Where is God?

God's Plan

Wars, terrorism, crime, hatred, poverty, disease . . . with all the human suffering in the world today, many Christians are understandably puzzled about God. They ask why a loving God would allow the world to be the way it is.

Many Christians are also unsatisfied with the teachings of their churches. They reasonably wonder why a merciful, loving God would torment the wicked forever, without mercy, in a fiery hell. And they want to know what they will do forever if they go to heaven. And they wonder how it could be fair that some go to heaven while so many others - the millions who have died not knowing anything about salvation - will apparently have no chance for eternal life. How could God be so unfair?

Allow me to offer some explanations.

To start, let's check some of our assumptions. Let's momentarily put aside today's common beliefs in eternal life in heaven or hell and go back to the source: the words of Jesus and the early believers as recorded in the Bible. What did Jesus really teach? What did the apostles and the other early Christians really believe?

Jesus stated "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but [except] he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (John 3:13). So Jesus taught that no one else - not even the great men of the Bible such as Abraham, Moses, David and Daniel - had gone to heaven. Later the apostle Peter confirmed the belief that no one (except Jesus) had ascended to heaven when he spoke of David: "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day . . . For David is not ascended into the heavens" (Acts 2:29 and 34).

Perhaps you are surprised that people like Abraham and Moses have not gone to heaven. It is even more surprising to learn that there is no promise anywhere in the Bible that we ever live in heaven, at any time. Search the Bible from cover to cover: not even one verse states or promises that we will live in heaven forever. That may come as a surprise, considering that most professing Christians believe they'll go to heaven, but the Bible shows that the future reward of true Christians is completely different, and is very much more relevant to humanity's needs. I will explain shortly.

First let me pause here to address a scripture which seems to suggest we are rewarded in heaven. Jesus did say "for great is your reward in heaven" in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12). What He said is true: a great reward is being held for us in heaven. However it is incorrect for us to assume we go to heaven to get that reward. In fact, as we'll see shortly, Jesus promised to bring our reward to us from heaven when He returns . . . and He did promise to return.

There is no record of Jesus saying we should seek to "go to heaven." Instead, He said "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:33). And in His Sermon on the Mount Jesus said "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). In the next few paragraphs you will see that one of the rewards of the righteous of this age will be to inherit the earth and to rule in the Kingdom of God with Christ on the earth upon His return. Perhaps this sounds strange - even unbelievable - to you, but please consider the following verses. These verses show that God will intervene in human affairs by setting up a kingdom right here on earth:

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (Daniel 2:44)

And there was given him [Jesus] dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14)

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

When will God set up His Kingdom? We do not know what day (see Matthew 25:13), but we know that God's Kingdom will be established at the time of Christ's return. Zechariah 14:4 shows Christ's return to Earth to be literal: ". . . his feet will stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east . . ." In the Kingdom of God, on Earth, "many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD" (Zechariah 8:22).

What will the Kingdom of God be like? Jesus will teach all mankind God's way: the way of love, of giving, of peace and of obedience to God. Verses such as Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 11:9 and Micah 4:4 describe the Kingdom and Jesus' rule over the nations:

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.

Earlier I told you that the reward for Christians is not eternal life in heaven. So, what is their reward? It is this: they will inherit the earth and will rule with Christ in the Kingdom of God. They will be assisting Christ as He teaches the world to "beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks." There are many verses showing that they'll reign with Christ right here on earth. For example, in Revelation 5:9 and 10 they say this to Jesus:

. . . thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Jesus directly promised His disciples positions in His Kingdom:

Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:28-30)

The prophet Daniel mentions the "people of the saints" and their place in God's kingdom:

And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (Daniel 7:27)

So how and when do these saints - these true Christians - inherit the Kingdom of God and their rule with Christ? At Jesus' return there is to be a resurrection of some of the dead: the faithful who have died will be resurrected to immortal life. At the same time the faithful who are alive at the actual time of His return will also receive immortal life. Together these newly immortal beings will inherit the Kingdom of God. The apostle Paul explained this in 1 Corinthians 15:50-53. In these verses "sleep" refers to being "asleep" in death:

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

In the verse above, the "last trump" that will "sound" is the same trumpet sounding quoted earlier: "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev. 11:15). So this resurrection and changing to immortality occur at the same time as Christ is given authority and rule over the kingdoms of this world. As He returns, the resurrected faithful will rise to meet Him. Paul described this in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Paul summarized when he wrote about the resurrections, saying "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (1 Corinthians 15:23). The resurrection at His return is called the first resurrection; it is to these newly immortal beings that Jesus, as He returns, will say ". . . Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34). Note that the Kingdom was prepared for them "from the foundation of the world": this has been part of a plan - God's plan - from the beginning!

