Universalism: Hopeful or otherwise?Dusty will probably roll his eyes when he reads this, as I've assumed the role of a "hopeful universalist" for well over a year now. Some of you know, my current situation is one of very little inherent academic stimulation, as I've been working an extremely blue-collar job as a maintenance technician at an apartment complex. This job, temporary as it may be, has brought me into contact with some really raw people, and has caused me to reevaluate my theology of salvation. Here's where I waveringly stand. (And I'm the type of guy who loves feedback which challenge/oppose my views... so go ahead).
Let's just simplify my universalist views into a neat, 3-pronger. First, how can I choose salvation, when I didn't choose my sinful nature. Romans 5:12 talks about how sin entered the world through one man, and thus through one man, salvation entered the world. It seems incongruent to say, "Adam sinned, therefore I have a sinful nature," but also "salvation comes only to those who say 'Yes' to Jesus's gift of life." If Christ really is the second Adam (that is, the reversal of the curse), everyone must be covered in this grace.
Second, lets think eschatologically. Can two separate realms exist eternally? Do not even Calvinist and Arminianist theology hold to the understanding that God will obliterate Satan and evil in the end of all things? Under this belief, one must either believe God will redeem all people (eventually), or that He annihilates all evil, including the condemned. mmmm... anihilationism.... so dark.
Third, lets play the emotional card. There's nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Jesus... I believe this applies for all of God's children, whether walking in hope or hopelessness. If God truly did love the world (nevermind Robert H. Gundry's poor exegesis on the Gospel of John), He wouldn't allow us to terminate ourselves out of ignorance. My mom told me the other day that she lets her kids decide their own path (which I believe is a very loving gesture). She added, that she would only intervene if the child were drowning in their own bad choices. I believe this is also a loving gesture. God allows us to walk either with or without him on earth. He allows us to choose to walk in His ways, which are higher, or to walk in darkness. Hell, I believe, is a state of hopelessness found here on earth, where Satan has control (though limited). Would a loving parent intervene when his child is wandering into traffic? I think so, and I believe God, who wants none to perish, will have that final word.