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Thread: Biblical Universalism

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    Re: Biblical Universalism

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguymd View Post
    I believe I understand what you are trying to say. But #2 is “It is within God's power to achieve his redemptive purpose for the world”. You need to remember that #1 is “It is God's redemptive purpose for the world (and therefore his will) to reconcile all sinners to himself”. #1 states the redemptive purpose in #2. It seems that you need to slightly alter that purpose to be “make reconciliation available to all sinners” rather than having his purpose be the actual reconciliation of all sinners. So maybe you actually disagree with #1. But Christians that mention free will, usually go against #2 and want to affirm the prima facie support for #1 by the verses mentioned in the article.
    After further review, I see what you're saying in a sense. God had the power to create the pathway, and he did that with the perfect life and death of Jesus, but he did not have the power to force sinners to go through that pathway. He unlocked the door for us to go through and be redeemed, but he can't forcefully shove us through that door; we have to make the choice to walk through it by our own free will. So through your lens, I think I would be rejecting point #2?

    But through my lens, I am accepting all three points because God is doing the best that he can given the fact that he chose to create people with free will. I also believe that God can simultaneously want all sinners to accept his redemption offer, but yet be realistic and realize that not all sinners will choose to accept his redemption offer, so given that, the best he could do was to unlock the door for us and give us all the option to step inside and accept his redemption, and he has done that through Jesus Christ.
    Last edited by gfm7175; 01-16-18 at 03:25 PM.

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    Re: Biblical Universalism

    Quote Originally Posted by tosca1 View Post
    What verses did it say support universalism? Can you cite them?
    You are right that the article itself just mentions it as a consequence of support mentioned for the first two propositions. But here are a few I thought of / found with a quick search (there are others). Again, I realize people harmonize these with the hell texts to have God not reconcile all. I just don’t see why that is any better than harmonizing the hell texts with these texts to have God reconcile all. All are YLT:

    Psalms 86:9 - All nations that Thou hast made Come and bow themselves before Thee, O Lord, And give honour to Thy name.

    Isaiah 2:2 - And it hath come to pass, In the latter end of the days, Established is the mount of Jehovah's house, Above the top of the mounts, And it hath been lifted up above the heights, And flowed unto it have all the nations.

    Isaiah 45:22-23 - Turn to Me, and be saved, all ends of the earth, For I [am] God, and there is none else. By Myself I have sworn, Gone out from my mouth in righteousness hath a word, And it turneth not back, That to Me, bow doth every knee, every tongue swear.

    Isaiah 66:23 - And it hath been from month to month, And from sabbath to sabbath, Come do all flesh to bow themselves before Me, Said Jehovah.

    John 12:32 - and I, if I may be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself.

    Romans 5:18 - So, then, as through one offence to all men [it is] to condemnation, so also through one declaration of `Righteous' [it is] to all men to justification of life;
    Romans 11:32 - for God did shut up together the whole to unbelief, that to the whole He might do kindness.

    1 Corinthians 15:22 - for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive,

    Ephesians 1:10 - in regard to the dispensation of the fulness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth -- in him;

    Colossians 1:20 - and through him to reconcile the all things to himself -- having made peace through the blood of his cross -- through him, whether the things upon the earth, whether the things in the heavens.

    1 Timothy 4:10 - for this we both labour and are reproached, because we hope on the living God, who is Saviour of all men -- especially of those believing.

    Titus 2:11 - For the saving grace of God was manifested to all men,

    1 John 2:2 - and he -- he is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world,

    Revelation 21:5 - And He who is sitting upon the throne said, `Lo, new I make all things; and He saith to me, `Write, because these words are true and stedfast;'

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    Re: Biblical Universalism

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    After further review, I see what you're saying in a sense. God had the power to create the pathway, and he did that with the perfect life and death of Jesus, but he did not have the power to force sinners to go through that pathway. He unlocked the door for us to go through and be redeemed, but he can't forcefully shove us through that door; we have to make the choice to walk through it by our own free will. So through your lens, I think I would be rejecting point #2?

