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Is this the only day of Salvation?

Is there a "great controversy" between God and Satan — God doing His best to get
everybody saved — Satan trying to keep them lost — with time now fast running out on God?


WHAT ABOUT the millions of people living now in Communist Russia and Red China where Christianity is suppressed?

Those people did not choose to be born into these godless nations. Are they lost forever because they never heard the true Bible teachings? Could a just God condemn to an eternally burning "hell" those people who died before the true Gospel was ever brought to them?


Gentiles Without Hope?

What is the eternal fate of the countless millions of Asia and Africa who are without Christ? Is this their only day of salvation? Are they eternally doomed when they die?

Is God about to "shut the door" of salvation in their face?

Paul, in Ephesians 2:11-12, gives the answer! Here is what he wrote to converts in Asia Minor: "Being in time past Gentiles . . . at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens . . . and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."

Clearly, people who have not heard the way of salvation and the name of Jesus Christ are without hope of salvation — are lost forever if there is no future opportunity of salvation!

Would God be fair to condemn them because they cannot hear the truth?


God's Desire for Mankind

God desires that all humanity eventually avail itself of the opportunity for salvation: "God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy 2:3, 4). But, some will say, "Oh, so everyone is going to be saved — universal salvation!"

Absolutely not! The Bible does not teach universal salvation.

Notice what II Peter 3:9 says: The Eternal "is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." It is God's will or wish that all would come to a knowledge of the truth so they would repent and be saved from the penalty of sin — death. But some people are not going to repent! For if all repented and met the conditions to eternal salvation, there would be no necessity for casting human beings into the lake of fire, depicted in Revelation 20:15 and 21:8, which will destroy the wicked! Malachi 4:1-3 absolutely disproves the doctrine of universal salvation derived from heathen philosophy. The wicked are to become ashes, left neither root nor branch. There will not be a resurrection from the lake of fire.

But does this mean there is no hope for the millions who have died in ignorance of the true Christ? No!

God is desirous that all of us may attain eternal life. He is "longsuffering," not being quick to judge us — desirous that all will accept His way of life as revealed in the Holy Bible so we may become His spirit-born children at the resurrection. But we must choose whether we will accept His way!


The Common Attitude

"Well," many will say, "it might seem from what the Bible says, that God would not be fair if He did not give those people who lived in the Old Testament times a chance in the future; but all of us since Christ are having our chance now, and we must be saved by the time Christ comes again or we will be lost."

Yes, that does SEEM to be the idea, and almost everyone today believes it to be a fact! It appears to be so evident that no one even questions the matter! It is taken for granted!

Did you ever hear it questioned? No, you probably never have in your lifetime! — People do not investigate! "Everybody can't be wrong" — is the popular attitude!

It would appear from the common teachings that salvation is open to everyone today and that all one has to do now is to "join a church" and be "saved." Is everyone free to accept salvation and be saved any time one wishes to be? Or has God purposely blinded some to salvation in this day?

Let us see what the Bible teaches about this subject. It concerns every one of you!


Why Israel Blinded

Note what Moses said to the ancient Israelites — the ancestors of our people today — shortly after he had led them out from Egypt: "Ye have seen all that the Eternal did before your eyes in the land of Egypt . . . those great miracles: yet the Eternal [not Satan] hath not given you an heart to perceive, eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day" (Deuteronomy 29:2-4).

God, Himself, had blinded Israel! They would not have known about this blindness except they had been told!

Observe also what God said He would do to Ephraim — Great Britain today — head of the ten tribes of Israel, after they had sinned: "For with stammering lips and another tongue will I speak to this people. . . . The word of the Eternal was unto them precept upon precept . . . line upon line; here a little, and there a little [this sounds like the way in which the Bible is written today, does it not?]; that they might go [not come], and fall backward [not be rescued], and be broken and snared and taken" (Isaiah 28:11 and 13).

What had the tribe of Ephraim done? It had sinned (verses 7 and 8) — and what did God do? God hid His Laws which, if obeyed, would have preserved them from being punished. Because they rejected knowledge (Hosea 4:6), God blinded them so they would continue to sin and suffer its consequences.


Now notice Ezekiel 20. This chapter is vitally important. It is a summary of all of God's dealings with rebellious Israel. Particularly take note of verses 11 and 12: "And I gave them my statutes and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths."

What did God do when they rebelled? Verses 24 and 25 tell us: "Because they had not executed my judgments . . . had polluted my Sabbaths . . . wherefore I gave them also [over to] statutes that were not good and judgments whereby they should not live." God said He gave them over to other laws by which they should not live! Statutes that would bring death.

All through the Bible, after it tells of God's punishments, it quotes what God said was His reason for blinding people: "That they may know that I am the Eternal." This phrase occurs over fifty times, with slight variation. Ezekiel 20:26 is an example. Yes, God wants everyone to truly know Him! Whoever rejects knowledge will be punished in order to learn of God and His ways by hard experience.

But what was the reason for blinding Israel? Are they lost forever?


Why God Blinds

Man naturally wants to do things that are contrary to God's Laws. "The carnal mind [which we all have before conversion] is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7). Compare this with Romans 3:9-18 and then with Galatians 5:17. "The flesh [man's natural heart and mind] lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh: and they are contrary the one to the other." All have a desire — lust — to go contrary to God's Laws! (James 1:14 and Psalms 81:11-12)

A person's carnal mind remains at enmity against God until that person becomes sick and tired of the results of his own ways, repents of them, and calls on God to change him by giving him the Holy Spirit — the very mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5).

Satan has deceived man into rejecting truth and into doing what is right in his own eyes, wanting to sin — wanting to break God's Laws. It is by this means that God blinds him — not to destroy him, but to bring him to repentance! Concerning blinded Israel, Paul said: "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all" (Romans 11:32).

So ancient Israel isn't lost forever. Their time of salvation is yet coming!

Human beings, like Israel of old, want to do what they think is right. God, in love and wisdom, blinds human beings who by nature reject the truth so they will thereby learn their lesson all the more deeply — the lesson that — human customs are wrong and only by living according to the commands of the Eternal' God can one be happy!


The Creation of Character Takes Time

Nothing that God has ever created begins to compare with the delicate thing that He is creating in man — CHARACTER. God knows that it takes time to do this. He, Himself, said "O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always" (Deuteronomy 5:29). God is not in a hurry to save all until they have learned their lesson. That is the reason He has allowed 6000 years for mankind to learn it.

The Eternal let ancient Israel try various forms of human government, as the books of Judges and Kings explain. Human beings are blinded to the Kingdom of God because they believe that their own forms of government are right. Today, we have democracies, dictatorships, and other forms of government. None has brought happiness!