God's plan

God’s Plan for the Lost

Please Share!

Everyone has family and friends who have died without Christ, are they lost forever? What is God’s plan for the lost? Unknown Billions have died without Christ. Estimates of the pre-flood population range from 750 million to four billion. Billions more died after the flood until today. As 31.5% of the 6 billion population alive today claim to be Christian, we can add another 4 billion to the total who will die without Christ. Have “tens of billions” died without Christ, only God knows.

The inefficiency of this boggles the mind. No man would build a factory that destroyed 90% of the desired product! So why would God? Of course He didn’t, He has a plan revealed in doctrine of Election, God’s predestination of individuals to be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ. [1] Even “dying lost” cannot separate those whom God loved in His foreknowledge, before He created.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:38-39 KJV)

Before creating the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1; John 1:1) Omniscient God knew all things (Isa. 46:9-10) including all who would come into existence (Rom. 4:17), both angels and men. Within His Omniscient knowledge, God chose to “foreknow” those who loved Him, that is He “knew them before” those who did not love Him, somewhat like “bolded text” is “seen before” other text surrounding it. In that special act of “foreknowing” God experienced them in a special and unique way, and loved them even more. So God ordained all things will work together for their good (Romans 8:28):

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:28-31 KJV)

Therefore, even Hell/Hades itself works for the good of His Elect, even if they died enemies of the Gospel (Rom. 11:26-29).

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
(Rom. 11:26-33 KJV)

What God promised He would do for the Jews He will also do for the Gentiles “For there is no partiality with God.” (Rom. 2:11 NKJ).

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:28-29 NKJ)

19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,
20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight. (Col. 1:19-22 NKJ)

DropBox Download English Video
DropBox Download Spanish Video

God had to ordain this because He knew the Fall would corrupt billions of them He foreknew in love. A sinful world would compel and seduce billions to die unsaved rebels against God (Mt. 12:32; Rom. 11:28-29), ignorant of the glorious gospel of salvation in His Son Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 4:6; John 5:28-29).

That would be intolerable, losing even one of “His Beloved” to a fallen world He permitted to come into existence, would cause Him sorrow for all eternity. So, God does not permit it.

God’s solution was elegantly simple, lest any of these God foreknew be lost because of a sinful world, God predestined those He Foreknew be conformed to the image of His Son, even if they must endure Hades to restore their free will from its bondage to sin (Zech. 13:9; 1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Pet. 4:6).

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Rom. 8:28-32 KJV)

Only then will all written in the Lamb’s book of life be saved (Rev. 20:12-15). Only then can all Israel be saved (Rom. 11:26-36).

33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Rom. 11:33-36 KJV)

So, what of our friends and relatives who died without Christ, some even blaspheming Christ (Rom. 11:28-33; Mt. 12:31; 1 John 2:2) because of some wrong done to them by the Church or the world in general? Ask yourself, were they “good people”? Would they choose evil over good, lie over truth, slavery to sin over freedom as a child of God. Would they repent in Hades once the truth of God is revealed to them, and confess Jesus is LORD? (Ac. 4:12; John 14:6;1 Pet. 4:6). If so, then they are among those God foreknew in His Omniscience and loved with a great love. Death cannot separate them from God’s love (Rom. 8:37-39). Hades was one of “all things” made to work to their eternal good (Rom. 8:28-29).

“That is wrong”, someone will say, Christ said “few would be saved”. Yes, Jesus did say that, but “a verse taken out of context becomes a pretext”.

The gospel of Luke provides the entire context (Lk. 13:22-29). Christ is the narrow door or gate. “Few are saved” (Lk. 13:23) from that generation of unbelieving Jews (Mt. 8:10-12; Lk. 13:26-27) who ate and drank in Christ’s presence but rejected Him (Lk. 13:26-27). They refused to believe Christ despite all the signs He did, they wanted more (Lk. 11:29-32). Apostates against the Law of Moses they demanded the murderer Barabbas be freed and Christ crucified in his place (Mt. 27:21-22). They rejected God’s theocracy, proclaiming they had no King but Caesar (John 19:15).

There is a limit to the patience and longsuffering of God, willful unbelief and spiritual obstinacy shuts the door. They knew the right thing yet did it not. Knowledge of the right thing to do is the universal theme in the parable of the ten virgins (Mt. 25:1-12) and Great Supper guests who declined to attend (Lk. 14:15-24). More is expected from those who know God’s will (Lk. 12:47-48). The shut door requires willful rejection of God’s truth, if one is ignorant the door cannot be shut.

