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Does the Bible say we are all saved? (08/15/2004)
From: Carl J. Iverson


Recently, a letter appeared in this column instructing us that the Bible says we are all saved. This needs further investigation because we don't want to be deceived concerning such an important and crucial doctrine.

The verse used for this conclusion was: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Tim 2:4 (KJV). In that letter we were instructed that the words "will have" in the Greek, thelo, (2309 in the Strong's Greek Dictionary), contains the idea of decision. And whatever God wills or decides must be because of God's very nature.

The Strong's definition for thelo is: 1) to will, have in mind, intend; 1a) to be resolved or determined, to purpose; 1b) to desire, to wish; 1c) to love; 1cl) to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; 1d) to take delight in, have pleasure.

Appendix 102 of the Companion Bible states: "Thelo means to wish or desire, and is the emotional element which leads to the consequent action."

Green's Interlinear Bible translates thelo in 1 Tim 2:4 as "desires" and his literal translation of this verse is: "who desires all men to be delivered, and to come to a full knowledge of truth."

One might say that this discussion only proves that you can interpret the Bible to say anything you want. This might be true if doctrine is formulated using one verse. But we need to understand that all doctrine must be consistent throughout the Word of God. When it appears to be inconsistent, then we are in error somewhere. So, where else does the Word of God tell us if all will be saved or not?

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. Rev 2:11 (KJV)

7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Rev 21:7-8 (KJV)

The first death is the death of the flesh. The second death is the death of the soul.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 and the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev 20:5-10 (KJV)

How many are not saved? ‘...the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.'

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Rev. 20:11-15 (KJV)

28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt 10:28 (KJV)

Bibliography: Bible Explorer Software Version 2.0 CD,. www.epiphanysoftware.com

* Bible - King James Version

* Concordance - Dr. James Strong

The Interlinear Bible Hebrew-Greek-English with Strong's Concordance Numbers, Jay P. Green Sr., Sovereign Grace Publishers, Lafayette, IN 47903, 1986

The Companion Bible, King James Version, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI 59401, 1990 


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