Everyone Will Be Subject To Christ, And They Will Love It!

Everyone Will Be Subject To Christ, And They Will Love It!

When people tell you that Universalism is a recent “invention,” read them this from Origen’s work, Of Principles, written around 230.

The end of the world, then, and the final consummation, will take place when every one shall be subjected to punishment for his sins; a time which God alone knows, when He will bestow on each one what he deserves. We think, indeed, that the goodness of God, through His Christ, may recall all His creatures to one end, even His enemies being conquered and subdued. For thus says holy Scripture, “The Lord said to My Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” And if the meaning of the prophet’s language here be less clear, we may ascertain it from the Apostle Paul, who speaks more openly, thus: “For Christ must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet.” But if even that unreserved declaration of the apostle do not sufficiently inform us what is meant by “enemies being placed under His feet,” listen to what he says in the following words, “For all things must be put under Him.” What, then, is this “putting under” by which all things must be made subject to Christ? I am of opinion that it is this very subjection by which we also wish to be subject to Him, by which the apostles also were subject, and all the saints who have been followers of Christ. For the name “subjection,” by which we are subject to Christ, indicates that the salvation which proceeds from Him belongs to His subjects, agreeably to the declaration of David, “Shall not my soul be subject unto God? From Him cometh my salvation.”

#OTD, May 4th, 553, Universalists are Officially Condemned For Believing…

#OTD, May 4th, 553, Universalists are Officially Condemned For Believing that Jesus Christ is Successful and All Inclusive.
 
The teaching of the final salvation of all mankind was taught in Scripture and proclaimed by many believers in the earliest centuries after the Apostles fell asleep. God was believed to be both just and benevolent, and that all mankind, including angelic beings, would be restored to happiness and holiness.
 
It wasn’t until the Fifth General Council, which convened in Constantinople on this day, May 4th, 553, that this teaching was given a formal anathema.
 
“Whosoever says or thinks,” arrogantly declares the presuming body which believes it can govern human thought, “that the torments of demons and of impious men are temporal, so that they will, at length, come to an end, or whoever holds a restoration of either of the demons, or the impious, let him be anathema.”
 
Universalism wasn’t put down by reason, argument, or appeals to Scripture, but by brute force. Brute force executed Christ, persecuted the early Church, and attempted to forever silence the good news of Christ’s saving work. Biblical Universalism is never promoted by force. It comes gently, but irresistibly, satisfying both the heart and the mind, and it pours peace, joy, and love, both for self and humanity, into every heart it touches. Where the doctrine of eternal torment has reigned, however, there has been violence, plunder, slavery, misogyny, political intrigue, envy, greed, division, anathemas, shameful behavior, and hatred.
 
You can learn more about this wonderful message in the following link.

Are We Better Than Our Fathers?

Are We Better Than Our Fathers? – By Daniel Sheridan

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, so wherever Christianity goes, these blessings go with it. Many, confusing the history of human institutions with the history of Christianity, say that Christianity is a curse. Seeing the intrigues, the wars, and the persecutions done in the name of Christ, they attribute these evils to Christianity, make general and sweeping judgments of the whole and either abandon the faith or separate themselves claiming a pure faith.

Christianity is from God and therefore pure. But when it descends from God to man it from time to time suffers corruption, not in the source, but the recipient. Christianity in man, even the best of them, is not Christianity in God, in Jesus Christ. So let us never make the mistake of imputing to God that of which man alone is guilty.

The water of life is pure in its source. Yet how often do those drinking at this perfect fount allow its refreshing waters to penetrate their entire being? So often Christians drive certain Christian truths from their heart, but unwilling to cast off Christianity completely, they design a new form of it and wear it as a cloak to cover their sins. And then these dignify, in the name of Christianity, all that this outer garment displays to gazing eyes. History, however, will rend this hypocritical mantle and expose the hidden passions which the Christian hid underneath his stylish garb. That goes for you and me, too.

Evil acts done in the name of Christ do not come from Christ or the Bible but from the harmful sources which Christ came to destroy and contrary to which the Bible commands the believer to live. There has never been a time since the days of our Lord where truth has not gone forth liberating all it reaches.

Get out a map. Where in the world is there light? Where is there darkness? Where is liberty? Where is slavery? Wherever Christianity goes throughout the world, even if its message is somewhat dimmed by Christians, freedom, love, and learning follow.

Look at your own life. Have you ever acted contrary to Christ? If so, why do you condemn others for doing the same? Have you ever lacked light and understanding? Why do you condemn others for lacking the same? Maybe a look at our own life will soften our stance regarding our brethren. What would you have been like in Medieval France? How about in second century North Africa? Colonial Plymouth Rock?

Let us look at the past with a Christian heart and with Christian tolerance. “The present,” after all, ” is the fruit of the past, and the germ of the future. No work can stand unless it grows out of the real wants of the age and strikes firm root in the soil of history. No one who tramples on the rights of a past generation can claim regard of its posterity.”

Men may fail, but God never fails. The Bible, which is the source of truth, has “called forth so much reverence and gratitude, inspired so many noble thoughts and deeds, administered so much comfort and peace from the cradle to the grave to all classes and conditions of men. It is more than a book; it is an institution, an all-pervading omnipresent force, a converting, sanctifying, transforming agency; it rules from the pulpit and the chair; it presides at the family altar; it is the sacred ark of every household, the written conscience of every Christian man, the pillar of cloud by day, the pillar of light by night in the pilgrimage of life. Mankind is bad enough, and human life dark enough with it; but how much worse and how much darker would they be without it? There it shines on the horizon, the king of day, obscured at times by clouds great or small, but breaking through again and again, and shedding light and life from east to west, until the darkest corners of the globe shall be illuminated. The past is secure; God will take care of the future.”

Magna est veritas et praevalebit.

Universal Unity

Universal Unity – By Daniel Sheridan
 
“In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed” was the great promise God gave to Abraham, and unto Shiloh (place of peace) “shall the gathering of the people be.” The New Testament documents, with the gospel going forth to all peoples, the process leading to the ultimate fulfillment of that promise.
 
Blessing and peace had illuded mankind. “The religions of antiquity,” wrote D’Aubigne, “rendered impossible this vast assembly of nations. Like the languages of Babel, they were so many walls, which separated nations from one another. The tribes of the earth only worshipped national gods – those gods only suited the nations who made them. They had no points of contact, no sympathy with any people. Falsehood has a thousand strange faces, not resembling each other. Truth only is one, and this only can unite all the races of men. The idea of a universal kingdom of truth and holiness was a stranger to the ancient world. Christ came and accomplished what the religions and sages of the world had not been able to foresee. He is the founder of a kingdom to which all nations are called. He overturns, according to the energetic language of His apostle, the fences, the middle wall of partition which divided all nations, ‘and hath made both one for to make in himself of the two into one new man, thus making peace.'”
 
Christianity is a message from heaven crossing every border, speaking in all languages, and adapting to any culture. It bestows on human nature a divine life which is the center of unity. With the appearance of Christianity commenced in the universe the only real cosmopolitanism. Citizens of Judea, of Pontus, of Greece, of Egypt, or Rome, till then mutual enemies, embrace like brothers. “Christianity is that tree, of which the Scriptures speak, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. It acts at the same time on the most opposite states of society. It regenerates and vivifies the world, corrupted by the Caesars; and soon after softens and civilizes the barbarous hordes of the North.” And, at this very moment, it produces similar effects on people all over the world. Christ has touched kings of empires and hut-dwelling peasants living in the remotest parts of the earth. The gospel net is cast over the who earth, and the day will come “when a heavenly hand shall hold captive in it all the races of men.”
 
You hear many today call for unity, and they try to bring it about through elections, laws, and political parties. A new political hierarchy, however, can’t produce a bond of unity, for it carries tempests and discord in its bosom. Christ alone is the ensign the prophets spoke of, and around Him shall the gathering of the peoples be.

Early Christian Evangelism

Early Christian Evangelism: Not The Efforts Of Pesky Professional Preachers, But Of Normal People With Sincere Love Flowing Out Of Their Full Hearts In The Natural Course Of Human Events Even While Suffering Oppression – By Daniel W. Sheridan

The early Christians were not pesky “professional evangelists” who made well-funded efforts to shove their message down the throats of unwilling listeners. The Apostles, to be sure, were commissioned by God and given special powers to fulfill their missions, but those powers and commissions were not transferable. Once the Apostles finished their work, once the Word of God completed, the gospel was from that point on spread by ordinary people living everyday lives through the process of daily living. In other words, their message flowed naturally and conversationally.

“The chief agents in the expansion of Christianity, says Latourette, “appear not to have been those who made it a profession or a major part of their occupation, but men and women who earned their livelihood in some purely secular manner and spoke of their faith to those whom they met in this natural fashion. Thus when Celsus denounces a religion which spreads through workers in wool and leather and fullers and uneducated persons who get hold of children privately and of ignorant women and teach them, Origen does not deny that this occurs. In the commerce and the travel which were so marked a feature of the Roman Empire, the faith must have made many new contacts through Christian merchants and tradesmen. It is significant that Christianity appeared very early in Puteoli, on the Bay of Naples, on the route to Rome, and that while we do not know of the beginnings of the Church in Gaul, when we first meet it there, it is in a section which had commercial connexions with the Hellenistic East.”

