People Can Lose Out
Yes, there are many such verses that speak of not making it unless a person works at showing good works and keeps the commandments of God. However, in every case where these conditional warnings are made about "not make it," they are speaking about making it into the Kingdom of God which will appear on earth at the second advent of Christ back to this earth. This is the period known as the Millennium on earth when Gods kingdom will be on earth. This is the very thing that most Jews were wanting at all costs. Even Gentiles wanted to experience this kingdom as well. Indeed, the apostle Paul told the Ephesians that they were in danger of not inheriting the Kingdom if they continued to do wrong (Ephesians 5:3-5).
But wait a moment. Let us not mix apples with oranges. Receiving a salvation in Christ and inheriting the Kingdom of God are two different things, and most people fail to distinguish them. Virtually all the teaching that Christ gave to the Jews before his crucifixion involved a message to get them into the Kingdom of God (known variously to the Jews at the time as "the world to come," "the age to come," or simply "the Kingdom of God," or "the Kingdom of heaven"). The Kingdom is destined to be introduced to the world at the second advent of Christ and will last one thousand years (it is called the Millennium). At the second advent, the righteous dead will be resurrected (I Corinthians 15:23; 37-55) at that time to inherit both the Kingdom of God AND their salvation to be members of the Family of God at the same time. The rest of the dead, however, will not obtain the Kingdom, and not even their salvation until the thousand years have past (I Corinthians 15:23; Revelation 20:5,6).
Now note this point carefully. All the verses given by Christ and the apostles in which they state that people can miss out on future happiness, or they will perish and not get their rewards, or they will be destroyed and not inherit the promises; all of them deal with the Kingdom phase of Gods inheritance! Anyone can miss out on that phase of the plan of salvation (Ephesians 5:5) and not be resurrected at Christs second advent, but no one (under any circumstances) will miss out on the ultimate salvation that Christ has provided for all the human race by his death on the tree of crucifixion. The apostle Paul readily admitted that the fornicator in Corinth had done such a terrible sin that his work "shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (I Corinthians 3:15). Paul even said to "deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit MAY BE SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus" (I Corinthians 5:5). Paul simply meant that he would not inherit the Kingdom phase for a thousand years to be given to the righteous at the second advent, but in the final hour (at the final resurrection) the man would still be given his salvation which is totally secure in Christ through grace, and not by our works (whether those works be good or bad).
Yes, there will be many people who will perish, be destroyed and not inherit the Kingdom of God which will be introduced at the second advent and it will last for 1000 years, but in no way will people be forever cast out of Gods salvation which has been secured for them (not by our own works but by the works of Christ). Note the worlds favorite verse (but this time read the next verse too).
"For God so loved the world [all of it] that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world [all the world]; but that the world [all the world] through him might be saved" (John 3:16, 17).
Let me tell you a fact. When God the Father and Christ Jesus set out to save the world (and that means all of it), there is not a chance in the world that they will not accomplish their task triumphantly. Yes, Christ was sent to save all the world and he will do just that in fact, it was an accomplished fact before the world ever began (II Timothy 1:9).
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