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The Recognition of Universal Reconciliation - Part 1
Page 2, Continued

By Ernest L. Martin, December 1982
Edited by David Sielaff, August 2002

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The fact is, for a resurrection from the dead to take place (that the Bible teaches), the individuals in their graves must first be dead—not alive in heavenly bliss or in a fiery torment!

The inconsistency of the traditional opinion is self-evident. It is normally taught that at death humans go immediately to heaven, purgatory, or hell. And then, for some unknown reason, they must be “re-united” with their dead bodies that will be resurrected from the dust. Modern interpreters must resort to this “gaining life” in a double sense, because the New Testament is specific about the need for our bodies to be resurrected from the dead at Christ’s second advent. But how can we be resurrected from the dead, if we are already alive in heaven or hell? No one can explain this need. And no wonder! The doctrine is not biblical. It is to satisfy Plato’s doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul. Yet, people who have died are still in their graves awaiting a resurrection of the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15). And that includes all the righteous people of the past—such as King David (who is prophesied to have a glorious existence in the resurrection).

“Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us to this day ... for David is NOT ascended into heaven.”

• Acts 2:29, 34

Even Christ said: “No man hath ascended up to heaven” (John 3:13).

But why mention these matters about the state of the dead in an article concerning universal salvation? There is a good reason, because the Bible makes it clear in no uncertain terms that all the dead will one day receive a call from Christ and come forth from their graves!

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which ALL that are in their 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 judgment.”

• John 5:28–29

The point that needs to be made is the fact that all will participate in the resurrection. There will be no granting of rewards or punishments (or corrective actions by God) until the resurrections occur, and all are standing alive before the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10).

And what will be the final result of this procedure placed into motion by God? It means that all intelligent beings throughout the universe will finally worship God and openly (and freely, on their own volitions) come to the place of confessing Christ as Lord and Savior.

“That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven [throughout the universe], and things in earth [all earth beings], and things under the earth [angelic beings confined to Tartars]; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, TO THE GLORY of God the Father.”

• Philippians 2:10–11

And, in this confession by all intelligent beings on earth and throughout the universe, it should be understood that this will finally result in a spontaneous adoration for Christ, and for the salvation He provides for all. One should note that the word “confess” (or its cognates), as used in the Old and New Testaments, is always within a context of free expression (non-coercion) by those performing the “confessing.” Indeed, even the apostle Paul said no individual is able to sincerely confess that Jesus is Lord without being prompted by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). More than that, Paul went on to say in Philippians 2:13 (after having stated that all in the universe will one day confess and worship Christ),

“For it is God which worketh in you both TO WILL and TO DO [perform] of HIS good pleasure.”

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