Christian Universal Salvation – THE BIG LIE

 

 

By Craig Bluemel

 

(UPDATED JUNE 2006)

 

 

INTRODUCTION – SEPARATING TRUTH FROM DECEPTION

 

This study is a REFUTATION to the doctrine of ‘Universal Reconciliation,’ also known as:

 

·        Christian Universal Salvation

·        Christian Trinitarian Universalism

·        Christian Universalism

·        Universalism, Universal Reconciliation

·        Universal Salvation

·        Jesus Saves All’ or ‘God Wins’

·        ‘Universal Salvation of All Mankind’

 

There are three basic schools of thought on the subject of eternal punishment; each church seems to have its own niche and the wide variety of individual idiosyncrasies is too extensive to include in this expose.  Below is a short summary list of the two primary schools of thought.  I find #2 the most appalling doctrine, because it is a complete mockery of God the Father’s impartiality, sense of fairness and justice.

 

FALSE VIEW #1: The wicked are totally annihilated; the ‘lake of fire’ used as metaphor for full, complete, and utter extinction of the wicked.

 

FALSE VIEW #2: Within Christianity is the doctrine that all people will be saved and nobody will be punished after they die.  As noted above, there are a variety of names that are descriptive of the same basic belief, but for this expose, we will use Christian Universalism .  The fundamental doctrine denies that there will be any type of eternal retribution or punishment by God in the afterlife.  This doctrine claims that ALL people who have ever lived will be saved.  Proponents of this ghastly teaching emphasize this point in their rhetoric, and I have repeatedly heard them say, “ALL means ALL.”  When they say “ALL” they mean that everybody in the finality of God’s plan, is going to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus.  “Oh boy, how wonderful!” I’ve heard them say, “ With this new revelation,” they claim, “it is so easy to share the gospel with people because they don’t feel like they’re being judged for their sins.”

 

So there you have it folks; this article won’t address false view #1, although any logical reader will be able to deduce its fallacy when reading Scripture that repeatedly describes the eternality of sin’s consequences. 

 

If you’re one of the lucky people that God allegedly chooses to give this ‘new revelation’ (VIEW #2), then you’ll be privy to the same really nice Sugar-Daddy God that others have recently discovered!  Just imagine how wonderful it will be…

 

After you have gone thru this life, with all of your spiritual and physical battles; after dying to self, taking up your cross daily to walk in the footsteps of the Master; after all of those struggles between your flesh and spirit, as you kept persevering, enduring hardship as a good soldier of the cross…

 

After you have buried your anger, and with God’s help, you have forgiven those who persecuted you and those who did harm to you…

 

After you resisted the urge to strike back, worked thru the painful emotions, and finally came to the point where you forgave the man that raped your daughter, and then, because of a legal loophole, on a technicality the unjust magistrate allows this evil man to walk free, smirking at you as he exits the courtroom doors, (knowing he was free to terrorize his next several victims simply because the arresting police officer failed to properly read him his ‘rights’), and after your paternal instincts were telling you to cut his @!%$# off, yet instead, you heeded the Scripture’s admonition, and you forgave, trusting in God’s ultimate and eternal justice…

 

After the unrepentant drunk driver responsible for maiming your 15-year old son, killing your husband of 22 years, and ruining your life got off scot-free, you did not yield to the rage burning inside and seek to satisfy it with revenge; in spite of the hurt & pain you felt boiling inside, you chose to trust in justice from your Maker, because you were assured that, ‘Vengeance is MINE, I will REPAY,’ saith the Lord, was true…

 

 After you learned not give vent to feelings and emotions that demand reprisal upon those responsible for your life’s many and humanly inexplicable injustices…

 

When, after day by day doing your best to make all the right choices and decisions; then, at long last, as your Heavenly Father and His son Jesus commend your righteous life, saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.” when you pass thru Heaven’s doors…

 

You will spend all of eternity with the following unrepentant, unregenerate souls (the ones that Christian Universalism claims will be saved too)…

 

·        The devil (yes, Christian Universalism even claims that Satan will be saved!)

·        Unrepentant serial rapists

·        Unrepentant pornography producers

·        Unrepentant child molesters & pedophiles

·        Unrepentant sadistic despots & dictators who torture other human beings for cruel & inhuman pleasure

·        Unrepentant Satan worshippers, warlocks & witches

·        Unrepentant terrorists & murderers

·        Every other unrepentant, diabolical wicked person in history. 

