Universal Salvation, Preterism, and Blasphemy


#1

Hello all, I am new to the forum, and I have been doing some thinking. However, this is not about me, so I will cut to the chase. In this thread, I will explain a Universalist view on ‘forgiveness’ as it pertains “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”.

To understand my explanation, it is crucial to understand the concept of Preterism. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the concept, and perhaps some of you believe in this view. Preterism is the view that the prophecies of Jesus in the Gospels, as well as the prophecies of the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation have already happened.

A justification for this view would be in Matthew 16:28, where Jesus says “Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom”. With this in mind, the Preterist view is that that Kingdom already came. This “Kingdom” was a literal city-state here on earth.

The Futurist will argue about the “Millennial Reign with Christ”. However, keep in mind that John speaks in metaphors, and not everything is to be taken literally, as is the case with Daniel’s prophecies. Is it possible that this 1000 year reign is figurative for a new holy city coming into existence? Is it possible that “1000 years” is a metaphor for a long period of time? Keep in mind that time was not to be taken literally in the other prophecy book in the Holy Bible, the Book of Daniel.

It is crucial to understand this view to understand what I am about to propose: That the lack of forgiveness for those who blaspheme refers to forgiveness on earth, and not necessarily in the second life. In other words, blasphemers would not inherit this new kingdom because they will not follow Christ. All of you are familiar with what Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 6: Adulterers, thieves, drunkards, etc “will not inherit the Kingdom of God”. Paul also writes in the very next line “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of Our God”. So what Paul really says is that some of these sinners will inherit the Kingdom, while others won’t. The difference between the two? Simply following Christ!

So what does this have to do with blasphemy? Simply that these blasphemers could not be accepted into this new city-state because they were not willing to submit themselves to Christ! This has everything to do with something here on earth, and nothing to do with Heaven or “Hell”. The logic is two-fold. First, only those “sanctified” by God would be openly welcomed into this new city-state, simply because those who rejected Christ would pollute the city with their ungodliness. Those who deny Christ aren’t going to live in his example. When the Jews who “blasphemed” accused Jesus of having an unclean spirit, they essentially said “Our way is better than yours, we are the holy ones and you are a servant of Satan”. How can one follow and live by the example of Christ if they refuse to acknowledge that this is the superior way!? Moreover, these people not only thought their way superior, but deemed the way of Christ to be demonic. However, we all know that in fact the Pharisees were very corrupt. The truly holy ones, those who followed the example of Christ, would not want the Pharisees to pollute the new city with their sin and hatred! They would not be welcomed in! The same can be said of the unrepentant adulterers, thieves, etc. Because they were not willing to submit themselves to Christ’s example of how to live life, they would not be welcomed into the new city! Look at Revelation 22:15, talking about this new “city”. John writes “Outside are the dogs, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood”. This implies that those who don’t follow Christ would be outside of this city, which contradicts the popular interpretation of Revelation that this chapter talks about a literal Heaven and a literal never-ending, burning Lake of Fire.

However, there is an even more literal interpretation of all of this. Jesus, in Matthew 19, tells a man “follow me” in order to enter into the Kingdom. Those who followed him would surely heed his warnings in Matthew 24 about the “signs of end times”. And what does Jesus instruct these people to do? They are to “flee to the mountains”! (Matthew 24). These end times, in the Preterist view, refer to the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. However, those who ignored him and continued in immorality, those who who blasphemed against him and continued living life by their own accord, these people WOULD NOT HEED THE WARNING. Therefore, when the end times came, they would not be prepared, and would therefore suffer destruction at the hand of the Romans starting in the year 70 AD! Those who forsook their ways, who accepted Jesus as their savior rather than calling him a servant of Satan (blaspheming), they would survive because they would have literally fled Judea!

Remember what Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23! Those who did blaspheme were Pharisees who remained convinced of their ways rather than submitting to Christ. Jesus asks, in verse 33, “how will you escape the sentence of Gehenna?” (The term “Hell” here is a mistranslation). Jesus wasn’t at all saying here that these people would burn endlessly. No! In the Preterist, Universalist view, he was literally telling them that because they refused to listen to him, because they would not flee to the mountains, they would be killed by the Romans upon the siege, and many of them would literally have their bodies thrown into the fire of Gehenna by the Romans!

IN ESSENCE, those who blasphemed against the Holy Spirit were literally condemning themselves to suffer destruction at the hands of the Romans because they would not submit themselves to Christ, and would therefore not heed his warnings about the siege to come. Furthermore, like practicing sinners, they would not be welcomed into the new city, so that they may not pollute it.


#2

Welcome, ItheIthe

I’ve approved your first post. There will be at least one more moderator-approval needed (maybe a couple or three–I’m not certain), and then after that your contributions will be approved automatically. We’re not always on the forum, so if it takes a little while, please don’t be discouraged. We’ll pass them through (as long as you don’t turn out to be a spambot :laughing: ) as soon as we see them. In the meantime, please post an intro in the Introductions section so we can greet you properly.

A couple of simple rules: Members may post one topic per week. (Your introduction doesn’t count toward that, nor do prayer requests in the prayer requests section.) Mods and Admins usually post fewer, but MAY if we think it necessary post more than one Topic per week if we think it’s needed. IMPORTANT: You may respond to topics as often as you like and we strongly encourage you to interact with your own topics and the topics of others as much as you like. We try to be a very civil group here, so please keep that in mind.

That said, Welcome. We’re glad to have you and look forward to your contributions to the group.

Blessings,
Cindy Skillman


#3

[tag]JasonPratt[/tag] I think maybe this ought to be moved to a different category group, but I’m not having any luck moving it. Would you have a look?


#4

Interesting post. I’m a preterist universalist too.


#5

Welcome to the site, ItheIthe.

I’d call myself a Premillennialist rather than a Preterist, though it seems we can agree re universalism & that the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is in harmony with it.

Some of my thoughts on the subject are posted here:

Spirit blasphemy - unpardonable sin

Peace to you.


#6

Weirdly, I just approved this topic (and its original post) again a few minutes ago, today Jan 29th, 2018.

This was in the midst of deleting the accounts of a bunch of (mostly Russian) spammers and spambots. :confused:

Not sure what’s going on that this post, and account, would need to be let through again.


#7

I have a question on preterism. And the thread starter can answer it. Or the resident expert, Davo. Assume I bought the full preterite position. Now what? Where do I go from here? What should I be doing, as far as how I live my life? Or walk the Christian walk? Or treat my fellow man? Or should I

So, philosophically and theologically - Now what? Where do I go from here (a hypothetical consequence, of accepting the full preterism position)?

P.S. This is NOT an inducement for a debate. But an honest attempt at understanding. :smiley:

Will all due respect, let me clarify one thing. I really have NO desire - to embrace full preterism. What I am doing, is trying to put on Full Preterism glasses…To see how folks see, how they should be living…and what they should be doing - now (as Christians).

Besides, Full Preterism, the tribulation, and the Zombie Apocalypse - cannot coexist. Unless we can show, that the Zombie Apocalypse - already occurred around 70 AD. :wink:


#8

Simply put, nothing in how you live your life should change. Good actions will bear good fruits, bad actions will bear bad fruits. A common misconception, among even Christians, is that by accepting Christ you agree to wallow through life in misery. But it is in fact a sinful life that leads to misery!

The Apostle Paul wrote extensively on this. Romans 6:6-7 "For we know that the old self ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who died has been set free from sin. In other words, a sinful life is a heavy burden to bear. It’s really not enjoyable at all. Christ showed us the way out by giving us the opportunity to follow him.

When you sin, you rep what you sow, and pleasing the flesh will result in the destruction of the flesh (Galatians 6:7-8). Going to become an alcoholic? Your body will fail and your home life will suffer. Going to commit adultery? You will chop down the wonderful and glorious bonds of marriage. Going to practice selfishness? You will not be trusted, and furthermore you are depriving your own heart of the joys of giving (Proverbs 11:17)! Furthermore, Paul wrote about handing a man to Satan for “destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 5:5). If living in sin (Living by Satan) was actually beneficial to the flesh, why would Paul tell a community to hand one who is trapped in sin over to Satan for the strict purpose of having his flesh destroyed?


#9

Randy… it might help in answering your question IF you first clarify your rationale for asking it. Like for example… what is it about your understanding of prêterism that has you asking, should I… “*Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die *”? IOW, what assumption/s is driving this question? Is this something you would typically ask of futurism / why or why not?

Is such a thing REALLY unique to prêterism??


#10

I just use it as an example. Now a ECT preacher would want to preach the gospel - to save souls. A universalist that believes in postmortem punishment or refinement, would still want to convert folks to Christianity. What would a full preterist want to do? And would they live their lives morally - in the same matter … as the ECT preacher and the postmortem punishment universalist?

Let’s start with those 2 simple things. Then I can see if I have any more questions. But ItheIthe did give some good input - on the ethical dimension.

In Roman Catholic terminology, we are having a dialogue.

I do see some things differently myself. I FULLY embrace both the EO doctrine of Theosis and the RC priest, Richard Rohr’s Wisdom Tradition (see Wisdom Tradition - Wiki). Which I see as 2 sides - of the same coin.


#11

A justification for this view would be in Matthew 16:28, where Jesus says “Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom”. With this in mind, the Preterist view is that that Kingdom already came. This “Kingdom” was a literal city-state here on earth.

The Futurist will argue about the “Millennial Reign with Christ”. However, keep in mind that John speaks in metaphors, and not everything is to be taken literally, as is the case with Daniel’s prophecies. Is it possible that this 1000 year reign is figurative for a new holy city coming into existence? Is it possible that “1000 years” is a metaphor for a long period of time? Keep in mind that time was not to be taken literally in the other prophecy book in the Holy Bible, the Book of Daniel.

There are other views on Matt 16.28 like it means the ascension of Jesus and him coming in his kingdom per Daniel 7 or the Transfiguration or that coming in the kingdom meant simply a judgment of Jerusalem in 70AD. On your other point about time not being taken literally in Daniel, if you are referring to Dan 9 , i believe in the original it simply says 7 or 70 without referring to weeks or years at all.


#12

I’m not sure about this. I know plenty of people whose lifestyles would be considered immoral by Christianity, who live much happier lives than many Christians. The idea that sex outside of marriage and getting drunk on occasion always cause people less happiness than they otherwise would have is false.


#13

Yeah ok… but that’s hardly answering my question.

Well, depending on one’s soteriological position any given prêterist could answer according to what you’ve just suggested. Like futurism, prêterism has a reasonably broad soteriological base.

IF they believed in-kind I would suspect, yes.

It strikes me as a bit of an odd assumption that you perceive one’s eschatology drives their morals, or potentially the lack thereof. What you’ve suggested would be more in tune with a non-universalist challenging your hopeful universalism, e.g., “So everyone is save?? — so I may as well go and live like the devil??” — IMO that reflects a fairly simplistic and shallow rationale.


#14

Part of the challenge in understanding the Pantelist position, for me at least, is: how to proceed into a fuller maturity as a Christian?
Paul’s answer - and this is AFTER he goes to great pains to discuss the words we all have trouble with - justification, righteousness etc, - AFTER he goes through that, THEN he starts talking about the life we get to live - as he says, those that are led by the Spirit of God, those are the true Sons of God.

So he talks about the once-for-all work of Christ, then goes on to say who the true sons of God are, in experience, in actual life.
And, being the apostle to the Gentiles, he is not limiting his theology to the Jews of the time, in anticipation of AD70 - God is not a respecter of persons - but - to me - obviously he is laying out the Christian life in the Holy Spirit as the furtherance of God’s plan, not the end of it.

