Will God Save All?

by William C. Rebmann

HAVE you ever wondered how God was intending to end all this business of running the universe? Did you ever stop to think that God knew how everything would be and become before He created a thing? Did you ever realize that, because of this fact, God must have certainly had a purpose in view before He created Adam? Did you ever stop to realize how the teaching of eternal punishment would fit in with that unchangeable truth? Did you never wonder if Christ meant in a literal, actual sense what He said in John 12:32: "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me?"

Will all men be saved when God has completed His plan for the ages? The Scriptures clearly say God will accomplish this to His great glory, but many are the arguments against thus interpreting the Scriptures. We believe that, if you will consider these carefully, you will reverently worship God as the Supreme One, Who, in His love, plans far, far ahead, and by His surpassing wisdom and power makes the most dark and tedious ways all open into the terminus of shining glory!

(1) Colossians 1:20: "And, having made peace through the blood of His [Christ's] cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."

Arguments Against


"All things" means  material things only.

Material things cannot have feelings of enmity or peace. And the Greek (in which Scripture was inspired) is not "things"--simply "THE ALL."

"Reconcile" simply means the general satisfaction of God with Christ's sacrifice for all the world.

A reading of verses 21 and 22 disproves that. (Scofield says,  "Reconciliation . . . is that effect of the death of Christ upon the believing sinner which, through divine power, works in him a 'thorough change' toward God from enmity and aversion to love and trust.")

Reconciliation can only be accomplished by faith.

Paul was saved by sight of Christ in His glory without any choice of his own (Acts 9; compare vss.1 and 6).

(2) Paul was chiefest of sinners (1 Tim.1:13-15) if he was saved by God's deliberate choice and convincing proof of Christ's divine Sonship and of His grace, then all lesser sinners can more easily be turned to God, in His own time, by Him in this same way.

Argument Against


Paul called himself "chiefest of sinners" because of that deep humility which makes every convert feel his own depravity as the worst.

The greatest sins are unbelief, persecution and hatred of God's  people, rejection of Christ, and cruelty and murder. Of all these Paul (Saul then) was supremely and actively guilty (Acts 9:1),  all of these sins being magnified by his superior knowledge of God's revelations (Phil.3:4-6) and his first-hand witnessing of the greatest testimony of Christ's divinity and resurrection up to his time, i.e., Stephen's vision (Acts 7:56, 58).

(3) Philippians 2:10,11: "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."

Argument Against


This is a forced obeisance.

This would not be particularly "to the glory of God the Father." Also, they will all bow in the name of Jesus, which means "Jehovah-Saviour." Compare very carefully verse 11 with 1 Corinthians 12:3:"No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."

(4) 1 Corinthians 15:22: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

Arguments Against


Only those who die "in Christ" will be made alive.

That is not what it says (else why bring Adam in?).

That life is only resurrection for condemnation to the second death (the lake of fire).

Verse 26, "the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,"  makes it a final, ultimate vivification for all.

"The last enemy" is the occurrence of dying, not the resultant state of death.

It includes both, and the time occupied by that state up to the resurrection (1 Cor.15:21:  "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.")


(5) General Argument Against


There  is then no urgency to  be saved now.

Every unsaved man shall be judged "according to his works" (Rev.20:12) and enter the lake of fire. Also, ages of glory and joy will be missed by the unsaved.


(6) General Argument Against


The Bible speaks of "ever-lasting punishment" (Matt.25:46) and "everlasting fire" (Matt.18:8).

The Greek word translated "ever" is (as spoken in   English) "eon," and the Greek word for "everlasting" is an   adjective "eonian," which reverts the argument back to  the meaning of "eon." Just one proof that the Authorized Version translation of the word "eon" as "ever" is wrong, is that the same version often translates it "world" and it is used in the phrase "end of the world" (Matt.13:39,40,49,etc.); another proof is that the same version some times translates the plural form "ages" (Eph.2:7; Col.1:26). But in two very important passages it translates this plural form with the singular form "world" (both of which Scofield changes to "ages") (1 Cor.2:7: "before the world [ages]" and Heb.9:26: "end of the world," or, as Scofield says, "consummation of the ages "which, by the way, should refer to the future putting away of sin, not the time of Christ's sacrifice). "Eon" therefore must be a limited period of time, having a beginning, an end, and a plural number.


