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I received the following question:

Romans 11:26, “And so all Israel will be saved.” Are all the Jews going to be saved in the end?

At issue here is the meaning of “all Israel.” If we take this to mean every last individual Israelite, then we have universalism, at least as far as Israelites are concerned. But is that really the teaching of Scripture? Judas, for example, was an Israelite, and consider what is said of him in Mark 14:21, “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.” If Judas will ultimately be saved, then of course it was far better for him to have been born. This shows us that Judas’ ultimate fate is NOT salvation, and therefore all Israelites clearly are NOT going to be saved. Read the rest of this entry »

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mmmmpie02Colossians 1 Part 6

New King James Version 20. and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

The Resultant Version 20. And through Him, who metamorphosed all these creations to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether they be those creations on the earth or those creations among the heavens.

Now through Jesus Christ the Father works to reconcile all these creations to Himself. This word “reconcile” is a very important one that we need to carefully study if we wish to understand what God is telling us through this passage.

The word for “reconcile” is the Greek apokatallasso. The base word here is allasso, which means to change, or to make other than what it was. The word kata is then added to the word as a prefix. This prefix means “down,” but “down” in the sense of going down the aisle. When one goes down the aisle, one does not go randomly, for then one might crash into the seats on either side. To go down the aisle, one must go down the lines formed by the aisle. Therefore, the idea of “down” in kata is down along certain lines. If we put these two things together, we get katallasso, which would mean “to change down along certain lines.” When used with the word “to,” the idea is of configuring something to some standard. Now we have a third component to this word, which is the prefix apo. This means “from.” Therefore, the idea here is of a thing being changed from what it was down along certainly lines in order to conform it to something else. Read the rest of this entry »

Colossians 1 Part 4

New King James Version 15. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

The Resultant Version 15. Who is the visible representation of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creation:

Now we learn more truths about the Lord Jesus Christ. We are entering here a section that speaks of His sovereignty. First of all, He is the image of the invisible God. That is, He is the visible representation of the invisible God. He is God, Who cannot be seen, in a visible, tangible, understandable form. He is God extended to His people so that they can see Him and know Him.

In the context of sovereignty, this is a thing that is invisible, but there needs to be some tangible representative of it. For example, in the United States the sovereignty rests with the people, but that is tangibly represented in the President. In the government of God, His invisible sovereignty is personified in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the image of the invisible Sovereign, God. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

How would you explain the Universalism proof-text of 1Tim 4:10? “…Who is the Savior of all people – especially of believers” 1Tim 4:10b [TransLine]

I would be happy to offer my interpretation of this verse. The reason Universalists get mixed up about this verse, and the reason others have difficulty answering them, is because first of all we have an insufficient understanding of the word “save.” It is pretty much universally accepted that when God “saves” us, He delivers us from sin and death and gives us eternal life. Thus, we tend to define the word “save” as meaning that any time it occurs in the Bible. Yet this is totally ignoring what the word actually means, and how we use it otherwise in everyday conversation. For example, I save my money in the bank. Yet my money never sinned, was never in jeopardy of death, and certainly has not had eternal life granted to it by me. Nevertheless, it is accurate and correct to say that my money has been “saved.” If you look at the way “save” is actually used in English, it means either to deliver (as from danger,) or to preserve (as when one saves a seat for someone else.) The Biblical use of the word is in line with what “saved” actually means, not with our “Christian lingo” meaning of the word. In Biblical use, it can also mean to “restore,” although that is not a common use in English. When God saves, He can deliver, or He can preserve, or He can restore. Moreover, He can deliver from many dangers besides those brought about by sin and death, and He can preserve to many things besides eternal life. Read the rest of this entry »