Monday, November 25, 2013

Would Discovery of Aliens Destroy Christianity?

Aliens or extraterrestrial life is not an utterly unreasonable topic. Although every Christian may not believe in the prospect of discovery of alien life outside planet earth, all Christians should be in a position to offer reasonable responses to honest questions. To begin with, the following information about aliens is in our domain:

(1) Many scientists confidently predict the existence of aliens. The most recent discovery of Kepler 78b, an earthlike exoplanet (not conducive to life), announced by NASA1 in October 2013 lends credibility to the hope that there could be similar habitable planets that sustains life.  

(2) Some believe that aliens are kept in “Area 51” – a highly classified sector in the South West Nevada, USA.2 A hotly contested video of an alien being interrogated is available.3

(3) “Allen Array,” an array of small dishes for the purpose of simultaneous surveys for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) projects, funded by Paul Allen the co-founder of Microsoft, is in operation.4

(4) In 2008, The Vatican proclaimed that it is ok for Catholics to believe in Aliens.5 Now it is [wildly] speculated that Pope Francis could soon announce the presence of extraterrestrial life.6

(5) Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas, in the 13th century, alluded to the possibility of extra terrestrial life.7

Disregarding the above without adequate thought is to remain in an ignorant bubble. It’s a foregone conclusion that discovery of aliens would impact human life, just as much as a new neighbor impacting our societal life.

But would the discovery of alien life impact Christianity? If so, to what extent? How would a Christian rationally and reasonably answer a question that discovery of alien life would destroy Christianity?

One basic presupposition relevant to this essay is that the aliens, if they exist, are ontologically similar to human beings – with a soul and a highly developed brain for articulate speech and abstract reasoning. This also implies that aliens are not similar to animals.

Plausibility of Alien Life
Some Christian thinkers believe that there cannot be alien life, on account of two reasons: 8

(A) The Bible does not say that there is life outside of earth.

(B) It is impossible for Christ to die again for the fallen extra terrestrials.

One can argue that postulating the nonexistence of alien life on the premise of Bible’s silence on alien life could disprove Christianity through the following sequence of thoughts:

(1) The Bible does not mention the existence of aliens.

(2) If the Bible does not mention aliens, there should be no aliens.

(3) If aliens are discovered, the presence of aliens would entail that Bible is incorrect.

(4) Therefore, Christianity is a false religion (since Christianity’s sole foundation is the Bible).

This argument states that if aliens are discovered, then Christianity would be rendered false, since the Bible does not state the existence of alien life.

The premise (2) of the above argument could be disputed. The Bible is not intended to be an all-inclusive dictionary or an encyclopedia of the Universe. The Bible reveals everything necessary for man to coexist with or without God. Therefore the Bible need not be held responsible for the statement of existence or nonexistence of anything that is irrelevant to man’s spirituality.

On the other hand, the Bible states that God is sovereign. If God is sovereign, HE can do anything without contradicting HIS nature. It does not seem plausible that the creation of aliens would contradict God’s nature. So God’s sovereignty entails possibility of God’s creation of life outside earth. The Bible teaches that God is the creator. Since every effect has a cause, and if alien life is discovered, God should have created the alien life.

If alien life is discovered, why would God not state HIS creation of alien life to man? The Bible reveals everything necessary for man's spirituality (salvation), so the Bible’s silence on alien life could be minimally explained on the basis that God may not have considered it necessary or relevant to state the existence of alien life to mankind. (This is similar to God not revealing the exact time of Christ’s second coming. HE didn’t reveal that piece of information to us because HE didn’t consider it necessary for our knowledge or salvation.) Alternatively God would not have revealed anything about alien life in the Bible, since aliens are virtually non-existent.

Salvation of the Alien Life
If aliens do exist would there be a different plan of salvation for them?

Salvation presupposes sin and a soul. So are aliens fallen beings as humans? Total lack of any credible background knowledge with reference to their physical presence (evidence) renders arguments within the theme of salvation to be meaningless and purposeless. So on one hand, it would be wise not to argue from silence (‘argumentum e silentio’).

