There are a number of big questions that have univerisal, eternal impact. What's the meaning of life? Is there more to the universe than what we humans can see? Is there something after we die?
Probably the biggest of these, though, is, "Is there a God?". When you say, "Yes I believe that God exists" then the MOST important question is, "What is God like?". That second question will then determine the answers to the rest of big questions. Is God loving or disconnected from us? Is God all-powerful, all-knowing or did God just spin the universe up and then sit back to see what happens? What is the character of God like?
The idea of Universal Reconciliation is completely, totally consumed with the question "What is God like?".
People ask me sometimes, "Why is this so important to you?". My answer is that the answer to the question tells us more about God than just about anything else in the Bible. It tells us whether God is all-powerful or not. It tells us whether God is all-loving or not. It tells us what our relationship to God will end up being in the end. It tells us about the Bible and Jesus and how much we can rely on them, or not! I can't really think of a question that has more direct bearing on "what is God like" than the question of the ulimate destiny of humanity as a whole and individuals.
Let's consider what the implications are for the question "What is God like?" for the following interpretations of Scripture.
1 - "God wants to save everyone, but individuals ultimatey can chose and if they chose against God, God can't or won't stop them and so he won't get what he really would like". This is the most common position and is called Arminianism. This position says God doesn't over-ride "free will" so-called. What does this really say about the power of God? What does it say about the wisdom or knowledge of God? I know that folks will attempt to make an excuse by appealing to "God's Justice" but there isn't any Biblical case for Justice that involves Mans will being greater than God's, nor is there any principle of Biblical justice that requires un-ending torture for any crime. Further, the Bible is quite adamant that God's justice is opposite of these things, so the appeal to God painting himself into a corner so that he can't get what he really wants because of Justice fails both biblically and rationally.
If Arminianism is true, then here's what we must conclude about "What is God like?"
1 - He is helpless to ultimately save everyone, although he wants to. God is weak.
2 - He is helpless to do what he wants because he is required to respect Mans will. Man's will is stronger than God.
3 - God doesn't have the wisdom or knowledge to solve the above 2 problems. God's knowlege and Wisdom, while vast, is limited and in ways that prevent him from saving those he loves. Very sad, limited wisdom and knowledge.
I know that true believers in the Arminian position will attempt all sorts of twists and turns and excuses to get out of the plainly obvious conclusions above. But Occam's Razor applies: the simplest solution is the usually the correct one. In this case, the logic and Bible are clear on what God wants and what comprises God's idea of Justice. One cannot appeal to either to justify the Arminian stance. I submit that the Bible is also intensely clear that God will get what he want's and that comports 100% with Justice.
The reason that I object to Arminianism is it degrades the God of the Bible to something more or less equivelent to one of the Greek God's, quite un-majestic, not all-powerful and not all-wise. I don't see this as compatible with a Biblical view of God and does not show God to be as great and powerful and wise as the Bible says. It tears down his character and, truthfully, makes the Bible an exageration. I know that Arminian believers don't intend this and I attribute their position to either not thinking and examining the consequences of their position fully, or at worst, peer pressure to conform to a tradition of Man. That tradition however should be adandonded for a higher view of God and HIS Character, power and wisdom.