The Ultimate Reconciliation of All (TURA)
(as found in 25 key Bible passages)

© Copyright 2001 George F. Howe and Darroll Evans, all rights reserved.

ē Unless otherwise indicated, all verses are from the New King James Version. Used with permission.

Introduction

In the Bible, which is Godís word, there are more than 100 passages that teach the salvation of all people through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here we present 25 of the most direct Bible sections dealing with the fact that someday all people shall be saved through the blood of Jesus, the Messiah. We hope that this review will show you that TURA is Bible truth that should be honored by believers today.

1 John 1:6-9
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John.
7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

Verses 1-5 of the Gospel of John tell that Jesus is God and that He is also the Creator, the Word, and the Light. John the Baptist was sent by God to tell of the coming of Jesus, who is the Light of the world. John was not the Light, but he was sent to tell people about the coming of Godís Light. It is through Him (Godís Messiah) that all people will finally believe and live. John 1:7 says that through Him (meaning Jesus), all might believe. The true Light is Jesus. John also says that the true Light will give light to every person who has ever come into the world. Of course, Christ does not enlighten each at the same moment, but in His full plan, God does not end up discriminating against any one. Other Bible passages tell how and when the Light will come to people who die without the faith of Christ.

John came to bear witness to the true Light (Christ Jesus) so that "all" might believe. If all believe, then all of us humans will be reconciled, too, because "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).

The Bible says that a time will come when all people will be calling on Godís name in faith. Then "All men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider His doing" (Psalm 64:9). See also John 3:35 and John 6:37 where it says that God puts all into Christís hands.

2. John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1:29 is a stand-alone verse. It cannot be taken out of context because it is its own context.

John came as a prophet to his own people, but few of them believed his prophecy. The meaning of his prophecy may be summarized in this one sentence: "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

Johnís reference here is to Christ Jesus who takes away the sin of the world. The Greek text speaks of "sin" in the singular. it is not referring to a single sin, but to the sin principle that is resident in all people.

Christ Jesus brought Godís Light into the sinful world. In so doing, He started the process by which all sin will finally be rendered powerless.

If Jesus is taking away the sin of the world, what that really means is that He is taking away the sin of the world. Hebrews 9:26 says that Jesus has set aside or put away sin "by the sacrifice of Himself" By taking away the sin of the world, Jesus destroyed the one item that stands between God and man. He makes it possible, even inevitable, that God and mankind shall be successfully reconciled. If He does not take away the sin of the whole world, Johnís prophecy would be false, and Godís word would be in error. We hope that you are willing to trust in a God who is going to bring His Word to fruition.

3. John 4:42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

When the Samaritan woman told others about the Lord Christ Jesus, they first thought that she was telling them the truth, and that is evidenced by the fact that they walked out to meet Him.

When they met Jesus, however, they personally recognized Him as the long-awaited Messiah. Their secondhand belief became firsthand knowledge. They proclaimed, "This is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world." The word "world" means the whole cosmos without exceptions. Reading these passages, one must either believe that Jesus is the Savior of the whole world or that He is not. The Bible says the He is, and leaves no middle ground.

God told His only begotten Son, "Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession" (Psalm 2:8). The Hebrew word translated "nations" is "goyim." It indicates Gentile unbelievers.

On the cross, Jesus looked down at the Jews and Gentiles (Romans) gathered at the base of the cross and asked, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34). Do you believe that God answered Jesusí prayer and that He forgave all those people? David believed it (see Psalm 5:2-3).

At Calvary, Christ Jesus asked for and received "the nations" for His inheritance. He is now the Lord of all. "Lord" denotes proprietorship. He has the ends of the earth as His possession as emphasized in Acts 3:25, Galatians 3:8, and Isaiah 45:22-23.

The Lord Jesus is in the process of redeeming all creation one step at a time, in due time, and on time. His redemption of mankind is being accomplished according to the plan, with "each one in his own order," as we see in 1 Corinthians 15:23.

4. John 12:32 "And 1, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."

Many do not understand that John 12:32 is conditional. Jesus Himself set the conditions of this prophetic declaration.

He said, "If 1 am lifted upóI will draw all to Myself." The phrase "I will draw" comes from the Greek word elkusoo-elkusw, which is indicative. This means it may be translated as "I will draw," but it may also be translated more forcefully as "I shall draw." What it relates to us is that if a certain thing happens, a second thing will surely follow as a consequence.

The only question in this passage is, "Was Jesus lifted up?" The only answer available is, "Yes, He was!"

Here we have simple cause and effect. Because Jesus was lifted up on the cross, He shall draw all to Him. In John 12:32, the word "all" is all-inclusive. The Bible says that Christ, by His death on the cross will draw all people to Himself with no exceptions. Praise God! The text can have no other meaning! Letís spread the news to people who, for one reason or another, do not understand or believe the very word of God on this subject. Remember that Christís outlook of mercy is the same yesterday, today, and for the ages (Hebrews 13:8).

5. Acts 3:20-21
20 "and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,
21 "whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

At the time of Jesusí appearing on earth, it was an established Jewish teaching that the Messiah would come. From ages past, the prophets had foretold this "coming." Many of Jesusí own people, however, did not understand the power, nature, and extent of His mission.

Where verse 21 speaks of "the times of restoration of all things," it can and should refer to "the time of universal restoration" as in the New Revised Standard Version.

In the Greek text, we find the word apokatastaseoos-apokatastasewV. That Greek word indicates a one-sided reconciliation that can be called a "conciliation." It indicates that only one party (God) initiated the reunion so that the dispute will be settled and a full reconciliation of everyone will occur in due time. This is a result of Christís work on the cross for all mankind. Through it, Godís conciliation of mankind is accomplished (see II Cor. 5:19).

Acts 3:20-21 shows that "all" is to be restored and that includes all people, too. How could all people be restored if all the lost ones are going to be permanently annihilated, as some Christians believe? How could they ever be restored if Hell is a place of ceaseless torment and permanent separation from God?

6. Romans 5:18-19
18 Therefore, as through one manís offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Manís righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
19 For as by one manís disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Manís obedience many will be made righteous.

This passage may be the most direct of all the texts that can be presented in support of total,, ultimate reconciliation. It actually says that through one manís offense judgment, it came into all men.

Because of Adamís single act of rebellion, Godís judgment of sin faces all of Adamís descendants. Godís judgment against sin is thus universal. Adamís single act resulted in the adverse judgment or condemnation of all people.

But next, we find the English phrase "even so" which adds emphasis, and shows that what follows will be somewhat parallel or similar to the first. What follows is this, "through one Manís righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life." Notice the parallelism here: the act of rebellion affected ALL, and even so the righteous act will also affect ALL!

While most Christians accept Adamís sinful act as universal, many deny that Jesusí act will also justify all people. Do you believe that Adamís sin was more powerful than Jesus Christís justification? The justification of all is also taught in verse 19, where it says that as by one manís disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Manís obedience many will be made righteous. Both times in verse 19, the word "the" should be placed before the word "many"ó the many became sinners and the many will be made righteous. This may seem like a small item, but it has great significance.

In Greek, the definite article "the" points to a specific group or event. In both cases, the definite article "the" is in the Greek text, but was left out of the English translations. Both cases should read "the many" (Gr. oi polloi-oi polloi).

Why does that make a difference? The use of the definite article ("the" many) means that the reference is to only a single group, but that single group is all mankind.

This use of"the many" to refer to all people is what Isaiah also did in Isaiah 53:11 where he was inspired to write that ". . .by His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, and He will bear their iniquities."

If, by one manís disobedience (the) many were made sinners, then by one Manís obedience (the) many will be made righteous. The same group is affected first by sin (the many) and then by righteousness (the many). That being true, something is missing from the belief held by many Christians. What is missing is the acknowledgment of the power of Godís grace that will save every last person among "the many."

His grace is more powerful than Adamís sin. Romans 5:20bó"where sin abounded, grace abounded much more."

Do you believe that Adam is more powerful than Christ Jesus? If not, then trust the Holy Spirit for what He says through Paul in Romans 5 about the justification of all.

7. Romans 11:32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

This verse is so simple in its presentation that any explanation seems unnecessary. God committed, consigned, or locked up all people under the power of sin. He did that to show His power over sin.

His purpose in causing all to be disobedient was that He might show mercy to all. All people need mercy and this verse says that God shows mercy to them all.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
* (emphasis added)

Psalm 145:9 The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.

Some teach that God is willing to save, but our finite human will supersedes His infinite divine will Ephesians 1:11 says that God works all according to the plan of His will. Also, Job 42:2 says that no purpose of Godís will can be thwarted. Jeremiah 32:27 says that nothing is too hard for God! It was easy for God to change the will of Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus Road.

If Godís grace is greater than our sin and His will greater than our will, sin shall be destroyed. In fact, Jesus came for the express purpose of destroying the works of the devil, as we see in I John 3:8bóFor this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

The Greek word translated "he might destroy" (lusee-lush) may also be interpreted as "he may be in the process of destroying."

Jesusí purpose in coming to die on the cross was to defeat the sin that caused death. Do you believe that He accomplished His mission, and that the Devilís work will all be destroyed? The Apostle John believed it!

