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Featured Universalist Understanding?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Greg J., Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Greg J.

    Greg J. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is is possible that the Holy Spirit inspired any of these passages and was not indicating that some or many people will be condemned forever? Presuming it is not a Universalist belief that God contradicts himself, how does a Universalist understand these passages, since from their point of view, none of them can mean that some people are not saved? Being in the Lake of Fire forever sounds to me like not being saved.

    1. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14, 1995 NASB)

    2. “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. (Matthew 18:8, 1995 NASB)

    3. “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:13-14, 1995 NASB)

    4. “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; (Matthew 25:41, 1995 NASB)

    5. “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46, 1995 NASB)

    6. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18, 1995 NASB)

    7. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36, 1995 NASB)

    8.
    dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, 1995 NASB)

    9. These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. (Jude 1:12-13, 1995 NASB)

    10. he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:10-11, 1995 NASB)

    11. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15, 1995 NASB)

    12. “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8, 1995 NASB)

    And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15, 1995 NASB)
     
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  2. Albion

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    This is another case of there being apparently conflicting verses in Scripture.

    While there are some verses that seem to support the Universalist view, there are many more that appear to slam the door on it! You have cited some of the latter ones.
     
  3. Greg J.

    Greg J. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not that you don't understanding this, but as part of this thread: There are no conflicts or contradictions in Scripture. If a person cannot reconcile the above verses with all others, then he has yet to understand God's Word on the topic.
     
  4. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    That's why I used the word "apparently" in my post. ;) But we are often faced with what seem to be contradictions, and that is why there are differences of opinion, as for example between Universalists and the rest of us.

    If there were nothing of any sort in Scripture to support some unconventional idea, dismissing it would be much easier!
     
  5. Greg J.

    Greg J. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've read all the verses Universalists cite and it never entered my mind that everyone would be saved. It seemed to me that the OT, Jesus, and the NT made that extremely clear, otherwise what is the point of the Bible, free will, and even life? And then there would be no such thing as justice. (More people should pay attention to what victims of extreme injustice say what justice is. There are people in the world who believe they are already in hell.)
     
  6. Shempster

    Shempster ImJustMe Supporter

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    A universalist would say that at the end of the ages of ages, every creature will be restored to God the Father.
    But most universalist folks don't suggest that everyone just goes to heaven no matter what.
    The imagery of the lake of fire is a real thing, but they would say that it is not a perpetual torture chamber but a crucible's bowl. That was a bowl heated by fire to melt down gold and remove its impurities. I know this because of the use of the word sulfur in the passage. Sulfur was the "booster" ingredient to the crucible that burned up the impurities.
    So, a universalist believes in the judgement and a time of bitter anguish, but they do not think it is an angry god unleashing his fury on his own creation. They see it as a loving Father forcing people to see how evil they actually were and how being like him would have given them a better life. They would feel the pain they caused others with condescending remarks. They would feel the rejection that they did toward others. They would feel all of the bitter pain they were responsible for in their world.
     
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  7. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I'm not a Universalist, but most Universalists do not believe that you can live an evil life and then face the afterlife on an equal plane with the saintliest of believers.

    They believe that everyone will ULTIMATELY be saved, not immediately saved, not saved immune from all punishment for sin, and not rewarded in the afterlife in the same way and to the same extent that the saints will be.
     
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  8. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Those verses have been addresed many times by universalists on these forums. For example the following (see below). Most of them rely on the mistranslation of one Greek word, the adjective aionion (or its corresponding noun, aion, meaning literally, an eon or age, not eternal or forever).

    Rev.14:9-11 & 20:10 & forever & ever a deceptive translation:
    If endless conscious torments were true, is God a monster?

    Matthew 7:13-14:
    Matthew 7:13-14 does not refute the eventual salvation of all

    John 3:36:
    The Restitution Of All Things A.K.A. Universalism

    Matthew 25:46
    Augustine's ignorance & error re Matthew 25:46

    Have you been decieved by your Bible translation?

    Is aionion necessarily coequal in duration with aionion (in Mt.25:46)?

    An argument for "eternal conscious torment"
     
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  9. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So your argument is if there is no eternal torture for most human beings, then there's no point to "the Bible, free will, and even life"?

