Is There Hope for Any of the Unsaved Dead?
THE CHRIST'S OFFICIAL NAMES
(8) As an eighth proof that the Bible holds out hope for those of the unsaved dead who in this life did not have an opportunity of gaining salvation, we present the fact that the Bible gives to Jesus and His faithful Church official names that prove such an opportunity for those who will be the objects of the official acts implied in these names. We find that in their future official relations to the world of mankind they are called, among other names, (a) Saviors, (b) Priests, (c) Kings, (d) Prophet, or Teacher, (e) Parents, (f) Firstfruits and (g) the Seed of Abraham who will bless the entire human family. Let us consider briefly these Scriptural names applied to Jesus and the Church, His Body, in their future official relations to mankind, and we will see how the Lord indicates through them a work of salvation performed on behalf of those who died without having an opportunity of gaining the elective salvation.
SAVIORS, PRIESTS AND KINGS
Take, e.g., the name Saviors, which is applied to Jesus and the Church in the Scripture: "Saviours shall come up on mount Zion, to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord's" (Obad. 21). We are familiar with the Biblical teaching that Jacob types the elect, and Esau types the non-elect (Rom. 9:10-13). As God loved Jacob more than He loved Esau, so this types how He loves the elect more than He loves the non-elect. And as God chose Jacob and rejected Esau, so God now chooses the elect and rejects the non-elect. However, while, as typed in Isaac's giving Jacob the chief blessing (Gen. 27:28, 29), God gives the elect the chief blessing, yet as typed in Isaac's later giving Esau a minor, though a rich blessing (Gen. 27:36-39), God will in the next Age give a minor, though a rich blessing, to the non-elect.
This is the line of thought brought to our attention in Obad. 1:21. In this verse Mount Zion stands for the Kingdom that brings salvation, the Millennial Kingdom (Joel 2:32; Obad. 1:17). The Saviors that come up on it are Jesus and His Church, the Elect (Isa. 2:2, 3; 60:14, 15, 18; Rom. 11:26, 30-32). As Saviors they will judge the Mount of Esau, the non-elect, by delivering them from their enemies (sin, death and the grave), even as the judges in Israel in judging Israel saved them from their enemies. And this glorious result will be attained, as the text assures us, because "the kingdom shall be the Lord's." Thus the Elect as Saviors will repair the breach made by Adam, and will restore for the non-elect the paths of righteousness forsaken by Adam and the non-elect (Isa. 58:12). This, of course, proves an opportunity for the non-elect during the Kingdom, at the hands of the Saviors, Jesus and His Church, His Bride.
Again, the official name Priests applied to Jesus and the Church proves the same thing (Heb. 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 5:9, 10; 20:6). A Priest is one who, on the basis of a sacrifice which he offers to God on behalf of others, acts as a reconciler between God and man (Heb. 5:1; 2:17). Jesus and His fellow Priests offer sacrifices to God in this life (Heb. 5:1, 5; 9:11, 12; 13:15, 16; 1 Pet. 2:5).
Christ as High Priest has during this Age appeared in the presence of God on behalf of the elect, but not on behalf of the non-elect (Heb. 9:24; 10:14; John 17:9), even as Aaron in typing this matter appeared in the Holy of Holies first for the elect tribe of Levi alone with the bullock's blood (Lev. 16:11). But as afterward Aaron made reconciliation for the rest of Israel with the goat's blood, and then blessed them (Lev. 16:15), so after the sacrifice of the Church is complete and Christ in the Millennium appears in God's presence for the world, He and the Church will bless the non-elect world. This is shown also in Lev. 9:23.
The work of the typical high priest in Israel year by year in making reconciliation and then blessing the people is described very clearly, from the standpoint of type and antitype, by the Apostle Paul in Heb. 9:24-28. In harmony with this very able line of teaching in these verses respecting Israel's high priests, the "men" of v. 27 are obviously not men in general, as some mistakenly teach; rather, it is a special class among men, that is, the men who were Israel's high priests (the Greek article tois, meaning "the," is placed before the word for "men" here, thus also indicating a special class among men).
Every time the typical high priest on Israel's annual day of atonement passed under the second veil from the Holy of the tabernacle into the Most Holy, there was a judgment, a decision, as to whether or not he had done all the sacrificing and other pertinent procedures in the manner acceptable to God. If he had not done acceptably, he would have died beneath the second veil, and would never have entered into the Most Holy to sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat. The antitype is not men in general, but Christ ("So Christ," v. 28; see BS No. 317 for details—a copy free on request.)
