FOR GOD SO LOVED...WHO? (part 7)
The Lord Jesus prays not for everyone without exception, but only for those whom the Father has given, or entrusted to, Him. Make this statement among most church going folk and you will be shouted down, viewed as an extremist and a trouble maker. But, as we have seen, this is the language and the teaching of the Holy Word of God. Clearly, the Lord Jesus distinguishes those who are of the world from those the Father has given Him. The distinction is made based on the Father’s having given them to His Son, solely motivated by the fact that these people are His People, God’s people, chosen to be so, elected in Christ, before the world began. There is no mention in John 17:9, or in any other verse of Scripture for that matter, of man’s choosing God, or of any conditions that must be met—what a man must do in order to become one of God’s chosen. A golden opportunity for the Lord to substantiate the notion that man must choose Him, is nowhere seen in Matthew 11:27 where Jesus says: “…no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” The word reveal here is “particularly applied to supernatural revelation”. The key is not whether a man will choose God, or wills to see God, but is solely in the hands of the Saviour Who reveals God supernaturally to whomsoever He pleases. The choice is God’s, not man’s. Becoming a Christian is not about a person’s choosing God, but being blessed with the realisation that God has chosen them (see Jn. 15:19; Jn. 17:16). “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee…” (Psa. 65:4). God says: “…I chose Israel…and made Myself known unto them…” (Ezek. 20:5). The truly blessed man is the one whom God has chosen, not the one who believes he has chosen God. God’s people are all the Father’s chosen, adopted, children, the ones He loved and called out of the world to be believers according to His will and Word (see 1 Cor.1:21,24). Those who have not been given to the Son are clearly those who are of the world, they are not loved by God, therefore, they are not chosen by God, for they are not of God. The ones committed by the Father into the care of His Son are the ones Christ prays for, and no others. Christ prays not for everyone without exception, but solely for those who are the Lord’s people. In light of this, and the glaring contradiction with the false interpretation of John 3:16, we cannot, and should not, avoid questions such as: How can God love everyone without exception when His Son only prays for the ones God has given Him based on the fact that they are the Father’s? How can God love everyone equally, and yet, choose only some to entrust to His Son for the purposes of prayer and salvation? How can God love everyone, but not give everyone to His Son, Whom most assume has died for everyone supposedly based on God’s alleged universal love for all mankind? This single Scripture, John 17:9, provides the believer in the false rendering of John 3:16 with an endless array of questions and problems which he must face and answer from Scripture, with Scripture, for it places a quite sizeable spanner in the works of his carnal understanding of John 3:16. It will do a man no good by trying to defend error with error, to seek out those whom they know will support them in their beliefs. What such people need to do is immerse themselves in the Word of God, and challenge themselves by studying the writings of those whom God has appointed to teach His Word: the men who know the only Gospel of God. To study the Scriptures and truly believe God’s Word, is to see from God’s perspective, and judge a man’s teachings accordingly.
Those who claim to have arrived at truth, but who have used faulty methods, do not, in reality, have the truth, but a mere worthless counterfeit. One cannot arrive at the correct answer by using a faulty calculator, or by feeding it the wrong information. To illustrate this point I present the reader with the following analogy: The old Vaudeville comedians Abbott and Costello came up with a comic routine that explains all this perfectly. Costello claimed that 13 multiplied by 7 equalled 28. Of this he was certain, sincerely and vehemently convinced. To prove his claim he proceeded to write the number 13 on a blackboard and directly under the 3 wrote the number 7. Then, he proceeded to multiply the 3 by 7 which equalled 21, and promptly wrote that number down. Subsequent to this Costello multiplied the 1 (from the number 13) by 7 which makes 7. He then wrote the number 7 directly under the 21. Adding the two numbers, 21 and 7, his solution was 7 x 13 = 28. Far from convinced, his partner, Abbott, in an attempt to prove him wrong, and arrive at the correct answer, told Costello to write down the number 13, seven times. After doing this Abbott began adding the column of threes together: "3,6,9,12,15,18,21", after which Costello quickly joined in finishing off the count by adding the ones to the 21: "22,23,24,25,26,27,28". Having proven his calculation correct, to his own satisfaction, Costello confidently walked away with not just one, but two ways he can prove that 7 multiplied by 13 equals 28. For Costello, these two witnesses assured him he was incontestably correct in his calculations. This is precisely the same way Satan confuses man, and leads him astray in matters spiritual. Change the proper method of arriving at truth, and you will arrive at anything but the truth. PRECLUDE THE TRUTH, AND ERROR WILL MAKE SENSE. Nonsense makes perfect sense to those who have no sense of what the truth is.
