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August 12, 2019

Ep.1086: Are Jesus’ Ransom and Our Salvation the Same?

Clarifying the purpose of the ransom and the process of salvation

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CHAPTERS

[00:12:51]
Does Jesus' sacrifice cover those who don't know him?


[00:27:20]
Are there no strings attached to salvation if we believe in Jesus?


[00:43:41]
What if we accept Christ and then change our minds?


[01:01:30]
Is salvation available for non-believers?


Theme Scripture: 1 Timothy 2:5-6

Jesus died for our sins, and if we believe in him we will go to heaven.  This common Christian belief that ties Jesus’ sacrifice and our salvation up into one neat package sounds simple, but it actually raises many questions.  What does it mean to “believe” in Jesus?  Is belief in his teachings the point or is it believing in the fact of and reason for his death? What is salvation? Is it just praying the Sinner’s Prayer?  It it a change of heart or a complete life overhaul?  Does everyone who experiences salvation go to heaven?  What about Jesus praying for God’s kingdom on earth?  To sort this all out, we need to look at how the Bible says the pieces go together.  First, we need to understand Jesus’ ransom and the specific role it plays. Once this is in place, understanding salvation becomes much easier!

Continue Reading

Let’s be clear.  The ransom Jesus paid for our sins as he was crucified on Calvary’s cross is entirely different from the salvation that comes to each of us afterwards.  Understanding they are two completely different things is a critical step in being able to comprehend God’s plan for humanity.  What do we know about Jesus’ sacrifice?  Plenty.  First, it was a "one size fits all" event.  There are many Christian theories about how this works, so let’s go past them all and get to the main point.  The simple and scriptural reason for Jesus’ ransom being once for all is that he died for Adam’s sin.  Romans chapter 5 makes this clearly known and also explains that because we are the posterity of Adam, our sins are also included.

What does this mean for salvation?  While salvation is squarely built upon the sole foundation of the ransom, it works in an entirely different way.  Here again, there are many Christian theories at work but for the most part do not adequately answer many of the hard questions.  What about people who lived before Jesus – what is their link to salvation?  What happens to those who never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel or meet a Christian?  Are they simply cut out of the reach of being saved?  Does salvation work the same way for everyone?  The Bible is very clear as it deals which every one of these difficult and important questions.

Check out our August 12, 2019 podcast, “Are Jesus’ Ransom and Our Salvation the Same?” for the details.  The scriptural and logical pathway to clarifying salvation is surprisingly easy to follow.  Walk along with us as we dispel interpretations and theories that attempt to make salvation a "one size fits all" package.  Follow our scriptural reasoning as we consider the many texts that open salvation’s wide application. Understand the radically different results being saved brings, depending upon who is claiming it.  As you see the Scriptures revealed on this subject, it is sure to be a light bulb experience!  Don’t miss it!

 

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Ep.: What is the difference between the tree of life and the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden?

The first mention of these two trees is found in Genesis 2:8-9.  “Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.  The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

God gave Adam instructions as to which trees he was allowed to eat the fruit of and from which tree he was not allowed to eat.  

“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.’” Genesis 2:16-17  

This was a commandment from God, which, if disobeyed, would have dire consequences, ending in death.  This was a simple test of obedience, which Adam completely understood.

After Eve came on the scene, Adam told her that they were not allowed to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  However, Satan, in the guise of a serpent, tempted her by telling her that she would not die if she ate from the tree of knowledge. When both Eve and Adam ate from the tree, their eyes were opened and they saw their own nakedness.  When they heard God walking in the garden they hid and lied about what had happened.  Below is the story from (Genesis 3:1-13)

Punishments were then levied on Adam, Eve and the serpent (Satan).  (See Genesis 3:14-20) These punishments have impacted all of Adam’s progeny to this day, the end result of which is death.  

Due to their sin, Adam and Eve were not allowed to stay in the Garden because the Garden contained the tree of life.  If they ate from it they would continue to live on forever.  Furthermore, the ground outside the Garden was cursed (verse 17) or imperfect.  By feeding on plants grown in that environment, man would eventually suffer the penalty of death. Below is the last part of the story regarding the tree of life from Genesis 3:21-24:

“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

God created man in his “image” (Genesis 1:26-27), which means that man has the ability to reason and to make choices. God could have made man a robot to always do what is right, but then he would not be in God’s “image.” God could have shielded man from Satan’s temptation, but then man would still have been subject to ambitions from within. In God’s wisdom, He foreknew that Adam would sin. However, Adam was master of his own God-given free will and could have chosen to obey God’s command. 

