When Christ returns He will set up a kingdom upon earth (Rev. 11:15; Dan. 2:44). Together with His saints He will then reign for 1,000 years (Rev. 19:11-20:6). When the 1,000 years are finished there will be a Satan led revolt which ends in disaster for the revolters (Rev. 20:7-10). This will be followed by the resurrection unto judgment (Rev. 20:5-6 and 11-15). The present heavens and earth will then be dissolved (2 Pet. 3:7-13). Then will come the New Heavens and the New Earth upon which the New Jerusalem descends (Rev. 21:1-22:5).
Will rule, authority, and power still be present on the New Earth? If so, death has not yet been abolished. Let us see: "The Throne of God and of the Lamb shall be therein" (Rev. 22:3). "And his servants shall serve him" and "they shall REIGN for the ages of the ages" (Rev. 22:3-5). "The KINGS of the earth bring their glory into the New Jerusalem" (Rev. 21:23-24). Yes, rule, authority, and power are still present on the New Earth. The Lord Jesus is still reigning, the saints are still reigning, and there are still kings on the earth. The end order has not yet been made alive. Since there will be no death on the New Earth (Rev. 21:1-4), the only dead ones to be made alive in the end order are those who have suffered the second death. When these have been made alive, then in deed and in truth, death will have been abolished.
The question arises, When will these who are made alive in the end order come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior? Another question answers this one. How can unbelievers EXPERIENCE the resurrecting power of Jesus Christ in saving them out of the first death, be brought into His presence at the Great White Throne, and not believe? The Judge is none other than the Savior (Rom. 2:16). "All judgment has been given unto the Son that all may HONOR the Son even as they honor the Father" (John 5:22-23) .
But the objection arises, if they come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior then, why should they suffer the second death? Again we would answer by asking another question. Why do those who believe during this life suffer the first death? We should not forget that the first death is the condemnation of God against SIN (Rom. 5:12-19). Deliverance out of it for anyone is on the basis of the saving work of Jesus Christ (John 1:29). Unbelievers will be saved OUT OF the first death in the "resurrection unto judgment" (John 5:28-29). They will then be judged and dealt with according to their DEEDS (Rom. 2:5-6; Rev. 20:11-15) after which they will suffer the second death. The second death is because of the SINS of the individual, and deliverance OUT OF it will be on the basis of the saving work of Jesus Christ (1 John 2:2; Rom. 5:18-19; 1 Cor 15:20-26).
The teaching of endless punishment slanders the character of God and dishonors His Son. Failure to distinguish between the elective salvation of the ages (2 Tim. 2:10), and the general salvation beyond (1 Tim. 4:9-11; 2:3-6), has caused many to malign the God they seek to glorify. This distinction is clearly revealed in the types of the Old Testament. There was redemption for SOME prior to Jubilee, and a deliverance for ALL at Jubilee (Lev. 25:1-55). There is to be a grand Jubilee of Salvation. All are to receive "justification of life" and "be made righteous" (Rom. 5:18-19). Jesus Christ is indeed a triumphant Savior! "The pleasure of the Lord SHALL PROSPER in His hand, He shall see the travail of His soul and SHALL BE SATISFIED" (Isa. 53:10-11).
Published by: Concordant Publishing Concern--15570 Knochaven Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91350, U.S.A.
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