By Justin Poulsen
As a recent convert to Universalism, I believe that every person is created in the image of God (the Imago Dei), and because of this “divine fingerprint” no one can ever be fully separated from Him. Therefore, Salvation is the process whereby every human will eventually be transformed back into perfect relationship with God, as He once intended in the Garden of Eden.
While many Christians view the process of Salvation as a linear path towards a single conversion moment, Universalists recognize that not everyone is able to achieve that same level of spiritual comprehension in their lifetime. Salvation is not that moment of arriving at the destination of realization, but the entire journey of spiritual growth itself.
Universalism actually has some commonalities with Calvinism. Gasp! Both believe that God’s decision to save us is irresistible. Like Moses seeing the burning bush or Saul hearing God’s voice on the road, when we meet our maker, in this life or the next, we cannot help but accept and align ourselves with His truth.
If it all ends up the same, does it matter what we do? Of course it does!
In Genesis, after Cain kills his brother, God doesn’t scold him for ignoring His commandment like he did with Adam. Instead, He scolds Cain for ignoring his own heart, saying, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”
Long before the Ten Commandments, Paul’s letters, or the canonized Bible, God calls us to cultivate a sensitivity within ourselves to the divine virtues, like empathy and honesty. This appeal to the Imago Dei within Cain is our first and most fundamental spiritual mandate as Christians, and the key to humanity’s reunion with God.
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