Arguments Against


"Eon" varies in meaning  in the Bible, sometimes having a temporal meaning, and sometimes being eternal and unlimited.

No word can have such contradictory uses, else how do we know what it means at any given time? Finiteness and infinitude are as opposite as east and west.

Granted, "eon" means "age" or a limited period of time, then "for ever and ever" (torment in Rev.20:10) will not be for a lim- ited number of ages, but, as the Greek has  it, "for the eons of has the eons," i.e., unli- mited numbers of ages containing other ages, or "ages tumbled upon ages." This must be as endless as Christ's reign (Rev.11:15), and that of the saints (Rev.22:5).

A period of time cannot contain other periods of time of the same kind, or the term becomes  meaningless. "Eons of the eons" are the last "eons" (ages) outstanding from all the ages because of their culminating program and unprecedented good nature. Every like expression a similar meaning; e.g., day of days, heart of hearts, holy of holies. (The Greek also has two singular forms, "eon of the eon" and "eon of the eons," referring to the last great age--we  cannot be correct unless we follow the Scriptural forms and   distinctions.) Christ's reign is NOT endless, but only UNTIL all is subject (1 Cor.15:24-28)! Then ALL rule will be abolished.

If the "eternal punishment" of the unbelievers has an end, then the "eternal life" of the saints has an end also, at the end of the ages.

How can life end if death is abolished at that time? (1 Cor 15:26). The "life of the ages" ends when all are made alive, at the "end" of the ages (1 Cor. 15:24).

Then God is not " everlasting," as He is called in Romans 16: 26 (Greek, "eonian God").

It is surprising to look in the verse previous and see that the phrase "before the world began "is really "in times eonian" --thus "eonian" is certainly not eternal (it also occurs in the phrase "before eonian times" (2 Tim.1:9; Titus 1:2). "Eonian" as an adjective means "pertaining to the eons." That He is God of the eons does not limit Him any more than He can always be the "God of Israel" alone, as He is called. Other "gods" fall and are forgotten, but we have a God Who made the ages (Heb.1: 2); they belong to Him and He belongs to them, and His shall be the glory for them long after they are over! (The doctrine of the eons, in itself, makes an interesting study which the reader may follow out).

In 2 Corinthians 4:18, "eonian" must mean "eternal" because it is set in contrast to the word "temporal," meaning enduring for time as apposed to eternity.

The Greek word translated "temporal" has no connection with the word for "time;" it is literally "toward-seasons," therefore means "temporary." In the passage in question it is easily seen as a comparison between our afflictions, which last for a brief season, and our promised eonian glory, which lasts until all opens out into the glorious consummation.

(7) 1 Corinthians 15:28: "And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son [Christ] also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be All in all."

Argument Against


"Subjecting" signifies the use of force.

Not altogether, for though He may use force as a means, in the end He will have so led and taught His creatures that they will no longer need government (v.24, "put down all rule"), but God, by His Spirit, will be everything to each of them--"All in all"--the Holy Spirit will fill each heart. What else can these words mean, for all shall be at peace with God?

(8) Romans 5:18: "As by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."

All will be justified, at the end, of the guilt which even just punishment cannot efface, though teaching the justice of God and the inherent insufficiency of the creature. "Through the blood of His cross" Christ makes peace for all with the Father and at last so teaches each as to bring all into the blessed family of God, the Father, which He planned to do before He created Adam ("the purpose of the eons," Eph.3:11)--His grand adventure to gain the enduring love of every creature.

And so here are, in brief, the most important and simple facts concerning what God's Word teaches on Universal Reconciliation. Our part is to believe what the Scriptures say (not doubting if we cannot see how God works), to love all as God does, and to serve faithfully and lovingly in being, or in helping those who are called to be, evangelists, pastors, teachers (Eph.4:11).

God "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph.1:11). How? That's for us to believe, but not always to understand now, for God is "the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe" (1 Tim.4:10; see 1 Tim.2:4). "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory for ever (Greek, for the eons). Amen!" (Rom.11:36).

To possible unsaved readers we say: What do you think of this Christ Who lovingly throws His all into such a grand plan to gain the love of every individual? If you believe on Him and His sacrifice for you, you are "justified by faith" (Rom.5:1), and you'll love Him and serve Him and share His glories in the grand ages to come.

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