for All 2 I have a follow-up on Redemption
for All :If you believe that the offer of redemption is still
available to those who fail to repent and follow Christ before they
die, how do you interpret the story of the rich man and the beggar
Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)? It seems clear that the rich man in this
parable wishes he had repented before it was "too late"; the story
tells of a "great chasm" between heaven and hell, which can never be
Response Redemption for all does not mean that it doesn't matter when you repent - it may well be that people reach states when they are past repentance, and anyway living live with Christ is an inestimable good in itself. If you meet the love of your life when you are in your 20s it matters, a lot, if you don't marry her and follow a chain of doomed relationships, even if you end up marrying her in your 60s. (Indeed one reason is that you don't have children, and the joy of helping someone else come to faith, or strenthening theirs, is also considerable!) Repentance has to be genuine - a robber who steals £1,000 and gives it back for a £2,000 reward has not repented - so I doubt whether someone who 'repented' just becasue they were now suffering torment would actually have re-oriented their will enough.
We've also got to be careful not to read more in to this parable than is there. It's clearly got some elements of metaphorical language - we don't really believe that we will all be in Abraham's "bosom". Nor does it say that the chasm can never be crossed, merely that "those who wish to go across ( diabaino - same word as in "come to Macedonia and help us", also used in Heb 11:29 of crossing the Red Sea) nor from there to us can cross over ( diaperwsin - also used in Acts 21:2, Matt 9:1 14:34, Mark 5:21, 6:53 so it has connotations of going on a boat). Of course Jesus descended into Hell and preached to the dead and gave salvation to many there (cf Matthew 27:52-53).
Ultimately we are compelled to affirm both that (a) the choice is real and urgent and matters deeply and that (b) God's love is infinite and his mercy is everlasting, so God will save all that He can.