The Bible Plot
Reading the Bible from the first page to the last, you will recognize that the Bible has an actual story line or plot! The two testaments of the Bible represent wills or covenants between God and man. There are two testaments because no one could qualify as an heir under the first covenant.
The inheritance of humans who qualify as heirs under terms of either testament is eternal life. Those not qualifying will perish. Eternal life is presented throughout the Bible as a gift, reward, or inheritance and never as something mankind possesses at birth. Jesus is bringing our inheritance with Him upon His return.
Under the first testament, the only way to become an heir to eternal life was to never sin. The wages of sin is death. However, there was a fault in the first testament in that all mankind sinned! Therefore, no one could gain eternal life under the first testament. Since the first covenant contained faults, God created a second, or New Testament:
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises: For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. (Hebrews 8:6-7)
Is it not inconceivable that an omnipotent God produced a covenant that contained faults? However, was the fault with God or man? Was it God's fault that no man ever had the character to live a sinless life? Could any human ever become an heir to eternal life by remaining sinless under the Old Testament?
Look at what God desired to accomplish under that first covenant. Some angels on earth did not work out because they rebelled against God. In His plan to create replacements for these sinful angels, God would weed out the character flaw which caused the originals to fail. That flaw was sin! If any human sinned, he would not be allowed to eat from the tree of life and live forever. If man sinned he would die the second death and that would be the end of him. God did not want to risk being stuck with more rebels for eternity! This was the design philosophy of the Old Testament covenant.
Once God makes an agreement and sets the plan in place to create that agreement, God never violates His part of the agreement. If the wages of sin is death, and all have sinned, then all must die! That's how the original testament was set up. Consequently, no new angels would be created under this covenant! This was the one "fault" in the Old Testament. What to do?
Suppose some human could live a sinless life. He would not be under the death sentence. He could then give His life as a substitute for the others sentenced to death as a result of their sinning under the first covenant. Since they no longer had to die under the original testament, a new covenant could be designed whereby the fault in the first could be corrected. This is precisely what occurred when Jesus Christ came to earth as a human. He lived a sinless life, then sacrificed His life as payment for our sins. Since His sacrifice made eternal life possible for us, the new requirement for us to gain eternal life under the New Testament became a belief in Jesus Christ and recognition of His sacrifice. Upon creating a New Testament, the first covenant became the Old Testament:
In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:13)
When did the Old Testament vanish away and the New Testament become valid?
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. (Hebrews 9:16-17)
The New Testament covenant became effective and the Old Testament covenant vanished away when Jesus Christ, the testator, died on the cross. Once the New Testament became active, the previous will became obsolete. No one can now gain eternal life by remaining sinless as required under the Old Testament. This includes infants and children! The only path to salvation presently is through a belief in Jesus Christ under terms of the New Testament covenant, and infants do not believe in Jesus Christ! Only those qualifying under terms of the New Testament covenant become heirs to eternal life. Those terms are:
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)
If we believe in Jesus, we become heirs to the Kingdom of God under terms of the New Testament which became effective when Jesus died on the cross. We enter the Kingdom of God when born again as a spiritual being at, or after our resurrection. Being born again is a real experience, not simply an emotional sensation one experiences upon accepting Jesus and being baptized.
In reading the Bible from start to finish, one will notice a sharp contrast between the two testaments. The Old Testament is considerably more ruthless and bloody as compared with the New Testament. The general Old Testament theme is fighting evil with evil, an eye for an eye. Although this eye for an eye policy may originally sound harsh, it can also be viewed as setting an upper limit on punishments. That is, if a person puts your eye out, the most you can retaliate is to put out his eye, and no more. By contrast, the New Testament theme is forgiveness and overcoming evil with good. Why this reversal of philosophies? It is due to the requirements of the testaments. Under the New Testament sin can be forgiven since a scapegoat took the punishment for mankind's sin. Under the Old Testament, one had to obey all commandments without exception and must accept the punishment of death for disobeying any commandment. Therefore, any potential obstacle which might cause one to sin needed to be ruthlessly eliminated.
Many God fearing individuals lived during Old Testament times, but they all sinned. Since Jesus had not as yet died for their sins, what happened to Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, Solomon, David, and others? They are presently dead and buried:
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. (Acts 2:29)
These God fearing men will be resurrected from the dead as mortals in the second resurrection along with every other human who died not believing in Jesus as their Savior. This includes children! They will learn the true gospel message of Jesus Christ at that time. Those who then choose to accept Him as their Savior will be born again as spiritual beings into the Kingdom of God. It is all about making a personal choice:
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. (Deuteronomy 30:19)
The five murdered Yates children, for example, will grow to maturity and make their choice regarding Jesus following their resurrection as humans at the second resurrection. They were created with freedom of choice, and will indeed make their choice. The true gospel message of life and death will be set before them and they will choose one or the other. Neither their mother nor anyone else could make this personal choice for them. Those choosing life through believing in Jesus as their Savior will be born again as immortal spiritual bodies into the Kingdom of God. Any choosing not to accept Jesus as their Savior will be cast into the fires of hell and quickly experience their second death. Since they are human, the fire kills them. Any humans cast into hell are dead and gone forever. Their death is eternal, not their act of dying! So the truly good news of the gospel is neither as horrible nor as complicated as we have been taught! Indeed, the plan, plot, or story line throughout the scriptures is infinitely better than anything we have ever been told!
Mankind can be extremely proud of our highly successful efforts in hiding this good news of the scriptures from the masses of humanity! And we are! But it was prophesied that this would occur:
Shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end. (Daniel 12:4)
Those who help in this effort of sealing the scriptures from man's understanding deserve a hearty congratulations! Your efforts have people fearing that untold numbers will suffer eternally in the fires of hell. Your efforts have some parents justifying the murder of their innocent children in a futile effort to send them to heaven. Your efforts generate hatred between Christianity and other religions as well as driving multitudes away from Jesus Christ. None of these results reflect the true good news of the gospels. Congratulations again! You have succeeded magnificiently!
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