The fact that the Church with Jesus will then be Priests (Rev. 20:6) proves that there will be others on whose behalf they will make reconciliation: the non-elect. Thus the official name Priests proves that Christ and the Church will give an opportunity of salvation to the non-elect dead.
The official name Kings applied to Jesus and the Church proves the same thing (Rev. 19:16; Rom. 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:12; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; 20:4, 6). The subjects over which they will rule will be the non-elect. "All people, nations, and languages" on earth are to be subjects of and serve these Kings (Dan. 7:13, 14, 18, 22). This Kingdom will be "under the whole heaven," i.e., on earth (v. 27; Dan. 2:35, 44; Rev. 5:10).
The blessed Reign of Jesus and the Church, we are expressly told, is for the purpose of destroying all the works of Satan, prominent among which are sin, death and the grave (Rom. 8:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:24-26, 55-57). The contrasted picture from which to view the work of salvation from the standpoint of the Kings and Kingdom is the following: Satan, the usurper, is now the "prince of this world" (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) ; he is now by sin ruling in the hearts of the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2), blinding them by error (2 Cor. 4:4), tyrannizing over them by the woes accompanying the dying process, and landing them in the death state (Heb. 2 : 14).
At the beginning of the Millennium the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Rev. 11:15); Satan, the usurper, is seized, bound and imprisoned (Rev. 20:1-3), and Christ and the Church reigning (Rev. 20:4, 6; 1 Cor. 15:24-26, 55-57), free the race from the grave, from the woes of the dying process and from sin. This means the awakening of all the dead who die in Adam (Psa. 22:28, 29) and their being helped to reformation (Rom. 14:9). Therefore the official name Kings applied to Jesus and the Church implies an opportunity for salvation for the non-elect dead.
PROPHET, OR TEACHER, AND FATHER AND MOTHER
The official name Prophet, or Teacher, given to Jesus and the Church, implies that they will teach mankind the way of salvation. Jesus is called Prophet, or Teacher, in connection with the Times of Restitution, when, as already shown, the non-elect dead will come forth for an opportunity of salvation (Acts 3:22, 23, 21; John 1:9). The Church also is spoken of as teaching the world in the Millennial Age (Isa. 60:1-5, 14, 15; 2:2, 3; 62:1, 2, 10; Psa. 22:30, 31, 27-29; Isa. 42:6, 7, 10-12; 49:6, 8-12, compare 2 Cor. 6:1, 2). Therefore this official name of Jesus, and the Church also, especially as the connections of the passages above cited show, proves an opportunity for the non-elect dead to gain salvation.
The names Father and Mother are likewise given to Christ and the Church with respect to the non-elect of mankind who will during the Millennium become their children. Jesus is called the Everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6) in view of His giving the obedient of the race everlasting life in the next Age. His name Second Adam (1 Cor. 15:45) pictures Him as taking Adam's place and becoming the second Father of the race by regenerating it in righteousness and life. In the Scriptures the faithful Church is spoken of as the Bride, the Lamb's Wife (Rev. 19:7-9; 21:9, 10, compare Isa. 66:10-14, where she is described as a mother, nursing, caring for, loving and comforting her children; see also Isa. 60:4, where a similar picture is presented of her).
Just as Jesus is set forth as the antitype of Adam (Rom. 5:14; the Second Adam), so the Church is set forth as the antitype of Eve (the Second Eve; 2 Cor. 11:2, 3; Eph. 5:31, 32). Thus as the first Adam and Eve by self-indulgence brought sin into the world, so the Second Adam and Eve by self-sacrifice suffer to take away sin from the world. And as the first Adam and Eve generated the race in sin and death, so the Second Adam and Eve will regenerate the race in righteousness and life. And as the very ones that were generated in sin and death are through the Ransom merit to be given an opportunity of being regenerated in righteousness and life by the new Father and Mother of the race, the official names Father and Mother, respectively applied in the Bible to Jesus and the Church, prove a chance of salvation for the non-elect dead.
FIRSTFRUITS AND THE SEED OF ABRAHAM
Another official name applied to Jesus and the Church, Firstfruits, proves the same thing. Jesus is called the Firstfruits (1 Cor. 15:20). So, too, the Church is with Him called the Firstfruits (Rom. 8:23; Jas. 1:18; Rev. 14:4). Firstfruits logically imply afterfruits; and the obedient of the world of mankind during the Millennium will be the afterfruits. Thus we have another name applied to Jesus and the Church implying an opportunity for salvation that will come later to the non-elect dead.
