From: Jamie Smith
We who believe in the ultimate reconciliation of all things (Col. 1:20), back to Him Who created all things, are frequently misunderstood concerning faith and judgment. We have always said that faith must be present in a member of the body of Christ, the church, the out-called ones, the ecclesia. There also will be judgment awaiting those without faith.
What we do not believe Scripture says is that our faith causes salvation or that judgment is strictly penal without remediation. A careful reading of properly translated Scripture justifies that position.
To be “saved” means different things. It is a fact that a believer is being saved by their faith as an ongoing daily occurrence. That is, each day our personal faith causes us to think a certain way and to frequently act according to that faith. Faith causes us to be joyful. That is present and ongoing daily salvation.
Being saved from sin and death is a different matter and is not caused by our faith. Our faith is a fruit of the spirit. It is a fruit and not the root. The root is God choosing a person before the disruption of the eon, to be believing (Eph. 1:4). Christ’s faith in His Father brought Him to the cross. The cross accomplished the salvation of all for whom He died. God’s spirit, His imperceptible power, is given to each chosen person, which causes belief in Christ crucified, the successful Savior of all. God causes us to believe.
That is why there can be no boasting in acquiring our faith. If you choose to believe by your own free will apart from God, then you have plenty to boast about. You should be boasting outwardly because you did it. To do otherwise is obvious false humility.
In truth, we choose but not in the way religion teaches. There is no avoidability. By that I mean if God prefers to have us believe, there can be but one choice for us. It cannot be avoided. Likewise, there will be no faith choice for any who were not chosen to believe for it is impossible to believe without God’s spirit causing such mental and emotional activity.
As for judgment for an unbeliever, repentance does not destroy the person. Judgment’s resulting pain of conscience is not the end. Pain is not the desired outcome. Pain is just the means to an end — the comforting of the person. Judgment literally means to set things right. That’s what God does. He causes comfort for everyone through different methods according to His purpose.
So we have our faith, but it is a gratuitous gift given without a cause on our part. It is impossible to refuse. We have judgment, which will set all things right. The end is the reconciliation of all things. Judgment and faith advance us toward this ultimate outcome.
1 Cor. 15:22: “For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.”