What is the depth of the meaning of John 3: 16-18a? “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believes on Him is not condemned …”
Jesus came on the scene 4,000 years after creation. How could those people believe on Him? Those verses said Jesus came that the world – not just Israel – might be saved! Billions of people lived and died before Jesus was revealed to the human race. Most religious organizations condemn these people to a fate that does not exist and is not real.
Since Jesus came and walked among human beings, millions were never preached to nor even heard of Him! How could they be saved? The more important question becomes: CAN AND WILL THEY HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO BE SAVED? If they can be saved, how and when can they be? The Bible is God’s word. We cannot use human reasoning or speculation to find the answer. The answer must be found in the Books!
After God created our first parents, it is recorded that Eve had a confrontation with what is termed “the serpent.” This being could talk, communicate and reason. He asked Eve a series of questions and waited for her answer. She revealed that she could die under certain circumstances. The serpent said: “You shall not surely die” (Genesis 3: 4). Thus the immortal soul doctrine began from Satan. Eve was deceived!!! The Bible interprets itself in nearly all cases. Who was this serpent? “And the great dragon was cast out, that OLD SERPENT, called the Devil, and Satan, which DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12: 9).
This serpent, Satan, or the Devil’s job is to deceive the whole world. This presents a problem for religious people that do not understand God has a plan by which He is working. The problem is: it appears Satan is winning the war with God for mastery over humanity. Appearances are sometimes deceiving. They are not always as they might appear to be on the surface. Why? Jesus made this statement: “ALL POWER is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28: 18).
If Jesus has ALL power, that means Satan has none except that which Jesus allows him to have. Read Job 1 & 2 to find Satan appeared before God and received permission to attack Job. If God allows Satan to continue his deceptive ways, then God is responsible for man’s blindness spiritually. If God is responsible, He will need to set His hand to rectify the situation in His good timing.
When Christ comes, notice what He will do! “And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering CAST OVER ALL PEOPLE, and the VAIL THAT IS SPREAD OVER ALL NATIONS” (Isaiah 25: 7).
How will this VAIL and COVERING be removed? Jesus will destroy the Beast and False Prophet at the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16; 19). The next event will begin the most wonderful opportunity for the human race it will ever know. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit [abyss] and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, WHICH IS the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit [abyss], and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations NO more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Revelation 20: 1-3).
God deals with all other nations as they come into contact with the true Israel of the Bible. In ancient times when Israel was being delivered from Egyptian captivity, many strangers [foreigners] joined themselves to Israel. Their requirement to be a part of Israel was to accept the “covenant” of God, and this was to be done by circumcising all male children. Today, this circumcision is of the heart – cutting the hostility toward God’s Law out of our mind and begin obeying it from the heart (Romans 2: 25-28).
“Wherefore remember, that you being in time past Gentiles [of other nations] in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having NO HOPE, and WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD: But now IN Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2: 11-13).
God has left no one out. Israel was to be the “light of the world,” but they failed miserably. Notice Who is responsible for the world being blinded and Who will repair the problem! “(According as it is written, God has given them the spirit of slumber [by leaving Satan on earth to deceive], eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day” (Romans 11: 8). God will correct the problem.
“For I would not … that you should be ignorant [without understanding] of this mystery, … that blindness in part is happened to Israel, UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so ALL Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (Romans 11: 25-27).
To Be Continued