“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?

 

“The Mystery Of His Will” (Ephesians 1: 9 – 10, ESV) by Carley Evans


Synonyms of mystery include: conundrum, enigma, puzzle, miracle, problem, question, riddle, secret. God’s will is miraculous and mysterious; His will is an enigma, a puzzle, a riddle, a secret kept hidden until “the fullness of time.” God’s purpose, His plan is “set forth in Christ.”
His purpose, His plan, His mysterious and miraculous will is to “unite all things in [Christ], things in heaven and things on earth.”

God “works all things according to the counsel of His will.” (Ephesians 1: 11) Nothing escapes His notice; nothing gets around His will. Every thing which comes to pass is fashioned or re-fashioned by God to move all things together under Christ. In the fullness of time, God’s perfect plan is accomplished.

“The Lord of Hosts has sworn: ‘As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand…This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the Lord of Hosts has purposed, and who shall annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?” (Isaiah 14: 24, 26 – 27)