The Great White Throne Judgment: A Biblical Mystery Explained



The book of Revelation describes a resurrection in which billions will be judged. How will Jesus Christ judge them? Will He consign them to an ever-burning hellfire or instead give them their first real opportunity for salvation?

The Great White Throne Judgment: A Biblical Mystery Explained
Jesus Christ described a resurrection in which people who lived and died centuries apart will rise from the grave together.

Source: Photos.com

A wise man said many times, "The Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle." One has to piece together God's Word properly. Each passage has its proper role in enabling us to correctly understand biblical doctrine. The apostle Paul aptly described our part in this process as "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy:2:15, emphasis added throughout). More modern translations usually render the phrase "correctly handling . "

Another way of understanding this important principle is reflected by the biblical saying, "Here a little, there a little" (Isaiah:28:10, 13). Clearly one scriptural passage of and by itself usually does not fully convey the complete truth about any specific biblical teaching. Normally, it should be carefully compared with other passages dealing with the same topic.

Neglected, misunderstood and misinterpreted

Few passages in the entire Bible, if any, have been more neglected, misunderstood and misinterpreted than Revelation:20:11-15, which refers to what is commonly known as the Great White Throne Judgment. Here misinterpretation happens principally because a crucial principle of Bible study (mentioned above) has been carelessly overlooked by theologians whose understanding has been darkened by erroneous doctrinal beliefs.

The timeline of Revelation 20 summarizes a number of crucial occurrences in the latter part of God's overall plan for saving mankind. We may gain essential supplementary details from other scriptures. But first let's look at Revelation:20:11-15 in its entirety:

"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. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books [plural] were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life [ not death]. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades [the grave] delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one, according to his works.

"Then death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."

An erroneous doctrinal assumption

Mainstream Christianity wrongly assumes that the White Throne Judgment described here consists of condemning many millions who never converted to Christianity during their lifetimes to an ever-burning hellfire. Yet vast numbers of those who died in past ages never even heard of Jesus Christ. They had no real opportunity to experience Christian conversion or to be saved.

Wholesale condemnation of many millions would be directly contrary to God's very nature. The apostle Paul states in 1 Timothy:2:3-4, "For this is right and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (New Revised Standard Version).

We should also recognize that most everyone who died in past ages—even those who did hear of Christ—never truly knew or really understood biblical truth, or ever had the opportunity to do so. And if they never had an opportunity for salvation in the past, would not a just God give them an opportunity in the future?

Although Revelation:20:14-15 clearly demonstrates that there is indeed a lake of fire for the punishment of incorrigible sinners, this passage does not indicate an ever-burning hellfire. The apostle Paul plainly tells us that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans:6:23)— not an eternal existence of interminable suffering in hellfire.

Contrary to those who teach that death merely means separation from God, death in fact means a complete cessation of consciousness (Ecclesiastes:9:5, 10). (For a much more complete explanation, request or download our free booklet Heaven and Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach? )

Now let's consider what our Savior actually taught concerning Revelation:20:11-15.

What did Christ personally teach?

Who is the actual author of the great resurrection just prior to the White Throne Judgment period? John plainly tells us in his gospel account that Jesus said, "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in their graves will hear His [Christ's] voice" (John:5:28).

Several scriptures show that God the Father has committed all judgment of human beings to His Son (verses 22, 30). So Jesus Christ Himself is the one who will exercise judgment during the time described in Revelation:20:11-13. The Father remains in heaven until that time arrives for Him to usher in the glorious, everlasting panorama of joyful never-ending existence described later in the last two chapters of the Bible.

Few realize that important collateral passages—clearly explaining events that will occur during the White Throne Judgment—are found in Matthew's gospel account. Consider carefully what Christ actually taught: "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! [These were cities of His day.] For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon [earlier cities], they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you" (Matthew:11:21-22).

Consider this remarkable statement for a moment. Jesus talks about a future judgment in which the people of His day and age will be judged alongside those of the long-dead cities of Tyre and Sidon, destroyed centuries earlier!

And how will they be judged? Revelation 20 clearly states that those resurrected will be judged "according to their works," the things they actually did coupled with the opportunities they had to know and understand God's truth. But again, will God condemn these ancient peoples who never once had the opportunity to know or respond to God's truth?

During this future judgment period they will have a sufficient period of time to sincerely repent of past deeds, be baptized and receive God's Holy Spirit. Ultimately, those who do prove obedient to their Creator will inherit eternal life in His Kingdom. In sharp contrast, those who continue to reject God's truth and stubbornly refuse to repent will be sentenced to suffer "the second death" (verses 14-15)—again, it is a death, not an eternal existence in a lake of fire.

The ultimately encouraging fate of Sodom

Let's continue in Matthew's account: "And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades [the grave]; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day" (Matthew:11:23).

Can we grasp what Christ is really saying here? Firstly, recall the unlawful deeds of these ancient peoples: "But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord" (Genesis:13:13). Yet during His human life Jesus Christ told a prominent city in Galilee that it came up short even when compared with ancient Sodom!

Jesus continued: "But I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for you" (Matthew:11:24). Again, Christ spoke of a future judgment, comparingthese ancient peoples of Sodom with the citizens of Capernaum during His generation.

The only conclusion one can reach is that the resurrected men and women of Sodom, who had died almost 2,000 years earlier, will be given an opportunity for salvation during this future period of judgment!

God is merciful toward all those who are willing to really repent. Christ said that the men of ancient Sodom would have repented during their previous lifetime had He done the great miracles there that He performed in Capernaum many generations later. So why didn't He do those works for those of Sodom? Because it was not yet time for them to be offered salvation.

A resurrection of people from different periods in history

Jesus Christ's next statement is even clearer and more specific. Notice it: "The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here" (Matthew:12:41). The ancient Ninevites and Jonah had lived and died more than eight centuries earlier. Yet Jesus plainly states that they will rise up in the future with those of His generation!