 

Just think how nice that will be to have Nero, Hitler, and Charles Manson all sitting together having dinner with Jesus and you.  Can you see how absolutely idiotic this nonsense is?  Proponents of this Christian Universalism claim that it is actually more ‘benevolent ’ than teaching about God justice upon the wicked by judging each one according to his or her deeds.  Christian Universalism advocates say that ‘a good and loving God would not punish the aforementioned debauched, sinister, unrepentant, and evil people because, ‘He’s everyone’s Heavenly Father.’ 

 

I have also heard this argument used in support of Christian Universalism, “You wouldn’t punish your children that way, now would you?’  This mindset portrays God with the judgment capacity only of a mere human being, viewing His capacity to discern and make eternal; decisions on the basis of mortal comparisons!  You simply cannot legitimize and rationalize this illogical position with false teaching that cannot be proven by merely blurting out to someone with, “Nowhere in the Bible is taught that people with be punished with Divine retribution.”

 

I have listened to more of this babbling than should be allowed, especially when those who promote this pseudo-concept of God make assertions than anyone else’s belief in divine retribution is only a byproduct of tenets that originated in Roman Catholic Church dogma.  I will easily and thoroughly refute FALSE views #1 and #2.

 

THE TRUTH IN SCRIPTURE: This is the only acceptable and honest view of our heavenly Father because it is based in Scripture’s precepts, it is logical, and does not abnegate man’s responsibility and his decisions simply due to faulty teaching.  God IS merciful AND God is JUST; behold the goodness AND the SEVERITY of God.  God will meet out justice by punishing those who reject Him and whose lives here on earth have been squandered selfishly, and whose unrepentant actions and words were used in their lifetime to hurt and abuse others.  That’s why GOD says, “Vengeance in MINE, I will repay,” says Yahweh Almighty!”  He’s loving, but He’s also just.

 

Christian Universalism is also known as Christian Trinitarian Universalism, and more recently in the 21st century, it has become popularized by the ignorant online as ‘Christian Universal Salvation.’  Now, before I proceed further, I have to give vent to a pun that is shouting to me; the acronym for CUS.  Draw your own inferences J.

 

CUS teaches that everyone is going to heaven sometime after death.  Doctrinally CUS is rejected by most churches, but this is not the reason why we should dismiss it; the main reason is due to its utter contradiction to the truth of Scripture and the nature of a God, Who, in His fairness and impartiality, will judge each person according to his or her deeds.  God will surely punish those who have ruined the lives of their fellow human beings. 

 

Although many modern Christians believe in universalism, there are proponents of CUS that believe some people will endure a limited period of punishment before going to heaven, such as a state of purgatory (a Roman Catholic Church doctrine).  I have challenged directly many who espouse CUS and they are never able to stand on their own study merits; instead, all of them (no exceptions thus far) send emails with copious amounts of false teaching credited to one of Christian Universalism 18th century false teachers such as Ballou or Murray (I will explain later)

 

CUS advocates are unable to reason with me and prove their doctrine’s veracity using the plain Scripture context.  There is not even a shred of support for this heinous teaching, which does nothing for the furtherance of the gospel.  In fact, the inherent nature of CUS actually engenders a religious concept that encourages sinners to keep on sinning!  Why not?  If everyone’s going to be ‘saved” in the end, no matter why not eat, drink, and be merry?  After all, there’s no hell, there’s no eternal punishment… that’s what their claim amounts to!

 

CUS is nothing new; in fact, the post-enlightenment, universalist movement led to the formation of the Universalist Church of America, which later merged in 1961, with the American Unitarian Association, which thereafter formed into the religious organization known as the Unitarian Universalist Association.  When I first got saved in 1973, I remember being told that I needed to find a ‘good church’ by some well-meaning Christians.  Not knowing any better, I ended up in a Unitarian Church… weird, weird, weird.  They were all ‘touchy-feely’ yuck!  It gave me the creeps.  They were lighting candles together, and holding hands in the pews, and then giving lots of group hugs, and it was just weird.  I mean, I like hug, and I’m as cuddly as they get, but this stuff was downright icky… not cool. 

 

In Unitarian Universalism’s brand of church, there is no official church dogma, but most of its members adhere to the ‘no punishment in the afterlife’ theory, as do many Anglicans (Church of England, and in North America, Episcopalians).  Universalism started on the North American continent in 1770, when a man named Tom Potter allegedly heard God speak to him about this ‘revelation’ that everyone was already saved.  Potter shared his deception with another man named John Murray, they began preaching this message in churches, and it spread very quickly.