How many did God commit to disobedience? It was ALL!

Upon how many does He plan to have mercy? It is ALL!

How many is all? It is ALL!

8. Romans 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Romans 11:36 is straightforward with no chance for misunderstanding. It says that ALL is out of Christ, through Christ, and back into Christ. If all people are going to be brought back into Christ (Romans 11:36), then how can it be said that people who die in their sins are headed for a "Christ-less eternity?" The idea that all lost people are put into endless punishment or banishment is really a very small part of Christian theology and has no actual support when the Bible is accurately translated. If the lost are eternally tormented, or completely annihilated, why did Peter write that God is a "faithful Creator" (I Peter 4:19), and why did David say that Godís mercy lasts for all ages (Psalms 106:1, 107:1, 118:2, and all of Psalm 136)?

The answer is that Christ Jesus cannot be glorified in causing eternal torment. Instead, He is glorified in the salvation of all the lost, which will cause Him to be satisfiedósee Isaiah 53:11.

Because Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, anything less would be failure. Let us stop proclaiming a failing Christ and embrace the victorious Lord of Romans 11:36. Luke recorded

Jesusí own words: "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Do you believe that He succeeded?

Christ Jesus the victorious Lord because He accomplished what he came to do. If he had failed, or had done an incomplete work, we could not say that He was victorious in His mission. How could Jesus have said, "It is finished" (Matthew 26:1) when He died on the cross if most people are eternally cut off from that salvation which He purchased? How could it be said that Christ was "satisfied" with His work on the cross (Isaiah 53:11) if it saved only a portion of the lost creatures for whose sake He died?

9. I Corinthians 15:20-28
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christís at His coming.
24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an
end to all rule and all authority and power.
25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.
26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
27 For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says, "all things are put under Him, "it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.
28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

This passage is perhaps the most complete statement of the gospel of TURA in the entire Bible. It gives us the purpose, the plan, and the culmination of Godís plan. Letís consider it in the order given.

I Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Jesus is now qualified to become the "firstfruits" of those that have died because of His resurrection from the dead. His death points to his human nature. If Christ Jesus does not return soon, many of us will join those that have fallen asleep (died).

Even though the English text says Christ is the "flrstfruits," the Greek text (aparchee-aparch) indicates the singular. There is only One firstfruits of the resurrection, and that is Christ Jesus.

I Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.

Let us present this verse in another light: by a man, Adam came deathóby another man, Jesus, came victory over death.

As taught here, resurrection is the giving back of life, or the restoration of life. In a very real sense, this verse speaks of the internalizing of true life as opposed to just physical life.

One man brought death, another brought life. Death came upon mankind as the result of one manís actions. Life also came upon all humans as the result of One Manís actions. If all those who die outside of Christ are in an interminable state of sin, separated from God eternally, whose power would have been strongeróAdamís or Christís?

I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Verse 22 is a freestanding verse within a freestanding passage. It also amplifies the entire passage.

As the result of Adamís sin, ALL humanity is subject to death. In like manner, but in contrast, as the result of Jesusí sinlessness, and His sacrifice, ALL humanity is subject to life!

How effective is sin? Sin is so effective that (barring the Second Coming of Christ) all men shall die because of sin.

How effective was Jesusí resurrection? His reconciliation to the Father, as expressed in the resurrection, was so effective that ALL men shall be reconciled to God in it. Anything less would mean that death in Adam is more powerful than life in Christ. Do you think I Corinthians 15:22 is saying that Adam is more powerful than Christ?

I Corinthians 15:23-24
23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christís at His coming.
24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.

Many believers reject the concept that is taught in Verses 23 and 24, which lists the order of the resurrection to life. The concept of resurrecting someone to an eternal, spiritual death is not linguistically or spiritually valid. Many otherwise intelligent, godly believers assume that the last (the end) in Verse 24 involves a resurrection to eternal torment. Do you read anything about eternal torment in Verse 24?

As we have noted, the first to be resurrected to true life is Christ Jesus. His resurrection is the most powerful in that it demonstrates His ability to render death ineffective.

Next, we come to the resurrection of those that are his Saints. That resurrection takes place at His Second Coming.

Finally, we have the resurrection of the "end" or last group. The English word "comes" ("then comes the end") does not appear in the Greek text, but has been added in the KJV, NKJV, and most other versions as well. This last resurrection is also a resurrection to life and not to annihilation or endless torment as Paul makes very plain here in I Corinthians Chapter 15.

I Corinthians 15:25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.

Many teach that Satan alone rules manís affairs now and that Satan will rule over the unjust people forever in Hell. This verse says exactly the oppositeóChrist will subdue all enemies to Himself.

