How are you doing in your Christian walk? Do you know what and how to overcome? What did Jesus mean by “he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13)? Learn the Bible’s answers about God’s plan of salvation.
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
Most religious people believe God is trying to SAVE everyone on earth NOW! Millions wrongly believe this is the only day of salvation for all humanity. And if one doesn’t become a Christian before he dies, he will go to a burning hellfire at death. Is that what ACTUALLY happens? If that’s true, billions of non-Christians are suffering unjustly in hell. Masses of humans who have lived and died have never heard the true gospel. How could they have been saved?
My friends, God is not an unjust God. He WILL give those masses of people their FIRST opportunity for salvation in the WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT. And what about you? Are you saved? Or are you lost? Or will you have an opportunity beyond death?
God has an awesome plan for all human beings. His desire is that “all men be saved” as it tells us in 1 Timothy 2:4. Some of you, to put it bluntly, have made a mess of your life. Is there any hope for you or your loved ones beyond death? Are you saved, or lost? Stay tuned for the surprising answer!
Warm greetings to all our friends around the world!
Two thirds of all people on earth do not even claim to be Christian. Most have never heard true Christianity preached. When they die, are they lost forever? Is God losing the battle to “save” the world from sin and evil? The encouraging truth is that the Bible offers HOPE for your so-called “lost” family and friends. It’s called the WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT in your Bible. Just what is the White Throne Judgment? You need to know!
Let’s understand, your Bible plainly reveals a successful and abundant way of life. Jesus Himself stated in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
The common religious appeal you may hear is: “Just accept Jesus into your heart and you will be saved!” But most people neglect the action that Jesus Himself asked of us. What action is that? What is missing in those messages? The word “repent” is what’s missing in so many false appeals. My friends, you cannot be saved unless you repent! Jesus Himself stated in Mark 1:15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
God wants every human being on earth to repent—to change from the selfish way of life and to seek the true God. Turn in your Bible to Acts the second chapter. This was the historic day when the New Testament Church of God began. God poured out His Holy Spirit as Christ’s disciples were meeting in the Jerusalem temple. Turn in your Bible to Acts the second chapter. The Apostle Peter convicted the people of their sinful support for crucifying the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Acts 2:38, “… Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”
My friends, one of the first steps towards being saved is to do exactly as the Apostle Peter instructed. To repent and be baptized. Have you been baptized? Totally immersed in water? Romans 6:1–4 describes the phenomenon and the symbolism. For more information, view our program, “Why Baptism?” Just type that program title into the TomorrowsWorld.org search bar to view the program on our website.
The world has unusual ideas about being saved. Perhaps you have heard the expression “Once saved, always saved.” But what does your Bible say? The New Testament confirms three stages of being saved: past, present, and future. Once you have genuinely repented and been baptized, you have been saved from the penalty of your past sins by the blood of Jesus Christ. But that is not the end of our salvation. Notice that the Apostle Paul uses the present progressive tense in 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Converted Christians must continually grow spiritually, as we read in 2 Peter 3:18, “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” They must overcome human nature with the promise of God’s divine nature, as it states in 2 Peter 1:2–4. Some of you may be familiar with the old hymn with the words, “overcoming daily with the spirit’s sword, standing on the promises of God.” Jesus Himself admonishes His seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, to “overcome.” The ultimate blessing of salvation is given to overcomers in Revelation 21:7, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”
Genuine Christianity includes a commitment to seek God’s Kingdom above all else in life, as Jesus stated in Matthew 6:33. The future stage of salvation is shown in several scriptures and promises. Here are just two: Romans 5:10, “… if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Yes, we shall ultimately be saved by His life! Matthew 24:13 also gives the life-long commitment: “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
We saw that your Bible requires us to repent of our sins, as Jesus stated in Mark 1:15. We also saw that salvation is an ongoing process, and that newly baptized Christians must grow spiritually over a lifetime. “[B]ut grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). We also saw the awesome promise in Romans 5:10, “[I]f when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
That’s God’s wonderful promise to you! But what happens to the billions who never even heard the name of Christ? Scripture tells us in Acts 4:12, “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Masses of humans have lived and died and have never heard the true gospel. How could they have been saved? My friends, God is not an unjust God. He WILL give those masses of people their FIRST genuine opportunity for salvation in the WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT.
