Saviour of All Fellowship



Tom Logan proves that Universalism is just plain wrong. I wish there were more like Tom out there who are as astute as he.
Tom Logan wrote:

Frquently quoted as though teaching universalism is 1 Cor 15:27-28

28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. NASV

The question to ask however: is the immediate context one of salvation?
1 Cor 15:24-28
24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. NASV

1 Cor 15:24-28
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. KJV

No it is one of subjugation.
Words like; “destroy, abolish, subdue”
and phrases like;
“put all enemies under his feet,”
have no reference to salvation.
The Universalist is guilty of ignoring context here
Tom



Tony's reply:  On the surface, Tom's argument surely seems convincing, but if we dig a little deeper we will see his argument does not bring glory to God and is ignoring the context.
    Actually I would follow the Scriptures and say “it is one of subjection” rather than subjugation. But if Tom wants to use that term let us see what it means. “Subjugation” according to the The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition, 1985 is this:“1. to bring under dominion; subdue 2. To make subservient; enslave [ME subjugaten < Lat. subjugare l sub-, under + jugum, yoke”.]
    Is Christ's subjection to God in verse 28 the act of subjugation according to Tom's idea? If it is, what did Christ do so to merit such a horrible end?

And what about those three words Tom brings up: “destroy, abolish, subdue”? Is Tom correct that since these words are used, 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 cannot be about salvation? Let's look at each of these words in their context (which Tom accuses us of ignoring):

  • Destroy: “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Cor.15:26)
  • Abolish: “then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power” (1 Cor.15:24, NASV).
  • Subdue: “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Cor.15:28, KJV).

    The first word above, “Destroy” has to do with death. What is keeping mankind from having God all in them? Death. For God to be “All in all,” death must be destroyed. That's a good thing! Once death is destroyed, all mankind held by it at that time will come forth by the incredible miracle of life!
    The second word above, “abolish” has to do with “all rule, all authority and all power.” Again, this is a good thing. The sure mark that people are not subjected to God is when we see that they are being ruled over. The day that all rule and authority and power are abolished is the day when all are subjected to Christ and then God is All, not All in some but He is All in all!
    The third word: “subdue.” The word “subject” is used of the same Greek word. Is it such a horrible thing to be subject to Christ? Looky here: “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” (Eph.5:24). And what about being in subjection to the Father as well? “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Heb.12:9). It means life to be subjected to Christ and the Father. So we see the wonderful future here of all humans being subjected to Christ, Christ then subjecting Himself to the Father and then God being All in all. According to the context, this indeed does show salvation!

    I notice Tom used the KJV (King James Version) to uphold his position. But I notice the KJV does not even translate the Greek word [h]upotasso as “subject” in verse 27 where it is used twice. Instead they used the words “put under” and “subdued” when used of humanity in translating hupotasso, but when used of Christ they used the word “subject.” They translated it as “subject” only once in verse 28 where it should have been translated twice as well. This is important because it leads the reader of the KJV (and Tom's article) to think that what happens to mankind is not the same as what happens to Christ in His subjection to God. It leads the reader to think that what happens to mankind is wholly negative, yet what happens concerning Christ subjecting Himself to God is wholly unlike what happens to humanity.
Here is verse 27 and verse 28 in a much more faithful translation:
27 For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him. 28 Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all. (Concordant Literal New Testament)
    Also, just a brief note on the NASV Bible Tom quotes before the KJV is that they use the word “things” that will be subjected to Christ. Are people “things”? Is God going to be All in all “things”?

    Please notice in verses 27 and 28 that the very same word “subject” is used for the subjection of all mankind to Christ. This is the very same word used for Christ subjecting Himself to God. If the subjection of all mankind is such a horrible thing, as one can only gather from what Tom has written, then we must conclude that the subjection of Christ to God is just as horrible. I wonder if Tom would think that Christ is a subjugated enemy of God; Must Christ be destroyed and put under God's feet? Away with such theology!
    Also, let's look again at what Tom wrote concerning this passage. He wrote:

“No it is one of subjugation.
words like; “destroy, abolish, subdue”
and phrases like;
“put all enemies under his feet,”
have no reference to salvation.”

Tony's reply:
    I would say that the destruction and abolishment is not concerning the humans in view but of those things which are keeping the humans from being subjected to Christ. For instance, is death a human? Death surely is an enemy to humanity, which is keeping them from being subjected to Christ. Things like “sin” and “death” are enemies to humanity in keeping them from subjection to Christ. Those enemies need to be abolished. They need to be destroyed. How can the rest of humanity be subjected to Christ when they are held in unconsciousness by the second death? “God is not the God of the dead but of the living,” Jesus said. For God to be “All in all” mankind, then all enemies, such as death that are keeping them from God's goal of being All in all, must be abolished and destroyed. Therefore, while I would agree that the destruction and abolishment does not have reference to salvation to those things which are destroyed and abolished such as “death,” I would say that it surely does have reference to salvation to all humans held by those things. Those things must be abolished and destroyed, not the humans.
    This brings glory to God. It brings glory to Christ. The whole context of 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 shows us that God has given Christ the ability to abolish and destroy and conquer all which is keeping humanity, all of humanity, from God being All in all. It shows us that Christ will rule so perfectly in the universe that He will rule out all rule. He will subject all mankind to Himself. They will be placed, according to my dictionary mentioned above: “Under the power or authority of another.” Then when Christ is subject to God, He and the vast train of humanity are brought “Under the power or authority of another,” namely: God. Is that so bad? No! It is great! It is Good news! It is wonderful news that should bring a smile to the most hardened hearts rather than a scowl! Let us rejoice in what God is doing and will yet do! Let us rejoice in God’s grand goal to be All in all!

    Also, as a final note, the grand climax of 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 is verse 28. It is stated in this grand apex of Paul's thought:
“Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.)”

    Please notice the word “that.” This small four letter word is an abbreviated way of saying “so that.” In other words, all that goes before in verses 22-28 is so that God may be All in all. The “may” of verse 28 is not the “may” of doubt but is the may of subjunctivness. Here is a good way of explaining a subjunctive: I have a pen in my hand. I loose my grip on the pen so that it may be falling. The falling of the pen is dependent upon what goes before, namely, me letting go of the pen. It will surely fall once that which it is dependent upon its falling comes to pass. Thus also, God becoming All in all humans will come to pass once everything occurs in verses 22-28.
Now my question for Tom would be this: What good would it be for the humans to be under a horrible subjection, or as Tom says "subjugation," while at the same time God is all in them? These humans will be walking in perfect love and will be revealing in their lives in perfection the fruit of the spirit. Does it make any sense to believe as Tom does or as the one who believes in eternal torment? What good would it be to the human to be in eternal torment while at the same time God is all in them?

Tom wrote: The universalist is guilty of ignoring context here.

Tony's reply: Oh, uh, O.K.

Tony Nungesser

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