Salvation, the Afterlife, and the Reconciliation of All Things

Scripture teaches that a person who dies in their sins will suffer conscious torment day and night forever. There are some in the Christian community, like Rob Bell, who teach otherwise.

There are many different beliefs about the fate of the damned in eternity. Some believe that all in hell will eventually accept Christ and will be allowed to go to Heaven. Others believe that God will allow everyone, whether they believe or not, to go to Heaven when they die. Yet others believe that if a person dies in their sins they will not have any consciousness until they are awakened after the millennial reign of Christ and stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment, and cast into the Lake of Fire because their names were not written in the Lamb's Book of Life and will be annihilated a short time later.

So, who is right?

Scripture establishes what truth is (John 17:17).

This is my commentary on what Scripture teaches in regard to salvation, the afterlife, and the reconciliation all things to Jesus Christ.

Salvation

1) Jesus died for the sins of all mankind. (1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:14, John 4:42, 1 Tim 2:6, 1Tim 2:10)

2) Jesus desires that all men be saved. (1 Tim 2:4)

1 Tim 2:4 - "Who, will [desires to] have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of truth."

3) Man has a free will to choose. (Joshua 24:15, Rev 22:17)

4) Not everyone wants Jesus.

Some Examples: He was rejected by His own people (John 1:11), people wouldn't come to Him because they loved their sin (John 3:19), because they were jealous, the Jews and religious leaders rejected Him and wanted Him to be crucified (Mark 15:13,14, Luke 23:21, John 19:6,15), people hated Jesus (John 7:7, John 15:18, John 15:23,25), on the cross 2 thieves were put to death along with Jesus, one wanted Jesus and turned to Him for salvation the other did not (Luke 23:32-33, 39-43), during the end-time many will reject Jesus (2 Thess 2:10-12) and those who are Christian will forsake him and turn to the anti-Christ (Dan 11:30), people during the millennial reign of Christ will turn on Him at the end and go to war with Him (Rev 20:8-9).

The Afterlife

1) Jesus said that once a person dies it is all over with. There is no second chance at redemption. Where ever you end up in eternity that is where you stay. (Luke 16:26)

a. People who die in their sins will be eternally separated from God in a place called hell/Lake of Fire and will suffer conscious torment day and night for ever. (Luke 16:23,24,26, Rev 14:10-11, Rev 20:15,10)

Scripture does not teach that a lost person who is in hell or the Lake of Fire will have a chance to or will ultimately be reconciled to God and be allowed to go to heaven.

b. People who die in the Lord, meaning that they believed on and received Jesus as Savior and Lord (John 1:12, John 3:16, Rom 10:9-10, 13) will inherit eternal life if they live godly in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 6:9-10, Eph 5:3-5, Gal 5:19-21, Tit 2:12), walk in obedience to Him (Heb 5:9), be steadfast in the faith unto the end (Heb 3:14, Matt 10:22). They will be in the presence of God forever (Luke 16:26) knowing the love of God without comprehension and without measure. (1 Cor 2:19) They will rule and reign with Christ forever. (Dan 7:18, Rev 20:4,6)

The Reconciliation of all Things

1) At the end of the great tribulation Jesus reconciles all things in heaven and on earth to Himself.

Col 1:20 - "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."

a. Note that Paul does not mention anything in hell being reconciled to Jesus nor will you find it anywhere in scripture.

b. God gave Jesus for the world, which is the cosmos, the created order (John 3:16). Because Jesus paid for sin by dying on the cross, Jesus is heir or is given the right to take back from Satan, who is the prince of the world (John 12:31; 14:30) and the prince of the air (Eph 2:2) all the created order; this includes all things seen and unseen, all thrones, dominions, principalities, power (Col 1:16); that is, in part, since Jesus rules in righteousness (Is 11:5) then it will affect government (Col 1:16), way of life like no more war (Is 2:4), and laws that govern society (Is 11:4), health of all life (for example, people have a long length of life (Is 65:20), animals are at peace with people and one another (Is 11:6-9), religious worship (Zach 14:16-19, Is 66:23), restores the earth and the heavens after his fiery judgment. He restores or removes the effects of sin in the non-conditional part of the created order.

c. The reconciliation of the created order is non-conditional except for people. Their flesh is restored non-conditionally but not their soul/spirit [soul-mind,will,emotions], though they will not have to deal with the temptations of Satan for a 1000 yrs because he is bound in the bottomless pit (Rev 20:1-3), Jesus rules with a rod of iron (Rev 2:27, 12:5, 19:15), He requires of people in the millennial reign of Christ obedience to righteousness and to worship Him . Lack of obedience to righteousness results in death (Is 11:4) and failure to go up to Jerusalem to worship King Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles from year to year will result in no rain. (Zech 14:16-19)

d. People during the millennial reign must be saved to go to Heaven as well. We know this because at the end of the 1000 yr reign of Christ they will stand before the Great White Throne of God and be judged out of the books. If their names were not written in the Lamb's Book of Life they are cast into the Lake of Fire where they are tormented day and night forever. (Rev 20:11-15, Rev 20:10)