THREE outstanding views are held concerning the ultimate destiny of all
mankind. Each of these views is based on statements found in the English Bible. Each of
these positions represents God as an entirely different kind of God. Unfortunately, two of
these positions actually deny the attributes of the true and living God. Two of these
positions represent Jesus Christ as a failure insofar as the salvation of the majority is
Only one of these positions recognizes God as the ALMIGHTY
GOD of Infinite Wisdom, Righteousness and Love that He is actually shown to be in the
Scriptures. Only one of these positions represents Jesus Christ as the ALL TRIUMPHANT
Saviour that He really is.
THE TWO FALSE POSITIONS ARE BASED
ON SIX COMMON ERRORS
(1). Failure to believe the plain
statements in the Scriptures concerning the salvation of all.
(2). Inaccurate and false translations of the Scriptures
from the original languages into English.
(3). Twisting passages from their true context and mis-
(4). Failure to understand and believe what is revealed in
the Scriptures concerning the "eons" or ages.
(5). Failure to grasp and believe what the Scriptures
actually teach concerning death and resurrection.
(6). Bondage to the traditions and teachings of men rather
than submission to the truth of God.
To receive and stand by the truth of God usually results in
ostracism and persecution. Acceptance by men requires adherence to the traditions and
teachings of men, even though these traditions repudiate and invalidate the Word of God.
In seeking to ascertain the truth concerning the ultimate
destiny of all mankind, one should consider carefully the basis of each of these three
positions. For those who are interested in looking into this subject we have prepared a
list of the outstanding passages cited to support each position. The references are put
under three headings: (1) The Salvation of All; (2) The Annihilation of SOME; (3) The
endless torment of MANY.
THE FINAL DESTINY OF ALL MANKIND
ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES
THREE DIFFERENT VIEWS EXAMINED
1 John 3:8
Consume, perish Gk.
perpetual sleep. cf Jer
Obadiah 1:15, 16
John 3:35, 36
Torment in fire
2 Thess. 1:7-10
Rev. 20: 11-15
Lake of fire
When the facts are known and
understood the truth shines forth in splendor. God is glorified. Jesus Christ is honored.
Peace and joy fill the heart. Worship and thanksgiving go up to God.
Unfortunately many Christians have never considered
prayerfully and carefully these wonderful passages of Scripture which reveal that God will
in due time save all. One of these passages is found in 1 Timothy chapter 4 verses 9
through 11. This passage reads as follows:
"Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all
acceptation. For to this end we labor and strive, because we have our hope set on the
living God, Who is THE SAVIOUR OF ALL MEN, specially of them that believe. THESE THINGS
COMMAND AND TEACH."
The fact that God is the Saviour Of ALL MEN is said to be a
FAITHFUL SAYING, and WORTHY OF ALL ACCEPTATION. Unbelieving men say it is unfaithful and
should be rejected. But God declares that it is faithful and worthy of all acceptation.
But the question arises, What does it mean when it says
that God is the Saviour of all men? That the meaning is clear is evidenced by the way many
seek to change what it says. Some alter the passage and make it say that God is "the
preserver of all." Some change it to "God offers salvation to all." But
none of these efforts to get around the truth change the fact that the text declares,
"God is the SAVIOUR OF ALL MEN. "An offer of salvation to all would not
constitute God the Saviour of all. He is only the Saviour of those He actually saves. In
other places the Scriptures reveal what is included in this salvation. It is revealed that
God will JUSTIFY ALL (Rom.5:18,19). He will RECONCILE ALL to Himself (Col.1:15-20). He
will VIVIFY ALL (1 Cor.15:20-28). He will SUBJECT ALL to Himself (Phil.2:5-11). And
finally God will BECOME ALL IN ALL, (1 Cor.15:26-28).
This passage in 1 Timothy chapter 4 does not explain when
and how God will save all. It is clear that God is not saving all mankind at the present
time. At present only those who believe in Jesus Christ are being saved. Notice the text
says, "God is the Saviour of all men, SPECIALLY of them that believe," not
EXCLUSIVELY of them that believe, but SPECIALLY.
Believers are saved prior to the rest. They will be made
like their Lord at the time of His appearing for them. They will live and reign with
Christ during the coming eons. They will not be brought into judgment at the time of the
Great White Throne described in Revelation Chapter 20. Believers will not have to endure
the second death.
