The Witness of Hebrews
Hebrews 2:6-9 continues this same teaching:
6 But one [David] has testified somewhere [Psalm 8], saying, "What is man, that Thou rememberest him? Or the son of man, that Thou art concerned about him? 7 "Thou hast made him for a little while lower than the angels; Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, And hast appointed him over the works of Thy hands; 8Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. "For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now [at present] we do not yet see all things subjected to him. 9 But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
Here the author defines “all” as “everyone.” Not all are in subjection to Christ at the present time, but the day is coming when all men everywhere WILL be subject to Him. Meanwhile, the Scripture says, we see that Jesus tasted death for EVERYONE. "He left nothing that is NOT subject to Him.
Paul refers to Psalm 8 again in Philippians 3:20 and 21.
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Many Christians today have never really thought about whether Jesus really has this power or not. They assume that He is essentially powerless to save any but the firstfruits, a tiny portion of the harvest, because Jesus will not go against the will of man. But Jesus Himself said in John 12:32 that if He would die upon the cross, He would “draw” all men to Himself. The word “draw” is the Greek word, helkuo, which means “to drag.” As used in the New Testament, it always indicates that the one doing the dragging is imposing his will upon the ones being dragged.
John 6:44 says no man can come to the Father except the Father DRAG him. John 12:32 says that Jesus will DRAG all men to Himself. John 21:6 speaks of dragging the net to bring the fish to shore. James 2:6 speaks of the civil magistrates, who, in persecuting the Christians, would DRAG them to court.
It is apparent, then, that the day will come when God’s will is going to be imposed upon all men. He will drag all them to Himself by means of judgment, that is, the lake of fire. He has both the power and the will to do this.
In Philippians 2:10,11, Paul says:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
John saw the fulfillment of this in a vision recorded in Revelation 5:13.
13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
John well knew that the purpose of Christ’s rulership in His Kingdom was to draw all men to Himself. He wrote in 1 John 2:2,
2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
Of this verse, Clement of Alexandria gives us a commentary on its meaning and scope in his Commentary on 1 John:
“And not only for our sins, that is, for those of the faithful, is the Lord the Propitiator does he say, but also for the whole world. He, indeed, saves all; but some He saves converting them by punishments; others, however, who follow voluntarily He saves with dignity of honour; so that every knee should bow to Him, of things in heaven, of things on earth, and things under the earth-that is, angels and men.”
What a marvelous thing that Jesus would die not only for our sins (that is, for us as Christians), but also for the sins of the entire world! Surely the blood has not lost its power since then. Paul told Timothy (1 Tim. 4:10,11) to preach this as well.
10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
11 Prescribe and teach these things.
Believers are especially singled out, because their salvation comes first. Theirs will be a greater honor, because they will inherit Life in the Kingdom. But yet, God is the Savior of ALL MEN. No doubt Timothy and others like him did indeed teach this in Asia Minor, for the early Church leaders in the next centuries were faithful to teach these things, as their writings prove.
And today we are likewise exhorted to teach these things. Why? Because it is important to understand that God is truly righteous in His judgments. The usual teaching of endless torment makes God unjust. By what standard? By God’s standard, as revealed in His law. That is the only righteous standard in the earth. And for this reason we must know of the restoration of all things.