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Featured The Restitution Of All Things A.K.A. Universalism

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by FineLinen, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Hebrews 10:12-13

    "But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool."

    Note

    It is through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross that all of Christ’s enemies will submit themselves in willing worship and praise to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Hebrews 10:14-17

    "For by one offering He has perfected forever those (His enemies) who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them (with His enemies) after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their (His enemies) hearts, and in their (His enemies) minds I will write them,”

    Then He adds, “Their (His enemies) sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

    Life is the energy by which the kingdom of God extends itself.

    Though God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ over all regardless of their spiritual state, He does, nevertheless, hide His gracious sovereignty from us until the time of His choosing, upon which time, He reveals to the immediately chosen one that Jesus is their Lord and Savior. In spite of how evangelical invitations are worded, that’s what really happens. It’s not that the time has arrived for us to make Christ Lord (as we customarily hear); it’s that Christ has stepped in to exercise His Lordship, and reclaim us as His own—which we always have been. (“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein.”) He does this simply by the infusion of His life, and in the sense described above, God’s kingdom, in the hands of His Son, extends itself. Remember, you were redeemed (bought back) from pretensions to ownership to your real Owner by the shedding of His precious blood, that is, by His life given sacrificially. -John Gavazzoni-
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  2. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The Fatherhood Of Abba

    "I believe implicitly in the ultimate and complete triumph of God, the time when all things shall be subject to Him and when God will be everything to everyone (1 Cor 15:24-28). For me, this has certain consequences. If one man remains outside of the love of God at the end of time, it means that one man has defeated the love of God—and that is impossible. Further, there is only one way in which we can think of the triumph of our God. If God was no more than a King or judge, then it would be possible to speak of his triumph, if His enemies were agonizing in hell or were totally and completely obliterated and wiped out. But God is not only king and Judge, God is Father—He is indeed Father more than anything else. No father could be happy while there were members of his family for ever in agony. No father would count it a triumph to obliterate the disobedient members of his family. The only triumph a father can know is to have all of his family back home again." –Dr. William Barclay-

    "Thou, O Father, wilt not be angry with thy child because he thought—and tried to bid others to think just and noble things of thee; though, O Savior, wilt not frown at him because he trusted in the infinitude of thy compassion; and thou, O Holy Spirit, whose image is the soft stealing of the dew and the golden hovering of the dove, wilt know that if he erred it was because he fixed his eyes, not on the glaring and baleful meteors of anathematizing orthodoxy, but on the star of Bethlehem and the clouds that began to shine above the coming of the Lord; and that—if perchance he erred—the light which led astray was light from Heaven." –Canon F.W. Farrar-

    "The Spirit of the Lord speaks within my soul and says, “Within the breast of every man is the divine image of God (living God), in whose image and likeness he was made, that sin is a perversion and sickness an imposter, and that the grace and power of God through the Holy Ghost delivers man from all bondage and darkness, and man in all his nature rises into union and communion with God and becomes one with Him in the truest sense." –John G. Lake-)

    "Give them not hell, but hope and courage. Preach the everlasting love of God."– John Murray-

    "The fact remains—we are God’s offspring, created from a foundation of goodness that has gone wrong. History since the Garden is the gradual story of how God is slowly putting that wrongness right...and will continue to do so." –Michael Phillips-

    "For myself I can say, that if there is a God, and he is such a being as [the Universalist] describes, I can bow before him and give him all my heart. He says God is love, made the world in love, and in perfect wisdom, and well adapted to serve the divine purpose. He then made a family, all of them have sinned, and some of them have fallen very low, but God is determined, according to [the Universalist], to stand by His family, every one of them, let come what will come, till he makes all of them respectable. This standing by His family, as every true Father ought to do, is what I like in [the Universalist's]idea of God. But if there is a God, and he has created a family and will at last turn against most of them, and in burning wrath cast them into Hell forever, as [traditional Christianity] describe(s), I should hate him—he is not as good as I am, for I propose to stand by my family and every member of it for as long as I live. It is an insult to ask me to love and worship a God who is guilty of doing what we would detest in an earthly father." –Robert Ingersoll

    "I believe that justice and mercy are simply one and the same thing. [I believe] such is the mercy of God that he will hold his children in the consuming fire of his distance until they pay the uttermost farthing, until they drop the purse of selfishness with all the dross that is in it, and rush home to the Father and the Son, and the many brethren, rush inside the center of the life-giving fire whose outer circles burn. I believe that no hell will be lacking which would help the just mercy of God to redeem his children." - George MacDonald-

