Posted By Thomas Perez. August 10, 2010 at 11:18pm.
Salvation Opportunity Meeting This Weekend! Hosted By: Jesus Christ. The Greatest “Potential” Savior of All Time! Come and learn how God will give you the opportunity to get saved! Free Admission; only if you’ve repented of all your sins, got water baptized, quit sinning or not sinning as much as you used to, prayed every day, read your Bible every day, attended church at least once a week, fasted, tithe 10%, forsaken all worldly things, kept all of the commandments, if not we’ll accept 9 out of 10, and women must have long dresses and men short hair. Other requirements to be announced at the meeting. Come and see how easy God has made it for you to be saved!
Silly, is it not?
Those of you who have studied the Scriptures for any length of time know there are dozens of passages that declare the “Salvation of all mankind.” I, as well as many others, have made lists of these passages of scripture. I have given these passages to many people asking them to explain how these passages could possibly teach the concept of eternal torment or annihilation. I would say, “These scriptures are proof to me that God will eventually save all mankind. Explain to me how these Scriptures could possibly mean something different?
In my studies of teaching the salvation of all mankind, I have never had a single person, no matter how well-versed he or she was in the Bible, go down the list and explain each passage away. No one has ever even attempted to do it. What usually happens is the person usually goes to their pastor, or a reference book that attempts to explain away one or two passages, but they can never explain away the whole list. Then I usually never hear from them again.
One of the leading reconciliation of all scriptures that they do make an attempt to explain away is 1 Timothy 4:9-11: This is a faithful saying worthy of all acceptance. For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. (KJV)
They argue that He will not save all mankind, just the “especially” ones, that is why the word “especially” is there. Some even go so far as to say that the Greek word behind “especially” means that. To me, this is really straining at straws. This is usually the best those who believe in eternal torment can do with these scriptures. Let us see how easy it is to deflate such weak reasoning.
In Galatians chapter 6 verse 10 we have the following sentence: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (NKJV)
Is Paul saying that we are only to do good to the “household of faith” or is he saying we are to do good to “all,” but especially the “household of faith?” Obviously, we are to do good to both groups. In like manner, Jesus is, in fact, Savior of all mankind and Savior of those who know they are saved. He is the Savior of both groups. The Greek word in both passages is the same Greek word, malista, which means “most of all.” So then, we are to do good to all, most of all to the household of faith, and Jesus is the Savior of all, most of all to those who already have an earnest of the promise within them.
At this point, often the person will begin to try to interpret “all men” or “all mankind,” etc., (depending upon the translation) as meaning “all sorts of men” such as some Europeans, some Americans, some Africans, etc. In other words, He will save some out of all mankind, but He won’t save “all of mankind.” Now they realize that is not what the passage plainly says, but they feel they believe that is what the passage means. None of the leading Bibles translate the phrase that way. The Jehovah Witness’s Bible translates it “all sorts of men.” So those who want to “interpret” this passage that way find themselves in agreement with a group notorious for putting their own interpretations right in the Word of God.
The phrase in question here is the Greek “ta panta.” The Expositor’s Greek Testament on page 504 in Volume 3 renders it “The universe in its widest sense regarded as a collective whole.” Professor John Eadie, professor of Biblical Literature in the United Presbyterian Divinity Hall renders it, “The universe, the whole that exists, all things, whether they be things on earth, or in heaven.” (Taken from Commentary of the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, page 52, 73) Dr. J.B Lightfoot D.D., D.C.L., L.L.D. speaking of the phrase “ta panta” says, “The whole universe or things, material as well as spiritual, shall be restored to harmony to God.” (St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon, page 160) “‘Ta panta’ is the existing all, the totality of things [The universe, Alford-R], panta would be all that actually is (Winer’s Grammar p.105)” This was found in Lange’s Commentary Volume II under Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, by Karl Braune D.D..
Using my computer to try to find how “all sorts of” would appear in the Greek, I found nothing phrased that way. The closest I could come was “kinds of” in 1 Corinthians Chapter 14. The word for “kinds” was “geno,” not “panta.” In short, this Scripture very plainly states that Jesus is the Savior of All, both in the English and in the Greek. One has to add their own doctrines or interpretations in order to make it say something different. The Jehovah’s Witnesses tampered with the Bible text itself, and those who interpret “all men, ta panta” as “all sorts of men” are doing exactly the same thing.
Now a Savior is much more than a lifeguard. A lifeguard’s job is to save people from drowning, but he cannot be a savior until he actually saves someone. Jesus is not declared the potential savior, He is not called a lifeguard. He is, in fact, declared to have accomplished the act of saving, and not just saving those who believe, but even those who do not yet recognize they have been saved, reconciled, redeemed, forgiven. There are many still in prison houses waiting for someone to tell them they have been pardoned. The door is open. Step into the newness of life. Avoid His wrath and judgment to come. Be cleansed now by hearing His call to you and believe it.
All are drawn to Him, for thus He said; “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me” John 12:32. Yet in John 6:44, we read; “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” But as the prophet Isaiah declared, Jesus is the Father (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, cr; John 10:30, Col 2:9), thus Jesus was declaring His deity in the salvation of all men. For without the Father He can do nothing John 5:30. Yet at the same time He was and is God and Man, therefore having the ability to fulfill His quote of “drawing all men” Notice the order of which these things are said…Jn 5:30, 6:44, 12:32, and even though not quoted above; Jn 20:28. Paul further elaborates on this in Philippians 2. Salvation was done and worked by God in Christ, who did not impute their sin against them but reconciled the world (sinners) to Himself and gave us the word of reconciliation, 2 Cor 5:19. If He does not impute their sin against them, how can He hold it against them? Note the distinction the Apostle Paul makes between “them and us, us and them”. But yet, all the while indicating at the same time God’s commitment to the entire salvation of all human beings.
