“In Christ, All Alive” ( 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

Resurrection of the dead. Stained glass, regio...
Resurrection of the dead. Stained glass, region of Paris, ca. 1200. From the Sainte-Chapelle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A monk tells me that all people everywhere eventually will be saved. I’ve read this view on the internet, on Facebook particularly. I’ve wondered about Paul’s statement that all things will be united under Christ, eventually. This is God’s purpose — yes? — to put all together under the authority of Christ.

“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”

Does Paul really mean us to believe everyone everywhere will be saved? Will everyone be “made alive” through Christ just as everyone died “in Adam?” Many will answer with a resounding “no,” reminding that salvation comes with faith in and confession of Christ’s redemptive work. Others will hesitate, not knowing with certainty because God’s thoughts and His ways are so beyond us. Is God’s will crystal clear, or is it a mystery? Do we see everything or do we see through a glass darkly? Do we fully comprehend the depth of His love, or do we grope to find its end? Is there an end to His love? Or is He ultimately so perfect, we melt away in dust and ashes?


“As A Tempest” ( Joel 1:15, WYC ) by Carley Evans

Masaccio, Brancacci Chapel, Adam and Eve, detail.

Imagine the cherubim of the Lord and the flaming sword barring the entrance to Eden, keeping Adam and Eve from returning to the garden, cutting off access to the tree of life. Here is the beginning of the ‘day of the Almighty’ as described repeatedly in His Word. This day is near; it comes like a tempest. We are banished from paradise and from the presence of the Lord God. What a day, says Joel.

“15 A! A! A! to the day; for the day of the Lord is nigh, and shall come as a tempest from the (Al)mighty. (O! O! O! what a day! for the day of the Lord is near, and it shall come like a tempest from the Almighty.)”

Death begins; we are eternally damned, separated from God. The tree of life is outside our reach. A flaming sword flashes back and forth to guard the way so that we do not live forever. We are actually kept from God and prevented from eternity.

The day of the Almighty is close. What a day! A day of nakedness and shame. God asks Adam, “Who told you that you are naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” (Genesis 3:11, NIV) Now we know both good and evil; and evil dominates our lives.

Paul cries out, “When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” (Romans 7:21) “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24)

The only rescue from the day of the Lord is through the finished work of Jesus the Christ. Jesus Himself declares as He dies on the cross of Calvary, “It is accomplished.”


“Fierce In Wrath” ( Nahum 1: 2, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

God is an avenging and jealous Lord; taking vengeance — “fierce in wrath.” Though He “is slow to anger;” He is “great in power” and “never leaves the guilty unpunished.” (Nahum 1:3)

The Lord proclaims, “I kill them with the Words of My mouth. My judgment strikes like lightning. For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But they, like Adam, violate My covenant; there they betray Me.” (Hosea 6:5-7)

“I depart,” says God, “and return to My place until they recognize their guilt and seek My face; they search for Me in their distress.” (Hosea 5:15)

The Lord says, “Seek Me and live!” (Amos 5:4) “Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the Lord, the God of Hosts, will be with you, as you claim. Hate evil and love good; establish justice.” (Amos 5:14-15)

Then, we repent. “Come,” we say to each other, “let us return to the Lord. For He tears us, and He heals us; He wounds us, and He binds up our wounds. He revives us after two days, and on the third day He raises us up so we live in His presence. Let us strive to know the Lord. His appearance is sure as the dawn. He comes to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land.” (Hosea 6:1-3)

His Name is Jesus, and He is “the One who comforts.” (Isaiah 51:12) He is the One who “is pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities, punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.” (Isaiah 53:5)

By His sacrifice, God’s fierce wrath is satisfied.

“Deprived Of Divine Splendour” ( Romans 3: 23 – 24, NEB ) by Carley Evans

“For all alike have sinned” — not some, but all. “And [all] are deprived of the divine splendour,” separated from God the Father by that very sin. “And all are justified by God’s free grace alone.” The grace of God — although free — is priceless and the only requirement for justification.

That we attempt to add to God’s grace is a huge waste of energy and time. “What room is left for human pride? It is excluded. And on what principle? The keeping of the law would not exclude it, but faith does. For our argument is that a man is justified by faith quite apart from success in keeping the law.” (Romans 3:27-28)

In addition to this principle,”God’s act of grace is out of all proportion to Adam’s wrongdoing.” (Romans 5:15) “The gift of God is not to be compared in its effect with that one man’s sin; for the judicial action, following upon the one offence, issued in a verdict of condemnation, but the act of grace, following upon so many misdeeds, issued in a verdict of acquittal.” (Romans 5:16)

We are acquitted. The judge has struck the gavel and declared us ‘not guilty.’ “The conclusion of the matter is this: there is no condemnation for those who are united with Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

“Imprisoned; Set Free” ( Romans 11: 32, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

Once we all – both the Jew and the Gentile – were imprisoned in disobedience. This imprisonment first occurred when Eve was deceived by the serpent in the garden of Eden; and Adam foolishly put his wife before God. Adam took Eve’s offer, likely not fully believing that the fruit would make them equal to God. Both were at fault, but the serpent bore the brunt of God’s punishment. After all, no salvation awaits the ultimate enemy of God. His destiny is the lake of fire, which burns eternally.