    Suppose it were offered to the father of three children to take his choice whether two should be received into heaven and one condemned to Hell, or the whole should be annihilated unto death. What would a parent say? Where is the father who would dare secure the bliss of two children at the cost of the endless misery of one? Which of the family would he select as the victim, whose undying pain should secure his brother's joy? Is there any one living who would not suffer himself and his children to sink back again into nothingness, rather than purchase heaven at such a price? --Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant-

    "...Nothing can be lost that is not first owned. Just as a parent is compelled by civil law to be responsible for his family and his property, so the Creator --by His own divine law--in compelled to take care of the children He has created. And that means not only caring for the good children, but for the bad ones and lost ones as well. So the word lost came to be for Mrs. Smith, a term of greatest comfort. If a person is a "lost sinner" it only means that he is temporarily separated from the Good Shepherd who owns him. The Shepherd is bound by all duties of ownership to go after all those who are lost until they are found." -Catherine Marshall (Beyond Ourselves)

    "God will seek us -- how long? Until he finds us. And when he's found the last little shriveling rebellious soul and has depopulated hell, then death will be swallowed up in victory, and Christ will turn over all things to the Father that he may be all and in all. Then every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." -Clarence Jordan - (founder of Koinonia Community)-

    "It is often remarked by those who oppose the doctrine of universal salvation, that if God is the Savior of all men, then there is no difference between the saint and the sinner, the believer and unbeliever. Those who make this remark, seem to forget, that while God is declared to be the Savior of all men, he is also said to be ESPECIALLY the Savior of the believer. Though it is true, that God is the Savior of all, yet a little more attention would teach you, that all along, in Scripture, there is a salvation held forth as the SPECIAL PROPERTY of the believer, in which the unbeliever can have no part or lot. Though all shall be saved with an everlasting salvation, yet the believer ALONE can enjoy this special salvation." -Rev. I. D. Williamson-

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  3. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Dear friends: the following post is a wee divergence from the theme of this link. Please take a moment of your time to read it.

    Laus Deo
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  4. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Laus Deo... a history lesson

    In Washington DC, there can never be a building of greater height than the Washington Monument... this is a LAW.

    On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument in Washington DC, are two words: Laus Deo. No one can see these words. In fact, most visitors to the monument are totally unaware they are even there and for that matter, probably couldn't care less.

    These words have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5.125 inches high, perched atop the monument, facing skyward to the Father of our nation, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of Columbia, capital of the United States of America.

    Top of the Washington Monument Laus Deo! Two seemingly insignificant, unnoticed words. Out of sight and, one might think, out of mind, but very meaningfully placed at the highest point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation in the world.

    So, what do those two words, in Latin, composed of just four syllables and only seven letters, possibly mean? Very simply, they say...

    "Praise be to God!"

    Though construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848, when James Polk was President of the United States, it was not until 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty five years to finally cap the memorial with a tribute to the Father of our nation, "Laus Deo... Praise be to God!"

    From atop this magnificent granite and marble structure, visitors may take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with it's division into four major segments. From that vantage point, one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l'Enfant... a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape, with the White House to the north. The Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west.

    Pastor Jeff Strite looking at Laus Deo A cross you ask? Why a cross? What about separation of church and state? Yes, a cross; separation of church and state was not, is not, in the Constitution. So, read on .

    How interesting and, no doubt, intended to carry a profound meaning for those who bother to notice.

    Praise be to God! Within the monument itself are 898 steps and 50 landings. As one climbs the steps and pauses at the landings the memorial stones share a message! On the 12th Landing is a prayer offered by the City of Baltimore; on the 20th is a memorial presented by some Chinese Christians; on the 24th a presentation made by Sunday School children from New York and Philadelphia quoting Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16 and Proverbs 22:6.

    Praise be to God!

    When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848, deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral direction, and the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy ."One Nation, Under God."

    George Washington's Prayer - have you ever read it? If not, do so now.

    The Washington Monument in Washington DC

    "Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United states at large." And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

    Laus Deo!

    When one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over our nation's capitol, he or she will easily find the signature of God, as it is unmistakably inscribed everywhere you look.

