Archive for the ‘Universalism’ Category

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Romans 3:21 – 26 a closer look at forgivness

May 28, 2007

Romans 3:21 – 26 a closer look at forgiveness

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all[h] who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (NKJV)

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I know I am doing the series on Romans, yet the other day someone was asking a bit on my position that we are all forgiven but that does not mean we are all saved. This view is traditionally known as universal atonement. This is not the same “Universalist reconciliation: though I see that all creation has been reconciled is what the scripture teaches. (Romans 5:10) Yet, I do not see that because all have been forgiven or reconciled that all will be eventually saved… I think that that is a logical leap that comes from not understanding the difference between the Cross and the Resurrection and what they accomplished.

I have written a bit about this in my post called; ~ emerging thought in Montana ~: Universalism: Why I do not agree

All mankind was forgiven at the Cross… all the past sins and in that moment all sins from that day on would also be forgiven. If this is not true then no one’s sins are forgiven unless Jesus goes back to the Cross for each and every one of us. Hebrews states this in chapter 9: 11-15:

“11. When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.
12. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
“The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

This is the end of the Old Covenant which entered us into the New Covenant which was promised in Isaiah 28: 15 – 18:

“You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.”
So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.
I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.
Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the grave will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it.”

Isaiah 42:6-9 is a fascinating passage that runs parallel with Romans 3 it states:

“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”

And what are the new things God declares? Well that is what the bulk of Isaiah is about!!! Yet we rest on this verse in Jeremiah 31:31-34 to show the how He will do this.

“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ” declares the LORD.
“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

The writer of Hebrews also alludes to this passage.

Hebrews 8:10 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

This is the New Covenant. We are no longer under the Old and subject to death if we turn to Jesus. Forgiveness is given at the Cross… it was given once for all… here is a quick study on the verses that use this phrase.

• Romans 6:10
The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

• Hebrews 5:9
and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him

• Hebrews 7:27
Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

• Hebrews 9:12
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

• Hebrews 9:26
Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

• Hebrews 10:1
[ Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All ] The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

• Hebrews 10:2
If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.

• Hebrews 10:10
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

• 1 Peter 3:18
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,

Jesus died once for all mankind… He did not die over and over for everyone as they come to Him for forgiveness which is what some teach without realizing that they do…

The question I ask is this… If Jesus died once, then all sins are forgiven, past the ones present and the future ones to come… how many of your sins were future in relationship to the Cross?
The answer is obvious. All of them would be future to the Cross. The Cross is a fix place in time that lasts eternity. So, the logical conclusion is that all sins are forgiven. Yet, we then still have the problem of salvation. Yet, that comes with the Resurrection of Jesus.
Romans 5:8-11:

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

When we accept that we are forgiven at the Cross and then go to the Living Jesus of the Resurrection we find in that reconciliation… we are then reconciled. The door of heaven has been thrown wide open, in that moment we are saved through His Life.
People miss this in its very simplicity, yet without we have a partial Gospel. We only have a dead Jesus on a Cross… who dies for us every day over and over so that we can be forgiven… and that is not what God intended. He gave His Son “once for all” at the Cross so that we could no longer have to fulfill the covenant with death Adam signed. The Covenant of Death no longer binds us, unless we stay committed to it even though it no longer holds us. This is like a wife who clings to her dead husband and carries him around and insists she is still bound to her marriage… it is sick and it only glorifies Death. God glorified Himself in His Son, so that we could have Life. The old is gone, the new has come… and I say Glory!

Blessings,
iggy

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Books on Review from 2006

January 9, 2007

I received a couple of surprise emails asking me to review some books this last year… I was humbled and shocked. I really don’t have that much time with a full time job that demands flexible hours. Yet, somehow I worked my way through a couple… and again this year I will already have two authors asking me to review. I did actually turn one author down as I saw the book more New Age than Christian.

