Urban Life Training Newsletter-March 18, 2021
2 Chronicles 25
14 After Amaziah had defeated the Edomite army, he returned to Jerusalem. He took with him the idols of the Edomite gods and set them up. Then he bowed down and offered them sacrifices. 15 This made the Lord very angry, and he sent a prophet to ask Amaziah, “Why would you worship these foreign gods that couldn’t even save their own people from your attack?”
16 But before the prophet finished speaking, Amaziah interrupted and said, “You’re not one of my advisors! Don’t say another word, or I’ll have you killed.”
The prophet stopped. But then he added, “First you sinned and now you’ve ignored my warning. It’s clear that God has decided to punish you!”
39 Go ahead and worship your idols for now, you Israelites, because soon I will no longer let you dishonor me by offering gifts to them. You will have no choice but to obey me!40 When that day comes, everyone in Israel will worship me on Mount Zion, my holy mountain in Jerusalem. I will once again call you my own, and I will accept your sacred offerings and sacrifices. 41 When I bring you home from the places where you are now scattered, I will be pleased with you, just as I am pleased with the smell of the smoke from your sacrifices. Every nation on earth will see that I am holy, 42 and you will know that I, the Lord, am the one who brought you back to Israel, the land I promised your ancestors. 43 Then you will remember your wicked sins, and you will hate yourselves for doing such horrible things. They have made you unacceptable to me, 44 so you deserve to be punished. But I will treat you in a way that will bring honor to my name, and you will know that I am the Lord God.
Richard: We are currently in a period of separation of good and evil and of judgement. The core teaching of this age is absolute sexual ethics . All the things that are an affront to God and His ideal have to be cleaned up. This will happen, for sure. As always, our own response and and responsibility is key.
The compassion and grace of God knows no bounds. The heavenly Father’s heart yearns to save all his children. These passages from scripture praise the extent of God’s saving work and predict it eventually to embrace all humankind. In Buddhist terms, the essential purpose of absolute truth is to liberate all sentient beings, and Mahayana Buddhist scriptures express the universality of grace in the bodhisattva vow of the Buddha Amitabh to save all beings.
Salvation may come to all people through one central point: thus in Abraham “shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12.3). For those who believe in one religion as the only way, the divine mandate to save all humankind is a powerful impetus to missionary activity. On the other hand, God may express his saving will by sending multiple prophets and sages to all nations, warning each to return to God using the means suitable to their different cultures.
If salvation is to be available universally, to every soul who has ever lived regardless of his or her earthly life, the doctrine may appear at odds with beliefs about hell and the Last Judgment. If God is most essentially just, how can the wicked ever receive salvation? On the other hand, if God is most essentially gracious and compassionate, how can he permit any creature to suffer in hell eternally? To understand the heart of God our heavenly Father, Father Moon asks us to imagine how we would feel if one of our children were a condemned criminal. We would want to save our child, even take his place at the gallows.
Father Moon also discusses the difficulty of the path of salvation in terms of the methods which God is constrained to use, because he created human beings with the sovereign freedom to live and mold our lives as each sees fit. Nevertheless, ultimately God’s purpose shall be done: all people will be saved and even hell will be emptied of its occupants.
The daily concern of the Parent is single-heartedly how best I can advance arrangements to save all of you.
Ofudesaki 14.35 (Tenrikyo)
The Dharma of the Buddhas
by the constant use of a single flavor
causes the several worlds
universally to attain perfection.
By gradual practice
all obtain the Fruit of the Way.
Lotus Sutra 5 (Buddhism)
The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
2 Peter 3.9
God is on the watch for the nations of the world to repent, so that He may bring them under His wings.
Numbers Rabbah 10.1 (Judaism)
I testify that Thou art the Lord of all creation, and the Educator of all beings, visible and invisible. I bear witness that Thy power hath encompassed the entire universe, and that the hosts of the earth can never dismay Thee, nor can the dominion of all peoples and nations deter Thee from executing Thy purpose. I confess that Thou hast no desire except the regeneration of the whole world, and the establishment of the unity of its peoples, and the salvation of all them that dwell therein.
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh 115 (Baha’i Faith)
We will make offering unto You with worship,
O Lord, and to the Right,
That you may achieve through Good Mind the
destiny of all creatures in the Dominion.
For the salvation of the man of insight among such as you,
O Wise One, will hold good for everyone.
Avesta, Yasna 34.3 (Zoroastrianism)
“As I live,” says the Lord God, “I have no
pleasure in the death of the wicked.”
Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
for I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn,
from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness
an irrevocable decree:
“To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear.”
God it is who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all [false] religion, however much the idolators may be averse.
The Lordsaid to Abram… “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
And there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them.
Are you not like the Ethiopians to me,
O people of Israel?” says the l ord .
“Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt,
and the Philistines from Caphtor and the
Syrians from Kir?”
The Tathagatas do not enter ultimate liberation until all living beings have entered ultimate liberation.
Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 4 (Buddhism)
Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him,
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not fail or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.
I establish the Vows unexcelled,
And reach the highest path, Bodhi.
Were these Vows unfulfilled,
I would never attain Enlightenment.
I will be the great provider
Throughout innumerable ages.
Should I fail to save all in need,
I would never attain Enlightenment.
Upon my attaining Enlightenment,
If my Name were not heard anywhere
In the ten quarters of the universe,
I would never attain Enlightenment.
Practicing the Holy Way—selflessness,
Depth in right reflection and pure wisdom,
Aspiring toward the highest path,
I will be the teacher of devas and men.
My wondrous power by its great light
Brightens countless lands throughout,
Removes the darkness of the three defilements
And delivers all from suffering and pain.
Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra 9.1-5: Juseige (Buddhism)