    But through my lens, I am accepting all three points because God is doing the best that he can given the fact that he chose to create people with free will. I also believe that God can simultaneously want all sinners to accept his redemption offer, but yet be realistic and realize that not all sinners will choose to accept his redemption offer, so given that, the best he could do was to unlock the door for us and give us all the option to step inside and accept his redemption, and he has done that through Jesus Christ.
    I think that is the sense the author was intending. Because a Calvinist might argue with you that talking about free will to deny #2 is too low a view of God’s sovereignty and power. They might then mention the verses in the article and ones that would support their irresistible grace doctrine (dead in sins, all that the father gives me,etc.). Also, my own thought is that it seems entirely possible (and definitely logically possible) that God would be able to freely bring all people he created to himself in the fullness of time. On the other side, you would reject their limit atonement doctrine as having too low a view of God’s love.

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    Re: Biblical Universalism

    The Bible makes it quite clear that not all people living or who have ever lived will be saved but there will come a time when all people living on the earth will serve God...
    "May people know that you, whose name is Jehovah, You alone are the Most High over all the earth." Psalm 83:18

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    Re: Biblical Universalism

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguymd View Post
    I think that is the sense the author was intending. Because a Calvinist might argue with you that talking about free will to deny #2 is too low a view of God’s sovereignty and power. They might then mention the verses in the article and ones that would support their irresistible grace doctrine (dead in sins, all that the father gives me,etc.).
    They might. And I personally don't view free will as reducing God's sovereignty and power simply because of what free will is. I mean, how can one control the thoughts and actions of someone who was created with free will? And if we didn't have free will, and were simply robots fully controlled by God, then we wouldn't have sinned and wouldn't have needed redemption and etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguymd View Post
    Also, my own thought is that it seems entirely possible (and definitely logically possible) that God would be able to freely bring all people he created to himself in the fullness of time. On the other side, you would reject their limit atonement doctrine as having too low a view of God’s love.
    Yeah, limited atonement is too low of a view on God's love, and to me it rejects free will.

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    Re: Biblical Universalism

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    They might. And I personally don't view free will as reducing God's sovereignty and power simply because of what free will is. I mean, how can one control the thoughts and actions of someone who was created with free will? And if we didn't have free will, and were simply robots fully controlled by God, then we wouldn't have sinned and wouldn't have needed redemption and etc...


    Yeah, limited atonement is too low of a view on God's love, and to me it rejects free will.
    So while you’d view Calvinism and Universalism as mistaken, would you also view them both as heresy? One as heresy? Neither?

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    Re: Biblical Universalism

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguymd View Post
    You are right that the article itself just mentions it as a consequence of support mentioned for the first two propositions. But here are a few I thought of / found with a quick search (there are others). Again, I realize people harmonize these with the hell texts to have God not reconcile all. I just don’t see why that is any better than harmonizing the hell texts with these texts to have God reconcile all. All are YLT:

    Psalms 86:9 - All nations that Thou hast made Come and bow themselves before Thee, O Lord, And give honour to Thy name.

    Isaiah 2:2 - And it hath come to pass, In the latter end of the days, Established is the mount of Jehovah's house, Above the top of the mounts, And it hath been lifted up above the heights, And flowed unto it have all the nations.

    Isaiah 45:22-23 - Turn to Me, and be saved, all ends of the earth, For I [am] God, and there is none else. By Myself I have sworn, Gone out from my mouth in righteousness hath a word, And it turneth not back, That to Me, bow doth every knee, every tongue swear.

    Isaiah 66:23 - And it hath been from month to month, And from sabbath to sabbath, Come do all flesh to bow themselves before Me, Said Jehovah.

    John 12:32 - and I, if I may be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself.

