Greetings to you in the Name that is above every name that is, or that ever could be named among men, Jesus Christ the Righteous.
I appreciate you for your expressed desire to know Truth, and I thank God for having instilled that desire. I am persuaded that neither you, nor I, nor anyone would have an inclination toward God, His Word, and His Way except He place that inclination, desire, or ambition in us. Depravity is real, as sin's consequence, and depravity insists that God's ways are antiquated and that the enlightened do not actually need, or benefit by involving themselves in any consideration of Him. Oh, the exceeding sinfulness of sin!!!
Let me begin with the FIRST and INITIAL postulate. GOD IS!!! God is, and all else falls subsequent and subordinate to Him. Upon this postulate, all that follows must be, and ever shall remain.
"In the beginning, God...." (Genesis 1:1)
Look now to Isa. 28:9,10 --- and in context, we read: "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little..."
Once God has declared a precept (God does not "formulate" a precept, as if He must reason through possibility, or possibilities), and He never alters that precept. And every additional precept relative to the matter must be in perfect accord with that initially declared precept. God's Infallibility demands it!!! Remember, He has said, "For I am the LORD, I change not,...." (Mal. 3:6a) and, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17)
Now, with this in mind, we lood to some of the many particular instances of how this applies, as recorded for us in Holy Writ. And may we always keep in mind, precept follows precept.
In Genesis, we learn that God had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect..." (Gen. 4:4,5). It is obvious that Adam and Eve, having themselves been made to know their need to be put in right relationship with their Creator, after their sin, were made the receipients of the "covering" that God provided, declaring the absolute necessity of a blood sacrifice that produced the "coats of skin" (Gen. 3:21) THEN, they, in time, taught their TWO sons, Cain and Abel, the "precept" of an "offering". BOTH sons were equally in need of an "offering", and both were instructed in that "precept", and BOTH were depraved and unable to rationalize a solution to their problem.
However, God granted unto Abel faith to obey God as to the acceptable sacrifice, and Abel obeyed. On the other hand, after having been told, Cain proceeded "on his own" and devised in his depraved mind the scheme that his "produce" sacrifice would serve his need nicely, thus disregarding the "blood offering." Cain was never saved, having rejected God's way.
Later, in the days of Noah, the entire population, being without exception, sinful, and therefore under the just condemnation due their sin, stood in abject need of a place of safety, a covert from the tempest, and ark to carry them over the wrath of God.s judgment.
In grace, God granted faith that enabled Noah to believe God, and to obey Him. He built an ark in full accord with God's declared "precept", and the result is, he and his family were delivered, while ALL THE REST were destroyed by the judgment flood that God brought down upon them.
And, in the days of Lot we find that God, having delivered from the cities of the plain, Lot and his family, destroyed ALL THE REST of the wicked inhabitants of those cities. Their sins being the cause of their destruction, they utterly perished 'in their sins.: That is, with their sins still charged to their account, with no Substitute suggested nor provided for them. Without exception, they all died under the judgment of God.
In all this, where was "purgatory" for Cain? for the perishing population in the days of Noah? of Lot? There was no "purgatory", nor was there any opportunity once grace was not provided. "If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.: (Eccel. 11:3)
Still later, at God's appointed time, He provided the deliverer (Moses as a type of Christ) to lead the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from Egypt ( a type of the unbelieving world) where they had been captive for 400 years and had served the gods and rulers of unbelieving and rebellious Egypt.
God provided instruction that a lamb, a male of the first year, without spot or blemish be separated from the flock ( a type of human kind) and be examined from the 10th day of the Hebrew month, Nissan until the evening of the 14th day of that same month (Read Exodus 11 and 12 for a full picture of the Paschal Lamb) at which time the head of each household (the family priest) was responsible to offer the lamb, draw it's blood, and then apply that blood upon the door posts (upper and side) of the houses wherein Israel dwelt.