The Greek text indicates a legal necessity. The Father actually reigns and He puts all enemies under the feet (or rule) of the Son. They become a footstool for Christ. The idea that all enemies will finally be changed into faithful members of Christís "footstool" is so very important that it is presented several other times in the Bible: Psalms 110:1, Matthew 22:44, Acts 3:34-35, Hebrews 1:13, and Hebrews 10:12-13. These footstool people will evidently be in a position of honor and will render eternal service to Christ.

In all of this, we also have a picture of cooperation within the Godhead. Through the Spirit, the Father causes the Son to rule. And through the same Spirit, the Son is working on behalf of those who were formerly His enemies. And the Father is working on behalf of the Son.

Does our belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior make Him any more or less Lord? Absolutely not! It simply changes our position-.--not His! This is shows in I John 4:10ó"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

I Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

The last enemy to be defeated is not Satan. The last enemy to be eliminated shall be death itself. Although the destruction of all death is put so bluntly, some Christians still deny it when they say that people who die in unbelief will have eternal death.

Godís plan is a progression. Through his Son, He has already defeated Satan, and yet we continue to die. Satan is Satan because of sin. Satan has been sinning from the beginning (see I John 3:8), but he is now a toothless lion because believers are now able to let the glory of God work in their lives by the indwelling of the Holy Spiritósee 1 Corinthians 6:19.

We view death as a concept, but God views it as an entity. The event we call death shall be destroyed! This means that the second death mentioned in Revelation 20:14 will also be destroyed because the second death is also a death. It is not an eternal life of chastisement in the Lake of Fire because the Lake of Fire is a death, not a lifeóread it!

I Corinthians 15:27 For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says, "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.

Here is a clarification: Jesus, God the Son, shall never have power over the Father. Most people do not understand that there is a chain of authority within the Godhead.

The Son does only what the Father tells Him to do, and the Spirit communicates the truth about the Son. The Godhead is unified but not co-equal!

I Corinthians 15:28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

The Sonís last act as a separate being from the Father shall be to turn the Kingdom over to the Father. We can view this as a joyous abdication in which the Son (and all those subject to Him) become faithful subjects of God the Father. Then, the unified and unifying Godhead shall be all in all. This means that all previously disobedient people will, by that time, be extolling God. All who were lost will then be saved by the blood of Christ. This at last is the consummation of Godís great plan!

Perhaps the lustiest voices acclaiming God and loving Him at that time will be those who previously experienced judgment and the second death (Revelation Chapter 20). They who have been forgiven much will love all that much more. It is difficult to envision the boundless joy that will prevail as all created beings become one with God. It will be a "curtain call" that likes of which Broadway has never seen. It will be a joyful reunion at last with "unbelievers" we have loved so much. And it will be a time of meeting transformed scoundrels we had only read about in the history books. All of us will have only one objectiveóloving God and praising Him forever more. Amen.

10. II Corinthians 5:14-15, 17-21
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

(16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.)

II Corinthians 5:14-15, 17-21.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their. trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christís behalf, be reconciled to God.
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

If one person, Jesus, died for all and rose again, all must have needed a resurrection. If all needed a resurrection, all were dead, otherwise no resurrection would be needed. This passage proves that Christís death and resurrection were for all, with no qualifications.

That may sound a bit complicated, but think about it. If people did not actually die because of sin, there would be no need for a resurrection. In Christ, we are a new creationóa new person! We have been reborn or born again. Because of our rebirth, the sin established by our first birth is in the process of being eliminated. Romans 5:10 says that we are being saved by His life in us, as does Galatians 2:20-21. Also, please note once again (II Corinthians 5:15) that Christís death was for allóno strings attached. Does it say here that Christ died only for the elect, as some good Christians claim?

Verses 18 and 19 are the heart of this section.

18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

All things are "ofí God means that all belongs to Him, and it all goes according to His plan.

He, God, has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ. We cannot be reconciled apart from Jesus Christ. The manifestation of this reconciliation, however, is accomplished "each in his own order" as already seen in I Corinthians 15.

The Father was in the Son reconciling the world to Himself. That is a simple statement of fact! Reconciliation of all people is the job of the Father and Son. Do you believe they will accomplish that job! We hope your answer is yes because that means you believe that the Father and Son shall be successful in what the Bible says they have set out to doósave the whole world.

11. Ephesians 1:10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earthóin Him.

This verse shows the final intent of total reconciliation and the fact that a time factor is involved. God reconciled the world so that "in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ both which are in heaven and which are on earthóin Him." This passage shows that all will someday be in Christ! The Greek text just says "all," not "all things." All includes all people, too, not just all elm trees, rocks, and porpoises. And if all is going to be in Christ, then is it possible that God will be tormenting billions of "lost.. people" forever? Or is it more in keeping with the Bible to assume that they will all finally receive Christ?

