Is there a second chance for those who have died?
Are we saying or implying that all Israel from the beginning of Israel’s existence to the end of the earth will be saved?
I have formerly written about a thousand generations in reference to the time Yehovah’s Covenant with Avraham will last according to three texts:
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that Yehovah thy God — He is God, the faithful God Who keeps covenant and Grace with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations…
1 Chronicles 16:15 Be ye mindful always of His covenant — the word He commanded to a thousand generations….
Psalm 105:8 He has remembered His covenant to Hider, the word He commanded to a thousand generations…
The question, “Is there a second chance for those who have died?” needs a fuller answer than merely “No.” I will start with that, but I must explain another event.
‘Second chance’ concepts are wrong. Yet how many ‘second chances’ do folks have who are alive and in their right minds? Everyone you and I know who fits the categories of alive and in a right mind constantly has ‘second chances’ to turn to Truth and be saved. Thus, in a way, most everyone has a second chance. But does one have a second chance after death? I also must say “No” to that with one most curious exception promised in the Bible. I refer to Ezekiel 37:
Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of Yehovah was upon me. And He carried me out via the spirit of Yehovah. And He set me down in the midst of the valley that was full of bones. 2And He caused me to pass by them round about. And behold, there were very many in the open valley. And behold, they were very dry. 3And He said unto me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “Lord Yehovah, Thou knowest.” 4Again He said unto me, “Prophesy upon these bones. And say unto them, ‘Ye dry bones! Hearken to the word of Yehovah! 5Thus says the Lord Yehovah unto these bones, “Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you! And ye shall live! 6And I will lay sinews upon you and will bring up flesh upon you. And I will cover you with skin and put breath in you. And ye shall live! And ye shall know that I am Yehovah!”’” 7So 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. 8And when I beheld, behold, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above! But there was no breath in them. 9And He said unto me, “Prophesy unto the wind! Prophesy, son of man! And say to the wind, ‘Thus says the Lord Yehovah, “Come from the four winds, breath, and breathe upon these slain! And they shall live!”’” 10So 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! 11Then 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!’ 12Therefore prophesy and say unto them, ‘Thus says the Lord Yehovah, “Behold, I will open your graves, my people, and cause you to come up out of your graves! And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13And ye shall know that I am Yehovah when I have opened your graves, my people, and brought you up out of your graves! 14And I shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live! And I shall place you in your own land! And ye shall know that I Yehovah have spoken and performed,” says Yehovah.’”
This text refers to a resurrection into mortal (not immortal) bodies. It is like what Yeshua did with Lazarus, except it will be for a very large group that died a number of years before this event, long enough for only bones to be left. This group is the whole House of Israel. Thus, at one point in history, only the House of Judah will be left alive; a mass slaughter of the House of Israel will temporarily bring the majority of Israel to annihilation. Since Yehovah’s Word is good, He will resurrect this whole House of Israel; otherwise His plan and coming could not occur. (Numerous promises of His coming include all the tribes of Israel.) He will do more than resurrect them, however, according to this text; He will give them life and Life: mortal life, then everlasting life. This resurrection into mortal bodies is so that they can commence having children (since folks in their immortal bodies cannot have babies). This event must precede the Tribulation by quite a few years, since the Tribulation assumes all the tribes of Israel fully functioning and participating in Temple sacrifices, and the vast majority of Israel not being in faith. It cannot happen during the Tribulation; there is no time during the Tribulation when a significant group of Israel’s tribes is missing.
Does this constitute a ‘second chance’? It is only a ‘second chance’ if one has a second chance every moment one has life and a right mind. This event is a promise of Yehovah so that His Word will not be voided by the terrible annihilation that will destroy a large majority of the Israelis. See what Yehovah has promised, and determine for yourself why He does this singular event.
The ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ cult has viewed ‘the House of Israel’ in this text as meaning all, and has posited the erroneous theology that all will be given a second chance after death. That lie will seal the damnation of many who follow them. Their error doesn’t negate the Word of God and His promises in this event.
Will every Israeli who lived from the beginning to that point be saved?
Am I stating or implying that all Israel from the beginning of Israel’s existence to the end of the earth will be saved? No; that of course is not the case. Every Israeli must be saved by the same means: by the Grace of God and through faith. The texts promise that all Israel (thus, all Israelis) will be saved after Yehovah does His great work in Israel and after He slaughters the Israelis who will refuse to believe. This will occur during the Tribulation. The text further promises that no part of Israel will live that will not come to faith from THAT point on in earth’s history. In other words, once Yehovah does His great work in Israel and removes those who will not believe, all Israelis alive and in their mortal bodies will believe unto Salvation, and their children that are born will also all come to faith. Thus, for ten centuries (the Millennium), every Israeli newborn, though born in sin, will grow, will learn, and will come to faith. The promise includes one other very strange and almost incredible detail: no Israeli will sin during that entire time, even while coming to faith! That will prove the exception to the text, “All have sinned.”
