• Subscribe
  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • Google Podcasts

How does God choose who will be saved?

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3), the punishment of death was applied not only to them, but to all their descendants, meaning every subsequent generation of mankind. 

Likewise, Jesus’s sacrifice of his perfect human life as a corresponding “payment” for that disobedience applies to all members of the human race back through the generations. This concept is explained in 1 Timothy 2:5-6, where Jesus is described as a mediator for all, and the payment of Jesus’ perfect life is described as a “ransom.” 

Because of Jesus’s sacrifice, all of mankind may therefore be considered as being “saved” from the death penalty incurred by Adam and Eve.

1 Timothy 2:5-5 also declares that the ransom Jesus paid will be “testified in due time,” meaning the resurrection of mankind from death is a future event. At that time, all of the resurrected mankind will be taught how to obey God and His ways (as pictured in Isaiah 35:8-10). 

Once all people have had sufficient opportunity to fully appreciate God’s laws, there will be a period of testing. During that period of testing, people will be given the choice of obeying God or returning to disobedience. Just like the consequences for Adam and Eve’s disobedience was death, the consequences for choosing disobedience during this time of testing will also be death. However, there will be no “ransom” from this death condition.

The majority of mankind who choose to remain obedient to God during (and after) this time of testing will be returned to the same condition of everlasting perfect human life enjoyed by Adam and Eve prior to their act of disobedience. This return to a previously lost perfect human condition is referred to as “restitution” in the Scriptures (such as in Acts 3:21). This period of testing, and the punishment of failing that testing, is described in Revelation 21:4, and will be one manner in which God will judge mankind.

The reason why the time of restitution of all mankind is in the future is because since Jesus’s death, a second means of salvation is available to any who choose to accept it. During his ministry, Jesus sought those who would be willing to set aside their own goals and ambitions in life and to fully dedicate, or consecrate, themselves to God as he had done (Romans 12:1-2, 1 Peter 2:5, Acts 15:14). Those who choose this path sacrifice their participation in the future resurrection of mankind, and also sacrifice the opportunity for restitution to perfect human lives. 

Instead, these “called ones” demonstrate their obedience to God now in their present lifetimes, through the keeping of their consecration vows. Instead of being judged after a future period of education with the rest of mankind, these will be judged by God at the conclusion of their current lives. If judged worthy by God, this group of people will be granted the higher reward of the same spiritual existence granted to the resurrected and glorified Jesus (Revelation 20:4-5, 2 Peter 1:4, 1 John 3:2).

Because this group will be judged at the end of their current lifetimes instead of during the future, more general resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 refers to this group as “the firstfruits of them that slept.” These scriptures also highlight the distinction between the two different types of judgment and salvation by pointing out that “all shall be made alive but every man in his own order.”

Whether at the end of their current lives, or during the future resurrection of mankind, all who have ever lived will be tested and judged on their obedience to God and His laws, just as our long-ago ancestors Adam and Eve were tested and judged.

Seeking to understand and obey God in our present lives is the best course any can choose to take.

If called forth by God to a present life of dedication and consecration, one may, if judged worthy, be eligible for the grand spiritual reward of the divine nature. If not called forth by God, living a life seeking to understand and obey God now will still help prepare one for the future time when all mankind will be judged and, if found worthy, rewarded with perfect human existence. 

To learn more about God’s judgements and salvation listen to,

“What If I’m Not Good Enough for Heaven?”

“Does God Judge Everyone the Same Way?”