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You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

  Gungor

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No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found
 

Joy To The World

————

Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings
 

The Revelation Song

 

Do these songs resonate with your soul’s desire?  Do you want to sing to the King of Kings with ALL creation or with just some of it? Do you yearn for everyone to see God as He is and bow and worship Him for His love and beauty forever? Do you experience a deep desire for the curse to be broken and all to be made beautiful? Why is it so easy to sing these songs of praise to God when we are told that God will not have all restored or all creation worshipping Him?  Where do these desires come from?

C.S. Lewis suggested that God “makes no appetite in vain.”  That is, even our unmet desires indicate that such a thing exists.  So also we can take our desire for all things to be redeemed and made new as a God-given desire yet to be fulfilled.

Could God’s plan be better than you ever thought? Even more could God Himself exceed your hopes and expectations?  Why do we yearn for a complete restoration to the point where we even say things we aren’t supposed to mean?  Apparently the Church cannot suppress its deep desire for God to restore all His creation.  They are not allowed to believe what they are so often heard saying:

“What is redemption?  In the biggest sense, It’s God’s arrangement to reverse the curse of sin and to renew all things–to restore creation, not destroy it.  God is on a mission to reclaim and replenish His corrupted territory.  ‘Behold,’ He says, ‘I am making all things new’ (Rev 21:5).”

Tullian Tchividjian  Surprised by Grace

“Jesus, the King, created all things in love.  He has the power and the beauty to see his vision for the world through to its glorious end, to undo everything we have been able to do to harm it.  To accomplish that, He had to come and die for it.  Three days later, he rose again; and will one day come back again to usher in a renewed creation.”

Tim Keller  King’s Cross

The above quotes are from ministers who believe that most of mankind will suffer eternal conscious torment in hell. Therefore these statements should be qualified in order to clarify what they really mean. But, would you desire for them to be qualified or do you wish for them to be as true as they appear?    Why does your heart desire so deeply for these statements to be taken at face value? And what drives one to make these kinds of statements in the first place?

True Christian Universalism believes that within the Story of God, summarized by the historical creeds, there lies a bigger picture yet to be acknowledged by most in the Body of Christ.  We are thinking it, wishing it, singing it, speaking its language, and even living as if it were true!  But we are not yet confessing it.  Even Francis Chan admitted that this issue is more complex than he first thought and he urged us to “keep researching.”  But more importantly we ought to heed our Lord’s words when he said, “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?”  (Lk 12:57)  God has given us permission to use our God-given judgment to discern what is true.

If you feel a sense of awe and wonder at the thought of God reconciling all sinners to Himself, please listen to that God infused desire and “see if these things be true.”  If the concept of God leaving most of His creation in a hopeless state of eternal conscious torment does not sound like good news or a reflection of a good God, then realize He has given you permission to consider and discern whether these things pass the test of being “true and lovely” (Phil 4:8).

We will be filling this site with examples of how our favorite authors, pastors and songwriters are unintentionally affirming and supporting the vision that Christ’s redemption will prove to be wider and deeper than we had ever dared dream or imagine…!

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”  Eph 3:20

 

The following evangelical leaders are demonstrating that Christian Universalism forms ONE beautiful unified Story of God when heard together:

Reformed:                                                              Free-will:

Tim Keller                                                                                      John Ortberg

D.A. Carson                                                                                  John Eldridge

John Piper                                                                                     Billy Graham

Mark Driscoll                                                                              Max Lucado

Francis Chan                                                                                Scot McKnight  

Tullian Tchividjian                                                                      N. T. Wright

Mark Galli                                                                                      Roger Olson

Justin Taylor                                                                                  Lee Strobel

Matt Chandler                                                                               Peter Kreeft

Al Mohler

Randy Alcorn

 

Uncategorized:

Phillip Yancey

 

 

Christians from History:

Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones

C. S. Lewis

G. K. Chesterton

Robert Capon

 

 

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

William McCarter March 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I am very interested in learning more about Christian Universalism. I have just read the book on my Kindle, Hope Beyond Hell and am intrigued. I am curious to know the thoughts on this topic from folks like Tim Keller, John Ortberg, Max Lucado and Billy Graham.
I look forward to your reply. Thank you for your work for the Kingdom of God.

admin March 2, 2012 at 7:36 am

Hi William,
You began your introduction to Christian Universalism with a great book! Hope Beyond Hell provides an outstanding foundation. But for most people it is such a different way of seeing the scope of the Story of God that it usually requires a time of serious study and prayer.

Check out our resources page for further study. These resources carefully reflect and support our statement of faith as Bible believing Christians who love Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior but who simply believe that the Story of God is bigger than we have been led to believe.

One of the purposes of this site will be to provide a place for the Body of Christ to explore this view of the Gospel and to ask questions. Another purpose, as you have asked about, is to show how the Gospel of Ultimate Restoration is actually being constructed and supported by the very evangelicals who confess to believe in an eternal hell for most of mankind. We will begin to show how this is the case.

We are NOT saying that these evangelicals are consciously supporting Christian Universalism but rather that they are revealing by their words and actions what it is written on their hearts to believe: that God is bigger than sin, death and evil and will deliver His entire creation from it.

For a beginning, here are some statements made by Tim Keller and others which read completely contrary to the traditional view they are supposed to believe: http://godslovewins.com/aboutus

Jeff July 3, 2012 at 2:17 am

The breadth of God’s mercy and love is beyond our comprehension, but it is most certainly not scriptural to suggest that people who have actively rejected Jesus as their Savior are still redeemed. When Peter denied Jesus the third time, making an oath, he brought a curse upon himself (Mat. 26:74-75). The curse that comes with being under the law. He immediately repented, and Jesus cannot deny Himself when we come to Him in humility. We’re all just fragile vessels of clay, afterall. But this speaks to the truth of what the curse of the law means to those who do not accept, or those who reject, Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This is no joke. How seriously are we taking the call to evangelize to the lost with the only thing that will set them free: the Truth. Jesus Christ is Lord.

That being said, I am finding in these scriptures something that is not being shared by modern teachers. The breadth of salvation among carnal Christians who are struggling in sin. It appears that salvation is more complex than we assume. It’s something I’m still studying, but it appears that salvation may well happen in three phases: first spiritually, then of the soul, and finally of the body. Spiritual salvation is based solely upon faith in the redeeming blood of Jesus. This can be looked at as what most people recognize as justification. Then there is the matter of salvation of the soul, which is reflected in the call do deny ourselves, pick up our cross, become transformed by the power of the scriptures and the Spirit of God. This is commonly referred to as sanctification. Finally, salvation of the body comes at the end of the race well-ran whereby the believer’s body is finally turned into imperishable, holy flesh. This is known as glorification.

While many are called, and saved in spirit by faith in Christ’s work on the cross, having eternal life in heaven with Father God, few are chosen and reach the end of the race becoming truly transformed and sanctified, thereby being sanctified and glorified.

The issue I have with your blog is that you exhort people to open themselves up to the idea of everyone being saved. In this deceptive age we live in, it’s best to exhort people to go to God to have the truth revealed to them as they diligently study His Word.

Don’t take my ideas on salvation as truth, go to God for truth. He may reveal what I’ve said to be truth through His Word and by His Spirit.

admin July 3, 2012 at 5:33 am

Jeff,
Thank you for your respectful and gracious comment. I took a look at your blog and appreciated seeing your heart for the “orphans and widows in their distress.” (James 1) It is true as you said on your blog: “God’s heart, from the foundation of the world, has been to help the fatherless, the oppressed, the poor.”

You seem to “hunger after righteousness.” I might ask if you realize that the word for righteousness is the same word in the Bible for justice and means literally to return something to its “right-useness.”? That is what you are doing by your urban teaching ministry and the feeding of the homeless. That is something that God puts in the hearts of His children–to care for the needy among us.

The interesting thing to note is that most of the world’s poor and orphaned are ignorant of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. We must come to grips with how we maintain that God loves them and yet, as you imply, will send most of them away to hell eternally for not having saving faith in His cross and resurrection before they die. How is that consistent with His character of love and justice (putting all things back to rights and “making all things new” Rev 21:5)?

“All Glory to God Ministry” is a very wonderful name. Yet it does not appear in your understanding of the Scriptures that He will receive “all the glory.” In fact most of it goes to hell. For God to either not be ABLE to save everyone (Arminian) or not to DESIRE for everyone to be saved (Calvinists) means that He in the end does not receive ALL the glory but in fact most of the glory goes to hell with the lost souls who never come to truly love, honor or worship their Creator and Redeemer.

If you spend a little time on this site you will discover that we are not pointing people away from Scripture but in fact to a more holistic view of the Bible as it unfolds as the one glorious Story of God as told through the message of the entire Body of Christ! If you listen to what each “denomination” or Christian group treasured about the Gospel of Christ you would hear together this message–Note that it is pure Scripture:

“The Lord is good to all He has made. He loves all His creation and is The Savior of the World not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. He is also sovereign in His power accomplishing all that He purposes and wills to do. No desire of His can be thwarted and His word shall not return to Him empty. All whom He loves has been atoned for and therefore redeemed.

