Full Atonement Truth
Please consider each of the points below together with ‘verses’ (“Sola Scriptura”, only Scripture):
(i) It is not an Availability nor an offer but rather the way ‘His Atonement’ applies to ‘us’ (believers) as the ‘Propitiation (ending or ‘turning away of the wrath of God’) for our sins’, the “same” manner is implied to the “sins of the whole world” in the verse below:
“and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)
(ii) Hence, He is the Blessed ‘Savior of the World’:
“We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14)
The forerunner to the Messiah, John the Baptist testifies to this ‘same prophecy & truth’ too:
“The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Now, ‘sin & punishment upon it only lasts as long as it is not taken away’ agreeing with Christ’s Own analogy given regarding the ‘afterlife punishment’ as verse below shows too:
““Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
“Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.” (Matthew 5:25 – 26)
But, it doesn’t end there since the phrase ‘takes away’ (in John 1:29) itself means that ‘He removes the sin of the Whole world too eventually’ reconciling them all as the verses above & the next one state plainly too:
“namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
The “their trespasses (sins)” in the verse above refers to the “world’s sins” as the word ‘world’ is found in the verse above & ‘not man only’ as the word ‘man is not found in the verse (sentence) above’. We should not change the meaning of the verse in any way to fit our ‘own colloquial theologies’. God defines His Theology, not us.
Are we able to ‘see’ that ‘His Most Loving Work on His Cross’ thus applies to the ‘whole world’ too eventually (time factor discussed in points with verses, below); in fact, it is by “His Blood” (This Word is found in the verse below) that ‘He reconciles all things’:
“and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in the heavens.” (Colossians 1:20)
Which ‘all things’ is referred to in the verse above?
‘all creation’ as few verses prior this is defined first as follows:
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)
Let us recall that the phrase ‘propitiation for sins’ (ours & for the whole world, in 1 John 2:2) itself means that the “wrath of God exists to punish sin” but it will be ‘ended/turned away’ too by His Awesome Work on His Cross at the point when it applies to “all things” too ‘reconciling them’ as the verses above state so clearly as it is.
Now, there is a difference between the way His propitiation is applied towards “believers” vs “unbelievers”, namely the former is ‘passed from Judgment’ (“no” afterlife punishment applies) while the latter goes through ‘condemnation’ (of the age-during punishment discussed next briefly):
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has age-during life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)
“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,
and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28 – 29)
(iii) God ‘punishes sin’ to the “age” (for wicked man) & to the “ages of Ages” (for Satan & his devils) where both are a ‘long but unrevealed period of time’ [obviously the latter phrase” indicates a punishment for two successive ages at least from time of sentencing] as the verses below in the ‘original text read when translated literally’ (with ‘no colloquial speech change to ‘forever & ever’ being added to it’):
“And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.'” (Matthew 25:46)
“and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night — to the ages of the ages.” (Revelation 20:10)
(iv) Beyond these punishments rendered according to their own evil deeds, God has also promised “His Mercy to triumph over Judgment” even towards the ‘worst of the wicked-type which has showed no mercy toward others with equivalent judgment first’ (God is Fair):
“For judgment without mercy will be to the one not having shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13)
(v) The Many versus All dilemma
The “same many” made sinners will be the “same many” made righteous too as this verse doesn’t point to any ‘difference’ between the ‘two many’s mentioned’ within it (original Greek reads, ‘the many’ & not ‘many’ quantifying the ‘same specific many for both’):
“for as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners: so also through the obedience of the one, shall the many be constituted righteous.” (Romans 5:19)
Why is it called ‘the many’ instead of ‘all’? Because it speaks of sinners who are ‘man’ (the word exists in the verse above) and there are other sinners such as the fallen angels who are not man & nor did they fall due to Adam’s disobedience but fell due to other reasons.
The “same all” who die due to Adam’s sin (which refers to “All men”, for death passed to “all men” relative to Adam’s fall) is the “same all” (“all men” by specific reference to Adam’s fall) which will be “made Alive by Christ’s Obedience” implying the ‘Salvation for all men’ in verse below too:
“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
(vi) The most important factor in all this is “God’s Will”.
Good thing is that He has Willed to ‘save all men’ and bring them to the ‘knowledge of the truth’ (the “Will” in the verse below is a “verb-action word” meaning He Will act to bring it to pass):
“Who (God) will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)
(vii) Gospel preached to the dead too (A mystery or Secret revealed in Holy Scripture):
Either way, nothing can limit His Saving Power & He Saves as He Wills be it from Hell itself as the famous occurrence (in 1 Peter 3:19, 1 Peter 4:5 – 6) proves that He can Save from Hell itself & beyond death.
