Carlton Pearson and Universalism
When I watch Pearson on Politically Correct hosted by Bill Mahr last year, he had next to nothing to say to people who were flaunting their sin and making evil statements. I thought, how can this representative of the gospel be silent in the face of this? Since then a number of things have come to my attention and I now understand why. Pearson is a well-known pastor and evangelist, for over 20 years Carlton Pearson has been pastor of the Higher Dimensions Family Church in Tulsa. It would not be necessary to even write of Pearson since there are others who hold the same view, except that he is the presiding bishop of the Azusa Interdenominational Fellowship of Christian Churches and Ministries, Inc., which includes over 500 churches and ministries. He has authored a variety of books and was even nominated for a Dove Award and a Stellar Award Winner. Carlton Pearson's Alma Mater is Oral Roberts University and was a Member of the Board of Regents. Pearson has recently come out with a book and statements that has endorsed universalism. Oral Roberts University took action and removed him from its board of directors due to his theological differences. According to “The Tulsa Beacon,” Pearson has been confronted over his teaching by televangelists John Hagee, Marilyn Hickey and his mentor, Oral Roberts. Roberts sent Pearson a 12-page response after he sent him details on the teaching. While I certainly do not agree with what these people mostly teach, what I do appreciate is even his own friends did not bend their views because of friendship and stood for Biblical truth on this matter. This is a rarity in these times.
“He corrected everything he thought was wrong and told me to change my vernacular,”
said Pearson, who relocated to Tulsa from San Diego 30 years ago to attend Oral Roberts
University, the “Beacon” reported.
When asked about Bible verses that could undermine his argument, Pearson questions the validity of their transmission and translation. He says the Bible is “paper and ink” and “shouldn't be an idol” (The Associated Press).
What a thing to say about the Word of God that Paul stated to Timothy “that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15). No Bible - no wisdom.
Pearson teaches that sincere people who do not directly acknowledge Christ -- such as Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Unitarians -- will go to heaven. The finished work of Christ at Calvary redeemed all of humanity, not just Christians, back to God,” Pearson says. “The whole world is already saved -- they just don't know it.” This is a nice thought but hardly a biblical position.
Pearson explains “The death of Christ made it possible for God to accept sinful man, and that he has, in fact, done so. Consequently, whatever separation there is between man and the benefits of God's grace is subjective in nature and exists only in man's mind and unregenerate spirit. The message man needs to hear then, is not that he simply has a suggested opportunity for salvation, but that through Christ he has, in fact, already been redeemed to God and that he may enjoy the blessing that are already his through Christ ” (Carlton Pearson, Jesus: The Savior of the World).
We can see that Pearsons view like other “Christian universalists” faith is not required for Jesus Christ's death on the cross; the saving work is applied automatically without the recipient knowing. This is not the teaching of Jesus Christ, therefore whatever Jesus or gospel this is we can be assured it is not about the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Pearson was “Born Again” in 1959, at age 5. and has traveled on a journey to get to where he is today.
Pearson is not the first to come to this conclusion Hannah Hurnard wrote in Eagles’ Wings to the Higher Places of her fictional character “‘He is the Saviour of all men!’ (1 Tim. 4:10). The words burst forth in passionate triumph from the lips of Aletheia. ‘Oh, how blind I have been! He is lifted up and nailed to the cross with us. As Jesus revealed when He hung between the two thieves and murderers, He will “draw all men unto Him.” “As in Adam (poor fallen Mankind) all die, so in Christ, the Second Adam, shall all men be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). Oh, what a victory! The only victory truly worthy of the Great God and Creator Who “did not make anything in vain but in the end restores all things unto Himself” (Acts 3:21). Oh, it is the Best News possible, the only possible News, if we are truly to love and trust Him fully’” (Eagles’ Wings to the Higher Places, pp. 35-36-Quoted from PFO article from High places to Heresy).
The misunderstood passage in Adam, all will be made alive is the crux of the universalists proof from the Bible. We will look at their scriptural support later.
