Saviour of All Fellowship
Dear Friends in Faith,
It is our delight to greet you again as fellow believers in Christ Jesus Who came into the world to save sinners, and fellow relyers on the living God Who is the Saviour of all mankind.
Yet the question has come up: How can we be assured that, since Paul wrote to believers concerning the resurrection of the dead, he was including all mankind in 1 Corinthians 15:22-28? Or was he thinking only of all believers?
Just because Pauls letters are addressed to believers (arent they all?) is no reason for Paul not to tell us about what God is going to do with all mankind. The prophets in the Old Testament were written to the Jews, yet quite a lot of them are concerning the nations as well, even concerning their future blessings. The Scriptures speak of Christ being entombed among the wicked (Isa.53:9). That cannot be limited to believers. The scope of Scripture goes beyond the realm of the believer, both as to the effects of Adams sin and to the effects of Christs obedience.
The context of 1 Corinthians 15 is not restricted to believers. The dead of 1 Corinthians 15:20 cannot be confined to believers only. It refers to all who had died. Death comes through Adam (verses 20) and is called the last enemy in verse 26. That is a general truth, affecting everyone. Verse 22 does not contrast two different alls; it is the all who are dying is the same all who shall be vivified.
This is verified by Romans 5:18 and 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and 4:10 where the words all mankind are used.
In 1 Corinthians 15:23-26 there are three orders, or classes, of vivification, Christ, the Firstfruit, then those who are His in His presence (the believers), and then the consummation when death is abolished. It is only when there is no more death, not even the second death, and the Son Himself hands over the kingdom to His Father, that God becomes All in all. In no way should we limit these alls.
In Colossians Paul writes first concerning God reconciling all who at enmity with Him, all in the heavens and on the earth (Col.1:20). And then he speaks directly of the believers whom God reconciles NOW (Col.1:21,22). Similarly in the epistle to believers called Ephesians, Paul tells of all in the heavens and on the earth being headed up in Christ in the future, but
concerning the believers he says our lot was ALSO cast in Christ in this operation of God (Eph.1:10,11). Again, he wrote to the Philippian believers about our salvation in relation to what God is going to do with all who are presently not subjected to Christ (Phil.2:10-12).
A day of fellowship is scheduled on May 13 in Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario (phone: 519-745-3154 or 519-744-4844). We also wish to remind you of the Scripture conferences in Willard, Ohio, June 9-11 (phone: 419-752-0504, or 419-752-7383), and Grand Rapids, Michigan July 14-16 (phone: 616-457-2213).
One of our readers, Allan Chevrier, has written a book in novel form concerning the salvation of all mankind, under the title: Whatever Became of Melanie? It can be ordered through amazon.com (ISBN: 0-936389-96-6).
We are still working daily at the Hough Road farmhouse, while slowly continuing the moving process.
Yours in Gods grace and peace,
Dean Hough and Tony Nungesser
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P.O. Box 314,
Almont, MI 48003, U.S.A. 810-798-3563
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