The Fate of the Lost — A Fourth View?

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Paidion
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The Fate of the Lost — A Fourth View?

Post by Paidion » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:19 am

Most people I’ve encountered who have thought about the fate of the lost, regard the following positions as exhausting the possibilities:

1. Their eternal torment (in one form or other).
2. Their annihilation.
3. Their ultimate salvation.

Charles Schmitt's position provides a view which fits none of these categories. Charles has graciously granted me permission to quote his manuscript in its entirety.

I don't want to take the time to prepare Charles' manuscript for posting here, and so I will provide a link to the posting I made in the Evangelical Universalist forum:

http://www.evangelicaluniversalist.com/ ... =30&t=3470
Paidion

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Re: The Fate of the Lost — A Fourth View?

Post by steve7150 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:14 am

Charles Schmitt's position provides a view which fits none of these categories. Charles has graciously granted me permission to quote his manuscript in its entirety.










In Schmitt's view do any of the unsaved have an opportunity to repent and be saved after death. It sounds like the answer is no but i'm not understanding the difference between reconciliation and saved.

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Re: The Fate of the Lost — A Fourth View?

Post by steve7150 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:19 am

There are also other views like the belief that the millenium is a testing period after the resurrection of everyone, when the unsaved have the opportunity to repent, be obedient to God and ultimately be saved. It is a view between annihilation and Christian Universalism. If they don't comply they are destroyed in the lake of fire.

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Re: The Fate of the Lost — A Fourth View?

Post by Paidion » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:04 am

It is my understanding that Charles believes that those who have died in a lost condition will never be saved in the sense of being with the Lord and His saints forever. However, he believes that they will be reconciled in the sense that they will cease to be enemies of God, and that any painful correction from God will cease as it will no longer be necessary.
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Re: The Fate of the Lost — A Fourth View?

Post by Singalphile » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:14 am

Is that from Charles P. Schmitt of Immanuel's Church in Maryland?

I read most of it, skimmed bits. Interesting.

I would put him squarely in the universal salvation/restoration/reconciliation group. All of the 3 general views about hell contain different ideas (guesses, I'd say) about what exactly might take place. If the question is, "Does Schmitt have a fourth view?", then I'd say, no.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

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Paidion
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Re: The Fate of the Lost — A Fourth View?

Post by Paidion » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:50 pm

Singalphile you wrote:Is that from Charles P. Schmitt of Immanuel's Church in Maryland?
That's the one.
I would put him squarely in the universal salvation/restoration/reconciliation group. All of the 3 general views about hell contain different ideas (guesses, I'd say) about what exactly might take place. If the question is, "Does Schmitt have a fourth view?", then I'd say, no.
Then I'd say you are mistaken. He is not in the "universal salvation" group. If you had read the following from his article, you would never put him in that category!
IS UNIVERSALISM, THEN, SCRIPTURAL?
Emphatically no! Universalism is an extreme - and perhaps even more of a destructive extreme than the opposite point of view of endless sin and endless torture (which in fact comes to us out of the Church Councils of the Dark Ages and which I suspect originated as a fear mechanism to control men's lives and keep them within a decadent Church). No, we are not given any biblical basis for believing that all men will be ultimately saved, for today "is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:2): there is no "second chance." (Indeed, there is no "first chance," either. Salvation comes to us by the grace of God and does not come to us by "chance. ") Hence, the view we are looking at in this paper does differ much from the notion of Universalism, and in every way! For the view under present consideration simply declares, in the words of Finis Dake, that "in each dispensation, God has a definite and different immediate purpose, all working toward the ultimate purpose of ridding the universe of all rebellion, so that all free moral agents will be willingly and eternally subject to God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost, as originally planned, with God all in all forever. "
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Re: The Fate of the Lost — A Fourth View?

Post by mattrose » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:25 pm

Usually, if you have to answer the question (is your view the same as Christian universalism)... it's probably b/c the view isn't all that different from Christian universalism. Surely there are differences between this and the more typical forms of Christian universalism, but I'd still consider it a subcategory of that view and not an independant 4th view. Just my opinion.

I think trying to make a distinction between 'reconciled' and 'saved' is a tall order (indeed, that they are one and the same is a main argument of many Christian universalists).... and in the end it might not look very different from a Christian universalist's detailed explanations of degrees of reward in eternity.

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Re: The Fate of the Lost — A Fourth View?

Post by Singalphile » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:45 pm

Paidion: I do remember reading that part and I think it supports my earlier statement. He proposes:

1. Eternal conscious existence for everyone (rejecting conditional immortality)
2. Temporary correction (lake of fire/hell) for the unsaved which will work to remove all sin and rebellion (rejecting eternal conscious torment/punishment)
3. Eventual, universal, and willing reconciliation with and subjugation to God.

I think that's the universal reconciliation view.

When I wrote that I'd put him in the "universal salvation/restoration/reconciliation" group, I meant for the slashes to represent the word "or".

Perhaps his proposition is a bit different than yours, but such nuances are normal among proponents within each of the views, I think.

How he can say that his proposition differs from the notion of Universalism "in every way" is beyond me, actually.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

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Paidion
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Re: The Fate of the Lost — A Fourth View?

Post by Paidion » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:00 pm

Okay, Singalphile. Thank you for explaining about the slashes.

You are quite right in saying that Charles believes in the:

1. Eternal conscious existence for everyone (rejecting conditional immortality)
2. Temporary correction (lake of fire/hell) for the unsaved which will work to remove all sin and rebellion (rejecting eternal conscious torment/punishment)
3. Eventual, universal, and willing reconciliation with and subjugation to God.

And indeed this is universal reconciliation with God, subjugation to Him — chosen and not forced.

The part of Charles' belief which is essentially opposite to universalism as it is generally known, is his position that those who die without Christ will be eternally separated from Him and his saints, even though they will no longer be enemies.
Mattrose you wrote:I think trying to make a distinction between 'reconciled' and 'saved' is a tall order (indeed, that they are one and the same is a main argument of many Christian universalists).... and in the end it might not look very different from a Christian universalist's detailed explanations of degrees of reward in eternity.
But they do look very different. You are right that Christian universalists might differ with regards to whether or not those who die without Christ will receive the same degree of rewards. But the point is that regardless of their rewards, they will be with Christ and the saints throughout eternity. Charles' position is that, though reconciled, they will be banished forever from the presence of Christ and the saints. That position is contrary to that of ANY universalist.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Singalphile
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Re: The Fate of the Lost — A Fourth View?

Post by Singalphile » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:22 pm

Paidion wrote:
Charles' position is that, though reconciled, they will be banished forever from the presence of Christ and the saints. That position is contrary to that of ANY universalist.
Okay, last question (for now :)): Does he actually say this somewhere in that article or is that something you got from him from another source? I'm beginning to question my reading comprehension skills.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

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