Answer: We ought to follow Jesus, first of all, because it is the right and good thing to do. Second, that we might enjoy a purpose in our existence, an abundant life, a freedom from the tyranny of evil and an escape from the mundane offerings of this world.
Answer: See the answer to the first objection.
Answer: Such people are unworthy of the Christian name. They obey God as slaves under the lash, not as children seeking to live in the Father’s love. I refuse to allow them to drive my interpretation of human destiny.
Answer: No. The wages of sin is death — we’ll all make that payment. But if God wishes to pardon all, what slight is that to His justice? I am commanded by Christ to forgive all who have offended me. Is that an injustice? If not, then why would it be unjust for God to do exactly what He expects of me?
Answer: Yes, but the Bible also includes language of universal inclusiveness. Paul said that “every knee will bow” and “every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Answer: A coerced confession would not be “to the glory of God the Father.”
Answer: Evidently not. Only a few centuries after Christ, we have records of many scholarly Christians who spoke the New Testament language, used the same “exclusionary” and “condemnatory” phrases found in its pages — yet, they were open universalists.
Answer: The Psalmist wrote, “All flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.” (Psalm 145:21) How much plainer can you get than that? The same kind of language occurs in the New Testament. It is true, however, that the Bible is not a universalist catechism or primer. The latter Scriptures give us a glimpse into the faith of the early church, but not a full explanation of everything Christians believed from the ground up. The New Testament is concerned mainly with (1) the proclamation of Jesus as Messiah, (2) the proclamation of the long-awaited kingdom of God, (3) the healing of problems in the early churches. It does not answer all our eschatological queries with unmistakable plainness. Besides that, Paul tends to be difficult to understand — even another biblical author thought so. (2 Pet. 3:15-16)
Answer: I may be. But a thing is not false simply because we would like it to be true. The Christian message is supposed to be good news. Why not embrace the best news possible?
Answer: Well, then I’m wrong. Any person with an ounce of humility will consider this a real possibility about a given belief. No one is infallible. But if I am wrong, I would rather err on the side of mercy than wrath. I would rather be guilty of making God too loving than too condemning.
Answer: Jesus told us to forgive everyone who has sinned against us. Does that minimize the seriousness of sin?
Answer: It is within the power of God to punish these offenses without inflicting either eternal torment or annihilation.
Answer: Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. That was the belief of Paul.
Answer: No. Some may have to face a fearful judgment on the other side of the grave and endure some retribution for what they have done. The universalist hope is that they will be reconciled eventually, that God may be “all in all.”
Answer: No. It is biblically obscure, but not anti-biblical. Early Christians practiced a proxy baptism for the dead (1 Cor. 15:29). They also believed that after his crucifixion, Jesus preached to the dead imprisoned in hades (1 Pet. 3:19-20; 4:3-5). The Bible never tells us that it is “too late” for any change once we have died (contrary to the warnings of so many evangelists).
Answer: To say that God has the power to do something is not the same thing as saying that He WILL do it. For example, John the Baptist declared that “God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Matt. 3:10) No one expected that to happen, of course.
Jesus' utterance is part of a send-off to his missionaries who were ready to preach the kingdom of God and face severe opposition. The point was this: Do not be consumed by the fear of men, but instead fear the one who truly holds the power of life and death. It need not be viewed as a definitive statement of “what happens when non-Christians die.”
Answer: I can’t help that. People live carelessly under the threat of endless torments, too.
Answer: Some universalists believe in the immortality of the soul (as do many non-universalists). Some don’t. My opinion is this: The eternal life to come will be the result of the resurrection, the gift of Christ — not some undying component in the human personality.
Answer: Majority vote does not determine truth. More often, it’s the other way around.
Answer: He surely must. Jesus told us to love all people, even our enemies, and to do good toward them. God’s love is perfect and, therefore, must surpass ours — not fall below it.
Answer: Why would it? Generally speaking, a big party is better than a small one.