I am confused by your explanation of 1 Timothy 4:10, as other commentators seem to interpret that Christ died for all yet only the believers will benefit from his death. I know Pastor Armstrong teaches the theology of election, but does it not render God unjust if each soul was not given, at the very least, one opportunity to accept salvation?
The concept of being “saved” has multiple meanings or applications in the Bible, so we cannot rely on a single definition for every use of the term. We must look at the context of each passage to appreciate its meaning.
As Pastor Armstrong explains in Lesson 5A of First Timothy, the context of Paul’s comments in the verse you mention is not salvation from hell. Rather the context is to call believers to be saved from a poor testimony, by living a life that pleases Christ.
In that context, we must understand Paul’s words to be comparing the closeness of our relationship with Christ, not a reference to Christ saving “all men”, which contradicts the clear teaching of other passages of the Bible. So the proper interpretation is that among believers, Jesus is everyone’s Savior, but He is exceedingly a Savior for those believers who serve Him well.
Obviously, the Lord remains Savior for all believers regardless of whether we pursue godliness or not. Even the most disobedient believer among us still has the assurance that Jesus is their Savior. Christ justifies His children from the moment of our faith, and nothing can separate us from the love of God. Simply put, salvation doesn’t turn on our choice to pursue or not pursue godliness. But for those believers who do pursue godliness, fixing their hope on Jesus, for these believers Jesus is exceedingly their Savior. For them, Jesus is even more a Savior, because they are not only saved in Him, but they are living for Him. Just as we could say that our country’s president is the president of every citizen, yet he is especially the president of those who voted for him. Likewise, Christ is the savior for every Christian, but He is exceedingly a Savior for those who live in obedience to Him.
Furthermore, the Bible never claims that every person deserves an “opportunity” to believe. This is manmade thinking, not biblical teaching. The Bible makes no such claim at any time. In fact, the Bible teaches the opposite. The Bible says that no man ever seeks for God at any time (see Romans 3). All mankind is deserving of eternal judgment only, but by God’s grace some may be saved. For a complete understanding of these important concepts, we recommend you consult the following: