...because it Is God’s will to save all

By George F. Howe

I Timothy 2:1-6 says: “I exhort therefore, first of all, petitions, prayers, supplications, and giving of thanks be made for all human beings—for kings, and for all that are in eminence, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all piety and respect. Good and acceptable is that in the sight of God our Savior, who wills (thelo) that all mankind be saved, and come into the full knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom on behalf of all, to be testified in its own times.”

Paul exhorted believers to pray for all humanity so that leaders will provide a stable environment in which believers may conduct peaceful lives of devotion to God. Another motive for universal prayer is God’s sovereign will to save all mankind (verse 3). Peter communicated that same point, “God is not willing (thelo) that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).
Our own human will opposes the truth because it is in bondage. God locked up all humans into unconvincibility (Romans 11:32). All this will change when sin is set aside (Hebrews 9:26) and when the Son of God has untied all of the devil’s works, as He intends to do (I John 3:8). God encourages prayers for lost people and will ultimately save them all. This final salvation is predicated on the sacrifice of Christ and on the will of God—not on the works of man or on a human freewill “choice” (John 1:13). Ephesians 1:11 teaches that God has a plan (prothesis) and works all according to the plan or purpose of His will. God’s will is omnipotent and God Himself is what we could rightly call “omni-loving.” He changed Saul of Tarsus in one instant from being a man who killed Christians to an apostle who convinced people that Christ was God’s Messiah. Falling completely under Christ’s control, Paul was converted immediately!
God’s will has supremacy over nature as shown when Christ told the leper in Luke 5:13, “I will (thelo); be thou clean”—same Greek word In response to Christ’s will the disease vanished immediately. All future events are under the God’s control–James 4:15 “If God wills (thelo), we will live and do this or that.” God’s will (thelo) to save all humans (I Timothy 2:4) is not a vague “hope” or a wistful “desire” that can be thwarted by human freewill. It is a divine decree that will lead to God’s becoming all in all—I Corinthians 15:28. Christians ought to joyfully embrace this central message of I Timothy 2:3-4 as Bible truth. These verses should be widely believed by Bible students and clearly preached. Christ Jesus is God the Son Who gave himself a ransom for all which is both good and acceptable. God wills all to be saved, Christ became a ransom for all, and God is going to save them all. In Romans 5:18 Paul wrote that life’s justification would come into all humans by means of one righteous act. He wrote to Titus (2:11) that the grace of God is the salvation of all people. This good news of universal reconciliation should not be changed to wrongly teach that many people will be kept apart from God forever in hell.

Recite Romans 3:23...
...but don't forget verse 24

 The “all” who sinned (verse 23) are the same ones who are going to be justified freely by the grace of Christ—verse 24! “All” who have sinned is comprehensive, including all humanity except Jesus Christ. The Greek verb “justified” (verse 24) has the same root as the “justification of life” which comes into all humans—see Romans 5:18. The word “redemption” is the same as the Greek word for “ransom” used by Paul in I Timothy 2:6 to say that Jesus has given Himself as “…a ransom for all human beings.”
Many Christians can quote Romans 3:23: “For all sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Marshall, Interlinear Translation, Zondervan). But very few believers know verse 24, nor do they realize that it follows verse 23 without any punctuation marks. Here are both verses together as found in the Greek: “For all sinned and come short of the glory of God being justified freely by the grace of Him through the redemption in Christ Jesus.”

Dwell not alone on Romans 3:23—the fact that all have sinned. But give glory to God for showing that the very same “all” [who sinned] will eventually be redeemed and justified by the grace of Christ. Memorize Romans 3:34 along with 3:23.

Amazing Grace... found in Titus 2:11

Titus 2:11 can be translated two slightly different ways: 1. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (NIV) or 2. For the saving grace of God has appeared unto all men. Either way, the verse says that the grace of God is going to appear to all humans, not just to the elect.

The word “appear” is epiphaino meaning “to shine upon” or to “become…known” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, p. 32). Epiphaino does not simply designate a quick peek at God’s grace but speaks instead of a full exposure. That full exposure of grace for all humans fits very well with God’s plan to become the “…Savior of all mankind” (I Timothy 4:11).
The NASB and the NIV translators both said that the grace of God would bring salvation to all men. Such phraseology might cause English readers to imagine wrongly that the salvation or the saving grace is merely “brought” to people—confronting them with a “take it or leave it” option. Such an idea is not supported by the Greek text. In their Greek Dictionary, Goodrick and Kohlenberger designated the “brings” of Titus 2:11 with the Symbol “NIG” which means “not in the Greek!” Rejoice, because the inescapable conclusion of this passage and many other Bible verses is that God will ultimately reconcile all people by Christ’s totally victorious sacrifice!

The Non-eternal Nature...
...of God’s wrath—Jeremiah 30:23-24

 Old Testament passage proclaiming God’s ultimate salvation of all people are usually not quite so clear as the more than 20 free-standing New Testament sections supporting the reconciliation of all. Nonetheless, the Old Testament verses give us a foreview of what Christ, Paul, John, Peter, and James were going to proclaim. In speaking of God’s wrath, for example, Jeremiah pointed toward reconciliation (Jeremiah 30:23-24). This point is clear in almost any translation:

“Behold, the storm of the Lord will come forth in wrath—a driving wind, swirling down on the heads of the wicked. The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back UNTIL He has performed and fully accomplished the purposes of His heart. In the latter days you will understand this”. (Jeremiah 30:23-24.)
God’s wrath lasts only until He has performed his will [the purpose of His heart]. There is a hint here that the knowledge of how God would carry out only a limited punishment would be fully understood only in the “latter days”. After hundreds of years of false teaching about everlasting torment, the concept of ultimate reconciliation for all people is finally gaining an audience in these “latter days” and this scripture is being fulfilled before our eyes!

Believers in Eternal Torment...
...please watch your language

This essay is directed to sincere Christians who have heard about the “consummation” (I Corinthians 15:28) wherein God becomes “all in all,” but have rejected the concept of ultimate salvation for all people. They have likewise looked at the numerous other Bible passages that discuss ultimate reconciliation for all people—e.g. Romans 5:15, 16,18, and19. For many different reasons, however, they interpret these passages differently. So relax—this essay is not an attempt to convert you to what we call “Biblical universal salvation.”

It is an attempt instead to admonish you to avoid certain misleading English terms when describing the ultimate condition of unregenerate individuals. These problem words are, for the most part, mistranslations of actual Greek and Hebrew words. In some cases, however, they include derived phrases which appear nowhere in scripture. We will examine some of them briefly and suggest alternatives.
First, the word “hell” should be replaced in every instance with the Greek or Hebrew term it was supposed to represent—hades, geenah, tartaroo, or sheol. These ancient nouns can speak for themselves in English Bibles. Each has a consistent meaning, which differs markedly from concepts surrounding our modern word “hell,” a word which has no unique, single counterpart in the original languages*. Bible students should simply become familiar with the Greek or Hebrew terms and use them like we do with so many other Greek or Hebrew words. Such an intelligent step forward has already been taken with the word hades in the NIV New Testament.
The word “hell” conjures up a host of lurid images from many non-biblical sources including pagan mythology, Roman Catholic theology, unbridled artistic imagination, and undisciplined gospel “pulpiteering.” Substituting one of the four original words would allow English readers to analyze the whole issue more knowledgeably. The KJV Bible has used the word “hell” 31 times in the Old Testament to translate the Hebrew term sheol. But in all 31 cases the NIV translators used some other term that is closer to the true meaning of sheol—such as “death” or “grave”. As a result, “hell” is entirely gone from the NIV Old Testament, as well it should be.
The translators of the NAS Bible also removed the word “hell” from the entire Old Testament. Why did both teams of translators make this significant deletion? They both probably realized that sheol has nothing to do with our modern word “hell” but is instead the imperceptible state of dead people. The NIV translators went a step further by using the Greek word hades in the New Testament on 5 different occasions where the NIV and the NASB had both used “hell”. Again, why was this important change made? The translators likely did so because the Greek hades is the exact equivalent of the Hebrew word sheol. Having used other words than “hell” for sheol in the Old Testament, the only correct thing to do is to stop using “hell” to translate hades! Unfortunately the NIV translators persisted in using the word “hell” for geenna—a New Testament word referring to an ancient area for burning garbage and corpses outside of the old city of Jerusalem. Instead they should have simply used geenna.
Next, the Hebrew word olam and its Greek counterpart aion always deal with a definite span of time—an “age” or an “eon.” It is peculiar that whether they are used in the singular or the plural, alone or in conjunction with other words, as nouns or in their adjectival forms—they are regularly rendered “forever,” “forever and ever,” “eternal,” etc. in English Bibles, definite translation errors. God deals with people in clear-cut ages or eons. At least three of these have already elapsed: from Adam to the Flood, from the Flood to Abraham, and from Abraham to Christ. We are now in another eon known as the “Age of Grace” from Christ’s first coming to His second coming. The last two eons are yet to come: the Millenium (1000 years) and the New Heaven/New Earth Eon of unrevealed duration. The last eon does come to an end, however, and that end is depicted in I Corinthians 15:20-28 (especially verse 28). Hence olam, aion, aionios, and related phrases should be rendered age, ages, eon, eons, age (or ages) of the ages, eon (or eons) of the eons, etc.—just as they appear in the original languages. Not once do they designate the many eternal’s”, “forevers”, and “forever and evers” used in most English versions. Young’s Literal Translation is a worthy example in this regard, and is available on-line.
The continued use of these wrong word translations for centuries has produced a cluster of unfounded, non-biblical catch phrases which believers ought to avoid because they are mere eschatological jargon: “eternal torment,” “banished (or separated) from God forever and ever,” “forever too late,” “spend eternity in a devil’s hell,” “everlasting punishment,” “forever apart from God,” “unending torment in hell,” “spiritual death,” “eternal death,” “a living death,” “eternal burning fire,” etc. There is no linguistic means to correct these dicta—they should simply to be banished from Gospel preaching.

Brethren who reject biblical reconciliation should at least stop where scripture stops concerning the ultimate future of folk who die unsaved. Such lost individuals are said to face God’s indignation, which is going to come to an end (Isaiah 10:24-25). They will also stand at God’s great white judgment throne (Revelation 20:11) where they will be judged wisely, according to their works (Revelation 20:12-19.) This judgment, like all other judgements, will lead to righteousness (Isaiah 26:9b.) Lost human beings will be consigned to a lake of divine fire, the exact nature or purpose of which are not discussed to any great length in the Bible. The lake of fire is simply the “second death”—Revelation 20:14. I Corinthians 15:26 and 54 further state that death (unqualified) will be put down, rendered powerless, or swallowed up in victory. The second death is a “death” and not a “never-ending life in torment and exile” so it will be put down like any other “death.” Hosea 13:14 adds that people are ransomed from the power of sheol itself. To go beyond these Bible facts is to indulge in unvarnished speculation. Even if you do not accept the ultimate reconciliation of all people, do not add human myth to scripture. Please control your language when dealing with God’s Word.

God’s Care, the Resurrection, Sheol... 
...and other matters from the fourteenth chapter of Job

DOES GOD CARE? In Job 14:1-2 Job himself was the speaker when he emphasized the ephemeral aspects of human life. Mankind has a fleeting and troublesome existence, which Job compared to a flower that withers and a shadow that quickly passes away. These words foreshadow similar remarks by Christ. Regarding God’s concern for people, Job asked “…doest Thou open thine eyes on such an one…?” (KJV). This means “DoYou take notice of people like me, who are ‘here today and gone tomorrow’?” Jesus answered that question many years later when He said that God is the Originator of each colorful flower in the fields and has an ongoing tally of all hairs on every human head. Yes, God cares for evanescent humans!

