Universalism: Not a New Temptation

The temptation is not new: silencing certain biblical texts in order to say that eventually everyone will be saved. In fact, we could just call it recycled liberalism.

Desiring God focused on this subject 21 years ago at the Conference for Pastors — "Universalism and the Reality of Eternal Punishment."

In his sermon that assesses the biblical and theological arguments for universalism, Sinclair Ferguson reminds us:

There is a mighty sermon in Gresham Machen’s book, God Transcendent, on the text in Matthew 10:28, “Do not fear those who can kill the body; fear Him who is able to cast soul and body into hell.” And the sermon begins by the repetition of the text and with these words: “These words were not spoken by Augustine, or by George Whitefield, or by Jonathan Edwards, but by Jesus of Nazareth."

It behooves us to listen to Jesus' testimony; both because this is the testimony of the Savior, and because this is the testimony of the One who names himself as the living and true witness—who is the One who has come back from the dead to tell men that it is so.

Ferguson's other messages from the conference include:

    1. Universalism and the Reality of Eternal Punishment: Contemporary Preaching

    2. Universalism and the Reality of Eternal Punishment: The Justice and Mercy of God
    4. Universalism and the Reality of Eternal Punishment, Panel Discussion

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.