SALVATION IS AN EVENT AND A PROCESS

DEAR FRIEND OF FREEWILL…

There is a lot to learn about this “salvation” thing.
If you remember, there are some old Christian dudes out there who say “ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED”. They speak as if salvation were an event.
Yes, it’s true, salvation can be an event, but it’s also a process.
It begins, it grows, it becomes complete.
I bring this up in regards to… God being the savior of all, ESPECIALLY but not EXCLUSIVELY of believers. (I TIM 4:10)
One reason for the “special” salvation given to the believers, is that God is the savior of all. That is… God will use the believers to bring in the rest. That’s why God puts a temporary emphasis on the believers… i.e. He is the Savior of all.. but especially our savior, who believe.

When Paul said to Timothy, “bring my traveling cloak”… we might understand that it was cold outside.
When Paul said to Timothy, “bring the scrolls”… we might understand he wanted to catch up on some reading.
When Paul said to Timothy, “especially the vellums” (Note: vellums are empty scrolls, no one has written on them yet.)… we might understand that Paul wanted to write a letter or two, maybe to the churches he had established.

My point is … he wanted the scrolls, yes, but he ESPECIALLY wanted the vellums. He had a special purpose for them.
In the same way… God is the savior of all… but He is ESPECIALLY the savior of believers. He has a special purpose for us.

Now, regarding “this salvation thing”…. it seems to me, the greatest lesson we can learn about salvation is that it is the work of God. It begins with God and ends with God.
God is the creator of all, and the savior of all.
Any role we play (as believers) in salvation… of ourselves or others… it is still “GOD WORKING IN YOU TO WILL AND TO DO” as brother Paul says.
Salvation may be an event… as in “I was saved last Tuesday.”
But it is also a process… as in “my understanding is greater today than it was last year.”
Salvation may consist of a “growing faith”… but it ultimately concerns the abolition of death (the last enemy and the wages of sin).
Our faith does not abolish death, Christ defeated death on the cross, and in the resurrection… our faith concerns the abolition of death, but the defeat of death is God’s work. It began in raising Him from the dead. It will continue with “those who are Christ’s in His presence… it continues with the rest at “the end” of the making alive process… not just raising them from the dead like He did to Lazarus… Ya know, Lazarus went on to die after he was raised by Jesus Christ… therefore, Lazarus was not “VIVIFIED”.
Christ was VIVIFIED… unable to die again.
We, who are Christ’s will be VIVIFIED at His presence.
Then all, will be VIVIFIED when He puts down all rule, authority and power, and puts death to death, only for God to become all in all.
I COR 15:20-28… is not about some ole run-of-the-mill resurrection… like that which happened to Lazarus… NO… It’s a bigger deal than that.

Christ was VIVIFIED, and is the FIRSTFRUIT of them that repose.
In farming, the FIRSTFRUIT always tells you something about the harvest later on.

If it is, as you insist, that all those folks out there will merely be raised from the dead to be royally punished, and not as Christ was raised… you cheapen and badmouth Christ as the FIRSTFRUIT of them that repose.

There is a difference between resurrection and vivification… two different words… Lazarus was resurrected, Christ was vivified. And I COR 15:20-28 says EVEN AS IN ADAM, ALL DIE, SO ON CHRIST ALL SHALL BE VIVIFIED.
Lazarus went on to die a 2nd time, but Christ lives, unable to die again.
The wicked and unbelieving will be raised, and judged, and face the 2nd death… but that is not what’s in view in I COR 15:20-28. This passage goes FAR beyond that. This passage takes us to the end of God’s eonian purpose.
It’s not right to mix Paul’s prophecy with John’s prophecy. They are about two different things. Paul reveals God’s goal to become all in all. John’s revelation is stuck in the last two eons of time. When John’s book closes, there is still rule, authority, power and death.
I COR 15:20-28… reveals the total end of those things, including Christ’s rule. “He must reign until…”

Salvation is the work of God. God is the Creator of all. And the Savior of all.
If you don’t understand how, oh how, God can pull it off… you’re not alone.
Thank God for Paul’s revelation.

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