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SUNDAY STUDY: God’s Plan In A Nutshell – Part 2

By Jack Kelley

The Judgment

God determined that His plan would have a fixed expiration, after which He would bring it to a conclusion. At that time all of mankind will stand before Him. If they have died He will bring them back to life, never to die again. Everyone will be shown the point in his or her life when the two choices available were made clear to them. Remember, part of God’s plan is to demonstrate that He’s a just God (Deut. 32:4). Therefore He can neither reward nor punish anyone who didn’t get an opportunity to choose. The one exception involves those children whose lives came to an end before they had become intellectually mature enough to understand their choices. A just God cannot punish those who are unable to comprehend, so He declared all such children innocent and counted them as His own (Romans 7:9).

Those who have accepted by faith the pardon He purchased for them will be granted an eternity of unparalleled blessing. Those who have chosen to earn their place in eternity through their own works will be shown their shortcomings and condemned to eternal punishment (Rev. 20:15). Since these are the only two choices available to mankind, those who will have opted out altogether will receive the same destiny as if they had refused the pardon God made available. Receiving the pardon requires a conscious choice to accept it (Romans 10:13). Refusing to choose at all is equivalent to rejecting it.

At that time Satan will receive his final judgment and will be condemned to eternal punishment along with all those who had refused to accept the pardon (Rev. 20:10).

The Conclusion

It’s sad to think that many who chose to earn their own way or refused to choose at all will have thought they were preserving their independence, exercising their freedom of choice. When it’s too late to change their minds they will finally realize that they were actually following Satan’s will, not their own. Remember, there have only ever been two wills in the universe, God’s and Satan’s. If we don’t choose God’s will for us, we’ve chosen Satan’s will by default. In the spiritual sense, free will is simply the option of choosing between God’s will and Satan’s. God wants us all to choose His will (2 Peter 3:9), but He won’t force us to do it.

I believe this is the secret of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, from which God commanded Adam not to eat (Genesis 2:16-17). As I’ve said, there was only one will on Earth at that time, and that was God’s will, which was “Good.” Eating the fruit of the forbidden tree introduced a second will, which was “Evil.” This was Satan’s will. By getting Adam and Eve to disobey God’s will, Satan was getting them to obey his will. In doing so, they acquired the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Somehow this altered their genetic make-up in such a way that this knowledge was passed to all their progeny. Today we call this the “flesh” or the “sin nature.” But I think it’s really the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the realization that there are two wills in the universe. We can choose which one to follow, but if we don’t consciously choose God’s will, Satan’s will becomes the default choice.

1 Cor. 15:24-28 tells us that the Lord Jesus will reign until He has put all of God’s enemies under His feet, including death.

Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all rule, authority and power (1 Cor. 15:24).

Before the Lord turns the kingdom over to His Father, He will destroy all rule, authority and power. The primary meaning of the Greek word for destroy is “to put down, deactivate or render inoperative.” The one for rule is “the origin, or active cause.” The one for authority is “the power of choice, the liberty of doing as one pleases” and the one for power includes “strength” or “ability.”

This means in eternity we who have accepted the pardon He purchased for us will no longer have the ability to disobey God’s will. The origin and active cause of our disobedience will have been rendered inoperative. The disastrous effects of Adam and Eve’s disobedience will have been reversed. The Knowledge of Good and Evil will be no more and there will finally be only one will in all of creation again, the will of God. That’s God’s plan in a nutshell.

Part 1: HERE

pardon, punishment, sin nature, Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil