Is “Universal Salvation” a Biblically Correct Teaching?

Is everybody going to be saved?

Another great controversy raging in today’s world of Christianity is the teaching on “Universal Salvation,” “Universal Reconciliation,” or “Universalism” for short.

This is the belief that because of Christ’s love, all people will be saved in the end. Hell is just a metaphor for humans. Others believe that hell is the equivalent of purgatory (a temporary state or form of punishment), but that hell is the real destination for the demons — but not humans. Is this true?

Historically, there was no hint of universalism in the first two centuries of Christian writings. This teaching seemed to find its early roots from some of the ideas of Catholic Bishop Augustine (354–430). About eleven centuries later, Protestant theologian John Calvin (1509–1564), adopted some of Augustine’s ideas into his teachings. But the belief in universalism was a minority view for most of history until the 1800s. Since then, certain preachers and theologians began to develop those ideas into doctrines, but with various conflicting interpretations.

Does God Reward With Justice and Fairness?

One common objection made by many to the doctrine of universalism is that it is still helpful to preserve the deep-rooted fear of eternal torment as a good deterrent to living an immoral life. For example, consider this realistic scenario:

Here is one person who disciplined himself to live a good, morally upright, righteous, and godly life. Will he just have the same “saved” destiny as one who has lived a rabidly notorious and criminal life — with reckless abandon?

Some Bible Verses Misused by Universalists

… who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. [NOTE: That is God’s desire, but He has also given an irrevocable “free moral agency” to all human beings.]
~1 Timothy 2:4

For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. [NOTE: This is qualified by the statement to “those who believe (only).”]
~1 Timothy 4:10

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. [NOTE: While God is not willing that any should perish, all humans have also been given free moral agency for them to choose to “repent.”]
~2 Peter 3:9

Some Clear Verses That Contradict Universalism

The soul [not just body] who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
~Ezekiel 18:20

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Gehenna — the lake of fire, the second death].
~Matthew 10:28

“For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” Says the LORD of hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch… You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this,” Says the LORD of hosts.
~Malachi 4:1,3

…Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition… [NOTE: There is indeed perdition (loss of the soul, eternal damnation; utter ruin) for certain individuals.]
~John 17:12

… in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power…
~2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
~2 Peter 3:7

The beast that you saw… will… go to perdition
~Revelation 17:8

And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
~Revelation 20:15

Conclusion

These verses show very clearly that there is no such thing as “universal salvation,” which is an unbiblical doctrine. Why? Because there are those who will die (due to their rejection of Christ’s sacrifice and their willful sinning) and go into perdition. They will be punished with flaming fire into everlasting destructionburned up, and turned into ashes.

Why Such Great Misunderstanding?

  • Because of the belief in a false concept of hell and punishment
  • The failure to correctly understand the purpose of human life
  • Ignorance concerning God’s Master Plan of Salvation for all humanity

We plan to expound on the correct biblical concepts on these fundamental topics in succeeding articles in BiblicalTruths.com. Watch out for them.

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4 Comments

  1. Macario Cadatal

    Yes, as pictured by God’s feasts, especially what the Last Great Day pictures.

    • Edmond Macaraeg

      The OFFER for Salvation will be given by God to ALL (as symbolized in the Seven Annual Festivals ordained by God in Leviticus chapter 23). However, since each person is given by God an irrevocable FREE-WILL, each makes his or her own decision whether to accept the offer of salvation or not. (This Free-Will makes us different from animals which act by instinct or Robots which are already pre-programmed to act in a certain manner.) The Bible indicates that there will be those who will NOT believe God nor accept the offer of salvation. Please re-read the article on this subject again.

  2. Macario Cadatal

    1Timothy 4:10 “…Savior of all mankind, especially those who believe”.

    The 2nd part which is “especially those who believe ” is also a condition which really AFFIRMS the 1st part “Savior of all mankind”.

    Salvation is really for ALL mankind but does NOT occur ALL at the same time just as the 3 groupings of the feasts pictures:
    a) Passover, DUB & Pentecost (age of Grace-this present age);
    b). Atonement, Trumpets & FOT (Millennium)
    c). Last Great Day (Great White Throne Judgement-for a period of another 1K years where the majority of humans from Adam to the last standing man who were not part of a). & b). will be resurrected mortal and for the 1st time in their lives will hear and realized their Salvation in the Lord.

    • Edmond Macaraeg

      Hello Macario Cadatal,
      Thanks for bringing out your good understanding concerning God’s Masterplan for the Salvation of Mankind, symbolically outlined in the Seven Annual Festivals ordained by God (Leviticus 23). While the Millennial Kingdom of God on earth is defined by the Bible to last 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-7), the Last Great Day [Great White Throne Judgment period] (Revelation 20:12; wherein TWO BOOKS will be opened to those resurrected to a second life; The Bible [Greek “biblos”] and the Book of Life–to enter the names of those who believe), such will last only for 100 years as indicated in scriptures (Isaiah 65:20).
      Concerning the offer of salvation for all, the operative word in 1Timothy 4:10 is the word “believe” because ONLY those who BELIEVE will be granted salvation by God.
      Please watch out for upcoming article which will detail more of these biblical truths, which remain unknown to most at this time in this BiblicalTruths.com website.

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