God’s promise of peace = promise of UR?


#1

All:

Wondering if I could recruit my fellow travelers here in my query into the idea of God’s promise of peace as yet more evidence of His intentions to save everyone??

I’ve been pondering this in the context of our church’s quarterly series of lessons, this time on the “Fruits of the Spirit” and now, specifically “Peace”. Here’s a bit of how my thinking is moving…

Peace = A) state of mind? and/or ~~> B) state of relationship between parties??

~~~~> Is it possible to have peace A, while not having peace B??              

(Can, for example, a soldier be at war, fighting for his country, yet still have a “mind” of peace??)

– OR –

(Might there be circumstances where apparent ‘peace’ reigns, but does so only in a context where individual minds remain “at war”??? see below...)

Surely the answer must be “YES” -- I think, for example, that this is the dynamic that Christ is talking about when he says, in Matthew 10:34 -- “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” ~~~> that is, in the context of this fallen world, choosing Christ WILL have consequences; conflict WILL be the inevitable result of following Me.
 
Let’s assert that the eventual peace which will reign in God’s universe and the peace God promises is, and must be, PEACE of both type A) and B)

So, Can PEACE be forced?? ~~~~> Sure; if peace means, only, not fighting… but true peace ALSO is of the “type A” peace… Which can NOT be forced…

So -- we must add another variable: Liberty. Peace, true peace (by true we mean type A + type B) must be chosen. (implicitly, in freedom ie absence of coercion) 

Thus we see that true peace must be freely chosen ~~~> that is, without threat, or coercion, or fear. THAT is the peace which God has not only promised, but which He has said was ushered in by the Cross. (ie Col 1:20) 

Implications:

1) it takes only ONE person to “disturb” the peace. (to the extent that “war” may exist between he and everyone else…) It seems that God allows each and every person the power to delay the final peace!!! This can be seen as a measure of how deeply respectful God is of our Liberty… 

2) God seems to insist that the act of Christ’s death on the cross (eg Col 1:20) brings -- not *might* bring, but *does* bring -- peace to God’s entire creation. Safe to assume that this peace is of both type A and B.

3) God’s insistence that peace is His hallmark and will reign forever must mean, somehow, that each and every person has been won -- convinced -- of the proper place of God as supreme sovereign… 

4) The groundwork and basis for true peace has already been laid at the Cross: details are now being played out… (much much more can be said here of course; the groundwork includes demonstrating the impotence of rebellion to ultimately "hurt" the creator of life. Kill God? Laughable; via the resurrection God scoff's at death's impotence... Besides, God has explicitly told us that death is defeated completely by the Cross. Death thus does not somehow "get to keep it's winnings". God gives life to whom He will; that's His prerogative. And He gives this gift with extravagant abundance!! See for example the thread titled "The Irrevocable Call of God" here https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/the-irrevocable-call-of-god/683/1

5) Since the rebellious and the unbeliever (using that term very broadly and vaguely) remain in a state of “war” with God (just look around us) we can see that  the full measure of peace which God has promised remains in the future…

6) It is inconceivable to me that this sort of peace that God foretells and promises is possible in a context where He has created that peace by eliminating it (via hell or annihilation) in simply destroying (forever) His adversaries. Which is to say, it seems obvious to me that such a state of affairs invites the fear; “hey -- mess up and He’ll zap you too!” Peace (true peace) is therefore not possible. 

For this reason, it seems to me that the only possible way in which God can deliver on the promise of true peace is via Universalism. 

Thoughts??

TotalVictory
Bobx3

#2

Let us see what the Scriptures says, and in this light, what Jesus said about it.

Matthew 10:34-36
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn " ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

The conclusion is: It possible to have peace A, while not having peace B? ** Yes.**


#3

Total Victory.

True Peace which transcends understanding comes only by putting your faith in Jesus and being born again. ( Phil 4:7 :wink:


#4

Perhaps I’ve made it too complicated.

I’m assuming (I think with more than adequate biblical support) that the final peace which reigns over the universe, the peace which God not only predicts but promises, will BE of the sort whereby we have both peace of mind (inner peace) as well as peace in all our relationships with HIs entire creation.

So I guess my conclusion is that, for such a peace to exist, ALL must eventually be saved!

Of course this helps focus on the areas of disagreement between Christians we hold to UR and those who reject it. I for one cannot imagine “peace” being possible knowing God has killed my friend/family/etc. For me that would reek of coercion and implied force. (you mess up you’ll have the same fate)
Further, such a ‘peace’ implies strongly to me that the last enemy, death, really has NOT been defeated as promised since it remains triumphant in controlling that “lost” loved one for all time.

True “peace” is incompatible with this dynamic; that’s what I’m seeing… (and I think provides yet another avenue for sustaining the fact of UR)

TotalVictory
Bobx3


#5

Well, I will provide a counter argument. You will not know, nor remember the lost love ones who are rotting alive in continual torment. For your memory of such events would be wiped from your mind, they will not be remembered.

Isaiah 65:17
"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.

