savior of all

“The Savior of All People” — How?

God is, by nature, a Savior. In Hosea 13:4 and Isaiah 43: 3, 11, as well as other places, we see God asserting that He alone is God and that besides Him, there is no Savior.

In 1 Timothy 4:10, we read, “For to this end we toil and strive because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” Now, before we talk about the word “especially” in that verse, let’s digest what comes before it. How is God the “Savior of all People?” Does this mean “Universalism?” No, it cannot mean Universalism because that would clearly violate so many other scriptures, such as Matthew 25:41–46 and Revelation 20:11–15.

Eternal punishment for man was not the plan that God had in mind. Remember, God is the author of life, not death. Our progenitor, Adam, is the author of death. Yet our all-knowing God, in eternity, originated a plan of salvation from death for man. Most people, however, will reject His plan and will, therefore, spend eternity in Hell. But this is not the “salvation” mentioned in our question.

Are you breathing God’s good air? Does the rain fall upon your fields or garden? Did the sun rise for you today? The answer to all of these questions is “Yes!” but not just for you but for everyone else, too! 

As we contemplate this, let’s consider the word “especially” in 1 Timothy 4:10. The text requires this word to mean that ALL people enjoy God’s salvation in some way, a way that is being compared to another way that those who believe in God also experience. So, two types of salvation are implied here: one temporal and one eternal.

Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 9:11 that though the winnings usually go to those who have the advantage, this is not always the case because “Time and chance happens to all men!” Consider this also with Matthew 5:43–45. God blesses (i.e. saves) people every day in these temporal ways, the good people and the bad people. Notice also how Jesus asks the question here, do you want to be the sons of your father who is in heaven? Then He shows us the way, Don’t just love those who love you! Your Father in Heaven showers His love and salvation upon the evil and the good, the just and the unjust. So, be just like your Father!

Here’s the thing: ALL people, whether or not they believe in God, experience His salvation in the temporal sense, while those who believe also experience His salvation in the eternal sense.

Recently, I noticed that up in the sky our national bird was flying. To the person with me (a co-worker) I said, “See the eagle?” He said, “WOW! That is SO cool!” I said, “Yes it is, Hallelujah, Amen!” If you are with me at such a time, you will hear me “hootin’ and hollerin’” and loudly proclaiming God’s praises. I won’t go into detail here, but if you happen to see my wife, you can ask her about how excited I get if I see a flock of snow geese. The point is, show no restraint in acknowledging the Almighty for his wondrous works! You will not influence anyone for the LORD by being a grouch; it won’t happen if you don’t talk to them! And it won’t happen if you are suspicious of them!

God extends His common grace to everyone every day (see Psalm 145:9; Acts 14:15 – 17; 17:25).  He also graciously extends his loving salvation daily by:

  • Restraining sin by giving all men a conscience (Romans 2:15)
  • Withholding judgment (Romans 2:3-6) 
  • Ordaining government (Romans 13:1–5)
  • His compassion: the broken-hearted love of pity which He shows to undeserving, unrepentant, unregenerate sinners (see Exodus 34:6, 7; Psalms 86:5; Daniel 9:9; Matthew 23:37; Luke 19:41 – 44; Isaiah 16:11 -13; Jeremiah 48:35 – 37). 

And always, always, always, He admonishes people to repent. God constantly warns sinners of what will be their end, demonstrating the heart of a compassionate Creator who takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, and therefore, neither should we (see Ezekiel 18:30–32; 33:11)! His eternal salvation in Christ Jesus is offered to all indiscriminately (see Matthew 11:28, 29; 22:2–14; John 6:35–40; Revelation 22:17; John 5:39, 40).

So, yes, absolutely, God is, by nature, a Savior! He is a saving God! He finds no pleasure in the death of sinners, so we, like Him, should seek their good and not their harm. God’s saving character is revealed daily, even to those who do not believe in him, and eternal salvation can come to them if we see them as He does. So, help them! Be a conduit whereby God may demonstrate his love for them. Rejoice, oh Christian, in the fact that you can enjoy God’s salvation in the eternal way WHILE also showing your enjoyment of his salvation in those temporal ways. Smile. Be kind. Enjoy ALL of God’s goodness shining through you! 

God values everyone; our value system should match His, thereby making us “perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

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