What will it be like to discover you were wrong about UR???


What will it be like to discover you were wrong about UR???

This is not directly related to Pascal’s Wager but I was musing about something the other day and realized I was using a Pascal’s Wager like process. (For those interested in Pascals Wager, there is a brief conversation over on discussion negative.

Am curious to know how others might view this…

Here’s the thought experiment:

Assume that at some point in the hereafter, say, after judgements and transformations and “final choices” are all over, you learn that you were wrong about UR.

Thus I, who believe UR to be true, for example, would learn that I was in fact mistaken: Folks really are either a) enduring ECT or b) have ceased to exist (annihilation)

And conversely, one who believes UR is not true (say, for example, our friend A37) would learn that they were in fact mistaken: every human who ever lived is in fact living with God eternally in great joy and community.
What might that be like from these two different perspectives???

In other words, what might be the consequences (then) of being wrong (now)??

For me (assuming I was around to process all this with the saints!) I guess my overwhelming reaction would be shock and horror. I would instantly grasp that my understanding of love was gravely mistaken – and I’d have a great deal of work ahead of me to figure that out… Further, I’d wonder how in the world I’d be able to participate in that anticipated mindset of unqualified happiness that I’d been promised.

Would I have regrets for having got it so wrong?? Boy; that’s a tough question.

Would I relive (in my mind) my whole life and wish I’d not been so hopeful and optimistic?? Probably not… But I probably would also start wondering how many in heaven (if that’s where this happens) actually were motivated to be there by fear. Since that seems an entirely inadequate reason, I’d have to conclude none would be. (Of course I’m not denying that a bit of fear to get the ball rolling so-to-speak might be useful from time to time)

Would I feel the need to apologize – to say “sorry”? If so, to whom? I’m finding it very difficult to imagine apologizing for being too optimistic and “unreal” about God…

Would I wonder if my stance somehow contributed to the demise – or torture! – of someone I knew and perhaps held dear?? Would I discover that there is a special “punishment” reserved for those who wrongly were convinced of UR?? (or maybe belief in UR, by itself disqualifies one from the Kingdom??)

What emotions would I contain when I’d have to say to, for example, A37 – who always said this would happen! – wow dude, you were right! God really is zapping those unbelievers!!!

x x x x x

On the other hand, what about the person who now insists that UR is error but later discovers he was mistaken? What would that be like for them? That’s harder for me to imagine naturally.

I would like to think there would be great jubilation! The lost has been found! The runaway has come home!!
Being “wrong” never felt so GOOD!

How such a thing transpired might yet remain (temporarily anyway) a mystery for them, but THAT such a thing could, and DID happen, would seem cause for great rejoicing!

Might there be remorse for spreading a false picture of God so enthusiastically? That would seem unavoidable I’m guessing.

x x x x x

Of course such speculation on what seem to me to be clear advantages to being “wrong” about UR the way I believe A37, for example, is wrong are in no way meant as an apologetic or defense of UR. (Just as Pascal’s Wager is not really an adequate apologetic)

… I’m just sayin’…


All ECT's please participate and answer honestly

Good post, TV!

I suppose some of the answer depends also on whether-or-to-what-extent God simply rewires our feelings about things without our consent. If I wake up and God has already rewired me to be happy about the hopeless punishment of some sinners (and/or the hopeless defeat of God in regard to some sinners), then I guess I’ll be happy about it. Even though I would consider that happiness horrible beforehand. (And maybe even though I would still at that time intellectually consider my happiness to be horrible. Although I suppose God could just rewire my beliefs on that topic, too, to whatever He knows is actually correct and ethically right for me to believe–or at least to whatever He wanted me to believe.)

