Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
October 7, 1997
Last Updated :
March 3, 2018
Universality Of God's Invitation To Salvation, Take God's Message Of Salvation To All Men, Christ Will Draw All Men, Believe In And Accept Jesus Christ And Be Made Righteous, Parable Of The Wedding Feast, Predestinated And Chosen By God, God The Father And Jesus Are A Package Deal, Jesus Is The Only Way And The Door To The Father, Exclusive Nature Of False Churches And Cults, The Religious Elitist Clubs, Salvation Is Universal Free Gift, Suggested Reading List
A number of years ago, I discovered that within Christendom, there appears to be a certain body of Believers who have the erroneous notion that God's invitation to Salvation is not liberally extended to all people everywhere. Given the many Scriptures which show the exact opposite, I am surprised to learn that such a unbiblical belief even exists within the Body of Christ. The only conclusion at which I can arrive, is that either those Christians who hold to this view are not aware of certain passages in the Bible, or else they have put on spiritual blinders, and they are knowingly rejecting these verses, because they happen to go against their pet doctrine of exclusiveness. One of the very first verses which comes to my mind is one with which many of you will already be quite familiar. Consider the following:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16, KJV
Please notice that God has chosen to manifest His Love to the world -- meaning everyone -- and not just to some select body of human beings. It is right after this that we see human free will coming into play when the Apostle John writes "that whosoever believeth". That is very clearly an invitation to everyone everywhere. Anyone who chooses to believe in the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ can receive Eternal Life, and not just some specialized group of people. This leads right into another verse which also shows the free will nature of God's wonderful Salvation Plan:
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
John 1:12, KJV
Again we see that God's loving invitation is open to anyone who will receive Jesus as their Savior. "But as many as received Him" John informs us. Only five verses before, John also wrote the following where he says "all men":
"The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe."
John 1:7, KJV
Clearly then, it is God's desire that all men everywhere repent of their sins, and accept the Sacrifice of His Son as the only valid Atonement for their sins. Consider what the Apostle Peter also tells us in his second Epistle:
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
2 Peter 3:9, KJV
Notice again that this verse states "that all should come to repentance". This does not mean that this is what is going to happen, but it is the ideal condition that God seeks after. However, as I have said before, during this current period of Grace, God will not force Himself upon any man. If we accept Him and His Son, it must be by our own free will and loving choice. It must also be because we truly realize and accept our sinful condition, and our need for a Savior. God's Love and longsuffering towards all men is also expressed in the following three Scriptures:
"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"
Romans 2:4, KJV
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8, KJV
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,"
1 Peter 1:3, KJV
Based on the Scriptural evidence I have presented thus far, how can anyone possibly doubt God's Love towards us, and His desire to share His Heavenly Kingdom with us? While Jesus was on Earth, He made it quite clear that His Sacrifice was for the Redemption of all men, IF they would only believe. Consider this verse, for example:
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
John 12:32, KJV
When the Apostle Paul stood on Mars Hill in Athens and preached to the Greeks, he likewise told them that God was calling all men everywhere to repent, as we can determine by this verse:
"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:"
Acts 17:30, KJV
As the Apostle Peter found out in the Book of Acts, God is not a respecter of persons. He doesn't go around saying "You can be saved, but you can't". Again, His invitation is meant for everyone, regardless of where they are from, as we see by the following verse:
"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:"
Acts 10:34, KJV
In his Epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul also spent a great deal of time explaining that, inasmuch as the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ is concerned, and the Salvation which that same Sacrifice offers, God makes absolutely no difference between any man. All of us are sinners in need of Salvation, as we see here:
"For there is no respect of persons with God."
Romans 2:11, KJV
This very same thought regarding the universality of God's call to repentance and Salvation is supported in some of the other Epistles as well, as is clearly demonstrated by the following three verses:
"And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him."
Ephesians 6:9, KJV
"But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors."
James 2:9, KJV
"And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:"
1 Peter 1:17, KJV
When Paul was testifying before the crowd on the steps of the castle after his arrest in Jerusalem, he told them of his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus. While explaining how Ananias had come by the Lord's command to heal his eyes, Paul quotes Ananias as saying the following. Notice again the phrase "unto all men":
"For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard."
Acts 22:15, KJV
This is exactly what the Apostle Paul did too. After the hard-hearted Jews had rejected the message of Salvation, he took that same message to the Gentile nations, and did one fine job of it. He is one fellow I look forward to meeting in person someday. Isn't this also exactly what Jesus told the The Twelve to do at the end of the Gospel of Mark? Here we see it yet again:
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15, KJV
Please notice that Jesus didn't say to just take the Gospel to the Jews alone, or to this group of people, or to that particular race. He said to go into ALL the world. This very same idea is also reflected in the first chapter of the Book of Acts where we find the following verse:
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV
In his Epistle to the brethren at Rome, the Apostle Paul was explaining how sin had entered into the world by one man; that man, of course, being Adam. But then Paul goes on to tell the brethren that just as condemnation entered into the world by the actions of one man, so too, God's free Gift of Eternal Life is made available to all men by the Blood of Jesus Christ, as we see by this verse:
"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."
Romans 5:18, KJV
Later on in his first Epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul also makes mention of the fact that it is God's desire that all men come to the knowledge of the Truth, so that they might be saved through belief in that same Truth, as we see here:
"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
1 Timothy 2:3-4, KJV
Two chapters later in this same Epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul adds the following remark:
"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."
1 Timothy 4:10, KJV
Notice Paul's inference to free will in the previous verse. While Jesus is indeed the Savior of all men everywhere, it is only those people who accept Him as such to whom Eternal Life is granted. Jesus taught this same principle in His Parable of the Wedding Feast. While the offer of Salvation is indeed offered to all men, the only way we can obtain it is by being clothed in a garment of righteousness; and that righteousness is the Blood of Jesus Christ. Consider the following set of verses:
"Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen."
Matthew 22:8-14, KJV
Notice how the Parable of the Wedding Feast ends with the words "For many are called, but few are chosen." Does this mean that God has only purposely chosen some people while rejecting others? This is not how I understand it. This would totally negate personal choice in this matter. The reason why the man in the above Parable was not chosen is because he tried to sneak into the wedding feast without accepting Christ first. He had not been made righteous.
It is just like people who try to sneak over or under a fence at a sporting event without buying a ticket. Or like people who try to sneak into a movie theater without paying the admission price first. In this case, Jesus has already paid the price with His Blood; so all we have to do is to accept His Sacrifice. In this Parable, this man was kicked out because he wanted to enjoy the benefits of the Kingdom of Heaven without honoring or accepting the Captain of his Salvation who made it possible for us. Consider this verse which is found in the Epistle to the Hebrews:
"For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."
Hebrews 2:10, KJV
As I explain in other articles, this is the true meaning of being chosen by God. I believe that God chooses us because He knows well in advance -- in fact, from the foundation of the world -- that at the right time, we will choose Him through our faith and belief in the loving Sacrifice of His dear Son. This is what being predestinated and chosen is all about, in my view. Consider the following verses:
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Romans 8:29, KJV
"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love . . . Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will . . . In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:"
Ephesians 1:4-5, 11, KJV
"But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:"
2 Thessalonians 2:13, KJV
"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
2 Timothy 2:4, KJV
"Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?"
James 2:5, KJV
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
1 Peter 2:9, KJV
"These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful."
Revelation 17:14, KJV
As I was explaining earlier, I believe that God chooses us because He knows that we will eventually choose Christ at some point in our lives. And, by choosing Christ, we are in fact choosing the Father as well, because they are a package deal. Thus, Jesus states the following in the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew:
"He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me."
Matthew 10:40, KJV
This concept works in reverse as well, such as in the case of the unbelieving Jews, Muslims and anyone else who foolishly rejects Jesus Christ. In other words, we cannot say that we believe in God, while at the same time we deny the Sacrifice of His Son. After all, Jesus was not only sent by His Father, but He was His Father's emissary and representative on Earth as well. It would be similar to recognizing an ambassador at the United Nations, while refusing to recognize the national leader who sent him. This is why Jesus explains in the Gospel of Matthew that there are few people who find the path to Eternal Life, as we see by these verses:
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Matthew 7:13-14, KJV
We Christians know that Jesus is that Narrow Way, and the only Door to the Father. If we don't go through that Door, then we simply don't go to the Father. We have no access to Heaven. We were scanned at the entrance of the Great City, and found to be still unrighteous and full of sin, just like the man in the Parable of the Wedding Feast. Consider the following verses which verify this point:
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6, KJV
"Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity."
Luke 13:24-27, KJV
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
John 10:1-9, KJV
Tragically, most people want to make their own conditions for Salvation, instead of accepting God's conditions, which are really quite simple: Just believe in Jesus and accept Him as Atonement for your sins!
In summation, considering the preponderance of Scriptural evidence which I have provided in this discourse, it should be clear to anyone reading this article, that Christianity is not some kind of a closed religion which is meant only for white people, or Westerners. Likewise, it is not the false religion you find in certain churches, religious cults, and other questionable organizations which falsely teach that one must belong to their organization, or one must attend their church, or one must embrace the odd teachings of their cult leader, in order to truly be saved, or to truly be serving God. That is all nonsense, as well as a control mechanism.
As many of you will know, this is precisely what the Roman Catholic Church teaches with their "one true faith" motto, for example. They say that the "holy mother church" is the only one who can forgive sins and grant Salvation to the faithful. What an abominable lie of Satan! This is the very thing these Scriptures speak against. That is, a private club of elite religionists. That kind of talk is absolutely ludicrous, and totally contrary to the Scriptures. It is in fact usurping the Power and Authority which belongs to Jesus Christ alone. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith, and no one else, as we see by the following verse:
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2, KJV
In conclusion, Eternal Life is the free Gift of God which is offered to ALL men the whole world over, IF they will only believe. If a person does not belong to God's Kingdom, it is because they have chosen not to belong by their own free will. After all, as we have clearly seen, this invitation to enter God's Kingdom is universal in scope, and is available to everyone everywhere. In the end, those people who do not make it through the doors will have no one to blame but themselves and their own rebellious pride. The Lord extends His offer of Salvation to you. Will you accept it?
With these thoughts I will bring this article to a close. I hope that you have found it informative, and I pray that it has been a blessing and an inspiration in your life. If you have enjoyed reading this article, please consider sharing its URL with your online friends. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr or any other social network, I would also appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information and further study, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this article, or which are related to the topics which were discussed in this article. All of them are also located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server:
All Are Given a Chance, But . . .
Not Everyone is a Child of God
Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen
Marriage of the Lamb
Message to the World
Salvation is Free Through Jesus Christ