Just being a devil’s advocate. :smiling_imp:


#6

Hey Student (do you have a nickname yet?)

My coming to embrace UR has many twists and turns – as do all of ours I’m guessing.
My coming to Christ (long long story but circa 1994; what WAS in the water back then?) involved this intense desire to “catch up” from all my years of drifting/not caring. So I wanted facts! and arguments! And found, among many others, the works of the apologist William Lane Craig. I read a LOT of his stuff. And was blessed immensely by it. In addition, he has been involved in lots of public debates with atheists’ (you know; those really awful guys – not at all like our own JeffA! – who don’t think God exists…) and in due course I came across his rebuttal of the Universalism of Thomas Talbott. For an example, here. leaderu.com/offices/billcrai … bott1.html

When I first read it, way back then, I literally laughed: whoever this Talbott fellow was, he MUST be severely mistaken. A fool even. And part of WLC’s argument was, in fact, that God selectively eliminates those parts of our memory that would, shall we say, cause us emotional or intellectual travail or trauma. Just cut out the bad stuff. EASY.

Fast forward many years. I had begun to question the wisdom of simply doing selective lobotomies of those difficult areas. I began to see that God’s solutions EMBRACED everything and, against all logic it seemed, somehow redeemed all that pain and bad memory. In fact, it became clear to me that the plan of salvation God had initiated INCLUDES all our memories and pains and it provides the explicit context in which He can confidently assert; Sin WILL BE no more. I mean, without that context, why wouldn’t some future individual go down the exact SAME path of rebellion our fathers did?

Then, fast forward some more, and I read Talbotts book. And he specifically addresses the flaws of WLC’s argument. And it was so OBVIOUS to me that Talbott slayed WLC absolutely. Having ALREADY read Craig, I knew exactly what Talbott was talking about and found his argument completely (I mean totally!) compelling.

So the obvious problem to your suggestion is this; if it’s that easy, why hasn’t God ALREADY just done the deed and wipe those painful memories out?? For me the only logical answer is that those memories are CRUCIAL to our ever deepening understanding of salvation – they provide the context for how this has all transpired and why God has done what He has.
As for your Is text, doesn’t the bible also talk about God forgetting our sins? Does anybody actually take THAT literally? Clearly God, who knows everything that can be known, knows about our already committed sins. So I’m thinking that we forget in similar ways to the forgetting that God does. Know what I mean??? :smiley: :smiley:

Thus my actual query involves the nature of true peace – and if it’s even conceivable for one whose memory REMAINS intact forever, will be able to LIVE in peace with a God who solves His problems by placing reprobates and rebels in ECT forever. True peace then MUST mean UR…

TotalVictory
Bobx3


#7

The other problem with the memory wipe is that suddenly God is perfectly willing to override man’s so-called free will when he’s saved but isn’t allowed to violate it in the cause of salvation :question:


#8

Personally, I would have BIG problem with having memories removed–even bad and painful memories. Those are things that have shaped me and made me who I am. I have learned from them, and grown through them, and I’m “at peace” about them.

I would not want to have my loved ones suffering, and have that knowlegde withheld from me so that I could ‘enjoy’ my reward. That is a horrific thought to me, and sounds extremely selfish.

TV, I tend to agree with what you have written, and I’m not sure if I can really add to it. As long as there remains emnity between man and God, there is not Peace.

Sonia


#9

Amen Sonia. I have had an experience of being caught up to the third heavens and found that our memories are reconciled like “all things.” God does not annihilate things, He makes all things new. When we one day, see His full purpose and plan, we will know He does all things and He does them perfectly in the measure of His unimaginable Love.

Bless you,

John


#10

This presumes that our memory remains intact forever. My memory of being abused when I was a child has been superseded by the memory of Jesus saving me from this abuser. I am complete peace with my former abuser, because I have been set free from the memory of hurt and selfish revenge. This is called forgiveness.

I do not remember how it feels to hate, though I do remember once hating. Human memory is more than facts and figures, it is also feelings and perceptions. The sins done against me are remembered no more, nor is the feeling of hurt which came from when evil is perpetrated against me. :ugeek:

So, conclusion we most definitely can have change in memory and truly forget and remember no more. Therefore, we cannot use this line of reasoning as a definitive conclusion of UR being true. :smiling_imp:


#11

But that’s not quite the question I’m asking Craig. I do agree that memories are redeemed, reordered, etc but do not think they are simply wiped out. Same information (FACTS that happened) but processed in different and saving ways.

Rather, I’m asking, indirectly, if it’s possible to live forever in anything like a condition of true “peace” with the One who either killed off some of your relatives/friends OR who yet tortures them forever…

As an aside, one of the most chillingly incoherent things I’ve ever read in Christianity Today (a magazine I generally respect and enjoy) was titled ~~~>

Good Question: Hell’s Final Enigma
Won’t heaven’s joy be spoiled by our awareness of unsaved loved ones in hell?
J. I. Packer
ctlibrary.com/ct/2002/april22/27.84.html

To me, it is inconceivable that an actual peace with God is possible under these circumstances…

TotalVictory
Bobx3