HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
What About Other Nations and Peoples?
Is this great resurrection exclusively for Israel? Or will other peoples and nations also be included? Remember that our loving Creator remains “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). Several passages in the Gospel accounts show that non-Israelite rulers and peoples are to be resurrected as well.
The queen of the South (Sheba), the peoples of Tyre, Sidon and Nineveh (ancient nations and city-states that long predated the Messiah’s human lifetime), and even the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah will be resurrected to physical life alongside Messiah’s generation of Israelites
- Matthew 11:20-24; Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
- Matthew 12:41-42; The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
- Luke 10:12-14 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. 13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.
The Messiah plainly stated: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,” (John 5:25, 28).
Later the Messiah revealed to this same apostle John that “the rest of the dead” — referring to those not raised to life in this resurrection — “did not live again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 1:1; 20:5). This tells us that the timing of this resurrection is after the thousand-year period known as the Millennium.
Is Today the Only Day of Salvation?
Most in mainstream Christendom erroneously believe that today is the only day of salvation. But this belief simply is not found in the Bible. In fact, the vast majority of humankind will receive their opportunity for salvation during the great resurrection to the judgment that we have been reading about in
Ezekiel 37:1-14 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. 4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.
The apostle John also refers to this resurrection to temporary physical life in Revelation 20:11-13:
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”
The “great white throne” judgment occurs not in an instant as people are raised from the dead, but instead over a considerable period of time. JEHOVAH God will judge them over time, just as those called to salvation today are judged over time during this present age by this very same standard, the books of the Bible
1 Peter 4:17; For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
2 Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Many Bible readers and church folks misunderstand the nature and meaning of judgment, nearly always associating the term with sentencing to condemnation — not realizing that JEHOVAH God is a merciful judge who patiently evaluates human existence with righteous discernment. He earnestly desires to see the blood of His first-born Son Jesus the Messiah blot out the sins of as many as possible. The Messiah himself firmly stated,
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32).
Paul writes of “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
And in Ezekiel 18:32 we read, “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”
This coming time of judgment will give those who never really knew JEHOVAH God during their previous life a just and fair opportunity for salvation — not a second chance.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW …