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Salvation of unbelievers (10/24/2004)
From: Jamie Smith


As God is the Savior of all mankind, especially of those who believe (1 Tim. 4:10), we may confidently rest on this foundation of truth-that all salvation is of God, and neither believer nor unbeliever has any part in it. Those who believe are saved by His grace; those who do not believe are saved through His judgments, but in both it is He alone who is Savior.

Faith is the channel of grace; it does not produce salvation. Judgment is a means He uses, a process which leads to the opening of the unbeliever's eyes. It does not remove his guilt or cleanse a single sin. That is done wholly and solely by the blood of Christ. Judgments do not save, but the God who judges is also the Savior.

The very simplicity of faith baffles us. Today there are no evidences for faith other than the written word along with nature and many archeological confirmations. Most theological systems seek "Christian evidences"¯ as the foundation of the believer's salvation. If 1,000 people were made to read the Bible and study history and nature, only a small percentage would believe the accounts in Scripture. It wouldn't matter how smart, how dumb, how interested, how evil or how good those people were. Science could not ascertain why certain ones believed. Faith is an unmerited gift (Eph. 2:8 ""¦not of yourselves"¦"¯). It is a miracle. In the Divine design for today - a measure of faith is not meant for everyone. It is given only to some.

The unbeliever, however, upon resurrection will be reached through evidences. The unbeliever will be saved by sight. He will yield to the force of facts. He will be convinced by logic. 100% will believe.

The case of Thomas, while dispensationally different, is an example of the overpowering force of evidence where faith is wanting (John 20:26-29). The power of the resurrection of Lazarus led many Jews to rely on that act for their faith. These illustrate God's method in the future judgment of the unbeliever.

Can an unbeliever still be saved subsequent to his death? Absolutely - Scripture teaches it. That is how the great majority of humans will come to believe. Saving people who, in this life, do not believe does not detract from Christ's work - condemning them to "hell"¯ does. Saving them does not cheapen His work. The opposite is true. It makes it more powerful, comprehensive and good. In the end, it will display to all the beings in the universe, God's capacity for mercy - even to the worst offenders.

What will unbelievers face upon resurrection? What undeniable evidence will convince them to love God? The clues are above. The evidence will be laid out in Part II. 


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