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Eternal Life Offered to All

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Eternal Life Offered to All

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Eternal Life Offered to All

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We should not doubt God’s saving power! In the sermon today, let’s examine some common assumptions and come to an understanding of our Creator’s marvelous solution. The amazing truth we will look at today is pictured by this Holy Day—the Eighth Day.

Sermon Notes

Sermon LGD 2013
The Eighth Day: Eternal Life Offered to All

by Peter Eddington

INTRO:

There is a major religious dilemma facing the religions of this world. What happens to those who lived without “being saved?” From the Web site “Religious Tolerance” found at www.religioustolerance.org under the subject of Salvation, they ask: “Can Non-Christians Be Saved? What About Those Who Have Never Heard of Jesus, Or the Gospel?” Here are some of their answers.

As I read them to you, keep in mind the Scriptures you are holding on your lap and appreciate the biblical understanding that you have been blessed with.

Here we go. Remember, the great Christian religions of the world hold to these tenants:

“Can Non-Christians Be Saved? What About Those Who Have Never Heard of Jesus, Or the Gospel?”

Agnostic: We have conflicting and/or inadequate information in the Bible and cannot reach a definitive belief about salvation.
Inclusivism: Non-Christian believers will avoid Hell if they worship a deity of some sort, because God works through all of the world’s religious faiths. Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, etc. who do not believe in a God will go to Hell.
Middle Knowledge: God, having infinite wisdom, knows who would have rejected the gospel if it had been presented to them. As a result, they never have had the opportunity to accept the Gospel. Those people will be transported to Hell when they die.
Post Mortem Evangelism: Those who have never heard the gospel will be exposed to it after death and thus given the opportunity to get to Heaven. This is sometimes called Divine Perseverance.
Unitive Pluralism: All of the world’s great religions offer salvation to their members in different ways. A knowledge and acceptance of Jesus, and the sacrifice of Jesus are not needed for a person to be saved.
Universal Opportunity: All those who were not saved during their lifetimes will be given a vision of the Gospel at the time of death, and will be able to accept salvation at that time.
Universalism: All will eventually be accepted into Heaven by some process after death.
Roman Catholics: The non-Christian may not be blamed for his ignorance of Christ and his Church; salvation is open to him also, if he seeks God sincerely and if he follows the commands of his conscience, for through this means the Holy Ghost acts upon all men; this divine action is not confined within the limited boundaries of the visible Church.
Liberal Christians: The most liberal Christian faith groups generally reject the necessity of salvation. They also reject the entire concept of eternal punishment in Hell for anyone - saved or unsaved.

www.independent.co.uk — “Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven”—Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013

“In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.”

The Princeton Religion Research Center (PRRC) estimates that 6 in 10 Americans completely agree that the only assurance of eternal life is a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Four out of 10 do not.

According to the Barna Research Group, among adult Americans: 39% believe that those who do not accept Christ as savior will go to Hell.

A growing number of evangelicals are embracing a position known as inclusivism which teaches that while the redemptive work of Jesus may be necessary for salvation, it is not necessary for people to know about Jesus or the gospel to receive the benefits of that salvation. This is very similar to the statement made last week by the Pope.

Former President George W. Bush revealed his personal Universalist belief during a televised interview:

Question: “Do we all worship the same God, Christians and Muslims?”
Bush: “I think we do. We have different routes of getting to the Almighty.”

Question: “Do Christian and non-Christians, do Muslims go to heaven in your
mind?”
Bush: “Yes they do. We have different routes of getting there.”

However, the Bible makes abundantly clear in Acts 4:12 Acts 4:12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
American King James Version×
that “there is no other name under heaven” than that of Jesus Christ by which human beings can be saved.

ACTS 4:8–12 8* Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them...,
10 “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.
11 “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’
12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

This particular passage raises troubling questions for anyone who believes that God is desperately trying to save the whole world in this age—and for those who believe that Muslims and people of other faiths are doomed. If this is the only time for salvation, we must conclude that Christ’s mission to save humanity has largely failed. After all, billions of people have lived and died without once hearing the name of Jesus Christ. Thousands die every day never having heard of Christ. Millions died last year from the AIDS epidemic alone!

What is the fate of such people, the overwhelming majority of whom we would conclude have not had the opportunity to know God’s way of life or to receive salvation?

In spite of the missionary zeal of so many people over the centuries, far more human souls have been “lost” than “saved.” If God is truly all powerful, why have so many not even heard the gospel of salvation? The traditional portrayal of conflict between God and Satan over mankind leaves God on the losing side of the struggle.

