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God So Loved the World

November 2008

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 Speaking of God, a discovery by William Keel and his associates in 1992 is absolutely awesome. Our solar system with planet Earth is situated between, not inside, the two spiral arms of our galaxy. Moreover, super-giant stars reside inside the spiral arms that would expose Earth to radiation intense enough to prevent life.

Providentially, our sun is located between two of the four spiral arms and away from super-giants and high star densities. Also, the spiral arms are loaded with gas and dust. If planet Earth were located within a spiral arm, such gas and dust clouds would block our view of anything but the nearby stars.

Why could the Psalmist David write, “The heavens declare the glory of God”? Astronomers have determined that David’s message of the heavens can only be read if one is sitting on a uniquely clear-viewed cosmic window seat. Earth’s inhabitants enjoy this unique window to our solar system, our galaxy and the whole universe. Our solar system is located in the exact galactic locale that affords both a safe haven for life and a clear window of the cosmos. This is thrilling! God exclusively positioned the Earth between the spiral arms so we can see and exclaim—“The heavens declare the glory of God.…” Psalm 19:1, 2

The Lord only revealed this in the 1990s. Why? Post-Modernism is corrupting Biblical ideals. With no moral absolutes, anyone can do his own thing—pre-marital sex, live-ins instead of marriage, Gay-rights, etc. Also, the United States is threatened to be superceded by China, Russia or even Islam. Christians are living in an unprecedented time of uncertainty and attacks on our faith along every line. How inspiring to have this added proof of the reality of God and His power in our lives.

There are many other scientific facts in the Bible that anticipated scientific discovery by up to 3,000 yrs. For example, Job 38:31, 32. “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? … Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?”

“Canst thou…loose the bands of Orion?”

Garrett P. Serviss, the noted astronomer, in his book CURIOSITIES OF THE SKY wrote about the bands of Orion:

At the present time this band consists of an almost perfect straight line. “These [3] stars that we see forming one of the bands of Orion are like three ships out on the high seas that happen to be in line at the present moment, but in the future will be separated by thousands of miles of ocean. In fact, all the stars constituting the constellation of Orion are bound for different ports, and all are journeying to different corners of the universe, so that the bands are being dissolved.”

Incredible, in ten thousand, a million or more years Orion will be no more.

“Canst thou bind the sweet influence of the Pleiades…?”

Dr. Robert J. Trumpler of Lick Observatory:

“Over 25,000 individual measures of the Pleiades stars are now available, and their study led to the important discovery that the Pleiades are not a temporary or accidental agglomeration of stars, but a system in which the stars are bound together by a close kinship.” That was exactly God’s challenge to Job. Can you keep them bound together so that they remain as a family of stars forever?

“Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?”

Garrett P. Serviss wrote:

“Arcturus, one of the greatest suns in the universe, is a runaway. Our sun is traveling only 12½ miles a second, but Arcturus is traveling 257 miles a second. It could be turned into a new course by a close approach to a great sun, but it could only be stopped by collision head-on with a body of enormous mass. Barring such accidents, it must, as far as we can see, keep on until it has traversed our stellar system, whence it may escape and pass out into space beyond to join perhaps one of those other island universes of which we have spoken.”

The wonders of God’s universe never cease to amaze us. Arcturus and his sons are individual runaway suns that seem to be out of orbit in our galaxy. Traveling at such immense speeds, why don’t they crash with other suns or planets? Where are they headed? Only God knows. Indeed they are not runaways. They will not crash. Why? God is guiding them.

What an awesome God! This same awesome power and wisdom is carrying out a plan of opportunity for the world God loves—every single member of mankind.

Now Back to Adam’s Test in Eden

God told Adam that if he obeyed he would live and enjoy the blessings of Eden. If he disobeyed he would die—and “dying thou shalt die” —a process of suffering, sickness and death.

Consequently, the human race was yet in Adam’s loins when Adam sinned. As the Psalmist observed, they were born in sin and shapen in iniquity (Psa. 51:5). Thus we read in I Cor. 15:22: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

What was involved in Adam’s trial? Before ovens were well insulated, a baby crawling on the floor could receive a severe burn from touching a hot oven. So the mother would warn with words like hot, burn and pain. But these words have no meaning to the baby. It would inevitably touch the stove. So a wise mother would lightly touch the baby’s hand on a less heated part of the oven that the baby might have a controlled experience with heat.

God warned Adam that if he disobeyed—“dying thou shall die.” Death would be a process of suffering, sickness and death. These words were meaningless to Adam. He never experienced suffering, sickness and death until he disobeyed. First Adam, now his descendents are learning by experience the consequences of Adam’s sin—a controlled experience with sin. Ecclesiastes 1:13; 3:10. But “God so loved the world, that he gave his…Son” to die for the world—all mankind.

Jesus Died a Ransom for All

The common words ALL and EVERY are two of the most important words in the Bible. In Luke 2:10 the angel who announced the birth of Jesus said, “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be unto ALL people.” Some limit this to all people of good will, but verses 30 and 31 speak of salvation for “ALL people.” First Timothy 4:10 speaks of “the savior of ALL men.”