Then Job asked another question: “Will you [God] bring him [this fleeting person] before you in judgment?” (NIV, vs.3, brackets mine) God answered with a resounding “Yes” in many other Bible passages and He assured us that such judgment would yield correction and righteousness in its recipients—e.g. Isaiah 26:9b—“When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness…”
DO DEAD PEOPLE COME BACK? People are not like trees that grow back again from their roots after being cut down (Job 14:12). According to the text, they do not arise or awaken from their sleep of death “…til the heavens are no more…” (KJV). John made it clear (Revelation 20:1) that the old heavens and earth will pass away at the end of the millennial eon, when the unregenerate dead will be raised and judged. John quoted Christ (John 5:25) as stating that the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and that those who hear will live. So Job’s question is answered—people do awaken from their sleep of death.
WHAT ABOUT SHEOL? Job then makes a request that will sound strange to many ears (Job 14:13): “O that You would hide me in sheol. . .” (NASB). When this word Sheol appears in the text, it is most literal and accurate to do exactly as the NASB translators did and simply use the Hebrew word sheol instead of trying to translate it. Sheol occurs about 66 times in the Bible. On 55 of those occasions, the NIV translators rendered it “grave”. That is unfortunate because there are other Hebrew words, which refer specifically to the grave or gravesite. The old KJV translated sheol 31 times as “grave”, and 31 times as “hell”. This falls short because the two concepts “grave” and “hell” are poles apart—one is simply the site of interment while the other is a horrid, non-biblical place of conscious eternal confinement for the unrepentant souls of unredeemed people! It would be impossible for translators to know which English word to use, if sheol could mean both things. Job 14:13, for example, might just as well have been translated, “O that You would hide me in hell…”, an unthinkable request.
Translators of the NIV, NKJV, and NASB altogether refrained from calling sheol “hell” in any Old Testament passage, and wisely so. If it really meant a hell-fire punishment, then in Job 14:13 our dear Job would actually have been asking to go there! And Jonah (Jonah 2:2) would have really gone to “hell” and then came back again. But this would have been unthinkable because the modern concept of “hell” is a place of never-ending torment (and or banishment) for the lost—a location from which no one returns!

Sheol on the other hand, is quite similar to the Greek word Hades. Sheol was rendered as hades by the Jewish scholars, who produced the Septuagint—the Greek version of the Old Testament scriptures. Sheol was often mistranslated “hell” in the Old KJV. But if sheol really carried our modern concept of “a Devil’s hell”, why would Job plead to go there, why would Jonah go there and return again, and why don’t we always translate sheol as hell? And if it means “hell” in one passage, it needs to be translated that way in all other instances—one translator must not be allowed to “ pick and choose” based on eschatological presuppositions or “orthodox” theological opinions where it should mean “death” and where “hell”.
The Hebrew that sheol actually designates the imperceptible domain of dead people—it carries no connotation of everlasting punishment. The word sheol ought to be transliterated into English and should not be rendered either “grave” or “hell.” The same is true of its Greek counterpart hades. Although translators of the NIV consistently and totally removed “hell” from the Old Testament, hades is wrongly translated as “hell” once in the NIV New Testament. This is a definite improvement, however, because the Old KJV used “hell” for hades 10 other times in the New Testament. The NIV translators clung erroneously to the word “hell” or “firey hell” for the Greek geenna, which referred instead to a smoldering garbage dump in a valley southwest of Jerusalem.
WILL GOD REMEMBER PEOPLE? Job also exclaims (Job 14:13): “If only you would set me a time and then remember me…” (NIV). God revealed that He will resurrect people: “…every man in his own order….”(I Corinthians 15:23). It will all be accomplished “…in the dispensation of the fullness of time…”(Ephesians 1:10). Christ’s vivification of different people will be “….testified in due time” (I Timothy 2:6). Job’s plea will be more than granted.

In Job 14:13 Job makes one more passionate request—that he himself might be hidden or concealed until God’s wrath is over. In making such a request, perhaps Job understood more clearly than some believers do today that God’s wrath will end completely. Isaiah 10: 24-25, Isaiah 25: 8-10, Isaiah 12:1, Isaiah 57:16, and Micah 7:18b all speak of such a finale for wrath. Christ indicated that He would be drawing all human beings unto himself—John 12:32. He also indicated that He would “…ever be casting out judging for victory” (Matthew 12:20, CV).
Speaking of God, Job said, “You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made” (Job 14:15, NIV). While this longing of God for the His creature refers here strictly to Job, it is clear from other passages that God is a Creator who is faithful to His entire creation and He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come into repentance (II Peter 3:9). This is going to happen. As a human father, I long for a son who died January 14, 2000. Surely God has far deeper desires to bring back every one of His created sons and daughters from the dead. God has the power to restore them all too, and to give them strength—“In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all” I Chronicles 29:12, NIV). Job knew that God would not keep track of his sin (14:16). Job’s sins and ours would be “covered” and be sealed up in a bag. Micah knew that God would trample or tread our sins underfoot and hurl our iniquities into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). These were sweeping statements!
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ANY OF THESE THINGS, JOB? Although God revealed much about the ultimate reconciliation of all to Job, Job’s friend Eliphaz belittled Job’s insight, perhaps out of jealousy, when he asked: “What do you know that we do not know?” (Job 15:9). The obvious but non-printed answer is, “Quite a bit, Eliphaz, quite a bit!”

