God "Might" Save the World?
By Gary Amirault
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world MIGHT be saved through Him.” (John 3:17)
The Catholic Pope, leader of one of the largest denominations of Christianity says he can only “hope” that he will go to heaven when he dies. He doesn’t know for sure. There are over 30,000 denominations of Christianity in the world, each containing varying rules, laws, taboos, rituals, commandments, etc., some of which determine whether one spends eternity in bliss or in everlasting torturous flames. If the reader has ever spoken to a few church leaders from varying denominations (as I have) and ask them to make perfectly plain which sins would qualify one to be lost forever, you will find the answers will vary greatly. You will also find these church leaders are usually just as much in the dark on that issue as yourself.
The message most evangelists like Billy Graham preach seems to make salvation very easy: “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved.” That’s easy enough. Then they send you to one of dozens of different denominations only to find out that many of them teach a more complicated route to salvation. One church will say you must speak in tongues to really be saved and even then you can still lose that salvation. Another will say you must be baptized a certain way. One will say you must believe in the Trinity after the order of a particular ancient creed. Another will tell you that you must now lead a sinless life in order to truly be saved. One will tell you a man can’t wear facial hair and still be saved. I have been in hundreds of churches, I can attest there are literally thousands of different do’s and don’ts among the various denominations of Christianity which will determine one’s eternal fate.
If we put all the stipulations, manipulations, do’s and don’ts, etc., of all the churches together, the odds are that no one would be saved including Jesus Christ Himself! Most of us see the hopelessness of going to all the denominations to find the one that has the truth. There are just too many of them and most of us don’t know the Scriptures well enough to be able to discern which are truest to the Scriptures. Almost all of them will ensure us that they are the ones who follow the teachings of the Bible in the purest form.
This article is for people who want to get at the truth without having to go to 30,000 different denominations. It’s for people who are willing to drop their denominational coat for a moment and who are hungry for a greater revelation of Christ. The truth can be found without having to wade through thousands of denominations or just sticking with the one you are in, hoping that you are being taught the truth. Most of us don’t have the time or energy to go wade through all the various Christian teachings that are out there. Finding the plain simple truth about salvation is a whole lot more simple than that.
What Did Jesus Come To Do? And Did He accomplish it?
God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:17)
Who comes down from heaven and gives Life to the world. (John 6:33)
The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. (Luke 9:56)
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. (John 12:32)
As you have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as you have given Him. (John 17:2)
The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. (John 3:35)
God, Who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He made the worlds. (Hebrews 1:1,2)
From these Scriptures we see that His purpose is very clear: to reconcile all things back to His Father. (Col. 1:16-20)
According to Scripture, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, created all things, reconciles all things, is Heir of all things, has authority over all things, will have all men to be saved, His grace comes to all men, He takes away the sin of the world, He gives His flesh for the life of the world, He is the propitiation for the sins of the world, His gifts are irrevocable -- one of which is life, He was manifested to put away sin, He preached to the spirits in prison and holds the keys to death and hell, He changes not, He is Lord of both the living and the dead, He will destroy all enemies of God -- the last one being death, Who made all things alive, Who completes the work the Father gave Him to do, Who restores all things, gave Himself a ransom for all, He takes away the curse and said He came to do the will and work of the Father who wills that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth so that God, the Father may be all in all! I could lengthen this paragraph filled with plain, easy-to-understand Scriptures considerably, but I think the point has been made.
Jesus said He finished the work and accomplished His purpose which was also the Father’s purpose…to be the Savior of the whole world…to reconcile everyone back to His Father and our Father!
According to many Christians, billions of people are going to a place called Hell to be tormented by God for all eternity. Please hear this very carefully. If Jesus loses just one soul, he will become the world’s biggest sinner. How so, you say? Because He will have missed His mark…that is, to reconcile all things back to His Father. In the Hebrew (chatah) and in the Greek (hamartano) the word “sin” simply means “to miss the mark” or abstractly “to miss one’s purpose or goal” and so fall short of the prize. It was used as a markmanship term in the Old Testament. The Benjamites could sling a stone at a target and not miss the mark (chatah), the same word translated “sin.” Unfortunately, Protestantism has been greatly affected by Roman Catholicism’s gross distortions and twistings of many Biblical concepts. They invented several mortal and venial sins which changed the real meaning of Biblical sin. Too much of Catholicism’s ascetic and often masochistic concepts of sin entered mainstream Protestant thought. To sin is to miss the mark. If Jesus misses His mark, His purpose for coming to the earth—if He loses a single soul—He cannot be the Messiah—He would have to be a false Messiah because He would have missed the mark—to be Savior of the world—to be the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world—the whole world—not just a thin sliver of it.
