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Old 02-08-2012, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Tucson, Arizona
987 posts, read 908,097 times
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Many who oppose the doctrine of Christian Universalism (or Universal Reconciliation or Restoration) make the claim that it causes the believer to lose interest in striving to live a life pleasing to God. I think that error comes in when the battle rages on so much about the FACT (viewpoint) that everyone will eventually be a beloved child of God that we are accused of not focusing on becoming 'holy.'

I have stated several times that the reason I so vociferously defend this doctrine is for the BELIEVER who has lost loved ones and close friends who, in their understanding, did not adhere to what God has done for them through Christ and so fear that these people are doomed to horrible eternal misery, or some feel God is kinder and just shows them the error of their ways and then snuffs them out of existence.

Anyway, this is NOT to argue about whether this doctrine is true or not. But I am herewith posting a part of an article from a staunch defender of Universal Reconciliation about the Christian walk. This is not unique. But I found it very edifying this morning. I hope you enjoy it. Elaine Cook wrote this:

OUR STAND AND OUR WALK

What, actually, is a Christian? Is it one who has signed his name to a church roll, or one who tithes faithfully, or one who attends "the church of his choice" regularly? There is only one thing that makes a person a Christian, and that thing is union with Christ. This is not some imaginary thing. It is a reality, wrought by the Holy Spirit. The Church is "in Christ Jesus," and it follows that, "as He is, so are we in this world," "identified with Him in His shame and in His joys, in His death, His burial, and His resurrection."

This union has very definite consequences as pertaining to our standing and to our walk in Christ. Faith perceives our standing in Christ. We have peace with God when we consider that man was reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus. By faith, we see His perfect sacrifice of Himself meeting Godís claim on man, and thus in His person we are reconciled to God. His place with God is now understood to be our place, for He offered for us and we are in Him. What peace this gives if by faith we can receive it fully!

Yet, if our union with Christ is a reality, it not only affects our standing, but also our walk. By our walk, we demonstrate the measure of understanding and light that we have. Because of our lack of spiritual power (for self still reigns), we may understand in our minds much more light than we are able to walk in. By the operation of the Spirit working in us, He takes the truth or revelation revealed to us as "head knowledge" and works it into our hearts through many fiery processes. It doesnít come easily! You donít just say, "Eureka! I have it!" and see it done. No, He does as He said He would do: "I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. . . " Heb. 8:10.

"He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked" I John 2:6. It is the work of the Spirit to verify in all of Christís members what is already true for them in their Head. "Verify" is a strong word meaning, "to make true, to prove to be true by evidence; to confirm; to test the accuracy of." The operation of Spirit will show us the standard for our walk, and then He will teach us to judge in ourselves all that is contrary to the walk of Christ in the light of our holy calling. When we know it is true that in Him we are dead and risen, in the knowledge of this we seek to be conformed to Him. The things which are true for us in Him must surely be made true in a very practical way, in our soulís experience (in the areas of the mind, will, emotions, desires and affections). Simply "reckoning it so" is not the complete answer. "Reckoning" shows us our place, sets our sights on it, and encourages us to "go through" as the Spirit does the inworking of these truths in His own personal way in each one of us.

Some see part of this truth, such as our standing, and emphasize that to the exclusion of the other part ó our walk. The church system has placed undue emphasis on the believerís walk without giving them the assurance of their standing in Christ. The result of this has been when one fails or falls, he thinks he is lost or forsaken and beyond the reach of the Saviourís love. Or, if the Spirit is dealing with his self-life and begins to show him unexplored realms of his own heart, he finds the truth of his fallen nature so abhorent that he feels he has utterly failed God and shall never "make it."

These lose the joy and strength that comes from knowing that they are apprehended of God. Paul explains it thus, "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus" Phil. 3:12. An interesting word ó "apprehended". It means "to seize or to take prisoner; to capture or to arrest; to perceive or understand." Paul, in bonds, called himself "a prisoner of Christ," not "a prisoner of Rome." Can we not take delight in knowing that our Lord seizes upon us with godly jealousy, holding us close to His bosom until we relinquish all that is not like Him?

