Luke 3:6 And all flesh will see the salvation of God.’”
This passage says, “All flesh will see the salvation of God.” Does that mean, like a couple of well known Christian leaders proclaim, that there is no hell and all will be saved? Or could it be proclaiming something totally different?
To read universal salvation in this passage is to close your eyes to the rest of what is said. Verse 7 speaks of coming wrath. Verse 9 speaks of those that don’t produce good fruit being “thrown into the fire”. Certainly this is not saying everyone will be saved. It says everyone will see the salvation of God. So what, or more specifically, Who is the salvation of God? Obviously that is the Messiah. This passage simply says all flesh will see Jesus, who is the salvation of God.
Why are some, even leaders in the church, being deceived into the old heresy that there are no eternal consequences for rebellion against a Holy God?
The idea of no hell certainly is appealing. It makes God small enough for me wrap my brain around Him and understand His judgments. I like that. “After all,” these false teachers say, “how could a loving God allow anyone to go to hell.”
While reducing God to fit in my back pocket is comforting it means He is no longer big enough to be God. Let’s look at this from another perspective.
The question is not how could a loving God send anyone to hell, rather how can a just God save any of us from it? Just like you, God is not one dimensional. He can be happy and sad, loving and just. If God sent everyone of us to hell none of us could accuse Him of being unjust. We would only be getting what we deserve. None of us deserve an eternity in His presence. We all deserve rejection and separation because we have rejected Him and chosen to submit ourselves as servants to our sinful nature. In fact, to truly be loving He must be just. A judge who would release a brutal, unrepentant murderer back onto the streets would be neither loving nor just.
As horrific as this truth is, Scripture is clear, there are eternal consequences for rejecting His offer of salvation and this passage promises all will be given that offer (even those who have not heard in this lifetime will see Jesus) yet those who reject Him will most certainly be cut down and thrown into the fire. Our proper response is not to try to decide, from our limited perspective, if God is just in doing what Scripture plainly says He will do to the unrepentant. Our proper response is what John the Baptist did in this passage, warn others of “the coming wrath.” Yes, Love wins and the rebellious are destroyed.
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Romans 11:33-34 (NIV)
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”