SELECT * FROM Humankind WHERE Saved = ‘true’ AND Loved IS NOT NULL
? rows returned
Cardinality here refers to whether God has any sort of mandatory relationship with the whole of humankind. Is it an optional relationship, as in, its possible no one may be with him in the end? Is it a mandatory 1:1 relationship, as in, at least one human will be with him? Is there a difference between Christ’s ideals and the reality he can feasibly create? Is Christ’s ideal to save all humankind, which is a “one to many” relationship? Will he fail in his ideal?
Let’s start by evaluating Christ and humankind by examining some statements which many Christians have held to be true throughout history, statements that start with ideals, but then are reduced by reality.
1. God sincerely wills or desires the salvation of each and every sinful human being.
2. God will eventually achieve a complete victory over sin and death and will therefore accomplish the salvation of everyone whose salvation he sincerely wills or desires.
3. Some human sinners will never be reconciled to God and will therefore remain separated from him forever.
To accept statement #3 as true, you must reject either statement #1 or #2. However, let us examine some clear “one to many” statements in the Bible and see if these statements point to a different truth. What effect does the “one” Christ have on the “many” humankind?
I Cor. 15:28 “When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.” So, in the end, all things, including humankind, will be in subjection to God. This does not mean God will have forced praise heaped upon him from unwilling participants. He calls that iniquity in Isaiah 1:11-13. Rom. 5:18 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” Thus, all humankind will have justification and life. Verse 19, says that same group, humankind, will be made righteous. And the force of God’s grace is more powerful than the potency of sin (verse 20). I Cor. 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Thus, all humankind will be made alive.
From these verses, the entity Humankind has the following 5 attributes:
Future subjection (not forced).
They are given grace more powerful than sin.
What attributes does the entity Christ have that necessitates this effect on the many?
I Cor. 15:45 – The last Adam, the life-giving spirit.
I Cor. 15:49 – the man from heaven.
Rom. 5:10 – the Son of God.
Rom. 5:21 – Our Lord.
From here we can create statement #4 which removes statement #3 above. Instead of rejecting either statement #1 or #2, we can accept both and make a new statement.
4. God will eventually accomplish the salvation of each and every sinful human being.
The minimum cardinality for humankind is the same as the maximum. Christ (“one”) created a mandatory relationship with humankind (“many”). Notice, this does not negate the (1:1) relationship in which Christ is the only way to heaven. Neither does it require that all humankind accept the (1:1) relationship in this life. All references to justification, life, righteousness, and subjection are future relationships. Neither does it destroy hell. It just means hell will not last forever because God will not fail in his ideals. God’s ideals will be reality.
(The statements #1 – #4 above were adapted from the reference below, p. 38.)
Talbott, T. (2014). The Inescapable Love of God. Wipf and Stock Publishers: Eugene, OR.