If Everyone is Saved, Why Preach?


#1

Can you explain to me what you consider the GOOD NEWS?
Elsewhere I saw someone claim that if universalism is true, preaching the gospel [GOOD NEWS] is a waste of time and those who have done so are to be pitied. How would you reply?


#2

That God, through Christ on the cross, has reconciled everything in heaven and on earth to Himself. Although it’s a now and not yet thing, so it’s a work-in-progress.

Certainly not, there are a number of good reasons to preach the gospel. Firstly, Jesus commands us to. Secondly, we want to see people come into a good relationship with God as soon as possible, this almost always involves telling them the gospel (preaching being a way to do that).


#3

Gem what is your concept of salvation? What are we saved from? Hell? Is that the only purpose in preaching? To get saved from Hell? If that is the reason, I find it difficult to understand why the apostle Paul gave his whole life over to proclaiming the gospel, yet in all of his letters (at least 12 of them are in the New Testament), he never mentioned Gehenna (“hell” or the lake of fire) even once!


#4

But he did mention similar concepts, as in Thessalonians where he mentions aionian destruction.


#5

There’s a huge difference between all will eventually be saved and everybody is always saved. Also, Jesus taught the church to advance the kingdom of God on earth as it’s in heaven.


#6

Paidion,
Actually, I am totally frustrated with the evangelical church as it is. I find Rev 3 an accurate description of the present day American evangelical church and I think that there is a deep complacency and rot which comes from the message of salvation as “fire insurance”.

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.
I could wish you were cold or hot.
So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,
I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’
—and do not know
that you are
wretched,
miserable,
poor,
blind,
and naked

I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich;
and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed;
and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.


#7

Not Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory- Jesus was punished instead of me. God’s Wrath was poured out on Jesus instead of on me——–>
In a nutshell:
Jesus died on the Cross
to SAVE me from GOD

Nor Christus Victor Atonement Theory- on the Cross, Jesus won the battle with Satan, triumphed over the principalities, crushed the serpant’s head
In a nutshell:
Jesus died on the Cross
to SAVE me from SATAN

Gem’s Atonement Theory- on the Cross (the Tree of Life), the Perfect Lamb of God, God incarnate in human flesh, put that flesh to death, shed His blood to reverse the decision the man and woman made in the Garden of Eden and offer them a way to restore their broken relationship with God, to be BORN AGAIN not of perishable seed but imperishable, to return to the Garden to partake of the Tree of Life. The PERFECT second Adam is the only ONE who could reverse what the first Adam did.
In a nutshell:
Jesus died on the Cross
to SAVE me from [size=150]mySELF[/size]

WHEN I am restored to the Garden, there are still TWO trees!
I still have to choose…


#8

I like to go with John’s declaration of what the good news is: “Now this is the message which we have heard from Him and are informing you: God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all!”

Everything else is a working out of the details. :slight_smile:

(Actually, one of my projects someday will be to go through the NT looking at every cognate of “good news/gospel”.)

When Jesus preaches the gospel, He not only exhorts people to repent of their sins but to “trust in this good news”, namely that “The time is now fulfilled! The Kingdom of God is near!”

His first proclamation of the gospel in Nazareth is indicative of what He means by that–and is especially important considering the OT contexts! “He has commissioned and sent Me to herald a pardon to captives whose hearts are contrite, healing them, and promising recovery of sight to the blind!–to send free with a pardon those captives who have become crushed!–to proclaim the year of acceptance and favor, of the Lord!”

Jesus is talking about captives whom God has imprisoned for their sins, and whose eyes God has decreed shall be blind (due to them squinching shut their eyes in impenitent sin), and whose hearts God has crushed and made contrite (or pulverized) in punishment!

So the good news, to people who are impenitent about their sins, is that God is going to blind, imprison and pulverize them (though they aren’t going to think of that as being good news, of course); and to people whom God has led to sorrow, the good news is that God is acting to save them from their sins, and so also from the punishment for their sins, but that they are expected to cooperate with this in repentance from their sins; and to people who have repented the good news is God will persist in bringing them home out of their sins.

But the good news has modes applicable to people in different stages of this process, and to those in the first stage it won’t sound like good news. Nevertheless we have to preach it; yet neither should we unsalt it so that it isn’t good news!! The only bad news is sin; all the things God does about sin are good news for the sinner (as well as for the victims of the sinner). God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all! (Even if the impenitent sinner wishes and seeks for some darkness in which to hide because His deeds are evil.)

If we unsalt the good news that everyone shall be salted by fire, then what we say about the fire becomes worthy only of being thrown out and to be trampled underfoot by men.

At any rate, we are sent to be ambassadors of the reconciliation, exhorting people “Be reconciled to God!” We are expected to trust God that, by God, our labor will not be in vain; but we are not expected to be lazy about it! We may only have two cents or one mina to work with, but we are expected to join in the work with as little or as much as we are given. If we don’t, then we are the ones being lazy or uncharitable servants.

