There is a lot being said lately about how all in Adam die and all in Christ will be made alive. This is scripture. Let’s look at it.

1 Corinthians 15:22 – [ Young’s Literal]

…for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive,

2 Corinthians 5:19 – [ Young’s] that God was in Christ — a world reconciling to Himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses; and having put in us the word of the reconciliation,

The word, in, doesn’t necessarily mean something is located within something else.


Preposition –  Definition:  in, by, with etc.

Another way of reading ‘in’, when dealing with passages like 1 Cor 15:22, is to read it as ‘because of’, ‘by this means’, or ‘due to.

This is the best sense of 2 Corinthians 5:19:

[ The Message Bible ] God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.

Clearly, in the light of many passages to the contrary, we cannot say that all men are in Christ, as united with Him. Only believers have a part in Him. That does not mean all aren’t reconciled because of His saving work. They are. But all are not in Him. As I looked at this, I saw that all were not “in” Adam either. All die because of/by Adam.

All who receive Christ are the ones who are part of Him, the spiritual seed of Abraham. Paul said all Israel was not Israel.  And yes, it’s tricky. But not if you understand the meaning of saying ‘in’. All people in the whole world are not in Christ. They are reconciled by the work of Christ on the cross. But they are not in Him.

What’s the big deal? Well, to say the whole world is in Christ is to ignore plain statements to the contrary. It is to believe something that is not supported by the general tenor of scripture. It is to believe an absurdity.