On the other hand, their sinfulness need not create any problems for Historic Christianity, for the Triune God in HIS love and foreknowledge has created a program of salvation for sinfulness. Since God is love, HE will offer freedom to anyone to either believe or reject HIM. Those who believe in the Triune God will live with HIM forever, and those who reject God will live outside of God forever. This could apply to alien life as well.

Some may ask what if aliens find nail prints in Christ’s hand in heaven. Perfect knowledge will be the hallmark of our heavenly existence (1 Corinthians 13: 9-12). Since perfect knowledge eliminates any doubt or deficiency of knowledge, aliens finding nail prints in Christ’s hand in heaven would not have any effect on them or anyone.

However, the possibility of aliens finding nail prints in Christ’s hand presupposes a different program of salvation for aliens. But there need not be another program for salvation when belief in the Triune God is adequate for the salvation for everyone. Even if the aliens are created ontologically different (different in ‘essence’ or ‘being.’), belief in God would be adequate for their salvation.

It does seem implausible for Christ to die again to save the alien life. Christ added human nature to HIS divine nature and remains permanently incarnate as a man (Colossians 2: 9), so Christ dying another death in the nature of aliens seems implausible. But faith in the God of the Bible is the only way to heaven, so we believe that God would have revealed HIMSELF in an adequate manner to aliens, for them to believe in HIM.

Evangelization of Alien Life
What if aliens arrive with a notion of a different God? This seems to be the simplest of all problems to contend with. We do have many different notions of God in today’s world, and these notions emerge from various vantage points. A Hindu’s notion of God is different (pantheism), a Jew or a Muslim’s notion of God is different (Monotheism), a Christian’s notion of God is different (Trinitarian Monotheism), and an Atheist’s notion of God is also different (no God). If the aliens arrive with a different notion of God, we need to simply add another notion of God to these prevalent notions. But the truth of the God of the Bible is irreversible and immutable (would never change).

If aliens are discovered, Christians should focus on reaching out to them. If God provides us the alien life, HE will also provide ways and means to reaching out to them with an endeavor to make them disciples of the Triune God.

Before we conclude, we should be aware that the exact twin of the sun is yet to be discovered. Astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross states that unless an exact twin of the sun is discovered, we do not need to believe in the likelihood of life outside earth. He also postulates that possible alien life should be 500 light years away, which is a distance almost impossible to traverse in the interstellar space. So we could reasonably posit that the odds of discovering alien life is extremely low.

Christianity is the most scrutinized or critiqued religion; there is no denying this fact. That the Bible continues to outlive its pallbearers is another fact. If nothing has destroyed Christianity in 2000+ years, be confident that nothing will ever destroy Christianity in another 2000+ years, for the God of Christianity is the truth.

Once again let us remember that alien life is totally in the realm of imagination and prediction. As much as we try to answer honest questions, we should remember to treat abstract as abstract and not as concrete. Our Triune God will indeed guide and bless our thoughts and deeds, Amen.


1 &

2 Area 51 has been off public realm since 1950. Activities performed before 1974 has now been declassified. It is reported that U2 reconnaissance aircraft was tested here and that the U2 was responsible for half of UFO sightings in this vicinity.






 “They contend that Vatican astronomers have already found evidence of extraterrestrial life, much closer to earth. Putnam and Horn claim that the Vatican’s astronomical telescope (Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope) located at the Mt Graham Observatory, Arizona, is tracking something that has yet to be announced to the world. They quote from Father Malachi Martin, another Jesuit, who cryptically revealed something that was being tracked by Vatican astronomers that had great significance. In a 1997 interview on the popular radio program Coast to Coast AM, Martin said:
‘Because the mentality…amongst those who [are] at the…highest levels of Vatican administration and geopolitics, know…what’s going on in space, and what’s approaching us, could be of great import in the next five years, ten years.’” (



8 states that alien life is unlikely for the Bible doesn’t say so and it is impossible for Christ to die again to redeem fallen ET ( (



For a rational look at a Christian and a scientific perspective on UFOs, please read “Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men” by Dr. Hugh Ross. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Knowledge To Overcome Satan

        To overcome the demonic, an understanding of Satan’s character is in order.

First, Satan and his evil demonic entourage are created (Cf. Psalm 148: 2,5; Colossians 1: 16) and real (Zechariah 3: 1-2; Job 1: 6; Matthew 8: 16; Luke 11: 15; Acts 19: 12; Revelation 16: 14) spiritual beings. The Bible speaks of Satan and his entourage of being real, as it does of God, Jesus, Disciples of Christ etc. If Satan is real, we should hold to the following truths:
(1) Satan is not a myth (Liberal Christian theologian Rudolph Bultmann claimed that Satan and Hell are myths.1).
(2) Satan is not to be depersonalized. (Christian existentialist theologian Paul Tillich depersonalized Satan, claiming that the ‘demonic’ is a characterization of powerful social forces and structures.2)
Second, demons can:
(1) …inflict disease (Matthew 12: 22; Mark 1: 26, 9:17, 20, 25; Luke 9: 39; Acts 8: 7.
(2) …oppose spiritual progress of believers (Ephesians 6: 12) through lies (John 8: 44), deception (Revelation 12: 9), murder (Psalm 106: 37), and blind people to gospel (2 Corinthians 4: 4; Galatians 4: 8). The demons also use temptation, doubt, guilt, fear, confusion, sickness, envy, slander, pride to prevent Christians from being effective witnesses.
(3) …observe the occurrences and derive conclusions from those observations. So the demons know our preferences, private sins etc by virtue of them being territorial (cf. 1 Peter 5:8).
Third, are demons the sole root cause for all the sins of the world? Yes and No! Yes, because we are tempted by the devil. ‘No’ because we have a role to play – our freewill (sinful nature) manipulated by the demonic leads us to sin.

How does human freewill and the demonic play a role in sin or merely getting us into troublesome situations with life? A simple example to illustrate the unholy alliance between man and Satan to cause trouble in man’s life could be taken from the perspective of health. Health is a desired goal of human life, but sickness, resulting from workaholism, conflicts with health (unhealthy and untimely eating resulting in sickness). If we are workaholics and consequently lose our health, we are to be blamed. A possible resolution to this problem is to take intentional steps to overcome our health problems through proper lifestyle. These intentional resolutions are in our domain. The act of being a workaholic and failure to take intentional decisions towards wellness is man’s shortcoming. It’s evident that man has an unquestionable role to play in sin and troubles. Therefore man cannot say that all his problems are because of Satan, implying he is innocent of any transgression.

Of course the Satan plays a role in this situation when he dissuades us from persisting with our intentional resolutions by casting doubts and fear into our minds. “Don’t you have a task to complete before you exit?” could be his simple yet tempting remark into our minds. When we succumb to this satanic temptation, we stay back at work, and are delayed to meet our other obligations. So we remain workaholics and continue to lose our health. This is a case in point of Satan ruining man with his doubts.

Similarly, if a person is dejected about an unforeseen suffering in his life (death of a loved one or unpredicted loss of job), then he could indulge in alcohol. Dejection can be dealt without resorting to alcohol. The permanent cure for dejection is the Lord, so one ought to approach God - ‘throne of grace’ - for deliverance from dejection / sadness (Matthew 11: 28). Instead, if the person approaches Satan - ‘the throne of grave’ (Satan in the mask of alcohol) - he will continue to plunge into more darkness, despair and sin. Satan brings crisis into human life, but man ought to decide whether he will be with God or with Satan.

Some may argue that Satan’s ignorance of our thoughts is a sufficient reason to believe his impotency to transmit thoughts into human mind. Alternatively, if Satan does not know our thoughts, how can he transmit thoughts into our minds? This by itself is not a tenable thought.

