The Evangelical Universalist Forum

My 'lost' son and God's love.

From a young age, starting in earnest at age 15, I was brainwashed into believing that God’s love for me can end IF I mess things up with Him. I struggled to love and trust a God who might not love me enough to help me enough to save me (as even from a young age I knew I was going to fail miserably at saving myself). I tried to love God, but the God I thought I knew was hard to love and trust. When things were going reasonably well for me and my loved ones I could put those doubts about God’s love ending, to the back of my mind. But when a loved one is lost and is ‘going to hell’ (are in hell already) you can’t avoid the question: ‘’ Jesus, is my son going to be lost forever? Will your love for him end?’’. I’ve mentioned before in another post about my son who struggles with a cannabis addiction. He had cracked it for six months, but during the time he was off it, suffered the consequences of using it: anxiety, depression, inability to work. He did six months off it, and has recently gone back onto it. Although he’s not a ‘wreck’ as such right now, if he continues along this path, I see his life as disintegrating, his hopes of a wife and family never to be realised, his potential he no doubt has to come to nothing…and so it’s hard to tell others the ‘good’ news when you don’t know if it really is good news.

I’ve felt a breakthrough in my understanding of God and His love and am thankful to Peter Hiett’s sermons from ‘The Sanctuary Downtown’. But the last few days I’ve relapses back into despondency about UR- is it really true? Is God going to reconcile ALL THINGS- even my son? I’m reading Thomas Talbott’s book ‘The Inescapable Love of God’ and I’ve just read this which sums up how I’ve been feeling for many years and more so these last few years with my son: (I’ve inserted ‘Son’ as this is my literal situation).

‘‘If I love my daughter (Son) as myself, then God cannot truly love me without loving my daughter (son) as well. An additional point is this: so long as I love my daughter (son) as myself, I can neither love God nor worship him unless I at least believe that he loves my daughter (son) as well; the idea that I could both love my daughter (son) and love a God whom I know to hate her (him) is also logically absurd. For consider what my love for God would have to entail. It would entail, first that I respect God and approve of his actions; second , that I am grateful to God for what he has done for me; and third, that my will is, on the important issues at least, in conformity with his. But if I truly love my daughter (son), desiring the good for her (him), and God does not, then (a) my will is not in conformity with God’s, (b) I could not consistently approve of God’s attitude towards my daughter (son) and © neither could I be grateful to him for the harm he is doing to me.’’ Talbott goes on to say this is ‘…logically impossible…either I do not love my daughter (son) as myself, or I do not love God with all my heart, or I do not believe that God himself fails to love my own daughter (son).’’ (page 129)

This applies to other family members: my unbelieving husband and close relatives who are not believers. And if they aren’t going to be saved, maybe my salvation isn’t secure…which then undermines the whole gospel and belief in God and His purposes.

I’ve been listening to some Peter Hiett sermons today, which have really helped me to keep on trusting God IS going to save my son and everyone else like him. This struggle I am going through leads to one possibility: UR must be true. God’s love can’t fail. I pray this prayer in Ephesians 1:17,18. ‘’ I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,’’ :smiley:

I have an mp3 short recording of my son singing ‘Why God’. It was for an audition for a job in Spain two years ago, (working on stage in the clubs). It got him the job, but he only lasted a week, due to anxiety and panic attacks. My son is very kind, sensitive and loving. I’ve tried to upload it but it’s not allowed. Is there a way I can change it so that I can upload it. I’d like to share this song with you. :smiley:

This is Cindy – I don’t know how to do that, Catherine, but I’m going to tag Jason here [tag]JasonPratt[/tag] in the hope that maybe he does.

Hi Catherine
I’m so sorry to read about your son and I think you have expressed extremely well the situation we are all in. It may be that there are some (many) who do not realise that this IS the situation, and they may be more happy in their delusion, but I empathise with the truths (and doubts) you have shared. I pray that the situation with your son will improve beyond recognition and soon but I am only too aware of the seeming inefficacy of most of my prayers. I do hope you find how to upload the song as I would love to hear it.
I know you have mentioned before how you have found Peter Hiett’s sermons helpful and I have previously determined that I too must listen to these. Are there any on mp3 or do I have to access video?

Hi Pilgrim, thank you for your kind words and prayers. I am sure they will help. If we will give an account for every bad word we speak (Matt 12:36) I am sure ‘good’ words don’t go unnoticed either. :wink:

You can get all Peter Hiett’s sermons here:

If you click onto page 5, and scroll down, you’ll see a sermon called ‘IF’- (Sunday Sep 9th 2012). That really addressed my doubts and fears about God’s love. Let me know what you think? :smiley:

Thanks Catherine, I’m very grateful. I have downloaded ‘If’ and will get back to you.

Hi Catherine,

Have you tried uploading the song to youtube? You can upload just about anything there. Then you can provide us with the link.

We used to have an Italian Greyhound named “Ruby” and a puppy named “Bruno” which was part St. Bernard. The puppy had fun pulling at Ruby’s blanket while she was in her box. After a bit of this, she simply had enough. She went after him with growls. It’s only a 13 second video, and not very clear, but it was uploaded to Youtube just to see whether it could be done. Here is a link to it:

You have to register with youtube in order to upload. It doesn’t cost you anything.

