God's plan

God’s Plan for the Lost

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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! Revealed in the Bible’s doctrine of Election, God predestinated individuals to be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ. [1] which requires even those who “die lost” cannot be separated from God’s love and eventually redeemed:

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)

Why don’t Christians preach this?

Post apostolic Christian eschatology was set by the Catholic Magisterium and retained by most Protestants since the Reformation. It is predicated upon a hasty generalization fallacy, confusing the Judgment of survivors from the Nations that survived Armageddon (Matthew 25:31-46) with the final Judgment of the living and the dead (Revelation 20:11-15):

§ f 25:31–46 The Last Judgement… Our Lord, speaking here of this second and final judgement, shows no trace of nationalism. The judgement by which the kingdom of the Son is purified before becoming the kingdom of the Father is decided exclusively on religious grounds…. Man is fitly judged by the Son of Man and the judgement is universal. The ‘sheep’, for their mild expression and docility, are a suitable image of the faithful followers of Christ the shepherd, Jn 10:3, 4, 27. They are distinguished from the ‘goats’ (cf. Ez 34:17), mistrustful of eye and intractable of conduct, aptly chosen as their wicked counterpart. …The sentence of the wicked, expressed more briefly than the invitation of the just, is a terrible one. Instead of ‘Come!’, ‘Depart!’; in place of the Kingdom, ‘everlasting fire’.-Jones, A. (1953). The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew. In B. Orchard & E. F. Sutcliffe (Eds.), A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (pp. 897–898). Toronto; New York; Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson.

On the contrary, this judgment occurs at Christ’s second coming, and only survivors of Armageddon are being judged, no resurrection of the dead is mentioned in the context. Moreover, the “sheep” cannot be Christians because in this context Christ calls them “My brethren” in Mt. 25:40 (Compare Rom. 8:29).

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
32 “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
33 “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right hand,`Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 `for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36 `I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying,`Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
38 `When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
39 `Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
40 “And the King will answer and say to them,`Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand,`Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 `for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;
43 `I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, `Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’
45 “Then He will answer them, saying, `Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
46 “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt. 25:31-46 NKJ)

Who are Christ’s Brethren?
The “Brethren” were “gathered” (2 Thess. 2:1) from the earth during Christ’s coming in glory. They reign with Christ as Kings and Priests (Rev. 1:6; 20:4-6; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-58; Mat. 24:29-31; Rev. 14:14-16). They are not being judged with the survivors of Armageddon because they became Christians before death. He who believes in Christ in this life “shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” (Joh. 5:24).

As Christ’s “Brethren” they were given authority to judge with Christ (Mt. 19:28; 1 Cor. 6:3; Rev. 20:4), the “firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29).

Therefore, three classes of humanity appear during this Judgment not just two: 1) the Church saved by Grace aka “My Brethren”; 2) the “sheep”; 3) the “goats”. That changes the binary construct imposed upon Judgment Day. When the books are opened, Christians are already in the Book of life. That means “sheep” as well as “goats” would be rising from Hades, to be judged according to their works written in the books.

In other words, its possible people can repent after they physically die. Observe carefully whether one lives or dies is determined AFTER physical death, because all physically die regardless of good or bad:

21 “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
22 “None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.
23 “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?
24 “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die. (Ezek. 18:21-24 NKJ)

It follows whether one lives, or dies is determined after physical death on Judgment Day when the Dead are raised up (Rev. 20:11-15). Their final destinies were not determined when they died, it is determined later.

That explains how of those who died for their sins and enter “a Judgment” which is synonymous with “a trial” or “determination” (2920 κρίσις krisis), many eagerly wait for Christ’s second coming for salvation:[7]

27 And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment (2920 κρίσις krisis);
28 so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation. (Heb. 9:27-28 ASV)

They were ‘judged according to men in the flesh but now live according to God in the Spirit’ (1 Pet. 4:6), their “spirit saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:5)[6]

For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1 Pet. 4:6 NKJ)

deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Cor. 5:5 NKJ)

The Great White Throne Judgment occurs at the End of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom, it is called “Judgment Day” and not “Sentencing Day” because the risen dead are JUDGED according to their works (Rev. 20:12-13). That can include whether they repented in Hades and professed faith in Christ in Hell when they “hear” (= obey John 5:24; Lk. 10:16) Christ’s voice while still in the grave, and come forth on Judgment Day as this “telescoped prophecy” indicates (John 5:28-29):

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)

Therefore, Catholic-Protestant confirmation bias that refuses to accept scripture revelation that repentance in Hell is possible must be rejected as unsound.

Texts where repentance in Hell is presumed, implied or explicitly stated:

(1Sam. 2:6-10; 2Sam. 22:5-7; Ps. 16:10-11; 30:3; 49:15; 56:14; 68:18-20; 71:19-24; 86:13; 88:1-18; 107:10-15; 116:3-9; 118:17-18; 139:8; Isa. 4:4; 26:19-21; Lam. 3:25; Hos. 13:14; Jon. 2:2-6; Mic. 7:7-9; Zec. 9:11; John 5:28-29; 1 Pt. 3:18-22; 4:6; 1 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 9:27-28; Rev. 20:11-15 )

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

This opens the possibility Billions of people can be saved, not just a few.

