Everyone Goes to Heaven?

I saw a "Christian" t-shirt months ago that surprised me. I saw it again today and feel compelled to write about it. The front of the shirt said: Jesus died for you. You will go to heaven. The back said: Jesus died for everyone. Everyone will go to heaven.

I would have enjoyed having dialogue with the individual wearing that shirt but such wasn't possible, unfortunately. Had I been given the opportunity, I would have first complimented the gentleman on not being ashamed to share his religious convictions publicly. Then, I would have asked some questions to see if he really believed what his shirt affirmed. For example:

The answers given would dictate, of course, how the conversation might unfold. If the man was unwilling to affirm that all serial killers and child molesters would be in heaven, then I would agree with him and encourage him to wear a shirt consistent with what he truly believes. Merely because Jesus died for everyone does not lead to the conclusion that everyone will go to heaven.

If the man answered consistently with his shirt, however, he would affirm that all serial killers & child molesters (even those without an ounce of remorse) would indeed go to heaven. But, for him to answer in a way that is consistent with his shirt is going to require him to answer in a way that is inconsistent with God's word. I would go on to try to explain the following and share Bible verses with the gentleman.

The Bible does affirm that Jesus died for all - "And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." (I John 2:2). I suppose that without the context of the rest of the Bible, one could interpret this verse alone as supporting the theology of the man's t-shirt. However, the sum of God's word is truth (cf. Psa. 119:160). If our understanding of one verse conflicts with other passages of Scripture, we are misunderstanding something somewhere.

I believe that Jesus is the sin-offering for all the world. He is the means of forgiveness for all who have ever lived. However, although His blood is powerful enough to atone for all sins, it will not cleanse the sins of those who refuse to trust God and submit to His will. The Bible never affirms that all will go to heaven. In fact, I believe it teaches unequivocally that relatively few will enter into eternal life. This has nothing to do with the power of Jesus' sacrifice. It has everything to do with the majority refusing to accept God's gift of grace on His terms. Please consider these passages on this important theme:

There are other passages that could be considered, but these are sufficient for now. It is true, friends, that forgiveness is available to all because of what Jesus did at Calvary, but one cannot access God's saving grace without Biblical faith (cf. Eph. 2:8,9; Rom. 5:1,2). No t-shirt can change that truth.