Open Letter to Universalist friends

Dear Friends,

First of all, I want to commend you in your faith and love for Christ. Your heart is sincere in its desire to see people free from legalism, fear and the errors found in mainline Christianity. I understand the logic of Christian universalism and how wonderful it would be if everyone was saved by Christ even without their faith.

But in our great desire to see all people saved, I think we have ignored the very scriptures that told us about Jesus Christ and salvation.

As you may know after 3 years, I am no longer a Christian universalist and want to explain why that is the case. I am now an evangelical Christian.

99% of Christianity believes that a person must be saved by grace through faith. It is only a very small minority of people who believe in Christian universal reconciliation/inclusion. I cannot believe that God has hidden this idea from mainline Christianity for 2000 years. Preachers like Martin Luther, Joseph Prince, C H Spurgeon, etc never preached universal salvation. The truth is that neither Jesus Christ nor the Apostles preached automatic universal salvation at any time. The entire Biblical theme is salvation by grace through personal faith in Christ. We cannot claim to know more than the Lord Himself and the Apostles who wrote the New Testament.

We say that Christ universally reconciled the world using scriptures found in Colossians 1, 2nd Corinthians 5, 1st Corinthians 15, Ephesians 2, etc. But we fail to see that the same chapters clearly state that salvation is by personal faith.

The preterist universalist response is that the Bible was not written to us. Now, I agree that the Bible was not directly written to us, but all scripture is for the benefit of our salvation. If we reject the scripture because it says salvation is by faith, then why are we accepting the same scriptures that seem to imply that Christ has reconciled all people? If the scripture is not applicable to us, then even Christ is of no use to us.

I feel that we are approaching the scripture in the letter and not in the Spirit. By saying that salvation was required by faith from creation until 70AD and then became automatic after 70AD is simply making the Bible invalid.

From the beginning of creation, God has always required man to have faith – by not trusting in our own wisdom/strength but in God’s grace and love. So how did that suddenly end in 70AD? Adam’s sin was to trust in his knowledge to become like God – it was self-sufficiency. The Law was Israel’s manner in which they trusted in their own morality and strength? But God said that both Jew and Gentile were under the same sin of self-righteousness. The Gentile/nations were never under the law but still needed salvation.  (Romans 2-3)

The Law may have ended in 70AD, but we human beings still have the same attitude of self-sufficiency even after 70AD. We know that the Law ended in 70AD, but the Gentiles/nations were dead APART from the law before 70AD and also after 70AD. So then, the Gospel did NOT end in 70AD. It’s because man needs salvation from himself by trusting in Jesus Christ. It was never automatic at any point in history.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. God never changes. Did Jesus Christ say to anyone that “your unbelief has healed/saved you”? Did Jesus say that all people are saved without belief? Did Paul say that? I cannot find it anywhere. They always said that the righteous shall live by faith (“your faith has healed/saved you”).

Paul did say that Jesus is faithful to the faithless in 2nd Timothy 2 but that He would deny those who disowned Him.

11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

Jesus saved the disciples even when they had “little faith” – even that of a mustard seed. A Christian with “less faith” will never be disowned. But Paul said that if a person willfully rejects Christ, then there is no salvation.

The Gospel of Christ is an everlasting Gospel – it did not end in 70AD. The New Covenant began on the Cross and was preached after Christ’s resurrection. The Gospel was tied to the cross and not 70AD. Paul said He only knew Christ and him crucified. If we say that Jesus reconciled the whole world on the cross, then there was no need to preach the Gospel if everyone was automatically saved. The reason the Gospel was preached after the cross is that God wants ALL people to be saved, BUT ESPECIALLY those who BELIEVE.

Faith did not end in 70AD. Paul himself said in 1 Corinthians 13, that Faith, Hope and Love will never end. When we hear about God’s LOVE in Christ, it gives us FAITH for the HOPE of salvation. If Jesus automatically saved everyone and faith is no longer needed, then why do we even pray for healing, why do we need to be filled with the Spirit or speak in tongues? Why do we need faith for miracles? If we need faith for those things, then we need faith for salvation too.

