Universalism is gaining a foothold in Christianity, it is the latest tentacle in a multi-faceted apostasy that I believe will continue to grow in popularity as the days grow darker. Why should we care? We should care because it comes against the very basics of what true Christians believe with all our hearts. True believers hang on every word He says, to loosely quote Phil Keaggy.
The last days falling away encompasses more than one element of falsehood, and this is causing those who are determined to contend for the faith to have to work overtime just to stay on top of all the methods the enemy is using to confuse, distract, and neutralize. The more smoke and mirrors Satan can use to divert the spiritually naive/ignorant, the greater his chances of not only derailing a believer from the true path, but also causing untold collateral damage in the lives of those who dabble in spiritual things, people I call ‘professional seekers’ – ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. It’s like entering a carnival funhouse with it’s myriad of halls and reflections, before long anyone who tries to figure out where they are on the map will become hopelessly confused.
Whether through the liberal theology of Emergents who dabble in the new contemplative occultism, or through the global phenomenon of the heretical Shack, the church is wittingly, or unwittingly, buying into the idea that there are many ways to God and all are equally valid, whether simply within the realm of spiritual experiences or even regarding something as critical as the doctrines of salvation. Within both of these highly influential trends, there is a concerted effort to redefine who God is and what He requires of us, outside of biblical revelation. Emergents deny absolute truth, and Paul Young of the Shack is a universalist and denies the atonement. This may be news to some, but nonetheless true.
As more and more Christians abandon the pure milk of the Word in favor of itching ears and heaps of teachers, they no longer have their spiritual wits about them and naively accept any book or movement that soothes that incessant itch without regard to the spiritual credentials of these pied pipers or the best-selling author of the day. Today’s compromising Christian is so gullible, it’s frightening. Even with the ability to research the most obscure religious practices at their fingertips, they choose willful ignorance over divine revelation. Such dark days we live in. Where will it lead, and as dark as today is, was there an even darker day on earth that we can learn from?
Universalism, whether it be general (all roads lead to God) or religious/Christian (God will reconcile all to Himself in the end) is fast becoming the glue that is holding all these trends together, and may indeed be the “doctrine of demons” in the final world order. Combine that with New Age practices as a form of worship and becoming one with the divine, (the object of that worship being Antichrist) and you might easily be staring down the barrel of the one world religion that prophecy students have been watching for.
Put simply for my purposes here today, universalism, (eventual salvation for all mankind) including anhilism (the soul is annhiliated after a brief time of punishment) completely negates any need for prosyltizing or missionary work. It teaches the sinner that it does not matter one bit what their life consists of on this earth, in the end it will all be made right, and painlessly for the most part. I understand from Genesis 6:5 that in Noah’s day, every intent of the thoughts of men’s hearts was only evil continually. In light of such severe cultural analysis by God Himself as He assesses the world situation, what in the world was the process, or chain of spiritual events, that brought the state of the human heart to that intolerable point, the point at which God regretted even giving man life? Since the enemy of our souls is the father of lies, I can’t help but think that what is in view here is something – a certain lie or delusion- that had been going on perhaps for generations to arrive at that reprobate point; lies upon lies about who we are in light of who God is -and included here is a wholesale rejection of the notion that there is a God with Whom we have to do, and that judgment is part of that, and the idea that even if He is coming, as Noah rightly taught his generation, he certainly is not coming any time soon; but when He does nevertheless, “we shall not surely die”. Universalism? I can’t help but think that the end game of not believing we deserve hell or that there is a God who disagrees with that (universalism) is something called “The Great Tribulation.” Hard, reprobate hearts. Kinda like those in the Days of Noah, right? Is this the end game for us too, as we see universalism take a foothold? Or something worse?
And those mischievous universalists, they often start their thinking with something like this: “I can’t believe that a loving God would…” (insert their own understanding here, like….”send people to hell”). There is a huge problem with thinking that we are more compassionate than God, more loving and tolerant, because whether we like it or not, His ways are not our ways. How dare we lean on our own understanding on such a critical doctrine! But maybe if you saw Noah with that big old boat, and never heard of rain before, but all of a sudden the water line is at your door, wouldn’t you hope that Noah, your old high school buddy, would let you in? That boat has gotta be big enough for the whole neighborhood, so somehow you expect at the last minute there would be room for you, that Noah would never be so, well, “unloving” as to not let you in! But here is the rub: that was not Noah’s call, any more than it is yours or mine to determine who gets in to heaven. I know, the replacement theologians think they know, and the Calvinists think they know, universalists only wish they knew; but only God knows. And in His infinite love AND justice, both in view here, it says this in Genesis 7:16- “and the Lord shut him in.” It was not in Noah’s hands, it was based on a criteria that only God in His omniscient will could determine, and one that is spelled out through and through the Scriptures. Another spot worth noting, that brings it home one more time, that we went to this morning was Matthew 25:10, which should equally put fear in the unbeliever’s heart, speaking of entering in with the bridegroom: “…and the door was shut.”
Universalists take note: the doorknob is not on our side of the door; it is on His. The things that those who are contending for the faith want to shout to the church are not clever tales we make up, rather, they are based on His unchanging nature. He warns us of the things to come, we warn others out of love and obedience, and whether anyone will listen in “the Days of Noah 2.0” remains to be seen. But one day the door will be shut, and it will all be over but the shouting. If you are one who has been dragging their heels, thinking you are in control of your own destiny, I plead with you to repent before it is too late, before the door is shut forever. For now, at least, there is an open door that no man can shut, and whosoever will come to Him will be given eternal life by His grace alone.