Few were saved who ate and drank in Christ’s presence but remained workers of iniquity (Lk. 13:26-27; Comp. Mt. 7:21-23). But the contrast with the entire earth (Lk. 13:29; Compare Lk. 14:21-24) implies many will be saved, not just few:

22 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them,
24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying,`Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you,`I do not know you, where you are from,’
26 “then you will begin to say,`We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’
27 “But He will say,`I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’
28 “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.
29 “They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. (Lk. 13:22-29 NKJ)

Therefore, when Jesus said “few are saved” the implication is “many are saved” from the rest of the earth.

That many will be saved was God’s promise to Abraham:

“And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; (Gen. 26:4 NKJ)

The saved will be as “the stars of heaven”. All born of faith in Christ are the descendants Abraham according to Paul, therefore the number of Saved in Christ is billions and billions and billions of people, “as the stars of heaven”:

7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.
8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”
9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. (Gal. 3:7-9 NKJ)

This is no open door to the wicked. Our Holy God cannot abide with sin. Scripture is clear and forthright; the unrighteous will not inherit God’s Kingdom. Those who choose evil over holiness (Heb. 12:14), rebellion over repentance and confessing Jesus Christ as LORD, will be lost:

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-10 KJV)

God goes the extra mile to save sinners, torments in Hades restores free will causing the truth of the soul to be confessed (Lk. 16:23 Strong’s 931 βάσανος basanos). With free will liberated from bondage to sin and delusion, a choice is made (1 Sam. 2:6; 2 Sam. 22:6-20; Ps. 30:2-3; 40:1-2; 49:15; 86:13; 116:3-6; Isa. 38:17-20; Hos. 13:14; Luke 16:24; John 5:28-29; 1 Pet. 4:5-6; 1 Cor. 5:5; Heb. 9:27-28; Rev. 20:13-15. Compare Jonah 2:2-9; Mal. 3:2-4).

Those who “Hear” (pay heed to, obey) God’s voice while in the “grave” will come out to a resurrection of life. Those who refuse to obey will be judged for the things they did in life. Those who choose life are those whose names are in the book of life, God knew who they were before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4-10). At the second coming those who are eagerly waiting (Heb. 9:27-28), the dead in Christ (1 Thess. 4:13-18) rise to a resurrection of life. Those who repent and believe after the “gathering” (2 Thess. 2:1) must wait for the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) to rise to a resurrection of life, but the unrepentant wicked rise to a resurrection of condemnation. They will be cast body with its imprisoned soul into Gehenna the “lake of fire”(Mt. 10:28; Mk. 9:42-50; Gal. 6:8; Dan. 12:2; Isa. 66:24; 50:11). They are punished according to their works because they rejected salvation in Christ and His sacrifice for their sins:

28 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice
29 “and come forth– those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (Jn. 5:28-29 NKJ)

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:12-15 NKJ)

The fires of Hell will purge the dross of sin from the Elect who died unsaved and sinful. They end when the sinner repents and believes in Christ “living according to God in the Spirit” (1 Pet. 4:6). They eagerly wait for the return of Christ (Heb. 9:27-28) when their “spirit will be saved in the Day of the lord Jesus (cp. 1 Cor. 5:5) rising with all the dead in Christ (1 Thess. 4:13-18).

Christ’s choice of the word “torment” (931 βάσανος basanos) in Lk. 16:23) implies the analogy of a torture rack that compels confession of truth, or a touchstone that reveals the purity hidden within. In the “intermediate state” (Hades) contrary to what the Hillelite Pharisees believed about divorcing their wives for any reason, or that there was no purgatory awaiting them in Hades-Gehenna[2], the Rabbinic Shammaite School was right on both points, and their love of money would cause them to sorrow greatly as the torment of God’s inspection burns the sin out of them.