Spencer Burke hit the blogsphere with Heretic’s Guide to Eternity this last year. It had quite a few people in an uproar. Even Spencer’s friends had some hard hitting things to say and all one has to do is Google the title and one will find most if not many agreed that much of Spencer’s views were in fact heretical. I had a hard time… I mean I get a free book from the guy who runs the ooze.com and seem to be reading past much of the “heretic” stuff and seeing Spencer’s heart. Did I agree with Spencer? On some things… I think we are close on our view of Grace, yet I am hesitant to leap into the abyss and join Universalism (There are different types of universalism and I see that the atonement was “once for all” so in that sense the atonement was universal, yet salvation is not.) Spencer is not as smooth as Brian in getting one to think, yet I hear there is another book in the wings by Spencer… and that he may not agree with all he wrote here… I recommend this book to inspire conversation. Tough conversations… but not for answers, as that is not the purpose of the book anyway.

Jesus has left the Building
Paul Vieria contacted me many months ago. his book Jesus has left the building really has captured my attention. the big picture is that Jesus like Elvis has left the building. Yet, the thought is, maybe Jesus was never in the building! Paul does a great job in contrasting modern and postmodern thinking in some great “talk pass” conversations. This book should be on every one’s list. Paul has some unique, some not so unique but still needed, and some very insightful things to say. I think this book may be one that will change one’s life.

A Generous Orthodoxy

Brian McLaren is the most loved-hated-despised-inspirational-motivational-thought provoking-hate provoking-historian-word artist-writer-speaker-teacher-pastor-down to earth- gentle-demanding-right on-so wrong-heretical-orthodoxical-best selling-inspiring of book burnings- author of our day. Read it, love him or hate him… but read it.

I have a couple of books in the hopper and am finishing one of my favorites very soon.

Blessings,
iggy


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Books on Review from 2006

January 9, 2007

I received a couple of surprise emails asking me to review some books this last year… I was humbled and shocked. I really don’t have that much time with a full time job that demands flexible hours. Yet, somehow I worked my way through a couple… and again this year I will already have two authors asking me to review. I did actually turn one author down as I saw the book more New Age than Christian.

Spencer Burke hit the blogsphere with Heretic’s Guide to Eternity this last year. It had quite a few people in an uproar. Even Spencer’s friends had some hard hitting things to say and all one has to do is Google the title and one will find most if not many agreed that much of Spencer’s views were in fact heretical. I had a hard time… I mean I get a free book from the guy who runs the ooze.com and seem to be reading past much of the “heretic” stuff and seeing Spencer’s heart. Did I agree with Spencer? On some things… I think we are close on our view of Grace, yet I am hesitant to leap into the abyss and join Universalism (There are different types of universalism and I see that the atonement was “once for all” so in that sense the atonement was universal, yet salvation is not.) Spencer is not as smooth as Brian in getting one to think, yet I hear there is another book in the wings by Spencer… and that he may not agree with all he wrote here… I recommend this book to inspire conversation. Tough conversations… but not for answers, as that is not the purpose of the book anyway.

Jesus has left the Building
Paul Vieria contacted me many months ago. his book Jesus has left the building really has captured my attention. the big picture is that Jesus like Elvis has left the building. Yet, the thought is, maybe Jesus was never in the building! Paul does a great job in contrasting modern and postmodern thinking in some great “talk pass” conversations. This book should be on every one’s list. Paul has some unique, some not so unique but still needed, and some very insightful things to say. I think this book may be one that will change one’s life.

A Generous Orthodoxy

Brian McLaren is the most loved-hated-despised-inspirational-motivational-thought provoking-hate provoking-historian-word artist-writer-speaker-teacher-pastor-down to earth- gentle-demanding-right on-so wrong-heretical-orthodoxical-best selling-inspiring of book burnings- author of our day. Read it, love him or hate him… but read it.

I have a couple of books in the hopper and am finishing one of my favorites very soon.

Blessings,
iggy


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Grace Unmerited favor of God (Heretic’s Guide to Eternity review Pt 3)

September 7, 2006

Grace: Unmerited favor of God (Heretic’s Guide to Eternity pt 3)

I see this as the major area that Spencer Burke and I may part. It is over Grace… which is a bit ironic huh?

Though I really like the idea of “All in unless we opt out” style of Universalism, I see the fatal error is when one is confusing forgiveness with salvation. Yet even more I see it as a limited understanding of Grace itself.