For Adam and Eve, imprisonment in disobedience began. They were banished from the garden of Eden. Work for food was suddenly necessary and hard. Childbirth was painful as was the raising of children. Life was no longer easy.

God, in His mercy, chose for Himself one man, Abram and one woman, Sarai and through them created a nation for Himself. Yet, this nation – this people – He also bound in disobedience.

“For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.” “So the last will be first, and the first last.” (Matthew 20:16)

Jesus speaks of coming to earth in order to provide us – first for the Jew, but also for the Gentile – life; and that life is to be abundant. The life we live, we live to God. “Therefore,” writes Paul, “by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1)



“Give Thanks” ( Psalm 136: 23 -24, NIV ) by Carley Evans

“His love endures forever,” writes an anonymous psalmist. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” (Psalm 136:1) “Give thanks to the Lord of lords: to the One who remembers us in our low estate His love endures forever. and frees us from our enemies, His love endures forever.

In the garden of Eden, Adam – after falling to temptation – tries to hide from God who “remembers [man] in [his] low estate.” Though God soon banishes Adam from earthly paradise, He also sets His plan in motion — His plan to “free [man] from [his] enemies.”

“Give thanks to the Lord, to Him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:4)

The greatest wonder of God is His willingness to sacrifice His Son – Himself – on the cross for Adam’s salvation. Even as the angels bar the way back to earthly paradise, God provides the narrow gate to a heavenly paradise.

“Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:26)

“Our Pattern: The Heavenly Man” ( 1 Corinthians 15: 49, NEB ) by Carley Evans

“As we have worn the likeness of the man made of dust, so we shall wear the likeness of the heavenly man.”


“The man made of dust is the pattern of all men of dust, and the heavenly man is the pattern of all the heavenly.” (1 Corinthians 15:48) “What is sown in the earth as a perishable thing is raised imperishable. Sown in humiliation, it is raised in glory; sown in weakness, it is raised in power; sown as an animal body, it is raised as a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44)


Paul writes to reassure his readers that the resurrection has not yet occurred but that it will. He tells us that “flesh and blood can never possess the kingdom of God, and the perishable cannot possess immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:50) For this reason, “this perishable being must be clothed with the imperishable, and what is mortal must be clothed with immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:52-53)


Paul says to us, “If it is for this life only that Christ gives us hope, we of all men are most to be pitied. But the truth is, Christ is raised to life — the firstfruits of the harvest of the dead. For since it is a man who brings death into the world, a man also brings resurrection from the dead. As in Adam all men die, so in Christ all will be brought to life.” (1 Corinthians 15:19-23)


“And when our mortality has been clothed with immortality, then the saying of Scripture will come true: ‘Death is swallowed up; victory is won!’ ” (1 Corinthians 15:54)

“Nowhere We Might Go” (Psalm 119: 64, NEB) by Carley Evans

“The earth is full of Your never-failing love,” O Lord. Nowhere we might go, nowhere we might hide can we escape God’s love. His love finds us out.

Adam hides from God in the garden of Eden after he and Eve sin; and God finds him. Moses runs away after he kills in anger, and God finds him. Hagar wanders into the desert after Sarah threatens her, and God finds her. Jonah winds up in the belly of a great fish after refusing to preach to Nineveh, and God finds him.

We are incapable of successfully hiding from God. Even in our darkest hour, God is watching.

“For nothing is hidden unless it is to be disclosed, and nothing put under cover unless it is to come out into the open.” (Mark 4: 22)

“Victory In Jesus” (1 Corinthians 15: 55 – 57, HCSB) by Carley Evans

“The spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 15: 46) Paul writes of the sequence of the defeat of the last enemy, death. We are not born incorruptible; rather we are born “in corruption.” (1 Corinthians 15: 42)

In the sequence in which death is defeated, first comes Adam, then comes Jesus. In other words, writes Paul, first we “bear the image of the man made of dust” but later we “also bear the image of the heavenly man.” (1 Corinthians 15: 49)

“For this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15: 53) When this happens, says Paul, then “death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15: 54)

Obviously death exists in the here and now. Anyone who claims that death is already swallowed up in victory has missed the sequence. Jesus defeats death in His body so that one day He will clothe us with immortality in a resurrected body, a heavenly body like His. At that time, death will be defeated and we will own our victory.

“He Who Remembers Us” (Psalm 136: 1, 26; ESV) by Carley Evans

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.”

“It is He who remembers us in our low estate, for His steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 136: 23) It is God who searches for Adam in Eden. He calls to the man from “among the trees of the garden.” God says, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3: 9)

It is He who “rescues us from our foes.” (Psalm 136: 24) God promises the serpent — our enemy in the garden — to “put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3: 15)

God leads us through our wilderness, and parts our Red Sea. He brings us out of our bondage “with a strong hand and an outstretched arm.” (Psalm 136: 12)

“Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever.”