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Eric's Thursday Sermon; Universalism

Updated on November 5, 2015

That little two hundred foot cliff to your left is at least 1 billion years old based on science.

The river has probably been somewhat in this state for millions of years.
The river has probably been somewhat in this state for millions of years. | Source

What is Universalism

So seldom is it right to start out an article with a Webster's definition but in this case it is right:

universalism noununi·ver·sal·ism \ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-sə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of UNIVERSALISM :1often capitalized: a theological doctrine that all human beings will eventually be saved.

Now what this sermon wants to get across is for you to ponder this notion without me telling you what to think about it. This is a most interesting subject and discussions are normally occasioned by yelling and screaming and condemnation being uttered and personal attacks.

The cool thing about universalism is that it presupposes that everyone has a soul that continues on after death. That is two things entirely. One that we have a soul and two that it lives on after death of the flesh. How cool are those two notions? Right on I say. Anybody arguing about universalism is in agreement on those two really important facts of theology and spiritually. I like it already.

The concept then is about what happens to the soul after it leaves all of us behind stuck in our bodies. No matter how hard someone tries they do not know anyone who has long term experience with their soul after they have died. And there is no scientific evidence that will tell us one way or another what happens to souls after prolonged death. (note we are not talking about the TV deal where she dies for 4 minutes and they use those cool paddles of electricity to "bring her back to life" of NDE's)

The first thing we have to consider in this fascinating area is "what is time to a soul?". I doubt souls have wristwatches. Time is so linear and seems so specifically designed for human bodies and even plants and animals and rocks that I just don't see how it could apply to a soul. So if we speak of "eternity" for a soul we are really just kind of being naive. Maybe a forever I could get or maybe and everlasting but eternity is like a time frame. But hey you decide that one for yourself.

I put in this song because it is a fun look at souls by Jimmy Buffet - don't know who wrote it and don't care. It is clearly from a musicians perspective and has a New Orleans feel to it so I just kind of think it fits here.

Cool stuff to think about and try to visualize

Next interesting aspect

Everybody versus only some people. Really every soul versus not every soul. So one side says only those souls who meet certain criteria while in their body get to live on well forever. And the other side says that bad stuff or at least neutral stuff happens to souls whose bodies did not live to a certain standard here on earth. The idea being that what we do in our body determines the forever for our souls. Now there is a third concept of "stages" for the soul depending on conduct here on earth -- kind of an Eastern kharma twist with a Christian slant. Quite intriguing. Kind of like levels of hell and levels of heaven.

Now the fun thing about this hub and article is that I am going to leave it at this for now. I will add stuff in a few days or maybe even for Sunday or maybe just do a Universalism 2.

Having fun thinking about this stuff and leave comments so we can decide where to go with additions or part 2. Hey regardless of eternity I love you today and if no one has given you a hug consider this a hug.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence it is such a cool place for my space. No argument from me for me. I am lock step with strict constructionism as bible verses go. Sure I fail, am a hypocrite but I believe completely. So for me and mine - no issue.

      But if God is Love and my neighbor has and shows love in his heart then God is there. God would not forsake love.

      I rest well at night.

      Thank you,


    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      This was a veru thought provoking hub. I'd love to believe in universalism (the thought that all souls make it to Heaven) but there are too many verses I find in the Bible that say it isn't so!

      One thing I will say is the best one to 'make the call' of who will be there is God and it's not really my place to say who'll be there or not, all he wants from me is to be faithful to what he's given me and who knows maybe a few more will be there as a consequence!

      My thoughts anyway


    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann it is great of you to come by and comment. I wonder if I have ever met someone without a soul. Just food for thought. Seems to me I have not. That which makes us the same yet allows us to be different is beautiful.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      Consider this as a hug back! The soul is a subject worthy of discussion but something no-one knows a thing about; much philosophising and much supposition but no knowledge, as you say. However, I believe in the soul - how else are things possible just through our body? How do we feel differently? How do we have compassion? How do we love? How do we appreciate the beauty of nature? I rest my case...!

      Great food for thought, Eric.


    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We have so much we cannot answer so that when we make such inquiry as this the goal must be to rest our mind in sympathy with our love. Thanks Mary for coming by and leaving a great comment.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      "The saints go marching in".... Is there an eternity? Will we all see it? You've certainly got me thinking. I did believe everyone's soul lives for all eternity, how and where is another matter. Without anyone coming back to tell us we have to take it on faith and each person's faith may be different.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bronwen, I hope and know you passed the hugs along to another. I went to a meeting of friends in Spirit this morning and got about six of them. Yahoo. We will do more on this mentally and spiritually tantalizing subject.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, I like it, let us learn together. I know the technical theological bull but lets see if we can find us some answers that resonate with our love and God.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill you make it simple for the enjoyment of all who read, thank you. That thing called love is not complicated at - Just Do It!

      I love weekends.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for the hug - hugs to you, too. I enjoyed this and will be looking forward to the next instalment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for the hug. Like Bill, I don't know enough to comment--at least, not yet but I will keep reading as you write.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm just a simple writer. What do I know of such things? All I know is love, leaving me woefully lacking in such discussions. :) Or does it?

      Have a great weekend, buddy!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Marvelous Nadine, you add much here with such an interesting comment. I am thinking about that and will all day. Maybe I will even have something intelligent to say about it later - miracles do happen.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Love the topic of "what is a soul". The two words spirit and soul use to confuse me, until I came up with my own explanation,and that has worked for me in my visionary fiction novels. The spirit is the I Am, the divine life force and the soul is an energy field, like a data base, where all the lives of spirit is experienced and stored. Like a library. So when we walk into a library I see every book as a separate incarnation - ( not necessarily on this 3D dimension) That is just me...

      This viewpoint helped me to write about our ascension journey in a fictional way.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whonu those are very kind words that humble me, thank you.


    • whonunuwho profile image


      3 years ago from United States

      Eric my friend, I believe that our God has a strong servant in you and your sermons. I enjoy and am astounded in the messages of each you give us. Thank you for sharing in His word. whonu

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.


      I find it interesting that you use the term "religion" when referencing Ballou. I will have to re-read him for further discussion here. "Sect" was the term I thought I learned from reading him, as in all Christians a brotherhood. Thank you for reminding me to brush up on the "father" of American Universalism.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby we may be correct to always listen. A fun thing about this article that we will touch on later probably will be "is soul truth universal" perhaps each path is designed to be different. Thanks for sharing that about hell on earth. I am not convinced either way.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      3 years ago from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

      Two influential works in the spread of universalist religion in America were A TREATISE ON ATONEMENT (1805) and THE DOCTRINE OF UNIVERSAL SALVATION (1849), both by Hosea Ballou. Both are online in pdf.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      There are so many different beliefs. My sister Mary believes hell is here on earth. We had a discussion in bible study about judgment day, ie, those in Christ will rise first, then Jesus telling the thief hanging on a cross next to him that he would see him in paradise this day. Who knows when we go to heaven? I guess we will find out someday. I don't sweat the unknowns. Another good message. Thank you..

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Reynold it will be interesting to see it unfold. I hope I did a neutral beginning so there can be basis for a search for a higher understanding of what we all believe for ourselves.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      3 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      It is a nice beginning as you mention, Eric I will look forward to the rest of this soon.


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