All Mankind Have Been Saved
Since the salvation of mankind was an assured fact in the plan of God the Father before the foundation of the world and that salvation was secured by grace and not dependent upon man’s own works, then it logically means that the salvation designed for mankind must be universal in scope.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. ... And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day."
John 6:37, 39
[in crucifixion], will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die."
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth
"And the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
This theme that the world (all of it) will be saved in a universal sense is a consistent one throughout the teachings of the apostles. Yes, there are many scriptures that speak of judgments for evil doing, but those judgments are not in contexts speaking of salvation itself. The matter of judgments for evildoers will be discussed later in this book.
As a matter of fact, the salvation of mankind was something determined by God the Father and Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world. It is a certain fact that mankind MUST be saved.
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we MUST be saved."
That’s right. All mankind must be saved. And not only that, the apostle Paul made it clear that all mankind MUST also come to a full knowledge of the truth of the Gospel.
[men], to be testified in due time ["in due time," in the Greek really means "in its own seasons" (the last word is plural — "seasons")]."
"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who will have ALL MEN to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all
1 Timothy 2:3–6
There are seasons (periods of time) that God has ordained when mankind will experience their salvation and come to a knowledge of the truth about the plan of God. A few (such as ourselves) are privileged by God to have that knowledge at this time. Others will obtain it when Christ returns from heaven at his Second Advent. There are others still who will not attain to that knowledge until they are resurrected from the dead and stand before God in what is known as the Great White Throne Judgment period discussed in Chapter Twenty of the Book of Revelation. All will appear before God at that time.
God reveals that it is he (and he alone) who takes the privilege of making known the Gospel to special people whom he wishes to understand it during our present age. Christ made this teaching plain in the Gospel of John.
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."
"No man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father."
The majority of the people who live at the present time do not know of their salvation, which they have in Christ. God has chosen not to reveal it to most people during this age. The vast majority must wait until their resurrections and then they will receive the knowledge of the Gospel in full. That is what Paul taught. He said all men would come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
It is in the preordained plan of God that when Christ Jesus returns from heaven at his Second Advent, he will then start a program of subduing the earth and the rest of the universe into having a harmonious relationship with the Father. The apostle Paul mentioned this in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Christ will be totally successful in his endeavor. He will put down all the enemies of the Father including even the condition of "death" (1 Corinthians 15:26). When death is destroyed after the end of the Great White Throne Judgment period, then all mankind will be made alive into a glorious resurrected state. The apostle Paul made it abundantly clear that all humans will be given life in Christ, as all humans had been subjected to death in Adam. Note what Paul stated,
[Adam] came death, by man [Christ Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
"For since by man
1 Corinthians 15:21–22
Note the comparison in this teaching of Paul. Since it is certain that in Adam (our first parent) all men do in fact die, Paul tells us in direct comparison that in Christ (the second or last Adam), all men will indeed be made alive in a spiritual resurrection. The atonement of Christ and his propitiation for the sins of the world applies to all men who have ever lived. Christ’s death on the tree of crucifixion cleanses the whole world of their sins. The apostle John put it this way.
[Christ] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only [not only for Christians who know the truth now], but also for the sins of the whole world."
1 John 2:2
Christ is called by Paul, "the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe" (1 Timothy 4:10).
That’s right. All the world’s sins have been forgiven in Christ, and this especially applies to all Christians who have a present assurance of this. This forgiveness was in the plan of God made before the foundation of the world and secured at Christ’s resurrection.
"To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them."
2 Corinthians 5:19
The final results of salvation, however, will actually come to the world at a future time, when all the enemies of God the Father have been subdued by Christ Jesus (and even death itself will be annihilated for mankind). It is at that time, which Paul called "the dispensation of the fullness of times" that all mankind will be made to be "one" in Christ — and this accomplishment by Christ will be done without losing a single person. All mankind will be made into a single harmonious union with Christ and the Father.
[God] might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him [in Christ]."
"That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he
[Christ] to reconcile all things unto himself, by him [Christ], I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."
"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him
Indeed, so thorough will Christ be in his subduing of the universe to the Father and in making peace and harmony among all intelligent creatures, that all creatures capable of expressing their praises to God will do so.
"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
This bowing of the knees and confessing with their mouths is something done by all creation (without exception), and it is done without coercion by God or Christ. All in the universe will do their praise willingly (with their own free will — though Paul states that even one’s will is something motivated by the will of God — see Philippians 2:13). All in the universe will confess that Christ is the highest in authority under the Father. When the word "confess" or its cognates is used in the Old or New Testaments, it is always used in a context of free will being expressed by those doing the "confessing." Indeed, Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 12:3 that no one can truly confess that Jesus is Lord unless it is done through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God indeed inspires our confession.
But not only does God inspire persons to make a proper confession of him, he is also the one who inspires a person to repent and to ask for forgiveness of sins, to believe and have faith in Christ. Indeed, Romans 10:8–13 states that humans must confess Christ as Lord, repent of sins, believe in one’s heart and show a faith in the efficacy of Christ’s atonement. But what most people (even preachers, evangelists and priests) do not realize is that these works that mankind display are themselves attributes of grace that God gives to mankind (to those in whom he chooses to reveal his truths). That’s right. Repentance is something granted by grace to mankind (Acts 11:18). Belief itself is something given to man (Philippians 1:29). Even our having faith in Christ is a gift of grace.
[that FAITH] not of Yourselves: it [faith] is the gift of God: not of works [not your working up of your own faith], lest any man should boast."
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that
In fact, all the spiritual virtues that one must have to be reckoned a Christian are attributes which have their origin with God the Father himself. God is the one who does the "willing" and the "working" in each person he calls to understand his truth of the Gospel. Paul summed up this principle with his clear statement in Philippians 2:13.
"For it is God which worketh in you both TO WILL and TO DO of his good pleasure."
So, even your "willingness" to accept the Gospel and your "works in doing" what God requires, are virtues that emanate directly from God himself. They are given to a person by grace from God himself, though to us it may appear that we are using our own "wills" and our own "works." Note well! This means that our repentance, our asking of forgiveness of our sins, our confession in Christ, our belief in Christ, and even the faith that we have in him, are virtuous attributes that God gives to us by his grace and the inspiration to perform them does not come from our own "wills" and "works." This is the simple truth of the Gospel.
All mankind will one day (in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times) come to express the Lordship of Christ Jesus of their own free will, but they will be doing so in a manner which God himself inspires (Philippians 2:9–13). This is when the whole of mankind will come to their ordained salvation promised before the world’s foundation.
But wait a moment. Does this mean that there are no works whatever for mankind to do in order to be saved? That’s right, THERE ARE NONE! Actually, works are very necessary to be saved, but it was Christ Jesus who did the works that the Father approves and those works of Christ have been appropriated to us. He was a substitute for us in doing the works that the Father accepts. The fact is, the atonement that Christ accomplished for mankind was not only in his dying for mankind on the tree of crucifixion. He also lived for mankind (as a substitute for all mankind) and is now sitting on the right hand of the Father in heaven in our place (still as a substitute for all mankind). We are right now reckoned as sitting on the right hand of the Father because we are in Christ and he is sitting there as a substitute for us. We are sitting there in Christ not because of any works we have done. This position of authority and glory is granted to us (to be fully assumed in the resurrection) by Gods’ divine grace, not by our works.
[faith] not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even, when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved); And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places IN CHRIST JESUS; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that
It is not our works (even our good works) that have brought us into this glorious relationship with the Father. It is the works of Christ that count in the Father’s eyes that Christ performed as a substitute for us — in our place. This is the basic teaching of the Gospel. It is a teaching that shows Christ doing all the necessary works for us. It was Christ who GOT us saved through his righteous works.
Christ pleased the Father in everything that he did. And the Gospel teaches us that all of Christ’s righteous deeds are now credited to us. They have been awarded to our account by God’s grace. More than that, all our sins were placed on the back of Christ and he bore them for us (in our place). We are now reckoned by the Father as being as free of sin as is Christ Jesus.
One of the most essential doctrines of the New Testament is this fact that Christ was a substitute for us in all things. He was a substitute for us in his life on earth. He was a substitute for us in his death on the tree of crucifixion. And he is also a substitute for us at the present by sitting on the right hand of the Father until we reach that position ourselves in him at our own resurrection.
© 1976-2021 Associates for Scriptural Knowledge ~ ASK is supported by freewill contributions