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STUDY 12: SCRIPTURES PROVE THERE IS HOPE FOR THE UNSAVED DEAD

 

Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

 

THE Bible teaches that every member of Adam’s race is to receive one full opportunity to obtain

eternal salvation. The Church had their chance in this life. They either won out, or were lost

forever. But what about those who have not in this life received their opportunity? Will they be

saved by their ignorance?

 

The Scriptures answer, no, that knowledge is essential to faith and salvation (Romans 10: 14-17)

(Acts 4: 12). Let us discuss ten Bible proofs showing that there is hope for such of the unsaved

dead as did not have a chance in this life.

 

God’s Promise

 

(1.) God’s Promise, bound with an oath. This promise was first made to Abraham, in the great

Abrahamic Covenant: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12: 3)

(Genesis 18: 18). St. Paul calls this Promise the Gospel (Galatians 3: 8). Obviously all the

families and nations of the earth have not been blessed in this life, consequently, those who were

not blessed by the Gospel in this life will be blessed after this life.

 

God later bound the original Promise by an oath, stating that in the Seed of Abraham all the

nations of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 22: 16-18). So, who is this Seed of Abraham that is

to bless all the families, kindred and nations of the earth? St. Paul answers, the Seed consists of

Jesus and His faithful followers (Galatians 3: 16, 29).

 

Jesus’ Ransom Sacrifice

 

(2.) The Ransom sacrifice of Jesus. By His death, He gave Himself a Ransom for all men

(Matthew 20: 28) (1 Timothy 2: 6). The word ransom is the translation of the Greek compound

word antilutronlutron meaning “price,” and anti meaning “instead of.” In other words, a price

instead of, or a corresponding price.

 

The term “ransom” pictures a business transaction:

 

  • God is the Creditor.
  • Adam and his race is the debtor.
  • Jesus is the Purchaser.
  • The Creditor requires the payment of the full debt, no more and no less.
  • The debt is the perfect man Adam’s human all.
  • The purchase price to redeem the debtor must be the exact equivalent. Jesus became a

perfect man and laid down this exact equivalent price by His death – He gave His perfect

humanity in offset of Adam’s debt. The Ransom is an offset before the Creditor as a

satisfaction of the complete debt of Adam, which by heredity involved Adam’s entire race.

 

The Ransom requires that in God’s “due time” (1 Timothy 2: 5, 6) the entire human race will be

delivered from the Adamic sentence. Freed from that sentence, they will be given an opportunity

to gain salvation from all its effects, and the faithful will gain eternal life.

 

Sins to be Forgiven in the World to come

 

(3.) Jesus says that that all sins except the sin against the holy spirit will be forgiven the children

of men. Mark 3: 28, 29: “All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies

wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost

[Spirit] hath never forgiveness.” This passage teaches that every other sin except the sin against

the holy spirit will be forgiven mankind; but the vast majority of mankind has not sinned against

the holy spirit (sinned willfully against clear light), yet nevertheless died without having their

sins forgiven. Therefore, the sins of such persons will be forgiven in the next life.

 

God’s Character

 

(4.) God’s character, combined with the fact that most unsaved people die with characters that

are reformable under easier conditions than those now prevailing, proves that under the easier

conditions of the Millennial Age, an opportunity for reformation will be given to those whose

characters are reformable under those easier conditions. Only a few, those who can trust God

where they cannot trace Him, can gain everlasting life under present evil conditions

(Hebrews 11: 6) (Galatians 3: 9). The majority, unable to exercise such faith, cannot gain

everlasting life under present evil conditions, because Satan blinds and misleads them through

their ignorance and weaknesses (2 Corinthians 4: 4).

 

God delights to use His Wisdom, Power, Justice and Love in ways to help people reform

(Revelation 15: 3, 4). These qualities moved Him to send His Son to be a Ransom for all, the

greatest sacrifice He could make. Because His Holy Character is strong enough to do this hardest

thing for them, surely it will not fail to give mankind an opportunity to recover from the curse by

placing them amid conditions in which they could reform and gain eternal life.