    You may forget the width and height of "Laus Deo," it's location, or the architects... but no one who reads this will be able to forget it's meaning, or these words: "Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." -- Psalm 127:1

    -Washington Monument by Peter Krogh-
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  5. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    UNIVERSAL SALVATION -J.W. Hanson D.D-

    CONTENTS

    God's Silence 6

    Adam’s Punishment 6

    Cain’s Punishment 8

    The Antediluvians 9

    The Deluge 9

    Sodom and Gomorrah 10

    The Testimony of Scholars 12

    The Promise to Adam 15

    The Promise to Abraham 16

    The Promises to Obedient 19

    The Threats to Wicked 21

    Gathered to their Fathers 22

    The Spirit Returns to God 23

    The Fate of Amnon 23

    Knowledge of God Gives Peace 25

    God's Anger is Limited 25

    God’s Mercy is Unlimited 27

    The Testimony of the Prophets 27

    Universal Obedience 28

    Man’s Infirmity Doubts God’s Goodness 28

    Universal Dominion 29

    The Prophet Isaiah 29

    God's Word Conquers 30

    Jeremiah 31

    Hosea 31

    Micah 32

    Daniel 32

    The Wise Woman 32

    A Refiner 33

    The Name Jesus 34

    The Word Gospel 35

    The First Christmas Anthem 35

    John the Baptist 36

    An Incident and its Lesson 36

    Be Like God 38

    The Lord’s Prayer 40

    The Universal Fatherhood 40

    The Good Samaritan 45

    The Gospel Leaven 46

    The Jewish Leaven 46

    All the Lost are to be Saved 47

    Ninety and Nine (Poem) 49

    Christ Will Accomplish His Mission 50

    The Resurrection 56

    The Resurrection to Damnation 58

    The Nature of Punishment 65

    The Prayer of Jesus for His Murderers 66

    God the Creator 68

    God's Holiness 69

    God's Mercy 69

    God's Justice 70

    God's Omniscience 73

    God's Omnipotence 74

    God's Love 75

    God's Attributes Unlimited 77

    God's Power Unlimited 78

    God's Wisdom Unlimited 78

    God's Love Unlimited 79

    God's Will, Pleasure, Purpose, Promise and Oath 80

    You Must be Born Again 88

    A Conditional Promise Fulfilled 88

    Sin Burned, Sinners Saved 88

    Every Soul Worth Saving 88

    Comfort for All 88

    Heaven's Joys Certain 89

    The Substance of Things Hoped For 89

    The Wickedest Saved 89

    The Image of God 90

    Paul’s Hope 92

    The Glad Tidings of God 92

    The Universe shall be Delivered from Sin 93

    What God will not do 94

    What God will do 94

    Sin, Satan, Death and Hell Destroyed 94

    All Shall be Righteous 95

    All Destined to God 97

    The People were Astonished 98

    Universal Pardon and Obedience 98

    Christ Cancels Adam 99

    A Healthful Doctrine 99

    No More Sorrow 100

    Universal Obedience Prophesied 100

    The Universal Propitiation 100

    Their Works Follow Them 100

    The Building of God Sure 102

    God Hates Sin 102

    God All in All 102

    God's Glory 103

    God A Universal Savior 103

    Why Paul was Persecuted 104

    All are to be Righteous 104

    The Final Consummation 105

    HERE

    Universal Salvation: BIBLE PROOFS
     
  6. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Let us take a look at the Master of Reconciliation pictured in the early Church catacombs. Look on His shoulder. Yes, the Master has a young goat resting safe & secure.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Kolasis aionion -Matthew 25:46-

    Greek scholar William Barclay wrote concerning kolasis aionion (age-during corrective chastisement) in Matthew 25:46

    “The Greek word for punishment is kolasis, which was not originally an ethical word at all. It originally meant the pruning of trees to make them grow better. There is no instance in Greek secular literature where kolasis does not mean remedial punishment. It is a simple fact that in Greek kolasis always means remedial punishment. God’s punishment is always for man’s cure.”

    Fifteen literally translated (not interpretively translated) Bibles that reveal what God will do with the goats in Matthew 25:46

    Concordant Literal, Young’s literal, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott, Rotherham’s Emphasized, Scarlett’s, J.W. Hanson’s New Covenant, Twentieth Century, Ferrar Fenton, The Western New Testament, Weymouth’s (unedited), Clementson’s, The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed, The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible, Bullinger’s Companion Bible margins, Jonathan Mitchell’s translation (2010).