God always allows humankind the option of choosing righteousness or sinfulness, just as He allowed Adam that choice. When God expelled disobedient Adam and Eve from his fellowship they began to “know good and evil” (Genesis 3:22) and to appreciate the difference. During all the centuries thereafter humankind has been learning the same lesson as well. 

If God had not planned to send his Son to die in order to pay the price as a ransom for Adam, all humanity would have been doomed to die with no chance of a future life.  But Jesus paid the price at Calvary, assuring us that every person who has ever lived will have the opportunity for either eternal life in heaven or everlasting life on earth during the Day of Judgment. 

Knowing that God had a well-devised and thought out plan in place since the foundation of the earth (Revelation 13:8) helps us understand why He permits misery and death in this present evil world so that each individual can learn the lesson of the sinfulness of sin.  

To learn more about the hope for the future listen to, “Are Jesus’ Ransom and Our Salvation the Same?”

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Ep.: If Adam and Eve had repented, would we be free of sin?

We do not know if Adam and Eve repented, since the Bible makes no mention of their repentance. Since Adam lived a long time (930 years – Genesis 5:5), it is quite possible that both he and Eve did repent, especially after the murder of their son Abel by his brother Cain. That act must have been devastating to our first parents and very likely impressed upon them the terrible consequences of their sin. 

However, we do not believe that neither Adam nor Eve lost their love or appreciation for God and His plan for redemption. Evidence of this appreciation is borne out by Eve’s statement after the birth of her third son Seth, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” (Genesis 4:25) In this statement she was referring to God’s promise that her seed would crush the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). 

If Adam and Eve had repented, would we then have been free of sin? No, we would not be free of sin. Why? Unlike all of us, Adam was created perfect. He was intelligent. His thinking was not flawed. He possessed moral discernment and had free will to choose between right and wrong. God warned Adam in Genesis 2:17 that if he obeyed God’s law, he would live—but if he disobeyed, he would die. 

Because Adam was perfect the sentence of death was already passed on him if he sinned and that sentence was made very clear to Adam. Nonetheless, by his own free will, Adam chose to disobey so that he could die with his wife and not be alone. In order for Adam’s sin (and, in fact, the sins of all of his yet unborn progeny) to be forgiven, God’s justice was required—a perfect life for a perfect life. The scales of justice needed a perfect sinless man (Jesus) to die for the perfect sinful man (Adam). When Jesus died and was resurrected he not only redeemed Adam, but also the entire human race. 

God’s plan was all encompassing. Had Adam and Eve not sinned, each of their children and grandchildren, etc. down through time would have to be tested throughout their lives in order to maintain a perfect everlasting life. The testing would be ongoing. Some might pass the tests. Others would fail. Some would need a redeemer. Others might not. Each perfect sinful human would then need his own perfect sinless redeemer. That certainly would not have been a good plan. 

But, God in his infinite wisdom and foreknowledge knew Adam would sin, so he planned all of humankind’s redemption through one man’s death (Jesus’ death) long before the foundation of the earth (1 Peter 1:18-20).

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19 

When Jesus died for Adam’s sin He died for all of Adam’s yet unborn progeny as well. 

“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22 

What a wonderful plan! Each of fallen humanity has an opportunity to experience the sinfulness of sin and its consequences and yet each will have an opportunity for everlasting life in the future due to our Redeemer’s one time sacrifice. 

To learn more about Jesus’ ransom for Adam listen to, “Are Jesus’ Ransom and our Salvation the Same?”

(19)

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Ep.: Has God’s kingdom already started?

Are we living in God’s kingdom right now? Understanding the timing of God’s kingdom requires an understanding of how salvation works. The subject of the two parts or phases of salvation is crucial for understanding God’s beautiful plan of the ransom for all. 

Although Jesus died for everyone, His blood was first applied for His Church (those who have chosen to follow Him and live a life of righteousness, while sacrificing their human wills in order to do the will of God). When these die, they will be with Jesus in heaven. After this the  Church class will be completed and will reign with Him in heaven.  

