Just a thought I wanted to throw out there.
Some of my very spiritually formative years were in college where I was involved in a college ministry (Campus Crusade for Christ). I’m going to critique some things I gained there, but let me say they are an incredible ministry and my life would not be the same without it. Anyway, I truly gained a heart to reach the world and my neighbor for Christ through their focus on ministry and impact. Yet, for them the entire Christian life came down to evangelism (“them”, of course being a representative whole, certainly not all individuals). Everything was a means to share Christ from marriage (a mirror of Christ’s love) to arts to holiness (to reflect Christ).
Honestly, this got tiring. I’m an introvert and confrontational evangelism, which Crusade specializes in, was really difficult, though I grew in it. But, still, you couldn’t fault them if you really take seriously the threat of eternal hell. I mean, really, why would any of us cut our lawns, paint paintings, see movies, go on dates, play with our kids if the majority of the world is going to hell unless WE tell them the gospel?!
I comforted myself in God’s sovereignty. I began to have to trust that God was big enough to save who He wanted. Besides, the more I read the NT the more I saw that God was interested in a lot of things for our lives, not just evangelism. But I still felt this nagging guilt about not sharing the gospel MORE.
Anyway, I have found universalism to clarify things here. If you really believe in ECT then you had better share the gospel FAST! But, I see all around me that life is a process, salvation is a process, growth is a process. I have found that I can use my faith organically and reach the people I work with, my neighbors, and my children, knowing that they are on a journey.
I DO believe that we need to be intentional in trying to impact others. We are EVANGELICAL universalists. Yet, speed becomes less important, and the right heart becomes crucial (which includes patience with those we’re witnessing to).
Strangely enough, it always seemed that Jesus could have done even more instead of eating dinners with friends and Pharisees and praying on mountains. Yet, He seemed to have a bigger picture in mind. For me, universalism has given me that bigger picture.
I’d love to hear what some of you think and also how universalism has impacted your evangelism.