Think for a moment about the only way that a person can be saved and obtain eternal life. And the only way for that to be done is by coming to Jesus Christ. Now think of all the people who never even heard of Jesus Christ or were prevented from hearing about him. Would God keep eternal life from a person because, through no fault of their own, they had no idea who Jesus was? Never heard of Jesus or the Bible or Christianity? Who maybe lived thousands of years before Christ or was born or lived in an area that never heard of Jesus Christ or God the Father? Someone who had absolutely no contact with the name of Christ or the Bible. Look at just these 10 short verses regarding salvation and as you read them think for a moment about how they describe the one and only way to eternal life, and then think about all those people who never even heard of Jesus.
1 John 5:11-12----And this is the record given. That God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life. He that does not have the Son of God does not have life".
John 14:6--- "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
John 3:16--- "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life."
John 6:40--- "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
Hebrews 7:25--- Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him.
John 3:36--- "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him".
John 10:9--- "I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture".
John 11:25--- "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live".
John 6:47--- "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life".
Acts 4:12--- "There is no salvation in anyone else".
The whole point of these verses is that eternal life is granted only to those who have come to the true God of creation through a unique relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Through that understanding and that relationship, they come to understand who the true God is and what he requires of humans who wish to enter his everlasting kingdom.
Think of the many Jews who were taught never to accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah by their Rabbi and their parents. Think of the untold billions of Buddhists, Shintoists, Muslims, and members of all the other religions who were prevented from hearing about Jesus Christ and who never gave Jesus Christ a second thought. What about those untold billions living in places like China, India, Japan, and Indonesia. Places where the name of Jesus Christ was completely unknown. And what about the untold millions whose leaders prevented them from even hearing about Jesus Christ and who spent great amounts of time and energy in preventing anything about Jesus to be known. And there will be the many millions who just never took the time to learn about Jesus.
Christians are taught that all true Christians are engaged in a sort of "soul saving" mission. And it is implied that if people do not "get saved" in this present lifetime then they are "lost" forever. Yet the vast majority of people who have lived on earth have never converted to any form of Christianity. Were they all in direct rebellion against God? Are they all doomed forever? Will there be a time, maybe at the end of the millennium, when he calls these people and opens their minds and hearts and finally allows them to see the truth?
The Bible talks a great deal about spiritual blindness, blindness allowed by God himself. What is the meaning of so many verses like:
Romans 11:8, "Just as it is written, God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not, and ears to hear not, Down to this very day."
Isaiah 29:10 "For the Lord has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, And has closed your eyes, namely the prophets; And He has covered your heads, namely the visionaries".
It is clear that God is not trying to save everyone now. If he were, then he would some how save us all. Rather ever since that very first sin in the Garden of Eden, God has allowed humanity to go its own way for the last 6,000 years of human history, and he has allowed the evil from satan the devil to influence the people on this earth. God intervenes occasionally, when he wishes to, in order to bring about his major purposes in the rise and fall of nations and kingdoms. He also intervenes to call certain individuals to become part of his Church and to prepare them to become future kings and priests under Christ in the coming kingdom of God on earth.
So it is conceivable that at the end of the millennium these people from all the past ages are brought back to life, and for the very first time they have their eyes opened. The veil which had been over their eyes during their earthly lifetimes is now destroyed. Old prejudices and old falsehoods will finally be gone. They at last have the books of the Bible available to them. And with the saints of God acting as teachers, these people will have their first opportunity to be taught the Word of God. What an unbelievable responsibility the saints of God will have. And what a truly incredible opportunity for all those who died in the past without knowing Jesus Christ will have.
Now, at last, these people will have their first genuine opportunity to know God. At last an opportunity for so many to learn, grow, understand, and be tried and tested as to their willingness to live eternal life, God's way. Then they will be allowed to make the decision to repent and accept the true Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, or since they are still mortal and they still have their free will, maybe they will just go their own way and do their own thing. Then to, maybe many will decide to join up with the newly released satan and become one of his followers.
