Thursday, March 19, 2015

Is God Creation's Biggest Loser?

By George W. Sarris

Even asking a question like that would almost seem blasphemous . . . if it weren't for the fact most Christians have been told that’s what we’re supposed to believe!
It’s not usually expressed that plainly, of course. The preferred statement is something like,
Of course God is a winner! He wins by defeating all His enemies and casting them into hell where they will spend all eternity separated from Him!
But what is that really saying?
God loses . . . forever . . . most of those He originally created in His image!
If a manufacturing company had to throw away the majority of its products because they were defective, would it be considered a successful company?
Does God ultimately “throw away” most of those He created?
Maybe Not!
Interestingly, the Christian Church has not always taught that God ultimately loses most of His creation. In fact, for the first 500 years after Christ, many of the most prominent Christian leaders believed that God would ultimately win in the end!
In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul explained that just as God created everything and everyone in heaven and on earth through Christ, so He will ultimately reconcile to Himself everything and everyone in heaven and on earth through Christ.
Even St. Augustine, whose teaching about the eternity of hell became the dominant view in later centuries, acknowledged that in his day “some – indeed very many – deplore the notion of the eternal punishment of the damned and their interminable and perpetual misery.
These early Christians believed that God doesn’t defeat evil by simply shutting it up in a corner of His creation and leaving it there forever – like some kind of cosmic graveyard keeping sinners imprisoned for all eternity. Instead, they believed He will destroy evil by transforming the hearts of evil-doers – ultimately making them into those who love goodness. At the very end of time, God will actually get everyone He created into heaven.
If my web survey is any indication, there may be a lot of people today who agree with these early Christians.
What Do You Think?
Can God really be that great? Is God’s grace really that powerful? Does God’s work in the hearts of men and women actually extend into the ages to come?
That’s a powerful thought . . . about an immeasurably powerful God! With beliefs like that, no wonder the early Christians ended up taking over the Roman Empire!
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Eric McCarty said...

Great post, George! This is from Thomas Allin's Christ Triumphant -

And more than this, we are altogether apt to forget another vital point, to forget whose the loss is, if any one soul perishes? it is the man's own loss, says our popular creed. But is this all? No, a thousand times no. It is God's loss: it is the Father Who loses His child. The straying sheep of the parable is the Great Shepherd's loss: the missing coin is the Owner's loss. In this very fact lies the pledge that He will seek on and on till He find it. For only think of the value He sets on each soul. He has stamped each in His own image: has conferred on each a share of His own immortality - of Himself: do but realize these things; put them into plain words till you come thoroughly to believe them; and you must see how impossible it becomes to credit that unworthy theology, which tells you that such a Father can ever permit the work of His own fingers, His own offspring, to perish finally.

George W. Sarris said...

Thank you for sharing that, Eric. That is so very well stated!