Some say “yes, all human beings will be saved” – with scripture and logic to support it too. Logically, for instance, how could a loving God let anybody go to hell? It’s against his very nature, surely.
Scripturally too, Jesus “gave his life as a ransom for all,” 1 Timothy 2:6; he’s the “Saviour of all men,” 1 Timothy 4:10; and “in Christ all will be made alive,” 1 Corinthians 15:22. God also “wants all men to be saved,” 1 Timothy 2:4, he doesn’t want “anyone to perish,” 2 Peter 3:9, and Christ draws “all men to himself,” John 12:32. God also promises “mercy on all,” Romans 11:32, and the restoration of “everything,” Acts 3:21.
Clearly, God wants us all saved and sent Jesus so we could be. But there’s the awful irrationality of evil to consider too, that strange phenomenon that makes people reject God for no understandable reason. Why, for instance, did an archangel rebel against God after knowing God so well for so long? Why did Adam and Eve listen to a talking serpent? Why did Israel demand a return to Egypt after God had just rescued them? Why did people want Jesus dead after all his amazing miracles?
Something out there makes angels and humans do insane, stupid things – and it made a devil out of an archangel, who now disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). He tempts, snares, upsets and deceives us by twisting the truth (John 8:44), blinding our minds (2 Corinthians 4:4) and stirring up jealousy and pride (James 3:14-16). The devil can really mess us up.
But Jesus came to “destroy the works of the devil,” 1 John 3:8, and 4:4 says, “greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world,” so how can the devil destroy us? But if he can’t destroy us, why would scripture also say, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” James 4:7, and “put on the full armour of God so you can stand against the devil’s schemes,” Ephesians 6:11, and pray that God will deliver us from evil, and be super careful that Satan doesn’t “outwit us,” 2 Corinthians 2:11?
Why? Because evil is real and deadly. It makes people do irrational things, think insane thoughts, choose darkness over light (John 3:19) and risk an unforgivable sin (Mark 3:29). But it also makes salvation real, because we see in brilliant clarity what we need saving from. Jesus described salvation as turning from Satan to God, Acts 26:18, because that’s the salvation we all so desperately need. It’s salvation from the awful irrationality of evil.
What’s more important, then? Is it figuring out if we’re all going to be saved (or not), or realizing what God is saving us from?