These early Christians, regardless of their lot in life, made the most of their circumstances using them to show the light and love of Christ. Their circumstances, though many of them bad – slaves, poor, abused women, persecuted refugees, etc. – were the pulpits from whence they proclaimed, through their godly character under such circumstances, the glory, the grace, and the love of the true and living God. They weren’t angry revolutionaries calling for violent efforts to win their rights; they were children of God seeking to bring a message which transcended the oppression and violence of the human race. Like their Savior, they walked humbly, loved humanity deeply, not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that there were called to this. They loved life and sought good days, so they refrained their tongues from evil (name-calling, wishing harm on their opponents), and they did their best to keep their mouths from guile. They sought peace and pursued it.

“Involuntary travelers,” adds Latourette, “such as slaves and Christians deported for their faith were also agents. Martyrs by their example impressed many. It would probably be a misconception to think of every Christian of the first three hundred years after Christ as aggressively seeking converts. Such pictures as we have of these early communities in the New Testament and in the voluminous writings of these centuries warrant no such conclusion. In none of them does any hint occur that the rank and file of Christians regarded it as even a minor part of their duty to communicate their faith to others. It seems probable, however, that many must incidentally have talked of their religion to those whom they met in the round of their daily occupations.”

Love never has to be forced. Those who have comprehended the Scriptures, and have let the Scriptures govern their hearts and lives, tell the wondrous story of the God of all grace naturally because it comes from the deepest recesses of a full heart. A believer doesn’t have “prepare sermons” to reach people; his or her whole life is a sermon and talking about God comes as naturally as talking about beloved family members.

The Wonderful Hope Of Resurrection

In the churchyard at Williamsburg is a tombstone to the memory of Ann Burges, wife of Rev. Henry John Burges, of Isle of Wight, who died Dec. 25, 1771, in giving birth to an infant daughter. The inscription reads:

“Here sleeps in Jesus united to Him by faith and the Grace of a Christian life, all that was mortal of Mrs. Ann Burges, once the tender and affectionate wife of the Rev. Henry John Burges, of the Isle of Wight: She died 25 December 1771 in giving birth to an infant daughter who rests in her arms. She here waits the transporting moment when the trump of God shall call her forth to glory, honor, and immortality. Oh death where is thy sting? Oh grave where is thy victory?”

This family understood the hope of resurrection as did reformers William Tyndale and his good friend John Frith. These men suffered for their Biblical faith and were both burned at the stake for teaching the true gospel. But their answers to their opponents defending the true nature of death and the hope of resurrection remain unanswerable by those who believe death is really life in another place. Death is not being “with Jesus,” or being “present with the Lord,” or being “promoted to glory,” as if heaven is currently being defiled (Numbers 19) by contact with dead people. Death always has been and always will be an enemy. Death isn’t life in any way, shape, or form. This is why our gospel is about resurrection. Many are asking the wrong question, “Where will you go when you die?” The right question is, as Job asked it, “If a man die, shall he live again?” Ask the right question and you are on your way to truth which sets us free.

“The true faith putteth the resurrection, which we be warned to look for every hour. The heathen philosophers, denying that, did put that the souls did ever live. And the pope joineth the spiritual doctrine of Christ and the fleshly doctrine of philosophers together; things so contrary that they cannot agree, no more than the Spirit and the flesh do in a Christian man. And because the fleshly-minded pope consenteth unto heathen doctrine, therefore he corrupteth the Scripture to stablish it.” William Tyndale

“And when he (i.e. Thomas More) proveth that the saints be in heaven in glory with Christ already, saying, ‘If God be their God, they be in heaven, for he is not the God of the dead;’ there he stealeth away Christ’s argument, wherewith he proveth the resurrection: that Abraham and all saints should rise again, and not that their souls were in heaven; which doctrine was not yet in the world. And with that doctrine he taketh away the resurrection quite, and maketh Christ’s argument of none effect.” William Tyndale

“Nay, Paul, thou art unlearned; go to Master More, and learn a new way. We be not most miserable, though we rise not again; for our souls go to heaven as soon as we be dead, and are there in as great joy as Christ that is risen again.” And I marvel that Paul had not comforted the Thessalonians with that doctrine, if he had wist it, that the souls of their dead had been in joy; as he did with the resurrection, that their dead should rise again. If the souls be in heaven, in as great glory as the angels, after your doctrine, shew me what cause should be of the resurrection.” William Tyndale

“Notwithstanding, let me grant it him that some are already in hell and some in heaven, which thing he shall never be able to prove by the Scriptures, yea, and which plainly destroy the resurrection, and taketh away the arguments wherewith Christ and Paul do prove that we shall rise;… and as touching this point where they rest, I dare be bold to say that they are in the hand of God.” John Frith

Those are great words from these faithful reformers. Resurrection is assured to everyone, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Notice Paul does not say people are “kept alive,” they are made alive because the dead aren’t alive. The Bible does not talk about the resurrection of the body, as the Platonic infected orthodoxy does, but it does talk about the resurrection of the dead.

The greatest problem humanity faces is death. Our gospel provides the solution – life! Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

Cling to this most precious and happy truth.

Our Marvelously Preserved Scriptures…

Our Marvelously Preserved Scriptures…

I came to understand the true nature of both God and man through the study of the Scriptures. I can truly sing these words with great joy:

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

God has preserved His Word through three conduits.

“The provision,” writes John Burgon, “which the Divine Author of Scripture is found to have made for the preservation in its integrity of His written Word, is of a peculiarly varied and highly complex description.”

“First,—By causing that a vast multiplication of COPIES should be required all down the ages,—beginning at the earliest period, and continuing in an ever-increasing ratio until the actual invention of Printing,—He provided the most effectual security imaginable against fraud.”

“Next, VERSIONS. The necessity of translating the Scriptures into divers languages for the use of different branches of the early Church, procured that many an authentic record has been preserved of the New Testament as it existed in the first few centuries of the Christian era.”

“Lastly…every famous Doctor of the Church in turn has quoted more or less largely from the sacred writings, and thus has borne testimony to the contents of the codices with which he was individually familiar. PATRISTIC CITATIONS accordingly are a third mighty safeguard of the integrity of the deposit.”

“And, first of all, the reader has need to be apprised (with reference to the first-named class of evidence) that most of our extant copies of the N. T. Scriptures are comparatively of recent date, ranging from the 10th to the 12th century of our era. That these are in every instance copies of yet older manuscripts, is self-evident; and that in the main they represent faithfully the sacred autographs themselves, no reasonable person doubts. Still, it is undeniable that they are thus separated by about a thousand years from their inspired archetypes. Readers are reminded, in passing, that the little handful of copies on which we rely for the texts of Herodotus and Thucydides, of Æschylus and Sophocles, are removed from their originals by full 500 years more: and that, instead of a thousand, or half a thousand copies, we are dependent for the text of certain of these authors on as many copies as may be counted on the fingers of one hand. In truth, the security which the Text of the New Testament enjoys is altogether unique and extraordinary.”

“To specify one single consideration, which has never yet attracted nearly the amount of attention it deserves,—“Lectionaries” abound, which establish the Text which has been publicly read in the churches of the East, from at least a.d. 400 until the time of the invention of printing.”

Having read about these wonderful provisions our God has made let us sing together:

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

THE STRENUOUS LIFE

In this speech from 1899, Teddy Roosevelt tells Chicagoans how they contributed to “Making America Great.” Are you doing your part? TR’s vision was much deeper than a partisan and shallow campaign slogan. I hope you take the time to read this very short exhortation. #MAGA

“THE STRENUOUS LIFE” ―Theodore Roosevelt 10th April, 1899. Speech at Hamilton Club, Chicago

“A life of ignoble ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual… Who among you would teach your boys that ease, that peace, is to be the first consideration in their eyes – to be the ultimate goal after which they strive? You men of Chicago have made this city great, you men of Illinois have done your share, and more than your share, in making America great, because you neither preach nor practice such a doctrine. You work yourselves, and you bring up your sons to work. If you are rich and are worth your salt, you will teach your sons that though they may have leisure, it is not to be spent in idleness; for wisely used leisure merely means that those who possess it, being free from the necessity of working for their livelihood, are all the more bound to carry on some kind of non-remunerative work in science, in letters, in art, in exploration, in historical research-work of the type we most need in this country, the successful carrying out of which reflects most honor upon the nation…Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

An Indian Observes What The White Man Learns In Church

The following narrative, written by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, is an Indian’s observation of what the white man learns in Church.

Conrad (says the Indian), you have lived long among the white People and know something of their Customs. I have been sometimes at Albany, and have observed that once in Seven Days they shut up their Shops, and assemble all in the great House; tell me, what is it for? what do they do there?—

They meet there, says Conrad, to hear and learn good Things.