A Law that Gives Freedom... 
...and a mercy that triumphs over judgement

James 2:12 says that we ought to “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. . .” (NIV). This proves that God’s judgment liberates those who are judged. Christ revised Isaiah 4:4 slightly when He quoted it in Matthew 12:20 as saying that God would be “.. .casting out judging for victory” (Concordant Version). The Greek here, ek ballo, has been rendered correctly in the CV. The Greek in Matthew 12:20 further says that God will drive out or remove the process of judging, to replace it with victory and it does not say, as NIV puts it, that God simply “…leads justice to victory.”

We ought to speak and act mercifully, says James, because: “…judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful” (verse 13, NIV). Note that God is upset if mercy is not shown. God’s wise judgment of merciless individuals is going to involve some merciless judgment on His part to reveal Himself as One Who favors and even enforces mercy.
It is absolutely unqualified that: “Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (NIV—James 2:13) This implies that mercy, not judgment, is going to be perpetuated, which is exactly parallel to Christ’s Matthew 12:20 expansion of Isaiah 42:4 in which He reported that victory will someday take the place of judging. Praise God. In James 1:18 James made clearly wrote that God intentionally saved us so that we might be a “…kind of first-fruits of all he created.” Thus people who receive Christ’s Faith in this life are simply a “preview” of what will come when God becomes “the Savior of all”, as Paul heralded in I Timothy 4:10.

Men Are Not Forever Cast off by the Lord... amazing declaration from Jeremiah's Lamentation

There are many scripture passages, which support the teaching that all people will ultimately be reconciled to God. While not explaining ultimate reconciliation as fully as Paul (I Timothy 4:9-11), Jeremiah wrote some monumental comments in Lamentations 3:31-33: “For men are not forever cast off by the Lord. Though He bring grief, He will show compassion—so great is His unfailing love. He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”

This promise not to forever cast off people because of His unfailing love and compassion is directed to all people without any qualifications. It is difficult to bring any of the Old Testament passages about unfailing love, unending mercy, and final restoration into conformity with the false teaching of “eternal torment” which is tied to the non-biblical, English concept of an “eternal hell”. Consider abandoning that ideology in favor of God’s word—II Timothy 3:16.

God and True Friends...
...practice real love

 “A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty” (Job 6:14—NIV). Job proclaimed in his trials that a person ought to have love (hesed) from his friends even if he fails to fear God or turn to Him. Hesed means real love (wholehearted devotion) like good king Hezekiah showed to God— "Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before your faithfully and with wholehearted devotion." II Kings 20:3; NIV.

God encourages us through Job’s words to love people who are in despair, even if they speak foolishly in their turmoil of heart. While dying on the cross, Christ (Who is God the Son) prayed concerning those who crucified Him, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!” It is Jesus Christ who is always the same—yesterday, today, and for the ages (Hebrews 13:8) which means that His attitude toward those who commit horrible sins is always merciful and restorative, just as it was at the time He was crucified. His love for the lost does not change after they die. God the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write in I Corinthians chapter 13 that love never fails. God the Father is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort—II Corinthians 1:3. Surely this great, loving, triune God will reconcile all into Himself (Colossians 1:20) and will become “all in all”—I Corinthians 15:28. If love never fails, then the God who is love will not fail to draw all people ultimately to Himself (John 12:32).

People Being Saved Now... 
...are the first-fruits of a final universal harvest

There are three classes in the resurrection. Christ Himself is the first as the “first-fruits” of the resurrection—I Corinthians 15:20 and 23. All people saved in this life are to be resurrected as a second group: then they that are His [Christ’s] at his coming—I Corinthians 15:23. I Corinthians 15:23-28 refers to a third and final group including all other people—Every person in their own order. This third “consummation” event involves all enemies being brought into worshipful subjugation to Christ and death being rendered powerless. Death actually will be abolished—see II Timothy 1:10-11. Perhaps Paul once again referred to these three resurrection events when he wrote in I Timothy 2:6 that Christ’s ransoming of all is “to be testified in due time.”

