Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Absurdity of Eternal Torment

In the presence of those who promote a belief in a "hell of eternal torment" I find my mind posing the question "Do you really believe what you say you believe?".

I admit that a "hell of eternal torment" is the majority position held by mainstream church goers, and others, for all unbelievers, but I find it illogical, immoral, unBiblical and contradicted in the lifestyle of its proponents.

Firstly, the belief is illogical.
Suppose the torment only lasts for a billion years rather being eternal. For the mistakes made in a lifetime of about 70 or 80 years on this planet, can you imagine even the harshest judge imposing a sentence of a billion years? That doesn't make sense.

Secondly, the belief is immoral.
A sentence of a billion years for a crime of 70 or so years is unjust, unfair -- just downright immoral. Can you imagine any parent imposing such a disproportionate penalty on a mischievous child? Not even a fallen human parent would do so, let alone a perfect, loving heavenly Father.

Thirdly, the belief is unBiblical.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has already paid for the sins of the world.

Christ himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of everyone.
[1 John 2  :2  GNT]

And if all sins have already been dealt with, if everyone's debt to God has been fully paid, by God Himself no less, why should anyone else have to pay again?
For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men’s sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.
[2 Corinthians 5 : 19  TLB]

Fourthly, the belief is contradicted in the lifestyle of its proponents.
If it was really believed, I would expect its adherents to use every opportunity every day to warn their families and friends in the hope they would avoid this outcome. But I don't see them being stirred into urgent action on this score at all.

This widely-held belief in a "hell of eternal torment" fails on many levels and contradicts what the Bible reveals about a loving God's plans for His creation.

The Son is the image of the invisible God ... all things were created by him, and for him ... and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
[Colossians 1 : 15 - 20  NIV]

because God
intends all human beings to be saved and to come to a full knowledge of truth.
[1 Timothy 2 : 4  DBH]

As faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, let's continue to proclaim the really good news about what God intends for His creation through what Jesus' death and resurrection have achieved. Expecting anything less than eventual success is an insult to our loving, sovereign God.

Blessing, Barry

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Response to Universal Reconciliation Opposition - Part 7

This is the seventh in a mini-series of posts responding to the arguments offered by Dr Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum (Dr Arnold) against God's plan to eventually reconcile and save all His creation.

His arguments against Universal Reconciliation (UR) are offered under five headings, the second of which is b. The Fixed State of the Unbelieving Dead. (see a previous post "Opposition to Universal Reconciliation" here)

Under the b. The Fixed State of the Unbelieving Dead heading Dr Arnold claims that the unbelieving dead are seen in a fixed state that cannot be altered and then quotes numerous texts from the New Testament hoping to illustrate his assertion.


I will address these cited texts in five groups:
(i) Four texts from Matthew's gospel describing Jewish unbelievers weeping and gnashing their teeth;
(ii) The Rich Man and Lazarus parable from Luke's gospel which is presumed to show the fixed state of "hell";
(iii) Two texts from John's gospel which announce that Jews not believing in the Messiah will die in their sins;
(iv) Two texts from 2 Peter declaring that the unrighteous will need to face judgement; and
(v) Two texts from Jude describing so-called "eternal" dark outcomes for sinners.

(i) The Matthew Texts.
These texts are used by Dr Arnold to argue that the unbelieving dead are in an unalterable fixed state of punishment.
They are part of the conclusions to parables Jesus was using to teach his Jewish audience.
(Parables are stories that use familiar earthly ingredients to illustrate spiritual principles or realities.)
Matthew 13 : 41 - 42

The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.
They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [NIV]

Matthew 22 : 13
Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ [NIV]
Mathew 24 : 51
He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [NIV]
and Matthew 25 : 30
'And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' [NIV]
I certainly agree that the places and experiences described in these parable are extremely unpleasant.
In each case, Jesus has used strong hyperbolic images for severe chastisement to communicate to the Jews the serious cost in rejecting their long-expected Messiah and the kingdom He came to establish for them. 

However, none of these texts gives even a hint that the situation is an unalterable fixed state, as Dr Arnold claims.  
The punishment suffered is being locked out of the Messianic Age, the coming earthly kingdom often called the millennium, for which they will suffer agonising grief.


But that's not the end of the story - for them (or for anyone else for that matter).