Turn in your Bible, if you have one available, to Revelation 20:11. As we’ll see later, this great judgment takes place after the Millennium, the thousand-year reign of Christ on this earth. Revelation 20:11, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, [here, billions of humans stand before God in a great resurrection!] and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books” (Revelation 20:11–12). Here are masses of dead people resurrected to judgment. They will have genuine hope. They will have a new physical lifetime and an opportunity to repent and accept God’s salvation through Christ.
What happens when you die? Shocking as it may seem, the Bible teaches that NO ONE goes to HEAVEN or a BURNING HELLFIRE immediately after death. The TRUTH IS, no one will even live again, until the RESURRECTION. The dead remain dead until one of the THREE GENERAL RESURRECTIONS. My friends, you need to know what the Bible teaches about the three resurrections. The SECOND RESURRECTION takes place at the White Throne Judgment, and it gives hope to billions of humans who have never converted to Christianity. They will have their FIRST OPPORTUNITY for Salvation! They will have their FIRST complete opportunity to become true Christians.
Let’s review what happens to every person who dies. If you have your Bible, open it to the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians. 1 Corinthians the 15th chapter is referred to as the resurrection chapter. 1 Corinthians 15:12. Here, the Apostle Paul is testifying to the truth of the resurrection. Some in the Corinthian congregation believed there was no resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:12, “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.”
In other words, the resurrection is the HOPE of a Christian. If there’s NO resurrection, we absolutely have NO hope! Paul repeats this important point in verse 16, “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Corinthians 15:16–18).
Paul is saying IF THERE IS NO RESURRECTION, then even faithful Christians would be dead forever. They would have perished, as Paul wrote. But the good news is: THERE IS A RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD. Now notice another important point. How does scripture refer to Christians who have died? 1 Corinthians 15:18. Paul refers to the dead as “those who have FALLEN ASLEEP IN CHRIST.”
The dead are dead, as it tells us in Ecclesiastes 9:5, “For the living know that they will die; But the DEAD KNOW NOTHING….” The dead are totally unconscious—they do not experience pain—they do not experience the passing of time. Even the faithful saints, genuine Christians, remain in the grave until the resurrection at the return of Christ. In the White Throne Judgment, as we’ll see later, billions will also be resurrected from the dead to live out their natural, physical lives. That will be the second resurrection.
But the FIRST resurrection is for faithful Christians. It is a resurrection to immortality, not to physical life. That resurrection is the hope of a Christian. Let’s understand, if one already went to heaven at death, there would be NO NEED for a resurrection. One is NOT born with immortality or eternal life. Believe it or not, the Bible teaches that the SOUL can die. The SOUL is NOT immortal. Let’s briefly review what will be shocking to many. Turn again [in] your Bible to Ezekiel 18:4. Ezekiel 18:4, “The SOUL WHO SINS SHALL DIE!” This is repeated in verse 20, “The SOUL WHO SINS SHALL DIE!” The Hebrew word for Soul is “Nephesh” which means physical or natural life. Souls can die. No human has an immortal soul. In 1 Corinthians 15:53 we learn that, at the RESURRECTION, “this MORTAL must put on immortality.”
But WHEN does the first general resurrection take place? 1 Corinthians 15:21, “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all DIE, even so in Christ all shall be MADE alive. But each one in his OWN ORDER: Christ the firstfruits, AFTERWARD those who are Christ’s AT HIS COMING” (1 Corinthians 15:21–23).
So, the first resurrection takes place at the Second Coming of Christ. That hasn’t happened yet! Will you be in that resurrection? If you GENUINELY belong to Jesus Christ at that time, you will be in the FIRST RESURRECTION. It’s called a “better resurrection” in Hebrews 11:35. WHY? Because it’s a resurrection to ETERNAL LIFE and IMMORTALITY.
