There are three different views of the destiny of the lost. These approaches can be termed as (1) "Eternal Conscious Torment," (2) "Annihilation," (3) "Universal Reconciliation." All three have apparent scriptural support.1 But for every verse apparently supporting the first two views, there are many more verses that appear to support the latter.
According to theology, the majority of God’s creation will be hopelessly lost to Him. It teaches that God knowingly (with foreknowledge) created mankind, the majority of which He will eternally damn. But this is out of character with the true God of the scriptures.
"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:2, 3).
"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee" (Psalm 22:27).
"The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities" (Psalm 103:8-10).
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it" (Isaiah 2:2).
"Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God" (Luke 3:5,6).
"That was the true Light [Jesus Christ], which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (John 1:9).
"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto Him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
"...This is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world" (John 4:42).
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me" (John 12:32).
"Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21).
"For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous" (Romans 5:17-19).
"For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Romans 11:30-36).
"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all." (I Corinthians 15:21-28).
"For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead ... To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation" (II Corinthians 5:14,19).
"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him" (Ephesians 1:10).
"And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven" (Colossians 1:20).
"Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (I Timothy 2:6).
"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe" (I Timothy 4:10).
"And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (I John 2:2).
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:4).
Even Sodom, the great example of God’s wrath and judgement, will not be exempt from the restoration of God’s Love.
Praise the Lord! He is the Lord of both the dead and the living.