The world of mankind includes all children of Adam – whether born before or after Jesus’ sacrifice. When father Adam sinned, he and all mankind were condemned to death. “One man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men,” Romans 5:18 (RSV).
What is the death which all mankind suffer? It is a state of oblivion – the opposite of life.
Ecclesiastes 9:5 (ESV), “the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing….”
Ecclesiastes 9:10 (CSB), “Whatever your hands find to do, do with all your strength, because there is no work, planning, knowledge, or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.”
Jesus said death was like sleeping – no consciousness. “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep,” John 11:11 (RSV).
So, if mankind is condemned to non-existence, what future does anyone have? 1 Corinthians 15:22 explains Jesus died to release all from death: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Does a person’s release from death and the death sentence depend on believing in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice? No. When Jesus paid Adam’s punishment, then Adam was guaranteed a resurrection. Justice required a perfect human life for a perfect human life. Romans 5:18 (ESV), “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” Jesus’ sacrifice guarantees a resurrection for all – even for those who lived before the first advent.
Before Jesus resurrects mankind, God is inviting some to believe now. 1 Timothy 4:10 (NASB), “we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers." This special salvation has a heavenly reward (1 Peter 1:4).
Acts 15:14-16 (NIV), “…God first intervened to choose a people for his name (Christians, the church class) from the Gentiles. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: ‘After this (the church is chosen) I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent (God's dominion on earth). Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles…’ ”
Thus, the salvation of Christ has two parts. Faithful Christians will be raised in heaven, while the rest of mankind (all unbelievers who lived before and after Jesus’ first advent) will be resurrected on earth. (See Isaiah 35:5-10, Zechariah 14:8,9.)
“For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God (the Church),” Romans 8:19.
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and come forth…” John 5:28, 29.