Have All Been Raised with Christ?

24 May

Inclusionist theology hangs entirely on the belief that humanity died 2000 years ago. If all literally died, then all are now included in the life of Christ…

Telling unbelievers that they have already been raised with Christ is misleading at best and flat out wrong at worst. It would be like John telling the Gnostics they have fellowship with the Father and the Son when they don’t. John never said, “You have fellowship but you don’t know it.” He said, “You are walking in darkness and living a lie.” Part of the problem with modern religion is that it tells Christians they lack things they actually possess. Now it seems we’re telling the ungodly they possess things they actually lack. Those who are dead in sins do not possess eternal life. Those who reject Jesus are not in union with Him. This is nuts.

Jesus told the Jews, “You refuse to come to me to have life” (Joh 5:40). The inclusionist begs to differ. “Correction Jesus, they do have life even though they refuse to come to you. They just don’t know it.” Jesus said to the unbelievers in Sardis, “You are dead” (Rev 3:1). But the inclusionist says, “No, no, no, you’re not dead, you’re just ignorant.” Jesus said, “Wake up! Remember what you heard; obey it and repent.” He was saying that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to all who believe. The inclusionist up-ends this message by telling the unbeliever, “You’re already saved.”

Personally, I prefer the message that Jesus preached. If He said, “Come to me to have life” and “Whoever believes me in me has crossed over from death to life,” then I’m going to encourage the lost to come to Jesus and put their faith in Him. He is the Life! The grace of God that raises the dead can only be accessed through faith.

Paul_EllisPaul Ellis

Was Humanity Raised With Christ (2012)

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35 Responses to “Have All Been Raised with Christ?”

  1. Kevin Ashwe May 24, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    I think a subtle poison is been introduced into the church without the notice of many of us preachers. Thanks for pointing this issue out.

  2. wwjcdnow May 24, 2013 at 2:18 am #

    THIS IS SPOT ON BROTHER!

  3. Earl Vordenberg May 24, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    so all is in vain? no need for the gospel, ignorance is bliss …sounds like a plan..By the way what is the plan…..who cares,its a non plan………..riddle me this Batman!

  4. Fred May 24, 2013 at 3:38 am #

    Paul, one question that no-one has answered satisfactorily to me is the “old favourite”…. What happens to all those who died … having never heard the gospel… (millions in Africa) as well as “chlildren” who die before they “ever get a chance to respond to the gospel”. This second question to be answered in the light of the understanding that “all are born in sin”….I look forward to your explanation…

    • Paul Ellis May 24, 2013 at 7:14 am #

      Regarding your first question: people aren’t lost because they haven’t heard the gospel. The issue is how we respond to God – and everybody responds, one way or the other. Perhaps Adam was like those Africans you worry about – no gospel, no church, no Christian TV, yet he still had his opportunity. If you don’t like that example, how about Adam’s grandkids? Again, no gospel (such as we understand it), no church, no YWAM, no missionaries and plenty of unbelief in their family tree. – yet they called on the name of the Lord (Gen 4:26). How’d that happen? I think we need to give God a little credit. He is greater than his book and a better witness than any of us. We may not have this all figured out but he does. How part is to trust the things he has said and not worry about the things he hasn’t.

      I think you need to put your second question to someone who thinks children and babies go to hell. I don’t.

      • Earl Vordenberg May 24, 2013 at 7:35 am #

        Paul have you been reading my responses,haha, a friend of mine used to say god is big enough to make it all happen, your response to Fred is right on I believe,I had told the story here about Jim croft a disciple [I use the term lightly] of Derek Prince,who went to south america as a missionary,and when they were done witnessing to the natives,a old man came up to him and said {i know this Jesus.} and he had never been told about Jesus….so much to our surprise, Jesus can visit who he wants to.

    • Fred May 24, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      Perhaps I am missing you right at the foundation of salvation… as in having eternal life for individuals. My question is….. What must a man do to have eternal life…. so that when he dies he spends eternity in the presence of the Lord?

      • Paul Ellis May 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

        What must you do to inherit eternal life? I think someone once put that question to Jesus. There is nothing you can do. It’s an inheritance. All you can “do” is receive it (or reject it).

    • John June 20, 2013 at 7:05 am #

      Humans responsible for light they have.-

  5. Ken Jones May 24, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    So your saying there is still something mankind has to do? That Jesus really does save us from God? That most people are going to hell because they haven’t believed the right doctrines? That doesn’t sound like Good News to me. That sounds like a dressed up mythology. Just because the inclusivist says “you are already saved” they also stress that one must still experience that salvation for it to be complete salvation. The kingdom of God is among you Jesus said, but you still need eyes to see it. You still need to come to me. But I’m not against you even though you are fellowshipping with darkness

  6. Blaine Davidson May 24, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    “What, then, is the difference which He has made to the whole human mass? It is just this; that the business of becoming a son of God, of being turned from a created thing into a begotten thing, of passing over from the temporary biological life into timeless ‘spiritual’ life, has been done for us. Humanity is already ‘saved’ in principle. We individuals have to appropriate that salvation. But the really tough work-the bit we could not have done for ourselves-has been done for us. We have not got to try to climb up into spiritual life by our own efforts: it has already come down into the human race. If we will only lay ourselves open to the one Man in whom it was fully present, and who, in spite of being God, is also a real man, He will do it in us and for us.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

    • Paul Ellis May 24, 2013 at 8:30 am #

      That is exactly it. Jesus has done it all. Our part is to trust him.