Jesus’ blood will then be applied for the vast majority of humanity during the Millennium. Then the dead shall come forth from their graves to a period of judgment, or decision. The Scriptures are clear that during this time Satan will be bound. 

“He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:2 

Satan will not be allowed to influence people’s minds or create havoc in the world during the Millennium as he does today. (See Revelation 20:3.) It is true that people will return with their same mind-sets and will need to learn righteousness. However, they will have ample opportunity to do so (at least a hundred years –see Isaiah 65:20). While they are learning to perfect their characters they will not be allowed to harm another. 

“They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9

 In fact, we are given several beautiful pictures of what the peaceable kingdom will be like. (See Isaiah 11:1-9; 32:1-5; 35:5-10 and 65:21-25.) God’s Millennial kingdom will be nothing like our present evil world. 

“No longer will the fool be called noble nor the scoundrel be highly respected.” Isaiah 32:5 

Not only will mankind be perfected, but the earth and the animal kingdom will too. 

  • “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.” Isaiah 35:1 
  • “The wolf and the Lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.” Isaiah 65:25

 Why would Jesus tell us to pray, “Thy kingdom come in earth as it is in heaven” if it were not to be so?

To learn more about God’s kingdom and when it is coming listen to, “Where is the Kingdom Jesus Told Us to Pray For?”

To learn more about Jesus’ ransom listen to, “Are Jesus’ Ransom and Our Salvation the Same?”

(12)

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Ep.: What is God’s plan for us?

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:3-6 

The above scriptures tell us the wonderful plan that God has for all his children on earth and in heaven. We are told that God wants everyone who ever lived to be saved and come to an understanding of the truth. 

Even though Adam sinned and plunged the entire human race into death, God in his infinite wisdom, love and mercy, provided a Redeemer in the person of his Son, Jesus. 

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews 2:9 

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22

“When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10), who is “the mediator between God and men” (1 Timothy 2:5). 

Christ as mediator effects our reconciliation to God. Jesus’ death and resurrection provided a ransom for Adam and all his progeny, some now, who are following Jesus and sacrificing their wills, and some later. 

Those who are sacrificing now have been called by God and look forward to a heavenly reward mentioned in John 13:33-36; 14:1-4; and 17:24. 

Although there is definitely a heavenly destination, it is only for a select few, who, if faithful, will have a change of nature from human to spiritual (Romans 6:5; 2 Corinthians 5:1-2; Revelation 3:20-21). 

However, the vast majority of mankind will be awakened on earth to a period of judgment, or decision, in which they will have an opportunity [“the testimony given at its proper time”] to willingly follow God’s laws of righteousness and perfect their characters. (See Isaiah 35 and 65:17-25) 

At this time the earth will be filled with the knowledge and glory of the Lord (Habakkuk 2:14). 

“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.” Zephaniah 3:9 

Finally, at the end of the judgment period, those who have written righteousness in their hearts will be reconciled to God and attain everlasting life. 

“Then God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

To learn more about God’s plan for mankind listen go, “Are Jesus’ Ransom and Our Salvation the Same?”

(11)

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Ep.: Who will Jesus raise up on the last day?

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:37-40

In the above scriptures Jesus talks about raising up two groups of individuals in “the last day.” The first group (verse 39) pertains to spiritual beings and the second group (verse 40) pertains to earthly beings. 

The spiritual group: Who are the ones that God gives to Jesus? They are those who are drawn to God and Jesus by the Word of Truth in the Bible. 

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44)

These individuals want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps by denying their self-wills and doing sacrificial service to God. If faithful to their covenant of sacrifice, they will be raised up as immortal beings on the last day to be with God and Jesus in heaven. However, there is a possibility that they will be cast off if they repeatedly engage in willful sinning (Hebrews 6:4-6) since they have had the privilege of enlightenment through the holy spirit. That is why Jesus prayed that he should not lose any that the Father had given him. 

The earthly group: What about those who God does not call, or those who have never even known of God or Jesus? Are they lost, even though Jesus died for them? Not at all. They, too, will be raised up on the last day, but their awakening will be on earth to a period of judgment. 

They will not be spirit beings, but have new earthly bodies. During this Day of Judgment Satan, the great deceiver, will be bound and all will have an opportunity to learn righteousness and practice it in their lives. As John 6:40 says, it is God’s will that EVERYONE who looks to the Son and believes will have life. Some will have eternal life in heaven with our Lord and some will have everlasting life on earth. 

