Saviour of All Fellowship
May 2003

Dear Friends in Faith,
    We recently received a letter from a brother in England, who asked: “Is it in God’s plan that ultimate reconciliation not be taught in the ‘church’ today, i.e., Origen believed in ‘the doctrine of reserve’ whereby only the spiritually mature were taught ultimate reconciliation–the immature and young in the faith were taught ‘eternal’ punishment?”
    Whatever Origen thought, it is clear to us that Paul said teachers like Timothy should charge and teach that God is the Saviour of all mankind, and that He is especially so of the believer (1 Tim.4:9-11). Once truth is revealed in God’s Word it is to be taught. It may be that God has not opened up the truth of universal reconciliation (Col.1:20) to many people’s understanding, but once it is seen it ought to be taught without reserve.
Tony writes on this matter, as follows:
    I wrote a short letter to my brother Mark, who lives in France, concerning God saving all mankind and Paul’s counsel that we should be “charging and teaching these things” per 1 Timothy 4:11. This is part of his response: “Tony, thanks for your list of support for your argument. I am putting together a response but will take a moment. Please have patience with me. This is not the sort of time-consuming thing I enjoy doing because I see it is a diversion from what I am supposed to be doing. Bring people closer to The Lord is our calling and not the proliferation of ‘inoculation’ from a feeling of the need to repentance, which is how I see your theology.”
    I have not responded to Mark yet but this is what I am thinking: So should we be disobedient to God and teach that “God wills that all mankind not be saved, and that “God is not the Saviour of all mankind, just of the believer”? And by teaching this, we should get them to repent? I would think that teaching God’s goodness, love and kindness to mankind is what causes them to adjust their thinking and thus have a change of mind concerning God. Teaching people wrongly that God is going to fry people for gazillions of years, should they not repent, seems to me actually to have the opposite effect of what Mark wants. It causes people to blaspheme God and makes a mockery of God’s love and causes people to not have a change of heart.
    We can’t improve on Paul’s “Grace to you and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ” as our greeting. Grace and peace is what we all need, and grace and peace is what God gives in giving His Son to us as our Saviour and Lord.
    To begin this month, we enjoyed a good day of fellowship on the 3rd with Phil Scranton tracing the theme of light and glory from God in times of darkness and chaos; T.M. opening up new insights into Ephesians; and Tony sharing thoughts from Romans 9-11 regarding God as God. Our next conference will be in Willard, Ohio, June 13-15.

Yours in His Grace,
Dean Hough and Tony Nungesser


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