The “Especially” Salvation

God is the Savior of all men, especially of believers (I Timothy 4:10). He is not the Savior of all mankind, exclusively of believers. That would be the lie of the Christian religion. This verse alone proves that God will save all …

The word “especially,” in I Timothy 4:10, is a very big word.

The “especially” there means that those who believe now do receive more. It is true that there are only a certain number of people chosen by God to believe in this life …

The day I finally realized that salvation was not of me, was a big day … There really was no difference, I discovered, between my flesh, my mortality, my ability to seek God, and the flesh, mortality, and ability of unbelievers. I was in the same boat as everyone else. This is humbling, when you finally see it. It breaks you and you cry. Were it not for God’s grace, I would have been a Hitler, or a Manson, or a Dobson. It was Paul who said, “I am what I am by the grace of God.” People repeat that by rote; they don’t mean it. I used to repeat it and not mean it, too.

The revelation of grace was scary, because I suddenly realized how thankful I should be. I used to not be overcome by great swells of thankfulness. Well, I thought I was a little bit worthy of eternal life. And I was, in my mind. After all, I believed. When I realized that God chose me to believe, and that He gave me the very faith needed to call out to Him (and the greater faith that ensued), I realized how helpless I’d been. I realized that if God hadn’t done all that, I’d still be an unbeliever. I became so thankful then, so desperately thankful. I became less condemning of those not yet chosen to believe. It was not their fault. I finally saw it. My God, it was not their fault. Conversely, it was no more my credit. God had to take me out of church to restore to me a clear-thinking head.

Thanks to God, I did have something more. There as an advantage, I discovered, to being given belief now. I would live and reign with Christ during coming ages (Revelation 22:5), while those without faith would neither live nor reign then (Revelation 20:5). They would instead be dead while I reigned. This was the “especially” salvation of I Timothy 4:10. God Gives immortality to all, eventually (I Corinthians 15:22-28), but He gives it to some early so they can live and reign with Him through oncoming ages. These, He “especially” saves.

I learned that there were two glorious ages ahead: the thousand-year kingdom (Revelation 20:4) and the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1). I learned that most people would be dead during these glorious times (Revelation 20:5). When I learned that this wasn’t their fault, I felt sad for the people. But when I realized that they would eventually be given belief and live eternally with God, it mollified my grief. After all, what were two short eons compared with eternity? Nothing, relatively. Besides, as I said, the unbelievers would be dead. In the death state, there is no consciousness of time. This, also, was a surprising truth. I never knew it. It was always in Scripture, but I was trained to ignore it. These people would not know they were dead. It was God’s merciful provision. Jesus, in Scripture, compared death to sleep (John 11:11-13). It comforted me that these people would be asleep and unaware that I was living and ruling with Christ. No need for me to feel guilty, then.

When one realizes that all is of God and that nothing, absolutely, is of oneself, one does stop condemning unbelievers. It does make one ask God, however: “Why me and not them?” I did this. I wondered what it was. God simply said, “Because I chose you (Ephesians 1:4). Because I favor you. I chose you before you were born (Romans 8:29).” I said, “But don’t you favor them?” God said, “I am the Savior of all mankind, especially of believers. I’m the Savior of them as well, and they will live with me forever. But it is simply not My plan for them to live during the coming two ages. They’ll have no complaints because they’ll be with Me forever. This comes about in its own eras (I Timothy 2:5-6). For now, I’m working in a framework of time (Romans 16:16, the ‘eonian God’).

“Enjoy what I’ve done for you. Stop worrying about everyone else. No one would have any complaints if I consigned the entire human race to the second death. Who would complain about being asleep for two relatively short ages – unaware of the time – and then waking up to a life of eternal bliss? The miracle, Martin, is not that everyone will live with Me for eternity. The miracle is that I have chosen before the eons a blessed few who will rule and reign with Me during the coming two glorious ages of time (Revelation 22:5). This is the “especially” salvation of I Timothy 4:10. It delights Me to do this. It’s not that the rest are cheated, it’s that you and the others I have chosen are especially blessed. You come into My life early, and are privileged. It is nothing of yourself (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is everything of My favor. You are privileged above and beyond the rest of humanity. This is in accord with the delight of My will (Ephesians 1:5), not your worthiness or accomplishment (II Timothy 1:9). It delights Me to bring a select few in early. You are, as My Word says in Ephesians 1:12, ‘Pre-expectant [first trusted] in the Christ.’ So rejoice!”

Martin Zender
The Really Bad Thing About Free Will: A Critical Look at the “Salvation by Willpower” Doctrine (2006), pp. 69-75

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Salvation

Tags: , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: