The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Objections to Univeralism

That’s a five-hour video! Could you give me some clue where on it to find Gary Amirault speaking on non-post-mortem punishment? (I think he believes there is post-mortem punishment.)

By the way, just typing @Nicholas does not tag anyone. To tag someone, go to the data entry screen, say by clicking on "Quote. Above the data entry window there is a line of little boxes, the last of which should be Tag. Click on this.[tag]Nicholas[/tag]. Place the cursor just after ] and just before and type in the name of the person you want to tag. This gives a working tag with @ and the name in slightly different colours. Care to type in any spaces or punctuation that appears in the user name. You have so far been doing OK without tagging people.

Best wishes,

I take that back:

‘And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’ (Luke 23:43)

“For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” (Philippians 1:23)

Christ did not tell the thief on the cross, “Assuredly, I say to you, after you undergo a period of post-mortem purification, you will be with Me in Paradise.”

Paul did not write that he had a desire to go to post-mortem purifications.

The thief went to be with Christ (not Purgatory). Paul desired to go and be with Christ (not Purgatory). This idea of Purgatory seems to have a certain relation to the sad idea that a horrific figure known as “the Antichrist” is coming. We are to look for the Second Coming of Christ, not for the coming of Antichrist.

Everywhere and in all times and things we are to look for Christ. Not for Hell. Not for Purgatory. Not for Antichrist. Not for etc. Christ is our portion and our inheritance. He is mentioned countless times in the Bible. Hell? Not once. Purgatory? Not once. Antichrist? The word is used by John in four verses, referring to anyone at any time who denies that Christ is come in the flesh.

Geoffrey said:

I’m with you there … :smiley:

I still like the ice cube and the sun :exclamation:



The thief on the cross needed no further purification. He received reconciliation through “the blood of His cross”- beholding Christ crucified and recognizing Jesus as Lord.

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness…If I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me”

Everyone who looked upon the serpent on the stick received the healing of their wounds immediately. Those who did not succumbed to the sting of death.

“For the sting of death is sin”

Everyone who beholds Christ crucified and believes is immediately healed from the sting, “Death is swallowed up in immortality”.

"He that believes in me is passed from death unto life.

Not to lay it out as conclusive in anyway, but I note the other thief received no such promise from the Lord. And not that he went to “hell”, but rather than that he may have gone to Sheol to await the Day, as opposed to awaking in Paradise.

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruits; then at His coming, those who belong to Him. 24Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power…

But it is awesomely beautiful from any point of view that Jesus found a friend in the midst of His agony :slight_smile:

The medieval Roman Catholic Church presented three possible destinations after death:

  1. Heaven
  2. Purgatory
  3. Hell

The Protestant Reformers narrowed that down to two:

  1. Heaven
  2. Hell

I am genuinely surprised that so many Protestant universalists are willing to basically re-introduce Purgatory.

At 28:15 in the video, Gary says;
“Some of the pharisees began to teach gehenna as a place of temporary punishement, some rabbies said that the righteous would escape gehenna but those who were not righteous enough to enter into the resurrection would spend a period of time in a mystical aspect of gehenna, they would be in a place of punishment up to a year, but at the end of the year or before, they would be resurrected and go in the life to come”.

Thanks for telling me to tag by the way.

The fact that there is a judgement, or a ‘krisis’, an undering, a separation; a trial, a contest, etc, proves that there is something happens post-mortem that appears negative to the person.

Simply put, ultra-universalism can’t be true.

Also, the protestants are not adding back catholic purgatory, they are rethinking hell itself as purgatorial punishment.

‘Hell’ was translated from 4 different words for that matter, 1 Hebrew, 3 Greek:

-SHEOL: לִ שְׁ אל - shaul
-HADES: ᾅδης - hadE
-GEHENNA: γέεννα - geennE (Only used by Jesus and once by James (James 3:16))
-TARTARUS: ταρταρόω - tartarOsas (Only used in 2 Peter 2:4)

There is no “hell” imo. As far as the scriptures are concerned it is a non-existent word in the context of Hebrew thought. One that bears no proper relation pf meaning to the original thoughts of the speakers in their times.