A seventh official name of Jesus and the Church implies an opportunity for salvation for the non-elect dead: the Seed of Abraham, that will bless all the families, nations and kindreds of the earth (Gen. 22:18; 28:14; Acts 3:25). Jesus and the Church are this Seed (Gal. 3:16, 29; 4:28; Rom. 9:7, 8). Most of the individuals of the nations, kindreds and families of the earth died under the Adamic curse; hence they departed this life unblessed. Therefore they must be awakened from the dead in order to receive the blessing promised in the Oath-bound Covenant, a promise that sets forth three glorious features: (a) that there would be a Seed of Abraham; (b) that this Seed would do a work of blessing; and (c) that this work of blessing would extend to all the non-elect, dead or living. Therefore the official name of Jesus and the Church, the Seed of Abraham, implies an opportunity for salvation for the non-elect dead.
The above seven official names of Jesus and the Church prove that their official work in the Millennium will be, among other things, to give an opportunity for salvation to all who departed this life without having had such an opportunity. There are other official names Biblically applied to Jesus and the Church that prove the same thing, such as Mediator, Judge, City of God, Redeemer, Temple of God, Tree of Life, New Heavens, etc.; but the seven briefly described above abundantly prove the point. In our book "The Bible" (chapter 3) there is a list and description of 21 of these offices.
EVERY PART OF AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL
(9) As a ninth argument in proof of an opportunity for those of the unsaved dead who did not have the opportunity of gaining the salvation now operating, we set forth the fact that all of the things that constitute an opportunity of obtaining salvation will come to everyone who has ever lived; consequently, those who did not have these blessings in this life will get them after they are awakened from the dead.
We will at once recognize that the following things constitute an opportunity of obtaining salvation: (a) removal of the Adamic sentence, (b) knowledge of Divine Truth, (c) conditions conducive to righteousness and inconducive to sin, (d) a favorable influence toward Christ, (e) submission to and acknowledgment of Christ, (f) the offer of consecration, and (g) the offer of the holy Spirit. If we can prove that all of these seven things will be the experience of the whole human family who did not have the opportunity in this life, it will prove that they are to experience them in the next life, and that therefore there is hope for those of the unsaved dead who did not have the opportunity of obtaining salvation in this life. We will now proceed to prove from the Bible that these seven things will be experienced by all the non-elect.
ALL FREED FROM THE ADAMIC SENTENCE
(a) All will be freed from the Adamic sentence, which implies that all will be awakened from the dead; for the Adamic sentence is not life — in torment in a fiery hell or otherwise — but death, cessation of life, to both soul and body (Gen. 2:17, margin; 3:3, 19; Psa. 78:50; Ezek. 18:4, 20; Rom. 1:32; 5:12, 17-19; 6:16, 21, 23; 7:5; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22. For an examination of every Bible text where the word hell is found, proving that hell is the unconscious, oblivious condition of the death state, and not a condition of life in eternal torment, please see our booklet, The Hell of the Bible).
Accordingly, for mankind to be free from the death sentence implies their being brought out of death, no longer under the Adamic condemnation. The following Scriptures prove that on the basis of Christ's death for everyone, all will be saved (freed) from the Adamic death sentence (Rom. 5:18, 19; 11:26; 1 Tim. 2:4-6; 4:10; John 1:29; 3:17; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2).
When certain of these verses speak of all being saved, they do not refer to eternal salvation, but to salvation by Christ's death from the death sentence brought upon all by Adam's sin. Therefore these passages prove that all who in this life were not delivered from the Adamic death sentence will, after death, through Christ's sacrifice, be delivered from it; and as this sentence produces death, deliverance from it implies one's being awakened from death, and that free from its sentence. Freedom from the death sentence is an experience necessary for an opportunity of salvation; for as long as one is under the death sentence he cannot gain everlasting life.