Yes, faithful saints and Christians who died are waiting in their graves for the first resurrection, and the return of Christ. But what happens to the billions of humans who never converted to Christianity? Are they burning in hell right now? No! As we have seen, everyone who has died, with the exception of Jesus Christ, is still dead. These people who never had their minds opened to true Christianity will be in the White Throne Judgment! They will be in the SECOND RESURRECTION.
This second great resurrection is to judgment. Those resurrected to physical life will stand before God in the White Throne Judgment. These are the “rest of the dead” who lived not again “until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5). Now notice this in John the FIFTH chapter. Jesus spoke about this resurrection to judgment. John 5:28: “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which ALL who are in THE GRAVES will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” or judgment, as other translations have it.
So, is there hope for the BILLIONS of humans who never converted to Christianity? Yes, there is hope! Revelation 20:11, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the DEAD, small and great, STANDING before God [This is the SECOND resurrection.], and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”
The Greek word for “books” is “biblia.” The good news is that the books, or the Bible, are opened to the understanding of the masses of people for the first time. Remember the Valley of Dry Bones described by the prophet Ezekiel? This resurrection described in the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, also takes place at the SECOND RESURRECTION. Turn in your Bible to Ezekiel 37:5. The Creator God resurrects the dead to physical life. Those who never knew the true God, will now become very acquainted with Him. Ezekiel 37:5, “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: ‘Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.’” These resurrected humans will now have renewed physical life in the White Throne Judgment. The SECOND RESURRECTION is a resurrection to physical life. This resurrection includes not only the House of Israel, as identified here in Ezekiel, but gentiles as well.
The Book of Life is finally opened to those resurrected in the White Throne Judgment, as we saw in Revelation 20:12. This will be their FIRST opportunity to really learn the truth. This is NOT a SECOND chance as some would like to call it. All human beings will be held accountable for their actions and thoughts. But this will be their first time for many to SEE their sins, to the extent they’ll have the opportunity to REPENT of their sins, and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. Others in the resurrection will include those who were victims of accidents, oppression, and genocide. They will be healed and given a chance for a peaceful and prosperous life—and a genuine opportunity for eternal life in glory. Yes, today is not the only day of salvation!
“Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6–7).
It’s God’s purpose to give everyone who has ever lived a GENUINE, FAIR OPPORTUNITY to be a part of His Divine Family for all eternity. Sadly, some individuals will reject God’s grace and salvation. They’ll REFUSE to repent of their sins and accept Jesus’ sacrifice. But God will not allow human beings to suffer for all eternity in a state of bitterness, hate, and rebellion. He’ll destroy them in the lake of fire. Notice this sobering statement in Revelation 21:7: “He who overcomes shall inherit ALL THINGS, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:7–8).
The THIRD RESURRECTION is to eternal punishment and destruction in the lake of fire. [GRAPHIC: The THIRD RESURRECTION = Just punishment and eternal DEATH in the lake of fire] God is just. He states in Hebrews 10:30, “‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” All the unrepentant, evil rebels will feel the wrath of God. They’ll receive the ultimate punishment.
Finally, let’s turn to Revelation 20:14. Let’s see what happens at the end of the White Throne Judgment. Revelation 20:14, “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14–15). The second death is the death from which there is NO resurrection. It is the ultimate penalty.
The wicked will be tormented as they stand before the lake of fire. Then all the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire and burned up. They will LIVE NO LONGER. As it tells us in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death [eternal death], but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God has an awesome plan for all humanity. His plan is sure and wonderful. Everyone, including billions of non-Christians, will have their first genuine opportunity to respond to the true gospel, to surrender to their Savior, Jesus Christ, and to be a part of God’s family for all eternity.
The truth about the White Throne Judgment is an awesome part of God’s plan for billions of human beings. The REAL HOPE of all humans is the resurrection.
My friends, you do not want to be among those who are spiritually lost! As the Apostle Peter stated in Acts 2:40, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” You need to take the first steps toward salvation. You need to seek God as it tells us in Isaiah 55:6–7; you need to get down on your knees if you physically can, and confess your sins. God will bless you as you seek repentance and baptism.
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What will happen to the billions of human beings who have never known the true God—who have never accepted any form of Christianity? Are they forever doomed to a burning hell or an eternity in outer darkness? What is the real answer to these questions?