Why Bible exegetes don’t acknowledge the Jewish cultural context and interpret “Dives and Lazarus” as Jesus and His audience would, is unknown:

“In the Hereafter Abraham will sit at the entrance of Gehinnom and will not allow any circumcised Israelite to descend into it.”- Genesis Rabbah XLVIII. 8

“‘Passing through the valley of weeping’ (Ps. lxxxiv. 6), i.e. they who are sentenced for a time in Gehinnom; and Abraham our father comes and takes them out and receives them…”-Erubin 19a.-Abraham Cohen, Everyman’s Talmud (Schocken Books, NY, 1995), pp 381, 382

Rabbinic Views
The view of purgatory is still more clearly expressed in rabbinical passages, as in the teaching of the Shammaites: “In the last judgment day there shall be three classes of souls: the righteous shall at once be written down for the life everlasting; the wicked, for Gehenna; but those whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: ‘I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried’ [Zech. xiii. 9]; also, ‘He [the Lord] bringeth down to Sheol and bringeth up again’ ” (1 Sam. 2:6). The Hillelites seem to have had no purgatory; for they said: “He who is ‘plenteous in mercy’ [Ex. 34:6] inclines the balance toward mercy, and consequently the intermediates do not descend into Gehenna” (Tosef., Sanh. xiii. 3; R. H. 16b; Bacher, “Ag. Tan.” i. 18)

Singer, I. (Ed.). (1901–1906). In The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 12 Volumes (Vol. 10, p. 274). New York; London: Funk & Wagnalls.

When the Pharisees derided Christ’s teaching about money, Christ responded with the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:13-14, 19). Confirming the parable was directed at them, Jesus cites their traditions that make the word of God of none effect, proving their hearts are far removed from serving God. Jesus illustrates His point alluding to their liberal view on divorce which created adulterous relationships (Matt. 19:3-9). While outwardly they followed the Law, they ignored the spirit of it, especially its implicit condemnation of divorce for any reason[4]:

A. The House of Shammai say, “A man should divorce his wife only because he has found grounds for it in unchastity,
B. “since it is said, ‘Because he has found in her indecency in anything’ (Deut. 24:1).”
C. And the House of Hillel say, “Even if she spoiled his dish,
D. “since it is said, ‘Because he has found in her indecency in anything.’ ”
E. R. Aqiba says, “Even if he found someone else prettier than she, since it is said, ‘And it shall be if she find no favor in his eyes’ (Deut. 24:1).”-Neusner, J. (2011). The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary (Vol. 11b, p. 404). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.
15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.
17 “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. (Lk. 16:13-19 NKJ)

Christ alludes to the controversy that raged among the Pharisees, about divorce and Hades. The Hillelite Pharisees permitted divorce for any reason, and believed Abraham prevented circumcised Israelites from descending into Hades even if sins outweighed virtues. The sterner Shammaite Pharisees rejected divorce for any reason, and believed Hades was purgatory that purges the dross of sin from the sinner and then circumcised Israelites would be rescued from it.

The Pharisees justified rebellion against the Law through their traditions, even the commandment to love parents and care for them was contradicted by their traditions, for the sake of money (Mk. 7:7-13 cp. 1 Tim. 5:8). But unlike men, God is not fooled by sophistry, He knows their idolatrous hearts and what they love is detestable in His sight.

Christ cites the crowd earnestly striving to enter the Kingdom as proof the Messiah has come, the One Moses said all must obey (Deut. 18:15). Now is the time. A paraphrase of our LORD’s argument follows:

“I am He Moses said would come, yet you reject my authority, but the Law you claim to believe judges you. It is easier for heaven and earth to pass than your rebellion against God go unpunished.

Not only will your idolatrous love of Mammon be judged, your adulterous practice of divorcing wives for any reason will land you in hell. Contrary to your traditions, Abraham will receive the poor you despise while you descend into the refining fire of Hades, until the dross of sin is purged from you.”

It is implied by the conversation Abraham and Dives had, the rich man is one of God’s Elect who will be eventually saved. Nothing in Dives statements suggests he faced eternity in fire. His pleas are not terrified screams of hopelessness. That Jesus did not deny these Pharisees were among God’s Elect, is implied by Dives calling Abraham his “father”, and Abraham Dives “his child”. Moreover, the redeemed want to cross over into Hades to comfort Dives, which concern would be out of place if Dives were a child of Satan, wicked to the core (Deut. 13:6-10). Finally, Hades will be emptied of all its souls, and only those not found written in the book of life are eternally lost: [3]

13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:13-21:1 NKJ)

Repentance in Hades-Sheol implicitly taught in the Old Testament. Compare the imagery in:

1Sam. 2:6-10; 2Sam. 22:5-7; Ps. 16:10-11; 30:3; 49:15; 56:14; 71:19-24; 88:1-18; 107:10-15; 116:3-9; 118:17-18; Isa. 4:4; 26:19-21; Lam. 3:25; Hos. 13:14; Jon. 2:2-6; Mic. 7:7-9; Zec. 9:11;