If Carlton Pearson's theology (along with the other universalists) are correct, if Christ died for every person in the world that ever lived, that His death and resurrection is efficacious for all without believing, then we no longer need to preach Christ and mankind is sinful. Since salvation is automatically given without their knowing or consent. In fact, according to Pearson, the only way one is kept from heaven is when they hear the gospel and refuse it. Therefore from this view we can conclude that we should not give them any opportunity to hear and reject the message to incur judgment, this way they will not be separated from God as the result.
But this held belief is defective, common sense tells us if Jesus reconciled all by his death then certainly rejecting it cannot undo what is unanimously given to all. Since there is not need for faith to be saved, ones conscious unbelief could not remove them from being recipients of these same universal benefits. Ignorance is not bliss in the case of salvation, the Bible insists we are to believe and repent. Faith has always been the means by which salvation is given but now we have those who state a spiritual conversion is unnecessary. Strangely enough Pearson holds “I believe and preach with all my heart, the power and appropriateness of being Born Again, which I experienced personally over 40 years ago as a five-year-old child (Words from the bishop . . . Jesus: The Savior of the World (The Gospel of Inclusion.) I certainly can't understand how two opposing views can be held at the same time. Both cannot be true, it's either one or the other.
Paul writes in Ephesians 2:11-13 “remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”
This is said only after Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith.” Notice what the conduit to receiving God's grace is, Faith. Paul makes it absolutely clear what the Bible states by his asking in Romans 10:8-10 “But what does it say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart' --that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
So what are we to conclude from those who hold the universalist position? Paul also addresses it by stating “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:6-8) The Apostle Paul: “God forbid that I should glory in anything except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). One must have faith in what Christ did for the work He already accomplished to have any reciprocal effect on the individual. Believing (exercising faith) to receive is an absolute necessity.
Pearson states that a God who eternally condemns non-Christians would be worse than Hitler. “Hitler killed six million [people], mostly Jews. He is the most despised man in the twentieth century. Is God worse than Hitler, who's going to burn eternally, endlessly, billions of people?”
Let me put this into perspective another way for us to understand -- you have a fatal disease that will deteriorate all the flesh off your body, the doctor offers you the true cure, but you deny your sick or that you need it. If you do not take the true cure and you die, is it the doctor’s fault or yours?
And what of Hitler? according to the universalists view he or other despots of lesser evil may enjoy being in the kingdom with others who did right because God is SO merciful. Would that be fair? Something to consider as one adopts this unsupported view in the Bible.
Pearson had a three-day conference at his church entitled “Contending for the Faith Once Delivered Summit,” at which the “gospel of inclusion” was to be the main focus. Speakers at the three-day conference included Pearson himself as well as several others who are proponents of universalism. Pearson said. “A careful study of what I have taught will reveal that it is entirely scriptural, logical and theologically sound”, “So-called false teaching does not necessarily make a person a heretic, but an evil heart and attitude can make any doctrine heretical. That's why the World Trade Center isn't standing today and 3,000 people are dead.”
To compare those who are supposed to know with those who follow another religion and killed 3,000 is hardly rational. This is not how the Bible describes heretics! Whosoever ... abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, HATH NOT GOD” (2 John 1:9) 1 Tim. 4:16 “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”
2 Tim. 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” Universalism is a fable if there ever was one.
The “gospel of inclusion,” is Universalism. In short, universalist teach that all will be saved regardless of their acceptance of Christ by faith. All of humanity will have its destiny in heaven, whether they realize it or not. Wonderful, tickles the ears doesn't it.
To hold the position that everyone even if they are an idolater, ungodly are all going to have eternal life in heaven, without any requirement to repent of their sins and receive salvation is absurd from the Biblical point of view. The universalist view is the spirit of our age. It is inconsistent with the faith that is in the Bible it is the Devils trump card to annihilate the gospel message. By doing this he can bring the church to participate in interfaith.
This is not a trivial matter but is a core doctrine that is connected to salvation, and what makes one saved and in the grace of God. Lest we forget Jesus who said “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5:32). The view of universalism is that they are considered righteous not needing repentance. This is not just the liberal Jesus Seminar that is attacking the Bibles clear teachings, but those inside the church that we would consider evangelical.
Pearson says he is, “…trying to get away from the picture of an angry, intolerant God. I don’t see God that bitter” (“Carlton Pearson’s ‘Gospel of Inclusion’ Cost Mayoral Bid” by Eric Tiansay. Charisma News Service, March 19, 2001).
