God's Kingdom Ministries
God's Kingdom Ministries

If God Could Save Everyone - Would He?
Page 2
by Dr. Stephen E. Jones

© copyright 2003, Revised 2003, All Rights Reserved

The Laws of Redemption

The land could not be sold in perpetuity, but there were times when men incurred debts that they could not pay. Jesus told a parable about this in Matt. 18:23-35. He told of a man who owed “ten thousand talents,” which today would be about $150 million. Verse 25 says that because he could not pay the debt, he and his wife and children had to be sold as bondservants in order to make payment on the debt.

Under biblical law, men were bondservants until their debts were paid or until the Year of Jubilee, when all debts were cancelled by grace. Bondservants were forced by law to work for their masters, but they also had rights. Slavery itself as practiced in most parts of the world was unlawful under biblical law.

A man and his family who had become bond-servants because of debt were supposed to work for their masters until the debt was paid. Then they were set free. But there was another provision. The bondservant could be redeemed by a relative.

Lev. 25:47-55 tells of the laws of redemption. It says that a relative has the right of redemption, as long as he has enough money to pay the debt of his relative. In other words, the bondservant's master does not have a choice in the matter. The master only has the choice if the potential redeemer is a mere friend of the bondservant. If a friend came to negotiate a deal, the choice would ultimately fall to the master, not to the friend of the bondservant. Why? Because the right of redemption is given only to a relative.

Jesus is the Redeemer

The House of Israel had fallen into sin and thereby had incurred a huge debt. (All sin is reckoned as a debt in the Bible.) God was the Judge who had sold them as bondservants to the nation of Babylon. He did this because they had refused to follow His law in this matter. The people refused to set their bondservants free (Jer. 34:13-17).

The first nation to possess Judah as a bondservant was Babylon. The debt note was later purchased by Persia, then Greece, and finally by Rome. In the days of Jesus, Rome held the debt note of Judah, or Judea.

The Bible says in Heb. 2:11-17 that Jesus Christ did not come to earth by taking the form of an angel. He came rather as a man, taking upon Himself the seed of Abraham in order to qualify as a relative to Israel and Judah. This gave Jesus the right of redemption.

But further, the same passage tells us that Jesus Christ came in “flesh and blood,” in order to qualify as a relative to all men. This gave Jesus the right of redemption for all men all the way back to Adam.

For this reason, the apostle John tells us in his letter, 1 John 2:2, “He has covered our sins, and not for ours only, but also those of the whole world.” Jesus gave His very life for the sins of the whole world. He paid the full penalty for every sin ever committed since Adam. Only His very life could pay the full debt for all mankind.

By the divine law, Jesus Christ came to redeem the whole earth and all of mankind. Those are lofty goals, but was He capable of making such a huge payment? The Bible makes it clear that His blood was worth far more than the entire debt of the world from the beginning. So, yes, Jesus Christ was certainly “rich enough” to make such a purchase.

The next question is this: Did Jesus have the right of redemption? Suppose the one holding the debt note for the world preferred not to sell? The Bible makes it clear that Jesus was a near relative, both to Israel and to all flesh and blood. This gave Jesus Christ the right of redemption. The law was on His side. The slave master of the earth had no choice in the matter.

The final question is this: If God, through Jesus Christ, could redeem all mankind, would he, in fact, do it? This is really a question of how much He loves His creation. If He were an angry God that preferred to destroy the creation, then one might doubt that He really would redeem all of mankind. But the Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have ever-lasting life” (John 3:16).

Thus, we see that the law gave Jesus Christ the right of redemption; He had enough “money” and more to pay the full redemption price; and He certainly had the motive to do so.

So, yes, God would indeed save all mankind if He could. He is not only capable of doing it, but He has actually done it.