The mystery of salvation has been revealed to man. Paul told the Ephesians of this:
"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
"Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
"To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him" (Eph. 3:1-12).
When man sinned in the Garden of Eden, God could have justly destroyed man. But instead he devised a way for man to be justified in his sight again.
The story of how man’s redemption was to occur is found in the pages of God’s word. The coming of a savior was promised to Abraham (Gen. 12:1 - 3), and the story of this man and his descendants leads us to the time of Christ. The account takes us through two periods of captivity for God’s people.
We read of the direction God gave to his people and how they many times failed to follow his word, and how they suffered for their disobedience. It is also seen that God blessed them when they followed him and even delivered them from enemies as long as they followed his commands. God kept his promises to man.
The apostle Peter wrote the following: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:9, 10).
God’s desire is that all men would be saved, but he leaves the choice up to man whether to accept or reject his terms. He has given the ultimate sacrifice – Jesus to die for all men (John 3:16); he has given an instruction manual to be followed – the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16 – 17); and he has given man time to obey (2 Cor. 6:2).
Since God has prepared the way for man, you would think man would be thankful and simply obey God. But as we know many fail to follow God.
There are those who feel they have no need for God failing to realize that without God they could not even have life. "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:7).
They assume that just because things always have been they always will be, this also is a false belief.
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:3-7).
Still others seem to think that the way God has prepared needs to be changed, so they seek to add a few things to what God has said. Or they think God has asked for too much, so they want to leave part of it off. In other words, they want to have things their way.
This idea will cost countless millions their souls. Can we not learn from Hebrew history that this will not work? God has prepared the way and made salvation accessible for all men, on the same terms. If man will simply study and obey God’s commands, he can be saved.
Why not obey God as he desires, since he prepared the way?