Universal Reconciliation; it’s a great evil

There’s a doctrine in the Christian world that’s referred to as Universal Reconciliation; though it appears so loving, yet it’s a great evil. The gist of the doctrine is that “all” men will eventually be saved, and that there is no hell. The logic supporting this doctrine is that the Bible has been mistranslated. Words like “damnation”, “hell fire” and “everlasting” don’t really mean what they depict. Those who subscribe to this doctrine of Universal Reconciliation will reference the supposed Greek meaning of certain words to twist the scriptures.

After discussing Universal Reconciliation with many of its followers, I’ve come to the conclusion that they are enemies of the Cross who are advocating great evil. Satan has deceived them, just as he deceived Eve with “Ye shall not surely die”.

While the idea of no hell of eternal torment for those who die in their sins seems appealing to the flesh and emotions of men, it is completely contrary to the Word of God — no matter how much these men try to twist, distort and spin the Word. It’s pure evil what they do, yet they seem so kind to the gullible and ungodly.

Many of the followers of Universal Reconciliation do not really emphasize God’s judgments, and do not seem to take a stand against unrighteousness; they’re false teachers who tickle the ears of men. And, by doing so, they are much like the Pharisees and scribes who perverted the pure Word of God.

Matthew 23
[29] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
[30] And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
[31] Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
[32] Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
[33] Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

What do YOU think?

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Comments

  1. Whosoeverwill93 says:

    I recently was reading the book Voice of the Matrys. In it was a story of a little girl in a communist country that only had a picture of Jesus on the wall. No one had ever preached the Gospel to her. Richard Wurmbrand met this young lady years later while he was running underground churches. She ran up to him and said “I want to know more about the man in the picture, I knew as a child that I could count on Him.” That is a rough quote of what she said to him. I think God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit can touch anyone’s life if they open up and ask. The Holy Spirit then can reveal all to them. Don’t take what I am saying the wrong way. There is a hell and plenty of people will be there because of their choice not to hear “that still small voice”. Even as born again believers we sometimes turn a deaf ear to what the Holy Spirit is telling us. It is our mind, will, and emotions that cause us, as Paul said “a thorn in the flesh.

  2. Timothy Luke says:

    Thank you Stephen for taking the time to post this. For the record, this is the theology that C.S. Lewis embraces in his Chronicles of Narnia… and it opens the door between good and evil and breaks down the barriers such that many are confused and embrace evil thinking it is good… all for the right reasons and with the best of intentions.

    Here is another forum discussion on Lewis' theology in which I find a revealing quote:

     

    « on: December 04, 2009, 03:28:58 PM »
     

    I found another interesting C.S. Lewis quote in a book by Richard Purtill, C. S. Lewis' Case for the Christian Faith, p. 83 [cited from Letters of C.S. Lewis, p.247]

    Quote

    I think that every prayer that is made even to a false God or to the very imperfectly conceived true God is accepted by the true God, and that Christ saves many who do not think they know Him. For He is (dimly) present in the good side of the inferior teachers whom they follow. In the parable of the sheep and goats (Matt. 25:3 and following) those who are saved do not seem to know they have served Christ. But of course our anxiety about unbelievers is most perfectly employed when it leads not to speculation but to earnest prayer for them and the attempt to be in our own lives such good advertisements for Christianity as will make it attractive.

     

    http://www.christian-faith.com/forjesus/warning-to-christians-the-great-apostacy-of-narnia

    Shalom,

    Timothy

    • Timothy, I think you are misrepresenting CS Lewis. I’ve read a lot more of his books than just the Narnia stuff, and while he certainly entertained the idea that God’s grace could reach further than people like you would think, that some people could be Christians without knowing it, so to speak, NO, he did NOT teach or believe that there was no hell, or that every last person who ever lived would be saved, or that all religions were equally valid, or any such nonsense.
      No one advocating “Universal Reconciliation” should be allowed to claim CS Lewis as support for such views.

      Have you ever read Screwtape Letters? Or The Problem of Pain? Its good stuff, and in both of those books Lewis makes it very plain that choices have consequences, and that the wrong choices can land you in Hell.

      Even in the Narnia books, in the final one (The Last Battle) there is a judgment scene where some of the Narnians get to enter the new world Aslan has prepared, and others… do not.

      • Timothy Luke says:

        James, and Lily,

        There is a lot of confusion with C.S. Lewis, in that he seems above all to be a philosopher who stands above a clear theology and draws samples from many backgrounds. There are definite afinities to Universalism in Lewis' thought life. In one search here is quoted, "Discover why C.S. Lewis called George MacDonald his “master”, and why MacDonald remained Lewis’s lifelong spiritual mentor." 

        George MacDonald''s daughter is named, Lucy, and it is to her Lewis dedicated the series, in my research. George MacDonald is a well known Universalist, as any search will show.

        Yet, in calling Lewis a Universalist, that may indeed have been too broad a stroke. It is easy to label Lewis, and with substantial support, yet, the label may not fit everything the man taught, as he appears to eat from many tables.

        Thank you both for calling my attention to these details. On the concept of landing people in hell, one must surely note that the "hell" of universalist thought is more a place of 'purgatory' until all are purified, isn't it? Do you know precisely what Lewis' view of hell is? I ask because you brought it up, and I do not have time to prove it as different from Universal theology.

        God bless you!

        Timothy

        • MelodyCat says:

          HEB 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

          Who are we to judge a man’s salvation? Not even Jesus presumed to do so.