For example, rather than impose post-apostolic bias all raised from Death and Hades are unsaved wicked, we can accept the clear implication of John’s negative: ” anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire”—-it implies SOME WERE found written in the Book of Life and therefore NOT cast into the fire: [3]

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
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. 20:11-15 NKJ) (Compare John 5:28-29; Dan. 7:10)

The names of the Elect are in the Book of Life (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 13:8; 17:8) but other names cannot be of the “Elect” because those names can be blotted out (Rev. 3:5; Exod. 32:32; Ps. 69:28) or written in (Ps. 69:28; 87:6; Dan. 12:1; Mal. 3:16). That requires other books exist, one for those who will be written in, and another for those blotted out, so they can be properly listed for judgment.

This is not a new idea. Paul a former Pharisee would have known it well (Ac. 22:3; 23:6; 26:4-5), and its likely John was familiar with it. In Jesus’ Day many Pharisees became Christians (Ac. 15:5; 23:6; 26:5), only those traditions contradicting God’s Word were condemned (Mt. 15:5-6).

Christ calls some Pharisee traditions “treasure”: [5]

Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” (Matt. 13:52 NKJ)

The Pharisees believed there were three classes of People on judgment Day, the Righteous, the Wicked, and the “Middling” or “To be determined”:

[I.15 A] Said R. Kruspedai said R. Yohanan, “Three books are opened [by God] on the New Year: one for the thoroughly wicked, one for the thoroughly righteous, and one for middling [people].
[B] “The thoroughly righteous immediately are inscribed and sealed for [continued] life.
[C] “The thoroughly wicked immediately are inscribed and sealed for death.
[D] “Middling [people] are left hanging from New Year until the Day of Atonement.
[E] “If they [are found to have] merit, they are inscribed for life.
[F] “If they [are found] not [to have] merit, they are inscribed for death.”
[G] Said R. Abin, “What is the Scriptural [foundation for this]? [Ps. 69:29 states]: ‘Let them be blotted out of the book of the living. Let them not be inscribed among the righteous.’ ‘Let them be blotted out of the book’—this refers to the book of the thoroughly wicked. ‘[… of the] living’—this refers to the book of the righteous. ‘Let them not be inscribed among the righteous’—this refers to the book of middling [people].”-Neusner, J. (2011). The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary (Vol. 6b, p. 83). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

The existence of another class of people standing before God on Judgment Day completely upends all post-apostolic Eschatology set by the Catholic Magisterium. It means destinies for some are determined on Judgment Day. This requires Hades has another purpose apart from punishment with possible redemption in view; an idea consistent with God’s just, merciful and loving character revealed everywhere in Scripture.

Let’s review what Scripture reveals, and the wonderful possibilities that exist.

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 “omniscient-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; 11:2):

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)

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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)

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 “judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit” (1 Pet. 4:6 Compare θανατωθεὶς μὲν σαρκί, ζῳοποιηθεὶς δὲ πνεύματι “put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” 1 Pet. 3:18). Having died and repented 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 on Judgment Day (Jn. 5:28-29; Rev. 20:13; Da. 12:2).[6]

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.

To confirm Christ’s authority to distribute gifts of God’s grace Paul cites the Psalmist’s words that Christ (“God the Lord” Ps. 68:20) first descended to Hell from where he took those held in captivity, captive as gifts from the destroyer; who now praise “the God of our salvation…and to God the Lord belong escapes from death.”(Ps. 68:18-20).

7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. [Rom. 12:6]
8 Therefore He says (Διὸ λέγει): “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [Ps. 68:18], And gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended “– what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) (Eph. 4:7-10 NKJ)

18 You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the LORD God might dwell there.
19 Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation! Selah
20 Our God is the God of salvation; And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death. (Ps. 68:18-20 NKJ)

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. Only these enter the Millennial kingdom the prophets spoke about to live normal lives replenishing the population of the earth.

During the entire 1,000-year reign of Christ those children who turn to sin die “accursed” (Isa. 65:20) reserved in hell for Judgment Day. There is explosive growth in earth’s population and many sinners appear (Isa. 65:20). After 1000 years Satan is released from prison to mislead the earth again:

7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison
8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Rev. 20:7-10 NKJ)

“Gog and Magog” symbolize the enemies of God and His people are in every nation on earth. Hyperbolic language paints a picture of overwhelming odds that came against God’s “camp”, to glorify God’s giving the holy ones the victory. Although the enemy numbers are enormous, “the breadth of the earth” would be the mountains and valleys surrounding Jerusalem. The earth’s population wouldn’t fit. So it is unthinkable the entire earth rebelled against God.

