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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Evangelical Universalism

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DEADn
Member



Joined: 2011/1/12
Posts: 1357
Lakeland FL

 Evangelical Universalism

I recently came upon this term through a blog and then found a forum of the same thing. It seems it states that man will all be saved whether in this life or in the life after this in Jesus.

The person who introduced me to this through their blog lives in Asia and among Buddhists. This person came from a Fundamentalist background and is being seduced to question why God would send any soul to hell. Seems this person is being seduced to think all are going to heaven which becomes a kind of heresy

My question is this. Those who have never heard the Gospel and die, what happens here? The bible does not speak to this and I believe that this topic of Evangelical Universalism is wanting to fill in the void on this.

How does a Christian answer this?

John


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John

 2013/4/24 15:35Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1987
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Evangelical Universalism

Actually, Paul deals with this in Romans 2:12-16. Even those who have not read the Bible or had the gospel message presented to them have an innate knowledge that there is a God to whom they are answerable. This is evidenced in the fact that they establish laws to accuse or excuse their behavior. I know of many, many stories of people who had never heard the gospel who realized that there was a God to whom they were accountable and prayed, asking God to reveal Himself to them. He did, and they received Him and were born again. In the final judgement, God will not be unjust in His reward or in His condemnation.


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Travis

 2013/4/24 16:01Profile
DEADn
Member



Joined: 2011/1/12
Posts: 1357
Lakeland FL

 Re:

Would this be in the same vein as people who practice some form of religious expression because they realize there is something beyond them? Just not sure what or who?

One of the things I see at play in this this thing is the emotional game. It is like an antithesis. progressively getting a little further away from the truth by thinking through the emotions and using it to interpret the Bible along the way.

John


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John

 2013/4/24 18:01Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re:

Interesting. I have noticed a trend where individuals begin to speculate that God must be "more forgiving" than they are. Since no one would ever hope for anyone (including our enemies) to be eternally tormented, they begin to reason that "Hell" and "the Lake of Fire" just can't be meant for mankind.

I have had conversations with individuals who have argued such things with me. Not even knowing what a "universalist" is, they speculated that God may have simply decided to "save" the whole world when He died on the cross, wherefore lacking any "decision" or "repentance." After all, they reasoned that "no one is perfect" and questioned how can God punish those who are not.

My response was to agree that we could never overestimate the goodness, kindness, mercy or grace of God. However, the issue is that individuals do not fully grasp the eternal concept of JUSTICE. God is a merciful God -- but he is simultaneously a just God. We cannot think of His attributes in human terms because God is not a human being. He is the Eternal God. Humans are just a "shadow" since we were made in the image of God. However, we are tainted by our limited intellects and sinful nature. As such, I fear that many people strive to create a God in their own image that lines up to their own notions.

It is true that eternal punishment was NOT meant for all of mankind, but for the devil and his angels. However, mankind fell into sin (and a sinful nature) and the punishment that was levied for demons was created for sin.

I believe that this is a sign of the times and of the strategies that Satan uses in these days. If he can't get people to believe that God (and Satan) doesn't exist, he will try to get people to psychoanalyze the mind of God and "see" Him as a being without any motive to bring out the eternal justice as described in the Bible.

There will be many shocked individuals on that Day in the other side of Eternity. The very God that modern philosophers or casual "spiritualists" and even "Christians" paint as an "all good" being who simply loves us will be astonished to find Him as our Judge.

Leonard Ravenhill used to say that people have lost sight of the Judgment Day. I would go further and say that most have now lost sight of the meaning of Justice too.


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Christopher

 2013/4/24 18:45Profile
richrock
Member



Joined: 2012/2/27
Posts: 93
UK

 Re:

This is one of those difficult areas, and for some is irreconcilable.

Romans 2:12-16 is the defining scripture on this topic.

I found this essay by R. C. Sproul very helpful, personally. Maybe it will help shed some light for you too.

http://www.ligonier.org/learn/qas/are-those-who-have-never-heard-christ-going-hell/

Why evangelise? If we are to embrace universalism, why did the apostles preach the gospel? If everyone is saved eventually, I can live how I want (and boy, sometimes I want to) - but we are to submit to God.

But this universalist mindset is easily borne out of what I would term hyper-forgiveness, that God would forgive everyone of anything.

We need remind ourselves that Jesus is the only way, and we should count the cost seriously indeed before committing. That is something forgotten in many gospel appeals today.

 2013/4/24 19:02Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1987
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Would this be in the same vein as people who practice some form of religious expression because they realize there is something beyond them? Just not sure what or who?

One of the things I see at play in this this thing is the emotional game. It is like an antithesis. progressively getting a little further away from the truth by thinking through the emotions and using it to interpret the Bible along the way.



The point being made by Paul is that the Jews are guilty before God because they knew the explicit law of God and yet did not keep it. And the Gentiles are guilty because they demonstrated knowledge of a higher law than their own in the fact that they made their own laws to condemn and excuse behavior. C.S. Lewis gives a really good explanation of this point in his book Mere Christianity. The very fact that we judge one action or behavior as right or good and another as wrong or bad means that we acknowledge a higher morality than our own to who will judge us by a higher standard. So, all men have an innate knowledge that God exists and it is those who will turn to Him and seek Him out of a pure heart to whom God will reveal Himself.

I guess it is true that men seek religious expression out of an acknowledgement of something higher than themselves. But, I think at the core of all non-Christian religion is a vain effort to approach God in the flesh and on our own terms. Men and women who have been devout Muslims, for example, have had God reveal Himself to them in dreams and visions and have abandoned their own self-effort for the grace that God offers and the total abandonment of self and surrender to the only true God.

In Romans 1:28 Paul says, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient" Men do not invent such doctrines as universalism out of a true desire to know truth and an honest mistake in Bible interpretation. They choose such doctrines because they do not want to retain God in their knowledge. They willfully reject the truth and turn to lies. Unfortunately they then lead others astray through their own deceptive doctrines. See Colossians chapter 2.



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Travis

 2013/4/24 22:20Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1987
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
There will be many shocked individuals on that Day in the other side of Eternity. The very God that modern philosophers or casual "spiritualists" and even "Christians" paint as an "all good" being who simply loves us will be astonished to find Him as our Judge.



Chris: This is true brother. Paul also warned against using grace as license to sin. Gal. 5:13. It is absolutely true that God's grace is rich, free, abundant, and offered to all who will receive Him. But, when we receive Him, we receive the entire package. As Paul said in Romans 6, we are dead to sin, buried with Him in baptism, and raised to newness of life. Grace teaches us to deny unGodly lusts and to live righteous and holy. Titus 2:12. Those who look at grace as license to live as carnally as possible without feeling guilty are deceived. They understand neither grace, nor salvation. We will stand in judgement before a righteous and holy God. I am so thankful that my defense is the blood of Jesus Christ. I have been made righteous in Him. So how could I, who have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus, who have the Spirit of Christ, the on in whom dwelleth all of the fullness of the Godhead bodily, dwelling in me then return to the mire that He pulled me out of? Why would I desire to do so? Perhaps if I had not truly received the grace of God, but rather a change of philosophy?


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Travis

 2013/4/24 22:31Profile
wombat1
Member



Joined: 2010/12/1
Posts: 65
Melbourne

 Re: Evangelical Universalism

Hi I have a book from a friend of mine that not only says that all will end up in heaven but also all animals and every fallen spirit including lucifer.

Its constantly amazes me that people will believe and promote things that they know are against the word of God.

Ignorance is one thing, but deliberate refusal is another thing all together.

wish you well Oskar.


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Oskar Abley

 2013/4/25 6:49Profile









 Re: Evangelical Universalism

Paul provides us with a template on what to say:

" But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord."

Acts 13:8-12

 2013/4/25 11:49
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1703


 Re:

Quote:

Actually, Paul deals with this in Romans 2:12-16. Even those who have not read the Bible or had the gospel message presented to them have an innate knowledge that there is a God to whom they are answerable. This is evidenced in the fact that they establish laws to accuse or excuse their behavior. I know of many, many stories of people who had never heard the gospel who realized that there was a God to whom they were accountable and prayed, asking God to reveal Himself to them. He did, and they received Him and were born again. In the final judgement, God will not be unjust in His reward or in His condemnation.


I agree 100% to this. This is a scriptural answer that I would have given as well. People who have never heard the gospel will be judged based on their Moral law written in their conscience. My personal belief is people who listen to this law in their conscience will soon realize that there is someother law (law of Sin) working in their body. Now they have 2 options either to harden their conscience and keep living their life (More than 99% do this) or to Cry out to God about this Sinful flesh. It is when they cry out they either meet an evangelist who shares the truth with them or Jesus reveals himself directly, both according to God's plan.

I also believe that Jesus is the only way to Father (John 14:6). The Moral law written in heart of men is only used for judgment. No one can become righteous and enter the kingdom of God based on law. That is why we need Jesus.

In short answer them like this, Men go to hell not because they did not hear the Gospel but because they are sinners. Gospel is the only truth that can save them from their sins.


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Sreeram

 2013/4/25 15:54Profile





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