Almost every conclusion a man can reach is defendable by illogicity. “Illogical stupidity is when someone just doesn't seem to comprehend rational and logical thought, and makes decisions that would baffle anyone with any sense. What makes illogicity unique is that the subject believes him/herself to be undertaking the correct action, making a decision based on fact and circumstance. The truth of the matter is, however, that they are performing the most illogical possible outcome that could be derived from any situation, and are blind and oblivious to this matter.” Those who are deceived do not know they are deceived. For all his sincerity, Costello’s method of calculation concerning 7 x 13 was just plain wrong, and as long as he continued with such a flawed method he would always be wrong, not only when it comes to 7 x 13, but when faced with any other mathematical problem. Yet, Costello will always believe he has arrived at the correct answer until he is taught, and accepts, how to calculate correctly. Only then will he be on the right road to the right answer. If the method is wrong the truth cannot be reached. A flawed method is a fraudulent method, for it is based on the wrong foundation, which can only produce the wrong teaching will take you anywhere except to the truth. “Flawed teachings, especially those that become highly cited, perpetuate faulty methods, and conclusions, sending those who believe them in fruitless directions, and build layers of theory upon shaky conceptual foundations for assessing truth.” Everyone who holds to a false gospel, be they Mormons, Roman Catholics, or Arminians have arrived at a version of truth, but not the truth, not God’s truth. They have arrived at a truth which makes sense to them, but which does not meet with God’s approval. Their failed methods at deciphering the truth of God are made transparent by their wrong conclusions, which, in turn reveal their phoney doctrines. The teachings they follow are like incorrect directions to an intended destination. They may well arrive at a town by following a set of wrong directions, but it will not be the town which they would have arrived at had they been provided with the right directions.
Only those who know the truth know that others are deceived, for they not only know the truth, but also why it is truth, and why error has no similitude with truth. Those who hold to irrational, and illogical thoughts and beliefs do not realise their beliefs are, in light of Scripture, illogical and irrational, for they do not know the truth. There is nothing in their thinking which raises any alarm bells because according to their limited, restricted, knowledge, and awareness, all they hold to seems quite logical and rational, even Scriptural, to them. “Awareness is a fundamental aspect of reality”, however, when that awareness is restricted by a deficient knowledge, then all one is left with is unreality—an illusion of truth rather than the truth itself. Such a person’s method of operation in reaching their particular conclusions is wrong to begin with, and so they never arrive at the reality of truth, they never see truth as truth, for they use a flawed method which leads them to accept lies as truth, thus they perceive darkness as light (see Matt. 6:23). They have miscalculated because they simply do not know how to calculate correctly. Their knowledge and awareness come from a carnal mind which is simply not equipped to understand and accept the things of God (see 1 Cor. 2:14). It’s like starting off one’s journey to the west by facing in an easterly direction. The ignorant interpret as plain and ‘obvious’ fact, what in reality are irrational, illogical and unsupportable beliefs. Erroneous understanding will always support and perpetuate erroneous ideas, concepts and false gospels, but will never be supported by a right understanding of God’s Word. For those who function from within a world of error, 7 x 13 will always equal 28, or any other number barring the correct one, for the lie—the illusion of truth—will always make more sense to them than actual truth. What natural man believes the truth to be, and what God says the truth is, reveals the eternal conflict which exists between them due to man being at enmity against the true God, and the fact that “…the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they (the things of God) are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14 cf. Jn. 14:17). The spiritually dead state of all men by nature is revealed in the fact that whilst in this state, man’s natural state, he cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God. There is no natural, favourable reception of the things of God, for by nature man is at enmity against God—dead to Him, and dead to His truth. God must first open the eyes of the blind, and soften their hardened hearts, so that they will see with their eyes, and understand with their hearts “…and be converted…” (see Jn. 12:38-40). It is God Who must make alive those who are dead in sins and unbelief in order that they be saved. A man must be born again, a spiritual re-birth must take place for man to be alive to God and see His glorious Kingdom. One must be made spiritually alive to know the truth of the true God that makes a man free.