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Psa 16:10 KJV)

For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. Psa 86:13 KJV)

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. (Psa 139:8 KJV)

I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. (Hos 13:14 KJV)

And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. (Jon. 2:2 KJV)

I called on Your name, O LORD, From the lowest pit (0953 בּוֹר bowr). (Lam. 3:55 NKJ)

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit (0953 בּוֹר bowr), out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (Ps. 40:1-3 KJV)

As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit (0953 בּוֹר bowr) wherein is no water. (Zec. 9:11 KJV) Compare Luke 16:24

It is the clear testimony of Scripture the blood of the covenant Jesus shed at Calvary redeems sinners from “the pit” (0953 בּוֹר bowr), another word for “hell” (Isa. 14:15; Ezek. 32:23-24)

Zechariah’s words refer to the blood of the New Covenant Jesus shed for our sins. God speaks to “His children birthed by the Word of God going forth from Jerusalem, Zion—poetically called the “daughter of Zion” (Rev. 12:1). Her King Jesus came to her in Jerusalem, riding upon a colt. It is His blood that redeems, but as heavenly Jerusalem (Zion) is the “mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26; Rev. 12:5) it is “the blood of thy covenant [with God]” which distinguishes the true “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16) from fleshly Israel, that redeems “thy [Zion‘s] prisoners [the elect] out of the pit”. Trusting in God to redeem them, they are “prisoners of hope” (1 Pet. 4:6; Heb. 9:27-28; Rom. 11:26-27) and therefore God declares He will reward them as His firstborn, they receive double the portion:

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit (0953 בּוֹר bowr) wherein is no water.
12 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee. (Zech. 9:9-12 KJV)

Mark 14:24 τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ ἐκχυννόμενον ὑπὲρ πολλῶν, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out in behalf of many.” The true significance of the cup (v 23) is now clarified. The broken bread was Jesus, the longed-for “coming one,” but the cup is Jesus’ “blood of the covenant.” The expression τὸ αἷμα τῆς διαθήκης, “blood of the covenant,” recalls Exod 24:8: “And Moses took the blood and threw it upon the people, and said, ‘Behold the blood of the covenant [דם־הברית dam-habbĕrɩ̂t; LXX: τὸ αἷμα τῆς διαθήκης], which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words’ ” (cf. Taylor, 545; id., Jesus and His Sacrifice, 131; Pesch, 2:358; Casey, Aramaic Sources, 242). Jesus’ words probably also allude to Jer 31 (LXX 38):31 (see Meyer, Greg 69 [1988] 461–87): “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant [ברית חדשׁה bĕrɩ̂t ḥădās̊â LXX: διαθήκην καινήν] with the house of Israel and the house of Judah”; as well as Zech 9:11 (Taylor, 545): “by your blood of the covenant [בדם־בריתך bĕdam-bĕrɩ̂tēk; LXX: ἐν αἵματι διαθήκης], I will set your captives free from the waterless pit” (RSV, adapted). The last part of the saying, τὸ ἐκχυννόμενον ὑπὲρ πολλῶν, “which is poured out in behalf of many,” may also allude to the Suffering Servant of Isa 52:13–53:12

These various Scriptures may account, in part, for the variety of forms of the words of institution:

τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ ἐκχυννόμενον ὑπὲρ πολλῶν, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out in behalf of many.” (Mark 14:24)

τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, “For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt 26:28)

τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐν τῷ αἵματι μου τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐκχυννόμενον, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:20)

τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” (1 Cor 11:25).-Evans, C. A. (2001). Mark 8:27–16:20 (Vol. 34B, pp. 392–393). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

Preaching to the Dead (Postmortem Evangelism)


There are six main features involved in election.18 (1) Election is a sovereign, eternal decree of God (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4, 5, 11). (2) Election is necessary because of man’s fall and total depravity. It therefore reflects the grace of God, not human effort (Rom. 9:11). (3) Election is “in Christ.” From eternity past God chose believers to be united to Christ (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4, 5, 11). In election God effects salvation through sending the Savior and effectually calling certain ones to salvation. (4) Election involves the salvation of the elect and the provision for their salvation. God determined to predestine, call, justify, and glorify certain ones (Rom. 8:29–30). This was planned and effected in eternity past. (5) Election and reprobation are individual, personal, specific, and particular. The pronouns in Romans 8 and Ephesians 1 emphasize the individual nature of election. (6) The goal of election is the glory and praise of God (Eph. 1:6, 12). Everything is to ascribe glory and praise to God.-Enns, P. P. (1989). The Moody Handbook Of Theology (pp. 482–483). Chicago, IL: Moody Press.