 

Elect selected to bless Non-elect

 

(5.) God’s object in electing the Church from among mankind is to use them as His Agent in the

next life, to bless the non-elect with opportunities of salvation. The human family consists of

two classes: (1) a faith class (Galatians 3: 7-9) (2 Corinthians 5: 7), and (2) an unbelieving class

(2 Thessalonians 3: 2) (Romans 11: 30-32). God foreknew that the faith class could overcome

under conditions that require strong faith, but that the unbelieving class could not. He therefore

predetermined to give only the faith class the opportunity to gain salvation while those

conditions prevail.

 

Had God placed the unbelieving class on trial for life amid present conditions, none of them

could have been saved, something that God’s Wisdom, Justice and Love would not permit.

Instead, God defers the trial of the unbelieving class until conditions prevail amid which they

can overcome. How like the good God that He is, to select and prepare the faith class to help the

unbelieving class to reform when their trial time comes! St. James teaches (Acts 15: 14-17) that

during the Gospel Age God has been visiting the nations to select an Elect people for His name;

and following this the Lord will return and establish the Kingdom, so that the residue (that which

is left after a part is taken from it) of men, the non-elect, might seek after the Lord, seek

salvation. God deals with the Elect’s salvation first; then, in the next Age, the non-elect’s

salvation.

 

Twofold Experience of the Non-elect

 

(6.) God arranged for the non-elect to receive a twofold experience. They are first given an

experience with evil in this life. With this experience as a teacher, they learn about the terrible

nature and effects of sin. They will then be given an experience with good in the next life, and

again, with experience as a teacher, they will learn about the good nature and effects of

righteousness.

 

Romans 8: 19-22 shows these two experiences. Verse 19 shows that the human race (“the

creature”) is now, while under the curse (v. 22), earnestly longing for, and is kept waiting for a

better time, when the Sons of God (Jesus and His faithful followers) will be manifested in the

glories of the Kingdom (Daniel 7: 13, 14, 18, 22, 27). Verse 20 shows that the human family,

through Adam’s sin, was subject to the curse (“vanity”), but is not to be left hopelessly under the

curse; for verse 21 shows that it is to be delivered from the curse, so that they may obtain the

liberty that will be the portion of all who become sons of God, a liberty that Jesus and the

Church will minister to the obedient in the Kingdom. Verse 22 shows that the experience of evil

under the curse is universal in the human family.

 

Facts

 

(7.) Facts demonstrate it as the following examples show: the people who were destroyed by fire

and brimstone in Sodom, Gomorrah and the other cities of the plains, together with the Jews of

the northern ten-tribed kingdom and of the southern two-tribed kingdom, in spite of their

wickedness in this life (Ezekiel 16: 44-52), will come back and live again (Ezekiel 16: 53); the

Jews will repent of their sins (Ezekiel 16: 54, 57-59, 61, 63); God will make a New Covenant

with them (Ezekiel 16: 60, 62); and He will give the people of Sodom, etc., and the people of

Samaria, etc., to the Jews for daughters, who they will convert to the Lord.

 

In Ezekiel 16: 55 the work of restoring Sodom and her daughters (people subject to her),

Samaria and her daughters, and Jerusalem and her daughters, is called their “return to their

former estate” – Restitution (Acts 3: 21) – a return to the original condition of perfection, the

image and likeness of God, which the race had in Adam, before sin entered the world. Our Lord

corroborates this thought regarding the people subject to Sodom (Matthew 11: 23, 24), and adds

hope for the Phoenicians, the people of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 11: 21, 22), showing that they

were all less guilty than were the Israelites, who the Scriptures declare will have this

opportunity. Furthermore, these will have an easier time than will the unbelieving Jews of His

day (when He shall reign over the earth in the Day of Judgment – Luke 22: 29, 30). Surely if

these will have an opportunity, all the rest of the unsaved dead who in this life were excluded

from the opportunity of salvation will have it “in that Day.”