The reality of the situation is that verses like John 17:9, “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine”, stand in direct, and eternal, contrast with, and diametrically oppose, what most have been taught John 3:16 is saying. Coupled with the fact that “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37), we see the immediate and enormous problems which the false interpretation of John 3:16 encounters. The problem in all this, is that the voice of so many Scriptures like John 17:9 and John 6:37 have been thoroughly drowned out by the roar of millions, who belong to this world’s religious establishment, quoting John 3:16 as if it is the only Scripture in the Bible worth knowing. Like so many other Scriptures, these verses, and their proper Biblical interpretation, are either never preached properly, or are something which the credulous ‘Christian’ is unwittingly, and in some cases, willingly ignorant of. False preaching is entirely the responsibility of the preacher, but the accountability for believing false gospels, and flawed interpretations always lies at the feet of the individual. The responsibility for what a person believes always belongs to the believer. One must face the truth if one is to ever see the truth.
Before we begin our study of the verse, John 3:16, it is important to draw the reader’s attention to several other Scriptures which contain the word world, to show that they would also become nothing but sources of confusion if the errorists’ interpretation of the word world rightly meant everyone without exception in every instance it is used. For example, “John 1:29: ‘…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’. Did Christ by His death take away the sin of all men without exception? If He did, all men without exception shall be saved.” Are all men saved? Of course not. Therefore, it would be folly to deduce world in this verse as meaning everyone without exception, and consequently that the sins of everyone without exception have been removed. Moreover, it would be an audacious display of eisegesis to add that what is said in this verse is conditioned on a man’s accepting what Christ has allegedly done for all. What is understood as one thing according to a contemporary inference of what the English appears to be saying, is quite often found to be completely different after a proper word, and contextual, study is conducted. Always make sure that your understanding of a Scripture, and the ramifications of it—how it affects grace, Who God is, what He is like, what Christ has done, and for whom Christ died, etc.—aligns with the whole of God’s Word including the Gospel of the grace of God. “The phrase ‘taketh away the sin’, signifies a ‘taking it up’, as Christ did; He took it voluntarily upon Himself (see Isa. 53:8,11), and became responsible to Divine justice for it; and also a bearing and carrying it, for taking it upon Himself, He bore it in His own body on the tree, and carried it away, as the scape goat did under the law (see Lev. 16:10,20-22); and so likewise a taking it quite away: Christ has removed it as far as the east is from the west (see Psa. 103:12), out of sight, so as never to be seen any more; He has destroyed, abolished, and made an utter end of it: and this is expressed in the present tense, ‘taketh away’”. This could hardly be said to have been done for everyone in the world, for if it was, then whatever one believes, whatever one does on this earth, whether one is a Mao Zedong, Stalin or Hitler, a Roman Catholic Pope, Satanist, Atheist, or a Dalai Lama, one’s sins are taken away, and all will be saved. This is the only conclusion which can be reached, if the assumption is true that the Lamb of God has literally taken away every sin of everyone without exception. The whole concept of everyone’s sins being taken away is an obviously non-Biblical, and, therefore, nonsensical premise which has no Scriptural support whatsoever, particularly in light of true substitutionary atonement. The contextual meaning of John 1:29, and which flows throughout the writings of John, who was a minister unto the circumcision—the Jews—is that the Lamb of God takes away the sin, not only of people from the Jewish nation, but also of the children of God scattered throughout all the Gentile nations of the world. Sin has been taken away from God’s chosen people who inhabit the nations of the world, and not only from those who inhabit the nation of Israel (see Gal. 3:28). Much more on this later.
