We are often attracted by the elusiveness of having to believe all men will be saved. It is easy for us to be persuaded to believe an inclusion Gospel. while grace is inclusive, inclusion however is not grace. We must understand there are times, when the scripture mentions ALL, it speaks about the general and not everyone. What I am saying is that some parts all means all. Some parts all does not mean everyone! We need to distinct which is which.
22 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, ALL mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord.
For example while we can take the above verse and say “well, the verse here says ALL MANKIND WILL BOW DOWN” and assume we are all SAVED, we must however read things in context.
Let’s look at what the very next verse says,
24 “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to ALL mankind.”
You can clearly see that there are “SOME” who did not bow down and rebelled. They are dead and they are constantly being eaten and burned. If ALL is taken literally, why then are those who rebelled and now are eaten and burnt?
Here is another example.
In Romans 11:25-27
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved.
But yet in verse 5 Paul says “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.” Only a remnant. What does that mean?
Paul is saying here that individually even a Jew would need to believe in Jesus to be saved but as a people and as a nation, when Jesus returns as their King, the nation of Israel will be saved. The word there means “healed” or “made whole”. The nation has finally found her King and the Kingdom be fully restored.
Clearly Scripture defines a divide between that is perishing and that being saved.
2 Corinthians 2:15
15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
While many thus argue that God will rescue anyways, there are passages that show that Jesus stands at the door and knock and waits for you to open your door. I know this verse is not about salvation but it does speak about Jesus respecting the human choice. So it is not as easy as it seems.
For those who say that well we have a cruel God and throws to hell because we refuse to subject ourselves to him, here’s my take on it. Dear friends, God may be love to we who believe Him. That’s well and fine. There are those on the other hand wants nothing to do with him. There are those like Adam who are terrified of him. There are those who rather be away from Him.
I can think of two scenarios. One, if you are forced to be with someone you hate, terrified and want nothing to do with, where are you? Right. Living hell. Two, to tell someone that my faith and having a right opinion of God is not important (ie faith) before I can be saved, its like saying I am marrying a man I never met before.
It is imperative for us to realize while we can agree it is the role of the Spirit to cause to hear and gives us the faith of God, we too must respond by receiving the same.
16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
Can you see your faith activates his faith?
Now does that mean God will throw people to hell?
2 Thessalonians 2:10 tells us that they perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. It’s not God’s fault its their fault.
It is very nice to say all humanity is born again and we are new creations of God in Christ, but we forget that John 5:24 tells us that “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.“
This clearly tells of the need to respond.
Then there is the word that the Holy Spirit is now in every man and this was poured out at Pentecost and thus it is only a matter of time, when all are awaken. Here’s my question: When did the Holy Spirit became resident in all men?”
Jesus said “the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:17. Clearly not everyone, otherwise he will not say the world cannot receive him.
For argument sake, this is negated at the cross and the argument is that at the cross or at Pentecost all men receive the Spirit when they say God said “I will pour out my Spirit on ALL men” to be on everyone and base on a one time event, what then about Cornelius and Apollos? Both of them receive the Spirit after coming to know the knowledge of Christ. The Spirit did not come from within. It came from within. I forgot to mention about the Ephesian Christians in Acts 19.
I am not trying to pick a fight or go against someone though many will accuse me of doing so. But here’s the crunch.
I might be wrong about inclusionism and if so, I will be the first to admit it and apologize. But if I am wrong, the damage will be minimal – the gospel will still be preached. But if I am right, the damage could be catastrophic. Many then live in the illusion that to that they are already saved and no faith is needed.
Does all really mean all? I leave you with that thought.