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December 26, 2015

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For a radically different perspective, I recommend Christ Triumphant by Thomas Allin, written in the late 19th century.

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/ChristTriumphant.htm

Here's a snippet:

"I submit that the entire history of exegesis contains no stranger fact than this persistent ignoring of so large a part of the New Testament. To bring this out clearly, I append the following chain of passages from a long series. They, clearly and closely linked, claim for Christ a saving empire coextensive with the race, or (perhaps) rather with the whole universe. This connection is clearly marked, for each passage suggests or contains the same central idea, and thus forms a link in a continuous chain. This chain begins at creation, when all things were created by Christ, who therefore, as S. PAUL implies, reconciles (re-creates) all things unto God -- Col. 1:16-20. Hence, His work is the restitution of all things -- Acts 3:21. He is Heir of all things -- Heb. 1:2. The Father has given Him authority over all flesh, to give to whatsoever was given to Him eternal life -- S. John 17:2 (see original). So all flesh shall see the salvation of God -- S. Luke 3:6. For God, Whose counsel is immutable -- Heb. 6:17,18, Whose attitude towards His enemies is love unchanging -- S. Luke 6:27-35, will have all men to be saved -- 1 Tim. 2:4, and all to come to repentance -- 2 Pet. 3:9. He has shut all up unto unbelief, so that He may show mercy upon all -- Rom. 11:32. For (out) of Him, as Source, and unto (or into) Him, as End, are all things whatsoever -- Rom. 11:36. He has, therefore, put all things in subjection under Christ's feet -- Eph. 1:22. So we are assured that God wills to gather into one all things in Christ -- Eph. 1:10. His grace comes upon all men unto justification of life -- Rom. 5:18. So Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands -- S. Jno. 13:3, promises by His Cross to draw all men unto Himself -- S. John. 12:32. For having, as stated, received all things from the Father -- S. Jno. 3:35, all that was given comes to Him, and He loses none -- S. John. 6:37-39, but if any stray, goes after that which is lost till He finds it -- S. Luke 15:4 , and so makes all things new -- Rev. 21:5.

Thus, He comes in order that ALL men may believe --- S. John. i. 7 --- that the world through Him may be saved -- S. John. 3:17. His grace brings salvation to all men -- Tit. 2:11. He takes away the sin of the world -- S. John. 1:29. He gives His flesh for its life -- S. John. 6:51. Because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (are irrevocable) -- Rom. 11:29, He gives life to the world -- S. John. 6:33. He is the Light of the world -- S. John. 8:12. He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world -- 1 John. 2:2. He is the Savior of all men -- 1 Tim. 4:10. He destroys the works of the devil, not some of them only -- 1 Jno. 3:8, and the devil himself -- Heb. 2:14. He abolishes death -- 2 Tim. 1:10. He is manifested to put away sin -- Heb. 9:26, and thus subdues all things unto Himself -- Phil 3:21 (the context clearly shows this subjugation to be conformity to Himself). He does not forget the dead, but takes the gospel to Hades -- 1 Pet. 3:19, of which He holds the keys -- Rev. 1:18. He is the same (Savior) for ever -- Heb. 13:8. Thus, even the dead are evangelized -- 1 Pet. 4:6, and death and Hades destroyed -- Rev 20:14. All are therefore made alive in Him -- 1 Cor. 15:22. Christ finishes, completes His work -- S. John. 17:4, restores all things -- Acts 3:21, and there is no more curse -- Rev. 22:2,3. Every knee of things in heaven and earth, and under the earth, bends to Him -- Phil. 2:10. The creation is delivered from the bondage of corruption -- Rom. 8:21, and every creature joins in the song of praise -- Rev. 5:13. So comes the END, when He delivers up the Kingdom to God, Who is then ALL IN ALL -- 1 Cor. 15:24-28."

I can't resist adding to the New Testament verses cited above some of the Old Testament verses that have set me free:

"All the families of the earth will be blessed." (Gen. 12:3)

"O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come." (Psalm 65:2)

“All you have made will praise you, O Lord.” (Psalm 145:10a)

"He will make a feast for all people and destroy the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and will wipe away tears from all faces." (Isaiah 25:6-8)

“By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.” (Isaiah 45:23)

“I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me -- the breath of man that I have created.” (Isaiah 57:16)

“Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. … For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.” (Lamentations 3:22,31)

“I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and of Samaria and her daughters, and your fortunes along with them … And your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to what they were before; and you and your daughters will return to what you were before.” (Ezekiel 16:53,55)

"Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?" (Malachi 2:10)


NOTES

Regarding the Isaiah 45:23 every-knee-shall-bow prophecy, see Appendix II of the following link for 20 reasons why this "bowing" must indicate genuine, heartfelt worship of God:
http://www.hopebeyondhell.net/pdf/Hope_Beyond_Hell_Unabridged.pdf

A very helpful (and old) article on the prophesied restoration of Sodom (Ezek. 16:53,55) is: http://www.tentmaker.org/books/SpiritOfTheWord/021Sodom.htm

CONCLUSION

Thank you STR for your strong apologetics on every subject other than Hell ... you have helped me immensely over the years.

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