God's Abundant Mercy
The Restorative Fire
The Restorative Fire
The Fire That Restores
The majority of major religions teach some form of punishment for all eternity, but Christianity is unique, in that the Lord of the universe became a man to redeem His beloved creation.
When Martin Luther wrote his 95-page Theses, one of the major complaints he confronted in the Catholic Church, was the practice of selling indulgences ( payment to lessen the time in purgatory). Luther did a great service to everyone by establishing the freedom to examine and question institutional traditions. It was 502 years ago but the reformation isn't finished, the nature of hell is one that should be discussed and examined. Starting with the differences between Catholics (purgatory) Protestants (annihilation and eternal conscience torment) and the Orthodox version of restoration (apokatastasis ).
Many believe that 'Universalism' or rather the Greek term apokatastasis is an old heresy that was condemned at the Fifth Ecumenical Council (A.D. 553) but much of this assertion is up for debate. One of the first questions those of faith should ask is :
If our justice system has in place the prevention of cruel and unusual punishment and the virtue of mercy during the sentencing of a criminal, wouldn't God do the same to all fallen creation, or is God less merciful than mere humans?
"The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation."(Ps 145:9)
Scripture points out many major announcements:
- The gates of hell shall not prevail
- Every knee will bow and praise Him
- Every tongue willingly confess Jesus is Lord
- Every tongue will swear allegiance to me
- All will know the Lord
- Death will no longer reign
- Sorrow will come to an end
- Wickedness will no longer exist
- Christ will rescue everyone
- Everyone will be restored and purified by the refiner’s fire
Like Paul, there will be those who come to know Christ not by their will or desire, but by the will and desire of God. The faithfulness of Christ.
" Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess, and will swear allegiance." Isa 45:23
The restorative fire (justice) helps everyone understand their selfish actions. Salvation is secure, justification is secure... sanctification is a process. The refining fire will restore and transform everyone. Even Sodom and her daughters will be restored to their original glory. The Bible indicates that some may even be angry over the generosity of Christ. Scripture also indicates that God has no favorites. Many will complain that if someone didn't come to faith in their lifetime, they shouldn't be permitted into God's Kingdom. Christ replied to their complaint,
"... Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? ‘So the last will be first, and the first last.” (Matt 20:15-16)
See Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:14-15, Matthew 20:1-16, Jonah 3:10, James 2:13, Gal 2:6, Col 3:25,Acts 10:34, Duet 1:17, Duet 10:17, Romans 2:12, James 2:1, Matt 19:30., Ezekiel 16:15., Matt 16:18, Col 1:20, Mark 9:12, Mark 9:49, Mal 3:2-3, Rev 21:4-5, Isa 49:15. John 1:29, Php 2:11, Isa 45:23.