THE HERESY OF
some scriptures wrested to
teach this heresy are explained
'universalism' is an error similar to 'immortal soulism', the different emphasis being generally on all being subject to resurrection - and in its ultimate form, it also teaches universal salvation - both ideas being very pleasing to the flesh.
The destructive force of such heresy is to nullify the scriptural teaching that knowledge of the revealed will of God forms the basis of resurrection and judgment, and that only those who are found to have believed and obeyed God will be granted eternal life. The necessity to know God's will is nullified, and wrong doctrines such as universal resurrection, universal salvation, and inherent immortality ('immortal soulism') are allowed to enter, thus destroying the truth and power of the Scriptures.
John 5v28,29 - "..for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. And shall come forth..".
EXPLANATION. The "all" is governed by the subjects of the previous verses, which is "the dead (i.e. those "dead in sins" - Ephesians 2v5)..(who) hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live" (v25). Note carefully how Jesus showed that time had then (in His day) arrived - "The hour is coming, AND NOW IS, when the dead shall hear..".
The use of the phrase "the dead" of mankind in its degenerate and unenlightened state is illustrated by Jesus' statement in John 8v22 - "Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead".
The future judgment of v28 OMITS the words "and now is". This future judgment separates the faithful from the unfaithful, v29.
The limitation of future eternal life to only those who now have "belief" is shown by Jesus' answer to Martha in John 11v25 - "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live". And in John 12v48 He set out the basis of the future judgment - "the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in that day".
The problem really is that men and women will not accept the fact that we are TOTALLY MORTAL, with no hope of life except upon the conditions laid down by God in the Bible. We do well to ponder deeply the implications of Eccles.3v19-21-
"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that A MAN HATH NO PREEMINENCE ABOVE A BEAST: for all is vanity. All go unto one place: ALL ARE OF THE DUST, AND ALL TURN TO DUST AGAIN".
Cp Genesis 2v7;3v17-19.
"Who knoweth the spirit (i.e. "mind/thoughts" link to 'spirit') of man that goeth upward (or "exalts itself to the highest", i.e. presumes to falsely boast of its own importance) and the spirit of the beast that goeth (or "inclineth") to the earth".
The same sentiments are expressed in Psalm 49 - see esp. v20 - "Man that is in honour (i.e. as stated above - "exalts (himself) to the highest") and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish". We have here the added revelation, endorsing comments above upon John 11v25, that only those with "belief" can have a hope of future life.
Indeed, the psalmist was able to claim a hope of future redemption in v15 - "But God will redeem my soul ("life", link to 'mortal' - page 2 & 'soul') from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah".
'Selah' tells us to 'pause and consider'. It is good advice.
1st Corinthians 15v22 - "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive".
EXPLANATION. As with the above quotation, "Universalists" like to place the emphasis in this verse upon the word "all". They claim that as we all die, so we shall all live again. A very pleasing thought to the natural unregenerate man! It is only a variation of the lie told by the serpent in Eden - Genesis 3v4. Instead of being the punishment for sin - Genesis 3v17-19, death would be a relatively minor hindrance leading to eternal bliss.
However, although it is an undeniable fact that all die, for we are all "in Adam" and we all suffer from sin and death, it does not follow that we will all be constituted "in Christ", for our natural birth confers no right to this position atall. In fact, there are the most stringent conditions associated with its attainment.
Let the same Apostle tell us what they are -
"For ye (speaking to believers) are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ...And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise"-Galatians 3v26,27,29.
There must first be a faith in the Gospel (cp v8 - "God..preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed") and then must come baptism (a complete immersion) into Christ. This is the ONLY way in which those "in Adam" can enter "into Christ". During their period of probation, they will be both "in Adam" AND "in Christ", and will not finally exit being "in Adam" until the change of nature (if accepted) at the judgment seat of Christ. All of those so blessed will truly be "made alive" for ever.
Those wishing to now find out more concerning the above propositions can follow the links to:
page 1 (judgment seat)