During the last few months, I have been in conversation with a Calvinist through the comment pages on this blog. I had hoped we could maintain a certain grace towards one another, hoping to learn from each other, but alas, he seems to consider me an enemy, a false prophet, a lying teacher and blind to the gospel.
He has accused me of everything from not knowing God (which I readily admit I know Him not well enough!) to being blind and following Satan’s lies. A specific teaching he accused me of was that of being a universalist, which at the time I had not studied.
Since then, I have read a couple of short books on the topic of universal reconciliation (not universalism!) which have piqued my interest. (See Jesus Undefeated – a 10 part series, and The Inescapable Love of God, a single post.)
In oversimplified terms, universal reconciliation speaks of the eventual redemption of every soul ever created through the work of the Messiah and His sacrifice on the cross. This teaching does not remove the existence of hell, or the suffering associated with it, but it does speak to it’s never ending duration, and the purpose of the flames.
This series of posts, on the book mentioned above will be my last on the topic of universal reconciliation (not universalism). I am thankful to my Calvinist friend for directing me to this “heresy”. The teaching of universal reconciliation has more Scriptural support than I imagined and is worth considering if you are of an open mind and willing to consider alternate views to expand your understanding of the Word.
Of course if you are convinced you are completely right, without error, and doctrinally pure, this topic would be a waste of your time.
With that being said, let’s consider a few of George Sarris’ discussion points, particularly concerning common questions that arise when he teaches this topic to believers.
Some of the questions believers have asked him and that he addresses in the book include
- How can an unpardonable sin be pardoned?
- Isn’t forfeiting your soul forever?
- If you perish, how can there be eternal life?
- Universal reconciliation implies a wide door, not a narrow door
- Jacob I loved, Esau I hated – Someone has to be punished!
- Pharaoh’s hardened heart – Will he not burn?
- Eternal condemnation for preaching a false gospel
- Impossibility of repentance for some
- The Lake of Fire – Why have the lake if it is empty of sinners?
- The Book of Life – Some names are not in it?
- Judas’ existence – Better to not be born?
The following posts will provide some of the highlights of Mr. Sarris’ responses, with a few comments from myself. I have found most of his discussion worth considering, with one of them to be quite illuminating. I will leave it to you, dear reader, to let me know which one (or ones) illuminate your understanding. Or simply challenge a previous assumption!
With that said, look for the next post in this series. These posts will appear each week on Tuesdays. Hope to see you then!
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.