Christian Universalism

Discussions surrounding the various other faiths who deviate from mainstream Christian doctrine such as LDS and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
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#46

Post by FFC » Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:49 pm

Thanks, Bernie,

for all of your time. Quite frankly much of what you write is over my head. I never thought for a moment that I could sway you from your beliefs but it was fun interacting anyway. Maybe somebody smarter than me (shouldn't be hard to find) would care to jump in.

As for the Matt 21 passage you should check out the "7 reasons..." thread. Jac and ttroews might be able to shed a different light on it for you.

Take care
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#47

Post by R7-12 » Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:10 am

Just curious...

Do Universalists believe the fallen host will have an opportunity to repent?

Thanks,
R7-12

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#48

Post by puritan lad » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:26 pm

I think it's time for this thread to become subject to some "Puritan Fire".

"For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." And again, The Lord will judge his people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Heb. 10:30-31)

Image

As per the title of this thread, there is no such thing as a Christian Universalist. One is either a Christian or a Universalist, but cannot be both. The Doctrine of Eternal Judgment is ignored more often then not by today's church, and is truly a lost doctrine today. Arthur Pink laments, "It is sad to find so many professing Christians who appear to regard the wrath of God as something for which they need to make an apology, or at least they wish there were no such thing. While some would not go so far as to openly admit that they consider it a blemish on the Divine character, yet they are far from regarding it with delight, they like not to think about it, and they rarely hear it mentioned without a secret resentment rising up in their hearts against it. Even with those who are more sober in their judgment, not a few seem to imagine that there is a severity about the Divine wrath which is too terrifying to form a theme for profitable contemplation. Others harbor the delusion that God's wrath is not consistent with His goodness, and so seek to banish it from their thoughts."

According to most polls, the percentage of Americans who believe in Heaven ranges from 80% to 90%, while the percentage who believe in Hell ranged between 40% and 70 %. The saddest part is that these numbers weren't much different among professing Christians. However, I must repeat that anyone who would reject this doctrine cannot be called a Christian. Those who reject the doctrine of God's eternal wrath upon the wicked do not love the God of the Bible, but a false god, an idol of their own vain imaginations. Of them it is written, they "will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction." (2 Peter 2:1)

The God of the Bible is not apprehensive concerning His wrath, nor does He shy away in shame at its mention. His own challenge is "See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand. For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say, I live forever, If I whet My glittering sword, and Mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine enemies, and will reward them that hate Me" (Deut. 32:39-41). The Bible knows nothing of a god that is "too nice" to judge wickedness. In fact, a quick study of the Scriptures will show that there are more verses referring to God's anger and vengeance than there are to His love and mercy. Because God is holy, He hates all sin; And because He hates all sin, His anger burns against the sinner every day (Psalm 7:11). This is a doctrine that no preacher of righteousness has a right to ingore.

The Doctrine of Judgment in Christian Orthodoxy

The Eternal punishment of the wicked was taught among the earliest Christians. In his Letter to the Ephesians 16:1-2, Ignatius of Antioch (110 AD) writes, "Corrupters of families will not inherit the kingdom of God. And if they who do these things according to the flesh suffer death, how much more if a man corrupt by evil reaching the faith of God for the sake of which Jesus Christ was crucified? A man become so foul will depart into unquenchable fire, and so will anyone who listens to him." Clement of Alexandria (150 AD) writes, "If we do the will of Christ, we shall obtain rest; but if not, if we neglect his commandments, nothing will rescue us from eternal punishment" (Second Clement 5:5). Irenaeus (189 AD), the Second Century Bishop of Lyon, in his work "Against Heresies", adds "The penalty increases for those who do not believe the Word of God and despise his coming. . . . It is not merely temporal, but eternal. To whomsoever the Lord shall say, "Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire," they will be damned forever"" (Against Heresies 4:28:2). Similar statements can be found in works by Justin Martyr, The Martyrdom of Polycarp, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, Hippolytus, Minucius Felix, Cyprian, and Cyril of Jerusalem.

