5th March 2019

All Means All

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth…and in him all things hold together…For God was pleased…through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
Colossians 1:15-20 (NIVUK)

Many regard the apostolic period as the golden era of the church, yet at its close in 100AD it is estimated that only about 0.6% of the world’s population were Christian. By the year 1000AD this had risen to about 19% . Today the world’s population is now over 7 billion of whom about 33% claim some form of Christian affiliation. From these estimates, which exclude those who lived prior to the incarnation, it seems safe to conclude that a large proportion of the human race has died without ever hearing or, for whatever reason, responding to the good news of Jesus Christ. This inevitably raises the question, if God condemns outright these people, is the gospel really good news for most of humanity?

Two essential central beliefs of the Christian faith are God’s desire to save, and Jesus as the only Saviour. It is within these boundaries that Christians debate the eternal destiny of all humanity.

The opening scripture shows that the Son created all things, that he holds all things in existence and that these same created ‘all things’ are reconciled to God through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross. Just as God did not partially create the universe or does not partially hold them in existence, so he did not reconcile only a part of humanity, a specific group, but the whole of humanity to himself. The efficacy of Christ’s life, death, resurrection and ascension is universal, Jesus is “the atoning sacrifice…for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

Many scriptures can be used to illustrate God’s universal desire to save—for example, “This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4). That knowledge of the truth includes an understanding that, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

God has not created vast millions of people only to banish them from his presence. All humanity is reconciled to God. Jesus’ shed blood is proof of God’s love and it is his desire that every human being should turn to him and accept the salvation he offers through Jesus Christ. The gospel is good news for ALL.

Prayer
Father, we thank you for your love for the whole of humanity and your desire that all should be saved through Jesus Christ.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh

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About the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Sheffield
The Source Training & Conference Centre
300 Meadowhall Way
Sheffield
S9 1EA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk