The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Her gates will never be shut by Brad Jersak

Anyone here ever hear of or read this author? I just found this discussion about “hell” with him and I thought it was really good, I think I am going to get it.
here is the discussion, check it out: … ak-part-2/

Hi Michael,

I have yet to get to it, but Robin Parry, one of our featured guests, wrote a review on it:
[Her Gates Will Never be Shut, by Bradley Jersak)

I haven’t read the book, but I’m finishing with the audioclip now (it’s long so I’ve been listening to bits throughout this afternoon). Thanks for posting it up! It’s a good overview in a relaxed, conversational way.

I only wonder where he says that many of his opponents become preterists when faced with Revelation 22:6-20. I hear this a lot from universalists, but in my understanding, this is not preterism, this is just a normal reading of the text. Hasn’t John ended his eschatological vision in verse five, or at least by verse sixteen. In fact, universalists shouldn’t want this passage to be anything other than “preterism” (as Jersak concedes in the clip), or the unjust are “unjust still” (22:11) and Yeshua would still be yet to come (22:7, 12 – what would that mean?). Maybe I’m not reading this right, so I’d be grateful for others to weigh in.

I think his point was that it holds out hope that the invitation to come into heaven still is extended to those in the lake of fire after the last judgement. he seems to be a partial preterist, in that he believes the last two chapters are still yet to come. Most peoplethat are futurists also believe the lake of fire judgement is final eternal punishment, either torment or they get burned up, but when shown that God is inviting those in the lake of fire to come out, it doesn’t fit into their theology, so they try to say that invitation is for now, not in the future, thus adopting a preterist interpretation only in those verses! :sunglasses:


Jersak’s book was stimulating and influential for me. Its’ view is very much reflected in my paper on hell here: Revelation’s View of the Future .

I hope these helpfully summarize his approach!

Thanks, Bob! The more I think about it the preterist view makes more sense to me!
I went to the Bible last night to read about the invitation by the Spirit and the Bride at the end and was a bit dissappointed to find it really wasn’t the come out of the lake of fire proof text he made it out to be. It comes after Christ gets done speaking and it is almost like John is summing up what our response should be, and that the Spirit and the Bride are inviting us to come now, as it comes right before the add or subtract from the prophecy warning. It could mean for the future too, but it is not as convincing as Brad made it sound. Oh well, at least he inspired my to pick up the scriptures, something that isn’t to easy for me these days…


Thanks. I’m sympathetic with all of your response. The ‘invitation’ at best is ambiguous concerning its’ implications. I do think how one sees the wider contextual vision of an apparent change in the posture of kings and nations, and the apparent traffic into the city gives some encouragement to Jerzak’s reading of that later concluding text. But as I’ve been emphasizing to Dual Citizen on another thread, the readings that ultimately seem most plausible to us are shaped by one’s impression of the whole Bible and story, and what interpretation of its’ prmoises and views of God’s character offers what seems like the best coherence.

Well, I got tired of waiting for it to come out in electronic format for my kindle, so I purchased a hard copy and was love it. Brad does an excellent job reviewing the information on Gehenna and his section on the Lake of Fire might be even better! He highlights that the lake of the fire and the brimstone was likely a reference to what we call today the Dead Sea. He writes:

“The prophetic-historic picture is developing for us. “Lake of fire” = “Dead Sea” = fate of Sodom and Gomorrah = cursed by God to fiery destruction and ultimate ruin. The Lake of fir is thus an apocalyptic threat of being leveled by the fire of God’s wrath, historically fulfilled through obliteration by foreign armies. In Revelation this threat is specific to Jerusalem (as usual), “who is the grea city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified” (Rev. 11:18).”

I also appreciated his take on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the chapter on Purgatory, and his review of Von Balthasar’s Dare We Hope. “Her Gates Will Never Be Shut” is a book I will certainly recommend to others. After all the evidence he presents demolishing the doctrine of infernalism I don’t understand his reluctance to being convinced of UR, sticking with only hoping. I agree with his sentiments, if I understand him correctly, that we need not be “dogmatic” about UR. There is no absolute need to believe that God will save all in order to be a follower of Jesus, a Christian. But one, I think, can be passionately convinced of UR without being dogmatic about it. On the other hand, Brad also seems to affirm an agnostic stance to what happens in judgement. He writes,

“As we have seen, the Bible says volumes about the nature and possibility of divine judgment, so much so that we cannot boil its assertions down to a single doctrinal system. (p.96)” If scripture says “volumes about the nature” of divine judgment then it seems we should be able to say much about it, of course not “all”, but certainly “much”. For example, I believe we can say that:

  1. All shall be judged.
  2. We shall be judged on/by:
    a) how we live
    b) how we treat others, especially the poor and less fortunate
    c) what we do with what God gives us, “to whom much is given much is required”. (Frankly, this one scares the hell out of me!)
    d) our attitudes
    e) our attitudes
    f) etc. etc. etc.
  3. Evil will be punished, eradicated
  4. Death and Hades will be eradicated
  5. The wicked run the risk of perishing, dying tragically, having their lives shortened and even suffering terribly in this life and potentially the life to come.
  6. Judgment is firmly rooted in God’s love and is a necessary part of reconcilitation. We must face the truth concerning ourselves. And this truth sets us free!

I love this book! One of my very favorites. He talks about the lake of fire, and a theory he has, and goes into church history. A very important book and answers many questions about passages used to support ECT.