So yeah, I think the emphasis on what God has done in Christ is well-placed, but can be interpreted to mean that everyone is now saved and justified, whereas Paul says: God has reconciled the world to HImself - now YOU reconcile yourself to God. And if that YOU does not pertain to me, and you, and all of us - then in some ways I think the rest is pointless.

Sanctification, as laid out in scripture, seems to be a sticking point for me and others in your theology. It very well could be a misunderstanding on our part. Or yours.


#15

Actually I might beg to differ a little… Paul’s expectant eschatology did indeed drive aspects of his theology — BUT that doesn’t need to equate to the (errant) supposition that thereafter “fulfillment” nothing else matters; no not at all.

I have actually explained the pantelist position on this before, so I’ll reiterate…

The pantelist position understands that God unilaterally reconciled the world to Himself through Christ, where He, God, unilaterally forgave humanity’s sins… NEITHER counting NOR holding such to man’s account or charge. THIS is the most obvious, consistent and plain reading of 2Cor 5:19, i.e., it’s there in black and white. IOW… divine reconciliation was not and is NOT predicated on human response. Again… human response doesn’t establish reconciliation, rather… human response taps into this pre-existing and established reality.

Thus ‘human response’ comes from the resultant ‘realisation’ where one gets an inkling of the grace of God that established such wondrous reconciliation in the first place — and then accordingly expresses heart-felt gratitude to God for this.

Belief does NOT establish truth — truth however can establish belief! << read that again!Again, a pantelist understanding views “the reconciliation” as the established work of God, period. However… coming into the revelation OF reconciliation expressed by a faith response brings one into the realm of “eternal life” aka “fullness of life” (Jn 10:10) in accord with Jesus’ very specific definition where “eternal life” is a coming into the knowledge of God and Christ, as per Jn 17:3. You will note such ‘eternal life’ has EVERYTHING to do with THIS LIFE in the here and now. This life of fullness is the life Jesus saves us to.

Paul gives a good distinction between God’s established reconciliation AND THEN the salvation (eternal life) faith releases one into…

Christ’s death (crucifixion) wrought reconciliation for humanity in toto, period; Christ’s life (resurrection) wrought salvation, i.e., eternal life to those grasping it. Again… the reality of this reconciliatory salvation is about purpose not position — it is about service to God in this life, NOT about getting to heaven in the next.

As a pantelist I view the Cross and Coming of Christ as bookends to Yahweh’s ONE time all-encompassing REDEMPTIVE & RECONCILING EVENT; or more specifically… what was inaugurated in Christ’s Ministry and ratified through Christ’s Cross was consummated at Christ’s Coming of AD70.

Thus the Cross becomes God’s DECISIVE event in history with the Parousia being His CULMINATING event in history, i.e., the inception of God’s new creation of reconciled humanity in Christ. The Gospel from that point forward being…you have been reconciled, so NOW come and live in the fullness of it!” (2Cor 5:20)

Again this above is a “pantelist” perspective of which most prêterists would not agree.

Well to be fair… in your objections to my position you really haven’t touched on “sanctification” whereas THAT is the very thing I have raised as being the reality of lived righteousness, not in terms of attaining righteousness BUT simply living out the reality of it. Take these two quotes of mine… surely THIS above is what I’ve stated as below:

QUOTE 1

**
QUOTE 2**

Hopefully this makes sense… you don’t have to buy, but I hope it makes sense. :sunglasses:


#16

I like the Roman Catholic aspect of dialogue. Both with other Christian traditions and other religions. And as far as questions are concerned, that was the chief, modus operandi of Socrates. Where you can’t inject suppositions - into his questions.

Back to dialogue. For example.

