God’s Salvation Plan
Is God trying to grant salvation to as many as He can? Our God does not try anything—He either does or He does not! Most professing Christians do not have the Holy Spirit. Those that have the Holy Spirit, have the promise of immortality. But that is resting on the promise that God made to us. Salvation will not be accomplished until God fulfills His promise. It is okay to call ourselves saved. But we must realize that, like God, we are speaking of a yet future event. We do not worry because God’s promises are sure! Will a God of love condemn a person to torment forever in flames, just because they couldn’t quite cut it with Him?
Let us look at what God’s word says about this: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Does that say the wages of sin is everlasting life in a fire? No, it says death; and death is simply death—you cease to be. Many use a passage in Revelation to establish everlasting torment for sinners. We shall look at that: “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: And they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:11).
First of all, the language of Revelation is quite figurative. Secondly, this could be a case of an event captured on film, tape or digitally, like we now have films of the Jewish holocaust. They will be preserved forever. To make this smoke that seems to rise forever, a sure sign of hell, you would have to discount too many other scriptures. It also says they that have the mark of the beast, have no rest day or night. That is just a picture of their torment. But either all scripture fits together, or none of it is valid. We are given another account of what appears an event filmed or taped. Jesus was warning us of God’s judgement: “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:42-44).
It just doesn’t make sense to have a maggot that does not die. So there is no hell, where people will be forever tortured. We must conclude that no human will be tortured forever in flames. Hell, in the New Testament, is derived from the Greek hades, which simply means the grave. If anyone can show me a scripture, of people definitely being tortured in flames forever, I am willing to look. I have searched, and it does not seem to be there. Hell’s torment was not very popular until the Middle Ages, after Dante’s Inferno was written. Are we going to let him be our guide to our fate? All those preachers that claimed you are going to burn forever—are wrong! No one has the right to condemn another to such a fate.
I think most people that will be saved, will be during a coming judgement period at the very end. Let’s paint a picture. In Revelation 20 versus 1-3. Satan is bound and thrown into the bottomless pit for a thousand years; in verse 4, God’s saints rule the earth for this time. Now notice: “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5). After this 1000 year reign, God will resurrect the rest of the people of the world. All the people that had not received the Holy Spirit and overcame Satan. Many of these people are today’s professing Christians that thought they had salvation. How will Jesus address these people once they are resurrected after the thousand years? “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: Depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23).
Now notice Revelation 20 verses 7 and 8: “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: The number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” Why do you suppose God would let this happen, if He were not using it for His purposes? This is a period of time, when God will fill the earth with all the people that have lived down through history. He will give them all the Holy Spirit, and let them overcome Satan for themselves.
We will have a historical account of the world, under Satan, for 6000 years; and 1000 years doing it God’s way. The difference will be astounding. But it says Satan will still raise an army, during this time, to go against the saints. I guess some people will never learn. I believe this time period will last 100 years. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: And the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: For, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: And the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: For the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: For as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: And dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 65:17-25). This will be a period of time, the “little season,” that Satan will be released.
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