How refreshing for David Wayne to speak of the humility of Bruce Waltke and others who are learning to read the Bible with fresh eyes.
I commented on his question, “What grids do I have and do we have that need to be changed…?” here.
Now here’s a list of scriptures that indicate that the expectations of no future opportunity for the salvation of the unsaved world are a serious defect in the popular Christian “grid”.
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain (kingdom). The earth shall be full of the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea.””
The eyes of the blind shall be opened, etc. Here, the whole world comes to “Zion” – the government God has been establishing, which in my view will consist of both victorious Christians and regathered Jews. working together in heaven and earth to teach and redeem the unsaved world. The process for these “ransomed of the Lord” (see 1 Timothy 2:6 for a statement about how many are included in that term) is described in the Isaiah 35 text as a highway — that is, an easily traveled road — which will be for the unclean, yet the unclean won’t pass over it. In other words, people are cleansed as they walk this way. Even fools, (today’s atheists?) it says, won’t err in this journey to Zion, where God dwells.
And where will God ultimately dwell? With men, according to Revelation 21..
There will be a family of God both in earth and in heaven, as Paul describes it in Ephesians 3:15.
The judgment day will be a process of teaching, in which the whole world will learn righteousness by seeing God’s judgments: Isaiah 26:9
Indeed, the millennium during which Christ is “shephering the world with a staff of iron” along with today’s faithful Christians, will be the first time in human history when deception and lies from Satan are unable to mislead people away from God. Why would God bottle up Satan in a bottomless pit, where he is unable to deceive the nations, if it was not God’s intention to spend that thousand years in teaching and instructing the nations so that they can be tested for good character and love at the end, as foretold? Revelation 20:3, 7-10.
“If I am lifted up (on the cross) I will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32
“My flesh I give for the life of the world.” John 6:51
God’s overarching promise:
I created the earth not in vain. I formed it to be inhabited. … By myself have I sworn… that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. “ Isaiah 45
That’s why there will be a resurrection of ALL the dead, both the just and the unjust. Acts 24:15
That’s why it will be said, that death and hades were swallowed up in victory, and that the Lord God shall wipe away tears from off ALL faces. Isaiah 25:8
When the grid of exclusivism is overlooked, suddenly God is better than almost anyone has dared to dream. Suddenly instead of “hiding himself” as Isaiah 45 states it, God will ultimately reveal himself to be the righteous judge, restorer of the poor. Now, we can find hope for the victims of the slave trade today and in past ages. The crack babies who were born without the physiogical ability to have a conscience; the Islamists who are born and bred with hatred; the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free”.
In this grid, this paradigm, Christians were personally called by God, invited and redeemed ahead of the rest of the world, so that they could be part of his future government of the world (see Ephesians 1:10, Weymouth translation)
And in this grid, everyone else gains as well. They don’t have the golden privilege of being part of the Bride of Christ, the inner family of God in heaven. But they still get an amazing “feast of fat things”. They get to live in a redeemed earth if they profit from the lessons of evil and learn from the age of God’s judgments being in the earth.
What will the end be, after the end of the era of judgment and the little season of punishment which follows it? Isaiah described it thus: “The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet. They break forth into singing.”
This is why I believe God is happy. (1 Tim 1:11) Because he knows how his creation will turn out in the end!
I believe that today, more and more Christians are starting to have their minds open to this amazing kindness and grace of God.