The word world is used a total of 278 times in 240 verses in the King James Bible. It appears 232 times in the New Testament (in 194 verses)—79 times in the Gospel of John, 22 in 1 John and once in John’s second Letter. That’s a total of 102 times (in 75 verses). Almost 44% of the word world, as used in the New Testament, is found in John’s writings. “In dealing fairly with John we must look through his Gospel and Letters on the use of the word ‘world’. 42 times he uses the word to refer to the earth. 3 times he uses the word to refer to Jews and Gentiles specifically. 12 times he uses the word to refer to believers and unbelievers in the world, or all humanity. 3 times he uses the word to mean the world system in particular. 31 times he uses the word to refer to the wicked, without including believers, which is his most common use. And finally, he uses the word for the world of the elect 11 times. Seeing the varied usage of the word, the context and thought of each passage is critical, or the meaning of the word would enter into absurdity. For instance, if we were to use the same logic that the Arminians use in their use of the word ‘world’ in John 3:16 as ‘everyone for all time’, what says we cannot use that same word in 1 John 5:19, ‘And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness’. This would make absolutely no sense,” for it is obvious that the apostle is referring to two groups of people in this verse: those who are of God, and those that are of the world of the ungodly who are in, or under, the power of wickedness. The whole world here cannot mean all without exception, for clearly some are not of the world, but of, or out of, God as the Greek has it. Daniel tells us that King Darius “…wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth…” (Dan. 6:25). What those ‘that dwell in all the earth’ means exactly is clarified in the very next verse “…in every dominion of my kingdom…” (Dan. 6:26). King Darius “wrote to all the several nations in his extensive empire”, not to every individual on the planet. Even a phrase such as “them that dwelt on the earth” (Rev. 11:10), is not referring to everyone without exception, for the context here shows them that dwelt on the earth is limited in its reference to those who were tormented by the ministry of God’s Two Witnesses in preaching the Gospel. Surely Christians could not be included among those who were tormented by their speaking the truth of the Word of God. “Or what of Revelation 12:9, ‘And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him’ (cf. Rev. 18:23). Is this all of humanity as they would purport in John 3:16?” Of course not. Just as all angels were not cast out with Satan, not all are deceived by him. So too, those who are of God are not deceived, for though the deception is great, it is impossible that the elect of God will be deceived (see Matt. 24:24). The phrase in Revelation 12:9 refers only to those whom Satan will deceive—the whole world of unbelievers—only those who have not had “…the Light of the glorious Gospel of Christ Who is the image of God…shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:4 cf. 2 Cor. 4:6). Believers know they are of God because of the Spirit of God which is in them “…hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us” (1 Jn. 3:24 cf. 1 Cor. 6:19). Those who are of God are led by His Spirit into all truth: “…we know that we are of the truth…” (1 Jn. 3:19 cf. 1 Jn. 4:16). “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” (1 Jn. 4:6). "We can distinguish those who embrace the truth from those who do not. Whatever pretensions they might set up for piety, it was clear (in John’s day) that if they did not embrace the doctrines taught by the true apostles of God, they could not be regarded as his friends; that is, as true Christians. It may be added that the same test is applicable now. They who do not receive the plain doctrines laid down in the Word of God, whatever pretensions they may make to piety, or whatever zeal they may evince in the cause which they have espoused, can have no well-founded claims to the name Christian. One of the clearest evidences of true piety is a readiness to receive all that God has taught." Only those who listen to and believe the Gospel of God, with its defining doctrine, may rightly lay claim to the name ‘Christian’. Those who reject it, whether knowingly or unknowingly through belief in false doctrines about God and how He saves, are lost and qualify only as false christians. The Truth is what matters, and the truth is what God says it is, not what a man thinks it is, or believes it to be. “He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (Jn. 8:47). “And we know that we are of God…And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (1 Jn. 5:19,20). The Gospel of God shines unto them who know and believe the truth. Scripture refers to Christians as “…them which believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:3).
Of great significance is the fact that in all 11 occurrences of the phrase the whole world appearing in Scripture—once in the Old Testament and 10 times in the New Testament—NOT ONCE is the phrase the whole world used to refer to every individual without exception! Job 34:13: “…who hath disposed the whole world?” talks of the habitable earth; Matt. 16:26: “…what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world…” is referring to “the power, pleasures and riches” of the world, as do Mk. 8:36: “…what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world…” and Lk. 9:25: “…what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world…” Matt. 26:13: “Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached in the whole world…” is referring to the whole world geographically, as it is in Mk. 14:9: “…Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world…”; and Rom. 1:8: “…your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world”. 1 Jn. 2:2: “…but also for the sins of the whole world”, is a verse we shall look at in far greater detail later, but suffice it to say it is merely contrasting the Jews with the Gentiles of the world, and does not imply every individual without exception. 1 Jn. 5:19: “…the whole world lieth in wickedness” is identical to Rev. 12:9: “…which deceiveth the whole world…” in that the whole world cannot be referring to all individuals ever born, for Satan has not deceived the elect, nor do Christians lie in wickedness. Finally, Rev. 16:14: “…unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world…” has to do with “…the habitable globe, the earth, the world as known to the people of ancient times”. So we see that even such a phrase as ‘the whole world’, which to the naked eye could only have one obvious meaning, actually never once refers to all without exception.
