The Bible tells us clearly that those who believe are saved. But if all mankind is to be saved, when will this take place? We look to 1 Corinthians 15:21-28,
“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: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence; thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power. For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy is being abolished: death. For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him. Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.”
This is the grand conclusion of the ages. Some think because Revelation is the final book in the Bible, it represents the final conclusion of all things. It clearly does not. In a future discussion we will examine the final chapters of Revelation side by side with 1 Corinthians 15, and will see the this description provided by Paul takes place after the final chapters of Revelation. For now, let us consider what this wonderful 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians tells us.
God has taken what mankind (and Satan) have intended for evil, and He has used it to achieve good. He has operated all in accord with the counsel of His will to achieve His will ... that ALL mankind be saved. Some have recognized the greatness of God, and the work of the Saviour, in this lifetime, by faith. Others have taken longer, but now find salvation also. Every knee is now bowing in subjection before Him. Every person has found salvation. Every lost sheep has been found. The purpose of the eons has been achieved, and God is now All in all.
Think about 1 Corinthians 15:28 … when God becomes All in all.
As long as there are souls being tormented “forever and ever” can we say that God is All in all? The standard response is that God is love, but is He also just. Therefore God can save some, but must torture others because He is just. But for those souls being tortured, can we say that God is “All” in them as they are being tortured?
Thomas Allin states in his “Christ Triumphant” (page 1) … “All forms of partial salvation are but so many different ways of saying that evil is in the long run too strong for God.”
Through the work of Christ upon the Cross, Believers agree that God has provided for the salvation of sinners. The difference is that the “orthodox” belief is that this salvation applies only to those who believe in this lifetime. Is God unable to overcome the evil that exists within the many others of His creation?
Is God not able to lead even the worst of sinners … even the most rebellious of His creation … to the point where they, too, are finally reconciled to Him? I tell you this is exactly what the Bible tells us God is in the process of doing.
Revisit those passages in the Scripture that say “eternal” or “endless” in your translations, and recognize that the proper translation is “eonian” or “age-abiding.” Once we make this small correction, we can begin to see God’s wonderful plan. The painful discipline that is experienced by mankind is not a final condition, but a process with a purpose.
I am not saying that “anything goes” in terms of our behavior and lifestyle.
Most certainly the Bible speaks of behaviors that are acceptable, and those that are not. There are consequences to our every word and action, both in this present life and in the age to come. But these consequences are temporal, not permanent. They have purpose, consistent with God’s purpose and will to save all mankind.
Your Bible teachers have taught you to restrict the “ALL” passages in the Bible, but consider the things we have discussed in this discussion, and previous discussions. Read the Bible with this new “lens” … this new possibility.
Is it really possible that God will ultimately save ALL? Study. Think for yourself.