Universal Reconciliation: the belief that God is ultimately going to save all men. The idea is probably new to most people; which makes it a bit shocking to discover that a fellow Christian holds such a position. I mean… the Bible is pretty clear that hell is eternal… right? I remember the first time that I encountered a Christian holding this view… I was confused to say the least. How could a Christian believe that? I was unaware at the time that I was responding out of a deep-rooted assumption that what I had been traditionally taught my whole life – had to be true.
But my assumption was beginning to be exposed. I had just come across a booklet written by a super sweet elderly lady and out of nowhere she makes a claim that all of God’s judgments were corrective, not punitive! At first I couldn’t quite figure out what she was saying, but I had a gut feeling that I needed to figure it out. And when it finally and suddenly dawned on me I couldn’t quite believe it! “Is she saying what I think she is saying?!” And being the insatiably curious person that I am, I had to look into it. And so I did, and what I discovered astounded me.
Now before you judge me to be some kind of silly, frivolous, gullible, trend jumping, mindless Christian, you have to know that I am extremely logical, to a fault. I have many times been compared to Spock from Star Trek. For if I am guilty of anything, it is being too logical, b/c many times spiritual matters require a person to put away cognitive powers and take something on faith, from the heart. And this I do, when I feel the Spirit nudging me.
But the rest of the time I am “studying to show my self approved,” (2 Timothy 2:15) so that I will always be, “ready to give a defense for the faith that is in [me].” (1 Peter 3:15) Which brings me to my next quirk… not only am I logical, I am also obsessed with details. As they say, “the devil is in the details.” If something is true, then it is going to be logical and the nitty gritty details are always going to prove it has an air tight case.
This blog is the culmination of 10 years’ worth of my nitty gritty research. I’ve examined this from every angle possible, questioning every argument and testing it on the best minds that I have contact with. Some disagree, most in fact, but the arguments that they’ve mustered against it seem to fall ever shorter and shorter of reason, compassion and Scriptural support.
But I don’t expect you to take my word for it, rather, I hope that you will be like the Bereans in Acts who were “more noble” than the rest for they eagerly listened to what was being taught and then would check those claims in Scripture to see whether they were true. If you disagree with what I say, don’t just assume you are correct, do some digging and prove to yourself why you hold the position you do. If you agree with me, then I hope that my research proves to be a great foundation for why you believe that God will save all men. And you won’t be alone, for you will have the majority of the Early Church Fathers keeping you company. 😉
Is This Profitable?
Some might wonder, “why write about this? Isn’t there enough division in the Church already? Why does it matter?” And that is a valid query – does it matter? For when it comes to doctrine, the issue is – how important is it? Really? Where does it fit in the scale of important to not important? Or spiritually profitable to not really profitable? Or as a Church organization might secretly conspire… is it really profitable? ($$$) 😉 (I’m joking!)
Perhaps a better question is how can anything the Bible teaches be rated? If as Paul said, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16) then how can any of it be less important than the rest? Perhaps we just don’t have the eyes to see how the minor aspects of Scripture are just as profitable as the major ones. If we did, we might just find ourselves far more motivated to study the entire Bible! We might even check out Leviticus or Ezekiel for a change!
The reason I bring this up is b/c Christians do tend to rate doctrine (or certain topics in Scripture). I’m sure you have probably heard, numerous times in your life, some version of the phrase, “It doesn’t really matter b/c it’s not a salvation issue.” It has become a stock response to brush other theological concepts/doctrines aside whenever a disagreement pops up. As it concerns the topic that we will investigate in this blog, I have personally been told many times, by people who disagree with me, that it ultimately doesn’t matter – because it’s “not a salvation issue.” Well… I have to disagree… completely. It IS a salvation issue, for it concerns the salvation of all mankind! In fact, it doesn’t get any more of a salvation issue than this – the ultimate state of every person who has or ever will exist!
