For example, the Bible says that God foreordained that Jesus Christ should be crucified for our sins, suffer and die, in order to be raised from the dead and ascended to His right hand. But evil sinful people put Him on the Cross and crucified Him, and Peter in Acts 2 says that they will be held accountable for this. And yet Isaiah 53 says that it pleased the Father to put Him to death, as He has made Him a sin offering (paraphrase, but true).
This introduces us to salvation, as in Adam all die, so also in Christ, all will be made alive. And Ephesians 2 makes it clear that we are all born alienated from God, and under His wrath. So the first thing that salvation acquired through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was that His blood atoned for our sins. That is, as a perfect sacrifice, as a lamb brought to slaughter, He actually turned away the wrath of God. In other words, He bore the full punishment of God against sin for all those who place their faith and trust in Him. So salvation means that first, Jesus Christ lived a perfect sinless life before God, secondly, He substitutionally bore our sins in His own body on the Cross, and all those who place their faith and trust in Him, turning from their sins to receive Him as their personal Lord and Saviour, are saved from the wrath of God to come, are being saved from the working of sin in our own flesh in this life, and will be saved finally from every taint of sin in this life, following the physical resurrection of the body, and its being changed like unto His glorified body in the eternal presence of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It is obvious from the Bible that OT saints were saved, having lived before God, as long as they lived according to the revelation God gave them in the Old Covenant, forshadowing the coming and final sacrifice of Christ. But since the Cross of Christ, God requires everyone, everywhere, to repent and to receive the Gospel of salvation in Christ.
I admit, sometimes it is hard to believe that sin is so serious in the mind of God. But the Bible clearly teaches that it was so serious, it literally caused the fall of the entire human race, in Adam. I know many like Chuck Missler and many from your former Calvery Chapel denomination, try to turn the seriousness of sin into a more palatable view that the sons of God of Genesis 6, refers to a time when fallen angels co-mingled with the women of earth, to cause a corrupted blood line, which was the reason for God sending the flood. And I do know that some contexts do use the phrase beniy elohim that way, but there is an exception, and that is, Hosea 1:10:
"Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God" (i.e. beniy el hi).
So I don't hold to the teaching that bad bloodlines didn't cause the global flood, but bad faithlines was a strong enough reason for God to bring judgement. Likewise, I believe the Bible teaches that the final judgement will be like in the days of Noah, and I do not think that will be new mixtures of fallen angels and women. Nor do I believe that there is a differnce between fallen angels and demons as some teach, including Chuck Missler and Tom Horn, etc... that is, that the demons are the children of these angel women, so that when they die, because they are hybrids, they become demons in this world. Good luck with that teaching. And yes, I do appreciate much of the teaching of Chuck Missler, and to a lesser extent, Tom Horn, but I cannot buy into this Nephilim crazed sons of God teaching that has flooded the Evangelical Church. Add to that, their unbiblical Zionism, placing both Israel and the Church on parallel, but separate tracks in the endtimes, and I am afraid there might come a serious falling away from the faith as a result of all of this crazed teaching from many otherwise very brilliant and scholarly people.
And yes, religion is the root of much evil, but I don't believe that Jesus Christ or true biblically solid Christians are guilty of such gross evil. By their fruit you will know them. But you must admit, much of what is going on in the world today, is done by atheists, including social engineers, war mongers, global bankers, intelligence agencies, secret societies aligning them with the religions of the world. Look at all the deaths by a Mao Tze Tung, a Pol Pot, an Adolf Hitler, a Lenin, Trotsky, or a Stalin. You can't tell me that was religions.
This was a good, but heavy dialogue Richard. I hope we both continue to grapple with the gravity of this subject, and we continue to strive for the truth.