THE GOSPEL FROM OUTER SPACE – ROBERT SHORT
“The gospel of love heard from the churches is at bottom a gospel at gunpoint. This gospel claims to speak of a great love, but only one step behind this “love” is an unspoken, or often very vocal great threat – the threat of eternity in “hell” if we refuse this love. What a travesty of love, even human love, not to mention God’s! For one would think that God’s love ought to be at least as great as what human beings are capable of. It is precisely the implied or expressed threat of eternal perdition that compromises the churches’ ‘gospel of love,’ and gives this ‘gospel’ the lie to ordinary people, and is in fact behind by far, most of atheism.
On the other hand, this is not the quality of mercy I see in God. I get the strong feeling of an infinite, unconditional, no-strings-attached love for all people. At the same time this love is all-powerful and sovereign. It is not so flimsy and pitifully weak that it can be finally frustrated or defeated by mere human whim or by meagre man’s arrogant illusion called ‘free will.’ ”
William Barclay on kolasis as used in Matthew 25:46.
“The Greek word for punishment is kolasis, which was not originally an ethical word at all. It originally meant the pruning of trees to make them grow better. There is no instance in Greek secular literature where kolasis does not mean remedial punishment. It is a simple fact that in Greek kolasis always means remedial punishment. God’s punishment is always for man’s cure.”
A SPIRITUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY – WILLIAM BARCLAY
“I am a convinced universalist. I believe that in the end all men will be gathered into the love of God. The only victory love can enjoy is the day when its offer of love is answered by the return of love. The only possible final triumph is a universe loved by and in love with God.”
[Quoted from William Barclay: A Spiritual Autobiography, William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, 1977.]
THE JUST JUDGEMENT OF GOD – JAMES CORAM
“The main point which we seek to impress upon our readers is to accept God’s declaration that, for those who are judged before the great white throne, the lake of fire is the second death, not a second lifetime.
While the ‘injury’ (literal translation) sustained by those who are cast into the lake if fire (in Revelation 20:14,15) will be fatal (since to these the lake of fire is the second death), it will not be permanent. We may be certain that this is the case, for, at the consummation, death will be abolished and all will be vivified, that God may be All in all. God is the Saviour of all mankind, and this includes all who enter the second death.”
In regard to God, and the traditional church doctrine of Hell, Florence Nightingale had this to say:
“I can’t love because I am ordered. Least of all can I love One who seems only to make me miserable here to torture me hereafter. Show me that He is good, that He is loveable, and I shall love Him without being told.
But does any preacher show this? He may say that God is good, but he shows Him to be very bad; he may say that God is ‘Love’, but he shows him to be hate, worse than any hate of man. As the Persian poet says; ‘If God punishes me for doing evil by doing me evil, how is he better than I?’ And it is hard to answer, for certainly the worst man would hardly torture his enemy, if he could, for ever. And unless God has a scheme that every man is to saved for ever, it is hard to say in what He is not worse than man; for all good men would save others if they could…
It is of no use saying that God is just, unless we define what justice is. In all Christian times people have said that ‘God is just’ and have credited him with an injustice such as transcends all human injustice that it is possible to conceive.”
The Interplay of Good and Evil – Ray Prinzing
“God is sovereign, and He controls all the interaction of evil and good, and causes all to redound to His own glory. It is not – what was lost by the fall was to be regained by redemption, BUT by the interaction of FALL AND REDEMPTION, God achieves greater, wiser, nobler, and higher goals than by the Adamic race remaining in its pristine state.
Evil and good are synchronized to accomplish God’s will and purpose, so that the ultimate goal shall reveal all evil transformed back into good, and all negation cancelled out by GOOD. Evil is allowed for wise ends, and when these are secured it must cease to exist, for God will restore all things into good. HE controls all the interaction between evil and good until His purpose of the ages is fulfilled. Then shall God be All in all.”
The Magnitude of Redemption – Ray Prinzing
“ ‘And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD.” 1John 4:14.
‘Who will have ALL MEN to be saved, and to come into a knowledge of the truth’ 1Tim. 2:4.
This is not a pitting of man’s will against the will of God as some try to teach, with man’s will able to resist and hold out until God cannot change him, but must throw him into some eternal cesspool to be tormented. NAY – for we read that ‘He is working out all things after the counsel of His own will,’ and man cannot disannul that which HE has willed. It is God’s will that all shall come to Christ. He is the propitiation for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD. Why then shall we be so foolish as to dispute the immutability of His truth?”
Redemption All in all – Ray Prinzing
“Aionian punishment means of the age, or age during. It is a period of time designated by God for the bringing to naught that which is wrong. God will mete out exactly the amount of time necessary for correction, but it will not be prolonged beyond that which is needed. All of God’s punishments are corrective in nature, motivated by His love, and used to work into our good and His praise.”