Jesus Saves ALL…or He Saves None

2011/07/all_statue_600.jpg

Seriously, most of my life, I never noticed the prolific “ALL” verses scattered throughout the Bible. But there they are, shouting a message that, to me, cannot be denied. Either Jesus is the “Savior of the world” as He declares, saving ALL people as is repeated over and over, or He saves none (because He did not tell us the truth).

Of course, I believe He saves ALL and that this happens in a process over the course of coming ages, as can be seen with a proper view of Scriptures, and that it does not mean that anyone gets off scot-free for how they treat others in this lifetime—Christians included!

But think about it. If grace is truly a FREE GIFT, and if no one is DESERVING of it by anything they have done, then why would I qualify to receive it and not someone else—especially someone who never had the chance to even hear about Jesus in this lifetime? How can grace be FREE for some, and UNAFFORDABLE for others? In the words of one of my Facebook friends, Sam C.:

In the traditional view, it is a scandalous idea to think that ALL people, no matter what they have done are saved by God in Christ Jesus. Why, our sense of justice is turned upside down! The guilty should be punished, the just should be recognized as such, and the wicked condemned; but this is only human logic which proves that there is no understanding of the death of Christ Jesus on the Cross or of God’s grace. If you can understand this, then it has been revealed to you by the Spirit. John the Baptist is quoted in John’s Gospel 3:27, ‘…a man can receive nothing, unless it be given him from heaven.’ This would include an understanding of grace and the finished work of the Cross.

Are there any verses that can help support ALL being saved?

First there are the parallel verses. I think these are thrown into the mix in order to combat the naysayers who will try to prove that “all doesn’t really mean ALL!” Oh yeah? Well if all doesn’t mean ALL, then not everybody is condemned by Adam’s sin, not everyone is disobedient, and not everyone dies:

“So then as through one transgression [Adam’s] there resulted condemnation to all men even so through one act of righteousness [Christ’s] there resulted justification of life to all men” (Romans 5:18).

“For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all” (Romans 11:32).

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order” (1 Cor. 15:22-23).

Well, some people say, maybe those are just flukes. It’s only 3 verses out of thousands, right? Besides, these are just the writings of Paul. Maybe Paul got a little overly excited about grace after his experience of being coerced into belief when he wasn’t even looking for Jesus. Maybe Paul did say he was a “pattern of those who would be believing” in Christ (1 Tim. 1:16, KJV), but maybe he was a little crazy after being blinded, shipwrecked and whatnot. So do any other writers in the Bible write about “all” being saved?

Torah Writer: “And in you [Abraham] all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen. 12:3).

Psalmist:ALL the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and ALL the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD’S And He rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep his soul alive” (Psalm 22:27-29).

Isaiah: “And the Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain” (Is. 25:6).

Daniel: “All the dominions will serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:27).

Zephaniah: “For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder (Zeph. 3:9).

Luke: And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people” (Luke 2:10).

John: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” (John 12:32).

Peter: “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

So now you see why I say, either He saves all as promised, or He saves none because His promises are not valid. In the mean time, what do we do with all the verses that seem to say otherwise? Do people only get “one chance” to be saved in this lifetime? What do we do with hell?

I’m glad you asked! Next week, the paperback edition of Raising Hell: Christianity’s Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire makes its debut on Amazon. Be sure to pre-order your copy today (also read the reviews to see what people are saying who have had the chance to read a pre-release copy)! You can also pick up the kindle version for $.99, or download a free PDF from our website, RaisingHellBook.com. Don’t wait…this Good News is too good not to get in on!

(Want to look up more ALL verses? Rom 8:32; Luke 3:6; Acts 3:20; 2 Cor. 5:14; Eph. 1:9-11; Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 4:5-6; Col. 1:20; Col 3:11; 1 Tim 2:3-6; 1 Tim. 4:9-11; Titus 2:11; Heb. 1:2; Heb. 2:8; 1 John 2:2.

