by Mike Ratliff
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20 (NASB)
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” or any form of postmodern “christianity.”
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:
27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:27-28 (NASB)
Is everyone saved? How about this one from our Lord:
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also 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; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-46 (NASB)
This is Judgment! 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?
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:18-32 (NASB)
1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. 3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who will render to each person according to his deeds: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God. Romans 2:1-11 (NASB)
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 either cannot or will not 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. Their’s 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 even going so far as to calling evil good and good evil, putting darkness for light and light for darkness. Woe unto them!
Soli Deo Gloria!