The idea that God would so value free will in His creations that He would allow them to choose to reject Him, with a consequence of spending an eternity in torment in hell, and watch as a majority of them do so, is just as abhorrent, and implies that God somehow created them awry, seeing that so many would choose such a fate.
In either case this God would seem to be of a nature so callous as to be an idol of His own harshness and indifference to what he had created. His poor result making a mockery of the value of His love, and exposing the impotence of the power of the cross of Jesus Christ, through which He supposedly expressed the greatness of His love for all mankind in its purest form.
Yet those two philosophies govern the majority of theologians in contemporary Christianity. Somehow, for them, the words, “If I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me” did not really mean what they said, even though they were spoken by the Lord and Savior, Jesus the Messiah.
The one who said, “Behold, I am making all things new” was apparently given to making statements both before and after His death, burial and resurrection, that could not be relied upon as factual or as actual prophecy. They were merely platitudes of His best intentions that would go unfulfilled. Desires that He shared with His Father that were predetermined to fail, either because of the power God had delivered into the will of man, or because He never intended for most people to taste the beauty of eternal life anyway.
Such reasoning is absolutely unavoidable within the philosophy of mainstream Christianity today, and it is a large reason why, in a thinking world, Christianity is losing its meaning- and losing its appeal.
Who wants to worship such a God?
But what of Jesus words? “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” “If I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me.” “Behold, I am making all things new.”
While so many Christians use the inerrancy of the Bible as justification (for views that must in some measure be in error since they disagree with one another on so many issues of doctrine, practice and faith) one must ask, “How could Jesus be in such error, or be so naïve, or be so reckless in His language?”
In every other case we would say, “If the Lord says “ALL” it is “ALL”- until He says, “I will draw all men unto me”… or “Behold(see, understand), I am making all things new”.
Yet one of His apostles, Paul, from whom most of modern doctrine is drawn, and whose words are sprinkled like holy salt upon every theological paper or book, took Jesus at His word- even tho he is not credited for doing so.
Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
1 Cor 15:25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 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.
Phil 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
While we have been taught that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord- just before they are cast into hell to be destroyed or to suffer eternal punishment, Paul did not seem to explain himself in that way. According to the first three portions of scripture Paul saw “all things gathered into one in Christ”; “all things reconciled to Himself by the blood of His cross”; and every adversary subjected to Him, “that God may be all in all”.
In Ephesians 1 Paul equates this with, “the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure(kind intention NAS) which he has purposed in himself”.
God’s will as a kind intention? The dispensation(administration) of the fulness(completion) of times gathering “all things into one in Christ”?
Apparently Paul took Jesus at His word, that He is making “all things new”, and that by the blood of His cross(If I am lifted up) He is reconciling all things- drawing all men to Himself.
Paul does say it is a mystery….Yet he also says it is a mystery that has been revealed, and before you close your mind to the idea that when time is complete, and the ages of God’s plan for man are fulfilled- all will be reconciled and made new, consider these words written by Paul.
For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again?
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
God created all things. All things came into being through Jesus Christ. According to Jesus and Paul, all things are being gathered back into God, and God shall be all in all-even those who were once His adversaries. But that ought not surprise us. We were once all His adversaries.
For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 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 heaven.
“And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach”
And Paul says every adversary will be subjected, and God will be all in all.
“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.” (Col 1:21)
“…every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
“For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.”
Perhaps what we will be doing in the ages to come is not watching our adversaries burn in hell forever, but rather- gathering all things into one in Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:4-10 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Paul, in Romans 8, speaks of the whole creation eagerly awaiting our resurrection, and the resulting liberation of the entire creation from futility/corruption..
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 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.
Peter, preaching on the day of Pentecost, the birth of the true church, the body of Christ, also connects this restoration of all things to a period of time after the second advent, the return of Jesus Christ(who will come in the clouds with ten thousands of ten thousands of His holy ones).
Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.
Paul called this the mystery of the gospel.
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
Did God create this world, and billions of souls who have lived on it throughout the ages, and billions more who will live on it in ages to come, only to torment most of them forever, or destroy them from being at all.
Why would He conceive such a futile plan?
And how could the word of God be true?
“….I will draw all men unto me”. “…I am making all things new”. “….gathering together of all things into one in Christ” “…..that God may be all in all”.
If there is an alternative to this horrible philosophy it ought to be examined, and not because it is to be desired- but because the scriptures of the apostles and the prophets give voice to a larger, more reasonable and compassionate vision for God’s “kind intention” for the world, which He “purposed in Himself” for the ages.
These verses in Revelation 5 look like the fulfillment of Phil 2:9-11 to me.
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,
“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”