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Cringing at The Light

December 15, 2021

  The way in which God speaks to His people has never changed: loudly and clearly.

   The actual mode of delivery is different now than it was in Baalam's day when a donkey literally turned and spoke to him, or in Moses' day when God spoke to him from a burning bush, yet we can rely just as surely upon the written Word we have today as those men of old did on the audible voice of the Creator.

   When we come to Scripture, we must realize that IT is reading US. It is alive and active, piercing to the division of the soul and spirit, bone and marrow. It is this exact realization that turns so many away from the precious Word of God. It convicts them to their core. I even remember reading about a homosexual in San Francisco who after reading Romans 1, immediately began to wage a grass roots efforts to get the entire chapter banned from any new printings. Indeed, there is a very popular, ongoing agenda to have warning labels placed on all Bibles, like so much as a pack of cigarettes. Nevermind the absurd collective worldview that we must never offend someone's "safe space", it is rampant sin and total rebellion against God that has our nation in a death grip.

   The Word of God is the very real and simple declaration by God to us about who He is, who we are, and how He works in His world. These things are all wrapped up in the ultimate reality of Jesus and His atonement. One, seamless story acting as a rudder and helm of our life.

Without it, we are utterly lost.


   Friend, you can trust the Word of God. You can stand upon it, like it is the immovable tip of Mount Everest. It is more than that. The mountains and skies will fall, but not one Word of God shall ever fail, it will last forever. Love it! Embrace it! Stare at it! Study it! Engage others about it! Take it deep within your breast, cherish it with all your might, and through the power of the Holy Spirit it will be your help, comfort, and guide with a depth that no earthly storms could ever assuage.

   Recently, on a new local Christian radio station which I actually enjoy, the morning DJ was lamenting the recent statement by a one Jesse James of motorcycle and hot rod based reality tv fame. He is the ex-husband of Sandra Bullock, whom he reportedly emotionally abused as well as cheated on. What he said would be stunning in any other society but today's liberal post-modern one. He said, "I never should have married her. Everyone cheats. She just wasn't the right decision for me."

That is bad. What may be even more disheartening is the critique by the DJ. He admitted how horrible a thing that is to say, and then he said this. "That kind of reaction is due to a rough past."

Rough past?

   Buddy, there are lots of folks out there with rough pasts who would never say such a thing. Conversely, there are lots of folks out there with amazing, Christ-influenced pasts, who flatly deny God and promote immorality.

The issue here is that of something called sin. Heard of it?

Yeah, that is the thing God hates. It is sin which corrupts, kills, and destroys. Sin is the reason Jesse James made such an asinine statement. Sin is the reason we see so much rebellion. Sin is the reason people deny the Word of God as truth. Sin is very loudly and clearly exposed by Scripture for what it is-- the wholly corruptive force at work in all parts and members of man, so that man is completely unable to please God of his own will.

   I was speaking the other day at work to a young man who professes Christ. He expressed his appreciation of those who understand that not only could anyone ever know that there certainly is NO God, likewise no one could ever truly know that there is a God. Conversation ensued and as I began to press him with the Words of Scripture, he simply brushed off the Bible as something that could easily have errors and that is constantly interpreted by each of us to mean different things. He was most concerned that each of us having our own personality and character traits would always be a factor on how we read Scripture.

    It is fine to talk about the ideas and beliefs you have, and often there are genuine, different views. However, truth by definition is absolute. Truth is true for everyone. Using your own experience or opinion to determine what actually is only leaves you bereft of real truth. The goal is to get your beliefs aligned with truth. Today's society wants to do the exact opposite. This subjective, relativistic view of Scripture and consequently of all truth has virtually destroyed the American mindset. It has completely invaded the visible church and it is the overarching worldview of all millennials and most of generation X. One conversation I had with a conservative, hardened old southern truck driver from the baby boomer era surprised me greatly when the individual began arguing with me that we cannot know truth!

He stated that since we only "see through a glass dimly", and since we will only know the full truth of the matter when we enter the presence of the Lord, anything we think we know down here is just hearsay and opinion.

One wonders how we could ever know truth "then" if we cannot know any truth at all "now", but that would be too obvious a question I guess.

   Our Lord and Saviour is a big God. He is big enough to have created all things, and He is big enough to have gotten His Word to us down through the ages. The Word of God is proven out with the most stunning historicity and accuracy like no other book in the world. Nothing touches it. With even a cursory glance at the facts, we find the Bible blazing forth from history like a shining beacon in the night.

The problem is that we now live in a world where people want to declare facts as tyrannical, evil things. Rather than pay attention to the clear, undeniable voice of God, they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. They declare as hate speech anything which flies in the face of their own beliefs. Rather than even have a coherent conversation, they rail and rant with the intent of drowning out any rational voice with their noise.

   Much like trying to hold down a beach ball in water, using all your energy to hold down clear truth because it doesn't suit you, won't last.