  1. To acknowledge that God has forgiven us is not a “work” but it is more like acknowledging a gift. It is saying thank you in response to the gift…
  2. To receive salvation one must acknowledge that God is for us, not against us… it is in the relationship that Grace can grow.

In #1: I have found that we are all forgiven at the cross… Jesus is the High Priest and gave the final sacrifice, then as Hebrews tells us; Jesus (The High Priest) sat down… no more sacrifice of blood for our sins. The sin issue is dead… and the doorway to eternity has swung open wide for us to enter into the Kingdom. This is not just a future event; rather it is a present and future event simultaneously.

Remember eternity is outside the bounds of time and space. To God all time is now… (Even that is a finite understanding). We are linear in our understanding of time so eternity is a concept that is beyond… it is here yet beyond our very grasp… it is within us, yet it is outside us… it is everywhere and yet… no where.

To grasp this one must grasp an understanding of multi dimensional thinking. To try to tell someone in a 2 dimensional world about an orb would be almost futile as they would only see it as a circle with a dot in it. We in the 3 dimensional world can readily grasp what an orb would look like as we have the benefit of the extra dimension to “see” with.
This is why it is a bit beyond us to understand eternity.

Grasping at least why it is hard to understand eternity, we can then see it is hard to grasp Grace. For Grace is in creation itself… placed there by our creator. It is not just unmerited favor, but the substance that sustains all creation. For God, the One Who created all things by speaking it all into existence, could easily un-speak all things into non-existence… and we would never even know. Grace is the purest substance in all creation and the glue that holds it all together.

That is why we cannot work for Grace… it is like saying we are to work for air to breath… it is so intricately intertwined in our being that it is as if it is not their. For Grace to be grace… it must be without our help at all… otherwise we are not in grace, but against it.

Still though I see forgiveness in a universal way, one can refuse to receive the gift of forgiveness… As to not receive forgiveness is a sign of not having grace dwell within us. It is in that very moment that we “see” this forgiveness… the kindness of God, that Grace enters and empowers us to repentance. This empowering is not a work from us, but of God that we respond to. Our repentant response is the “eternal thank you” back to God.

I see that even many who claim to be Christians and refuse to forgive … or even receive forgiveness may have the root of their issue in their lack of understanding grace. They have reduced it to a formula… and have torn it out of the fabric of creation and placed it in a box of finite human reasoning. In doing this reduced it Glory… to simply, unmerited favor from God.

In #2: To acknowledge salvation is from God and God alone… through the works of Jesus… who all things were created… yet not Grace itself as it is the very nature of our creator… Grace is the very character of God Himself… we receive salvation in response to what God has done… Our repentance is the eternal groan within us acknowledging we are in right relationship with creation… with Grace, and with our creator Himself.

To not acknowledge this… is to deny Grace, (God’s nature within us). It is to deny the Kingdom itself which is this Grace for the Kingdom is within us.

We are saved by grace through faith. Faith is not an action of works, but of surrender… the acknowledgement that we are not right as our own gods and need to be inline with Grace. This is very “opt in” and, yes, exclusive, yet… because of it not being works… very, very inclusive… this is an and/both situation… not an either or.

To say, “all in unless we opt out” denies Grace as the sustainer of all things. It says those who are outside of the very nature are still in the very nature of God which seems to contradict itself and cancel itself out logically.

Again, I really like the idea of “all in unless we opt out” as it reflects a sense of compassion that one might see grace as being “unmerited favor”. Is it? Yes. Yet again, that is not “all” grace is. The rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous… as does grace. Yet at least for the righteous, made clean/right by God’s grace and continually teaching and guiding us in the renewal of our minds… We will one day see all as it should be and will have God be our very LIFE Himself. For those who refuse forgiveness as consistent with a fallen character, there is judgment. They receive the rewards consistent with this character which denied Grace. The character of saying “works” will save us… in that meaning our own works and righteousness… outside the very Grace that sustains all creation. It is choosing the limited view… or blindness over being made right in God… by Grace. When we think we can be saved by works… we “fall from grace”. Because we think we are the sustainer of our self. It is to believe the lie, that we will not surely die… yet there is no life outside of Grace itself.

