So our pastors are doing continuing study together along with some of the other men in the congregation and they meet every 3 weeks or so after studying a topic on their own for those 3 weeks. Before they go off to study, our senior or senior associate pastor gives a teaching on a particular part of hermenutics then they are given their assignment. When they meet again, they need to be ready to teach on the assignment and a name is drawn out of a hat to determine who will actually do it. It's been a great way to learn for all of them. So this is this week's assignment. The beginning part is the direction from our pastor. The second part is part of an e-mail that our youth pastor received from a man who used to be in a Christian band in the 80s that he became friendly with. It bothered the youth pastor so much that he showed the senior pastor and he decided this would be a good application for what they've been learning. So, what do you think of the lesson - and what are your thoughts on the topic? ____________________________ "Write a rebuttal of no more than 2 pages in length, using the hermenutical principles you have learned so far. Do not try to counter every Scripture he uses, but show, using some of them as examples, the principles of interpretation he violates. You may also want to add some Scripture that prove the orthodox doctrine of salvation." ____________________________ "Based on my years of study here is my conclusion: I believe that everyone is going to be saved, regardless. There are no exceptions. Denying it has any biblical basis or support, apologists try to avoid discussing the topic and relevant verses as much as possible. But, unfortunately, for them, it can't be shoved under the rug. Although universalism is subject to criticism (but what biblical concept isn't), there are atleast 18 verse which lend impressive, if not convincing credence thereto. JOHN 12:32 ("And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me"), 1 COR 15:22 ("For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive"), MARK 3:28 ("Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the Sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith Whosoever they shall blaspheme"), ROM 5:18 ("Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life"), ROM 11:32 RSV ("for God has consigned all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all"), 1 JOHN 2:2 ("And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world"), John 1:29 ("Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world") and 1 TIM 4:10 ("...we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe") are particularly potent and often quoted by proponents of universalism. Other relevant verses in this regard are JOHN 1:9 ("That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world"), 1 TIM 2:4 ("Who will have all men to be saved, and to come until the knowledge of the truth"), HEB 2:9 ("But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man"), 2 COR 5:19 ("To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation"), EPH 1:10 ("That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him"), ACTS 3:21 ("whom the heaven must receive untl the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began"), COL 1:19-20 ("For ti pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; an dhaving made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to recconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven"), PHIL 2:10 ("That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth"), TITUS 2:11 ("For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men"), and 2 Peter 3:9 ("The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should some to repentance"). With verses such as these is it any wonder that universalism has always had adherents within the Christian community. A true Bible student that seeks truth will hear a still small voice and the pulling of the Holy Spirit in a direction opposite of traditional teachings and majority beliefs. If a doctrine causes friction and opposes the very nature of God then that doctrine must be false. All that God was, is and ever will be was expressed in a single person. Jesus manifested every attribute of God the Father. His reaction to every situation was what He saw His Father do. What He spoke was what He heard His Father say. Jesus was God in the flesh. I live this life for as "He was I am in this world." And if you soul search you too will find sweet liberty beyond the realms of man's limitations and weaknesses."