    Concerning the duration of kolasis (literally - corrective punishment), Matt. 25:46 says (KJV),

    “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.”

    Scarlett’s New Testament written in 1792 has “aeonian punishment” in place to “everlasting punishment.”

    “And these will go away into aeonian punishment: but the righteous into aeonian life.”

    The New Covenant by Dr. J.W. Hanson written in 1884 renders Matt. 25:46:

    “And these shall go away into aeonian chastisement, and the just into aeonian life.”

    Young’s Literal Translation first published in 1898 and reprinted many times since uses the following words:

    “And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.”

    Professor Young also compiled Young’s Concordance, where one can check the translation of each Hebrew or Greek word as translated in the KJV.

    The Twentieth Century New Testament first printed in the year 1900 has:

    “And these last will go away ‘into aeonian punishment,’ but the righteous ‘into aeonian life.’”

    The Holy Bible in Modern English by Ferrar Fenton first published in 1903 gives the rendering:

    "And these He will dismiss into a long correction, but the well-doers to an enduring life.

    The New Testament in Modern Speech, by Dr. Weymouth, says:

    “And these shall go away into punishment of the ages, but the righteous into life of the ages.”

    Dr. Weymouth most frequently adopts such terms as “life of the ages,” “fire of the ages;” and in Rev. 14:6, “The good news of the ages.”

    It is a matter to regret that the editors of the most recent edition of Dr. Weymouth’s version have reverted to the KJV renderings for the passages containing the Greek word aion, eon, or age.

    The Western New Testament published in 1926 renders Matt. 25:46 as follows:

    “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.”

    The translation, however, has a footnote on Matthew 21:19 on the word “forever” which is the same word for “eternal” which says: "Literally, for the age.”

    Clementson’s The New Testament (1938) shows,

    “And these shall go away into eonian correction, but the righteous into eonian life.”

    Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott (1942 edition) translates the verse,

    “And these shall go forth to the aionian cutting-off; but the righteous to aionian life.”

    It should be noted that the “cutting-off” refers to pruning a fruit tree to make it bear more fruit.

    The idea behind the word is not destructive but productive! Had Jesus wanted to emphasize a destructive end, He would have used the word “timoria.”

    The Concordant Version (1930):

    “And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian.”

    The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed printed in 1958 says:

    “And these shall go away into agelasting cutting-off and the just into agelasting life.”

    Joseph B. Rotherham, in his Emphasized Bible (1959), translates this verse,

    “and these shall go away into age-abiding correction, but the righteous into age-abiding life.”

    The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible copyrighted in 1976

    has “age-abiding correction” instead of “everlasting punishment.”

    Jonathan Mitchell’s translation (2010) has

    "And so, these folks will be going off into an eonian pruning (a lopping-off which lasts for an undetermined length of time; an age-lasting correction; a pruning which has its source and character in the Age), yet the fair and just folks who are in right relationship and are in accord with the Way pointed out [go off] into eonian life (life which has it source and character in the Age; life pertaining to the Age)”.

    Even some King James Study Bibles will show the reader in the margins or appendixes that the King’s translators were incorrect in their rendering of "eternal punishment.”

    The great Companion Bible by Dr. Bullinger is an example of that.

    Greek scholar William Barclay wrote concerning kolasis aionion (age-during corrective chastisement) in Matthew 25:46

    “The Greek word for punishment is kolasis, which was not originally an ethical word at all. It originally meant the pruning of trees to make them grow better. There is no instance in Greek secular literature where kolasis does not mean remedial punishment. It is a simple fact that in Greek kolasis always means remedial punishment. God’s punishment is always for man’s cure.”

    “God is the Source, Guide & Goal of ta panta (the all)”

    “From Him ta panta, through Him ta panta, in Him ta panta”
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  8. Lazarus Short

    Lazarus Short Well-Known Member

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    Another adapted excerpt from my book...

    Let's look at the only instance where people were sent to "hell"...in Numbers.

    Numbers, Verses 30 to 35 relate God’s judgment on Korah and those who followed him. If I read it right, then, Korah, Dathan, Abiram, their families, and their goods, all fell into an opening in the ground. Korah’s other 250 men were burned alive by the fire we know well by now – well enough to know it wasn’t Hellfire, because it was in the real world. The King James Version states that Korah and company fell alive into “the pit.” (verse 33). The Ferrar Fenton Version reads “the grave,” while the KJV II and the Young's Literal both use the term “Sheol.”