Jesus then alters the focus of his comparison to just one well-known individual of ancient times. "The queen of the South [i.e., the Queen of Sheba] will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it [by comparison with her own], for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and indeed a greater than Solomon is here" (Matthew:12:42). The Queen of Sheba and Solomon lived almost a thousand years earlier. But again, Jesus says she will rise with those who lived in Jesus' day and heard His words!

Clearly Jesus is describing a resurrection in which people who lived and died centuries apart will rise from the grave together, learn God's truth for the first time and have the opportunity at last to repent and receive God's gift of salvation! What a remarkable and little-understood truth!

In these passages Christ referred primarily to ancient gentile (or non-Israelite) countries. But what about the peoples of Israel—past, present and future? Can they be saved?

The apostle Paul answers, "And so all Israel will be saved" (Romans:11:26). But again, how can that happen when so many of them never even had the opportunity to hear God's truth?

The prophet Ezekiel explains what will happen. "The whole house of Israel" will be part of a great resurrection in the future occurring just after the close of Christ's millennial reign. Read about this resurrection of physical bodies brought back to life in Ezekiel's remarkable vision recorded in Ezekiel 37. The participants will then be given an opportunity for salvation during the White Throne Judgment period.

The surprising truth about the resurrections

But a thousand years beforehand, at the time of Christ's second coming, true Christians will be resurrected to eternal spirit life as the firstfruits of God's salvation. They will then assist Jesus Christ in ruling the nations during the 1,000-year Millennium and the White Throne Judgment period to follow (1 Thessalonians:4:16; 1 Corinthians:15:51-52; Revelation:5:10; 20:4-6; Romans:8:18-19, 23).

As important as Revelation 20 remains in helping depict God's overall plan for humankind, this crucial chapter cannot be fully understood without clarifying and supporting passages in other parts of the Bible.

The great mercy of God defies the limits of our imaginations. Paul wrote: "Blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles shall come in. And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer [Jesus Christ] shall come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob [Israel]; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins'" (Romans:11:25-27).

Hebrews:13:8 tells us that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Today He remains deeply concerned for the salvation of all peoples. He is the Captain of their salvation and the Author and Finisher of their faith (Hebrews:2:10; 12:2). And as we have seen, He will personally carry out an important part of the latter phase of God's plan for the salvation of humanity during the Great White Throne Judgment period! 


richard nellis

richard nellis's picture

The coming of the Messiah (Rev 19:11-Rev 22:21) at the beginning of the Millennium will bring about vast changes. First the dead believers will be raised (1Th 4:16) and the living believers will be caught up (1Th 4:17), then the remnant of mankind will be killed be the word of God (Mt 13:30, Mal 4:1-3, Rev 14:13-15:1)and finally Satan will be left on the earth with no one to deceive for the next 1,000 years. Those who are not called up at this coming of the Messiah will be resurrected at the end of the 1,000 years, they however will not go to paradise. Satan will now have many to deceive and induct into his army in preparation for the final war.

During the period of these two resurrections there are five groups that will be judged.
At the end of the 1,000 years, the dead (Re 20:7-13) are resurrected; these are not resurrected to paridise. Satan is loosed out of his ‘prison’ , free to deceive as many as he can in preparation for the battle of Armageddon. Those who Satan deceives will gather at the New Jerusalem to do battle. This is the Battle of Armageddon. And then the Judgment.

But who will be judged? Probably everyone! This will not be a judgment to determine guilt, but to determine which group a person fits in. At the catching up of His followers, Jesus has His rewards with Him. His followers receive their rewards at that time. Therefore they must have already have been judged (1) . At the battle of Armageddon, the followers of Satan will be killed by fire coming down from God out of heaven, that is their Judgment (2). If Satan, the Beast and the false Prophet are in the lake of fire, they are judged (3). Then is the Judgment of the remnant of the unsaved who do not follow Satan, BUT they are judged (4) by their works from the BOOK OF LIFE. Those not found in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire (5). (See Re 20:7-15)

Those who have not known Jesus as their Messiah, but have live as if they had will be known by their works in the BOOK OF LIFE. This could be the group from Romans 2.
Ro 2:13-16 “13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” Surely a just God has considered that their will be those that do not fall into either Rev 21:7 or Rev 21:8.

These will be those that, after the resurrection, will have a desire to know the Lord.
Isa 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Mic 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.




Sabrina Peabody

Sabrina Peabody's picture

Thank you, Mr. Schroeder, for such a well written article that helps depict God's overall plan for humankind by using supporting passages from all parts of the Bible.

Concerning the above comment by Richard Nellis, here are some observations and corrections based upon the biblical record:

Mr. Nellis states:
“then the remnant of mankind will be killed [by] the word of God (Mt 13:30, Mal:4:1-3, Rev:14:13-15:1)”

The verses quoted in Matthew and Revelation do indicate that those fighting against God will be destroyed/killed in the so-called “Battle of Armageddon” (although Armageddon is where they are gathered and the true battle is at Jerusalem).

However, in Malachi:4:1-3 it says “the day burning like an oven” which would lead us to believe it is not the day of battle, but instead the time when all humankind is judged and those not worthy are thrown into the lake of fire to receive a lasting sentence (not eternal torment) since they chose death and not life. They will be “ashes under the soles of your feet.” In the time frame of events, the lake of fire and judgment for all mankind falls after Christ’s 1,000-year reign on earth and after the time all who did not know God had the opportunity to know God.

Furthermore, there will be a large amount of mankind killed in the Great Tribulation (including the armies fighting against Christ), however it says there WILL be a human remnant on the earth that will be led by Christ assisted by the Bride; otherwise, who would the Saints at the first resurrection rule over for the 1,000 years (Revelation:5:10)?

Mr. Nellis has things out of order. The so-called “Battle of Armageddon” happens before the Millennium (not after the second resurrection). I believe he is confusing the battle that takes place at the end of the Millennium when Satan is released for a little while with the “Battle of Armageddon.”

Mr. Nellis states:
“finally Satan will be left on the earth with no one to deceive for the next 1,000 years.”