Become the “Especially,” and I repeat avoid His wrath even though it is temporal in nature. Just picture putting your hand over a hot flame, burning high on a stove, try to keep it there for at least 10 seconds. I cant, can you? So if you think that you can live a life of sin and at the same time think God will not punish the sin within you because of His love for the sinner (you), then you are gravely mistaken. We often hear God loves the sinner, but hates the sin, this is true. I can’t make this any clearer. Again, it is the sin that disgusts Him, therefore it is the sin that must be dealt with by the wrath of God. Since sin is found in the sinner, it is therefore the sinner that must suffer until he/she is purged from all sin for the sake of His work of ultimate reconciliation and redemption of all.
Remember it was the sin in Noah’s day that grieved Him. It was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah that grieved Him, and it was the sin placed upon Jesus that grieved God. He who knew no sin, became sin for us. How much more then can sin be punished? Certainly not for an eternity and certainly not for the ultimate annihilation of the sinner. For further studies on this go to my blog “Questions Without Answers on Universal Salvation.” I do not see the freewill factor as determining the ultimate destiny of ones self. Nor do I see the views of hyper Calvinism (as God choosing some to salvation but not all, thus causing those not chosen to receive eternal punishment for something that is beyond their control). However; I do see, as plain as the nose on my own face, the Bible’s central theme of salvation given to all men. I see God as having the ultimate victory in all. Victory over sin, iniquity, death, and hell. Instead the sovereignty of God is complete in all sin, righteousness, and judgment.
He will accomplish His own will to save all. We, the ‘especially’ are not appointed onto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ 1 Thess 5:9, who died for us (vs 10). Yet, it is revealed that Christ came into the world to save sinners 1 Tim 1:15…does this include all sinners or some? Are we not all sinners Rom 3:23? Therefore, the previous citation includes all men! We the ‘especially’, ‘the chosen’, ‘the elect’, ‘the predestined’, are only called to give the word of this ‘reconciliation’, and to believe it, and pass it on to others. The gospel is not based on a condition of acceptance or predestination, it is based upon Christ’s finished work on the cross; not only for us, but also for the world John 1:29, 1 John 2:2, 4:14, 2 Cor 5:19. It is as simple as that! No doctrines, creeds, or statutes. All one needs to do is repent and believe Acts 16:30-31. But notice the Apostles had to speak the word of reconciliation (vs 32). Mans’ belief and repentance is due to Gods higher calling upon us ‘the especially individuals’, to declare the word of the Lord to all men. Does this mean that God only calls certain individuals to share the message of reconciliation? The answer to this question can only be a resounding, ‘yes’.
To further elaborate, let me explain. With all due respect to Moses, archaeological findings indicate the human race as starting with a belief in one God and then there was a rapid decline into polytheism and idolatry which later developed. such beliefs became evidenced in their different cultures, societies, and communities. This has been verified in inscriptions found by Dr. Stephen Langdon of Oxford University in pre – flood layers of early Babylon at Jemdet Nasr, near Babylon (see Langdons’ Semitic Mythology and the field museum of Oxford University experdition to Kish By Henry Field). In Egypt, Sir Flinders Petrie found indications that Egypts’ first religion was monotheistic. Moreover, leading anthropologists have recently announced that among all primitive races, there was a belief in one supreme God (see Dr. Schmidts “Orgins and growth of Religon – Facts and Theories”). As a result of the decline into polytheism and idolatry, God choose Abram and changed his name to Abraham, the father of the chosen Hebrew race / nation. It was the job of the Hebrew race to declare, once again to the world, the one true God. However, sometime between 1420 BC to 1220 BC, Moses was called to declare the Word of God, and is given considerable credit for bringing the Hebrews back into the belief of a monotheistic God than the belief in many gods.This has been the trend, so to speak, concerning the overall purpose and plan of God; He calls, we respond, and thus share the word to others to enlighten them to the truth, in this case the truth of the gospel message as declared today through modern day Abraham’s, Moses’ Peter’s and Paul’s. As Peter and Paul said, “follow me as I follow Christ” (2 Thess 3:7, I Pet 2:21).
Similarly, the prophets of old were the declarers of the word of the Lord to the elect house of Israel, but Israel became enemies of the prophets because of her sin. Eventually God blinded them through unbelief in the New Testament era for our sake. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for our sake; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ (patriarchs) sakes. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all. Yet, even through all this, it is declared that all Israel shall be saved Rom 11:26-32. 1 Tim 2:4 cites a similar passage in relation to the ultimate fate of all men.
We, who are the “especially” crowd, have the honor of shouting to the world that they have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. “Be ye reconciled!” That should always be on our lips! We have very good news for the world, whether they awaken to it or not, whether Christian leaders believe it or not. It is a done deal. Let us get comfortable enough with these kinds of scriptures that we can explain away the lies that have been fed to the world about Who our Father really is. He is not interested in having a racially-balanced heavenly race by gathering a few representative samples from each continent. No, He is interested in restoring all things unto Himself that He may be all in all – nay, more than interested – determined! And who can resist a determined God Who shall do all His good pleasure, Who is willing that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth? Let us declare the gospel to all men so that they can enjoy the fruit of missing Gods wrath upon their deeds whether it be gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble. For every mans work shall be made manifest; for that day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it was, whether it be good or bad. For our God is a refining fire, who will render to every man according to his deeds. For there is no respect of persons with God Rom 2:6-11, 1 Cor 3:11-15, 2 Cor 5:10, Mal 3:2-3.