The Doctrine of Eternal Judgment has also been clearly established from the earliest Christian Creeds and Confessions. The Apostles Creed states, “He shall come to judge the living and the dead.” The Nicene Creed adds that Christ will come "to judge the quick and the dead”. The Athanasian Creed expounds even further, stating; “From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies; And shall give account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.”

Other beliefs concerning this doctrine began to appear in the Alexandrian school of theology. There are traces of Restorationism (a belief in a temporary, remedial punishment) in Origen. This heresy was combated by Epiphanes, Jerome, and Augustine. Pope Gregory I was the first to formalize teachings in the Catholic Church surrounding Purgatory, a place of temporal punishment for post-baptismal sins. However, aside these few minor exceptions, the Christian Church has always held the Doctrine of the Eternal Punishment of the Wicked to be the ONLY orthodox Christian position.

The Westminster Confession Chapter 33, Section 2 states, "The end of God's appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect (Matt. 25:21; Rom. 9:23); and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate who are wicked and disobedient (Rom. 2:5-6; Rom. 9:22; 2 Thess. 1:7-8,). For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord (Matt. 25:31-34; Acts 3:19; 2 Thess. 1:1-12), but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power" (Matt. 25:41, Matt. 25:46; 2 Thess. 1:9).

Since the Reformation, other heresies, such as Universalism (univeral salvation) and Annihilationism (the wicked will cease to exist) have crept in. Those who hold these beliefs rarely appeal to scripture, but rather emotionalism. They usually reason that God's punishments are reformatory rather than punitive. However, God Himself refers to His judgments as "wrath", "fury", and "vengeance". Nothing about the judgments against the wicked could be mistaken for rehabilitation.

Some modern day universalists boister their beliefs on Near Death Experiences (NDE's). Many alledged "visions of heaven" and "light" have occurred within NDE's among the most wicked individuals. While I am skeptical about the occurance of NDE's, we must also remember that "even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." (2 Cor. 11:14). Any theology that exalts NDE's over the clear teachings of Scripture is a folly of fools (Prov. 15:14).

Hell Defined

See how the stubble of Universalism is consumed by the fire of God's Word. The Hebrew word she'ol, (Greek Hades - literally "unseen"), has multiple meanings, including the grave, hell, and pit. Despite these various definitions, there can be no doubt that multiple instance of she'ol and Hades refer to the abode of the damned, as it is taken in Luke 16:23. Various synonyms of it occur in the Scriptures, such as 'abaddon see Prov. 15:11) or perdition (see Prov. 27:20). Consider these passages:

The wicked "in a moment they go down to Sheol." (Job 21:13). "The wicked shall be turned back unto Sheol." (Psalm 9:17). If these references were taken to be the grave, than why single out the wicked, since the righteous will also face the grave? "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, And shalt deliver his soul from Sheol." (Prov. 23:14). Can anyone rightly suggest that parental discipline can rescue a child from the grave? "Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied" (Prov. 27:20). Here Sheol is used along with Abaddon (destruction), the name of the angel from the bottomless pit (Rev. 9:11).

The word Gehenna (see Matt. 5:22, 29), is a word derived from the valley of the children of Hinnom, in which the wicked Israelites were accustomed to practice horrible idolatries to Moloch, the idol of the Ammonites. It is synonymous with "everlasting punishment" Jesus identifies Gehenna with Isa 66:23-24 by speaking of it as the place of "The gnawing worm" and "unquenchable fire" (Mark 9:44). In it's context, Jesus is adamant that Hell is worse than bodily mutilation and is to be avoided at all costs.

The word Tartarus is only used once (2 Peter 2:4). It is derived from one of the compartments of the pagan Greek Hades, recognized by mythology (Homer's Odyssey 11:575 and Plato's Gorgias) as a place for eternal judgment. For Peter to have chosen this word for a place of temporal punishment would have been most deceptive. Jesus will tell the wicked to "Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41). Therefore, a consistent universalist must believe in the eventual salvation of the Devil himself, a most foolish doctrine.

