FOREKNOWN – LOST?
Were we once with God…before being lost?
Isiah 53:6-7; Luke 15
Target Truth Ministries.com Pastor Gerry
All of us who are Christians, and, most all religious people, believe in, and speculate about, what life will be like after we die to these bodies. Christians believe in eternal life, either in heaven/Paradise, or hell. Many religions that are not Christian (such as Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witness’s, and Islam), also believe in a heaven and a hell — or a kind of hell. And some religions believe in reincarnation (coming back to this world to suffer more pain and death), either as a plant, an animal, or a human — depending upon the religion.
Of course, only Christians have the evidence of actual power over life and death. This evidence was given to us by Jesus when He rose from the dead, just as He predicted in Matthew 12:39-40. And then, after rising from the dead, Jesus appeared to His followers to prove He was alive (alive and transformed into a different kind of being), able to materialize through doors and walls (John 20:19 & 26), and able to rise into the air (Acts 1:9-11). Christ knew we were doubters, and that is why He didn’t just appear to His disciples, and then go off into His kingdom. In God’s Word, we read in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, and Acts 1:1-8 (just to mention a couple), of how Jesus stayed here on earth, visited with hundreds of people, on many occasions, over several weeks, before leaving us to go into His kingdom. And, Jesus promised to return one day, to judge the world. Many of us believe we are close to that time of His return now, as many of the prophecies of the Bible are coming true right before our very eyes.
These non-Christian religions have good people, with nice philosophies, and many times they do great things. But, these other religions have NO evidence to support their views of life after death. Christians have this evidence. That is what the New Testament of the Bible is — accounts of Jesus (directly attributed to the eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection), informing us that Jesus is God, our Creator, and our Savior.
So, most of us believe in some kind of life after death, but, how about this question: Have you ever thought about whether we existed before being born into this life, on this planet? In God’s Word, in Ephesians 1:4-11; John 3:18; Romans 8:28-30; 2 Timothy 1:9; and 1 Peter 2:25, God tells us, in so many words, that He knew us before we came into this world. To help us understand this relationship with God (before being born), let’s look at God’s Word.
Jesus gave us three parables in Luke 15. The lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. We should note first of all that in reading about these three situations (the shepherd who lost a sheep, a woman who lost a coin, and the father who lost his youngest son), that the focus is not on the sheep, or the coin, or the lost son. The focus of the parables Jesus tells us is from the point of view of the one who was the owner of the sheep, and the owner of the coins, and the father of the lost son. In each parable, the owner is determined to be restored to the lost possession. The point of these three parables is that God is patient to wait for the lost to return to Him. God is not quick to judge the earth, He is patient. But, one day, God has promised the time will be up (Luke 21:24-32; Rom. 11:25-26). Thank God He has waited this long in history.
In thinking about this first parable (the lost sheep), turn in your Bibles to Isaiah 53:6-7, and note in the Old Testament, here (written 700 years before Jesus time), that Isaiah talks of the same thing. Also note, that this chapter of Isaiah also has a lot to say about the prophesy of the Messiah (Jesus). And, these prophesies were fulfilled by Jesus at His suffering and death.
The shepherd and the woman (in the first two parables), are seen as frantically searching for the lost. They each needed to find the lost item. The lost items represented value, and they needed to find them, or lose them. These are parables about God recovering what has been lost (us). But, does God have to extend Himself to us because He, Himself, needs us back, or does He do so out of His love for us? God does not need us to complete His existence. God created us for His pleasure, not because He needs us. But, God loves us, and is concerned with our being lost, and is patient in His plan to see us restored to a relationship with Him – to be reconciled. In fact, God (Jesus) is willing to die for us. All of us, even though we are all sinners (Rom 3:10-12, 23), are valuable to God, and He desires that we all choose life (Deut. 30:19), and become “born again” (John 3:1-7 – establish a relationship with God – spend time with God). God wants to develop a relationship with us, spend time with us, and God wants us to develop a relationship with Him, and spend time with Him, so that no one remains lost and separated forever — permanently condemned to hell (John 3:18, John 5:28-29). We are each valuable to God, and He desires that we each be restored, or reconciled to Him. God says in Isaiah 55:7, that He will freely pardon us. In verses 7 and 10 (here in Luke 15), at the end of each of the first two parables, even though these parables are about sheep, and coins, Jesus tells us that the key to salvation is repenting (which is changing). Now, sheep can change (they can obey — they can get sheared), and coins change when they deflate in value (like our money is doing), but Jesus is talking about people. We must change from the world’s ways (from our ways), to God’s ways — His ways. Repent (change). So, these parables are about souls being restored to God (if they change). We read in John 1:1-18, and Philippians 2:5-8, about God extending Himself to us by taking on the form of flesh, so as to die for us, a perfect sacrificial price, to pay for our sins, so that those who trust in Him, and spend time with Him, will enjoy Paradise with Him. God loves the sinner, just not the sin (our bad actions). He is waiting patiently for us to return that love, that desire to spend time with Him, and deny the world’s ways.