From a more (equally?) selfish standpoint, it might also depend on who after all ends up hopelessly drowning (or drowned out) in sin. I can be quite crushingly militant about seeing ‘my enemies’ defeated (and the ones I love rewarded). So, hey, so long as everyone I love is saved and everyone I hate is perma-damned, then what’s the problem, right? (Plus so long as everyone loved by everyone I love is saved etc.) True, I’d have to (re-)adjust my understanding of God’s love again (also my understanding of trinitarian theism, or else learning ortho-trin must be false after all); but so long as I’m happy with the outcome, no biggie. I’m pretty sure I can love less than I currently do, if that’s really the ethically right and factually correct way to love. I’ve had a lot of practice already, with loving less than I currently do, so I expect the adjustment in that case wouldn’t be too problematic. :slight_smile:

No, the only real problem I would have personally is if someone I love (or if someone loved by someone I love) is perma-damned. (And, I dunno, maybe if someone I hate is actually saved after all.) In which case I expect I would eventually beg God to rewire me (thus consensually) to reshape my anguish and sorrow around. So then everything would be alright.

(After all, that’s what happens with “Rachel”, or righteous Israel, weeping inconsolably that her rebel children, punished by God, “are not”, i.e. are utterly slain to the final extent. Right? All she has to do is ask God to correct her feelings about those damned rebels, which is what God wants her to do, to solve her grieving–that’s how Jeremiah’s prophecy goes, in the day of the Lord to come, right?)


Total Victory.

Speaking from a post-mortem view…For those who are genuinely born again, they will go to heaven with little or no rewards. James is crystal clear of a stricter judgement for those going around teaching doctrine.( James 3:1) The people who spread UR will stand in shame and embarrassment before the Lord at the bema seat. Jesus will show all the lives that were effected from this doctrine being taught. Yes, I believe UR causes complacency and will send multitudes to hell. I would not want to be in the UR shoes. UR is not the gospel Jesus commanded us to preach.


If someone I love (or even someone loved by someone I love) is perma-damned, then my own shame and embarrassment, while real (maybe), will be the very least of my concerns, I assure you. Unless I am so mindbogglingly selfish that the most I can amount to is shame and embarrassment about my own failures when faced with the hopeless condemnation of someone I love. In which case I rather doubt I will be saved either. :wink:

(I recall Jesus having more to say about self-centered people being shamed and embarrassed at the bema seat, than about the shame and embarrassment of those whose concern is for other people including for those in prison. And rather more to say about such self-centered people than that they will be only shamed and embarrassed…)


In all his parables, it was the one who looked after their own well fare and not the well fare of others who was ashamed when the King inquired of them. Not once was a person who took care and had hope for others (whether those others were good or evil; or were committing good works or evil works) rebuked for his hope and deeds for that other.

It really baffles my mind when “Christians” do not see this.


The concept of shame and embarrassment at my failures being my primary (or even anything distant) concern, at hearing of what I understand to be the final loss of someone I love, is so utterly foreign to me that I really don’t know if I have words to express just how NOT important that would be to me.

Supposing Moses understood God’s threat against rebel Israel to involve their final hopeless loss (which I expect was just how he interpreted it, at that moment if not later), who with any sliver of a heart at all could read that scene in Exodus and succeed in vaguely imagining that Moses’ primary concern, standing before YHWH, was shame and embarrassment at his own failure?! Moses’ primary concern was not even to join the wrath!–but rather, that if his beloved people must hopelessly die for their sins, then may God slay him as well. He chose not to survive, refusing hope for himself, even though that was offered by God, if those he loved had no hope (sinners though they surely were).

Supposing King David understood the death of Absalom in Ephraim as being hopeless for his rebel son (which for all I know he probably did)–who with any sliver of a heart at all could read his wails above the gates of Jericho and succeed in imagining them as being first and foremost shame and embarrassment at his own failures?! It is true, David had to be keenly aware (as though being flailed with knives and beaten unremittingly with hammers and threshed under Phoenician sledges) at his own multiple failures, including ethically, that had led to this moment. But is it written that his keening grief (so embarrassing to his own victorious army!) was, “My shame, my shame, oh if only I had been more competent or maybe more ethical or whatever!”? Or was it not rather, “My son!–my son!!–WOULD THAT I HAD DIED INSTEAD OF THEE O ABSALOM!!!”