Imagine two friends in conversation. Neither of them knows the thoughts of the other. But both can transmit thoughts into the other. For example, one person may inform his friend that he watched a captivating movie. The statement “watched a captivating movie,” in actuality, is a transmitted thought about that movie. Prior to the conversation, the thought that the movie was captivating was nonexistent in the mind of the friend. After the conversation, the friend leaves with a thought that the movie is captivating. Therefore, ignorance of another’s thought is not a sufficient reason to be unable to transmit thoughts into another mind.

The episode between the serpent and Eve (Genesis 3) is an affirmation to Satan’s communication with man. Although Satan does not know the thoughts of man, he can communicate his thoughts into the mind of man (John 13:2). Satan can communicate to us directly, as a good angel communicates to man (Luke 2:10: if a good angel can communicate to man, the evil angel can also communicate with man). Satan can communicate to us through others.

So sin/evil is caused by the devil and he causes it either independently (Job 1: 19, 2: 7) or by manipulating man’s freewill. However, while we overcome Satan, we ought to be sure to discern the cause for our suffering (sin).

Blaming Satan and focusing solely on him is not always the best remedy to overcome Satan. The best remedy is to properly diagnose the cause of the problem. We need to simultaneously overcome our innate problems and Satan. Satan is the primary cause of sins and troubles but we do have a role to play and that we ought not to forget.

We are now aware that Satan and his evil angels are real and factual. Depersonalizing and/or thinking of Satan and his angels as myths are false beliefs.3 Therefore we cannot negate the reality of spiritual warfare. When Satan is real, he is in constant conflict with God and HIS children. The danger in negating spiritual warfare is to focus on a non-existent cause and will result in continuance of pain. In other words, headache ought to be treated with medicine(s) that cures headache and not a medicine that cures Hepatitis.

How then do we overcome Satan? A concise yet an adequate solution is found in Ephesians 6: 10-11, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil…” (NASB, Emphasis mine).  

If we are to be strong in the Lord, it is mandatory for us to remain in Christ always. We should be equipped with the following:

(1) Remaining in Christ includes learning God’s Word. While learning God’s Word, we earnestly seek the Spirit of God to illumine our hearts, so that we remain within the confines of truth. It is common knowledge that Christ refuted the evil one with the Word of God. Our response ought to be similar.

(2) Remaining in Christ includes prayer. Praying continually and acting in the power of God defuses demonic situations (cf. Mark 9: 29).

Learning, applying God’s Word and remaining in prayer enables one to discern between the right and the wrong and good and the evil (cf. 1 John 4: 1-6). These are aspects that should be absolutely governed by the Holy Spirit. The believer develops his discernment as he grows in the Lord (cf. Deuteronomy 28:9; Colossians 1: 9-10).

There is however one crucial aspect that Christians normally tend to overlook, which is the mind. The Satan strives to gain supremacy over the Christian’s mind. The Christian’s mind is where spiritual battles are won and lost. Romans 12:2 says that the renewal of our mind and our spiritual transformation are intricately connected. If our minds are not renewed through proper worship, our spiritual transformation will be delayed and harmful.

How then do we renew our minds? The sole possessions of our mind are God and HIS Word – HIS truth, HIS righteousness, the gospel, faith in HIM, and the knowledge of our salvation (cf. Luke 11: 21-26; Ephesians 6: 14-18). Very minimally, we are to reject thoughts that are from Satan and retain thoughts from God. We recognize satanic thoughts for they act against God and HIS Word. So we take every thought and commit it to the authority of Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 10: 5).

Philippians 4: 8-9 offers a wise conclusion to overcome Satan, “Here is a last piece of advice. If you believe in goodness and if you value the approval of God, fix your minds on the things which are holy and right and pure and beautiful and good. Model your conduct on what you have learned from me, on what I have told you and shown you, and you will find the God of peace will be with you” (J.B Phillips New Testament). Amen.