ALL INDOCTRINATED IN GOD'S WORD
(b) All will be indoctrinated in the Word of God; for as people cannot be saved by ignorance, they must come into a knowledge of the Truth to be saved (Acts 4:12; 11:14; Rom. 10:14). Both the Old and the New Testaments prove that those who in this life did not gain the knowledge of the Truth for salvation will obtain it later. The following are some of the Scriptures that teach this thought as true of the Millennial Age, when the earth (Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14) will be full of the knowledge of God, whereas now (Isa. 60:2; 2 Cor. 4:4) darkness (error) covers the earth (Isa. 29:18, 24; 35:4-6; 40:5; 42:6, 7; 49:6; 50:10; John 1:9; Acts 3:21, 22; 1 Tim. 2:4, 6; Rev. 20:3; 22:17). Such a knowledge, of course, will give them an opportunity to obtain life; for it is the second feature of an opportunity for salvation.
ALL GIVEN FAVORABLE CONDITIONS
(c) The Bible teaches that all will be placed under conditions inconducive to sin and conducive to righteousness, and, of course, under such conditions reformation and everlasting life will be possible even to the weakest and most degraded.
The following are the conditions inconducive to sin and conducive to righteousness which will be made available for all during Messiah's Reign: The curse will be taken from the earth (Isa. 61:4; Rev. 21:4; 22:3), and the earth will become Paradise Restored (Ezek. 36:35; Isa. 35:1, 2); Satan and his fallen angels will be restrained and imprisoned and will be unable to mislead the people (Rev. 20:1-3), and Christ and the Church will have control for their good (Psa. 72:8; Rev. 20:4, 6); error and sin will be destroyed (Isa. 25:7; 1 Cor. 15:25, 55-57), and truth and righteousness will prevail (Isa. 11:9; 62:12); the death sentence will be removed from man (Rom. 5:19), and the opportunity of gaining restitution will be given him (Acts 3:19-21); sorrow and sighing will flee away, and joy and gladness will take their place (Isa. 35:10; Luke 2:10); war and strife shall cease (Isa. 2:4; Mic. 4:3; Hos. 2:18; Zech. 9:10), and peace and good-will will take their place (Isa. 9:7; Luke 2:14); people will no more be persecuted and injured for righteousness (Isa. 25:8), but will greatly prosper for righteousness (Psa. 72:7); the wicked will be summarily punished for wrongdoing (Psa. 37:35, 36), and will be striped for their reformation (Isa. 26:9) ; false religious systems will be destroyed (Isa. 65:15; Rev. 18:8-24), and the one true religion will be embraced by all (Isa. 60:14, 15) ; oppressive governments will be destroyed (Isa. 60:12), and the fostering government of Jesus and the Church will be in control (Psa. 72:12-14); people will no more be dispossessed of their homes, nor will they have to rent others' property (Isa. 65:22); but each will enjoy his own property unmolested (Mic. 4:4); they will no more engage in unproductive labor (Isa. 65:23), but will greatly prosper in their undertakings (Isa. 60:17).
Certainly these conditions are inconducive to sin and conducive to righteousness; therefore they will furnish a most favorable opportunity for salvation for mankind. Conditions conducive to salvation are a third feature of an opportunity for salvation, and the foregoing Scriptures prove them to be purposed for the unsaved dead of the world.
ALL FAVORABLY INFLUENCED CHRISTWARD
(d) The Scriptures teach that all who were not in this life favorably influenced toward Christ will in the next life be so influenced. Jesus says (John 12:32), "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth [in the next verse St. John explains this expression as referring to Jesus' Ransom-sacrificial death], will draw all men unto me." All of us know that in this life comparatively few were drawn unto Christ (John 6:44; Matt. 7:14). Therefore all who were not in this life drawn (favorably influenced) to Him must be drawn to Him after this life, or John 12:32 would be untrue. But the passage is true; therefore those not drawn to Him in this life will be drawn to Him in the next life, in the Millennium.
EVERY KNEE WILL BOW AND TONGUE CONFESS
(e) The Bible teaches that all will yield submission to Jesus and acknowledge His right to reign over them (Phil. 2:10, 11; Isa. 45:23; Psa. 22:29; Rom. 14:9). All have not in this life submitted to Him, nor have all in this life recognized His right to reign over them. Therefore this must occur in the next life in the case of those who did not do these things in this life. Phil. 2:10 shows that this includes the dead, i.e., those under the earth; and Psa. 22:29 and Rom. 14:9 directly state it of them. Such submission and recognition are a part of the experiences of those undergoing an opportunity for salvation.
