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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The Salvation of All by Andrew Murray

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Joined: 2004/7/23
Posts: 210

 The Salvation of All by Andrew Murray

The Salvation of All
By Andrew Murray
(Chapter 23 of his book "God's Will")

"I exhort therefore, that, supplications, prayers, intercessions, -and giving of thanks be made for all men .... this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved' --1 Timothy 2:14.

"The Lord is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance "--2 Peter 3:9.

After Paul urged that supplications, prayers, and intercessions should be made for all men, he reminded us that we may do so in confident assurance that it is good and acceptable to God. He wills that all men should be saved. The knowledge and faith of God's will for all is to be the motivation and the measure of our prayer for all. What God in heaven wills and works for His children on earth we are to will and work for, too. As we enter into His will for all, we will know what we are to do to fulfill that will. And, as we pray and labor for all, the faith in His will for all will inspire us with confidence and love.

Perhaps the question arises-If God wills the salvation of all, why is it not happening? What about the doctrine of election, as Scripture teaches us? And, what about the Omnipotence of God, which is surely equal to His love that wills the salvation of all? As to election, remember that there are mysteries in God and in Scripture which are beyond our reach. If there are apparently conflicting truths which we cannot reconcile, we know that Scripture was not written, like a book of science, to satisfy the intellect. It is the revelation of the hidden wisdom of God, which tests and strengthens faith and submission, and awakens love and childlike teachableness.

If we cannot understand why His power does not work what His will has purposed, we will find that all that God does or does not do is decided by conditions far beyond our human comprehension. It requires a Divine wisdom to grasp and to order God's ways. We will learn that God's will is as much beyond our comprehension as God's being. And, it is our wisdom, safety, and happiness to accept every revealed truth with the simplicity and the faith of little children. We must yield ourselves to it to prove its living power within our hearts. Let us not fear to yield ourselves to the utmost to this blessed word: God will have all men to be saved.

God is love. His will is love. As He makes His sun to shine on the good and the evil, so His love rests on all. However little we can understand why His love is so long-suffering and patient, we can believe in and be assured of the love that God gives to us-a love whose measure in heaven is the gift of His Son, and on earth every child of man. His love is nothing but His will in its Divine energy doing its very utmost in accordance with the Divine law. Thus, His relationship to mankind is regulated to make men partakers of His blessedness. His will is nothing but His love in its infinite patience and tenderness delighting to win and bless every heart into which it can gain access.

If we only knew God and His love, how we would look on every man we see as one upon whom that love rests and for whom it longs. We would begin to wonder about the mystery of grace that has taken up the Church, as the body of Christ, as a partner in the great work of making that love known, and rendered itself dependent upon its faithfulness. And, we would see that all who live to do God's will must believe this to be its central glory: our doing the will that wills that all men should be saved.

God will have all men to be saved. This truth is a supernatural mystery. It can only be understood by a spiritual mind through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. It is in itself so Divine and beyond our apprehension-the difficulties that surround it are so many and so real-that it needs so much time and sacrifice to master its teaching. To very many who do not possess a humble, loving heart, the words carry little meaning.

To the believer, who in very deed seeks to know and to do all God's will, God's words give a new meaning to life. He begins to see that this call to love and to save his fellow men is not something accidental or additional. He begins to realize that, along with the other things that make up his life, he can devote as much time and thought to this as he sees fit. He learns that just as this loving, saving will of God is the secret source of all His will and rules it all, so this loving, saving will is to be the chief thing that he lives for, too. I have been redeemed, organically united to, and made a member of the saving Christ, who came to do this will of the Father.

I have been chosen and set apart and fitted for this as the one object of my being in the world. I begin to see that the prayer, Thy will be done! means, above everything else, that I give myself for this loving, saving will of God to possess, inspire, use, and if need be, consume me. And, I feel the need of spelling out the words of the sentence until my heart can call them its own: God-my God, who lives in me--will have, with His whole heart, in that will which He has revealed to His people that they may carry it into effect--all men, here around me, and to the ends of the earth--to be saved, to have everlasting life.

Paul wrote these words in connection with a call to prayer for all men. Our faith in the truth of God's loving, saving will must be put into practice. It must stir us to prayer. And prayer will most certainly stir us to work. We must not only seek to believe and feel the truth of these words, but we must also act. This will of God must be done. Let us look upon those around us as the objects of God's love, whom His saving will is seeking to reach. Let us, as we yield ourselves to this will, go and speak to those around us about God's love in Christ.

