Proof-texts FOR Universalism

3 08 2011


Texts that have been used as proof-texts *for* universalism:

John 12
32 when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men to myself.

John 12
47 “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the WORLD, but to SAVE IT.

John 3
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save THE WORLD through him.

Luke 3
6 And ALL mankind will see God’s salvation.

Matthew 18
14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that ANY of these little ones should be lost.

Romans 5
18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for ALL men.

Romans 8
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us ALL—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Romans 11
32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them ALL.

1 John 2
2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD.

1 Timothy 2:4
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants ALL men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for ALL men

1 Timothy 4:10
9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL men

Colossians 1:20
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself ALL things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

1 Corinthians 15
22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ ALL will be made alive.

John 17
2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to ALL those you have given him.

Matthew 13
33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked ALL THROUGH the dough.”

Ephesians 1:10
9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring ALL things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

Philippians 2:10
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus EVERY knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 8
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor ANYTHING else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:19
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling THE WORLD to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.


Second chance (salvation after death):

1 Peter 3:19
18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits IN PRISON 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently

1 Peter 4
6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those WHO ARE NOW DEAD


I can’t help but think of the scenario in John 8:1-11 involving the woman caught in adultery. I wonder, if at the moment of judgment, once we have been fully confronted with both our own sinfulness, our own complicity in the broader structures of sin, and the ways in which those who sinned against us have been sinned against, if what will result is similar to what happens to the woman. In 1 Corinthians 6:2, Paul tells us that the saints will judge the world. I wonder if this means that God will say “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone.” I wonder then, if we are unable to throw stones, if God will also say to those being judged, “then neither do I condemn you. Come now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11).

1 Cor 6
2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?


Christian Universalism was taught by some of the most respected theologians and leaders in the early church, including St. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and St. Gregory of Nyssa. It was also taught by some Reformation-era groups, such as the Anabaptists and Moravians.


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