    Romans 5:18 - So, then, as through one offence to all men [it is] to condemnation, so also through one declaration of `Righteous' [it is] to all men to justification of life;
    Romans 11:32 - for God did shut up together the whole to unbelief, that to the whole He might do kindness.

    1 Corinthians 15:22 - for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive,

    Ephesians 1:10 - in regard to the dispensation of the fulness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth -- in him;

    Colossians 1:20 - and through him to reconcile the all things to himself -- having made peace through the blood of his cross -- through him, whether the things upon the earth, whether the things in the heavens.

    1 Timothy 4:10 - for this we both labour and are reproached, because we hope on the living God, who is Saviour of all men -- especially of those believing.

    Titus 2:11 - For the saving grace of God was manifested to all men,

    1 John 2:2 - and he -- he is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world,

    Revelation 21:5 - And He who is sitting upon the throne said, `Lo, new I make all things; and He saith to me, `Write, because these words are true and stedfast;'

    Christ died for all mankind (not only for Jews) - as the ultimate sacrifice - to give the possibility of heaven and eternal life to everyone. Through Christ, mankind is reconciled with God.

    The opportunity is open to all (that is where universalism comes in.)

    Everyone, means including all Gentiles, sinners and non-believers (all over the world).........
    everyone is invited
    .......

    .......however, there is a caveat to that opportunity: Jesus Christ.


    Universalism stops there.


    Jesus Christ. That is the condition to be met, in order to be saved.


    Only in accepting and having faith in Jesus Christ, will a person be saved.
    Acceptance and faith, automatically, should result in repentance (a transformation in behaviour, and thinking).


    Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


    If everyone is saved (universalism).....the Commandments of God (and the instructions for faith and obedience to God) are worthless, and meaningless.
    Last edited by tosca1; 01-17-18 at 07:35 AM.

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    Re: Biblical Universalism

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguymd View Post
    You are right that the article itself just mentions it as a consequence of support mentioned for the first two propositions. But here are a few I thought of / found with a quick search (there are others). Again, I realize people harmonize these with the hell texts to have God not reconcile all. I just don’t see why that is any better than harmonizing the hell texts with these texts to have God reconcile all. All are YLT:

    Psalms 86:9 - All nations that Thou hast made Come and bow themselves before Thee, O Lord, And give honour to Thy name.

    Isaiah 2:2 - And it hath come to pass, In the latter end of the days, Established is the mount of Jehovah's house, Above the top of the mounts, And it hath been lifted up above the heights, And flowed unto it have all the nations.

    Isaiah 45:22-23 - Turn to Me, and be saved, all ends of the earth, For I [am] God, and there is none else. By Myself I have sworn, Gone out from my mouth in righteousness hath a word, And it turneth not back, That to Me, bow doth every knee, every tongue swear.

    Isaiah 66:23 - And it hath been from month to month, And from sabbath to sabbath, Come do all flesh to bow themselves before Me, Said Jehovah.

    John 12:32 - and I, if I may be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself.

    Romans 5:18 - So, then, as through one offence to all men [it is] to condemnation, so also through one declaration of `Righteous' [it is] to all men to justification of life;
    Romans 11:32 - for God did shut up together the whole to unbelief, that to the whole He might do kindness.

    1 Corinthians 15:22 - for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive,

    Ephesians 1:10 - in regard to the dispensation of the fulness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth -- in him;

    Colossians 1:20 - and through him to reconcile the all things to himself -- having made peace through the blood of his cross -- through him, whether the things upon the earth, whether the things in the heavens.

    1 Timothy 4:10 - for this we both labour and are reproached, because we hope on the living God, who is Saviour of all men -- especially of those believing.

    Titus 2:11 - For the saving grace of God was manifested to all men,

    1 John 2:2 - and he -- he is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world,

    Revelation 21:5 - And He who is sitting upon the throne said, `Lo, new I make all things; and He saith to me, `Write, because these words are true and stedfast;'

    If everyone is saved (universalism) - why do we even have the Bible, and the Gospels? What's the purpose?
    Why do even have to know about Christ? After He'd done the dying for us....He became irrelevant.