 

A man named Hosea Ballou (yes, that’s really his name) is one of the most deceived so-called ‘Christians’ that ever promulgated this teaching.  Ballou was a ‘hyper-universalist’ (fanatical) and wrote hundreds & hundreds of sermons about how everybody was going to get saved in the end and my research of him revealed he is considered the great theologian of American Universalism.  A growing consortium of Christians today are simply ‘rediscovering’ Ballou’s teachings, and they think they have some new ‘revelation’ that is going to change the world for Christ. 

 

Others hold to FALSE VIEW #1: by reasoning is that a God which is holy cannot co-exist with evil souls; these include the Seventh Day Adventist dogma, which teach that the “second death” and “the lake of fire” refer to complete annihilation.  They believe the wicked will simply cease to exist, and this is their punishment.

 

 

The Soul that Sins SHALL SURELY DIE

 

Even from the ancient of days, Yahweh has put forth death as the punishment for sin, using both physical death (separation of human spirit from the physical body) and spiritual death (separation of relationship with Yahweh’s spirit) as a deterrent to all that would choose to disobey Him.  The prophet Ezekiel makes this point clear:

 

Ezekiel 18:1-5, 9 And the word of Yahweh came to me saying, “As I live, proclaims the Lord, Yahweh…  “See, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so the soul of the son is Mine: death will be the fate of the sinner’s soul.  But if a man is upright, {he is} living rightly and doing righteousness… and has been guided by My rules and has kept My laws and done them: he is upright, life will certainly be his,” says the Lord Yahweh.’  TAT

 

Notice carefully in Ezekiel that the text specifies that it is the sinner’s ‘SOUL’ that dies; not his body, but his ‘soul.’  How then does a ‘soul’ that is not physical matter die?

 

I have read so many vain treatises written on the subject of Christian Universalism that argue against the plain text of Ezekiel and other passages in the Old Testament, saying, “Death here does not mean ‘eternal separation’ from God, but merely physical death.”  Oh really?  Let’s see if this argument holds any of the pure water of truth and read further in the context (something that Christian Universalism consistently ignores):

 

Ezekiel 18:20-24 The soul which does sin will be put to death: the son will not be made responsible for the evil-doing of the father, or the father for the evil-doing of the son; the righteousness of the upright will be on himself, and the evil-doing of the evil-doer on himself.  21 But if the evil-doer, turning away from all the sins which he has done, keeps my rules and does what is ordered and right, life will certainly be his; death will not be his fate.  22  Not one of the sins which he has done will be kept in memory against him: in the righteousness which he has done he will have life.  23 ‘Have I any pleasure in the death of the evil-doer,’ says the Lord, ‘am I not pleased if he is turned from his way so that he may have life?’  24  But when the upright man, turning away from his righteousness, does evil, like all the disgusting things which the evil man does, will he have life?  Not one of his upright acts will be kept in memory: in the wrong which he has done and in his sin death will overtake him.  1985 Bible in Basic English

 

Notice I used the 1985 Bible in Basic English for those in the Christian Universal Salvation movement that may have problems reading the entire context.  If I sound like I’m dogging on the CUS and being overly sarcastic, it is for the express purpose of getting your attention, and firing up your lethargic and careless ways, and turning you back to the God of the Scriptures, and not this touchy-feely good deity that has bewitched you. 

 

In Ezekiel and throughout the Old Testament, the Hebrew word used for ‘soul’ is vpn nephesh (pronounced as neh’-fesh); the Online Bible defines nephesh as the soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, and passion.

 

1a) That which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man

1b) Living being

1c) Living being (with life in the blood)

1d) The man himself, self, person or individual

1e) Seat of the appetites

1f) Seat of emotions and passions

1g) Activity of the character

 

The soul is the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man; the soul inhabits and animates the physical body, but when the mortal flesh expires, the soul takes on a new type of existence.

 

Genesis 2:7 So then Yahweh God formed man, of the dust of the ground, and breathed in his nostrils the breath of life—and man became a living soul.  Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible

 

God formed man’s physical body out of the dust of the earth.  The Hebrew word for “man” is “adam” meaning “ruddy; earth colored.”  God then “breathed” the “breath” of life into man’s physical body and he ‘became’ a ‘living soul.’  This is undeniable proof that the soul is not speaking of or describing the material properties of the human being, and the soul that continues in sin will surely ‘die.’ 

