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.