Universalism - Ephesians 1:10 and Colossians 1:20

Question
Is Paul teaching universalism in Ephesians 1:10 and Colossians 1:20?
Answer
Ephesians 1:10 ...to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

Colossians 1:20 ...and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

The Bible does not teach universalism, which is the salvation of all people without exception. Rather Scripture speaks of two classes of people, the saved and the unsaved, and two possible destinies, heaven for the saved and hell for the unsaved.

The verses above are speaking of universal sovereignty and not universal salvation. Jesus is the King of kings. All authority has been given to him in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). Though all will bow before him (Phil. 2:10), some will bow as his children and others as defeated enemies. When I used to be a police detective, I arrested bad guys. Even as they and I stood before the same judge, we stood in different capacities. When we left the court room we were divided by a great distance - I went home, they went to prison (cf. Luke 16:19-31). Such will it be on the day of judgment. Some will go to an everlasting heaven (new heavens and new earth), and others to an everlasting hell (Matt. 25:46; Mark 9:44).

The Judge's verdict is final! (Heb. 9:27). There is no parole or probation. What will his final words to you be? Where is your eternal home? Just one sin will send you to an eternal prison. On the other hand, only one Savior has provided the only entrance into heaven. Acts 4:12 says, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Who is this Lord? Who is this person that has eternal life? "There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5). He and he alone is "the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [him]" (John 14:6). He substituted his perfect life for all those that shall be saved (Rom. 5:12-19).

Universalism is not a true doctrine (cf. Jude 1:3). Some will be eternally lost. We need to ask some important questions of ourselves: Am I saved? Do I have eternal life? If not, then ask Christ to come into your life now - Romans 10:9-10.

Related Answer:

Will all mankind eventually be saved?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).