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Are All Saved?


Have you ever thought about the underlying ideas we have about ourselves and other people? One of the most prevalent is the idea that people, for the most part, are good. One of the places this comes up most frequently is when talking about God and salvation. Many people, even those who called themselves Christians teach and believe that God is required to save people. That a good God or a loving God would not send people to hell. There are some who believe and teach that everyone will be saved. But we need to take a step back and ask some important questions at this point. We need to challenge our assumptions and look at what scripture teaches us about who God is. As Christians, our rule, our standard, must be scripture and not our feelings or the feelings of those around us.


Question 20


We have been going through the Heidelberg Catechism and today we come to this important question, "Are all men, then, saved by Christ, as they have perished by Adam?" Assumed in this question is the understanding of what scripture teaches that all of mankind died in Adam. Another way of saying that is that sin is imputed to every single person through the sin of Adam. Romans 5:12 says, "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned." So everyone is born in sin. Everyone is born with a sinful nature. No one is good, no one seeks God. But back to our question are all men saved by Christ? The catechism answers, "No; only such as by true faith are ingrafted into him, and receive all his benefits." On those who, through true faith are ingrafted into him. There is a strange word to us here, ingrafted. This is a term from gardening. It refers to adding a cut-off branch to a healthy living tree. The idea is that all those who have been given true faith are in Christ. As Jesus says in John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."


Is That Fair?


One of the questions that come up when this is talked about is the fairness of the event. Is it fair for God to save some and not others? There are several misconceptions bound up in this thought. The first is that salvation is something that is deserved. That is the idea that simply by existing or living we deserve salvation. But asking about fairness really misses the point. Salvation is not about fairness but about justice, goodness, and grace. See a just God must punish sin. A good judge is not one that lets everyone go or gives the same ruling to every person that comes before them, but a good judge is one who ensures that the law is upheld. So God cannot ignore our sins. He has chosen to save a people for his own purpose, for his own glory, by paying the penalty for some. He is not required to save anyone. He would be fully good and just if he sent everyone to hell. But he is also gracious and merciful and has purchased a bride for himself.


Summary

This subject can either be one of the hardest for us to understand or the most comforting. It can be hard to understand and realize that not everyone is saved. But at the same time, it can be a source of great comfort to know that I am saved. One thing that we often forget about this though is that it should also be a motivation for us. Scripture teaches us that salvation come through true faith, which in turn comes through the preaching of the gospel. God brings people to salvation through the good news that Jesus died for sinners like you and like me. It should light a fire within us to go out and share the good news with our family, our neighbors, and everyone else we can. But sadly we miss this. If we think that people are basically good or that God should save everyone, we will be lax in our preaching of the gospel. We must trust God as we share the gospel message trusting him to do what he has said he would. We are not the ones that bring people to salvation but we are the tool that God uses. So be encouraged to preach the gospel to everyone. If some, or even most, reject you do not be discouraged, but trust in God who is just, good, and gracious.


Soli Deo Gloria

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