Kathleen and I drove from Houston to College Station. We were on our way to College Station to visit Texas A&M. We met COL Howe the Professor of Military Science and director of one of the largest ROTC programs in the country. Texas Aggies are known throughout the U.S. for their enthusiasm, patriotism and high performance. So I was more than a little surprised to learn that it is normal each year for 50% of the graduating ROTC cadets not to contract with the military. They spend four years engaged in military training and study, dress in their distinctive military uniforms, live in barracks steeped in military tradition and yet forego receiving a commission in the military. Incredible!
John 3:36--The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.
I wonder how many people engage in church life, study their Bible, grow up in a spiritual culture, consider themselves Christians and on the day of graduation will miss out on heaven? There are people who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone and therefore, eventually, all mankind will be saved. This theory is called universalism. A related doctrine, apokatastasis, teaches that all mortal beings will be reconciled to God, including Satan and his fallen angels. When the Bible mentions eternal punishment, hell, or anything related, the universalist “interprets this to mean an inner sorrow due to loss of reward and/or they maintain that the word ‘eternal’ does not mean "without end.” Scriptures such as 1 Timothy 2:4, 4:10 and 2 Peter 3:9 are manipulated to defend this doctrine.
Universalism is a dangerous teaching for it absolves man of responsibility for his sin, his need to repent and live righteously (all issues Jesus taught as important) by making Jesus’ blood a universal solvent. Second, it negates any need for faith! Third, it violates a strong principle of hermeneutics (the science of Scriptural interpretation) never to build a doctrine around a few verses at the exclusion of looking at the whole of Scripture. Jesus did die for everyone, but not everyone goes to heaven. If such were the case, why did He warn people of eternal judgment or the unpardonable sin in passages such as Matthew 25:46, Mark 3:28,29 and John 3:36? Why did He command the disciples to go throughout the world and preach the gospel at the cost of their own lives, if everyone was already guaranteed salvation?! Clearly Revelation 20:10 teaches that the Devil receives eternal punishment.
Assumptions can be very dangerous. A four-year military experience does not guarantee an Aggie cadet will commission as a second lieutenant. And just because God is loving, don’t think that everyone will escape judgment. The universal truth is that only God knows what is inside a person’s heart, whether that person has put his or her faith in Him and is a true child of His—forever.
Universalism looks like a Christian flower, but it has not its roots in the Christian faith. Jesus Christ is most emphatic on the fact that there are possibilities of eternal damnation for the man who positively neglects or positively rejects His redemption.—Oswald Chambers in The Place of Help
©2009 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)