Revelation 20:6 describes the rule of these newly resurrected, immortal believers:

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Will Old Testament patriarchs such as Abraham be among those who inherit the Kingdom of God? Jesus indicated they would. Here is Matthew 8:11:

And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus' parable of the pounds illustrated that He - the "nobleman" in the parable - would return with authority to establish the Kingdom of God. It also shows how He would reward His servants upon His return:

And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. (Luke 19:11-26)

Please note that none of the verses quoted above said anything about going to heaven. The righteous do not go to heaven to get their reward. Jesus said "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12). The righteous of this age get their reward at their resurrection when He returns. He promised, ". . . thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just" (Luke 14:14). Until He returns, all the dead will remain in their graves. Except for Jesus, no one has gone to heaven!

The faithful of this present age are seeking to enter the Kingdom of God: with His help they are overcoming the self and preparing to serve and lead humanity with Christ during the thousand years. This is far more meaningful and relevant to humanity's needs than "going to heaven" for some kind of eternal vacation while the rest of humanity suffers, as most church organizations today teach. Jesus told His followers:

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

The apostle James wrote:

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world [to be] rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (James 2:5)

Why God Allows Evil

During the thousand years Satan will be isolated and prevented from influencing mankind. Revelation 20:1-3 describes this:

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

The thousand years - with Satan removed - will positively demonstrate that God's way brings peace: "they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid . . . they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Micah 4:4 and Isaiah 11:9).

In stark contrast today's world - under Satan's influence - is demonstrating that Satan's way of vanity, hatred and greed is wrong and evil, and will bring us to the brink of self destruction. In Matthew 24:21-22 Jesus foretold a time of "great tribulation," a time so bad that "except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved." But God will intervene and cut short our pending time of "great tribulation" with a great display of signs including the darkening of the sun as recounted in Matthew 24:29-30, Mark 13:24-26 and Luke 21:25-26. God is not trying to "save the world" right now, as is commonly assumed. Rather, it appears that God will allow the world to come to the brink of self-destruction before intervening. Why will God do this? There are no scriptures that directly say why, but the reason appears to be this: to prove a point - to us and to Satan - that Satan's way is wrong and that following Satan leads to harm and destruction.

Why would God want or need to prove this point? To attempt to answer this we need to review some scriptures about Satan. The prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah described Satan's original beauty, his subsequent sin, his rebellion against God and his aspiration to take God's place:

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned . . . (Ezekiel 28:12-16)

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:13-14)

Revelation 12:4 shows that about one third of the angels followed Satan in his rebellion against God. There is little doubt that God could have crushed their rebellion immediately, but that would have proved nothing, other than that God is more powerful. It would not have proven that God is right and that Satan is wrong.

God has always had the means and the power to destroy Satan, but can not righteously do so until there is proof that Satan is wrong. That proof will be provided as Satan works in this present world, deceives it (Rev. 12:9, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 6:12) and leads it to the brink of destruction. Luke 4:5-8 provides direct evidence that God has – for the time being - given Satan control over our world. Here, during his temptation of Jesus, Satan says the kingdoms of the world - and the glory of them - were given to him; Satan has temporarily been granted authority over this world from God:

And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get the behind me, Satan: for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Mankind, deceived by Satan and following his evil ways, will ultimately come to the brink of self-destruction, a time Jesus called the “great tribulation” as mentioned above. Then God will step in and “cut short” the great tribulation, and start executing His plan to establish His Kingdom in power here on earth. As we have seen, Satan will be removed and unable to influence mankind during the ensuing millennium. God, with His Kingdom established on earth, will then prove that His own ways are right. Peace will overspread the earth:

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9)

The Destruction of Evil

Those who are alive at the end of the thousand years will certainly know that the Kingdom of God has brought peace and happiness to the Earth. But they will be tested: they will be tempted by Satan during the "little season" in which Satan is "loosed" to deceive mankind after the thousand years, as we saw earlier. This, then, will be their time of decision and judgment. Sadly, many will fail and follow Satan as prophesied in Revelation 20:7-9. Those that follow Satan in rebellion against God will die, with no more hope of resurrection: they perish. This is called the "second death" in Revelation 20:14 and 21:8. But those who pass this time of judgment will apparently receive immortal life, much as their predecessors did over one thousand years earlier.

