Did Jesus come to save the whole world?

Did Jesus come to save the whole world or just come to save a minority who believe in him? I am posing this question and suggest that we look at the question carefully without being dogmatic. If you had asked me this question 20 years ago I would have said the only way to be saved, was to believe in Jesus and look to him for our salvation. There are scriptures which support this view but there is a great deal of biblical evidence that it has always been God’s intention and plan to save every man and women — indeed the whole earth (and the whole of creation).

I am now inclined to believe that God will save everyone, but dare not be too assertive on this issue as greater minds than mine have grappled with this question.   So, I am not asking you to say, “I agree with George”, but to look at the following passages from The Bible and come to your own position on the subject.

We must also look of what it means to be saved.  It means having a relationship with Jesus/God and having everlasting life.  This starts NOW and I cannot underestimate the advantages and blessings of being saved, forgiven and loved in this present life, regardless of what chances there are in the future.  There is a case for believing that all will eventually be saved but it is far better for us to choose life, now, while we can fully enjoy it.


But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people‘. (Luke 2:10 NIV)

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.’” (Luke 3:4-6 John the Baptist quoting from Isaiah 40:3-5 NIV)


For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17 NIV)

We have heard Him ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world. (John 4:42)

“When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32 NIV)


Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. (Romans 5:18 NIV)

It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'” (Romans 14:11 NIV)

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22 NIV)

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 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. (Colossians 1:19-20 NIV)

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. (I Timothy 2;1-6 NIV)

That is why we labour and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:10 NIV)

Other New Testament

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. (Acts 2;17 NIV)

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9 NIV)

We have seen, and do testify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14 NIV)

Author: George Dowdell

I was the founder of Karuna Action (formerly Kingscare) and was the director for 24 years. I have now handed control over to younger people but continue as an advisor and trustee. My passion is to see extreme poverty eliminated and to see justice for the powerless.

8 thoughts on “Did Jesus come to save the whole world?”

  1. Did God make a covenant with the 12 tribes of Israel. Will there be no salvation outside the 22 tribes possible?


  2. To all the commentaries.. I will say that the ‘all’ in the biblical context, refers to all those who believe and confess Jesus Christ. Not only about confession, rather by living a holy life, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Remember that Holy Spirit will surely guide us into all truth.


  3. I watched the documentary COME SUNDAY on Netflix this year. The pastor used the same scriptures as you do and it released me from so much fear. I do not believe that my creator would send anyone to hell for eternity just as I would never do that to my own child no matter what she or he would do. And the words ALL PEOPLE is what we need to look at. I don’t see the words SOME PEOPLE.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “I don’t agree with George” !
    You are right that God will save the whole world in the sense that the whole of creation is recreated into the new heaven and new earth at the second coming (hence several of the ‘all’ words you point out). And ‘every knee will bow’ – but not all willingly. But biblical teaching is pretty clear to me that not all people will be saved – though God desires that we all will be (hence many more of the ‘all’ words your found). But if all were saved it would invalidate our free will and diminish the work of Christ.
    I am more concerned that the discussion assumes that everyone’s opinion is valid and we all have our own views and can come to our own conclusion. In this way lies post modern madness! We can and should think, and discuss and study but we must also give way to the clear conclusion of hundreds of scholars over centuries – many of whom wrestled with this in the Spirit and who have come to broadly similar conclusions – I believe there is a clear orthodoxy across mainline denominations on this issue.


    1. I’m reading Carlton Pearson’s book. The Gospel of Inclusion, reading the part entitled “A little chat with Creator” blew me away. I took it to my pastor but he argued “ the traditional” view with me. That no longer feels like good news to my Autistic mind. If Jesus died for the whole of humanity, it’s got nothing to do with our free will, if he’s forgiven us all THROUGH the cross. God says “We redeemed and reconcile ALL of humanity at Calvary. That is what the cross was and is all about”


  5. Hi George, quite a lot of people are asking the same question, it seems. I’m interested to see your take on it.

    My view is that there are passages that seem to teach several different views of who will be “saved”, and while universalism is certainly suggested by many scriptures, so are other views – and perhaps more strongly. I don’t think scripture teaches the conventional view of hell, but, reluctantly, I don’t think it teaches universalism either.

    But I think it is good you raise the issue and ask the question. My opinion is worth no more than anyone else’s, including yours, so who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: