Archive for the ‘Universal Salvation’ Category

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor on the Eternal State of Atheists

May 18, 2012

I previously reported some thoughts by Cardinal George Pell. Pell had suggested that there will be those who were atheists in this life who will be in heaven.

Cardinal O’Connor has something similar to say:

Q: And hell?

A: We’re not bound to believe that anybody’s there, let’s face it. …

Q: It is sometimes said that there will be a separate heaven for Bavarians because they would not be in a state of eternal happiness if they had to share heaven with the Prussians. Will Catholics and Protestants be together in heaven?

A: I hope they won’t be separate. I think that the divisions manifest here on earth will be reconciled in some mysterious way in heaven. I’m not thinking just of Catholics and Protestants, but people of other faiths and people of no faith. We are all children of God.

Q: So we shouldn’t be surprised if we were to meet in heaven someone who was a Muslim or an atheist on earth?

A: I hope I will be surprised in heaven… I think I will be.

(source – thanks to Steve Hays)

Neither Cardinal Pell nor Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor denies that hell is real, but both seem to think that it might be empty.


Trinitarian Universalism Debate

October 17, 2011

I recently engaged in a debate with Jason Pratt who heavily emphasized that he is a Trinitarian, and who considers himself an “Evangelical Universalist.”  I argued from five passages that judgment is coming, that it will be eternal, and that some people will experience it.  Chris Date moderated the debate and has hosted the debate in the form of three podcasts:

Resolved: Some people will not be saved from their sins according to the following passages and their contexts: 2 Thess. 1:9, Matt. 25:41/46, Matt. 18:8, Romans 9:22 and Jude 1:6.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Chris Date’s own podcast pages can be found here (first, second, third), which also contains links to the “raw” audio and other information.


Debate Announcement

September 16, 2011

Lord willing, in October, I will be engaged in a debate with a self-styled “Evangelical Universalist.” (Here’s the announcement.) It is important to distinguish the “Evangelical” Universalists from other kinds, despite the fact that it is not usual to think of Universalists as evangelical. At the announcement link you will find a place where you can, in advance of the debate, leave an “audience” for either my esteemed opponent or myself. Please pray that the debate will edify the people of God and promote the truth. -TurretinFan

The Door Was Shut, Rob Bell

March 30, 2011

Rob Bell (Love Wins, p. 66):

Could God say to someone truly humbled, broken, and desperate for reconciliation, “Sorry, too late”? Many have refused to accept the scenario in which somebody is pounding on the door, apologizing, repenting, and asking God to be let in, only to hear God say through the keyhole: “Door’s locked. Sorry. If you had been here earlier, I could have done something. But now, it’s too late.”

Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:1-13):

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

And at midnight there was a cry made, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.”

Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, “Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.”

But the wise answered, saying, “Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.”

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us.”

But he answered and said, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Am I saying that those in Hell will come “truly humbled, broken, and desperate for reconciliation” – no, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that when the door shuts, it’s too late. So, since you don’t know when Christ will return, or when you yourself will die, take hold of the kingdom of heaven now. Be prepared.

Bell’s dream of an always-open heaven is nothing more than a delusion.

– TurretinFan


June 21, 2009

There’s an old tale – I don’t recall where I first heard it, or I’d give credit where it is due. Perhaps it was from a family member, who got it from whence I don’t know. The story goes:

Old Woman: I hear there is a new pastor in town.
Old Man: Oh? Is he any good?
OW: An excellent speaker – everyone who goes enjoys the sermon.
OM: None of that “fire and brimstone” eh?
OW: Oh, no! Certainly not! This young man actually insists that there is no hell. Everyone will be saved.
OM: Well, if he’s right we don’t need him, and if he’s wrong we don’t want him.

The old man’s common sense hits a form of universalism on the nose. If there is no hell, and everyone goes to heaven, it would seem that there is no real point in believing this doctrine.

There are, of course, other branches of universalism. One branch that is making its rounds these days calls its “Evangelical Universalism” and tries to convince folks that eventually everyone will be saved – though some will have to go to hell first, because they fail to believe in this life.

In some ways, this is a less serious error than the more traditional “there is no hell” form of Universalism. It’s still plainly wrong because the Bible teaches the finality and perpetuity of hell. For example, Scripture both in the Old Testament and the New Testament speaks of this:

Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Mark 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (identical statement at vss. 46 and 48)

Yes, there is a hell, and yes it is eternal – not of finite duration. Therefore, there is an urgency to repent and believe now, not simply to avoid a stretch of unpleasantness in hell but to avoid an eternity there. If you have not done so, repent of your sins and place your trust in Christ alone for salvation.


Short Response to so-called Evangelical Universalism

May 14, 2008

There is a new book out, entitled “The Evangelical Universalist.” Its premise appears to be that Christ will save everyone, and that he will do so through the preaching of the gospel. (link to review/author interview) While one can appreciate the softness of heart that would motivate such a conclusion, it is not a Scriptural conclusion.

That there is a hell, a place of eternal death and corruption, where the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched is taught clearly in Scripture, from the very lips of Jesus (Mark 9:43-48, relying on Isaiah 66:24).

Moreover, Paul clearly states that those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will be punished with “everlasting destruction” (ολεθρον αιωνιον) in 2 Thessalonians 1:9.

While we must preach the gospel without regard to how many God chooses to save, we may be touched in our empathy for our fellow sinners and spurred on to spread the gospel, by the fact that those who do not repent and believe will perish forever and by our knowledge that the means to their salvation is the preached Gospel of Christ.

Therefore, we should call all men to repentance from sin and faith in the risen Lord, by whom alone there is victory over death.


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