I think God is more than merciful in that He sees us mere human beings… as worthy of His love. To restore us in Him… in His Grace and with all creation.

On a more personal note to Spencer:

I know that writing a book is not easy. I think that for someone to write their thoughts out in a readable and coherent manner is simply amazing and I wish I too could write more clearly. When I said that you and I “part” it is not in fellowship… only ideology. We are emerging… in that we take and build upon, or tear down to rebuild what we have been taught in the past. The attempt is to build with integrity and honesty and authenticity upon the foundation, Who is Christ Jesus. We must at times reach beyond ourselves in our thinking to achieve this “beyond” you are seeing in your heart… and you are not alone. Many of us see this “beyond”. I believe it is the Kingdom itself that we see at times and we are trying hard to express the almost inexpressible in our current state of corruption.

I admire that you have written your thoughts and in a metaphoric sense… if not is some ways very real sense… exposed your nakedness of thought for all to critic. I have read a few of your “friends” reviews and some are really brutal. That would be tough. I have never met you, yet I will say… still over all… I agree very much that “Grace is too big for religion” as I have tried to even express here… I think it is only on the issue of salvation we may disagree. Like I said, I admire the ability for someone to express their views in a way that makes me truly think… wrestle and even question what I believe. To help me in an honest approach to my faith and to what it is built on… shifting sand or Christ Jesus.

Blessings,
iggy


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Grace Unmerited favor of God (Heretic’s Guide to Eternity review Pt 3)

September 7, 2006

Grace: Unmerited favor of God (Heretic’s Guide to Eternity pt 3)

I see this as the major area that Spencer Burke and I may part. It is over Grace… which is a bit ironic huh?

Though I really like the idea of “All in unless we opt out” style of Universalism, I see the fatal error is when one is confusing forgiveness with salvation. Yet even more I see it as a limited understanding of Grace itself.

  1. To acknowledge that God has forgiven us is not a “work” but it is more like acknowledging a gift. It is saying thank you in response to the gift…
  2. To receive salvation one must acknowledge that God is for us, not against us… it is in the relationship that Grace can grow.

In #1: I have found that we are all forgiven at the cross… Jesus is the High Priest and gave the final sacrifice, then as Hebrews tells us; Jesus (The High Priest) sat down… no more sacrifice of blood for our sins. The sin issue is dead… and the doorway to eternity has swung open wide for us to enter into the Kingdom. This is not just a future event; rather it is a present and future event simultaneously.

Remember eternity is outside the bounds of time and space. To God all time is now… (Even that is a finite understanding). We are linear in our understanding of time so eternity is a concept that is beyond… it is here yet beyond our very grasp… it is within us, yet it is outside us… it is everywhere and yet… no where.

To grasp this one must grasp an understanding of multi dimensional thinking. To try to tell someone in a 2 dimensional world about an orb would be almost futile as they would only see it as a circle with a dot in it. We in the 3 dimensional world can readily grasp what an orb would look like as we have the benefit of the extra dimension to “see” with.
This is why it is a bit beyond us to understand eternity.

Grasping at least why it is hard to understand eternity, we can then see it is hard to grasp Grace. For Grace is in creation itself… placed there by our creator. It is not just unmerited favor, but the substance that sustains all creation. For God, the One Who created all things by speaking it all into existence, could easily un-speak all things into non-existence… and we would never even know. Grace is the purest substance in all creation and the glue that holds it all together.

That is why we cannot work for Grace… it is like saying we are to work for air to breath… it is so intricately intertwined in our being that it is as if it is not their. For Grace to be grace… it must be without our help at all… otherwise we are not in grace, but against it.

Still though I see forgiveness in a universal way, one can refuse to receive the gift of forgiveness… As to not receive forgiveness is a sign of not having grace dwell within us. It is in that very moment that we “see” this forgiveness… the kindness of God, that Grace enters and empowers us to repentance. This empowering is not a work from us, but of God that we respond to. Our repentant response is the “eternal thank you” back to God.

I see that even many who claim to be Christians and refuse to forgive … or even receive forgiveness may have the root of their issue in their lack of understanding grace. They have reduced it to a formula… and have torn it out of the fabric of creation and placed it in a box of finite human reasoning. In doing this reduced it Glory… to simply, unmerited favor from God.

