Universal Redemption
Universal Salvation

From Z.W.T. Reprints R6387, February 1, 1919

Question - Do the Scriptures teach universal redemption, or universal salvation, or both?

Answer - Our Lord Jesus has become the Redeemer of the Human Race, having provided for its purchase by laying down His life on Calvary. (1 Timothy 2:5-6) He has not yet accomplished the work of purchase fully, however, for the complete application of the merit of His sacrifice is to follow His second advent, when the church shall have been completed. As soon as this purchase shall have been effected, the cancellation of the sin of the whole world will be made. Then the world will be turned over to Christ, freed from the penalty of original sin, and thereafter, for a thousand years, each individual member of the Human race will have a full opportunity, or trial, or judgment, to determine his real character, his real intention, his real attitude toward right and wrong, toward righteousness and sin, toward God and Satan. This will affect the living nations first, and then, gradually, those individuals in the tomb, as they come forth. (John 5:28-29) THIS IS UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION, or deliverance, from the Adamic death penalty, universal purchase from death. But IT IS NOT UNIVERSAL SALVATION, or universal deliverance to life everlasting, which will be conditional. (Acts 3:19-23)

In speaking of this great trial day, this judgment day for the world, the Apostle Paul says: "God hath appointed a day [future] in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained." (Acts 17:31) The word "man" in this case refers to Christ as the great Mediator between God and men, for the purpose of giving all mankind a full release from the Adamic penalty and a full opportunity to return to God. Then, "whosoever will" may have that opportunity, and by improving it may be found worthy of life everlasting. By the end of one thousand years he may demonstrate that he is both able and willing to keep the divine law, able because then he will be perfect, willing because he will have right heart intentions. All who reach this condition will be granted life everlasting by the Father.

Adam was on trial in Eden for this life everlasting, but , although perfect, he failed at the very outstart of this trial. The world of mankind will enter upon their individual trial in a different way, however. They will start imperfect, but, under the covering of Christ's work - not granted as an indivudual imputation, but through the operation of the mediatorial reign - they will be permitted to rise up, up, up out of sin and death conditions. Meantime, while having this privilege, they will be permitted to demonstrate their real character - whether their will is determined for good or for evil. All who shall demonstrate that they love righteousness and hate iniquity shall receive life everlasting. But all who evidence that they prefer iniquity to righteousness shall be cut off in the second death.