An army of a few hundred thousand surrounding Jerusalem would have been described by John as uncountable as “the sand of the sea”. Therefore, from the analogy of 2/3rds of God’s angels who did not sin (Rev. 12:4), we can deduce the overwhelming majority of mankind loved living in Christ’s kingdom in holiness. As for the millions of Gog and Magog who did not, they are devoured by fire from heaven.

Billions upon billions of people would remain to see New Jerusalem descend from heaven to the earth:

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” (Rev. 21:1-5 NKJ)


And if any (εἴ τις) was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:15 ASV)

James Boyer incorrectly includes Revelation 20:15 εἴ τις (if any) in his “Corpus of First Class Conditions in the NT” discussing its use in discourse:

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)

Revelation 20:15 isn’t discussion, it is a prose report of what is being seen by John. This is NOT a conditional argument, John is reporting what he saw as a statement of fact. Therefore, when John notices “if any was not found written in the book of life he was cast into the lake of fire” it implies some raised from Hades were written in the book of life and therefore not cast into the lake of fire. Why express it negatively? Whether the multitude of Gog and Magog (Rev. 20:8-9) are judged first (cp. Mt. 20:16) or last, the impression of so many not written in the book of life and cast into the lake of fire would be searing, set the tone for the entire horror:

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.

[5]Using the Talmud and other pertinent sources of information shedding light on the context of Scripture is not a repudiation of the true doctrine the Bible is materially sufficient for every good work and doctrine for the Man of God:

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NKJ)

sola scriptura. A Protestant Reformation doctrine which says not that all truth is to be found in the Bible nor that the Bible is the only form in which the truth of God has come to us but that all things necessary for salvation are taught in the Bible sufficiently clearly for believers to find it and understand it and that the church (not an individual or even a particular group of individuals) is its interpreter.-Gilmore, A. (2006). sola scriptura. In A Concise Dictionary of Bible Origins and Interpretation (p. 184). London; New York: T&T Clark.

The beliefs of the Pharisees are part of the context in which the New Testament was written, therefore the Talmud does shed light on obscure texts and points of belief. While Our LORD Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their external form of righteousness and traditions that made God’s Word of none effect (Mt. 23:1-39), He also voiced great agreement with them when He commanded His disciples to “do what they say, but not what they do”:

1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples,
2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
3 “Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. (Matt. 23:1-3 NKJ)

Christ chose the apostle Paul, a former Pharisee to write 13 (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Philemon, Galatians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus) of the 27 books in the New Testament. Or 14 if we include “Hebrews”. Paul also affirms he remained in great agreement with the Pharisees:

1 “Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now.”
2 And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent. Then he said:
3 “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. (Acts 22:1-3 NKJ)

6 But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!”
7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided.
8 For Sadducees say that there is no resurrection– and no angel or spirit; but the Pharisees confess both.
9 Then there arose a loud outcry. And the scribes of the Pharisees’ party arose and protested, saying, “We find no evil in this man; but if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God.” (Acts 23:6-9 NKJ)

Therefore, it is inexplicable Christian scholarship doesn’t access this source of information more often when exegeting obscurity. The Talmud certainly carries much more weight than the apocryphal and pseudepigrapha material, yet these appear to be rising in popularity among scholars today.

It is possible those who died and repented before Christ’s Second Coming rise with the church (Consistent with the precedence set in 1 Pet. 3:18-22; Eph. 4:8 compare 1 Thess. 4:13-18); but its possible they must wait until Judgment Day (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:11-15; Compare Luke 16:26 but see Mt. 19:26). Perhaps the most likely scenario is a combination, those who repented before Christ’s coming rise with the Church’s dead at His coming, those who repent after rising on Judgment Day. That is consistent with all these scriptures. As for the wicked who die during the Millennial Kingdom, including those with Gog and Magog (Rev. 20:7-9), they die “accursed” (Isa. 65:20) and so rise to a resurrection of condemnation.


27 Καὶ καθ᾽ ὅσον ἀπόκειται τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ἅπαξ ἀποθανεῖν, μετὰ δὲ τοῦτο κρίσις·
28 οὕτως καὶ ὁ χριστός, ἅπαξ προσενεχθεὶς εἰς τὸ πολλῶν ἀνενεγκεῖν ἁμαρτίας (Heb. 9:27-28

The article doesn’t appear before krisis so this does not refer to “the Judgment” before the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11). The parallel with humans is elegance with a twist. Both Christ and humans were appointed to die once for sins. His death is a sacrifice for our sins, while our death for our sins. The Divine “Judgment” or “determination” is we bear their cost in Hades, but the Divine “determination” for Christ’s sacrifice is He became our Redeemer who takes away the sins of the many who repent and “live according to God in the Spirit” (1 Pet. 4:6). That is why these human dead eagerly wait in Hades for the coming of Christ a second time apart from sins when He will raise them from the dead in Salvation:

so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (Heb. 9:28 NKJ)

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?

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