Abraham was righteous by faith BEFORE the law came, before he was circumcised. We also become righteous by faith in Christ. That is how we are children of God.

John 3:16 was not restricted to Old Covenant Israel. In Colossians 1:15-20, we say that Christ has reconciled all of creation including people after 70AD, but then we say that John 3:16 was only for people before 70AD. That is hugely inconsistent – If Colossians 1 is about us, then so is John 3:16. We cannot say that the Bible was not written to us and then use the same Bible to prove universal salvation is true. We cannot ignore the requirements of faith from the Bible while picking verses that help prove universal salvation from the same Bible.

John 3:16 said that everyone who believes in Christ would not perish but have everlasting life. But we have changed the word “perish” to mean being “saved from 70AD” and not about resurrection/immortality.

We know that the unbelievers all perished in 70AD in the fire of Jerusalem, dying a horrible death. But we also know that most of the Christians also died horrible deaths by Nero and eaten by wild animals, beheaded and tortured, killed by Jews for the sake of Christ. So what kind of salvation was this for the believers? If both believers and unbelievers perished physically, then what exactly did it mean to have ETERNAL LIFE? What did it mean to PERISH in unbelief?

The scriptures clearly show that SALVATION is IMMORTALITY (living forever with God)

2nd Timothy 1

“This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

This is why Paul said that the unbelievers had NO HOPE beyond the grave but that believers had the hope of immortality in Christ.

1st Thessalonians 4

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him”

Adam’s sin resulted in physical death as we see God telling him here:

Genesis 3  “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to DUST you will return.”

This is why Jesus had to die on the cross and be raised from the dead to defeat the death of Adam. The resurrection of Christ was the proof that He is God. But Jesus himself said that only those who believed in Him would live even after death.

John 11 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die”

John 5 “24 “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.”

The fact that we are still dying in this world, shows that universal salvation is not true. Eternal life is not ours until we believe in Christ. Jesus never said that everyone was saved without faith. Never, not even once! So then how can we contradict our Lord’s words and say that everyone is saved without faith?

The New Jerusalem in Revelation 21-22 is the after-life where believers will see God and Jesus and there is no death, tears or pain. But we see that the nations enter the New Jerusalem by washing their robes and receiving healing through the tree of life. In Genesis 3, the tree of life would have allowed Adam to live forever if he ate it. So then, if we are not living forever, then we don’t have eternal life yet! We are not automatically universally saved. This is why the Gospel of Eternal Life in Christ cannot be restricted to 70AD. This is why we need salvation even today by grace through faith. To say that everyone is universally saved without faith is going against the Bible, Jesus Christ, and the Apostles.

The thing is that if we already believe in Christ and tell everyone that universal salvation is true, it brings relief to Christians because it “feels good”. But if an atheist or Muslim hears this message of Universal salvation and thinks that he is saved even without faith – then he is lost in deception!

If universal salvation is true, then we must question why the Apostles and 1st Century church had to suffer such a great tribulation to be saved? Did they enter the new Jerusalem by such tremendous faith only for people to be automatically saved after 70AD without any faith at all? Universal salvation is inconsistent and illogical and goes against the Bible, the Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ. Why did the multitudes of Christians suffer persecution and death in the name of Jesus in the last 2000 years? Why did we even have 2000 years of Churches all over the world? Universal salvation makes all of it redundant.

I am writing this in love – I am not attacking anyone personally.

We need to return to the true Biblical Gospel of salvation by faith in Christ and reject the heresy of universal salvation.

This is not a minor issue like a disagreement on Baptism or tithing – but this is a fundamental core issue with the doctrine of salvation.

We cannot get this wrong! We CANNOT assume that 99.9% of Christianity is WRONG for 2000 years because they preach salvation by faith. It is we who are preaching the wrong doctrine of universal salvation.

