Saviour of All Fellowship
Dear Friends in Faith,
Scheduled early this month is the Willard Ohio Fellowship hosted by J. P. Meetings will begin at 7:00 Friday evening, continuing through the day on Saturday and Sunday morning. Speakers will include Phil Scranton, Coy Brock, Dean Hough and Jeff.
Richard Condon attended the conference on universal reconciliation held near Americus, Georgia over the Memorial Day weekend. He reports that about 40 people attended from several states and Canada. The keynote was fellowship and unity in the common faith we share.
A word from Tony: In the book Debate on Universalism (1845, p.346), the reverend N.L. Rice D.D. presents an argument often used today concerning Matthew 25:31-46: The very strongest words in the Greek language, expressive of duration, are employed to express the duration of the punishment of the wickedthe same which are employed to express the endless happiness of the righteous . . . . If, therefore, the happiness of the righteous will be endless; so will the punishment of the wicked; for the same words are used in precisely the same manner, and in the same connection, to express both.
Now I would not disagree with Mr. Rice that the duration of rewards for the sheep and kid nations are the same. They surely are. But endless? Assuredly not. Did not Christ come into the world to save sinners? Was it not due to the disobedience of Adam that those nations were constituted sinners? And if so, will what Christ did by His obedience constitute the many just? Since it was through one offense for all mankind for condemnation will that latter part of Romans 5:18 not come to pass which states that thus also through one just act for all mankind for lifes justifying? Returning to Matthew 25:31-47 it is interesting to note that what the sheep and goat nations get is eonian. It is of or pertaining to the eon. It is not of or pertaining to endlessness. What occurs in Matthew 25:31-46 happens when Christ comes back to inaugurate the 1000 year reign. This judgment is approximately 1000 years before the great white throne judgment. It is not concerning the eternal destiny of individuals but the eonian destiny of nations.
A word from Dean: I have also been looking at old publications, in my case those of John H. Paton, who lived here in Almont, Michigan (1843-1922). He was a great-uncle to several of my cousins and grandfather to Lucile Hough, widow of my cousin, Wells Hough, but not directly related to me. But his belief in universal salvation and his view concerning the central place of Christ and His death for sinners were similar to mine, and many of our readers. We have prepared a brief paper recording some of his thoughts of a century ago. If it is not included with this newsletter we will send a copy on request. Also we still have copies of Patons Christs Coming and Work, A Personal Experience, which we will be happy to share.
Yours in Gods grace,
Dean Hough and Tony Nungesser