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  • Kathy Anderson

    Julie, this is a great post! It's kind of crazy that over the years we have just been led to assume that ALL means all BELIEVERS!! How wrong can that have been!! I have a hard time believing that Bible scholars think all means SOME! But like many things, for me anyway, I will just one day read a verse of scripture that I have read many, many times and suddenly a new light about it will dawn on me!! So I guess when God leads us to open our eyes..Our eyes truly ARE opened!!

  • Amy

    <3 <3 <3

  • Amy

    O my gosh.. isn't this the truth?? It's amazing when your eyes are open how you can see that!

    • jferwerd

      I know…that is key. The opened eyes. Once that happens, you can never go back. Thankfully. :D

  • Mark

    Seems like you just did a search for the word "all." :p

    I don't see these verses as conclusive in any way with respect to universal salvation.

    Jesus certainly died for all, but it doesn't mean that all will confess and turn to him.

    • Ian

      Mark, "every knee will bow and every tongue will confess." How can all not be saved? Are you saying God takes away their free will and forces them to confess when they could just deny and curse him for all eternity if they wanted (and who wouldn't if there was nothing to gain from confessing and no chance of being saved and they had free will)? Some say they will be forced to bow and forced to confess out of compulsion, but that wouldn't be "true worship" which God desires. It would be puppetry, a sick joke.

    • jferwerd

      It does say that “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord.” This certainly says everyone will confess Him and turn to Him to me. Not to mention all the verses quoted. Julie <a href="http://www.JulieFerwerda.comwww.JulieFerwerda.com<br /> http://www.OneMillionArrows.com

      • Mark

        1 Corinthians 6: " 7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

        Certainly seems to suggest that a change from our sinful nature is required.

        Romans 8:

        1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
        5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

        9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

        There is a state of being in Christ Jesus and living in the spirit that is different from the state of not having accepted him.

        Isaiah 55

        7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
        and the unrighteous their thoughts.
        Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them,
        and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

        I know you will try to explain this away by saying it happens not in this life but in the next — but there is no support for that contention in the Bible.

  • Acushla

    "For God so loved the world that HE gave His only begotten SON that whosoever believeth on HIM should not perish but have Everlasting Life." "If you do not believe I AM, you will die in your sins" This is the WORD of Warning.

  • Sam

    Just be sure that people get the right book. Raising Hell: Christianity’s Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire, and not Francis Chan's new book, Erasing Hell: What God said about Eternity, and the Things We've Made Up. Not a good read. Read Rob Bell's Love Wins, and re-read Clark Pinnock's The Wideness of God's Mercy, and Neal Punt's What's So Good About The Good News, and Unconditional Good News. Now reading Universal Salvation?: The Current Debate edited by Robin A. Parry, and Christopher H. Partridge. Good post. Keep it up.

  • Drey

    Can't say that I agree with you although it must be admitted that we are all looking in a mirror which is quite dark; but it seems to me that from your viewpoint we can all do whatever we like since in the end we will all be saved.
    How come in our own tarnished and confused world we believe in punishment for wrongdoing? What about a holy God?
    Furthermore, you have to ignore or change or just plainly go along with your own interpretation of so many other verses which clearly teach that we are not all going to end up in the same place, that the wages of sin is death.
    You have managed to remind me of the serpent in the "mythical" Garden of Eden; "Did God really say?" Enjoy your cherry picking of the word of God, albeit a dangerous undertaking. Then again, according to your view, your future is fixed regardless.
    Blessings.

    • Sarah

      Okay, here's the flip-side of the coin: from YOUR viewpoint all you have to do is pray the "sinner's prayer" "believe" that Jesus died for your sins and you will go immediately to heaven when you die, you can do whatever you like with no consequences in this life or the next, simply because you "believe". Double standards! Seems that you do some cherry picking of your own. This comment can also apply to "someone" below.

    • Brian Weismuller

      Drey you say,"How come in our own tarnished and confused world we believe in punishment for wrongdoing? What about a holy God?" That should really be the point that Julie makes. Man finds it necessary to punish, it is an invention of man. Hear what God says:
      "… My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways
      are not your ways," declares the LORD. …" Isaiah 55:8
      Consider this verse:
      "They have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal – something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind." Jer 19:5
      God is saying that to burn someone's own child for even a few minutes to death is abominable, yet Christians believe that He will burn a great number of His own children for an eternity. See anything wrong here?