God is not bitter, nor intolerant, however God is still angry at sin; he has not changed his mind, Psalm 7:11-12 “God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day. If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready.” Psalm 5:5 “The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity” Psalm 2:12 “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” Prov. 6:16-19, “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.” Christ is still the only cure. Nothing has changed since.
There was judgment in the beginning of the earth in the garden, judgment on the earth with Noah, judgment on cities with Sodom and Gomorrah and there will be the judgment of nations and people when Christ comes back. Gen. 6:5-7 “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth.”
God is still going to deal with sinners as he did in the past. Isa. 13:9 “Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it.” 2 Pet. 3:6-7 “by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
Yet in all this God is not willing to punish, Psalm 145:20 “The LORD preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.” Ps. 78:37-39 “For their heart was not steadfast with Him, nor were they faithful in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath; For He remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that passes away and does not come again.”
Some beleive that we should say that God only hates the sin but loves the sinner as if we accept anyone despite what they do. The Scriptures indeed tell us that He loves us, (1 John 4:8) but we are commanded to repent. It is better to accept the love of God found in Jesus than to reject it and suffer His wrath. The fact of the matter is that God is holy and righteous and He hates those who sin and He punishes the sinner who does not repent of his sin. He does not punish sin apart from punishing the sinner. While we hear that we are to love the sinner and hate the sin, this part is true -- however Sin cannot be separated from the person, for it takes a sinner to do sin. Sin is rebellion in the person’s heart. Therefore, God must punish the sinner. Why? Because He is both Holy and just, the person who sins offends God. God's holiness and justice cannot allow Him to ignore the offense no matter how much he loves the person. Nor would He be just to give to the sinner the same end as those who repent to follow His ways.
The Law is a reflection of God's character. These commandments are not without punishments. A law without consequences is only good advice. To sin is to break God's Law it is an offence to his nature. To sin means to challenge His authority over mankind. God does not lie, neither is He mocked. His will keep his word He has said He will punish the law breaker and sinner. Isa. 1:28 “The destruction of transgressors and of sinners shall be together, and those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed.”
Pearson states: “A careful study of early church history will show that the doctrine of universal restoration was the prevailing doctrine of the Primitive Christian Church.” History does not show that the doctrine of universalism was a held by the Primitive Christian Church as he and others claim. It was Origen in the 3rd century who began to espouse this view as he held to a more allegorical interpretation of Scripture, but it was never held as an orthodox church view.
If we look at some of the more known names and theologians of the early church they certainly counter this view.
Some refer to Justin Martyr (1st century) in his Apology “an apocalyptic destruction of the whole cosmos, in order that evil angels, demons and men may no longer exist.”
Justin Martyr said: “We have been taught that only they may aim at immortality who have lived a holy and virtuous life near to God. We believe that they who live wickedly and do not repent will be punished in everlasting fire” “Hell is a place where those are to be punished who have lived wickedly and who do not believe that those things which God has taught us by Christ will come to pass” (First Apology, 21, 150 AD).
The Martyrdom of Polycarp “Fixing their minds on the grace of Christ, [the martyrs] despised worldly tortures and purchased eternal life with but a single hour. To them, the fire of their cruel torturers was cold. They kept before their eyes their escape from the eternal and unquenchable fire” (Martyrdom of Polycarp 2:3).
Second Clement “If we do the will of Christ, we shall obtain rest; but if not, if we neglect his commandments, nothing will rescue us from eternal punishment” (Second Clement 5:5 150 AD).
Second Clement (150 AD) “But when they see how those who have sinned and who have denied Jesus by their words or by their deeds are punished with terrible torture in unquenchable fire.”
160 AD Mathetes “When you know what is the true life, that of heaven; when you despise the merely apparent death, which is temporal; when you fear the death which is real, and which is reserved for those who will be condemned to the everlasting fire, the fire which will punish even to the end those who are delivered to it, then you will condemn the deceit and error of the world” (Letter to Diognetus 10:7).
177 AD Athenagoras speaking on the hope of Christians then says . . . or if we fall with the rest [of mankind], a worse one and in fire” (Plea for the Christians 31).