Gehenna and the lake of fire are metaphors for standing in the presence of the One whose eyes are as flames of fire and whose face shines like the sun and out of whose mouth proceeds a two edged sword that divides asunder soul and spirit, until every hidden thing is brought to light,and every knee bows… “their conscience accusing or excusing them on the Day God judges the secrets of men’s hearts through Jesus Christ.” Rom 2

Many universalists are so conditioned to “hellism” and reacting against it, they hav a difficult time seeing the fire of God in any other context than that of torment in hell, or some kind of purgatory. IMO hell and purgatory are primitive myths intermixed with a corruption of what the scriptures teach about how the judgment of God works- flowing out from the midst of His people. I thnk this why “judgment begins at the house of God with the elders at Jerusalem.”

All judgment(from God) ends in conviction(exposure/awareness), which ends in repentence(a change of heart and mind), which opens the well of forgiveness and the fountain of the joy of reconciliation and restoration… “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation without regret”

“Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” 1 Cor 6:2

“Every mans work will be tested by fire for the Day” 1 Cor 3:13-15(IMO the Day is the full revelation of His face exalted in the midst of the "great congregation)

“I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng.” Ps 35

“God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers.” Ps 83

“Millions of angels ministered to him; many millions stood to attend him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened.” Dan 7:10

I see it more like a great family intervention among the children of men than anything else.

“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.” Heb 12

I think it would be better if we could forget about “hell” and “purgatory” and start from scratch with the scriptures properly translated. Orthodoxy(imo) is often no more than the codification of the errors of churchmen.

I do not believe in torment, other than the torment that may come as one begins to see the effect of their deeds and attitudes in the light of God’s love expressed through Christ crucified. Once that awareness is come, I believe repentence, forgiveness and restoration follow shortly after.

I am a bit of an oddball in my beliefs, for I don’t think the Scriptures speak about the afterlife( life after we leave the earth). We must simply put our faith and trust in God concerning this matter. That being said, I figured I’d add a few thoughts to the debate. Matthew 25:46 says this: “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” I have to admit I know nothing of the Greek language, but some ague that the same Greek word is used to refer to the destiny of the wicked and the righteous. Also, in John 5:28-29 Jesus says that “all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth-those who have done goo, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

I actually believe in universalism for several reasons, and these come only through my own reasoning (which may be faulty).

  1. If God is eternal, and He created the universe and everything in it, then all that is created must be eternal as well. One cannot create something out of nothing, so it would seem to me that the only thing He could have created anything with is Himself.
    2.I don’t think things cease to exist, per se, I believe they just change forms.
  2. Why would God bring someone back from the dead just to punish them eternally. It would seem better just to let them be dead, if that be the case. This is like kicking a dead horse.

Even without using the word ‘hell’, how would one still interpreted this verse:

-46: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

The words translated into ‘everlasting’ and ‘eternal’ are the exact same Greek word ‘αἰώνιος [aiōnios]’, there is much debate over the meaning of this word but how does one reconcile the word describing both the life and the punishment,
and the bigger issue, apart from two time when the word is translated ‘the world began’ in Romans 16:25, 2 Timothy 1:9 and Titus 1:2 (full verses below), the word is ALWAYS translated as 'eternal (42x), everlasting (25x), and forever (1x) in the inspired New Testament Greek

Here are the verses when it is translated 'the world began:

ROMANS 16:25:
-25: Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began [aiōnios],

2 TIMOTHY 1:9:
-9: Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began [aiōnios],

TITUS 1:2:
-2: In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began [aiōnios];

Bit of a tangent sorry, but I always here people say that this verse means things along the line of ‘pertaining to an age, fullness of an age, etc’, the problem there is that there is already a word for age, and that is the shorter word ‘αἰών [aiōn]’.
I am aware that Greek translations of the Old Testament use the word ‘aiōnios’ for temporal periods of time (e.g. Jonah in the belly of the whale), however, they are exactly that, translations, just like the King James Bible is a translation

  1. Gary is incorrect if he is talking about the time before Christ’s birth. There is no evidence whatsoever before Justin Martyr in the 2nd century A. D. that anyone ever thought that the Valley of Hinnom (Greek: Gehenna) had anything to do with post-mortem unpleasantness. I have been asking for years for a quote from any text written no later than A. D. 30 that uses the word “Gehenna” to refer to something post-mortem. I am confident such a text does not exist. Gary here is innocently repeating an old lie that the Hell people use to bolster their superstition.

  2. Sheol = the grave
    Hades = the grave
    Gehenna = Valley of Hinnom (a literal valley just outside Jerusalem; you can picnic there today.)
    Tartarus = Tartarus (i. e., where the Greek gods imprisoned the defeated Titans; St. Peter was making a classical allusion.)
    No Hell!