If everyone was saved then Paul would not have warned people of losing salvation if they believed another Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9, Galatians 5:2). The Apostles warned people that they would not be saved if they lived in wilful unbelief and if they loved wickedness (Galatians 5:19-20, 1st Corinthians 6:7-11, Ephesians 5:3-6, Revelation 22:14-15). We cannot dilute the gospel using the event of 70AD when the Bible does not say that everyone is automatically saved after 70AD. As long as people live on the earth, the Gospel of salvation is offered to all men because the New Covenant did not end in 70AD. It began on the Cross and will continue forever, world without end.

God Bless.

I will include my articles below here about why Paul and Jesus were not universalists:

Colossians 1:19-20
“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

Does that mean universal salvation is true? Let’s go to the next verse, where Paul says that salvation is purely by personal faith in Christ through the Gospel.

“21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”

He repeats the same theme in Ephesians

Ephesians 2:4-5
“4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved”

Does this mean that everyone is automatically raised with Christ and saved?
Paul clearly says that a person only receives salvation by grace through faith, apart from our works – in the same chapter.

Ephesians 2″8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Salvation is not anything we can boast in. Faith simply means that we trust in Jesus instead of our own works. We boast in Christ – Faith means that we have no merit of our own but only trust in Jesus Christ and receive His grace of salvation.

Ephesians 1
“3 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

He repeats the same theme here:

2nd Corinthians 5
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

God reconciled the whole world through Christ not imputing our sins against us, but in the same context, Paul says that we must be reconciled back to God through faith in Christ.

The same thing is said in Romans

Romans 5
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—”

Adam introduced sin and death to the world and we all die, because we all sin like Adam.
(trusting in our own self/strength instead of God) – that is the way of this world.

Romans 5
“18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.”

Adam’s sin condemned all people and all individually sinned…In the same way, Jesus has made the entire world righteous that could only be received through individual faith. How do we know that? In the same chapter  – Paul says that we receive righteousness through faith in Christ by grace (free gift).

Romans 5
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. “

The entire scripture says that salvation is by faith in Christ alone (John 3:16, etc)

God does not condemn anyone – the proof is the CROSS. but everyone who rejects Christ condemns themselves as unworthy of eternal life. (Acts 13:46). EVERYONE who believes in Christ receives salvation as a free gift.

Jesus does not change – He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
The Gospel was not restricted to the period between the Cross and 70AD.
If Jesus universally saved everyone by his death and resurrection, then there was no need to preach the gospel and no need for apostles.
People needed faith in Jesus when the Apostles preached AFTER the cross.
If people needed salvation AFTER the cross then they ALSO need it AFTER 70AD.
It’s because Jesus and the CROSS are greater than 70AD.
70AD did not bring universal salvation.
Jesus did not tell anyone that they are saved without faith.
Jesus told people that they were saved by faith in Him.
If Jesus does not change, then He has not changed after 70AD either.

People are still dying after 70AD. If Jesus has automatically saved the entire world, then the death of Adam and the human race would have been removed.
This is proof that Adam’s sin has not been wiped away globally and proof that universal salvation is not true.

Salvation has always been a personal choice and not universally forced upon us. We still need to be saved from death by faith in Christ. God cannot violate man’s free will.

We need eternal life – and it’s only found in Christ. It’s a FREE Gift through faith in Jesus.

Believing in Jesus is NOT a religion or heresy, otherwise, we have to then incorrectly say that Paul and Jesus preached religion and heresy.

Faith means that we realize that we cannot save ourselves by any morality, works, wisdom, ability, rituals, etc…AND that we personally TRUST in God’s love in JESUS to be saved.

Did Paul say all are in Christ automatically?

Did all in Adam suddenly become automatically included in Christ?

1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

No… Paul tells us how to be included in Christ in the context of the chapter:

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

Jesus is the last Adam who died and rose from the dead.
But we are only included in Jesus Christ through faith.

We cannot take the words of Paul out of context and say that salvation is universal and automatic.

When Paul said that ALL Israel was saved in Romans 11, did he mean that every single Israelite was saved and did he imply universal salvation?

The answer is no. In Romans 9, he said that most of the Israelites had rejected the gospel because they trusted in the law and not in Christ.

Romans 9

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.

Romans 10

Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

The Gospel offered salvation to both Jew and Gentile in equal measure:

“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Paul said that the vast majority of Israelites had rejected Christ. But there was a remnant chosen by GRACE.

Romans 11

I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

Paul said that salvation was always by faith. He said that the Israelites rejected the Gospel and it resulted in the salvation of a large number of Gentiles.

11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

The reason God had Gentiles to be saved in large numbers in that generation was to bring Israel to JEALOUSY! To somehow provoke them to be SAVED!!

The Israelites were cut off from the Olive Tree of Christ by their unbelief and the Gentiles were grafted in by their belief.

13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

The criteria for salvation was always personal faith. Paul said that God could bring back the Israelites if they believed in Christ.

23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

God had a marvelous plan: The Israelites’ rejection of Christ resulted in the salvation of the Gentiles – and when the full number of Gentile believers were saved, then due to jealousy, the full-number of Israelite believers would also turn to Christ in the last days before the 2nd coming of Christ in 70AD.

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.”

28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

God’s plan was supremely glorious in His grace!! Who could come up with such a glorious plan but God! He bound the Israelites to disobedience so that the disobedient Gentiles would be saved by faith, and after the Gentiles were saved, then the full remnant of disobedient Israelites were saved by faith!

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

 

Paul had already finished preaching to the Gentiles when he wrote to the Colossians 1st chapter here where he clearly said that Gentiles were saved by faith. It was not universal salvation

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”

After the fullness of Gentiles were saved, then we see that the book of Revelation 7 describes the salvation of “ALL Israel” (the full remnant of Israelites who believed the Gospel).

“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

The 2nd coming happened in 70AD when the END of the Mosaic Age happened.

The full number of Gentiles were saved and the full number of Israelites were saved – not universally but by FAITH in Christ. The Gentiles were not merely proselytes but they included all the pagans as well – because we see Paul preaching to an entire city of Gentiles in Acts 13 and also in the marketplace in Athens to Greek philosophers (Acts 17).

The Gospel unto 70AD was mainly targetted to the Israelites in all the nations, and the Gentiles were also included to provoke jealousy and make the Israelites come to Christ in their last days.

Salvation did not end in 70AD for the nations. It only ended for Old Covenant Israel. As long as nations exist on the planet, the Gospel will be needed forever! We are currently living in the 1000 year reign of Revelation 20. The first resurrection happened in 70AD for the 144,000 martyrs of Israel. But after 70AD, we see that Satan was bound/restricted and the Gospel has been spread to the nations. At the end of the 1000 years, Satan is loosed and Israel is deceived along with the nations to battle in Jerusalem. Then the world will be destroyed by fire and the final resurrection of the dead will happen in the future.

 

At that final resurrection, the nations will be resurrected into the new Jerusalem based on whether their names were written in the book of Life by faith in Christ:

 

Revelation 21

22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

 

Revelation 22

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Peter warned the people in the 1st Century not to distort Paul’s letters into thinking that salvation was guaranteed even if they rebelled against Christ.

2nd Peter 3

“15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.

Paul was NOT universalist and he was NOT Israel-only.

The Gospel began after the Cross and Resurrection of Christ and continues forever in the everlasting new covenant.

 

What was Biblical salvation through the Gospel of Jesus?

The Biblical salvation in Christ was not the escape from horrible physical death because both Christians and unbelievers suffered terribly. The Biblical salvation was immortality – the resurrection to be with God and Christ in heaven.

Paul describes this here:
2 Timothy 1
“This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and IMMORTALITY to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.”

Romans 6
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John 17
3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

John 10
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Eternal life is the OPPOSITE of perishing.

What did Paul say happened to unbelievers?

1 Thessalonians 4
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

The unbelievers perished and had no hope beyond death.
It was because of Adam’s sin that resulted in physical death.

