SALVATION--UNIVERSAL AND LIMITED
"Who will have all men to be saved, and to come
unto the knowledge of the Truth."--1 Timothy 2:4.
WHILE this Scripture teaches a universal salvation, yet there are other Scriptures which speak of the ultimate destruction of a certain class. In seeking to harmonize these Scriptures we note that there are various salvations. For illustration: A man might be saved from a burning building in the morning, and in the afternoon from drowning in a pond of water. The next day he might be saved from financial disaster, from bankruptcy, and later from something else.
There is one general trouble in the human family. The whole human race were sold under Sin. St. Paul, writing on this subject, says: "By one man's disobedience Sin entered into the world and Death by Sin; and so Death passed upon all men, because all are sinners." This, then, is the great disaster. The Scriptures tell us that God has provided Jesus to be a Life-giver to all mankind, and that He died, the Just for the unjust. "Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." "The hour is coming when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live....The hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth." (John 5:25,28,29.) This awakening from death is what the Apostle had in mind, evidently, when he said that God is "the Savior of all men."
But if we should imagine the whole human family brought back to the same condition in which Adam was, it would not necessarily mean everlasting life. Adam was perfect, yet he fell into death; and his race, when fully recovered from the penalty, will be placed on trial as was he. And any one who will then be disobedient to God will not be granted everlasting life. The Scriptures show us that Christ, having redeemed the world, will at the beginning of the Millennial Age establish His Mediatorial Kingdom, which will be for the very purpose of liberating man from the bondage of Sin and Death. Then whoever chooses Sin will be choosing the wages of Sin-- death. And whoever chooses righteousness will be choosing the reward that goes with it--everlasting life. Each will be granted the opportunity of everlasting life, because saved by Christ from the condemnation upon Adam. But first he must be set free before having either a punishment of everlasting death, or a reward of everlasting life.
God "will have all men to be saved [recovered, out of the death state, the tomb], and to come to an accurate knowledge of the Truth; for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men; namely, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a Ransom [corresponding price] for all, to be testified in due time." The due time for the world in general, here spoken of, will be during Messiah's Reign. The knowledge of the Lord will cover the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep. But there is in this Age a class being specially blessed-- "Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear." Having this blessing now, we have the gracious opportunity of attaining joint-heirship with our Lord in glory, honor and immortality--the Divine nature.
GOD'S WILL IS BEST
"God's will is best; faith's vision may be darkened,
And tangling influence our feet arrest;
Yet to our cry for guidance One has hearkened;
God's will is best.
"We raise our tear-dimmed eyes with eager longing,
To pierce the clouds that crown the mountain's crest;
And watch the chill mists round the pathway thronging,
With hearts distrest.
"God's will is best--oh! tired heart and weary;
Each footfall finds you nearer to your rest;
And God prints on your pathway, lone and dreary,
'God's will is best.'
"Why seek to know the secrets of the morrow;
Or what new dangers may your way infest?
'Tis Providence apportions joy or sorrow
To be your guest.
"God's will is best--seek not to do God's planning;
Nor of the future make untrusting quest;
He only of your whole life has the scanning;
God's will is best.
"Enough, for mortal feet, the step before them;
Enough, for mortal hands, life's next behest;
Enough to know Immortal Love is o'er them;
God's will is best.
"God's will is best--your first dawn may be over;
Life's noon be past, its sun low in the West,
And night full nigh; but Heaven's morn will discover,
God's will is best."