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And he is before all things and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the ecclesia, Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” (Colossians 1:16-20)
Please understand that when the scriptures talk about “things” being reconciled back to God, the subject matter is not rocks and trees. It was descendants of Adam who were cast out of the presence of God in the Garden of Eden, remember? We need to be restored, reconciled and redeemed. The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that His purpose, goal, will and work was to reconcile all who died due to Adam’s transgression which is every single one of us. (1 Cor. 15:22; Rom. 5:12-21)
These Scriptures make it abundantly clear what (the goal, the mark, the target) Jesus was aiming at when He went to the Tree of Crucifixion. The majority of the church says Jesus either will not save all mankind (Calvinist) or cannot save all mankind due to Satan’s power to deceive or man’s power of “free-will” (Arminian). The majority of the church says He will sin, that is, miss the mark. There has always been a minority in church history, (which used to be the majority before the dark ages) who believe the Scriptures that declare Jesus Christ the actual Savior of the whole world not just those who presently believe.
I have a list of about 75 of my favorite Scriptures which declare that Jesus is indeed the Savior of the whole world, not just a piece of it. Sometimes when I am engaged in debate with someone who believes in eternal torment or annihilation, I present them the list of these Scriptures challenging them to prove that they do NOT teach the reconciliation of all things. Only a small handful of people ever attempted to go through the entire list and tried to prove these Scriptures really didn’t prove universalism.
Their attempts are usually so weak, they quickly give up trying and generally end up resorting to name-calling instead of dealing with the Scriptures. Like I said, few people ever have the nerve or skill to try to deal with all Scriptures which teach the salvation of all mankind. The Scripture above (John 3:17) is one that most Hell believers attempt to solve. They always key in on the word “might” stating that the salvation of the world is NOT conclusive because the word “might” expresses uncertainty. They say that the word “might” means “maybe,” therefore taking the certainty of saving all out of the verse. There are “little faith” Christians and there are “great faith" Christians. Little faith Christians can believe in salvation for themselves, or their household. They can believe for big houses and cars and health. But they can’t believe in God’s great plan for the salvation of the whole world. And they ridicule and accuse as heretics those who DO have faith to believe that nothing is impossible with God.
Jesus had a difficult time getting the Jews in His day to believe in the mighty power of the Most High. It seems things haven’t changed much among His new “chosen people,” that is, Christians. They are, for the most part, like their ancestors, the Jews, who had little faith. Perhaps now it becomes more obvious why Jesus would say, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
When God decides to do something, is there REALLY any uncertainty that He will accomplish what He sets His heart to? Well, for many Christians apparently that is the case, but not for those of us who believe nothing is impossible for our Father.
Most words in the English language (and most other languages as well) have more than one meaning. The word “might” is certainly one of those. One of the meanings of “might” is strength or greatness as in, “He swung his hammer with all his might,” or “He is mightiest among all of them.” Might, in certain contexts CAN mean uncertainty as in “He might be able to do it, but then we really don’t know.” Clearly the context must determine the meaning and we are not at liberty to put into the text whatever meaning we want. The context and the sentence structure and the plain meaning will determine for us which meaning fits. Also, the meaning should line up with what the Scriptures plainly reveal regarding God’s nature and power. In the case of John 3:17, the meaning is quite obvious when we remain true to the English language rather than trying to bend it to conform to our preconcieved doctrines.
Another meaning of the word “might” is as follows: “Used to express contingency, purpose, or result clauses introduced by that or so that: expressing ideas so that the average person can understand.” American Heritage Dictionary
Clearly, this is the way the word “might” is used in John 3:17. THIS will happen because THAT happened. Let’s take a look at other verses in the Bible where the word might occurs in which this is the correct meaning.
“But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled." (Matt. 26:56)
These things have taken place SO THAT prophecy WOULD CERTAINLY BE fulfilled. There is no meaning of doubt here.
“He appointed twelve--designating them apostles--that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” Mark 3:14-15
Again, the first happened so that what followed WOULD also happen.
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he MIGHT show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:6-9
Did God raise Christ up so that MAYBE He would show the riches of his grace? Hardly!
