Before we begin the 1st series of blogs on the Greek and Hebrew words translated as “eternal, forever and everlasting,” I would like to present a small selection of Scriptures that defend my position on Universal Reconciliation. I do this b/c, like I did when I first encountered it, there are some who will judge it as having no support in Scripture. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. For there are so many verses about this that it would astound you. We simply do not notice them b/c of our presumption that hell is endless.
What follows is merely a small selection. I have to refrain from sharing all of them b/c it would simply take too long to read through. Nevertheless I hope that what little I share here blesses you as it has me.
When the angels appeared to the shepherds to announce Christ’s birth, they said,
“Behold, I bring you Good News of great joy, which will be for all people.” (Luke 2:10)
This was the beginning of the Gospel and it truly was Good News (Gospel means Good News). Christ was going to pay our unimaginable sin debt!
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
And doing so Christ would become the Savior of mankind.
“The Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14)
And saving us from our sin, He reconciled the whole world to God.
“God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
I’m sure I don’t need to mention that these are all statements, they are not conditional. They are established fact (from Scripture’s point of view). Christ has taken away the sin of the whole world, He is the Savior of the whole world, God has reconciled the whole world to Himself! Think about that.
Unfortunately, this is the part of the Good News that is most often overlooked. Very few realize that Christ’s Atonement covers ALL men.
“He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)
“God is the savior of all men, especially of believers.” (1 Timothy 4:10)
That word ‘especially’ does not mean it excludes the first group, it simply refers to a ‘special’ salvation for the second group. It is always used in this sense; for example,
“So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” (Galatians 6:10; see also Acts 25:26; 1 Corinthians 14:1; 2 Corinthians 1:12; Philippians 4:22 and etc…)
“It is God’s will (Gr. Boulomai – to will, to choose) that none should perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
“God will have (Gr. – Thelo – to exercise the will) all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)
And we know that
“God works all things after the council of His will (Gr. – Boule, a derivative of Boulomai).” (Ephesians 1:11; see also Isaiah 46:10; Psalm 135:6, etc…)
“the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.” (Titus 2:11)
“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ will all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
This is called a parallelism, where the second line is equal to the first line. It is a poetic form of connecting two concepts. Therefore the “all” who will be made alive in Christ is equal to the “all” who died in Adam (which was everybody).
And if that doesn’t sound convincing enough, Paul says it another way elsewhere,
“So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, so also through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.” (Romans 5:18; see also the surrounding verses 15-21)
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth…and it was the Father’s good pleasure…through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:16-20)
The “all things” that were reconciled through Christ are the same “all things” that were created through Him (which is everything – see John 1:3, etc…).
For Christ promised that,
“If I am lifted up from the earth (a term for death on a cross), I will draw all men unto Myself.” (John 12:32)
The word draw literally means “to drag” (Gr. – Helko). The Louw and Nida Greek Lexicon defines it this way, “to drag or pull by physical force, often implying resistance.” See James 2:6, Acts 16:9 and John 21:6,11 for good examples.
“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11).
This is a partial quote from Isaiah which says,
“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. (Isaiah 45:22-25)
This is not wishful thinking on God’s part, He swears by His holy character that this is going to happen! I have no doubt that we all believe God concerning this, but what is significant and what we sometimes overlook is that,
“…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9,10)
A couple verses later Paul concludes his remarks on salvation saying,
“…the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
You see, confessing Jesus Christ as Lord produces salvation, no matter what kind of person you were and no matter if it happens in this life, or the next. This is b/c,
“no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)
Therefore eventually EVERY tongue will confess Jesus Christ is Lord and be saved. That is why Paul says,
“to this end Christ both died and rose again, that He might be Lord both of the living and the dead.” (Romans 14:9)
But the appointed time for all men to confess Jesus Christ as Lord is yet waiting. For,
“heaven must receive [Jesus] until the period of the restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” (Acts 3:21)
And so it will be that,
“in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and in the earth.” (Ephesians 1:10)
“God is going to make all things new, both in heaven and in the earth.” (Revelation 21:1,5)
“creation will be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:21)
“The last enemy to be abolished is death (this would have to include the second death)…then all things will finally be subjected to God…and God will be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:25-28)
So even though there will be judgment and wrath,
“His wrath is but a moment, but His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 30:5, 103:9)
“Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13)
“Men are not cast off by the Lord forever, for though He causes grief, yet He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness.” (Lamentations 3:31,32)
“God has shut up all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.” (Romans 11:32)
“For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him.” (2 Samuel 14:14)
“the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to the dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:6)
Praise God! The Gospel truly is Good News of great joy which will be for ALL people! And when all of creation are redeemed and free, they will have nothing but gratefulness and praise in their hearts toward God! And then,
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord. And all the families of the nations will worship before You.” (Psalm 22:27)
“And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen.'” (Revelation 5:13,14)
I hope that this small taste gives you an idea of just how prolific the Scriptures are on this issue. We will have many more verses like these to look at in the 4th series, but before we get there we must lay some foundation. And as we go on, I hope that you too will begin to see that all the evidence points toward this one conclusion; that God is going to save all mankind.
Thank you for reading, I hope that you will continue to do so.