Satan is bound in the bottomless pit and cannot deceive the nations. That implies that there are still nations he could deceive on the earth, but he is bound and unable to.

You are right in that those who were not called in this life or never had the opportunity to know the true God are resurrected at the end of the 1,000 years and are taught God’s way. They do however have the opportunity to be in God’s family and apart of His Kingdom. God wants "all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy:2:4).

Those whom Satan deceives are the nations that have been around during the Millennium that have learned and lived God’s way and decide not to follow it and therefore fight with Satan in his last battle.

Concerning the rewards of Christ’s followers, those who know Christ and follow Him in this life, He will have rewards for when He returns at the beginning of the Millennium. Their rewards are mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3.

The fire that kills the people at the last battle after the Millennium, after Satan is released from the bottomless pit, is their first death.

Mr. Nellis states:
“Surely a just God has considered that their will be those that do not fall into either Rev:21:7 or Rev:21:8. These will be those that, after the resurrection, will have a desire to know the Lord.”

In the last two verses, Isaiah:2:3 and Micah:4:2, it talks of “many nations” coming to the mountain of the Lord, and “he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” This is during Christ’s 1,000-year reign on the earth while Satan is bound in the bottomless pit. These are human nations who are learning after the Great Tribulation about God. Some of these people will be deceived at the end of the 1,000 by Satan. This will have been their opportunity to overcome temptation; however some will not and fight with Satan.

These are just some brief thoughts on the subject. To give you more in-depth perspective, here is a booklet that will be helpful in getting the time frame correct, God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind (http://www.ucg.org/booklet/gods-holy-day-plan-promise-hope-all-mankind/ ).




richard nellis

richard nellis's picture

For Sabrina Clore

In acts 17:11 we are told that those of Berea, received the word that Paul preached to them and searched the scriptures to see if it was so.

The “day of the Lord” is used 29 times in the King James Bible and the “Lord's Day” is used once. If you will examine these verses and read the paragraphs they are a part of, you will see a pattern which makes it plain that the subject is the coming of the lord. These are the verses that pertain to the wrath of the day of the lord, but you must read the entire paragraph they are found in. Isa 2:12, Isa 13:6, Isa 13:9, Isa 34:8, Jer 34:8, La 2:22, Eze 13:5, Eze 30:3, Joe 1:15, Joe 2:1, Joe 2:11, Joe 2:31, Joe 3:14, Am 5:18, Am 5:20, Ob1:15, Zep 1:7, Zep1:8, Zep 1:14, Zep1:18, Zep 2:2, Zep 2:3, Zec 14:1, Mal 4:5, Ac 2:20, 1Co 5:5, 2Co 1:14, 1th 5:2, and 2Pe 3:10.

Jesus said: “John 14:2 In my Father’s house (Strong's greek Lexicon - House, Home, Household, from the House.) are many mansions(Strong's greek Lexicon - mansion, abode): if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself (This is a statment made by the bridegroom at the confirmation of the wedding contract.); that where I am,[there] ye may be also.” His father's house is not on the earth. In Revelation 22:14 He said: “Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” The city spoken of is the New Jerusalem. In Revelation 22:14 He said: “Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” We know that the tree of life is in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:1-5). The New Jerusalem then is a symbolic name for paradise. Jesus will not return to the ground of earth until the New Jerusalem descends. Zec 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. Re 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Those who are with Jesus will be in the New Jerusalem. The earth will be empty, there will be no one alive. Mal 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. (A root is an ancestor a branch is a descendant.) Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. The “Sun of righteousness” is Jesus. Mal 4:3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do [this], saith the LORD of hosts. (Those that are not raptured are the wicked who will be killed be the word of God . They will be burnt to ashes and the ashes will be on the ground so that they can be walked upon.)

Please search the scriptures to see if what I said is so. I need honest biblical feed back. I am human and I do make mistakes. There is not much time left and I need to know if I am wrong, because we will be judged by what the Scriptures say, not what we think they say.




Peter Eddington

Peter Eddington's picture

Greetings Mr. Nellis,

Thank you for your ongoing posts. Rather than go through your long posts in detail to show where you are drawing wrong conclusions, I feel it would be best if you would read a couple of United Church of God booklets cover to cover, turning to each scripture mentioned as you do so, so that you can see where you're making mistakes in your logic and study. Just like you said, the Bereans were a good example of this. I believe you will find these resources and Bible aids most helpful in your ongoing Bible study.

What you are outlining in your previous posts is not accurate to the biblical record, and is not what the United Church of God teaches on its website. Here are the resources I recommend:

• "The Book of Revelation Unveiled" www.ucg.org/booklet/book-revelation-unveiled
• "You Can Understand Bible Prophecy" www.ucg.org/booklet/you-can-understand-bible-prophecy
• "God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind" www.ucg.org/booklet/gods-holy-day-plan-promise-hope-all-mankind
• "Heaven and Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach?" www.ucg.org/booklet/heaven-and-hell-what-does-bible-really-teach

All the best in your studies,

Peter.




richard nellis

richard nellis's picture

For Peter Eddington

Hi Peter
Thank you for your comments. I just checked my files and I have read all four of those articles some time ago. But I will look them over again. As I recall there were some areas that were not covered adequately. But I took that to be a doctrinal thing possibly some areas that the church did not want to cover.

The Rabbis teach that there a four levels of understanding. (No, I'm not a Jew. The UCG does not have a church near me. So I study with them on line, but I also study with any religious group that I can. That means I must be like those from Berea, and search the scriptures to see if what I am told agrees with them or not.) The UCG does not seem to give much credit to the symbolic levels. That is like leaving out ¼th of the teachings of God. For instance a fulfilled prophecy, is used by God to claim ownership of what just happened, He declared it and He brought it about, thus proving that He exists and His word is truth. If He exists and His word is truth, then we can expect what He said to come to pass. There can be no conflict in the truth. So if His word is truth, then there can be no conflict in His word, if there is conflict it must be an error in our translation, understanding, or a doctrinal thing. By looking at the conflicts, we can find the errors in our teachings. Not to solve the conflict but to use it to see what the Bible says and His teaching really are. Instead we have over 3,000 denominations teaching different things. We know they can't all be correct, but as there is only one truth we know they can all be and are wrong. Therefore we should stop defending what many be wrong and get together and study to find what is right.

Jesus did not try to defend Himself when Satan attacked Him, He just said “it is written” and He let the word of God stand for itself. There are words in the Hebrew Scriptures that are not even translated into English. In Revelation Jesus said four times that He was the Alpha and Omega. These are the Hebrew letters Alef and Tav, the beginning and the end. There is a Messianic site called scriptures4all whichhas a Hebrew/English interlinear Bible that can be read on line. That bible shows the Alef Tav occurs 27 time in chapter 1 of Genesis. But it is not translated. Of those occurrences, at least 24 could be pointing to Jesus. In other chapter of Genesis the Alef Tav is shown to be involved at EVERY conception and birth of a human. This tells me that our churches do not teach what was made known by God more than 4,000 years ago, not because they don't want to teach it, but because they don't know. But what efforts have they made to find the truth. And what changes would there be in our society if these had been taught for the last 2,000 years?

My studies are almost over. I started a nearly full time study of the bible when I retired in 1983. I may have more time studying the Bible than many pastors have. But soon I hope to start to study under the master teacher for a 1,000 years, and there shall be no conflict in what He teaches.




richard nellis

richard nellis's picture

For Peter Eddington

Hi Peter
I have reviewed the articles that you mentioned. I will read them in their entirety, but not today. What I have reviewed leads me to believe that I did not make a mistake. If when I finish I recant, I will post a comment to this site.

For now let me show you what I mean using another article . In the UCG Booklet “Are We Living In The End Times” the author quotes some terms and phrases form the Bible and does not explain what they mean . He does explain what he thinks they mean, he explains them not using the Bible or Hebrew idioms in use at the time of Jesus. This could lead to some misunderstanding. Language changes on a daily basis. We can not look at a word spoken 2,000 years ago and explain it as if it was spoken today. Well, we can but that does not always give us the meaning that was intended 2,000 years ago.

What is meant by this verse? Mt 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. It is written in John 10:30: “I and [my] Father are one.” If Jesus and the father are one, shouldn't Jesus know what His father knows? This is another one of those verses where a conflict is seen, and as I have said before there can be no conflict is the word of God. So there must be a mistranslation, a misunderstanding, a misconception, or and error in knowledge.

Eddie Chumney is an author who has studied the 'Hebraic Roots' of Christianity. If I remember right he was a Baptist Minister who, after much time spent studying, became a Messianic Minister. The following is an excerpt from the last section of Chapter 7 in his book “THE SEVEN FESTIVALS OF THE MESSIAH”. He uses the Hebrew names where they are available out of respect for his Jewish readers and, I believe, from a concept that names should not be changed when a work is translated. For those that haven't come across it before Yeshua is the Hebrew name of Jesus.

“Yom HaKeseh: The Hidden Day
In Psalm (Tehillim) 27:5 it is written, "For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock." Yet another name for Rosh HaShanah is Yom HaKeseh, "The Day of the Hiding" or "the Hidden Day." The term keseh or keceh is derived from the Hebrew root kacah, which means to "conceal, cover, or hide." Every day during the month of Elul, a trumpet is blown to warn the people to turn back to God, except for the thirtieth day of Elul, the day preceding Rosh HaShanah. On that day the trumpet is not blown, and is therefore silent. This is because much about Rosh HaShanah is concealed and shrouded in mystery. The mystical aspect of Rosh HaShanah is indicated in Scripture: "Sound the shofar on the New Moon, in concealment of the day of our festival" (Psalm [Tehillim] 81:3). Satan, the accuser, is not to be given notice about the arrival of Rosh HaShanah, the Day of Judgment. Rosh HaShanah is called Yom HaKeseh, or the Day of the Hiding, because it was hidden from Satan (Ha Satan), the adversary. The Bible says that Satan comes to rob and to steal (John [Yochanan] 10:10, and to confuse (1 Corinthians 14:33). Because it is the Day of Judgment, it is symbolically hidden from Satan (Satan did not know and understand the plan of the cross [tree], First Corinthians 2:7-8). This was hidden from him as well. Believers never said when the day of Rosh HaShanah was; they simply said, "Of that day and hour no one knows, only the Father." One of the reasons most often given to disclaim that the resurrection of the dead and the catching away of the believers is on Rosh HaShanah is the statement given by Yeshua in Matthew (Mattityahu) 24:36, as it is written, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only." Because Rosh HaShanah was understood to be the hidden day, this statement by Yeshua is actually an idiom for Rosh HaShanah. Thus it should be given as proof that He was speaking of Rosh HaShanah because Rosh HaShanah is the only day in the whole year that was referred to as the hidden day or the day that no man knew. ”

The author of this article also quotes Luke 21:8 “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ]; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.” This has been happening for some time. The Catholic Church declares that the Pope sits in the place of Jesus and that the people can have no forgiveness for their sin unless they come through the church. There are many that claim to be Christian (The -ian suffix means in the name of, or little, or like) but they do not do as Jesus said.

{See also Isaiah 4:1 “And in that day (The introduction to an end time prophecy) seven (a sign of worship) women (church or bride of Christ) shall take hold of (Identify themselves with) one man, (Jesus is the son of man (this could also imply God the father)) saying, (making a claim or request) We will eat our own bread, (Bread is made of dough {which is ground grain [word of God], water [man], and yeast [doctrine]} cooked with oil (holy spirit.)) and wear our own apparel: (Garments reflect ones righteousness) only let us be called by thy name, (Christian - of or after Christ) to take away our reproach. (Thinking that the name of Christ, by itself, can make them acceptable.)”} These are all symbols from the King James Bible.

The author also uses the prophetic times '3 ½ years' or '42 months' without acknowledging the prophetic significance of it. In Nu 14:34 and Eze 4:6 we are told that a day in prophecy is the same as a year in real time, therefore the 3 ½ years or 42 months is 1,260 years.