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God MIGHT be displayed in his life. (John 9:3)
Clearly THIS happened so THAT would happen! It is a matter of cause and effect. God DID display His work; did he not? Now, hold on because here comes a powerful statement from God. Are you ready?
"Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he MIGHT give eternal life to all those you have given him.” John 17:1-2
By the way, “might” is also the past tense of “may.” In the above passage, is there any doubt among you whether Jesus will or did glorify His father because the word “may” was used in the first part of this verse? Unfortunately, because of the false teaching that Jesus will lose not only all those who were not born again in this lifetime, but also that He will lose even many of those who were actually born again but did not live up to the standards of their denomination, many Christians have doubts where plainly there is no doubt in the Scriptures. The doctrine of eternal security is certainly Scriptural, but when the meaning of words like “might” in Scriptures are misunderstood, it is easy to see how many Christians lose faith. Again, the word “might” above does NOT express uncertainty. The Father gave Jesus authority SO THAT Jesus COULD and WOULD give eternal life to all those that the Father gave Him.
What things and how many has the Father given Jesus?
"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matt. 11:27)
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;” (John 13:3)
“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Eph. 1:22)
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:15-17)
“Where there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” (Col. 3:11)
“Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be ALL in ALL.” (1Cor 15:28)
“This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. These things command and teach.” (1 Tim. 4:9-11)
There are dozens of Scriptures like the ones above which plainly declare the reconciliation of everything and everyone back to God the Father.
Getting back to the power of “might”
“Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him--to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.” (Rom. 16:25-27)
Again, the mystery has been revealed NOT so that there is a slim chance that “all nations” might believe and obey him, but that eventually all nations WOULD believe and obey.
“Here is the final outcome of the hidden mystery: “And every creature which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13)
“But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.” (1 John 3:5)
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:8-9)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him MIGHT be saved.” (John 3:16-17)
Is Jesus going to MAYBE save the world? It was His mission to save the whole world not a piece of it. Will Jesus fall short in the mission the Father sent Him on? If we can’t trust Him to accomplish His purposes in this world, how can we possibly trust Him with eternity?
Jesus died for the SIN (singular) of the world
“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the SIN of the world.” (John 1:29)
The Bible frequently speaks of our own sins in plural form. But here we find the Savior of the world has come to take away the SIN of the world. Now what on earth is the “SIN” (singular) of the world?
Once again, the true meaning of the SIN of the world has been hidden from us by just slight twists in meanings of a few words in leading selling Bibles. In the book of Romans, the fifth chapter, we find this verse. I will quote it in three translations to show the reader how subtle changes in words can make big changes in our theology.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, FOR THAT ALL HAVE SINNED.” (Rom. 5:12, KJV)
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—“ (Rom. 5:12, NIV)
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12, NASB)
What we want to find out is whether all sinned and therefore died or whether we sin because we all inherited that nature from Adam. In the KJV version of this verse, the Greek behind the words “for that” is “epi ho.” Dr. Marvin Vincent, renowned Greek scholar and author of “Vincent’s Word Studies of the New Testament” informs us that the words “epi ho” mean “on the grounds of the fact that.” (p. 62, Hendrickson edition) The Greek word “epi” (Strong’s number 1909) is often translated upon, on, and unto. The Greek word “ho” (Strong’s number 3739) usually means which, whom, that, or who. In other words, the above three translations have REVERSED the process of what sin did and who was responsible. The KJV, NIV, and the NASB, all leading selling English translations, through their incorrect rendering of “epi ho” have made it APPEAR that we all sinned and therefore we die. But that is NOT what the Greek says. The Greek says that sin entered into the world because of ADAM’S transgression which resulted in death to all men which causes us all to sin. In other words our sinning is all Adam’s fault. There are other passages which make this quite plain.
