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Salvation is a 2018 film of the Christian Church. It points out two misconceptions of many Christians about salvation, and communicates on and analyzes them. This enables believers in the Lord to reflect deeply upon the path we have taken to belief in God. And that’s a serious matter, for once we go down the wrong path, we will never achieve salvation and our belief in God will come to naught. This is also a warning the film wants to convey to the audience. In the following, let us analyze the two misconceptions of the Christians in the movie about salvation.
The First Misconception: We can attain salvation just on the basis of our sins being pardoned.
The film opens with the following scene: A table is set with a Bible, and the hero, Xu Zhiqian is praying with his hands clasped together. Then, a verse is seen in close-up, “That if you shall confess with your mouth the, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:9–10). The tone of the scene is yellow, and with the deep and low music, the hero briefly and clearly throws out the opinion of most believers in the Lord through his monologue, “Believers in the Lord Jesus think, if their sins are forgiven once, they will gain eternal salvation, and when the Lord comes, they would be directly raised to the kingdom of heaven.” Immediately after, he brings up two questions, “But what, exactly, does it mean to believe in the Lord and be saved? Does simply having our sins forgiven really qualify us to enter the kingdom of heaven?” As he says this, the camera pans, and the yellow leaves outside the window are falling. When watching this, we cannot help pondering over the two questions. Then, who can explain the true meaning of salvation?
Xu Zhiqian’s monologue tells us that after accepting God’s work in the last days, through reading God’s words, he has understood the mysteries of God’s management plan to save mankind, reversed some of his mistaken perspectives, and knew the true meaning of being saved by faith in the Lord…. During the monologue, the tone of the scene gradually changes from yellow to green, and the music also soars. The film opens with such a direct narration, allowing the audience to grasp its central content quickly. In the meanwhile, the hero’s opening remarks bring us into the movie.
With regard to what is being truly saved, there is a passage of fellowship in the film which wakes us up, “Salvation means that after you believe in the Lord and have your sins forgiven, you are qualified to pray to God and enjoy God’s grace, but your sinful nature and satanic disposition are still buried deep in your heart. People are still controlled by their sinful nature, and often sin. They even blame and resist God. This proves that people whose sins are forgiven still haven’t been gained by God, and they still can’t truly obey or worship God. You could say that, even though people believe in the Lord and their sins are forgiven, no matter how much of God’s grace they enjoy, they still live under Satan’s domain. They still belong to Satan. This is an indisputable fact.” The film also discusses some questions in depth, such as: Why after we believe in the Lord and our sins are forgiven, do we still sin so often? Why no matter how hard we try can’t we escape the bondage and the restrictions of sin? What is the difference between “being saved” and “salvation”? And through the truth expressed by, the film reveals the mysteries contained within these questions and resolves the confusion in people’s hearts. It tells much of its story by putting forward questions and then fellowshiping the answers revealed in God’s words, which motivates the development of the plot and makes the film taut.
The Second Misconception: We can attain salvation just by doing some work, running to and fro, and enduring suffering.
Some plots in the former part of the film show that the hero Xu Zhiqian works hard, runs around, and has endured some suffering. For example, after his wife was arrested, his daughter finds him and tells him this matter in tears. When hearing this, he behaves rationally, consoling her and saying, “I knew this day would come.” From this we can see that he has a great aspiration to suffer in believing in God, so he does not complain in the face of this matter.
Being able to do some work and preach sermons to resolve brothers and sisters’ problems, Xu Zhiqian is very popular and highly praised. Thus, he considers that he has the reality of truth and is not far from achieving salvation. But at this time, Brother Li, who works with him, points out some problems of his, “I’ve realized you’re like me. We both have the same problem. In our sermons, we both talk too much about our understanding and illumination, and not enough about our real experiences. For example, when we fellowship on God’s word, we rarely talk about our own condition, about the rebelliousness or corruption exposed in us, how we understand our own satanic nature, or how we seek the truth to solve it and what changes we’ve made. We both lack those details. In our sermons, we only focus on how to solve other people’s problems, but we rarely practice the truth. We supply the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit to others, but we don’t have any experience of practice. Our fellowship on the truth to others is clear, but we have very little entry into the reality of truth. This is a defect both of us share.” Brother Li’s words cause Xu Zhiqian to sink into contemplation. Afterward, through reading God’s words and reflecting upon himself, he knows God’s will and requirements, and realizes that if he merely focuses on preaching to others yet he himself does not practice the truth, he cannot gain the truth and achieve salvation. He suddenly becomes aware that he is in a dangerous condition, as if awakening from a dream.
Later on, the hero learns that his wife was beaten to death by the Chinese Communist Party’s police. This astonishing surprise blow sends him into a state that he feels extreme pain and sorrow in his heart. When the story reaches this point, it is drawing to an end. But I think this is the climax of the film. The death of Xu Zhiqian’s wife hits him hard and in the face of this, he reveals many negative thoughts and states. Only then does he have some knowledge of his despicable intentions and impurities in his. He also sees that his stature is truly so small, that he has neither any faith in God nor reality of the truth. The most important thing is that he realizes that even if he has done much work, endured much suffering, and taken many paths, it doesn’t represent that he can stand witness to satisfy God in tribulations and trials. Through self-reflection, Xu Zhiqian has a deep knowledge of the path he has taken in his faith in God, which also brings the audience some inspiration.
As the proverb says, “A leopard cannot change his spots.” Though we mankind have been rescued and redeemed from sin and no longer belong to sin, the corruption within us still remains, and we still do not know God and are full of disobedience of and resistance to God. It is just as Almighty God’s word says, “The chance that you will betray Me remains at one hundred percent.”
At the end of the film, the hero Xu Zhiqian releases a sigh, “How am I any different than the hypocritical Pharisees?” This word is truly meaningful. It is expressed by him from the bottom of his heart after he understands God’s will, and is also a question that we need to carefully ponder and think about.
The film succeeds in pointing out the cause of the two misconceptions about salvation, an attractive topic, and the manifestation and consequence of man holding them. More importantly, it shows the audience the way to dispel the misconceptions, brings people the hope of gaining salvation and entering to the heavenly kingdom, and makes the audience come to a new understanding of what true salvation is. The title Salvation is the thread that runs through the film. Through the true experience of the hero Xu Zhiqian, the film explains its true meaning, and points out to Christians the direction of seeking salvation. This film is really worth watching.
Rapture in the air is not in accordance with Jesus’ words. What is the meaning of rapture? Through fellowship, she understood that the true meaning of rapture is to follow God’s footsteps.
By Zhang Yan Now is the end of the last days when the prophecies of the Lord Jesus’ return have all come true, and we expect to be taken into God’s kingdom and obtain eternal life more eagerly, because the Lord Jesus once said, “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him” (John 3:36). All these years we have been repenting our sins, preaching the gospel, and bearing fruits, just as the Lord Jesus asked. Thus, we all feel ourselves most approved by God, and that as long as we hold on to the Lord Jesus’ way, we will surely obtain eternal life. Then, is the opinion, after all, in accordance with God’s will? Regarding this question, let’s think back on what the Lord Jesus did in the Age of Grace.At that time, the Lord Jesus incarnate came among us mankind and brought forth the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, saying, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). From the Lord’s word, we clearly know that what He brought man was the way of confession and repentance. And, in addition to these teachings, He also gave all his mercy and love to His followers, bestowed sufficient grace upon man, healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead…, until eventually He was nailed to the cross for redeeming mankind, thus completing the work of redemption. However, in spite of having received forgiveness of sins from the Lord, we man still live in the vicious cycle of committing and confessing sins. We can still express these corrupt dispositions anywhere and anytime, such as greed, selfishness, arrogance, deceit, and so on, so that we commit sins at any time and any place. For instance, when we labor hard for the Lord for years, we feel we have the capital to flaunt ourselves. Meanwhile, we all enjoy being in a lofty position to have others worship us, and always exalt and testify ourselves. Isn’t this the behavior of our arrogant nature? Such substance is exactly the substance of the Pharisees, with which we always talk big, try every means to be exalted and admired by others in sermons. Not only this, we also have treacherous nature. So, in order to secure our fame and status, we usually act one way in public and another in private, and unwittingly tell lies to deceive and blind man on sundry occasions so as to satisfy our personal desires. This proves that our sinful nature is still deeply rooted within us and thus we can still sin and resist God, that is, we have yet to achieve eternal life, since those who have eternal life are someone whose sins have been cleansed. God’s kingdom is holy, and only those who have been purified are worthy to enter His kingdom. How can we, who often sin, be qualified to enter it? The Lord Jesus never said that man could enter the kingdom of heaven with his sinful nature; while we often absurdly think that as long as we labor, sacrifice for the Lord, and keep the Lord’s name at all times, we will enter it and gain eternal life. However, never have we realized that only pursuing to be purified by the Lord and thereby being thoroughly cleansed is the precondition of being approved by the Lord and raptured into the kingdom of heaven. The Lord Jesus said clearly, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever” (John 8:34-35). He also demanded, “And said, Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). The Lord Jesus told us plainly that if we man don’t become as simple and honest as children, and don’t break away from sin to be purified, we won’t be able to enter the kingdom of heaven or obtain eternal life. Then, how will the Lord Jesus’ promise that we will have eternal life be accomplished since we still often commit sins now and have yet to obtain eternal life? When studying the Bible carefully, I read the words of the Lord Jesus, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47-48). “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:12-13). Also, I