The first-fruits concept also applies to salvation of believers now. Concerning those who are trusting Christ, James (1:18) said that God is “purposefully” and “prolifically” giving birth to such believers “by the word of truth.” Those being reborn now are “a kind of first-fruits among God’s created beings.” James’ used the word first-fruits, implying that God intends to justify all people. If the first-fruits of the dough offered is holy, the whole lump is also holy (Rom. 11:16). Paul also hoped that God’s obvious work in saving so many Gentiles would prod Christ-rejecting Jews to take Jesus as their Savior too—Romans 11:13-14. Paul referred to believers of this age as having the firstfruit “of the Spirit” (Romans 8:23). But these believers are likewise subject to the “bondage of decay”, even though they have the first-fruits of the Holy Spirit. They eagerly await their “adoption” or “sonship”, which is the “deliverance” of their bodies in their resurrection. Paul indicated that Christ’s changing our lowly bodies into new, glorious ones is carried out “by means of the power, which enables Him to bring the all under His control” (Philippians 3:19-21.) The believers’ glorified bodies will result from the same power that will enable Christ ultimately to reconcile all the lost. This first creation of new bodies for believers may be what Paul meant by writing that God, the Savior of all, is “especially” the Savior of those who believe—I Timothy 4:9-11.

God’s redemption of the “first-fruits” people does not prevent or limit His working with all the others later. The Bible says that “through Him”, meaning through Christ, God will reconcile “the all” into Himself because Christ has made “peace through the blood of His cross”—Colossians 1:20. “All” in these passages includes all humans in the heavens, on the earth, under the earth, and even in the sea—Philippians 2:10-11, Colossians 1:20, Ephesians 1:10, Revelation 5:13, and Colossians 1:16-17. The term “first-fruits” is likewise used in Revelation 14:4 concerning 144,000 elect Israelites, during the tribulation. They are a “first-fruits” because there will be a larger “harvest” of Israelites later when all Israel will be saved. Other lost people will be resurrected and reconciled after the judgment and second death, which is the lake of divine fire—Rev. 20:14. God has gloriously fulfilled the Old Testament first-fruits symbolism in the New Testament.

Both “Adverse Judgment” and “Life’s Justification”... 
...come "into all humans". It's true!

In Romans 5:18 Paul wrote that all humanity was affected by Adam’s sin: “…So through one offense, adverse judgment into all humans.” Every person falls under this condemnation. But God also had Paul write these words: “So also through one righteous act, life’s justification into all humans.” The one righteous act was Christ’s sacrificing of Himself on the cross for all mankind. Here too, “all humans” means just that—all people, of all time. The word “all” in both phrases and in the same context means “all”. All humans face adverse judgment, as most Christians believe, but then the same “all humans” will be justified unto life, a truth that many believers ignore, question, or reject. But you should believe it and enjoy God’s great peace, which it affords!

Paul confirmed the “all humans” aspect of redemption once again in I Corinthians 15:22 by writing that: “…as in Adam all are dying, even so in Christ all will be made alive”. Here too the word all is used twice with only a few words in between, so, “all” must have the same meaning in both cases—all those who are dying will all be made alive. The ultimate effect of the bright light of Christ’s Gospel will equal and GREATLY exceed the darkness brought on by man’s Fall because “…the grace of God and the grace gift of the one man, Jesus Christ, will SUPERABOUND unto the many” Romans 5:15. Christ “…was the true light which lights every human being coming into the world” (John 1:9) “…our Lord Jesus Christ has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (I Timothy 1:10-11).
Romans 5:18 would be false if lost sinners were slated to reside in hell forever. All scripture is God-breathed and profitable for instruction II Timothy 3:16)—not one verse is false. We must not neglect Romans 5:18 or I Corinthians 5:22 in constructing theological systems based on mistranslations of various other Bible verses. If you are afraid to do anything more than privately believe these verses, by all means do so! Be like Mary who pondered many things in her heart until she had a more complete understanding.


George F. Howe is founder of TURA (The Ultimate Reconciliation of All).
Write him at 24635 Apple Street, Newhall, CA 91321-2614.
More of his writings can be seen online at Once there, click on “Systematic Reconciliation.”