Mark Haukaas comments on yesterday’s “NO VERSE NEEDED FOR THE SALVATION OF ALL”

Mark Haukaas wrote… 3 hours ago
That’s a great point, Ace. May I take it a step further? The fact that there is one God and that God is one demands the salvation of all. At least, that’s the way it seems to me. Paul seems to say as much in Rom 3:29–30 (Concordant Literal): “Or is He the god of the Jews only? Is He not of the nations also? Yes, of the nations also, if so be that God is One, Who will be justifying the Circumcision out of faith and the Uncircumcision through faith.” What do you think?



Ace, your comment about the one God got me thinking down a new path. Here are some preliminary thoughts, a sketch on a napkin. I hope you don’t mind a lengthy riff on what you’ve written. I needed to see for myself what you’re getting at.

If we did not have scriptures on the salvation of all as Paul gives (e.g., Rom 5:18–19; 1 Tim 4:10; 1 Cor 15:22–28), we could still stand in the fact that God is one and therefore is the Savior of all. The Israelites made the Shema (“Yhwh is one”) foundational to their faith (Deut 6:4), so it formed the confession of their faith. Jesus affirmed Deut 6:4 as the great and first commandment (Matt 22:34–40).

The Shema, however, did not serve to isolate Israel as a holy nation to exist in perpetual antipathy to the nations of the world, which were polytheists. Rather, Israel, as the people of the one true God, Israel was to function as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exod 19:6). In other words, a central part of calling of Israel was to function as intermediaries for the nations, acting as examples and teachers of the one true God. Israel failed in its calling, rejecting its Messiah. Israel’s calling as that holy nation is held in abeyance until they are saved at the Second Coming, when the Rescuer comes to turn away irreverence from Jacob (Rom 11:25–27).

Despite Israel’s unfaithfulness, God remained faithful. God raised up the only faithful Israelite, Jesus of Nazareth, the ideal Israel, out of the realm of the dead, vindicating his calling as the Messiah of Israel (Acts 3:13–26; 1 Tim 3:16). However, the Sanhedrin rejected the testimony of Peter. However, as Stephen’s address shows, Israel as a nation persisted in unbelief after its betrayal and murder of Jesus, the Righteous One (Acts 7:51–53).

Then, in one of history’s greatest ironies, God raised up Saul of Tarsus, the Jewish blasphemer, to be an apostle, an envoy, to the nations (1 Tim 1:13; Rom 11:13). From a human perspective, in taking this radical turn, God was showing that he is sovereign in all his dealings with humanity. In fact, from a divine perspective, all was proceeding according to God’s plan.

Prophetically proclaiming this plan, over 700 years before Jesus began his ministry as a servant to confirm the patriarchal promises (Rom 15:8), Isaiah proclaimed concerning the servant of Yhwh: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isa 49:6, ESV). In a logic that belongs to God’s hidden wisdom (1 Cor 2:7), Paul applies to this scripture to his ministry with Barnabas (Acts 13:47). Jesus was uniquely the servant of God, but God made Paul and Barnabas the servants of God and inheritors of this promise.

Immersed in the Hebrew scriptures and appointed to know God’s will, to see the Righteous One, to hear his voice, and to be a witness for Christ (Acts 22:14–15), Paul knew the intrinsic logic of God being one and therefore being the God of the Jews and the nation and God’s ultimate justification of both groups (Rom 3:29–30; 5:18–19).

If we make Paul’s reasoning of monotheism as salvation of all explicit, it appears to be a universal syllogism. All people are creatures of the one God. All the nations are people. Therefore all the nations are creatures of the one God. Put another way, God created all things in Christ at the start, and nothing will ever exist outside of Christ (Col 1:16). In terms of an analogy, the acorn becomes the oak tree. The planting of Christ, the last Adam, in death is death for all, who are to live for God (2 Cor 5:15).

When Christians insist on proofs for the salvation of all in the face of the abundance of scriptural evidence, they act as the some of the Pharisees and Sadducees did in Jesus’ day when they wanted a sign from heaven (Matt 16:1; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16). In this time of the proclamation of the transcendent grace of God (2 Cor 9:14), a sign from heaven has been given: the appearance of the Christ of glory to Saul of Tarsus, who is to be “a pattern of those who are about to be believing on Him for life eonian” (1 Tim 1:16, CLNT). If Christ can turn around and save the worst blasphemer of all, the salvation of all is a fait accompli.

To persist in promulgating the Trinitarian dogma that God is three in one, Christians are setting themselves to be the enemies of the God they claim to worship because this false doctrine destroys the good news of the salvation of all inherent in the truth that God is one. Worse yet, in saying that this God consigns most of humanity to eternal torment, Christians have inverted the plan of the eons in Christ (Eph 3:11)a. The only remedy for this apostasy is eschewing heresy, but most Christians will persist in the delusion and find their cherished religion destroyed during the Great Tribulation.

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