(1 Peter 3:19) is the “first occurrence” (and ‘not’ the only occurrence as so commonly erred) of ‘Christ Saving from Hell’ in Scripture.
(1 Peter 4:5 – 6) explains the ‘Saving of Christ from Hell’ is via the order below:
(1) “Gospel being preached to them”, followed by
(2) “Judgment (in Hell)” for them first as only believers do not come under judgment having passed into life.
(3) It doesn’t end there as “their spirit” will eventually “live according to the Will of God” (Salvation achieved).
The ‘outworking’ (big picture) of this hope is given in the verses from 1st Peter above but further details which may not be necessary for us now is not revealed further.
(viii) The conclusion verses below all testify to this ‘same truth’ of “Holy Scripture”:
“For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” (1 Timothy 4:10)
Indeed, God is Good:
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:32)
(ix) A Pastor’s valid question
‘Jonathan, (in the verse above in Colossians 1:20) If ‘all things’ meant ‘all creation or world’ as you say, are you telling me that God reconciles all irrational living things such as trees & all non-living things as well, such as a wall or even stones? How is that?’
Dear pastor, some Universal Reconciliation believers & leading theologians believe that the ‘all things’ reconciled back to Him are ‘anything which has sinned & need reconciliation’ (‘rational creation as it is commonly called’) hence settling the meaning using the ‘context approach’.
However, personally this is ‘how I am led to believe’ based on the ‘understanding of His Scripture & Power’ (Blessed be His Name):
(a) He reconciles all irrational living things such as trees as well, how?
Trees die though they never sinned. Similarly for animals. Thus, the curse of sin due to man’s fall applies to all irrational living things as well (hence they die too).
By reconciling these things, our Blessed Saviour ensures that ‘all irrational non living thing’ to ‘remain alive’ without ever growing old or dying again! Hence, in the New Heavens & New Earth, it remains ‘in life’ with ‘no corruption of any sort ever again’ by ‘His Work on His Cross’.
(b) He reconciles all non living things as well, how?
A wall, rock, stones or other non living objects on the earth are subjected to ‘spiritual decay’. It has been defiled by man’s fall and thus cannot remain eternally. It has to be renewed, thus He creates a New Earth too.
Some of these objects have been used by man in direct sin against God such as an object to help them murder. Other non living objects (though not used directly in sin), are separated from God after the Fall of Man (as God cursed the ground during this incident, for example) & thus need Reconciliation too.
Think of it like this: Compare the gold found on earth to the one in heaven or a wall on earth (objects used in construction) against a wall in heaven. What’s the difference?
The gold on earth or the wall made by earthly materials do “not” remain in its ‘full perfection in all aspects forever’ (E.g. Durability or glitter) as the gold & walls in heaven. Also, we are able to destroy the non living objects of the earth in some way or use it to serve the corruption & decay of sin but it is ‘not’ so with objects which are reconciled back to Him which remain ‘pristine, pure & perfect always’ as ‘He Wills’. Every vision of heaven testifies to ‘this beauty of perfection’ found in non living objects as well.
(c) That’s why the Gospel or Good News is commanded to be preached to ‘all creation in the world’ since it will apply good to them all eventually:
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
(d) A related set of verses prophesying all these to be fulfilled in times to come:
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” (Romans 8:20 – 22)
All things = All Creation (living & non living) in the world (‘heavens & the earth’).
(x) To answer ‘any other if’s’ which ‘might occur’
Even if (just for argument’s sake) the phrase discussed above in 1 Timothy 2:4 was “God’s Will” (the Noun) instead of the verb, it still doesn’t nullify the Biblical fact that ‘God Will do all His Will’:
“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:10)
“So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
The only way “His Will” may ‘not’ happen is if another Bible verse exists later describing that ‘God repented or changed His mind about it’. Guess what? NO such verse exists in Scripture which states that this particular “Will of God” has been ‘changed by Him’.
“Whoever then annuls (breaks) one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of the heavens; but whoever keeps (obeys) and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of the heavens.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:19)
An important note:
Christ our Blessed Saviour is “not” limited in any way and by His Will He can Save anyone pass anytime or any of the judgment sentence above as “He Wills”:
“For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;” (John 5:26)
“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.” (John 5:21)
“When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?”
And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:25 – 26)
A Beautiful Remark:
“He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not recognize Him.” (John 1:10)
“But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated Me without reason.'” (John 15:25)