1 Rudolf Bultmann, “New Testament and Mythology,” in Kerygma and Myth, p5.
2 Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, vol 2, p27.
3 Removing Satan from reality poses many complications (e.g. how does one explain the cause of sin / moral evils?). Many scholars have postulated theories of depersonalization (Tillich) and demythologization (Bultmann), but each of these theories has serious pitfalls and fails to reasonably defend itself. Bultmannian program of demythologization, although replaced neoorthodoxy, is a constricted view that failed to defend itself against the likes of theologian Ernst Käsemann (a pupil of Bultmann) and the biblical testimony (E.g. Demythologizing Christ’s resurrection contradicts 1 Corinthians 15:12-19). Bultmann’s personal thought, words and world, dethrones God from HIS Word and enthrones the perennially sinful man’s subjective thoughts into God’s Word. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Devil is God’s Devil (Overcoming Satan)

            Reformed theologian Dr. G.C. Berkouwer said, “There can be no sound theology without a sound demonology.” It is imperative to understand Satan if we are to biblically live our life in Christ. Abundant life in Christ is lived in confidence but without fear. Satan is “the most crafty and subtle of creatures, He is the quintessential con artist working his scams via camouflage,”1 said Pastor Erwin Lutzer. The fear of Satan resides in many Christians, but a true Christian life cannot be lived under such constraints.

            Christians believe in the reality of evil. Evil is neither a myth nor an illusion. Sometimes Christians fear Satan so much that they are more preoccupied with Satan than with God.

Culture often terrorizes people through its narrative of evil. Evil eye, 2 an intentional or innocent look which is believed to bring a curse or bad luck on a successful person, is one of the manifestations of evil in certain cultures. This evil is seemingly warded off by a ritual.
There are Satan worshippers as well. Apparently, a primitive tribe in India is said to possess magical powers that levitates them by defying gravity, to sit on the leaf of a standing banana tree, to guard their village against enemies. They are devoted practitioners of black magic. Many Christians are deeply fearful of such black magic practitioners.
A Christian will only live out his life victoriously when he understands the inherent attributes of God and Satan. The nature of relationship between God and Satan will also throw sufficient light into a Christian mind so to understand his position in God.
God is uncaused; he is not a created being. In the very first verse, the Bible says, “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1). This statement presupposes God’s eternal existence (Revelation 1:8). God is present everywhere (Psalm 139:7-12). HE is all-powerful (Matthew 19:26), and all-knowing (Hebrews 4:13). HE is God Almighty who has complete dominion over everything. Everything does not exclude anything, Satan included! God is the Holy One. God is good, gracious, loving, just, and merciful.
God created angels (cf. Genesis 1: 31), of which there are good and evil. The good angels are loyal to God; the evil angels oppose God, trying to destroy HIS work. Satan was one of God’s creations. But Satan rebelled desiring to dethrone God to set himself as the Most High, so God judged him (Isaiah 14:12-15). Satan sinned because of his pride to dethrone God. Satan was the originator of sin, so he enticed mankind to sin.
Satan is the evil one; love, justice, mercy and grace are not in him. Satan “masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Satan’s goal is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Satan is a liar. Satan is not omnipresent, omnipotent or even omniscient (Isaiah 46: 9). Satan does not know the thoughts of our mind, let alone our future. God alone knows everything. Satan is a very limited being.
The Bible explains a few crucial facts about the relationship between God and Satan:

(1) Satan has been judged by God for eternal destruction (Jude 1:6, Revelation 20:10).

(2) Satan is unable to perform deeds outside of God’s will (Job 1 & 2).

(3) Satan can only function within the boundary defined by God.
Thus God is in absolute control over Satan. Martin Luther aptly summarized the relationship between God and Satan as, “the devil is God’s devil.”
A true believer understands his God and his enemy well. The factual understanding that the loving God absolutely controls Satan infuses a great confidence into a Christian’s life. As the Christian grows in the Lord, he grows in confidence in God.
Having said this, it’s also a fact that man is created lower than angels:

(1) We do not have the ability to appear and disappear as the angels do (Luke 2:9-15).

(2) We live in the physical realm whereas the angels live in the higher spiritual realm (cf. Job 1:6) and can make their appearance in the physical realm.

