Posted by: Michael Stevenson on Thu, Jul 19, 2012
Is there some sort of huge “battle” between God and Satan—God wanting to “save” everyone now in this age—Satan trying to keep them lost forever—with time now running out very fast, is God losing?
PEOPLE will sometimes write to us asking about all the millions of people that are living in countries such as China, where the Gospel is suppressed—are they lost forever. Others have written us letters asking what about those who have died over the centuries without hearing the Gospel—are they also lost?
There are millions who have not had an opportunity to hear the Gospel of the Kingdom of God—the Gospel Message. Could a just God actually condemn them to an eternity in “hell”—forever being burned? Let’s therefore examine the question—is this the ONLY day for gaining salvation?
Gentiles without Any Hope?
What is the fate of all those countless millions within Asia and Africa who are without Christ and a knowledge of the Gospel? Is this their only day for gaining any salvation? Are they eternally doomed to destruction?
Is God going to “shut the door” on them for salvation or any hope of it?
Paul had given us the answer. Let’s see what he said. “Being in time past Gentiles…at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens…and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world”—Ephesians 2:11-12.
It is clear from reading what Paul says, that those who have not ever heard the Gospel Message, whom have not accepted Jesus Christ and who have not heard about salvation are without hope for salvation—are lost forever if there is not any future hope of salvation!
Would God actually condemn them? Would He be fair in condemning them? Would he be fair in condemning your own children if they had not heard or been able to accept Jesus Christ?
God’s Will for Mankind
God wants for all mankind to come to have an opportunity for salvation—“God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved; and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”—1 Timothy 2:3-4. Some will often say that “Oh, so everyone is going to be saved—thinking that God is going to grant some sort of universal salvation.
No! This is not true! The Bible does not support any universal salvation—but it does support that God is willing for everyone to be saved—IF they should be willing to seek Him!
Let’s see what Peter says: The ETERNAL “is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”—2 Peter 3:9. It is God’s desire or wish that all would come to learn the truth so that they could repent and be saved from sin’s penalty of eternal death. But, some are not going to repent. For if all would repent and meet the conditions to eternal salvation, then there would be no need for casting humans into the lake of fire, which is revealed to us in Revelation 20:15 and 21:8, which will destroy the wicked men. We further see in Malachi 4:1-3 that the doctrine of universal salvation is a false doctrine which is brought about the pagans. The wicked are to become ashes, left as nothing at all. There is no chance of a resurrection from the lake of fire so that they can gain eternal life.
But, does this also mean that there is no real hope for millions who have died in ignorance of the true knowledge of Christ? No! Not at all!
God is desirous that all of us will come to gain eternal life. He is “longsuffering,” not being so quick to judge us at all—desiring that all would accept His way of life as is revealed within the Scriptures so that we can become His own spirit-born children at the very resurrection. But we must choose whether or not we want to accept God’s way of living!
Yes, God wants for us to be able to choose His ways—but, at the same time, being a loving Father—much like our earthly fathers, He will not ever force us to choose to obey Him. Most people think God is a harsh God who will make people burn in hell for not accepting Him here and now—but the truth will shock you to learn that this is just not the case—God will not force anyone and in this present age, He will certainly not force a person because He will grant them an opportunity in the world tomorrow.
Many often argue that “Well, it might seem from what the Bible says, that God would not be fair if He never gave anyone a chance—especially those who lived anciently; but all of us since Jesus Christ are having a chance now in this age, and we need to be saved here and now by the time Jesus Christ returns or we will be lost.” But, is this truth? What do you think? Do you believe this is truth? Let’s examine this theory and see what our own Bibles really teach—for the truth really comes from the Bible!
Yes, that might seem to be the idea and almost all churches also teach that to be truth! It might even appear to be too that no one even questions the matter! It is taken seriously as a real truth!
Did you ever question this yourself? No, of course you probably never have questioned it yourself! But, now it is time for you to question that theory! Some people will tend to say that “well, everybody cannot possibly be wrong”—but, regardless of this school of thought, the truth might be surprising when you learn that yes, the majority of people can and often are wrong!
The Bible tells us that Satan has deceived the majority (Revelation 12:9) and since he has deceived the majority, then the chances are that even you were deceived!
It might appear from what the common teachings are, that salvation is open to all people today and that all one needs to do is just “join a church” and be “saved.” Is everyone free to accept salvation and to be saved in this present age? Or is it just possible that God purposely has allowed Satan to blind the eyes of the majority in this present age?
Let us therefore see just what the Bible really does say about this subject. It is neither discussed, nor is it even understood by most churches today—yet, it concerns all people who now live!
Why Was Israel Blinded?
