Jesus said, " Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that
    leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate,
    and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

                                                                 and

    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
    but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day,
    Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in
    thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:
    depart from me, ye that work iniquity.


    James said, "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but
    deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."

    Paul said, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not
    deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of
    themselves with mankind,"

    Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
    lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions,
    heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you
    before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit
    the kingdom of God.  

    Well, there ya are. I think that's a pretty good start. For one who thought that the main reason for
    this life is to make sure that you accept Jesus as your savior so you don't spend eternity in Hell, I
    was afraid for some of my family.  Oh yes, everybody that I was concerned about had made
    professions of faith. They didn't all go to church, though, and that worried me too because I was
    taught that if you were a "real" Christian you would want to go to church and would be interested
    in the things of God.

    So, tell me, how do you interpret these verses? Do you believe Jesus is talking Heaven and
    Hell in that first passage of scripture about the broad way and the narrow way?

    What about the people who profess Christ but never mention Him outside of going to church? Will
    they hear depart, I never knew you?

    What about the verse in James? Do people who cuss go to Hell?


    What about the ones who have premarital sex or sex outside of marriage, the
    homosexuals, the alcoholics and drug addicts?  Do they get an automatic ticket to Hell?


    Does "inherit the kingdom of God" mean go to Heaven when
    you die?

    Do you have family members who cuss?( I know the proper word is
    "curse or swear" but here in the South, we  cuss:))  

    Drink too much? Do drugs? Chase women? Don't go to church?

    Does it matter? Would it matter to you if you thought they would
    spend eternity in Hell, consciously suffering to the point of clenching
    their teeth in pain and crying out for relief, knowing that there was
    none to be found? Would that bother you? It bothered me.
    HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A LOVED ONE SUFFERING ???

    Some of the big name preachers like Edwards, Spurgeon...( I think
    Augustine was first) Used to preach about the "saints" in Heaven
    being able to look over into Hell and see their loved ones who
    rejected Christ and actually rejoice about it!  I remember my Mother
    suffering so much with pain in her foot because of a lack of blood flow
    that I asked the Lord to either heal her or take her on home to get her
    out of her misery. And this was while she was in a "drugged" not fully
    conscious condition. My God, how we humans can be "duped"!

    I have had a problem with Hell for a long time it just all came home
    when my parents died and I had to really face what I believed about it.

    Now, I am glad I had to face it. I am glad to know what I know. I am
    glad that I found out that the wages of sin is just what the Bible says...
    death, not eternity in Hell. I am glad to know that inheriting the
    kingdom of God does not mean "go to Heaven when you die". I am
    tickled silly to know that God loved me and you enough to send His
    son to taste death for us so that He wouldn't have to live without us.
    We were made for Him, you know....

    Through Isaiah, God said, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions
    for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.  (43:25)


    Now, I realize that I was probably forcing an interpretation on all those scriptures that God never
    intended them to have.

    You might say, then why not go back to your original belief that Hell is eternal. Then I would have
    to say, "that would be impossible for me."  That would be like my saying to you, "why don't you
    eat lard three times a day and take up smoking to lose the extra weight you'll put on from it?"  It
    would be utterly stupid for you to do that because of what you know, wouldn't it?   Just the same,
    it would be ridiculous, knowing what I know, to attempt to go back to believing in an endless Hell.  

                             I would have to pretend to believe it.....



    Have we forced a belief on the "Hell scriptures" that God never intended us to
    have?  

    You are probably thinking, "would God have let us believe wrongly about Hell for
    two thousand years?" I think so. He has done some awfully strange things.
    Consider ....

        Did God hide the good news of Christ IN us for hundreds of years?

    Did God allow the message of Grace to be hidden for a period of time until Martin
    Luther got a revelation of grace?

    Did He allow Hitler to kill 6,000,000 Jews?

    Did He allow Godly, innocent, men to be burned at the stake?

    Did He allow the inquisitions?

    Does He allow thousands of babies to be killed before they are born?

    Did He blind the eyes of the Jews so they would not understand the gospel and
    believe at a certain time?

    Did He allow Adam to pass the death sentence along to every human being  
    before they had a chance to sin  themselves?

    Did He allow the only perfect human that has ever lived to be falsely accused
    and sentenced and executed?

    We know the answer to all of those questions. If the sovereign God of the universe had not
    allowed it, it wouldn't have happened. Evidently, He just doesn't do things the way we would do
    them. And, that's probably because, like He said in Isaiah, He knows the end from the beginning.

    We can buck and snort about the terrible things that happen to people with God's permission but
    it's not going to change God's plan. As hard as it is to accept, the bad times we go through are
    ultimately good for us. They all take a whoppin', big, hunk of our flesh every time they happen.

     Think you got a pretty good grip on life?? Watch someone you love die and see where
    your "grip" goes...

