Humankind can be divided into five sections. The five sections are:
- Humankind’s spiritual state;
- God’s salvation;
- God’s covenants;
- Humankind’s future; and
- God’s scriptures.
The following study will briefly highlight each section from God’s scriptures.
Humankind’s Spiritual State
When Adam and Eve ate God’s forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they ingested an ingredient of the fruit known biblically as sin (Gen. 2:16-17). Sin was likely Satan’s design. As an integral ingredient of the forbidden fruit, sin attached itself to the human genome, permanently and irreversibly modifying it. Sin had an agenda all its own—it eradicated humankind’s freewill and consistently manipulated one’s feelings/emotions.
After eating from the forbidden fruit, the human genome contained sin with one exception. The exception was the seed of the woman which, throughout all ages, was not infected with sin.
Sin caused spiritual and physical death. Spiritual death was humankind’s separation from fellowship with God. Physical death was separation of humankind’s physical bodies from their own spirits.
Mary’s seed was fertilized via the Holy Spirit thereby producing the male child Jesus without sin in His body (Matt. 1:18-21). Some three decades later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ body was infested by sin (Luke 22:41-44; cf. Heb. 12:4).
However, sin was never able to cause Jesus to commit any act of sin (1 Pet. 2:22).
The apostle Paul summarized the above: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so it (sin) spread to all men, on the basis of which all sinned” (Rom. 5:12, author’s translation).
Sin caused each individual of humankind to commit an act of sin which was absolutely abhorrent to God thereby resulting in spiritual separation from God. Acts of sin probably began around the teenage years (Deut. 1:39).
By the way, biblically, miscarriages have names (cf. Eccl. 6:34) likely given by God because ancient Jews did not normally consider a miscarriage to be a person eligible to be named. The biblical reality: present-day abortionists are actually killing humans.
Ultimately, sin also resulted in separation of mankind’s spirit from mankind’s physical body. The timing of this event (aka physical death) changed—and continues to change—in different generations.
For example, Abraham’s lifespan was 175 years (Gen. 25:7). Before Abraham, Noah lived an astounding 950 years (Gen. 7:6 plus Gen. 9:28). Later, Moses suggested humankind’s lifespan had become somewhere between 70 and 80 years (Psa. 90:10). And during the Messianic kingdom, a youth will die at the age of one hundred (Isa. 65:20). The variations in life expediencies are likely determined by God’s control over sin.
The apostle Paul summarized God’s salvation sequence as it related to the church (Rom. 8:29-30). For humankind, salvation is initiated by God’s call. The one item which Paul did not mention in his summary was sanctification. However, Jesus had included this item when He confronted Saul (Paul) on Saul’s journey to Damascus (Acts 26:17-18).
God’s salvation is totally and completely unilateral and autonomous, quite independent of all humankind. This is evident from God’s actions with Adam and Eve following their own disastrous and fatal attempts to deal with their own sin via fig leaf coverings (Gen. 3:7). God assumed the roles of hunter, butcher, tanner, tailor, and valet to resolve the couple’s problem with sin (Gen. 3:21).
The specifics of salvation were declared by God and recorded by the prophet Ezekiel (Ezek. 36:25-27). God first cleanses one from all acts of sin, removes humankind’s hearts infected by sin, replaces the infected hearts with new and uninfected hearts, gives humankind new human spirits, and causes the Holy Spirit to inhabit one’s body. Jesus referred to this transformation of humankind as being “born again” (John 3:3, 5). The hearts referred to are not the physical organs that pump blood, but rather the spiritual organs that provide belief (cf. Rom. 10:10).
It is vital to recognize that God causes those sanctified by faith—via the Holy Spirt—to manifest Jesus’ life in the believer’s mortal body (2 Cor. 4:11; cf. Ezek. 36:27). The Spirit does not enable or empower the believer himself/herself to walk in God’s statutes, and to carefully observe His ordinances.
Biblically, the two components of earthly salvation for humankind are justification (forgiveness of sins) and sanctification (freedom from slavery to sin).
This part of salvation has to do with items in humankind’s natural or physical bodies. Future glorification relates to the part of salvation when heavenly bodies are dispensed by God (1 Cor. 15:44).
Over the ages, God established various and different covenants with humankind.
The terminal, most comprehensive, efficacious, and long-lasting covenant is known as the New Covenant (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-25).
God made the New Covenant generously simple. To wit: God provides both forgiveness of sins and freedom from slavery to sin, each of which is appropriated by humankind’s faith alone in God’s covenant promises to do so.
The theological term for humankind’s future is the word eschatology. Two groups of people, each with different futures, are the church and the citizens of nation Israel. The church will be removed from the earth (1 Thess. 4:13-17). Israel will then receive the administration of the kingdom of God following the church’s removal from earth (cf. Acts 1:60).
Humankind’s final future is either heaven or hell and is the exclusive choice of God—having nothing whatsoever to do with humankind’s own earthly performance. In heaven there will be rewards for those who have lived by faith alone in God’s promises (Acts 26:18; 1 Cor. 3:14-15; Col. 3:24-25). Those rewards are likely referred to sometimes as an inheritance.
Hell is referred to in the Bible as “the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14-15). Residence in hell is also referred to as “the second death.” Death is separation from God—the first death takes place when humankind sins, and the second death takes place in hell when separation from God becomes eternal or timeless.
Dispensationalism is a theological interpretative approach to Bible study. Simply put, dispensationalism recognizes that the contents of God’s scriptures are separated by God Himself into administrative and historical segments without any indication whatsoever in the written record of such segments by the respective humankind authors.
The teacher of the scriptures may very well be the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27). This reality can remove the intimidation of humankind by the ‘Bible experts’ who infer they are the only source of accurate Bible translations and interpretations.
When the apostle John wrote these words about the teaching ministry of the Spirit, the New Testament did not even exist in written form. God had taken the initiative that humankind would be exposed to the truth quite apart from access to the experts using recorded documents.
For an example of dispensationalism, the Gospel of Matthew has at least three segments featuring Jewish information from the past, the present (i.e., at the time of Matthew’s writing), and the future as well as Gentile information from the past, present, and future. The segments are not identified specifically: humankind’s identification of those segments cannot take place without acknowledging, recognizing, and applying, dispensationalism.
Both the Old and New Testaments contain such separations. As a consequence, failure to recognize those separations by contemporary church preachers, teachers, authors, and seminary professors causes erroneous application of some Old Testament revelations—intended originally for Jews only—to their present-day congregants of the church.
As an example, in Jesus’ Olivet Discourse to four of His disciples, Jesus taught about past, present, and future events for Jews, and also for Gentiles as well, without specifically making distinction between Jews, Gentiles, and the precise time of the generations involved (Matt. 24:1-25:26). And multitudes of generations have passed uneventfully since Jesus’ generation.
For much of the time in Christianity, dispensationalism per say is both ignored and berated.
All humankind is irreversibly destined for hell unless God’s salvation alone saves those whom He calls.