Notice in your own Bible what Moses had said to the Israelites—the ancestors of the United States and Great Britain—shortly after he had led them out of Egypt: “Ye have seen all that the ETERNAL did…in Egypt…those great miracles: yet the ETERNAL [not Satan] hath not given you an heart to perceive, eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day”—Deuteronomy 29:2-4. God had blinded Israel! They would not have known about this blindness unless they had been told about it!
Notice also what God said He would do to Ephraim—Great Britain of our day—head of the ten tribes of Israel, after they had sinned: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will I speak to this people. The word of the ETERNAL was unto them precept upon precept…line upon line—here a little, and there a little [this sounds like the way in which the Bible has been written today, does it not?]—that they might go [not come in at all], and fall backward [not have a rescue], and be broken and snared and taken”—Isaiah 28:11, 13.
What was it that the tribe of Ephraim had done? It had sinned (vs. 7-8) and then, just what was it that God did? God had His laws, which, if were kept, would have preserved them from being punished! Because they had rejected the knowledge (Hosea 4:6), God had thus blinded them so that they would continue to keep sinning and thus they suffered the consequences therefore!
Remember that with all consequences, there is always a reason—hence, when we bring about those things which are bad upon ourselves, it is always a result of something that we have done.
We read that “And I gave them (Ephraim) my statutes and shewed them my judgments which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths”—Ezekiel 20:11-12. Therefore, if we will keep God’s ways, then He will give us blessing—but when we reject what God has given to us, then He will cause us to bring about upon ourselves those things which are in consequence of what we have done wrong!
So then, what happened when Ephraim had rebelled against God? “Because they had not executed my judgments…had polluted my Sabbaths…wherefore I gave them also (over to) statutes that were not good and judgments whereby they should not live”—Ezekiel 20:24-25. Therefore, God had said that He gave them over to other laws by which they should not live! These are statutes which would bring about death!
All through the entire of the Bible, it tells us of God’s punishments—quoting what God said was His reason for keeping His people blinded: “That they may know that I am the ETERNAL!” Yes, when we see why God has blinded His people, it is so that we can come to know that He is the very Eternal—the very God who is our Creator! God wants all to come to truly know Him personally. Whoever it is that rejects Him and the true knowledge of Him and His ways, they will have some very hard experiences come upon them because of it and they will find that they will have a hard time in life—but, those that keep God’s ways will be blessed!
But, what was the reason that Israel was blinded? Are they also lost forever?
Why God Blinds
God has made the natural of mankind so that it wants to do things that are contrary to His laws. “The carnal mind [with which we are all born] is enmity against God”—Romans 8:7, comparing this with Romans 3:9-18 and Galatians 5:17. We also read that “The flesh [man’s natural heart and mind] lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.” So then, we see that all humans are born originally with the desire to “lust” and to go against God’s ways (James 1:14; Psalm 81:11-12). With this in mind, we learn that we are natural enemies of God! We naturally desire our own ways!
A person’s natural mind remains against God until the person has become so sick and tired of sinning and is through with the results of his own ways that he finally desires to repent of his sins and calls upon God to change him by giving himself completely and totally over to God and allowing God to give him the Holy Spirit—the very mind and will of Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:5).
God has made it natural for mankind to reject the truth and to do whatever he thinks is right in his own ways—which of course is what sin is—the desire to breaking God’s laws. It is by man’s own carnal mind that God has blinded him—not to destroy him, but rather, to bring him to desire repentance and the desire to change completely from his sins. Concerning then the blindness of Israel, Paul has said that “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all”—Romans 11:32.
So then, we learn that Israel is brought to be blinded so that they will desire repentance and will have the desire to live forever with eternal life. But they are not lost forever either—they will have an opportunity which is not yet, to repent and to come to salvation!
Mankind, like Israel of old, wants to do what they think is right and not do what God wants for them to do. God, in all of His love and His wisdom has allowed mankind to be blinded so that they can reject the truth so that they will sin all the more often and learn from this sins and mistakes. The lesson that they learn is that they are sinning and that if they will repent of their sins, then they can have true happiness by obeying God’s laws and commandments.
The Creation of Righteous Character Takes Some Time to Develop
Nothing that God forms begins to compare with the delicate thing that He has formed within mankind—character. God knows that it takes time for true and righteous character to actually develop. He has said “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me and keep all my commandments always”—Deuteronomy 5:29. God is not in a hurry to save all mankind, but He wants man to learn his lesson. This is why He is allowing mankind enough time (6,000 years) to learn that very lesson!