The beauty of God’s plan is that he has a place for everyone in either his heavenly or earthly kingdoms and Jesus’ sacrifice included all of humankind. 

“This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given at its proper time. 1 Timothy 2:3-6 

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22 

To learn more about Jesus’ ransom for everyone, listen to, “Did Jesus Really Die for Everyone?

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September 16, 2021

Ep.: Why did Jesus have to die?

The answer begins with the story of creation.

God created the first man Adam, who sinned by disobeying God. The book of Romans (6:23) says,

“The payment for sin is death.”

Therefore, Adam eventually had to die because he disobeyed God. 

Sadly, Adam’s disobedience started a terrible “chain reaction” of sin that has been passed down to every generation. Romans 5:12 also says, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone…”

We all die because we inherited this sin that came from Adam.

To free Adam (and all of us) from the death penalty, God’s justice required that another perfect man had to die in Adam’s place. Since all people are imperfect sinners – being children of Adam – Jesus offered to give his perfect life as an equal substitute for perfect Adam.

The Bible refers to Jesus dying as a substitute for Adam as the RANSOM. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says, 

“…the Man Christ Jesus…gave Himself a ransom for all…”

Jesus giving his life as a ransom for Adam will take away the death penalty upon Adam and all of his children in God’s future Kingdom. 

But how does that work and when will it happen?

Because Jesus was faithful, God rewarded him by bringing him back to life as a divine spirit being in heaven. In God’s future kingdom, Jesus will use his power to bring back to life everyone who has ever died. 

Faithful Christians go to heaven. The rest of mankind will have an opportunity to live a happy life on earth, serving God forever if they agree to obey him and gradually overcome their sinful ways. Everyone will receive a lot of help in learning to always do what is right.

So, why did Jesus have to die? To be a ransom for Adam, so that everyone who has ever died will have the opportunity to come back to life in God’s future kingdom.  

To learn more about Jesus’ ransom for everyone, listen to, “Did Jesus Really Die for Everyone?”

(11)

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September 07, 2021

Ep.: Does purgatory exist?

We do not believe in purgatory, since there is no mention of it in the Scriptures.  The origin of purgatory dates back to ancient pagan times. From Wikipedia: 

“The idea of purgatory has roots that date back into antiquity. A sort of proto-purgatory called the “celestial Hades” appears in the writings of Plato and Heraclides Ponticus and in many other pagan writers. This concept is distinguished from the Hades of the underworld described in the works of Homer and Hesiod. In contrast, the celestial Hades was understood as an intermediary place where souls spent an undetermined time after death before either moving on to a higher level of existence or being reincarnated back on earth.

“The idea of Purgatory as a physical place (like heaven and hell) was “born” in the late 11th century. Medieval theologians concluded that the purgatorial punishments consisted of material fire.” 

If there is no purgatory, would an unbeliever or sinful person (and we are all sinful) be subject to hell? 

Where did the traditional concept of hell originate? Nowhere in the 53 passages of the Old and New Testament where “hell” is used in the King James Version is there support for the idea of torture of people by a merciful Creator. Instead, the Scriptures repeatedly support a reward of eternal life or death, a one-time event for eternity. 

As the scriptures say, “The wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23) not torture. The Western religions from Roman times through the Middle Ages borrowed the doctrine of eternal torture from the pagan philosophers. Certain writers of the Middle Ages had such tremendous influence on the Christian-professing world that their writings and teachings came to be generally accepted and believed, until it became the doctrine of the Christian-professing world.

Our belief is that hell is not a scriptural concept and that salvation is available to all of humanity, but that availability exists on two levels, heavenly and earthly. The subject of the two parts of salvation is basic and crucial for understanding God’s beautiful plan of the ransom for all. 

When Jesus died, he paid the price once for all, redeeming Adam and the entire human race. God has a place for everyone in either his heavenly or earthly kingdoms and Jesus’ sacrifice included all of humankind, regardless of when a person lived or whether he has accepted Jesus as his Savior now or not.

 “This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given at its proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:3-6 

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22

When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, he was condemned to death, not hell.  Adam and all is progeny await their reawakening in the future Day of Judgment when everyone who has ever lived (unbelievers and sinful ones as well) will be awakened from the sleep of death and granted the opportunity for everlasting life on earth during the thousand-year reign of Christ.  Hell is the grave or state of oblivion and not a place of eternal punishment.  

