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Living Water 6
Living Water 6
All of God's promises of both destruction and restoration must be fulfilled. The salvation of one person is as sure and as complex as the salvation of all is as sure and as complex. The complexity of the circumstances surrounding the topic of the Universal Restoration isn't a reason to dismiss it as the teaching of Scripture on the grounds of St. Paul having said that he kept things simple in his dealings with the Corinthians. That his epistles to the Corinthians include the teaching of the Universal Restoration is ample ground for considering it among the simplest of God's mysteries that He's abounded towards us in all wisdom and understanding. Additionally, since St. Paul included it in his comments to the Corinthians to whom he wasn't teaching anything but Christ and His Cross is ample evidence that he considered it a subject that couldn't be separated from the teachings of Christ, the teachings about Christ, and the teachings of His Cross and about His Cross.
As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1Corinthians 15:22
This is as much a teaching of Scripture as any principle of holiness, any principle of obedience in the Kingdom of God, and as the universal requirements regarding repentance and belief in the Gospel of what God has done in Christ Jesus for the individual as His grounds for all of His demands upon every moment of the individual's existence and consciousness. We are told in 1Timothy 2:6 that He's the ransom for all, and in 1Timothy 4:10 that He's the restorer of all men, especially of those who believe. We can no more dismiss this than we could dismiss the reality of all things having been created by God, the sincerity of the wages of sin for every sin, and the fact that every disobedience will receive it's just recompense of reward! As much as righteousness has great rewards in the Scriptures for the individual believer, the Cross of Christ has abundance of rewards for God, Himself, with the restoration of all of Creation to His bosom.
You can no more dismiss His union with all of Creation through Christ Jesus than you can dismiss His union as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are assured in Romans 11 that all came forth from Him and all returns to Him. As sincerely as all of Israel must be saved, all of Creation must be saved; the Creation itself will enter into the liberties of the children of God. As much as He has set a day when He will judge our world in righteousness, and as Emerson said “the world is full of judgment days,” He has likewise set a day when Christ Jesus will offer up the entire Kingdom to His Father, according to 1Corinthians 15:28, after all who were not yet subject to Him in the way they currently are as a matter of His Supremacy, will be His as a matter of a glad and willing heart, according to 1Corinthians 15:22-28 and Ephesians 1:8-10. Though many yet lack a full revelation of how the ongoing sowing and reaping of God will hybridize and restore all of Creation to Himself inspite of their own sowing and reaping, yet the conclusion of Scripture on the matter is undeniable, unmistakable, and incapable of being usurped.
Man's freedom and God's freedom eternally cohabiting with each other, since man's freedom is always predicated upon the amount of life and light that he's received and there are no other sources of life and light than God, Himself. It is an awe-inspiring truth that man and God shall have perfect liberty throughout every age that shall ever know their existence in the future, yet at the end of the day all of mankind will go leaping into the loving arms of God even after decades of filth, degradation, debauchery, and systematic disease throughout the society of men in perceptions, motivations, and expressions. Yes, God could have it some other way and still be God. This has never been in dispute by any except by the most childish on both sides of the issue. But the greatest inspiration and most captivating power in existence is love and the character of God.
All true heroism, purity, and all of man's genuinely highest aspirations are born from it. There's no doubting the genuineness of man's lowest aspirations to wallow in every kind of self destruction and in every kind of destruction of others, but surely at the end of time the greatest hero will prove to have been God instead of the imaginations of our most clever authors amongst us in expressing what they've expressed of the divine nature at very fleeting moments through their comic books, movies, bedtime stories, poetic verses, songs, and other forms of iconic expressions throughout the ages of man. There are certainly vain imaginations amongst us, but the universality of the dominion of the Cross and the extent of God's love, power, wisdom, and ultimate triumph over every iniquity isn't one of them. Though the Scriptures record outlines of the vain imaginations of men in various places, none of the teachings of the Universal Restoration of all of Creation are ever presented as such, from Genesis to Revelation!