  3. The fact that there is a judgement, or a ‘krisis’, an undering, a separation; a trial, a contest, etc, proves nothing whatsoever about anything negative post-mortem. A judgment is a judgment. It is eisegesis to suppose it means something bad happens. Even in our day-to-day life “judgment” can mean something good. For example, “The judge awarded me $100,000 in his judgment.” Nothing bad there!

  4. Don’t get me wrong. Purgatory is less contrary to the Gospel than is Hell. That said, “hell itself as purgatorial punishment” is simply a 12-syllable way of saying the 4-syllable word “Purgatory”.

Paidion elsewhere was shown that the most accurate translation of Matthew 25:46 is “And these shall go away into lasting correction, but the righteous into lasting life.”

We know from other scriptural passages that this lasting life will never end. In contrast, the lasting correction can last only as long as it takes for the thing to be corrected. If it took me, for example, 20 minutes to correct a student’s test, that lasting correction lasted 20 minutes and then it was over. Correction by its very nature cannot be unending, because then the thing would never get corrected, making it something other than correction. The only question remaining, then, is, “How efficient is the enthroned Christ at correcting His creatures post-mortem?” My answer is that He as God is omni-efficient, thus taking 0.000000000000000000001 of a second (or something like that) to correct His creatures. Someone less efficient would take longer, but the Second Person of the Holy Trinity is more efficient than are any of His servants.

Agh, it may take me a few days to catch up! :laughing:

The relationship of Christ to the Pharisee party (and their disputes about Him in the Gospel reports) would take an article or two, and my main computer housing my work died just before lunch. :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: Going to be hair-pulling busy dealing with that for a while, sorry.


No hell, but yes punishment,
if there was no post-mortem punishment, why do those who sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth have a fearful expectation of judgement? Why is it a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God?

HEBREWS 10:26-31:
-26: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
-27: But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
-28: He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
-29: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
-30: For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
-31: It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

What is this “fearful looking for or judgement”, why do so many live without the fear of God?

Where can I get more information about ‘αἰώνιος [aiōnios]’, because so far, it looks like it always means eternal in the New Testament since it is translated as such, if it only meant lasting, I’m sure it would have been translated 1 or 2 times into something that will clearly come to end, but it isn’t, it is always translated as eternal when talking about things that can be eternal while ‘αἰών [aiōn]’ is used for things that will come to an end, although a few times it is translated as “for ever”.

Correction by its very nature cannot be unending, because then the thing would never get corrected, making it something other than correction.Indeed… and as such I’m not sure this logic works either, which is WHY I think lasting is of itself too deficient a rendering of that adjective. Such was “age-lasting” or “age-during” as YLT has it. It is faulty to ignore the root word “age” aiōn <αἰών> of which aiōnion <αἰώνιον> is simply its adjectival form, i.e., enduring within or to an/the age… thus “age-lasting” or “age-during” are more reasonable renderings IMO, AND CONSISTENT for the aiōnion <αἰώνιον>, of Mt 25:46; be that of life or calamity. The use is symmetrical likewise the logic must be symmetrical.

The “eternal” aspects of either life OR calamity are one and the same and are best understood according to Jesus’ QUALITATIVE use of the term as found in Jn 17:3 where “eternal life” equates to FULLNESS of life, as in, “to KNOW God…” This then reflects the same thought previously given in Jn 10:10b with regards to obtaining true LIFE TO THE FULL in the here-and-now. So, the QUALITATIVE meaning shows that in the soon coming ‘Day of the Lord’ either life OR punishment would be known in all its TOTALITY or fullness.

That as I understand it is the most consistent way of reading Mt 25:46.

IMHO aion is a translational derivative of olam… speaking to a period of time appropriate to a specific purpose, which in one case could be an instant, in another an much longer period of time, so…

from that perspective aionian correction is the “correction of the age/world to come” (olam was like this, and I think this is why aion is sometimes translated “world”- as in Hebrews 1. aionian fire(pyr) is the fire of the world to come… the nature of which we only see in principle.

In the age to come there will be different stoicheion(basic principles) . Even as Peter says the flood “destroyed the world(kosmos) that was”- but it did not destroy the kosmos as such… only the “stoiceion”(elementary principles) of that age.

But they deliberately overlook the fact that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6through which the world of that time perished in the flood. 7And by that same word, the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction(apoleias) of ungodly men.…

They were ruined by the destruction of their power and systems of oppression, by the cleansing of the world and a new beginning, another step closer for man as a whole to the coming ideal, the kingdom of God.