Those who do not believe now will be raised up at the time
of the Great White Throne and will be judged and dealt with according to their deeds. Then
all whose names are not in the book of life will be cast into the lake of Fire which is
the second death.
After this, at the end of the eons, God will abolish death,
all death. This will be accomplished by Jesus Christ imparting His own resurrection life
to all. Then it will be clear to all that God is indeed the SAVIOUR of ALL.
Some who see clearly that God will save all say:
"Though it is true, it should not be taught publicly." But what are God's
instructions about this? Let me read the passage again.
"Faithful is the saying and welcome of all
acceptation. For to this end we labor and suffer reproach, because we have our hope set on
the living God, Who is THE SAVIOUR OF ALL MEN, Specially of them that believe. THESE
THINGS COMMAND AND TEACH."
How could it be made plainer! God's positive and clear
instructions are: "These things command and teach." Not just teach them, but
command them! Faith obeys God and relies upon His wisdom and judgment and suffers the
consequences of obedience. Unbelief disregards God's instructions and seeks to avoid the
reproach and rejection of men.
Once it is clear that the truth of the salvation of all is
to be taught, the question arises: When should it be taught? This is a fair and an
A good answer to this question is: It should be taught when
and where the Apostle Paul taught it. But when and where did the Apostle Paul teach the
salvation of all? This question is answered in the Epistle to the Romans. In this Epistle,
the Gospel which was entrusted to Paul is set forth. Paul's first detailed instructions
concerning the race-wide benefits of the saving work of Jesus Christ are found in Romans
chapter 5, verses 18 and 19.
But before examining this passage, let us think for a few
minutes of what precedes it in the first five chapters of Romans.
In Romans chapter 1, the Apostle deals with the subject of
the present wrath of God which is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness
and unrighteousness of men who hold down the truth in unrighteousness. The FACT of the
present wrath of God is stated. The REASONS for this wrath are explained. Then the FORM
this wrath takes is described in a striking manner. The Apostle shows that because men
refuse to have God in their knowledge, God gives them up: First, to the lusts of their own
hearts. Second, to vile passions and the evil consequences of their debauchery. And third,
God gives men up to a reprobate or disqualified mind, to do those things which are not
This first chapter of Romans describes most accurately the
evil conditions which exist in the world today, and shows the reasons for them. The only
remedy is for man to reverently acknowledge God and walk in His righteous ways.
In the second chapter of Romans, the Apostle takes up the
subject of the coming day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. The
outstanding principles governing this judgment are spelled out and the results of the
judgment are indicated. It will be a judgment ACCORDING TO TRUTH. It will be the RIGHTEOUS
JUDGMENT of God Who will render to every man according to his deeds. It will be without
respect of persons. God will deal with the secrets of men. It will be according to Paul's
Gospel. And it will all be through Jesus Christ.
Coming on to Romans chapters 3 and 4, the Apostle deals
with Justification by Faith through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus. He shows
that those who believe in Christ Jesus unto salvation are to be delivered from the wrath
Then in the first part of the fifth chapter of Romans, the
Apostle deals with the subject of Conciliation. He shows that Christ not only died for the
ungodly and sinners but that He also died for His enemies; that through Christ man can be
delivered from his enmity toward God and his estrangement from God.
With this wonderful background contained in the first five
and a half chapters of Romans, the Apostle proceeds to deal with the race-wide
consequences of Adam's transgression, and the race- wide benefits that are to come to
mankind through the saving work of Jesus Christ. This is set forth in Romans chapter 5,
verses 12 through 19. We shall consider only verses 18 and 19 where Paul summarizes what
he has been setting forth in verses 12 through 17. Verses 18 and 19 read as follows:
"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
justification of life. 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).
Two persons, two acts, and two results affecting the entire
human race are brought before us in this passage. Adam's act of disobedience and its
race-wide, life-destroying result, presents a dark and dismal situation. Christ's act of
obedience and its race- wide, life-giving result, presents a situation that is bright and
Adam's one offense brought judgment to all men to their
condemnation. None escape this condemnation to death. "All are dying." Even so,
Christ's one act of righteousness brings the free gift unto all men to justification of
life. Not one will be left out. "All will be made alive."
The matter of faith or acceptance is not introduced on
either side in this passage. The subject is not the special salvation of those who now
believe. When that is discussed, faith has its place.
Neither is the time of this justification brought up. All
are not justified at the same time. The point being emphasized is that all men shall be
constituted righteous through the obedience of Jesus Christ, just as surely as they have
been constituted sinners through the disobedience of Adam.