(3) Man does not have the power to inflict sickness upon his fellow men but the angels have the power to inflict sickness upon mankind (E.g. Job).
God’s creational plan for mankind may have been that of subordination to the angelic beings but does this subordination extend into our existence? This is where a true believer’s factual understanding of his position from the Scriptures separates him from a nominal believer.

Apostle Paul writing to the church in Ephesus asserts that the faithful in Christ are blessed “with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). A believer is blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, not some. A true believer understands God’s sovereignty and his own position in Christ. Through his understanding of God’s sovereignty, the true Christian holds to his faith and hope in Christ when he faces trials (Matthew 7:24-25; Job 2:7-10). Because he understands God’s love, a true Christian remains in Christ and bears good fruit (John 15:4). A true believer is fully aware that he is seated with God in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6; cf. Ephesians 1:21). He is seated with Christ and above all rule and authority, power and dominion. His life is prayer-filled, for prayer is crucial in overcoming Satan (Mark 9: 29). Thus a true believer lives a victorious life, not a life subjugated by fear, but in absolute dependency on the Triune God.
A true believer knows he will be protected by God always. He knows that he will live and die for Christ. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego responded to King Nebuchadnezzar by saying, “…If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18). Life or death is immaterial to a true believer since he is in Christ. Material world is immaterial to him. He knows that the triune God has blessed him with an incomparably great power and protection from all harms and dangers of the Satan.

In fact, Satan was defeated even before his creation. This is the grand exhibition of God’s knowledge and incomparable power. God sent a divine being, an angel or the Lord himself, to rescue Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the blazing furnace. The Bible is replete with instances of God’s people overcoming Satan’s works. The greatest of all, the Lord’s victory over sin and death through his resurrection and ascension, assures every true believer that they are safe and victorious in God’s presence.
God protects us mysteriously yet marvelously. Rev. Billy Graham narrates the instance in the life of Rev. John G. Paton, a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. “Hostile natives surrounded his mission headquarters one night, intent on burning the Patons out and killing them. John Paton and his wife prayed all during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see the attackers unaccountably leave. They thanked God for delivering them.
A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Jesus Christ, and Mr. Paton, remembering what had happened, asked the chief what had kept him and his men from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, “Who were all those men you had with you there?” The missionary answered, “There were no men there; just my wife and I.” The chief argued that they had seen many men standing guard — hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords in their hands. They seemed to circle the mission station so that the natives were afraid to attack. Only then did Mr. Paton realize that God had sent his angels to protect them.”3 The missionary did not see the angels since he was deeply engrossed in prayer and the Lord delivered him. The incomparable power of the Lord protects a true Christian.
God desires that we live a victorious life. The Bible screams that “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31). This was experienced by Rev. Paton on that night the natives surrounded them. Every child of God listed in the Bible experienced God’s protection and overcame the evil one. When Christ indwells in us, we have the incomparable power to be victorious.
But we must fight Satan’s deception. One of Satan’s subtle deceptions is to get the believers to doubt God’s presence. It’s at this point one’s faith suffers. Sickness, sudden death, financial loss may plant seeds of doubt in God. In such instances we may wonder where God is when we are hurting. During moments of trials, we should pray to God to increase our faith (Luke 17: 5).
Prophet Elijah had his own share of troubles, but he remained in God. Job was inflicted with the death of his loved ones and also with painful illness, but he never lost his faith in God. Apostle Paul was flogged and imprisoned, but he did not lose faith in God. The disciples of Christ remained strong in their faith despite all their troubles. Why?

Having experienced God in their lives, they never doubted God’s presence even though they experienced pain the Satan was allowed to bring into their lives. However, they were saved by God’s incomparable power. None were lost. Satan may kill our body, if God permits, but God will never allow the eternal destruction of those who believe in HIM. So why fear when God is here? Amen. 


