This is the main reply I sent to a member who was teaching that Paul taught all will be saved. There were additional emails exchanged but this was the primary one I sent. Some of it may not seem to apply because there was a bit more that I was replying too.
Does Paul teach all are saved?
And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; (Romans 11:26 ESV)
Who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:4 ESV)
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:4 KJV)
Some people preach that Paul taught all are saved. But is that what we see in scripture. Or have some taken a few isolated scriptures and made it into a misleading doctrine. A doctrine that leads people to believe there is nothing they need to do. Or even worse to do whatever you want. God will save you no matter what. It is a Universilist and New Age message. To accept it one must ignore much of scripture. If the contrary is true it will lead many to eternal destruction.
Before we start lets remember that text without context is your text. In other words you can make the Bible say whatever you want if you do not consider the context of what you are reading. We need to read scripture in the light of all scripture. Here is an example –
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2:17 ESV)
Many use this text to say that our salvation requires work’s in addition to what Jesus did on the cross. But to say this we would need to ignore a multitude of other scriptures which say we are saved by grace alone. Most of the grace scriptures come from Paul. So was James incorrect? Or is there a way that James makes sense. If you read further you see that James mentions Abraham and Rahab and how their faith was displayed by their works. In context these verses are actually saying no one can see your faith except by your works, your fruit. If you say you have faith but there is no viable fruit, maybe you really do not have faith. Peter could have said he had faith to step out of the boat and walk on the water but what kind of faith would it be if it was just words and no corresponding action?
1. Pauls writings are addressing believers.
2. They are addressed to the Saints in Rome for example. The Bible calls believers Saints even the church in Corinth which was dealing with sexual immorality. For the correct context of Romans 11:26 above we must remember he was talking to believers.
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7 ESV)
3. People that claim Paul taught all are saved rationalize it by saying he was the Apostle to the Gentiles and he was but Paul followed Jesus (God who is the same always) so we know that he would not teach something contrary to what Jesus taught.
4. Paul was preaching the gospel like the other disciples. In Gal 2:1-9 he met with John, James and Peter to consult them and make sure he was not preaching in vain. That his message was the same.
5. Scripture tells us all are the same under Christ – Jew and Gentile. Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles but he also spoke to the Jews in the synagogues Acts 17:2
Let’s look at a few of the many verses that do not agree that all are saved. I focus on verses from Jesus and Paul because of the topic. Verse which indicate belief is necessary. Why would these be here if all are saved? Scripture from ESV.
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
(John 3:5 ESV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 ESV)
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
(John 3:18 ESV)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
(Romans 8:1 ESV)
What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—
(Romans 9:22-23 ESV)
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
(John 5:24 ESV)
Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
(John 6:29 ESV)
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
(John 6:47 ESV)
I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”
(John 8:24 ESV)
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
(Matthew 4:17 ESV)
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
(Matthew 7:13 ESV)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
(Matthew 7:21-22 ESV)
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
(Matthew 10:28 ESV)
For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
(Matthew 12:37 ESV)
The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all lawbreakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
(Matthew 13:41-43 ESV)
and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 18:3 ESV)
And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
(Luke 13:2-5 ESV)
“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
(Luke 13:24-30 ESV)
and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
(1 Thessalonians 1:10 ESV)
False Prophets –
Why be concerned with false prophets if everyone is saved?
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
(Matthew 7:15 ESV)
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
(Matthew 24:24 ESV)
Paul teaches about false prophets in the book of Galations. People he said believe in Jesus but you must do this also.
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
(Galatians 1:8-9 ESV)
Paul became all things to save some.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
(1 Corinthians 9:22 ESV)
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
(Romans 9:3 ESV)
Paul tells us - Jesus does intercede for us
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
(Romans 8:34 ESV)
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
(1 Timothy 2:5 ESV)
Our Faith is required
yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:16 ESV)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 ESV)
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
(Romans 10:4-13 ESV)
but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (John 10:38 ESV)
20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
(Romans 4:20-25 ESV)
38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
(John 10:38 ESV)
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — 13 children born not of natural descent,[a] nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
(John 1:12 -13 ESV)
Jesus rebukes the disciples for lack of their faith several times.
And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
(Matthew 8:26 ESV)
It does not sound like Paul is preaching everyone will be saved here. How do you reconcile this if all are saved?
9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
(2 Thes 1:9 ESV)
Paul says to warn them. Warn them of what? Paul also warns of false prophets here. The message everyone will be saved is a popular message and the message peoples itching ears want to hear want to hear. But the Bible simply does not give us this message when read in context.