And most of what Jesus has to say about the wrath of God, including all the strongest things, is aimed at lazy and/or uncharitable servants of His. :wink:

I reply with the judgment of the sheep and the goats. The baby-goats thought only of their own salvation and didn’t seek the salvation of those imprisoned and punished by God (applying the Isaianic list in its original context), the least of His flock; so they become the least of His flock and go into imprisonment. It is literally those who are to be pitied by the mature flock.

(By which I don’t mean that the mature flock now should become baby-goats in regard to those now-imprisoned baby-goats! :laughing: )


#9

Thank you, Jason. http://th266.photobucket.com/albums/ii269/theogrit/sign%20or%20English%20smilies/th_2sgn082goodpost.gif

Your explanation recalls to mind a question. I meant to try to search in the archives, but I’ll lay it out here as well. Last night in our evening devos we read Matt 22:1-14

It’s the Parable of Kingdom of God as Wedding Feast, and I really could not think of how it fits with EU? Only my 8 and 10 yo sons were home this time, and I’m afraid that the way they were hearing it was that the people who did not respond to the original invitation made God angry and were sent to hell:

*“But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.” Matt 22:7 *

I did notice the interesting piece that the replacements who were gathered up for the wedding feast included “all whom they found, both bad and good” (22:10) Can you share any insight on the passage which I could share with my sons?

And who is the one who didn’t have on the right wedding garment and “the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and[a] cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt 22:13-14)?


#10

Fascinating discussion. Thanks Gem.


#11

Short answer: Because they’re not saved yet! :sunglasses:

Rom 10:13-14 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

Sonia


#12

Good stuff Sonia!

We are participants in God’s ministry of Reconciliation. Because we trust that the Gospel will ultimately win over every heart, we gladly proclaim the Good News that God is Love. He loves you. He has forgiven you and hope you’ll put your trust in Him and follow him. Repent today because the awesome amazing kingdom, rule and reign of God is within reach. You can participate in heaven on earth, and work with God toward the reconciliation of all creation! Delivered from the kingdom of darkness and translated into the glorious kingdom of God which is characterized by Love, Joy, and Wholeness (peace)! If you want to know the God of creation, the God who loves you and created you for a relationship with him, turn to Him in faith and He’ll make Himself known to you!

Why preach the Gospel if all are ultimately saved? Because they are not now saved! Rather, many are lost in a sea of dispair, evil, and agony of body, soul, and spirit! Love compells us to share the good news of God’s love with those whom we love. We do not share the Gospel because we are afraid they’ll go to Hell and be tortured forever, but we share the Gospel because we have faith that God will save them!


#13

George MacDonald has a great chewy sermon, too, on John’s report of what, to him, was the good news of the gospel. “Away with your false metaphysics! I am saved, for God is light! MY GOD I COME TO THEE!”

It may be worth pointing out that in the version you referenced, from GosMatt, the people who get zorched are the ones who murder the prophets. I really don’t think anyone would have trouble understanding God kicking their butts. http://www.wargamer.com/forums/upfiles/smiley/Takecover.gif

Though of course it does present the same question. We should ultimately be as concerned for those murderers as for anyone else being condemned. Moreover, we should be concerned for the people caught up as collateral damage! http://www.wargamer.com/forums/upfiles/smiley/greasedtreads.gif

(I’m the kind of person who cheers at the notion of that Baneblade from Warhammer 40K, up in the first animated smiley, overrunning the “bad guys”–so it pays for me to remember what this often also involves…)

But back to the Wedding Feast Parable. There are a number of interesting details from both the GosMatt and the GosLuke versions. I have a submittal for ‘work’ work, however, that I absolutely must try to finish today, so I’ll have to wait and write up my notes on it later. (Sorry. :frowning: ) The one main thing I would emphasize until then, is that the warning (in either version) is aimed at people who not only thought they were elected to inherit the kingdom but actually were elected to inherit the kingdom!


#14

Like Oswald Chambers says on this, the gospel is good news about God:

In the jungle of a world where the gods were wrathful and capricious, where even the Jewish God was just waiting to strike down on His enemies, Jesus came and presented another message. God is our Father and loves us to the depth of our beings because He created us and knows every single detail about us, and we can never be too far removed from His grace.

Universal reconciliation is just a natural outworking of that. :wink:


#15

If it will be a helpful start, may I refer you back to this thread on Salvation in the Gospels:

Not to say that salvation encompasses everything of what constitutes ‘good news’, but is a part of the bigger picture. I’m sure there are some I’ve overlooked, and of course some meanings of ‘salvation’ are different from others, taken in context. The point being that salvation is less formulaic than most evangelical Christians make it out to be.