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IEA Devo 2021 universalism • Becoming a Disciple-Maker

Universalism – The Disciple-Making Lifestyle

“…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)


Part One

As a modern illustration, imagine being trapped on the roof of a tall blazing building. At first, you are terrified, but then you discover there is a fire escape! Sadly, however, for universalists that one and only available route to safety will not be taken. They will choose to deny that flames exist, debate the fire escape’s design, or prefer to willingly perish rather than accept reality!
Spiritually, as Paul explained to the church in Corinth, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) The key to understanding this is to realize that only – “in Christ” are we made alive. He is God’s one escape route.
Not using the only fire escape because you want there to be multiple ways to escape sounds inconceivable, but that accurately describes a universalist’s illogical response to mankind’s one opportunity to be saved. Such reasoning disregards both sin and God’s sacrificial provision for mankind’s deliverance. Remember that Jesus declared – “The way is narrow that leads to life.” (Matthew 7:14), so wisely decide to choose it and help others to follow your example.

Part Two

Christianity’s low regard for universalism is greatly deserved. This is because it teaches that no one will be judged for their sin regardless of their behavior, lack of faith, or even their disregard for God Himself. This of course is totally naïve thinking! Their assertion that in effect, every belief system is right would mean that the Lord’s statements were totally wrong and that – nullifies their creditability! Universalism’s humanistic idealism is designed to make people feel good, so it sounds interesting but when its actual consequences are comprehended – they are tragic!
The Bible warns, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)


Part Three

Universalism’s unique position requires that – all the world’s conflicting religious teachings be treated equally. This results in making them equally meaningless! In their own language, regardless what is believed concerning God, presumably, every person’s road will always lead to – “somewhere eternally fruitful.” Their thinking actually means that nothing believed by anyone is either right or wrong, therefore nothing believed actually matters! Such logic is so untenable that no scientific, educational, or economic endeavor could ever operate using their view of reality.
All roads – have never led to Rome or anywhere else! That is the obvious truth that sensible people understand. The Lord clearly explained that this same reality directly relates to heaven. He said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)


Part Four

The Bible teaches about Jesus explaining that, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Ultimately, when this is understood, the exit from Universalism leaves its adherents in a new unexpected position. They are finally forced to make a choice! For them, this is a strong point of contention – because, as an example, if they accept Christianity, they know that everything will depend on their one – “all encompassing” commitment. Most of them are highly literate and personally admire the Lord Jesus’ teaching and character. They also recognize that He said, “I am the way” not “a way,” so intellectually they basically fear Him. This is why they deny His divinity!
It would be wise for Universalists to remember the Lord’s concerned warning, “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 10:28) God’s unchanging Truth about the future must be wisely acknowledged rather than being denied.
Part Five
Universalism is not a secure place to stand because it rejects one’s only access to grace. Without grace, nothing is left but an endless stream of momentary self-chosen – ideas and activities! By definition, classic Universalism claims to be fully inclusive. Therefore, it sadly excludes – no cult, philosophy or code of behavior. This position requires its adherents to accept a wide assortment of strange, opposing, and totally self-selected teachings. These must therefore range from – atheism, agnosticism, polytheism, ancestor worship, suicide bombings, and reincarnation to Hinduism’s sacred cows! Its eclectic wishful reasoning leaves it totally void of reliable truth!
In Universalism, sin must either be ignored, unrealistically denied, or thought of in terms of one’s own suffering. While rejecting their only means of salvation, they never-the-less promise the entire world a future which resembles the peace of heaven. They visualize this without the need of being cleansed and forgiven through Jesus Christ’s – death, burial, and resurrection! Their needed protection for mankind’s future is therefore attempted philosophically.
Jesus taught, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has One who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to … what to speak.” (John 12:48-49)
Part Six
With no divine authority or historically acceptable Biblical teaching to undergird their assertions, Universalism is simply a philosophic dream! It came into being out of desperation, and it represents an attempt to escape the reality of consequences! Its thought process seeks to abolish the need for man’s judgment by denying that anyone is responsible for sin. It has become the modern face of spiritual – denial! Evil is unquestionably present, mankind is unquestionably sinful, and God’s judgment is unquestionably promised, so Universalism is void of any substantive meaning.
The timeless Good News is that – Jesus Christ provided the Father’s plan for our escape! By design, heaven’s provision is both strong and inclusive enough to rescue every responsive sinner in the world! However, God’s beautiful way of escape is unapologetically – narrow!
We can either exercise our will and proceed to safety by faith or assume the full responsibility for passing up that blessed opportunity. With that in mind, when you explain your salvation experience to a Universalist, also be prepared to employ your reason. Remember that as Christ’s disciple, wisdom, logic, and decisiveness will always by your best friends. The Bible says, “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD.” (Isaiah 1:18) No thinking person who wisely rejects Universalism and accepts God’s Savior will ever cease to thank you!

By Billie Hanks Jr.

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