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Gerard de VosCreated by Gerard de Vos
on 22-04-2011
Category: Post-Modern
Rob Bell and hell

Universalism is the idea that all men are predestined for salvation. God loves all people so much He will eventually save them all from hell and everyone will be in heaven. There will be nobody in hell, except the devil and his demons. That idea has been around for a long time. Many people have proposed it, and many others have obviously been delighted to hear such a 'wonderful' message. The reasons Universalism is such good news are the following:

  • Judgment and God's insistence on holy living is made redundant.
  • That makes the Bible and the church also of no consequence.
  • That means that there is no need for God the Father who sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins (Colossians 1:21-22). If no salvation from sin is necessary, then obviously there is no need for God the Savior. If all people will be saved, Jesus' death on the cross was just a cruel joke. (Rob Bell wrote a book, 'Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the fate of Every Person who ever lived' that talks about this issue.)

Logic tells the Bible believer that Universalism cannot be true. God planned the creation of the world because He wants to establish His family on the renewed earth. He will be the Father, and His Son will be the Bridegroom, and the saved will be the Bride. Salvation has to do with loving the Lord, the Bridegroom. Revelation 19:7 is the great marriage feast, where those who loved and obeyed Jesus will be the eternal bride of Christ. Jesus gave Himself to gather a bride without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish. That is a process which universalists want to bypass. If it can be bypassed, why do we have a Bible that gives all the directions on how to become part of the Bride? The preparation period is on earth while we are alive. Anybody who doesn't accept this plan of God is excluded from it, because he is not interested in loving Jesus. God cannot force people to love His Son. No love means exclusion from the marriage, and that means exclusion from heaven (the renewed earth).

Many people say that the church has a function. What role does it have if the 'good' person is saved and eventually the 'bad' one also? What is the use of being 'good' then? There are very few people who will be persuaded that paying the price to be good is worth it for no apparent reason. Why humble yourself to be 'saved,' go to church, read your Bible, pray and pay tithes, if you will be saved anyway? Universalism is, in a sense, an incentive to immoral and irresponsible behavior. Who cares what you do, if it will have no eternal consequences because you will be saved eventually. Then there is no reason to bother with all this 'church' stuff. Stalin, Hitler, Pot Pol and all other dictators will be saved, in spite of the millions of their own people they killed. Most people are a bit better than them, so that means they are surely going to make it to eternal bliss.

Universalism sounds good and even accords with a God of love who wishes all men to be saved. It does neglect to tell of the wrath of the Ruler of the universe who lovingly gave His Son to be tortured and killed for the sin and disobedience of humans. Rejecting the King's offer can only lead to disastrous results. The lake of burning sulphur and the lot of those whose names are not in the book of life is clearly spelled out (Revelation 20:15). Either the Bible is true, or it is not. We have too many indications that it is a reliable, supernatural book, so it is dangerous to believe that all people will be saved. If that is true, we should never have had a Bible, since the Bible would not have a message for us. The Bible's purpose is to reconcile us to God. If that happens automatically, there is no need for the Bible.

Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote that he got his revelation from Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12). He also wrote: 'But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned' (Galatians 1:8). The Gospel is the Good News of Jesus saving people and preparing a bride for Himself (Ephesians 5:25). Changing the Gospel is dangerous.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinth 1:27