Universalism is the belief that everyone will be saved regardless of their lives. It sounds loving and compassionate. Yet, it is the complete opposite of God’s scriptural plan for salvation.
God is perfectly good and desires that all men be saved. Moses writes, “And the Lord passed before Him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6, NKJV). Psalm 52:1 says, “The goodness of God endures continually.” God is full of light (goodness) and has absolutely no darkness (evil) in him, at all (1 John 1:5).
He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). But desiring that all men will be saved is different from it actually happening. Jesus acknowledges in his perfect knowledge that most will choose to be lost, while few will desire to be saved (Matthew 7:13,14).
Hell is prepared for the wicked (Revelation 21:8). It is a nightmarish place of everlasting fire and punishment (Matthew 25:41,46; Revelation 19:20). Hell and eternal torment did not originate in the minds of men, but in the mind of the eternal God before time ever began.
Universalism tries to take the choice of eternal destination out of man’s hands. However, Hell is for the wicked who choose to live contrary to God’s will (Matthew 13:38-42). They obediently follow Satan’s lies (John 8:44). They are cruel and desire evil so powerfully that it pours from their mouths (Proverbs 21:10; Proverbs 15:28).
The wicked choose to be apart from God because they choose evil (Ezekiel 18). “The wicked will fall by his own wickedness” (Psalm 11:5). Therefore, God can have nothing to do with them because of their refusal to live righteously (1 John 1:5; Proverbs 4:19; Isaiah 59:1,2).
Man chooses to be righteous or wicked in accordance with their faithfulness to God and Scripture. Man chooses to obey or rebel. Both receive a reward: the former with an eternity in heaven (Matthew 25:34), the latter with an eternity in hell (2 Thessalonians 1:8,9). The eternal destiny of man lies solely in his hands.
In 2 Peter 2, Peter describes those who chose to turn against God. In 2:9 he writes, “the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.” He proves this charge by listing examples from the Old Testament. “All three of Peter’s examples (Angels, worldwide Flood, Sodom & Gomorrah) follow chronologically, one after another in Genesis and clearly illustrate that neither rank, strength nor numbers shield rebellious evil from God’s just vengeance.”/1
We will all stand before the judgment throne and be “judged according to our works” (Revelation 20:12). Therefore, universalism cannot be proven from Scripture, except by wrenching passages from their context and forcing interpretations on them that do not exist.