Christ says to His Father, in John 17:25 “…the world hath not known Thee…” Does He mean that not one individual has ever known God? Certainly not. The apostles knew Him, as did all those who believed in His name. Christ is here speaking of “…the unbelieving Jews, and idolatrous Gentiles, wicked men, one or another, know not God: as not the Father, so neither the Son, nor Spirit; though Deity may be known by them, or that there is a God, yet they know not God in Christ, nor as the Father of Christ, or as their Father in Him, nor what it is to have communion with Him; nor do they know any of the things of God in a spiritual way; which shows the darkness and blindness of men by nature, the necessity of a Divine illumination, and the miserable state of men without one”. Furthermore, “When Revelation 13:3 informs us that ‘…all the world wondered after the beast’, are we to understand that there will be no exceptions? What of the godly Jewish remnant, who will be slain (see Rev. 20:4 cf. Rev. 12:17) rather than submit? These, and other passages which might be quoted, show that the term ‘world’ often has a relative rather than an absolute force. Clearly, the word is relative depending upon the context. In almost every instance it is used in the Bible it is relative. It almost always has connotations to specific groups of people”.
In reference to the Beast, Revelation 13:8 says: “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Does this Scripture mean that all without exception shall worship the beast? I mean, it says quite clearly that “ALL that dwell upon the earth shall worship him”, doesn’t it? Notwithstanding the use of such terminology, nothing could be further from the truth when this Scripture, and others like it, is seen in its proper context. The first part of the verse would suggest all without exception will worship the Beast, however, the second half of this Scripture identifies them only as the ones whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of life. We see from this, and Revelation 13:3, that world does not necessarily mean every individual without exception, nor does all that dwell upon the earth, or even the whole world, refer to every individual without exception. Clearly all that dwell upon the earth does not include those whose names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, who have been predestinated by God to eternal life. Why do so many who are cognisant of the various meanings of the word ‘world’, choose to ignore the rules which govern a true and proper Biblical exposition of Scripture— including John 3:16—preferring to simply take the contemporary English translation, and understanding, as its only possible and correct meaning? Moreover, why do they not consider the context of the words loved and whosoever in light of the equally important words ‘so’ and ‘gave’ of John 3:16? If you are such a person, I respectfully challenge you to permit yourself to be confronted by these crucial issues, and respond to them honestly. Cease your hiding behind convenient ‘truths’, and be stimulated by an honest and objective study of the Word of God, so that you might truly be made free by the Spirit of the truth of God. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in THE faith; prove your own selves…” (2 Cor. 13:5).
A favourite verse among Universalists and Arminians alike, is 1 Timothy 4:10: “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” First, and foremost, it must be pointed out that one verse of Scripture does not hold sway over many Scriptures and entire passages and themes found throughout the Word of God. One verse cannot override what whole sections of parallel Scriptures are saying, for there are no contradictions in the Word of God. The principle of grace immediately shuts down any thought that God loves all, and that Christ died for all, in that God gives His saving grace to those whom He loves evidenced by His having given them unto His Son to obtain eternal redemption for. The link between the purpose for which Christ was sent, His redemption and adoption is clearly laid out in the following verses: “…God sent forth His Son…to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4,5 cf. Heb. 9:15). God’s chosen will all, by grace, believe His Gospel. This simple, irrefutable, fact that not all believe, not all have believed, or will believe, invalidates any thought that this verse from Paul’s first Letter to Timothy is in any way advocating the salvation of all men without exception whether they believe the Gospel, or not. Just exactly what do people mean when they quote this verse? Are they saying that Christ has saved, or will save everyone? If so, then it obviously does not matter whether a person becomes born again, hears and believes the Gospel, or remains in a spiritually dead state, all will be saved despite what they believe or do. Such doctrines make absolutely no Scriptural sense at all. If Jesus saves everyone without exception we would need to do away with all verses which declare the fact that those who do not believe are utterly condemned (see Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3:15,18,36; 8:24). Or are they claiming that Christ is not the actual Saviour of any, but only the potential Saviour of all? Are we to understand that Christ has in fact obtained eternal redemption for all, become a curse for all without exception and imputes His Righteousness to all, but only on the proviso that one reaches up to Heaven and grabs hold of what has been done? If this is true, salvation would then be dependent upon what a man does, and not on what the Saviour has done.
