The bad news is that universalism is an erroneous belief. Everyone is not going to heaven when they die. Heartbreakingly, sin separates people from God, (Isaiah 59:1-2) and the penalty of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) Jesus spoke often about the reality of hell–and never with delight about it. (Matthew 10:28; Matthew 23:33; Luke 16:23)
I had to get that point out of the way–and it’s a HUGE point–lest anyone misunderstand this message that God really is FOR us.
So How Can I Say That God Really Is For Us?
God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He would rather that we turn and live. (Ezekiel 33:11) We are assured that as many people as put their faith in Jesus and receive Him, to them, God gives the right to be called children of God. (John 1:12)
God Initiated the Process of Obtaining the Very Best for Us
Flickr Image Courtesy of Calotype46
It is God’s desire that every human being achieves and receives the very best. God is love, and that is the nature of love–to desire the highest good of the one who is loved. (1 John 4:16) It’s just that there is no “very best” without God. He is the Source of all good. The absence of God means the absence of good. (Psalm 16:2) And the absence of good, by definition, is evil. Everything without God is less that the best. In fact, anything without God is downright destructive and deadly.
If you disagree with that last statement, the fact is that the hand of God is present for good in the world even when and where people don’t recognize or acknowledge the presence of God. Continue reading