Zephaniah 3:11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings which thou hast transgressed against me. For I will then take away them that rejoice in thy pride out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. 12I will also leave humble and poor people in the midst of thee. And they shall trust in the name Yehovah. 13The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity or speak lies. And a deceitful tongue shall not be found in their mouth. For they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
The Bible proves that even a sinner can refrain from sinning if the motivation to not sin (or the threat) is great enough. If that is the case, how much stronger will the motivation to not sin be among entirely righteous Israel! He will write the Torah (Teaching) on the heart (mind) of each individual Israeli from birth. Each must still obtain Salvation in the very same way: by His Grace and through faith, but each will be saved, no exceptions. That promise is not given to the non-Jewish folks. Some of them will come to faith through the duration of the Millennium, but most will not. Thus, non-Jewish unbelievers will desire to sin, and will hate the reign of Yeshua Who will enforce righteousness with a rod of iron. They, not the Israelis, will participate in the great attempt to destroy Messiah and Jerusalem as noted in Revelation:
Revelation 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. 8And he shall go out to deceive the races that are in the four quarters of the earth–Gog and Magog–to gather them together to battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9And they went up on the breadth of the earth. And they surrounded the camp of the Saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
None of Israel and no non-Jewish Saints are included in this group of rebels.
Many texts refer to parts of these events, some including promises of Yehovah’s Work in these events.
Isn’t the New Birth is for everyone–Jew and Gentile?
This is and has always been true. The Bible also refers to a different New Birth: when the entire people of Israel is saved with an everlasting Salvation. That requires all individual Israelis to obtain Salvation, of course, but it is distinct. No group has been promised Salvation in this manner except two: the Israelis (after the removal of all Israeli rebels during the Tribulation), and those non-Jewish non-saints who will help the Israelis during the Tribulation (as described in what I call the ‘Sheep/Goat’ Judgment, Matthew 25:31 and following). Since Salvation is by Yehovah’s Grace, no one can theologically deny His saving whom He has promised to save. Thus, the New Birth is also for Israel as a whole and for helpers of Israel during that time in the Tribulation.
The passage in Zechariah when Israel recognizes Messiah–could this be the time when Israel as a nation is saved?
It is close to the time, but not quite. A brief period of time will be granted to the Israelis to turn to Yeshua in faith after the following event:
Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour the spirit of favour and supplications upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced. And they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son. And they shall be in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. 11In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12And the land shall mourn–every family apart–the family of the House of David apart and their wives apart; the family of the House of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 13the family of the House of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart–14all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. 13:1In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the House of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. 2And it shall come to pass in that day,” says Yehovah of hosts, “that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land. And they shall no more be remembered. And I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. 3And it shall come to pass that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, ‘Thou shalt not live! For thou speakest lies in the name of Yehovah!’ And his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesies! 4And it shall come to pass, in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he has prophesied. And they shall not wear a rough garment to deceive. 5But he shall say, ‘I am no prophet! I am an husbandman! For man taught me to keep cattle from my youth!’ 6And one shall say unto him, ‘What are these wounds in thine hands?’ Then he shall answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’”
This text indicates that some ‘housecleaning’ must first be accomplished. Yehovah will remove the rebels from Israel, those who still will not believe, though they know the truth and have been part of the great mourning. He will lift them alive into the air, and drop them to their deaths for eagles to clean the meat off of their bones, and Yeshua promised:
Luke 17:26 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of man. 27They did eat; they drank; they married wives; they were given in marriage–until the day that Noah entered into the ark. And the flood came and destroyed them all. 28Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot–they did eat; they drank; they bought; they sold; they planted; they built. 29But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from the heavens and destroyed them all. 30Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31In that day, he who shall be upon the housetop and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away. And he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32Remember Lot’s wife! 33Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it! 34I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” 37And they answered and said unto Him, “Where, Lord?” And He said unto them, “Wheresoever the body (carcass, in Matthew 24:28) is, the eagles will be gathered together there!”
Other texts confirm this angelic removal of all rebels (called ‘tares’ in one parable) from Israel. Those eagles are not vultures as some have wrongly supposed. Eagles eat fresh kill when they can; vultures don’t mind it when it is old.
All Israelis left will be in faith after this time and this removal. I haven’t yet discovered exactly when He writes the Torah on their hearts, but it is near to this time. This now commences the time when no Israeli will sin, and no Israeli will die in unbelief again. This doesn’t end the Tribulation, since now righteous Israel must be tested, as Yeshua was tested 40 days and nights. Some rather hair-raising events must yet take place, and Mount Zion’s role will be incredibly large in all these events. The power of Yehovah will be far more openly demonstrated than it was during the entire ministry of Yeshua! Saints will do far greater works than He did! It will be a most exciting time, even while it will be during the worst time of earth’s history!