    You are POWER-LESS to do one thing about the situation!  We are left with nothing but to yeild
    under the mighty hand of God. In time, we learn that there is no safer, more secure, place to be.
    We learn to trust Him.  That is so much easier knowing that He is a God of common sense,
    wisdom, and love.

    Continuing with things we don't understand about God's doings, there is a curious passage of
    scripture in 1 Corinthians 11:19.

    "For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be
    made manifest among you."

    That's one of those scriptures that I never knew was in the Bible  until I started studying Christian
    Universalism. Strange how we read right over them and never see them.  History will show when
    the salvation of all men was declared heresy. It wasn't until about 533. So, if it wasn't heresy in
    Paul's day, is it now? If it is, who deems it so?   Seriously.....


    In Christian Universalism one learns how God uses "opposites". He allowed us to be born into sin
    and darkness then sent His son to "light" every man. Once we "see the light" we are also to be
    lights for those still in darkness.

    If He allows some to teach false doctrine it makes those who teach the truth all the more evident.
    How are they evident? What they say will bring rest and peace to your soul. Jesus said for those
    who labor and strive for righteousness to simply come to Him and He would give them rest.

    Being all wrapped up in the traditional church system can "wear out" folks in a hurry. We get
    caught up in attendance and programs and meetings and such. Probably if most preachers were
    honest they'd tell you they wish they didn't have to be there every time the doors are open either.

    Anyway, that's my story. I would say I am sticking to it but I have a feeling it will be changing as
    long as there is breath in my body. I am a Christian Universalist. My belief is still all about Jesus.
    Actually, it's more about Jesus than it ever has been. I know God loves my family more than I do
    and any judgment they/we receive at His hand will be righteous and remedial.

    I am forever grateful that He came to seek and to save the lost. And, I'm not scared of Hell
    anymore. :)


                                                                                                                             
                                                                                        Debbie                                             


                                                                                                                     


    I am fifty two years old, now. For the last  thirty one years I have trusted in Christ to make me right
    with God. I knew that if I died and stood before God and He asked me why He should  let me in
    Heaven, I would say, "because Jesus took my sin and gave me His righteousness." I was as
    confident of that as I was of anything.

    What I was not confident in was knowing that people I loved would experience that too. I guess
    that sounds arrogant but I can't help it, that's how I felt. We didn't talk about the Lord too much,
    maybe a cliché here and there, unless we discussed eternal security, which was one of the main
    doctrines of our church that we had been pretty "versed" in, in defending. It just seemed to me
    that church attendance was more important than a living, breathing, relationship with God
    everyday.

    Basically, I thought some of my family members might be included in the group that Jesus told to
    "depart" because He never knew them. Immature and arrogant as it might be, I was afraid they
    would go to Hell forever. I just don't think I could have lived with that.

    Facing the death of both of my parents, eight months apart, and the fact that my son was battling
    drug addiction, caused me to get so miserable that I had to have some answers. The scriptures
    listed below contributed greatly to my misery. More of my story is on the "testimonies" page.


                                           Universal Salvation













    When I first heard that the doctrine of eternal torment was not from the Bible, I thought, "yeah,
    right."  That was probably about eight or nine years ago. I read it on a Christian discussion board  
    The person that was putting out such scandalous information even gave the dates when the
    salvation of all men was declared heresy and I think a couple of times the council tried and failed
    before they go it passed..  Did I bother to look it up? No, I thought it was senseless to start with so
    why would I even bother?  Well, since then the need arose in my life to find out if that information
    could really be true.

    Here's what I found: I found that I was the sheltered, ignorant, one that didn't know her history.  

    Well, maybe it's time to wise up. To my surprise, Universal Salvation was not officially considered
    heresy until sometime around the sixth century. Gary Amirault from Tentmaker.com has compiled
    some of that history for us.

    Many orthodox Christian historians acknowledge that the majority of the early church did not
    teach eternal torment. A couple of examples: Geisler-"The belief in the inalienable capability of
    improvement of all rational beings, and the limited duration of future punishment was so general in
    the West, and among the opponents of Origen, that it seems entirely independent of his system."
    (Eccles. Hist., 1-212). (Origen has been accused of bringing into the church the heresy of the
    salvation of all. Geisler points out the belief was prevalent even apart from Origen's influence.)

    The German theologian and historian Johann Christoph Doerderlin writes: "In proportion as any
    man was eminent in learning in Christian antiquity, the more he cherished and defended the hope
    of the termination of future torments."

    Professor and historian Henry Oxenham informs us that the, "Doctrine of endless punishment was
    not believed at all by some of the holiest and wisest of the Fathers, and was not taught as an
    integral part of the Christian faith by any, even of those who believed it as an opinion."

    Historian Pfaff says: The ultimate restoration of the lost was an opinion held by very many Jewish
    teachers, and some of the Fathers."

    Dietelmaier: "Universalism in the fourth century drove its roots down deeply, alike in the East and
    West, and had very many defenders."

