God's Plan for Universal Salvation

Note how in line with the Teachings of Christ regarding two ages where forgiveness for sins would be available through His resurrection Paul under the influence of the Holy Spirit points to the order in which that happens in 1 Corinthians 15:17-28: “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable (Note that this life is not the only time in which there is hope). But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive (Note that the reference here is all of the offspring of Adam past, present, and future that died as a result of inherited sin [not the sin against the Holy Spirit] would be made alive). But each one in his own order (meaning not all during the same period of time: Christ (first) the firstfruits (second - firstfruits are those Christ or His Apostles chose personally during their earthly ministry and died before the end of the Earthly Priesthood and Temple in Jerusalem), afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming (A.K.A. - the First General Resurrection until The Rapture). Then comes the end (The Second Resurrection during the Thousand Year Judgment Day under the Reign of Christ), when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father (At the end of the Thousand Years), when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy (The first enemy on Earth was Adam as the context implies) that will be destroyed is death (The result of Adam’s sin). For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him (This simply means that the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ that allows for Christ’s mediation between God and Humanity will no longer be required and not that Christ in Heaven is demoted to an inferior position to God), that God may be all in all.”

This explanation of the process of God’s plan for salvation of all of creation, as the rest of the chapter elaborates on, is in line with Christ’s own teaching as quoted by the Gospel of John and Matthew for example in the following passage in John 5:24-29: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life These include those that are the firstfruits and those that follow Christ through the hearing and believing the message of the Gospel in this age until the Rapture occurs). Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming (at the time of Christ’s own Ascension after His resurrection), and now is (Jesus was near the end of His human life), when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear (Those who hear means not all of the dead will hear at the time of this resurrection only those whom believed in Him through the Gospel in this age) will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this (That a special group of the dead will be resurrected first); for the hour is coming (not now unlike the first group but at a later time) in which all who are in the graves (All of the offspring of Adam that lived and died without hearing or believing the Gospel in this life) will hear His voice (now all the dead will hear Christ’s voice unlike the first time He called for a resurrection) and come forth (In the age to come during the Thousand Year Judgment Day when Christ Reigns)—those who have done good (During that age not this life or age), to the resurrection of life (Their names are finally written in the Lamb’s Book of Life), and those who have done evil (During that age not this life or age), to the resurrection of condemnation (as the Greek word for condemnation implies to eternal crisis, i.e., eternal punishment).”

Also, we take note of what Christ is quoted in Matthew as saying about the matter of the age to come, for example Matthew 12:30-32: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men (There is only one unforgivable sin and it is to attribute evil to God as Adam did originally in the Garden of Eden). Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come (This emphasizes the fact that during the age to come during the Thousand Year Judgement Day when Christ Reigns over the Regeneration, which is the final resurrection there are those that will be forgiven and go on to inherit eternal life by the end of that age as is evident from many other passages in the old and new testaments).” - Note that here as in Luke 12:8-10 where the Lord makes a similar statement Jesus is speaking to His Disciples and those that by culture, heritage, and education knew He was the Messiah and yet were opposing Him and He was not speaking to the uninitiated or untaught. Jesus emphasized the special danger that those that were initiated into God’s Truth by culture, heritage, status, and education were in when they rejected the message of the Gospel and Opposed its dissemination when in Matthew 11:20-24 he stated: "Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent (These were Jewish towns where the Prophets and the Torah was publicly Read weekly and the Messiah was expected at any time based on the Prophetic timing as we who believe are in expectation of His return today): “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment (The Thousand Year Reign of Christ) than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven (They knew He was the Messiah), will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment (The Thousand Year Reign of Christ) than for you.” - And so on the basis of these words from the Lord many that died by the judgement of God in this life in places like Tyre and Sodom will arise in the resurrection in the age to come and fare better than those in the places where He preached and did miracles daily for 3-1/2 years during His Earthly Ministry. And as we have read in the Gospel of John 5:28-29 many will, as can also be determined from the Prophecies of Isaiah, Revelation and many other passages of Scripture.

But why? Because of the Ransom Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary.

Hours before His Crucifixion Christ stated in John 12:32: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” In the Greek the word people or men or any other word qualifying the word all exists. The Greek simply states, “if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to Myself” and this is in line with what we see in several other passages of scripture, such as in Paul’s explanation of the Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 where he speaks to the regeneration of all of the cosmos and even animals or in His revelation of the creation in Romans 8, etc. And in Isaiah and Peter’s declaration of A New Heaven and a New Earth. But mainly with Christ’s statement to Peter and likely a couple hundred of His Disciples when in Matthew 19:28 the Lord states. “Assuredly I say to you, that in the REGENRATION (the word in Greek [palingenesia] literally means Renewal of All Things), when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

This is why Paul could state assertively in Romans 6:7 that because Christ Died paying for the sins of All “he who has died has been freed from sin.” The word freed in Greek used in this verse literally means legally justified or declared innocent. And as Romans 5:6-10 and verse 18 draw attention to this was not as a result of a persons specific faith (though he does consider there is justification that involves a person’s faith he emphasizes that it is not required for the universal justification of the humankind to be delivered from original sin as Paul writes in 1 Timothy 4:9-10 where it says, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, ESPECIALLY of those who believe (but not only).” This is confirmed by the Apostle John when writing to the born again elect of God in 1 John 2:2 where he says, “And He [Christ] Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours [the Born Again Elect] only but also for the whole world [ALL Unbelievers as well].” How? Because as Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died…” and as such, as he goes on to state in verse 19, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them…”

This is in line with the prophecy of Isaiah in Isaiah 61:2 (whom Jesus selectively quoted at the start of His ministry) where he declares the epoch beginning with Messiah’s Ministry as “the acceptable year of the Lord” or as some English translations put it “the favorable year of the Lord”, which we have come to understand is the time of grace (reference Zechariah 4:6-7).

Ultimately, Christ achieved His mission to the Earth by dying a sacrificial death on the Cross as an innocent man equal to Adam without sin (1 John 3:8). Thus, with His last breath hanging on the Cross our Holy Lord and Savior could make the definitive statement “It is finished!” as quoted by John 19:30. What remains is a test of wills between God and Humanity. As Peter states in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” So, it is a test of wills between God whose will is that All of Adam’s offspring be reconciled to Him as our Father through Christ and between our inherited sinful nature which we received at the point of being conceived in our mother’s womb (Psalm 51:5) whose inclination is to kill us (Romans 7:24). So ask yourself, Do I really believe God is omnipotent as the Bible states (Isaiah 40:21-26)? Do I really believe God is only Good as the Bible states (James 1:16-17)? Do you believe God is Love as the Bible States (1 Corinthians 13:4-8; 1 John 4:8, 15-16, 19)? Then ask yourself, who between God and Humanity will win such a test of wills? The answer is self-evident, which is why Paul could state in Philippians 2:8-11, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name, which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” In due time, not your time or my time but in God’s time. And so, I’ll close with this very poignant passage of scripture in Ecclesiastes 3:1-14 without which it is impossible to understand how God’s plan for salvation of all of His creation from the sins of Adam is carried out to fruition:

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace. The God-Given Task What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, And what is to be, has already been; And God requires an account of what is past.”

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