189 AD Irenaeus of Lyons “The penalty increases for those who do not believe the Word of God and despise his coming ... [I]t is not merely temporal, but eternal. To whomsoever the Lord shall say, 'Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire,' they will be damned forever” (Against Heresies, 4:28:2).
Hippolytus “Standing before [Christ's] judgment, all of them, men, angels, and demons, crying out in one voice, shall say: 'Just if your judgment!' And the righteousness of that cry will be apparent in the recompense made to each. To those who have done well, everlasting enjoyment shall be given; while to the lovers of evil shall be given eternal punishment. The unquenchable and unending fire awaits these latter, and a certain fiery worm which does not die and which does not waste the body but continually bursts forth from the body with unceasing pain. No sleep will give them rest; no night will soothe them; no death will deliver them from punishment; no appeal of interceding friends will profit them” (Against the Greeks 3).
Doesn’t sound like inclusivism from some of the more well-known theologians of the church. And the reason is because neither does the Bible say this. The point is that one can find some obscure statements to try and prove their view but universalism was neither the majority view nor a widely held view in the early church, especially by those who stood on the Bibles revelation. It was held by but a few who had no real influence on the church. Many other quotes could be cited. Our basis for truth is not men but the Bible; interpreted in its whole revelation not part and piecemeal.
Pearson also states: The mainstream church believes there is only one salvation--that from sin. That is where the error is. It is true that salvation is primarily from sin, which is the offence of Adam, but there is also a need for salvation from works of the flesh, which are bad or unGod-like habits and hobbies, because of that original sin.”
This is the same thing, as the sin nature works its ways through our physical life. The fact is an unrepentant sinner not trusting in Christ’s atonement will end up going to hell. He may even appear to live a more pure life then some Christians in some respects but because he has neglected to accept the way, he will not enter.
Pearson also states, Hell was prepared for the devil (or slanderer) and his angels (or messengers) (Mt. 25:41). Don't be so quick to send your fellow man to Hell, especially if God is not desiring to do so Himself (2 Pet. 3:9). Hell is a bad place, so why is mainstream Christianity OK or comfortable with “the lost” going there?
I don’t think anyone is comfortable with it and making an argument from what is not a held belief doesn’t help this position. We are to be uncomfortable enough to tell people so they can avoid going there. In fact if you look at the Scripture cited it is people that are being consigned there, not the devil and his angels. The point is the Bible says it was made at first for the Devil and the angels who were the first sinners in the universe. Jesus warned of men going to the same place “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41) God’s mercy is narrow, not wide, the deception is wide. Every time Jesus uses the word wide it’s a bad thing. Matt 7:13-15 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. He goes on to teach about false prophets in sheep’s clothing who are really wolves, and likening people to trees he states, “every tree that does not bear fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire.” The eternal torment view of mankind who rejects Christ has been held as the majority view since the beginning of the church. The main Scriptures are: Matthew 25:31-46; Mark 9:38-48; Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 12:24-36; John 3:35-36; Revelation 19:19-21; Revelation 20:7-10; Revelation 20:11-15. selah
Salvation is not limited to mean only going to heaven, for one must be forgiven of their
offence to God in the first place. This is a misunderstanding of how serious our sin is
and the effect it has on us. That’s not my opinion that’s
God’s absolute word on this. (Jn.3:)
This theology creates a two class system of people who are going to heaven. Those who have never heard of Jesus Christ that have other religious beliefs that are false according to Jesus. The “sanctified” persons who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ seem to attain a higher level. What’s the difference of those who actually knew Him and followed Him on earth if they both receive the same outcome? The answer is simple, it doesn’t substantially matter.
Pearson sates --The Apostle Paul, whose teachings were the first to be referred to as heresies in Acts 24:14, was the first to teach the message of universal reconciliation, as he tried to convince Jews and Jewish Christians that the Gospel was inclusive of all of Humankind and not confined to a so-called “faithful few.”
It is Romans 5 that universalists love to use apart from Paul's other writings. Let's read his almost 2000-year-old words: Romans 5:12 -21: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned-for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
His mistake is a common one. Though Adam means mankind, there was an individual named Adam who was the one who bought sin into the world that affected all mankind. Gen 3:17 “And unto Adam” the noun is used for the first time as a proper name without the article. The scripture is talking about a particular person Adam as it is Moses.
