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Featured What Does Universal Salvation Mean?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by AlexDTX, Jun 21, 2017.

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  1. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you, Chaela, for that honest answer. I don't think God has made the Bible as cleverly designed Rorshach test, but you are right that it is interpreted in many, many different ways.
     
  2. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that this verse supports universal salvation? OK. I read it to mean that the covenant to the Jews proved that all were in unbelief by the law, hence the covenant of grace could be given to all mankind. Thank you for letting me know what you believe.
     
  3. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you for your response. It is not what I am addressing. Just for the record, I disagree with your view, but that will take this thread in another direction that I am not interested in going.
     
  4. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I certainly agree that rules of biblical hermeneutics are not known by many people and agree to the value of such knowledge. However, hermeneutics are rules for logical interpretation, not spiritual interpretation. Spiritual interpretation comes from a heart understanding of God. Nor am I making a case for spiritual interpretation alone. The two work together and harmonize.

    Thank you for your feedback, but as I said from OP, I am seeking information from those who support universal salvation, not those who oppose it. I want to give them a fair shake in response.
     
  5. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No, not good enough. I don't see how you have answered my question.

    I asked, "So do you believe in universal salvation? Again, from what little I understand, if all will be saved in the end, why should you preach the Gospel?"

    You did not say you believed in universal salvation. And if you did, you did not say why you should preach the Gospel. If they are saved, they will not go to Hell, correct?

    I suppose, "having joy of salvation in this lifetime" and "saving them from the ravages of sin" makes sense, though.
     
  6. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No, I do not believe that is the primary purpose. The primary purpose of the Gospel is the new humanity that Christ began. This is why I don't believe in universal salvation. If a person dies without the new birth, they do not partake in the new humanity. The new humanity are all who become partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4) are become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Christianity is biology not religion. This "hope" we have for the future transformation of our bodies (1 Cor. 15) is dependent upon our believing the Gospel before we die.

    This is what I take away from the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16). When the rich man implored Abraham to send someone from the dead to warn his living relatives, Abraham replied:

    Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
    Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
    Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.​

    And I think this is what happened when Jesus preached the Gospel in Hades. Those who died believing that a Messiah would come and save them believed Jesus and left Hades, but those who died in unbelief remained in Hades still in their unbelief.
     
  7. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    From the content of what you wrote, it seems like you are saying that you don't believe in universal salvation, am I right? I agree with what you said: "God's mercy and benevolence should not be mistaken for eternal salvation to all." The rain falling on the just and the unjust, in my view, is merely a statement from Jesus that God is good all the time and his unchanging character is such that all He can do is be good towards all people. That, as you kind of said, should not be mistaken for his condoning sin or evil.
     
  8. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sorry to hear that. This is my intention. I want a respectful and intelligent discussion of the topic. While I don't believe in Universal Salvation, I realize that it is being embraced by those with the new birth. I have not yet talked with someone who believes in US who is not also born again. At least, I am not aware of it. It would be interesting to hear someone who does not know Jesus make the case for US.
     
  9. Kerensa

    Kerensa Well-Known Member

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    It would be, but wouldn't that be taking this discussion into the realms of other religions and out of the context of Christian theology? :confused:
     
  10. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you Lazarus. As I suspected, those who embrace this position are often intelligent and well thought out believers. I do not want to be disrespectful to you or others who have come to this conclusion as though they are merely people who don't want to believe that there will be eternal torment.

    Several supporters of "salvation for all" also say that they actively share the Gospel. As Paul said to the Philippians:

    Php 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
    Php 1:16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
    Php 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
    Php 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.​

    As I have seen of yet by those who believe in universal salvation, the fundamentals of the Gospel remain intact. God became the man Christ Jesus, died for our sins and rose from the dead 3 days later. If we recognize our sins and need for a Savior, Christ will come into our hearts bringing the Holy Spirit into our lives transforming us.

    Am I wrong in this assumption?
     
  11. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, that could happen. As I said, I am just now exploring the topic, so I don't know if there are any who believe in universal salvation without also believing in Jesus.
     
  12. Kerensa

    Kerensa Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, brother. I can't help noticing the huge contrast between this attitude and that shown on the other universal salvation thread I linked to earlier, in which those who put forward any reasons and explanations for the belief in universal salvation have been repeatedly countered with complete (and contemptuous) misreadings of what we believe. For example, that we're Unitarian Universalists; that there's no Biblical or patristic support whatsoever for universal salvation; that we don't believe there's any need for Christ, or that we deny the whole meaning of the crucifixion; that we don't believe in any kind of punishment for sin; or that universal salvation means a sort of fluffy "la la la, it doesn't matter what anyone believes or does because we're all going straight to heaven" kind of outlook.

