Saturday, the 10th was not only a Sabbath, but a High Sabbath, “The Eighth Day”.
The Eighth Day, Eternal Life Offered to All
“What does God have in mind for those who have never believed in Christ or understood any of God's truth? How does the Creator provide for them in His plan?
Juan Ignacio Tapia/Unsplash
Thousands of millions have lived and died with their deepest spiritual needs unrealized. When will they be refreshed by the life-giving power of God’s Spirit?
The Bible makes abundantly clear in Acts 4:12 that "there is no other name under heaven" than that of Jesus Christ by which human beings can be saved.
This particular passage raises troubling questions for anyone who believes that God is desperately trying to save the whole world in this age. If this is the only time for salvation, we must conclude that Christ's mission to save humanity has largely failed. After all, over the centuries billions of people have lived and died without once hearing the name of Jesus Christ. Even now thousands die every day never having heard of Christ.
In spite of the missionary zeal of so many over the centuries, far more people have been "lost" than "saved." If God is truly all powerful, why have so many not even heard the gospel of salvation? The traditional portrayal of conflict between God and Satan over mankind leaves God on the losing side of the struggle.
What is the fate of these people? What does God have in mind for those who have never believed in Christ or understood any of God's truth? How does the Creator provide for them in His plan? Are they lost forever without any hope of salvation?
We should not doubt God's saving power! Let's examine some common assumptions and come to an understanding of our Creator's marvelous solution.
Resolving the dilemma
Paul tells us that God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4). Peter adds that God is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). This is God's overriding goal in dealing with mankind: He desires as many as possible to repent, come to the knowledge of the truth and receive His gift of salvation!
Jesus explained how this will come to pass. John 7:1-14 describes how Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He appeared publicly and stood in the midst of the people, crying out: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38).
Christ's message recorded here most likely was given on the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Scholars vary on whether this was the seventh day or the day following, but the weight of evidence and the series of events indicate that John 7 describes incidents on the seventh day while the setting moves to the eighth day in John 8 and 9.
It is also possible that Christ's teaching recorded in John 7:37-38 came at the end of the seventh day or the very beginning of the eighth day (God's Holy Days begin with sunset and end at the following sunset), as the chapter concludes with people returning to their homes after sundown for the night. The theme of Christ's teaching then continues in chapter 8 (which is clearly the next morning, John 8:2) and includes the offer of salvation to all mankind.
In Leviticus 23:39, we see that this day immediately follows the Feast of Tabernacles but is a separate festival with its own distinct meaning. Based on Christ's words and the theme of offering salvation to all mankind, this festival is sometimes referred to as "the Last Great Day," although the Bible simply calls it "the eighth day."
The Eighth Day
“Immediately following the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles is another Holy Day or Sabbath—referred to in Scripture simply as “the eighth day” (Leviticus 23:36, 39). This day pictures the most joyful of all events yet to take place in God’s great plan.
We should consider that the celebration of the ingathering of all humanity is not complete with the 1,000-year reign of Christ. For what about all those who died in this age who were not called as part of God’s firstfruits? There will yet remain billions of people from this age who are not saved.
So are they forever lost?
Many Bible students realize that one day we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). What most don’t realize is that for those who died without the true knowledge of the plan of salvation, the time will come when they will be resurrected to physical life and given their first opportunity to really understand God’s plan and make an informed choice about it.
Revelation 20:11-15 speaks of this time yet to come 1,000 years after the “first resurrection” (verse 6), when “the rest of the dead” will in a second resurrection be restored to life (see verse 5). Ezekiel 37:1-14 describes the same period—a time when those who seemed doomed with all hope lost (verse 11) will be raised to life again. They will be astonished to find out that God will offer to them His Holy Spirit (verse 14) and give them the opportunity to really know for the first time just who the true God is (verse 13).
This vision, then, speaks of the time when all humanity who never sufficiently understood God’s truth will at last come to know it. It will be at this time that they will have to decide whether or not they will submit to and serve God. In other words, their salvation is dependent on whether or not they will choose to accept Jesus’ shed blood for their sins and serve God faithfully once they come to know Him.
This will be a time of judgment in the sense that the new lives of these multitudes will be under evaluation. Those who stay on the right path with God’s help will be saved. Those who ultimately reject God are the only ones who will be condemned in the end. Undoubtedly, most of humanity will make the right decision to obey Him and continue in His ways.
God, in His great wisdom, has a plan to offer everyone who has ever lived an opportunity to inherit eternal life. He is calling some to repentance now, and the rest He will call during the millennial reign of Christ and the second resurrection period that follows.
If you have read this far and are coming to understand God’s great plan, perhaps you are being called at this time. May God help you to respond to His call to receive Jesus Christ and follow His ways—including observance of these important festivals that show the way to eternal salvation in God’s family!" From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/the-bibles-prophetic-festivals
June, my neighbor, drove Joe, another neighbor, and I to Bryan, TX to the Social Security office. Joe hadn’t called ahead and we didn’t realize that they are now closed and all applications can only be done online. Joe has no computer knowledge at all, so he will have to learn in a hurry. He still uses a flip phone.
Well, I nearly went back to a flip phone, too. This new Smart phone is way too smart for me. My old Samsung looked kinda like a Blackberry with the little qwerty keyboard on the bottom, and it was great for me. But it was so old that it didn’t even have a SIM card. So I got a Smart phone and couldn’t even use it, it kept on going places that I had no use for, so June took all the “bloat” off it, like FaceBook, gave me a stylus, and now I can text and just barely make phone calls. I am just getting over having to part with Windows XP, and getting used to Windows 8 on one computer, and Windows 10 on the other! New technology and old age don’t necessarily go together.
While we were in Bryan June tried her card at Kroger’s, after all, it is Fred Meyer in other parts of the USA, but it wouldn’t work there, so it was back to Walmart. She got some of the food that she wanted, but we will have to find another store for all the organic foods that she wants. I can’t get all the foods here that I would like to eat either. There are no health food stores here in Navasota, and no big box stores of any kind, it is mostly antique stores and Victorian show homes. Nearly everything you need has to be done at another town.
As usual on Friday morning, June, Cherry and I, the three Sabbath keepers here in these senior apartments, got together to study this week’s lesson ready for the Sabbath School.
The next day June was celebrating “The Eighth Day” with her friends on Zoom, but when I started the van to go pick up Sherry to take her to church, it was making funny noises, I think it is the alternator belt. So one of the elders came to take us to church, and we learned even more, had a good time and fellowship there. Then the pastor was going to give his sermon at some apartments near here and broadcast it on FaceBook. But we didn’t go there for that because Sherry can’t sit that long. So we were brought home for the day.