According to the Scriptures, Hell is "…to be feared" (Luke 12:4-5); "…to be avoided at all costs" (Matt. 5:29-30), "…a fiery furnace" (Matt. 13:42), "…a lake of burning sulfur" (Rev. 20:10). "…everlasting" (2 Thess. 1:9), "…unquenchable" (Matt. 2:12), "…eternal" (Jude 1:7). In Hell, there "…will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 8:12), for it is a place where the "…worm does not die and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:44-48). For those who go there, "…it would be better to have never been born" (Matt. 26:24). It was universally Accepted by the ancient Jews and Greeks that there would be a place of eternal torment. If Jesus or His Disciples actually believed Hell to be a place of temporal punishment or annihilation, they would have been purposely misleading their listeners. No modern reader of the above scriptures, much less an ancient one, would have concluded from these words that all men without exception would eventually be holy and happy in heaven.

The modern treatment of the Doctrine of Hell isn't much better. In the few instances when it is addressed at all, we are told that "the worst part of Hell is the eternal separation from the presence of God". Really? If that is true, then Hell is really no threat at all to the unrepentant sinner, who has already lived most of his life outside of God. Hell would be the ideal place for the ACLU attorney, who not only wants to live outside the presence of God, but wants to make sure that everyone else does as well.

First of all, those in Hell are NOT physically separated from the presence of God. That is a myth, mere wishful thinking. Rev. 14:10 tells us that the wicked "shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb". No my friend, it is not the absence of God that is the true horror of Hell, but rather His presence. In Hell, God will be there to personally pour out the fire of His Divine wrath upon the damned. It is there that He will "hate" and "abhor" you (Psalm 5:5-6). Your cries for mercy will falls on His deaf ears as He "will laugh at you calamity and mock at your terror" (Prov. 1:26). Hebrews 10:31, a scripture that you won't find on many bumper stickers and T-shirts, states this quite accurately. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

Hell will be the destination for…The Devil (Rev. 20:10) and His Angels. (Matt. 25:41); whoever's name is not found written in the book of life (Rev. 20:15); dogs, sorcerers, sexually immoral, murderers, idolaters, liars. (Rev. 22:15); the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers (1 Cor 6:9-10); and Hypocrites (know today as “Carnal” Christians). ie. professing Christians who practice lawlessness (Matt. 7:21-23), who attempt to come to the feast without the proper garments (Matt. 22:12-14).

Hell is eternal. It is a place of “everlasting punishment” (Matt. 25:46). If it were just for a million years, then one could have hope in Hell. But there is no such fortune for the wicked. There is no parole from Hell. There will never be a moment when the lost man can say, “Release me, I've served my time”. After he has spent 1 Billion years suffering Hell's eternal torments, he will be no closer to the end of his punishment then he was at the beginning. It is the height of foolishness to think that the worst thing we have to fear is annihilation or separation from the presence of God. As the sign above Dante's inferno read: “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here".

Now I shake the dust of this heresy off of my feet. Let him who argues use scripture, without making it "spiritual" to suit their own ends, for their spirit is foul. The Bereans, on the other hand, were quite "Spiritual".

PL
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#49

Post by R7-12 » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:59 pm

puritan lad,

You need to do some serious studying. The demonic image posted and the false teaching of the eternal torment of wicked souls is of the Adversary.

Please consider reading this and this. In the second paper, you may want to scroll down to section 9: Hell and then consider some of the other links there.

R7-12

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#50

Post by Canuckster1127 » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:03 pm

R7-12 wrote:puritan lad,

You need to do some serious studying. The demonic image posted and the false teaching of the eternal torment of wicked souls is of the Adversary.

Please consider reading this and this. In the second paper, you may want to scroll down to section 9: Hell and then consider some of the other links there.

R7-12
I rather suspect PL will take you up on that. ;)

Interesting to note however, that you seem willing to involve articles in defense in your own cause and eschew them in response to your questions.

To each their own however. ;)
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#51

Post by puritan lad » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:15 pm

R7-12

Would you want to deal with the sunstance of my argument with scripture? That is what I study. Nonetheless, I'll browse over the articles written by your lost friends, but I certainly do not intend to read them all. Spending too much time around the barnyard will make you smell like...well, you get the picture.