Genesis 3 “for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Paul said ONLY the believers had the hope of the resurrection and immortality with Jesus.

The salvation was not simply about escaping the wrath of Rome in 70AD because Daniel and all the patriarchs were looking forward to the resurrection and entrance into the heavenly city. Daniel had nothing to do with escaping the Roman wrath of 70AD because they were already dead long before that event. Therefore salvation was the resurrection.

Daniel 12 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the DUST of the earth will AWAKE: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt”

It was about being resurrected to join Abraham and the patriarchs in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 8
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Hebrews 11
16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a HEAVENLY one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better RESURRECTION.”

Paul and all the Old Testament prophets were hoping for the literal resurrection of the saints when Christ would return in the 2nd coming.

Acts 24
15 and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.

It was the same hope of the resurrection of Jesus. Just as Jesus was raised, they too were looking forward to being resurrected.

1 Peter 1
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Adam’s sin had led to physical death / perishing. So then Jesus who never sinned, died on the cross and was raised from the dead – proving that He is the Son of God, Messiah of the world.

Romans 1
through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord

That was the sign and hope of the individual resurrection of the saints.

Romans 8
10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead WILL also give LIFE to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

The same Holy Spirit who lived in Christ raised Him from the dead – would also raise the saints from the dead. Paul was expecting that resurrection:

1 Thessalonians 4
“According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will RISE first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up TOGETHER with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

The resurrection was not corporate – but individual – first Christ, then the believers. If we say that there is no literal resurrection of believers, then Paul says that it is as good as saying that Jesus did not rise from the dead.

1 Corinthians 15
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since DEATH came through a man, the RESURRECTION of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But EACH in TURN: Christ, the firstfruits; THEN, when he comes, those who BELONG to him.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”

When Jesus died on the cross, His resurrection was His own salvation from death. He offered the same salvation by resurrecting those who believed in him.

Hebrews 5
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could SAVE HIM from DEATH, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal SALVATION for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

This is why the Gospel was about immortality/resurrection.

Those who perished in 70AD and those who were taken alive as captives by the Romans, did not receive immortality. They perished in their sins when they died.

The 2nd coming of Christ in 70AD brought the 1st resurrection of the martyrs but the final resurrection is still in the future when the world will be destroyed by fire.
The saints will enter the New Jerusalem / new heaven and earth through the resurrection to be immortal where there is no more death/sorrow/curse.

The event of 70AD was the end of Old Covenant Israel.
The salvation for Israel came to an end because it was the last days of their covenant.

But as you know from Romans 4, Abraham was made righteous before he was circumcised. Abraham was imputed righteousness by faith before the law came. This is why Paul said that salvation was not tied to Israel or their Law.
This is why Paul said that Gentiles not under the Law, were also saved by faith in Christ.

If Abraham was righteous by faith before the law came, then surely righteousness is still being given by faith even after the law ended in 70AD. It’s because faith did not end with the law. The faith was required much before the law and ALSO after the law ended.

The kingdom is everlasting and the Gospel is also everlasting.
70AD was the end of the Mosaic age.
But the Gospel was not only for Israel but for all men even after 70AD.

The Gospel will continue until the final resurrection of the dead in the future.

People still die after 70AD and return to the dust like Adam.
Therefore we all need eternal life through faith in Christ.

We receive eternal life only when we believe in Christ.

John 11
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”

When a believer dies, his soul goes to heaven. But he will only be resurrected on the last day in the future. Believing in Jesus is not a “religion”. It is believing in God’s unconditional love – only revealed on the Cross and not through any other god/system.

=========================

Does God save all people automatically?

1st Timothy 4:10 “God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”

Was Paul preaching universal salvation?
The answer is a very clear “NO”.

God wants ALL people to be saved – ESPECIALLY those who BELIEVE.

Let us read the CONTEXT:

1 Timothy 4 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

Paul warned Timothy that people would abandon the faith being deceived. If all are saved, then why would Paul warn them about it?

