Universalism

Universalismto believe every person will be rescued from an eternity separated from God. This view is not biblically correct. It is wrong thinking, and smells like smoke because it is from the pit, Luke 8:26-31, Revelation 9:1-11, 20:1-8.

Can anger and love coexist?

Yes, Mark 3:5, teaches that Jesus (God) can be both angry and grieved at the choices people make. In His righteousness (being correct both in His person and behavior) God can allow people to suffer because of their self-injury and at the same time desire they choose otherwise, Ezekiel 25, 35. Both His grief and His anger are here mixed together. However, love and enmity (hatred towards someone) cannot coexist in a peaceful relationship (Ephesians 2:15-16), so God made the only way for the enmity to be fixed (reconciled), which leads to my next question.

Did God reconcile Himself to all men, or did God reconcile all men to Himself?

He reconciled all men to Himself, 2 Corinthians 5:19. That is an important distinction. That means we broke the relationship with God, Genesis 2-3. He begs us to travel back to Him on the only road to reconciliation – in Jesus, 2 Corinthians 5:20.

Mankind has made themselves to be an enemy to God through our friendship with Satan and subsequent Adamic nature in us, Genesis 2-3, Romans 5, Ephesians 2:1-16. We perpetuate the problem as we continue to trust to the ways of this world rather than trust to God, John 12:35-37, Romans 8:7, James 4:4. God has fixed what we couldn’t fix in our independence from Him. Even though we have broken the relationship, God offers us friendship in exchange for our enmity towards Him. He does not make us pay the price to build the road back to Him nor charge us for access to this road, John 14:6, 2 Corinthians 5:19. God made the only way for us to be reconciled to Him – receive the redeeming finished work of His Son, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21. Otherwise, we will live separate from Him forever in the lake of fire, John 5:28-29, Revelation 14:9-11, 20:10-15.

Universalists are known to teach the eternal fire (Matthew 25:41, Revelation 20:10-15) of the lake of fire is temporary, regardless of Scriptural context. Those who want to believe that need to think the belief through and apply it to eternal life with Christ. If eternal fire means temporary fire, then heaven is temporary (1 Thessalonians 4:17), too. And for that matter, God’s dominion would be temporary, 1 Timothy 6:16! As with all error, and rebellion, you have to deal with endless contradictions to keep the Universal belief alive, if only in your mind.

 

For further study

“…but for Christ and His Passion God would not be to us what He is. The alternative is to say that quite independent of any value which Christ and His Passion have for God, God would still be to us what He is,” James Denney, The Christian Doctrine of Reconciliation, © 1918, page 239.

Man departed from God

Man did more than wonder away from God. Man departed from God, and therefore erected the barrier between the two. The fault for enmity lies squarely on the side of man.

Man is completely unable to overcome the consequences of his sin. His position, being a slave to sin, is created by the fact of his sin, John 8:34, Romans 7:14. The sentence of God is against him, and he cannot satisfy the debt. An outside Person had to pay the price for man’s sin.

Reconciliation was done on the Cross of Jesus before there was anything in man’s heart to respond, Romans 5:8-11. Romans 5:10 describes the hostile attitude of unredeemed men and their character before God. God knows men have chosen to be His enemies by violating His righteousness, and yet He has reconciled them to Himself. The Way (John 14:6) of reconciliation can be first stated as God moving towards man through Christ. The reconciliation from God becomes operational for man in the movement of man to faith alone in God, otherwise men are not freely rescued (saved) through Christ from God’s wrath, Romans 5:9. In the Garden of Eden a man misplaced his faith, with the consequence being we became an enemy to God, Genesis 2-3, Romans 5.

Reconciliation

We think of reconciliation as a two-way relationship being made right for both sides of the previously offended parties. That aspect is only Biblically true when reconciliation is given full play or comes to completion. God dealt with the obstacle to relationship and fellowship for both He and us – although initially it is experienced (only by God) as a one-sided event. He holds that Event out to us for our acceptance. Receive the reconciliation, Romans 5:9-11.

The Passion of Christ is more than a Divine display of love to arouse men to the feeling of love and gratitude or even repentance (a change of attitude) towards God. The Passion is a display of God’s love, but the expression begins in that Christ became a curse for us, Galatians 3:13. He died on our behalf, as our substitute, 2 Corinthians 5:21. Be reconciled to God, 2 Corinthians 5:20.

