Romans 10:9-10 " 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
How can Universalists believe that everyone is saved automatically when these verses and others clearly point to an individual decision?
Well I would begin by saying not all Christian Universalists believe everyone has been “saved automatically.” Some do -- but they comprise what is in my opinion a tiny minority.
Most, in fact, believe each person must make a rational and conscious decision to follow Jesus. We (because I belong in this camp) affirm the verses you cited above, only adding that every single person will make the choice to follow. If not in this life, then in the next. How can we be so confident of this? Flip a few chapters forward and you will see Paul answer this very question. Romans 14:11 reads, ‘“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”’ That word, ‘confess’, is the same in both passages, and it might be better translated as ‘praise’. So since it is obvious not all confess (praise) God and believe in Him in this life, then it stands to reason all will do so in the next. Philippians 2:9-11 comes to mind as well.