    Reuss: "The doctrine of a general restoration of all rational creatures has been recommended by
    very many of the greatest thinkers of the ancient church, and of modern times." (Hist. De la Theol.
    Apost.).

    Prior to Augustine in the 5th century, the vast majority of Christians including the leadership
    believed in the Salvation of all mankind through Jesus Christ. St. Basil the Great (c. 329-379) in
    his De Asceticis wrote: "The mass of men (Christians) say that there is to be an end of
    punishment to those who are punished."

    St. Jerome (342-420): "I know that most understand the story of Nineveh and its King, the ultimate
    forgiveness of the devil and all rational creatures."

    The Christian leader most instrumental in bringing in the damnable heresy of eternal torment,
    Augustine, admits himself that "There are very many (imo quam plurimi, which can be translated
    majority) who though not denying the Holy Scriptures do not believe in endless torments."

    (Enchiria, ad Laurent. c.29) Imagine, the champion of the doctrine of eternal torment admitting
    out of his own mouth that as late as the 5th century many or the majority of believers did not
    believe in eternal torment and he said they did not deny the Scriptures in believing so.
    Of the six theological schools known to the early church, 4 taught the salvation of all, one
    taught annihilation, and only one taught eternal torment.

    The Greek word aion was not used to mean eternal in the early church writings.
    The President of the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381, St. Gregory of
    Nazianzus was an outspoken Universalist, that is, he believed in the Salvation Of All Mankind
    Through Jesus Christ. Would the church designate a heretic as its head at such an important
    meeting?
    When Emperor Justinian finally declared the teaching of the Salvation of all as heresy, he used
    the word "ateleutetos" to describe "eternal punishment," not aionion which is the Biblical term. If
    aionion meant "eternal" why didn't he use it? He didn't because it didn't mean eternal!

    Many writings are still preserved from the early Christian bishops which clearly show they did not
    teach eternal torment. To mention just a few: Clement Alexandrinus, Gregory Thaumaturgus,
    Ambrose, Titus of Bostra, Diodore of Tarsus, Isidore of Alexandria, Origen, Theodore of
    Mopsuestia, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, etc.

    When studying the lives of the early leaders, those embracing the Salvation of all clearly showed
    much more love and fruit in their lives than those who taught eternal torment. Compare Origen
    and St. Gregory of Nyssa with Tertullian and Cyprian.

    If the doctrine of the salvation all was heresy, why didn't the church declare it as such until the
    church entered the dark ages? Could it be that when the pagan doctrine of eternal torment
    entered the church, this very doctrine brought about the gross darkness which the church
    plunged into?

    It was not until the church left the Greek text and went to the Latin Vulgate Text that large
    numbers began to believe in eternal torment. That was because Jerome mistranslated those very
    words we have just been talking about. The Latin Vulgate perpetuated the error. As long as the
    Church primarily used the Greek Text, it taught the Salvation of All Mankind.

    As late as the 16th century lexicographers such as Phavorinus knew that aion was just a time
    word. But he also noted where the idea of changing the meaning came from. He writes, "Aion, time
    also life, also habit, or way of life. Aion is also the eternal and endless as it seems to the
    theologian." Here we see where the deception came from, the theologian!


    You know, if the traditional "Hell" is true, I couldn't imagine anything any worse happening to
    someone, can you? So, do you really, really, believe it is true? Let me ask you something that
    could cause you to re-evaluate that belief. What are you doing to keep people out of it? Do you
    care that people are going?

                                                                 Think about this......

    If a crazed killer escapes from the jail in your neighborhood, would you warn your
    neighbors, children, and grandchildren? Of course you would!

    Are you comfortable telling people they are going to Hell? Do you ever feel a "check"
    when you do that?   



                

    It doesn't take away from the
    gospel, it IS the gospel.  

    It doesn't take away from judgment,
    it makes sense of it.  

    It doesn't take away from personal
    belief, it allows it to be enjoyable.

    It doesn't take away from the BIble,
    it harmonizes it.
How I Came To Believe In Universal Salvation
personal note



    I know many of you may be thinking.."why doesn't she just drop all this hell
    talk?"  It really is important what you believe about God. I have a family
    member who committed suicide. What if the loved ones who were left
    believe that a person who takes his/her own life goes straight to hell??

    Can you imagine the anguish they must feel?  

    When I was working, I had a patient tell me that her child's Sunday School
    teacher told him that his daddy was going to Hell because, he drove a
    Budweiser truck.

    Imagine how that ten year old felt.....

    Folks, honestly, it matters what you believe about God. It affects who you
    are. Before you put all confidence in someone to tell you what the Bible
    says, do a little homework. If you ask a pastor/teacher about Hell and they
    immediately bristle up in defense of it, ask someone else who seems more
    humble and all knowing. The all knowing attitude sometimes is a cover-up
    for not knowing the answer to your question. Not that they want to be that
    way, they just may be embarrassed not to have really studied it....