by Mike Ratliff
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20 WEB)
It seems that the default theology of Man is “Justification by Death.” Justification is a legal term where a person is declared “not guilty” by a judge. No one seems to have a problem with the concept of all people being sinners. However, our culture says that all people will be sent to Heaven when they die regardless of how they lived their lives. Once there, they will receive rewards or lose rewards based on the quality of their character. This is why the Doctrine of Hell is seen as “judgmental” and “Pharisaical” by those of the “New Evangelism.”
Universalism says that everyone is saved and it is wrong to preach and teach the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ about that place called Hell. For example: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:27-28 KJV) Is everyone saved? How about this one from our Lord:
“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’ “The King will answer them, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. ’Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’ “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me. ’These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46 WEB)
This is Judgment folks. Jesus is going to return in His glory. He is going to send the ungodly into eternal punishment. Universalism is a fallacy that may make people “feel good,” but it is deadly to people’s Souls.
What does the Bible tell us about God’s righteous judgment?
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse. Because, knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error. Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:18-32 WEB)
“Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judge. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things. We know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. Do you think this, O man who judges those who practice such things, and do the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of his goodness, forbearance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God; who “will pay back to everyone according to their works:” to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruptibility, eternal life; but to those who are self-seeking, and don’t obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrath and indignation, oppression and anguish, on every soul of man who works evil, on the Jew first, and also on the Greek. But glory and honor and peace to every man who works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”
(Romans 2:1-11 WEB)
That’s pretty clear isn’t it? Did Paul leave anything out? No one is free from the guilt of these things. He even lists self-will there. Those who reject Doctrine as being essential claiming that “God is Love” so he wouldn’t send anyone to Hell, are in darkness according the hardness of their unrepentant hearts. Paul says that they are treasuring up for themselves wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God; who “will pay back to everyone according to their works.” Scary! Paul divides people here into two groups. The first group is those who by patience in well doing, seek for glory and honor and incorruptibility. They have eternal life. The other group practices self-seeking, and don’t obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness. They do not have eternal life, but will inherit wrath and indignation, oppression and anguish. These are the ones who work evil. However, those who have eternal life will inherit glory and honor and peace.
False teachers who preach Universalism deny the necessity of the atonement through the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. They are saying there was no need for the cross and we need to be teaching people to be good citizens instead of preaching Jesus to them. To do this, they must also deny the Bible is our only source of God’s Truth as the rule of our lives. When we use scripture to show the fallacy of what they teach they simply ignore us, claiming we are legalistic, pharisaical, arrogant, and hypocritical. They tell us we don’t know the real Jesus and are actually driving people away from our churches by being divisive.
One of the rules for comments on this blog is that debate requires biblical proof. That is why debates with these folks never last very long online because they can’t or won’t do it. Therefore, they are working overtime to justify what they teach while denying what we teach by separating Jesus from the Bible. That’s right. They have their own but he is another Jesus. Theirs is Jesus the Universalist. He judges no one. He does not demand anything from us other than that we have unity despite our theological differences. Is this the Jesus we read of in the Bible? The Universalist Jesus would not separate the sheep from the goats nor ever mention that we are to fear God who can destroy Souls in Hell. However, the biblical Jesus says those very things.
My brethren, I would much rather write things about learning to be Spirit-filled or presenting the Gospel or teaching about the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. However, God will not let me get past this. Every time I prepare to move on, I receive an email or comment from someone condemning me for teaching things such as genuine disciples must deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Jesus. (Matthew 16:24-27) Jesus Christ is Lord and those who are genuine Christians are surrendered to Him as their Lord. They have the Holy Spirit, have been regenerated or quickened by God and are New Creations. Universalists viciously attack these teachings. Why?