I hear this a lot of times within certian conversations and I am not sure why – but the idea being via Jesus ‘everyone is saved’…koombuhyah?
I am not sure that is sound theologically or even linguisticly from the texts of the NT.
(a) Theologically is goes against certain ideals Jesus taught on the subject of choice. One can be the ‘good tree’ or the ‘bad tree’ or the idea of the foundations of ‘stone’ or ‘sand’. There is no question Jesus is setting up a stark difference within his teachings between ‘side a’ and ‘side b’…or as was referred to in Judaism as ‘the way of life’ (righteousness) and ‘the way of death’ (wickedness). Jesus really isn’t doing that much new in his teachings as much as he is re-hashing the importance of knowing for yourself what is right and wrong and working on that.
(b) Linguistically it is very questionable to think because Jesus says ‘all are saved’ he means ‘everyone’. The problem is quite simple – the bible speaks in large ‘overtones’ all the time – generic language (large generalizations)…and not in individual nuances as part of it’s literature. This is common from the Tanakh to the NT. Now maybe this has to do with ‘community’ – but even then that’s a ‘select’ amount of people that want to be recognized as community. Fact is, Jesus could say 3/4th’s of the world are doomed to Gehenna and it wouldn’t shake me very much – it’s an emphasis factor and one that was meant to seem ‘bigger’ to make a point. One finds this in Paul and all the other writers if one cares to read a little.
So it raises the question – why say stuff like that at all?
Well security and inclusion would be two key things. For example, I get criticized for using these same kind of generalizations myself – when I refer to Christians doing this or being responsible for that. Well ‘Christians’ is a catch phrase that may not include everyone within Christendom but is aimed as a generalization with ‘no specific name’ – for inclusion sake…you address the concern yourself if you feel you are included in the category (depending on the topic).
Security is about us entering a convo and feeling we have little to lose. In this case, with the mass inclusive language being used the emphasis is to get more people to hearken to the message. Using language that is quite ambigious (as previously shown) will get more people involved in the conversation since no one is being ‘centered out’…we can feel anonymous in some way when we enter the convo. This gets more people into the convo and the use of generalized language makes us feel secure.
The language also has an emphasis overtone to it that makes it seems that much more urgent or important. But of course, we already knew that.
It’s just not that easy to brush these things away if one reads many passages from the Tankah to the NT.