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No Contest

There are a number of occasions recorded in The Bible when Jesus Christ admonished His disciples not to tell anyone that He was The Savior e.g. "Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about Him" (Mark 8:30). There are other occasions when He told them things that He deliberately did not reveal to others e.g "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 15:24). Why would He do that? After all, didn't The Lord come to save all the world?

Sunrise The Lord did come to save all the world - but not all at once! God has a very definite plan of salvation, and a definite time schedule in which it's being done. All who have ever lived will have the same fair opportunity to learn and repent, but there is a precise "batting order" in which it will be accomplished.

Does that mean that those of us called earlier are somehow better than those called later? Not necessarily. In fact, it could be the other way around - it may be timed so that the "best hitters" do not go up to bat until the bases have been loaded. The Two Witnesses well illustrate the point.

This calling at different times is the reason that some have, or have had, the "ears to hear," while others did, or yet do not. It isn't a matter of favoritism, since God does not play favorites, but rather a timely and orderly establishment of The Kingdom Of God.

Many people over the centuries have been gravely concerned about family members or friends who just have no interest in Christianity, or cannot "stick with it." Have they been lost to Satan? No! In all likelihood, they just haven't been called yet. The only people who will be condemned are those who refuse God's offer of eternal life after they have truly had their opportunity to understand and repent - their loss will be their own choice, not God's. He provides us, in due time, with both the knowledge, and the freedom, to live or die.

There is no contest going on between God and Satan. Although Satan is vastly more powerful than humans, he is completely powerless against Almighty God. Satan is a loser whose time is short. See The Lame Duck.

So when do people get their calling if they don't get it now? What about those who died in infancy? And what about people who lived in times past without ever having the opportunity to learn? They will all get their chance in a series of resurrections that are plainly described in your Bible -

Resurrections Up To Now

There are numerous recorded resurrections of people back to temporary physical life after they had died from old age, illness or injury. They are recorded through the entire Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments. A few examples:

The Shunammite's son by Elisha (2 Kings 4:32-35). A man whose body had been placed in Elisha's tomb (2 Kings 13:21). Eutychus raised back to life through Paul after he fell out of a third-floor window (Acts 20:9-10). Lazarus by Jesus Christ (John 11:43-44). The ruler's daughter by Jesus Christ (Matthew 9:23-26). A number of people at the moment of the death of Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:51-53). All of these people would have died a natural death again later, and will be subject to one of the later resurrections affecting their salvation.

Of course the greatest resurrection up to now, not back to physical life, but to glorious spirit life, was that of Jesus Christ Himself (Luke 24:1-53).

Resurrections At The Return Of Christ

"For The Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet The Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

"They Came To Life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." (last part of Revelation 20:4)

"This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years." (Revelation 20:5-6)

Those who have been truly called, and have repented, through all the ages up to the day of The Return of Jesus Christ will be resurrected from the dead, or instantly changed if they are alive that day, to eternal spirit life upon Christ's Return. They will serve Him during the Millennium.

Resurrections At The End Of The 1,000 Years

"They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. (Revelation 20:4-5)

All of the people who have lived through the ages but who did not have the opportunity to learn of Christ and be converted will be resurrected back to physical life at the end of the Millennium. Then, they will learn the truth and have the opportunity to repent and be converted. Those that do will then be transformed into eternal spirit beings just as those who were changed at the Return of Christ 1,000 years before.

Resurrection Of The Final Judgment

"The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:13-15)

"Surely the day is coming, it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says The Lord Almighty. "Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere My Name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Then you will trample down the wicked, they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things," says The Lord Almighty." (Malachi 4:1-3)

After every human being that has ever lived has had a full and fair opportunity to learn God's Truth and to obey it, all of those through the ages who refused to repent after they learned the truth will be resurrected back to physical life at the same time for final judgment. These incorrigible wicked will then be destroyed - it will be as though they never existed.

Absolute Fairness To All Who Have Ever Lived

Every human being will be given full knowledge of the truth of God's Plan of Salvation sooner or later. No one, from anywhere, from any time period, will be left out. If someone has not learned the truth when they lived in the past or the present, they will be given the chance to learn in the future.

Unfortunately, at the end of this physical stage of the history of humanity, some, hopefully just a very few, are going to chose not to repent and are going to be cast into the lake of fire. But it will not be God's will or choice that puts them there. The only people who will be destroyed forever will be those who themselves knowingly, deliberately, with full knowledge of the dire consequences, refuse to obey God and accept His offer of eternal life.

The choice of eternal life, or eternal death, is a decision that we, each and every one of us, will make for ourselves. The all-powerful God will then fulfill the selection that we have made for our own eternal future.

Fact Finder: Does God want everyone to choose eternal life so that none would perish?
2 Peter 3:9


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