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May 20, 2018
Hello brothers and sisters of Spiritual Q&A:
As is known to us believers, thecarried out a stage of work of redemption for mankind. The pastors and elders often preach that we are saved as long as we acknowledge the Lord Jesus with our mouth and believe in Him in our hearts. Just as says, “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, 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). So, they believe as long as we acknowledge the Lord’s name, confess and repent to the Lord, we are saved. And once we are saved, we are eternally saved. However, recently I’ve heard some brothers and sisters say that believing in the Lord Jesus only means receiving His redemption and having one’s sins pardoned, but not truly attaining salvation. As for what true salvation is, our church’s brothers and sisters often seek and discuss it, but we haven’t got a certain answer. And I still don’t understand it. So I wonder how you understand it. Looking forward to your reply!
Peace be with you! Thank the Lord! The question you raise is very crucial. It’s fair to say, understanding the truth of salvation is related to the important issue of whether or not we can receive salvation and enter the heavenly kingdom. May the Lord lead our communication today. Let’s discuss it from the following aspects: What the meaning of salvation is, whether being saved once means being saved forever, and what exactly true salvation is. I hope this fellowship will be beneficial to you.
First, let’s see what the Old Testament says about salvation. “Whoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered” (Joel 2:32). “Hold you me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect to your statutes continually” (Psalms 119:117). These verses show us that, being saved in the Age of Law results from calling on Jehovah God’s name and following the laws and commandments issued by God. Joining the work God did in the Age of Law and the result achieved by it, we can better understand the real meaning of the salvation in that age. As is known to us, in the beginning when Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, the earth was full of harmony, without corruption or conflict. And under God’s care and protection they lived happily. However, since they defied God’s command and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man became sinful. After Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden, the earth began to be filled with violence. For example, Cain killed his brother Abel because of jealousy, yet he didn’t know he had committed sin. Afterward, mankind became more and more corrupted and slaughtered each other, to the point that their evil and immorality reached the peak. So, God destroyed them with a flood. Only Noah’s family of eight was graced before Jehovah God and survived, for Noah obeyed and worshiped God, and man continued to exist and develop forward. Afterward, in the time of Lot, because man became too evil, corrupt and licentious in nature, worshiped idols and evil spirits, and committed murder, robbery and theft, God destroyed the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by the fire from heaven, and saved only Lot and his two daughters. If mankind continued like this, they would be destroyed by God again and return to nothingness. Therefore, to save them, Jehovah God began the work of the Age of Law, and proclaimed the laws and commandments to constrain their behavior and guide them to live normally on earth. If people observed God’s laws, they would gain God’s blessings; if not, they would receive the fitting punishment. Because of the laws and commandments, the Israelites gradually begot God-fearing hearts. Besides, they gained God’s care and protection on account of following these laws and commandments. At that time, if people sinned, they could make burnt offerings for atonement. This way, they could avoid death because of being forgiven of sins. This is the true meaning of salvation in the Age of Law. In that age, the Israelites were saved because of calling on Jehovah God and following the laws and commandments, but that didn’t mean they were saved forever.
At the end of the Age of Law, people became more and more deeply corrupted by Satan and lived in sin, so they gradually failed to abide by the laws. Thus, although people knew Jehovah God’s requirements for making sacrifices, due to them violating the laws so much and requiring pure sacrifices, they eventually ran out of pure sacrifices and resorted to making improper sacrifices to God to atone for their sins, such as blind and lame offerings. As a result, they faced the danger of being punished and sentenced to death due to violating the laws. So, according to the needs of corrupt mankind, God personally became flesh to do His work. That is, our Savior Lord Jesus came to earth to do the work of redemption—serving as man’s sin offering and thereby forgiving man’s sins, saving man from under the law and relieving man from the condemnation of the law. Only then could man be eligible to pray before God, fellowship with Him, enjoy the bountiful grace and truth given by the Lord, and no longer be condemned to death by the law because of sinning. This is the true meaning of the salvation in the Age of Grace. That is to say, this is the true meaning of these words recorded in the Bible, “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Many Christian brothers and sisters all think that as long as we believe in the Lord Jesus, we are saved, and that once we’re saved, we’re eternally saved, and that when the Lord returns, we’ll be directly raptured into the heavenly kingdom and feast with the Lord. It’s a fact that as long as we confess and repent through our faith in the Lord Jesus, our sins will be pardoned. Yet the Lord Jesus only absolved man’s sins, instead of man’s sinful nature and satanic disposition. So, man is still possessed of satanic nature and lives in the vicious cycle of sinning and confessing, unable to cast off the bondage and control of sinful nature or escape from Satan’s domain. For example, we often lie and deceive God; we still live by Satan’s life philosophies such as “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost”; we take advantage of each other; for fame, status and personal benefit, we compete against and slaughter each other; we are selfish, arrogant and deceitful, completely losing the conscience and reason of normal humanity; when encountering natural and manmade disasters, persecutions, and tribulations, we misunderstand, blame and even betray God; though having believed in the Lord for years, we still cherish intentions to be blessed; while working and expending ourselves, we engage in transactions with God; we labor for crowns and the blessings of heaven. Because we cannot keep the Lord’s commandments, practice His words, or have a heart that fears God, we all live in sin and feel unbearable pain. Just as the Bible records, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Romans 7:18). From this, we can see that in believing in the Lord we only have our sins absolved, but our sinful nature hasn’t changed and so we still unknowingly commit sins. Can people like us be called the ones who obtain salvation? The Lord Jesus said, “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). Based on the Lord’s words, as we still constantly commit sins, that means we are servants of sin. If the root of our sin isn’t resolved, we won’t attain true salvation.
Let’s take a look at the standard for man’s entry into the kingdom of heaven. Revelation prophesied, “And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:5). This tells us that those who will finally enter God’s kingdom are the honest people who have been cleansed from their sins. However, we still lie, engage in deception, and often commit sins. So, how can we be saved forever because of being saved once? How can we enter God’s kingdom in the future? Then, how can we gain salvation? What does true salvation refer to?
The Bible says, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). The Lord Jesus prophesied, “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” (John 16:12–13). These verses tell us that, although we have been saved by grace, we still need to accept the salvation to be revealed in the last days. That is, in the last days, the Lord will return to express all the truths mankind needs in order to be cleansed and saved, and do the judgment work beginning from the house of God to completely resolve man’s satanic disposition, so that man can cast off sin to attain full salvation and finally be gained by God. Only then will we no longerto barter with God or for the sake of receiving His blessings and grace. Instead, we’ll believe to fulfill our duty as created beings to worship God, and for the sake of obtaining truth and life. At that time, our viewpoints, outlook on life and values will be compatible with God, and we’ll obtain transformation in our life disposition, and will thus become those who obey, revere and love God. Only then will we be people who are truly saved. Just as Revelation says, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). So, only by experiencing God’s judgment and purification of the last days, casting off Satan’s dark influence, having our life disposition cleansed and changed, breaking away from the controls and restrictions of our corrupt satanic disposition, and becoming those who practice the truth, obey and revere God and no longer sin or resist God, can we be truly saved. Only then can we be qualified to enter God’s kingdom, and obtain God’s promise and blessings.
All the above is some communication about true salvation. I hope it can help you. If you have some questions, please write to us and then we can communicate and seek the truth together for the resolution. May God bless you!
Wang Qiao of Spiritual Q&A
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?