A universalist thread

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by menageriekeeper, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    Since I am often accused of being one and I came across a scripture I'd read many times before, but this time found something different, I thought I'd start us something new to argue, ummm discuss! Here we go, a few passages for you to consider:

    Act 10:1 Now there was a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
    Act 10:2 a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.
    Act 10:3 He saw in a vision openly, as it were about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming in unto him, and saying to him, Cornelius.
    Act 10:4 And he, fastening his eyes upon him, and being affrighted, said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are gone up for a memorial before God.




    Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

    1Co 15:21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
    1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.


    Sorry folks, I managed to hit the submit button instead of the preview button.

    I want the discussion to be two-fold.

    First, lets discuss how a gentile that had never heard of Christ and that we have no evidence to suggest that he understood Judaism knew to worship God. Is this evidence that there are those that have never heard the name of Christ counted (by God) as Christians. (that is, they would believe in Christ if they were told and in the absence they are doing the best they can and have their faith counted for righteousness)? This is what usually gets me the accusation of being a universalist.

    Second, what about this idea that all will eventually be saved, as suggested in the Corinthians passage? (something I actually don't believe, but for purposes of this discussion I may defend)

    As always, scripture first, C/A opinions second, your own opinions last.

    Happy debating (bickering, arguing, whatever!)

    :wavey:
     
    #1 menageriekeeper, Dec 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2010
  2. Scarlett O.

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    How did Rahab know to worship God? The Jews, in her day, gained quite the reputation with other nations because of God. The God of the Jews became quite reknown.

    She said, "I know that the Lord has given you the land and that your terror is fallen upon us and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the [east] side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. When we heard it, our hearts melted, neither did spirit or courage remain any more in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath."

    This pagan whore - who only heard rumors of this Jewish God - believed and confessed Him to be God.

    Couldn't Cornelius, being an officer of the Romans, have learned a lot about Judaism and even other religions in his work? I think it's possible. And I don't believe that he had to convert to Judaism to believe in the God of the Jews.
     
  3. menageriekeeper

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    It is possible however, at the time the Jews still taught that following the Law was the only way to worship God and all others were goners, which is basically what the Law taught them. And Cornelius doesn't appear to have followed the Law but the Spirit of the Law, that is to love your neighbors as yourself. I think it is telling that the scripture clearly says that "your prayers and your alms have ascended up as a memorial before God", not that Cornelius work at keeping the Law had been recognized.
     
  4. Ed Edwards

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    Check the fellow named "Eusebius"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eusebius_of_Caesarea

    Act 10:1-2 (KJV1769ish type edition, e-sword.com edition with Strong's Numbers):

    There(G1161) wasG2258 a certainG5100 manG435 inG1722 CaesareaG2542 calledG3686 Cornelius,G2883 a centurionG1543 ofG1537 the bandG4686 calledG2564 the ItalianG2483 band,
    Act 10:2 A devoutG2152 man, andG2532 one that fearedG5399 GodG2316 withG4862 allG3956 hisG848 house,G3624 which(G5037) gaveG4160 muchG4183 almsG1654 to theG3588 people,G2992 andG2532 prayedG1189 to GodG2316 alway.G1275

    G2152
    εὐσεβής
    eusebēs
    yoo-seb-ace'
    From G2095 and G4576; well reverent, that is, pious: - devout, godly.

    this Greek term is translated "A Devout Man". This person, though still a Gentile was on the road to become a Jew. The fastest a Gentile could become a Jew was two generations. An "eusebius" was either a first or second generation (more generations for some nations) Jewish Convert.
     
  5. Iconoclast

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    First, lets discuss how a gentile that had never heard of Christ and that we have no evidence to suggest that he understood Judaism knew to worship God. Is this evidence that there are those that have never heard the name of Christ counted (by God) as Christians. (that is, they would believe in Christ if they were told and in the absence they are doing the best they can and have their faith counted for righteousness)? This is what usually gets me the accusation of being a universalist.

    Second, what about this idea that all will eventually be saved, as suggested in the Corinthians passage? (something I actually don't believe, but for purposes of this discussion I may defend)

    Of course....I see it now,this is the missing evidence the church has never seen before!:applause: The heathen are not lost in sin,and are doing the best they can. God counts them as christians without the cross.:thumbs::
    We can save money by recalling all missionaries from the jungles and forsaken places on the earth,because the heathen are just peachy keen before God,:love2::love2::
    The mis-guided psalmist in psalm 115 spoke of a God who hates idols.After all the heathen as you say are;
    Of course the Corinthian passage uses the word ALL.....that settles it then
    It must mean ALL WILL BE SAVED.....NO NEED TO PRAY FOR GOD TO DRAW ANYONE AT ALL.Everyone is going to be saved.
    Those evil reformers and puritans were all legalistic prudes,they have mis-lead us with man made teachings,based on the greek and hebrew words.
    The only verse we need is jn 3:16.... it adds world, and whosoever.
    What more discussion is necessary.
    The jihadist is just travelling a different road up the mountain, and the bombs that he wears are only because he lacks a little more information.