These are some examples why we must use the Bible to tell us what the Bible says. They are also why I do as those from Berea and search the scriptures to see if what I am taught is what the Bible teaches.

For now my comments must remain as they are.




H.G. Hennis

H.G. Hennis's picture

Mr. Nellis,

What a blessing for you to be able to study GOD's Word "full time" as a retiree for so many years. I'm sure you thank GOD for that privilege on a regular basis. I appreciate your diligence in studying the Scriptures to see if what modern human commentators state is in accordance with the rest of GOD's Word, or if it is instead misguided/mistaken. Due to your desire to understand what is actually written in the Holy Bible, I would like to address a couple of your comments which you derived from other sources.

Although it is true that Jesus Christ was indeed the Creator (John:1:1-3,14,17; Colossians:1:16-17; Hebrews:1:2; Ephesians:3:9 TR, M-Text), the claim that the Hebrew particle את (Alef-Tav) that is "not translated" is usually referring to Jesus Christ as the "Alpha and Omega" is possibly the biggest case of UNintentional eisegesis that I've ever heard. As any Hebrew grammar book will tell you, the particle את that frequently appears to be untranslated is actually a "sign of the accusative" case, and when it is written, it *normally* occurs before the "direct object of a verb" when "that object is a definite noun..."

If we were to literally apply your friend's "Alpha-Omega" suggestion for translating every instance of the particle את (Alef-Tav) in the following verses, we could arrive at some *VERY UNSOUND* theological conclusions. For example, Genesis 1:1 could yield: "In beginning, God created Alpha-Omega the heavens and Alpha-Omega the earth." Continuing with that translation suggestion, Genesis 1:16 could yield: "And God made Alpha-Omega two of the great lights, Alpha-Omega the great light for governing of the day, and Alpha-Omega the lesser light for governing of the night and Alpha-Omega the stars." Such a translation of את (Alef-Tav) in these verses is clearly *nonsense* that has more in common with *pagan* religions' worship of the created things than anything asserted by the True LORD GOD of the Holy Bible. Similar *ridiculous* את translations could be applied to Genesis 4:1-2, "And Adam knew Alpha-Omega Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Alpha-Omega Cain... and she continued to bear Alpha-Omega his brother Alpha-Omega Abel..." 1Kings:16:31 could yield, "...but he [Ahab] took a wife Alpha-Omega Jezebel... and he served Alpha-Omega the Baal...," etc., etc., and the list goes on and on for people and objects which were certainly *NOT* the Christ. Although your friend most likely had good intentions, forcing an Alpha-Omega Christ interpretation into the untranslated Hebrew particle את (Alef-Tav) does not fit with the vast majority of Scripture.

Regarding your quote about Rosh HaShanah as the "Hidden Day," that explanation is so well-known by now that it could hardly be "hidden" anymore, and both Jesus Christ the Son, and satan the devil certainly know about that explanation -- especially, after it has been posted on the Internet. Incidentally, the phrase ראשהשנה (Ro'sh HaShanah, "head/beginning of the year") occurs once in the Masoretic Text in Ezekiel:40:1, but there it is referring to the "tenth [day] of the month" and is not referring to the same day as the Feast of Trumpets, which is clearly described as the first day of the seventh month (Leviticus:23:24, Numbers:29:1). The Masoretic Text describes the Feast of Trumpets as זכרוןתרועה (Zikron Təru’ah, Leviticus:23:24) and יוםתרועה (Yom Təru’ah, Numbers:29:1) rather than the modern Jewish designation of Rosh HaShanah.

While the Feast of Trumpets does *symbolize* the return of Jesus Christ at the last trumpet (1Corinthians:15:52, 1Thessalonians:4:16, Matthew:24:30-31, Revelation:11:15, etc.), does that mean without a doubt that it is the exact same calendrical day that He will fulfill that particular "shadow of good things to come"? GOD alone knows. As it is written in Mark:13:32, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (NKJV). In Mark's account, the phrase "nor the Son" (ουδε ο υιος) occurs in both the majority and minority Greek manuscripts that are used as ancient sources for the New Testament; it also occurs in the Aramaic Peshitta equivalent for Mark:13:32. It is not a mistranslation of the source text. In Matthew:24:36, "nor the Son" (ουδε ο υιος) occurs in minority Greek manuscripts, and the word "only" / "alone" (μονος) in reference to the Father (ο πατηρ) occurs in both majority and minority Greek manuscripts. In addition to the clear Gospel statements regarding the Father's exclusive knowledge of the day and hour of Jesus Christ's return to establish His kingdom (compare Revelation:11:15, 19:11-16), Acts:1:6-7 provides us with a potentially deeper understanding. As it is written in Acts:1:7, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority" (NKJV). The YLT translates the first part of this verse as, "It is not yours to know..." which reflects a possessive genitive rendering of υμων (yours / of you), which would mean that knowledge does not belong to us, but has been put in the authority of the Father. *Perhaps,* this is *also* indicative of the Father having reserved the authority for Himself to make a decision about when the time is finally "ripe" (compare the *principles* that can be derived from Amos:8:1-2, Genesis:15:16, Isaiah:46:11, Revelation:7:2-3, Matthew:24:22, John:2:4-11, Revelation:9:5, etc.) -- but I'm not 100% sure. In any case, it's clear that it is not for us to know that exact time (Acts:1:7), and Jesus Christ will come "...at an hour you do not expect" (NKJV) "...when ye think not" (KJV) (Luke:12:40, Matthew:24:44).