Does Arminianism teach that Christ is somehow the Saviour of all without exception, but is in a special way the Saviour of those who actually believe? How is Christ specially the Saviour of those that believe? Christ is the Saviour of all men, “…in a providential way, giving them being and breath, upholding them in their beings, preserving their lives, and indulging them with the blessings and mercies of life; for that He is the Saviour of all men, with a spiritual and everlasting salvation, is not true in fact. Specially of those that believe; whom though He saves with an eternal salvation; yet not of this, but of a temporal salvation, are the words to be understood: or as there is a general providence, which attends all mankind, there is a special one which relates to the elect of God; these are regarded in Providence, and are particularly saved and preserved before conversion, in order to be called; and after conversion, after they are (saved and) brought to believe in Christ, they are preserved from many enemies, and are delivered out of many afflictions and temptations; and are the peculiar care and darlings of providence, being to God as the apple of His eye: and there is a great deal of reason to believe this, for if He is the Saviour of all men, then much more of them who are of more worth, value, and esteem with Him, than all the world beside; and if they are saved by Him with the greater salvation, then much more with the less; and if He is the common Saviour of all men, and especially of saints, whom He saves both ways, then there is great reason to trust in Him for the fulfilment of the promises of life, temporal and eternal, made to godliness, and godly persons. This epithet of God seems to be taken out of Psalms 17:7 where He is called (Myowx eyvwm), the Saviour of them that trust, or believe ‘…O Thou that savest by Thy right hand them which put their trust in Thee…’
"‘Who is the Saviour’, that is the Preserver, ‘of all men’, the Preserver of man and beast, as the psalmist speaketh, is in a more especial manner the Saviour ‘of those that believe’, ‘Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine” (Psa. 33:18,19 cf. Job 7:20). This seemeth rather to be the sense of the text, than to understand it of eternal salvation, for so God is not the actual Saviour of all; besides that the text seemeth to speak of a work proper to the Father, rather than to the Son.” 1 Timothy 4:10 is not speaking of Christ as the Messiah Who is the Saviour of His people from all their sins and guilt, etc. It refers “…to God in particular and not necessarily Jesus in particular. Does the title ‘God’ include Jesus? Of course, since Jesus is God in flesh (see Col. 2:9), the Savior. God, Who is a Trinity, is called Savior in Psalm 106:21; Isaiah 43:3; Luke 1:47; 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3;Titus 1:3-4; and Titus 2:10. It is obvious that the term refers to God in the generic sense of being the Savior…This is why it says that God (not Jesus) is the Savior of all men, especially of believers….Furthermore, only Jesus is the Mediator between God and men (see 1 Tim. 2:5), and He mediates only between the saved and God. “…He is the Mediator of the New Testament, that…they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Heb. 9:15). He does not mediate His atoning work for the unredeemed “For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14). Therefore, this verse does not necessitate that all will be redeemed.”
“Much is made out of 1 Timothy 4:10 by the Universalist to claim that Jesus will redeem all people whether or not they accept or reject Christ as Savior here on earth. Eventually, they say, all people will repent (either here or in the after-life) and come to a saving relationship with God.” But how can this be when the Scriptures clearly state that after death comes only judgement, not repentance: “…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Death signifies the final siren, the last whistle, it’s game over, and the final score stands. “…1 Timothy 4:10 does not prove what the Universalists hope it does. Can God be called the Savior of all men and yet not redeem all? Yes. All people are by nature born under wrath (see Eph. 2:3) and should go to Hell. Why? Because God is Holy, and all are sinners…The Christian is saved by faith (Eph. 2:8) and will join the Lord in Heaven. But, the unbeliever is under judgment.” Christians are chastened by the Lord, here on earth, but will not be condemned with the world, for they have been called out of the world, and redeemed by the Son of God. “…we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Cor. 11:32), “…the world of ungodly men, the men of the world, carnal, worldly, and Christless sinners. There is a world, a multitude of them that will be condemned. So far has Christ been from dying for the redemption and salvation of every individual person in the world, that there is a world of men that will be righteously condemned at the last day. John 3:18 says, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (see also 2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 21:8). Why does God not simply destroy them as is His right? Because of the Christians! Because God is being patient with the unbeliever, allowing them to enjoy the blessings of life in this world without the rightful condemnation of God falling upon them. This is what the Bible states: "What if God, willing to shew His Wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction? And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" (Rom. 9:22-24 cf. Rom. 8:28-30; 1 Thess. 5:9,10; 1 Pet. 2:8; 2 Pet. 3:7-9). As you can see, God is patient with the unregenerate. They receive a delayed judgment because of God's love for the believer. In this sense, God is the Savior of the world because He holds back His judging hand from all who rightly and immediately deserve it. Judgment is delayed.” All God’s judgments are according to truth (see Rom. 2:2).
Many have been made vessels of God’s Wrath. They have been appointed, fitted, or prepared, for destruction (see 1 Pet. 2:7,8). The riches of God’s glory are exclusively reserved for those He has made vessels of mercy whom God has prepared, not unto His Wrath, but unto glory (see Rom. 9:22,23; 1 Pet. 2:9,10). “…God often blesses the unbeliever because of the presence of a believer. “And it came to pass from the time he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field" (Gen. 39:5). Consider also Matthew 13:24-30 and the parable of the wheat and the tares. In it Jesus compares the world to a field. He later interprets it by stating that ‘The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the Kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one’ (Matt. 13:38). But in Matt. 13:28-30, Jesus states that the tares are not dealt with right away because the wheat is there among them. ‘…The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest…’ So, can it be said that the tares were saved from judgment? Yes…temporarily. The unbeliever enjoys a delayed judgment. But with the Christian, God is especially their Saviour, and judgment is permanently removed from them.”
Another verse of Scripture which would only increase the level of confusion if the word world were taken to mean all without exception, is 1 John 4:14: “…the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” Again, what the enemies of the cross fail to realise about this verse is that if this Scripture is saying that it was the Sovereign God’s intention that His Son save everyone without exception, then that is exactly what would have occurred, for an Almighty God does whatsoever He pleases. God says: “…My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isa. 46:10 cf. Num. 23:19). If God does all that He wants to do, it stands to Biblical reason that all God wants to do, He does do. All that God wills and purposes is done and fulfilled to the uttermost. “But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased” (Psa. 115:3). “God has the right and might to do whatever He wills. It is His right and might, authority and ability to do whatever He wills, without difficulty or effectual resistance. He has ALL might, unlimited power. His power is as great as His will. Whatever He wants to do He has the power to do it. The term Almighty is used 48 times in the Bible and every time it refers to God. Only God is Almighty. WHATEVER HIS WISDOM WILLS, HIS POWER PERFORMS: “For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (Isa.14:27 cf. Isa. 43:13). If God’s wisdom can will it, His power can perform it. He has absolute potency. Limitless and infinite power. It cannot be checked, restrained or frustrated. It is absolute, incomparable, incomprehensible. The only limit to His power is placed there by His Holy nature, as it is with everything in the universe…In the end, God’s power will either be for you and bless you forever, or against you and punish you forever. Everyone will be to the demonstration of God’s mighty power: to pardon or punish.” Cast your eyes just two verses down from 1 John 4:14, and you will see exactly who it is whom the Lord loves, and, therefore, for whom He has sent His Son as Saviour: “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love…” (1 Jn. 4:16). There is no love here mentioned for all that are in the world, but only that exclusive love of God for His people seen in the fact that John was writing only to those who believe on the name of the Son of God (see 1 Jn. 5:13).
