There are a few instances in Scripture where Adam is directly contrasted with Christ.
“For since, in fact, through a man came death, through a Man, also, comes the resurrection of the dead. For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. Yet each in his own class...” 1 Corinthians 15:21-23
G. Campbell Morgan, preacher, teacher, evangelist, and “prince of expositors” says of this passage in his “The Corinthian Letters of Paul,” “In the program of God all are to be made alive in Christ.”
Does this tell us that ALL die in Adam, but only those accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour in this lifetime will live in Christ? Unless we restrict the ALL that die in Adam, how can we restrict the ALL who will live in Christ?
“Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for all mankind for condemnation, thus also it is through one just award for all mankind for life’s justifying. For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted just.” Romans 5:18-19
Again this is a direct comparison between Adam and Christ. If we could make a case that ALL did not die in Adam, we could make a case that ALL will not be constituted just. But there is nowhere in Scripture any limitation on those who die in Adam. Likewise there is no restriction found in Scripture that would limit salvation. The only limitation has been placed there by the mistranslation and misinterpretion of Scripture.
Let us consider Christ’s purpose!
“Lo, the Lamb of God, which is taking away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
“One Mediator of God and mankind, a Man, Christ Jesus, Who is giving Himself a correspondent Ransom for all.” (1 Timothy 2:6)
“Every knee should be bowing ... every tongue should be acclaiming” (Philippians 2:9 and Isaiah 45:23)
“For even as you once were stubborn toward God, yet now were shown mercy at their stubbornness, thus these also are now stubborn to this mercy of yours, that now they also may be shown mercy. For God locks up all together in stubbornness, that He should be merciful to all.” (Romans 11:30-32)
Where is the restriction on the ALL or EVERY in these verses? Again, we have placed the restriction there in our thinking, so as to reconcile these passages with those that talk about eternal condemnation. But once we recognize that there are no Biblical references that teach eternal condemnation (but only age-abiding correction), we can see these wonderful passages for what they really are.
“I, if I should be exalted out of the earth, shall be drawing all to Myself.” John 12:32
William Barclay, respected teacher and commentator, says of this passage: “The word all means all. It is not possible for the word all to mean anything else, but all. Part of the trouble in the interpretation of Scripture is the refusal of people to take it at its face value which is nearly always right.” (From “Universal Reconciliation, a Brief Selection of Pertinent Quotations” compiled by Michael Phillips, page 26. This quotation came from a letter directed to Mr. Phillips by William Barclay.)
I am in no way mitigating Christ’s work upon the cross.
Christ’s death and subsequent resurrection were very necessary in order for us to be granted salvation. The only question is the scope of Christ’s work upon the cross. Does it have effect only for those who believe upon Him in this lifetime, or will there come a day when ALL are saved by His work upon the cross?
Consider very carefully Colossians 1:16-20,
“for in Him is all created, that in the heavens and that on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or sovereignties, or authorities, all is created through Him and for Him, and He is before all, and all has its cohesion in Him. And He is the Head of the body, the ecclesia, Who is Sovereign, Firstborn from among the dead, that in all He may be becoming first, for in Him the entire complement delights to dwell, and through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens.”
ALL is created through Him, and ALL is reconciled. Consider the global nature of this passage. ALL CREATION is included ... visible and invisible. He is the firstborn from among the dead. In Him the entire complement delights to dwell (the body of Christ ... those believing in this present age). And through Him ALL is reconciled.
Next: More of the ALL passages from God’s Word – “The Consummation”