Getting back to the matter of man’s redemption, how does this fit into the process? That knowledge embedded in the person’s conscience is always working on the will of the person. In John 6:44, Jesus says, “No one can come to Me except the Father draws him [to Himself]. Then He says this:
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
Further in that John 6 context, Jesus makes it clear that it is the Father’s will that no one will lose his salvation once obtained. But what if someone decides he does not want to be saved any longer? Or falls back into sinful living and does not follow the Lord? Too bad, or too good? For once the foundation is laid in place, for sure by being born again (John 3:3-5), there is no loss of eternal life, but only of potential rewards. See 1 Corinthians 3:11-15:
“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
At the judgment seat of Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:10 tells us this manner of testing will take place: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” Sins that have been forgiven will not be the issue there, but the handing out of crowns for the good works that each person has done.
Redemption works like this, as Jesus explained it in Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and live with him and he with Me.”
Once that happens, the person obtains the salvation that God has seen in His foreknowledge of who will turn to Him. Thus, the Apostle Paul was committed to those people who had never heard the gospel that they might hear it and believe the gospel and accept Christ into their lives, as he wrote in 2 Timothy 2:10:
“Therefore, I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” He wrote in Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by…hearing the Word of God.” And earlier in that Romans 10 context in verses 12-13, he wrote, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek [or Gentiles], for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The Great Commission of sending and going to preach the gospel springs out of this context, for Jesus said in Mark 16:15 and other places as well, “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'”
However, it has turned out that His salvation has been rejected by many, as John 1:11 reports: “He came to His own [kinsmen], and His own did not receive Him.”
Like the response to His knocking on the door of a person’s heart, John 1:12 tells us, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
In the parable in Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus tells a story of a king who makes a wedding feast for his son and invites all the kinfolks to the wedding. But, none of them wanted to come, rejecting the invitation. The king, then in anger, sends his servants out into the highways and byways to invite everyone to come, and many did come. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning, so it is said, and this one tells of the coming marriage supper of the Lamb of God, as told in Revelation 19. It depicts the rejection by the Jewish people of Jesus Christ as their Messiah.
At the end of the parable, Jesus sums it up this way: “Many are called, but few are chosen.”
There is evidence in this world that there are two roads being traveled by the people of the world. Jesus spoke of them in Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
A promise yet unfulfilled is His return for those who belong to Jesus. He promised in John 14:2-3, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself that where I am, there you may be also.” It is a well-reported prophecy that Jesus will return to “snatch away” His own believers before the wrath of God comes upon the unbelievers of the world, especially the Jews who have denied Him for centuries.
It will be a time of great chaos, for no one who believes in God will remain in the world, but like a thief at night, “sudden destruction shall come upon them at that Day (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).
For the Christian, the prospects are of great blessing. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”
Even so, John wrote in 1 John 3:2-3 this: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
We will see the invisible God in human form, just as Stephen, that first martyr, saw Him: “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!'”
This, then, is the Scriptural account of God’s plan for mankind’s redemption, a gift that is waiting to be accepted. We do have the whole counsel of God before us in the Bible, but even so, 1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV) says. “For now, we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”
Finally, here is the summation: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).
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