Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but this is my one aim:
to forget everything that's behind, and to strain every nerve to go after what lies ahead.
I press on toward the finish line, where the prize waiting for me is the upward call of God
(Philippians 3:13-14)
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
February 7, 2012
What's the Endgame?
Recently, I shared some thoughts with some brothers about God's ultimate purpose. What started us down this
road of thought was the question of whether people get a second chance to be saved after they die. If you have
read my material, you should know the answer I offered. To say the least, it was a good discussion. Near the end of
the time, I was asked one question: What is the endgame? This is a great question and one with a very simple
answer: ALL! All is the endgame.
Without doubt, most Christians have been taught that there is no such thing as a second chance. One must turn to
the Lord in this life, that is, during our present evil age (Paul's words), or else face an eternal torture chamber called
hell with literal flames of fire licking at their physical body and worms coming out of their ears, and this will go on
forever and ever and ever, with no chance of ever coming out of this hell-hole. Please put on your logic cap for a
minute. How long can a physical body endure physical fire? Not very long! Others might counter this with the idea
of hell simply being outside the presence of God forever. As we will see, the endgame does not allow for this.
Personally, I do not believe the question of a "second chance" is even the right question. Hebrews 9:27 states: And
inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this [comes] judgment. When one dies, judgment follows.
It doesn't say when judgment occurs but that it occurs sometime after death.
According to Paul, no one is exempt from judgment.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his
deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB)
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand
before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and
every tongue shall confess to God." (Romans 14:10-11 ESV)
We must all appear sounds like a pretty inclusive statement. The more I have studied Paul, the more I have come
to see that one of his most favorite words is all , the word of the endgame.
Paul repeated this same word in his epistle to the Philippians.
Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at
the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue
confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 ESV)
Paul simply declared a fact that the Lord spoke through Isaiah the prophet.
"Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. "I have sworn by
Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every
knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. "They will say of Me, 'Only in the LORD are righteousness
and strength.' Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him will be put to shame. (Isaiah 45:22-24
Again, through Isaiah, the Lord said: My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure
(Isaiah 46:11).
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What's the Endgame?
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What is the Lord's good pleasure? Adding what was given to Paul by the holy spirit, it is that every knee in heaven
and on earth and under the earth, meaning all things and all people, will bow the knee to Jesus. The word every is
synonymous with the word all , which is an inclusive word with nothing left out. The Lord has sworn and His word
has gone forth throughout creation, and it will not return to Him void.
Now, for years I thought (based on other's teaching) that believers will willingly bow the knee, but unbelievers will
be forced to bow the knee; the angels will force them to their knees before they are cast into the lake of fire to be
roasted and toasted for eternity. Fortunately, I began searching scripture on my own and discovered that the word
bow does not mean one is forced into action.
In the Greek, the word translated as bow is kampto , which means "to bend." Vines Expository Dictionary states that
it means "to bend, is used especially of bending the knees in religious veneration." The word veneration applies to
worship and means "to look upon with feelings of deep respect; a feeling of deep respect and reverence." In other
words, kampto applies to one who willingly bows out of deep respect and is not forced or coerced into it. If Paul
meant that all will be forced to bow, then he would have used the word sunkampto , which means "to bend down
by compulsory force" (Romans 11:10).
Scripture makes it clear that all will willingly bow the knee. Further, no one is able to say Jesus is Lord, except by
the holy spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). But there is more.
"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw [or, drag] all to Myself." But this He was saying signifying
by what sort of death He was about to die. (John 12:32-33 ALT)
The word draw literally means "to drag," and Jesus meant exactly what He said. If He died on the cross of Calvary
for the sin of the world, which He most definitely did, then He would literally draw all men to Himself. He did not
elaborate on how He will do it, but He declared that He will do it.
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws [drags] him; and I will raise him up on the last
day." (John 6:44 NASB)
The word draw comes from the same Greek word meaning "to drag." Thus, the dragging starts with the Father. He
drags people to His Son. But notice that the Lord said that He would drag all to Himself, and the word all is an
inclusive word that means "everybody." In other words, it is the Father's will to drag all mankind to His Son, and it
is His Son's will to drag all mankind to Himself.
There are many other ways that could be used to make the point, but these few verses are a start for the curious
to see it is not a matter of first chance, second chance, or any other chance. God has not left anything to chance.
Scripture clearly tells us that all will bow the knee and confess Jesus, and the Lord will draw all to Himself.
What is the endgame? It is All! God has purposed to save all mankind, for the cross was and will forever be an
absolute 100% success in the salvation of all, not all at the same time but all eventually.
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of
righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (Romans 5:18 NASB)
As everyone dies because of Adam, so also everyone will be made alive because of Christ. … In Adam all die,
so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order…. (1 Corinthians 15:22-23 GW, NASB)
To understand how He will do this, one needs to understand the true nature of the lake of fire, which is the fiery
law of God that goes forth from the throne of God for the purpose of burning all carnal flesh (but not the person),
so that God the Father may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28), which is His ultimate purpose.
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Romans 11:36 NASB).
This is the endgame!