He was lifted up in order to draw all men unto Himself with every knee bowing and every tongue confessing that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. He is a missionary God who is pursuing His creation with relentless love and compassion in order to bless them through His Body. Therefore God’s purpose of election is to bless us to be a blessing to every nation on earth.

He is a God of justice which means we are to be about works of mercy and setting things to rights not just bringing consequences to bear upon sin. His justice is restorative and therefore we are to set about doing justice not getting justice. God’s kingdom of restoration and “all things new” is one in which we can begin participating in right now as a foretaste and glimpse of what is to come in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

The “last word” of our God is that of resurrection and life not the cross and of death. Our God is a God of redemption whose purpose is to destroy the works of the devil, conquer the last enemy of Death, reconcile all things to Himself, making all things new in order to be all in all.

He is preparing us all for a day when He will remove the veil from all peoples and will wipe away all tears and prepare a feast of rich food and wine for everyone. Death will be ended and time will be no more as God will be everything to everyone.”

(From: Psa 145; 1 Jn 4:14; 2 Pet 3:9; Isa 46:10; Job 42:2; Isa 55:11; 1 Jn 2:2; Jn 12:32; Phil 2:10; Gen 12:2; Jonah; Micah 6:8; 1 Cor 15:26; 1 Jn 3:8; Col 1:19; Rev 21:5; 1 Cor 15:28; Isa 25; Rev 10:6, 1 Cor 15:28)

Paula February 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm

seems to me you’ve taken a lot of these men out of context. The fact that God so loved the world does not negate the verse immediately following it… that whosoever does NOT believe is condemned already. This is really shameful and defamatory of you to twist the words of these men into heresy that they would never support.

admin February 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Paula,
I do understand your reaction as I come from a background of over 40 years in evangelicalism. It is difficult to admit sometimes that we have been given a lens in which to interpret the Story of God and that is what we are trained to see.

For example why did you not choose to see John 3 the other way around? That God loves the whole world and did not come to “condemn it” but to save it? Then whatever it means “to judge” will be seen through the lens of God’s love, grace and mercy. You cannot believe God loves the entire world simultaneously with believing that He is damning billions (most of humanity) to a state of eternal conscious torment. You can’t have it both ways. Either God loves everybody and His judgments are therefore restorative or He only loves those who are chosen by Him ahead of time (or as Arminians would say “we choose Him,” which btw means we save us).

You have made the assumption that the word translated as “condemns” means eternal conscious torment. There is nothing in the Greek to warrant this:

krinó: to judge, decide
Original Word: κρίνω

Consult an online Interlinear.

The historical creeds of the Christian Church do not contain any reference to an eternal conscious torment in hell but rather to a “judgment.” These are two entirely different concepts. Therefore this is not a matter of needing to accuse anyone with “heresy.” The ironic thing is that both the Calvinists and the Arminians accuse each other of heresy on a regular basis (just google them). I accuse neither but simply see they are upholding two different but wonderful and beautiful aspects of God’s nature:

The God who is WILLING that all be saved is the same God who is ABLE to bring it about!

As far as taking these men out of context I fully disclose that they are proponents of the doctrine of eternal conscious torment for most of humanity. But people reveal what they really believe often by what they leave out or by their contradictions.

For example, Tim Keller is a Calvinist but he defends his belief in eternal hell with arguments that are in direct contradiction with his Reformed beliefs. This is extremely suspect and we are calling him on it. But if you read at any length on this site you will learn that we respect these men greatly for the lives they have led and the part of the Story of God they treasure and highlight. The goal is to receive the message of the BODY of Christ as a whole and to cease calling each other “heretics.”

We all hold some truth and some error. Until we admit that we will continue to be divided and the world will not notice anything supernatural going on. Jesus said that the greatest “missional strategy” was our unity (John 17).

grace and peace…

Paula February 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm

By the way, at least several of those men are on The Gospel Coalition which has a statement of faith here:

http://thegospelcoalition.org/about/who
“The Restoration of All Things We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resur- rection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness.”

The unjust, those who have not been made righteous by faith, will go to hell. We don’t wish that on them, which is why we urge them to repent and turn to Christ. We don’t coddle them and tell them that God will accept them in the end no matter what.

admin February 14, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Hello Paula,
I am fully aware of their statement of faith as a neo-Reformed (Calvinistic) organization. The point is that they are inconsistent with what they say they believe. Listen to Keller as he answers the question of an eternal hell.

Our Reformed pastors/teachers like Keller are supposed to tell us that it is God who chooses His elect for salvation gifting them even the very faith to believe (Eph 2:8,9). The elect, being born dead in sin, are predestined to heaven and then regenerated in order to produce “saving faith.” The Arminians on the other hand loath this doctrine saying that it makes God out to be a “moral monster” for limiting His love and grace to a pre-determined elect purposely leaving “for His glory” billions to suffer endlessly in hell.

