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What the Bible says about God's Plan of Salvation
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Matthew 22:1-3

In His first invitation, God offered ancient Israel a part in His plan of salvation, but they could not keep focused on Him. Through every call addressed to them by the prophets, they slipped and fell in willful ignorance. Those invited by the first invitation would not come. They returned their invitation unopened. They treated it indifferently as if to despise it. So preoccupied with worldly interests, they would not even take the time to open it.

Staff
Is Heaven the Reward of the Saved?

1 Corinthians 10:6-11

Israel's experience in Egypt and in the wilderness is an object lesson that God desires us to reflect on frequently. These lessons are most forcefully brought to the fore during the spring as we begin rehearsing God's plan of salvation in the annual holy days. Once freed from their slavery to Egypt, it took the Israelites but seven days to cross the Red Sea, breaking completely clear of Egyptian control. In dramatic contrast, it took them forty years to walk the remaining few hundred miles! During this trek, every man of war numbered in the first census after leaving Egypt—with the exception of Joshua and Caleb—died without reaching the Promised Land. Will we allow ourselves to match this miserable record by failing to maintain our liberty?

What a costly expedition! Hebrews 3:16-19 clarifies the cause of their failure more specifically:

For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. [emphasis ours]

Clearly, they did not make the right efforts to defend their God-given liberties. Instead, they exacerbated their circumstances by failing to discipline themselves to submit to God's rule over their lives, even though He freely rescued them from their slavery. They were unwilling to pay the costs of directing their lives as He commanded, despite knowing, through the many manifestations of His power, that He acted exactly as Moses had said He would.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Awesome Cost of Love

Ephesians 1:8

This gives us a picture of what is happening on earth. We can see what God is doing in a great, large scope, considering it over perhaps billions of years of time because verse 4 says that He did this before the foundation of the world. Some translations say "before the foundation of the creation." If we take the word to mean "creation," how old is the earth? Scientists say several billions of years—time beyond most people's thinking. Nevertheless, when He began to plan these things, God took into account that mankind might sin, and there would have to be something to redeem him, to buy him back, from his character flaws, his bondage to sin.

God has been planning this a long time. If the whole human lifetime is nothing but the blink of an eye compared to a thousand years, how much has God invested in terms of time? This is part of the cost we need to consider regarding Passover. This is no little thing that God is working out. We are so important to God that we are beyond value! We cannot compute it! He has billions of years invested in us! He has been thinking, planning, working things out so He can bring us into His Kingdom! It is awesome to consider!

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Awesome Cost of Salvation

1 Peter 2:7-10

Does this mean that some people are appointed to stumbling? If this were all we had, we could make a strong case that God has predestined some to be eternally lost in the Lake of Fire. It means that those who now stumble have simply been passed over at this time. God has appointed them to fill a different part in His scheme of things, and they will not have the same opportunity we now enjoy until the time He has set for them.

Does not Revelation 20:5-6, 11-13 reveal a second resurrection? Does not II Peter 3:9 say God is "not willing that any should perish," and I Corinthians 15:23, that each will be resurrected "in his own order"? A myriad of scriptures reveals this is not the only day of salvation. Portions of Ezekiel 37, Zechariah 14, Matthew 11-12, Isaiah 2, Micah 4, and Romans 11 all reveal a coming resurrection of the dead when those resurrected will be offered salvation.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sovereignty of God: Part Seven


 




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