 

The Christ’s Official Names

 

(8.) The official names that the Bible gives to Jesus and His Church proves such an opportunity

for those who will be the objects of the official acts implied in these names. In their future

official relations to the world of mankind they are called:

 

Saviors: “Saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom

shall be the LORD’s” (Obadiah 21). Jacob types the Elect, and Esau types the non-elect

(Romans 9: 10-13). Mount Zion here stands for the Millennial Kingdom that brings salvation.

The Saviors are Jesus and His Church (the Elect), who shall judge the Mount of Esau (the non

elect), by delivering them from their enemies – Sin, Death and the Grave. The result will be

glorious, because “the kingdom shall be the LORD’s.”

 

Priests: This official name applies to Jesus and the Church (Hebrews 3: 1) (1 Peter 2: 5, 9)

(Revelation 1: 6) (Revelation 5: 10) (Revelation 20: 6). A Priest is one who, on the basis of a

sacrifice which he offers to God on behalf of others, acts as a reconciler between God and man.

Jesus and His fellow Priests offer sacrifices to God in this life, and Christ has during this Age

appeared in the presence of God on behalf of the Elect. But sometime after the sacrifice of the

Church is complete, Christ will appear in God’s presence for the world, and then He and the

Church will bless the non-elect world during the Millennial Age.

 

Kings: This official name also applies to Jesus and the Church (Revelation 19: 16)

(Romans 5: 17) (2 Timothy 2: 12) (1 Peter 2: 9) (Revelation 1: 6) (Revelation 5: 10)

(Revelation 20: 4, 6). The purpose for their Reign is to destroy all the works of Satan – mainly

sin, death and the grave. They will first seize, bind and imprison Satan; next, they will free the

race from the grave by awakening all the dead in Adam; and finally, they will free and help

reform all the willing and obedient from the woes of the dying process and from sin.

 

Prophet, or Teacher: This official name given to Jesus and the Church implies that they will

teach mankind the way of Salvation. Jesus is called the Prophet, or Teacher, in connection with

the Times of Restitution, when the non-elect dead will come forth for an opportunity of salvation

(Acts 3: 22, 23, 21) (John 1: 9). The Church is also spoken of as teaching the world in the

Millennial Age (Isaiah 60: 1-5, 14, 15) (Isaiah 2: 2, 3) (Isaiah 62: 1, 2, 10, etc.).

 

Father and Mother: These names are given to Christ and the Church with respect to the non

elect of mankind who will become their children during the Millennial Age. Jesus is called the

Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9: 6) in view of His giving the obedient of the race everlasting life in

the next Age. His name, Second Adam (1 Corinthians 15: 45), pictures Him as taking Adam’s

place and becoming the second Father of the race by regenerating it in righteousness and life.

The faithful Church is spoken of as the Bride, the Lamb’s wife (Revelation 19: 7-9)

(Revelation 21: 9, 10). The Church is also set forth as the Second Eve (2 Corinthians 11: 2, 3)

(Ephesians 5: 31, 32). As the Mother of the race, she will nurse, care for, love and comfort Her

children.

 

First-Fruits: Jesus is called the First-fruits (1 Corinthians 15: 20). The Church is also with Him

called the First-fruits (Romans 8: 23) (James 1: 18) (Revelation 14: 4). First-fruits imply after

fruits – the obedient of the world of mankind during the Millennial Age will be the after-fruits.

 

The Seed of Abraham: This official name of Jesus and the Church is spoken of as the blesser of

all the families, nations and kindreds of the earth (Genesis 22: 18) (Genesis 28: 14) (Acts 3: 25).

Jesus and the Church are this Seed (Galatians 3: 16, 29) (Romans 9: 7, 8) (Galatians 4: 28).

Since most of the race died under the Adamic curse, and therefore departed this life unblessed,

they must be awakened from the dead in order to receive the blessing promised in the Oath

bound Covenant, which consists of three features: (1) that there would be a Seed of Abraham;

(2) that this Seed would do a work of blessing; and (3) that this work of blessing would extend to

all the non-elect, dead or living.

 

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