But someone will ask, Why does it say "the many"
instead of "all" in verse 19? This is because the one disobedient man and the
One righteous Man are put in a class by themselves. They are in contrast with "the
We may put it as follows: The one disobedient man plus
"the many" equals all mankind made sinners. The One obedient Man plus "the
many" equals all mankind made righteous.
That "the one" plus "the many" made
sinners, includes all mankind, few, if any, attempt to deny. Even so, "the One"
plus "the many" made righteous is all-inclusive and guarantees justification of
life for all mankind.
The next place the Apostle Paul brings up the salvation of
all is in Romans chapter 8, verses 18 through 23. Here the Apostle is dealing with
sufferings of the present life; the groaning, the travail, the bondage of corruption that
the whole creation is now enduring.
Apart from the ultimate salvation of all there is no
satisfactory answer to this problem of suffering. But once one sees what is revealed in
the Scriptures concerning God's loving and wise purpose back of it all, there is indeed a
satisfactory solution to this difficult problem. Through sufferings, obedience is learned,
patience is acquired, maturity is wrought. Sufferings lead to glory.
Listen carefully while I read this wonderful passage found
in Romans chapter 8, verses 18 through 23.
"For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the present
time do not deserve the glory about to be revealed for us. For the premonition of the
creation is awaiting the unveiling of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to
vanity, not voluntarily, but because of Him Who subjects it, in expectation that the
creation itself, also, shall be freed from the slavery of corruption into the freedom of
the glory of the children of God. For we are aware that the entire creation is groaning
and travailing together until now. Yet not only so, but we ourselves also, who have the
firstfruit of the Spirit, we ourselves also, are groaning in ourselves, awaiting the
Sonship, the deliverance of our body."
Think of it, the whole creation is to be delivered from the
bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. It is no
wonder that the Apostle by the spirit of God could write: "The sufferings of this
present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed for
us." The "us" of this statement does indeed refer to "the children of
God." But the text distinctly declares that "the whole creation is to be
delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of
The next time Paul brings up the Salvation of All in the
Epistle to the Romans is in chapter 11 verses 25 through 36. Here the Apostle is dealing
with the subject of man's stubbornness toward God. He points out what is back of man's
stubbornness and shows what God is going to do about it. He makes the astonishing
statement that "God locks all up together in stubbornness that He should be merciful
to all." Instead of human stubbornness being something that God cannot cope with, it
is revealed that God will deliver man from his stubbornness and show mercy to all. This
enlightening passage reads as follows: "For I am not willing for you to be ignorant
of this secret, brethren, lest you may be passing for prudent among yourselves, that
callousness, in part, on Israel has come, until the complement of the Gentiles may be
entering. And thus all Israel shall be saved, according as it is written, `Arriving out of
Zion shall be the Rescuer, He will be turning away irreverence from Jacob. And this is My
covenant with them whenever I should be eliminating their sins.'
"As to the evangel, indeed, they are enemies because
of you, yet, as to choice, they are beloved because of the fathers.
"For unregretted are the graces and the calling of
God. For even as you once are 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 All UP TOGETHER IN STUBBORNNESS, THAT HE SHOULD BE
MERCIFUL TO ALL."
To sum up, then, in reply to the question, When does the
Apostle Paul teach the salvation of all? He does this after presenting the facts about the
present wrath of God, the coming day of wrath, and the salvation which is in Christ Jesus.
The apostle then proceeds to deal with the race-wide consequences of Adam's disobedience,
and this leads him to the race-wide benefits that are to come to all mankind through the
saving work of Jesus Christ.
The next time the Apostle brings up the salvation of all is
when he is dealing with the sufferings of the creation. He makes it clear that the whole
creation is to be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory
of the children of God.
And lastly Paul brings up the salvation of all when he is
dealing with the subject of man's stubbornness to God. He shows that God will eventually
deliver man from his stubbornness and unbelief, and show the mercy of salvation to all.
Contemplation of such a triumphant Saviour calls forth
those wonderful words of worship, adoration and praise to God with which the Apostle
closes this eleventh chapter of Romans:
"O, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the
knowledge of God! How inscrutable are His judgments, and untraceable His ways! For, who
knew the mind of the Lord? or who became His adviser? or, who gave to Him first, and will
be repaid by Him? Seeing that out of Him and through Him and unto Him is all: to Him be
the glory for the eons! Amen!"