      Incidentally, I am often amused (bemused?) at how CS Lewis is regularly quoted by some inclusionists and universalists – the same CS Lewis who wrote an entire book on hell (The Great Divorce) and said everyone who is there chooses it.

      • Blaine Davidson May 24, 2013 at 8:56 am #

        I agree with your amuse/bemuse-ment 🙂

        As a piggy back to Lewis’ quote (which strums of the age-old debate about Arminianism & Calvinism), my contention is that the Spirit provides an opportunity to hold lightly the mystery of humanity being completely saved in principle and our restful role in appropriating that truth.

      • Fred May 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

        Paul, here is my problem, I see this as a contradiction ( I am really not trying to give you a hard time) … but just cannot see how these fit together. You say Jesus has done it all ….. I agree perfectly….. you say …all need to trust him….. my point…. how can they trust him …if they never hear. If you say God is bigger than the bible… that opens to the possibility to those who never hear…. to have another way…? Just trying to connect those dots.

      • Paul Ellis May 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

        An equally valid question is, how can they distrust him if they haven’t heard. Surely, everyone responds to Christ one way or the other. How he measures that is our concern. All he has asked us to do is preach the gospel. The rest is his business.

        If my answer doesn’t satisfy, I recommend Eternity in their Hearts by Don Richardson.

      • Earl Vordenberg May 25, 2013 at 2:24 am #

        BINGO.i find it funny that such a simple thing like trust, is such a hard thing to do…it seems unfortunate that the enemy has done he job well,but i believe that grace is the balm that heals.

  7. markrandallpixley May 24, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    I would agree with everything you have written here except the inclusion of Sardis, which was not written to unbelievers…not sure how you extract that from the text…it was clearly written to a leader or sent one of a church…there is nothing to imply Jesus was speaking to unbelievers at all in the seven letters. I suppose you can deduce that the believers were in unbelief…but it doesn’t seem to fit your narrative in this post…like I said I agree with your post just think you are being dishonest to include the passage in Revelation.

    • Paul Ellis May 24, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      It is a simplification to assume that going to church makes you a Christian. Our churches are open to the ungodly. Why would we assume things were any different in the first century? Jesus died for all, not just Christians, so he has something to say to all. Re: Sardis, Jesus clearly distinguishes the dead from those “who will walk with me.” It is the dead who are exhorted to obey what they have heard (the gospel). The others are already doing it. More here.

      • Ken Jones May 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

        I guess I’m amused in the same way you quote certain people. 🙂
        The one whom C. S. Lewis called his “master” was an inclusivist – George MacDonald. In response to your post below, I do agree with your punch-line. I just disagree that the punch-line revolves around the traditional doctrine of hell – eternal conscience torment for those who don’t do that before they die. I am an inclusivist probably for the same reason you are a “baby inclusivist.” Just as I believe that babies and children who die will accept Jesus’ embrace (even though they are “dead”), I believe adults will too. Jesus is the way. The only way. “He is the Savior of all people, especially those who believe” (1 Tim 4:10).

      • Paul Ellis May 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

        You have a knack for latching onto things I never said. I don’t think babies are dead in sin anymore than I think they go to hell. The Bible repeatedly says good things about babies and young children and bad things about men going astray. It’s not that we’re born saved and become unsaved and then have to get saved again. We’re all given the same opportunity as Adam. We all have an opportunity to respond. Those who never get to make the choice are not treated as though they had chosen poorly.

        And for what it’s worth, I don’t think of hell as eternal torment either.

  8. Ricky Malone May 24, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Thank You so much for this article my brother. The person who led me to the Lord, who introduce me to the Gospel of Grace has fallen into this deception of the inclusionist. He actually tried to teach it to me a few weeks ago and in my Spirit I totally rejected it. But then those thoughts were trying to hit me to think, What if this is true? So thank you for the article. It is from the HolySpirit.

  9. Ken Jones May 24, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Aren’t C. Baxter Kruger, Robert Farrar Capon, John Crowder, Benjamin Dunn, and Steve McVey inclusivists? Why do you quote them and have them under your “Grace Preachers” list? If you don’t want to call them “inclusivists” they are definitely at least “hopeful universalists” and seem to espouse a much more reconciled cosmos than you do.