    Now why didn't the KJV use "hell" here? Sneaky, sneaky,..they knew it would not fly because this happened in the real world. However, I noted that when context allowed, they rendered "sheol" as "hell," but they were not always consistent. Anyway, so much for getting dragged down to hell a la Jonathan Edwards.
     
  9. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The Inescapable Love Of God

    Thomas Talbott- The Inescapable Love of God - 2nd Edition

    Thomas Talbott- The Inescapable Love of God - 2nd Edition

    “…Nothing can be lost that is not first owned. Just as a parent is compelled by civil law to be responsible for his family and his property, so the Creator --by His own divine law–in compelled to take care of the children He has created. And that means not only caring for the good children, but for the bad ones and lost ones as well. So the word lost came to be for Mrs. Smith (Hannah W. Smith), a term of greatest comfort. If a person is a “lost sinner” it only means that he is temporarily separated from the Good Shepherd who owns him. The Shepherd is bound by all duties of ownership to go after all those who are lost until they are found.” -Catherine Marshall-
     
  10. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    God’s love & compassion never fails=

    L’amour et la compassion de Dieu ne manquent jamais

    Gods liefde & mededogen faalt nooit

    El amor y la compasión de Dios nunca fallan

    Божья любовь и сострадание никогда не подводят

    Jumalan rakkaus ja myötätunto eivät koskaan onnistu

    Gottes Liebe und Mitleid versagen nie

    My friend: God loves you. He always has, He always will. His love NEVER fails!
     
  11. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The Big Gulp

    "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” -1 Cor. 15-

    Swallow= katapino=

    To swallow down death by victory.

    (Of the mortal body by LIFE)

    To drink down, to devour.

    To swallow.

    Jonathan Mitchell Translation=

    “the death was drunk down and swallowed unto victory”

    BBE= “death is overcome by life”

    NCE= “death is destroyed forever in victory”

    MSG= “death is swallowed by triumphant life”

    Word for today=

    enduo=

    To put on immortality & incorruption
     
  12. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Every knee bows IN/EN the Name of Jesus in all dimensions of the earth, the heavens & the underworld.

    Of course they are all saved, and more so, reconciled in the mighty helkuo of the Unlimited One.

    This identical polus “made sinners” in the first Adam, are the polus “made righteous” in the Last, every last broken wreck reconciled!

    Never ever limit the Holy One Of Israel! If you imagine His will being multiple choice, know His will prevails, ALWAYS!

    Salvation in the koine =esothen & sozomenos & sothesomai

    There is a tense in koine known as the descriptive present, or the progressive present, which depicts an action in progress.

    Yes, God IS the Saviour of all mankind, not some of mankind: all of mankind!
     
  13. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    PastorMark wrote

    One of the most beloved and yet personally challenging teachings of Jesus is found in Luke 6

    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. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:35-36

    If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? Matt 5:46

    Jesus is promising great heavenly rewards for responding in love towards those who hate us. The rational he provides is that in these moments we are most like God.

    So imagine this scenario.

    The saints are all in heaven and Jesus is handing out rewards and he comes to those sheep on his right and says “Here you go, here is your great reward.”

    And they will say, “What is this for?”

    And the king will reply “When men hated you and despised you and you loved them in return and thus you were just like my Father.”

    Then they will say, “And what became of those who hated us but that we loved like the Father?”

    And the king will reply, “Hm? Oh, uh…they’re all burning in hell forever and ever. But don’t you think about that, just enjoy YOUR reward for being like the Father and loving them. Run along now…”

    That's a pretty serious internal conflict within the teachings of Jesus if we have been taught them correctly…which I kind of doubt.

    Eternal rewards for loving those who hate us (because that's just like God) is completely incompatible with the notion that God will punish forever those who hated him. Then just to multiply the absurdity, consider that we are supposed to believe that God will punish forever those who did not hate him and never even met him.

    Under what theology can you have a God who demands we love evil people just like he does…and then burns them in hell forever? If the argument is attempted that the distinction is that this is only a command pertaining to this life, then we have to ask: was Jesus asking us to do what God would do or was he telling us to be like who God is?

    Jesus said that was what God was like. Jesus was not asking us to emulate a temporary costume God chose to wear for a time. He was asking us to emulate his very personhood which was and is and always will be.

    This forces us to dispose of our traditional view of hell as well as to expand our concept of Gods power and desire to redeem.

    Hell is not forever and even His enemies will be loved in eternity. If that is not the case then our heavenly rewards for loving our enemies become an absurdity.
     
  14. Hillsage

    Hillsage One for Him and Him for all Supporter

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    The story has been told of a beautiful incident that occurred many years ago in the North of England. A young Salvation Army girl, only recently saved, was overflowing with the joy of the Lord and was eager to share her salvation with all others. Walking along the street of a little Durham city, she saw a tall, gray-haired man coming toward her and, stranger though he was, she stopped him and said, "Pardon me, sir, but are you saved?" The tall stranger leaned over toward her and answered, with a quizzical smile playing on his kindly face: "My dear, do you mean ESOTHEN, or SOZOMENOS, or SOTHESOMAI?" the Salvation Army girl was bewildered - it was "all Greek" to her! She did not know that she had stopped bishop Westcott, one of the greatest of Greek scholars and an editor of the famous Westcott and Hort edition of the Greek New Testament. He had asked her, using three different tenses of the Greek verb: "Do you mean, I was saved, or do you mean, I am being saved, or do you mean, I shall be saved?" And then bishop Westcott, who was indeed saved and knew that he was saved, lovingly explained a little of the three tenses of the gospel to the young girl, and showed her something of the riches of her past salvation, her ongoing salvation, and her future salvation, from SPIRIT to SOUL to BODY; and before they separated that earnest young girl knew more about the gospel and her Saviour than she had ever known before, and went away rejoicing that she had asked this tall stranger whether he was saved.

    And the 'modern' orthodox church's thinking just falls a bit short concerning 'that' which God is most worried about saving. Orthodoxy thinks it is the almighty soul or the sinful flesh that God desires most. But what sayeth THE BIBLE!!!

    JAM 4:5 Or do you suppose it is in vain that the scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us"?

    And just what "spirit" is spoken of here? Why it is the human spirit, which comes from God who is spirit. And God will save all spirits, that nothing 'in His image/spirit' be lost.
     
  15. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Dear Hillsage: Bishop Westcott was an amazing individual. Much thanks for the story.

    I behold salvation in a trichotomous dimension of spirit, soul, and body, to which the Father extends His mighty reconciliation. The soul, of course, is closely linked to the spirit, and requires the word of the Living One to separate, being as close as bone and marrow.

    I know that the Master of reconciliation loses nothing! Not pieces of leftover miracle of bread and fish, and most certainly the beings for whom He is the Mercy-Seat.

    Orthodoxy in all its varied colors and shapes falls far below the One who goes a little further. As I come to the final stages of a wonderful life in Him, I am becoming astutely aware of how little I grasp of Him and His mighty purposes.

    Behold I make all things new!

    Kainos= unprecedented

    New: not in time, but new in form & quality. Of a different nature.





     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  16. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The Consuming Fire

    Nothing is inexorable but love. Love which will yield to prayer is imperfect and poor. Nor is it then the love that yields, but its alloy. For if at the voice of entreaty love conquers displeasure, it is love asserting itself, not love yielding its claims. It is not love that grants a boon unwillingly; still less is it love that answers a prayer to the wrong and hurt of him who prays. Love is one, and love is changeless.

    For love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. Where loveliness is incomplete, and love cannot love its fill of loving, it spends itself to make more lovely, that it may love more; it strives for perfection, even that itself may be perfected--not in itself, but in the object. As it was....

    Unspoken Sermons by George MacDonald: The Consuming Fire
     
  17. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Pastor Mark Post

    In the study of Universalism, the contrast with the Arminian and Calvinist positions is ever present. Just for context I will briefly belabor a well explored point.

    Arminianism presents a God of supreme love that desires all but cannot save all due to the power of free will.

    The Calvinist presents a God of Supreme power that is able to save all He has chosen in spite of free will but whose love does not extend to all.

    These two coexist in a general peace treaty whereby they are both dominant world powers who consider the other mistaken but not so much heretical. However there will always be strident members who still fight a hot war declaring the other to be full on heretical, but this seems the exception.

    However there seems to be an open hostility that unifies both camps in agreement and that is that Universalism is heresy.

