Most of the people who will read this are not universalists or even entertain any thought about the possibility of universalism. This is about the false doctrine of universalism, where God will redeem all persons regardless, all will go to heaven, and how it is being overtly taught and may even be possibly taught subtly because of the New Age thinking and terminology that has crept into the evangelicalism.
I had decided that I would torture myself and read The Shack. I didn’t want to but I did. Near the end of the book, Mack asks Shack Jesus about heaven. Shack Jesus answers,
“Well, Mack, our final destiny is not the picture of heaven that you have in your head – you know, the image of pearly gates and streets of gold. Instead, it’s a new cleansing of this universe, so it will indeed look a lot like here.” (The Shack, p. 179).
Now, we all know that Paul Young believes in universalism. Still, there something about this response that struck me as odd. This is easily refuted by 2 Peter 1-11 where Peter describes the heavens and earth being destroyed by fire, and the coming of the New Heaven and New Earth, the coming of the New Jerusalem in Revelations 21.
Then it came together the other day. I was reading an article on the Herescope web page, titled “Truths We Believe About God by Pastor Larry DeBruyn, which was a review of Young’s new book Lies We Believe About God. The author was talking about Young’s teaching that God is part of everyone and everything in this universe. It is impossible to separate God from His creation because He is a part of it. I read this and I understood why Young believes the current heaven and earth will be cleansed and not completely destroyed. If God is an essential part of all His creation then to destroy it like in 2 Peter 3 and to send people to Hell for eternal conscious punishment He would be destroying a part of Himself.
Young seems to hold to a belief that is a hybrid of pantheism and panentheism. He believes there is a governing God but also that God cannot possibly be separated from His creation. To destroy any part of creation will be to destroy God Himself, which is an impossibility. So Young teaches that all will be saved and be refurbished for eternity.
But there are subtle ways in which universalism is taught. New Age terminology has crept into the church (go to Lighthousetrailsresearch.com to get a good understanding of this infiltration), an example of this was Louie Giglio’s tweet reported a few months ago. In the tweet, Mr. Giglio stated that “God is woven through you,” as if God is part of the fabric that makes us up. If Mr. Giglio believes this then could it be surmised that he may eventually embrace universalism? I would include false teachers like Steven Furtick, T.D. Jakes and the like but they seem more interested in fleecing the flock so they live large in exclusive neighborhoods in big homes, you know, so their attendees can’t pop over for a visit.
One never knows, only the Sovereign God knows for sure. But with rampant ecumenism passed among the celebrity pastors where they are all lining up to kiss the ring of the antichrist Pope Francis, the loss of exclusivity of the gospel in megachurches and that complete lack of a simple understanding of doctrines is pushing the church faster down the downgrade. Universalism may be the next step in the quest to remain relevant to society.
[Contributed by Michael Hall]
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