But then the Calvinists reject the Arminian teaching that Christ loved and died for all humanity saying that it makes a mockery of the cross since it proves ineffectual for what it supposedly paid for. Also they would say that a universal atonement necessitates embracing a “universal salvation” since Arminians insist that Christ loved and died for the whole world. They insist that anyone for whom Christ loved and died cannot ever be lost or He has failed as a Savior.

If you take the time to read more on this site you will see these contradictions do not end.

The Arminians say that an eternal hell is “God’s salute to man’s free will. It is God’s way of honoring man’s choice.” But nothing could be more repulsive to a Reformed believer who would say the very OPPOSITE. A Calvinist is supposed to proclaim that an eternal hell was the result of man “dishonoring God’s free will and honor.” (Witness the polarized views of Matt Chandler or John Piper vs. an Arminian like Lee Strobel.) However, Calvinists and Arminians can be heard conveniently borrowing each other’s theology in order to sound more reasonable in certain situations and for certain audiences.

In addition an Arminian teaches that YOUR free-will sends you to an eternal hell while a Calvinist teaches that it is GOD’S will that ultimately sends the “non-elect” to an eternal hell. (See the Westminster Confession of Faith/Catechism)

Can you see the serious contradictions within the Body of Christ that shout that something is profoundly off base?

However, what began as contradictions for me now are clearly simply the Body of Christ highlighting different parts to the glorious Story of God, the Gospel which literally means GOOD news and that is: God is both willing AND able to save!

Paula, Jesus’ very name is “God With Us.” He will never leave us nor forsake us and nothing can separate us from His love. Yes, “God will accept all in the end no matter what” because He is love and He loves the world. But there will be no “coddling” for runaway sinners who shun His grace. Like Jonah or the Prodigal Son it will be a severe mercy in a “far country” as they “come to their senses.”

ritchie May 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Although the coinage of C.Universalism is new to me..my own thoughts on the scriptural support by which this naming comes is not new.

My caution runs along a different path if I am understanding CU correctly. That is, everything is finished..in a sense has been finished before the foundations of the world..then played out in the finished works of Christ etc.

If everything is finished and heaven is here and nothing left to do but rest and enjoy the Triune Godhead inside us..why for instance does Jesus say Go and make disciples..or Paul say I press on to the high calling of God..or the language of Hope and what is implied by that.

‘Which is Christ in you the Hope of glory’ ..why hope for what you already have? why ‘earnstly desire’ or have ‘earnst expectation’ as Romans 8 puts it.

I tend to believe that what is already finished as spiritual truth needs to be realized as grown into until physical reality is swallowed up by it.

That while we are to realize that the kingdom of heaven is here as Jesus said (I started using ‘realize’ in place of repent..which means change your mind..or realize)..that we are also to pray thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

I simply do not think we fully arrived to the full impact of Heaven on earth. And also believe in what my idea of what new covenant discipleship means..namely yearning, yeilding, groaning, and giving undivding attention with much longing and loving for the Triune God-Head inside us..to manifest both in the experincial realm of our souls even to the glorification of our physical bodies when the spiritual man manifests dominance over our physical man and..

‘We do not yet know what we shall be, but we do know that we shall be like him..for we shall see him as he is’.

even though it already says..’as he is, so are we in this world’..

the truth on one level is to grow into matching the truth on another.

admin May 17, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Thanks Ritchie for your insights. Yes, we would agree that the reality of the kingdom is “already” (from God’s point of view as the eternal God outside of time) and “not yet” fully realized and therefore not yet fully experienced. But it is as you say a “realizing,” a repentance, in thought and a renewing in our minds toward what God has said to be true of us that brings us closer to the Kingdom realities. We would say therefore that it is not our religious efforts or “contending” for some kind of “spiritual breakthrough” that bring change but the continuous discovery of what has been true all along. (I am wary of the “yearning, yielding, giving undivided attention” etc., True spiritual breakthrough is born out of discovery of truth not our human striving.)

As far as the urgency to share with others if “there is nothing left to do but rest and enjoy the Triune God” we would say it is first of all a battle for truth. It is only in knowing (in a Hebrew way, like intimately) the truth that we are set free. Most people are not free including those in the Church; therefore there are billions of people still held captive beneath a veil of lies. Changing our minds (repenting) is the most difficult thing in the universe! There is plenty of work to do!

The correct wording in the “Great Commission” lends itself to this understanding of revealing the truth of man’s identity in Christ. It actually says, “Discipling all nations…” It does not say, “Make disciples.” We must disciple them in the truth of what is: their objective union with Christ. They need to hear their Story which begins not at the fall but “In the beginning” of John 1 in the fellowship and love of the Father, Son and Spirit.

