Chapter 25

START CHAPTER 25

Today is the Day of Salvation

For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of of salvation. (II Corinthians 6:2)

For years Christians have been taught this scripture means one must accept or reject Jesus Christ before one dies the first death, to either be saved and enter the Kingdom of Heaven, or unsaved and spend eternity in the agony of hellfire. Does that sound fair to you?

Let's consider some of these lost souls which are consigned to the alleged eternal punishment in hellfire. There are the billions who never even heard the name Jesus. What about everyone who lived before Jesus was even born? These could not be saved under the Old Testament for all had sinned. What about those mentally incompetent? What about children who died before they understood about Jesus? What about abortions? Based on present mainstream Christian theology, all of these except for the children are presently burning in hell.

Absolutely none of these people were ever given a choice to accept or reject Jesus as their Savior before their death! The good news of the gospel was never explained to them. Ask yourself once again, "Is this a fair and just system?" In fact, God is fair and just, and none of those listed above will be unjustly cast into hell:

Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. (Revelation 15:3)

So God is indeed just and true. But the only way to escape the second death is to believe in Jesus and multitudes have died never having even heard the name of Jesus! Must these unjustly be punished? Heaven, we have a problem! Of course, the problem did not originate in heaven. The problem is man's inability to understand the scriptures which are sealed up from his understanding. Consider the following verse:

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Only after the true gospel message has been placed before each person can that person truly make a choice between eternal life and the second death as described above. However, untold numbers have lived and died without ever hearing the good news of the gospel. Therefore, they could not make a choice. Let's now consider the phrase "now is the day of salvation" in greater detail.

What "day" do we actually live in? In a broader sense, what "age" do we live in? We are living in the age of man. Man was created and given dominion over the earth in the Genesis recreation. We are under the sway of Satan and God intervenes as required to keep His master plan on track. With those exceptions, man rules today's earth! Man's will is being done on earth, not God's. In fact, the first request we are instructed to pray for in the Lord's Prayer is for God's will to be done on earth:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10)

So today we are in the age of man or the day of man. This entire day or age of man is the accepted time in which men may seek salvation, "now is the day of salvation." But isn't this making the same claim that humans must accept Jesus before dying their first death? After all, isn't that the only time they will be alive to make the choice? No, this is not the case! The majority of humans will have two periods of life with physical bodies on the earth. Every human who ever lived will be resurrected. However, only those with their names written in the book of life will be resurrected as immortal spiritual bodies:

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life... (Daniel 12:2)

Two body types are defined in the Bible, physical and spiritual. The many that sleep in the dust of the earth are those humans who have died and been buried. The "some" that awake to everlasting life are Christians who are born again as spirits and thus awake to everlasting life. Since there are only two body types, those not awakened as spiritual bodies must be awakened as the other body type, which is physical. They have been resurrected as the same physical body type in which they lived and died their first physical death on the earth. If men are still alive after the resurrections, then that time is still within the day of man, and salvation can be attained then! As long as any one human is still alive and conscious that human can accept Jesus Christ and be saved. The New Testament requirement for salvation (John 3:16) does not mention any time limitations. It is true that men must accept or reject Jesus before they die. However, men truly die at their second death, not their first! Their first death is spoken of as sleep or rest. Therefore, men can accept Jesus and be born again as immortal spiritual beings into the Kingdom of God up to their second death!

When did this age or day of man begin? It began when man was created and given dominion over the earth as described in Genesis:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)

When will the age of man end? It will end when mankind ceases to exist. This occurs between two consecutive verses in the Bible, Revelation 20:15 and Revelation 21:1. Revelation 20:15 occurs after the millennium and after the final great white throne judgment. After completion of the great white throne judgment every human being will have either been born again as a spiritual body or cast into the lake of fire and suffered the second death. There will be no more physical human bodies and there never will be again. Therefore, the age of man is over:

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)

This marks the end of "our" age. The age of man will have covered seven thousand years, six thousand since the Genesis creation of man plus the millennium. Man can no longer be saved because there are no more men. The age of Jesus Christ's rule on earth now begins:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:1-2)

This new age will last for eternity. The second death is final. There is no possibility of any future life once a person has suffered the second death. It is permanent! The trillions of molecules of hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, etc; which made up that physical body can now be used to make something useful; perhaps a brick, grass, water, or a flower. The following scripture indicates that we should fear the one who has power over the second death:

And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. (Luke 12:4-5)

We should not fear those that can kill only our physical bodies, which is our first physical death. Those are other men. We should fear, or respect, God. God has the power over casting you into hell and causing your permanent, second death.