Supposing St. Paul understood God’s threat against rebel Israel (those stumbling upon the stumbling stone of Christ) to involve the final hopeless loss of any of them (which I do not for a single moment believe he understood it to be; but supposing for sake of argument he did)–who with any sliver of a heart at all could read that cry upon the Oath of the Testimony in Romans and succeed in vaguely imagining that Paul’s primary concern, sworn under YHWH of the Oath, was shame and embarrassment at his own failure?! True, the Greek there need not necessarily mean the same as the self-sacrificial volition of Moses, that Paul himself would rather be anathema from Christ than that any of the ones he loved should be lost. But it could also mean that; and it certainly has great precedent in the glorious history of our faith!

No, if God Most High has no more hope for those we love, then let us die the death–let our weeping be unconsolable until we ourselves “are not”–for God is not love and any existence is worse than an empty cymbal or clanging gong; there is no path suitable for transcendence; and no prophecy, no perceiving of secrets, no knowledge, not even all faith, is worth anything. For these three things cannot be remaining if God is not intrinsically love: neither faith, nor hope, nor love; and whatever we might pursue must be something ultimately other than love.

Great Christ Almighty… to suppose that my own failures would be what preoccupied my grief in such a day, rather than the final hopeless end of my beloved… for whose sake I constantly pray to take upon myself any suffering of hers, or at least to share them in myself, that she may live.

The one of whom I am thinking most has surgery tomorrow. Not life-threatening, but still: how could I or any who love her be primarily concerned with anything other than that she should be healed and made free?–or, if something should happen so that she is worse off than before, that we should be primarily concerned with anything other than that she should someday be healed and made free?–or if, God forbid, there would be final hopelessness never to be healed even by God… how could our grief be anything other than sharing with her hopelessness in love?–a grief that must in such a case be inconsolable even by God Himself! What would any shame or embarrassment of our own be, except subsidary at most to that hopeless grief.

(Thank God, I have infinite hope in God for her!!–even though suffering and death must still wait on her path. For God has not abandoned her but gives His own life for her sake every moment of every day, sharing her pain and her death Himself, that she in Him may live. I am only a minor servant, even to her, much less to God–where else am I to look for her sake than to the greatest King, her Father in heaven? And if not there, then there is nowhere else to go for me, no moreso than for her.)



The reason I believe the genuinely born again UR will be ashamed and emabarrassed at the bema seat is beacuse Jesus will show you all the lives that were effected by UR teaching. Every UR will be held responsible to whoever they spread this doctrine to. He will show you the complacency UR ushered into millions of lives and assisted them to die spiritually dead with no hope after death when UR promised them otherwise. They are going to gnash their teeth at all the lost opportunities to get saved on earth and realize there is no escape from hell. Absolutely horrifying!


That would indeed be absolutely horrifying. But if you think I would consider my own shame and embarrassment to be anything other than utterly secondary to my horror (and grief) at their hopeless fate, then you neither know nor understand me very well. My own shame and embarrassment would be worth nothing to me, compared to my grief at their loss.

You are not talking about a horror (our own shame and embarrassment) that we’re denying would be true; but we are talking about a horror vastly beyond whatever shame and embarrassment we might feel for our own failures. We would be unspeakably selfish to be primarily concerned about that.

Ironically, you haven’t even begun touching on the true extent of the horror we would feel and experience, if UR isn’t true. When you start to catch up with us in describing it, I’m sure we’ll let you know. :slight_smile:



On top of all that… Jesus will show you all the laborers you stiff-necked that showed your doctrinal error and you will be without excuse. My stomach knots up thinking about being in those shoes. You anxiously wait to hear “well done my good and faithful servant” and instead you watch all your works that you thought would be rewards be torched into ashes and your left with nothing but anguish.I don’t think our finite minds can wrap around the absolute horror of that moment. You will be empty handed before the Lord , but Jesus will wipe the tears from your empty doctrinal promises and your memory will be wiped away from all the people who were negatively effected by UR, now that is mercy.