    And unless billions are fried alive forever for the sins of a relatively momentary life, there is "no such thing as justice"?

    Are "victims of extreme injustice" usually bitter & unforgiving & often wish endless hell upon those who hurt them?

    "But there are those who find this an intolerable state of affairs, sometimes because of an earnest if misguided devotion to what they believe Scripture or tradition demands, sometimes because the idea of the eternal torment of the derelict appeals to some unpleasantly obvious emotional pathologies on their parts."

    Saint Origen | David Bentley Hart
     
  10. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Then, by the same reasoning, the "parallel" in Rom.5:19 proves Scriptural universalism to be true:

    Rom 5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for ALL MANKIND for condemnation, thus also it is through one just act for ALL MANKIND for life's justifying."

    Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, THE MANY were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, THE MANY shall be constituted just."

    1 Cor.15:22 AS in Adam ALL die SO ALSO in Christ shall ALL be made alive.

    1 Cor.15:28 And when ALL shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put ALL under him, that God may be all in ALL.

    Col.1:16 For by Him ***ALL*** was created that are in HEAVEN and that are on EARTH, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All was created through Him and for Him.
    20 and by Him to reconcile ***ALL*** to Himself, by Him, whether on EARTH or in HEAVEN, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

    And your translation of Mt.25:46 contradicts this translation of Lamentations 3:

    Lam.3:31 For the Lord will NOT cast off FOR EVER:
    32 For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness. 33 For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the SONS OF MEN.

    While these translations of Mt.25:46 are in harmony with all the verses above i have posted:


    The New Testament: A Translation, by Eastern Orthodox scholar David Bentley Hart, 2017, Yale Press):
    "And these shall go to the chastening of that Age, but the just to the life of that Age."

    Translation of the New Testament from the Original Greek Humbly Attempted by Nathaniel Scarlett Assisted by Men of Piety & Literature with notes, 1798:
    "And These will go away into onian punishment: but the righteous into onian life."

    The New Testament by Abner Kneeland, 1823:
    "And these shall go away into aionian punishment*: but the righteous into aionian life."

    The New Covenant by Dr. J.W. Hanson, 1884:
    "And these shall go away into onian chastisement, and the just into onian life."

    Youngs Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, 1898:
    "And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during."

    The Holy Bible in Modern English, 1903
    "And these He will dismiss into a long correction, but the well-doers to an enduring life."

    The New Testament in Modern Speech, 1910:
    "And these shall go away into the Punishment 1 of the Ages, but the righteous into the Life 1 of the Ages."
    1. [Of the Ages] Greek "aeonian."

    A Critical Paraphrase of the New Testament by Vincent T. Roth, 1960
    "And these shall go away into age-continuing punishment, but the righteous into life age-continuing."

    The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible, 1976
    "And these shall go away into age-abiding *correction, but the righteous into **age-abiding life."

    The Twentieth Century New Testament, 1900
    "And these last will go away into onian punishment, but the righteous into onian life."

    The People's New Covenant, 1925
    "And these will depart into age-continuing correction, but the righteous, into age-continuing life."

    Emphatic Diaglott, 1942 edition
    "And these shall go forth to the aionian 1 cutting-off; but the RIGHTEOUS to aionian Life."

    The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed, 1958
    "And these shall go away into agelasting cutting-off and the just into agelasting life."

    The New Testament, a Translation, 1938
    "And these will go away into eonian correction, but the righteous into eonian life."

    The New Testament, A New Translation, 1980
    "Then they will begin to serve a new period of suffering; but God's faithful will enter upon their heavenly life."

    Concordant Literal New Testament, 1983
    And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian."

    Rotherham Emphasized Bible, 1959
    "And these shall go away into age-abiding correction, But the righteous into age-abiding life."