According to the U.S. Center for World Mission, Pasadena, CA:

• 429,000 Missionaries from all branches of Christendom (Only between 2 and 3% of those missionaries work among unreached peoples.)
• 140,000 Protestant Missionaries
• 64,000 Protestant Missionaries From USA

Target Groups Where Foreign Mission Funds are Spent

• ~87% goes for work among those already Christian
• ~12% for work among already Evangelized but Non-Christian
• ~1% for work among still Unevangelized and Unreached people groups

Average Ministry Cost in U.S. Dollars for Each Convert’s Baptism

• Mozambique $1,400 (least)
• Average cost for Christian World $32,000
• For evangelized world but not yet Christian $48,000
• For un-evangelized World $490,000
• Oceania $634,000
• USA $1.5 Million per new convert!

It seems that such missionary zeal is failing! Missionaries are spending a lot of money, some losing their own lives, while not saving many others.

In addition, we have millions and millions of people who follow the Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu religions. What is the fate of these people? What does God have in mind for those who have never believed in Christ as Savior or understood any of God’s truth? How does the Creator provide for them in His plan? Are they lost forever without any hope of salvation?

There is a very powerful scripture in Isaiah. It is very “forward thinking” and brings the awesome power of God into focus:

ISAIAH 9:6–7 6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

This is the ultimate solution! But, how will God bring it about for those who have died not knowing Jesus Christ, let alone accepting His sacrifice for their sins?

We have to remember that God will bring it about! This is not fiction or fantasy!

SPS:

We should not doubt God’s saving power! In the sermon today, let’s examine some common assumptions and come to an understanding of our Creator’s marvelous solution. The amazing truth we will look at today is pictured by this Holy Day—the Eighth Day. I’ve titled this message: “Eternal Life Offered to All.”

BODY:

I have five questions to pose to you. Firstly....

Q1. How Do We Resolve the Dilemma of Those Who Are Lost, Those Never Having Known Jesus Christ?

1 TIMOTHY 2:1–4 1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Paul tells us that God, “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”

2 PETER 3:9 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

This is God’s overriding goal in dealing with mankind: He desires as many as possible to repent, come to the knowledge of the truth and receive His gift of salvation!

Jesus explained how this will come to pass. John chapter 7 describes how Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He first went secretly, but later appeared publicly and stood in the midst of the people.

JOHN 7:8–10, 14 “You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.”
9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.
10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught.

JOHN 7:37–39 37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
39* But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Christ’s message recorded here most likely was given on the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Scholars vary on whether this was the seventh day or the day following, but the weight of evidence and the series of events indicate that John 7 describes incidents on the seventh day while the setting moves to the eighth day in John 8 and 9.

It is also possible that Christ’s teaching recorded in John 7:37-39 John 7:37-39 [37] In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. [38] He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. [39] (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
American King James Version×
came at the end of the seventh day or the very beginning of the eighth day (God’s Holy Days begin with sunset and end at the following sunset), as the chapter concludes with people returning to their homes for the night after sundown. The theme of Christ’s teaching then continues in chapter 8 (which is clearly the next morning, verse 2) and includes the offer of salvation to all mankind (verse 51).

JOHN 8:2, 51 2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.
51 ¶ “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

In Leviticus 23:36 Leviticus 23:36Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation to you; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and you shall do no servile work therein.
American King James Version×
, we see that this day immediately follows the Feast of Tabernacles but is a separate festival with its own distinct meaning. Based on Christ’s words and the theme of offering salvation to all mankind, we have referred to this festival as “the Last Great Day,” although the Bible simply calls it “the eighth day.”

LEVITICUS 23:34–36, 39 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.
35 ‘On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it.
36 ‘For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.
39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest.

How can all of humanity be saved? The dilemma of those who died without knowing Christ is resolved by understanding the meaning of the “eighth day,” as we’ll see here as we continue.

Q2. What Was the Symbolism of Christ’s Teaching?

What was the significance of Christ’s teaching about “living water”? In Christ’s time, according to tradition, during the Feast of Tabernacles the priests would bring golden vessels of water from the stream of Siloam that had flowed from the temple hill and pour it over the altar. Joyous celebration along with the sounding of trumpets marked this ceremony as the people sang.

Jesus stood where all could hear Him and drew a lesson from the water, revealing that all who were thirsty could come to Him and be refreshed—forever. In Christ’s analogy, the water represented God’s Holy Spirit, which those who believed in Jesus would receive (John 7:39 John 7:39(But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
American King James Version×
).