Peter also shows this, I think, as 2 Peter 3 continues…

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements(stoicheion-elemtary principles) will be destroyed(lythēsetai-dissolved) by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare(heurethēsetai-exposed).

Every hidden thing will be brought to light(Jesus). Everyone will be salted with fire.

Isaiah said, “On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations;” I think we(the ecclesia) are that mountain (Heb 12) and the leaven of the kingdom is growing in us and will “correct” the world with life and light in this age and the one to come

Pet 3:11Since everything will be destroyed(dissolved) in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements(stoicheion) will melt in the heat(“refined” is one meaning of this word pyroumenoi).

Rather than destroy the gold(creation) God heats it up to bring the impurities to the surface. I think this is the process individually and for all creation eventually. Light is fire to darkness.

13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

Anything could be eternal, in the sense of never-ending or continuance, by God’s choice. The times of the secret in Romans 16:25 could have been eternal in that sense, but they weren’t, yet Paul still describes them as eonian (the adjective form) in close contextual comparison (and contrast) with the eonian God. You’re welcome to check how many English translators go for “eternal” or something like that there, but the answer will be few. The idea that the adjective is always and only used for something that could potentially be eternal in the NT (much moreso in the OT) is either wrong, or meaninglessly broad. (Paul uses the more standard Hebraic way of what we’d call prepositional phrase talking about the eonian secret “from the eons” in Eph 3:9 and Col 1:26.)

If by “a few times” you or your source mean dozens of times, about as often (if not moreso) than the adjective form occurs, then yes it’s translated that way a {cough} few times, wink wink, humorous understatement. Into the eon, into the eons, into all the eons, into (an) eon, into the eon of the eon, of the eon of the eons, into the eons of the eons… these are all typically translated in English (and other languages) as forever or eternally or everlasting or something like that. Even some of the past and present eon language gets translated that way occasionally. There’s no simple translation rule or even really any simple nearby contextual rule, just an overarching theological rule: if it can be translated “forever” without making a nonsense hash, translate it that way. People don’t notice this often leads to less obvious theological nonsense, too.

It is easy to miss a particular post. Allow me to repeat what I wrote earlier in this thread about the biblical doctrine of punishment, with some added emphases:

I cannot take belief in never-ending Hell seriously for a great many reasons. One of them is that believers in it tend to think they can escape punishment for their sins. They tend to think, “Punishment for sin occurs in Hell. I am a sinner. I am not going to Hell. Therefore I will escape punishment.” That is a deep delusion. No sin, howsoever small or inconsequential, will escape full punishment. Thank God for that. The idea of people sinning with impunity is deeply offensive.

I am an ultra-universalist. I do not believe that a sinner has to wait until the afterlife to be punished. I do not think he even has to wait until tomorrow or later today to be punished. I believe that each sin immediately receives its punishment. Some will say, “That’s not true! Look at all the notorious sinners who live lives of luxury and die in their sleep of old age!” That is a worldly attitude. All the “good things” of the world are dung, poop, **** (Philippians 3:8). Yes, sinners often own plenty of poop. (After all, they devote their lives to scooping up as much as they can get.) That is hardly an argument against the fact that sinners are immediately punished for their sins. “The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9). The kingdom of God is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Anything other than the acquisition of the Holy Spirit is loss (Philippians 3:7).

Sinners, therefore, do not have “the one thing necessary” (Luke 10:42). All they have is poop. They are bereft of the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit. One sees this even in his own life: The more righteous a person is, the more joyful he is. The more wicked a person is, the more miserable he is. This is why the martyrs sang for joy even as they were led away to death.

That is the punishment of sinners: Their sin prevents them from having the one thing necessary, the only thing that isn’t poop: peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Alas, too many Christians will say, “Bah! What kind of punishment is that? If that’s all that happened for punishment, then I would sin all the time!” Alas for such “Christians” who value the Holy Spirit less than they value poop. Their words make me wonder if their Christianity is anything more than a paper-thin veneer of religiosity only accidentally acquired by living in a society that is historically Christian.

Never-ending Hell is a boys’ doctrine. It’s something out of a lurid comic book. Once one starts to seriously think about God’s righteous judgments and punishment of sin, he can no longer pay attention to the silly talk of boys.