To learn more about the history of hell and why we know it is not a place of torment listen to our series, “Is the Hell of the Christian Tradition Taught in the Bible?”

(6)

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September 07, 2021

Ep.: Will I go to heaven when I die?

“For we that are in this tabernacle [earthly body] do groan, being burdened [oppressed by the evil influence of the world]: not for that we would be unclothed [lose our imperfect human bodies in death], but clothed upon [be clothed with our heavenly dwelling], that mortality might be swallowed up of [by] life [immortality]. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God [God has made us for this very purpose], who also hath given us the earnest of the Spirit [the holy Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come]. 

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body [content with ourselves], we are absent from the Lord [not living near to him, not “walking with God” as we should]: For we walk by faith, not by sight: We are confident [have full of faith toward God], I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body [not carnally minded] and to be present with the Lord [spiritually minded]. Wherefore we labor [so we make it our goal], that whether present [in the present when we are away from home (in heaven)] or absent [when we reach our home in heaven], we may be accepted of him [always be pleasing to him]. 

“For we must all [those who have the holy Spirit] appear before the judgment seat of Christ [those who are on trial now for their place in heaven]; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done [glory and honor in heaven is dependent upon how one’s life was lived on earth], whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:4-10

These scriptures clearly indicate that the Apostle Paul is talking to a special group (true Christians) who have received the holy Spirit and have given up their own human wills in order to follow after Jesus and do God’s will in every aspect of their lives. What did Paul mean when he said “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”?

When we read the entire context above, we see that Paul had an earnest desire to be spiritually minded, not carnally minded so that he would be walking in the presence of the Lord. He also longed to be absent from his sinful mind and body so that he would be able to inherit the promised immortality and be present with the Lord in his kingdom in heaven. 

What happens when we die? We believe that in order to go to heaven a person must be seeking the Lord and righteousness, believe that Jesus was the Messiah who died for the sins of the entire human race and be willing to sacrifice his will in order to do the will of God. If that person remains faithful to his covenant of sacrifice, he will obtain a heavenly reward upon death. 

We know from the scriptures that there is only one call since the time of Jesus’ death, and that is the high calling to be part of the bride of Christ. This very special call is mentioned many times in the New Testament letters. In fact, most letters open with greetings to the saints. (See Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Philippians 1:1, 1 Peter 1:1-2, 2 Peter 1:1-4, and Jude 1:1.)

 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

The loftiness of the call requires total submission to the will of God and sacrifice of self will in every matter of life. 

Although very few can reach this goal, the good news is that salvation is all inclusive. There is also an earthly salvation. The subject of the two parts of salvation is basic and crucial for understanding God’s beautiful plan of the ransom for all. When Jesus died, he paid the price once for all. 

God has a place for everyone in either his heavenly or earthly kingdoms and Jesus’ sacrifice included all of humankind, regardless of when a person lived or whether he has accepted Jesus as his Savior now or not. 

“This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given at its proper time. 1 Timothy 2:3-6 

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22 

These scriptures tell us that Jesus came to provide a ransom for Adam and all his progeny, some now, who are following Jesus and sacrificing their wills, and some later. Those who are sacrificing now have been called by God and look forward to a heavenly reward mentioned in John 13:33-36; 14:1-4; and 17:24. 

Although there is definitely a heavenly destination, it is only for a very select few who, if faithful, will have a change of nature from human to spiritual (Romans 6:5; 2 Corinthians 5:1-2; Revelation 3:20-21).

However, the vast majority of humankind will be awakened on earth to a period of judgment, or decision, in which they will have an opportunity to willingly follow God’s laws of righteousness and perfect their characters. Jeremiah speaks of this future time. 

“No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34 

God’s purpose was not to have millions be born and die in this present evil world with no chance of salvation. Nor was it God’s purpose to destroy those who knew of Him, but sinned in this present life. When humankind is awakened on earth, there will be a period of judgment, the purpose of which will be to destroy sin and evil and bring everyone by his own free will to salvation. 