It is possible that we are not succeeding in doing God's will in our personal life because we neglect the chief thing. As we pray to be possessed and filled with the knowledge of God's will, let us seek, in all things, to have our hearts filled with this love. Let us have tongues which speak of Jesus and His salva tion, and a will which finds its strength in God's own will--that all men be saved. So will our life, our love, our work, and our will in some measure be like that of Jesus Christ--a doing of the Father's will, that none of these little ones should perish.

 2010/8/11 11:12Profile

Joined: 2007/6/19
Posts: 120
Panama City, FL

 Re: The Salvation of All by Andrew Murray

Very refreshing and encouraging to read. Thanks for posting!

 2010/8/11 11:32Profile

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK


It is good to read this here. Many thanks.

Ron Bailey

 2010/8/11 11:49Profile

Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


In an honest effort to understand the passages treated in the article, is one Scripturally warranted to conclude from God's desire to save all that He provides an opportunity for all to be saved? I ask this because I have a very good Catholic friend who holds that God must provide such an opportunity in order for Him to be "sincere" when He expresses His desire for all to be saved. Thus, in that belief system, a modicum of faith ( not even in Christ ) is all that is required of a man to be saved. Belief in the Gospel is not a prerequisite for those who have not heard it; which seems logical if you conclude that God must ( in order to make sense of His universal desire ) give to everyone an opportunity to be saved and yet not all hear the Gospel before they die.

I ask my question here as one sincerely interested in God's heart and mind on this issue and not to rouse a debate.

 2010/8/11 14:26Profile

Joined: 2004/7/23
Posts: 210


I'm open to the possibility that the Lord will in fact save all. It is not merely His 'desire' to see all saved, but it is His will.

The question is, will His will (purpose, determination) be accomplished?

This may appear to be 'heretical' but it is in fact a teaching that's existed not only, I believe, in the Scripture, but there were church fathers that explored this as well as many men and women throughout church history who believed in the possibility of 'salvation for all'

Here are a few quotes...

“God forbid that I should limit the time for acquiring faith to the present life. In the depths of the divine mercy there may be opportunity to win it in the future state.” – Letter to Hansen von Rechenberg, 1523. (Luther's Briefe, ii. 454.)

'How could the Bible possibly speak of the perfect victory of God our Creator who loves righteousness and cannot bear evil, if that victory really means that He cannot bring His own creatures at last to hate evil as He hates it, but must confirm multitudes, indeed the majority of them, in their choice of evil for ever and ever?' - Hannah Hurnard (Hinds Feet in High Places)

"As for the purification of all human nature, I fully believe it, either in this world, or some after ages." – William Law (author of A Serious Call to A Devout and Holy Life... a book John Wesley was impacted by)

"After long wandering, and by devious paths, sinful man will at last return to Him in whose Image he was created; for this is his final destiny." – Sadhu Sundar Singh

"God is not all in all, and never will be all in all, until the will of God rules in the heart of every man, in the soul of every man, until the redemption of Jesus Christ in its great and ultimate purpose becomes a reality, a finality." –John G. Lake "The Habitation of God"

"One day, all things shall manifest Christ because the whole universe shall be filled with Him. In creating all things, God desires that all things will manifest Christ." -Watchman Nee

 2010/8/11 16:32Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3450
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: salvation of all

After reading the chapter, I don't think Murray meant it the way we today mean the salvation of all (SoA). At least by the quotes I supplied, I'm not convinced he was a man of universal salvation belief.

While I was toying with SoA for a few years, I too heard the argument that the early church fathers taught it. But where are their public teachings of it? It's always in some well hidden meaning of one of their works that only the SoA people can find. If it was taught outright like people are teaching OSAS, then there would be much more about it and to top it off, it would be spelled out CLEARLY in the Holy Scriptures that God wrote through men by the power of the Holy Ghost.

No power of hell can hide one of God's pure truths or I submit that we cannot trust God if it can be hidden b/c there is one stronger than God.