Seeing that it is patently obvious not all are saved, it stands to Biblical reason that the Lord Jesus was not sent to save everyone without exception, but only those whom the Father loved and gave to Him, for they are the only ones who will come to Him expressly because it was the Father’s will that they be saved. It was for these ones Christ came into the world to make atonement, or reconciliation, between them and the Father. “All that the Father giveth Me SHALL come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37 cf. Jn. 6:39; 10:16; Rom. 5:1). Has everyone without exception thus far come to the Lord Jesus? No. Seeing that the only way any can come to the Son is by way of the Father giving them to Him, it stands to Biblical reason that the Father has not given all without exception to the Son, for not all come to Him, so how, therefore, could Jesus have been sent by the Father to be the Saviour of all without exception? How could He have died for all when not all come to Him? Unlike the apostle Paul who was a minister unto the Gentiles (see Acts 13:47; Rom. 11:13; 15:16; Gal. 2:7,8), the apostle John was a minister to the Jews, and the Jews understood the word world to mean Gentiles. Christ is the Saviour of the world, not only Israel, “…not of every individual person in the world, for there are some that will go into everlasting punishment, and even a world that will be condemned; Christ is not in fact the Saviour of all the individuals of human nature, and therefore was not sent to be such; for if He was, the end of His mission is not fully answered; nor of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles also, and who are chiefly intended by ‘the world’ “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it” (Acts 28:28); “Is He the God of the Jews only? is He not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also” (Rom. 3:29); and even of all the elect of God, styled His people, His sheep, His friends, His Church, His children, His brethren, and the sons of God; and it may be said of all that believe in Him throughout the whole world, without any distinction of nation, age, sex, state, or condition: and Christ is the Saviour both of the souls and bodies of these, from all their sins, original and actual; from the power of Satan, the bondage and curse of the law, and wrath to come, and He is the only, able, willing, and complete Saviour, and Who saves with an everlasting salvation.” “But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation…” (Isa. 45:17 cf. Heb. 7:25).
The only other Scripture, apart from 1 John 4:14, in the entire Bible where the phrase Saviour of the world appears is John 4:42: “And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” “…these Samaritans knew Him to be ‘the Saviour of the world’; not of every individual person in it, for all are not saved by Him; nor of the Jewish world, for many of them died in their sins; but of the Gentiles, in distinction from the Jews (see Jn. 3:16; 1 Jn. 2:2); even of all God's elect, whether among Jews or Gentiles; of all that believe in Him, of whatsoever nation, and in whatsoever state and condition: so that their knowledge of Him, and faith in Him, were beyond that of the Jews, who looked upon the Messiah only as a Saviour of their nation; and that the Gentiles would have no manner of benefit and advantage by Him: though the Jews do call the angel in Exodus 23:20 (amled aqwrp), ‘the Saviour, or ‘Redeemer of’ the world. (some of the ancient Jewish writers say, this is the Angel that is the Redeemer of the world, and the keeper of the children of men: and Philo the Jew applies the word unto the Divine Logos, and says, ‘He (God) uses the Divine Word as the guide of the way; for the oracle is, ‘behold, I send my Angel’). And this the Samaritans might know from the writings of Moses, as from Genesis 22:18; 49:10; their present knowledge of Christ was not a mere notional, speculative, and general one, but was special, spiritual, and saving, which they had from the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ; they approved of Him as their Saviour; they trusted in Him as such; they had an experimental acquaintance with Him, and practically owned Him; and which they attained to by hearing Him.”
Another verse of Scripture which, wrongly interpreted, only fans the flames of confusion, of which God is never the Author (see 1 Cor. 14:33), is “John 6:33: ‘For the bread of God is He which cometh down from Heaven, and giveth life unto the world.’ If, by this is meant all without exception, and we were to use the same (inadequate) interpretive tools that some have used on John 3:16, then, as Jesus gives life to the world, they all, by necessity, must have life and are alive! But we know the world of unbelievers is condemned already’ (see Jn. 3:18), if they remain in unbelief. How, in light of this, could we interpret John 6:33 to mean ‘all men for all time?’ We cannot, just as we cannot say He loved ‘all men for all time’ in John 3:16. Who are these which are given life? We know the whole world is not given life or they would be alive. If they eat of the bread of life, then they have life. Jesus is not saying that He is the bread of life by which every man for all time is regenerated. He is saying that all men, Jews and Gentiles, may eat of Him. Not every individual man, but all kinds of men, which would have been foreign to His Jewish listeners. As a matter of fact, in John 6:41 the Jews murmured at His teaching, saying that Jesus could not have ‘come down from Heaven’ since He is ‘Joseph’s son’. But Jesus then remarks to them in John 6:43,44 with these words, ‘…Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day’. This shows the intention of God towards the Jews, and towards the world. He raises up only those that the Father gives Him (see Jn. 6:37). The Father, if He were savingly interested in all men, would have given all men to Christ. But God is not interested in all men in this way, but only some men—those Jesus will raise up at the last day. Does Jesus give life (not, ineffectually offer life, but, efficaciously give life) to all men without exception? If He does, all men without exception have eternal life.”