Having Christ doesn’t eliminate our desire for Christ any more than having a spouse eliminates one’s desire for one’s spouse. Jesus said that anyone who drinks from Him will NEVER thirst again. Do we thirst? Yes, but it is usually because we have been listening to lies and drinking from the wrong well.

I can only speak for myself but I feel a constant urgency and compassionate desire to share the truth that will set others free. It consumes me actually.

ritchie May 18, 2013 at 6:40 am

Nicely put, although we may have a point of contention where we will just have to agree to disagree.

For the most part I agree. Truth is for the taking both objectively and subjectively and filtering through the lens of God’s perspective either before the foundations of the world or through the finished works of Christ is imperative.

We may just be playing with words but I still cannot get around the part of our own human free-will not having to stay on course as subjecting itself to the truth that already objectively there.

To be Spirit led,for me, implies soul subordination..that is, soul to Spirit compliance. A recognition of the indwelling trinity coupled with the desire to stay connected with the source..if one stays ever-mindful of this living water..you will never thrist again..but if one after beholding himself in the perfect law of lierty turns to go his own way..soon forgets what manner of man he is..then has need to thrist again by way of returning to the source.

We are never disconnected spiritual nor even objectively as touching spirit, soul and body..not sure though..its like God saying we are holy, spirit soul and body while still having tendencies to sin.

But if I turn from the mirror of who I am in Christ as a subjective do-my-own-thing experience..is intimacy still there?

Rhett June 17, 2013 at 5:48 am

How does CU refute Christ’s statement of the “unpardonable sin” of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which is illuminated in Hebrews 6:4-6 and is the basis of Phillip Brown’s argument against CU in his book, New Wine for the End Times?

admin June 20, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Welcome Rhett and thanks for your question. However, I am not familiar with Phillip Brown’s book nor do I know your theological background, Arminian or Calvinist, which would substantially change the perspective of my answer. As we have noted on this site Arminians and Calvinists defend their view of an eternal hell for entirely opposite reasons. I suspect the intention of your comment was more to highlight Brown’s book. But if you really want light on this subject the Lord will direct you in resolving your question. I will point you to the study materials on our other site starting with “Anchor Points to Peace” by Gerry Beauchemin:

http://godslovewins.com/study-anchorpoints.htm

grace and peace…

robert August 6, 2013 at 9:34 am

First I would like to say I really like your site being a CU myself. You are doing a wonderful work.
I was just wondering if you would consider having a link to twitter or Facebook on your page so that those of us who read something we really like can like on our Facebook pages. Just a thought.
And again I just love what you have done.
God bless
Robert

admin August 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

Welcome Robert, Thanks for the comment and encouragement!

And we now have added the FB etc., links : )

grace to you…

Eric September 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm

And All the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed My command. (Genesis 22:18)

He is coming to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant 🙂

Blessings

admin September 2, 2013 at 7:55 am

Thanks for sharing that hopeful scripture Eric!

Here are a couple more:

Psalm 22:27,28
“All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
for dominion belongs to the Lord
and he rules over the nations.”

Psalm 24:1,2
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.”

Eric September 2, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Well, there is a website GodsPlanForAll.com, I don’t know you saw it or not, It’s Good 😉

another one is GodsPlanForUs.com, but it is coming soon

Eric September 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm

after asking my Muslim friends here in Iran (I’m Armenian),
I found out that the Doctrine of Eternal Hell is 100% False 🙂
and the Good News is about the Kingdom of God, not just about
Jesus Crucifixion for Sins:

They believe for grave punishment, after death ALL the people will go to hades (real meaning sheol that we name it, they call it [barzakh] a barren wasteland, an unseen world) and just for one night in our time, one day (just the First Night after death), the person who practices Law will be punished so lightly but the wicked more severe by angels, then after that awaiting resurrection, when i told them the punishment will be for ever or until resurrection, they started to laugh, they said you are making God a great torturer, his purpose was not to create us to torture us 🙂

although I believe Spirit returns to God awaiting resurrection,
and soul is not immortal.

Thanks

admin September 3, 2013 at 8:09 am

Hello Eric,
Thanks for your comments and sharing your experience with your Muslim friends. I have seen and read some on the site you mentioned. They have some good articles. I am aware of their position on the mortality of the soul. I cannot at this time discuss that topic here. There are many differing views on this and we have addressed them at some length on another thread.

