God's will and Universalism
"We find in the New Testament that Jesus and the New Testament authors will often quote a verse from Scripture and then draw logical conclusions from it. They reason from Scripture. It is therefore not wrong to use human understanding, human logic, and human reason to draw conclusions from the statements of Scripture. Nevertheless, when we reason and draw what we think to be correct logical deductions from Scripture, we sometimes make mistakes. The deductions we draw from the statements of Scripture are not equal to the statements of Scripture themselves in certainty or authority, for our ability to reason and draw conclusions is not the ultimate standard of truthonly Scripture is.
What then are the limits on our use of our reasoning abilities to draw deductions from the statements of Scripture? The fact that reasoning to conclusions that go beyond the mere statements is appropriate for studying Scripture, and the fact that Scripture itself is the ultimate standard of truth, combine to indicate to us that we are free to use our reasoning abilities to draw deductions from any passage of Scripture so long as these deductions do not contradict the clear teaching of some other passage of Scripture (guideline from John Frame).
This principle puts a safeguard on our use of what we think to be logical deductions from Scripture. Our supposedly logical deductions may be erroneous, but Scripture itself cannot be erroneous" (Wayne Grudem, Bible Doctrine, pp. 24-25). For example, the universalist, when confronted by the Christian who would object to the conclusions the universalist has reached, then runs down a rabbit trail in search of more evidence to support their position rather than dwell on the verses in question. In fact, this is the most common of the defenses universalists utilize in their defense of universalism. In this regard, the universalist is likened to the paleontologist whom argues how old fossils are by the layer of strata they are found in, but when the paleontologist is asked how he reasons how old the layers of strata arehe reveals that it is known by the kind of fossils found within it. Like onto that does the universalist reason universalism. This is circular reasoning. Both the universalist and the paleontologist approach their field of study with preconceived notions that lead them to erroneous conclusions.
Free will (self-determinization) and universalism cannot thrive together. While it is true that the universalist attempts to argue from Scripture to support his theology. He employs the unsound practice of wishful thinking and the shifting sands of philosophy and speculation by arguing in ever-growing lazy circles.
We ought not ask if God gets His will, but if God grants man freewill. If man indeed does have freewill then one cannot escape the fact that man will at times not fulfill God's will for him. If man has not freewill then God Himself is the author of the sin he hates (God forbid!). The fact that sin exists makes it illogical and contrary to say God always gets His will and desires. Therefore, the lake of fire is God's compliment to man's freewill. By choosing not to seek God, either actively or passively, you are indeed choosing damnation.
Tom Logan exposed the hypocrisy of the universalists whom use any proof based upon God's will for all to be saved as verification of their position. Tom's argument presents that in light of God's desire that none should endure pain or suffering, right from the start, the fact that some do enter the lake of fire disproves the universalist argument based upon the deterministic will of God. However, those who are hard determinists must posit that God has determined some to be destined for the lake of fire. Because of this, they must further posit that either men acquire freedom of will in the lake of fire and are punished only until they repentsomething which God had not allowed previously. Or they must admit it was simply God's desire to determine that men enter the lake of fire and suffer for a period of time and afterwards to save them. This of course denies 2 Peter 3:9, which reads: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." To call God love, yet attribute that He desires his rational creatures to endure suffrage is obscene. Yet those universalists which reject the determinist's position and argue for universal reconciliation and self-determinism must posit that men entered into the lake of fire of their own choice. This position then makes them inconsistent and belies their argument for the salvation of all based upon proof verses that follow the deterministic will of God. Therefore, the universalists who are not deterministic argue against their own belief when they argue based on God's desire or wish.
Either way universalists are unbiblical and inconsistent in either case they present for the salvation of all be it based upon determinism or self-determinism. Hence, any argument based upon a deterministic will of God runs aground (excerpts from All the All's All Covered, Eric Landstrom).
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