Author Topic: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism  (Read 7866 times)

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Offline reFORMer

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Re: What about the Book--- Universal Salvation: The Current Debate
« Reply #75 on: November 02, 2012, 04:49:10 AM »
    Available at bookstores,  Also  99 percent of Christians and all the Mainstream Churches say
Universalism is NOT of the Bible, and is False Doctrine, can they all be Wrong
     Did anyone read    Universal Salvation: The Current Debate,  It lets the Reader decide for themselves.

Having not seen the "Current Debate" book I wonder if it's another ET agenda driven treatise radically unfair to actual Christian UR beliefs, misrepresenting us in too typical of a fashion.

As a proof of how deceived Christians are becoming, CARM (a site claiming to give all the answers to what we should believe, who is right and who is wrong) posted some research results for a long time (though they removed it a few months ago.  I think it backfired on them.) The statistics were 50% of Christians polled do not believe in an eternal hell and 70% of those calling themselves Christian ministers do not believe in Eternal Torment.

Here's a link to a short article that deals more with CARM (Christian Apologetic and Research Ministry.)  You should read down a few paragraphs until you get to the True or False Test.  Run this test on yourself of what the Bible says and what you believe.  See if after that you can say no one can know whether or not the salvation of all is what the Bible teaches.

http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/unique_proof_for_universalism.html
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 09:55:45 AM by reFORMer »
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TheAuthenticFan

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Universalism or Eternal Torment- In the Eye of the Beholder
« Reply #76 on: November 06, 2012, 07:37:13 PM »
    Universalism or Eternal Torment, Which is True, that's in the Eye of the Beholder
Only God Knows for Certain, Only God Knows,
 

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #77 on: November 06, 2012, 07:58:17 PM »
That's why it is so important to know God. "Let this mind be in you, the mind which is in Christ"
The better and the more you know scripture, the better you will know the Lord and know whether ET or UR is true.
We have a slew of scripture verses that point one way (UR) and the ET people have a few poorly and mistranslated, taken out of context verses that would support ET.
If the thought of a loving, merciful God eternally torturing someone doesn't, at the very least, make you feel uneasy you would probably make a good ET'er.
If, however, the thought that a Loving God would provide a way to be ultimately reconciled amazes or astounds you by the infinite love, you might make a good UR'er.
If, all you do is read ither opinions back and forth, pro and con, you are likely to end up torn and confused.
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline CHB

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #78 on: November 06, 2012, 09:45:12 PM »
TAF

Have you ever thought about "all Israel being saved" and what that means?

(Rom.11:26-36) And ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED. (Verse 27) when I SHALL TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS. (Verse 32) For God hath concluded them ALL in unbelief that he might have mercy upon ALL.

If all Israel is going to be saved, I am sure there were Israelites who never repented, who died in their sins. How do you explain this?  It says "I SHALL  take away their sins", not Israel will have to get rid of their sins, or they will burn in hell.  It says "All Israel will be saved and he will take away their sins and have mercy upon ALL. How does one get any torture from this? Why would God save all Isarel including those who never repented, who died in their sins and burn others in hell? 

CHB

Offline jabcat

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #79 on: November 07, 2012, 12:12:02 AM »
TAF

Have you ever thought about "all Israel being saved" and what that means?

(Rom.11:26-36) And ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED. (Verse 27) when I SHALL TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS. (Verse 32) For God hath concluded them ALL in unbelief that he might have mercy upon ALL.

If all Israel is going to be saved, I am sure there were Israelites who never repented, who died in their sins. How do you explain this?  It says "I SHALL  take away their sins", not Israel will have to get rid of their sins, or they will burn in hell.  It says "All Israel will be saved and he will take away their sins and have mercy upon ALL. How does one get any torture from this? Why would God save all Isarel including those who never repented, who died in their sins and burn others in hell? 

CHB

 :2thumbs:  One of my favorites.