In #2: To acknowledge salvation is from God and God alone… through the works of Jesus… who all things were created… yet not Grace itself as it is the very nature of our creator… Grace is the very character of God Himself… we receive salvation in response to what God has done… Our repentance is the eternal groan within us acknowledging we are in right relationship with creation… with Grace, and with our creator Himself.

To not acknowledge this… is to deny Grace, (God’s nature within us). It is to deny the Kingdom itself which is this Grace for the Kingdom is within us.

We are saved by grace through faith. Faith is not an action of works, but of surrender… the acknowledgement that we are not right as our own gods and need to be inline with Grace. This is very “opt in” and, yes, exclusive, yet… because of it not being works… very, very inclusive… this is an and/both situation… not an either or.

To say, “all in unless we opt out” denies Grace as the sustainer of all things. It says those who are outside of the very nature are still in the very nature of God which seems to contradict itself and cancel itself out logically.

Again, I really like the idea of “all in unless we opt out” as it reflects a sense of compassion that one might see grace as being “unmerited favor”. Is it? Yes. Yet again, that is not “all” grace is. The rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous… as does grace. Yet at least for the righteous, made clean/right by God’s grace and continually teaching and guiding us in the renewal of our minds… We will one day see all as it should be and will have God be our very LIFE Himself. For those who refuse forgiveness as consistent with a fallen character, there is judgment. They receive the rewards consistent with this character which denied Grace. The character of saying “works” will save us… in that meaning our own works and righteousness… outside the very Grace that sustains all creation. It is choosing the limited view… or blindness over being made right in God… by Grace. When we think we can be saved by works… we “fall from grace”. Because we think we are the sustainer of our self. It is to believe the lie, that we will not surely die… yet there is no life outside of Grace itself.

I think God is more than merciful in that He sees us mere human beings… as worthy of His love. To restore us in Him… in His Grace and with all creation.

On a more personal note to Spencer:

I know that writing a book is not easy. I think that for someone to write their thoughts out in a readable and coherent manner is simply amazing and I wish I too could write more clearly. When I said that you and I “part” it is not in fellowship… only ideology. We are emerging… in that we take and build upon, or tear down to rebuild what we have been taught in the past. The attempt is to build with integrity and honesty and authenticity upon the foundation, Who is Christ Jesus. We must at times reach beyond ourselves in our thinking to achieve this “beyond” you are seeing in your heart… and you are not alone. Many of us see this “beyond”. I believe it is the Kingdom itself that we see at times and we are trying hard to express the almost inexpressible in our current state of corruption.

I admire that you have written your thoughts and in a metaphoric sense… if not is some ways very real sense… exposed your nakedness of thought for all to critic. I have read a few of your “friends” reviews and some are really brutal. That would be tough. I have never met you, yet I will say… still over all… I agree very much that “Grace is too big for religion” as I have tried to even express here… I think it is only on the issue of salvation we may disagree. Like I said, I admire the ability for someone to express their views in a way that makes me truly think… wrestle and even question what I believe. To help me in an honest approach to my faith and to what it is built on… shifting sand or Christ Jesus.

Blessings,
iggy


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Universalism: Why I do not agree

August 21, 2006

Universalism: Why I do not agree

Universalism has become a major topic… as with hell. The idea of Universalism is I believe based on great compassion. Traditionally and historically that was the origin of universalism in the Christian church.

Though that is commendable… that some taught that we “Saints” had (or will have) such great compassion as to move the heart of God that He decides to purify and bring the unrepentant back to salvation, I see that there is some grave error.

For some brief historical background I recommend that one might look at some of these links ( I may not agree with everything from these websites though I thought some of these pages of interest):

HISTORY OF OPINIONS ON THE SCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE
OF RETRIBUTION BY EDWARD BEECHER, D. D.

Universalism?

Origen of Alexandria (c.185 – c.254)

Early Church Fathers – Additional Texts

I have personally come across Universalism in the Apocalypse of Peter in which Jesus is showing Peter hell… and at one point seems to insinuate that those in hell will suffer for a time… and be saved after being purified by the fire.