“For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore 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. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover, the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” (Rom 5:17-20, KJV)
“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of one man THE MANY were made sinners, so also through the disobedience of the one man THE MANY will be made righteous. The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increases all the more.” (Rom. 5:17-20, NIV)
“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience THE MANY were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One THE MANY will be made righteous. And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” (Rom. 5:17-20, NASB)
This passage of Scripture makes what I stated before quite plain, that all of us became condemned not because of our own transgressions but because of Adam’s transgression. This is the "sin of the world." This is the single sin that set the course for all mankind. Death was imputed to us all through Adam. It is not our fault that we die. We are born into a world of death because of the sin in the world through Adam. All of us are born into a world of death. Remember Jesus’ words, “Let the dead bury their own dead?” While we think we are alive, even then, from God’s point of view and from the point of view of life before Adam’s transgression, we are dead. Death is imputed to all humanity through Adam’s sin. “In Adam all died” (1 Cor. 15:22). Since it was not our fault that we were born into a world of death with a sinful nature inherited from Adam, it is reasonable and righteous for God to grant all mankind the free “gift of righteousness” resulting in “justification of life TO ALL MEN.” (Rom. 5:18)
The NIV and the NASB make this quite plain because they have included an important little word which the King James translators left out—the word “the” before “many.” In the KJV, “many” were made righteous, which does not necessarily mean all. But that is NOT what the Greek says. The Greek has the definite article “oi” preceding the Greek word for many “polloi.” It is plain in the Greek, the NIV, the NASB and other correctly translated versions that “the many” who died in Adam are the same “the many” who will be imputed “justification of life” as a free gift. How else can grace abound more than the transgression unless this occurs?
Tradition says that Satan, through Adam’s offense, has locked up all of mankind in death, but Jesus’ righteous act on the cross will only bring life to a small part of all those who were condemned because of Adam’s transgression. Tradition says that the sin of Adam will abound far more than the righteous act of Jesus Christ. According to traditional church teaching, most of the world will be eternally separated from God. That is not what this passage of Scripture correctly translated states. It plainly states that the gift of righteousness came to all who died in Adam. Now the traditional religious mind will quickly says. “Ah, it is true that the gift came to all men, but one had to choose to receive it and most do not.” But this verse does not give one the right to make this limitation. This verse plainly states that the result of God giving this gift to mankind is “justification of life to all men.” All those who died in Adam (which is all mankind) are justified to life through Christ’s work on the cross, not through a decision or works of their own doing. Contrary to the majority church opinion, it is God who chooses to give life, not the believer who chooses to accept life through putting their faith in Christ. Even our faith is a gift from God (Heb. 12:2 ). We can’t confess with our mouth nor believe in our hearts until He deposits and activates HIS faith in us. (Write for my article “Who Chooses Who” for more on this most important topic.)
The reason why Paul chose to use “the many” instead of all in Romans 5:18 was because Jesus was excluded from those who were imputed death through Adam. Jesus did not have an earthly father, that is, the sin imputed to all in Adam was NOT imputed to Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus wasn’t “made righteous” by His own act, He already was righteousness and already had the gift of life so He wouldn’t be included in the part of mankind that would be made righteous by the gift He gave to mankind. So then, “the many” is everyone who was condemned in Adam who are also everyone who was made alive in Christ which is everyone except Jesus Christ. “The many,” then is every single person born of Adam which is all except Jesus. “Justification of life” came to all mankind! This is why the Virgin birth understanding is such a vital part of the gospel. Jesus by-passed the genetic sin-nature of all those who inherited it from Adam. “I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me.” (John 14:30) Jesus had the nature of God in Him. We have the nature of Satan which is death reigning through us through Adam’s one sin which tainted all of us.
“Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” (Isaiah 46:8-10)
“In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 3:4-6)
“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved as it is written.” (Rom. 11:25-26)
God WILL have all men be saved…
“For 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. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim 2:3-6, KJV)
Now, just as some may misunderstand the word “might” as expressing doubt in God’s intentions toward us, they also misunderstand the word “will.” They say that the word “will” in “will have all men to be saved” actually means, God “desired” to save all but He can’t. Well, let God be true and every man a liar. God will not only fulfill His WILL, He will also fulfill His desires, so no matter how one wants to twist or interpret this Scripture, God WILL save the world whether people like it or not. Let’s take a look at some WILL Scriptures and then we’ll take a look at some of God’s desires to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God “desires” to save mankind, Jesus came to fulfill God’s will, desires, wants or whatever and that means quite plainly that the entire world will be saved.
