I am fairly new to the idea of Universalism. I’ve come to believe in it over the course of the last few months, but only learnt it had a name a few weeks ago
There have been a number of lines of reasoning that have lead me to conclude that it is the only reasonable interpretation of God’s plan. Most of these have already been discussed in detail on this forum. There is one though, that hasn’t to the best of my knowledge. I originally started thinking along these lines after receiving a challenge to a comment I made on an atheist blog.
I would like to discuss it here and get your thoughts on this.
God created humanity with freewill so that we could have the choice to follow him. What is the value of love if there is not the possibility to hate? Sin is a necessary consequence of freewill. They are inextricably linked. Freewill cannot exist without the possibility of sin and sin cannot exist without freewill (the ability to choose).
What shall we say of heaven one day? Will there be freewill in heaven? Will we choose to love and worship God in heaven? We know that in heaven all things will be made new and there will be no sin. How is it that sin cannot exist without freewill on earth, yet freewill can exist in heaven without the possibility of sin? The only feasible explanation is that although we will be free to sin in heaven, we will have no desire to sin in heaven. It will simply lose its appeal and so nobody will chose it. We could then ask: Would it not have been better for God to create humanity without the desire to sin in the first place? What is the purpose of this initial round on earth, with the experience of sin and all the suffering it brings?
Perhaps it is only through this experience of sin that we can develop a healthy distaste for it? Perhaps the whole purpose of living in a fallen world is to experience what it is like to live in a world devoid of holiness? If we could experience all of the consequences of our sinful decisions, (In a single moment, experience the effects they had on others and ourselves) would that not give us a healthy respect for Gods authority? Would that not cause sin to lose its appeal, and in doing so, allow for an eternity of freewill where people choose holiness?
Perhaps this is what is meant when Adam and Eve chose to gain the knowledge of evil. They chose to experience what it would be like living in a world devoid of God, and in so doing learn the reason for our reliance on him.
It was this idea that God intended all men to experience living in disobedience that lead me to a Universalist perspective of Christianity. If God intended this of us, then God has a purpose for it. That purpose being for all men to live in a state of harmony with God, fully understanding the consequences of sin.
Interestingly, I discovered the verse Romans 11:32 on this forum, which strongly confirms this view. “For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all”.