Regarding when a symbolic shadow may be fulfilled, it is a well-known fact that Jesus Christ was crucified on the day of the Passover as our Passover Lamb (Luke:22:7, Matthew:26:2; compare 1Corinthians:5:7, John:1:29). However, it is interesting to note what is written about Jesus Christ's sacrifice with relation to the Day of Atonement in Hebrews 9. "But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come... with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place ONCE FOR ALL, having obtained eternal redemption" (Hebrews:9:11-12; compare Hebrews:10:10, 7:27, Romans:6:10, etc.). "For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands... but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another -- He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, ONCE at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews:9:24-26, see also Hebrews:10:19-23, Hebrews:10:10). Although the future binding of satan is yet to occur (Revelation:20:1-3), the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ has already occurred, and it happened on the Passover. Perhaps, this provides an additional reason to question which calendrical day the return of Jesus Christ at the last trumpet will actually occur on.

Please consider carefully what is written in all of the Scriptures cited above. Thank you for remaining humble enough to be teachable (compare Isaiah:66:2).




Ramon Gonzalez

Ramon Gonzalez's picture

Regarding what was posted in the article: "Contrary to those who teach that death merely means separation from God, death in fact means a complete cessation of consciousness (Ecclesiastes:9:5, 10). (For a much more complete explanation, request or download our free booklet Heaven and Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach?)"

Ecclesiastes is talking about no one remembering them, not that they will not remember (For example: Jesus telling the story of Lazarus, Abraham and the rich person, separated by a great gulf fixed, Luke 16:19-31). People do remember when they're in hell.

We also cannot neglect the fact that the Bible states that it is not of works lest any man should boast. God is just and an equal opportunity is given to everybody to believe. We cannot speculate if it was during people's lifetime or that it will be during Armageddon, or in the rapture, etc., what we do know is that without Jesus there is condemnation. Besides God states in His Word that there is NO EXCUSE, even the firmament speaks about Him. Romans 1:20 says so (reference as well is Paslms 19:1, Romans 10:14-18):
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"

Regarding this statement (from the article):
"Although Revelation:20:14-15 clearly demonstrates that there is indeed a lake of fire for the punishment of incorrigible sinners, this passage does not indicate an ever-burning hellfire. The apostle Paul plainly tells us that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans:6:23)—not an eternal existence of interminable suffering in hellfire."

There is once again speculation, because the wages of sin IS death (spiritual death, like when Adam died, although not ceasing to exist, Genesis 2:17 "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"). Death does mean separation from God, not ceasing to exist or "cessation of consciousness; Why did Satan did not cease to exist then? he is dead after all.
Also how can the author say that there is a lake of fire but not an ever-burning hellfire? Where is the scripture that supports its not everlasting? People will receive the pay of their Lord. In Revelations 20:10: "the devil was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night FOR EVER AND EVER", not just for a period of time, but forever, and the ones not found in the Book of Life will receive their god's wage.

Regarding:
"God is merciful toward all those who are willing to really repent. Christ said that the men of ancient Sodom would have repented during their previous lifetime had He done the great miracles there that He performed in Capernaum many generations later. So why didn't He do those works for those of Sodom? Because it was not yet time for them to be offered salvation."

God is merciful but also just. They did have time to repent, Abraham did, Lot did. When it says that it will be more tolerable it does not mean that they will not receive judgement, it just said they did, because they did not remain til this day. God knows people are given chances, but we cannot neglect Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:". what you did during this life regarding your works are taken into consideration for reward here and in heaven, but salvation is not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph 2:9). It has to be receive by grace through faith.

Regarding the the men of Nineveh are resurrected:
They repented in their time, when they rise, it is not the time when God is going to decide what their judgement is going to be, they already have been judged for it is appointed unto men once to die, and then judgment. They will be rewarded finally, together with us, and those who did not repent will also be rewarded but according to their god, but it is not talking about their salvation, actually that passage in Matthew 12:41-42 is not speaking about giving an opportunity for people to be saved, its clearly stating that THEY (The men of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba) will condemn that generation, not receive judgment with them. The white throne judgement will make it clear for everybody what they deserve, not allow people a second chance.
This implies that everybody can live however they want to and then receive an opportunity to repent and everything is fine.

Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Why would Jesus tell the people to repent if they would be given a chance when the white throne day came?
2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation.)

The millennium people (the ones that will be there) are the ones who are in heaven right now, the church, and the ones who believe in Christ during the tribulation (those who did not worshippped the beast neither his image, neither received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands, Revelation 20:4). The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished (Rev 20:5). As we can see, not everybody will live in the millennium and by the time the white throne comes, there is no more opportunity for salvation because Rev 20:8 had already occurred (people getting on Satan's side to attack God).

I do agree in other statements in the article but the simple fact that this article states that everybody will receive another opportunity to repent after they die, is contrary to the Bible, because in that case let us all live in iniquity and sin, after all everybody will be given another chance to be saved.

Let us not twist Scriptures. The day of salvation is today, God has been as merciful as He can be, and continues to be, if you don't listen now, tomorrow might be too late.




Skip

Skip's picture

Ramon, Hello

Just one short reply: everybody gets ONE chance.
Some get it now because God has completely opened their understanding and some get it later because they simply do not understand now. God knows which & is always completely fair.




Ramon Gonzalez

Ramon Gonzalez's picture

Hey Skip:

God bless you and thanks for the comment. I'm 26 years old and have a long ways to go, so by no means think that I think I am always right on what I say, because I'm clearly not, no one is. But the Word is. And the only problem I see with what you say is that 2 Corinthians 6:2 says: "(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)" The word for time here is "kairos" and it means: proper time/opportunity, (convenient,due) season. Also the Word in many occasions exhort us not to harden our hearts. If it is up to God opening our understandings than there is nothing we can do to improve on wisdom and knowledge because it is up to Him. Galatians 5:17 says "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." And in context with verse 14 we can understand that it is talking about us waking ourselves up. God is in fact fair (in ways we do not even understand) and that is why many perish (although not His will "2 Peter 3:9"), because He warned them and they did not listen, being nothing else left to do for them. There is no excuse:

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:




Skip

Skip's picture

Hello Ramon,

Let’s check out a couple of things:

The basic idea I want to convey is that right now, this lifetime is NOT the day of salvation for the broad majority of people that are living in this world. There are “good” people & “bad” people but most of them do not really understand what life is all about.
Many will live & die without ever coming to grips with the true Jesus Christ.
It is not their fault and they will be given their chance to learn later.