The Will of God
The Son also gives life to whom He wishes (Greek: wills). (John 5:21 NASB)
Not willing that any should perish. (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV)
Willing that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV)
His will according to His pleasure was to bring all in unity in Christ. (Eph 1:9-10 NEB)
Father's will that Jesus loses none that was given Him (all were given to Him). (John 6:39)
God operates all after the counsel of His will. (Eph.1:11)
God's will WILL be done in heaven and earth. (Daniel 4:35)
God will have all men to be saved. (1 Tim. 2:4 KJV)
Will have all men come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:4 KJV)
Will draw all to Himself. (John 12:32)
Last enemy, death, Will be abolished, the last enemy of God. (1 Corinthians 15:26)
His Love will never fail. (1Cor.13:8)
All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him, even he who cannot keep his soul alive. (Psalm 22:29 NASB)
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me. (Psalm 138:8 NASB)
"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will." (Matthew 10:29, NKJ)
The gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead (i.e., the disobedient spirits in prison from the days of Noah--1 Peter 3:18-20), that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the Spirit according to the will of God. (1 Peter 4:6 NASB)
In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth. (James 1:18 NASB)
The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. (2 Tim. 4:18 NASB)
It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:12-13 NASB)
He who began a good work in you will perfect it. (Phil. 1:6 NASB)
The mystery of His will…which He purposed in Him…the summing up of all things in Christ, in the heavens and things upon the earth. Eph. (1:9-10 NASB)
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace. (Eph. 1:5-6 NASB)
Gave Himself for our sins…according to the will of our God and Father. Gal. (1:4 NASB)
They (saints) first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. (2 Cor. 8:5 NASB)
All Israel will be saved; just as it is written. (Rom. 11:26 NASB)
Creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it in hope. (Rom. 8:20-21 NASB)
The Desire and Pleasures of God
Those who desire to cling to tradition often say that God desires to save all men but can't, save men who refused to be saved. Therefore, God will have His own desires thwarted for all eternity, as apparently most of mankind will reject His offer for salvation. Well, let us see what the Scriptures say about God's desires. Will they remain forever unsatisfied?
God does all His desire. (Isa.46:10)
God does what His soul desires. (Job 23:13)
His word will accomplish His desires. (Isaiah 55:1, 3, 5, 8-11 NIV)
God does NOT desire the death of the wicked. (Ezek. 18:23 NEB)
Again He does NOT desire the death of the wicked. (Ezek 33:11 NEB)
He does whatever He pleases (desires). (Psalm 115:3 NASB)
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth. (Psalm 135:6)
The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Proverbs 21:1 NASB)
Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure. (Isaiah 46:10 NASB)
He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. Rom. 9:18 NASB
(He hardens all so that He can have mercy on all) For God hath concluded ALL in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. (Rom. 11:32, KJV)
Who is it that wants people to have doubt about the saving power of God? Is it not Satan? Who is it that wants to make God look unattractive or undesirable? Is it not Satan? No matter what anyone tells you, it is impossible to love a being who plans to endlessly torture billions of human beings among whom may be most of your family and friends and even possibly yourself. It is impossible to completely trust someone like that and it is even more impossible to truly love such a person. Oh, we can outwardly feign worship of such a being, but our hearts cannot truly abandon themselves to such a creature.
Of course, there are many Scriptures in which it is quite impossible to play words games because they so plainly declare Jesus the Savior of the world that trying to find an angle in the Greek or Hebrew just doesn’t even come close. In these cases the detractors of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world must rely upon “interpretation” to remove Jesus from His rightful place.
After Jesus spent some time in a town in Samaria, a place hated by Jews, they came to believe Jesus was the Savior of the world. “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man REALLY is the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.” John 4:42
Detractors of Jesus Christ will say that Jesus is the “potential” savior of the world but that he won’t actually save all the world. Pray tell me, dear reader, what would you say to a lifeguard who said that He was the savior of the whole beach if in fact he only saved a handful over the course of his employment? We would call such an individual a liar or self-deceived, would we not? The Greek word “soter” means savior, deliverer, preserver. The context of this Scripture does not limit His saving power to merely the church—it speaks specifically of the entire world. Actually, this salvation encompasses even more than those on the physical earth. The word “world” here is the Greek word “kosmos” which really includes the entire universe.
Another line of approach by those that desire to bring the Savior of the world down says that these were Samaritans who said this. Just because THEY called him the savior of the world doesn’t mean that Jesus actually is. Gee, here Jesus, through given them His very own words, convinces them that He is the Savior of the world—Jesus doesn’t correct them for saying so—and Christians who desire to preserve their tradition of Hell or Annihilation want to dismiss the words of these sinners as not being true. Isn’t it amazing how low people will stoop to degrade our Savior just so they can hang unto those traditions which make the word of God of no effect?
