“All” means “ALL”?

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Dear friends,

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.

Isaiah 66:22-24

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.

Acts 3:16

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.

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9 thoughts on ““All” means “ALL”?

  1. In Hebrews it states that he died for the ignorant too. I believe that Jesus fulfilled his mission and that He took away the sin of the world. So therefore, I don’t live in sin conciousness. If he failed Christ will have to come back and do it all again? Duh

    • Dear Bonnie,

      It is important to note that is not the intention of the note. I did qualify by saying “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.”

      Further, I am in total agreement with you that in the context of Hebrews 10, “all” there means every single sin. That is because the context says so. Jesus said down, once and for all.

      However, in the instance of Isaiah 66 it clearly shows that one can use that verse and imply that all man will bow down to God and be saved, there were those who rebel.

      I am a firm believer that all and I mean every single of our sins is removed. My previous note says that. Please feel free to read them.

      What I am saying is that we cannot read into something that is not there especially when the context does not say so. Hope that answers your “duh”.

  2. So what do you do with other verses mentioning all? Do you believe the sin of Adam cursed all? Because Paul tells us in Romans 5:19 that just as the result of one man’s trespass was condemnation for all, so also was the one act of righteousness that brings life for all men. So does all mean all here?

    • Chris,

      Thank you for your notes and the maturity in which you choose to share your views to me without any labels or name calling. A quality which I find rare.

      Firstly, I did qualify by saying “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.”

      Secondly, I agree with you in the sense that humanity fell into sin because of Adam’s sin and that all humanity is forgiven of sins. ALL humanity. I have no problems with that. BUT, are we condemned because of Adam’s sins or our own sins?

      I think no. We are condemn for our own sins. Now has God forgiven everybody? Yes. But is everyone saved?

      Just like humanity is not condemned because of one man but their own choices, the salvation of individuals does depend on a personal act of an individual. While like you I because of God’s love would want all humanity to be saved.

      That however is the not the case, you would note while Paul uses the word “all” in this verse, he goes on and uses “many” in the next verses. Why is that? Is Paul wrong? Or is that just Hebraism?

      Why does Paul do that? Having read Romans in whole, one cannot but deduce his whole message to be the concept of faith righteousness as against work righteousness and the emphasis to believe.

      Hence to interpret one verse out of its message is to create a doctrine base on a verse which goes against the theme of the book. As I said, 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.

      That my friend is my concern. Again I am not out to proof anybody wrong. I am invited to believe this “truth” by others and I had agreed to study on what has been shown to me and so far I have to be honest, I like what I hear but upon closer reading what I read and found out is not what the scripture says.

      I hope in that sense, I would have to respective disagree with you. I hope that goes well with you.

  3. I agree with that we need to read the Bible in context, but in the Bible it says that Whatever God wants He will make it happen, and since He loves every single person, why wouldn’t He show them the truth? What makes me a better person? Why wouldHe choose to show me the truth, but not someone else? Since “you didn’t choose me. I chose you..” (John 15:16 for example)

    It’s just hard for me to believe that some people wouldn’t be saved and only some would. Now I don’t mean that they don’t have to believe or have faith, of course they do, that’s the only way, but I’d rather believe that when the time comes each person would believe.

  4. Faith is a gift (Eph 2:8-10) given in measure to whom God chooses (Rom 12:3-all men in context is all Christians, John 5:21, Mat 11:27), but not everyone is chosen (2 Thes 3:2, Mat 7:13-14).

    In Romans 9:16 Paul says that, “…it is not of him who wills…” because all men willfully reject God and do not seek Him (Rom 3:11, Ps 14:2-4, Isa 53:6) when God actually requires it of all men (Acts 17:26-27, 1 Chr 28:9, Mat 7:7-8). This is why legally God can harden or have mercy on whomever He wants to for His righteous purposes. God designed it this way from the beginning so that no one could boast or complain (Rom 11:32-33).

    Most scriptures become clear if we acknowledge the fact that man uses his free will to reject God’s help (Isa 53:3, 65:5) even though God has made a way of salvation (Isa 53:5). Legally, God does not have to save anyone, but He decided to do so anyway as a love gift to His Son (John 6:37). It is the proper mixture of a little bit of Calvinism and a little bit of Arminianism because neither one is correct by itself. It is true that no one can come to Jesus and believe unless God draws him (John 6:44), but that is because God gives that faith/belief to come to Jesus as a gift (Eph 2:8-10, Acts 2:47 & 13:48, 2 Thes 2:13). This is why those that are not drawn by God consider the preaching of the cross as foolishness (1 Cor 1:18). God does not even require the unsaved to understand the cross on their own. The only thing we can do on our own that is required by God is to truly seek Him (Acts 17:26-27) for help of our sinful condition or nature since we cannot stop from sinning. It is humbling to admit our sin is bigger than we are and to ask God for help. It is the opposite of pride. If we would truly seek God for help then He would give us the gift of faith/belief to come to Jesus Christ as the means of His salvation. Since no one does seek with their free will and are guilty (Rom 1:20, 2:12-16, John 3:19), God simply draws/makes/predestines some to seek and believe by giving them the gift of faith by His grace (2 Thes 2:13, Eph 2:8-10, Acts 2:47, John 5:21) even though they did not ask for it. This is why Jesus was found by those who did not seek Him (Rom 10:20, Isa 65:1). Free will takes us all to hell because we do not seek or want the true God (John 3:19), but God’s predestination takes some hell-bound people to heaven as a gift, which He calls His elect, chosen, church, saints, bride, friends, brothers, etc. depending on whether you are part of the saved Jewish or Gentile remnants or the Church (Rom 11:5-6). Faith is a gift (Eph 2:8-10) given in measure to whom God chooses (Rom 12:3-all men in context is all Christians, John 5:21, Mat 11:27), but not everyone is chosen (2 Thes 3:2, Mat 7:13-14).

  5. What I have a hard time with is this… Do not we seek and ask for the truth to be shown? I know I do often and sincerely. I cry out to my Loving Father stadning on the finished work of Jesus to lead me into all truth as He has promised to do. How is it that many of us (the Body of Christ) are kncocking asking and seeking and yet come up with completely different views? And each one who has diligently studied and asked the Spirit for His wisdom in these areas continue to conclude differently. I read much, and am blessed by it. Thank you Simon for this well researched post and especially your precious heart. I believe it is not for us to definatively know, at this time. We can trust He is the source and finisher of our faith and all things work toogether for good…..

  6. The damage is great to preach against the mercy of God. It hurts people, makes them insecure. It also creates a atmosphere of them and us. Christ cannot be divided. He is all in all created beings even if we dont know it yet. God see all things at all times at the same time. Jesus won a eternal victory on the cross with us in our death so we could live. God never hates, never return evil with evil. He restores the wicked into the likeness of himself included in himself. I believe God is greater and more powerful and that he won, and by that victory he wins… Noone can exist from the beginning if the outcome is not good, cause God is good…

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