    Some of the believers here who try to post all these verses about the wrath of God against sin, have followed fallible men who used the wrong verses...
    All this talk about studying the scripture....
     
  6. Amy.G

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    The "all" in 1 Cor.15:22 are the one's in verse 23.

    1 Corinthians 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.


    The word "but" connects verse 22 to verse 23.

    All=those who are in Christ at His coming, not all humanity.
     
  7. Tom Butler

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    It is helpful to read all of Acts 10 and most of Acts 11 to glean some insights into the story of Cornelius.

    Acts 10:36-37 tells us (Peter speaking to Cornelius) 36 "..the word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all, 37 That word, I say, YE KNOW, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached,..."

    So Cornelius knew about this Jesus. And although Cornelius was a devout God-fearer, it obviously was not enough.

    V 43 "...to him (Jesus) gave all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."

    Something happened at this moment. I believe Cornelius received that message and believed on Jesus, because:

    V 44 "....the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word."

    This is similar to the event in Acts 8, in Samaria, where Philip had preached and many had been saved and baptized. Peter and John went down there to check things out and saw the Holy Spirit come on the Samaritan believers.

    Hmmmm, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, that rings a bell.

    The message in Acts is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is to be preached to Gentiles as well as Jews. Peter could accept the preaching to the Samaritans, hated as they were, because they were part-Jew.

    It took the Cornelius event for Peter to be fully convinced that the gospel was to be preached beyond the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

    Universal salvation? No. Universal gospel? Definitely.
     
  8. Jerome

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    Points to ponder:
     
  9. annsni

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    Wow - Those were some scary quotes.
     
  10. Zenas

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    In the New Testament world there appeared to be a number of Gentiles who feared God but did not practice Judaism. See, e.g., Acts 13:26. Cornelius was such a man. Acts 10:2. Scripture doesn’t say how these Gentiles came to believe in God but we know they did. These people, including Cornelius were particularly receptive to the Gospel.

    However, MK’s 1 Corinthians 15 passage is more vexing. I will have to ponder that a while longer.
     
  11. preacher4truth

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    What we could use here is one of those who sees all Scripture and theology as being simple to answer this question for us.

    If any of you say or have said it is simple, let's hear the answer. It is time to pay up or shut up.

    :thumbs:
     
  12. Winman

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    You make an assumption when you say Cornelius knew nothing of Judaism. Jews had synagogues throughout Asia Minor. Read in Acts and you will see Paul found synagogues and large populations of Jews everywhere he went including Rome. So, it is easy to believe Cornelius had knowledge of the Jews and could have been very familiar with the OT scriptures.
     
    #12 Winman, Dec 27, 2010
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  13. Winman

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    Theology and scripture are not the same thing. Scripture is generally easy to read and understand, and with study the average person can understand it. Theology on the other hand is a man-made science and can vary greatly between denominations or sects. Catholics have their own theology that would be very different from Baptist theology. Theology is often theoretical and can be very difficult to understand. It does not take great theological knowlege to be saved and live for God. The average Catholic priest has far more training and knowledge of theology than other denominations, and most are completely lost and on their way to hell. You don't have to be a theologian to understand the gospel and be saved. The example shown in scripture is that the average man understood the gospel far better than the highly educated religious leaders. Most of the scribes and Pharisees could not understand Jesus, and this is very likely because many were "blinded by science".
     
  14. glfredrick

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    In essence, with the centurion, we are dealing with a argument from silence. Because the Scriptures do not give us the complete story of this man's life, we sometimes make assumptions about what he knew, where he heard it, etc. We do this often for almost every story in Scripture from what I have seen.

    Because he was a centurion, it was probably within his duties to guard the temple and/or furnish crowd control in Jerusalem. It is entirely within the realm of possibilities that he heard Jesus speak and/or witnessed the Jewish religious ceremonies and came to understand something about God in the process. We can't know any of this for sure because we simply don't know the entire story of the man, but these are plausible options.

    Another option is the work of Plato and other philosophers of that era. Plato actually did a remarkable job of figuring out God from the general revelation and wise thinking about the implications of the general revelation. No, he did not know the God of the Bible -- as far as we can tell, Plato had no direct contact with God through the specific revelation of OT Scripture, but that is possible. In any case, Plato may have the highest possible view of God based on a non-scriptural view, which is why his own philosophy work has been so much embraced by the Christian world over the centuries. We could rightly say that Romans 1 was true in Plato's life -- in a somewhat positive sense -- that being that Plato was cognizant that there was a God and he did his best to explain that God in the absence of a specific revelation.
     
