Universalism teaches that all people will eventually be saved through the atonement of Christ. It says that all mankind, even those who have openly rejected Jesus, those who have willingly committed horrible crimes and died without repentance and without the covering of Christ's blood, will enjoy a future with God. This belief is based upon the idea that God's love is so infinitely great that His grace in Christ is so awesome that everyone will be saved. This simply is not true.
The danger of universalism is that it can give someone a false sense of security about their eternal destiny. It can remove the need of accountability. It can remove the fear of judgment. It does not require repentance. A person who adopts universalism can easily conclude that if he is going to be saved no matter what he does, then why be concerned about repentance or accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior? This potential error is most dangerous. Especially because if universalism is not true, then the false sense of security it has given to those who have not trusted in Christ will lead them to damnation. This is a very serious danger.
Of course, simply because it is possible that people will become lax in accepting Christ if they adopt universalism, it does not mean this is what will happen. Nor does it mean that all Universalists think they can go out and sin willfully. On the contrary, most Universalists are very moral. But, there is the inherent danger in universalism that reduces the need for repentance and salvation. This is a great risk. Eternity is a long time to be wrong, and Hell is a terrible place to be forever.
What does Satan want?
Satan wants the destruction of people. Satan wants people to die in their sins and go to Hell. He is utter hatred and complete evil. But, he is also extremely cunning with an intelligence that is vast. Universalism may very well become a tool of the evil one in the last days. It weakens the need to trust in Christ in this life.
In Universalism, Satan can work his false doctrines through its adherents. This is clearly the case since many Universalists deny the Trinity and the deity of Christ. But in universalist theology, it really doesn't matter. Why? Because ultimately, in the afterlife, people will come to a true knowledge of God and repent and be saved. So, even if they are wrong now, they will be right later. Satan says, "Don't worry about receiving Jesus now. You can do that later." But it is Christ who says,
- “At the acceptable time I listened to you, And on the day of salvation I helped you”; behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation," (2 Cor. 6:2).
- "He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts," (Heb. 4:7).
What would be a uniting religious concept that would tend to unite different religious systems? Universalism! Think about it. If everyone is going to be saved, then Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, Mormonism, Hinduism, etc., will not keep people out of Hell. f all religions adopted universalism, then each could look at the other as being a different belief (or even error) that would, nevertheless, lead a person to redemption in the afterlife.
What does Jesus save us from?
Jesus saves. But what does He save us from? Does Jesus save us from ourselves, our thoughts, our actions, our temperament, or even our sins. No. He saves us from the wrathful judgment of God upon us due to us because of our sinfulness. There is a natural consequence to being a sinner: judgment. God will punish the sinner (Hosea 8:13, 9:9). The one who rejects Jesus does not have a covering for sin, does not have forgiveness of sins, and has the wrath of God abiding upon him:
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him, (John 3:36).
Jesus saves us from that wrath. Jesus saves all those who receive Him (John 1:12, Rom. 8:1) so that they can escape the judgment to come.
He therefore began saying to the multitudes who were going out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Luke 3:7)
Jesus warned us about Hell (Matt. 5:22, 29-30, 23:33, Mark 9:45, Luke 12:5). In fact, He spoke more of it than He did of Heaven. He does not want you to go to that place of torment. That is why He said, "And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire," (Matt. 18:8). If universalism is true, then where is the power in Jesus' warning? If universalism is true, then there is no eternal fiery Hell, no dread of being cast into it, no wrath to come--but there is!
Hell is the real place. Jesus came to save us from it. But you must trust Christ and His atoning sacrifice in order to escape the wrath of God.
Does universalism lead us to urgency? Does it lead us to fear the wrath to come? No. It doesn't. It removes the urgency. It removes the fear of God.
Now, I am not saying that we must live in fear or that fear is the only motive to be saved. But, Jesus Himself warned people about Hell, and the Bible tells us that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," (Prov. 9:10).
Universalism can lead to complacency. It can easily lessen ones concern for salvation and repentance. In this, there is danger.