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John 6: 44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him,” NKJV.
What does that mean? Does it mean, as some believe, that only those called by God now will go to heaven, while the other millions upon millions who did not receive the call will burn forever in hell fire? It is a contradiction of ideas to think God is good, just, and loving while at the same time believing that He would condemn millions upon millions of people to an ever burning hell. How does the belief that millions have no hope agree with John 3: 16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”? With 2 Peter 3:9 “The LORD – is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”? If no one can come to Jesus if God doesn’t call them, how can they repent? So how do we look at this statement Jesus made and repeated in John 6: 65? What needs to be understood is that though there is but one day of salvation for each of us, there is more than one time of salvation for the world in general.
In Leviticus 23, is a little understood ritual that took place during the Days of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:9-14) called the Wave Sheaf offering. God told His people that when they entered the promised land they were not to eat any of the new grain harvest until they presented an offering of the first fruits to Him. It is easy to pass this off as some silly ritualistic burden God put on them under the Old Covenant, but it has far more meaning than that. As Paul wrote the Colossians, the ordinances and festivals given in the Old Testament pertain to Christ (Colossians 2: 16-17). Christ, Paul tells us, became the First fruits when He was resurrected from the grave, thus fulfilling the requirement given in Leviticus 23:9-14 (see 1 Corinthians 15: 20-23), opening the way for many at His coming. Those who are called by God and accept Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior became First fruits in Christ (James 1: 18). They become partakers “in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, Revelation 20:6, NKJV. There being first fruits and a first resurrection requires that there will be more fruits and a second resurrection. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”, NKJV.
These millions and millions of people not called by God over the centuries will be resurrected. The books will be opened and another book “Which is the Book of Life”, (Revelation 20: 12). Many will come to repentance and the last enemy, death, will be destroyed, 1 Corinthians 15: 26.
Far from being a God of Wrath – God is full of mercy, love, and compassion, desiring a relationship with every human. “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7, NKJV).
Wesley Higgins is pastor of Celebration Church of God, Ontario. He can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The Argus Observer weekly faith column features a rotation of writers from many different faiths and perspectives.
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