    What's praying for? Repentance? Love and good deeds?

    Shouldn't we just carry on with how we are and what we do, and be happy? Nothing to worry about, therefore live life as we want to live it (and indulge).....for all is well with us?



    Can you please explain that.
    Last edited by tosca1; 01-17-18 at 07:49 AM.

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    Re: Biblical Universalism

    Quote Originally Posted by tosca1 View Post
    Christ died for all mankind (not only for Jews) - as the ultimate sacrifice - to give the possibility of heaven and eternal life to everyone. Through Christ, mankind is reconciled with God.

    The opportunity is open to all (that is where universalism comes in.)

    Everyone, means including all Gentiles, sinners and non-believers (all over the world).........
    everyone is invited
    .......

    .......however, there is a caveat to that opportunity: Jesus Christ.


    Universalism stops there.


    Jesus Christ. That is the condition to be met, in order to be saved.


    Only in accepting and having faith in Jesus Christ, will a person be saved.
    Acceptance and faith, automatically, should result in repentance (a transformation in behaviour, and thinking).


    Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


    If everyone is saved (universalism).....the Commandments of God (and the instructions for faith and obedience to God) are worthless, and meaningless.
    Right. I think you might be still conflating Christian Universalism with Pluralist Universalism. The latter is what would say that nothing really matters as far as actions or beliefs and everyone goes straight to heaven. The former is what we are discussing here. Jesus is still the only way. Maybe think of it like a Calvinist that doesn’t believe in the limited atonement. A Christian Universalist in an honest 4 point Calvinist. I threw in the “honest” because I noticed that there are those that call themselves 4 point Calvinists that don’t believe in limited atonement but just push it back to a limited election.

    In Christian Universalism, Jesus’s atonement is 100% effective and sin, evil, and death are fully defeated (not co-existing eternally in Hell). And the verses don’t say all are invited, they say all things will be made new, all things will be reconciled to God, and in the Christ all shall be made alive (not all in the Christ shall be made alive). And the part you highlighted in red – you seem to have done that as showing a condition of being saved, but it ends with every knee bowing and every tongue swearing. The part you highlighted actually helps to show that the bowing/swearing isn’t forced upon anyone as some claim.

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    Re: Biblical Universalism

    Quote Originally Posted by tosca1 View Post
    If everyone is saved (universalism) - why do we even have the Bible, and the Gospels? What's the purpose?
    Why do even have to know about Christ? After He'd done the dying for us....He became irrelevant.

    What's praying for? Repentance? Love and good deeds?

    Shouldn't we just carry on with how we are and what we do, and be happy? Nothing to worry about, therefore live life as we want to live it (and indulge).....for all is well with us?



    Can you please explain that.
    I believe I did address it somewhat in my first post to you. I asked why a punishment needs to never end to be worth avoiding. But in any case, I’d say that you should be motived by love and what you have to gain, not by fear and what you have to lose. Even those that believe in eternal conscious torment will admit that this is the proper motivation. A line I’ve heard several times is “God’s not fire insurance”.

    Also you appear to be asking what Paul addresses in Romans 6 – “What, then, shall we say? shall we continue in the sin that the grace may abound?” Even if you don’t think the verses that preceded those questions mean universalism, they were enough that Paul thought they would lead many to the conclusion that saving grace could allow you to keep sinning and still be ultimately saved.

    I’d also argue that sin and worldliness offers a shallow instant gratification but will leave you empty and unfulfilled. I want to say that Ecclesiastes is a good book on that but I’m not positive. On one hand I do understand why you’re asking, but on the other it does seem odd that everything is pointless unless most of humanity is tormented forever. Let’s not grumble because the late workers get the same wage.

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