But again this isn't a second chance for these people. For these people it will be the first real chance that they have had to know the Lord. And again the saved Saints that were raptured back at the end of the tribulation, who are ruling and reigning with Christ, are going to have the wonderful and awesome duty to teach these people about God. So there may well be a period of time between when all the dead are raised at the end of the millennium, and the time the White Throne Judgment takes place. And this time will be used by the saints to teach these newly risen souls about God.
Something else very unusual happens about this time. At the end of the 1,000 year millennium, satan is let loose out of the pit that he has been kept in for the last 1,000 years. Finally, he has freedom and he also has something else. One thousand years of hate and anger aimed directly at Jesus and his saints; a hate that is totally consuming him. So what he does next is really not unexpected. He immediately goes out and tries to recruit as many followers as possible, using any and all means that he can think of.
But unfortunately for satan and for those people that he talks into following him, the battle that he is hoping for will never take place. These new followers of satan never realize that God himself is watching and examining every nook and cranny of their hearts, minds, and souls. Our Lord can tell exactly what each is thinking and feeling and these followers of satan never realize that their very thoughts are signing their own eternal death warrants. God gave us a little taste of this ability that he has back in Jeremiah 17:10 when he said, "I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds".
Also the Bible gives us a little preview of what is going to happen to these followers of satan. Nahum 1:6 tells us, "Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him".
What happens at this battle that never really takes place, is told to us at Revelation 20:7-9 and it tells a story of extremely swift judgment and even swifter punishment. "And when the thousand years are expired Satan shall be loosed from his prison and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather together to battle. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."
In an instant, with absolutely no warning at all, the very last traces of ungodliness are once and for all completely destroyed.
But what of satan? What finally happens to this fallen angel who has done nothing but bring pain, suffering, and misery to the human race. After spending the last 1,000 years locked up in a pit, he has had to watch as every one of his followers are completely destroyed by the fire storm that descends down from heaven. Now satan finds himself standing all alone in a sea of dead. His followers and all his friends are completely gone. And as he gazes in shock at all this death and destruction he begins to feel extremely powerful hands on his shoulders and he is suddenly engulfed in utter terror and great sadness, because one particular verse in the Bible explodes into his mind. It is Revelation 20:10, and it says, "And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever".
Many followed satan and were eternally destroyed, but many refused to follow him. Many who were taught by the saints of God, wanted to follow only Jesus. Now that they knew about Jesus they realize that they never ever want to lose him. And thus, those were the ones not destroyed, but instead turned and walked joyfully into the White Throne of Judgment.
So who are the ones who are going to be judged at the White Throne Judgement. The White Throne Judgement will be made up of those that died through out all of history and who were raised up at the end of the millennium and who did not join satan after he was released from the pit. It will certainly include all those brought back to life at the end of the millennium who listened to the saints and believed in Jesus and wanted to follow only him. All of these, every single one of them, would have been taught about God by the Saints of Christ.
Hopefully these people will be saved at the White Throne Judgment. But that decision is going to be entirely up to Jesus Christ, for on judgment day the one judging mankind will be Jesus Christ. He is the one who has been given complete and total control over the judging of every human being who has ever lived on earth.
John 5:22, "For the Father judges no one at all but he has committed all the judging to the Son".
Matthew 13:49-50, "And if anyone's name is not found written in the book of life, he is thrown into the lake of fire. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth".
I think the ones that will be headed for the lake of fire will be the ones who finally had a chance to receive Jesus, but did not. Those that finally knew who Jesus was, but refused to accept or follow him. Those who finally understood what Jesus was trying to do, but who flat out refused to have anything to do with the Son of God. Those are the ones who will not see eternity.
So now the question is, what are we going to be doing for all eternity? Well nobody really knows the answer to that because the Bible doesn't come out and tell us. However there are a number of very tantalizing verses in the Bible about the eternity and about the wonder and the mystery it contains. Read the verse below and just think for a few moments about what that could possibly include.
1 Corinthians 2:9, "The eye has not seen and the ear has not heard, nor has there even been conceived in the mind of man the things that God has prepared for those that love him."
So even though we don't know what eternity will bring we can be sure that if it's from our all loving Father, it is going to be absolutely incredible.
Life in eternity will not be merely a life of rest and singing, but rather a life of productivity and learning. In fact each of us will have the powers and ability to accomplish the most incredible feats of learning and accomplishment. The most awesome mysteries in the universe will fall like match sticks. Problems thought unsolvable will be solved with no difficulty. Each one of us will grow and advance in ways that we can't even begin to imagine. You will be able to become one of the world's most renown painters. You will be able to write books that are masterpieces. You will become an absolutely awesome explorer as you travel into regions of the universe and discover and understand the most incredible mysteries of God. Think of the inventions that you will invent, the building projects that you will accomplish, the unimaginable tasks that you will perform throughout the entire universe.
Every redeemed believer will also have the abundant time to meet and know every other believer. What a thrill it will be to listen to Noah describe his experiences on the ark, to share the passion and vision of John the Baptist, to hear the testimonies of the martyrs. Each of us will have his own story to tell, his own defeats and victories, his own weaknesses and failures, his own personal overcoming through faith, and each of us can describe that wonderful day when we finally came to the Lord. It will indeed be a very close knit family, one that will include every single saint. No one will be left out, because we will all be as one with the Father.
Eternity will before us, and infinity will surround us. We shall have an eternity of time to explore and discover the secrets of an infinitely varied and limitless cosmos. Perhaps you and your best friend will be assigned an entire galaxy to explore and develop for the glory of God. Then you will share with the others what you have found and what you have accomplished and all will rejoice together. Why not, we have all eternity.
We will be able to develop and use more fully the particular talents entrusted to us by the Lord. We will have the opportunity to improve and sharpen those skills and many others beyond our wildest imagination. Obviously the nature of our future service for the Lord can only be the object of reverent wonder and speculation now, but we can be sure it will be joyful and satisfying service, whatever it is.
Space travel will be commonplace in that day, even though it will always be impossible in any significant degree in this present world. The nearest star is four light years from the earth and the idea that people could travel from the earth to a star in a space ship operating under the laws of the physical universe is simply a delusion. With the force systems of the known universe this idea will always be mere science fiction.
But these limitations will not apply to spiritual bodies. They will not be constrained by gravitational or electromagnetic forces but as in the case of angels, can "fly swiftly" (Daniel 9:21). Our spiritual bodies will be somehow like those of angels (Matthew 22:30) and even like that of Christ's resurrection body (Philippians 3:21), so that we, like they, can move--almost instantaneously across the cosmos. Thus, our future service for the Lord of Glory may well include assignments in many other parts of God's wonderful and vast universe.
But home will always be in the new Jerusalem, where Christ is. There also is where the mansions are, which He has prepared for us (John 14:2), and there is where we shall always return.
salvation: how can I achieve eternal salvation
creation: 15 billion years equals 6 days
death: what happens to us at death
god's love: the nature of god's love
the holy trinity: what is the holy trinity all about
heavenly rewards: salvation and rewards
how to pray: the right way to pray
god the father: getting to know god the father
jesus: who is this man called jesus christ
good works: just what are good works?
baptism: is it really necessary
are you saved: are you sure
loneliness: guess who's really lonely
hell: will they really burn for ever
losing salvation: once saved can we become unsaved
forgiveness: the story of a sinner
story: table for two
story: the archive room of life
story: small wooden people
more stories: more beautiful stories
test: testing your spiritual growth
Additional Christian Topics:
daily bible verses: a bible verse sent to you each day
Beautiful Christian Poetry:
The Rapture: the real truth behind the rapture
Hard Times: why bad things happen to people
the holy spirit: the existence of the holy spirit