Over the past weeks I read the book "hope beyond hell" and found the tentmaker site somehow while searching links about hell, annihilation etc.
I am German (so please excuse my language mistakes) and I am relatively new to the subject of UR. I used to be sort of a strict fundamentalist, but always struggled with the "endless torture in hell"-doctrine. I read the above mentioned book in order to finde "hope" for an annihilation of unbelievers (my husband, my whole family and most of my friends are unbelievers) and I never thought I could believe in UR one day, because I was so indoctrinated against it. However, I found lots of facts in the book, looked them up in the Bible and the Strongs and somehow I began to see light. Furthermore I had begged God for several days to somehow show me what HE really means regarding hell. I was hoping that I would find out that unbelievers will be annhilated instead of tortured, but I found much more. The more I read about UR, the more it seems absolutely right. Every day I find new verses confirming that position and I wonder how I never saw them before.
Finding out about that brought much joy, but also confusion into my life. Joy, because God is so great and really the Savior of ALL and because now the whole Bible seems to make sense. Confusion, because I still have some problems to handle all the new things. I still fear that I am wrong and mislead, trusting in mere philosophy, but the evidence for UR is SO big and it's almost everywhere, once the eyes are openend. I think there is no going back again for me.
Another problem I face is the way how to find myself in the whole picture, because my view of God changed extremely and I still have to... I don't know how to explain it... have to find back to my former intimate relationship with the Lord.
I don't know how some of YOU felt in those first days of coming to the knowledge of UR. I mean those of you who always had a fundamental belief before, wasn't it somehow difficult for you as well to handle all and to "adjust" to that new view of GOD?
Even before finding out about UR I didn't have a church most of the time, because we have no biblical ones around here. I have a close email friend who struggled as well with the hell-problem and we are both very happy to find out the truth, but all the brothers and sisters in Christ whom we know from the internet, will definitely shun us now that we believe in such a "heresy". We are now those who preach a false gospel.
However, what we often experienced in the usual Christian webforum was arrogance, selfrighteousness and spiteful words (and I often found such pharisee-thoughts in myself as well!), but no love or kindness. But now I experience that with the hope for UR my whole view of other people has changed completely. If God loves them all and WILL save them all, all are equally precious to Him and I have to be much kinder now than before (in my way of thinking about others, because on the outside I, of course, always try to be kind, but my thoughts weren't like this before). There's no sense anymore in thinking "I am in, but you are out, so why bother with you if you reject the gospel?"... There's also no more sense in judging fellow Christians all the time, because they do something that I wouldn't or the other way around. Maybe you know how this is in the usual Christian webforum. Most of the time there is no love whatsoever, but many judges are enjoying themselves. And somehow one is "transformed" into such a poor picture of a Christian as well by reading that kind of stuff.
Anyway, I never used to feel the joy of which Paul so often talks, because I always had my unbelieving loved ones in mind and what would happen to them. Now I DO experience that joy abundantly and I am so thankful for Christ than never before.
Sorry, many words and very confused words...
I am still reading lots of articles etc. in order to find the truth or to become more secure that this really IS the right thing. I don't want to do anything which could disappoint Jesus, but if I stay in the endless-torment-league and tell others about such a God, I will bring much more shame on the name of Jesus as if I only believe that He can do much more than men would expect or imagine.
But the condemning of 98% of all human beings doesn't make sense anymore to me now. God knew everything when He created this world, so wouldn't he rather stop making human beings (right after Adams fall) than giving them over to such a fate like endless torment/torture/punishment???
o.k., it's very late now here and I have to go and find some sleep.
If there are some of you who still remember their first time with the new knowledge, maybe you could tell me a bit about how you managed the journey from just hoping to really believing (that everyone will be saved), and how the whole thing influenced your relationship with God.