But you mentioned a particular verse. Let’s notice it.
2 Cor 6: 2 “… I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in (A) day of salvation…”

But you say 2 Cor 6: 2 says THE day of salvation.
Paul was quoting from Isa 49: 8. What does that say?
“ In an acceptable time have I heard thee: and in a day of salvation have I helped thee…”
In the Hebrew “a day” seems to be non specific. There might be more than one.

If we simply ask what Paul meant we are going to at least need to say he wanted to quote Isaiah accurately. Paul definitely knew that everyone is not being judged right now.

But some are, it’s true! Who are those being judged right now? Peter knew!

1 Pet 4: 17 “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God…”
People of God, those of the house of God, do understand enough to be judged right now.
I would say that millions of Chinese, East Indians, Africans, & others are living “good”
“honest” law abiding lives now but have never really had a shot at hearing the Gospel.
That was what the booklet was explaining: The Great White Throne judgment period is the time when God will open their minds and understandings to the truths that God’s house has now.

You also quote us saying “it is up to God opening our understandings” very true but we never say that there is nothing for us to do. On the contrary, after The Father draws us or calls us (John 6: 44) we have to respond to that drawing, that call (almost like answering the phone.) And then a lifetime of true learning can begin.

You cite Gal 5: 17 but I think you meant Eph 5: 17.
I actually like Gal 5: 17 though. It clearly indicates that flesh & spirit are different!
And if you think about it, one cannot really understand the other.
Before God will judge us, for Eternity!, God will make sure we really understand.

Sorry I wrote so much. But I am thinking that just maybe you are starting to understand.

Sincerely, Skip




Ramon Gonzalez

Ramon Gonzalez's picture

Hey skip:
True what you say about Is 49:8,it does refer to a nonspecific day.But it does not contradict what I stated about that "the/A" day means now, because 2Co 6:2 does say: "Behold,NOW the accepted time and day of salvation".
What makes this apply to everybody in the world is the fact that unlike Peter, Paul was sent to the gentiles,Peter to the Jews.
If somebody never ever heard about Christ,which is unlikely unless they live in a deserted island (for we are in the year 2011 after Christ)God is fair, but people continuously reject knowledge and not just perish for lack of it, so in most cases, people decide not to listen and keep going there ways.
Just like in North America. It is hard to even say this (all though it happens) that there are people that have not heard about Jesus. Day and night we see or hear something regarding the gospel and still in these Christian countries Christ is rejected. How much more anywhere else?
It would be unfair for God to judge American people who reject the gospel differently than European or Asian people who reject the gospel just because this are "Christian" oriented countries.Sodom and Gomorrah are examples of foreign countries being judged, or every nation/people that came against Israel, like: Goliath.He probably wasn't preached at much, or fully understood what is God about,and still got judged because of his heart.
If he would have desired at least a bit of wisdom of what of Who is out there, he would have received wisdom for sure (James 1:5)
Still, I know we can agree on most things regarding the Bible (than things we do not) like God is fair, and that we know in part and we prophesy in part (1 Co 13:9), so I for starter need to be humble and agree with you that I am starting to understand. We can also agree that no one can be saved but through Jesus Christ even if they call to him right before they die (Lk 23:39-43).
We need to be careful of any speculations and base ourselves completely on the Word.We know that it is appointed for men to die once and THEN judgment comes(Heb 9:27). It would be unfair for somebody to be asked if he/she believes in Christ after they die and saw Jesus in His glory. There is no faith in that. And salvation comes by grace through faith.
I did mean Eph 5:17 (sorry about that). And thanks for your time brother. I really appreciate every second you spend for my sake.
Blessings




Clifford White

Clifford White's picture

This is about the article, "the great white throne judgement". So also Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns, since they indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in a way similar to these angels, are now displayed as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire. -Jude 1:7. Clearly this shows that the people are going to receive an eternal punishment of eternal fire like the fallen angels.
Talking about more men - wild sea waves, spewing out the foam of their shame; wayward stars for whom the utter depths of eternal darkness have been reserved. -Jude 1:13. Eternal darkness. And when the Bible talks of darkness it means the absence of God.
The one who has the Son has this eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have this eternal life. -1 John 5:12. No eternal life?
They will undergo the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his strength, -2 Thessalonians 1:9. Eternal destruction away from the presence of God? This clearly goes against the article as well. so what's right? The article or the Bible? I know where I stand. It's your turn to make your standing. Remove this article and write a new one declaring the word of the Bible if you wish to stand by the Bible.
You may ask the question again would God not give them an opportunity for salvation because he is just? And as the article says that most people in the past that died never had an opportunity for salvation be auss they never knew God. That's what the article says. What about God? What about the Bible? For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse. -Romans 1:20. People have no excuse. He is a just God. He's gave everyone since the start of the world an opportunity to follow him.
P.s. Peter you said.. I feel it would be best if you would read a couple of United Church of God booklets cover to cover, turning to each scripture mentioned as you do so, so that you can see where you're making mistakes in your logic and study.
I feel it best you read the Bible cover to cover and look into this topic. And it'll become clear where you're making mistakes in your logic and study.




Ramon Gonzalez

Ramon Gonzalez's picture

Hey clifford:
I completely agree with you. The Bible does mention that people are without excuse and God is just. He would make sure everybody has the opportunity to repent for it is His will that no one should perish (2 Peter 3:9).
The Word stands over any book, magazine, opinion, ideology, experience, etc. And it cannot contradict itself. Let every word be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses (Matthew 18:16), which in this case the 2 or 3 witnesses would be 2 or 3 verses, or 10, 11, 12..30. God is fair, and He warns people, and sadly they reject and become foolish (Romans 1:21-22), and do stupid things, and perish.
It is our job to get the Word (as it is written, not how we think it means) out there and love our neighbor with the God kind of love.
Blessings.