But when would this happen? Within six months Christ’s own countrymen pressured the Roman authorities to execute Him. Less than 40 years later the temple and all its ceremonies, including those described above, were brought to an end at the hands of the Roman legions.

Humanity still hungers and thirsts for the message Christ brought. God’s promise to “pour out My Spirit on all flesh” has not yet fully taken place. Billions have died with their deepest spiritual needs unrealized. When will they be refreshed by the life-giving power of God’s Spirit?

JOEL 2:27–31 27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the LORD your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.
28* ¶ “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.
29* And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
30* “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31* The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
32* And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved....

When are those days? The time will be at the return of Jesus Christ—after the Heavenly Signs!

The symbolism of Christ’s teaching is, that at a time yet to come, all people will have the opportunity to understand the plan of God and to know Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit—even those who have died without this understanding.

Q3. Is There a Physical Resurrection to an Opportunity For Salvation?

To find the answer, we must consider a question the disciples put to Christ just before He ascended to heaven: “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6 Acts 1:6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
American King James Version×
). When the disciples spoke of this restoration, they understood it in the context of the many prophecies of a reunited nation of Israel.

One such prophecy is in Ezekiel 37:3-6 Ezekiel 37:3-6 [3] And he said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, you know. [4] Again he said to me, Prophesy on these bones, and say to them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. [5] Thus said the Lord GOD to these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live: [6] And I will lay sinews on you, and will bring up flesh on you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.
American King James Version×
.

EZEKIEL 37:3–6 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.”
4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
5 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.
6 “I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”’”

In this vision a physical resurrection takes place. The account acknowledges the hopeless situation in which these people had found themselves, Verse 11 shows their hope lost, spiritually lost.

Their Creator, however, offers them the hope of a resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit in the setting of a reunited nation.

In this dramatic vision, ancient Israel serves as the model for other peoples that God will resurrect to physical life.

EZEKIEL 37:12–14) 12 “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 “Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.
14 “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.’”

At this future time God will make freely available the life-giving spiritual water of His Holy Spirit. It’s a striking parallel to John chapter 7! These “lost” people who died in sin will come to have the LORD as their God.

EZEKIEL 37:27 “My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

The apostle Paul also referred to this yet-future event:

ROMANS 11:1–2, 26-27 1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew....
26* And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27* For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”

However, amazingly as we shall see, not only Israel, but all who have never had a chance to drink from the living waters of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit will at last be able to do so.

ROMANS 9:22–26 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,
24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.”
26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

God will freely offer all peoples the opportunity for eternal life, and it comes about through a physical resurrection to human life.

Q4. What Is The Great White Throne Judgment?

In Revelation 20:5 Revelation 20:5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
American King James Version×
John writes that “the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” Here John makes a clear distinction between the first resurrection, which occurs at Christ’s second coming, and the second resurrection, which takes place at the end of Christ’s millennial reign. Remember that the first resurrection is to eternal life. By contrast, God raises those in the second resurrection to a physical, flesh-and-blood existence.

REVELATION 20:4–6 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power [immortality], but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

John discusses this same second resurrection to physical life that Ezekiel wrote about:

REVELATION 20:11–13 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.

The dead who stand before their Creator are all those who died never knowing the true God. Like Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones coming back to life, these people emerge from their graves and begin to know their God. The books (biblia in Greek, from which we get the word Bible) are the Scriptures, the source of the knowledge of eternal life. Finally all will have an opportunity to fully understand God’s plan of salvation.

This physical resurrection is not a second chance for salvation. For these people it is a first opportunity to really know the Creator. This judgment will involve a period during which they will enjoy the opportunity to hear, understand and grow in God’s way of life, having their names inscribed in the book of life (verse 15). During this time thousands of millions of people will gain access to eternal life.

This final festival of the year, this “eighth day,” shows how deep and far reaching are the merciful judgments of God. Revelation calls it the “great white throne” judgement. Jude puts it well in verse six when he writes: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.”

Jesus Christ spoke of the wonderful truth depicted by this day when He compared three cities that failed to respond to His miraculous works with three cities of the ancient world:

MATTHEW 11:20–24 20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:
21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 “But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
23 “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 “But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

The inhabitants of ancient Tyre, Sidon and Sodom—cities that had incurred the anger of God for their depravities—will receive mercy in the day of judgment. Unlike Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum, these cities of old had little opportunity to know God. God will resurrect these people and include them in the time of judgment that is beyond the 1,000-year reign of Christ, when even those who lived in bygone ages will be reconciled to God.

