What About Everyone Else?
As Christ is "Our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts … the Holy One of Israel … the Lord God of Israel … [who] redeemed His people” [Isa. 47:4; Luke 1:68], being the son of David, and the son of Abraham [Mat. 1:1] and who was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel [Mat. 15:24], where does that leave everyone else?
Well, that's a good question. Mankind was created in the image and likeness of God. This is a reference to the spirit of man. And the spirit of man is the common denominator among all men. [See chapter one, The Blind Man’s Elephant, a complimentary PDF on the Home page].
And what do we read about all men in the New Testament? "For therefore we [Paul and the other apostles] both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the God of the living, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe." [1 Tim. 4:10].
It is important to point out here that in the KJV English text, as well as in most other translations it reads “the living God.” However, in Greek it reads, the God of the living. Theologically, this is a key difference. It speaks to the resurrection from the dead, a key doctrine of Christianity, rather than making the point that God is alive. Christ made this same point when addressing the Sadducees, who believed there is no resurrection.“But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? ‘He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken [about there being no resurrection].’" [Mark 12:26, 27; see the Sneakers article, Name Those Tenets].
We should keep in mind that the Old Covenant ended with Christ’s death [Zec. 11:10-13], but the New Covenant began with his resurrection from the dead to life. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of grace is life. [See Rom. 6:23]. This is the hope upon which Christianity is built. “ … that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” [Tts. 3:7]. Thus, our Father is the God of the living or eternal life.The reference to the God of the living here in Greek is theos zao, theos being God, zao being living. The Savior of all men reads, "soter pas anthropos." Pas anthropos means all men or each man individually. Soter is the word for savior.
Now as we read above, Christ was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel to redeem those who were under the law covenant and to institute the Abrahamic covenant in the Christian age. And these covenants were made only with Israel. This is a fairly specific assignment for a specific group of people. It is one that precludes a lot of the world's anthropos. And to some people, not understanding this, it strikes them as being unfair. [See the Feature article, And, It's Still A Mystery].
However, the key to understanding this is that Christ was sent. And he was sent only to the House of Israel in this age, not to all mankind. So who could send him? As the Biblical record makes clear, God the Father is the head of Christ [1 Cor. 11:3]. Christ, therefore, was sent by God the Father. [See the Feature article, The Relevance Of The Holy Days In The Plan Of God In The Last Days].
The Abrahamic covenant is a specific agreement made with one person that is intended for his Seed, Christ and Abraham’s generations according to that covenant. It says nothing about everyone else. And neither is everyone else bound by this covenant just as everyone not of Israel was not bound by the terms of the Old Testament law covenant. [See the Feature article, Can A Christian Sin?].
Let's go over to Matthew 16:13. Christ is with his disciples. "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, 'Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am?'"
They answered Christ giving him different answers. "And they said, 'Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.'"
So then Christ asked them who they thought he was. That's when Peter stood up and replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the God of the living."
This is a very important answer. Peter said Christ was the Son of the God of the living. He did not say Christ was the God of the living. While Christ was God incarnate and he is living, in contrast to God the Father, Christ is the Son of the God of the living.
The Son of the God of the living in Greek reads hulos theos zao. Christ is the Son of the God of the living whereas God the Father is the God of the living or theos zao. Did Peter get this distinction wrong? No.
"Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven.'" So it was God the Father making the distinctive point that Christ is the Son of the God of the living.
Our point is that Christ is the Son of God the Father. Christ was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. Who is the savior of all men, especially believers, as noted in 1 Tim 4:10? The God of the living who is our Father. This is a very critical theological point of understanding. It lies at the crux of the plan of God. It means that all men will be judged in the great resurrection and will have the opportunity for eternal life … living forever. But Israel has a different relationship with our Father through Christ. It's called the New Covenant. [See the Feature article, The Good News Colour Revolution].
Who was it that sent Christ solely to the House of Israel in the first century? It was God the Father, "savior of all men, especially believers." And when we pray, to whom did Christ instruct us to address our prayers? Our Father in Heaven. Asking what? His kingdom come. And? Our Father's will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Christ has a particular relationship to Abraham, David and all Israel. However, it is our Father in Heaven who is the savior of all men. Except for Christianity, all the monotheistic religions of the world look to God. In this case, it’s God our Father. Only Christianity looks upon Christ as divine because Christ redeemed Israel or only those who were under the first covenant. And even this does not yet apply to the House of Judah until Christ’s return.
So, while it is true that Christ is the mediator between God the Father and men, and all things will be given to him, within context of both the law and the Abrahamic covenants, Christ was sent in his first coming only to redeem Israel. [See Heb. 12:24]. It is important for us to grasp the fundamentals of both covenants in order to understand the Biblical record correctly. Otherwise, we will fall prey to the fairy tales spun by false prophets, which is the case with the current push for "diversity" in our culture. [See the Feature article, The Tale Of Two Covenants; also the Sneakers article, Continuing Benefits Of "White Privilege"].
The law covenant, or the first covenant to come into force, only was made with Moses and the children of Israel, and they were the only people redeemed by Christ. “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” [Heb. 9:15]. Eternal life is available to all men. But the eternal inheritance is of the promises given to Abraham and his seed, Christ. “For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” [Gal. 3:18].
