People have been saying this for centuries. The first Holy Roman Emperor Constantine gave the good ole college try to help God in His work, making the Western world “Christian.” Doctrines have been devised to “save” or “Christianize” the world through any strategy possible – deceit, flattery, and mostly terror and bribery.
Notice, however, that in the first Passover observance (Exodus 12), the blood of the lamb on the door only saved the firstborn. If the Hebrews hadn’t placed the blood on their doorframes, the firstborn in their households would have died, nobody else. The Egyptians lost their firstborn in that event, nobody else. The animals lost their firstborn, not their remaining offspring.
Since the days of Jesus in His flesh, God has been seeking out and redeeming only the firstfruits, Jesus being the first of the firstfruits. If God could stop someone from sin so easily and dramatically as He did Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-8), why not all others? Because He doesn’t want to; it isn’t time.
You may ask, “Did Jesus not die to redeem the entire world?” The answer is yes, but not all immediately, although the foundation for the salvation of all was laid in the cross and resurrection.
Consider that while some experience a drawing of God that is beyond them, a searching struggle within, with no externally apparent reason, others around them, in similar circumstances, couldn’t care less. “No man can come unto the Son except the Father draws him,” said Jesus (John 6:44). Why doesn’t the Father draw some? Because it isn’t their time.
Why did Jesus come to divide (Matthew 10:34-39)? Because it was time for some, and not for others. You may say, “God knows the heart and draws those who seek after Him.” Isn’t that a rather self-righteous concept? Doesn’t that suggest righteousness with man? Do not the Scriptures plainly declare that no man seeks after God? Only when the Father determines to draw a man will the man begin to seek, not until then. If a person has anything good going for him, it is only by God’s grace.
I wasn’t seeking after God for years, and then I was… no outward explanation. Was it because of adverse circumstances? I had no more than many others and far less than some who still couldn’t care less. No, my seeking was a sovereign act of God, one of sheer grace and mercy. I had nothing to do with it, deserving and earning nothing.
When I was being called, my family wasn’t, my friends weren’t, and I had to leave them all behind. They didn’t have the slightest desire for God. Trying to talk to them about God was like trying to explain physics to dogs in a kennel. I was one of those dogs until God’s Spirit began to move on me.
Are we to preach the Gospel to every creature? That is what the disciples were told, and as they went, some believed, some didn’t, some were saved, some were damned, and most were left for the future. In the whole process, the Lord chose His firstfruits, vessels of honor, and also vessels of dishonor. And both have their purpose for the time – one called to forsake and the other forsaken.
Never do we find Paul, or any other apostle, saying, “Saints, we have to get out there at all costs and reach the lost! They’re going straight to Hell, never to return, ever to burn! We have got to do something! Every minute, every penny counts! We can’t waste time or effort or money! This is so important, above all things! Think of it!”
If God has been trying these 2,000 years to save the world, then He is a dismal failure and Satan a clear winner. God saves one percent, and ninety-nine percent go to everlasting, unimaginable torment, “everlasting” meaning “time never ending.” These miserable results in spite of the fact that love wins the day, and hatred never pays; God is good, Satan is evil; God is victorious, Satan gets defeated; God is Creator, Satan a mere creature; God is Omnipotent, Satan infinitely weaker; God sacrifices His only begotten Son, Satan sacrifices nothing; God is Omniscient and All-wise, while Satan is the prince of darkness having no fear of God!
Isn’t it time we began to give God, rather than Satan, the glory and praise by the things we believe and speak? Are these not indeed diabolical doctrines if only because they give Satan all the credit? (If you say, “God has given man a free will and must allow him to choose for himself,” then read this Diabolical Doctrine – Man has been given a free will.)
If God is trying to save the whole world now, you who call yourself a Christian carry an impossible burden seeing as how you claim God needs you to go out and save as many as possible, as soon as possible and at all costs, because (according to you) He is dependent on the efforts of men. And haven’t the results thus far shown that “victory” is miserable and God is the clear loser in saving all people in this life?
No, the truth is that in the ages to come, Jesus Christ will save every man:
Romans 5:18-20 MKJV
(18) Therefore as by one offense sentence came on all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came to all men to justification of life.
(19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.
(20) But the Law entered so that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
Read in our section The Restitution of All Things.
Consider the alternative to believing this doctrine: God is in full control. He works all things according to the counsel of His will; He will accomplish all that He determines to do, being Lord over all. You can rest in Him.
What treasures of God are hidden in the sign of Jonah? Hear what this rather obscure and short book, which of all Scripture was singled out by the Lord Jesus Christ as the sign of His coming, has to tell us about the momentous work God is doing today through the recounting of a singular and marvellous episode in the life of the prophet Jonah and the city of Nineveh.
To be sure, all believers need fellowship, one way or another, at one time or another. But it is true fellowship they need, with true saints. Yet God has set some aside even from true fellowship for a time, in order to prepare them for the service to which He calls them. For now, however, we’re not talking about true spiritual fellowship, but about the fellowship that kills.
There is a prevalent doctrine that Satan was once a glorious angel, in harmony with the goodness of God, but pride and ambition took over and he rebelled. The primary Scriptures used to support this doctrine are those of Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14, interpreting the king of Tyre and Lucifer as Satan. However, let's take a closer look at what these Scriptures say.