Our desire is to keep focused on the main thing which we believe is: the good news of the God who left heaven to come to us and become one of us to redeem and reveal our true identity as image bearers of God. Scriptures say that “it pleased the Father to have all His fullness dwell in a human body.” That means Christ proves that God did not want to be God without us. “The only way in which He wanted to be God was with man, for man and as a man” (Andre Rabe) Christ is what God believes about you and me!

Even while we were His enemies God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself!

Distance and delay are the two thorns of religion and I am wary of any doctrine that creates in our minds a sense of separation from God or a delay of the application of the benefits of Christ’s salvation. We are told that “we are in Him who is true” (1 John 5:20). Oneness with God is a reality we can enter into right now because it was accomplished 2000 years ago and even in a sense “before the foundation of the world”! (See John 1 & 15 & 17; Eph 1)

BTW, Have you heard of Carl Medearis and his gracious friendship and ministry with Muslims? Here is the link:
http://godslovewins.com/blog/carl-medearis-making-jesus-accessible/

Eric September 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Thank You.

Mike Owens February 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Love your site!
It’s in my top 3 favorites – along with http://www.HopeBeyondHell.net and http://www.TentMaker.org.

Keep up the great work.
PS – We’re using http://www.UniversalSalvationInformation.com site to help Christians find each other within their area. Feel free to link us on your site if you’d like. (We definitely have you on ours.)
THANKS!!

Gerry February 27, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Mike, Thanks for the encouragement and the link. Looks like you’ve got a great site! Helping UR Christians find other Christian universalists is a great service. Appreciate your work.

Jojo March 18, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Greetings! Desperation brought me to Universalism. The more I tried to become a real follower of Christ, the more I realize that it’s impossible to be one. I mean, to be willing to die for Christ, or to love till it hurts, I can’t even give up fast food so that I could use the money to feed at least 1 destitute child who eats trash on a regular basis. Lordship salvation has exposed me for who I really am. I was at best a bumper sticker kind of christian despite bible college and all that. All that christianese that I’ve been through-theology, catholicism, charismatic, fad-driven, reformed, all that theology, it turns out, are rubbish. I was a fraud. My hypocrisy and self-righteousness, my true color was brought out in the open they reveal that I was and still an unbeliever, that the only semblance of spirituality left in me is fear, fear of death and hell. And now I’m here, hoping that God will save everyone. I was given that bit of hope. And i’m Hoping that hope will blossom into real trust in Jesus, peace, love, joy, and true righteousness that comes from God. I want to know what the Bible really says. Hope your site and some others will help. At least I wanna know propositional truths from the Bible which can be learned from teachers given that spiritual Truth can only be taught by the Spirit. Thanks for your time.

Phillip March 19, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Thank you for commenting and sharing a bit of your story and your heart Jojo. I am familiar with your journey as it sounds very similar to mine.

Jojo, the good news is so good and amazing that you might have to put on your seat belt! It is SO much more and SO much bigger than simply believing God is going to save all. The true gospel will resonate in your heart and rivers of living water will flow out of your innermost being! When you learn that God’s original and only reference for your life is that of Genesis 1:26 where He made you in Adam in His image and likeness and recreated you in Christ you will begin to grasp your infinite value to God as well as those all around you. A lost coin never loses its value just because it is lost and neither have you lost your original value to God the Father! He has one reference for who you are and that is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Ultimately He is not an example for us but of us. We were included in His life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension.

You were in Christ before the foundation of the world which means you were found in Christ before you were ever even lost in Adam!

This gospel does not come demanding faith but instead it comes supplying faith. Where your Bible says, “Have faith in God” it really says, “Have the faith OF God.” The word “in” is not in the original. There is ONE faith and it is God’s faith in what He made and redeemed in Christ. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith.

I am only scratching the surface. Please visit the following website for more encouragement in this enormous gospel!

http://www.hearhim.net

Grace and peace to you in abundance!
Phillip

adrian June 12, 2015 at 7:29 pm

Hi folk
I too have come from (SDA) evangelicalism , one of exclusivism still (sadly), eventually to CU. I didn’t know of CU until I had developed my own thinking on these matters. I came to CU because ultimately to my own heart and mind, it is the only paradigm that ultimately makes any sense of the heart of God, one of Love. The nature of Love is inclusive. I considered that the Will of God is to create beings (in heaven and on earth – all sentient life, critters included), to live forever in bliss. The Rebellion of Lucifer and the Fall of Adam (we had no free will in that matter) does not “change His Will”. And He is all-Powerful. So the “end of the matter” has to do with God accomplishing His purpose, for all sentient life. Praise be to our Father, and Jesus Christ.