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited:
Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,
and in this way all Israel will be saved.
As it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
[Romans 11 : 25 - 27  NIV]

So there is nothing permanent in the cited texts, nor is permanent torture or destruction or agonising grief consistent with God's plan for national Israel found in other texts.

Here's an example from one of their prophets, Jeremiah.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.

It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
 
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”
[Jeremiah 31 : 31 - 34  NIV]
We'll discuss Luke's parable in the next post.
Blessings, Barry

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Response to Universal Reconciliation Opposition - Part 6

This is the sixth in a mini-series of posts responding to the arguments offered by Dr Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum (Dr Arnold) against God's plan to eventually reconcile and save all His creation.

His arguments against Universal Reconciliation (UR) are offered under five headings, the first of which is a. The Scriptures Used. (see a previous post "Opposition to Universal Reconciliation" here)

Under the a. The Scriptures Used heading Dr Arnold quotes five (carefully chosen) texts that he claims teachers use to prove the truth of a second probation, as Dr Arnold calls it. He concludes, "So none of these five passages that are used actually teach the doctrine of a second probation."

We have discussed Dr Arnold's evaluation of these texts in Parts 1 to 5 and have shown where he has misquoted one, isolated some from their context, and added dubious interpretation/commentary in his attempt to prove his theological position that God will not succeed in His plan to restore and bring unity to His entire creation by the end of the ages.


By carefully selecting the verses to oppose, he creates straw man arguments for his rebuttals by using peripheral verses that provide an incomplete view of the text or using verses isolated from their contexts.
This approach is common among critics who use their a priori belief that most of humanity will end up either annihilated or eternally tormented to shape their understanding of the Scriptures.


It's obvious that if you begin with such a horrible belief, you must find ways to discredit or ignore verses in the Bible which teach the complete plan of God to redeem His creation.


More importantly, this belief totally discredits the character, love and sovereignty of God.


I find it much easier, and more faithful to God and His written Word, to start with the belief that God will complete His advertised plan to save all creation and then explore how the punishment verses fit within that plan.

We also need to be aware that this discrediting approach is also used by some who translate the Scriptures from the original languages to English.
Here is one such example - one of my favourite verses.

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
[1 Cor 15 : 22  NIV]

That is, the same all who are in Adam (all humanity) will be made alive in Christ.
Most versions translate this verse accurately, but a few change the order of the words so that it supports their view that only believers will receive the life promised.

Look at this from the New Living Translation.
Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.
[1 Cor 15 : 22  NLT]

That is, the everyone who belong to Adam (all humanity) will be reduced to the everyone who belong to Christ (all believers) - a subtle but substantial change.
And we wonder why so many people believe that God's plan to save all creation will be defeated.

In addition, by choosing such a limited number of verses he claims teachers use to prove the truth of universal reconciliation, Dr Arnold has totally ignored the many verses that clearly demonstrate this eventuality (as well as the themes of God's love, compassion and sovereignty that weave their way through both Testaments).
Let me quote a few of those verses.

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.
[John 12 : 32  ESV]
For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
[1 Timothy 4 : 10  ESV]
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
[Titus 2 : 11  ESV]
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
[Romans 5 : 18  ESV]
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
[Luke 6 : 35 - 36  ESV]

Let's complete this response to Dr Arnold's critique of the The Scriptures Used as might the Apostle Paul.
Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his wisdom and knowledge and riches!
How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods!
For who among us can know the mind of the Lord?
Who knows enough to be his counselor and guide?
And who could ever offer to the Lord enough to induce him to act?
For everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his glory.
To him be glory evermore.
[Romans 11 : 32 - 36  TLB]

This is truly God's plan - creation, redemption, restitution.
Whatever we find in Scripture must fit that plan in some way.

Blessings, Barry

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Response to Universal Reconciliation Opposition - Part 5

This is the fifth in a mini-series of posts responding to the arguments offered by Dr Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum (Dr Arnold) against God's plan to eventually reconcile and save all His creation.

His arguments against Universal Reconciliation (UR) are offered under five headings, the first of which is a. The Scriptures Used. (see a previous post "Opposition to Universal Reconciliation" here)

Under the a. The Scriptures Used heading Dr Arnold quotes five (carefully selected) texts that he claims teachers use to prove the truth of a second probation, as Dr Arnold calls it.