1 Erwin W. Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise, 10.

3 Billy Graham, Angels: God’s Secret Agents, 2-3.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dangers and Consequences of Christian Universalism: Cultic Status & Hellfire (Part 2)

Can a loving God send people to hell?
Does God take pleasure in the death of the wicked? No (Ezekiel 33: 11). Does God desire that all be saved? Yes (1 Timothy 2: 4; 2 Peter 3.9). Has God done everything for man to believe in HIM? Yes. So, can a loving God send people to hell? Yes! But the question is not fully correct! God does NOT send people to hell. Instead, people choose hell. C.S Lewis said, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.” 1 Another perspective is from the Christian analytic philosopher William Lane Craig, “The exercise of saving faith is not a work we perform for salvation, but merely the allowing of the Holy Spirit to do His work in us. Far from making unreasonable expectations, God is ready to equip anyone for salvation. We have only not to resist.” 2 Man decides his eternal destination, and God allows it.

Rev. John Stott and a few other Christian scholars endorse(d) the position of Annihilationism – a next of kin to Universalism. This position asserts that God will annihilate those who do not believe in Christ or that God will annihilate all of mankind after death. This position lends credence to immorality. A subscriber to annihilationism can think, “I can do anything, even evil, for I will be annihilated as the others.” Volitional justification of immorality in any form is an assault against God and HIS Word. Annihilationism reduces mankind’s purpose of living to a temporal realm as against the eternal life taught by the Bible. Annihilationism opposes the teaching of eternal life from the Bible.

A flavor of annihilationism that subscribes to annihilation of all mankind violates Bible. For instance, the believer of Christ longs for the Second Advent (coming) of the Lord for he confidently hopes to live with HIS maker forever and ever (1 John 2: 17; cf. Revelation 22: 20 et al.). Annihilationism deprives a believer of Christ of that glorious hope in the Lord, and Christ is unnecessary if annihilationism is factual.

Annihilationism also deprives justice to man. If a man is convicted of theft, he may be sentenced to a few months to a few years depending on the intensity of his crime. But if man kills another man, then he is imprisoned for life or executed. So a pattern is established in justice – unauthorized plunder of another’s wealth results in a lesser sentence, whereas unauthorized plunder of another’s life justifies life imprisonment or death of the murderer, which is a greater sentence. If a murderer walks away scott-free, all sane minds will term this decision as injustice. Justice is determined by the enormity of the assault, which in turn determines the degree of punishment.

Similarly, since God is infinitely holy and just, any sin against HIM deserves an infinite punishment. But annihilation does not offer an infinite punishment to an evil man. Positing annihilationism eliminates justice. An unjust god is not a good god. Since God, by definition, ought to be good, annihilationism implies a godless universe. But the Christian Universalist proclaims that God exists, so his doctrine of annihilationism is a contradictory and a self-defeating doctrine. Therefore, annihilationism is also not a wholly tenable truth claim.

Uncertainty (Partial Agnosticism)
Some Christians resort to uncertainty and proclaim that God can do anything (implying that HE can save all). First, if God can do anything, then God can create another God or God can lie or even commit adultery. If Christians hold to a contradictory view of God, they are affirming a mystical God – a God who exists only in the subjective, fanciful and mystical imaginations of these men, for God cannot contradict HIS nature.

Second, if God can do anything, then heaven and hell can also be true. But this is the very claim these Christians reject. Therefore these Christians don’t believe in their own statement that God can do anything, so their claim is a self-defeating claim.

Third, uncertainty negates the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our constant counsel (John 14: 16), HE convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16: 7-11), and HE is our guide into truth (John 16: 13). Uncertainty negates all the above functions of the Holy Spirit.

Fourth, denying the concrete or reducing the concrete to a realm of abstract is blindness or insanity. This is akin to claiming that there is no sun, when the whole world can see and experience the radiance and radiation of the sun. The Bible is abundantly obvious about salvation. Only the insane or blind can negate the obvious.  

Finally the statement, “I do not know, but God can do anything” implies that “I know that I do not know and I know that God can do anything.” This statement posits knowledge. The statement, “I do not know” posits finite knowledge that he does not know. The statement that “God can do anything” posits infinite knowledge that God can do anything. This is a knowledgeable statement for it rejects all definitive truth claims but deceitfully masked under the pretext of agnosticism by these Christians. Uncertainty predicated on knowledge is untenable.

