Is Everyone Saved? – The First Steps of The Way of Christ

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Our modern society is a mirror. A mirror of our souls as a people. A mirror of our souls before God.

And what does our reflection show?

border-fence-photo5A society full of lines of demarcation, self-imposed separations between those who are “clean or unclean”, “cool or uncool”, “rich or poor”, “gay or straight”, “male or female”… the world’s cliques and tribal borders are both overt and subtle.

But of all the divisive and hurtful rhetoric that spews out of our hearts and carves up our unified humanity into an “us” and a “them”, not one is more disgusting than “who is saved, and who is not“.

We hear over and over in our churches and bible studies that God’s salvation is only for an elect. An elect few who “believe”. Or who “love”. Or those that were baptised as adults. Or who “wear the right clothes”, “watch the right movies”, “keep the right friends”… or who don’t. In fact, the “standards” for who will receive God’s salvation are so truly varied that it leaves only one conclusion: everybody is wrong, and nobody is right.

Nobody has it right. Nothing we do (or don’t do) can keep God’s salvation from us. That would be works. And works negate grace.

And people say,”But God cannot save everyone. Why would He?? He can’t. It’s impossible to think…”

Romans 5:

2918580867_70f37eb04114.      Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.
15.      But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many.
16.      And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification.
17.      If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18.      Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19.      For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Why, even today, is the world so readily accepting of the fact that one man could doom us to death (Adam’s sin), but one man’s act of compassion and righteousness coudn’t possibly have such a general effect? Oh, and by the way, that man was God. So…

It’s time for us to start reflecting something else to God through the mirror of our society: a final and absolute understanding that His Grace is for all.

And that new absolute understanding will hearken the death knell of all of our cultural borders and spiritual segregation. When we realize that we ALL stand equal before God, the world of “us and them” will fall away.

Galatians 3

28.      There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

This great leveling, this all-encompassing justification before God is exactly what was meant by the very first things we even learn about Jesus:

Luke 3

4.      as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
5.      Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth;
6.      and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

The high brought low. The crooked made straight. All has been made equal before God.

The Way is ready. Will we walk it?

<— Previous Post: Who Does God Love? . . .  Next Post: Fear and The Kingdom of God–>

Trig Bundgaard About Trig Bundgaard

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts and ideas about what I've written. Especially if it's contrary to my views!

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Grace and peace to you!

Romans 5
"18. Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."

Comments

  1. Amazingly well done website!

  2. I agree that God’s grace is for all and available to anyone, but a person must accept salvation and act upon it, right? As stated in some of your other posts, Jesus’ words can divide people. The division comes because of the person’s own flaws. There are some who can enter the Kingdom, and those who won’t (because of their choice to reject grace). So I guess my question is: there is one dividing line in the end is there not?

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Adam!

      I believe God’s grace and salvation are a free gift. Grace is literally God’s unmerited favor. We must do nothing for it.

      Romans 6

      23. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

      However, I think the mistake comes when we equate The Kingdom of God on Earth (which is what Christ is referring to in every reference in the New Testament, even in Matthew’s ‘Kindom of Heaven’), with salvation and eternal life.

      They are not one in the same. We are all saved upon death by God’s unmerited favor, but we all will not be able to or want to participate in the Kingdom of God.

      Please reference my later post in this series about this very topic http://www.epochalypsis.org/2010/kingdom-of-god-seeds

      We’ve made all of this about our own individual salvation, when that’s been secure since Christ died almost two millennia ago! It’s all about the Kingdom.

      • Bill Small says:

        Trig,

        I think the Galations verse cited abobve (3:28) should be put in context. If you read the preceding verses, it expliclty states that “faith” is required in Christ Jesus. I do not think the author intended to say that “all” as in every and anyone…only those referenced in verse 27…i.e. those “baptized” and “clothed” yourselfs with Christ. In othger words, those who have freely elected t follow him.

        Galations Chapter 3

        23 Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
        26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

        Peace.

        • And yes, Bill, that is the typical church teaching of the last 1000 years or so, but the problem (or really the good news) is that the meaning and nuance of ‘faith” is only found in context of the rest of the New Testament.

          Faith (pistis) is not as simple as a “yes/no” statement. It is a gift from God, not a choice. It is TRUST in God.

          I have detailed all of this in some older posts below. I am confident they will address your concern above.

          Bill, when you can, please read:
          http://www.epochalypsis.org/2011/believe-in-me-or-die
          http://www.epochalypsis.org/2011/daily-devotion-how-faith-is-destroying-christianity
          http://www.epochalypsis.org/2011/the-simple-logic-of-christian-universalism

          • Bill Small says:

            Trig,

            After reading your referenced post..I have to admit, I am still skeptical of your position. Christ’s grace is a gift…but it for only those willing to accept it. probably the most powerful evidence of this is found in the book of John chapter 3:

            16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM is NOT CONDEMMED, but whoever DOES NOT BELIEVE believe STANDS CONDEMMED already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But WHOEVER LIVES BY THE TRUTH comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

            I also find the last verse of this chapter very powerful:

            Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever REJECTS the Son WILL NOT SEE LIFE, for GOD”S WRATH remains on them.

