Paul’s Eternal Gospel

Paul preached the Gospel to the Gentiles (nations). His Gospel did not end in 70AD.

Paul was not a universalist. He preached salvation by faith.

Colossians 1
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 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.

The verses above tell us that Jesus has reconciled all of humanity. 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 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?
Let’s read the same chapter and the previous chapter – where he says that a person only receives salvation by grace through faith, apart from our works.

“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. Faith is true when 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
“16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 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)

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. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

Adam’s sin condemned all people because 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 alone.

John 3
14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

God SO LOVED the WORLD that JESUS died for ALL of us that whosoever BELIEVES in Him will be saved.

The WORLD is Cosmos – not Israel-only OR only the people before 70AD

but ALL humanity (past, present, future). It’s the same people reconciled in Colossians 1 – all of God’s creation – before and after 70AD.

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.
Jesus did not tell anyone that they are saved without faith.
Jesus told people that they were saved by faith in Him.
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 experience and not universally forced upon us. We still need to be saved from death by faith in Christ.

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, otherwise, we have to then incorrectly say that Paul and Jesus preached religion.

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

Faith means that you TRUST in God’s LOVE for you in JESUS and not your own efforts.

Jesus died for you and me. He was raised from the dead.
Everyone who believes in Christ receives eternal life and will not perish.

Did Paul say all are in Christ automatically?

Did all in Adam suddenly become all 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

Ephesians 1:13-14 “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, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Salvation is not automatically universal. It has always been through personal faith in Christ.

Jesus is the last Adam who died and rose from the dead.
But everyone is not automatically included in Jesus Christ.

The reason is that the Gospel was preached after His resurrection telling people how to be included in Christ by faith in Him. A person is only included in Christ by faith in Jesus.

We cannot twist the words of Paul out of context and say that salvation is universal and automatic. Everyone who believes in Jesus will be saved
– this is the simplicity of the gospel.

When Paul said that ALL Israel was saved, 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 allowed 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 included 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.

22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 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 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 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 those who believed the Gospel).

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “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 full number of Gentiles were saved and the full number of Israelites were saved – not universally but by FAITH in Christ.

Peter warned the people in the 1st Century not to distort Paul’s letters.

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.

Paul was not universalist

His Gospel still remains today:

Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and raised the third day.

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

Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved and receive eternal life.

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