Is the doctrine of total restoration part of a cult?


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Question:

If this total restoration doctrine is true, why have I never heard of it before? The only people I've ever known to deny the doctrine of endless hell are unorthodox cultists who also deny Christ's deity, etc.

Answer:

People asked the same question about justification by faith in Christ alone five centuries ago when Martin Luther and others began proclaiming it. Many dedicated Christians throughout the centuries have believed in this full gospel of restoration. In fact, history indicates that most of the church understood the Good News in this way for the first three to four hundred years, AD. The oldest statement of orthodox faith known to Christianity was formulated in the 300's at the Roman government's request. Now get this-the Apostle's creed, as it came to be called later (which appears in two slightly different versions) makes no mention of an endless hell! One version mentions Christ's descent into Hades where He preached to Noah's generation. However, that passage in 1 Peter tends to disprove-not support-the notion of endless punishment!

Interesting, how the fourth century Christians' ideas about "orthodoxy" differ from those of much of today's church, isn't it? For good historical documentation, order Christ Triumphant, the book mentioned at the top of the reading list. (It's available from Concordant Publishing for $7.00, plus $1.50 postage and handling.)

Charles Slagle

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