Varieties of Universalism
There are 5 main variations of universalism:
- Universal Reconciliation
Maintains that Christ’s death accomplished its purpose of reconciling all mankind to God. Whatever separation exists between man and the benefits of God’s grace is subjective in nature, existing only in man’s mind. Reconciliation is an accomplished fact.
- Universal Pardon
Maintains that God, being loving, will not hold unswervingly to the conditions he has laid down. Through threatening eternal punishment he will in the end relent and forgive everyone. God will treat all persons as if they had believed.
- Universal Restoration
At some point in the future all things will be restored to their original and intended state. Full salvation may be preceded by cycles of reincarnation or by some purgatorial period at the beginning of the life hereafter.
- The Doctrine of a Second Chance
The work of Christ is sufficient to secure the salvation of the elect, but salvation is effectually secured by the means of faith (Rom. 10:10-13). All people, even those who have heard and rejected, will be confronted with the claims of Christ in the life to come. Everyone given such an opportunity will of course accept it.
- Universal Temporal Blessings
The natural benefits of the world are also enjoyed by everyone. These benefits include sunshine, rain, good, health, etc., and are a result of God’s common grace. These things are given from God because of his character.