Universal Redemption?; Salt?

Mark 9:49‑50  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 10
A.-Gen. 19:2626But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26) is clearly not the consecrating principle but judicial infliction. For Lot's wife disobeying at such a time became an abiding monument of divine judgment. So too, if Israel rebelled and fell under the curse, Jehovah declared that their whole ground should be brimstone and salt, like the overthrow of Sodom (Deut. 29:2323And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath: (Deuteronomy 29:23)). The N. T. adds the awful figure of salt losing its savor, and hence, as proper neither for land nor for dung, but to be cast out. Grace does effect not only love but separateness to God in the believer. Easy-going unbelief destroys all savor in those that bear the Lord's name without self-judgment. What must the end of this be? Not only unrighteousness but apostasy.
A.-In no way. The reference is, not to Christ's work, but to God's faithful care of His creatures, His children especially, in providence day by day. Where is the propriety of reading the salvation of men's souls in the terms of the verse? where, the consistency with other scriptures, which declare that only those who believe shall be saved, and that the mass, being impenitent and unbelieving, must perish? “For unto this we labor and suffer reproach [or, strive], because we have our hope set on a living God, who is preserver of all men, specially of faithful ones.” It is God as appealed to in Job 7:2020I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself? (Job 7:20), and even more widely in Psa. 36:66Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. (Psalm 36:6). Compare Judg. 3:99And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. (Judges 3:9), Neh. 9:77Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; (Nehemiah 9:7), Obad. 1:1, 201The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom; We have heard a rumor from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. (Obadiah 1)
20And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south. (Obadiah 20)
. There is no mention or thought of Christ's death even in the way of purchase, still less of redemption. It is a living God as Savior in present labors and trials; and this goodness of His is real toward every child of man, especially toward believers. Apply it to the salvation of the soul, and the comfort evaporates; for all are thus thrown into confusion and uncertainty. If those who are Christ's he only in degree more saved than such as reject Him and perish, theirs would be indeed a little and sorry salvation to the denial of life eternal and everlasting redemption. Any application of the kind would dishonor Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as it contradicts the Scriptures. Indeed it would be nonsense to speak of saving the souls of all men, especially of the faithful. The fact is, the apostle treats of a wholly different subject: the sure ground of confiding in a living God for the path here below. As in wisdom He made all, so does He care for all compassionately, even in a sinful and ruined world, especially for such as look up to Him in the faith which strengthens them to labor and suffer with joyfulness.