    • Paul Ellis May 24, 2013 at 9:08 am #

      Since when did it become imperative that we have to agree with our brothers 100% before we will talk to them or quote them or, dare I say, love them? I have disagreements with most of the people on that list. So what? It is spectacularly unimportant to me that our doctrinal ducks all line up. If Jesus can be a friend of sinners, the very least we can do is try and be friends with our brothers. Even if a sinner preaches grace, I’ll applaud. Putting people into camps and then judging them by their membership in those camps diminishes them. I won’t do it. The only lines I acknowledge are those people draw for themselves by their response to Christ.

      • Ken Jones May 24, 2013 at 9:27 am #

        All I’m saying is that a big emphasis in those five guys ministries I mentioned is universal reconciliation and hopeful universalism. By the tone of your article it seems that you have a big problem with people who espouse that doctrine. So it is just curious to me as to why you quote them, which many people see as “endorsing” their ministries. I love those five guys ministries and think you are misrepresenting “inclusivists” unfairly in your article.

      • Paul Ellis May 24, 2013 at 10:35 am #

        As I say, I’ll quote grace wherever it comes from because all grace ultimately originates in Christ. I don’t endorse ministries; I endorse people. Defining someone in terms of their ministry is demeaning. We are not defined by what we do. I love my brothers.

        You clearly seem upset with what I wrote but so far you have only criticized things I didn’t actually say. The punch-line of the post is “Come to Jesus to have life.” Is this something you disagree with?

      • kookie3 May 24, 2013 at 10:56 am #

        I was wondering about attitudes that exclude brothers and sisters based on differences. A I for one, am very tired of divisions among the brethren. That seems very ‘law based.’ John Crowder likes to say he has ‘ hope’ that everyone gets in. Me too. I appreciate so much the inclusive nature of grace and the freedom it has brought to my life. I agree with Dr. Steve Brown who says: “we only get 50% of our understanding of doctrine correct, the real problem is, we don’t even know which 50%!”

    • Blaine Davidson May 24, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      Where is it written that the baby must be thrown out with the bathwater when agreeing and disagreeing in part with different teachers? In my experience, it’s not so much about black and white with Jesus. The man lived and spoke in parables that intentionally disrupted every presumed truth we continue to believe about the Kingdom, sometimes tasting of salt and other times of pepper. It’s worth considering that regardless of what “vist” camp we hang our hat, that they other likely has a verse to contribute as well. Paul, I greatly appreciate that grace to you can include saints of all varieties, colors and sounds even if they don’t all agree. Thank you!

  10. Andre van der Merwe May 24, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Awesome article Paul.

    Maybe when we exhale our final breath during THIS life, God doesn’t say “It’s too late for you now!!” like we’ve been taught? Jesus went and preached to the spirits in prison after the flood. But I hold that even then, beholding God in His glory, the hearts of some will be so hardened that they don’t want anything to do with God. Even when every knee bows and every tongue confesses, some will be doing it with the attitude of defeated enemies looking up with hatred at a King who conquered them.

    • Earl Vordenberg May 25, 2013 at 2:31 am #

      I think you my be on to something there Andre,The king will exercise his authority in the end,EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW.

  11. Jacob May 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    Thanks for the post initiating a correction in the minds. Romans 5:19 is used to prove all are included, “just as one man sinned all became sinners, one obeyed all were made righteous”, the damage is seen in the body of Christ. Unfortunately a correction is not encouraged as it is said to be from a law mind. Our God is not the author of any confusion and he always persuade people to listen and believe.

  12. James May 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Paul, thank you, you have a way of replying to dissension with grace, this is one reason I desire to understand grace even more. the good news is the inclusion of believing dissidents because yes we never going to get it all right, only Jesus can do this.

    • Earl Vordenberg May 25, 2013 at 2:07 am #

      to quote Bob Mumford,all of us that are on the Agape rd,end up in the ditch sometimes, there still on the road,some of them get out some dont, God is I believe quit capable of correcting his children s theology,,then he sends out the tow truck to pull us out of the ditch.

  13. Bob May 25, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    Hi Paul, I think there is plenty mystery around this topic, there’s an aspect to salvation that is much bigger than me and my response.

    Paul says in Eph 2:5 – “even when we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ”. An honest interpretation of ‘alive together with Christ’, is that God raised me up simultaneously with Jesus Christ. It happened there and then. What do you do with this passage? How do you interpret it? Would love to hear.

    • Paul Ellis June 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

      Hi Bob,
      Sorry for my late reply. I only just found your comment in the spam folder. (Don’t take it personally!) Yes, I agree with you – we were raised up with Christ when Christ was raised. It’s part of our mystical union. Paul explains it in Romans 6 – when we were baptized into Christ Jesus we were baptized into his death. We may have only been baptized or “dipped” recently, but since Christ is our representative, when he did it, we did it. But does that mean everyone has been raised? No, because not everyone wants to be represented. Hence the many exhortations to believe and cross from death to life. That’s my short response. In the link above, I list seven reasons why humanity was not raised with Christ.

  14. Paul Donnan May 25, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    Great word Paul! Thanks

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