Another of my favorites is, Jesus "hid himself" from most during His earthly ministry.  During that time, people who "rubbed shoulders with him" died.  Did he intentionally ignore them, knowing they'd burn in "hell" forever?  Or, did he know of another plan/intent?.  (I vote for that one.)   :happygrin:
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline reFORMer

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Re: Universalism or Eternal Torment- In the Eye of the Beholder
« Reply #80 on: November 07, 2012, 08:59:16 AM »
    Universalism or Eternal Torment, Which is True, that's in the Eye of the Beholder
Only God Knows for Certain, Only God Knows,
 

That nobody but God knows for certain can be said about almost any knowledge; however, I think God has put enough of His own mind in scripture so we can reasonably say we know His will about this.  His book says, "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should repent and come to the knowledge of the truth."  That's pretty clear to me.  His revelation in the written Word adequately makes known the salvation of all.  It is adequate, not comprehensive revelation we have in the Bible.

Repeatedly Jesus is called, "The savior of the world."  He is also titled, "The savior of all."  That would be a lie if He didn't do it.  How many is He the savior of that He does NOT save?  That is fall off a log easy to answer.  Most I've encountered get what they believe from the Preacher, somebody on television, their parents, and so on.  That's why they aren't impressed with the Bible, regardless of what they say.  Hardly anybody reasons according to the Word made flesh either.  Even though they've experienced the Lord when they were born again, or baptized in the Holy Spirit and some walk close enough to have other experiences of Him being revealed to them, they don't reason according to that.  You just can't look into the face of God and see someone who is a Master Torturer, making us in His image.

You look around this site and you'll find so much more about it.  Try "Scholar's Corner."  For years I've read the arguments here and elsewhere people make in favor of countless people in permanent hell and against God's ultimate salvation of all.  They don't quote the Bible saying what they say and they try to explain away where it is taught in the Word by inserting conditions into scripture that are not there.  One man I talked to kept saying over and over, "All doesn't mean all."  There's nothing like religion to mess your mind up.

The people who teach ceaseless torture for ever just don't have the verses saying what they say.  That was very amazing to me (and still is,) partly because they always said to me, and are still saying it, that, "We believe the Bible."  I believed them.  But, since they haven't studied this topic, they don't know about what is or is not written.  I thought they'd look it all up in a concordance first, that they surely had checked the facts before they made up their minds.  They were our leaders, our parents, our church.  They are so sure they're right a lot of them won't let anyone who has studied the subject even speak to them about it.  How can they ever be corrected or be improved?

In 1st John he said their not being able to hear is the proof, it is, "...how we know that they're not in a spirit of truth, but are in a spirit of error."   One of the biggest surprises for me:  they haven't studied this.  Just look up "hell" in a good Bible dictionary, one that gives you a history of the word "hell" for instance.  What is so hard about that?  Or what I just asked you to do that I'll ask again:

Click on the link below and read down a few paragraphs until you get to the "True or False Test."  Run this test on yourself of what the Bible says and what you believe.  See if after that you can say no one can know whether or not the salvation of all is what the Bible teaches.


http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/unique_proof_for_universalism.html
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 09:02:41 AM by reFORMer »
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TheAuthenticFan

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Let the Bible Speak for itself
« Reply #81 on: November 22, 2012, 12:10:21 AM »
   The Bible says  Jesus is "The Saviour of the World"
but that does NOT  imply, Every Single Individual will be Saved, past,present or future
Only those that Accept him in this Life can be Saved :dunno2:

Offline jabcat

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #82 on: November 22, 2012, 12:49:35 AM »
I've seen you post different things.  Do you really believe what you just said, or are you just attempting to initiate discussion?  Same thing with all the Jew stuff.  Thanks.
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline Lazarus Short

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Re: Let the Bible Speak for itself
« Reply #83 on: November 22, 2012, 02:02:56 AM »
   The Bible says  Jesus is "The Saviour of the World"
but that does NOT  imply, Every Single Individual will be Saved, past,present or future
Only those that Accept him in this Life can be Saved :dunno2:

Maybe it does imply that everyone will be saved.  If Jesus is the Savior of the World, it follows that if He does not save everyone, He has failed in His mission.  However, being a member of the nine-fold Godhead, Jesus CAN NOT fail, therefore everyone is and will be saved.  Omnipotence wins out against human will every time.  Yeah, I subscribe to Irresistible Grace.  Does that make sense?
Socrates taught Plato.  Plato taught Aristotle.  Aristotle tutored the son of Philip of Macedon.  This boy grew up to become Alexander the Great, largely by slaughtering a lot of people.  That's philosophy.

Jesus spoke the Truth.  He blessed the poor.  He healed the sick.  He even raised the dead.  He died on a cross for us, lived again, and came back long enough to tell us to love one another.  That's religion.

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #84 on: November 22, 2012, 02:07:03 AM »
You're right TAF "Saviour of the world" definitely "does not imply, every single individual
will be saved , past, present, and future"

No implication there at all. It states it bluntly and plainly and clearly and it IS scripture which takes precedent over anyone's opinion.
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

TheAuthenticFan

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What about Daniel 12:2- The Two Fates for Mankind
« Reply #85 on: November 26, 2012, 07:30:18 PM »
   What about  Daniel 12:2- The Two Fates of Mankind :dunno2:

Offline Lazarus Short

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Re: What about Daniel 12:2- The Two Fates for Mankind
« Reply #86 on: November 26, 2012, 08:11:34 PM »
   What about  Daniel 12:2- The Two Fates of Mankind :dunno2:

There are different ways to interpret almost any verse in the Bible, but given what else we have in other texts, the Bible usually interprets itself, for the Truth points to itself.  Pay attention to every word in the verse - many sleep in the dust of the ground, and some awake to everlasting life, and some to everlasting shame and contempt.  I see the latter as those who are cast into outer darkness with gnashing of teeth and all that.  That is the fate of the fellow at the feast who lacked the proper garments - he was given the bum's rush out the door into outer darkness, but it is not stated that he was cast into hell, or died.  Same with these.  You have to be alive to feel shame or to receive contempt. For me, it is just an indication that not all are of the same class in the Kingdom.  Hell is nowhere implied in this verse, or lack of salvation for anyone, just that not all will be saved for the same kind of life in the hereafter.
Socrates taught Plato.  Plato taught Aristotle.  Aristotle tutored the son of Philip of Macedon.  This boy grew up to become Alexander the Great, largely by slaughtering a lot of people.  That's philosophy.

Jesus spoke the Truth.  He blessed the poor.  He healed the sick.  He even raised the dead.  He died on a cross for us, lived again, and came back long enough to tell us to love one another.  That's religion.

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #87 on: November 26, 2012, 08:37:03 PM »
Laz- we were typing at the same time and yours is a great intro to mine-thank you!
TAF - The word in the hebrew is "olam" which has been translated eternal. It is also translated "age enduring", "for an indefinite time", "for a long unspecified time" and "age abiding" in other spots in the OT. The word hooked up with OLAM is DERA'ON which nowhere means torture or even punishment but instead means "Abhorrence" "aversion" "contempt"
Does it make sense to you that God:
 would make humans knowing that they will sin,
and know that he(God) is the only one that can save us and cover our sins with his shed blood
and no one even has an interest in the things of God without his intervention
and God is the author and finisher of our faith
and it is his gift to us and not of anything we've done or even could have done.
So, based on the above and :
God is Love
God is eternal
God is a consuming fire
doesn't it make more sense that those not written in the book of life will be placed
in the consuming fire of God's eternal love where there, sins will be burned up, peoples will be purified, the truth will be revealed to them and they will willingly bow the knee and confess Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father and their names will then be added to the book of life?  Just askin'
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline victoriousgospel

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #88 on: November 26, 2012, 08:58:52 PM »
I can't remember if I read this on Tentmaker or elsewhere... but I do like the conversion of Paul as an example of what might/might not be written in the Book of Life. Someone said something to the effect of "You can bet the name 'Saul' isn't in there, but the new man 'Paul' almost certainly is"

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #89 on: November 26, 2012, 09:36:47 PM »
Since we are all going to be given new names, maybe that's what's there.
I bet God just might know who's who :laughing7:
So the name Saul might be there, just not the Saul we know as Paul. :Peace2:
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline eaglesway

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #90 on: November 27, 2012, 08:35:38 AM »
I can't remember if I read this on Tentmaker or elsewhere... but I do like the conversion of Paul as an example of what might/might not be written in the Book of Life. Someone said something to the effect of "You can bet the name 'Saul' isn't in there, but the new man 'Paul' almost certainly is"

Just a few quotes.

Luk 22:30  That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Dan 7:9  "I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire.

