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God's grace is guaranteed while we live on this earth and it is purposed to a goal. The goal is that we accept Christ by whose only righteousness we will be welcomed in heaven (2Cor 5:21). For Salvation is only guaranteed in Christ Jesus. It is intended that God's grace, which comes by Christ, empowers us so that we can live a life to the glory of the almighty God. There is every opportunity to change the course of events while we live. Just as one could have had a poor background behind them in terms of whatever, but will work hard to change all that might have gone wrong, so it is that in Christ Jesus, God has given us the opportunity to live a life worthy of heavenly standards. Yet once physical death strikes, all this opportunity is lost timelessly. For if death strikes while we are in Christ (in Christ not wishfully but truthfully), there is no reason to worry, for there are founded assurances for those who die in Christ Jesus (John 11:25), (John 14:1-3), (John 3:36). But if death befalls us before letting in Christ, it is the end of it all. Meaning, there will be no more hope of Salvation upon death (John 3:19). Whatever prayer is prayed for the dead is simply for ceremonial purposes but can't change any one's spiritual destiny. For the gospel is only purposeful to the living. God empowered us as humans that we can judge between what is good and what is bad. God therefore presents us options and it is up to anyone and everyone to choose thereof (John 3:19-21), (Mark 4:9), (Matt 11:15). Nevertheless, God, through His Son Jesus Christ, has directed us as to how to lead our lives so we survive the impending everlasting danger of painful spiritual death. Whoever is yet to accept and submit to Christ is already judged. But because they still live on earth, God has provided a way through His Son Christ Jesus (John 3:18). For judgment had been passed on us by God when man fell but is only reversed by the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus. For if there should have been Salvation after death, there shouldn't have been the reason for Christ to manifest on earth. Christ manifested on earth to empower us to overcome evil. For the earth only profits us if we come to Christ. For on the Day of Judgment, all will stand before the judgment seat regardless of anybody's earthly status. For presidents, kings, nobles, the rich and the poor, the short and the tall, the white and the black or whoever and whatever, all will face the Almighty with just the same joy or awe (Rev 6:15-17). On account of all the above, it is not that God has given us away to the devil to devour us. It is not that God has not cared and has done nothing. It is not that God hates one and loves the other. For the fact that numbers are heading ever to hell is no sign that He cares less. For if God had cared less, He wouldn't have given His beloved and only begotten Son away to us for a true and acceptable sacrifice for the remission of sin. Christ came and is available to all who embrace Him regardless of race, color, tribe, nation, status, stature or whatever (Rev 3:20). For the gospel you have heard, the gospel you have read in literature is a true symbol of Christ knocking on the door of your heart. It is in your jurisdiction to take it, or to leave it. For it is with the heart that one believes unto righteousness, and it is with the mouth that confession is made unto Salvation. For Salvation is a matter of the heart and confirmation is made by confession. For the fact that you have willingly accepted or denied the gospel, so it is that you will willingly head to hell or heaven. Either way, you will glorify the ALMIGHTY. Amen. Do not be hoodwinked by the religious practices that be. None will save your soul on the fateful day of the Lord (Zephaniah 1:14), (Jeremiah 46:10), (Isa 2:12), (Isa 13:9). There are many speculations of what it is in the spiritual world, yet in Christ Jesus, we have all the founded assurances of life. SALVATION IS WHILE WE LIVE.
