A brother says he remembers the days when I used to
preach the gospel, and he loves be because of those days.
"Gospel" means "well-message." When it is
proclaimed or taught it brings satisfaction to those who hear and
believe it. To be the gospel it must also be truthful; so the
question may be changed to "Do I Proclaim the
I know how very honest and earnest the brother
is. Also I pity him. He does not study the scriptures. There
is no need! He knows what they teach! They teach exactly
what is found in the creed of his church! To study is to make an
effort to learn. What is there for the brother to learn? He
is satisfied on every point.
Gut he is compelled to think, sometimes, when forced
to handle a passage that seems to contradict the creed. "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," I
Tim. 2:3, 4, King James Version, is one such passage. He has to
think how to make this conform to the creed. I know this, because
I spent several years just where the brother is now. When forced
to give an opinion on the passage he will say it means somenot
For more than a score of years I preached that the
"all" in this passage means some, but cannot mean all. I
proclaimed that "God will not have all men to be saved."
In those days I was a "leading" preacher and held some of the
"best pastorates" in the denomination. What made me an
acceptable preacher? Preaching the Bible? No; preaching that
which cannot be found in the Bible. That is what the brother
refers to as "the gospel."
The brother is a Calvinist, and takes the position
that I formerly tookand it was not original with me. I don't
know where it started. An Arminian would interpret the verse
differently, but certainly no better. He would say God wishes to
save all, but that the obstinate will of man prevents God from carrying
out His will, and, therefore, only a part of the human family will be
When, a few years ago, I began to proclaim that
"all" means all, and that God certainly will save all mankind,
and eventually bring them into a realization of the truth, the people of
the churches, with few exceptions, hailed the message as satisfying to
both heart and head. They rejoiced in it. But soon the
preachers upset them, and caused many to turn from this new-found truth,
back into the dismal teaching of endless torment for a large portion of
the human family. Finally I, with others who clung to this
teaching, left the church, because we were adjudged unfit for the
fellowship of those who held to the creed.
"God will not have all men to be
saved!" Is this passage to be found anywhere in any version
of the Bible? It certainly is not. "God will have all
men to be saved." Is this in the Bible? It most
certainly isI Tim. 2:3, 4. Was I non-fellowshipped for
teaching that which is not in the Bible? No; I suffered that fate
when I began to teach what IS in the Bible!
God is the great Teacher. His school has not
ended. None of us knows very much now. But the time is
coming when all shall be graduated in truth. When will this be the
case? Don't become inpatient about it. There is plenty of
time. They will be saved first, and then taught about it.
There is plenty of time. They will be saved first, and then
taught. Not one will flunk. Everyone will make a hundred on
the examination, when the Teacher has finished with him. All shall
be saved and come into a realization of the truth. This is
gospel. The brother says not. In his opinion, I was teaching
the gospel when I was boldly proclaiming that which is not in the
Many times I said, boldly, "Christ did not die
for all." The brother says the same thing today. Is
that statement in the Bible? It is not! So, when I was
teaching it, I was going exactly contrary to the scriptures. But I
was a great preacher, then! I was popular. I had some of the
wealthiest churches. My remuneration was more than ten times the
amount I receive now. Finally, I began to proclaim, "He died
for all." Is that statement in the Bible? Yes; turn to
II Cor. 5:15 and you will find it. What occurred when I began to
teach just what the Bible says on this point? I was no longer fit
to associate with the "church."
Does the brother believe Christ died for all?
No; he knows the Bible says He did, but he is convinced that it means
that He died for only a portion of the human family. An arminian
would agree that Christ died for all, but would say His death is
valueless in the case of many of them, for their will is contrary to
God's, and there is nothing He can do about it.
"Therefore as by the offense of one judgment
came upon all men unto condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one
the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life," Ron.
5:18. In those days when I was "preaching the gospel," I
said the first "all" in the passage means the entire human
family, but the other "all" means a portion of mankindnot
all of them. I was a BIG preacher, then. I could make any
part of the Bible agree with the creed! It took a
"smart" man to do this! Or course, I learned it from
those who went before me, and I am glad to say that I disclaimed any
credit for originality. The brother probably learned the same
manner of twisting the Bible, from someone. But when I began to
say that the word, "all," means the entire human family in
both instances, I was "cast out of the synagogue."
Yet, how satisfying the truths, to those who
believe. Paul says Christ was given up because of our offenses,
and was roused again because of our justification, Rom. 4:25. The
King James Version says FOR our offense and FOR our justification.
But the word is used in the sense of "because of," and, indeed
the Greek word DIA, which means because of. Because we were
offensive, Christ died. Because His death justified us, He was
Christ, in the days of His flesh, cried to God Who
was able to save him out of death, Heb. 5:7l He Who knew no sin
was make Sin for us, when He was no the cross, II Cor. 5:21.
Bearing our sins, He was lost as He hung on the cross. His Father
abandoned Him. His cry, "My God! My God! Why didst Thou
abandon Me?" was the cry of a lost man. Because of our sins,
He went into death. But, glorious thought! God saved Him our
of death. Then He was no longer lost; He was saved. Our sins
were on Him; He died because of them; His Gather saved Him out of death,
and from our sins. What, then, is to keep us from being
saved? And, since He died for all, all are justified in God's
reckoning. As sinners mankind have disappeared from the horizon of
God. Men are yet winners, and know it. They must be bothered
with it until such time as their full salvation becomes a reality in
their experience. But it is already a reality in the reckoning of
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall
all be made alive," I Cor. 15:22. In the days when I
"preached the gospel," according to my brother, I steered
clear of this passage if possible. If I was forced to notice it I
changed it to read, "By Christ shall all be made alive."
no doubt the brother would take the same position today. When I
began to quote it as it is in the King James Version, and said all are
to be made alive IN Christ, and that all in Christ are new creatures, II
Cor. 5:17, and beyond condemnation, Rom. 8:1, I was non-fellowshipped.
"We trust in the living God Who is the Savior of
all men, specially of those who believe," I Tim. 4:10. When I
"preached the gospel," I said "He is not Savior of all
men; He is Savior of believers only." I think the brother
would preach it that way now. I got in a whole lot of trouble when
I said God is the Savior of all men, and the special Savior of the
believer. You see, this is what the Bible says. My offense
was in believing the Bible. Yet, think how reasonable it is. All
are to be saved, but only believers are saved this side of the
consummation. Others are to go into the judgment before the great
white throne, and be saved at the consummation. How blessed it is
to be a believer not! It guarantees immunity from judgment.
It promises salvation before this blessing comes to the rest of
"Christ puts away sin by the sacrifice of
Himself," Heb. 9:26. The death of the sinner does not put
away sin. Sending one to endless hell does not put it away.
But, thanks be to God! The death of Christ puts it away.
When this is done there will be no sin anywhere in the
Hell must operate before the time of the great white
throne judgment, for it is cast into the lake of fire at that time, Rev.
20:14. And those who say no one ever leaves hell after entering
it, would do well to remember that hell delivers up the dead in
it. The dead! Dead people not living ones, are in
All dead ones are to be segregated in the lake of
fire, which is the second death. And death is to be destroyed, I
Cor. 15:26. The word used here means "abolished."
When death is abolished there will be no dead one in all the
universe. Life will take its place. It is then that the
saying, "Death is swallowed up in victory," will be a
reality. Endless life will not be a life of misery for some.
It will be a life of VICTORY for all. When death is destroyed, it
does not mean torment for some; it means life in its fullest sense, for
all mankind. I think THIS is the gospel, and an thankful that I