It is apparent the “soul” of man and beast is a part of their life existence within a body of “flesh.”  The soul is also translated “lifeblood”; the “blood” is said to be the “life” of the “soul.”  This means without the blood flowing, the body would expire, and this would mean the “soul” could not live in the body.  Jehovah Witnesses misinterpret this passage to mean the actual soul is the equivalent of the liquid blood coursing through arteries and veins…this is a ludicrous conclusion, and Jehovah's Witnesses use it to justify their doctrine to abstain from blood transfusions!

 

In the Book of Revelation, we find a very clear and unambiguous definition of what type of ‘death’ the soul will experience in the afterlife:

 

Revelation 2:11 Let every listener hear what the Spirit says to the Churches: The victorious cannot suffer the slightest hurt from the second death.

 

Revelation 20:6  Happy and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death cannot touch such men; they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him for the thousand years.

 

Revelation 20:14 Then death and the grave were themselves hurled into the lake of fire, which is the second death.

 

Revelation 21:8  But as for the cowards, the faithless and the corrupt, the murderers, the traffickers in sex and sorcery, the worshippers of idols and all liars––their inheritance is in the lake which burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death."

 

The doctrine of Christian Universal Salvation, like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventist teach that the ‘lake of fire’ is referencing the literal waste dump of garbage that was oftentimes found burning in heaps outside of metropolitan areas, notably Jerusalem.  The literal application for a physical burning heap is at best absurd; I find that religions of men like to pick and choose verses of scripture at will, and thereafter build their weird teachings from this misuse of God’s word.

 

There’s no denying that literal interpretation is the first line, but only if it is consistent with the context, and meets the necessary criterion to be genuinely literal.  the Book of Revelation uses metaphorical language in its message, but in so doing, just as in Christ’s parables, it borrows from the things of everyday life, and then uses them symbolically.  If the literal application is true, as Jehovah's Witnesses say it is in these aforementioned passages, then they are forced of brevity to acknowledge the ENTIRE Book of Revelation as literal.  That gets really kinky when you try to formulate a literal interpretation for, let’s say, chapter twelve, which has a woman, clothed with the sun, pregnant, about to give birth, having a crown with seven heads, then gives birth to a grammatically neuter male child, which is snatched toward the throne of God, and then the pregnant birthed mother is chased into the wilderness by a dragon, and so on.  You get the point.

 

The second death is described quite succinctly in both literal and figurative applications in Revelation 20, because God left no room for error here (read below): 

 

Revelation 20:4-21:5 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them.  Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands.  And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.  5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.  This is the first resurrection.  6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.  7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.  9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.  And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.  10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are.  And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.  11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.  12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  13  The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.  14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.  21:1  Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.  2  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”  And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”  New King James Version

 

 Literally or metaphorically, points summarized clearly in the passage above depict an accurate meaning of the ‘second death’ which is the ‘lake of fire.’  This is the eternal abode or existence where men are judged who are not found written in the Book of Life.  Notice in Revelation 20:10, that after the devil, was cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and the false prophet already are, that they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Forever and ever is a lonnnnnnng time, in anyone’s language.

 

You can choose to talk your way out of or around this passage as you please; however, remember, Jesus warned anyone that “adds” to or “takes away” from the truth contained in the message given in the Book of Revelation shall have his or her part in the Book of Life taken away from them; is it really worth it?  Revelation 20:14 says “death” in ‘the lake of fireIS the second death.  I’m not a rocket scientist or anything like that, but when I adding these concepts together, I see that the lake of fire is the place where those not found in the Book of Life go after the ‘first death.’  I also see that the lake of fire continues to ‘torment’ (whatever that means and does so ‘forever and ever’ (whatever that means).  One thing I am certain of, and that is this: This is not MacDonald’s Happy Meal for unrepentant sinners.

 

In closing, I leave you with a New Testament passage of Scripture that I have presented to Christian Universal Salvation enthusiasts on several occasions, and not one of them dares to even offer a defense by looking carefully at the entire context of this particular scripture narrative.  Why?  Because it is irrefutably true, whether looking at it from the Greek, English, literal, or figurative, the message is eternal and retributive for those whom God deals out His vengeance.

 

2 Thessalonians 1:5-12

 

5 This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.

6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,

7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,

8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

9 And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed —  for our testimony to you was believed.

11 To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power;

12 in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

New American Standard Bible

 

 

SELAH…Pause, Think About It!

 

 

 


 

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