I hope every UR takes James 3:1 very seriously. God bless.


Actually I talk more about Jesus and his wonderful news than ever before, and everyone I talk to, by a certain time frame also come to understanding what Jesus did and accept Him as Lord (whereas many Christians preaching hell fire and brimstone failed to cause others to accept Jesus as Lord). So all I see in this response, is a poorly reasoned excuse to remain in a hellfire and brimstone doctrine.


Doubtless, that’ll be true too. :smiley: But you are simply demonstrating you really have no clue about what I believe or how I consider myself, if you think that I would be egotistically troubled by that, especially in the face of the hopelessness of other people.

Relatedly: while there might in fact be people who decided to conveniently take up a fraction of what I’ve said and preached, and apply that fraction out of context as a pseudo-justification for reinforcing their own ego–a practice not restricted to non-Christians in my own experience–there will not in fact be anyone who ever heard from me that they could go on doing what they themselves know to be sin and get away with it. On the contrary, I talk with some regularity about the wrath of God against both sin and sinners, including post-mortem. I have never once taught that people can do whatever they want and get into heaven anyway regardless, and whenever I notice people trying to go that route I explicitly warn them that there will be consequences that they won’t like if they keep this up. That includes warning Christians who have obtained the recognition of the truth, and who have been hallowed by the covenant of the blood of the Son of God, and who have tasted the heavenly graces and the ideal declaration of God, and who have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, that if they persist in voluntarily sinning after doing all this there no longer remains a sacrifice for their sins but a certain fearful waiting for judging and fiery wrath that is about to be eating God’s adversaries. I can and do point out the hope for them behind even where God says of His people, “Vengeance is Mine!–I will repay!” But if they delude themselves into thinking it isn’t a terrifying thing to thus fall into the hands of the living God, then their convenient self-delusion is their problem. Not mine.

I would still be inconsolably grieving for them if it turned out God had no hope for them after all, but still–those who read me and somehow come away with the idea that I said sinners could be complacent about their sins, and who go on to irresponsibly apply that concept in favor of themselves (including in favor of what they insist on believing), have only themselves to blame for what will happen afterward.

Again, you only demonstrate that you don’t know or understand me at all, if you think that praise and approbation for myself is what I am anxious about, rather than anxious for the salvation of sinners from sin. And again, you only demonstrate that you have either never bothered to learn about me or perhaps just don’t care to learn accurately about me (so long as you can be opposing me), if you think I don’t routinely and self-critically apply the expectation of the consuming fire against myself and the works I build on the cornerstone of Christ.

Doubtlessly true (if that absolute hopelessness and horror is in fact true, as you believe it will be). But you have still not even begun approaching the depths of the horror we have seen in such a hopelessness of God, if you think (as you seem insistent on thinking despite all stated evidence to the contrary in this thread) that my primary concern will be about myself.

Only mercy for me, though. Not for them. It’s sad that you think a lesser mercy should be described by a phrase normally indicating a greater quality. But I guess any small mercy at all must seem amazing compared to fundamental and greater hopelessness and mercilessness. Thank God for small mercies indeed! :wink:

Only demonstrating your ignorance of me yet again, since I have routinely stated (even in talking with you before) that teachers receive greater judgment. As St. James and I both apply to ourselves in principle (and for myself at least in practice) as well, “for we are tripping much.” (v.2)


Then you have not yet learned the lesson (much less the love) of Rachel (faithful Israel) weeping for her rebel children “who are no more”, or of David weeping for rebel Absalom (slain in the forests of Ephraim). It is true that God promises that He shall wipe her tears away and change her inconsolable grief to rejoicing, but Jeremiah does not say that God does so by wiping away her memory of her slain rebel children. God has something infinitely better for “Rachel” than that. (And for David. And for their slain rebel children, too.)

And that is a greater mercy than they were expecting.


Where does the Bible say that universalists are going to hell?


As I said before, I have been on both sides. There is actually more empty doctrinal promises of caused Hellfire and Brimstone doctrine, and more negatively affected people by ET. BAaron, you are showing your insecurity and ignorance of what is actually going on.


Hi roofus,

I don’t think A37 is saying here that universalists are going to hell, but just that their “works” will be burned up and they will be saved as through fire. We’ll know that all the lost which we hoped would be saved will not ever be saved, and we’ll be anguished, knowing that if we had not believed in UR they might have had a chance – but only for a moment, 'cause then God will wipe them from our memories and we’ll go on into ignorant bliss and happily ever after.

I think there’s some real problems with A37’s ideas here, but I guess that’s to be expected. :sunglasses:

Nice topic Bobx3! I’m too busy to post anything thoughtful now, but hopefully tonight.



I believe you are sincere teaching your flavor of UR, but being sincerely wrong won’t help you at the bema seat.


Agreed; A37 was only trying to shock me (the universalist and so the Christian most likely to apply 1 Cor 3:10-15 to myself anyway) with the notion that 1 Cor 3:10-15 will apply to me. :wink: He wasn’t trying to say I won’t be saved.

It’s amazing (or maybe stiff-necked) that after all this you still somehow insist on imagining that my horror if you’re right and I’m wrong will be primarily about whether or not I’m helped at the bema seat.

(Whereas, on the other hand, I tend to teach that my being sincerely right will, in itself, be of no help to me at the bema seat. :wink: )

Refusing to pay attention to what people are actually writing, is not the best way to convince people to take you off their ‘ignore’ list.



The main thing a believer will be judged for at the bema seat is rather or not you fulfilled God’s call upon your life…and the doctrine you spread around.


Several comments:

First, thanks everyone (excepting of course A37) for reading and responding to the question as it was actually written. To review, the question reads: “What will it be like to discover YOU were wrong about UR?”

Second, Jason, I’m really enjoying your passion!! Thanks.

Third, it really doesn’t work for me to consider any type of memory erasure as being in play at all. Much too complicated. Rather, I think God is creative and re-creative enough to redeem (no, don’t ask me how!) the entire sordid mess of our fall and our sin and His Total Victory is even over our recall and memory. When He becomes all in all, it really is everything… So manipulated memory is out for me as a solution.

Fourth, A37 seems certain about current UR believers feeling future shame and embarrassment. The origin of this is, supposedly, that it inspired complacency in others and lead to their eternal doom. But that presents a bit of a problem doesn’t it?? For if I can be responsible for someones doom by my actions, then surely I must also be able to claim at least some responsibility for someones salvation right? Which makes me some sort of co-redeemer! – Which is clearly not correct. Best to simply agree that it is the Spirit of God who instructs and brings conviction. Further, if it is possible for a person to make a “choice” for eternal destruction, that choice would only be valid if fully informed; which would negate their ability to use my misinformation as any kind of excuse.

And last, there is a very odd sort of disconnect for me in the notion that being wrong about God and discovering that He is MORE prone to destroy a human soul forever and ever is any cause at all for ME to feel shame and embarrassment. Enormous disappointment seems more appropriate. Shame for advancing optimism and hope seems vastly misplaced… Not forgetting of course that we UR believers fully understand and confess that God does in fact have no problem with letting us get as depraved and desolate as necessary to drive (burn?) away the illusions that separate us from Him and prevent us from being drawn to Him. Hardly a belief that encourages complacency.



??? for A37:

Since you so totally missed my obvious softball question (did you even realize I was setting you up perfectly?? :cry: :cry: ) I guess I’ll just have to bluntly blurt it out for you.

WOULD you be happy to find out you were wrong about UR?
WOULD you celebrate wildly at how wondrously wrong you were about God??
WOULD you be joining the great jubilation all around you??

Just curious dude…


PS – The fact you seem only interested in some future reveling in the shame and embarrassment of former UR believers (who, in this thought experiment were wrong) makes me wonder if you’d be somehow disappointed to discover that no, it was YOU who were wrong…
Again, just wondering…