In recent days my thoughts return again and again and again to what I found as one of the earliest academic proofs of the intent of God genuinely being expressed in the Scriptures to save all of mankind, when I happened upon a copy of J. W. Hanson's book “The Greek Word 'Aion'” in which he showed several words in the Greek New Testament that are stronger words for describing what's perpetual than any word that's ever applied to punishment, banishment, or the souls miseries in it's separation from the will of God. He pointed out several Greek words in the New Testament that are extremely strong statements that more nearly approximate finality than are ever used in any of the eternal damnation passages of the King James Version, and each of those is only used of God or the inheritance of believers. They're never one time applied to the anguishes of the impending age for any of the disobedient, ignorant, or grossly vile.
It was like 10 or 12 words in the Greek text of the New Testament that are stronger words than anything that ever customarily gets translated as “eternal,” “everlasting,” “forever,” or “forever and ever.” And certainly had “aionios” life been sufficient to describe the perpetuity of Christ's indestructible life, then no other Greek word would have been used in Hebrews 7 to denote His resurrection life, and certainly not without an accompanying passage elsewhere linking it with derivatives of the Greek word “aion.” Some might want to bring up a usage of “aion” in Romans 16 but certainly it does no injury to the Scriptures to assert that that one is merely asserting God working out His plans through successive ages by describing Him as the true God of this age and of every age. Yet His eternal power and glory and the indestructibility of what's promised to the saints it established by other words in the Greek text of the New Testament that are never applied to sin's miseries or the miseries of any fallen creature!
Certainly the greatness of our God and the provision of His salvation isn't to be compared to the fleeting nature of sin, that's but a breath and then passes away, in the eternal scheme of things! God's love for all of Creation and God's power in wooing all of Creation through Christ Jesus until He has their every surrendered heart is a holy subject not to be lightly spoken of with traditional religious platitudes that arose during the dark ages when the Scriptures were withheld from mankind and God's Word today shouldn't be translated with bonafide contradictions to His purpose in Christ to save all of mankind. There are no actual contradictions in the Written Word of God, but translations are filled with contradictions that aren't in the original languages that the Bible was translated from. God's love is truly never failing and inescapable and so is His Blood that was released in Christ to make abundant Covenantal provisions for the restoration of each life everywhere, no matter how long it takes, where their voyage leads, and no matter how many detours they take from His perfect will for their lives.
Ultimately every promise of both destruction and restoration must be fulfilled for each life everywhere, and whether we're considering the many destructions promised in Scripture to the careless and the vile, or whether we're considering His restoration of even one person in all of history, in both cases, as well as in the case of the Universal Restoration of all of Creation, we're talking about things that are Covenantal. Destruction in Scripture isn't the end of His Covenantal dealings in any New Covenant context, and through the prophets of the Scriptures we see many passages that assure us that there was the bringing in of a better hope by which those who were banished in former ages and dismissed from His Covenants are now able to draw nigh to God, so that ultimately even destruction in the Old Covenant context isn't the end of His Covenantal dealings. May we all rely more and more upon His sure Covenant to rehead all things in Himself and progress from rest to rest in our rejoicing, our thanksgiving, and our labors of faith, hope, and love, knowing that none of this is [ultimately] in vain. Each detail of our lives, His Cross, and our consecration to His Gospel and His holiness fills in a detail in the story of every other person and of every other Creature in all of Creation!
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For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd. Zechariah 10:2
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from a solid Center Column Reference Study New King James Version Bible. Where Center Column Reference alternate renderings are preferred, they're not always noted on the site at the time of their usage in a given context, if there's a discrepancy between our quotation and a NKJV that our site's visitors use that's missing the Center Column Reference notes that provide more literal renderings, alternative Hebrew and Greek manuscript variations, etc. Sometimes an "Understood Subject" from the given chapter of the Bible or the particular book of the Bible (perhaps previous chapter) is given attention to while teaching. Reading (and rereading) each book of the Bible [in it's entirety] that's being quoted from in the midst of each subject is [always] greatly encouraged for added clarity! While we're [deeply] supportive of what's understood to be orthodox Christian doctrine on all matters, we're always looking for what God's ADDITIONALLY saying to us in each subject being taught.