Universal Forgiveness and Evangelism

Ernest Hemingway wrote a story about a father and his teenage son. In the story, the relationship had become somewhat strained, and the teenage son ran away from home. His father began a journey in search of that rebellious son.

Finally, in Madrid, Spain, in a last desperate attempt to find the boy, the father put an ad in the local newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Paco, Meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon. All is forgiven. I love you. Your father.” The next day, in front of the newspaper office, eight hundred Pacos showed up. They were all seeking forgiveness. They were all seeking the love of their father.

This is where the importance of Universal Forgiveness doctrine comes in. I believe that everyone is a “Paco”. They don’t know how but they long to experience the forgiveness of God. They can only experience it if they recognize a loving God. They now have all the reason to come home because their sins have been forgiven. Why would someone go back home if they know there’s an angry father ready to give punishment for their sins? Or if ever they come home and abled to convince the father to forgiven them because they repented, who should take the credit for the successful restoration of relationship? Could it be the sinner because he repented?

On the other hand, since God has forgiven everyone of all their sins, when one comes home the Father gets all the credit for performing the act of forgiving while we were yet sinners, even before we come home.