Mattie, what made me finally turn away from SoA was when I was talking with someone about Christ and you know how you are talking and thinking in your head at the same time? Well, I came to the conclusion that I could not in all honesty say to this person, "You need Jesus now, but if you don't choose Him today, it's ok b/c you might have to suffer a little but in the end you will be reconciled to Him."

So I figured that if I cannot lead someone to that belief, then it was false in my book. And besides Mattie, show me one place in the Bible where the disciples who preached of the judgment to come - where they even gave a hint to people that there was hope if they turned down Christ... I humbly submit to you that you won't find it b/c it's not in there.

God bless you in your search,

(edited corrections that I could find!)


 2010/8/11 16:59Profile

Joined: 2004/7/23
Posts: 210


Hey Lysa,

The Spirit didn't make this a hidden issue. If you look at the writings of Origen and Clement of Alexandria... it's pretty plain in their writings. Origen's 'De Principis' is one of many writings during the first 3 centuries that plainly spelled out salvation for all.

Concerning the Scriptures... also not a hidden issue. I agree with you that the Spirit speaks plainly and doesn't speak in hidden sayings.

But I encourage you to take a fresh look at the Scripture in it's original context.

When Paul wrote to the Colossian church, place yourselves in their shoes as they hear him say 'He created all things through Him and for Him' as well as saying 'by Him to reconcile all things to Himself through the blood of the cross, things in heaven and on earth, having made peace.' (v.20) How would a Colossian believer have understood this any other way? He created all and will reconcile all (not most, or not some).

Place yourself in the church of Rome, hearing Paul expound that 'All Israel shall be saved' and 'all things are from Him, to Him, and through Him' Are all things really to Him? Or most?

Place yourselves in the shoes of the disciples, hearing Jesus speak of being the shepherd who leaves the 99 for the 1 UNTIL HE FINDS IT and declaring 'even so it is not the WILL of your Father that one of these little ones perish' (Matthew 18:10-14).

It's plain if studied in context. I can give many more examples... but the point I'm indicating is the work of Christ is for all and will be accomplished.

 2010/8/11 17:09Profile


Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.  Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 

He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

21.8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 20.11 - 21.8

The word 'part' in that last verse, verse 21.8, means portion, yet there is no time limit regarding it. It is a (specific) place alloted as ones fulfilled destiny: as in a particular piece of the whole.

edited: Addendum added

 2010/8/11 19:02

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3450
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Mattie


My point exactly in what you wrote: "But I encourage you to take a fresh look at the Scripture in it's original context." It is hidden if the average Christian cannot get to "the original language." And another point about hiddenness: Origen and Clement are not in the canon of Scriptures that is readily available to everyone. So using Scripture only....

You wrote: "I agree with you that the Spirit speaks plainly and doesn't speak in hidden sayings." I don't think you do or is would be plainly in the Scriptures that are available to everyone, so obvious that [b]though he be a fool, he could not err in it[/b], in the truth you are trying to present.

Mattie, how do you lead people to Christ or do you even bother? I'm asking this as a serious question, not a smart-alec question. Forget the above 2 paragraphs and just lead me through how you lead someone to Christ believing SoA. I'd really like to hear it as would a lot of other people, I'm sure.

Thank you and God bless you,


 2010/8/11 21:22Profile

Joined: 2004/7/23
Posts: 210


Lysa, I responded to what you said about there being a lot of 'hiddeness' among the church fathers on this issue. I'm answering your question. So this has nothing to do with questioning the canon.

The 'original language' may not be available to all of us, but your assuming that all Christians should understand Scripture through the KJV lenses. There's other translations out there available to the ordinary peeps like you and I that use different wording, in accordance to the original language and context. Besides, there are lots of people in the West (again, not Greek scholars... ordinary folk) that are studying this and seeing this. So... it's not hidden.

Fear of endless torment has never been and should never be a motive to lead people to Christ. Did Jesus ever tell His disciples to proclaim the good news because people are heading for endless torment? You won't see it anywhere.

Acts... the apostles proclaimed Jesus is the Lord of all. Look at the messages they preached - not one mention of endless torment. It's the heralding of Jesus as the Lord and Messiah. This is the good news! He is risen, He is Lord, and He's coming again to judge the earth (also good news) and restore all things (Acts 3:19-21, Acts 5:42, Acts 17:16-31, Acts 17:6)

 2010/8/11 23:02Profile

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