, even to the point of subjecting them to seemingly hopeless anguish, but it doesn’t say he stops loving them.)
I’m open to learning if I’m wrong. If you have found verses that do, indeed, show some of the above, please share.
Grace and peace!
WOW, was that well said!!
Based on what you say, I don’t think you understand the Evangelical Universalist position at all. Have you considered taking the challenge and reading the book?
That is your presupposition NealF and the same argument you made can be used against you as well. I have never stated that I am not wrong. I am well aware that I bring a different presupposition to the table, a presupposition that is within mainstream, orthodox Christianity. The questions whose presupposition is right and I see nothing in scripture where there are many “truths” (bit of a strawman but you get the jist) God Bless!