My opinion is that we have already been told, in Heb. 9:27, "... Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgement," then proper logic shows that there no longer remains another avenue following physical death by which the record of an individual life can be modified. The Roman Catholic Church carries a doctrine of " purgatory, " where a soul can temporarily reside and have the eternal nature of God's punishment dismissed. The idea is foreign to the Bible, and therefore from some source other than God. Jesus told His apostles, "...when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. " The Holy Spirit inspired the apostles to preach the truth and to write the letters which now comprise the New Testament. Any NEW doctrine contrary to that which they preached is false. See I Tim. 4:1-5, Gal. 1:6-9, Matt. 15:7-8, 13-14, Matt. 24:10-11, II Cor. 11:12-14, Matt. 7:15, Acts 20:26-30. There would be MANY false teachers, prophets, doctrines, apostles, and leaders; they would arise from among their own numbers (leadership) and would be " speaking perverse things, to DRAW AWAY the disciples AFTER THEM. Do not believe a doctrine because it is convenient, OR popular. That plays directly into the hand of the devil (Satan.) Read at Matt. 7:13-14, " Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are FEW who find it. " When a person leaves this physical life, the record of that life is done. That soul no longer inhabits that physical body. If that person was an atheist, there comes " a very rude awakening. " The next appointment is to face the righteous judge,Jesus Christ, who is The Word of God. That is when He will " separate the sheep from the goats, the tares from the wheat, etc., " in other words, those who BELONG to Christ from those who DO NOT. Persons (souls) who short-changed the Christian life, or ignored it, will be " weighed in the balance and found wanting. " Many will be surprised! In Rev. 3:4-5 we read, " But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. " This very clearly implies that He WILL ERASE some names from His book of life! Please read at Matt. 7:21-23, " Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who DOES the will of MY FATHER who is in Heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS. " It is IMPERATIVE that we read the Holy Scriptures of the Bible and find what they DO SAY, rather than to blindly accept what someone else tries to claim they " mean. " In Galatians 4:16, the apostle Paul wrote, " So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? " It is not your enemy who I want to be, but rather your brother in Christ, a fellow citizen in Heaven, throughout eternity.
No, there will be NO second chance after death. Don't be deceived by the watchtower, that during the millennium reign of Christ, there will be widespread preaching by that cult. Judgment day is ONE literal day, and there won't be any preaching. This trick is to cow people into waiting for ANOTHER chance, so that they miss this only opportunity to be saved. Make haste now - search the truth, and cling to it like your very life depended on it. Indeed it does! Bless.
(6/28/14) Heb. 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,” is often taken as a hard-and-fast rule. But the Bible witness is that it is merely a general principle - with notable exceptions. Not everyone HAS to die - Enoch and Elijah for example. And how about those taken up in the rapture? And not everyone died only once – Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter, widow’s son, Tabitha (Dorcas), plus O.T. examples. Resuscitations are not limited to Bible times. In this day of advanced medical technology, thousands have been brought back to life – some after longer than one could imagine. My library has several volumes with these NDE (near death experiences) accounts. The word “appointed” is not a legal term; and has several meanings: reserved, awaits, expected (from “apo” off, away; and “keimai” to lie outstretched, be laid up, be set). Heb. 9:27 is only part of a sentence. The rest is in verse 28: “so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.” Man dying “once” is contrasted to Christ dying “once.” That is the thrust of the passage. I read sometime back about a wife who had been praying for years for her unsaved husband. The story was told by a former president of Wheaton College. She had been standing on Jesus’ promise: (John 14:14) “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” It was a constant and persistent prayer on her lips. She never stopped praying for him, and she never gave up. But he stubbornly resisted any promptings of the Holy Spirit to repent. In time he became seriously ill and was hospitalized. His wife faithfully stayed by his side praying fervently but silently. He still had not surrendered his life to the Lord when his heart stopped beating. But even after he breathed his last, she didn’t stop praying. Jesus had promised her that her prayers would be answered. And in her mind His promise was a sure thing. It did not depend on circumstances—only on His faithfulness. The hospital staff was concerned. She was obviously in denial. After he had been dead for over two hours, they asked her to leave—they had to prepare the body for transport to the morgue. She begged for just a little more time. She held on with bulldog tenacity and did not stop praying. Another hour went by before he suddenly returned to life. She was full of gratitude and praise. The doctors and nurses were dumbfounded. Her husband told her about having been in hell, about the horrors and the pain, the remorse, hopelessness, the blackness and the desperation. Because of the prayers of a faithful wife, he had been given a second chance. He didn’t deserve it. He had waited too long. It was too late to change his mind. In spite of all that, he was given a second chance. God exists above our earthly dimension of time. He is not limited to our time restraints. Does life end when the body functions shut down? This man was given a second chance after he had breathed his last. Does God give others a second chance too? “All things are possible to the one who believes.” “According to your faith it will be to you.” Does our Heavenly Father show favoritism? Or does His forgiveness extend to everyone who repents—without earthly time restraints? One of His traits is impartiality. He treats everyone with the same measure of justice. And His ways are unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
