Editorial: The Day of Salvation

If what is passing today as new teaching is true, offering a second chance after the rapture to people who have heard, or could have heard the gospel, in this day of grace, then all the warnings we have heard and preached for many years have been wrong. Recent best selling books and videos that endorse this second chance theory have affected many children of Christian parents and young believers.

The mercy of God is never promised as a future “anytime” possibility. Rather the language of many passages agrees with 2 Corinthians 6:2, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Whatever dispensation is being addressed, the principle is that there is a time of visitation. The tender Savior wept over Jerusalem and said, “… thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:44). In speaking of the gospel going out to Gentiles, Peter wrote that, “they may glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet 2:12). The solemn warning, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov 27:1), does not vaguely speak of a future offer of salvation.

This agrees with the teaching of the Lord Jesus in Luke 13:25, “When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are.” Proponents of this new theory tell us that Matthew 25:10-13 and Luke 13 only apply to the end of the tribulation days. I don’t believe this, but there is a very clear passage that plainly teaches no hope of anyone being saved who “received not the love of the truth” in this day of God’s mercy.

In 2 Thess 2:7, the One who restrains Satan from producing his man of sin is the Holy Spirit. “He will be taken out of the way,” ek mesou literally means, “out of the midst.” This is the unique character of this age, when the Spirit dwells in the midst of the church. This agrees with the fact that there will be a great outpouring of the Spirit in the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:28), but there is no suggestion that He will indwell those who believe the Gospel of the Kingdom in that day.

Who will be saved when this gospel is “preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations”? Not any who could have been saved in this day of grace. This language is crystal clear, “They received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thess 2:10). These people might have been saved. Verse 12 takes in this vast company and says, “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unright-eousness.” The “lie” (v 11) is the man of sin. The “Truth” is the One who said, “I am the Truth.” This agrees fully with the Lord’s own words, “He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words … the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

Can anyone in enlightened lands such as Canada, the U.K. and the U.S.A. get saved in the Day of the Lord? We must understand that this decision does not lie with us, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen 18:25). He will know exactly who has refused the Savior and who has not. God will make no mistakes, but to offer to unbelievers, in this day, a hope of being saved in a future day runs counter to every warning of Scripture. “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Heb 3:15). There must not only be the possibility of “hearing”, there must be a willingness to hear (Rom 10:17).