And I saw a great white throne, ................. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
(Rev 20:11-13)

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
(Rom 2:4-16)

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
(Heb 4:12-13)

His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.
(Rev 1:14-15)

"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this: 'I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.
(Rev 2:18-19)

I propose that the pens that fill the books out of which the works of men are judged are the consciences of men themselves, having been written within their own being upon the scroll of their heart/conscience -the secrets of their hearts laid bare before the eyes of consuming fire(Messiah Jesus) and the living and active sword of the spirit- the word of God, bringing every hidden thing to light.

Everyone will be salted with fire, and every sacrifice seasoned with salt.



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Offline ded2daworld

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #91 on: November 27, 2012, 03:58:56 PM »
"I propose that the pens that fill the books out of which the works of men are judged are the consciences of men themselves, having been written within their own being upon the scroll of their heart/conscience -the secrets of their hearts laid bare before the eyes of consuming fire(Messiah Jesus) and the living and active sword of the spirit- the word of God, bringing every hidden thing to light."

Could be but isn't supported by scripture directly.
Besides, the "21st Century Standard American Easy Reading" Bible says "For your names are encrypted on my hardrive and it shall never crash or be hacked." :laughing7:
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

TheAuthenticFan

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Is Hell a Myth or is it Real- Who Decides
« Reply #92 on: November 27, 2012, 07:13:41 PM »
  Some say a  Hell of Endless Torment is a MYTH, others say Jesus spoke about it,
so who is Right, is it open to Interpretation, who is Right, does Hell Exist

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #93 on: November 27, 2012, 07:36:56 PM »
Of course hell exists - just not how many (most people imagine it. The hell portrayed in movies and which stands out in peop[le's minds is from a book called Dante's Inferno. Although a work of fiction, people have used this depiction of hell to keep others "in Line"
Hell is merely the grave or the unseen location of the dead.
Hell is not the lake of fire for scripture says that death AND hell are tossed into the lake of fire. As I
said earlier hell is the abode of the dead, so it only makes sense that BOTH are simultaneously cast into the lake of fire.
There is no eternal torture but there is corrective punishment of finite duration.
"God alone is eternal", "our God is a consuming fire" therefore, the ONLY eternal fire is God himself.
Don't misunderstand-God is not mocked and there is, like I said, corrective punishment but it is of limited duration.
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline victoriousgospel

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #94 on: November 27, 2012, 07:37:44 PM »
Well, everything is 'open to interpretation'. It's just a matter of how well you can back up your interpretation with Scripture.

We will never know who is "right" until we meet the Big Guy himself, but those of us who have studied UR and lined up on the side of that interpretation are not in fear that we are incorrect about it. In fact, I would say that all Eternal Torment has going for it is a lot of inertia built up by being a hard and fast dogma for so many years.

If the fact that a large percentage of Christianity believes in the doctrine of Eternal Torment scares you into believing, just consider the fact that for well over a millennium anyone who disagreed with the Catholic Church was considered a heretic, doomed to Eternal Torment. Nowadays, I don't know many Protestant Christians who are worried that the Catholic Church might have legitimately had the market cornered on this whole Jesus thing.  :laugh:

It's only by questioning established beliefs and getting back to what the Bible says in its original languages and cultural context that we can really find the true meaning. People will disagree on the finer points.

I think it's obvious that you are struggling with this idea, but you keep asking the same questions over and over. If you want anyone here to claim they have known the mind of God and can say with 100% certainty that we're correct on Universalism, I doubt you'll have anyone here offer that up. But that's the difference between most Universalists and your average ET-teaching denomination - we recognize dogma as damaging to spiritual dialogue, and that if anyone claims to have the Bible "completely figured out", they are probably not to be trusted.  :2c:

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #95 on: November 27, 2012, 07:47:28 PM »
And as I've mentioned to you before TAF
IF I am wrong about UR and the ET people are right. Then the God I know and worship has been a figment of my imagination. If God really is a sadistic torturer that ET'ers make him out to be, then I would just as soon burn in hell for all eternity and someone else can have my "free" gift of conditional love. Especially since, if ET people are right, God only wants about 5% of the population to join him as he begins torturing the other 95% of their friends, family, and most of the people they came in contact with. That is sick, twisted, and blasphemic to even consider worshiping a being like that.
Oops, was that too strong? Sorry. TAF just quit listening to what everyone else has to say. Ask yourself, Does the Jesus that I know, or the Jesus portrayed in the Bible, have the capacity to torture those he loves? "Love your enemies" "do good to those that spitefully use you" "Forgive them for they know not what they do." "His grace and mercy last forever while his anger but a short while" "No greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" "and we were all once enemies of God" and "while we were enemies, he laid down his life for us."
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 07:54:17 PM by ded2daworld »
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline eaglesway