Have a peaceful and Christ-filled day today!
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:02 AM
 
5,925 posts, read 5,836,760 times
Reputation: 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletWren View Post
Many who oppose the doctrine of Christian Universalism (or Universal Reconciliation or Restoration) make the claim that it causes the believer to lose interest in striving to live a life pleasing to God. I think that error comes in when the battle rages on so much about the FACT (viewpoint) that everyone will eventually be a beloved child of God that we are accused of not focusing on becoming 'holy.'

I have stated several times that the reason I so vociferously defend this doctrine is for the BELIEVER who has lost loved ones and close friends who, in their understanding, did not adhere to what God has done for them through Christ and so fear that these people are doomed to horrible eternal misery, or some feel God is kinder and just shows them the error of their ways and then snuffs them out of existence.

Anyway, this is NOT to argue about whether this doctrine is true or not. But I am herewith posting a part of an article from a staunch defender of Universal Reconciliation about the Christian walk. This is not unique. But I found it very edifying this morning. I hope you enjoy it. Elaine Cook wrote this:

OUR STAND AND OUR WALK

What, actually, is a Christian? Is it one who has signed his name to a church roll, or one who tithes faithfully, or one who attends "the church of his choice" regularly? There is only one thing that makes a person a Christian, and that thing is union with Christ. This is not some imaginary thing. It is a reality, wrought by the Holy Spirit. The Church is "in Christ Jesus," and it follows that, "as He is, so are we in this world," "identified with Him in His shame and in His joys, in His death, His burial, and His resurrection."

This union has very definite consequences as pertaining to our standing and to our walk in Christ. Faith perceives our standing in Christ. We have peace with God when we consider that man was reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus. By faith, we see His perfect sacrifice of Himself meeting Godís claim on man, and thus in His person we are reconciled to God. His place with God is now understood to be our place, for He offered for us and we are in Him. What peace this gives if by faith we can receive it fully!

Yet, if our union with Christ is a reality, it not only affects our standing, but also our walk. By our walk, we demonstrate the measure of understanding and light that we have. Because of our lack of spiritual power (for self still reigns), we may understand in our minds much more light than we are able to walk in. By the operation of the Spirit working in us, He takes the truth or revelation revealed to us as "head knowledge" and works it into our hearts through many fiery processes. It doesnít come easily! You donít just say, "Eureka! I have it!" and see it done. No, He does as He said He would do: "I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. . . " Heb. 8:10.

"He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked" I John 2:6. It is the work of the Spirit to verify in all of Christís members what is already true for them in their Head. "Verify" is a strong word meaning, "to make true, to prove to be true by evidence; to confirm; to test the accuracy of." The operation of Spirit will show us the standard for our walk, and then He will teach us to judge in ourselves all that is contrary to the walk of Christ in the light of our holy calling. When we know it is true that in Him we are dead and risen, in the knowledge of this we seek to be conformed to Him. The things which are true for us in Him must surely be made true in a very practical way, in our soulís experience (in the areas of the mind, will, emotions, desires and affections). Simply "reckoning it so" is not the complete answer. "Reckoning" shows us our place, sets our sights on it, and encourages us to "go through" as the Spirit does the inworking of these truths in His own personal way in each one of us.

Some see part of this truth, such as our standing, and emphasize that to the exclusion of the other part ó our walk. The church system has placed undue emphasis on the believerís walk without giving them the assurance of their standing in Christ. The result of this has been when one fails or falls, he thinks he is lost or forsaken and beyond the reach of the Saviourís love. Or, if the Spirit is dealing with his self-life and begins to show him unexplored realms of his own heart, he finds the truth of his fallen nature so abhorent that he feels he has utterly failed God and shall never "make it."

These lose the joy and strength that comes from knowing that they are apprehended of God. Paul explains it thus, "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus" Phil. 3:12. An interesting word ó "apprehended". It means "to seize or to take prisoner; to capture or to arrest; to perceive or understand." Paul, in bonds, called himself "a prisoner of Christ," not "a prisoner of Rome." Can we not take delight in knowing that our Lord seizes upon us with godly jealousy, holding us close to His bosom until we relinquish all that is not like Him?

Have a peaceful and Christ-filled day today!

The belief that Gods power is strong enough to ultimatly cause the most horrendous person (insert myself) to come to him willingly and that he will do this for everyone is the main reason I bother to lead a life based upon God and Jesus and life in service to them.