It helps me, when considering the ‘Why’ of it all, to borrow from the Shakespearean idea, of the ‘Divine Play’, in which we all have parts to play; Judas had his part, a traitor. Adam had his part, a collaborator. Lucifer had his part, the villain. We much malign each, failing to distinguish the essential being (the ‘actor’) from the role called on to play. Judas is a villain, as is Lucifer, BUT ONLY IN THE PLAY. When the curtain comes down, we all go home to party.

That after all is the Gospel, the good news. Perhaps because of the nature of the play itself, we actors get lost in the parts we all play; and we have lost sight of the ultimate, grand reality of it all; I see the Gospel commission is to inform and remind us, it is only a play.

Here is where the Arminian gets confused; if I truly had ‘free will’, I would think I would not have chosen this part at all, I would have chosen to have been an unfallen angel. And I suspect too, in the role that Messiah Jesus plays, there is a human will to be elsewhere too “…let this cup pass from Me; …nevertheless, not as I will, but Thy Will be done…”.

What I have come to see, also, is that the purpose of this grand Play is yet hidden from us; I have seen all types of speculation; for me, it remains speculation, in anticipation of that ‘perfect day’ yet to come, when all shall be revealed, according to His plan and purpose; then every knee shall bow, and all confess, …to the glory of God.

Phillip June 21, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Thanks for weighing in Adrian! I so appreciate your thoughts. Yes, a Divine Story is so obvious in that we as human beings are always reflecting our Maker in our own creation of stories and in how we frame everything in story form as we always ask one another, “oh…tell me what happened!” We are Story-formed beings and obviously God is a Grand Story-teller as Chesterton asserted.

How it all comes together in the great revelation at the end is as you say, speculation. But there must be things we must learn and become by only living through this particular story here on earth by faith. “Without faith it is impossible to give God pleasure…”

grace and peace…

Melissa September 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm

I am relatively new to the concept of universalism. The only discussion I’ve ever had on it was with someone who quoted Matt 12:32 and asked why Jesus would need to say in this life “or the next” in regards to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. So from that I’m assuming even universalists agree that someone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will go to hell. If you read on to vs 33 He says – Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

All that being said….what is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? We as Christians are suppose to let the Holy Spirit fill us. It gives us a personal relationship with Christ, convictions of our sins, gives us fruit bearing ability, spiritual gifts etc.

If someone is not in repentance of their sin isn’t that a way of blaspheming/denying the Holy Spirit because they are not allowing the Holy Spirit to convict them?

Thank you for your time and God bless.

Stephen John October 11, 2015 at 7:49 am

It’s a lie! There is no possible way.. Unless you believe that I .Am you will die in your sins”…do other religions believe the Jesus is God. No. Are you saying the JEsus came for now reason..to make all religions legitimate? If so. then he never needed to come in the first place..and all those disciples died in vain and others in the world are dying right now in vain..that’s it’s all big one big waste of time. His Ways are NOT our ways..His ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are HIGHER than our thoughts. Be not afraid or think this is being dogmatic or judgmental…has anyone Known the Fear of the Lord and Realized the Christ Crucified from the Foundation of the earth. Take off your Son glasses people. Many are called but Few are Chosen.

Phillip December 1, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Stephen, If you spend even a cursory amount of time on our website you will realize that your accusations are unfounded and inaccurate. I cannot answer except to say please take some time to read what we are actually saying.

You might also want to check the context for your quotation of Isaiah 55. It is a context of mercy NOT judgment much less one of unending torture. It also ends with “My word will not return to Me empty.” God came to seek and to save the lost…the 99, the lost coin, the lost son. You cannot be lost unless you already belong. God’s word will not return void…it will accomplish all it set out to accomplish. “He is not willing that ANY perish.”

Phillip December 2, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Hello Melissa, I deeply apologize for the delayed response. Our spam blocker is not working and legitimate comments are being missed. I am trying to go through and find lost comments. You may not have subscribed to the comments and may not see your answer here. But I hope you come back!

First, I always point folks in the direction of His-Story rather than worrying over individual passages. Is God’s Story one of defeat and loss or of victory and finding ALL His lost sheep?

But for a treatment of the passage itself I direct you to a post by Gary Amirault who covered this on his Tentmaker website. (Note:Tentmaker has some good resources but lacks the boundaries we desire to provide here as distinctly Trinitarian Christian. Therefore we don’t recommend the site as a resource to those new to Christian Universalism.)

First of all, the term “unforgivable sin” is not in the Bible. But we do find Scriptures like, “His mercy endures forever,” “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” “The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases,” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Let us turn to the Scripture used to hold people in bondage to the “unforgivable sin” …In the Original 1611 King James Bible in Luke 12:9-10 we read, (spelling left just as it appeared in the original):

But he that denieth me before men, shalbe denied before the Angels of God. And whesoeuer shall speake a word against the Sonne of man, it shall be forgiuen him; but vnto him that blasphemeth against the holy Ghost, it shal not be forgiuen.