Catherine, I really identified with that part of Tom’s book too. (To the tune of a whole lot of tissues.) I don’t remember whether he says, but I read somewhere else that we were only something like ten relationships away from a connection with any other person on the planet. I tried to find that but couldn’t, so I apologize in advance that the numbers aren’t likely to be correct. It wasn’t far though. It amazed me. And if that’s the case, there’s no way that the loss of one person doesn’t affect every single one of us. Never ask for whom the bell tolls . . . .

I agree with Tom 100% on this. If God is going to save even one of us and make that one person infinitely blessed and joyful and still perfected in love, then God MUST save every single one of us. Otherwise, there WILL be sorrow in the Kingdom, and that is clearly not allowed by scripture. If my loved ones aren’t there, then I don’t want to be either. Sorry if that sounds like a spoiled child to infernalists. I’m not changing my mind on it.

Nothing becomes love because it was done by God. God does things because He is love and the things are acts of love. Otherwise, He doesn’t do them. To say that a thing no good man would d,o is good if God does it, is nothing less than to say that God may in fact not be good. (Not that I remember that quote very well :blush: ) Go IS good, and God IS love, and Love never fails.

Paidion- thanks for the link of your dogs. They’re lovely. :smiley: I’ve just tried uploading it to my youtube account, but because it’s a mps, it doesn’t upload automatically. The instructions are too much for me, so I’ll see if my son can sort it. :wink:

Cindy- I agree with you. I have to try and remember that God is good all the time and the Judge of all the earth, WILL DO what is right. :smiley:

Hi Catherine,

I encourage you to take the UR scriptures the Heitt quotes and meditate upon them – read them in context, write them out, memorize them, rehearse them in your mind over and over again, say them out loud, mull them over, ponder them, … They are powerful and filled me with faith that God’s ultimate end is to reconcile all of creation to Himself, that all are redeemed in Him, that Jesus truly is the savior of All in deed not just in title, that every knee shall bow in worship, that every tongue shall joyfully proclaim allegiance to Jesus, that all shall be taught of the Lord! This is truly “Good News”.

It is these pro-UR scriptures that compell me to believe in UR, and freed me to believe both that God is Sovereign over all (Calvinism’s foundational belief) and God is Love for all (Arminianism’s foundational believe). When one puts both together it’s only logical to believe the God is Savior of all (Universalism’s foundational belief).

Scripture affirms to me that Jesus is savior of all. Logic affirms to me that Jesus is savior of all. Minority Tradtion affirms to me that Jesus is savior of all. And personal experience affirms to me that Jesus is savior of all. But is scripture that compells me to believe!

Sherman- thank you for your wonderful reply. amen indeed. :smiley:

Catherine - The RC Church teaches we are judged by what we do with what we have - and that everyone’s efforts to move forward towards goodness and towards Him will be seen - your son has made efforts to turn his life around - God understands drug addiction (as He does all addictions) and will see the efforts your son has made, even when the struggle continues. And he is with your son in his suffering and yours as well. Remember He is all love and all mercy, and I think unless someone makes an absolute and complete decision to turn their back on God (KNOWING he is God) - unless someone actively chooses evil knowing it is evil - and persists in it to the end of their days - well, everyone else God will hold in His hands. Drug addiction is not an “evil”, not a turning away from God, it is a problem that needs help. God loves your son!!! And loves you!!! Keep praying, keep the faith, and know that God holds both you and your son and your husband in His hands. (ps - Im convinced that most athiests have not turned away from God, they simply don’t know Him yet! God will come to them - maybe even on their death bed)

Hi Tamarz, bless you for your loving reply. :smiley: My son is truly a ‘prodigal’. He wants to control his life and do what he wants. I pray that his true ‘elder brother’, Jesus, will look for him and never give up until he is found and brought home safely. :smiley:

I have raised 3 sons and a daughter. I lost my oldest son to a drug overdose at the age of 32. I had long believed in UR, and I must say I do not know what I would have done had I had no hope for him, according to the hopeless doctrines of eternal torment or annihilation. However, one thing his death did spur in me was a resolve to study to show myself approved, and to be more active in sharing the boundless hope of the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

“If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.”

Colosians 1:15-20 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order

I rejoice that the scriptures testify thoroughly, abundantly, conclusively to the ultimate salvation of all.

Hi Eaglesway. My heart goes out to you- one mother to another. You are blessed to have such a certain hope that God is saving ALL people. When you are unsure (like me) you are not able to be at peace.

Thank you for the verses you highlighted. They are good ones. :smiley: Bless you.

I was going to post pretty much exactly that. It is preposterous to pretend that one could participate in Love Himself and at the same time be somehow OK with anyone else being lost. In Heaven we sing, “Glory!”. We don’t mutter, “Eh, whatever.”

Catherine, Thank you very much for pointing me towards that sermon ‘If’. It is great. I listened to the audio version. I read Abbott’s ‘Flatland’ when I was young but it is may years since I had thought about it. Peter was clearly using visual aids at times so I think I’d like to go through it again watching the video next time.
Every blessing.

Amen to your comment Geoffrey. :slight_smile:

Pilgrim, yes it’s better to watch Peter’s sermons as he uses visuals in most of his sermons. The other sermon that I would recommend to watch is the one he gave at his old church, which got him kicked out. I linked to it here: UR sermon that got pastor kicked out of his church.

It looks like their website has crashed at the minute. When it’s back up and running, check it out. How anyone could not be at least hopeful of UR after watching that sermon, is beyond me. It is amazing. :slight_smile:

Edit: haha, just found it here: :smiley: