The UK Bible Students Website
Christian Biblical Studies
‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son’
All references are to the NIV-UK (1984)
Q. How, exactly, did God ‘so love the world’?
A. At the appropriate time in history, the Heavenly Father sent Jesus into the world as a ‘ransom’ for all humanity, as the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 15:
21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
At Jesus’ First Advent, and during the centuries that followed, a very small number of godly men and women came to understand this truth, and joined themselves to the cause of Christ, laying down their lives in His service. These are referred to in the Scriptures under various descriptive terms: the bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11: 2), members of His body (1 Cor. 12: 27), the elect (1 Peter 1: 1).
Because of their utter faith in the efficacy of Jesus’ ransom-sacrifice, and by their consecration to do the will of God, they were counted as righteous – justified by faith – and were reckoned as passing from under the death sentence into eternal life. Theirs was to be a heavenly inheritance, to be forever with their Lord (1 Peter 1: 3, 4).
However, the unbelieving world remained subject to sin and death. Their own rescue – though most were unaware that they even needed a rescue – awaited a special period of time which will begin after the promised Second Advent of Christ – the times of resurrection and restoration (Acts 3: 21).
Adam’s fallen race will then be given (1) a knowledge of the Truth (John 1: 9) and (2) the benefit of Christ’s death on their behalf (1 Tim. 2:3-6). All will then have a full and fair opportunity to prove themselves worthy of eternal life on earth, God’s original purpose for the human family, as suggested by Gen. 1:31. This will take place on the (much-misunderstood) judgement day – actually, not a time of condemnation, but a period of one thousand years of opportunity, rejoicing, and release from the effects of death and dying.
In due time, God’s love for all and His original purpose for humanity will be demonstrated in its perfect, restored condition, when even the planet will be a place of beauty and glory, an unblemished environment for an unblemished race.
February 2017. No copyright. ukbiblestudents.co.uk