Zarling's essay is an excellent study concerning the (W)ELS chief article of Universal Justification. As can be seen in his Endnotes the essay is a compilation of quotes and reasoning from the who's who of UOJ.One of the central teachings of UOJ is that the whole world has been forgiven of all sin and that God is at complete peace with them - this includes the Antichrist and Judas. Zarling comments on this fact on page 18:In the context from which they were taken Professor Meyer emphasized that God forgave the whole world, including Judas, on the basis of Christ's wonderful work of redemption. There was a fourth statement proposed that God looked down into hell and forgave Judas. It was too bad that this statement was ever used, but Faith congregation accepted it in view of the fact that it did state that God had forgiven Judas. There is no question in anyone's mind in that congregation that God does not forgive after a person has been damned. The fact is correct that God had forgiven Judas, but it is equally clear that Judas had rejected this forgiveness and was eternally darned.It's not a little funny that Zarling seems to have a problem with saying Judas was damned but rather he uses the word darned.It's important to remember, as faithful steward of God's Word LPC from Extra Nos pointed out, the teaching of UOJ perverts the way of the forgiveness of sins declared by God and clearly taught in Scripture. Scripture teaches that Abraham was forgiven through faith in Christ yet UOJ teaches that it can only be the declaration that you're already forgiven that can create faith. Therefore Abraham must not have had the correct faith and thus was not forgiven or saved since Christ hadn't died and forgiven his sins yet. (W)ELS UOJists teach that hearing the promise of the Gospel, the forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ, cannot create faith since it doesn't have anything to cling to. (W)ELS UOJists teach that faith can only be created by, and cling to, a completed fact so that the unbeliever becomes a believer by being told his sins were forgiven even before he believes. This is supposed to create rock solid assurance and confidence that Christ's declaration that the world is forgiven includes him! Yet, they can't decide if the world was forgiven when Christ said "It is finished" or when he rose from the dead. So much for the certainty of UOJ and so much for the Lutheran Synod's perversion of Christ's clear declaration of the forgiveness of sins and salvation through faith alone.
You mean pre-forgiveness...heh heh...
Many times those who defend Christ's true Gospel (Justification, the forgiveness of sins, God's grace and salvation by faith alone in Christ alone) clearly articulate the teaching of UOJ and show how it's a new gospel, a gospel condemned in Galations 1, a different gospel than the one true Gospel declared in Scripture and rightly explained in the Lutheran confessions. Zarling and the other's who teach UOJ clearly show why UOJ is false gospel:Mark Zarling, "Perhaps such a distinction is helpful if it assists us in understanding the glorious Gospel: In Jesus, God has declared the entire world righteous and forgiven, regardless of whether or not the world believes it. Such is the jewel described by objective, universal, or general justification."Jon Buchholz, "God has forgiven the whole world. God has forgiven everyone his sins." This statement is absolutely true! This is the heart of the gospel, and it must be preached and taught as the foundation of our faith."E.H. Wendland, "Faith is passive in justification. It never enters the picture as a cause of justification, but always as an instrument of receiving the universal justification of God pronounced in the Gospel."David Beckman, "There have also been “Lutherans” who have ripped the heart out of the Gospel and have taught that God has not actually forgiven all the sins of all mankind.Siegbert Becker, "We must always bear in mind that just as Law and Gospel appear to contradict each other, so the message which lies at the very heart of the Gospel, namely, that for Jesus’ sake God has indeed forgiven the sins of all men, will also appear to contradict clear elements of the law. When men argue that universal justification must eventually, if it is consistently held, lead to universalism, the doctrine that all men will finally be saved, they are in essence saying that if God really forgives he can no longer be the God who by no means clears the guilty. Yet God himself says that he does both."Rolf David Preus, "The object of justifying faith is not faith. It is the gospel. The gospel is true before we believe it. It does not become true when we believe it. The objective truth of the gospel of the forgiveness of sins is often referred to as objective justification. It is objectively true before we subjectively apprehend it by faith. God has, for Christ’s sake, absolved the entire world of sinners."I include the closing statement of (W)ELS Pastor James Humann, "God will judge who is preaching another gospel!In Christ, on whose account God has justified, declared righteous, or acquitted, the whole world of sinners."
Mr. Meyer,What a great compilation. If you don't mind my Kelming of it for my personal database it would be a quick and easy reference to show people what WELS is teaching and has been teaching.
Brett is very good at compiling the bilge of UOJ, and others are also sharing in the background.The whole idea is to share the truth.
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