My response to Randy Alcorn’s blog about Christian Universalism. You may read his original blog post here:
You cite only a few verses. There are hundreds of verses to support the belief that ALL will be reconciled. This does not mean all are now saved – only that at the end of the ages, ALL things will be reconciled to God. God’s will is that ALL will be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. The scripture states repeatedly that God will accomplish ALL His will and nothing can stop Him.
God has compassion on ALL He has made. God has consigned ALL to disobedience that He might have mercy on ALL. Jesus said when I am lifted up, I will draw ALL men (people) to myself. The angel said that the birth of Jesus was good tidings of great joy to ALL people. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father (a forced confession would NOT bring glory to God the Father- “these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me”).
We are commanded to forgive and love our enemies. Is God a man that He should lie – likewise, is God a man that He should be a hypocrite? Does He command us to forgive while He will torture His enemies for all eternity in the most cruel and brutal way imaginable? The teaching of eternal conscious torment (ECT) terrorizes people including little children causing terrible fear – yet God says that His perfect love casts out fear.
Ultimately, the resolution of this dispute is in the overarching teaching of the scriptures – GOD IS LOVE. Perfect love keeps no record of wrongs. Perfect love NEVER fails. If a person suffers eternal conscious torment, love has clearly failed for that person!
The teaching of ECT maligns the character of our Father and insults the finished work of Jesus Who shed His blood for the sins of the whole world. The teaching of ECT renders Jesus inferior to Adam, wherein Adam brought condemnation to the mass of mankind while Jesus has accomplished salvation for only a few – this is spiritual insanity. See Romans 5:15, the finished work of our Savior is not only equal to the work of Adam, it immeasurably outweighs it (Weymouth NT translated directly from the Greek). Other versions state “much more” or “infinitely greater”.
Please consider these things – glorious things such as Jesus shared with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Do you really think He told them that He had accomplished salvation for only a small number and the great majority of mankind was destined for eternal conscious torment? Why would the two disciples hurry back to share that message. No, Jesus has set right all the evil that Adam (and people since Adam) has wrought. Jesus is Lord and ALL things were created by Him and for Him. He is grace (unmerited favor) and truth (ultimate reality).
Hi David…looks like you are developing a great site! It’s always encouraging to see believers all over the world proclaiming this message of true hope and love for all humanity! Praise God for the freedom of expression that the Internet brings. Things that used to be whispered in the back of churches or kept secretly inside are now being wrestled with openly among a growing community of believers who are embracing this victorious gospel.
I was thankful to see someone challenging Alcorn on his position defending eternal conscious torment. A wonderful man who loves the Lord but he has compartmentalized his theology in order to make sense of it. I do not believe he believes what he is implying. It does not resonate with his true heart but it is what he is convinced he must believe.
Randy Alcorn also wrote a forward to Mark Galli’s “God Wins” (a response to “Love Wins”) which was so full of assumptions and error that it required a separate review for me to cover his forward(!)
Appreciate your unique voice and perspective David, being added to this discussion. And grateful for your commitment to the centrality of the Incarnation/Trinity…per our conversation at “CU dot com”
Thank you Phillip. It strikes me that if you were in a society with no awareness of the prevailing modern theology and you wrote a novel wherein people promoted their Creator as being the essense of perfect, unfailing love Who would nonetheless allow most of his sentient beings to suffer eternal conscious torment – they would say how ridiculous it was to write about such a concept. Do not bother, they would say, your concept is less credible than time travel or alternate timelines – even science fiction fans would find it beyond belief.
Such is the nature of our fallen mindset to accept absurd lies about our Creator. But all it takes for this darkness and confusion to flee is the light of truth to reveal what has always been true– God really IS love. Thankfully HE is not confused about us–His image and likeness redeemed and revealed in Christ!
I whole-heartedly agree that Jesus IS greater than Adam. I was just reading Randy’s response to the universalism and seeing this was a happy accident right after. It looks like you have a stronger position from what I read. (If this double posted, sorry, wasn’t sure if first time went through) 🙂
Thanks KD. After some 50 years of believing in eternal conscious torment, it took some time for me to unlearn and then learn the great truths of His grace and love. I was pretty disappointed to read what Randy said in his post, but I understand. It appears that the Western church has been strongly influenced by Augustine and Calvin, while the Eastern church has maintained the view of some of the earliest leaders such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Gregory of Nyssa.