Again, compassion is a great thing. Yet if it is based on error, then it can not lead us in TRUTH.

The issue is to me in 1 Cor 15: 22. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. (NIV)

Now, notice a couple of things here:
1. This is concerning the “end” after Jesus has destroyed “ALL dominion” … in that all kingdoms that are not part of God’s Kingdom… will be destroyed. Yet, even before this Paul is talking about… “so in Christ all will be made alive.”

2.This passage is concerned about those who are “in Christ” and will be raised at the resurrection. So, we must be careful not to take “all in all” to mean those who are not “in Christ”.

Colossians 1: 19. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20.
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

I see here is one of the key issues. I believe that everything created has been reconciled back to Christ through all things were created. Yet, reconciliation… was by the cross and shed blood of Jesus. I have often expressed that forgiveness and salvation are not the same thing nor to be equated as such… so to say Forgiveness = Salvation is not true based on the teaching so scripture. As I have stated before this thought leads to two paths.

1. Universalism
2. Exclusivism

Neither of these are truly valid and correct in my view as they negate each other much as Armenianism and Calvinism does.

Forgiveness was inclusive and universal… for all! One can find the verses in numerous place… but the best known is John 3:16

Yet, salvation is based on one’s relationship with Jesus. Does one need to know the Name of Jesus to be saved… ahhh… that is another topic for later. In that I am not fully convince one need know “Jesus” as “The Name” as that sort of seems to lead to the error of Jehovah Witnesses.

The other error though is to think that because “all creation” has been redeemed, that included those outside of Christ.

Do I believe the earth, animals and such are redeemed? I do… very much, yet scripture teaches these things fell under the dominion of darkness because man fell… not because creation was evil in and of itself.

(A side note here, some seem to teach “flesh” is evil… and I see that is not true… some fleshly desires are corrupt. Yet, flesh is not evil in and of itself. In fact to believe so is to be more inline with the error of the Gnostics who taught Flesh as evil and Spirit as good. We tend to this in our modern teachings today… even some early church fathers confused this with the misunderstanding of “saved by penance and faith” (CCC 1470) instead of “by grace you have been saved, through faith”… In that we must subdue the flesh and then be justified… Which then nullifies the works of Christ).

Yet again, if one looks closer the verse is about those who are redeemed.

Col 1: 21. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation– 23. if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (NIV)

In this passage, it says we once were “alienated from God and were enemies in our minds”… what this is talking about is the regenerated mind… the transforming of our minds… (Rom 12:2)

Yet, of those who are not being transformed… and stay in their corrupt state of mind…

Rom 1: 28. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30. slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31. they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (NIV)

(A side note: I think that anyone who intentionally does the things listed and justify it in their minds and call themselves “Christian” better with most certainly check their hearts and seek God. For in the Letters of John it is clear to “hate your brother” is a sign the TRUTH is not in you. I also see that there are some that justify their actions and commit slander, gossip and go out of their way to harm others… this to me cuts across the teaching of Christ to negate the works of the Cross and deny the Life of the power of the Resurrection. We must as believers in Jesus, seek to be as He described Himself in Matt 11:28-29 “I am gentle and humble in heart”).

To me there is a big difference in those who are growing in the Grace and Knowledge of Christ and having the minds renewed by the Holy Spirit, and those who desire to not accept the gift of Life, let alone the forgiveness at the cross.

In that God is just… and merciful. Yet, when one does not desire mercy, nor grace, God will not force it on them. In many ways He gives them the desire of their heart… or rather “He gave them over to a depraved mind”.

Not a great note to leave on, yet I hope that the TRUTH will set you free to seek God in a richer and deeper way… desiring the heart and mind of God.

Blessings,
iggy

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Universalism: Why I do not agree

August 21, 2006

Universalism: Why I do not agree

Universalism has become a major topic… as with hell. The idea of Universalism is I believe based on great compassion. Traditionally and historically that was the origin of universalism in the Christian church.

Though that is commendable… that some taught that we “Saints” had (or will have) such great compassion as to move the heart of God that He decides to purify and bring the unrepentant back to salvation, I see that there is some grave error.