He says, Basically they point to five passages of Scripture ... The fifth passage is a combination of 1 Peter 3 : 19 with 4 : 6, which speaks about the gospel being preached ... to the dead. Since it is preached ... to the dead, then it must mean a second probation.

Christ then preached to the spirits that were being kept in prison.
[1 Peter 3 : 19  CEV]
The good news has even been preached to the dead, so that after they have been judged for what they have done in this life, their spirits will live with God.
[1 Peter 4 : 6  CEV]

Dr Arnold's objection is extensive, so I will break it into several parts and address each separately.
First, let me confess I am not a Greek scholar. My understanding of the Greek New Testament relies on the publications of reputable Greek scholars, with my starting point being the literal English translations of the New Testament published by them. (The literal New Testament translations I use are listed below.)


Dr Arnold begins ...
as to their comparison of 1 Peter 3:19 with 4:6, they are ignoring the fact that these are two different contexts.
Mmmm. Let's see.
Paul is using the particular (the lost in Noah's day) as an example of the general, so they have a genuine connection.


continues ...
In 3:19, the Greek word for "preaching" here is not the word that means, "to preach the gospel", "to evangelise" or "to get people saved". It is a different word keirusso that simply means "to proclaim". 

Actually kierusso just means to herald or proclaim or preach. So it could be used to proclaim anything, including the gospel.
In fact the epistles use this same Greek work (or its derivatives) to describe Paul's ministry of doing just this.

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that had been kept secret for long ages,
[Romans 16 : 25  NET]
... the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald (a proclaimer) and an apostle ...
[1 Timothy 2 : 5 - 7  NIV]
So proclaiming the good news is not precluded by the use of this Greek word, but indeed is used that way by Paul.

then ...
A proclamation not to save them, but a proclamation to condemn them.
My goodness! 

An assertion not based on Biblical or even philosophical support, but based solely on the previously-determined theological position of Dr Arnold.

Based on Paul's use of the word above, the proclamation is more likely a continuation of Jesus' earthly ministry when ...
... Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.
[Matthew 4 : 17, 23  NRSV]
As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations.
[Mark 13 : 9 - 10  NRSV]
... the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him (Jesus). Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
[Luke 4 : 17 - 19  NIV]

This Greek word is used most frequently throughout the Scriptures to proclaim or to preach or to herald God's good news.

and ...
Furthermore, it was made to one group of spirits, those who were disobedient in Noah's day.
These two verses are open to several interpretations so I would not place great weight on them, in isolation, to be evidence of God's plan to save all creation.
However, the story of the spirits that are specifically mentioned in 3 : 19 - 20 is linked to the verses in chapter 4 with "therefore", indicating that the wider application in chapter 4 is using Noah's "disobedients" as an illustration of what might happen to all other "disobedients".


and finally ...
In 4:6, the Greek wording means, that the Gospel had been preached to those while they were still alive but had now passed away.
Dr Arnold's interpretation cannot be supported by any correct translation (like CEV above), and especially literal ones (like DBH below).

Because it was for this that the good tidings were proclaimed to the dead, that though judged in the flesh according to human beings they might live in spirit according to God.
[1 Peter 4 : 6  DBH]

Dr Arnold's insertion of "now" before "passed away" is very naughty and designed to grossly change the meaning of the verse - and it is also inserted in some modern versions of the New Testament by translators who hold the same position as Dr Arnold.

In any case it was described as "the good news" or "the good tidings" or "the gospel" - depending on which translation you are using.
You could hardly construe the good news to be "A proclamation not to save them, but a proclamation to condemn them."
What a shocking description of the gospel Dr Arnold claims was being preached!

We always need to keep

All things come from God, through God, and return to God. Praise him for ever! Yes, it is so!
[Romans 11 : 36  WE]

in mind to alert us to verses of Scripture misquoted or misinterpreted by those endeavouring to deny God's wonderful plan for His creation.

Blessings, Barry

Literal English New Testaments I most frequently use.

