Tragedy or Good News?

The story of the Titanic is a tragedy. As much as we have memorialized and even glorified its memory, the fact remains that the majority of people on board the Titanic lost their lives when it sank. Despite those who were saved, very little about the story of the Titanic could be called good. It was tragic.

My whole life I believed the gospel was really a tragedy. Although I called it good news, the fact remains I believed the majority of people, the vast majority of people, would be lost forever. Everyone could have been saved but I believed God only chose to save a very few; or, I believed God wanted to save everyone but could only successfully reach a very small percentage. Maybe Jesus’ death was sufficient for all but it was effective for very few. The gospel was a tragedy.

Over the past few years however, I have come to believe that the gospel is actually good news, that God’s purpose and intent, and that which He will accomplish, is the salvation of everyone. Jesus’ death is not only sufficient but ultimately effective for everyone. God is working to reconcile all things back to Himself. He wants it to happen, He is able to make it happen, so I believe He will do it. It is not a tragedy; it is good news.

Over the next number of weeks and months I plan to write on and discuss this subject, writing in one page segments and creating about 2 minute videos. I am not necessarily trying to convince you that God will save everyone, but I think this subject deserves some discussion and somehow I find myself with the will to discuss it. I would love for you to discuss it with me. Let’s wrestle with the Scriptures and ask the hard questions. Let’s acknowledge our own limitations and be okay with what we don’t know. Let’s trust in more than just the correctness of our beliefs, but in the God who goes beyond them.

For today, let me briefly say a couple things foundational to the discussion.

First, in large part I am going to call this belief “ultimate redemption,” although you could also use the label “universalism.” For me, the two terms are interchangeable, but I hesitate to overuse “universalism” because people seem to define that word in different ways. Some assume “universalism” means people can get to God by any path, that somehow Jesus and His death are not the only way. While perhaps there are some forms of universalism that believe all paths lead to God, I do not. I believe people are saved only through and because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. To me, universalism makes Jesus more necessary, not less.

Second, I acknowledge a part of me that says along with Jesus’ disciple Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” If you can show me a better option than Jesus, I’m all ears. If you can give me a better explanation for the existence of the universe, for the relationship of God to humanity, for hope in life after death, I will listen. If you can show me a road that has a fuller life than the one I’m on, I’m open. I haven’t found it. Every other belief system comes up short; every other path seems less rewarding, less fulfilling, less meaningful. In a relationship with God through Jesus I have found joy. By trusting in what He has done for me I have found hope. By following what He says is best I have found purpose and peace in life. Among the options out there, I say along with Peter that Jesus has the words of eternal life. I look forward to pursuing Him with you.

Find me here, on Facebook, Twitter, and a few other places I’ll add as we go along.

Check out the Original Manifesto page on the website, or please watch the first video, which reiterates some of the things written here. Please subscribe to my email list, or drop me a note through the contact form! None of us were meant to struggle alone through the questions of life so I’m glad we can go through it all together.

To begin, let’s acknowledge our starting point in approaching the Scriptures.

Next time.

Until then, remember:

The gospel is not a tragedy.

The gospel is really good news, really.

Thanks.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks Jeff for this opportunity to be a part of this discussion. A few months back, I can’t remember if it was late winter or early spring , I read a passage in the Bible that had me asking the question -perhaps we are all saved and we just don’t know it yet? I can’t remember which passage it was unfortunately. After checking out your website I think this is the opportunity that I was looking for to explore that question. So thank you.

  2. Hi Jeff, great post! I will be following your blog and – as I really do always try to do – i will read with a Biblical open mind. I know that we all view the Bible through our background, our Christian world view and our bias……but I will continue to try to read with an open mind. 🙂
    I love to see you wrestle with scripture and share with others. As do you, I think truth is never too scary to ponder and God is okay with our really big questions. AND the gospel IS good news.

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