12. Philippians 2:10-11
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

"Jesus" is the greatest name in existenceówhen used by those who believe!

The English text correctly says, "Every tongue." The Greek is void of any exceptions: "every" means "every"! And the Greek text says that every knee will bow in the name of Jesus, not at the name of Jesus. This is a joyful bowing in praise and adoration by Christís former enemiesósee Isaiah 45:22-23 and Romans 14:11.

13. Colossians 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

This is a companion verse to Ephesians 1:10 (#11). It declares openly and without exception that "all" shall be reconciled "by Him." The "all" includes all on earth and in heaven and is by no means limited to "things" as the English text suggests, but also includes all human beings. Remember that the word "things" is not present in the original Greek text.

The peace that Christ made is, at this time, one-sided. If Jesus gave His life to reconcile all to the Father and did not succeed, He would be a failure. To say that Jesus did not give His life for all is a rejection of the Bible. The only position open to people of understanding is that Jesus gave His life for all people, and that He will ultimately have them all. Remember that the only way this universal peace was made possible was by Christís blood that was shed on the crossóthere is no other way.

The Greek word for reconciliation used here in Colossians 1:20 is "apoktalallazai" from "apokatallasso." It means a total restoration of both sides in dispute, not just a one-sided conciliation. Psalm 2:8ó"Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations (Heb. Goyim/Gentiles) for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession." We are the Fatherís present to His Son.

Many other Bible passages like Acts 3:25 and Psalm 68:9 prove that God will finally save all people, all kingdoms, all families, and all tribes.

14. Hebrews 2:8-9
8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we do not yet see all things put under Him.
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

The key to this section is the fact that "now we do not yet see all things put under him." The truth is not evident now to all people, but it shall be. We believers are also still inwardly groaning because of the bondage of corruption, which affects us, tooósee Romans 8:19-2 1.

But, Jesus "was made" a little lower than the angels. He became a man so that He may taste death for "everyone." Let it not be true that anyone would desire revenge so much that they would find the Bible verses about the reconciliation of all to be a difficult concept or a stumbling block. Actually, reconciliation is a stepping-stone to see how God, Who is Love, will finally deal in love with all of His created beings.

15. Hebrews 2:14-15.
14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Jesus was not originally created as a man. He was God the Son who took on the appearance of a man so that he might share our experiences of temptation and of death. Then, He defeated death by experiencing it and rising from the dead. Thus making death ineffective, He released all those who suffered from death. Likewise, He destroyed Satanís power, which resides in death. But if people who die unsaved are going to be confined forever in a devilís hell, what could Hebrews 2:14-15 possibly mean?

16. Hebrews 10:12-13
12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

Jesusí death was brought on by the sin He Himself bore while on the crossósee Isaiah 53:11. His sacrifice was for all people and for all time.

It is difficult for us to understand, but Jesus gave His life once for all sins from the beginning to the end of time! As a result of that, He became the Savior of the whole worldóI John 4:14.

Some believers do not understand the unfolding of Godís purposes; therefore, they do not recognize the great power of His plan. His power to achieve salvation is The greater than our will or desire to sin! Whatever appears to be impossible with men is possible with GodóLuke 18:27.

Following His sacrifice and resurrection, Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father. There, He intercedes for us. Hebrews 10:12-13 is one of the many sections of the Bible in which we are reminded that all enemies will finally acclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior as they become part of His loyal footstool.

Psalm 110:1óThe LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool."

This passage shows that even those that presently reject Christ will someday be His faithful servants. We who have received faith now are known as Christís "body." Those who finally honor Him at the end could be called Christís "footstool" believers.

Romans 8:34bóWho is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

You may not "feel" saved. That is a problem with many good Christians. Dear Children, God is greater than your feelings.
I John 3:20óFor if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

17. James 1:18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

The greatest act of free will was when Christ came to earth to free us from the effects of the sin principle. In doing that He bought us out of spiritual darkness and into the Light of the Father. He brought us from the lies of Satan to the Truth of God.

As is pointed out, we who are believing in the Lord Jesus Christ now are a kind of (or type of) firstfruit. As we have seen, Jesus was the firstfruit of those who are to be resurrected. But, people who believe in Jesus during this life are just the firstfruits of those whom God is going to save. The others will come to Him through Christ later on.

Due to the absence of the definite article on the Greek text, the phrase, "the word of truth" may not represent Christ Jesus who is the Word of Truth. Instead, it calls to attention our resurrection that shall happen at the moment that we hear the call to rise. God has the absolute power to raise the dead at any moment He choosesósee John 5:25.

18. II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Godís promise is sure! All who repent will receive the benefits of that repentance right now. Those who do not receive faith in Christ now will come to Him in the end or "consummation."

This verse tells us openly what Godís desire is. God is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." Some believers think that God cannot carry out His will to save people if they exercise their own will against God during their short life on earth. But if there is no opportunity to repent and receive Christ after death, why did Peter say that the gospel is brought to the dead also (I Peter 4:6)? There are some verses, to be sure, that seem to say there can be no spiritual changes after death. In each case, however, these passages mean something different, as we hope to discuss in another booklet.

Instead of thinking no change is possible, they ought to think about the extent of Godís great power. Isaiah 46:10ó"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ĎMy counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.í"

From the beginning, God has had the power to declare how His plan would end. His counsel shall stand! The reason His counsel shall stand is that it does not depend on our concurrence, or free will. He shall do (perform) all He desires.

"Not willing" (Gr. mee bou1omenos-mh bou1omenoV) indicates that God does not intend that any should perish. In the Greek, this is not a vague desire on Godís part. It is a fixed intent! If it is not His intention for anyone to perish, it shall not happen!

Those who teach that Manís "free will" can forever overcome Godís divine will are thereby teaching that man is more powerful than God. Do you believe that?

The spiritual fact is that "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain" (Revelation 21:4) for God Himself said "Behold, I am making all things new..." and "these words are true and faithful" (Revelation 21:5).

19. I John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

The first part of I John 2:2 is preached in most Christian churches throughout the world. The second part of I John 2:2, however, is often denied, revised, rationalized, or simply neglected!

Consider this: If Jesus is the "propitiation" for our sins and the result is that we are forgiven, and He is also the propitiation for the sins of the world, will not all the others be forgiven, too? If they are not forgiven, wouldnít that mean that part of Jesusí ministry has failed? Do you believe that Jesus was a failure in any aspect of what He set out to accomplish?

There is a portion of scripture that many preach, but few believe; Romans 5:20bó"where sin abounded, grace abounded much more." Sin is no match for grace because grace is infinitely more powerful.

20. I John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Satan is the author of sin and rebellion, and he "has sinned from the beginning." The result of that rebellion was death.

This verse states explicitly that the purpose for which Jesus came into the world was to destroy the works of Satan. In order to destroy the works of Satan, Jesus must destroy death and the rebellion that leads to death. If billions of people were to remain forever in a "devilís hell," how would that fit with the fact that Satan will be rendered powerless and his work will be destroyed?

21. I John 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

This verse says that the Son [Jesus] is the Savior of the world. If He is indeed the Savior of the world, He must save the world. If any are left out, He cannot be the Savior of the world. Godís word cannot be recalled or broken. Isaiah 45:23ó"I have sworn by myself; the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear {allegiance} (NASB).

In conclusion, we are aware that people who champion the everlasting torment view interpret all of these passages, and other passages as well, to bring them into line with their beliefs. They will probably accuse us of having done the very same thing. However, the direct reading of these verses supports TURA.

We also realize that certain sections of our English Bible seem to say that Godís judgment of the unsaved will result in everlasting punishment in "hell." Other passages in the English translations seems to say that the moment of a personís death is their "last chance" to acknowledge Jesus Christ. In this booklet, we are sticking to a discussion of verses that support TURA. Perhaps in another booklet we will address the true meaning of Bible passages that are used to support the belief in the eternality of hell. Meanwhile, upon written request, we can supply the writings of other competent Bible scholars showing that these verses do not mean what they are touted to be saying.

22. Revelation 20:14óThen Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Does the Bible say that the first death shall fall victim to the second death? If that is true, and if the second death is then eliminated when Jesus destroys the works of Satan, then there must come a time when there is no death. That is exactly what the Bible says in Revelation 21:4 and I Corinthians 15:26. The idea that death is endless (eternal) is contrary to the teachings of the Bible!

Many of the passages that are mistakenly said to convey endless torment after judgment contain the words aion-aion and aionios-aionioV. The Greek word aion means a period of time, as does its English counterpart "eon." The Scriptures describe punishment as being aionios, which is the

adjectival form of aion. Aionios has no single English word corresponding to it, and so a series of words must be used to convey its meaning, such as: "pertaining to a period of time," "relating to a period of time," "pertaining to an eon," etc. The uncommon English adjectives "eonian" and "eonial" have been correctly used by some translators to replace "eternal," and "everlasting." The English words "eternal" and "everlasting" do not correspond to the Greek word aionios, and in fact, they convey a very different and largely unwarranted concept. It is correct and in keeping with the original text to say that Godís judgment and His chastening of lost individuals will involve one or more "ages" ahead. But, it is not biblical to assert that such punishment will be "eternal," "everlasting," or "forever."

The English word "Hell" also presents problems because it has been used to translate the Greek words "Geenna" and "Hades," neither of which signifies a place of unending torment or even separation from God. Geenna was (and eventually may be again) a garbage dump outside Jerusalem where the bodies of criminals were (and may be again) destroyed by fire and maggots. Hades is the "imperceptible," which is simply the domain or state of dead people. Christís use of Hades in the Lazarus parable was perhaps part of a teaching about the earthly future of believers (Lazarus) versus unbelieving Pharisees and other Christ-rejecters, typified by the rich man. As such, it was not given to establish a doctrine of never-ending torment after death. The Lake of Fire that is described several times in Revelation is a "second death," coming after the Great White Throne judgment. As with the first death, the second death shall also be swallowed up in victoryóI Corinthians 15:54.

Individual believers who so desire may still use the word "hell" to convey the fact that God will deal seriously in His corrective judgment.

23. Revelation 21:4-5
4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

This passage should be taken at face value as saying that God is really going to make all people new. But how do we square that with the prevailing belief that sin, death, and separation from God will face most of the people who ever lived? To solve that problem, numerous otherwise faithful Bible believers "revise" or "reinterpret" these verses to fit the false concept of eternal torment. They do this because, sad to say, they have decided that an everlasting "death" in the Lake of Fire is an important Christian doctrine that must be preserved, in spite of what Bible verses like Revelation 21:4-5 are saying.

Didnít Paul say that believers in Christ "sorrow not" like lost people who have no hope (I Thessalonians 4:13)? But if believers know that deceased, unsaved friends and loved ones are going to be tormented forever and ever, wouldnít they have even greater sorrow than unbelievers?

The only way there can be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain is for God, through Christ Jesus, to completely eliminate them. The only way He can do that is if all people come to Christ with repentant hearts. Do you believe that will happen?

The Bible says in several places that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11). Which is to be taken most seriously: Philippians 2:10-11 or human "doctrinal statements" that affirm eternal separation?

24. I Timothy 2:3-6
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

In verses 1-3 of I Timothy, Chapter two, Paul exhorts believers to pray for all mankind. One motive he lists for universal prayer arises from Godís sovereign will. God encourages prayer for all because He wills that all mankind be saved (verse 3) and that all come to the knowledge of the truth. As Peter put it, "GodÖis not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).

Human will opposes the truth of salvation because manís will is presently in bondage and God has locked them all up in disobedience (Romans 11:32). As we have seen, this will change when sin is "set aside" (Hebrews 9:26), and when the devilís works are all destroyed (I John 3:8). God welcomes prayers for all lost people because He, who is the Savior of the lost, wills ultimately to bring salvation to all (see Lamentations 3:31-33). That ultimate salvation of all is predicated on the sacrifice of Christ and the will of Godónot upon human works or manís willingness to believe. God has a plan (prothesis) and works all things according to the purpose of His will (Ephesians 1:11). Remember, all people have been consigned to disobedience (Romans 11:32) so He could be merciful to all.

When Paul says that God "desires" (Gr. thelo-qelo) the salvation of all men (v. 4), it is not a vague hope or well-intentioned desire, but a divine decree leading to a glorious universal future event in which God becomes all in all

(I Corinthians 15:28). Let the joyous message of I Timothy 2:3-4) be gladly embraced by all believers. It is central to understanding many aspects of Godís dealings with humans over the centuries.

The words of I Timothy 2:5-6 show that the man Christ Jesus became a ransom and that He gave Himself voluntarily as a mediator. God the Son was the only man who could have performed this mediatorial mission. There is another "acceptable" (but neglected) aspect of Christís gift, which ought also be affirmed: all people are finally included in redemption (v. 6). This redemption is effective for allónot only for believers who are the elect of the age. God wills all to be saved so Christ became the ransom for all. And Paul again notes that it will be "testified in due time." Let us be glad and extol our God for Christís great love, the parameters of which (i.e. width, length, depth, and height) surpass all human knowledge. (Ephesians 3:17-20)

25. I Timothy 4:9-11
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.
10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
11 These things command and teach.

At the beginning and at the end of I Timothy 4:9-l 1, there are salient statements about its supreme value. In verse 9, Paul asserts that these words are trustworthy and deserve widespread acceptance. This means that they are not to be opposed, doubted, or revised. He tells Timothy that the plain teaching of these truths demanded great personal effort on Paulís part and caused him to suffer defamation. Paul worked hard and endured reproach to affirm that the living God is the Savior of all men, not just certain men. Paul added, of course, that there is a special feature of salvation applicable only to those who believe now, but he does not suggest that the unique salvation of believers in any way negates, abolishes, or detracts from the ultimate salvation of all at a later time. It is "ultimate" because other Bible passages clearly teach that the reconciliation of non-believers will come after God has wrought wondrous changes in them by His chastening (pruning), bringing them at last to full knowledge of the truth in Christ.

