God's Kingdom Ministries

If God Could Save Everyone
Would He?
Page 3
by Dr. Stephen E. Jones

© copyright 2003, Revised 2003, All Rights Reserved
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The next question is this: Did Jesus have the right of redemption? Suppose the one holding the debt note for the world preferred not to sell? The Bible makes it clear that Jesus was a near relative, both to Israel and to all flesh and blood. This gave Jesus Christ the right of redemption. The law was on His side. The slave master of the earth had no choice in the matter.

The final question is this: If God, through Jesus Christ, could redeem all mankind, would he, in fact, do it? This is really a question of how much He loves His creation. If He were an angry God that preferred to destroy the creation, then one might doubt that He really would redeem all of mankind. But the Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have ever-lasting life” (John 3:16).

Thus, we see that the law gave Jesus Christ the right of redemption; He had enough “money” and more to pay the full redemption price; and He certainly had the motive to do so.

So, yes, God would indeed save all mankind if He could. He is not only capable of doing it, but He has actually done it.

What is Required of us?

There are many people today and throughout history who have not wanted to be redeemed by Jesus Christ, usually because they did not really understand their need of redemption or did not have faith that He could really set them free. What about these people? Will they benefit from Jesus' redemption payment in spite of their unbelief? Yes, but not immediately. All will be held accountable for their actions, and every judgment will fit the crime.

Here is how it works. The law of redemption says that those who agree to be redeemed by their relative must serve their redeemer (Lev. 25:53). In other words, those who are redeemed are not set free to do their own pleasure. The redeemer has purchased their debt note, and therefore, they are still bondservants—but now they are bondservants of One who loves them and will treat them right.

The apostle Paul puts it this way in Rom. 6:18, “Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness.” He continues, saying, “when you were servants of sin, you were free from righteousness; but now you are set free from sin and have become servants of God.”

A person set free from sin does not mean that he suddenly becomes perfectly sinless. Paul is referring to sin as the old slave master. When we worked for the old slave master, who told us to sin, we were free from God and His righteousness. Conversely, when God purchased us through Jesus Christ, we are no longer bound to do what sin tells us to do, and we are free to do what is right.

Paul calls himself “a bondservant of Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:1), because he understood the laws of redemption. That is why he told the Christians in Rome that Christ's redemption did not mean they were free to continue in sin. They were only free from the old slave master who, in the past, had commanded them to sin.

But what about those who refuse to accept the provision God has made for us to be redeemed? The law says in Lev. 25:54 that “even if he is not redeemed in these years, he is still to go free in the year of Jubilee, both he and his children with him.”

The old Hebrew calendar divided time into periods of seven days and seven years. A Jubilee cycle was a period of 49 years. Then ten days into the 50th year a trumpet was blown to signal the day of Jubilee. This was the day that all debts were cancelled, and every man was to return to his inheritance if he had lost it any time during the previous 49 years.

Of course, this was only applicable to those who had been unable to work long enough to pay off their debt. It was also applicable only to those who did not have a redeemer—or if people had not accepted the redemption of a willing relative. Perhaps they did not trust him or know him well enough to trust his motives. Or perhaps they just thought that his commands would be too rigorous. Whatever their reasons, even if they have not availed themselves of the redemption of Christ in this age, they will still go free in the year of Jubilee. There is a limit on how much judgment and discipline that God dispenses upon His children.

The time to be redeemed was an absolute maximum of 49 years from one Jubilee to another. With God, there is no such thing as never-ending punishment. The Bible verses that are usually quoted to prove never-ending punishment are actually mistranslations of the original text.

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