Of course, if your are correct, I shouldn't worry about being "demonic" or an "adversary", since I'll eventually be in heaven with the demons anyway.

EDIT: Nevermind, I see that you are an annihilationist. I'll respond soon.

May you come to know One True God, the God of the Scriptures.

PL
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#52

Post by R7-12 » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:21 pm

The fact is I didn't eschew the articles offered in response to my questions, I read them and that is evidenced by the errors I addressed.

The papers I offered were given to address the misapprehension of scripture and profound doctrinal unawareness, not a single point of contention.

R7-12

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#53

Post by R7-12 » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:37 pm

EDIT: Nevermind, I see that you are an annihilationist. I'll respond soon.

May you come to know One True God, the God of the Scriptures.
I do know the Only True Elohim and His son whom He sent (John 17:3).

Going to heaven is another fallacy of the Babylonian Mystery Religion. It's dealt with in the papers linked previously.

Both doctrines - going to heaven or hell, find their origin in the first lie of Satan, "You shall not surely die!"

The immortal soul doctrine is the basis for the highest form of poytheism. If everyone has an immortal soul in them, they cannot die becasue they have life inherent in themselves - just like God. Thus everyone is a true God which is the epitome of polytheism.

If eveyone has an immortal soul then no one depends upon God for everlasting life. Although you will argue that everlasting life in the Greek myth you call hell is not REALLY life like it will be in the retirement home that mainstream Christians believe in which they call heaven.

Any way you slice it, existing forever is everlasting life and this is only possible for MORTAL man if it is granted him by God according to faith (Rom. 8:11, John 3:16, John 5:24, 1 Cor. 15:50-58).

R7-12

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#54

Post by FFC » Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:19 pm

puritan lad wrote:R7-12

Would you want to deal with the sunstance of my argument with scripture? That is what I study. Nonetheless, I'll browse over the articles written by your lost friends, but I certainly do not intend to read them all. Spending too much time around the barnyard will make you smell like...well, you get the picture.

Of course, if your are correct, I shouldn't worry about being "demonic" or an "adversary", since I'll eventually be in heaven with the demons anyway.

EDIT: Nevermind, I see that you are an annihilationist. I'll respond soon.

May you come to know One True God, the God of the Scriptures.

PL
Yes, PL, I'm sure that last post was very inviting. :roll:
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#55

Post by puritan lad » Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:34 am

FFC, it's just the truth, that's all.

Was I harsh? Perhaps. But I'm very rarely polite to cultists who are workman of the Devil sent to lead people astray. If you want to be, go for it.

Of course, since you consider Jonathan Edwards to be a "raving lunatic", you probably love Jesus' Sermon in Matthew 23.
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#56

Post by puritan lad » Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:28 am

Great, you link to a demonic Unitarian site to defend your heresy. This first article is a classic example of how the wolves twist scripture to promote their heresy.

First of all, there is very little consensus on what the Nephilim are I agree fully with Augustine's view that they were the sons of Cain, but for you to attempt to make an entire resurrection doctrine out of this topic is ridiculous.

Second, Despite the many scriptures that I have posted in support of eternal damnation, the author hinges his argument on Isaiah 26:13-14 and wrenches it out of context. Isaiah 26 does not deal Nephilum, but the [adon adon], Tyrants and "lords.. [who] have ruled over us" vs. 13 (Most likely Babylon (Isaiah 23:13). The statement that “They are dead, and will not rise” does not refer to their final state, but was spoken as a comfort to those fellow Israelites who were oppressed by them. In the end, “an hour is coming when ALL who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28-29). Jesus, the all-knowing GOD (yes, I said that), was quite clear on how He would judge the wicked in everlasting punishment.

Finally, nowhere does it say that Cain and Abel were Adam's only two children. God told Adam to Be fruitful and multiply. If Adam, after 130 years of reproducing, only had three children, he wasn't being very fruitful.

I pray that these words of truth will make you flee from the wrath to come.

PL
Last edited by puritan lad on Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#57

Post by puritan lad » Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:56 am

I won't bother searching out every single verse that refutes your heresies as that would take all day. There are just too many. A few will suffice.
I do know the Only True Elohim and His son whom He sent (John 17:3).
I hate to tell you, but your religion is polytheist as well. The very name of your god “Elohim (Elohiym)”, is simply plural for the Hebrew word for God “el-o'-ahh”. It's too bad that you really don't know Him or His Son Immanuel (God with us). I pray that you will.
Going to heaven is another fallacy of the Babylonian Mystery Religion. It's dealt with in the papers linked previously.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:3)

Jesus Christ “has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.” (1 Peter 3:22)
Both doctrines - going to heaven or hell, find their origin in the first lie of Satan, "You shall not surely die!"
For those who are His, they only die once. Consider the blessings of avoiding the Second Death. (Rev. 20:12-15)
Any way you slice it, existing forever is everlasting life and this is only possible for MORTAL man if it is granted him by God according to faith (Rom. 8:11, John 3:16, John 5:24, 1 Cor. 15:50-58 ).
So is everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46).

"Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men..." (2 Cor. 5:11).

PL
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#58

Post by FFC » Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:44 am

puritan lad wrote:FFC, it's just the truth, that's all.

Was I harsh? Perhaps. But I'm very rarely polite to cultists who are workman of the Devil sent to lead people astray. If you want to be, go for it.

Of course, since you consider Jonathan Edwards to be a "raving lunatic", you probably love Jesus' Sermon in Matthew 23.
PL, there is a way to speak the truth in love. my problem is that you and Edwards don't seem to understand that, but what can I expect from people who don't believe that God so loved the whole world, only those He chose.

Don't compare yourself to Jesus, PL, or you may have to re-examine your whole approach.
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#59

Post by puritan lad » Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:02 am

FFC,

Unfortunately, you seem to be the victim of the modern "gospel effeminate."

If you love a child who is standing in the path of a Mac Truck, you will not stand on the side of the road and offer him a piece of candy to get out of the way.

So it is with the cultists on his path to Hell, whether he believes it or not.

Jude 1:20-23
"But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh."

Besides, these cultists are not "misguided christians", but are of the Devil and are enemies of the faith, and thus should be treated as such, "so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord." (1 Cor. 5:5). The Bible's warning is clear, from such turn away.

PL
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#60

Post by puritan lad » Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:40 pm

R7-12,

I don't know where the author of your website gets his info (besides the Devil), but he defintely needs a Church History Lesson. For example,

http://www.logon.org/english/s/p008.html

Under the Heading 9…Eternal Life

"Originally the Catholic Church did not believe in heaven and hell...In the first centuries of the church that was the test of a true Christian. If when you died you said you went to heaven you were not a Christian, you were a Gnostic posing as a Christian to infiltrate the Church. (cf. Justin Martyr, First Apology and as quoted in the Soul paper.)"

I didn't bother to read the paper, because I know that Justin Martyr did believe in the Resurrection, Heaven, and Hell. What will you do with these?

http://www.ovrlnd.com/GeneralInformatio ... tians.html

I guess all of these men failed the test, including Justin Martyr.

William G.T. Shedd writes, "The strongest support of the doctrine of Endless Punishment is the teaching of Christ, the Redeemer of man...To threaten with “everlasting punishment” a class of persons described as “goats upon the left hand” of the Eternal Judge, while knowing at the same time that this class would ultimately have the same holiness and happiness with those described as “sheep upon the right hand” of the judge, would have been both falsehood and folly." (The Doctrine of Endless Punishment, pp. 14-15).

You not only have to deal with the beliefs of early Christians, but the clear teachings of Christ Himself.

It is a dangerous thing to be ignorant or careless of one's path. Many men have gone before, who never imagined that they would ever end up in Hell, yet suddenly find themselves there. Listen to them cry out, "Let him 'dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame!!!" (Luke 16:24). Hear them plead, "Send out from the dead, to prevent my father, my brother, and my father's house, from coming into this place of torment!!!" (Luke 16:27-28). May these words from the voices of the damned pierce your heart, that you may run to Christ and not suffer the same fate.

PL
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

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