          JN 12:47 “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

    • Lily -N-Valley says:

      Hi Timothy,
      I have read quite a bit about C.S. Lewis.
      I have also watched Narnia. While Narnia is not something I would allow my children to watch or I will again.
      I believe is someone who is searching for our TRUE GOD and are wrapped up in another false belief. I do believe God will intervene and lead them to Christ so their sins will washed away.
      For God would not have any be lost but all come unto repentance through Christ.
      How many of us were lost and in the world when we encountered Christ and our lives were changed?

      I feel C.S. Lewis was a Christian but in the end only God knows for sure and will judge the content of his heart.

      Many people when they are first starting in the Christian faith make mistakes and may say the wrong thing or have our words misinterpeted. That does not mean they will not continue to grow and gain knowledge in Christ.
      You have to remmeber this man started out as an atheist. Therefore he was searching to have found Christ and as I pointed out before we all learn and grow.

      “Now that I am a Christian I do not have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable.”

      “No Christian and, indeed, no historian could accept the epigram which defines religion as ‘what a man does with his solitude.'”

      “God has landed on this enemy-occupied world in human form…The perfect surrender and humiliation was undergone by Christ: perfect because He was God, surrender and humiliation because He was man.”

      “Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done…”

      “Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self…”

      C.S. Lewis

  3. lookinforacity says:

    Hi Stephen

    Universal Salvation, is not a new phenomenon. I am posting this so others will understand just what this doctrine is, and where it comes from.

    A brief history of the Doctrine:
    Until the nineteenth century almost all Christian theologians taught the reality of eternal torment in hell. There were some outside the theological mainstream, who believed that the wicked would be finally annihilated (in its most common form. this is the Doctrine of Conditional Immortality).
    But there were even fewer advocates of Universal Salvation, even though these few included same major theologians of the early church.
    Eternal punishment was firmly asserted in official creeds and confessions of Religions. These were viewed as an indispensable part of Christian belief, as much as the Doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation.
    Since 1800 this situation has changed entirely, since that time, no traditional Christian Doctrine has been so widely abandoned as that of Eternal Punishment.
    The advocates of this Doctrine among theologians today, must be fewer than ever before.
    The alternative interpretation of hell as annihilation, seems to have prevailed even among many of the more conservative theologians.
    Among the more liberal theologians, Universal Salvation, which is seen either as hope or as dogma, is now so widely accepted that many theologians assume it virtually without argument.

    In 18th Century England
    George Whitfield in a letter to John Wesley says that Peter Boehler, a bishop in the Moravian Church, had privately confessed in a letter that “all the damned souls would hereafter be brought out of hell”

    In 18th Century (America)
    Universalism was brought to the American colonies by the English-born physician George de Benneville, attracted by Pennsylvania’s Quaker tolerance. The North American universalism was so active and organized, it was seen as a threat by the orthodox, Calvinist Congregationalists of New England.
    Jonathan Edwards, who wrote prolifically against universalist teachings and preachers.
    John Murray (1741–1815) and Elhanan Winchester (1751–1797) are usually credited as the founders of what we call the modern Universalist movement and as the founding teachers of Universal Salvation.
    Some of the early American Universalists continued preaching “the punishment of souls prior to eventual salvation”. This was a type of Purgatory Doctrine.

    In the 19th Century
    Christian Universalism had its greatest growth and the forming of the Universalist Church of America.
    The term “Christian Universalism” was coined in the 1770s by Adams Streeter (1735–1786), Christian Universalists believe this was the most common interpretation of Christianity in Early Christianity, prior to the 6th century.
    Christians today, from a diversity of Denominations and Traditions, believe in the tenets of this belief system, such as the reality of an afterlife without the existence of a hell.

    In the 20th Century
    The Universalist Church of America merged with the American Unitarian Association in 1961 forming the Unitarian Universalists.
    In 1919 Alexandre Freytag led a breakaway group of the International Bible Students Association (which became the forerunner of Jehovah’s Witnesses).

    In the early 21st Century
    In 2004 the Pentecostal bishop Carlton Pearson received notoriety when he was officially declared a heretic by the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops.
    Bishop Pearson, who had attended Oral Roberts University, a Charismatic Christian college, formally declared his belief in the Doctrine of Universal Salvation.
    His church, called the New Dimensions Church, adopted this doctrine, and in 2008, the congregation was merged into All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the largest Unitarian Universalist congregations in the world.
    In 2005, Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, expressed his hope that Protestants and non-believers are destined for Heaven and expressed his personal hope that he would be surprised in heaven.
    In 2007, the Christian Universalist Association was founded at the historic Universalist National Memorial Church in Washington, D.C. This was a move to distinguish the modern Christian Universalist movement from Unitarian Universalism, and to promote ecumenical unity among Christian believers in universal reconciliation.
    In 2008 the Russian Orthodox bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Vienna, in his presentation at the First World Apostolic Congress of Divine Mercy (held in Rome in 2008), argued that God’s mercy is so great that He does not condemn sinners to everlasting punishment. The Orthodox understanding of hell, said Bishop Hilarion, corresponds roughly to the Roman Catholic notion of purgatory.
    Modern Bible-believing teachers of Ultimate Reconciliation include Thomas Talbott, Stephen E. Jones J. Preston Eby and Bill and Elaine Cook.
    …… Wikipedia

    Be Blessed
    JIM

    • Timothy Luke says:

      Jim, thank you for sharing your knowledge in a way that gives your sources so we can know where you are coming from!

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