I do not doubt says the Indian, that they tell you so: They have told me the same; But I doubt the Truth of what they say, and I will tell you my Reasons. I was lately to Albany to sell my Skins, buy Blankets, Knives, Powder, and Rum. You know I us’d generally to deal with Hans Hanson, but I was a little inclin’d this time to try some other Merchant; however, I call’d first upon Hans, and ask’d him what he would give for Beaver. He said he could not give more than four Shillings a Pound; but says he I cannot talk on Business now; this is the Day when we meet together to learn good Things, and I am going to the Meeting. So I thought to my self, since we cannot do any Business to day, I may as well go to the Meeting too; and I went with him.

There stood up a man in black, and began to talk to the people very angrily. I did not understand what he said; but perceiving that he look’d much at me, and at Hanson, I imagin’d he was angry at seeing me there, so I went out, sat down near the House, struck Fire and lit my Pipe, waiting till the Meeting should break up. I thought too that the Man had mention’d something of Beaver, and I suspected it might be the Subject of their Making. So when they came out, I accosted my Merchant,

Well, Hans, says I, I hope you have agreed to give more than four Shillings a Pound. No, says he, I cannot give so much; I cannot give more than three shillings and sixpence. I then spoke to several other Dealers, but they all sung the same Song. Three and sixpence, Three and sixpence. This made it clear to me that my Suspicion was right; and that whatever they pretended of meeting to learn Good Things, the real purpose was to consult how to cheat Indians on the Price of Beaver.

Consider but a little, Conrad, and you must be of my Opinion. If they met so often to learn Good Things, they would certainly have learnt some before this time. But they are still ignorant. You know our Practice. If a white Man in travelling thro’ our Country, enters one of our Cabins, we all treat him as I treat you; we dry him if he is wet, we warm him if he is cold, we give him Meat and Drinks that he may allay his Thirst and Hunger, and spread soft Furs for him to rest and sleep on: We demand nothing in return. But if I go into a white Man’s House at Albany, and ask for Victuals and Drink, they say, where is your Money? and if I have none; they say, Get out you Indian Dog. You see they have not yet learnt those little Good Things, that we need no Meetings to be instructed in, because our Mothers taught them to us when we were Children: And therefore, it is impossible their Meeting, Should be as they say, for any such purpose, or have any such Effect. They are only to contrive the Cheating of Indians in the Price of Beaver.

By Reading Ye Understand…

“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand…” Paul.

We are Biblical Universalists. Many sincere truth-seekers ask my advice about how they can learn more about God. I reply by saying read, read, and read. God will never teach one who won’t read. God has communicated Himself through words, and he put these words in the collection of writings we know as Holy Scripture. The Spirit of God teaches us through reading what God wrote. If a person departs from the Scriptures all he is left with is his imagination, “intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind” (Col. 2:18). There are no shortcuts to maturity.

Many call the Bible “The Book.” I love that designation. THE Book! Even those who don’t read it recognize there’s somethings special about it. Bible means “book.” We call it “THE” Book because of its preeminence. It’s not just any book, it’s The Book. It sheds light on all the other books.

My Bible says “Holy Bible” on the cover. That’s because it’s written by holy men. The word “holy” means “consecrated or set apart to a sacred use.” These men, with different backgrounds and from different times, were set apart for the task of contributing portions of a Book. The finished work is perfect in its parts and consistent as a whole, a book set apart from all other books. These “holy men” were normal men; shepherds, kings, fruit gatherers, businessmen, fathers, husbands, boyfriends, fishermen, tent makers, and priests. They weren’t supermen, they were people like us, and their product, The Book, isn’t other-worldly, it’s for this world. It’s a Book for normal people living a normal life. It’s practical. It’s written in human language, not mystical language.

Within the covers of “The Book” are the Old and New Testaments. A “testament” is a “covenant.” These covenants teach us about God and His ways with mankind. They are distinguished by the Adjectives “Old” and “New” to describe their relationship to each other. The Old and New Testaments are equally true, holy, just, and good. The “New” Testament builds on the “Old” Testament and brings it to fulfillment and perfection. The “Old” promised a Savior, the “New” reveals Him. The “Old” Testament is glorious, but the “New” Testament exceeds in glory – 2 Corinthians 3:9.

The Old Testament historically documents how sin and death entered the world while the New Testament reports how they are abolished. The Old Testament reveals the law of God and the New Testament reveals the grace of God in the gospel. The righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in the gospel – Romans 3:31, 8:4.

Let’s thank God for The Book. It’s God’s revelation of Himself. Let’s pray:

“Lord, open our eyes that we may behold wondrous things out of Thy law and Thy gospel.”

Here’s more info on “THE BOOK.”