When we are talking about god’s plan of salvation we are really talking about a person: the God man Jesus Christ. His name means God is saviour or Joshua. Jesus the rescuer; He is God’s elect!
When did God come up with this plan?
Let’s think for a moment. At what point in history did God come up with a plan to save humanity? Was it as a reaction to Adam’s sin? Did God have an emergency board meeting discussing what action heaven should take? No, God’s plan is and always will be the cross of Jesus – even before sin entered the world through Adam and Eve.
1 Peter 1:20 “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you”
Inventors of evil things
Incidentally, it seems a bit remiss of God not to warn Adam that if he sinned, not only would his children die but that they would burn for ever and ever tortured in hell? The simple explanation of course, is that it just isn’t true!
Romans 1:30 “inventors of evil things”.
I believe that only the wicked minds of men could invent and plan such horrible tortures inducing fear and control. That’s what religion does best! Look at its fruit: in the past – the inquisition and the burning or heretics. Today? Groups like Westbro Baptist Church and ISIS (Islam has a similar theology of Hell based on gnostic Roman Catholicism but reserved for all those who don’t believe in Islam!)
Jeremiah 32:25 “And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”
However, I’m getting a bit distracted here. Just to say that God is a good God and he plans good things:
1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Ephesians 1:4 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”
Jesus draws all men
Anyway, back to my point. Jesus is God’s plan. He is God’s choice and we are ALL chosen in him. This plan is all about Jesus; he is the focal point of history drawing ALL men and ALL things to himself!
John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw (pull) all men unto me.”
John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
What is that attraction? It is power of unconditional love! Resurrection power!
Colossians 1:20 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
Jesus died for all
Anyhow, let’s have a look at what Jesus has done for us all at the cross. Firstly, Jesus didn’t just come to die for mankind. He came to die AS mankind.
2 Corinthians 5 “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again”
Therefore, this means that we should look at lost people around us differently. Not one of them is beyond the grace of God! Our only claim to fame, is that because we believe and are called christians, we now have been given a job to do: we are on God’s welcoming committee!
What about those who don’t hear this good news and die in their sins? Does death mean that Jesus gives up the search? After that point we are a lost cause? Death and the devil won! Just a minute though, Jesus came to save the lost – what can be more lost than missing the final call!
Jesus has the keys of death and hell so if he wishes to preach to the spirits in prison – who is going to stop him!
Jesus paid for all
Secondly, he’s paid everyone’s outstanding debt of sin!
1 Timothy 2:6 “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
John 1:9 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Everyone is included! Jesus is the saviour of all men not some exclusive group!
Jesus – the saviour of all
1 Timothy 4:10 “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”
For fun, let’s rewrite this verse as a Calvinist and then an Arminian:
If the bible was written by Calvinists this verse would say the following: God is not the saviour of all men only those that believe (the elect)
If the bible was written by an Arminian this verse would say the following: God wishes to be the saviour of all men but unfortunately he can only save those who believe in this lifetime.
Fortunately for us, the sentence structure is used identically elsewhere so the meaning is crystal clear with no ambiguity.
Galatians 6:10 “as we have opportunity let us do good unto all men especially those who believe.”
When you put these two verses together it leaves very little wiggle room as to the meaning of ‘all’. In other words, Galatians 6:10 means that you are supposed to do good to everyone but ‘particularly’ (same Greek word in both verses) those within your sphere of influence: your neighbour, your church family.
Therefore, 1 Timothy 4:10 means: that God saves ALL. We all qualify but of course to experience that salvation we have to believe it! If we substitute other words instead of saviour the meaning abundantly becomes clear: “God is the judge of all men but especially those who believe.” (this is true by the way!)
Consequently, could it be that Jesus wins all in the end?
Philippians 2:10 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (see 1 corinthians 12:3) to the glory of God the Father.
1 Corinthians 15:28 “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
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Previous related post:
Love never fails (Part 1)
Gods brilliant plan (Part 2)
How big are God’s plans? (Part 3)
God is a universalist (Part 4)
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