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Old 04-04-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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Universalism is the false belief that all men will ultimately be saved whether they believe in Christ in this life or not. Some Universalists say that belief in Christ isn't even necessary for salvation, but that belief is the result of salvation rather then the requirement for salvation. To them, salvation is automatic because of the cross. Neither view is correct and both distort the true gospel of salvation.

In the promotion of Universalism the claim is often made that it was the predominant belief of the early Christians. This simply is not true.

This exerpt is from the following website: Christian Universalism What The Hell Is Hell?
'Universalism was the Light of the early Christians for over 500 years. Then a combination of men, primarily Jerome, Augustine, Constantine and Justinian closed the door to the Holy Spirit and replaced God’s Spirit with the “traditions of men which make the word of God of no effect.’ Matthew 15:6-9'

[Those supposed 'traditions of men' being a reference to eternal punishment.]

[The following dates are approximate] Jerome was born around 342-357 A.D., and died in 420 A.D. Augustine was born around 354 A.D., and died in 430 A.D., and Constantine was born approximately 272-285 A.D. and died in 337 A.D. These men lived within and perhaps just outside of the time period that supposedly was dominated by Universalism. Justinian was born about 485 A.D. and died in 565 A.D.

Lets see what other early Church leaders, who lived earlier than those mentioned above, believed with regard to eternal punishment.

Excerpt:
What They Wrote
From the earliest days of Christianity, the first believers wrote about the nature of Hell. Here is a very brief assessment of their understanding related to the final resting place of the damned:

The following website: What Did the Early Christians Believe About Hell? contains writings from “The Epistle of Barnabas” (70-130AD); Ignatius of Antioch (110AD); Clement of Rome (150AD); “The Martyrdom of Polycarp” (155AD); Tatian (160AD); Athenagoras of Athens (175AD); Theophilus of Antioch (181AD); Irenaeus (189AD); Clement of Alexandria (195AD); Tertullian (197AD); Hippolytus of Rome (212AD); Felix Minucius (226AD); Cyprian of Carthage (252 AD); Lactantius (307AD); and Cyril of Jerusalem (350AD). Each of these understood that the word of God reveals that the wicked [unbelievers] will undergo eternal punishment separated from God.

Cyprian of Carthage (252 AD) wrote the following...

'An ever-burning Gehenna and the punishment of being devoured by living flames will consume the condemned; nor will there be any way in which the tormented can ever have respite or be at an end. Souls along with their bodies will be preserved for suffering in unlimited agonies. . . . The grief at punishment will then be without the fruit of repentance; weeping will be useless, and prayer ineffectual. Too late will they believe in eternal punishment, who would not believe in eternal life.' (“To Demetrian” 24) [emphasis mine].

'Oh,what and how great will that day be at its coming, beloved brethren, when the Lord shall begin to count up His people, and to recognize the deservings of each one by the inspection of His divine knowledge, to send the guilty to Gehenna, and to set on fire our persecutors with the perpetual burning of a penal fire, but to pay to us the reward of our faith and devotion!' ("To Thibaris" 55:10)

The Apostles are as early church as you can get. Here is what the Apostle Paul said about eternal punishment...

2 Thess 1:8 '...dealing out retribution to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9] And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power...''

Here is what Jesus Christ Himself said about eternal punishment: Matt 25:41 ''Then He [Jesus speaking of Himself] will say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 46] ''And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.''


And finally, this excerpt from Universal reconciliation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The most recent academic survey of the history of Universal Salvation is by Richard Bauckham. He outlines the history thus:

"The history of the doctrine of universal salvation (or apokatastasis) is a remarkable one. Until the nineteenth century almost all Christian theologians taught the reality of eternal torment in hell. Here and there, outside the theological mainstream, were some who believed that the wicked would be finally annihilated (in its commonest form. this is the doctrine of 'conditional immortality').[3] Even fewer were the advocates of universal salvation, though these few included same major theologians of the early church. Eternal punishment was firmly asserted in official creeds and confessions of the churches.[2] It must have seemed as indispensable a part of universal Christian belief as the doctrines of the Trinity and the incarnation. Since 1800 this situation has entirely changed, and no traditional Christian doctrine has been so widely abandoned as that of eternal punishment.[2] Its advocates among theologians today must be fewer than ever before. The alternative interpretation of hell as annihilation seems to have prevailed even among many of the more conservative theologians.4 Among the less conservative, universal salvation, either as hope or as dogma, is now so widely accepted that many theologians assume it virtually without argument."[2]
Universal reconciliation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Until the nineteenth century almost all Christian theologians taught the reality of eternal punishment in the lake of fire. In the time in which we live, more people are turning away from the truth and toward false beliefs such as Universalism.

As can be clearly seen, the claim that the predominant belief of the early church was that of Universalism is a fabrication. The early church predominantly believed what the Scriptures teach - eternal punishment for the wicked [the unbeliever].

The only opportunity you have to choose your eternal destiny is while you are alive on this earth. After you die it is too late. Hebrews 9:27 'And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.'

The question was asked. ''What must I do to be saved?'' Acts 16:30.

The answer was given. ''Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved...'' Acts 16:31

Where you spend your eternal future is up to you. Make your choice while God gives you the opportunity to do so. Jesus Christ did everything necessary so that eternal salvation could be offered to you. You have only to take hold of the free gift of salvation which is extended to you.

You are a sinner and are under condemnation. You cannot save yourself. Therefore Jesus Christ, the second Person of the trinity became man and went to the cross where He took your place and bore the penalty for your sins by dying spiritually. He then died physically and rose again three days later.

The only issue in eternal salvation is whether you will place your personal faith in Christ to save you. Salvation is offered only as a free gift. You must reach out and take hold of the gift through faith alone in Christ alone. If you refuse the offer of salvation, God will and must honor your decision and you will remain under eternal judgment.

Last edited by Mike555; 04-04-2011 at 06:17 PM..
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:29 PM
 
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"The essential part of anything is its core; but the fragments of stone must be removed, if love is to take root."

Jesus was BUTCHERED (violently murdered or slain) because of the DISPOSITION AND OPPOSITION (foundation) of the INHABITANTS (world).


It appears to me that the pain, suffering, and death of Jesus was brought about through human volition, given the political and religious powers of the day. Although at the same time, Jesus was fully aware that his message and what he represented to the status quo would ultimately lead to a violent death. Thus, his life was an issue in setting the captives free from the established sects. But his death was not divinely foreordained as a penal substitution, whereas, there is no greater love than to lay one's own life down for that of another.
The truth that many never seem to understand is that the more you believe in pain, suffering and death; the more significant is your judgment.


"Enter in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate and strait the way, that leads to life, but few are they that find it [in this life]."
Many Christians live as if they are never going to die; and then die having never really lived!



Last edited by Jerwade; 04-04-2011 at 09:48 PM..
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:07 PM
 
37,472 posts, read 25,217,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerwade View Post
"The essential part of anything is its core; but the fragments of stone must be removed, if love is to take root."

Jesus was BUTCHERED (violently murdered or slain) because of the DISPOSITION AND OPPOSITION (foundation) of the INHABITANTS (world).


It appears to me that the pain, suffering, and death of Jesus was brought about through human volition, given the political and religious powers of the day. Although at the same time, Jesus was fully aware that his message and what he represented to the status quo would ultimately lead to a violent death. Thus, his life was an issue in setting the captives free from the established sects. But his death was not divinely foreordained as a penal substitution, whereas, there is no greater love than to lay one's own life down for that of another.
The truth that many never seem to understand is that the more you believe in pain, suffering and death; the more significant is your judgment.


"Enter in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate and strait the way, that leads to life, but few are they that find it [in this life]."
Many Christians live as if they are never going to die; and then die having never really lived!
Excellent post, Jerwade . . . if it is your own understanding . . . let's see more of it (but your quotes and quips are insightful and enjoyable as well).
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Mike,
You are obviously obsessed with your mission which is to try to cause people to believe in eternal torment as God's plan. There is nothing lovely about your obsession.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phillipians 4:8
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartsong View Post
Mike,
You are obviously obsessed with your mission which is to try to cause people to believe in eternal torment as God's plan. There is nothing lovely about your obsession.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phillipians 4:8
My interest is in presentng the truth. And the truth is that all men are born already condemned and must place their faith in Christ in order to be eternally saved.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
My interest is in presentng the truth. And the truth is that all men are born already condemned and must place their faith in Christ in order to be eternally saved.
No, that is not the truth. That is what Mike THINKS is truth.
Big difference. Mike cannot separate anyone from the love of God in Christ. Or have you not read Romans?
Your message has no power. That is why it is failing.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Excellent post, Jerwade . . . if it is your own understanding . . . let's see more of it (but your quotes and quips are insightful and enjoyable as well).
Thank you, I am deeply and seriously considering it!

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you:
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
(1 John 1: 5)

When Jesus was crucified, there was darkness over all the land; nothing but ignorance and adversity in their rejection of the truth:

"I desire mercy, not sacrifice."


(Mystics, many should go and learn what this means, because their love for others is artificially inseminated without intimacy or a deeper understanding.)


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Old 04-04-2011, 11:37 PM
 
17,658 posts, read 8,860,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartsong View Post
Mike,
You are obviously obsessed with your mission which is to try to cause people to believe in eternal torment as God's plan. There is nothing lovely about your obsession.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phillipians 4:8
You are absolutely correct, Heartsong!
Many are obsessed with eliminating their own guilt at the expense of others.
They "crucify him" over and over again, in their own name.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:38 PM
 
20,290 posts, read 15,633,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartsong View Post
Mike,
You are obviously obsessed with your mission which is to try to cause people to believe in eternal torment as God's plan. There is nothing lovely about your obsession.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phillipians 4:8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
My interest is in presentng the truth. And the truth is that all men are born already condemned and must place their faith in Christ in order to be eternally saved.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartsong View Post
No, that is not the truth. That is what Mike THINKS is truth.
Big difference. Mike cannot separate anyone from the love of God in Christ. Or have you not read Romans?
Your message has no power. That is why it is failing.
You are an example of the second category of Universalist which I mentioned in the first paragraph of post #1. You reject the clear Biblical teaching that eternal salvation is contengent upon personal faith in Christ. You are at odds with Scripture such as John 3:16; John 3:36; Acts 16:30,31 and many other passages which make clear the requirement for faith in Christ as a condition for eternal salvation.

The topic of this thread has to do with the fact that the early church did not predominantly teach Universalism. Do not make this thread about me.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:04 AM
 
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A misinterpretation of salvation has led many astray.

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and Spiritual well-being; not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
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