Most Christians believe that Jesus came to save all people, that is, all people who BELIEVE in Him. Fewer Christians believe that Jesus came to save all people… period!
I am in the latter category, so that begs the question, “What if I’m wrong about God saving all?”
More than 2000 years, Jesus Christ lived an impeccable life, suffered and died and atoning death, was resurrected and then 40 days later, ascended into heaven. He is the central figure of all of humanity and in fact, our calendars are set because of Him.
Nowadays within Christianity the typical “majority” viewpoint is that unless you personally believe in Jesus as your Savior, you will upon your death, be ushered into hell for all of eternity. That’s a really long time, in fact, it’s timeless!
Yet there is a “minority” viewpoint that all people who ever lived will be saved and go to heaven, because Jesus was the Savior- of the world- as it says in 1 John 1:4. The whole world, not merely some in the world.
So yes, I’m a minority viewpoint holder and we call ourselves Christian Universalists. We contend that for the first 400+ years after Jesus departed this earth, this was the majority belief among Christians. That’s another subject for another day, but here is a quick reference from my website; About the Phil Henry Power Gospel Ministry (see especially the area entitled ‘The Original Usurped’).
Now back to the question posed, “What if I’m wrong about God saving all?”
First of all, we in the minority, like those in the majority, have indeed embraced Jesus Christ as our Savior and all believers are especially emphasized in this writing from the Apostle Paul:
- 1 Timothy 4:10 (NET) We have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all, especially of believers.
While Christian Universalists believe that Jesus is actually, not just potentially, the Savior of all, any believer enjoys a wonderful blessing called assurance! We all get to live out the balance of our earthly lives with certainty about our future. Because of Jesus, we get to live in Power Without Fear, a term that my Power Gospel uses frequently and a google search attributes to us.
Yet the scriptures declare that one day, EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will swear allegiance to Jesus Christ! See Isaiah 45:22-23 and Romans 14:10b-11 and Philippians 2:10-11 as proof.
So what if we in the minority (and there are many more of us than you think) are wrong? What if God is not going to save all? What if it’s true that unless you believe in Jesus while you are alive, you’re fate is eternal conscious torment?
Allow me to introduce Pastor Peter Hiett. Peter is a super creative guy and the pastor of The Sanctuary Denver. He’s an author, a husband, a father and a dear friend of mine. He also is a “minority” believer who was tried and convicted, for real, by a large church denomination. He was then stripped of his credentials, all because he dared to believe and proclaim that Jesus will save not just some, but all people.
Recently Peter was asked, “are you sure about God saving all, because if you’re wrong, the consequences are great.” He brilliantly answered this question and you can read his full reply from his blog entitled, What If You Are Wrong About Universal Salvation?
Now with credit to and permission from Peter, I have re-worked and condensed his blog, so now I will answer as if I were asked, “AM I SURE?”
QUESTION: “Phil are you sure that God will save all people, because if you are wrong the consequences are great?”
ANSWER: “I really appreciate your question. All of us who have crossed over from believing that God would only save some, to believing that His plan and will is to save all, have all wanted to make sure.
Now the name Jesus literally means God is salvation. In other words, God doesn’t merely OFFER salvation, He is salvation! I believe that the glory goes to Him for His decision to save all and not to me for my decision to believe in Him. Paul seems to agree when he writes;
- Ephesians 2:8 (NASB) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that (faith is) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Not only is salvation a free gift, but even the faith I needed to believe, was a gift!
Now let me ask you four questions to see if you are sure of something:
- As I said, the name Jesus means God is Salvation. ARE YOU SURE that sometimes God is ‘not salvation?’
- In the book of Lamentations 3:22 it says the ‘…Lord’s loving kindness will never cease and His compassion will never fail.’ ARE YOU SURE that His love will cease and His compassion will fail?
- In Luke 19:10, Jesus said that He came to ‘…seek and save the lost.’ ARE YOU SURE that He will seek and save only some of the lost?
- In Ephesians 1:10 it says that… ‘in the fullness of time, God will unite all things in Christ.’ ARE YOU SURE that He will only unite some things in Christ?”
In conclusion, I know many majority believers. They are good, caring, loving people who also believe that hell is real and they do not want you to go there! So they are compelled to ask people like me if I’m sure and how I’m sure, that God through Christ will save all, because the consequences are great if we’re wrong.
But I and others are convinced that God is salvation and that He is the Savior of all. We do not want scared people to come to Jesus so they can “avoid condemnation,” but rather want amazed people to come to Jesus because a God who is described by one word, LOVE. His Love was expressed through His son, who died for all and now compels all of us to live for Him.
So YES, I am sure that God will save all people? Are you sure that He won’t?
Here is a video version of this blog; FIVE MINUTE POWER MESSAGE #89: What If I’m Wrong About God Saving All? (Feat. Rev. Peter Hiett)
Phil Henry is a financial adviser and also an ordained minister who founded and produces short videos and blogs at Phil Henry Power Gospel.