Peace

There is an irrefutable, undeniable, unchanging reason for the curse that is only satisfied in Christ. You need peace with God. You can experience some peace in the world, but it is not peace with God, John 14:27, 16:33, Romans 8:6. Peace with God is only available through a right relationship to God. Mankind in his current position in Adam is not in right relationship to God and therefore not at peace with God, that peace being only available to those who have freely given of themselves to be placed in Christ, Romans 8:7, Philippians 4:7.

God is Love

You will not one day simply drift into the kingdom of God, forgiven of your rebellion because God is love. It is only because God is love that God in Christ took the initiative. Otherwise this peace between God and you could not possibly come to be your experience, your reality. More is required than you changing your mind about yourself or God if your relationship to God is going to be restored. You cannot simply desire a change and approach God while ignoring the reconciliation connected to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus, God’s Son.

The payment in full (made possible by Christ) means that when you change your mind about yourself and God and approach Him in humility, you are no longer treated as an enemy, but as a friend. Based upon your sinful nature and actions, this kind of reception is not possible before the eternally righteous Deity. His righteousness cannot be indifferent to the unrighteous differences now in you from birth. God must always condemn sin (Romans 8:3) and approve righteousness. Both displaying He is the righteous Lord, whose expression of love is not always the same.

God’s Desire to Rescue You

God’s desire for you never needed to change, but His relationship to you had to change if you are to experience His desire for you to dwell in intimacy with Him. It is not enough to believe God’s love will win out, at the expense of the righteousness of His deity, as some Universalists believe. Since God acts according to His nature, He must act in accordance with His righteousness, Romans 1:16-17, 3:21. His righteousness requires Him to give eternal life to all who give allegiance to Him, “…so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 5:21. God doesn’t rescue the sinner because He is foremost merciful (Titus 3:5), but because He cannot overlook the grace and righteous requirement of His nature to keep His word, Romans 4:5.

We cannot reason His righteousness out of the relationship to us, any more than we can stop the moon, stars and sun from shining (Jeremiah 31:35-37), or stop the day and night from coming at their appointed times, Jeremiah 33:17-26. Reconciliation is lived out in a mutual relationship or the benefits of it are not realized. Taking into account that God is righteous, the relationship He made possible in Christ can only be realized (by He or you) as you freely place your faith to Christ. Reconciliation does not come to be your experience just because you desire it to be so. If your confidence is that God’s love will someday ignore His righteousness and trump the sacrifice He freely made in Christ, you misunderstand both the love it took to make the sacrifice and the reason for it.

A Universalist God cannot be Trusted

If you accept Universalism, you must accept that God has yet to show mankind another way to solve the problem of reconciling our rebellion and subsequent Adamic nature to His righteousness. If God has already said there is no other name by which men can be rescued (John 14:6), and that proves to be not true, then what else about God cannot be trusted, Titus 1:2?

The Only Way to Solve the Problem – Wrath, Repentance and Faith, A New Nature

Jesus bore the wrath of God on the Cross; a wrath rightfully belonging to the rebellious unredeemed you. As a result, something now changed for God and for you. You can now dwell with Him. He has made the only way for your sinful nature to be eradicated, which is the requirement to live in His presence. Once you have been placed in Christ you will be made into this new creature, the very righteousness of God, 2 Corinthians 5:20. The new way (Hebrews 10) does not negate God’s righteousness, but it is the only way to solve His problem and yours – killing your sinful nature and replacing it with His righteous nature. There is no other way to solve the problem for either God or you than for you to freely give faith to the finished work of Christ.

The payment of a price is plainly stated and understood in several places in the Bible to be the death of Christ Jesus. The nature of His death is plainly substitutionary. Instead of our death, there is His. Instead of our slavery, there is the shedding of His blood. That substitutionary payment, or ransom, is where God experienced the first aspect of the reconciliation. Our acknowledgement, through repentance and faith, of the payment as having been paid in full by Jesus is where we experience the second aspect of the reconciliation. A new way for God to relate to man and for man to relate to God has come to be among men. God alone gets credit for the way of change – the intervention of Christ into human history as a substitute for us, 2 Corinthians 5:14, 20.

Full Counsel

Do not be misled by those who ignore the full-counsel of biblical text in context. God is not, nor will He ever be, passive in opposition to those who have chosen to be His enemies, Acts 13:9-11, 1 Corinthians 15:25, Philippians 3:17-19. Few would disagree that man is not greatly concerned about his nature or wrongdoing, and he therefore cannot understand why God should be. Man does not regard his condition as a just cause for God to relate to him as an enemy. However, God made a moral universe in which punishment follows sin. He cannot exempt Himself from this responsibility and remain righteous.


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