Eternal Life Offered to All, The Eighth Day.
“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?
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."
Symbolism of Christ's teaching
What was the significance of Christ's teaching about "living water"? In His day, according to tradition, during the Feast of Tabernacles the priests would bring golden vessels of water from the Pool of Siloam on the south side of Jerusalem and pour it over the altar at the temple. Joyous celebration along with the sounding of trumpets marked this ceremony as the people sang the words of Isaiah, "With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation" (Isaiah 12:3).
Jesus stood where all could hear Him and drew a lesson from the water, revealing that all who were thirsty could come to Him and be refreshed—forever. In Christ's analogy, the water represented God's Holy Spirit, which those who believed in Jesus would receive (John 7:39). He showed that the basic wants of spiritual thirst and hunger could be satisfied only by Him as "the bread of life" (John 6:48) and the source of living water.
But when would this happen? Within six months Christ's own countrymen pressured the Roman authorities to execute Him. About 40 years later the temple and all its ceremonies, including those described above, were brought to an end at the hands of the Roman legions.
Humanity still hungers and thirsts for the message Christ brought—and for the means to live as they ought to and find true happiness. God's promise to pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28) has not yet fully taken place. Thousands of millions have died with their deepest spiritual needs unrealized. When will they be refreshed by the life-giving power of God's Spirit?
A physical resurrection to an opportunity for salvation
To find the answer, we must consider again a question the disciples put to Christ just before He ascended to heaven: "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). When the disciples spoke of this restoration, they understood it in the context of the many prophecies of a reunited nation of Israel under the coming rule of the Messiah.
One such prophecy is in Ezekiel 37. This passage describes Ezekiel's vision of a valley full of bones. God asks, "Son of man, can these bones live?" to which the prophet replies, "O Lord God, You know" (Ezekiel 37:3). God then says to the 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" (Ezekiel 37:5-6).
In this vision a physical resurrection takes place. The account acknowledges the hopeless situation in which these people had found themselves: "Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!" (Ezekiel 37:11).
Their Creator, however, offers them the hope of a resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit in the setting of a reunited nation. In this dramatic vision, ancient Israel serves as the model for all peoples, whom God will resurrect to physical life. God says: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves . . . I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live" (Ezekiel 37:12-14). At this future time God will make freely available the life-giving spiritual water of His Holy Spirit.
Do the Souls of the Dead Live Forever?
“Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die.”
The word translated soul is the Hebrew nephesh, which can even refer to animals ( Genesis 1:21 ) and corpses ( Leviticus 22:4 ). The Bible does not describe humans as having an immortal soul, but as being a living soul—a living creature. As God says in Ezekiel 18:4 and 20 , human souls can die. In fact, death—eternal death—is the punishment for sin ( Romans 6:23 ).
For a study of the subjects of the mortality of the soul and hell in the Bible, see our articles “Do Humans Have an Immortal Soul?” and “What Is Hell?” Understanding what the Bible teaches about the mortality of the soul provides further reason for Christians not to celebrate All Saints’ Day and Halloween. From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/do-the-souls-of-the-dead-live-forever/?
There's Weed Killer In The Foods You Eat Every Day - Here's How To Avoid it
“Roundup is sprayed on everything these days, and countless studies have showed the many negative side effects of this. But even if you avoid soy and corn, the most commonly sprayed crops, you can not steer clear of the weed killer RoundUp and its active ingredients glyphosate.
Conventional farmed oats, wheat, and beans, score high in glyphosate because some of them are sprayed with roundup so they dry out quicker and can be harvested. In my opinion, you need to buy organic and avoid putting this toxic chemical in your body!”.
See YouTube: https://youtu.be/xPHAsThLXOY