Universal Salvation: Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it
Do you realize that the Person responsible for all of creation can do anything? Anything that is, within righteousness. Look what was said at Job 42:2 "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You." Do you know why? Because as His name, commonly pronounced Yahweh or Jehovah suggests, He can cause whatever He wants to be. Imagine that! God can do anything, because whatever He purposes, He can cause it to come about. And His purpose is Universal Salvation - eternal life for all, together with His nature and freewill.
"But do we not already have freewill?" Not where His purpose is concerned. Would you allow a child to play near the edge of a cliff? No, you would not - and he would not have any freewill in it either. The reason being, that it would not be in the interests of the child. As a parent you are expected to do what is in the best interests of your children. God is the same. Your Heavenly Father will always do what is in your best interests, even though at times it may not seem like it. With Universal Salvation, God is only doing what a good parent is expected to do.
Proverbs 22:6 says this. "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."
How many of us wish we could do that. Many of us have tried, have we not? And many of us have failed. It seems an impossible scripture to achieve. But not to God. The difference is that He has all knowledge, all wisdom and all understanding and therefore knows how to do all things. On the other hand we do not.
Jesus said at Luke 6:40 "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher." Since God is perfect, He is qualified to train all of His children to be like Himself. What He could not justify is if He did not train everyone up to be like Himself when He could do so. God is the source of all life, and all responsibility for what happens to that life is placed firmly upon His shoulders.
Because God is perfect, He can only work inside of perfection. Do you realize that failure is not an option with Him? Both eternal torment or eternal death for any of His creations would be failure on the part of God. He says that children can be successfully trained. His stated purpose is that He is not willing that any should perish. You only have three options regarding those in the lake of fire - condemned, as some believe, to either eternal suffering or to eternal death:
- God has lied, and has deliberately chosen not to save some. But as many of you will know, it is impossible for God to lie: therefore that is not an option.
- God has failed. But since He can do anything and can cause whatever He wants to be, that is also not an option.
- God has not finished their training. And that is the only conclusion that you can come to.
God can not lie, and He most certainly can not fail. The only other option that you have is that their training is incomplete. You can not give someone part knowledge and then punish them because they do not have full knowledge, especially when you are responsible, can you?
Do you want people to have eternal suffering or to have eternal death? If you could do something about it, would you? Of course you would. Well, God can do something about it, and He will. And that means Universal Salvation: eternal life for all, with the nature of God, and freewill.
In this series we will show you why Universal Salvation was the only option open to God. Interesting, is it not?
Next article: A Saviour who is Christ the Lord