Anything else was spiritual death for me.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,832,098 times
Reputation: 16632
Default Not what I want to believe, but, what the Bible says

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletWren View Post
Many who oppose the doctrine of Christian Universalism (or Universal Reconciliation or Restoration) make the claim that it causes the believer to lose interest in striving to live a life pleasing to God. .........

I have stated several times that the reason I so vociferously defend this doctrine is for the BELIEVER who has lost loved ones and close friends who, in their understanding, did not adhere to what God has done for them through Christ .......

Have a peaceful and Christ-filled day today!
The opposition has nothing to do with what we think or even desire, --- but, with what God's Word clearly and repeatedly says! This is not the same thing as 'wrapping' a few isolated passages in the human logic of what we would like to believe.

Unless your 'vociferous defense of another doctrine' is solidly based on the work of Christ as revealed in scripture, ... you are building on shifting sand.

Could I possibly be wrong? --- I would like to hope so, but, even if I am, I have lost nothing. Could you possibly be wrong? ---- You would like to hope not, but, if you are ... you have lost everything - and perhaps drawn others after you.

Have a peaceful and Christ-filled day today
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:22 AM
 
40,039 posts, read 26,720,362 times
Reputation: 6047
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
The opposition has nothing to do with what we think or even desire, --- but, with what God's Word clearly and repeatedly says! This is not the same thing as 'wrapping' a few isolated passages in the human logic of what we would like to believe.

Unless your 'vociferous defense of another doctrine' is solidly based on the work of Christ as revealed in scripture, ... you are building on shifting sand.

Could I possibly be wrong? --- I would like to hope so, but, even if I am, I have lost nothing. Could you possibly be wrong? ---- You would like to hope not, but, if you are ... you have lost everything - and perhaps drawn others after you.

Have a peaceful and Christ-filled day today
There is no Christ in what you wrote . . . but plenty of Satan seeking to divide and cause fear and dissension. Love casts out all fear and promotes unity . . . not division.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:46 AM
 
5,925 posts, read 5,836,760 times
Reputation: 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
The opposition has nothing to do with what we think or even desire, --- but, with what God's Word clearly and repeatedly says! This is not the same thing as 'wrapping' a few isolated passages in the human logic of what we would like to believe.

Unless your 'vociferous defense of another doctrine' is solidly based on the work of Christ as revealed in scripture, ... you are building on shifting sand.

Could I possibly be wrong? --- I would like to hope so, but, even if I am, I have lost nothing. Could you possibly be wrong? ---- You would like to hope not, but, if you are ... you have lost everything - and perhaps drawn others after you.

Have a peaceful and Christ-filled day today

If I am wrong, there are many other options that even you cannot escape. We could both be wrong and we missed the fatc that we should of converted to Islam.

Such a wager is unscriptural, so I am not sure how your doctrines can even be based on anything but fear of being wrong.

I do not fear being wrong, do you?
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Tucson, Arizona
987 posts, read 908,097 times
Reputation: 295
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
The opposition has nothing to do with what we think or even desire, --- but, with what God's Word clearly and repeatedly says! This is not the same thing as 'wrapping' a few isolated passages in the human logic of what we would like to believe.

Unless your 'vociferous defense of another doctrine' is solidly based on the work of Christ as revealed in scripture, ... you are building on shifting sand.

Could I possibly be wrong? --- I would like to hope so, but, even if I am, I have lost nothing. Could you possibly be wrong? ---- You would like to hope not, but, if you are ... you have lost everything - and perhaps drawn others after you.

Have a peaceful and Christ-filled day today
I believe what I believe. I do not HOPE that it is true anymore than you HOPE that Christianity is true. Can you even conceive that Islam is true? For if it is, then you are lost, as well as those you may have led to Christ.

I can no more of my own will go back to believing God will send anyone to hell or annihilate them than you could become a Muslim because a neighbor told you that you are wrong and will lose everything because you don't believe in their version of God.

And what I wanted to point out, was that those who believe in UR also encourage believers to seek to not only rest in their salvation but to strive to become true sons.......to reveal the Father through His Son, and through what He is making of us. It is my present intention to encourage believers to trust in God not only for themselves but for the whole world and to desire to bear good fruit, in whatever God has planned for them.

Do have a Christ-filled day. My heart is full of peace, joy, and love for my heavenly Father.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:53 AM
 
Location: On a road heaven bound !
10,290 posts, read 8,260,063 times
Reputation: 17788
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
The opposition has nothing to do with what we think or even desire, --- but, with what God's Word clearly and repeatedly says! This is not the same thing as 'wrapping' a few isolated passages in the human logic of what we would like to believe.

Unless your 'vociferous defense of another doctrine' is solidly based on the work of Christ as revealed in scripture, ... you are building on shifting sand.

Could I possibly be wrong? --- I would like to hope so, but, even if I am, I have lost nothing. Could you possibly be wrong? ---- You would like to hope not, but, if you are ... you have lost everything - and perhaps drawn others after you.

Have a peaceful and Christ-filled day today
Amen...
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Frisco, TX
7,556 posts, read 11,890,246 times
Reputation: 4516
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletWren View Post
And what I wanted to point out, was that those who believe in UR also encourage believers to seek to not only rest in their salvation but to strive to become true sons.......to reveal the Father through His Son, and through what He is making of us. It is my present intention to encourage believers to trust in God not only for themselves but for the whole world and to desire to bear good fruit, in whatever God has planned for them.
This is what I've found as well, that the glorification of our Lord and the manifestation of the sons are paramount in the walk of every one of those who share in this faith.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:27 PM
 
Location: NC
11,918 posts, read 14,138,703 times
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Amen, ScarletWren. Paul speaks a lot about the high calling of God, about godliness. Our lives are supposed to be different and reflect what God is doing in us. The belief in the eventual restoration of all to God which is based in the scriptures, to me means that we have a lot of work to do in the future and God is preparing us today for the roles that we will have in the reconciliation of all to Him. This means that we must lay aside whatever is holding us back, and ask God to show us what changes need to be made in us, to be all that we are called to be. As you shared, we are to be true sons...

Romans 8
"12So, then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh;

13for if according to the flesh ye do live, ye are about to die; and if, by the Spirit, the deeds of the body ye put to death, ye shall live;
14for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God;
15for ye did not receive a spirit of bondage again for fear, but ye did receive a spirit of adoption in which we cry, `Abba -- Father.'
16The Spirit himself doth testify with our spirit, that we are children of God;
17and if children, also heirs, heirs, indeed, of God, and heirs together of Christ -- if, indeed, we suffer together, that we may also be glorified together.
18For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory about to be revealed in us;
19for the earnest looking out of the creation doth expect the revelation of the sons of God;
20for to vanity was the creation made subject -- not of its will, but because of Him who did subject [it] -- in hope(elpis=expectation)
21that also the creation itself shall be set free from the servitude of the corruption to the liberty of the glory of the children of God;
22for we have known that all the creation doth groan together, and doth travail in pain together till now.
23And not only [so], but also we ourselves, having the first-fruit of the Spirit, we also ourselves in ourselves do groan, adoption expecting -- the redemption of our body;
24for in hope we were saved, and hope beheld is not hope; for what any one doth behold, why also doth he hope for [it]?
25and if what we do not behold we hope for, through continuance we expect [it].
26And, in like manner also, the Spirit doth help our weaknesses; for, what we may pray for, as it behoveth [us], we have not known, but the Spirit himself doth make intercession for us with groanings unutterable,
27and He who is searching the hearts hath known what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because according to God he doth intercede for saints.
28And we have known that to those loving God all things do work together for good, to those who are called according to purpose;
29because whom He did foreknow, He also did fore-appoint, conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be first-born among many brethren;
30and whom He did fore-appoint, these also He did call; and whom He did call, these also He declared righteous; and whom He declared righteous, these also He did glorify.
31What, then, shall we say unto these things? if God [is] for us, who [is] against us?
32He who indeed His own Son did not spare, but for us all did deliver him up, how shall He not also with him the all things grant to us?
33Who shall lay a charge against the choice ones of God? God [is] He that is declaring righteous,
34who [is] he that is condemning? Christ [is] He that died, yea, rather also, was raised up; who is also on the right hand of God -- who also doth intercede for us.
35Who shall separate us from the love of the Christ? tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36(according as it hath been written -- `For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long, we were reckoned as sheep of slaughter,')
37but in all these we more than conquer, through him who loved us;
38for I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor messengers, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, 39nor things about to be, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, that [is] in Christ Jesus our Lord. .."

God bless.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Tucson, Arizona
987 posts, read 908,097 times
Reputation: 295
It is a beautiful thing, isn't it? Bless you, my friends.
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