    Sooner than later, the voice of God that everyone knows is there, will come thundering through penetrating the harsh crust of the seared consciences of all who exist. The goal will have been to be awakened before Christ comes. You will want to be on His side as He splits the sky open, riding with His vast armies, His Word going forth, only this time that precious, everlasting Word will destroy nations and cleanse the world of sin forever.

Far Past Time to Expose Universalism: Part 2

December 15, 2021

   What is the lie called Universalism? In Part 2 of this series exposing Universalism, I'll provide a brief description, and then we'll look at some verses they twist in order to affirm their belief.

There are so many divisions within this camp of belief, that it is nearly impossible to nail down a definitive statement describing it as a whole.

Basically, it is a theological doctrine that all will eventually be saved. This is the view that all human beings and fallen angels will ultimately be restored to right relationship with God in Heaven and the New Jerusalem. Universalists will sometimes affirm and sometimes deny the lake of fire spoken of by Christ and in Revelation, but they all declare that any such punishment is only temporary for the purging away of sin from those who have died in their sins.

Those who adhere to this way of thinking like to refer to ancient first Christians who believed it, but we actually did not see a real formation of the idea until the early 1800's. Though these particular apostates had renounced creeds and confessions, they had to draw up their own, because no one had ever set down the errant doctrines in full on paper before. So, they came up with what has been called the "Winchester Profession" of 1803.

    The Winchester Profession is rife with erroneous teaching. True Confessions and Creeds such as the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism, and others are very sound in their teaching and while not infallible, provide us with clear lenses into what Scripture says. Unlike the Winchester Profession of much later years, these real confessions always begin their understanding with a clear focus on the actual nature of God and how he reveals that nature through what He has made.

True Christianity and the joy of theology must begin with Who God is, His character, and the understanding of how His very Being is made known through His actions.

Universalism can appear to do this by presenting arguments which focus on God’s love and His showing of that love by grace. This is deceiving, however, because the major premise of their whole scheme is the predetermined decree of God’s objective to save all men. In other words, they insist that God has determined to save every human He ever created, and then from there they go on to describe what the love of God is. This is decidedly backwards.

This wrong-headed starting point posits a predetermined objective that is then used to define and justify God’s character of love and His functional grace.

   It is well and true that “God is love” (I John 4:8,16).

However, love describes Who God is, not a possession of God's existing for the purpose of giving it to others. The God Who is love has no beginning, and He has ever been fully satisfied in His Trinitarian love expression from eternity-past. God did not have to save mankind through Christ in order “to prove Himself” to be love. There was nothing outside of God that necessarily implied that in order “to be true to Himself,” He had to act to save all fallen creatures.

It is man's idea that God must save all people or He is not loving.

This idea infringes upon the absolute freedom of God to function as the God that He is, and ever so subtly binds God in a logical necessity (which deifies human logic and relegates God as the instrumentation of such).

    Well, the Universalist believes he has quite the battery of Scripture at his disposal to back the notion that God saves all humankind.

     As is always the case with aberrant views of what the Bible says, Universalism fails to take passages into context when making their case. When it comes to studying Scripture, one very important rule is that of reading passages within context.

                             Context, context, context. This cannot be over-stressed.

  Many people have been known to rip a passage out of its context in order to verify some belief they hold. Reading the verse along with the entirety of what God is saying always clears up any confusion. Many times, we even refer to additional passages elsewhere in Scripture to explain a given text in question.

              A wise man once said that a text without a context is just a pretext for a prooftext.

     In other words, without examining the context in which something (in this case, Scripture) was said, one can easily (or even intentionally) misappropriate or misuse or misapply or misrepresent a text to support a position that it in fact does not support.

   One favorite verse of the Universalists is that of Romans 5:18.

It says this:


Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

    Of course, the Universalist wants to say here that just as all men were condemned in Adam, so all men will be saved in Christ.

Sounds reasonable right?

After all, Christianity tells us that every living human is born into sin. Doesn't the above verse then state that every living being will also be saved?

The answer is of course a resounding no.

                                                    So lets read it in context shall we?

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all mene because all sinned— 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.

16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

     First of all, the word "all" and the word "world" in Scripture do not always refer to every human who has ever lived, in fact rarely.

    The word world actually has at least ten different meanings in Scripture.

It is paramount to find out which meaning of the word world is being used in the passage you wish to study, don't you think?

     Likewise, the word "all" rarely means every human being who ever lived, and so if we love God and His Word, we should find out how these words are being used before jumping to our own conclusions.

What you are reading in verse 18 is an 'argument' nestled right in the middle of an even greater 'argument'. The Jew/Gentile issue is in the background.

If you miss verse 17, you'll misinterpret 18. 

    v.17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

                                       "...those who receive the abundance of grace."

That clearly designates a category of people that "all in Christ" REFERS TO.

