I believe the love of the Father extends to everyone, and I like to think of all of us being in the Father’s House, which is a metaphor for those living in the Father’s love. If this is so, then do the doors of that house function to allow people in–or to allow them to leave?
Many believers attempt to invite others into the Father’s House, when in fact we are all already inside. Using an example of a missionary bringing Jesus’ good news to a group that has never heard of him, the discussion might go like this.
I see that you worship a rock and obey what you think it demands. It is a false god and worshipping it is evil! Furthermore, you sacrifice your children to the rock. This is also evil and God is angry with you for doing it.
I bring you the good news about Jesus: If you do not accept him and do what I say, you will die and go hell where you will burn in torment forever. And, by the way, your parents and all your ancestors are already burning in hell. It is too late for them.
This is an exaggeration, but it is what many believers teach. What kind of good news is this?A Different Approach to the Father’s House
Let’s consider a different scenario.
I see that you want to be on good terms with God, so you worship a rock. In fact, you want to please God so much that you are willing to sacrifice your children to him. You need not do that anymore.
I bring you the good news about Jesus. He has come to remove your feeling of alienation from God and to replace fear and superstition with peace and love. In time, you will overcome suffering completely. You do not have to do anything to appropriate this good news; it is already yours. I am just here to tell you about it. And, by the way, it applies to all your ancestors as well.
What is going on here! Is this some kind of twisted theology? Some sort of wishful thinking? I don’t think so. But it IS a different understanding of the Father’s House. I believe that what Jesus shared with us to mend our alienation from the Father applies to everyone.
The purpose of sharing the good news is only to tell them about what has happened so they can benefit from knowing it and can begin living in the awareness of the Father’s love that Jesus shares with us. We find ourselves like children in the Father’s House, and there is much growing and maturing to do. But we are in the house.
Is this, then, universalism? It is not. Since humans have the will to choose, I suspect there are those who do not wish to associate with the Father or be part of the family, so there must be another place for them.
Who Will Use the Doors to Leave the Father’s House–and Why?
We cannot know in advance who might decide to leave the house. I do, however, believe that any such decision will occur at a time of perfect clarity and understanding and not based on a faulty concept of the Father or on our confused and scarred psyches. That time might very well be after death.
So, the doors of Father’s House are not to allow those who wish to come in but rather to allow those to leave who ultimately do not want associate with the Father.
I now believe these things.
- Those who choose to refuse the good news will do so with a clear understanding of the situation.
- Those who refuse the good news are not punished for their decision.
- The final decision to accept or refuse the good news might be made after death.
- Those who refuse the good news will likely be a small minority of those who have ever lived.
I would say, ‘Welcome to the Father’s House!’, but you are already here! The Father’s House includes everyone unless they wish to leave. My job is only to tell you about the good news so that you can begin to experience new life in the Father now and begin to grow.
How do you feel about being in the Father’s House?
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