Although this will be a time of pruning, it will also be a time of great joy, in which everyone will understand God’s plan. (See Isaiah 11:1-9.) Bloodshed, hurting or destroying will be only a memory because the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord. God does not wish to destroy those who have sinned in this present life, but to destroy sin and evil and bring everyone to salvation. Would Jesus instruct us to pray for a kingdom to come on earth if there wasn’t going to be one? (Matthew 6:6-13) 

For more on the peaceable kingdom soon to be established on earth in which all who are not of the heavenly class will come forth from their graves, read Isaiah 35:5-10, Revelation 21:1-4, Revelation 11:15, Isaiah 9:6-7, and Isaiah 65:21-25. We look forward with great joy to that day when all these scriptures will be fulfilled. 

To learn more about salvation for all, listen to, “Is Jesus’ Ransom and Our Salvation the Same?”

To learn more about what happens when we die listen toour series, “Where Does Your Soul Go When You Die?”

(8)

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September 07, 2021

Ep.: Will children be resurrected to earth or heaven?

When Jesus died and was resurrected, he paid the ransom price so that all people would be freed from the Adamic curse of death. This is an important thought to keep in mind because if you believe that you have to be a Christian in order to be “saved,” there are some serious questions that must be addressed. 

What is the fate of the countless millions who have never heard of Jesus? What about those who lived before Jesus’ time? What about the person who believes, but does not make any changes in his life for the better? Lastly, what about the child who dies before he has had an opportunity to choose whether he wants to follow in the footsteps of Jesus? 

When Jesus fulfilled his mission, which was to sacrifice his perfect life on the cross, He redeemed everyone who ever lived in the past and everyone who was yet to live. Numerous scriptures bring out this fact. 

For example, 1 Timothy 2:3-6 says, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.” 

Again in 1 Timothy 4:10 we read, “that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” 

These scriptures indicate that all men will be saved, but that there is a special class (a heavenly class) who are to be favored first. 

John 5:28-29 says, “a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, [the heavenly class will rise to eternal life] and those who have done evil [the remainder of the world not called for a heavenly reward] will rise to judgment.” 

This scripture implies a separation of the two classes that are to be saved—one in heaven and one class on earth who will be judged at a time yet future. The class that is to be judged, we believe, will be resurrected on earth and will have ample time to learn of the Lord and of his righteousness. 

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man  [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man  [Jesus Christ] the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19) 

Even though the letters in the New Testament speak to the saints (the “called-out” ones, those striving to be of the heavenly or church class), the scriptures, as you can see, do not minimize Jesus’ sacrifice for everyone else. 

Those who are called out to sacrifice are judged now as they strive to copy the character of their Master, Jesus. Those not called out are not judged now, but will be later in the “day of judgment” on earth when the heavenly class has been completed. The end result of that judgment will be the eradication of tears, pain, sorrow, crying and finally death itself. (See Revelation 21:1-4.) We look forward with great anticipation to that glorious day! 

To learn more about the resurrection and God’s plan for humanity listen to, “Are Jesus’ Ransom and Our Salvation the Same?”

To learn more about how God judges babies listen to, “Does God Judge Everyone the Same Way?”

(15)

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August 30, 2021

VIDEO: What Happened in the Garden of Gethsemane?

After the last supper, Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane, an orchard with olive trees. To learn what happened in that garden, have your kids watch this short animated video!

 

(4)

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August 09, 2021

Ep.1190: Did I Really Forgive Them?

Learning to make our forgiveness toward others genuine

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:12:09]
How does the meaning of forgiveness vary with our circumstances?


[00:25:34]
Have you ever forgiven someone and found yourself having to do it again and again?


[00:44:56]
How can forgiving someone else dramatically change us and make us happier?


Theme Scripture: Ephesians 4:32

Forgiveness is a tough thing. The times we need to forgive are usually the times we are in no mood to forgive. It can be easy to say, “I forgive you,” but are those words reflected in my thoughts, emotions and actions? Do I say those words out of mere obligation or to just end an uncomfortable exchange? What does it mean to forgive someone anyway? Does my forgiving someone who wronged me release them from the consequences of the wrong? Is it supposed to make life go on as if the wrong never happened? Am I still obligated to forgive if the person who wronged me doesn’t care about being forgiven? So many questions that can only be answered by understanding how the Bible defines forgiveness.

Continue Reading

What does it really mean?