    But there is a strange and undeniable contradiction here. Universalism, I would assert, cannot be a heresy to either of these camps without each declaring the other to be heresy as well. For the only part of Universalism that each objects to is that which the other asserts.

    Universalism agrees with the Calvinists that if God wills a man to be saved, Gods will is irresistible. That is the one assertion Arminians cannot abide. Free will is stronger than Gods will to the Arminian.

    Yet Universalism agrees with Arminianism in that Gods will is for all to be saved and His love is not limited to a select few. This is the assertion that Calvinist cannot abide.

    For a Calvinist to refrain from calling a 100% Arminian a heretic while calling the 50% Arminian (Universalist) a heretic is incoherent.

    For the Arminian to refrain from calling a 100% Calvinist a heretic and yet consider a 50% Calvinist (Universalist) a heretic is likewise incoherent.

    How can Arminians call Calvinist brother and Calvinist like wise accept in fellowship an Arminian and yet both stand unaccepting of the Universalist? The answer is clear.

    The only people they will call brother are those who will insist that some will burn in the torments of hell forever. This is their unifying principle. Whereas the unifying principle by which any Universalist would be willing to call the other two camps brethren is the agreement on the salvation of God expressed in Christ alone. We are unified in Christ, not in hell. Nowhere in history has the duration of hell ever risen to the status of a creedal doctrine by which to denounce a movement as heresy.

    How can the worst aspect of Universalism be the fact that it unifies the best parts of the opposing two into one?

    Calvinism is orange and Arminianism is green. They cannot agree. Combined they turn a dull brown, but if you take the red part of Calvinism and combine it with the blue part of Arminianism you have beautiful violet. This is Universalism. The red is that Gods will is sovereign and the blue is that he wills all to be saved. All that's left over is the one yellow. This yellow is the idea that some must burn forever. This is the one thing they share that Universalism cannot abide. This is the opposite of violet and combined it again becomes brown.

    But can the duration of hell's judgement be set on par with Christ's supremacy which in fact unifies all three? Consider that the dominant creeds go only as far as to say Christ shall return to judge the quick and the dead. With this Evangelical Universalists fully concur. The Athanasian Creed alone goes so far as to end with this statement.

    And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

    This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

    This creed was not without controversy in that it came last of all and much later, was never approved by any authoritative council and is at this time considered by leading scholars a pseudo epigraphy.

    All that aside, would any fair minded Christian be willing to call a person damned who agrees with every single tenant of every single creed except for this last excerpt in the suspicious Athanasian Creed?

    If so, how then would one explain the damnation of such names as Hannah Whitehall Smith whose work is still widely celebrated and published in the Evangelical world albeit redacted for the omission of universalist statements?

    Would you add to those in hell the great liberator of men Abraham Lincoln who confessed Christ and universal salvation?

    It is not as though Universalism has denied Christ as God in the flesh or his sinless life and all sufficient sacrifice nor his resurrection from the dead. Universalism affirms all these.

    Yet according to the Athanasian Creed, could we imagine that at the judgement seat Christ looks upon the atheist and the murderers and the vilest of despots and with them grouped together the gentle orthodox Universalists for their denial of hell as everlasting? It would seem the Athanasian Creed has added a new enemy to the enemies of Christ which never was on the Apostles or early fathers enemies list.

    We would do well to consider Christs acceptance of the woman at the well and the Syro-Phoenician whose doctrine was largely askew but whose faith was saving and justifying. But then they were not justified by a creed, they were justified by the Christ. It was faith in Him when presented with Him that saved them.

    So then the Arminians and the Calvinist should not call Universalists heretics anymore than we should call them heretics. And they should extend the tolerance and fellowship of the faith to us as much as we would them.

    For I would assert that in our confession their opposing faiths are unified and altogether perfected.
     
  18. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I'm with you on this comment.
    And even our scriptures make it clear that there are two kinds of individuals. The default position is to be lost without a savior. I found an interesting connection between the Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus and an important scripture in the gospel of John that aptly illustrates this separation. There is a positional change for believers. Crossed over from death to life. And this happens in the land of the living, not in the realm of the dead.

    Luke 16:26-28
    And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

    John 5:24
    “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
     
  19. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Right. Not every path leads to heaven.
    Humanity as a whole is lost. Salvation is something to find in the here and now. Before it is too late.
     
  20. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Good point. The teachings are a warning. A warning of what? Why didn't Jesus shrug off hell? (as if it was no big deal)
     
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