    I've never yet met a Christian Universalist who believes any of those things (I certainly don't!), yet we seem to be constantly fighting the assumption (or the accusation) that we do. So a friendly and mutually respectful discussion, even when we may not agree with each other on all points, is so very welcome. Many thanks again. :blacksunrays:
     
  13. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So, I take it by your answer, that you believe in universal salvation? Regarding what you said above, I think people tend to go to one of two extremes: either God's will is irresistible as Calvinists believe, or that we totally have free will as Arminiasts believe. Personally I believe there is a balance between the two views, that only God fully understands. The Scriptures clearly state that God is not willing that any should perish but all should come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). But this plain statement speaks of 2 wills: God's desire for none to perish, but also man's requirement to repent.

    Regarding your second comment, I can see your logic. If by one man all have sinned, then it makes sense that by one man all can should be saved. However, in my reading of Romans 5 it speaks of death in physical not in the afterlife. And the KJV says "many" not all. Romans 2 addresses salvation before the law of Moses was introduced in that those who obeyed their conscience showed the law in their hearts. As I understand it, all who knew of he promise of Messiah to come (Heb 11) were saved by that hope and all who knew nothing of the Messiah to come nor knew the law of Moses were saved by their obedience to their conscience. However those who didn't believe the Messiah would come and willfully rejected their conscience or the law perished.

    From my point of view I still see we have a choice, and that choice determines our outcome.
     
  14. RayJeena

    RayJeena Humble and proud of it. Supporter

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    I don't know of Pope John Paul II would be considered "born again", but I would rather not presume to know who is and who is not a Christian. But he spoke quite a bit of what he, at one point, termed as "the invincible guarantee universal salvation". I've got a collection of his statements on the subject here: Pope John Paul II and Universal Salvation | Christian Forums
     
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  15. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You are welcome. I hope this conversation will remain respectful and intelligent throughout the thread.

    I am a big fan of the God Journey with Wayne Jacobsen and Brad Cummings. I first became aware of universal salvation on a forum called, Simple Church (now gone), which had many listeners of the God Journey on it. That kind of acrimonious debate I first saw there. It is ironic that Paul Young's book, The Shack, was originally written with a universal salvation point of view that neither Wayne Jacobsen nor Brad Cummings held. Because they edited and published The Shack, that point of view was withheld. Later on Paul Young sued their publishing company and I think he has revised the book for a US conclusion. Brad Cummings had the film rights and produced the movie version of the book and kept the US conclusion out of the movie.

    My point is that because of this background, I want to understand better that position. Also, Wayne has been a great example for me of being respectful to other people's point of view even when he disagrees. I want to give everyone that same respect, although, if your read my comments on other threads, I know I have not lived up to my own desire.

    It is easy to become overly emotional on things, especially when others are being overly emotional to you.
     
  16. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you for the link. I will try to look at it when I have more time.
     
  17. Apex

    Apex Radical Centrist & Ethicist

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    If we take Romans 5:18 to mean automatic salvation for all, it creates an interpretive paradox. We simply cannot discount or ignore the passages that teach the reality of eternal punishment for those who do not embrace Christ be faith in this life, such as 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9.

    The point of Romans 5:18 "is that there can be an assurance of justification and life, on one side, that is just as strong and certain as the assurance of condemnation on the other. Paul wants to show, not how Christ has made available righteousness and life for all, but how Christ has secured the benefits of that righteousness for all who belong to him." (1)

    1. Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), 343.
     
  18. Lazarus Short

    Lazarus Short Well-Known Member

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    You are not wrong - my beliefs are fairly conventional, except for the questions of the Salvation of All and the existence of Hell. We need to move from a fear-based Christianity to a love-based Christianity, just as Jesus demonstrated when He told us we could approach the Father with the intimate term "Abba."
     
  19. SaintNick

    SaintNick Member

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    When you want to learn how to do something yourself or what to expect you go to someone with the experience in the subject to show you or teach you. In the same way I went to those who had died and came back to life, i.e Near Death experience cases and testimonies on youtube. An in those repeatedly was visions of hell. So I haven't died yet, an my basis goes off of that confirming there is a hell.
     
  20. RayJeena

    RayJeena Humble and proud of it. Supporter

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    Universal redemption is actually the one thing that I would think puts Christianity over and above any other of the main religions. The threat of punitive measures in the after life is so typical of religions. Christianity has, in Jesus, something that makes it stand out, so to factor post-mortem punishments into the mix simply brings it down to the same level as any other religion, at which point one has to wonder what Christianity has to offer that any other religion doesn't. I might as well be Muslim or Zoroastrian in that case.
     
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