To “forgive” can mean several different things, even in the Bible.  The most dramatic biblical definition of forgiveness is that of granting freedom or a pardon.  Someone has broken a law and they are legally pardoned. This means they are no longer liable to the consequences of their crime and they can walk free. In the New Testament, this particular word for forgiveness is only and appropriately applied to Jesus’ sacrifice. Adam sinned and we are all born into that sin and live lives guilty of that inherited sin. Jesus came and gave his perfect life in exchange for Adam’s and made a pardon available to us through that gift.

In Scripture, when we “forgive” others, we are not pardoning anything. Another word for "forgive" in the New Testament has to do with sending something away from you. While the meaning here is not as dramatic as freedom or pardoning, it is still a formidable task. Think about an experience you have had where someone wronged you. Think about the physical pain, or the trauma, or the emotional upset, or the ripple effects they caused. Now imagine yourself pushing those things away from you so they are no longer relevant. Go ahead, close the door on them! This little exercise probably didn’t get you very far, did it. Why? Forgiveness is hard, that’s why.

To forgive - to truly send the unrest someone’s wrong has caused you away - takes more than an impulse or a thought. It requires a serious commitment to living a forgiving life. Jesus showed us how difficult a forgiving life can be when Peter asked him if forgiving his brother seven times in a day was enough. His answer was no, forgive seventy times seven! I hope you are not counting!

Check out our August 9,2021 podcast, “Did I Really Forgive Them?” for more.  Jesus told us we need to be forgiving in order to be his followers. We isolate the meaning and challenges of truly forgiving someone. We walk through the steps and thinking needed to be forgiving. Finally, we focus in on the benefits of such a decision. Join us as we tackle what can be a difficult but profoundly positive and life-changing experience. This is absolutely a journey worth taking!

 

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July 05, 2021

Ep.1185: What Are the True Reasons for Jesus’ Return to Earth?

Uncovering the remarkable and inspiring mission of Jesus’ return

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:41]
Does the return of Jesus bring Armegeddon?


[00:27:17]
Does the return of Jesus create a showdown with Satan?


[00:45:22]
What one word sums up the core reason for the return of Jesus?


Theme Scripture: Revelation 3:20

Jesus changed the world when he came to earth as a man over 2.000 years ago. His character, teaching, miracles and wisdom were and still are unmatched anywhere and anytime. As impactful as his first coming to earth was, he was very specific to let his followers know he would be returning again. Many who look at the prophecies of the second coming see them as foretelling a time of calamity and trouble. While these expectations do carry elements of truth, is the return of Jesus to earth for the purpose of mayhem and destruction? We believe the answer to this question to be an unequivocal no! Further, we believe the reasons for his return are wrapped up in the carrying out of God’s loving plan for all humanity.

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The plan of God

Every Christian will tell you that God has a plan and Jesus is the centerpiece of that plan. Yet, most of us look at Jesus’ return to earth as a wholesale destruction of those who did not accept him as their savior. Let’s evaluate this for a minute. Jesus’ first coming was to save the world. He offered his life as payment for sin. Since then, MOST of the world has not heard of Jesus, and therefore have no path to salvation. So, his coming to save the world was a failure for most of humanity. Does this sound right?  Further, many of us see his second coming as the final destruction for that mostly-failed first coming. There is obviously something very wrong with this approach.

Is the presence of Jesus in both timeframes two parts of the same mission?

What if we look at both advents on earth as two parts of the same mission? What if we looked more deeply into the Scriptures and found that everything Jesus did 2,000 years ago was connected to his return in our day? Let’s consider just one “what if” example. Jesus paid the price for Adam’s sin when he came the first time. Romans 5:18 clearly states that all humanity suffered the condemnation of Adam’s sin. They would, therefore, ALL be given justification because of Jesus’ sacrifice. What if Jesus’ second presence was for the purpose of applying that justification to all those who are not his called-out ones? What if the trouble that accompanies Jesus’ return was to destroy the satanic influences in the world - and not the people?

Whether this approach sounds intriguing or outrageous to you, please check out our July 5th, 2021 podcast, “What Are the True Reasons for Jesus’ Return?” for more. We look at several specifics of the mission of Jesus from two centuries ago. We examine:

  • the price he paid
  • the healing he did
  • the salvation he offered to Israel
  • the calling out of a people for his name

We trace how the Bible shows us each part of his ministry - as a precursor of or a preparation for - his return. Seeing Jesus’ second advent in this scriptural light changes everything. Join us and watch as God’s plan for all humanity unfolds!

 

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