When God passed judgment on Adam He was condemning the whole Human race
to death. But even in judgment God gave us a glimpse of his mercy. He gave
Adam and Eve hope through a redeemer who would come through the "seed of
the woman" who would "bruise the serpent's head" (Genesis 3:15).
This was pointing to Jesus who would come to "destroy the works of the Devil" (1 John 3:8). But this would not be accomplished before the "serpent had wounded his heal" i.e.. Jesus must suffer the consequences of our sin on the cross (Psalm 22, Hosea 6:2, Luke 11:29-30, Luke 24:46-48, Acts 17:3).
We have already seen that mankind is a helpless race, unable to rid ourselves of our own evil. The only hope for mankind is the timely intervention of God.
When Jesus first came, it was to offer himself as a ransom for every man, woman and child (1 Timothy 2:6) and give them an opportunity to be free from sin, "for by the offense of one man judgment came upon all men. So by the righteousness of one man the free gift came upon all men unto justification and life" (Romans 5:18). So just as the original judgment was universal, so the salvation which Christ purchased for us must also be offered universally. Not one of us has escaped the punishment for Adam's sin. Just so not one of us may miss out on the benefit of Jesus' sacrifice for us.
This is not possible unless there is a time when all shall come to a knowledge of the truth. For some this occurs now, while for others, who have not known "the only name under heaven by which we may be saved" (Acts 4:12) this opportunity must be offered. For justice to be satisfied all must know the truth. It is for this reason that Satan shall be bound during the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20:2), and judgment is given to Jesus and the saints (Revelation 20:4) to "rule the nations with a rod of iron" (Revelation 2:26-27).
Under the watchful eye of He who took upon Himself our punishment, "the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness " (Isaiah 26:9). Yet even under these perfect conditions, just as our fore father (Adam) did, there will be those who will still defile themselves, for it is written "Let favour be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness. In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly and will not behold the majesty of the Lord " (Isaiah 26:10).
So even though Jesus has paid the price of sin for every person who has ever, or will ever live, there will still be those who will rebel against Him when He comes to restore them during His reign in the Kingdom of God. For these there will be no further chances.
But there will be those who will avail themselves of the gracious gift of God, both now and later. These are the ones spoken of when it is written " It shall come to pass that every one who is left of the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King the Lord of Hosts" (Zechariah 14:16).
God's purpose for mankind is for all men to be restored to perfection and fellowship with Him. Jesus began to accomplished this on the Cross, by taking all the consequences of our actions on himself in his death. The process will be brought to completion during the Millennial age which is to come.
Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.