  15. glfredrick

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    I'd say that you have a bias against theology because it destroys your own not-very-carefully-reasoned arguments. I also wonder just how much theology you have actually studied. Perhaps very little... But I will stand corrected if you have indeed put in some hours in the study.
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    Originally Posted by pinoybaptist [​IMG]
    yes, there will be people in heaven who never heard the gospel, who were enemies of the gospel in time, who never had the blessing of hearing Jesus' Name or knowing about the cross.


    Remember, our brother Pinoy is coming from the Primitive Baptist perspective, which is that God may save the elect independently of the gospel.

    I appeal to I Cor 1:21, where Paul says God saves people through the foolishness of preaching.
     
  17. preacher4truth

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    Blinded by science? :laugh:

    These who have put together theological works, such as Barth, Ryrie, Thiessen, Grudem, Calvin, Gill, Henry, and many others must all be blinded by science versus doing these works as born again believers, and being teachers in the Biblical sense that God has supplied to the church.

    I'd say anti-intellectualism in the church is a cultic ideology brought about by the ignorant side of fundamentalism, which came about as a failure to intepret true fundamentalism and its proponents themselves as intellectual biblicists.

    Somehow this has all been construed by some as being ignorant, being happy about it, and preaching being in happy ignorance from the pulpit. Thus, all who think their theology to further levels are blinded by science and in the grip of Satan, as those who say this would out of context quote 2 Corinthians 11:3 as a proof-text that studying to deeper knowledge is unbiblical and corrupts our minds.

    To do this is to imply that these are lost who do so, and that doing so separates us from the Christ who hold us in His hand, and from which hand nothing can ever pluck us, John 10:28 &c.

    Yes, I see it now, all who believe reformed theology are blinded by science, are just like the Pharisees in their condemnation, and you who are anti-intellectual see everything, so in other words you know it all, and all others who actually study into a deeper level are lost, and thus to them, by following your logic, have placed their faith in men.

    This mocking of scholars and scholarship, placing them on the same level as Pharisees in their spiritual condition, mocking and disdain by many on here of teachers, pastors, &c is a perfect example of the blatant arrogance on the part of those who engage in this attack. This while they accuse those who actually study theology of being arrogant and pharisaical.

    You've said Scripture is simplistic. We'll stick to that with you, but, then again, you said this on the theology thread where you argued it concerning theology, that it was all easy, and then took to task those who have books, and do study, as intellectuals and mocked such for study.

    Why mock about having books as you have done and try to paint a picture of those who do have them and study as being in the wrong?

    To reiterate, you've said Scripture is simple to understand. So we'll stick to that.

    So explain this passage in Corinthians this thread refers too.

    By the way, do you preach against study and bring those to shame who truly study theology and delve into reformed thought? (and not necessarily from a pulpit)
     
    #17 preacher4truth, Dec 27, 2010
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  18. menageriekeeper

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    Iconoclast, mockery is not discussion.

    Preacher4truth and Winman, take your discussion of the difficulties of theology back to the thread that is already started on the subject or if it is closed start a new one. This thread is specifically for the purposes of discussing universalist thought.
     
  19. Gina B

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    I only read the first part of the first post, up to where you posted the verse about everyone being made alive. I wanted to comment before I got corrupted by other people's ideas.

    We were created in the image of God, which is three-fold. When the first sin occurred we became two-fold. After physical death we no longer had physical bodies.

    It doesn't say everyone was made alive in Christ. It says they were made alive.

    That means that everyone will have permanent physical bodies.

    Whether that body contains a live (with Christ) soul or a dead (without Christ) soul, it will still be a body. ALL bodies will be resurrected, whether they are spiritually dead or alive.

    That was PART of what was attained and what we saw a preview of with "them bones!"

    That is my initial and gut reaction with absolutely no thought put into it, so I reserve the right to change my mind about the meaning of stuff and what I think later since I haven't studied it out and if I ever did, I can't remember it right now.
     
  20. menageriekeeper

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    Ed Edwards, are you suggesting that Eusibus is the man Cornelius or are you suggesting that the Greek suggests that Cornelius was in the process of converting and thus knew God?

    Amy, there are some who believe that those saved on this earth are the "firstfruits" and those who don't believe here must suffer punishment in the afterlife before eventually becoming acceptable to God.

    I like that phrase. Lets hold on to that thought for a while and come back to it later.

    Jerome, I had forgotten that Pinoybaptist held universalist views, where is he? He could contribute much to this discussion.

    I have several more passages that I'll add for discussion as we go along

    This is good stuff, GL. Since scripture says that all men have access to the revelations of creation itself and therefore have no excuse, can it also be said that man can come to a knowledge of God through that revelation, though they might not understand the mechanics of salvation through Christ?

    Paul also said that we are saved by grace through faith. Which one is it? Preaching seems to be only one method of spreading the gospel. Others include the spreading around of scripture (as in the Ethopian who was reading Isaiah) and the above referred to general revelation.
     

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