Christian Universalism mutilates the loving relationship between God and man
Christian universalism destroys the beautiful and a loving relationship between God and man. Imagine an instance where all athletes registered to participate in a race are informed much beforehand that each of them will win the gold medal – the highest prize. If every athlete is guaranteed to win the highest prize, practice prior to the race will be discarded. Therefore, the joy innate in the race would be nonexistent.  The athletes may participate in this farce of a race, but they will never be wholly involved with the race. A man can simply get out of his bed, participate in this farce of a race, and yet win the highest prize. If this be true, imagine the plight of an athlete who intensely practices for this race - his practice and preparation mean nothing. The race is reduced to a farce. No sane mind will even conceive this race, let alone implement it in today’s world.

Therefore, if God states that all men will inherit heaven (the highest prize), man need not be involved with God – he need NOT love and worship God. If man need not love and worship God, then there is no meaningful relationship between man and the living God.

Christian Universalism negates Evangelism
Evangelism intends to bring people into the knowledge of truth and eternal life. Christian Universalists declare that all will go to heaven. If so, why evangelize? How then would the Christian Universalist decipher all the verses in the Bible mandating us to evangelize (Daniel 12: 3; Ezekiel 3: 17-20; Matthew 10: 8b, 28: 18-20; Mark 16: 15-16; Acts 1: 8 et al.)?   

Consequences of Christian Universalism
By virtue of his universalistic persuasion, a Christian Universalist proclaims that:

1. Bible is corrupt – errant and fallible.

2. God is a cruel dictator without holiness, justice and true love. God’s commands need not be obeyed (e.g. evangelism is a non-factor).  

3. The roles of Christ and the Holy Spirit is a non-factor

4. A believer need not be holy, need not love and worship God, and can be immoral.

5. A believer need not repent or believe in Christ and need not produce the fruit of the Spirit.

Since Christian Universalism opposes the Bible, we can reasonably assert that Universalism is a heretical teaching and Christian Universalists are a cult (false religion). Christians espousing universalism are not Christians even though they may term themselves as a Christian. 

Although I don’t stand in judgment, the Christian Universalist, according to my understanding of salvation, lives dangerously close to an eternal separation from God.

Why does a Christian succumb to Universalism?
Let me suggest two reasons:

1. Unbelieving family and friends: If we believe in Christ, and our family and friends do not, then we suffer intensely knowing that those whom we love so dearly are hell bound. This constant pain gives way to Universalistic persuasion. Since universalism is an untenable proposition, a better mode of reconciliation would be to pray earnestly for God’s light to shine in the hearts of our loved ones. Meanwhile, we should gently and respectfully provide reasons for our hope in Christ, hoping that they would turn to Christ. 

2. Observing the apparently flawless lives of the non-Christians: There are many Non-Christians who through their apparently impeccable life put Christians to shame. So one could wonder how such a life would be deemed to hell.

This situation could be reconciled through the fact that all are sinners and imperfect in thoughts, words, and deeds. None can be as perfect as God. So an impeccable life is only impeccable within the confines of the act(s) that invoke impeccability (e.g. charity). Most surely, I cannot fathom a man claiming absolute impeccability. Therefore, since the flawless lives of non-christians are merely confined to certain acts, a reasonable conclusion is that all men are imperfect sinners worthy of infinite punishment.

The Bible affirms that those who lead others to sin (disbelieve in God) are in a great and mighty danger – a potential loss of eternal life (cf. Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:1-2).

Universalism states that all will go to heaven. If Universalists are right and the debunking of Universalism is incorrect, then all will go to heaven (I and the Universalists). This is a win-win situation for me. But if Universalism is nonsensical, non-Universalists will go to heaven but the Universalists will go to hell. For the Universalists, this is a win-lose situation (they lose, Christians win).

May we earnestly seek to follow and obey God in the light of HIS truth. Amen.


1 C.S Lewis, The Great Divorce.