The last Adam, Jesus Christ, corrected that mistake--all are forgiven for the offence which came through the first Adam (1 Cor. 15:45) if they put their trust in Jesus sacrifice, there is a qualification that universalists seem to ignore.
Rom 5:8-11 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” The blood has to be applied just as it was in the first Passover in Egypt.
Here is the same Paul qualifying what he meant in Romans by stating in 1 Tim 1:15-16 “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.” Paul is giving himself as an example for the worst kind of person having God's mercy given if they believe on him. Paul certainly believed on Christ Jesus and taught others to do the same.
It is true as those who are in Christ live but to come into Christ one must choose to do so. It does not happen only by what he did, we must exercise faith after the good news is heard.
Romans 5 “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! “In Adam all are condemned, in Christ all live Through His sacrificial death, the gift of eternal life is offered to the many.”
The trespass entered to all indescrimanently, it is inherited. This becomes an issue of what is called the sin nature in all people.
Romans 5:12-19 the “Alls” in Adam and Christ
We are not punished because of Adams transgression but for our own sin which we have inherited from him, we are all in the same boat-- all have sinned. We are all sinners because we have inherited the fallen nature of Adam. Our being born with this sin is a proof of our guilt in Adam the fallen man. As the Book of Romans teaches “THERFORE, just as by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners, Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom 5:12) We die because we are already spiritually dead, which God calls sinners.
Rom.5:15 “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.” The many is meaning the whole race; both Jews and Gentiles. The many to whom grace abounds, who receive the gift of righteousness, (the many means the same for both Adam and the gift offered results in justification. Paul has already told us how to be justified in Rom 5:1-2 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Notice By faith we are justified and have access into his grace. Paul is not confused on this issue, the universalists are. When Paul states THERFORE, it is a summation of what he previously wrote.
Barnes' commentary states Rom 5:15 “In order that the Universalist may draw an argument from this, he must show that it was the design of Christ to destroy ALL the effects of the sin of Adam. But this has not been in fact. Though the favors of that work have abounded, yet people have suffered and died. And though it may still abound to the many, yet some may suffer here, and suffer on the same principle forever.” (from Barnes' commentary)
V.16 “And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.
The two groups in this verse do not refer to everyone the same way. The first many includes all who became subject to death as a result of Adam’s trespass. By the one offense of Adam brought sin and judgment to all, and all are now condemned. The free gift of Christ, on the other hand, removes the many offenses, not just one that came from Adam. However, there is a qualification to have this free gift.
Paul makes a parallel, a comparison between the offence of Adam and its consequence; and the free gift of God and its distribution to its recipients. Adam's offence, is not more powerful than the Gospel grace. Paul says where sin abounds grace abounds much more. There is a resemblance in the manner of the two things compared. Guilt and condemnation came by Adam, but justification and righteousness come by Christ. Not that we all are recipients automatically, we must do something to be transferred from Adam into Christ. From the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. The many means all who become members of the new creation, through Christ the new Federal Head, the last Adam. It includes only those to whom God’s grace has been applied by faith-that is, true believers. They will know their life has changed because they are following the life-giver (Romans 6 takes us through this).
All the whosoever will passages become meaningless if everyone makes it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ insists upon obedience to His Word, all these commands become options not necessary for salvation when one adopts a Universalist viewpoint.
Christ Jesus died for every man; salvation is free for all; Rom. 5:17 “For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. It is received in the gospel by Christ. In other words everyone inherited the sin of Adam with no choice in the matter. But the gift is not the same in that one must choose to receive it, it is found in Christ.
The gift is not in its nature and effect like the offence. It is absurd to take the position, that “the all” in the latter extends with “the all” in the former. The plain sense of the scripture is, that all found in Christ should be made alive in Him. Even as all mankind, or all represented by Adam, had died in him when he sinned.
To whom “grace abounded” in v.20 are obviously the same with those in Rom 5:17, for Paul clearly affirms “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23)
All mankind are in some sense benefited on account of the atonement of Christ: yet fall short of “saving benefit.” We are in the age of Grace and God is withholding judgment but Paul says he will judge one day, and if you are still in the first Adam you will receive the penalty.
Universalists are unable to interpret the apostle's reasoning, supposing that Adam and Christ represent exactly the same company; Adam was representative of the whole human species, because they are his posterity; Christ, is representing the chosen remnant, which has become one with him by faith in his sacrifice.
1 Cor. 15:21-22 “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” You will remain in Adam unless you exercise faith, yet you will experience the resurrection. But some will be resurrected to eternal life others to eternal condemnation. This purpose is to show them the things they did in their body.
Paul qualifies what he states in Rom.5 elsewhere so there is no cloudiness to what he means unless one isolates his writing with everything else he wrote. Rom. 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” One is not a son unless they are adopted, no one is born automatically into Christ's family, only in Adam's. John 1:9-13 “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Paul says to test yourself to see if you are in the faith. You can’t receive the benefits of being in Christ unless you are in Christ by faith. This includes salvation and heaven. Gal. 3:26 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Not everyone is a son in the family of God with a relationship to God.
Rom. 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” But to have the Spirit Jesus says one must be born again spiritually. 2 Cor. 1:21-22 “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” Paul said prior to this in 1 Cor.1:18 “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing and then makes the application “but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” There is saved and unsaved and the believing in the crucifixion makes all the difference. Instead of the death of Christ making universalism possible this make universalism a complete impossibility.
The two strongest passages from Paul that are used for universalism are 1 Cor. 15:21-28 and Eph. 1:10, yet one must twist all his other statements to prove Paul held the doctrine of universal salvation. An unbiased study of the passages clearly shows this is not the apostle's intent. Cor. 15: 21-28, we have first the statement--”For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (ver. 22). Paul affirms that in Christ all shall be made alive not all shall be made alive outside Christ as a general promise. The point is how does on get in Christ?
The Bible tells us in1 Corinthians 15:22 “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” All who are descended from Adam die. So in Christ all shall be made alive. This verse has been taken to teach universal salvation. It is argued that the same ones who die in Adam will be made alive in Christ, and that all will eventually be saved. But that is not what the verse says. The key phrases are in Adam and in Christ. All who are in Adam die-- these are those who are born once in a physical body. All who are in Christ shall be made alive, these are those who were born spiritually. Only believers are in the Lord Jesus Christ, they only will be raised from the dead to dwell eternally with Him.
2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Col. 1:28 “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” What's the sense of warning if everyone is ok. No sense preaching Jesus, which is exactly what the destroyer of your soul wants.
Gal. 2:16 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” Doing good to others will not get you to heaven at all, only Jesus will.
Rom. 3:21-24 “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets. even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
2 Tim 1:9 “who has saved us (through faith-not by osmosis) and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” You find your purpose from being in Christ.
Eph 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” One must have the faith to do these good works so that they are in Christ as the previous verses state.
So any other scripture that has promises in Christ Jesus has to be defined by this As you have given Him [Jesus] authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as you have given Him” (John 17:2). Jesus said “as many,” not “all” He gives eternal life to. The Gospel of Inclusion makes this a voided statement as it does other statements Jesus preached on the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46); the gate is narrow not wide (Matthew 7:13-14), it's not an 8 lane highway.
Daniel writes that some will be resurrected to eternal life and others to judgment. Dan. 12:2 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.” So even the Old Testament disproves the universal belief that people will be accepted; some will and others rejected.
Contrary to Pearson and other Universalist's opinions, Paul did not teach universalism. Phil. 3:8-9 “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” You cannot be IN Christ by another religion. Christianity teaches the opposite of trying to be accepted by God by your own works. Paul taught against this even though he practiced Judaism more zealously than anyone of his time.
Again one must believe in the gospel to receive anything from Christ. Mark 16:15-16 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” There would be no sense to write such a thing if it were not true but the qualifying statement, “he who does not believe will be condemned” goes along with Jn.3 that we are already condemned. So they remain in their condemnation not being removed from it because of UNbelief.
Acts 16:31 So
they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your
household.” Over 240 times the Scripture command to believe and exercise faith on Christ
Nothing could be clearer to refute
universalism. There are too many qualifying scriptures that abolish a universal view. For
I Jn. 5:12-13 “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have
the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the
name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may
continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”