My opinion is this that we give room for all scripture pertaining to the topic of judgment. We preach God's judgment and God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy. Jas 2:13, Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible: For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy - The idea which the apostle seems to design to convey here is, that there will certainly be a judgment, and that we must expect that it will be conducted on equitable principles; that no mercy is to be shown when the character is not such that it will be proper that it should be; and that we should habitually feel in our conduct that God will be impartial, and should frame our lives accordingly. And mercy rejoiceth against judgment - Margin, “glorieth.” Greek Boasts, glories, or exults. The idea is that of glorying over, as where one is superior to another, or has gained a victory over another. The reference all along here is to the judgment, the trial of the great day; and the apostle is stating the principles on which the trial at that day will be conducted - on which one class shall be condemned, and the other acquitted and saved. In reference to one class, the wicked, he says that where there has been no mercy shown to others - referring to this as one evidence of piety - that is, where there is no true piety, there will be judgment without mercy; in the other case there will be, as it were, a triumph of mercy, or mercy will appear to have gained a victory over judgment. Strict justice would indeed plead for their condemnation, but the attribute of mercy will triumph, and they will be acquitted. The attributes of mercy and justice would seem to come in conflict, but mercy would prevail. This is a true statement of the plan of salvation, and of what actually occurs in the redemption of a sinner. Jon. 3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? Jon 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
If this is the only day of salvation then God would be doing his best to get everybody saved while Satan is trying to keep them lost - With time now fast running out on God! What about the hundreds of millions of people living now in countries where Christianity is suppresed? Those people did not choose to be born there! Are they lost forever because they are unable to hear the true bible teachings? Will God condemn to an eternal burning 'hell' people who died before the true gospel was ever brought to them? Would God be fair to condemn them when, through no fault of their own, they cannot hear the truth? God desires that all humanity eventually avail itself of the opportunity for salvation:"God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:3-4). But this does not mean that there is going to be a universal salvation, that everyone is going to be saved after all. Notice what 2 Pet 3:9 says:"The Eternal is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." It is God's will or wish that all would come to a knowledge of the truth so they would repent and be saved from the penalty of sin - Death. But some people are not going to repent! For if all repented and met the conditions to eternal salvation, there would be no necessity for casting human beings into the lake of fire (Rev 20:15,21:8) which will destroy the wicked! The wicked are to become ashes, left neither root nor branch (Mal 4:1-3). There will not be a resurrection from the lake of fire. During the time of Moses, God himself had allowed Israel to be blinded because of their sin. Man naturally wants to do things that are contrary to God's Laws. A person's carnal mind remains at enmity against God until that person becomes sick and tired of the results of his own ways, repents of them, and calls on God to change him by giving him the Holy Spirit - the very mind of Christ (Phil 2:5). Satan has deceived man into rejecting truth and into doing what is right in his own eyes, wanting to sin. It is by this means that God blinds him - not to destroy him, but to bring him to repentance. Concerning blinded Israel, Paul said:"For God had concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all" (Rom 11:32). So ancient Israel isn't lost forever. Their time of salvation is yet to come. Christ said to the disciples:"Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: But unto them [the vast majority ] that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand (Mark 4:11-12). Jesus Christ came not to convert everyone in his time but only a few are called, whom he chooses. In this connection some have been confused by 2 Cor 6:2, which seems to say that now is the only day of salvation. Paul is actually quoting From Isaiah 49:8. The Hebrew text of Isaiah 49:8 and the Greek text of 2 Cor 6:2 do not have a definite article (the). The first part of the verse is more correctly rendered as follows:"I have answered thy prayer, he says, in a (not the only one) time of pardon. I have brought thee help in a (not the only one) day of salvation." Certainly, this is the day of salvation for those who have been called and whose minds have been opened to the truth by God. Now is their chance - their opportunity to qualify for his kingdom. This is the day of salvation for them. But it is not the day of salvation for the vast majority. They will receive their chance - their first and only chance at a later time. It is a day of salvation, but not the only day of salvation.
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