YLT - Young's Literal Translation (Public Domain)
CLV - Concordant Literal New Testament (Concordant Publishing Concern)
DBH - The New Testament - A Translation - David Bentley Hart (Yale University Press)

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Another Prominent Universal Salvation Theologian

Can you remember back to the start of the year when I discovered a new New Testament, a recently published translation by David Bentley Hart?
You can read of my discovery in a February 2019 post here.


And later, in April, I shared how the introduction and postscript to the translation were such a bonus as well.
You can read that post here.
One of the highlights in these "bookends" was Hart's admission that as a result of his translation experience God's plan of universal salvation was confirmed for him.

However, even more excitement for me.
Hart has now just published a book called "That All Shall Be Saved" and subtitled "Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation", again published by Yale University.
My copy has just arrived from the USA.
And has it caused a storm over there!

Here's another very highly credentialled theologian "coming out" as a universalist - and the mainstream Christian academia is tearing into him, even though some are admitting "A brilliant treatment - exegetically, theologically, and philosophically" and "some of the most exciting, perspicuous and powerful theological writing I have read in recent years".


His introduction includes statements like: "if Christianity taken as a whole is indeed an entirely coherent and credible system of belief, then the universalist understanding of its message is the only one possible. And quite imprudently, I say that without the least hesitation or qualification."

As you know, I wrote a popular book geared for lay-people, including non-Christians, called "The Really Good News About God" several years ago and finally published in 2015, which presented the Biblical case in non-technical language for the eventual reconciliation of all through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

But Hart's new book is geared towards scholars trained in theology and/or philosophy and presents Biblical evidence and arguments at that level.
It is certainly not an easy read for people with no formal theological or philosophical training (like me) but I am enjoying the challenge of understanding his rhetorical arguments expressed in long, wordy sentences filled with unfamiliar vocabulary and technical asides (and surprising wit in such an academic volume).

When I finish this challenging adventure, I am hoping to be armed with new concepts and arguments to more rigorously flesh out the basic Biblical ones that I have been sharing in my book and website and this BLOG.


I'll keep you posted - but don't hold your breath waiting. 

This project make take me some time.
Blessings, Barry

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Response to Universal Reconciliation Opposition - Part 4

This is the fourth in a mini-series of posts responding to the arguments offered by Dr Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum (Dr Arnold) against God's plan to eventually reconcile and save all His creation.

His arguments against Universal Reconciliation (UR) are offered under five headings, the first of which is a. The Scriptures Used. (see a previous post "Opposition to Universal Reconciliation" here)

Under the a. The Scriptures Used heading Dr Arnold quotes five (carefully selected) texts that he claims teachers use to prove the truth of a second probation, as Dr Arnold calls it.

He says, Basically they point to five passages of Scripture ...  The fourth passage is Philippians 2 : 9 - 10 which teaches that every knee [shall] bow.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
[Philippians 2 : 9 - 10  NIV]

Dr Arnold's objection is that but again this passage only shows the subjection of all to God; it does not mean the salvation of all. Even unbelievers will some day be in subjection to Him.

As in Part 2, Dr Arnold cites verses isolated from their context, effectively constructing a straw man rebuttal. He has so carefully selected these two verses that he ignores verse 11 which just happens to torpedo his criticism.

and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
[Philippians 2 : 11  NIV]
Dr Arnold pleads that *the subjection of all to God* does not infer salvation of those all, and I agree, in isolation, that might be so.
The possibility of forced subjection, which Dr Arnold infers, with participants compliant on the outside but rebellious on the inside, is unlikely in a situation that is deemed to bring glory to God.
More likely this subjection is the result of God's work in the hearts of all who are bowing the knee and acknowledging the lordship of Jesus, as it has been with us.

In support of this, it is worth remembering that the Bible teaches that it is not possible to acknowledge the lordship of Jesus without the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit.

no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
[1 Corinthians 12 : 3  NIV]
This great worship event, which was also foreseen by Isaiah (chapter 45), alludes to God being "all in all" [NIV] or "everything to everyone" [CEV] in our previous 1 Corinthians 15 : 28 reference cited in Part 2.

It is important to keep God's big picture in view when considering small text snippets to ensure our small-scale thinking remains consistent with it.
And because God is the source and sustainer of everything, everything finds fulfillment in him. May all praise and honor be given to him forever! Amen!
[Romans 11 : 36  TPT]
Blessings, Barry

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Response to Universal Reconciliation Opposition - Part 3

This is the third in a mini-series of posts responding to the arguments offered by Dr Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum (Dr Arnold) against God's plan to eventually reconcile and save all His creation.