  3. Justin Fowler says:

    I heart this entry. Thank you, brother!

  4. Hi Trig,

    Love the design of your site and think combining epoch & apocalypse together is a clever idea. But more importantly then both of those, I love that you embrace God’s salvation of everyone and that you’re able to share the Good News with others :)

    If you’re interested, we’d love to have your input on the Evangelical Universalist forum?

    May God bless you!
    Cheers,
    Alex

  5. You do a lot of gymnastics to change scripture.

  6. I have some leanings to be receptive towards Christian Universalism, and will always hope and pray that eventually at some point all will be redeeemed or at least remediated by Jesus—though I don’t know if all will , but it is good to have that as a hope .

    There is a dispute with the text above , in regard to a *different matter* than the proposal of universal salvation . The dispute has to do with how, at the onset of the article, there seems to be a wholesale rejection of all us versus them dichotomies, no matter what the dichotomies are. That apparent rejection of all us versus them dichotomies (not just a rejection of the saved versus “unsaved” dichotomies) reeks of the postmodernist /relativist, namby pamby tendency to respect opinions and lifestyles no matter if those opinions and lifestyles are crass, murky and so on .

    For example , in the article above , the dichotomy of rich versus poor is rejected as if it were somehow bad to have an us versus them . Though there are some rich people who are benevolent philanthropic sorts, there are quite a number of rich people who live lives of hideous ostentation showing off status symbols (which is in and of itself mindless and repulsive) , and is made doubly problematic as how with their wealth and priviledge they curry favor with public officials that cater to them and disenfranchise the poor and often are responsible for the downtrodding of the poor and denying them quality of life .

    Such venal rich people ought to be shamed and caused to feel guilty . The lifestyle of ostentation and glitz ought to be vehemently denounced and vituperated with the utmost vehemence and scorn . The opinions of those who support venal ostentatious ways of thinking should NOT be respected . To respect such opinions is indeed selling out, mentally betraying humanitarian altruistic values…to respec the venal opinions of the filthy rich is to be namby-pamby / pussillanimous !

    We should consider the scathing words of Jesus in Luke who stated ‘ Woe to ye who are rich, for ye have received your consolation’ and (reversely) ‘Blessed be ye poor , for yours is the Kingdom of God’ .

    As well as the scathing invectives against the greedy rich in the epistle of James .

    The venal and conformist yuppie subculture –minus some of the religious aspects seems to have some marked parallels with the pharisees that opposed Jesus , incidentally .

  7. Hey Trig – I appreciate your style and efforts. I have been a Christian for over 45 years; Bible School graduate and committed believer…..The difficulty for Traditional Christians, is to consider a much broader understanding of the Great Grace and Love of God which extends to ALL….instead of a restricted few who “choose” to believe. As I have moved along my journey….God has shown me that I embraced a thought that God hates Gays – and, He has shown me this is not the case…..actually, the hurdle to believe God Saving ALL…..is more of a human struggle than a God struggle….because, GOD is LOVE….and, we as humans are more consumed with Justice and Fairness……so, we struggle to understand HOW God would save someone who murdered….or raped…..it causes our minds to “short circuit – BUT, I am thankful that GOD IS GOD….that His Love is Unlimited – His Grace is For All….the very Faith that we require to “BELIEVE” has already been given to All of US – so, Keep up your efforts to share the Amazing GRACE of God in the ways only you can do….because of God’s gifting and Anointing on your life – Blessings on you Bro!!!!!

  8. GotEternity says:

    I think it is very simple – no one is getting ‘off the hook’. We are so obsessed with ensuring that the miserable, and evil, not only get their just desserts but that they get a few extra plates full to make certain they are not only punished by sorry to the core of their being.

    I am seeing that Christian Universalism takes Grace to a new level, and that is a worry for the fire-and-brimstone, what-is-the-use-of-faith-if-everyone-is-saved crew. I am/beginning to change/was one of them. I think I can see it, and it is not so complicated. Salvation is a gift. Period. The faith and belief aspect is still there because Universalism simply states “EVENTUALLY you ARE going to COME AROUND.” You cannot outlast, outmaneuver, out worry, out sin, out fight, out resist God. HIS will is set in stone – ALL SHALL BE SAVED. So for those that like to feel exclusive, you will be so, for a time. For those that need the sense of Justice to make the ‘sacrifice’ of faith and belief valid, you will have that Justice because at some point, everyone will come to that stage. For those that think that this is a license to sin, it may seem so in the beginning, but again, IN THE END, no MATTER HOW LONG, the sinner, the person, the saint, they will all realize and surrender to the Love of God.

    That is what it basically is – you have salvation but each of us, depending on our mindset and our will, will come to this salvation at different times. All means All. Period. One sin damned us – One Saviour redeemed us – end of story – no further words. And the deeds that we do we will see and feel them for what they are and in the end the Spirit will consume our resistance, guilt, jealousy, and errors, and we will wind up together.

    It is simply the matter of timing as to when we join the reception – the wedding is unstoppable.

  9. Loretta says:

    We deceive ourselves by thinking it was our choice to believe.
    We deceive ourselves by believing we made a decision.

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