Thursday, July 2, 2020 -
There is a man in our unit who follows the teachings of the United Church of God out of Charlotte, North Carolina. I have read some of their literature and much of it is very good. But they apparently teach that once a man dies he will have a second chance to except Christ’s atonement. They somehow base this doctrine on one verse, Revelation 20:5: “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.”
Yet 1 Thessalonians 4:16 seems to indicate this first resurrection is comprised solely of unbelievers, “...And the dead in Christ shall rise first.” Do these two scriptures point to the fact that there is a subsequent resurrection? I would assume so. Yet it is a mystery as to what this second resurrection entails, although we can certainly surmise.
And then we must not neglect the very clear words of Hebrews 9:27, “In as much as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes the judgment.” If men were to be given a second chance after death, why should they be concerned about living a holy and righteous life here on earth? Why would they need to comply with Christ’s directives to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him? It makes the entire gospel message and Jesus’ great commission illogical.
I see this fallacy merely by looking at the man who espouses this doctrine as well as those who are coerced into believing as he does. He is a bitter, angry individual from whose mouth spews very deviant speech.
As my friend “R” says, it is better to be safe, rather than sorry. If you embrace this doctrine and defer your embrace of Christ as Savior, and ignore His command to live a righteous life, there is a great likelihood you will be found wrong when it is too late. Are you certain you want to take that chance?
It is easy to use this doctrine to provide hope that perhaps your loved ones who did without Christ will have another opportunity, but that’s not what the rest of the New Testament teaches. It is so very important that we do not take one verse out of context and embrace an entire salvation doctrine on one while ignoring so much of what Christ and the other New Testament writers teach!