Two Kinds of Faith
The last section ended by stating that it may “take a bit of faith” to believe the message of universal salvation. However, I’ll argue now that is also takes faith–more faith, in fact–to believe that God will not eventually save all people. To see what I mean by this, begin by looking at the following quote from a different article I wrote:
“If God is Love, then surely he wants the best for every person. Many scriptures support this. 1 Timothy 2:4 says ‘God … wants all people to be saved’. I also believe God is powerful enough to accomplish whatever He wants. Isaiah 46:10 says ‘I (God) will accomplish all that I please’. When Christ’s disciples once asked him ‘Who can be saved?’, part of his response was, ‘With God, all things are possible’, by which we can infer: God can save anyone! If God desires that every person be saved, and he is able to bring about all that he desires, how can anyone not be saved? The doctrine of eternal damnation suggests that either God’s love or God’s power is deficient.”From An Argument for Christian Universalism: Why I Don’t Believe in an Eternal Hell
In fact, there are many passages from the Christian Bible that indicate that God will save all people. Here are more examples.
Now, if you believe that the Christian scriptures were, in fact, inspired by God, all these scriptures should present you with a major problem if you also believe in an eternal hell. Setting aside, for the moment (I will return to the topic), the idea of free will, consider the faith now required to believe in eternal torment. You must now take it on faith that the statements from these scriptures, although inspired by God, are in some way not quite true.
Consider that the passage from Isaiah, quoted above, is not merely stating that God can accomplish whatever He desires, but that He will accomplish everything He desires. Then the other scriptures, quoted and linked to above, unequivocally state that He desires that no person “perish”, but that all people be saved. Therefore, from a scriptural standpoint, all people will be saved. To believe otherwise now requires a great deal of faith.
I’ll have more to say about “free will” later, but if one believes the passages quoted and linked to above, then one must conclude that no person will eternally and freely choose to not be saved, for God earnestly desires that all people be saved, and God will accomplish all He desires.
So, if one believes that these scriptures were inspired by God, it should now take less faith to believe that God will save all people than it takes to believe that He will not. To believe that He will not save all people requires one to somehow believe that God’s nature is not what scripture says it is. One must believe that either He will not, in fact, accomplish all that He wishes to accomplish, or that He will accomplish all He wants, but He simply does not want to save everyone. If you believe the scriptures, you must now contradict logic, the scriptures, and the revealed nature of God to assert that some people will not be saved. And that, I imagine, would take a lot of faith.
So, you must now choose between two beliefs. They both require faith. One of these beliefs, however, requires faith that contradicts scripture, contradicts logic, and maligns the very nature of God. The other belief requires faith that agrees with scripture, does not contradict logic, and ascribes only the best attributes to the nature of God.
One of these beliefs is the belief that Being/Reality is beautiful. The other belief amounts to a perception of a Reality that is ultimately not beautiful at all.
If you must, by faith, choose between one idea that life is beautiful, and another idea that life is not beautiful, wouldn’t you rather believe in that which is beautiful?
Next: Beauty is a Big Deal