Before we start, let's define exactly what we mean by Christian Universalism. Universalism in theology is belief that all will eventually be saved. Christian Universalism is the belief that all will eventually be saved through faith in Christ.
Throughout history there have been billions of people across the world who have never heard of Christ, so how can they be saved through faith in him ? Obviously there must be salvation for some after this life, for example the mentally handicapped, infant fatalities etc for them to be able to put their faith in Christ. That brings us to my first reason in the top 10 list.
#1 Every Knee Will Bow & Tongue Confess Jesus Is Lord
Three passages of scripture state all will confess Christ is Lord. Romans 14:11 Philippians 2:10–11 Isaiah 45:23. Now this sounds pretty straight forward doesn't it? Not to those who teach God is going to torture most people in hell for all eternity.
I've had numerous Christians claim that all those who finally bow the knee to Christ and confess He's lord do so right before they are thrown into the lake of fire for all eternity! But the fact is the Greek word exomologeō translated "confess" means a. acknowledge openly and joyfully b. to one's honor: to celebrate, give praise to.
So we see in fact those who confess Christ do so joyfully to give praise to Christ, not as some kind of farewell gesture before being tormented for all eternity. Not to mention, that argument makes absolutely no sense at all and quite frankly shows the desperation of their position, (scholar's call this special pleading) which brings us to the next reason on our list.
#2 Christ must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet... That God May Be All In All
This is from 1 Cor. 15:25 - 28. An enemy being put under a King's feet is an idiom for being subject to him. Under his Lordship, authority, serving him willingly. This is evident by Christ having subdued all, he is able to present his entire kingdom to his father that God may be All and in All. I would ask here those who teach eternal torment to explain how God can be All in All if they believe the majority of his creation are being eternally tormented?
#3 As In Adam All Die, In Christ All Shall Be Made Alive
1 Cor 15:22 states all died in Adam and all will be made alive in Christ. Now the question is, does all mean all in both instances in the same sentence? Opponents to this view would point to the next verse which qualifies those who are Christ's at his coming/appearing. (parousia)
Then vs 24 says: Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father... Our inclination is to think all this is spontaneous. But when we put Christ's return in context with the rest of scripture, we understand there are events to be completed between his "appearing" and "the end".
Many other passages state the same thing. Romans 5:18 is a perfect example. "just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people." Want more? Hover over these passages: Romans 11:32 John 12:32, 1 Timothy 4:10, Colossians 1:20, Lamentations 3:31, Eph 1:9-10, 1 Cor 15:28, and Rev 5:13
As stated above, when Christ presents the kingdom to God the Father, God is All in All. Not all in some with the rest tormenting in a literal hell for all eternity. We'll get back to that, but let's move on.
#4 Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:14 the NIV, ESV et al translate this the second death is the lake of fire. Vs 15 states who ever wasn't found in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire too.
One only has to read onto the next chapter, Rev 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away, to see that the lake of fire, AKA the second death, can't last forever as death itself is no more.
Other passages reinforce this fact. 1 Cor 15:55 "death where is your sting, grave, where is your victory?" which is of course quoting Isaiah 25:8 & Hosea 13:14
#5 There Shall Be No More Death
If the lake of fire is the second death, and Rev. 21:4 Clearly states there will be no more death we can be sure there will not be people roasting in the fires of hell for all eternity.
Read the passage for yourself, Rev. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
#6 There Will Be No More Sorrow
All of us who have been taught eternal torment all our lives have often wondered how sad it will be to think of all our loved ones being tortured in the flames of hell for all eternity. Some of us have been told we won't remember them, but how can this be? Not to mention it would still mean they are suffering none the less.
No! That's not what the word of God teaches. There will be no more sorrow because all who hadn't come to faith in Christ will in the age to come. That's what the symbolic lake of fire is all about, it is a refiners fire.
Malachi 3:2-3 “2. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”
#7 There Will Be No More Crying
How much crying has been done in this age of sickness, violence, poverty, hunger and all that goes with it? How many of us have lost loved ones whether young or old that left a big hole in our heart? How many suffer daily in horrible conditions all over the world?
How beautiful the message of God's word is in closing out the book of Revelation assuring his creation all of the reasons to cry will be no more. Doesn't make much sense if a literal eternal hell is tormenting the majority of his creation now does it? Most simply don't give this much thought, why is that?
#8 There Will Be No More Pain
Many a preacher has spoken of the torments of hell where literal flames of fire as supposedly torturing many of our departed loved ones in indescribable pain that is impossible to imagine. What's worse is this is supposed to never end! No relief in sight for these poor souls.
But how can this be? I ask. If the bible clearly states there will be no more pain? Yes, many from the pulpit soften down hell to be separation from God for all eternity, or a place of outer darkness, because the old traditional hell is too much for people to comprehend.
As a weight lifter I remember the old sayin, "no pain no gain". Which has some truth to it. You see, the age is coming when the corrective judgment of God will be painful for those who are purified by it. For some no doubt more painful than others.
Luke 12:47-48 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes...
Here Christ uses the metaphor of beaten with stripes to show some will require more correction than others, but that correction is not unending. It has a purpose, and that is always for the good.
#9 There Shall Be No More Curse.
Rev. 21:4 Clearly teaches us all of the effects of our sinful world will be done away with. Rev 22:3 States: And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
Most of us when we give it any thought, think good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell when they die, or something similar. The fact is God himself is going to be with his people right here on this earth made new!
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Was the whole purpose of this age of sin and despair to show the universe God's holiness is the only thing that is capable of sustaining life eternally? It certainly is more than obvious, left to our own devices man can and does make a real mess of things, which is a gigantic understatement.
Actually I think it is much more than that...
#10 Paul in Romans 11:32 states it quite succinctly.
For God Did Shut Up Together All to Unbelief, That To ALL He Might Do Kindness.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
Because of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things; to Him is the glory—to the ages. Amen
Questions or comments are welcome below.
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