Finally, Paul told Timothy to command (charge) and teach others about all this. Timothy was also supposed to relate these faithful sayings without apology and he was to proclaim boldly the salvation of all. Thus, all acceptation ought to be given to the fact that God is the Savior of all men.

TURA concepts should give us a more adequate understanding of our entire Christian walk. TURA ought to lead us to view individual Christians in a favorable light, even if they disagree on the finer points of doctrine and practice. TURA people will see every person (saved or lost) as a candidate for possible salvation now (if God so wills) and, at least, as one who will be reconciled to God in the consummation. This should give us more love and patience with all people.

Let us also be humble in the light of Church history. We who understand TLJRA are not the only ones who have been enlightened on this important subject. The apostles who wrote the New Testament obviously saw it, too, because TURA is brought up either directly or obliquely in most New Testament books. Undoubtedly, the belief was held by early Christians who sat under the apostlesí teaching and who passed it along to their disciples. Later, a large section of the Alexandrian Church adopted TURA. Whole Church bodies such as the Anabaptists and the German Baptists embraced is an article of faith. The history of the waxing and waning of an understanding of ultimate reconciliation has been well documented and reference works can be recommended.


TURA advocates should avoid doctrinal pitfalls. History shows that some believers in TURA took it out of perspective while at the same time they neglected other important biblical truths. They began to abandon such matters as the deity of Christ, the necessity of the blood atonement, and the inspiration of Scripture. Let us learn from their sad experience that our adversary can use almost any biblical truth taken out of perspective to distort the gospel. Some church denominations that teach TURA have now abandoned almost all other precious Bible truths! This was not caused by their belief in TURA, but by its abuse and by the neglect of other Bible subjects. Every word in the Bible about Godís wise judgment, wrath, and punishment will come to pass exactly as He has said. It is not our intent to detract in any way from these fearful statements. We simply say that the Bible shows Godís indignation to be temporary and corrective, not permanent and vindictive.

Let us be ready to absorb misdirected chastening from fellow believers who jump to the conclusion that the concept of ultimate reconciliation is a kind of "heresy" or false doctrine that neglects Godís judgment altogether and somehow detracts from the saving work of Christ. Although in error, they may be acting from a sincere desire to protect biblical truth. Some of us would have taken a similar stand before we were led to consult the original languages in place of faulty versions that introduced words such as everlasting, eternal, hell, etc. Remember that Paul himself faced some opposition to TURA as evidenced by his saying, ". . .to this end we both labor and suffer reproach..." (I Timothy 4:10). That phrase clearly ties in with Paulís teaching of TURA.

In summary, let us speak and write of this important subject as God enables. May we evangelize with TURA included because it is indeed part of the gospel, but may we avoid divisive controversy and argumentation over this subject lest we fall into a pugilistic attitude condemned by Paul in II Timothy 2:14 and 16. Let us befriend believers and non-believers alike, whether or not they express faith in the gospel and/or TURA. All people who currently reject Christ will, in the consummation, become Godís children. Remember that He is a faithful Creator. All people are objects of Christís sacrifice, and folk with whom we will praise Godóin the rapture or in the consummation. Please realize that many Christian people who reject TURA may otherwise fare quite well at the bema, having served God faithfully! Also know that some believers who balk at TURA now may accept and promote it sometime in the future. Some Christians hold a private belief in TURA, but do not make it a matter of public record for various reasons. And, perhaps most important of all is the fact that we can let Godís peace rule in our own hearts and lives to an extent otherwise impossible.

A great evangelical Bible teacher and Bible college administrator of the early 20th century had originally embraced TURA in his younger years. Then he rejected it and strongly opposed those who taught the reconciliation of all. In his later years, he confessed that it would be the happiest day of his life if he (once again) could accept the idea that all will ultimately find peace with God through Christ Jesus. Understanding this, may we become the happiest people, on earth as we praise God for all He has done. Remember that all of the following themes occur repeatedly in the Bible; people are not cast off from God forever, God delights in mercy, Christ is always the same, all will end up in Christ, God will become all in all, judgment is temporary, no one can be separated from God forever, sin will be destroyed, the devil will be rendered powerless, love endures all, tears will be abolished, death is not permanent, sin will be set aside, mercy endures forever, punishment is corrective, and Christís saving work was a total victory. Let our minds dwell on these truths.

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