The Evangelical Universalist Forum


God is omnibenevolent. Yet He possesses the freedom and ability to exercise different kinds of love. As human beings made in His image we also have the ability to love differently and in different degrees and types. For example, the love a mother has for her children is different in nature and extent than the love she has for someone else’s children. Surely a man is not to love someone else’s wife the way that He loves His own. We are commanded to love our wives the way Christ loved His bride. A man who cannot defend his wife from a rapist because he can only show loving kindness to the rapist is hardly a man. There is a time to love and a time to hate as there is a time for war and a time for peace (Ecclesiastes 3:8). An inability to discriminate in such matters shows a sign of sickness in a man.

Scripture recognizes this truth. Paul confesses a special love he has for the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 2:4) that he does not have for anyone else. The love we have for friends and fellowship grows and changes as we experience life with them. When Paul says we are to do good to all men, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10), we understand perfectly what he is saying. It is part of our capacity to exercise freedom in how we love.

God is no different. His love is not less than man’s love. The love that God has for plants and animals differs from His love for human beings. The reality of His freedom to love with different kinds of love is obvious in scripture. Is anyone seriously going to argue that God loved the Egyptian foot soldier crushed under the falling waters of the Red Sea in the same way He loved Moses, who passes safely through the sea? That He loved the pagan Canaanite priest wiped out by the Israelites as they moved into the promised land to the same degree that He loved Joshua? Did not Christ have a special love for His apostles? God does not have the same kind of love or level of love for all things. No matter how one understands "Jacob I Loved , But Esau I Hated, this verse alone is enough to refute that God loves everyone with the same type and degree of love.

I don’t think anyone here has suggested that God loves everyone in exactly the same way and to exactly the same degree. But God perhaps WILL do so when all have been reconciled to Him and have come under His authority.

Rather, the point being made in this forum, is that God DOES LOVE EVERYONE ("For God so loved the world…) And since God LOVES everyone, He is not going to torture over 90% (more likely over 99%) of all people forever. Any good person here on earth would never torture anyone for any length of time. My deceased wife, who was a good person and who would never consider torturing anyone, used to say that God must be at least as good as she!


That’s what I think. The only way I can make it fit is that God saves some in this lifetime by grace through faith. The others are saved through the fire in the next lifetime.


Under this view, the elect for whom Christ died are saved by grace. The non-elect are saved and baptized in the lake of fire where they suffer the penalty for their sins - death of the old self. A new self is created and brought up to heaven. All desire for sin and sin itself is removed from the hearts of those in hell. They are therefore unable to sin when they get to heaven.

You mean the lose their free will?

Oh yeh, Calvists disbelieve that they had any free will to begin with, don’t they?


They still choose what they want but because all sinful desires have been removed they are like God and unable to sin. They will be free from sin and always choose the right thing. Just as the physical creation will be reconciled through fire, so will the reprobate.