An Exploration of the Spiritual Universe

From the Urantia Foundation website:

 

The Urantia Book contains nearly 2,000 pages divided into 196 Papers related to all aspects of human life.

 

The book begins with a description of God and the central universe of divine perfection. Its description of the cosmos moves outward toward life on our planet, covering in the process the essential elements of our careers from life here on Urantia (the universe name for the earth), all the way until we come into the personal presence of God on Paradise, and beyond. The highly detailed biography of Jesus places the Urantia Book in a class with the finest literature in the English language.

 

Some concepts in the Urantia Book have never before been expressed in print. The book's unique value consists in the comprehensive manner in which already well-known concepts are presented to illuminate God's love for each of us, and our place in his eternal plan—fitting these concepts together to give a philosophical and spiritual unity to our understanding of God's dealings with mankind. Some important themes are:

  1. God. The Universal Father, is the eternal creator, controller, and infinite upholder of all reality, the source and destiny of all personalities, and the head of all government throughout the universal realms. Except for God, there would be no such thing as reality; without the Father would not anything exist that does exist. The Father is living love, a Person who knows us, and whom we can know. The Father dwells within us, and in him we live and move and have our being.
  2. The universes. The galaxies are sprinkled with inhabited planets, many harboring civilizations billions of years old. The perfect central universe and the evolutionary universes such as our own all circle Paradise, the dwelling place of the eternal God at the center of all things.
  3. Unending progress. God has a purpose for every world in his almost limitless domains, and a plan for every creature on every one of them, a plan which embodies unlimited progress in eternal growth. Mortals start at the bottom and, through faith and service over long periods of time, ascend through the universes until one day we come to be with God on Paradise. In future ages he will send us forth to serve in new universes now in the making.
  4. Eternal life. God has a far-reaching plan for us which embodies boundless attainment, adventurous service, and personal fulfillment. Nevertheless, it is wholly optional whether or not we accept this plan. The Father has endowed each of us with the free will to accept or reject all or any part of his plan. The heavenly Father has ordained that we be free persons, and he respects the choices we make, even when such choosing is self-destructive. As a place, hell does not exist; after death, those who reject the way of life simply cease to exist. God loves every one of his children, and wants each of us to survive, but nonetheless he endows us with the prerogative to chart our own courses.
  5. The inner light.The Universal Father gives each of us a fragment of his spirit to indwell our mind, and lead us toward him into eternal life. When a person's life purpose becomes wholly pure, when his or her faith is perfected, he or she will spiritually fuse with this indwelling spark of divinity and become everlastingly at-one with God. Such fusion normally occurs after this life in the flesh, and is but the first stage of a never-ending revelation of the infinity of God to the one-time mortal.
  6. Faith. It is our personal faith in the promises of god that ensures our becoming partakers of the divine nature. We must be willing to give God all that we have and are; our commitment must be unreserved, no aspect of our lives held back. Faith is the price of eternal life.
  7. Righteousness. Those who claim to love God, yet refuse to live by high moral and ethical standards, deceive themselves. A life of integrity inevitably results from an inner life consecrated to God. We are not saved because we are righteous, rather, we live in harmony with divine values because we love God and desire to do his will.
  8. Spiritual transformation. The old way to find God required man to suppress, obey, and conform to rules of living. In the new way we are first transformed by the Spirit of Truth, and thereby strengthened in our inner souls by the constant spiritual renewing of our minds, and so are endowed with the power of the certain and joyous performance of the gracious, acceptable, and perfect will of God.
  9. God's universal family. We are all part of a gigantic enterprise involving uncounted trillions of beings whom God is perfecting on uncountable worlds. We are all brothers and sisters in God's universal family, and thus are affected by every other family member's actions. Any person's good effort moves the family forward, while any person's failure to choose the way of light retards us all.
  10. Service. A life of dedicated service to our fellows inevitably results from spiritual commitment. We can be God's partners in helping make this earth into the place he intends it to be, and help bring health, sanity, and happiness to mankind. Apart from serving others, life is meaningless and unfulfilling.
  11. Jesus of Nazareth. The Urantia Book's section on Jesus' life and teachings fills more than a third of its pages, and may be the book's most powerful contribution. It portrays Jesus as a divine Son of God, the creator of the vast stretch of the universe in which we live. There are other divine Sons of God who bear a similar relationship to God the Father in other parts of the grand universe. To us, however, the Son of God who incarnated on earth as Jesus of Nazareth is, to all intents and purposes, God. He came to earth to experience life as we live it on earth that he might become a more merciful and understanding sovereign, and while here, reveal God's love to his earthly children.