“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14)
In the very passage where John, the apostle whom Jesus loves, whose very ear rested on Jesus’ heart at the Last Supper, we find another plain “Savior of the world” passage. There are many like myself and many others who have also seen in the Scriptures and in the Spirit that the Father sent the Son “to be Savior of the world,” not just a sliver of it. We testify to this glorious fact. And Satan has deceived and recruited others to cause the world to doubt this truth. For without faith, it is impossible to please God. If Satan can cause people to doubt this glorious truth, then those in doubt can’t see it. All things from God come through faith. Those who will stand up to Satan’s army, in which there are millions of Christians who believe in the name of Jesus, will find themselves in a great battle.
“This is a FAITHFUL saying and worthy of ALL ACCEPTANCE. For therefore we both labour and SUFFER REPROACH, because we trust in the Living God, who is the SAVIOR OF ALL MEN, specially of those who believe. These things COMMAND and TEACH.” (1 Tim. 4:9-11)
Here is where the real persecution of a Christian comes—for believing in the Savior of all men. This is a faithful saying and worthy of being accepted by ALL, but Satan does everything he can to put a little bit of doubt into even this glorious Scripture. Even with such a plain and clear scripture as this, those blinded by Satan’s doubt creating abilities have been seduced to diminishing God’s saving power. They say this Scripture says that God is only the savior of them that believe because of the word “specially.” They say God is NOT the savior of all men, but just those that believe. They say the word “specially” excludes all the world except believers.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples in other Scriptures to see how God uses that word “specially.” In the Greek, it is the word “malista.”
“For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, SPECIALLY they of the circumcision.” (Titus 1:5)
The word “specially” is the very same word in 1 Tim. 4:9-11. Are we to believe Paul was only calling them of the circumcision unruly and vain talkers or was he singling them out as particularly unruly and vain? The answer is really quite obvious, isn’t it, that is, for those interested in the truth and not trying to twist the scripture to conform to their tradition.
“Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord.” (Phil. 1:16)
Again, the Greek word behind the English word “specially” is malista. Is this brother only a brother to Paul because of the word specially or is he a brother to the other person as well but ESPECIALLY to Paul? Obviously, he was a brother to both. And that is how the word malista should be used in 1 Tim. 4:9-11. It has been translated in the King James Version specially 5 times, especially 4 times, chiefly 2 times and once as chiefly, most of all, and above all.
In Galatians chapter 6, verse 10 we have the following sentence:
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (NKJV)
Again, it is the exact Greek word (malista) used in 1 Timothy 4:9-11. Is Paul saying that we are only to do good to the “household of faith” or is he saying we are to do good to “all,” but especially the “household of faith?” Obviously, we are to do good to both groups. In like manner, Jesus is, in fact, Savior of all mankind and Savior of those who know they are saved. He is the Savior of both groups. The Greek word in both passages is the same Greek word, malista, which means “most of all.” So then, we are to do good to all, most of all to the household of faith, and Jesus is the Savior of all, most of all to those who already have an earnest of the promise within them, that is, the Holy Spirit.
The Devil has no real power except to twist the truth. And his twisting seems to have no end. Of course all this twisting is done in the minds of men. Satan has no other means to express himself on the earth expect in the dust he is cursed to swallow. The “carnal mind,” the earthy lower fleshy mind is where Satan does all of his twisting. It is human beings who become the instruments of his will here on earth and Christians who choose to sow into the flesh instead of the spirit become the candidates for Satan’s expressions of doubt in the earth.
His ability to manipulate words and to inject false traditions and false interpretations of words in the Bible seem to have no end. At this point, earthly-minded Christians who have been seduced by his lies, will begin to try to interpret “all men” or “all mankind,” etc., (depending upon the translation) as meaning “all sorts of men” such as some Europeans, some Americans, some Africans, etc. In other words, He will save some out of all mankind, but He won’t save “all of mankind.” Now they realize that is not what the passage plainly says, but they feel they believe that is what the passage means. None of the leading Bibles translate the phrase that way. The Jehovah’s Witness’s Bible translates it “all sorts of men.” So those who want to “interpret” this passage that way find themselves in agreement with a group notorious for putting their own interpretations right in the Word of God.
