Recently I was asked, "Could you help me through the scriptures with how the unbelievers will be saved?"
I have replied and thought I would share the reply with you for your consideration and feedback.
I am happy to journey through the Scriptures with you on this, although I have to admit, before we commence, that there are not too many clues in the Scriptures about HOW God does most things, including the saving of unbelievers, whether they are on this planet, or have left it.
In many cases we know WHAT he does/did, but not HOW he does/did it.
We know that God implanted Jesus into the womb of the virgin Mary, but no clues are given about how he did it?
We know that Jesus turned water into wine, but no clues are given about how he did it?
We know that Jesus raised the widow's son in Nain from the dead, but no clues are given about how he did it?
You and I received faith in God and Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, but I, for one, cannot explain HOW we got that faith?
We, as the creatures, will never understand how he, the Creator, does such things, unless he tells us, or we make guesses from clues sprinkled through the Scriptures.
So let's start with the WHAT, about the fate of those who leave the planet as unbelievers, which is well documented in the Scriptures.
Col 1 : 19 - 20 : God will reconcile all things, in heaven and on earth, to himself. The same sacrifice of Jesus that got you and me reconciled to God will reconcile the rest of his creation.
2 Cor 5 : 19 : God is no longer counting our sins against us - any of us.
1 John 2 : 2 : Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world.
1 Tim 4 : 10 : God will save all people, not just believers.
Romans 11 : 32 : God will have mercy on us all.
Ephesians 1 : 10 : The end result will be the unity of all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
HOW God will save unbelievers beyond their time on this planet is just as difficult to explain as the HOW he saves those who become believers while still here (people like us).
We are made aware of our sin, God's provision for dealing with it, and his being reconciled to us.
God gives us the faith to believe these truths, as Jesus draws us to himself.
We respond by confessing our faith in Jesus and his completed work for us.
We are reconciled to (at peace with) God, and express our appreciation and devotion.
This happens in a multitude of ways and circumstances and places - it's all God's doing and timing.
Those who leave this planet as unbelievers will be reconciled to God through a similar series of "steps" that converted unbelievers experience in their lifetime here - awareness, faith, drawing, confession, reconciliation, appreciation and devotion.
Here are my guesses .....
Because God is already reconciled to these unbelievers when they show up before him, they will discover that God holds nothing against them and does not need to be feared (because of the completed work of Jesus in dealing with their sin).
Believing these truths will be easy in the presence of Jesus; they will be drawn to him, confessing their conviction that he is their Lord and their God.
This will happen far too late for them to experience governing with Christ and previous believers in the kingdom age, but will carry them reconciled into eternity.
So what clues have I based these guesses on?
One way or the other God's plan (the WHAT above) must be fulfilled. [ Psalm 135 : 6 ; Isaiah 46 : 9 - 11 ]
Jesus came into the world to save it, not judge it, and he is the same yesterday and today and into the ages. [ John 12 : 47 ; Hebrews 13 : 8 ]
God is already reconciled to all of us and holds nothing against us. [ 2 Cor 5 : 19 ]
The experience of Thomas. [ John 20 : 24 - 29 ]
Jesus' parable of the prodigal son and how his loving and merciful father dealt with him. [ Luke 15 ]
Well, that's where I'm up to on this topic. What are your thoughts?
Do you lovely bloggers have any thoughts on this? I'd love to explore this with you too.