For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us........was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes!
Part of our modern-day misunderstanding of 'salvation', besides a lack of truly covenantal understanding, is the notion that Jesus died for individuals. Yes; we HAVE been here before, but this pesky little bugger crops up so often and messes with so many doctrines, that it HAS to be dealt with: it's like a weed that won't go away! Surely ( now I AM calling you 'Shirley' ), Jesus died for me, for you, for the Australian ( down undah ), for the Indian ( on the other side of the globe ), etc, etc, but Scripturally speaking; Jesus did NOT die for individual sinners, He died for the sins of His people Israel ( which 'Israel' you are, if you are His )!
Paul's letters, which comprised the larger body of New Testament writing, spoke most often of the salvation of Israel as a whole, and in fact, he wrote, 'I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh' ( Romans 9:3 ). The Old Testament Scriptures speak more heavily of the coming salvation and redemption of Israel as One Body!
There is much focus among Christians today, an emphasis really, on the fact that we as individuals must grasp the salvation that Christ wrought for His people almost 2,000 years ago, and while it is true that we must realize that we are/have been in rebellion against our Heavenly Father, this radical focus on the individual's response to that salvation has led to much error, including both the errors of Calvinism and the errors of Arminianism. Both sets of errors are based on the false notion of individual salvation, which in turn, is based on a false eschatology which denies, if consistent, that the salvation which Christ accomplished is complete.
This scares the hell out of many ( most ) Christians today, and actually, this may be what scares many away from unorthodox preterism: if Christ indeed returned when and how He promised, then according to the Old Testament pattern ( Leviticus 16:24 ), our salvation, the salvation of God's people is indeed complete, and all that is left for us to do is to share the knowledge and realization of that accomplished redemption//salvation throughout our known world. Many Christians cannot face that; it is hard to face the responsibility, as Adam found, to simply have dominion and rest in the fact that it has been given to us, that through Christ, we have been given the strength, and that we must, through the strength entrusted to us, make the world a better place!
The sad, yet glorious fact is; many non-Christians, or those whom we would normally look at as non-Christian, have been doing a better job than many Christians at making our world a better place, especially in recent history!
May we who name the name of Christ, who claim to be the people of God, begin to exercise the dominion that He restored to us through His great redemption and salvation, and join, in actuality, those who have done so before us, welcoming us into the realization of our inheritance of the great salvation that He wrought ( past tense ) for His people!
Secure in our salvation,
Charles Haddon Shank