      • Brian Weismuller

        (my message to Drey Continued)
        He also tells us here that only He is all just. Read what Job says:
        "Indeed, I know that this is true. But how can a mortal be righteous before God? "Job 9:2
        "Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? "Job 4:17

        Definition of MYTHICAL
        1: based on or described in a myth especially as contrasted with history
        2 usually mythical : existing only in the imagination :
        The "mythical" Garden of Eden ???

        • Brian Weismuller

          (My reply to drey continued)
          Drey you also state,"Furthermore, you have to ignore or change or just plainly go along with your own interpretation of so many other verses which clearly teach that we are not all going to end up in the same place, that the wages of sin is death." That's right! DEATH! The pit, the grave. It doesn't say anywhere that the wages of sin is hell. You then go on about the Garden of Eden, I'm not sure what you are saying but let God tell it:
          "The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or YOU WILL DIE!.’” (The wages of sin are death)
          “You will not surely die,” (the serpent said to the woman" (Satan says the wages…are NOT death).
          Genesis 3:2-4

  • someone

    Imi pare rau ca vezi asa de gresit Biblia. Scriptura spune ca doar cei ce cred In Isus si se pocaiesc si Il urmeaza vor fi mantuiti. De asemenea mai zice ca toti cei ce sunt in Hristos si-au rastignit firea lor pamanteasca. Hello, isus nu mantuieste pe nimeni cu forta. La sfarsit orice genunchi se va pleca inaintea Lui dar nu ca sa se pocaiasca ci ca respect pentru ca El este Fiul lui dumnezeu.
    I am sorry you see that wrong the bible. The Bible sais that only those who believe in Jesus and repent for their sins and those who will follow Him will be saved. And also says that all those who are in Hrist are self controled. God doesn't save enyone by force. All knees that will bow means that everyone will have to respect the Sun of God.
    If what you say is true i shouldn't bodder for my salvation. I should do watever i would please and leave in sin because i'll be saved aniway.
    i don't thing so.

  • Lamont

    You said:
    "But think about it. If grace is truly a FREE GIFT, and if no one is DESERVING of it by anything they have done, then why would I qualify to receive it and not someone else"

    You don't qualify for it!
    That's what Grace is. "Unmerited favor."
    Definition: Grace is getting something you "don't" deserve. Mercy is "not" getting something you do deserve.

    Also, it wasn't free! Ask Jesus Christ what it cost him to save His people from their sins? Death on a cross, and separation from the Father!

  • Lamont

    As Paul has said: "if by works, then its no longer by Grace." In other words, if grace is deserved, its not Grace, but a debt owed to someone, then yor saying that God OWES you salvation, and that Jesus' death was in vain. (read Galations).

    God owes know one salvation. God could send all humans to hell and would be justified to do so, because that is what all people deserve for their sins against the Perfect, Holy, Righteous, Triune God.
    You quote: "So then as through one transgression [Adam's] there resulted condemnation to all men even so through one act of righteousness [Christ's] there resulted justification of life to all men” (Romans 5:18)."

  • Lamont

    Here's a response to you…

    Answer: Rom 5:18 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men…” i.e. all men WITHOUT EXCEPTION are condemned, or, under Judgment.
    “…even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men…” all men ‘WITHOUT DISTINCTION’ or, of race, gender, social standing, slave, free, rich/poor receive “the gift” of eternal life.
    Pertaining to the Lamb of God… Rev 5:9b: …And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
    Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation…” i.e. all ‘types’ of men/women.
    The Word of God is not contradictory, nor inconsistent!

    "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order” (1 Cor. 15:22-23).
    No doubt that we're all dead in Adam. It say's: " even so "in Christ "shall all be made alive. But where does it say if you "not in Christ" you'll be made alive? Not there!

  • God owes know one salvation. God could send all humans to hell and would be justified to do so, because that is what all people deserve for their sins against the Perfect, Holy, Righteous, Triune God.

  • God owes know one salvation. God could send all humans to hell and would be justified to do so, because that is what all people deserve for their sins against the Perfect, Holy, Righteous, Triune God.