It will be a time of universal knowledge of God—including the Gentile nations, as we read earlier.

HEBREWS 8:10–11 10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
11 “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

The citizens of these cities, and countless more like them, will experience their opportunity for salvation. This period is pictured by the Great White Throne Judgement of Revelation.

Think of all the people around the world who have died without yet being called. A drunken driver loses control of his car and careens headfirst into a van, killing a family. A mother dies of breast cancer, leaving confused children and a grieving husband. An infant boy succumbs to a birth defect. A gentle, elderly lady dies quietly in her sleep. A desperate, depressed teenager commits suicide.

When a family member or friend dies, there is no denying the sense of loneliness and emptiness and the feeling of unfinished business—that we should have said or done more. But here today, we find courage, comfort and hope by viewing life in a larger context. A time is coming when we will reunite with those who have died and renew our relationships.

We’re especially disturbed when children’s lives are cut short by accidents, crime or illness. We shake our heads in bewilderment when an airplane crashes, a house burns, a bomb shatters a shopping center, business or school. Victims of these tragedies were in the wrong place at the wrong time; God didn’t single them out for punishment. As Solomon explained, we are all subject to the uncertainties of time and chance (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 [11] I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all. [12] For man also knows not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly on them.
American King James Version×
).

What is the Great White Throne Judgment? This final period of resurrection and judgment completes God’s plan of salvation for the world. It will be a time of love, deep mercy and the unsearchable judgment of God. The chance to drink of the life-giving waters of the Holy Spirit will indeed quench the deepest thirsts of men and women. This time of righteous judgment will bring back to life those long forgotten by humanity, but never forgotten by God.

Q5. What Is the Fate of Those Who Will Not Repent?

Although God will bountifully extend the opportunity for salvation to all those who have never known God, some will still refuse to repent, submit to God and receive His gift of eternal life.

What is their fate? The Bible reveals that, rather than suffering forever in an ever-burning hell, they will simply cease to exist. It will be as though they had never been.

Revelation 20:15 Revelation 20:15And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
American King James Version×
tell us that:

REVELATION 20:15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 Revelation 21:8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
American King James Version×
adds:

REVELATION 21:8 8* “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Notice that their fate is clearly death, not eternal life in continual punishment.

The prophet Malachi made clear the fate of the incorrigibly wicked:

MALACHI 4:1–3 “1 “For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” Says the LORD of hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch.
2 But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
3 You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this,” Says the LORD of hosts.

This is the fate of those who will not repent. It is not ever-lasting torment in a hell fire.

However, God will see His plan through and bring many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 2:10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
American King James Version×
). His promise to “pour out My Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2:28 Joel 2:28And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
American King James Version×
) will find its fullest manifestation. The thirst-quenching waters of the Holy Spirit will be available to all in the time depicted by “that great day of the feast.”

What a marvelous plan these biblical festivals portray. How great would be our lack of understanding without them!

These Holy Days which we have just observed this season, are annual occasions on which we should gather with other believers. As with the weekly Sabbath, God commands special worship services on each of the Holy Days.

HEBREWS 10:23–25 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

What better time to encourage and exhort each other than on the days that depict God’s great plan of salvation! When we assemble at the times of these annual festivals, we allow ourselves a wonderful opportunity to learn more about God’s plan of salvation.

CONCL:

Let’s hold fast to the truth over the coming year, until we meet again at the Feast of Tabernacles, observing God’s Holy Day plan!

We are heirs of God’s wonderful Kingdom! We are joint heirs together. How seriously do we take this opportunity? How seriously do we want to be a part of the ultimate solution to mankind’s problems? How will we live over the next 12 months?

ROMANS 8:9–11, 14 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Will I inherit the Kingdom? Am I a son of God? Am I a joint heir with Christ? It all depends on how seriously we take His calling.

The annual feast days are a time of happiness, not just because of their meaning for us, but because of the wonderful hope they promise for all mankind. Observing the Holy Days reminds us of God’s great love for humanity. Worshiping Him in this way is a joy and pleasure. These festivals truly are God’s gifts to His people!

What is our hope? What is the fate of those who die with no real knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Son of God? What hope is there for the billions of people who have lived and died without knowledge of God’s purpose? Are today’s Christian missionary efforts in vain?

The Scriptures show that the world is not cut off without hope. As God’s Holy Days portray, He will bring them back to life and give them their opportunity for eternal salvation. This is the astounding truth depicted by the Eighth Day, the last of God’s annual festivals.