For some brief historical background I recommend that one might look at some of these links ( I may not agree with everything from these websites though I thought some of these pages of interest):

HISTORY OF OPINIONS ON THE SCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE
OF RETRIBUTION BY EDWARD BEECHER, D. D.

Universalism?

Origen of Alexandria (c.185 – c.254)

Early Church Fathers – Additional Texts

I have personally come across Universalism in the Apocalypse of Peter in which Jesus is showing Peter hell… and at one point seems to insinuate that those in hell will suffer for a time… and be saved after being purified by the fire.

Again, compassion is a great thing. Yet if it is based on error, then it can not lead us in TRUTH.

The issue is to me in 1 Cor 15: 22. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. (NIV)

Now, notice a couple of things here:
1. This is concerning the “end” after Jesus has destroyed “ALL dominion” … in that all kingdoms that are not part of God’s Kingdom… will be destroyed. Yet, even before this Paul is talking about… “so in Christ all will be made alive.”

2.This passage is concerned about those who are “in Christ” and will be raised at the resurrection. So, we must be careful not to take “all in all” to mean those who are not “in Christ”.

Colossians 1: 19. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20.
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

I see here is one of the key issues. I believe that everything created has been reconciled back to Christ through all things were created. Yet, reconciliation… was by the cross and shed blood of Jesus. I have often expressed that forgiveness and salvation are not the same thing nor to be equated as such… so to say Forgiveness = Salvation is not true based on the teaching so scripture. As I have stated before this thought leads to two paths.

1. Universalism
2. Exclusivism

Neither of these are truly valid and correct in my view as they negate each other much as Armenianism and Calvinism does.

Forgiveness was inclusive and universal… for all! One can find the verses in numerous place… but the best known is John 3:16

Yet, salvation is based on one’s relationship with Jesus. Does one need to know the Name of Jesus to be saved… ahhh… that is another topic for later. In that I am not fully convince one need know “Jesus” as “The Name” as that sort of seems to lead to the error of Jehovah Witnesses.

The other error though is to think that because “all creation” has been redeemed, that included those outside of Christ.

Do I believe the earth, animals and such are redeemed? I do… very much, yet scripture teaches these things fell under the dominion of darkness because man fell… not because creation was evil in and of itself.

(A side note here, some seem to teach “flesh” is evil… and I see that is not true… some fleshly desires are corrupt. Yet, flesh is not evil in and of itself. In fact to believe so is to be more inline with the error of the Gnostics who taught Flesh as evil and Spirit as good. We tend to this in our modern teachings today… even some early church fathers confused this with the misunderstanding of “saved by penance and faith” (CCC 1470) instead of “by grace you have been saved, through faith”… In that we must subdue the flesh and then be justified… Which then nullifies the works of Christ).

Yet again, if one looks closer the verse is about those who are redeemed.

Col 1: 21. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation– 23. if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (NIV)

In this passage, it says we once were “alienated from God and were enemies in our minds”… what this is talking about is the regenerated mind… the transforming of our minds… (Rom 12:2)

Yet, of those who are not being transformed… and stay in their corrupt state of mind…

Rom 1: 28. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30. slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31. they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (NIV)

(A side note: I think that anyone who intentionally does the things listed and justify it in their minds and call themselves “Christian” better with most certainly check their hearts and seek God. For in the Letters of John it is clear to “hate your brother” is a sign the TRUTH is not in you. I also see that there are some that justify their actions and commit slander, gossip and go out of their way to harm others… this to me cuts across the teaching of Christ to negate the works of the Cross and deny the Life of the power of the Resurrection. We must as believers in Jesus, seek to be as He described Himself in Matt 11:28-29 “I am gentle and humble in heart”).

To me there is a big difference in those who are growing in the Grace and Knowledge of Christ and having the minds renewed by the Holy Spirit, and those who desire to not accept the gift of Life, let alone the forgiveness at the cross.

In that God is just… and merciful. Yet, when one does not desire mercy, nor grace, God will not force it on them. In many ways He gives them the desire of their heart… or rather “He gave them over to a depraved mind”.

Not a great note to leave on, yet I hope that the TRUTH will set you free to seek God in a richer and deeper way… desiring the heart and mind of God.

Blessings,
iggy