Will all things be restored?


In this Sunday’s message (Oct. 8, 2023), Brother Dave responds to the second part of a congregant’s question for our series, Revangelical: Proclaiming the Good News after Deconstruction—namely, “Where’s the line between Christianity, universalism, and other religions and worldviews as far as salvation and heaven and hell?” He begins with Jesus’s parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt. 16:19–31), which seems to threaten eternal punishment. He then discusses three views about the afterlife (or after-death): eternalism (infernalism), conditionalism (annihilationism), and restorationism (universalism). Drawing from passages in Matthew’s Gospel and Paul’s letters, he suggests that the best way to make sense of the entirety of biblical teaching is this: “For those who die resistant to the love of God revealed in Christ, God’s holy love and glory will burn like the fires of Gehenna in the age to come (aionion) until ultimately Sin and Death is destroyed and everyone (panta) is reconciled to God at the great restoration of all (pan) things.”


To go deeper on this question, check out the following resources:


David C. Cramer, “How to Talk about the Afterlife” (video)

Keith DeRose, “Universalism and the Bible: The Really Good News” (online article)

Gregory MacDonald, “Can an Evangelical be a Universalist?” (online article)

Gregory MacDonald, The Evangelical Universalist, 2nd ed. (book)