The Eternal has allowed for Israel to try various forms of man’s government as the books of Judges and Kings tells us. Mankind is blinded to knowing the true government of God and the Kingdom of God because they have believed that their own forms of governments are right—no matter what God has said. Today, we have various forms of government in the works throughout the world and each one has problems—not knowing the real way to which will bring true world peace and happiness!
God has given the Gentiles the attitude of a wild animal because they would not accept Him as the Supreme Authority over them (Daniel 4:16-17; Romans 1:28) and as a result, they have therefore in their minds their own desires to rule. They cannot nor do they not understand real and true peace. They learn only the ways of mankind! They will, however, in the future learn God’s true Government and Kingdom and they will learn in the future that God’s laws are righteous and are far better!
Jesus Has Not Tried to Convert All People
Jesus Christ, during His earthly ministry, did not try to convert all people, nor exercise authority over them! To the disciples, He declared that “Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God: but unto them [the majority of the world] that are without, all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand”—Mark 4:11-12.
UNDERSTAND the significance of that! The parables that Jesus Christ taught in were spoken to the disciples, not to make meaning clearer—but was so that those who were not converted could not understand!
But, just why is it that Jesus had hid the truth from the world? What is the mysterious purpose of God that is taking shape before our very eyes without our even realizing it? Here is the very answer:
Man does not know his own ability to actually rule himself or the world as compared with the ability which God has to rule! The Eternal wants His children to develop our initiative and our abilities. But, He also wants us to actually recognize that His is the One to whom we are to go with our problems and that His laws are best and that He is the true Supreme Ruler of the whole universe! He wants us to come to know that we must have His very Spirit living within us so that we can fulfill our desires (Acts 2:38).
Job never recognized God in His true character, and so God had to take steps which allowed Job to then understand. Job was too self-righteous (Job 32:1). He had to learn the hard way to humble himself. Job spoke a lot of his own righteousness. It was always “my integrity” and “my righteousness” (Job 27:3-6). Only God is completely righteous, for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”—Romans 3:23. God finally got Job to become humble and to repent. “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eyes seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes”—Job 42:5-6. Job had learned the hard way to repent and to come to be humble—sometimes like most of us!
Man, of all the material objects created by God, is far superior to others in his ability to reason and to create. But—these abilities are of no value to God—indeed they are a real hindrance in our ability to become like God—for man’s will or desire is often what stands in our way of developing a righteous character. God wants us to obey His will, but we rather are wanting to only do our own ways. God’s Word says “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”—Matthew 6:10. God wishes that His will would be what is done and Jesus Christ even prayed that it would be God’s will done rather than man’s will!
When man has—through his own spiritual blindness—had an opportunity to exercise his own will and seen the vile results of it, he is read then to have his old self—his own carnal will—removed and put to death with Christ through baptism into death (Romans 6:4) and then to finally become willing to present himself as a living sacrifice to the ETERNAL—a living body which God can use and develop into something that is more than what it is now (Romans 12:1).
The Majority of Mankind Is Blinded!
Paul, while speaking to the Romans had spoke concerning the Gentile forefathers, and he said that “As they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind…being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness…full of envy”—Romans 1:28-29 and again, “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief [all of mankind] that He might have mercy on all [mankind]”—Romans 11:32. The Gentiles, just like ancient Israel, has been blinded—thus, all nations today are blinded.
What about that of modern Israel—the democratic nations of Northwest Europe and North America? “Even so at this present time there is a remnant [just a remnant] according to the election of grace”—Romans 11:5. Thus, there is only a few that have, in this present age, been granted salvation—but also notice that “…the rest [the majority of all people] were blinded”—Romans 11:7. Thus then, the majority of the world have become blinded!
Today this is very true—there are a FEW people who “…hold that fast which…that no man take thy crown”—Revelation 3:11 and thus, they are the ones who “overcometh” (Revelation 3:12) and “…he shall go no more out”—Rev. 3:12. These few have been brought in to know God’s ways and to know God’s truths in regards to His laws and commandments—thus knowing the Sabbath, the holy days, and so forth. Paul has said that “Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called”—1 Corinthians 1:26 and thus, there are not very many who are being called into the Church of God. Only those whom are drawn by God’s Spirit and whom come through Christ can approach God (John 6:44).
Even Most Preachers Are Spiritually Blinded!
Now here is a very shocking statement—that most all preachers are blinded also! We see that there is a majority of all people who are blinded! This includes the vast majority of preachers who are blinded. “Many shall follow their [the false preachers] pernicious ways”—the many—not a few—2 Peter 2:1-2. We also read that “Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction”—Matthew 7:13. People of today are spiritually caught in Babylon! Remember that it is a great and mighty religious power which comes out of the ancient city of Babylon (the Roman Catholic Church and her daughters)—“Babylon the Great”—not Babylon the small—that is deceiving he world (Revelation 17:2, 5, 18:4) and of course, they do so because Satan has blinded them (Revelation 12:9)!
The vast majority will still be blinded to the point that when Jesus Christ returns, they will fight against Him—not seeing that He really is the Messiah! The devil will also have them so deceived that they will think that Jesus is the “antichrist”—Revelation 16:13-14.
People of today who are so blinded to the truth can have salvation now, but, if they have suffered the consequences of their sins that they will earnestly seek and ask God (Luke 11:9-10, 13) to show them their ways and to remove their sins and blindness so that they can be willing to follow God’s ways after they are revealed to them!
But—here is a key! We must become WILLING to follow God’s ways—for example, we need to become willing to follow the Sabbath AFTER we have come to understand the Sabbath!
Only a relative small number actually will gain salvation in this present age. They will be used in the Kingdom of God to teach, to rule, and to judge those who are called later in the Millennium (Revelation 1:6; 1 Corinthians 6:2).
But, just what of the majority that is blinded who have never had the opportunity?
Are they damned because God has created them with a carnal mind which is blinded to the ways of salvation?
Is There Really A Future Chance?
Now then, as God is such a just and wonderful God as it is He who has allowed the majority to be blinded, He will then have to remove that blindness so that the majority can have a chance—their first chance ever!
He has promised to do just exactly that! “And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations”—the veil of great spiritual darkness—Isaiah 25:7. It is no stigma or disgrace that your loved ones or others are among t hose whom are blinded in this present age. God’s plan called for the removal eventually of their blindness from their eyes—but in this present age, only just a few will have this chance because of the responsibility that they are being given in this present age!
There Will Be Salvation in the Millennium!
God has given a time period of six thousand years in which man will rule himself and work to solve his own problems his own ways. Look, however, at the very result of which has taken place as a result of the way of man’s rule! Man is now in his final chapter of his own rule—he only has a short time before his own humanly devised ways become a thing of the past. Soon, God will bring about His Government and will bring about the glorious and awesome Utopia which awaits mankind!
What happens after this present age?
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light…for unto us a child is born…and the government shall be on His shoulders…of the increase of His government…there shall be no end”—Isaiah 9:2-7. Thus, Jesus Christ is going to bring about God’s true Government upon the earth and those who are now blinded in this present age will have that blindness removed!
So then, for a thousand years there will be total and real peace at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Revelation 20:4).
This will be a long-awaited rest which is also pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles each year as well as the weekly seventh day Sabbath!
This is the time that God has set to save the majority of all people. Blindness will then finally be removed and they will finally see the truth—the people will then finally see God’s great mercy and laws clearly and they will then finally be able to understand! All who are now blinded, but who have lived into the period of the Millennium will have their first chance for salvation. Christ will then come with “ten thousands” of His saints to rule and judge and to convince all who are ungodly of their ungodly ways (Jude 1:14-15). The devil will then be chained so that he can no longer deceive people (Revelation 20:10). The saints of God will then be ruling the nations here on this earth—not in heaven as Ellen G. White, the founder of the Seventh-day Adventist church had claimed in her book The Great Controversy.
Christ is going to finally pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17) and the earth will finally then be full of the knowledge of God (Isaiah 11:9). God will then cleanse the people and give to them a new heart, a new way of living and they walk in His ways (Ezekiel 36:25-27). The chapters of Isaiah 11 and Zechariah 14 talk more fully of this.
Remember, however, that those who live on into the Millennium are few in number compared to all the millions that have died.
When Will the Majority Be Saved?
We read that “The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished”—Revelation 20:5 and further we see that “I saw a GREAT WHITE THRONE and Him that sat on it…and I saw the dead, small and great, stand [resurrected] before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life [there really will be a chance of gaining eternal life], and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books”—Revelation 20:11-12.
They are then judged by God’s Word—the books of the Bible—in accordance as to what they have done in their life and what they will do after they have been resurrected to mortality!
We see the climax of God’s plan outlined in Revelation 20—the Great White Throne Judgment when the majority will be resurrected and given their first chance at gaining salvation—all those whom have died before Jesus Christ returns—those that never received as did them that received in this present age. Those who now receive will be resurrected at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
Those resurrected after the Millennium will finally have their opportunity to be saved.
For more information about the Three Resurrections, please request our free reprint article about the three resurrections—it will detail what happens with each of the resurrections.
So the truth is that this is not the ONLY day of salvation—for there will be a day when the majority will receive salvation—for this present age is reserved for God to call those into His Church that are reserved to rule and reign with Jesus Christ in the Millennial day! So therefore, do not be alarmed if people are not saved in this life!
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