- File Size: 514 KB
- Print Length: 208 pages
- Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc. (December 28, 2011)
- Publication Date: December 28, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006UX2UOA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,094,629 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Dropping Hell and Embracing Grace: Answering Those Questions They Didn't Want Us to Ask Concerning Heaven, Hell and Hope for the Ultimate Salvation of all Humanity. Kindle Edition
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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He asks, “what about the untold millions of tiny babies who were lost somewhere between conception and birth; those unborn (and sometimes unwanted) that never saw the light of day; or never drew that first crying breath?... So where are those precious little ones now? Is there a place for them in heaven’s beautiful New Eden? Does God still remember them?... Will they ever see Jesus? Oh, yes!... Another issue is unavoidably raised here: If God can relate to and communicate with the preborn, then surely he can communicate with those souls that have since lived and died. Let this being hope and comfort to those of us who are aware of the fact that untold billions of souls have come and gone without ever once hearing the ‘Good News’… But God is determined that every soul of humanity will ultimately hear, understand and respond to the gospel.” (Pg. 6-7)
He adds, “Here’s something else to contemplate: if (as we have been taught) the one man, Adam, by one act of disobedience corrupted ALL humanity, why, then, is it so hard for some to accept that one man, Christ, by one act of righteousness consecrated ALL humanity? Are we to believe that Adam (by one sin) could ruin more souls than Christ (by one sacrifice) will redeem? No way!” (Pg. 15) He adds, “yet, all the violence, devastation and death inflicted in the above historic man-caused catastrophes do not begin to equal the havoc inflicted by Adam’s disobedience in Eden… The bad news is that the first Adam committed the ‘mother of all sins’ and evil-infected the ENTIRETY of humanity and our habitat with a lethal dose of death and destruction. The good news is that the last Adam has intervened with a life-restoring antidote that is guaranteed to heal ALL the wounds resulting from the garden fall.” (Pg. 22-23)
He also suggests, “Oh, yes, I do believe that animals will be with us in the world to come. That’s why I gave ‘Ol’ Buff’ (our late pet cat) a proper memorial ceremony with a little wooden cross fashioned from two Popsicle sticks (he was a good Christian cat---EXCEPT---when he was on the prowl at night). O;’ Buff is now resting in peace---awaiting the resurrection when Christ shall ‘make ALL things new’ (Rev 21:5).” (Pg. 33)
He explains, “it is a fact that most Christians equate the word ‘saved’ to some religious ‘thing’ they have either performed, fulfilled, or mystically experienced at some specific place and on some specific date. But in truth all of us were ‘saved’ even BEFORE we first claimed to be saved!... Can it be true? Saved before the beginning of time? Saved before we were biologically born? Saved before we knew him? Saved before we had faith? Saved before we believed? Saved before we accepted? Saved before we confessed? Ah, yes, it’s true! Saved BEFORE anything---except God!” (Pg. 50) He adds, “Therefore it comes down to the fact that our salvation is completely dependent upon God, and we have absolutely NOTHING to do with it. I repeat---‘nothing, zilch, nada.’” (Pg. 59)
He observes, “there are those who will be quick to point out that in scripture the word ALL doesn’t always mean all. So in an attempt to deny the salvation of ALL, they are more than happy to remind us of several verses of scripture where it is undeniably true that ALL doesn’t mean all… However, it’s not a context problem for those of us who believe in the salvation of ALL humanity to find that SOMETIMES the word ALL doesn’t always mean all. But, on the other hand, it’s a huge problem for those who do not believe in the salvation of ALL when they discover that many times the word ‘all’ really does mean ALL.” (Pg. 67-68)
He summarizes, “I simply ask: did Christ’s sacrificial death atone for only a limited number of sins per person, or for ALL sins? Did he die for only certain kinds of sinners, or for ALL sinners? … let us not forget the Savior’s prayer of intercession on behalf of sinners---even from his cross---when he said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ [Lk 23:34] Surely the Father answered this ‘dying-breath’ prayer request of his Son. And in this we are satisfied that the Father forgives the worst of sinners, because his Son has granted forgiveness to the worst of sinners---even BEFORE they asked forgiveness. With this, I rest my case.” (Pg. 71-72)
He contends, “this so-called human ‘free will’ is anything but FREE; rather, it’s an illusion. In fact, the WILL of humankind is as malleable as clay that can be squeezed into any form as may please the divine Potter.” (Pg. 92) He adds, “No doctrine could be more unscriptural than one that insists that the Great Creator has consigned fickle and feeble human beings to determine their own eternal destiny based solely on their own choices… The insistence upon human free will may also carry with it a tad bit of arrogance and pride. For instance, if we have free will, then, when we choose to do good things we can proudly take all the credit for doing so… Then, too, we can feel morally superior to those who choose to do bad things.” (Pg. 95)
He also notes, “it should now be evident to everyone that the THREAT of eternal punishment has never been a deterrent to wrongdoers. The majority of incarcerated persons in American prisons were taught from childhood to believe in a literal fiery hell, yet that failed to prevent them from committing some of the worst of crimes against God and their fellow human beings.” (Pg. 139)
This is not a book of sophisticated philosophical or exegetical reasoning; but it’s more “down-to-earth,” and emotional appeals will be of keen interest to some (particularly Evangelicals) studying Universalism, and the doctrine of Hell.
Ivan Rogers offers overwhelming Scriptural evidence to support the assertion that redemption is for everyone, from the worst of us to the best, and is given unconditionally, even to those who would reject it. This work is presented in a spirit of love and humility, with a healthy sprinkling of humor to make this a most delightful reading and learning experience.