13 Jul
2013

Refuting Universal Salvation

the worldI’ve found that the verses the Universal Salvationists use to support their theory can be easily explained by considering the times of the apostles.  “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” 1 Cor 15:22.  When Paul says ‘all’, he is telling us that Jesus came for the salvation all people, as opposed to God’s plan being restricted to only the Jewish nation.  It was a really amazing concept back then, that God had it in His plans to spread His offer of salvation to the entire world, Gentiles too.

The book of Acts is all about how Jesus came for the entire world, not just the Jews.  Read about the vision of Peter in Acts chapter 10, and also read Acts, chapter 15, to see how this shook everyone as completely strange.  They didn’t know how to react to such an outpouring of love from the Father.

“For God so loved the world” doesn’t mean the entire world will be saved, but that God made His plan of salvation available to the entire world.  Acts 13:48 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.  And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.”

Room for Speculation?

Maybe there is a bit of room to speculate, and only speculate, that perhaps all people will have equal opportunity to hear of God’s plan for salvation, and that perhaps that will be after the resurrection of the dead.  I am gathering this speculation from Acts 3:23, when Paul is speaking about the restitution of the world, he quotes Moses saying, “and it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people”.  It is somewhat understandable that one might speculate that perhaps every soul will have opportunity to either accept or reject the prophet.  However it is perhaps more probable that the verse simply means that every soul which did happen to have opportunity to hear the prophet, and then reject him, will be destroyed.

Also, looking at John 5:28, 29, we see that those who have done good here and now, go to eternal life at the resurrection of the dead, and those who have done evil here and now, are condemned at the resurrection.  “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”   This verse makes me strongly doubt the gospel will be preached after the resurrection of the dead.

And even if this speculation were correct, one would still need to account for Jesus declaring that the road to destruction is broad and many go in by it, Mat 7:13, and so very many other verses about the small number who are saved.  And for a direct answer from Christ concerning the question at hand, just see Luke 13:23 & 24.  After reading those verses we can be done with the entire discussion because Jesus doesn’t leave us with any mysteries.  “Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”

I also argue that Scriptural language such as ‘everlasting destruction’, ‘utterly perish’, ‘eternal fire’, and ‘unquenchable fire’ certainly carry a sense of finality.  Some Universal Salvationists say hellfire will be used to refine the sinner.  This language of finality shows us the fire consumes utterly, which is not at all the type of fire that refines.  Scripture strongly and irrefutably declares that there are no other chances for the fire cannot be quenched.

Fair Verses Grace

‘But that’s not fair’, some cry out to God.  May I humbly submit to you that it is very fair that we who sin should, indeed, perish.  When we despise God by sinning, we do not deserve the life God has granted us.  As the Lord gives, it is His to also take away.  It would be fair if God would simply destroy us the instant we engaged in sin.  Wouldn’t the world be a far better place if God would just be fair to us?  No more war, no more adultery, no more child porn, no more hatred.  It’d be a perfect world if God were only fair.

How thankful we should be that God is not fair!  He graciously gives man time to repent; even the incredibly wicked man often has numerous days to turn to God.  Each sunrise is a testimony to the outpouring of mercy from the Lord upon both the just and the unjust.  And I am so thankful that God was not fair to His only begotten Son.  For He did not spare Him but, rather, “He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”  2 Cr 5:21.  The Savior of the world took the blame for our crimes.  That is not fair.

So, what do you think?