I talked about the wisdom tradition and theosis. The wisdom tradition is the lenses, by which we see aspects of divine reality. But Christ is the fulfillment and epitome, of the Wisdom Tradition. And Theosis is how we - as Christians - can partake in what Christ has accomplished.
Or let’s take the health and prosperity gospel. I would agree with TV evangelist Joel Osteen, that God wants to give us good things. It might be health and prosperity. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be - health and prosperity.
Or take Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican theology. I look at myself as Orthodoxy in communication with Rome, incorporating elements into the Anglican tradition.

So it stands to reason…since there are a few full preterists on this forum…let me throw out an olive branch and have a dialogue…Like they do, in the Roman Catholic tradition.

I’m actually more open-minded, to hearing other positions - then you might think. After all, I did hang around the authors and subject of the book at amzn.to/2DrPzkK. And partook with the author at amzn.to/2rle0eE - in Lakota ceremonies. Years before they penned a book. And I’m the only Christian here, who belongs to the Theosophical Society in America. And N.T. Wright, I just found out - is a partial preterist. Even though he doesn’t use that nomenclature.

Here are the stated goals of the TS - from their website:

If I could label myself, it would be where Socrates meets the Russian Orthodox, Holy Fools tradition. :smiley:

Just a plug, for some up and, coming - Theosophical Society webcasts at Thursday Lecture Webcasts in February. I recommend the ones on mindfulness and Vibrational Medicine. These are all CST time zone. And all are free to watch. Just click on the link that says live webcast.

In case you think the Vibrational Medicine is hocus pocus, here’s the background - of the speaker:

.

About 2 weeks later, you can find the YouTube recorded TS webcasts at Recent Webcasts

And here’s a recent talk I’ve enjoyed - by a Calvinist theologian:

Rev. Dr. Jay Moses: What Does Salvation Mean in a Multi-Religious World?


#17

Thanks, man. I am now pickin’ up what you’ve been layin’ down! :smiley:
We are in agreement on quite a bit; as for the rest, as long as we are living led by the Holy Spirit, perhaps ‘the rest’ is not of that much significance.


#18

Have to disagree. Romans 8:6 tells us “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

Are those practicing drunkenness and hookups perpetually happy? Or are they only momentarily “happy” before travelling back into the spiritual abyss? From what I’ve seen, I’ll go with the ladder.

As far as sex outside of marriage, that’s a really long subject. “Fornication” was interchangeable with sexual immorality, meaning prostitution, homosexuality, hookups, etc. It was never meant to pertain to “boyfriends” or “girlfriends”, because those things didn’t exist in Biblical times. I contend that not everyone having sex within a long-term “relationship” does so with a malicious or lustful heart, although marriage is definitely a better route (Because it is binding). We must consider that today’s kids are being taught by even their parents that sex in long-term relationships is the expected modus operandi.

But I digress. I still maintain that those with lustful and malicious hearts wallow in misery because they do not follow our Father, from whom 'all good and perfect gifts come" (James 1:17).


#19

DaveB said:

Think of it like this… the questions we all have about God, Christ, and the bible, can be answered in many ways, but the Pantelist view ‘for me at least’ puts God’s works and History into perspective. God is not a monster that will send his sons and daughters to a place of unending torment. And that is the first obstacle that I had to get around.

So we look at the ‘hell passages’ and see that they deal with historical Israel. You surely can do the math. And then we realize that the very creator God sent his son to redeem his people. Some made it and some did not but the coming of Christ was fulfilled. So what we are left with is a God who not only redeemed his people but honored every one of the prophesies proclaimed through the prophets.

The understanding of the fuller maturity as a Christian might be to understand the historical significance of God’s work through history (through his people) and what the hell he wanted us to get from it. :open_mouth:

Thanks Dave. :smiley:


#20

First of all, the idea of sex out side of marriage, and drinking in excess … and drug use are going to be have to be looked with and dealt within the context of today’s society… Is a realistic view…
Look, somehow we need to convince people that these practices are not beneficial. But we have to be able to say why they are not beneficial other than telling someone they’re going to hell. That is the new church’s challenge. :open_mouth: