Saturday, June 22, 2013
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19 KJV).
Soul salvation from everlasting hellfire is the Holy Bible’s most important doctrine, so let us be particularly careful with today’s Scripture.
Our sin and sins gender God’s wrath, and we sinners in our natural state are separated from God, but God Himself provided a solution. Man had severed the relationship, but God was still friendly toward man. From the ministry of the Apostle Paul, we see how that salvation from sins through Jesus Christ is no longer limited to Israel (Matthew 1:21), but that it is now available to all people, everywhere!
Let us return to today’s Scripture and its context (2 Corinthians 5:18-20): “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
Due to warped theology, confusion and questions have arisen regarding this simple passage. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” at Calvary’s cross, so does that mean…. That lost people no longer go to hell? That every person’s sins are completely forgiven? That everyone will make it to heaven eventually (the heresy of universalism)?
Let us be extremely careful to understand that the word “reconciliation” in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 is two-fold—it does not refer to a single event, but it is actually two events (reread the passage above and notice the two boldfaced terms “reconciling” and “reconciled,” which refer to separate issues). Confusion results because people assume these verses only teach a one-fold reconciliation, a single event.
As we will see, the key to understanding “reconciliation” in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 is the phrase in verse 20, “as though God did beseech you by us….”