    Jonathan Mitchell N.T. Translation:
    "46. "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)."
    ::Jonathan Mitchell's New Testament Translation::

    "....the Old Syriac Version [i.e., the Peshi^to], where the one [i.e., uniform] rendering is still more unmistakably clear: ‘These shall go away to the pain of the olam, and these to the life of the olam’–the world to come.” History of Opinions on the Scriptural Doctrine of Retribution: The Peshito

    "Of the New Testament, attempts at translation must have been made very early, and among the ancient versions of New Testament Scripture the Syriac in all likelihood is the earliest."
    Syriac Versions of the Bible, by Thomas Nicol

    "The Peshi^to is, as we have said, the earliest version of the New Testament. Its value and authority it is not easy to over-estimate. Westcott says: “Gregory Bar Hebraeus, one of the most learned and accurate of Syrian writers, relates that the New Testament Peshi^to was ‘made in the time of Thaddeus (the apostle), and Abgarus, King of Edessa,’ when, according to the universal opinion of ancient writers, the apostle went to proclaim Christianity in Mesopotamia” (Canon, p. 259). He adds that Gregory assumes the apostolic origin of the New Testament Peshi^ito as certain, and that it preceded all the sects of the Syrian Church, and was received and appealed to by all."

    "How, then, was aionios translated by this version? In support of his own translation Prof. Tayler Lewis says, “So is it ever (translated) in the old Syriac version, where the one rendering is still more unmistakably clear.” “These shall go into the pain of the Olam (the world to come), and these to the life of the Olam (the world to come).” He refers to many other passages, as Matt. xix. 16; Mark x. 17.; Luke xviii. 18; John iii.15: Acts xiii. 46; 1 Tim. vi. 12, in which aionios is rendered belonging to the Olam, the world to come."
    History of Opinions on the Scriptural Doctrine of Retribution: The Peshito
     
  11. Greg J.

    Greg J. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My point is not to uncover the reasoning behind Universalist belief, but to understand what the verses I posted mean. All I've heard is human ideas—not Scripture backing up straightforward explanations of the kind of verses I posted. A Biblical reference can be used to support a human explanation, but making reference to someone else's explanation usually means that the writer herself cannot explain what it means, implying that she doesn't understand it herself, which indicates the Truth is still being formed in her and probably should not be preaching or teaching.

    Without a coherent explanation of what each phrase in the citations mean, the proposition of Universalist salvation is only a human idea, contrary to the nature of God. No verse in the Bible can be understood correctly without understanding the context, which is not only the culture and times, and who did writing and to whom it was written, but is also revealed by the character of God who is revealed by the whole Bible.
    ______
    While that is the point of this thread, I also wonder what the Universalist view is regarding what happens to a person's spiritual taint of sin, which, in Scripture, only passes away when given a rebirth in Christ, which is only done through believing in and yielding to the Lord Jesus.
     
  12. Pneuma3

    Pneuma3 Well-Known Member

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    Ok so go ahead and reconcile those scriptures to what we are commanded to teach which is...

    ... Jesus Christ IS the saviour of ALL MEN, specially of those that believe. this command and teach.
     
  13. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Dear Greg: I will start from the middle of the Scriptures presented. If you respond well I will continue.

    On the foundation of the text of Matthew 25 what are the qualifying factors for >>>>>

    1. "Everlasting life" ?

    2. "Everlasting punishment" ?

    Bonus question= The 10 virgins are referred to in this same chapter. Who are the virgins and why are 5 wise & 5 unwise? You will note they are ALL virgins!

    4. “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; (Matthew 25:41, 1995 NASB)

    5. “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46, 1995 NASB)
     
  14. Pneuma3

    Pneuma3 Well-Known Member

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    Finally, one who is not a universalist that actually understands and does not misrepresent universalism.

    :oldthumbsup:
     
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  15. Shempster

    Shempster ImJustMe Supporter

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    Haha. I really don't like tags, so I don't call myself a Universalist, but I will say that I had am amazing experience a few years ago and got to see God for who he really was. I was amazed and overjoyed, but at the same time kind of embarrassed. I bought into the notion that God was mean and mad at everyone.
    But once I understood God's real nature of love, all of the scary stuff vanished. I went back and studied the verses again and they suddenly made sense to me. So I am sure that God will not stop until he has recovered the very last sheep. It will be a very long time from now, but believe me, it will happen.
     
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  16. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Interesting, Shempster. Are there some authors you've been reading who expound upon those thoughts?
     
