When we are raising our children we make it very clear to them: NO means NO, we ask them the question; what part of the word NO don’t you understand, if they persist in their behaviour. Thus emphasising the seriousness of the word NO.
But what about the word ALL.
Religiously there is a lot of confusion concerning the word ALL.
Does it really mean ALL. Or does it mean ALL but not really ALL? As some churches would explain it, and thereby exclude the people from their fellowship who don’t fit the bill, or who don’t fit in their doctrine or dress code. Or are we talking about the people who didn’t live in the ‘known world’ as per the first century (where there was no internet or tv). Or even the ‘chosen few’ as per election in predestination, but not ALL people.
What about the unbeliever you might ask. They surely are not included in ALL, they are not going to heaven but will be going to hell instead if they don’t come over to the right side. We have been taught if you don’t give your heart to the Lord, if you have not made a decision, raised your hand etc. you have missed it and hell awaits you.
But is that what the Bible teaches? NO! It teaches: ALL means ALL.
All of humanity, ALL of your family, ALL of your neighbours, ALL of the people in your town, island, country and beyond, to the very end of the world. All are God’s offspring made in his image and likeness (Gen 1:26). All have followed Adam onto this slippery slope by believing the lie of satan and therefore alienated themselves from God in their own minds. God did not change but humanity did. When Jesus came to set the captives free from the lie, He awakened us to our true self again. The realisation of who we really are, the never-changed sons of God.
All included in God’s Love and His Redemption. There are many bible verses which show exactly that.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NASB), “For the love of God controls us, having concluded this, that one (Jesus) died for all (humanity) therefore all (humanity) died; and He died for all, so that those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose on their behalf. He reconciled the world to himself as vs 19 says. But why then is there so much confusion? Are we trying to limit God and thereby giving satan more credit than he deserves, saying wholeheartedly ‘In Adam we have all fallen into sin of believing the lie’, but in Christ only a few (not all) can be saved’. But 1 Timothy 4:10 (JB Philips translation) points out that, “We place our whole confidence in the living God, the saviour of all men, and particularly of those who believe in him”. These convictions should be the basis of your instruction and teaching. Here we can make the distinction; “particularly of those who believe”. They recognise the blessings, they recognise his grace, they live in the presence or awareness of him who lives in us and we in him. Why not want to experience every blessing, spiritual or natural, God has given us (Eph. 1:3) – now! And why not share this good news with each other. Or do we let people struggle through life in their ignorance of who they are in God, dearly loved by Him, His offspring and part of His body. Or are we keeping quiet about it and thereby unknowingly making a separation between us and them?