The phrase in question here is the Greek “ta panta.” The Expositor’s Greek Testament on page 504 in Volume 3 renders it “The universe in its widest sense regarded as a collective whole.” Professor John Eadie, professor of Biblical Literature in the United Presbyterian Divinity Hall renders it, “The universe, the whole that exists, all things, whether they be things on earth, or in heaven.” (Taken from Commentary of the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, page 52, 73) Dr. J.B Lightfoot D.D., D.C.L., L.L.D. speaking of the phrase “ta panta” says, “The whole universe or things, material as well as spiritual, shall be restored to harmony to God.” (St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon, page 160) “‘Ta panta’ is the existing all, the totality of things [The universe, Alford-R], panta would be all that actually is (Winer’s Grammar p.105)” This was found in Lange’s Commentary Volume II under Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, by Karl Braune D.D..
Using my computer to try to find how “all sorts of” would appear in the Greek, I found nothing phrased that way. The closest I could come was “kinds of” in 1 Corinthians Chapter 14. The word for “kinds” was “geno,” not “panta.” In short, this Scripture very plainly states that Jesus is the Savior of All, both in the English and in the Greek. One has to add their own doctrines or interpretations in order to make it say something different. The Jehovah’s Witnesses tampered with the Bible text itself, and those who interpret “all men, ta panta” as “all sorts of men” are doing exactly the same thing.
We have seen in this article several meanings of the English word “might.” How we use that word can be critical to our understanding of who God really is. The word may imply doubt, the word may be used “to express contingency, purpose, or result clauses introduced by that or so that.” Or the word may be used to express power and strength. “He pushed against the rock with all his MIGHT.” We find this use of the word as an adjective used to express the powerfulness of our God, “a MIGHTy God.”
Satan will do whatever He can to malign the Almighty God so that we humans will be satisfied with a lower expression of who God really is. Satan wants to bring us into idolatry. I believe Satan has succeeded in this beyond what we can imagine. Imagine.....How many loving parents do you know who would endlessly torture any of their children because the children did not obey or love their parents? How many loving parents do you know who would annihilate their children because they did not do what they were told? Maybe a parent posessed by a demon would do something like that, but I don’t know of any loving, sane parents who would do such a thing. God is LOVE! That’s His nature. And yet, according to the traditional view of God, this “loving” Father has created a lake of fire into which He will personally throw billions upon billions of human beings. There are countless denominations that have invented thousands of different rules and regulations that determine whether a person will be thrown into this lake by God. It is an utter mass of confusion. And we know who the “author of confusion” is, don’t we?
What is it about us that causes us to think the worst about our heavenly Father instead of the best? Do the Scriptures not declare that the mind of man cannot conceive of all the goodness of the Lord? Yet look at what we have reduced Him down to…worse than the worst of human beings. Satan has done this through using human beings (often Christians) to twist the words of the Bible; to bring God down to some kind of image perhaps some people might fear, but could never really love unconditionally. This God tells us to love our enemies while He endlessly tortures His. Satan, using traditional Christianity, has made us believe that our God is a hypocrite who tells us to do something that He is not willing to do Himself. This God’s love is clearly VERY conditional, yet He demands we love Him unconditionally. The first commandment requires us to love God with all our MIGHT. Friends---we may pretend to love such a fiend—we may express outward signs that we love such a fiend as portrayed by orthodoxy, but our hearts could never truly love one whom we dare not trust.
The reason there is so little of God’s real power in the church is because there is no true faith in the true God. People are worshipping false images of God. As a result, they are under the power of the lie, not under the power of the Holy Spirit. And there is no God-given power in pretence, in hypocrisy, in lies.
"’Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the traditions of men.’” (Matt. 15:7-9)
But a God who loved the entire world so much that He gave His own life for it…such a God can be trusted and loved with all our hearts…and SHOULD be loved! And that is the True God of the Bible. And there is great power in such a people who truly worship their Maker from a pure heart, sincere faith and a sound mind.
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw (drag in the Greek) all mankind unto Myself. This He said signifying what manner of death He should die.” (John 12:32, 33)
Here is a Savior worthy of all our devotion. Here is a Savior who does what He asks us to do…to lay down our lives for our enemies. This is a Savior you can trust completely with your life, the life of your loved ones and even the lives of your worst enemies. This is a Savior one can believe in with all their “might.” Take the doubt out of your mind. Cast off the “traditions of men which make the word of God of no effect” (Matt. 15:6-9), and believe! Jesus Christ, Savior of the world. (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14; 1 Tim. 4:9-11, a triple witness of Scripture to the Savior of the entire world.)