You see… I believe that no matter how wicked a person was in this life, his wickedness will be refined out of him or her through God’s appointed judgment of the divine purifying fire of hell. Because of my beliefs I have been called a Universalist more times than I can count, and, unfortunately, a heretic far more times than I would wish. Now, I do not have a problem with being called Universalist in its normal sense, but most people incorrectly believe that Universalists don’t believe in hell, and by implication, therefore don’t see any need for the atoning work of Christ on the cross. It is further assumed that by Universalism we think that all roads and all religions lead to God/heaven, that people are basically good and don’t deserve to be judged, especially not a judgment so terrible as hell! The popular idea concerning Universalism very nearly condemns me (and others like me) to be New Agers!
Christian Universalism, however, affirms the truth of a future judgment of all men, where many will be cast into the lake of fire (otherwise known as hell); it just happens to be that hell is not endless. It also affirms that all men are absolutely depraved and incapable of saving themselves, and that the only way to be saved from our fallen state and restored to God is through Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the Cross. And I can assure you, without denying any Scriptures, that this can be held with utmost conviction along with the belief that God will save all men.
Therefore, because of such awful misconceptions surrounding the word Universalism I prefer the term Universal Reconciliation.
Outline of Blog
And that is why I chose that as the title for these blogs. It is my aim to give you all the crucial and substantial information on the subject of God’s plan to save all men. I plan on doing this through 5 sections or series. Each series will have a specific theme that we will explore. Each series will also build upon the previous until a clear and substantial case is presented.
The 1st series will address the fact that the words “Forever” and “Eternal” in Scripture do NOT actually mean endless.
The 2nd series will address misconceptions concerning Hell in Scripture. Mostly we will look at those areas of Scripture that are commonly assumed to reference Hell…but in actuality are speaking about something else.
The 3rd series will be an in depth look at the actual teachings in Scripture concerning judgment in the afterlife (hell).
The 4th series will examine, in detail, all the Scriptures that clearly address the fact that God will ultimately save all men. This will be my favorite series, b/c there are a LOT, and they are amazing! For those of you who may not believe me, or can’t wait till then, here are a few you can peruse on your own:
Romans 5:17,18; Acts 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Colossians 1:16-20; Ephesians 1:10; Revelation 21:1,5; Romans 8:21; 1 Timothy 2:4; 4:10; 2 Peter 3:9; Titus 2:11; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 John 2:2; Romans 11:32; Acts 10:9-16,28; Colossians 1:28; John 12:32; Isaiah 45:22-25; Philippians 2:10,11; 1 Corinthians 15:25-28,54; Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 5:13; Psalm 22:27, 86:9, 82:8, and Psalms 72, 67, 98. There is much much more, but that will have to wait.
The 5th series will wrap it all up with a look at the testimony of the Early Church Fathers. For the overwhelming majority of them (all except two) believed and taught that God was going to save all men. This doctrine was also never condemned as heresy in any Church Council. And it was the Roman Catholic Church that pushed the doctrine of endless torment into the majority position that it holds to this day.
I think that the information presented herein will be very enlightening (and quite astounding) to those who, either do not have the time to look into this subject but are curious nonetheless, or who do not have the desire to spend the time to look into it (b/c they disagree with the premise). Even if you are the latter I would recommend that you read at least the first few blogs because I think that you will be surprised by the information that I will be presenting. If nothing else you are probably at least curious why ‘crazy’ people such as myself go around blabbing that God is going to save everybody.
It was my intention to keep each topic as short as possible while still being concise. I will also give sources to support any claims I present, that way you can be assured of the information I present, as well as having the option of checking the information out for yourself.
I hope that the evidence speaks for itself, and speaks clearly. If the evidence is clear, I hope that you have the character and strength of will to accept it as truth even if it is not a popular truth (truth has never been popular). But most importantly, as with everything, let it be considered prayerfully. As Christ said, “If anyone is willing to do [God’s] will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” (John 7:17)
I might add one more note, for the uninitiated – if what I present is true then it will affect many other areas of previously held doctrines. To have a big chunk of your belief system shaken can be very frightening. How will the other aspects of our system of faith incorporate with the new, etc…? This, however, is nothing to be anxious about, for truth is not fragmented, but a whole and will all fit together seamlessly in the end. The only thing necessary to see how it all fits together – is patience.