- Daily Devotionals
- Bible Devotions
- Devotional Topics
- Spiritual Growth
- Christian Testimonies
- Gospel Videos
The’ redemptive work has spread to the ends of the earth, reached every home and become a household name, and it is also because of the Lord Jesus’ redemption that mankind has survived until today. There are many brothers and sisters who back up the viewpoint of “once saved, always saved,” with the words of the apostle Paul, “For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:10). They think: Since the Lord Jesus redeemed us through crucifixion, we have already been absolved of all our sins and saved by our faith, and once saved, we are always saved, and so long as we endure until the end, we will be directly raptured into the heavenly kingdom when the Lord returns. However, some other brothers and sisters can’t help but question: “Is it really so easy for us to be saved? Can we attain salvation and enter into the kingdom of heaven through faith alone?”
It is worth us reflecting on and exploring the above questions, for this issue is directly linked to the important matter of whether or not we will be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven. First, let’s consider this: “Does the saying that ‘once saved, we are always saved’ have any basis in God’s word? Did the Lord Jesus say such words? Did the Holy Spirit reveal or testify to these words?” If the answers are all no, it proves that this saying is the product of man’s conceptions and illusions and cannot stand. Even if spiritual adepts and Bible expositors all accept this saying, this just represents their views, rather than how God feels. We must understand that only the Lord Jesus is the King of the kingdom of heaven and has the final say in the conditions under which we enter it. So, if we want to gain salvation and enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must take the Lord Jesus’ words as our principle and basis. If we don’t focus on the word of God, but live in our own notions and imagination and hold on to these baseless words, then our belief in God will eventually end in failure.
In order to gain some clarity on this issue, we must first fellowship about what it means to be saved. Chapter 2 verse 32 in the Book of Joel insays, “Whoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered.” We all know that during the Old Testament Age of Law, Jehovah God issued 613 laws and commandments through Moses and used them to place limits on the people of Israel. The people believed that as long as they kept these laws and were not condemned, then they would be saved. But at the end of the Age of Law, because mankind was being corrupted more and more deeply by Satan and lost their reverence for God, they failed to keep the laws and committed more and more sins; there was no longer any sin offering they could make that could sufficiently expiate their sins, and so they were faced with the danger of being condemned and sentenced to death by those laws. God couldn’t bear to see mankind, which He’d made with His own hands, be destroyed in such a way. So, God Himself became flesh and was nailed to the cross for mankind, performing the work of redemption, and thus freely redeeming mankind from the laws. Thereafter, so long as people prayed, confessed and repented in the name of the Lord, then their sins were forgiven, and they were no longer subject to the condemnation and punishment of the laws. Neither did God see man as sinful any longer, and those who lived under the laws, therefore, were saved by Him. The “being saved” here refers to not being condemned by the laws.
We can understand from the above fellowshiping that in the Age of Law, as long as people kept the laws of Jehovah God, then they were saved. In the Age of Grace, as long as people trusted in the Lord Jesus, confessed their sins and repented to Him, then they were saved too. But this “being saved” means only that our sins are absolved, and that we won’t be condemned or sentenced to death by the laws; it does not mean, however, that we are following God’s way and that we have cast off all sin, much less does it mean that having been saved once then we are always saved. The Lord Jesus never said that all who have been saved and absolved can enter into the heavenly kingdom. Thinking of how we believe in the Lord Jesus, we have some changes in our behavior—we can be tolerant and patient toward others, sacrifice and give, and even put aside secular entanglements, endure hardships and run around everywhere expending ourselves—but what is undeniable is that we still commit sins despite ourselves, fail to practice the Lord’s word, and have yet to extricate ourselves from the bondage and control of sin. For example, in order to be admired and looked up to by others, we often talk about how we suffer for the Lord before them, thereby exalting and testifying to ourselves; to achieve our own purposes, we often involuntarily lie and deceive people; to protect our own interests, we shirk our responsibilities and shift the blame on to others; to secure our own positions, we can form our own factions, exclude and suppress those who dissent. Wenominally, but we do not have a place for God in our hearts nor seek the truth in everything, and instead worship the pastors and elders. When we encounter trials and tribulations, natural or man-made disasters, we blame God and misunderstand Him, and sometimes we may even betray Him once we become passive to a certain extent. There are many brothers and sisters who are the same as worldly people, pursuing evil trends and relishing the joys of sin, etc. For people like us who are covered in filth and corruption, no matter how many times we are forgiven of our sins, we are not qualified to enter into God’s holy kingdom. This is because the Bible says, “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). “Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). God’s substance is holy. God guards the gate to the kingdom of heaven. The impure and corrupt will not be allowed by God to enter into His kingdom, and instead will receive His righteous punishment because of continuing to sin. Just as the Bible says, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).
Up to this point, many brothers and sisters may feel confused, and will say, “The Lord Jesus died on the cross for us. Even though we still sin, our sins can be absolved through repenting and confessing to the Lord, so why wouldn’t we be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven? Besides, the Lord has promised that He willus into the kingdom of heaven. According to the fellowshiping above, won’t the Lord’s promise come to nothing? If we can’t enter into the kingdom of heaven, then won’t the work of the Lord be in vain?” Actually, this is not the case. Let’s read a passage of words from a gospel website.
“The sins of man could be forgiven through the sin offering, but as for just how man can be made to sin no more, and how his sinful nature may be extirpated completely and transformed, he has no way of solving this problem. The sins of man were forgiven, and this is because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live within the corrupt satanic disposition of old. This being so, man must be completely saved from his corrupt satanic disposition, so that his sinful nature may be completely extirpated, never to develop again, thus enabling the disposition of man to be transformed. This would require man to grasp the path of growth in life, to grasp the way of life, and to grasp the way to change his disposition. Furthermore, it would require man to act in accordance with this path, so that his disposition may gradually be changed and he may live under the shining of the light, so that all that he does may be in accord with the will of God, so that he may cast away his corrupt satanic disposition, and so that he may break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation. … Therefore, after that stage of work was finished, there still remained the work of judgment and chastisement. This stage is to make man pure by means of the word and thereby give him a path to follow. … This stage is more meaningful than the previous one, as well as more fruitful, for now it is the word that directly supplies man’s life and enables the disposition of man to be completely renewed; it is a much more thorough stage of work” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)”).
From these words we can understand that during the Age of Grace, according to mankind’s needs, the Lord Jesus did the work of redemption. As long as we confess and repent to the Lord, then our sins can be forgiven. However, after the Lord Jesus completed His redemptive work, we have not yet been fully saved. This is because the Lord Jesus merely redeemed us of our behavioral sins, but did not redeem us of our sinful nature which is deeply rooted within us. We are still firmly bound and controlled by it, so we always live a life whereby we sin in the daytime and confess in the evening. If we want to break away from the binds and restrictions of our sins and enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must get rid of our corrupt disposition and be cleansed and changed. To achieve such results, we must accept the work of the returned Lord Jesus. The Bible says, “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). “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). “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). We can see from these scriptures that when the Lord returns in the last days, He will do another stage of work—expressing the truth to judge and cleanse man. When we accept God’s work of judgment and have our sinful nature cleaned and changed, we will then be fully saved by God.
From the above fellowshiping, we can understand: “Since we have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus, we believe that ‘once saved, we are always saved.’ This view is untenable. Only after being judged and cleansed by God’s work in the last days can we be eternally saved.” Dear brothers and sisters, what attitude should we take when it comes to God’s salvation that appears in the last days?
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?