Hell Under Fire Book Review – Chapter 8 – Universalism: Will Everyone Ultimately Be Saved? Part 11

 

 

Examining Universalism III: The Universalist Thesis

 

 

Romans 6:23

 

(Rom 6:15) What then? Should we be sinning, seeing that we are not under law, but under grace? May it not be coming to that!”

 

 

(Rom 6:16) Are you not aware that to whom you are presenting yourselves as slaves for obedience, his slaves you are, whom you are obeying, whether of Sin for death, or of Obedience for righteousness?

 

 

(Rom 6:17) Now thanks be to God that you were slaves of Sin, yet you obey from the heart the type of teaching to which you were given over.”

 

 

(Rom 6:18) Now, being freed from Sin, you are enslaved to Righteousness.”

 

 

(Rom 6:19) As a man am I saying this, because of the infirmity of your flesh. For even as you present your members as slaves to Uncleanness and to Lawlessness for lawlessness, thus now present your members as slaves to Righteousness for holiness.”

 

 

(Rom 6:20) For when you were slaves of Sin, you were free as to Righteousness.”

 

 

(Rom 6:21) What fruit, then, had you then? – of which you are now ashamed, for, indeed, the consummation of those things is death.”

 

 

(Rom 6:22) Yet, now, being freed from Sin, yet enslaved to God, you have your fruit for holiness. Now the consummation is life eonian.”

 

 

(Rom 6:23) For the ration of Sin is death, yet the gracious gift of God is life eonian, in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

 

 

We know that from the beginning accounts in Genesis that when Adam and Eve sinned, death came upon mankind. The penalty for sin was physical death. Paul understood this and taught that here. But, in Jesus Christ is eonian life, life of or for the ages. He could be speaking of life for this present age, or more expansively of life throughout the ages. But, there is definitely no talk here of final rejection or destruction. The most that one could speculate about the physical death spoken of here and add to it would be the possibility that there is judgment attached to death. Yet it isn’t clear here that Paul is in fact saying that. So, Paul says that because of sin, death came and because of Jesus Christ life comes. Compare that to what was just spoken of in the previous chapter and it makes sense. Through one man came condemnation and through one man (God-man Jesus), came righteousness. And, if I may add, all mankind are condemned and Paul says in chapter 5 that ALL will be made righteous! Check it out!

 

 

1 Cor 6:9-10 (compare Gal 6:7-8)

 

 

(1Co 6:1) Dare any of you, having business with another, be judged before the unjust, and not before the saints?

 

 

(1Co 6:2) Or are you not aware that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world is being judged by you, are you unworthy of the least tribunals?

 

 

(1Co 6:3) Are you not aware that we shall be judging messengers, not to mention life’s affairs?

 

 

(1Co 6:4) If indeed, then, you should have tribunals for life’s affairs, the contemptible in the ecclesia, these you are seating?

 

 

(1Co 6:5) To abash you am I saying this. Thus is there not among you one wise man who will be able to adjudicate amidst his brethren,

 

 

(1Co 6:6) but brother is suing brother, and this before unbelievers!”

 

 

(1Co 6:7) Already, indeed, then, it is absolutely a discomfiture {an embarrassment} for you that you are having lawsuits among yourselves. Wherefore are you not rather being injured? Wherefore are you not rather being cheated?

 

 

(1Co 6:8) But you are injuring and cheating, and this to brethren!”

 

 

(1Co 6:9) Or are you not aware that the unjust shall not be enjoying the allotment of God’s kingdom? Be not deceived. Neither paramours {illicit lover}, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor catamites {homosexual, young boy with older man}, nor sodomites {engaging in homosexual sex},

 

 

(1Co 6:10) nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards; no revilers, no extortioners shall be enjoying the allotment of God’s kingdom.”

 

 

(1Co 6:11) And some of you were these, but you are bathed off, but you are hallowed, but you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God.”

 

 

I think whether you believe that Paul is talking about a kingdom here on earth during, or shortly after, Jesus’ time, or you are believing Paul is talking about a future kingdom, one thing is sure, there is no talk of final rejection or destruction here. An allotment in the kingdom would make sense given the many who will spend a time, an age, in hell being judged, being restored to the kingdom. After the time of judgment when all men are reconciled to God, they will all be healed (see Revelation 21-22, the tree in the New Heavens that bears leaves every month FOR THE HEALING OF the NATIONS, the same nations spoken of earlier in Revelation. More on this later.)

 

The following verses listed in this chapter by Packer do not have anything to do with final destruction or final rejection. Some mention those receiving judgment for their unbelief, in this life, and maybe in the next eon, but there is no talk about a finality at all. This, being charitable, is probably just a case of doing a word search without context. This happens often and many scholars/pastors use this to stack up the verses to seem so weighty on a certain subject that no rational person would think otherwise. However, as I have advocated throughout this review, think for yourselves, study for yourselves and cast off as many presuppositions as possible. Begin thinking for yourselves rather than mimicking others or adopting others’ beliefs.

 

2 Cor 4:3-4

 

Eph 5:6

 

Col 3:6, 25

 

Phil 1:28

 

As always, any questions or comments are appreciated.  God’s blessings to you!

Craig

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Understanding the Bible, Universal salvation

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