The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Creation made subject to futility

“For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope.” -Romans 5:20

The creature= ktisis=

The sum/ aggregate of things created.

Was made subject= hypotassō=

Arranged under/ to subordinate.

To put in subjection.

To vanity= mataiotēs=

Devoid of truth/ perverse/ depraved.

Not willingly= ou hekōn=


Of one’s own will/ accord.

By reason of Him= dia hypotassō

The Author & Finisher of all.

Hope= elpis=

Expectation of good.

Joyful and confident expectation of salvation from the Author of hope.

The pantelist views this passage from chapter 8 as a prelude to God’s promises to Israel further elaborated by Paul through chapters 9—11.

Here in 8:18—23 the creation or more specifically the creature was the people of Israel and not as is oft assumed — the natural temporal order. This understanding highlighted yet again the centrality of Israel in the workings of God with their deliverance then being the keystone of the world’s reconciliation… IOW, Gentile reconciliation was fully dependent upon Israel’s redemption.

Dear Davo: I behold serious problems with such a view.

Israel is always in the heart of our Father, and will ultimately be brought back to Him in complete redemption. The creature in this passage is the ktisis, not only Israel, but the sum of all things created. The two biggie words for the radical all of pas, and the super radical all of ta panta presses our attention to the scope of the ktisis being delivered from the slavery of sin and despair.

If this is already accomplished as per pantelist views, there is most certainly a whole lot of groaning being heard in our backyards, and within ourselves the especially of His great love.

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together the ta panta into Him.

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FL… I can appreciate your scepticism given you probably never really considered there may be other ways of viewing this text.

But that said, the word ktisis κτίσις simply meaning creature or creation and certainly fits Israel given she was God’s creation, i.e., He formed her — and “creature” really is a valid rendering of the word, for example…

Jesus in giving the command to preach the gospel (Mk 16:15) meant such a command to be for the benefit of sentient beings, as in, to all creation aka every creature — meaning humankind, and thus not mindless tilting at windmills or the sun, moon or stars etc.

Jesus didn’t fail, He succeeded already…

Mt 1:21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Jesus saved His people Israel from their sins… job done that’s the good news!!

The ‘fullness of time’ aka ‘fullness of the times’ HAVE BEEN completed and fulfilled in Jesus…

Acts 3:24 Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days.

1Cor 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages HAVE come.

Heb 1:2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.

Heb 9:26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

1Pet 1:20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

The NT evidence is incontrovertible… Jesus saved His people Israel from their sins in the last days through the Cross—Parousia event!

Dear Davo: There is zero question in my being regarding the scope of the Archegos and Prodromos as Prince-Leader. I behold His conquests as extending from the open tomb into vast dimensions of yesterday, today and forever. The scope of ta panta is the all of the heavens, earth and underworld. Nothing is left unchanged and thoroughly transformed by the miracle of metamorphoo!

One of my questions: has the dispensation of the fullness of times unfolded yet? I think not. The groan is loud and clear in our backyards and within our beings, as we within ourselves, groan within ourselves awaiting full redemption.

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I’m fine with you thinking not… however, ALL those texts above affirm the THEN present reality of the last daysit was the last days of the Old Covenant dispensation, even as John notes… “the last hour!

In your argument in favor of preterism, and against FineLinen’s futurism, you reference this verse:

1 John 2:18 (NKJV)
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

If John wrongly thought Jesus was about to return during his lifetime, that is of no great concern to me. We can now know in hindsight he would have been wrong to have thought so–if he actually did.

And since clearly Jesus has not yet physically returned to set up his Millennial Kingdom of peace, we can now know that John was speaking prophetically, demonstrating the idea that “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years.” Further, Peter warned that some day, after a prolonged time, some people would begin to scoff against the idea of Christ’s literal return, as well as against the literal Flood of Noah (2 Peter 3:3-8).

Regarding the idea that John thought Christ’s return would be in his own lifetime, we read this opinion in Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges:

“It may be remarked that the only point on which we can certainly say that the Apostles were in error, and led others into error, is in their expectation of the immediate coming of Christ; and this is the very point which our Saviour says (Mark 13:32) is known only to the Father” (Jelf).

The bigger issue regarding the Second Coming of Christ is correctly recognizing THE MANNER in which Jesus will return, when he does return. It will be (future tense) dramatic, and unambiguous:

Matthew 24:21-27(NIV)
21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now —and never to be equaled again.
22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
27 For as lightning that comes from the east IS VISIBLE even in the west, SO will be the coming of the Son of Man.

And when Jesus returns, all Israel will repent:

Zechariah 12:10-14 (NIV) (Compare with Romans 11:26, Isaiah 59:20)

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives,
13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives,
14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.

John further warns that to deny that Jesus Christ has come/IS come/will come in the flesh (physically & visibly, not spiritually) is not of God, but of the spirit of antichrist:

1 John 4:2-3 (KJV)
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh [“is come”: the verb is in the perfect participle active, meaning the condition of ‘come’ is both being stressed and has ongoing effect ] is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

By the Holy Spirit, The Son of Man received a physical body through Mary; and after the Wedding Feast, he will return down here to earth in that now glorified, immortal physical body, and we in ours (1 Cor. 15:51-52), with him! (Rev. 19:11-14)

Given past examples and this above I can appreciate how biblical accuracy or consistency is not high on the agenda of your universalism… and just for the record, the inspired John was not wrong!

However, this is where the rub gets rather interesting for your universalism, i.e., like other unbelievers you happily sit in judgment on that which you don’t like in the bible (in your instance now John) but then unique to your universalism happily appeal to the self-same author as an authority on a given point, albeit yet in fact another complete misreading of the text, e.g.,…

Rank hypocrisy Hermano that you now here seek to use John at your convenience :roll_eyes: …quite apart from the fact that 1Jn 4:2-3 is NOT about Christ’s Parousia at all; just more evidence of shabby eschatology best demonstrated by your injection of this false dichotomy of an apparent physical vs spiritual future coming of Christ.

Your own logic nullifies your own argument…

1Jn 4:3 …and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist,…

If you Hermano deny Christ IS come, i.e., has come in the flesh you are yourself by the standard you now appeal to… of the Antichrist — hoist with your own petard.

Now for others who are interested let’s look at what John actually meant…

1Jn 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.

The claim that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is the acknowledgment that He Jesus is the Son of David, i.e., Israel’s Messiah of the linage of David, as inspired Paul rightfully affirms…

Rom 1:3 …concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh…

Many an unbeliever denied Christ came in the flesh i.e., that HE was David’s promised seed aka the Israel’s Messiah and Lord.

"All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.

He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun." -The Message-

“For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope…”(Romans 8:20)

creature = ktisis

made subject = hypotassō

futility = mataiotēs

not willingly = ou hekōn

by reason of Him = dia hypotassō

This is the situation:

  1. Man did not choose to be a sinner.

  2. He was “made subect” to futility.

  3. The hypotassō is by reason of Him who made it so.

  4. To one end: see verse 21.

"The creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay."