OK, till now I’ve held my peace, and avoided discussing that Bell fella and universalism. But…

The Triumph of Death c. 1562 by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. "The painting shows aspects of everyday European life in the mid-sixteenth century."

Jim West’s post and even more his commenters have driven me to it. They are all so confident. Each of them know the Almighty’s mind so clearly and fully. For some of them it is simple, even [insert name of your most hated murderous and cruelly heartless dictator] must be saved, because God is too nice to condemn them, let alone send them to a pit of eternal fire. For the others it is equally simple, if someone has not expressed faith in Christ (and here there are some slight differences, so except those who have not “heard” the gospel, others somehow make no exceptions) they are condemned to hell.

But I wonder, Scripture (at least if read with an eye even a little attuned to the colourful ways of human speech) is less than clear on the subject, yet they all – on both sides – know.

As for me, unlike my Calvinist friend with whom I discussed these issues in college chapel last year, I believe in the sovereignty of God, so that God is not bound by any simple rule that humans express. And I trust the Almighty to do a better job of peopling and managing the afterlife than I or any of the commenters could.

Yes, it would be comforting to think of some people (Sen. Gen. Than Shwe springs to mind though he’d hardly be alone) “burning in the fires of hell” but if God, who in Christ hung out to die for you and for me, can arrange to save his poor twisted creature, who am I, or who are you, to object!

5 comments on “OK, till now I’ve held my peace, and avoided discussing that Bell fella and universalism. But…

  1. Mike Gantt

    If you want a scriptural, rather than a philosophical, justification for believing that everyone is going to heaven see The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven at http://wp.me/PNthc-i6

  2. Heather

    I have no idea who is going to be ‘saved’ and who not – I seem to have less idea the more I read the Bible!  However, I was interested a week or so ago to read Luke 12:48b in context.  I wrote a little blog post about it.  In short, the verse about if you’ve been given much then much will be required of you seems actually to be about salvation, not use of gifts/talents. If you’ve been given a lot of knowledge about the gospel then your bar for salvation will be higher than if you haven’t.  I found that an important addition to such discussions, and one I’d never come across (or had pointed out to me) so clearly in scripture before.

  3. Baptist

    West is basically a fundamentalist pretending to be otherwise.

  4. Bob MacDonald

    The interesting question is – where is the conscience of the villain? So for Khadafy – does he really think the state is him? What is the mind of God compared to the mind of the rationalizing injustice of humanity? Surely other people are more significant than our self-interest. Through the word of God via Nathan, David condemned himself, and as such became a sin-offering for the rest of us. I wonder if there is any kleptocrat today that comes close to breathing a repentant spirit. No repentance, no conscience, no possibility of salvation – whenever or wherever. Now is more important than some indeterminate future certainty.

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