Synopsis of God’s Plan of Salvation

God longs to fill His kingdom with souls who will truly love Him and His Son, and also love one another. He wants these souls to understand the value of love, trust, and loyalty, and to choose to practice these attributes voluntarily. God began His plan by creating the earth in its limited universe. Then He created Adam and Eve to live happily in the Garden of Eden, walking and talking with Him.

But the beautiful and powerful angel Lucifer, later known as Satan, rebelled against God because he was jealous of Christ, and jealous of the new being, man that God wanted to bring to fruition. As a result of his rebellion, Satan was thrown to earth with the angels who chose to follow Satan and had thus also disobeyed God. These numbered one third of all the angels.

Satan knew God’s plan and understood that when the plan was completed and God obtained the number of faithful loving souls He longed for, Satan would be thrown into hell for what he had done. To prevent God’s plan from moving forward and thus forestall his own destruction, Lucifer destroyed God’s relationship of trust and loyalty with Adam and Eve by enticing them to sin through disobedience. God then banished Adam and Eve as he had banished Satan.

But God, knowing what Satan would do to them, provided a way for Adam and Eve and the generations to follow, to escape the captivity Satan proposed for them and return to God. Christ offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice by which the sins of man could be forgiven.

At every turn, Satan interfered with God’s plan, trying to break those who would follow God. He had to, because when God collected the number of souls he wanted for his new creation, Satan would be bound forever. Thus Satan is fighting for his life when discouraging the faithful. God knew that many of those tested by Satan would be strengthened through these attacks, becoming like gold refined in the fires of tribulation. From these faithful, God is building what the Bible calls the Bride of Christ.

Christ entered hell after His death to give testimony of His triumph to those who had died before He brought His perfect sacrifice. God has provided that everyone who was ever conceived, born or died will have the opportunity to learn of God and the sacrifice made for them by Christ. All of mankind will be offered the opportunity to have their sins forgiven, and still, sadly, many will not.

God has allotted a certain amount of time for His children to be made ready which only he knows (Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:7), and when that time is up, His Son will return to earth for the First Resurrection to take to heaven both those from eternity who have obtained forgiveness and those alive who are faithful. (James 1:18; 1 John 5:4; Revelation 2:7, 11, 26; Revelation 3:5, 12, 21, Revelation 12:5 and 11; Revelation 21:7) When they are gone, grace will also be gone, and a great destruction will begin where one third of all the people on earth will die. (Daniel 12:1-2; Matthew 24:21-22; Thessalonians 2:1-4; 2 Timothy 3:1-9)

When the destruction ends, God will send His Son back to earth with those He had taken at the First Resurrection. They will have celestial (perfect) bodies and will reign as kings and priests for one thousand years of peace to bring testimony to everyone not taken in the First Resurrection. Satan will be bound during this time, unable to influence mankind, so all mankind will learn about… and accept… God. (Revelation20:2; Isaiah4:2-6; Isaiah 11; Isaiah 12; Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:27; Amos 9:11-15)

But after the one thousand years of peace, Satan will be loosed again for a little while so those who have now accepted God can be tested. (Revelation 20:7-10) Satan will wreak havoc on those not firm in their faith. Then will come Judgment Day (John 5:22; Revelation 20:12-14) when everyone, except those taken by Christ for the First Resurrection, will be judged by what they did or did not do during their lifetime.

Some, which the Bible calls the “goats,” will be cast into hell with Satan forever, while others, called the “lambs,” will inhabit God’s new kingdom where there will be no sorrow and no tears. (Revelation 21:1-4) Those taken for the First Resurrection will continue to reign as kings and priests in the new kingdom. They will never have to be judged because their sins had been forgiven and entirely wiped away by God. In the end, only those who remained faithful would share God’s new heaven and earth and the old would be destroyed. (Revelation 21:1-4)

(Also see 1 Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10; Revelation 12:5; Revelation 19:14; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:5)

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