The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Contra calvinism: Colossians 1:20-23

Colossians 1 (ESV)
20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

This indicates God wants to save everyone. This verse immediately follows Paul talking about how Jesus created all things. That is the context. The context is not the creation of only the elect. The idea that Paul meandered from talking about how Jesus created all things to talking about how God wants to reconcile only a portion of them is implausible.

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Here Paul seems to indicate the very real possibility that those who were reconciled would not be presented holy and blameless before God. But according to calvinism’s doctrine of limited atonement, the people who were predestined for eternal punishment were not reconciled to God by Jesus’s death. If the people Paul was addressing might not be presented holy and blameless before God, then two other calvinist doctrines must be false: unconditional election and irresistible grace.

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This is my starting point. All things (visible and invisible) created will be reconciled. Therefore, the dead bodies (lost souls) outside the new creation will be grafted in. Just as the fire destroys the old heavens and earth and then creates a new heavens and earth. It’s destruction judgment followed by restoration. We see this at the cross. The penalty for sin was suffering death and resurrection. To God a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as a day. Thousand and day aren’t literal here. This is why Jonah was in the belly of the whale for 3 days yet forever. The same for the atonement. Tormented forever yet resurrection. Justice is served. It isn’t served if it’s extended out infinitely long. The sum total remains the same if it’s infinite for a short time. Tormented forever and ever yet resurrection.We have infinite justice manifested. Moreover justice would come to an end and therefore, justice would be served. Because of the infinite torment over a finite time people in hell would be transformed “In a Twinkling of an Eye”

in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. ~~ 1 Cor. 15:52

There are actually many different sizes or levels of infinity; some infinite sets are vastly larger than other infinite sets.

Thus each person is punished with different levels of infinity. But they all transform instantly.

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This makes sense of the ages upon ages passage. It’s literally describing multiple levels of infinity. But to God a “Day” is as a “thousand years” and a “thousand years” as a “Day”. Day and 1000 years aren’t literal here. Multiple levels of infinity could be a twinkling of an eye to God. He’s a paradoxical Deity.

EDIT

One could take the opposite view. That in eternity one is punished infinitely in a second and justice would be satisfied. This would go on forever. A day is like a thousand years but a thousand years is also like a day.

However, God would be more glorified if all creation were glorifying Him in the end. One would just have to look to the cross and see the greatest manifestation of the glory of infinite mercy and infinite justice. His grace would shine all the brighter. Indeed, it’s the cross that reconciles all. It’s at the cross that the glory of God is fully manifested. We look to the cross for the knowledge of the glory of God. If Christ is lifted up He will draw all to Himself. Universalism gives God the most glory and is therefore the true view.