Yet another discussion of universal salvation

If not willingly, then that thought of Paul’s is nothing more than a mockery of the Divine glory that I think Paul fully intended us to meditate on. If a threatening tyrant exacts grudging “praise” from his subjects under the threat of torture, and this counts as “tongues confessing”, then God is mocked as nothing more than a cruel tyrant worthy of nothing more than our opposition. Yes - (perhaps all of us at some point) approach God with fear and trembling - indeed fright. But love and relationship cannot be satisfied with such imperfection - so much impediment left there to cast out.

“Knee will bow” doesn’t always mean praise – and is not so in those passages. And “not all willingly” doesn’t always mean grudgingly. In Isaiah 45 “knee will bow” means only in the Lord is to be found righteousness, strength and triumph. In Romans 14 it means we shall all be judged by God. And in Philippians it means humility seeking salvation with fear and trembling.

And accordingly “not all willingly” doesn’t mean grudgingly but simply the way things are. In that case your accusation of “cruelty” is a complaint against the uncompromising nature of the truth. Nor does fear and trembling necessarily mean fright caused by some threat. Consider the fear of the unknown, for example. Or how about the fear of dealing with things that you cannot manipulate and control? Some might prefer the words “respect” or “humility” rather than “fear,” and this fits very well with the usage in the passages above.

In fact, I think a central theme here in “every knee shall bow” is acknowledging that no righteous cause can stand against Him – an acceptance that He is right in all that He has required of us. And these need not come from some divine right to arbitrary demands, but from the logical necessities of love and relationship themselves.


Christ is salvation. That’s His name: Salvation, Jesus, Joshua, Yehoshua, Yaweh - God - is salvation. Because He is the only possible warrant for God as ground of purposed being at all, that God is. There is no calculus of who is in and who is out of Him, there is only calculus of who is aware of Him in this blink of an eye. His title is The Elect. When the Father He reveals looks down on humanity, He sees all through the lens of Christ who offers us all up. We are looking through the other end of the telescope with degrees of eye defect.

He never had a chance. Not that it has anything to do with chance. And you are walking away from yours.

You don’t know that. There is room for disagreement here - though as Mitchell essentially states too; truth and reality is uncompromising … to all of us where we err.

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That’s me using bad reverse psychology on @GJDS. He’s not walking away from a salvific choice. But he is walking away from the choice to examine why he believes in salvific choice. But it cannot be helped
: )

Well said.  

(I.e., any beef with God is not a righteous one.)

The problem isn’t my reading comprehension.

Where I come from, that’s known as a cheap shot. Could’ve been cleared up with a simple apology, but you’d rather double down. Fine. You do you.

And I would note, as is my wont, that our relationship with God is a Father-child one.

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It is an eternal parent-child relationship. For He is an infinite God and there is no end to what He has for us and becoming like Him is never-ending.

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I do apologize. A lot of my last posts were overbearingly reactive to stuff that you had specifically remarked about. And with a tone that I now regret as having strayed into mockery. For what it’s worth, I was reacting to the thoughts and not the person (you); which I realize doesn’t make it better but worse. I will yet learn to be more civil myself.

Am answering this using restaurant WiFi on a long trip and so won’t be checking back again for another while.



Thanks for the apology. No hard feelings. I’m overbearing far more often than you. Hope your trip is going well.


I don’t think anyone is beyond salvation. No matter how evil they may have been. Just like I don’t think anyone is beyond corruption no matter how good they were. I do agree that most people who are very evil never gets better because it took a while for them to get there and they don’t truly want to break the habits. But anyone can. God’s arm is not to short to save anyone. However, many never reach out. They pursue sin without repentance and never hear their name called, snd never receive the grace and mercy God offers through Christ and they are destroyed.

Am I right in understanding that you do not believe in eternal conscious torment in the lake of fire? I assume you shy away from the horrors that that represents, especially if you are called to an eternal life of joy, peace and love as a Christian - by a supposedly all-loving GOD?
Perhaps you should see a slightly different view - those who are judged and thrown into the lake of eternal fire are already dead! Just read the text carefully. Yet there they are - called from wherever they were dead to face that final judgement - fully conscious of their ultimate fate.
Also, Jesus made an incredibly detailed over-emphasis as to the horrors that await in hell - three times in Mark he explains to his audience that it is better to gouge out an eye, cut off a hand or a foot than it is to go into hell. Why would he do that? We know that repetition in the bible stands for great emphasis, so it must be very, very important not to miss just how bad it will be in hell.
Why would one fear God who is after all the one who, after the body has been killed, has authority to throw the soul into hell? What is there to fear about hell if it was just a case of poofing out of existence? If that were the case then sinners can eat, drink and be merry because in the end they just POOF and be gone! Where’s the justice in that?
I believe that once a soul enters existence, it exists forever in a conscious state - that is what I glean from the texts in the bible. YMMV.

Yeah I think he is one of a few who like the idea of annihilationism.

I would agree with you that this doesn’t quite fit with the teachings of Jesus. It also seems like an empty threat to me. Many including myself find the idea of nonexistence or oblivion rather sweet – in my case just a little too easy. Seems to me, the whole point of all this religious stuff is that there is no escape, and nonexistence is the ultimate escape.

HOWEVER, I don’t think it is so black and white because consciousness itself is far from an absolute either/or thing. Rather it is something which varies considerably and indeed one of the problems with sin and so many self-destructive behaviors is the damage it does to our awareness of other people and the world around us. Therefore people are not even equal in their awareness at death and I think greater awareness is a reward for hard work and never a punishment for naughtiness.

So while I think Jesus clearly teaches that there is no escape, I think there is considerable room for the possibility of diminishing awareness. Thus I have said I am an advocate of the median position of EDCST - eternal diminishing conscious self-torment, for I definitely believe that hell and torment is always something people do to themselves. The God I believe in is not the torturing devil of ECT or the soul destroying monster of annihilationism.

So, if God’s arm is not too short to save anyone, then why are there still people out of His reach? Why do people have to “reach out” as you say?
Perhaps it’s a much more different story - maybe it’s a case of no one is able to reach out at all because they are all spiritually dead (Eph 1,2)! Only the spiritually alive can interact with God because God is spirit. Hence, it comes down to the necessity that God has to make the dead alive, give them a re-birth before they can interact with Him? Hence it is up to God as to just whom He sovereignly decides to grant life. God willhave mercy on whom He will have mercy.
Sinful mankind has no choice in the matter - other than to keep on sinning, even if they desire to have a god in their lives, they will only ever make up their own rules as to how to appease their god in order to have eternal life.

Actually, those who disbelieve the permanence of being truly born again and that their adoption is secure do, if they would look at one of their favorite arguments against ‘OSAS’*.

It has been discussed elsewhere:


*‘OSAS’ is not my term of preference, because it is so often used disparagingly against those who know their salvation is secure, and I think the arguments of those who use it are simplistic, as just demonstrated. But oh well. :slightly_smiling_face:

Interesting take on it…I see it somewhat differently but on that same line of thought:
In hell, where God has excluded his mercy, there can be no repentance from sin because only God can provide the means for that. So the conscious soul in hell keeps on sinning forever. And God exercises His wrath on that sin as it occurs - forever. If there were a diminishing level of sin to the point of no sin, then surely the person would be sinless, eventually? So why should they be in hell forever? Just a thought.

As far as conditional immortality is concerned the next time I get into that convo will be on a thread I made after I organize a few dozens verses to showcase my opinion because it’s too time consuming to respond to this or that repeatedly. But yes you are correct that I recognize that the Bible does not teach that the wages of sin is not eternal life full of torment, but it’s death. It’s their second death.