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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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I'll admit, I don't entirely understand this doctrine. If you've ever worked with criminals or abusers, you'll be familiar with the fact that even when confronted with certain proof of deeds, sometimes even after trial and sentencing, certain of them don't think they did anything wrong - even while admitting they did the deed. It is so core to their identity that they can't comprehend not being allowed to lie, steal, or manipulate, because sometimes they can't recognise that is what they are doing and sometimes they don't care. If people are utterly unrepentant, how they supposed to be saved when they don't wish to be? God's mercy is infinite, but if you believe in the doctrine of free will, people can reject it.

 

Is there meant to be a Damascene conversion for everyone who is unrepentant? Or is it supposed to be that after death there is an ongoing refinement, like purgatory, and eventually all will be reconciled?

 

The mechanics of this eludes me, probably because it isn't a doctrine my church teaches.

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Hi CB, if we could be "refined", IOW, made better and better in a place like Purgatory following this life, then why the Cross? That is, if we can be made 'inherently' righteous by years (or even millennia) of refinement, then why did God send His Son here to die that horrible death on the Cross? Even the 'thought' of doing such a thing on God's part would be, at the very least, sadistic, would it not?

 

I also have to admit to being confused, because you seem to be asking how the "unrepentant" will eventually be saved? (perhaps I am misunderstanding you however?)

 

If I am not misunderstanding you, then the simple answer is, they won't be!

 

They are, in fact, already condemned, even while they live (according to the Bible), because they do not believe, and as a result, they do not choose to obey, nor can they .. i.e. John 3:18; 1 Corinthians 2:14. God's punishment of the unbelieving/impenitent among us is ETERNAL .. i.e. Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10.

 

Yours in Christ,

David

p.s. - St. Paul tells us:

"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the
righteousness of God
in Him" ~2 Cor 5:21

 

Please read that verse carefully, because it tells us something truly INCREDIBLE in regard to the idea of "refinement" that you spoke of above. IOW, though Christ, we not only become "righteous", we become the very "righteousness of God" (which is something infinitely more than that). So what possible reason could there be for spending millions of years in pain and torment trying to burn away our very last sinful thought (not that it is possible to do that anyway), when we become so much more than that by grace through faith, by simply being "in Christ"? .. granted, I am speaking specifically of our existence in the next age since we continue to be plagued with and have to do battle against our old, sinful nature on this side of Glory.

Edited by David Lee

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I also have to admit to being confused, because you seem to be asking how the "unrepentant" will eventually be saved? (perhaps I am misunderstanding you however?)

 

If I am not misunderstanding you, then the simple answer is, they won't be!

I think we're arguing the same thing. I encountered a street preacher who was preaching that all shall be saved, which appears to be the universalist doctrine, not one I agree with.

 

I just don't understand how those who follow this doctrine think that the unrepentant are going to be saved, and was hoping someone on here could explain it.

 

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I just don't understand how those who follow this doctrine think that the unrepentant are going to be saved, and was hoping someone on here could explain it.

 

Universalist actually find God's Righteousness and Justice to be incompatible with His love. Often they'll accuse "biblical" Christians as being intolerant or exclusive, but what they're actually doing is rejecting Jesus' clear teaching on the subject of hell in Scripture. They're also undermining the necessity of the Atonement and Propitiation.

 

God bless,

William

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I think we're arguing the same thing. I encountered a street preacher who was preaching that all shall be saved, which appears to be the universalist doctrine, not one I agree with.

 

Hi CB, good to know, and sorry about the confusion on my part. William is correct, Universalists dismiss clear Biblical teaching in their attempt to create a palatable "God" in the image that least offends their particular set of sensibilities :eek:

 

The worship of a "god" in the image of one's own making is called idolatry. And as our new POTUS might Tweet, "Not Good" :)

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