Skip

Skip's picture

Hello Ramon,

Once again, I applaud your dedication to believing strongly in what God's Word, the Holy Bible, says. I will try to stick to that source of Truth.

I want to talk about judgment what it means, how it works.
I think I mentioned the scripture, 1 Peter 4: 17. The surrounding verses seem to me to take in all those others that you mentioned: Sodom & Gomorrah, Goliath, and those I mentioned like Africans and Chinese, among others.

Then look at what Peter quotes in 1 Peter 4: 18 "If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

Kinda sounds like everyone is judged all at once from whatever they have done. But is that what we find, IN OUR OWN LIVES?

I was born & raised a Ramon (oops!) a Roman Catholic. I loved being a Catholic and served at Mass as an altar boy for over 10 years. I want to ask you a rhetorical question: Are Roman Catholics judged exactly like Protestants? Are they judged exactly like Buddhists? Do these different kinds of "good" people all believe the same thing? No way! In some cases they believe contradictory things. Will I be judged on what I used to believe as a Roman Catholic?

Ramon, there are lots of good, sincere people in this world but they do not understand the Truth of the Bible. But what did Peter mean in 1 Peter 4: 17? Peter meant that if God has opened your mind by giving you His Holy Spirit, then you had better be growing in grace & knowledge because if you really have God's Holy Spirit, you ARE being judged NOW. Most people, even those who think that they have been given God's Holy Spirit, do not have it!

I want to conclude my little treatise with another complement to you: you write,"so I for starter need to be humble and agree with you that I am starting to understand." Ramon, this is a very big step! Humility is NOT what I see in the world today.
Humility is not what I hear from those who want to argue about God's Word but humility is what that God wants: Isaiah 57: 15
"For thus says the high and lofty one that inhabits eternity, whose name is holy; I dwell in the high and holy place with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."

Ramon, remain humble & contrite. Continue to seek God's Truth.
Rev 20: 6 "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection..." There are others.




Ramon Gonzalez

Ramon Gonzalez's picture

Hey Skip:

Thanks for what you said. It is pleasing to hear that you see good things in me. And still its because of His grace that I can even aspire of being this way. The Lord dealt with me (as He does every day) regarding this matter.
You know, I was raised a roman catholic too. And even when I gave my life to Jesus when I was 12 yrs old, I continued to live how I wanted to, specially in my later teen years. But there was not a single day when I did not turn to God because I knew He was calling to me and telling me to get back in His way and to follow Him not just have Him as my savior, but as my Lord.
I cannot be thankful enough for having the opportunity of serving Him, and I realize that its because of His grace that I found out about Him and His glorious Son and Holy Ghost. I've asked my self this question: Why me Lord, Why do I know all this, and have heard all this good messages? I don't mean to have heard an audible voice, but inside me, He said: "Because you honored my Word and gave it a place in your heart."
Boy did that clear many questions in my mind. People do not have an interest in knowing Who is out there, they just want to live their lives.
Skip it is not a matter of what religion you are, be it Catholic, Buddhist, Christian, it is not religion that saves people, it is His son, and nobody gets to the father but through Him. 1 John 5:13 also states this, as well as 1 Timothy 2:5. It is only through Jesus and the acceptance of His Lordship that will save people. Even the things done in the Old testament where taken into account on what Jesus was going to do.
God is fair and He knows when people set their hearts towards Him and His son. But also many perish, even though not His will (2 Pe 3:9). People reject knowledge over and over. It is not just because of lack of it.
If we don't speak now, their blood will be required from our hands (Eze 3:18). I think we can commune as brothers about many other things, but let the Word speak by Himself. "No one goes to the Father but through Me", and "They did not know the hour of their visitation" (not His will, but they just would not listen). That is why we need to keep up the praying (Eph 1:16-23)and the good works, for His 2nd coming is soon, and people will "gaze upon Him and beat their breasts and mourn and lament over Him" (Rev 1:7 Amp).
God bless Skip. Really nice talking with you.




Skip

Skip's picture

And Ramon,
It is good talking to you as well!

We had a Bible Study at our home a while back, and one of those
who was attending that night had a question like the one you just stated: "Why me Lord, Why do I know all this..."

Several of us suggested the same scripture as an answer.
It is 1 Corinthians 1 verses 26 --- 29: "For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty;
and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
that no flesh should glory in his presence."

That is the answer to,"Why me Lord?"

I wish you success in your studies Ramon!

Skip




Ramon Gonzalez

Ramon Gonzalez's picture

Hey Skip:

Yes exactly, "many are called, but few are chose" (Matthew 22:14). Who is chosen? The ones that step up, because He is no respecter of persons. Who steps up? The one that does not think he is wise but rather foolish compared to the wisdom of Him, or the one that does not think he is strong in and out of himself, but rather thinks he is weak in his own strength.
Why? so that no flesh should glory in His presence, or, that no one should boast, for it is not of works, but of faith (Eph 2:8-9).
It is His written will that EVERYBODY inquires, requires and searches for Him. There is no excuse. People go to a state of foolishness because they rather give glory to themselves rather God, Romans 1:21-32 is clear enough.

Isaiah 55:6-7 talks about searching the Lord...

"Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

So yes, keep up and magnify your calling Skip.

Your degree of humility will determine your usefulness to God, because your humility is your protection from deception (Keith Moore).

God bless you and happy thanksgiving day (2 Thess 1:3)




arnodavid

arnodavid's picture

Hello
I would like to share some light on this topic.

I am learning too, but I think the answer to all of this, is in Romans 2:14-16

Specifically verse 16 says: Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness with it and their reasoning, one with the other, accusing or even excusing them.

The nature of man, as created by God, was originally good and corresponded with God and with his law. Although it was poisoned by the fall, this good nature remains within man. Hence, if anyone lives according to his nature and does by his nature the things of the law, the evil in him will be restricted.

Man’s conscience corresponds with the God-created human nature and enables man to know what God justifies and what He condemns.




arnodavid

arnodavid's picture

sorry I meant verse 15.



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