Unlimited: Mercy on Them All
Jun 15, 2023 278
For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all (Romans 11:32).
This verse does not mean that God has compelled everyone to be disobedient. Instead, this is another example of the Hebrew form of expression which views God, because he is sovereign over all, to be the cause of whatever he permits.
Perhaps more importantly, some Christians use this verse, and a few others, to argue that everyone who has ever lived will be saved. It’s wonderful to have a picture of a vastly loving God. However, it is also good to have a picture of a God who is able to fairly deal with sin and with suffering.
When Paul says that God “may have mercy on them all” he means on both of the people groups he has been discussing: the Jews and the Gentiles.
To try to uphold their view, universalists need to throw out most of what God says in the Bible as not meaning what it says, and cling to a few verses that they believe support their view. They also need to teach some form of salvation after death, which is also nowhere taught in Scripture. The Bible teaches us that our decisions for eternity must be made in this life, before death.
When Paul says that God “may have mercy on them all” he means on both of the people groups he has been discussing: the Jews and the Gentiles. It is important to remember that in these chapters Paul is dealing with people groups, and not with the salvation of individuals.
How vast do you conceive the love and the mercy of God is? What are the things that send your mind in this direction? Is it a view from a mountain-top? Is it the seashore? Is it worship music? You can never underestimate the love of God. Delight in it!