WLC on "If an Unbeliever Dies..."


All the sincerest of thoughtful responses are welcomed (at any length, at any juncture, through any conjecture whether theo-philosophically, Biblically, historical references, a combination of things, etc.). I think Lane makes some agreeable points and his ability to leverage Christ’s death vs other contemporarily ancient records of altruism (that were just as well known as the Crucifixion/Atonement) helps us to see the how heavily Christ’s fatal suffering weighs in qualitative and qualitative value on the Libra scale of any other death in the 1st century (and by extension, in all of human history.)

Also @JasonPratt, I want to say personally and publicly that I pray God will bless you for your tremendous work, not even necessarily for Evangelical Universalism, but just in general for your principle apologetic offense and defense (and dialogue) for/of the Faith both in and outside of the Wondering Pilgrims via Evangelical Universalist platform via YouTube via Google Hangouts (via ad infinitum lol). I also want to consult not only your thoughts be they brief or lengthy, but also ask whether or not this is topically in the right forum category. Thanks again.

To all,

With & in Agape,

Marcus :slight_smile:


I agree with the speaker when he says that it is impossible to earn one’s salvation. It is a free gift, and it must be freely received. So, even if an unbeliever gives his life for his friend—noble and Christ-like though that action is—he will still wind up in hell, followed by the lake of fire, except he repent:

Luke 13:1-5 (NIV)

Repent or Perish
13 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Abraham rhetorically asks, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25). We must know that God is trustworthy to appropriately fit the correction to the offense. (Correction in the lake of fire will be lovingly administered, and will be remedial and liberating.)

I think that is why people become evangelical universalists: because we realize that God will not infinitely punish people for their finite mistakes.

Luke 12:40, 45-48, 59 (NIV)

40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

(Eschatological side note: as a futurist :angel:, I consider that the above Lk 12 passage may not have to do with hell, but with the painful consequences of missing the first, pre-Tribulation Rapture. Consider, for example, Rev. 12:1-6, with the woman interpreted to represent all professing Christians, and the raptured baby representing a smaller subset of sober, obedient, “ready” Christians:

12:1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter” [cf. Rev. 2:27]. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.)


“If an Unbeliever Dies for Someone Else, How Can God Send That Person to Hell?”

3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; (Titus 3:3-6)

And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. (1 Cor.13:3)

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Mt.7:22-23)

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Lk.6:32-36)

9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to or perform homosexual acts, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 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. (1 Cor.6:9-11)


Preach, @Hermano mi hermano, mano y mano!


Yeah, no way Luke 13 means what you think it means. Just think about it for a minute… If it, as you say, means to turn to Jesus Christ, then explain why everyone still perishes?

“But unless you repent, you too will all perish”

Again, think this one through. Is the message that Jesus is telling us is “If you believe in me, you won’t die”? That makes no sense. It also makes no sense to use perish “figuratively” and spiritualize it, as the examples Jesus gives are people who died horrible deaths. We don’t know much about the tower Siloam, but we do know about the Galileans who were butchered. These were not some “random” events like most modern preachers try and say and then spiritualize the message.

The much, much, much more likely scenario is that these people were revolting against Rome and if they didn’t change their mind (repent) about Rome, they were going to die like the rebels they are! Fight Rome and die. That is what happened in AD 70. The religious rebels were destroyed in horrific ways.

If they had done as Jesus told them (or most of them) as a society, this would have never happened! But, religious people dug their feet in and were utterly destroyed, them and their precious temple.


Yep in a nutshell… it’s not rocket science, it was history.


Are you warming up to preterism Gabe? :slight_smile:


Partial-preterism // partial-futurism sounds like the most plausible eschatology in my under-educated opinion.


I think the plain meaning of Jesus’ words are, “Don’t presume that people who die a violent death, do so as a consequence of their sin. They are no worse sinners than anyone else. The important thing for everyone of you is that you REPENT!”


Emphasis on “you” as in me and anyone else reading your post :wink:


I am sorry Paidion, but that makes no sense and is contradictory. If you are telling me that the message is those people who died horrible deaths may or may not have repented (how could you know? You just said how they died was not indicative of their morality) then Jesus point was absurd; “Repent or end up like these guys who, by the way, may or may not have been rightous”? I am scratching my head at that logic.


Actually, I was always (last 10 years or so) much, mucher closer to full preterism than partial. I am like 95% full preterist.

But this is far more complicated now, because of how I view the Bible differently.

I have a lot of wiggle room because I do not believe that the Bible is the WoG. I think, rather, that truth can be found in many texts because it is true. Like if the Bible said 2+2=5, I would say the Bible is wrong. If the Quran said 2+2=4, then the Quran would be right. In this way, truth is all around us and we get to decide, because all truth is self evident, eventually. Plug away long enough and you will learn truth. No one one knows all truth and no one contains only truth within themselves. We are all, more or less, learning at our own rates.

Whether this truth was created by an almighty, or exists differently in other universes (supposing they exist) I do not know. I just know that humans are capable of knowing truth as it exists in our universe from our perspective via the process of human learning and application.