His arguments against Universal Reconciliation (UR) are offered under five headings, the first of which is a. The Scriptures Used. (see a previous post "Opposition to Universal Reconciliation" here)

Under the a. The Scriptures Used heading Dr Arnold quotes five (carefully chosen) texts that he claims teachers use to prove the truth of a second probation, as Dr Arnold calls it.

He says, Basically they point to five passages of Scripture ...  The third passage is Colossians 1 : 20, which states that God will reconcile all things unto himself, both in the earth and in the heavens.

and through him (Christ) to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
[Colossians 1 : 20  NIV]

Dr Arnold's objection is that in this verse reconciliation does not mean all are saved. In fact, the very term "reconciliation" only means that all are savable. They still must believe and if they die without believing there is no further opportunity.

There are three parts to this objection - the meaning of reconciliation, the need to believe and no after-death opportunities.


Firstly, the meaning of reconciliation.

I can't find any dictionary that offers a definition of reconciliation as making people savable.
My Oxford dictionary offers five meanings for the verb "reconcile":
1. Make friendly after estrangement (between people)
2. Purify (a consecrated place after desecration)
3. Make acquiescent or contentedly submissive
4. Heal, settle (a quarrel)
5. Harmonize, make compatible

To me, people who have been reconciled to God have had their relationship to God saved (to get the word "saved" into the discussion), even if they aren't aware of it during their life on this planet in their earth-suit.

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
[2 Cor 5 : 19  NIV]
because
(God) desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God;
there is also one mediator between God and humankind,
Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all.
[1 Timothy 2 : 4 - 6  NIV]

Why would God bother to reconcile the world to Himself, inflicting such humiliation and suffering on His Son, if He didn't plan to save us all?
Making a distinction between reconciliation and salvation seems quite a stretch for me.

In any case, Paul speaks specifically of the joint ministry of Jesus' death and resurrection in his letter to the Romans - we are reconciled to God by Jesus' death and saved through his life.
For if, while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life.
[Romans 5 : 10  NIV]
Secondly, the need to believe.
God is surely the Saviour of the whole world, including current unbelievers.

That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
[1 Timothy 4: 10  NIV]
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.
[Titus 2 : 11  ESV]
And Christ himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of everyone.
[1 John 2 : 2  GNB]

So do people need to believe in order to be saved?
No, not at all. 
God has already taken care of our salvation 2000 years ago without any input from us.
So what's this thing about believing?
You can only believe in something that already exists. (If you believe in things that don't exist you are a strange person indeed.)


God chooses to give faith to some so they can appreciate, experience and enjoy the salvation that Jesus has already won for them - as well as become His messengers of reconciliation.
These are the "especially" people mentioned in 1 Timothy 4 : 10 above.
Those not given faith while in their earth-suits, whose salvation has also been won, will need to wait until the Great White Throne judgement to appreciate what Jesus has done for them.


Salvation is our joy right now as God gives faith to those He has chosen to be the advance party (the Body of Christ), and will be the joy of those not in the Book of Life who will see Jesus and come to the knowledge of the truth at the Great White Throne.

So 'yes' we do need to believe, but not so that we will be saved, but to appreciate the salvation already granted to us.
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.
And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
[2 Cor 5 : 19  NLT]
Thirdly, no after death opportunities.
I can't find a text to support or refute Dr Arnold's opinion that people have no after death opportunities.
However God does have a plan for His creation.

With all wisdom and understanding, he (God) made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
[Ephesians 1 : 8 - 10  NIV]

This plan, motivated by God's love for His creation, must be implemented, since God is in sovereign control.
So my logic tells me that

if God's plan is to bring unity to all things, and
if God has already reconciled the world to Himself, and
if God is the Saviour of the world
then people who do not believe in the Saviour Jesus before they die will do so after they die.
Otherwise
God doesn't achieve His unity plan, and
God has not reconciled the world to Himself, and
God is not the Saviour of the world, and
Jesus was not successful on the cross, and
God is not the God of love and sovereignty I serve.

Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.
[Romans 11 : 36  MSG]
Blessings, Barry