ALL GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY OF CONSECRATION
(f) The Scriptures teach that the opportunity of consecration to the Lord will be given to everyone on earth during the Millennium; and this includes those who will then be brought back from the dead. Isa. 35:8 is to the point. In v. 4, Christ's Second Advent, accomplishing the overthrow of Satan's empire and the punishment of its supporters, in the Great Tribulation, is set forth. Vs. 5, 6 teach how He will enlighten, reform and uplift sinful humanity, and the restoration of Paradise is taught in vs. 7, 1 and 2.
V. 8 teaches the opening of the Highway of Holiness for the unclean (Adam's sin-defiled race), who, however, must cleanse themselves, if they would pass over its full length. A highway, in contrast with a narrow way (a private lane), is a public road thrown open to everyone. In the Highway everything will be made so plain and clear that the most simple shall not err therein. V. 9 shows that all harmful things will be taken away from it, and that the redeemed, those who will by the Ransom be delivered from the death sentence (1 Tim. 2:4, 5), will be privileged to walk there.
V. 10 shows that the dead, whom also Christ's Ransom covers (Hos. 13:14), will return from the tomb and come to Zion, Jesus and the Church, in connection with that Highway of Holiness.
Therefore this Scripture proves that an opportunity of consecration will be open to those of the dead who in this life did not consecrate; and the opportunity to consecrate is the sixth constituent element of a chance for salvation.
ALL GIVEN THE OFFER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
(g) The final thing that belongs to an opportunity for salvation is the offer of the holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that this offer will be open to everyone. In Joel 2:28-29 a remarkable promise is made, reversing the expression of the thought from the time order of the fulfillment. In v. 29, Jehovah tells us that He would pour out His Spirit for His servants and handmaidens (the elect), a thing that He has been doing during the Gospel Age, "in those days"; and in v. 28 He tells us that He would, "after those days," after the Gospel Age, hence during the Millennium, pour out His Spirit "for all flesh." Therefore those for whom it was not poured out in this life will have it poured out for them in the next life; and those that obey will receive it (Acts 5:32), and will by it be lifted up to perfection, if they continue to obey. But according to Joel 2:28 all will be given opportunity to receive the holy Spirit, though none will be forced to obey and thus receive it. Thus the opportunity of receiving the holy Spirit will be offered to all. The offer of the opportunity of receiving the holy Spirit is an indispensable part of a chance for salvation. It is the seventh and last feature belonging to a full opportunity for salvation.
Thus we have proven from the Scriptures that the seven things that constitute a full opportunity for salvation will come to every human being. But they did not come to everyone in this life. Therefore they will come after this life, in the Millennium, to those to whom they did not come in this life.
MANKIND'S ACCOUNTABILITY IN THIS LIFE
Let no one assume, on the basis of the above nine lines of Bible evidence (and many more yet to be given), proving that there is hope for the unsaved dead who did not have an opportunity for salvation in this life, that mankind in general are not accountable before God at the present time, and that they may live as selfishly and unrighteously in this life as they please, since they are to have an opportunity for salvation in the next life.
Let no one delude himself! The Bible makes it very clear that everyone according to his measure of enlightenment, ability and opportunity is accountable before God for his thoughts, motives, words and acts. ("As he thinketh in his heart, so is he"—Prov. 23:7.) Jesus warned that "every idle [pernicious] word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matt. 12:36).
Punishment for sins is sure to come. Some are punished for their sins in this life, others after being awakened from the dead. "Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and [in the cases of] some men they follow after [their punishment for sins comes after their awakening]" (1 Tim. 5:24).
Everyone is either building his character by good thoughts, motives, words and acts and thereby is becoming more fitted for everlasting life, or is tearing down, depraving, his character by evil thoughts, motives; words and deeds, especially by wilfulness in them, and is thereby gradually making himself more and more unfit for everlasting life, and fit only for destruction—annihilation—in the Second Death. Some of the non-elect by secret sins and/or by open (manifest) sins in this life so deprave their characters that it will be impossible for them in the Millennium, to rid their characters of indelibly fixed evil qualities, and therefore they will then go into the Second Death.
Jesus said to the willfully hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees of His day "How can ye escape the damnation of hell [gehenna, the Second Death]?" (Matt. 23:33). By sinning willfully they had so undermined their characters that Jesus despaired of their escaping the Second Death, though He showed that it is a possibility.
The same is true of many since then who have sinned willfully along various lines. It will be very difficult for them to rid themselves of the bad qualities that caused their sins, and it will require great effort on their part, if they ever succeed.
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