In the third parable, about the lost son, note that sin is seen here, as the son takes several steps to walk away from God. These steps include rebellion against the father, desire for total independence (separation from the father), waste of the inheritance, desperate need, and finally debasement and bondage. But, just as there were certain steps away from the father, there are also certain steps back to be restored and reconciled. In Luke 15:17, we see him awakening to his condition. While he was on his way down, he undoubtedly said to himself that his hard times were only temporary, and that his “ship” would soon come in. He imagined he still had friends. Even when he had to take a job with a detested pig farmer, he supposed he was only doing it on a short-term basis, until his bad fortune changed. The first step back was “coming to his senses.” The second step back was making an honest confession of his sin. We read, in verses 18 and 19 of Luke 15, that the son humbled himself. He did not use excuses, or blame others. He openly admitted his sin. The third step was to return to the father (Luke 15:20-21). For us, this means being “born again,” as Jesus says in John 3 (spending time with God, and developing a relationship).
There is another common theme of these three parables. They all refer to the “lost.” If you think about it, in order to be lost, one must have belonged to someone, or had a relationship with someone, before being lost. Otherwise you can’t be “lost.” In each of these parables that Jesus gives us, He tells a story of : 1) the sheep existing with the shepherd, before being lost, 2) the coins all being with the owner, before being lost, and, 3) the son existing with the father, before being lost. Throughout God’s Word, He tells us that we need to be reconciled to Him to be saved — to be restored to His kingdom. Reconciled means to restore a relationship we once had, before being lost. Paul wrote in Romans 1:21, about when people “knew God,” indicating once again, a relationship with God prior to this age we now live in. In the context of Romans chapter one, Paul is pointing out how both Jew and Gentile (all nations), are fallen, and separated from God, and therefore, we now don’t know God as we once did. Since we are all born sinners, having fallen, and are therefore separated from God at birth, this period of “knowing God” must have been in an age prior to this age we are birthed into now (Eden). We know from Psalm 51:5, and other places, that we are sinners at conception, even in the womb. We know from John 3:18, that we are all born condemned already. We are all sinners, and that is why Jesus did not come to condemn us, because we are already condemned. This is all explored in great depth in the books “Flat Earth & Genesis,” or “God’s Plan / Satan’s Plan,” under the chapters of Predestination & Original Sin. Separate Studies are also available on Predestination, or Original Sin – Target Truth Ministries.com
So, yes, God foreknew us all, and we are all lost. All sinners. All separated from God at birth. And we all need to be reconciled. We all need to repent (change) — be “born again” into a relationship with God, and spend time with Him. OR, remain condemned to hell, separated, isolated, for all eternity…alone.
Thank God that He is forgiving, and wants to reconcile us to Himself, and has already paid the price for sin (2 Corin. 5:17-20 – reconciled back to a relationship we once had–in Eden. .
If it were up to the world we all live in here on earth, we would probably find one of these signs I saw posted at the place I used to work :
TO ERR IS HUMAN – TO FORGIVE IS NOT COMPANY POLICY………..Or, how about this one :
FORGIVE YOUR ENEMIES – IF YOU CAN’T GET BACK AT THEM ANY OTHER WAY
GOD loves everyone. God will forgive anyone who seeks forgiveness and trusts in Jesus.
GOD says come home. We are all sinners. We are all condemned to die and be separated from God. And He offers forgiveness, and eternal life in His kingdom. Jesus offers to save us from hell (true salvation). And, Jesus tells us that He is the ONLY way (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
GOD says welcome home to the lost who have returned to Him. Trust in Christ and be reconciled.
JESUS is calling to all of us, all the lost, Come Home!
The following is a comparison of the modern view (mostly accepted today), and the Hebrew/early Christian view of our creation/origin.
This Study sheet is for use with the book The Flat Earth & Genesis – Target Truth Ministries.