In Revelation, however, the great judgement day is for all men. "And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God [theos], and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books." [Rev. 20:12].
All Israel, however, has been justified by grace, not by our works, through our Redeemer, Christ on our behalf as promised in the Abrahamic covenant. The apostle Paul made this point, “… being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus [for the transgressions of those who were under the first covenant] … And if by grace, then it is no longer of works [Greek, ergon, actions, deeds]; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.” [Rom. 3:24, 11:6; see Rom. 4:4, 6; 11:26; see the Sneakers article, His Treasured Possession].
The reason that all men die, at least once, goes back to the days of Adam and Eve. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." [Gen. 2:17]. And it came to be, so all men shall be judged according to their works, having done good or evil. Only the descendants of the father of the faithful Abraham, Isaac and Israel have the covenant exemption available to us through our kinsman Redeemer, Christ. [See the Feature article, And It's Still A Mystery]. Redeem [Greek, exagorazo] means to buy back by payment of a price that which was lost. And Christ was sent by God the Father to redeem … “the lost sheep of the House of Israel” in this age. [See the Sneakers article, Bum's Rush].
As the judgement day concerns the dead, and as all men die, Paul pointed out, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement :..." [Heb. 9:27]. A side point to note, after death is judgement or the resurrection, not going to Heaven. And those who don't pass muster here will suffer the eternal second death. "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." [Rev. 21:8]. A related side note, this lake of fire results in a final death not an alive eternal burning in hell fire.
Therefore, all men will have their day to stand before God and be judged according to their works. All men will have the chance to have eternal life when found written in the book of life. And it is God the Father who will do this as the savior of each person, the God of the living.
Through Christ, the Son of the God of the living, we have a special covenant relationship with Abraham as his heirs, sons and daughters that is unique among men. [See 1 Pet. 2:9]. Christ, as Abraham’s Seed redeemed us from under the curse of the law covenant, or the penalty of the second death. We are justified by grace no longer to be judged by our works. As Paul said, "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion a Deliverer and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob [Israel].” This is a reference to both the House of Israel and the House Of Judah. [Heb. 8:8].
Lacking understanding of the role of the covenants, our eternal inheritance and Christ’s role as our kinsman Redeemer in them as the Son of the God of the living, in addition to our Father’s role as the savior of all men, especially believers, we have lost this critical understanding that Christ and the apostles delivered to our ancestors of the House of Israel in the first century. Sadly, today some of the sons and daughters of Israel have lost all knowledge of God and their heritage, vehemently refusing the existence of the very One who gave them life, salvation and an eternal inheritance. [See the Feature articles, Moving Forward, also And It's Still A Mystery].
However, we need to be mindful of a very important point lest we become complacent and lukewarm in our faith. As we read in Isaiah, "Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD speak, saying, 'The LORD has utterly separated me from His people;' Nor let the eunuch say, 'Here I am, a dry tree.' ... Even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off." [Isa. 56:3,5]. Ruth the Moabitess was blessed by the Israelite Boaz redeeming her deceased Israelite husband's inheritance. The God of the living is the savior of all men, especially those who believe, just as Paul said. Paul also wrote, "For this cause I bow my knee to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in Heaven and Earth is named." [Eph. 3:14, 15].
To answer our initial question, "What about everyone else?" Everyone else is in good hands if they so choose.
Let’s say that when growing up you have a friend named Tom. Tom’s father owns a very large successful business. Tom also has a brother and a sister. Over the years you and Tom become best friends, nearly inseparable.When it comes time to go off to university Tom majors in business management in order to some day run the family business, which neither his sister or brother have any interest in. At the same time, you major in economics and finance. After going through university together, you both go on to get your master’s degrees.
Tom joins the family business. And you join a company and become a financial advisor. Over the years, Tom works his way up the family business gaining more experience and respect. When it comes to financial matters, Tom consults with you. Eventually, Tom becomes the number two man in the company, second only to his father. Tom’s sister got married after high school and is devoted to rearing her three children. Meanwhile, Tom’s brother never finished college, and lives off a family stipend, essentially being an alcoholic.
More and more responsibility for the family business is passed on to Tom. And more and more Tom comes to rely on your sound financial advice. Eventually, Tom’s father passes away, leaving a large inheritance. As Tom’s best friend and trusted advisor, what claim do you have on the family inheritance? None. Yet Tom’s sister who has never worked in the business is an heir as is Tom’s alcoholic brother. Who of us would say this is unfair?
However, when Tom assumes control of the family business as chairman and president, he makes you CEO and chief financial officer for the entire business. Now concerning the family business, who has the better name, position and income, you who earned it by your works, or Tom’s brother and sister, who inherited it? You do.
And so it is with everyone not of Israel who joins himself to the LORD. That is someone who, of their own volition, with their actions live humbly by the truth of the word of God and our savior Jesus Christ. [Read the Book of Ruth; also Acts chapter ten for examples]. “Even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters [those of Israel]; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.” [Isa. 56:5].
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