The results of their obedience (having been given faith to believe God) they were blessed in that when God passed through the land at midnight, to accomplish His stated purpose to slay all the firstborn of all who dwelt in Egypt, including the great and small and of all animal kind, He, in grace, passed over the houses where blood had been applied. Where blood had been applied, judgment had already fallen, not on the guilty sinner, but on the substitue lamb instead.
Note these key points: 1) The necessity of blood. 2) The condemnation of ALL the firstborn of all who dwelt IN Egypt. (Ex. 11:5), and at that time, the Hebrews still dwelt IN Egypt, along with the Egyptians. 3) The blood distinguished where Hebrews dwelt, and where blood had been applied. 4) No Egyptian was instructed to put blood upon THEIR dwellings --- only Hebrews. 5) The substitutionary sacrifice of a Lamb for the need of those Hebrews.
Now, just to make sure that we have not taken "precept upon precept" to a position not warranted by the whole Bible, let's for a moment, look to the New Testament to confirm this Old Testament teaching that God directs saving grace to whom He will, and leaves all others "in their sins," just as they are.
In Acts 16:6-8 God declares, through His chosen human writer, Luke (whom God, by Divine Inspiration used) to demonstrate that same "precept upon precept." In other words, God still sends the Word to whom He will, and withholds it from whom He will, both for a season and forever, as He will.
The Holy Spirit forbade the gospel to be preached in Asia, and in Bithynia, but directed that it be reached in Troas, having also bypassed Mysia. The Holy Spirit acts sovereignly, and the reason or reasons that He bypassed some and visited others (none of whom were worthy) are His alone. He has not told us why He did this ---- just that He did. And because He did so, it is right! Praise God, He did this.
To the specific point now.
You will recall that when Jesus presented Himself to His chosen nation of people, as recorded in Matthew 23, they, as a nation rejected Him. Some did believe, as He granted repentance and gave them faith (John 1:11-13), but as a nation they would not accept His Messiahship, nor would they "have this man to rule over them".
Then, in verses 37, 38, Jesus lamented over this people who rejected Him --- and He said, "Behold, your house (the house of Israel) is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye will not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Note: "...till ye shall say...."
In keepng with Daniel's prophecy of the 70th week, the time of Jacob's trouble (Israel's trouble), Jesus told rejecting Israel that a time would come when they (rejecting Israel) would say, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord."
This 70th week, and the Great Tribulation that it encompasses, is designed by God to bring Israel to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is indeed the Messiah, and when they do so, a nation shall be born in a day. The 144,000 sealed Hebrew preachers will proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in that day, and the Holy Spirit will use the preached gospel to "prick the hearts" of the elect of Israel and convict them of their sins and present Jesus Christ as their Saviour and they WILL receive Him and will be saved.
This tribulation will follow the Rapture (catching away) of the saints who lived before that time, both Old Testament saints and New Testament saints. Some by resurrection, and the rest by translation. And the gospel will be used to save those chosen to receive it during the time of Great Tribulation.
Will those who rejected God be given a "second chance?" Not in the sense that some (most arminian proclaimers say). But, in the sense that Israel has for 2,000 years rejected Jesus Christ, and at that time they are enabled to receive Him, YES.
Israel will be the people who benefit during this time, and I am persuaded that others whom the gospel has apparently bypassed will also receive Him ... but not all. Those whom God has foreknown (foreloved in covenant promise), but not those to whom He will say, "...depart from me, I never knew you..." (Matt. 7:21-23)
We will discuss any matter that troubles you, or anyone, so long as it can be done in such manner as will bring honor and praise to our Great and Wonderful Saviour.
You are most welcomed and encouraged to print out any of the material that appears on the church website that you care to.
I don't know everything, but, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you also....and to anyone who will hear.
Have a great day, and God bless you,
Wm. Doyal Thomas, Pastor
Philadelphia Baptist Church
NOTE: Pastor Thomas, et al, has a GREAT website with LOTS of GREAT articles, free tapes and hymnal downloads, and much more. You MUST visit this God-blessed website!