Contrary to the popular Hollywood formula, God and the Devil are not on a soul-collecting contest to see who can collect the most souls. If such a thing had been the case, a person might conclude that Satan is more powerful because he seems to have collected exponentially more souls than God. In order to understand this, you must start to think outside the box. To get it right, we must refer to the handbook for life, the Bible.
There are three requirements if you would like to be on Christ’s headquarters team. It is summed up in three words: called, chosen, and faithful (Revelation 17:14).
The part of being called is the Father’s activity of giving us salvation as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8). No one can come to Christ unless the Father calls (draws) him (John 6:44). Salvation is a gift that can be kept or thrown away. If we look at today’s world and the world of the past almost 6000 years we have to conclude that only a moderate percent of the world’s population (both present and past) are called. This is done according to God’s plan. He wants us to select the good in spite of the fact it is not popular in this evil society.
People coming into the real knowledge of God are compared to harvests. There are two harvests: the small Spring harvest which is tiny and the large main harvest in the fall which is huge. The first-fruits are harvested first because they are the first to receive adoption (son-ship and daughter-ship) from the Father (Romans 8:23). The calling is not the only part that cuts down the percent of the population. The choosing also cuts down the percent even more. Many are called but few chosen (Matthew 20:16). And, of course, being faithful to the end is a requirement that cuts down the percent even more (Matthew 10:22). Who chooses? Christ does!
“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. And ordained you…” (John 15:16).
Jesus (Yoshua in the Hebrew) is the only name under heaven whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:10-12).
How can you know if Christ has chosen you? The first component of that step is to become a disciple of Christ. How do you know you have become a disciple of Christ? It’s simple. Check to see if you have love for others.
“…all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another” (John 13:35).
We are required to love everybody, even our enemies!
“But I say unto you which hear, love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and make requests for them which despitefully use you” (John 6:27-28).
This does not mean: be a chump. We live in a hostile world. Don’t hate people. If they have done you wrong, don’t let them get by with doing you wrong again. Christ said we should turn the other cheek. The word “cheek” is singular not plural. Christ does not want us to become door mats. But he doesn’t want us to hate either. If you can love your enemies, then you, in essence, have no enemies. The process of having no enemies is the doorway through which you become a disciple of Christ.
The truth about the plan of God is so much more than most have ever imagined. It is important to see past the hype of commercial religion. Now, you know that the Father calls you and Christ, his Son, chooses you. The third step is in being faithful. That is your part. Don’t get sidetracked like so many billions have been. In being faithful, there are two basic types of faith, a dead faith and a live faith. Faith without works is a dead faith (James 2:26). Works are expected.
Then what happens to all the billions who have lived and died and never even heard the name Jesus Christ? They are simply not being called at this time.
When Christ returns to this planet the dead in Christ will rise up out of their graves first (1 Thessalonians 4:16). This is the first resurrection. These will be resurrected into bodies that do not die (1 Corinthians 15:52-53). These are the first fruits. What about the second resurrection?
The main harvest will come over 1000 years later, after the 1000 years of peace. The billions who never had a first chance for salvation will be in the second resurrection. This will be a resurrection back into physical bodies. This is exemplified by the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel chapter 37). This will be a time of judgment for them. If they accept the sacrifice of Christ and become faithful they will also be given eternal life and bodies that do not die. However, if they reject Christ and salvation they will be burned up in the lake of fire in the second death from which there is no resurrection (Revelation 20:11-14). Everyone who has knowledge of the truth should strive to be in the first resurrection, which causes the second death to have no power over them (Revelation 20:6).
“And he that overcomes and keeps my words unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations” (Revelation 2:26).
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