Added: What is a more effective punishment given by adults to their children? A punishment that descends immediately upon an infraction, or a punishment that follows far in the future? Wouldn’t children tend to utterly discount and ignore as unbelievable a punishment that would not occur until far in the future? (“As punishment, I won’t buy you ice cream 30 years from now on your 38th birthday!”) Would they not be far more fearful of a punishment that would occur immediately, as in right now? The idea of post-mortem punishments is a false tradition of men that waters-down and makes practically void the biblical doctrine of God’s punishment of sin. (Compare Matt. 15:6: “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.”)

Hi Geoffrey. I read an interesting article today from Patheos entitled Which Jesus Do You Want?. I thought some of his characterizations were humorous, so I’ll share them here. Not that I necessarily agree with them. How do you like the universalist Jesus :question: :laughing:

Well I was wrong about ‘αἰών [aiōn]’ always meaning temporal things and I’m glad about that fact, HOWEVER, on the contrary, I still can’t find any God-inspired use of ‘αἰώνιος [aiōnios]’ to mean temporal things, I don’t know what aiōnios means when it is translated as ‘since the world began’ and ‘before the world began’.

I’m really struggling with my faith right now and I fear that any belief in Christian universalism would be a crutch because I’m afraid of this image of God who is waiting to torture someone forever or annihilate them because they listened to a catchy rock song with non-sinful lyrics. I would hate to start singing praises to God about his victory in saving all only to get to the end of my life and find it wasn’t true, not to mention being punished by God in this life for believing heresy.

Anyway, people often see these passages as teaching universalism:

1 CORINTHIANS 15:22-28:
-22: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
-23: But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
-24: Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
-25: For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
-26: The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
-27: For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
-28: And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

A universalist would say that Christ putting all his enemies under his feet is saving them, however, the next verses talks about an enemy being destroyed, granted it’s an entity, but it still must be noted.

Also, when even science backs up the traditional view of hell (tradition says hell is in the centre of the earth, and science says the centre of the earth is the hottest part of the earth), it doesn’t help my anxiety at all.

Lastly, God is a described a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29), NOT a refiners fire, how would a universalist explain this?
I know that Malachi 3:3 says “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”, however, this just says He will sit AS as a refiner, it never says He IS a refiner, but the Bible does say in Hebrews 12:29 that God IS a CONSUMING FIRE.
God being a consuming fire leans towards more annihilationism rather than universalism.

Once again, thank you for your patience in responding to me.

God Bless
Christ Be With You

Punishment in the afterlife does not mean there is no punishment in this life, some may think so but that is wrong.
A Hegelian dialectic may say it’s one or the other, but it can be both

Punishment in this life - HEBREWS 12:6-8:
-6: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
-7: If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
-8: But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Punishment in the next life - HEBREWS 10:26-31:
-26: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
-27: But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
-28: He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
-29: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
-30: For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
-31: It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Ultra-universalism is heresy and gives me little comfort over normal Christian universalism because some people have taken the some of the things normal Christian universalism and ended up with ultra-universalism.

The Lord Jesus Christ warned people about dying in their sins so logically there would be punishment in the afterlife:

JOHN 8:24:
-24: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

SeekingTheTruth, I think perhaps the best thing I can recommend for you is to continue studying Christian universalism. Like virtually every Christian universalist, I was raised to assume the existence of never-ending Hell. We all had to straighten out our thinking and get it in line with the Bible, and such a straightening-out often takes years (which is not surprising since we had the superstition of Hell ingrained in us for years). Today and for a long time now, I recognize that universalism (and, what’s more, ultra-universalism) is the clear teaching of the Bible, taught on virtually every page of the New Testament.

When the Protestant Reformers (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc.) rose up against the errors of pre-Tridentine Roman Catholicism, practically the first thing they recognized as heresy was the doctrine of Purgatory. They immediately got rid of that and retained Heaven and Hell. That was a very good thing the Reformers did. It would have been even better for them to have also rejected Hell as a similarly unbiblical superstition. In conforming ourselves to the Bible, let us not on the issue of Purgatory move backwards. For Protestantism that issue was settled in the 16th century (and for the Eastern Orthodox it was settled in the 15th century, when St. Mark Eugenikos of Ephesos refuted it when Papists confronted him with the doctrine).

Ultra-universalism, then, has the better claim to being called “normal” Christian universalism. It is simply Christianity that recognizes the biblical truth that God is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe (I Timothy 4:10). Universalism plus Purgatory is a mixing of this biblical truth with a Romish superstition.