Am I declared a sinner at conception because of the sin of Adam, or am I responsible for my own sin?
|Modern Conventional View (Greek – Western)From the fourth century to today||Hebrew/Early Christian View (Jewish – Eastern)From the time of Jesus until the fourth century|
|God created the Heavens and the Earth (Gen. 1:1).||God created the Heavens and the Earth (Gen. 1:1).|
|God created the host (beings) of Heaven(Job 38:1-18; Rev. 12:1-2; Eph. 1:4-5, 11)||God created the host (beings) of Heaven & Eden(Rev. 12:1-2; Eph. 1:4-5, 11)|
|Earth is formless and void “tohu wabohu” (Gen. 1:2)(But, Isa. 45:18 says earth was not created “tohu wabohu”)||God gives the description of all the host (beings) of Heaven & Eden–Gen. 2-3; Job 33:4-6; Rev. 12:1-2|
|The creation – a 7-day account (Genesis 1:3-2:3)(In the conventional view, Eden is part of day 6 of the 7-day creation account)||God gives the story of the fall of many beings. Sin enters Paradise (Eden) through Satan. (Gen. 3; Ezek. 28:12-19, Ezek. 31; Isa. 14:12-19; Rev. 12:3-4).|
|Day 6—man and woman are created (Gen. 1:26-27)(supposedly Eden – many conflicts – Gen. 2:5-3:24)||Transition between creation accounts (Genesis 2:4)from Eden (paradise) to the 7-Day account|
|All creation, including the host (beings) of Heaven, and of earth, are finished (Gen. 2:1; Eph. 1:4-5, 11).(Some believe babies born today are a new creation ?)||The earth becomes formless and void “tohu wabohu”-(Gen.1:2; Isa. 45:12-earth re-made (asah) & mortal humans created (bara), 45:18-“tohu wabohu”; Job 38:1-18).|
|Transition between creation accounts (Genesis 2:4)to Eden (Paradise) creation account (Gen. 2:5-3:24)||Adam and Eve, and 1/3rd of the host, are all banished to the cursed earth (Gen. 3; Rev. 12:3-4).|
|Adam and Eve and others are banished to the cursed earth due to the fall (Gen. 3; Rev. 12:3-4).||All creation, including the host (beings) of Heaven, and of earth, are finished (Gen. 2:1). Babies are not a new creation (Eph. 1:4-5, 11; Rom. 8:28-30).|
|Sin enters this world through Adam (Rom. 5:12)||Sin enters this world through Adam (Rom. 5:12).|
|God will establish the nations of the world according to the number of the fallen angels of God cast out to earth(Deut. 32:7-8 – Septuagint; Rev. 12:1-4)||God will establish the nations of the world according to the number of the fallen angels of God cast out to earth(Deut. 32:7-8 – Septuagint; Rev. 12:1-4)|
|This world is Satan’s domain (Job 1:7; Matt. 4:8-10; Luke 22:31-32; John 12:31; Rom. 8:20-22; 2 Corin. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 1 John 4:4).||This world is Satan’s domain (Job 1:7; Matt. 4:8-10; Luke 22:31-32; John 12:31; Rom. 8:20-22;2 Corin. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 1 John 4:4).|
|It is thought that children now born flesh, receive the sin of Adam (Bible reference ?).How? Why?||Children now born flesh are responsible for their own sin, due to their following Satan in Eden(Gen. 3; Rev.12:3-4; John 3:1-7).|
|Children are seen as innocent until some “age of accountability” (Rom. 7:9 ?). Nevertheless, death reigns (Rom. 5:14, 6:23).||Children are condemned at conception because we sinned in Eden (Jn. 3:18; Rom. 1:21-32, 6:23; Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3; Rev. 12:3-4).|
|God leads some to salvation. Those not led, remaincondemned (Psalm 14:1-3; Jn. 15:16).What is the reason some are chosen to be saved?||God leads some to salvation. Those not led, remaincondemned (Psalm 14:1-3; Jn. 15:16). Some in Eden showed shame (Gen. 3:7-8), others contempt (Satan).|
|If “born again,” we can be reconciled back into arelationship with God (Jn. 3:1-7; Rom. 5:10-11).When did we have a previous relationship with God, which allows us to be reconciled back?||If “born again,” we can be reconciled back into a relationship with God, based upon to our previous relationship with God in Eden (Jn. 3:1-7; Rom. 5:10-11; Gen. 2-3; Rev. 12:1-2).|
|Summary – I am declared a sinner at conception, and must be “born again.” Adam is responsible. God is seen as arbitrary – the sequence confusing – Scriptural conflicts exist.||Summary – I was created, and once was with God,but have fallen, and must be “born again” – I amresponsible. God is loving, forgiving, and merciful. Scripture agrees with Scripture.|
For a complete analysis of our creation, and origins, see the book The Flat Earth & Genesis – Target Truth Ministries.com