4 I charge [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom: (2 Tim 4:1 ESV)
2 Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.
3 For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,
4 And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.
5 As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.
6 For I am already about to be sacrificed [my life is about to be poured out as a drink offering]; the time of my [spirit’s] release [from the body] is at hand and I will soon go free.
7 I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith.
(2 Tim 4: 1-7 Amplified Bible)
Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1) Revelations was written after the death of Paul.
The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,
(Revelation 9:20 ESV)
The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
(Revelation 21:7-8 ESV)
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
(Revelation 22:13-15 ESV)
Book of Life
• Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:3 ESV
The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. Revelation 3:5 ESV
and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. Revelation 13:8 ESV
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit1 and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. Revelation 17:8 ESV
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. Revelation 20:12 ESV
And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake
of fire. Revelation 20:15 ESV
But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. Revelation 21:27 ESV
Tree of Life
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ Revelation 2:7 ESV
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Revelation 22:14 ESV
and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. Revelation 22:19 ESV
All are the same under Christ – Jew and Gentile- (the core message is the same for all Gal 2:1-9)
The Jews thought that simply because they were descendants of Abraham they would be saved. The Bible teaches that the true descendants, heirs of the promise are those who are in Christ. Those who believe God and have faith like Abraham.
for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
(Galatians 3:26-29 ESV)
and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
(Romans 4:12 ESV)
Paul tells us here that just because you are a descendant of Abaraham it does not make you a true Jew and guaranteed salvation.
For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
(Romans 2:28-29 ESV)
Could it be that WHEN THE VERSE SAYS ALL Israel will be saved, Paul is talking about a true Jew. A person who has faith like Abraham and is circumcised of the heart? Believers are the true Jews?
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
(John 1:12-13 ESV)
There is only one gospel.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
(Galatians 1:6-7 ESV)
Here Paul confirms this with the James, John and Peter.
Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
(Galatians 2:1-9 ESV)
Great Bible study on a true Jew here. Explains all Israel being saved.
Why Preach the Fear of the Lord if all are saved?
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. (2 Cor. 5:11 ESV)
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV)
Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,(Ephesians 6:5 ESV)
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12 ESV)
Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. (Colossians 3:22 ESV)
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. (Acts 9:31 ESV)
Since some might want to quote 1 John 4:18 - Perfect love casts out fear to say fear of the Lord does not apply today. But the 2 NT verses above and others disagree. I also bring to your attention. a verse that seems at first to contradict itself but it is actually saying there are 2 types of fear. The only one that you should embrace is the Fear of the Lord. You have nothing else to fear.
Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.”
(Exodus 20:20 ESV)
Here is a Bible study on the Fear of the Lord.
If the message from Paul is all will be saved then why was he persecuted, tortured and put to death like he was?
Why would it be necessary for any of the disciplines to give up their lives for a message that all will be saved? Why bother telling anyone?
Just my opinion
Could it be that when Christ paid the price for all sins as the Bible teaches. It meant Satans sins were also Paid for? Satan took man hostage by getting man to rebel against God. Satan knew that this would place man under the punishment of the law like he already was. He knew that if God did not do something all men would suffer eternally like he would. He also knew that if God saved man by paying for mans sin, satans sins would also be paid for. Therefore the requirement to repent and believe. God knew satan would never humble himself, repent and place his faith in Jesus.
Adams single act of rebellion placed all men under the curse of the law. Jesus reversed this but we must turn back to God like the prodigal son and make the opposite decision of Adam.
All men are not saved sons of God in their natural state:
Eph.2:2,3,12 Ye were children of disobedience, children of wrath, aliens and strangers without Christ
Mat.7:13 Wide is the gate...that leadeth to destruction, and many... Go in there at
Jn.3:19 Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light
Jn.8:44 Ye are of your father the devil
Jn.8:47 I hear (God's Words) not, because ye are not of God
Other groups who claim special knowledge, secret sayings and teachings
Many of the non-canonical gospels like the gospel of Thomas or the gospel of Judas (http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com/index/pg83471) try and tell us that they had a special revelation which is contrary to other scriptures. Mormons tell us this same message. Joseph Smith was a modern day prophet and brought new revelation. Jehovah Witness’s do also with Charles Russell.
This is just a small portion of the scriptures that clearly indicate not all are saved. All will be saved is Universalisim.
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