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #96 on: November 28, 2012, 07:05:25 AM »
 :goodpost:
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.webs.com

Offline Lazarus Short

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #97 on: November 28, 2012, 09:54:13 PM »
Authentic Fan, the best thing you can do is to put away your commentaries, your church/Church approved books, catechisms, Sunday School lessons, pre-conceived ideas, etc, etc, etc.  Read the Books of Moses, especially the Law parts, and you will get a rough idea of the mind of God.  Then read the gospels, especially what Jesus said - that will give you a finer (or to say, a less rough) idea of the mind of God.  Keep in mind that the God of the OT, YHWH, meaning "Behold the Hand, Behold the Nail." is the same as Jesus.  Get it from the source, man!

Do not forget prayer as part of the process, for God gives liberally to those who seek Him.

Remember that the Truth points to itself.
Socrates taught Plato.  Plato taught Aristotle.  Aristotle tutored the son of Philip of Macedon.  This boy grew up to become Alexander the Great, largely by slaughtering a lot of people.  That's philosophy.

Jesus spoke the Truth.  He blessed the poor.  He healed the sick.  He even raised the dead.  He died on a cross for us, lived again, and came back long enough to tell us to love one another.  That's religion.

Offline reFORMer

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #98 on: November 29, 2012, 07:40:17 AM »
On one hand, God making a hell that's the worst evil imaginable is certainly false.  Compare, on the other hand, God's idea of how we'll rise from the grave with immortal life.  It's certainly not like movie vampires either.  The Truth moves the lies out of our heads.  What's important shows up when we carry out the trash.  We change when we walk with God for a while.
I went to church; but, the Church wasn't on the program!  JESUS WANTS HIS BODY BACK!!  MEET WITHOUT HUMAN HEADSHIP!!!

Offline Ross

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Re: I am Very Skeptical over Universalism
« Reply #99 on: November 29, 2012, 09:20:30 AM »
A little observation;
no prophet had any say in what to do, what to say, or when to do the task to which he was assigned.
Paul had no say in his conversion. he considered himself the chief sinner.
Gal 1;11,12 " For I want you to know, brethren, that the gospel which was proclaimed and made known to me is NOT man's gospel. For indeed I did not receive it from man, NOR was I taught it, but it came to me through direct revelation given by Jesus Christ."
vs 15 " But when He, Who has chosen me and set me apart BEFORE I WAS BORN and had called me by His grace, saw fit and was pleased to reveal His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the gentiles as the glad tidings,
imeediately I did NOY confer with flesh and blood, NOR did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before I was,
but I went away into Arabia, and afterwards I came back again to Damascus."

He was also considered the chief sinner;
1 Tim 1;12-16 " I am grateful to Him that empowered me, Christ Jesus our Lord, in that He accounted me faithful putting me into ministry,
though formerly a defamer
and a persecutor,
and insulter;
NEVERTHELESS mercy was shown to me because I acted in unbelief;
yet exceedingly abundant was the favour of our Lord with faith and love WHICH ARE IN CHRIST JESUS.
Faithful the saying and worthy of all acceptance,
that Christ came into save sinners;
of whom I AM THE CHIEF;
NEVERTHE LESS was mercy shown me on this account-
that in me, the chief, Christ Jesus might show forth His entire patience for an example of them about to believe on Him to age-abiding life."

* Paul says that he was the chief sinner, yet he was a Pharisee and being a pharisee I find it incredible that he said he thought that to be "acting in unbelief."
As chief sinner to have no say in his conversion seems to be highlighting that some are chosen to set encouraging examples of a "long term" plan which is ALL in the hands of our creator.
Does not make us mindless has-beans, but to me, gives the security of a master plan for ALL.
Fellow brother in Christ