‘The point of all our toiling and battling is that we have put our trust in the living God, and He is the Savior of the whole human race, but particularly of all believers’ (1 Timothy 4:10) has always intrigued me ever since I first read it. This verse, considered in combination with the more famous John 3:16, that ‘God so loved the world’ tends to remind me of the little known concept that when Christ descends into Hades, He empties it. Who wouldn’t go with the living God when He finds you where you are, even in hell, and bids you, ‘Come forth!’
For the fundamentalist Christian, you must accept Christ as personal Lord and Savior or you go to hell for your sins.
For the Orthodox, the personal Lord and savior ‘of the whole human race, but particularly of all believers’ even harrows hell to rescue the soul that nailed Him to the cross, ‘for God so loved the world, that He sent His only-begotten Son…’
God is mercy.