God’s Election was both “conditional” based on His foreknowledge: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate” (Rom. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:1-2) and “unconditional” “not according to our works” (2 Tim. 1:9) as it occurred before creation of “the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13).

The paradox is easily resolved. Before God created, without “foreknowledge” He already knew all things, both versions” of angels and men, the unfallen and fallen. He knew which among them loved Him, and would freely choose life with Him over everything else. He also knew those who did not, who freely chose evil over good. In God’s Omniscience those who loved Him stood out, He “foreknew them before” the rest, and in that special knowledge He loved them.

Therefore, lest any of these He foreknew be lost because of a fallen world, He predestined them unto salvation. What these became in this fallen world is irrelevant to God’s Election, it was done before the foundation of the world and therefore not based upon any merit in them now. The version that exists now is not what they were in God’s Omniscience when their ability to choose was truly free. In God’s Omniscience everyone was who they truly are God knew all who were His.

God’s Election is predicated upon His “foreknowing = loving before”, but not based upon what we are now in this fallen world, for then no one would be saved. That disconnect permits both aspects of Election be true without contradiction. It is both “conditional” and “unconditional”.

All things were created to effect their ultimate salvation, including hell itself. The “non-elected” have equal opportunity to be saved, their free will restored to them in Hades where they suffer punishment for sin just as do the Elect who died sinners unsaved by the Gospel of Christ (1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Pet. 4:6; Rom. 11:26-29).

Both can choose to “live according to God in the spirit“, but only the Elect will:

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:13-15 KJV)

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (Jn. 5:28-29 KJV)

We can conclude from Abraham and Lazarus being in paradise after they died (Luke 16:22) that the righteous dead of all nations enter paradise when they die (Acts 10:34-35; Rom. 2:6-16). They participate in the first resurrection. Among them would be aborted babies and all who are guiltless. The efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice is not limited by space and time (1 John 2:2; Rev. 13:8).

Those saved by the gospel of Christ in this life do not come into the Great White Throne Judgment, they have passed from death into life while yet alive (John 5:24-25). They are raised in the first resurrection to reign as Kings and Priests with Christ (Rev. 20:4-5). This happens when Christ brings them with Him as He arrives with His Holy Myriads (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18), in a twinkling of an eye they will be raised up incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; John 5:24; Mat 24:29-31; Rev 14:14-16).

At Christ’s Arrival, the unsaved billions who survived Armageddon are separated like a shepherd would sheep and goats. These survivors are judged whether they vicariously received Christ by coming to the aid of His brethren during the Great Tribulation, or didn’t accept the Mark of the Beast. They enter the Millennial kingdom, but are not judged until after the thousand years have ended. Those who accepted the mark of the beast, or rejected Christ dwelling in His brethren, are cast body and soul into Gehenna fire (Matt. 25:31-46; 10:28) just like the false prophet and Beast will be (Rev. 19:20). During the entire 1,000-year reign of Christ those who persist in sin are judged and condemned to Gehenna fire. During the explosive growth in earth’s population many sinners appear (Isa. 65:20). After Satan’s release from prison, many will attack God’s people in Jerusalem (Rev. 20:7-10). They simply could not endure a life of Holiness in God’s light.

That is their defect, not God’s. If we extrapolate from the 2/3rds of God’s angels who did not sin (Rev. 12:4), it is clear the majority of mankind will love living righteously in holiness in the paradise of God (1 Cor. 2:9; Rev. 21:1-5). Confirming this, God wouldn’t have created us and such a big universe for us to play in, if most humans wouldn’t choose Him over evil. Then He would have created something else.

Ponder the fact Jesus turned water into wine so people could party. God’s Kingdom will be a blast, fun! (John 2:7-10) Get on board for the big win! Believe in the LORD Jesus Christ and be saved!

Souls are not immortal (1 Tim. 6:15-16), it is the resurrection body that communicates incorruption or corruption to the soul within it (1 Cor. 15:53-54; Gal. 6:8).

In ancient Jewish NT cosmology, Gehenna is a sub compartment in Hades-Sheol, “the unseen realm”. In the teachings of Christ, Gehenna is the place of post-resurrection physical torment (Matt. 5:29-30; 10:28; 18:9; Mark 9:43, 45, 47).

On Judgment Day souls rise from Hades in physical bodies that reflect whether they heeded the Gospel of Christ they heard (=obeyed) while yet in the graves. Those who done good rise to a resurrection of life, those who persisted in evil to a resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; Rev. 20:11-15; Dan. 12:2; 1 Pet. 4:6; 1 Cor. 5:5).

Incorrigibly wicked souls rise from Hades imprisoned in abominable resurrection bodies that communicate God’s wrath to the souls imprisoned within them. They are judged according to their works and the souls imprisoned in these abominable “living-dead corpses” are cast into the Gehenna furnace of fire (Matt. 10:28; Rev. 20:13-15 prefigured in Luke 8:33).

Those who committed eternal sins for which there is no forgiveness (Matt. 12:32; Mark 9:42-48; Rev. 14:9-11) suffer eternally (Rev. 14:11; 19:20; 20:10), the corrupting worm feasting on their bodies dies not (Isa. 66:24; Mark 9:42-48). But those who did less than eternal sins suffer no more than they deserve and then cease to exist, their resurrection body and soul burnt up (Mal. 4:3).

God did everything possible to save all who did not commit eternal sins, even torment in Hades could not dissuade some of them. Their destruction is on their own head. God could not take back the gift of free will, nor would it be love or right to force them to live righteously in holiness.

That some are lost forever is the unavoidable consequence of gifting creatures with truly free will. Some would choose evil. If none did, then it would be manifest they truly weren’t free to choose. For the joy of having vessels of mercy in loving fellowship who truly wanted to live with God in Holiness, God had to endure the vessels of wrath who “prepared themselves” (2675 καταρτίζω katartizo, middle voice) unto destruction:

22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
(Rom. 9:22-24 KJV)

James Boyer might argue the implication some were found written in the book of life, is not real because:

If the first class condition states or implies the actual truth, then it could not possibly be used by Christ to say, “If [or according to this view, since] I by Beelzebub cast out demons…(Matt 12:27), nor “Since I do not do the deeds of my father…” (John 10:37), nor “Since I have spoken evil…” (John 18:23). Paul could not have written “Since there is no resurrection…” (1 Cor 15:13), nor “Since Christ is not raised…” (1 Cor 15:14). These are not isolated, peculiar examples; they represent 12% of all the first class conditions in the NT. It is simply not true that first conditions indicate the external objective truth or reality of the condition.-First Class Conditions: What Do They Mean?”(Grace Theological Journal Vol 2, p.75)

He would be wrong if he did because this is NOT a conditional argument, John is reporting what he saw, its a statement of fact, not an argument. Therefore, “Only those not written” implies “some raised from Hades were written in the book of life”, and therefore not cast into the lake of fire

28 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice
29 “and come forth– those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (Jn. 5:28-29 NKJ)


According to the Law, a man who divorced his wife wrote her a certificate of divorce; and if another man married her and then divorced her or died, her former husband couldn’t remarry her, “since she has been defiled” by the second marriage (Deuteronomy 24:1–4). Jesus doesn’t abrogate this law. He has just said that the Law will stand forever. But he extends the Old Testament law of divorce and remarriage by inferring from a woman’s defilement in a second marriage that it’s adulterous for a man, whether or not he has been married before, to marry a divorced woman. Despite her divorce, she’ll always belong sexually to her former husband. And adultery defiles. Strikingly, Jesus also infers that a man who divorces his wife and marries another woman, whether or not she has been divorced, commits adultery. For he’ll always belong sexually to his former wife. Thus Jesus dots the i’s and crosses the t’s of the Law. Such is his adherence to and affirmation of the Old Testament, and such is his high standard of morality—a standard that Luke repeatedly holds up as an attraction to prospective converts of moral sensibility.

Gundry, R. H. (2010). Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (p. 305). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

Lazarus and the Rich Man: Can the Rich Man Repent and be Saved?
Preaching to the Dead (Postmortem Evangelism)
Elect Rise From Hell On Judgment Day?
Does the Lake of Fire symbolize Eternal Torment for all?

Please Share!
0 0 votes
Article Rating
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top