Here are some things to note:

Nowhere does the passage define what blaspheming is.
The consequences of not being forgiven are not given. One has to add their theology to the passage to send this person to “hell”. Jesus could have made a very plain statement of the penalty of blaspheming, but He didn’t.
The Original King James from which I am quoting has a cross-reference for the 8th verse and one for the 11th verse, but not for the 10th verse. This is very strange because this same incident is given in Matt. 12:31-32. Why did the 54 Doctors of Divinity who put the King James together either forget such an important passage, or perhaps purposely not cross-reference it?
In Matt. 12:31 we read in the Original King James Bible:

Wherefore I say vnto you, All maner of sinne and blasphemie shall be forgiuen vnto men: but the blasphemie against the Holy Ghost, shall not bee forgiuen vnto men.

This sounds very much like the passage in Luke, but the next verse adds a little bit more information. Matt. 12:32 reads:

And whosoeuer speaketh a word against the sonne of man, it shall be forgiuen him : but whosoeuer speaketh against the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiuen him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Notice in this passage we have some more information. The blaspheming of the “holy Ghost” will not be forgiven in “this world, neither in the world to come.” Now the unforgiveness is limited to a present world and the next world. If your theology has only two worlds, then there is still no hope of forgiveness. But the New King James Bible and many other translations believe the Doctors of Divinity of the Anglican Church of England made a mistake when they translated the Greek word “aion” into the word “world”. The New King James Bible which is also based on the Textus Receptus translates Matt. 12:32 as: Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

Now things get interesting. Let us keep these words not only in the context of the Biblical passages, but see who He was speaking to and what “age” He was speaking in. He was speaking to the leaders of His own people, the Jews, in the law age. He said to those who said He did miracles by the power of Beelzebub that they could not be forgiven in this age (law) nor in the one to come (the age we are presently in). Ephesians 2:7 speaks of “ages (plural) to come.” If you look at the context of Jesus’ words, we find that:

He was speaking in the law age.
He was talking to leaders of Israel while exhibiting the powers of the Kingdom which they attributed to Satan.
He did not mention consequences such as eternal torment or hell.
He limited the consequences of their blaspheming the Holy Spirit to “this age and the age to come” or as Wuest translates it, “in the one about to come.”
One thing we Christians have a difficult time understanding is that a Jew never looked for the Kingdom of God as something in heaven. His hope was always the restoration of the Kingdom of David here on earth where Israel would rule the nations. Jesus was manifesting the power of the Kingdom right before their eyes and they attributed this (which they longed for) to Satan. The Kingdom is a time when His power will manifest in a people to set creation free. The religious leaders attributed this power to Satan and therefore could not enter into that which they desired. Their unbelief kept them from the power of the Holy Spirit. They were denied the right to participate in the great power the early Christians exhibited. Their unbelief caused the Holy Spirit to pass them over, but there are other ages to come where they can again be grafted in. We Christians have forgotten that our Father is able and will one day graft them back into the olive tree. Be careful, modern pharisee, that you are not cut off from the wonderful things our Father has in store for us in the age which is almost upon us. Many Christians are presently exactly in the same place as those pharisees, attributing the power of the Holy Spirit to Satan.

So now we see there is no such thing as an “unforgivable sin”. When He tells us to forgive “7X70,” He is not a hypocrite, as many Christians make Him out to be by their theology. Praise Him, that there is hope for the pharisee. Usually a sinner saved by grace through faith becomes a self-righteous pharisee for a season, sometimes for a long season, like an age or two. I am glad my Father has all the time He needs to get us straightened out. Aren’t you?

The problem we just looked at stemmed from the fact the King James translators translated the Greek word “aion, aion” into several different English words that have caused more problems that just the “unforgivable sin”. (Gary Amirault, Tentmaker)

Gary Aronson, U.P., Wa. December 23, 2015 at 10:21 am

Hi. If God is infinite AGAPE LOVE, How can He torture HIS CREATION made in His image FOREVER, FOR THEIR FINITE SINS???? thanks!!! Gary

Phillip December 23, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Yes, thanks Gary…that is the question not enough evangelicals are asking! It comes from the understanding that our sins are against an infinite God so therefore the punishment must need be infinite. It came from Anselm around the year 1100. A fairly late view considering that the church did not hold this view for the millennia before. It was the fruit of medieval law and mindset.

Do you lead a fellowship in the WA area? Or are you a part of one? We get requests all the time from readers who are looking for believers who are open to this infinite agape love of God!

Grace and peace,
Phillip

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