saw some man’s words of enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). From the above verses, we know that when the Lord Jesus was first incarnated to do the work of redemption, He took on all the sins of man as the sin offering and thereby redeemed man from the law, so that man would be no longer condemned or cursed by the law and had the qualification and opportunity to come before God to get close, pray, confess, and repent to Him. Nevertheless, we man haven’t gotten free from our sinful nature and can’t enter God’s kingdom yet. Therefore, in the last days the Lord Jesus will come again, express more truths, and do a stage of work of thoroughly judging, purifying, and saving man, in order to solve our sinful nature and have our corrupt disposition completely cleansed and transformed, through which we can obtain eternal life. The Lord Jesus once said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28). “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him” (John 3:36). We all know that what the Lord Jesus did during the Age of Grace was the redemptive work, and what He preached was the way of repentance. The Lord Jesus is Christ, God Himself, and eternal life. It’s just that only when He comes again, which is to say, the Spirit of truth comes, can the way of eternal life be given to man. Those wise virgins who can recognize the Lord’s voice will obtain it, just as the Lord Jesus said, “And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” Obviously, when He comes again, He will, still in the image of the incarnate Son of man, bestow life upon man through expressing the truth. God says, “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life.” Provided that we merely hold on to the Lord Jesus’ way of repentance yet don’t accept all the truths brought by the returned Lord, then we can’t be called believers in the Son, much less can we obtain eternal life. Instead, only when we believe in the incarnate Son of man in the last days, moreover, accept all the truths expressed by Him, and receive the judgment and purification of these truths to gain life, can our faith accord with the Lord Jesus’ word, and can the meaning of our belief in the Son be complete. Also, this is the only way for us to obtain eternal life and to be raptured into the kingdom of heaven in the last days. All the enlightenment, illumination, and glory be to God! Recommended: To Gain Eternal Life, You Must Know the Source of It Can We Gain the Way of Eternal Life by Believing in Almighty God? Christ of the Last Days Brings the Way of Eternal Life
By Kally Pastors and elders always tell us that all the words in the Bible are God’s words and that the Bible is given by inspiration of God. As the Bible says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). So, we have been holding the belief that everything in the Bible is the word of God. But today, when studying the Bible together with Sister Qi, I gained a new knowledge of this notion. When we read several passages of the scriptures, Sister Qi said that there are not only the words of God but also the words of man, of the serpent, of Satan, and of an ass in the Bible. And then she showed the following verses to me. Genesis 3:1: “And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” This is what the serpent said to Eve. Job 2:2: “And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” This is what Satan said to God. Numbers 22:30: “And the ass said to Balaam, Am not I your ass, on which you have ridden ever since I was your to this day? was I ever wont to do so to you?” This is what an ass said to his master. After reading these verses, I couldn’t help but feel confused in my heart: Right, these are not the words of God but are the words of Satan, of the serpent, and of an ass. Then why did Paul say that all scripture is given by God? Why do the pastors and elders say that everything in the Bible is God’s word? Sister Qi seemed to have read my mind and then shared some knowledge with me. She said, “In fact, in the Bible, we find that God never said that everything in the Bible is His word, nor did the Holy Spirit testify it. The saying ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God’ only represents Paul’s personal knowledge instead of God’s will. And the belief pastors and elders hold is just based on the words of Paul, not God. We believers in God should view everything according to God’s words.” Hearing this, I nodded my agreement. She then said, “Now we understand that not all the words in the Bible are God’s words. Then, what parts of the Bible are God’s words? I think it’s necessary for us to clarify this issue.” Thereupon, we continued the discussion. Sister Qi went on, “In the Bible, only the words spoken by Jehovah God, the words Jehovah God instructed Moses to say, the words God asked the prophets to convey, the words said by the Lord Jesus, and the prophecies God revealed to John in Revelation are God’s words; apart from these, the biographies of man and letters of apostles are all man’s words. They only represent their personal experiences and knowledge, not God’s words, and moreover cannot be said to be the word of God. “Let’s take a look at all the words that God enlightened the prophets. To differentiate God’s words from prophets’ words, the words of God conveyed by the prophets are always first marked ‘the LORD has spoken’ or ‘thus said the LORD’ according to God’s will. For example, Exodus 16:23: ‘And he said to them, This is that which the LORD has said …’; Ezekiel 5:8: ‘Therefore thus said the Lord GOD …’; and Jeremiah 7:20: ‘Therefore thus said the Lord GOD …’ etc. Aren’t these all facts? Are you able to accept this?” I nodded and answered, “Yes, I can.” Thank the Lord! Today, I have obtained these gains from studying the Bible together with Sister Qi. Well, brothers and sisters in the Lord, have you also understood these? If you want to know more about the mysteries of the Bible, read more on our God and the Bible page, or in the following articles. Does Believing in the Lord Means to Believe in the Bible What Kind of Book Is the Bible? Who Wrote the Bible?
The Lord Jesus did forgive our sins, but we are still living in a circle of sinning and confessing. Then how can we enter the kingdom of heaven without being purified?