Universal Reconciliation? Yes and No

The false concept of ‘Christian Universalism,’ also known as ‘Universal Reconciliation,’ has been creating a stir among Christians today. One TV preacher I know of has fallen to it of late. Those who promote it do so by mixing legitimate Bible truth… taking Bible text and Bible ‘words’ out of context. As the Apostle Peter would say by “wresting (twisting) … the Scripture” (2Peter 3:16).

Today the proponents of Universal Reconciliation are clinging to the Greek word, ‘aionios,’ which does in fact mean everlasting, eternal.” Yet, though while ‘aionios’ CAN mean forever,’ as you will see - it does not always have tothe overarching context matters.

I can understand one’s desire to eliminate the threat of an eternal punishment that Paul calls “everlasting destruction” in (2Thes 1:9) and the pain of unregenerate loved ones that have passed away. However, there are problems with the Universalist position.

There are three key points to make in refuting the false, Satanically inspired, concept of so-called ‘Universal Reconciliation.’ Satan would use this concept to lull believers into not being fervent in sharing the gospel since they would believe “well, everybody will be saved in the end.” The work of the Devil is to frustrate the grace of God by which man may be saved.

A great portion of this below is adapted from a recent paper by Hal Bekemeyer.

  1. Scripture, rightly divided and seen in its context.

(Matthew 25:46) "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

(NOTE: The “2nd DEATHof Rev 21:8 is forever as the “everlasting punishment” – Art Licursi. See; http://www.artlicursi.com/articles/part-6-%E2%80%93-%E2%80%9Ceternal-destruction%E2%80%9D-not-%E2%80%9Ceternal-torment%E2%80%9D )

This is one of numerous examples. If the ‘everlasting punishment’ here is not everlasting then how is “life everlasting”? The construct of the pairing of punishment and life are intended to offset each other. For the record, “ages and ages” does not offset “forever.”

Also note, if 'aionios' does not mean "everlasting" then there is a real problem with the nature and attributes of Deity. Where would we be without "the everlasting God"? (Romans 16:25-26)

"Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my [Paul’s] gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, {26} But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:"

  1. Words mean something.

SAVED; the word means to be delivered or preserved.

In order for one to be ‘saved’ one must be in peril. In other words, there must be some danger, threat, or penalty from which on must be delivered, something from which one would need to be ‘saved.’ Language presents some pesky little problems when we look at the meanings of words. If a person is never in peril they are never in need of salvation. Let’s view a few scriptures as it relates to the word “saved.”

The word “Saved” is often used conditionally

(Acts 16:30-31) "And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I DO to be saved? {31} And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." 

(Romans 10:13) "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Saved is used positionally.

(1 Corinthians 1:18) "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." 

(2 Corinthians 2:15) "For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:"

  1. LOST means to perish or to be destroyed fully!

The scripture refers to those that are lost. Again, if words mean anything, and they certainly do mean something, being lost is a condition from which one would need to rescued or found. There is no hint in the Word of God that the condition of being lost is remedied by any other means than by being ‘saved,’ nor that it is a temporary state as some put forth. A person that is never in peril is never truly ‘lost,’ Some verses concerning being lost (sometimes translated perish or destroy).

(Matthew 10:28) "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him [God] which is able to destroy (same etymology) both soul and body in hell." 

(John 3:16) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 

(1 Corinthians 1:18) "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." 

(2 Corinthians 2:15-16) "For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: {16} To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?"

(2 Corinthians 4:3) "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:"

(2 Thessalonians 2:8-10) "And then shall that Wicked [One] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: {9} Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, {10} And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

The scriptures are replete with the necessity for faith in “the Gospel of the Grace of God” (Acts 20:24) and in the subject of that gospel, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul specifically says that those who do not obey the gospel will “be punished with EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." (2Thes. 1:9).

This consequence is not a suggestion of God’s failure to universally provide for redemption but rather one of the failure of men to appropriate their salvation that God freely offers on the basis of ‘faith in Christ alone.’ If eternal life is a gift (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; et. al.) then, if words mean anything, that gift must be received. The benefit of any gift is no benefit at all when it is rejected by its intended recipient.

The true tragedy of one going to Everlasting Destructionis that a Christ-rejecting person that goes there does so with their sins already paid for, and forgiven. The Biblical fact is that All Sin was dealt with at Calvary’s Cross in the person of Jesus Christ. Please realize then that “Everlasting Destruction” is not a punishment for sin, but rather it is the result of unbelief and failing to appropriate the righteousness of God in Christ … by faith alone.

Yes, Salvation is universal in its scope, as it is provided by God’s grace. Yet it is limited in its application through the Unbelief And Rejection Of Men. The scripture says; (Romans 3:22)

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ Unto All And Upon All Them That Believe: for there is no difference:"

It is also written that to trust the Lord Jesus Christ is to “… trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of ALL men, specially [particularly] of Those That Believe." (1Timothy 4:10).

Certainly, the Savior is special to those of us who have received His gift of righteousness and eternal life. It is tragic that to the lost there is nothing special about the tremendous cost of redemption; neither do they realize the terrible penalty for ignoring the gift offered them by the most gracious God and Savior.

As adapted by Arthur J Licursi

See it as written by Hal Bekemeyer here: https://supplyofgrace.com/2022/12/08/universal-reconciliation/