  17. Der Alter

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    "The Peshi^to is, as we have said, the earliest version of the New Testament. Its value and authority it is not easy to over-estimate. Westcott says: “Gregory Bar Hebraeus, one of the most learned and accurate of Syrian writers, relates that the New Testament Peshi^to was ‘made in the time of Thaddeus (the apostle), and Abgarus, King of Edessa,’ when, according to the universal opinion of ancient writers, the apostle went to proclaim Christianity in Mesopotamia” (Canon, p. 259). He adds that Gregory assumes the apostolic origin of the New Testament Peshi^ito as certain, and that it preceded all the sects of the Syrian Church, and was received and appealed to by all."
    "How, then, was aionios translated by this version? In support of his own translation Prof. Tayler Lewis says, “So is it ever (translated) in the old Syriac version, where the one rendering is still more unmistakably clear.” “These shall go into the pain of the Olam (the world to come), and these to the life of the Olam (the world to come).” He refers to many other passages, as Matt. xix. 16; Mark x. 17.; Luke xviii. 18; John iii.15: Acts xiii. 46; 1 Tim. vi. 12, in which aionios is rendered belonging to the Olam, the world to come."<end>
    ...
    Interesting that the pesh!tto was supposedly written before most of the NT was written. James was written 50 AD all the rest are later than 52-53 AD.
    According to an ancient Armenian tradition, St Thaddeus, after various tortures, was beheaded by the sword on December 21 in the Artaz region in the year 50)."
    Full of Grace and Truth: St. Thaddeus the Holy Apostle of the Seventy, and King Abgar of Edessa
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  18. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus PESKY DEVIL! GIT! l SAID GIT! Supporter

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    Much like a furnace.........
    2303. theion thi'-on probably neuter of 2304 (in its original sense of flashing); sulphur:--brimstone.
    2304. theios thi'-os from 2316; godlike (neuter as noun, divinity): - divine, godhead.
    2305. theiotes thi-ot'-ace from 2304; divinity (abstractly):--godhead.
    2306. theiodes thi-o'-dace from 2303 and 1491; sulphur-like, i.e. sulphurous:--brimstone.

    Luke is the only Gospel to mention both "lake" and '"brimstone/sulfur<2303>"


    OC Jerusalem and Lake of Fire
    OC Jerusalem and Lake of Fire


    Luke 5:1
    So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake<3041> of Gennesaret,

    Luke 17:29
    But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone/sulfur G2303 from heaven, and destroyed them all.

    And of course Revelation

    Revelation 11:8
    And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

    Revelation 9:
    17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and sulfurous>2306>: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions;
    and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. G2303
    18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, G2303 which issued out of their mouths.
    Revelation 14:10
    The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone G2303 in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
    Revelation 19:20
    And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. G2303
    Revelation 20:10

    And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, G2303 where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
    Revelation 21:8
    But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: G2303 which is the second death.
    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  19. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

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  20. Der Alter

    Der Alter This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

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    <Shem>A universalist would say that at the end of the ages of ages, every creature will be restored to God the Father.
    But most universalist folks don't suggest that everyone just goes to heaven no matter what.
    The imagery of the lake of fire is a real thing, but they would say that it is not a perpetual torture chamber but a crucible's bowl. That was a bowl heated by fire to melt down gold and remove its impurities. I know this because of the use of the word sulfur in the passage. Sulfur was the "booster" ingredient to the crucible that burned up the impurities.
    So, a universalist believes in the judgement and a time of bitter anguish, but they do not think it is an angry god unleashing his fury on his own creation. They see it as a loving Father forcing people to see how evil they actually were and how being like him would have given them a better life. They would feel the pain they caused others with condescending remarks. They would feel the rejection that they did toward others. They would feel all of the bitter pain they were responsible for in their
    world.<end>
    If, after death and some degree of punishment, God is going to force people to see how evil they actually were feel the pain and rejection that they caused others etc. thus supposedly causing them to repent, why does He permit them to do all that in the first place? Why doesn't He do all this forcing etc. in this life? Does God enjoy punishing His creation?
    .....The recidivism rate for prisons in the US is 76.6%. After release more than 3/4 of released prisoners return to prison. There is no feeling of bitter pain, remorse etc. in fact many blame judges, juries, witnesses etc. everyone but themselves for their situation sometimes trying to take vengeance on those they blame. How is that going to change after death?
     
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