The Salvation of All - Part 1
The idea of “universal salvation,” that is, that all will be saved, is not a new one, but for some time now I have had the thought in the back of my mind to address this very important concept, hence the reason for this video.
It’s evident that most of Christendom does not believe in this teaching, having been cultured by the various denominations and religious organizations of our time to accept the opposite position, which includes the idea of “eternal torment” for all who die in sin. I used to believe this, but haven’t for quite some time.
So, let’s begin our consideration of “universal salvation” with the following passages.
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (NASB95)
14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
First of all, note that Paul said, “For the love of Christ controls us,” thereby establishing what he is saying in love. Then note that he says, “Having concluded this,” suggesting that he has reached a final determination concerning the death of Christ. What did he conclude? “That one,” that is, Christ Jesus, “died for ALL, therefore ALL died.” There are a couple of ways to view this particular statement, but I believe the proper way is to say that when Christ died on the cross, so too “ALL died” in Him. This is verified by his statement, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf.” This idea is supported by what John the Baptist said concerning the coming of Christ to the Jews and the lost sheep of the house of Israel. “Behold, the Lamb of God, WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD” (John 1:29; ESV). In this instance, our word “sin” is collective, incorporating every sin; past, present, and future.
As Paul continues, he says, “So that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” This does not suggest that those who don’t “live” are consigned to “eternal torment,” rather, it agrees with the following.
1 Timothy 4:10-11 (ESV)
10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 11 Command and teach these things.
Paul was clear. God “is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe,” for “all died” in Him. Though this sets believers apart from “all people,” this statement does not exclude everyone else. He is still the Savior of those who don’t believe. After all, what is true according to our Maker does not depend on the fact that any of us believe it. God’s Word “is God” regardless of whether we embrace it or not (John 1:1; KJV).
It is verse 18 and 19 which are the most revealing, for the statement, “Who reconciled us to Himself,” speaks in past tense, indicating that the death of Christ accomplished what was intended, which in our Father’s eyes, is done. To further clarify what he means, Paul says, “Namely, that God was in Christ RECONCILING THE WORLD TO HIMSELF, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES AGAINST THEM.”
Now, let’s take a moment to consider this wonderful statement that God does not impute our trespasses (sins) against us. Why is this? Might it be due to the fact that Jesus died for ALL and therefore NO ONE was left out of His sacrificial atonement on the cross, having taken “away the sin of the world”? Absolutely! After all, if the Lord’s death failed to reconcile even one person, then the Lord’s sacrifice was woefully insufficient.
Beloved, consider the wisdom and logic of our Creator. Would God, who created all that is, both visible and invisible, determine to sacrifice His Son for the sin of the world, then do so and fail to atone for every sin of every human creature He ever created? Does this make any sense at all? As for us as humans, we are certainly fickle, but “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Num. 23:19; ESV) Furthermore, Paul told Timothy that God “desires (to will, wish) ALL people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1st Tim. 2:4; ESV). If God desires this, then who are we to resist His desire? Now, here’s an interesting and revealing side note.
Matthew 24:37 (NKJV)
37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Luke 17:26 (NKJV)
26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man…
There is much we could say about the “days of Noah,” but the one thing that stands out about this in light of our subject is the fact that the “days of Noah” were a time when there was NO LAW, for the “days of Noah” were long before Moses and the giving of the law at Mount Sinai. Perhaps Paul had this in mind when he wrote the following.
Romans 4:15 (ESV)
15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
What did Jesus say about the “days of the Son of Man”? “As it was in the days of Noah, SO IT WILL BE ALSO,” not might or maybe, BUT “WILL BE.” And how is it that our time is as the “days of Noah”? Might it be due to the fact that when Jesus died for the world, He took away the collective sin of the world because He was the perfect sacrifice who satisfied every requirement of the sacrificial laws once and for all time? (Heb. 9:26) And again, despite what tradition has led us to think, our acceptance and faith is not required! After all, would the Almighty jeopardize His purpose in Christ by placing this one condition of faith on it that most of us fail to meet?
So, to be clear, am I saying that the law of God is not relevant today? In respect to the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross for every person, I am, but in respect to the moral essence of God’s law, I am not. In Part Two, I will explain what I mean.