After leading this final rebellion Satan will be destroyed. Ezekiel describes this in a prophecy directed toward Satan, concluding with the words "thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more":

Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. (Ezekiel 28:15-19)

Perhaps you are wondering how Satan, a spirit being, could be destroyed. It is true that a spirit being can't die: only mortals can die. However, a spirit being can become mortal and then die. Jesus is an example. As explained in John 1:1-3 and 14, Jesus was the Word - a spirit being and the Creator - before becoming a mortal being:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus, a mortal, then died "to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). Three days and three nights later He was resurrected. In a similar manner it appears that Satan will be made mortal: "I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee . . . I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee . . . thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more" (Ezekiel 28:18,19). For Jesus there was a resurrection, but for Satan there will be no resurrection: Satan will perish in death. In Hebrews 2:14 we read about Jesus' mortality, showing that through His death He made possible Satan's destruction through death:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Jesus] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.

The Final Judgment

Now to the question about so many people having died with no fair chance for salvation. There is good news: everyone gets a fair chance. Here's how:

Shortly after the thousand years of the Kingdom of God on Earth mentioned above, there will be another resurrection: a general resurrection of all who remain in the grave. This second resurrection is prophesied in Revelation 20:5:

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.

Yes, all who have died will live again! They have been promised a resurrection. All those still in the grave will be resurrected after the thousand years of the Kingdom of God on earth. Verses 12 and 13 of Revelation 20 describe it:

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [the grave, from the Greek word hades] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Jesus spoke of this final time of judgment in John 5:28-29:

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

After this final judgment no one will remain in "hell" - the grave - awaiting a resurrection and judgment; the grave will not exist anymore. And after this final judgment there will be no more mortals: each mortal will already have either received eternal life or suffered the second death. Since there will be no more mortals, death will not happen or exist anymore. Revelation continues, showing the destruction of both death and the grave in the lake of fire:

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14-15)

To be "cast into the lake of fire" means permanent destruction, the same as the second death. Having been cast into "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8) neither the wicked, nor death nor the grave will exist anymore. The apostle Paul wrote confirming the end - the destruction - of death: "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:26). As we have seen, this will occur after the wicked, including Satan, are destroyed through death.

Please note that those who reject God are not tormented forever in some kind of fiery "hell"; they are simply destroyed through a second mortal death after which there is no promise of resurrection or hope of life. To eternally torment someone would be merciless and sadistic, and God is neither merciless nor sadistic. Could it be that Satan, the original liar, who "deceiveth the whole world" (Revelation 12:9), would like you to believe God would do such a thing as torment you forever without mercy? Might such a lie alienate you from God?

Here are verses confirming the wicked will perish in death and not exist any more:

For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. (Psalms 37:10)

When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever. (Psalms 92:7)

As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation. (Proverbs 10:25)

Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth, That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds; Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he? (Job 20:4-7)

Unless we are given eternal life, as a gift from God, we'll perish through death. Here's what the Bible says: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). The "wages of sin is death," not eternal life, not even eternal life in torment!

Perhaps you recall that in the Garden of Eden Satan - the original liar - said "ye shall not surely die" (Genesis 3:4) - suggesting that we have eternal life no matter how we live: good or evil. No doubt Satan will die still believing this. The truth is that there is an alternative to eternal life: that alternative is permanent death and destruction. Here are a few verses illustrating this point: we live, or we perish in death:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Jesus, in John 3:16 )

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Jesus, in Matthew 7:13, 14)

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (Jesus, in John 10:28)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (Jesus, in John 5:24)

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption (Peter, speaking of the wicked in 2 Peter 2:12)

Salvation is not about - and never was about - where we'll spend eternity: we won't even have an eternity unless God chooses to give it to us! Salvation is about being given the gift of eternal life instead of perishing in death! Satan - the original liar - told Eve "Ye shall not surely die." Those who believe we have immortal souls, and will always be alive, somehow, somewhere - still believe Satan's lie!

After the final judgment Satan, the rest of the wicked, death and the grave will have been destroyed. Then a new age will begin for mankind, for all who have received eternal life. In Revelation 21:1-8 the apostle John described it:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 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 burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Thy Kingdom Come

 Jesus "went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him" (Luke 8:1). The paragraphs above have outlined the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. I hope the following familiar words have a clearer meaning now:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven . . . (Matthew 6:9-10)

Sadly, most professing Christians today are unfamiliar with the gospel of the kingdom; they have never learned the truth about God's promises and His plan. Although they have been taught things about Jesus, most are unaware of His message - His gospel or good news - about the coming Kingdom of God. This is just as Jesus prophesied:

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:4-5)

 Could so many Christians around the world really be deceived about the true gospel? Yes, "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world" (Revelation 12:9) has been very successful. Regrettably the resulting confusion has led many to resign any hope of knowing and understanding God's plan. Yet when you understand God's plan, you see that it is merciful, and fair, and complete, and meaningful. And there is no need to worry about all those who have died never knowing the truth. They have not lost their chance for eternal life. God has planned a time of resurrection and fair judgment for every one of them.