   Paul's usage of "all" in 18 in reference to Christ is considerably different than his reference to Adam in the same verse. "Condemnation for all men" is obviously universal, whereas "leads to justification and life for all men" speaks to the non-limiting effects of Jesus' salvific work, not just Jews, but "all" the universal sense of without limit it is viable to all who "receive" rather than "all" like in Adam, where all men, every man, has condemnation.

    IN CONTEXT, Paul is speaking of a particular union. This is the natural birth/life union in Adam and our subsequent condemnation. "All" men have this. Paul then contrasts this with a reception of death and union in Christ's "life". This "all" is for "all" men with no tribal or cultural distinction but only those who receive this death/life have this new union/life in Christ.

Notice, there is in fact a transition highlighted by Paul as he moves from the "all" in Adam to the "all" in Christ. The transition Paul speaks of from Adam's "all" to Jesus' "all" is faith.

    So, hopefully that is clear. The text in no way, shape, or form supports the idea that every human who has ever or will ever lived is saved.

    This is but one of the literally thousands of errors made by the Universalist camp as they attempt to cram their own thinking into Scripture.

Not only do these confused folks insert outside meaning into the texts, but they obfuscate and equivocate on the clear meanings of words. Words such as hell, damnation, judgement, and punishment take on completely new meaning within the dens of Universalists thought.

We will look closer at just what is happening there in the subsequent posts within this series.

For now, let's have a look at some additional Scripture passages in whole.

Two more passages that are typically twisted out of context in support of Universalism.

These are John 12:32, Philippians 2:11, and 1 Timothy 2:4.

Very briefly, it can be shown that when such passages are interpreted properly, they of course do not support Universalism:

•John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

This verse says that Christ's work on the cross makes possible the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles. Notice, however, that the Lord - in the same passage - warned of judgment of those who reject Christ. v. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 

•Philippians 2:10-11 "so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

This text assures us that someday all people will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, but says nothing of believing upon Him as Savior. (Even those in hell will have to acknowledge Christ's Lordship.) •First Timothy 2:4 "who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

In this text, Paul is referring to the "all" of certain types and classes. If you read the verse in its whole context we see that Paul is speaking about praying for the King and rulers.


1 Timothy 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Who are the "all people" of verse 1? I believe the "all people" of verse 1 are the same "all people" of verse 4, as the subject matter does not change in any way at all in the intervening verses.

Paul's message to Timothy was clearly this:

Do not just pray for the peasants, the farmers and the uneducated (the people who seem to be coming to Christ in great numbers right now), but remember to pray for kings and the very rulers in society who are at this moment persecuting Christians. Make prayer of this kind a priority - do it "first of all" - pray for these people Timothy - make sure the Church is praying for these people - because God desires all kinds of people - even kings (or Emperors like Caesar) and the elete in society - people of every kind, to be saved. The Scriptures consistently categorize people into one of two classes (saved/unsaved, also called believers/unbelievers), and portray the final destiny of every person as being one of two realities (heaven or hell).

•In Matthew 13:30 Jesus in a parable said, "Let both [tares and wheat] grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn." Here unbelievers and believers are spoken of as tares and wheat. Two classes!

•In Matthew 13:49 Jesus said, "This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous." Again, two classes are mentioned - unbelievers and believers spoken of as the wicked and the righteous.

•In Matthew 25:32 Jesus said that following His second coming, "All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." Here believers and unbelievers are differentiated by the terms "sheep" and "goats." The sheep will enter into God's kingdom (vs. 34) and

inherit eternal life (vs. 46). The goats go into eternal punishment (vs. 46).

•In Luke 16:26 we find Abraham in the afterlife telling the unsaved rich man: "Between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us." Hades apparently had two compartments: "paradise" for the saved, and "torments" for the unsaved - and these compartments were separated by a great chasm or gulf.

The Universalist wants to allegorize Luke 16:26. They certainly don't want to believe that it is not a parable, but an actual account.

Nevertheless, one is still left with Jesus highlighting reward for the saved and punishment for the lost. 

Clearly then, the Scriptures speak of two classes of people (the saved and the unsaved) and two possible destinies (heaven for the saved; hell for the unsaved). And each respective person ends up in one of these places based upon whether or not he or she placed saving faith in Christ during his or her time on earth (Acts 16:31).

    Again, the Universalist wants to flip-flop on the meaning of words such as salvation, sheep, goats, afterlife, eternal punishment, and many more.

They come up with things like God saving people after they have died in their sins.

Despite any Scriptural backing whatsoever, this is what they must believe in order to skirt the Sovereignty of God.

A simple way to know whether the doctrine if hell is real or not, is simply to look to the very cross of Christ.

These and many other things we will look at as I continue to lay out this grievous error of Universalism and allow the light of Scripture to expose it for the terrible lie that it is.