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Dispensations of Salvation

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The word dispensation means a lot of different things. It has come to mean "the difference between the church and Jews". But what it really means is simply "different rules for different groups of people".

In the time of Adam and Eve, there was no sin. No one knew right from wrong.
How did they get saved? Well, because they didn't sin yet, there wasn't really anything to be saved from.
This is the dispensation of innocence. Some say this carries over even today for children. It is slightly different because sin does exist, they simply may not be aware of it yet.

In the time of Job, Abraham and Noah the "law" had not yet been given. (Moses wasn't alive yet).
Yet people did evil things. Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because they were evil. What determined who was righteous and who was evil during this time? This is called the "pre-law" dispensation.
One of the "rules" that came out of this time was circumcision.

When Moses came along and the Jews left Egypt, they were given "the law". This is often viewed as the 10 commandments, but it was much more than that. The Jews set up the office of priests, and animal sacrifice.
This is called the dispensation of "the law". Basically this is how most people in the old testament "stayed saved". The old testament law wasn't perfect, it was impossible to live up to, and yet many people were saved during this time. Joseph, Daniel, the Ninevites, David, Ruth, and many many others.

During this time, there were several people mentioned in the Bible who weren't Jews, but yet they did evil in the sight of the Lord. Nineveh would be an example of this. Nebuchadnezzar would also be an example.
Much like Sodom and Gomorrah (they were not Jews either) God punished them unless they repented.
If non-Jews weren't under the law, how did they know they were doing evil?

Finally we have Jesus. This is much the same as the old testament except that Jesus took the place of many of these things. We also have grace and the Holy Spirit to help us, we have a lot going for us now that most people in the old testament didn't really have. This is the current dispensation of grace.
No one gets saved without Jesus. It doesn't matter if you're Jewish or not. You need Jesus.

The Bible says that in the future, Jesus will give the kingdom back over to God the Father. (in the scheme of eternity, Jesus actually only rules for a short time). and yet, the book of Revelation seems to indicate there will still be unsaved people living outside the New Jerusalem. ( Rev 22:14-15; ) Is it possible there will be yet another type of dispensation for them?

1 Cor 15:24; then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
1 Cor 15:25; For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
1 Cor 15:26; The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
1 Cor 15:27; For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.
1 Cor 15:28; When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
 

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