Saviour of All Fellowship
January 2004

Dear Friends in Faith,
     Despite the fact that the doctrine of everlasting misery in hell has been widely taught and accepted among Christians, there have been and continue to be many who see its basic antagonism with the gospel of God’s grace. We are collecting some scripturally-based challenges to the traditional idea from the past which should speak to all who wish to honor Jesus Christ and the significance of His death for sinners. Here is one from an English translation of a French work from the early 18th century (the writer was preparing the reader for his comments on Romans 5:12-19):
     “It is certain that, of all the people in the universe, there are none who consign so many to damnation as those do who profess Christianity. The knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of mankind, ought [rather] to lead them to draw consequences from it, altogether contrary to [this] . . . .

“Let us suppose . . . that God, moved, not by the misery of men, as is commonly alleged, but by the desire of glory, the sole object worthy of his actions, has, from his goodness and gratuitous mercy, sent to men a Redeemer, the antitype of Adam, and who has power for good, with respect to men, as Adam had power for evil; so that as Adam is the father of sinners, Jesus Christ is the father of the just. Adam was for all men the source of evil, Jesus Christ is for all men the source of good. These two then must be looked on as the general syndics [agents] of all human nature.” -Pierre Cuppe, Heaven Open to All Men, 1733, p.4,8.

The following is from a message board. The man (Eliezar) is from a Bible college and is replying to my signature which has 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 showing God will save all mankind. This signature appears at the bottom of every post I make on the message board.
     This is Tony’s signature: 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 All mankind given immortality, subjected to Christ and God All in all mankind.

Eliezar states concerning this:
Ah, yes . . . Tony’s signature . . . it is not as solid as you may think. The word in the Greek translated as “subjected” is a military term. It denotes nothing about a change in relationship. Nothing about reconciliation, nothing about wrath being turned away. It could even be argued that at times it is the expression of wrath. An army subjects its enemies by destroying them, by punishing them. It is the word that is used when the Roman Empire exercised the Pax Romana against cities in revolt against them. They completely destroy the city. There was a city in the location of Phillipi that I believe experienced this subjection by the Roman Empire. It took a decree by the Caesar I believe if I remember correctly to enable it to be rebuilt and it was renamed in His honor . . . Caesar Phillipi. The Phillipi, Paul evangelized, was built on the ruins of this previous city. So taking the sense in which the culture understood the word and is used elsewhere in Greek, the fact that God subjects all mankind is not such . . . how can I put it . . . good news. It is glorifying to him . . . but to those being subjected it is not good news. Subjection does not equal submission. Subjection is forced, Submission is voluntary. Subjection does not reconcile one to the subjector. It puts an end to rebellion.

Tony’s reply: The problem with Eliezar’s idea is that if you take it to its logical conclusion, since in 1 Corinthians 15:22-28, believers are subjected to Christ and all mankind are subjected to Christ and Christ is subjected to God, according to Eliezar’s logic, this subjection is not . . . how can I put it . . . good news. To those subjected to God it is not good news. Christ and the believers and all mankind are forced into this subjection (according to Eliezar' reasoning). It, according to Eliezar, puts an end to Christ’s rebellion, the believer’s rebellion and the rebellion of all mankind . . . that is if you take Eliezar’s idea to its logical conclusion. He is using false reasoning that, since at times subjection by Roman forces of its enemies was not good, we must take that idea and bring it into this passage of the Bible.

Yours in God’s grace and peace,
Dean Hough and Tony Nungesser

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