So man can gain salvation up to the end of the age of man. The age of man will end when the age of God's rule on earth in the form of Jesus Christ begins. As long as any man is alive it is possible for him to attain salvation until he suffers the second death.

At the second mass resurrection those who did not believe in Christ when they were buried will be raised from their graves as mortal human bodies. The vast multitude of people who had never even heard of Jesus, those who had never heard the true gospel message, those who were infants or otherwise incompetent to make decisions, along with those who lived before Jesus died on the cross for their sins, will now have their first true choice regarding their salvation. This will be after their initial death as humans. Do you recall the following verse which was quoted in a previous chapter?

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ. (II Timothy 3:15)

Does this scripture not become perfectly clear now? These untold numbers of people resurrected as mortals at the second resurrection will now have their first true choice between accepting or rejecting Jesus as their personal Savior. Who will teach them the scriptures so they can make an informed decision? Children! Who are these children? They are those Christians who were born again as spiritual children of God at the first mass resurrection:

Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. (Luke 20:36)

These children of the resurrection are now one thousand years of age, having lived through the millennium period of rest and training. In fact, they are only one day old children! Remember that they are now immortal spiritual beings, and to them one thousand years are as one of mortal man's days. So these born again Christians are still children, being one day old:

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (II Peter 3:8)

The pastors and priests which we are familiar with today did not accomplish the job. These born again Christians who are now children of the resurrection have become the immortal spiritual priests of God and Christ:

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

These priests will teach the true gospel message of the scriptures to the untold number of nonbelievers who were resurrected again as physical beings at the second resurrection. The vast bulk of humanity will not hear the gospel message from piously robed "men of God" with honorary prefixes attached to their names. They will hear it from children! These one day old spiritual children of God:

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures... (II timothy 3:15)

As these mortals accept Jesus as their Savior they will be born again (converted) as spiritual children of God:

Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

Those who still reject Jesus will suffer the second death when cast into the fires of hell. What will happen to them? Since they are mortal beings, they will quickly perish in the fire:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

There are always reasons for God's actions. The reasons are never hatred or revenge, because God is love. He is not raising the nonbelievers from the dead to simply watch them suffer the second death. It is their chance to choose, their day of salvation. It is the first opportunity for most of them!

When is the best time to gain salvation? "Now is the day of salvation" answers this question also. The answer is now, as soon as possible, this day and hour and minute. Thus your life on earth will be happy and meaningful. However, your first death does not mark the end of your opportunity for salvation.

One sign of the end times is that the gospel must first be preached in the entire world before the end of this age, the age of man, can occur:

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)

In fact, the "great commission" in Matthew 28:19-20 commands Christians to accomplish this very prophecy. However, even with our wonderful worldwide communication systems of today, will we ever achieve this great accomplishment? No! God has to send an angel to fulfill this prophecy so that the age of man can end:

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. (Revelation 14:6)

Although mankind will not succeed in spreading the gospel to all nations, we should highly respect those who abandon the good life of our wonderful country in an effort to fulfill the great commission. They share the misery of third world countries while ministering to, aiding, healing, and teaching the gospel as they were taught it to desperate people. Surely these missionaries will have their good works written in books in heaven as well as having their rewards on earth.

Imagine holding a frail child in your arms. He is sick, has skinny arms and legs, with a bloated stomach from malnutrition, and stares pleadingly into your eyes. At that moment he knows you care for and love him and you sense that. That one moment surely is worth more than the money, cars, boats, and every other possession that missionary left behind. In a sense he or she is looking into the eyes of God:

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee ahungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:37-40)

The great French missionary, doctor, and philosopher, Albert Schweitzer; who spent his last years in a small, remote village called Lambarene somewhere in Gabon, Africa; had a wonderfully simple little saying:

"Everyone has his Lambarene."


END CHAPTER 25
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