While I certainly believe that universalism or apocatastasis (the reconciliation of all things to God) have long been part of the Christian spectrum. Personally I do not buy it. God says “I set before you life and death, therefore choose life.” He does not say, “I set before you life and death so I can force life upon you eventually,” or “…so I can teach or convince you life is the correct choice.”
I very much think it requires a choice. No… not the choice of which religion to believe in …but the choice to embrace the challenge of life to learn what is good.
Where does that put me among @SkovandOfMitaze 's list of views? A little bit of each… maybe? To be sure Christ died for all and God loves all but love requires freedom otherwise it is a kind of stalking or rape. It is unconditionally offered to all as a gift, for accepting a gift does not make it something which is earned. But yes it is a hard fact of love and life that some reject what is offered – both love and life. Jesus certainly speaks of eternal torment but also indicates that those lost in their sins are somewhat lacking in consciousness. And this is not because anyone torments them but is the natural logical consequence of eternal existence without that which make eternal existence worthwhile.
So my position is a combination of the following…
- Eternal Conscious torment with possibly diminishing consciousness over time (ECTPD). And indeed this is something which people do to themselves. We ourselves are the danger we need to be saved from – not God.
- Unconditional eternal existence but conditional eternal life.
- Universal offer of the gift of salvation to all. And accepting this gift is not the acceptance of some dogma or religion but accepting the most basic challenge of life itself to learn and grow.