The Fairy Tale of Universalism

Universalism is the view that in the end all humans—irrespective of whether they reject the gospel in this life—will be saved.

In the book Whatever Happened to Hell?, British evangelical John Blanchard writes these memorable words about universalism:

Universalism originated in the Garden of Eden when Satan brushed aside God’s warning and assured Eve, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). . . .

All the ways to hell are one-way streets. The idea that those who go there will eventually be released to join the rest of humanity in heaven has not a shred of biblical evidence to support it.

Children are sometimes told fictional adventure stories with the delightful ending: “And they all lived happily ever after.” We call that kind of story a fairy tale.

Universalism is exactly that.

(pp. 204, 208; quoted in Robert Peterson, Hell on Trial

Full author david mathis

David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor for, pastor at Cities Church in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and adjunct professor for Bethlehem College & Seminary. He has edited several books, including Finish the Mission, Acting the Miracle, and most recently Cross, and is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.