Paul exhorted Timothy to LABOR and STRIVE to preach the Gospel in season and out of season. Why? To SAVE himself AND the hearers of the Gospel.

7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we LABOR and STRIVE, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and ESPECIALLY of those who BELIEVE.”

15 Be DILIGENT in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. PERSEVERE in them, because if you do, you will SAVE both YOURSELF and your HEARERS.”

Paul did everything possible to SAVE people by the Gospel. If all are automatically saved, then Paul would not have needed to face intense tribulation and be so adaptable to every Jew and Gentile to save them.

1 Corinthians 9 “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

He commanded Timothy to do the same

2 Timothy 4
4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

If everyone is automatically saved, then Paul, the Apostles & Christ’s words are useless. There was no need to preach the gospel for the last 2000 years. There was no need for martyrs or tribulation in the 1st Century. There was no need for missionaries, evangelists or persecution in the last 2000 years. It was all a waste of time.

But the Bible is very consistent: salvation has always been by grace through personal faith and never automatic. God wants everyone to be saved and does not want anyone to perish.

2nd Peter 3
“not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

But He has given us free will – Salvation is only by personal faith in Christ.

===================

What is Faith?

Faith is not our effort. Faith is our acknowledgment that Jesus DID what we cannot do.
Faith is the easiest thing when we have nothing left to offer.
Unbelief is to say that we can do everything instead of Jesus.

The thief on the cross could do nothing because he was nailed and almost dead….
but simply looked at Jesus and confessed Him is Lord – to be in paradise. His “salvation” was not about escaping 70AD but it was immortality.

Luke 23
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 

Faith did not end in 70AD

Abraham was declared righteous by faith before the Law was given to Israel.

Romans 4

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness
We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.”

If Abraham was made righteous by faith before the law came to Israel.
Then surely salvation was not tied to the law of Israel
and did not end in 70AD when Israel was judged. The 2nd resurrection of Revelation 20 is in the future.

People are still made righteous by faith in Christ even after 70AD.

Galatians 3
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

Abraham was an old man who did not have children.
But God showed him the stars and promised him descendants like the stars.
Abraham BELIEVED and was credit righteousness.
Abraham was unable to have children with Sarah, but He believed God and was made righteous.
Abraham was under the Adamic race but became righteous by personal faith.

Abraham’s faith is THE example of our salvation.
Abraham’s inadequacy to have children represents man’s inability to live forever. (we all die like Adam)
So then what does God tell us to do?
Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead. If we BELIEVE in JESUS then we are saved and made righteous – we receive eternal life to live forever with God and Jesus.

Romans 4 “23 The words “it was credited to him (Abraham)” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who BELIEVE in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

70AD was the 2nd coming of Christ when the Law of Israel ended. It was the first resurrection of Revelation 20. There is a final future resurrection coming as Revelation 20 says at the end of the world. So then everyone is not saved – we all need to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ.

All it takes is simple faith in Christ

John 6
47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life.

We will all die on earth but God offers the free gift of eternal life by grace through faith in Christ. The free gift is given to all who are thirsty – we can receive it by faith in Christ.

God does not kill anyone but gives ETERNAL LIFE to all who believe in Jesus Christ.

It’s like a Doctor giving the cure to a dying man for free, but the man has to take it in faith. If the man refuses, then the Doctor cannot help no matter how much he loves the patient.

God SO loved the world that He gave His only Son Jesus that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)

 