The simple logic of Jesus dying for ALL is found in 1 Cor. 15:22, “As in Adam ALL die so in Christ shall ALL be made alive” and put on trial in the kingdom for eternal life. Similarly, Romans 5:18 shows that “by the offense of one [Adam] judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Christ] the free gift came upon ALL men.” Father Adam sinned with the unborn race yet in his loins.

Therefore, ALL were born in sin and shapen in iniquity (Psalms 51:5) and thus worthy of death. God foreknew that Adam, due to a lack of experience, would disobey, thus 1 Peter 1:19-20 speaks of the blood of Christ as being foreordained for our redemption even before Adam was created. Since ALL were lost in Adam, it was necessary that Jesus “by the grace of God should taste death for EVERY man.” Hebrews 2:9.

Luke 3:6 reveals that “ALL flesh shall see the salvation of God.” John 1:7 speaks of Jesus as “the Light, that ALL men through him might believe.” Whether they do believe is up to them. Verse 9 says he is “the True Light, which lighteth EVERY man that cometh into the world.” How can this be? Countless millions died before the time of Jesus. They never saw the True Light! They never heard the name of Jesus. And since the death of Jesus millions died never hearing of the only “name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). No one is saved through ignorance but only by believing in Jesus as their Savior.

The key is found in 1 Timothy 2:5,6, “Jesus Christ, who gave himself a ransom for ALL, to be testified in due time(s).” The Greek word here for “time” is plural—“times.” Now is not the time for ALL to hear the name of Jesus. God is not trying to convert the world before the Millennium. If He was, then He has failed, for less than 1/3 of the world’s population even profess to be Christians. But, Jesus will yet enlighten EVERY man.

Mark 4:11-12, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables. That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” This is powerful!

The Bible is not written like a textbook that starts at page one and follows a sequence of logic. The Bible was purposely written in parables and symbols so that many would not be converted and have their sins forgiven. This is why there are over 500 Christian denominations with so many different interpretations of the Bible. God has not attempted to convert the world but is only calling a “little flock” (Luke 12:32) at this time.

Acts 15:14-17 reveals that God is visiting “the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name” (not to convert all). “After this I will return [Second Advent] and build again the tabernacle of David [set up the kingdom of God again]...That the REMAINDER of men might seek after the Lord and ALL the Gentiles upon whom my name is called.…”

The due time for the “little flock” to hear and believe on the name of Jesus is between the First and Second Advents. The due time for the “remainder of men” to hear and believe is in the 1,000-year Kingdom of Christ. The “little flock” or “Church of Christ” will reign with Christ as kings and priests to bless and judge the world (Revelation 20:6 and 1 Cor. 6:2).

Revelation 11:15-18 reveals that the sounding of the seventh trumpet, which denotes Christ’s Second Advent, is “the time that the dead should be judged.” Daniel 12:1-4 also confirms this. Note this is at the beginning of the 1,000 years and not when the 1,000 years are over. Jesus said in John 5:18-19, “ALL who are in their graves shall come forth; they that have done good [the “little flock”] unto a resurrection of life [live and reign with Christ] and they that have done evil to a resurrection of judgment.” Most translations say “judgment.” The Greek word is “Krisis.” A doctor will speak of a patient reaching their crisis. The crisis time is when the patient will take a turn for the better or the worse. The “crisis” or probation time for most of mankind will be in the Kingdom.

First Timothy 2:3-4 states that God “will have ALL men to be saved and to come unto the [Greek — accurate] knowledge of the Truth.” There is a salvation that comes before knowledge. Christ’s ransom for ALL guarantees that ALL who died in Adam will be saved from Adamic death. That is, ALL will be awakened from the sleep of death and given an accurate knowledge of the Truth.

In the Kingdom “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). Also Jeremiah 31:34 says, “For they shall ALL know me from the least of them unto the greatest.” Verse 29 shows that for the majority the kingdom will provide the first full, fair opportunity for salvation. They will no longer die for the inherited sins of their fathers but for their own iniquity. Jesus’ death for “ALL” guarantees a full, fair opportunity for “ALL.”

The “ALL” Jesus died for includes those called during the Gospel or Christian Age to be of the Church of Christ. Also, it includes the remainder of the human race who will have their trial for life during the 1,000-year reign of Christ. According to Rev. 20:4, 6, Christ and his Church reign over the earth to bless and judge mankind to determine their worthiness for eternal life.

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? I Corinthians 6:2

I Corinthians 6:2 proves the faithful Church will share with Christ in judging the world.

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17

Revelation 22:17 shows that the bride of Christ (The Church) will share with Jesus in giving the “water of life” to mankind in the Kingdom.

If you aspire to be of Christ’s faithful Church who will reign with Christ over the “remainder of men” in his Kingdom, you will want the free booklet, “Why Are You a Christian?” It contains the details of their thrilling future work of tutoring, judging and blessing the “remainder of men.” Acts 14:15-17. Why? Because Jesus “tasted death for every man.” Hebrews 2:9