Weekly Article Blog
Pastor Dan Hawn publishes a weekly article which is also emailed to members and regular attenders. Let us know if you would like to receive this weekly article via email.
No Second Chances
I love questions from kids. Kids are inquisitive. Their questions are also a challenge because you need to answer them in terms they understand. This will vary by the age & maturity of the questioner.
After BYF last week, I was asked if there will be an opportunity to accept Christ (and therefore receive salvation) after death.
Death, Then Judgment
The short answer is no. Hebrews 9:27 states plainly:
“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people;…”
So, the sequence is: death, followed by judgment.
Not a Trial
The judgment won’t be in the form of a trial for the purpose of determining a person’s eternal state. Instead, the judgment will be a declaration – of either salvation through Jesus Christ or eternal condemnation. A person’s name is either written in the Book of Life or it isn’t.
Besides the clear statement of Hebrews 9:27, there is the total absence of any verse to the contrary. In other words, the Bible provides no hope of a post-death opportunity to trust in Christ.
Moreover, if there were such an opportunity, it would wipe out all the urgent appeals in Scripture to receive Christ NOW.
Okay, but what about the millions of people who lived and died before Christ’s death on the cross? Don’t they get an opportunity to trust in him?
Some Christians argue they do – based on I Peter 3:19. This verse reads: “[Jesus] went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago.”
Space doesn’t permit a long explanation, so I’ll just summarize:
1.. The “spirits in prison” are not HUMAN spirits, but the DEMONS God has kept bound since before the Flood.
2. The preaching that Jesus did to them, wasn’t the preaching of the gospel (for salvation), but rather a PROCLAMATION OF HIS TRIUMPH over sin, death, hell and Satan.
Salvation BC (Before Christ)*
What then of all those who died before Christ died on the cross?
Since the fall of humanity, the basis of salvation has always been the death of Christ. No one, either prior to Christ’s death or since, would or will ever be saved without that pivotal event in history. That’s Point #1.
Point #2 is this: The requirement for salvation has always been grace through faith. Genesis 15:6 says: “Abraham believed the LORD, and the LORD counted it to him as righteousness.”
What has changed through the ages is the content of a believer’s faith. God’s requirement of what must be believed is based on the amount of revelation He has given humanity up to that time. This is called “progressive revelation.”
Throughout the Old Testament era, believers came to salvation because they believed that God would someday take care of their sin problem. Today, we look back to the cross, believing that it was then & there that Jesus took care of our sin.
*This section adapted from an article by gotquestions.org.