WILL EVERY KNEE BOW to JESUS and prove UNIVERSAL INCLUSION TRUE?
Paul said in Philippians 2, that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord. Does this mean that everyone will be saved ultimately?
Let us read the CONTEXT:
Philippians 2
“10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
Does that mean that everyone is saved??
We find the ANSWER in the next verse!
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
Paul exhorted believers to continue in the faith so that they would become blameless and pure and shine like the stars in the sky. If they fell away, then Paul would have preached in vain!! His preaching would have been useless if they fell away from the faith, then they would not be saved.
Now look at Daniel 12 to confirm WHO are the ones who shine like stars in the sky ?? – It is NOT EVERYONE !!
Daniel 12
“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”
Who are the ones shining like stars?
It is ONLY the ones who believe! Only those whose names are written in the Book of LIFE
are saved! The ones who did not believe in Christ are NOT saved! They are not shining like stars!
Let us also see Isaiah 45
22 “Turn to me and be saved,
    all you ends of the earth;
    for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
    my mouth has uttered in all integrity
    a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
    by me every tongue will swear.
24 They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
    are deliverance and strength.’”
All who have raged against him
    will come to him and be put to shame.
25 But all the descendants of Israel
    will find deliverance in the Lord
    and will make their boast in him.”
If we read the context, we see that only those who trusted in the Lord are saved and those who raged against Him are put to shame (the same language of Daniel 12).
Some will say that this was only true BEFORE 70AD and that everyone is automatically saved AFTER 70AD. But that is a FALSE anti-Christ teaching that must be repented!
Jesus Christ does not change – He is the same yesterday, today and forever!
Jesus Christ – the Alpha and Omega said this would happen on the judgment day.
Revelation 21
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Jesus Himself said that ONLY those who believe in Him will be saved.
Everyone else perishes forever. Those who loved wickedness would perish in the lake of fire (2nd death). There is not a single scripture in the Book of Revelation that says that sinners will be “purified” in the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the 2nd death. There is no salvation in the lake of fire! There is no coming back once a person has been judged.
The nations are resurrected into the New Jerusalem on that final judgment day
“22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
The Book of Life is not a Jewish book because Christ did not only die for Israel but for all humanity past, present and future. This is why Paul preached to the nations.
We see that Gentiles (nations) names are written in the Book of Life:
Philippians 4
“2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.”
But ALL people are NOT going to be saved ultimately as the book of Revelation says!
When it says “Every knee will bow” and “every tongue will confess Jesus as LORD”
– it is only talking about the believers! READ THE CONTEXT.
It’s because the unbelievers and those who love wickedness will perish outside the New Jerusalem forever.
When we take the verse out of context – we get a CON.
The name of that CON is “universal inclusion/reconciliation”
Let us honor Jesus Christ by correctly preaching from the Bible using the context instead of creating false delusional doctrines because we want everyone automatically saved.
Jesus wants everyone to be saved but let us honor Jesus and not our man-made ideas.
Jesus always said that ONLY those who believe in Him will be saved.
For EVERYONE who BELIEVES in Jesus will bow their knee and confess Him as LORD.
ARE ALL NATIONS/FAMILIES blessed in Abraham?
Genesis 18
“18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.”
Psalm 22
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,”
Does this mean that all of humanity will be saved?
No, let’s see how we are blessed under Abraham
Galatians 3
“7 Understand, then, that those who have FAITH are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by FAITH, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on FAITH are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith 13 Christ redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by FAITH we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through FAITH, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 IF you belong to Christ, THEN you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Romans 4
4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but TRUSTS God who justifies the ungodly, their FAITH is credited as righteousness.
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his FAITH and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who BELIEVE in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Abraham was justified by his faith before he died.
Everyone who believes in Jesus are the children of Abraham.
It does not say that all humanity is blessed.
How was Abraham himself blessed – by faith.
How is everyone blessed? By faith in Christ’s finished work.
This clearly proves that universal salvation/inclusion/reconciliation is FALSE.
I believe in God’s word and NOT man’s preaching.
Romans 3 “Let God be true, and every human being a liar. “
What is the TRUTH?
Romans 10 “9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
John 3:16 “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

2 comments

  1. While I am agreeing with you on the heresy of universal salvation, i must point out that it’s NOT the same as universal reconciliation. I always said that even IF you died without Christ you’d still have to believe in HIM as he stated quite clearly that no one goes to the FATHER except through ME. Ahain HE says i AM the door and the way. So for me its universal reconciliation NOT universal salvation.

    Like

    • One has to believe before dying.
      If a person willfully rejects Christ before death, then there is no salvation.

      Like

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