What Did the Lord Jesus’ Words “It Is Finished” on the Cross Really Mean

By Liang Xin

After dinner, I turned on my computer as usual to see whether brothers and sisters talked about any new topics in our chat group. I never thought that I truly gained a lot.

computer

Sister Jingxin raised this question in our chat group:

“Hello, brothers and sisters. I want to seek an answer. During church meetings, the pastors and elders frequently say that the Lord Jesus saying ‘It is finished’ on the cross proves that God’s work of salvation of mankind was finished, and say that simply by believing in the Lord Jesus and confessing our sins before Him, we are forgiven of sin, and the Lord would no longer see us as sinners. We are justified by faith alone, saved by grace. The Lord will receive us into the kingdom of heaven when He returns, and will not possibly return to do further work of saving mankind. However, some brothers and sisters in the church have now questioned this belief. They say that this understanding by the pastors and elders is not acceptable. But they don’t know what the Lord Jesus referred to when He said ‘It is finished’ on the cross? I wonder what your opinion is, please leave me a message.”

Longing for God’s Grace:

The question Sister Jingxin raised is also what I’m confused by. I always think that, after believing in the Lord, we confess and repent to Him and He will forgive all our sins, so that we can enjoy much of His grace and blessings. But we are still in a situation where we sin during the day and confess our sins at night, and we never manage to free ourselves from the bondage and constraints of sin and have not practiced many of the Lord’s words. The sinners, such as us, always want to be lifted up into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes. In my view, it seems quite unlikely. But I really don’t understand what the Lord Jesus referred to when He said “It is finished” on the cross.

Hu Li:

I don’t think so. I think we shouldn’t lose faith in the Lord, shouldn’t feel pessimistic and disappointed, and shouldn’t believe that we can’t be lifted up into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes just because we constantly sin and fail to put the Lord’s words into practice. We should have faith in the Lord’s words. Since the Lord said “It is finished,” it meant that the Lord’s work of salvation was finished. The Lord has already forgiven all our sins and we are no longer sinners. For our faith in the Lord, we are deemed righteous. Just as the Bible says: “For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Rom 10:10). I believe that when the Lord returns, He won’t abandon us.

The Bright Moon in My Heart:

I think what Sister Jingxin and “Longing for God’s Grace” said is reasonable. Although our sins were forgiven after believing in the Lord, we just keep the Lord Jesus’ name without keeping the Lord’s way, let alone following the Lord’s commandments. We do not meet the requirements of the Lord at all when we believe in the Lord this way. Plus, the Lord’s words are the truth and there are mysteries in them. They aren’t as simple as the pastor and elders said. We should first understand the inner meaning of the words “It is finished” the Lord said on the cross.

Qingxin:

Thank the Lord! Lately I’ve sought this question. I have some new enlightenment on what the words “It is finished” the Lord Jesus said on the cross meant. I want to share it with you.

Seeking and Searching:

Oh, good. Now we all want to know the answer.

Longing for the God’s Grace:

Yes. Share it with us quickly!

Qingxin:

Before, I couldn’t fathom the words “It is finished” the Lord Jesus said on the cross. Did it mean that all the Lord’s work of redeeming mankind was accomplished, or did it mean that all God’s work of saving mankind was accomplished? I asked some well-known preachers but they were also unable to explain it. By listening to the preachings in these days, I finally understood that the Lord Jesus just said the words “It is finished” but didn’t say God’s work of saving mankind was accomplished. So the Lord Jesus prophesied that he would come again in the last days and do a new stage of work of saving mankind.

Hu Li:

Sister Qingxin, I want to ask you: The pastors and elders have never said that the Lord Jesus will do a stage of work of saving mankind when He comes again. Do you have a basis in the Bible for saying this?

Qingxin:

Allow me to read two passages of scripture to everyone and all will become clear. The Lord Jesus said: “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” (Jhn 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” (Jhn 12:47-48). There is also the Bible prophecy, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Pe 4:17). From these prophecies, we can see the Lord will express all the truths that save mankind and do His work of judgment beginning with God’s family when He comes again. According to what the pastors and elders say, if the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus completed all of the work of saving mankind, then how would the prophecy of the Lord Jesus, “However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth,” be fulfilled and accomplished? Would not the Lord Jesus’ prophecy that He would come again to express truth and do the work of judgment fall through? Therefore, what the pastors and elders say goes against the Lord Jesus’ words, and does not tally with the reality of God’s work. In fact, the words “It is finished” the Lord said meant that the work of redemption was accomplished. Think back to the latter period of the Age of Law when people were faced with the danger of being condemned and punished by God’s law for betraying God’s laws and commandments. So the Lord Jesus personally became flesh to be crucified for man, redeeming man from sin. All we must do is accept the Lord Jesus, confess and repent to Him, and our sins will be forgiven. Then, we can enjoy the grace that the Lord bestows and will no longer be condemned by law for committing sins. This is the outcome of the Lord Jesus’ work of the Age of Grace. Yet the Lord Jesus only forgave our sins, and we were not expunged of our sinful nature. So we cannot help but commit sin, and cannot extricate ourselves from living in the vicious cycle of committing and then confessing our sin. It proves that the words “It is finished” the Lord Jesus said on the cross simply meant that His work of redeeming all of mankind was finished; it did not mean that God’s entire management work of saving mankind was accomplished.

Jingxin:

Oh, Sister Qingxin’s fellowship is quite practical. It turns out that the Lord’s words were all under a certain background. After believing in the Lord, all we must do is call on the name of the Lord Jesus and confess and repent to Him, and we will enjoy the peace and joy and free from the condemnation and curse of the law. This is precisely the true meaning of the words “It is finished” the Lord said!

Longing for God’s Grace:

Yes, I got it. Think about it: The Lord Jesus only said the words “It is finished” but didn’t say God’s work of saving mankind was finished. It appears that the pastors and elders don’t understand the Bible! They interpret the Lord’s words based on their own ideas. Isn’t this none other than randomly putting one’s own human ideas upon the words of the Lord Jesus and purposefully misleading people?

Hu Li:

You can’t speak this way. The pastors and elders are very well-read in Scripture and piously serve the Lord. How could it be that they randomly put their own human ideas upon the words of the Lord Jesus? I believe what the pastors and elders say is probably not wrong.

The Floating Clouds:

Amen, I agree with this viewpoint. I believe the words of the pastors and elders. As long as we are faithful to the Lord’s name and confess and repent to Him, we can be lifted up into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes.

Relying on God All the Time:

Oh, they fellowshiped so clearly. Why don’t you two respect facts? How come you two just can’t get your heads around this?

Longing for God’s Grace:

Right, I suggest you two do not blindly adore the pastors and elders. It concerns the key event of whether or not we will enter the kingdom of heaven. We should calm down, humbly seek the truth and see how everyone fellowships.

Jingxin:

Qingxin’s fellowship does have the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. But there’s one thing that still puzzles me. Our sins have been forgiven through the Lord Jesus’ redemption and we’ve been saved through our faith in Jesus Christ. Then can we be lifted up into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes after all?

Qingxin:

Thank the Lord! We have some knowledge of the work of the Lord Jesus through the above communication. Actually, our understanding of being saved and entry into the kingdom of heaven are not the same thing at all, because the Lord Jesus never said all who have been saved and absolved can enter the kingdom of heaven. This is a fact! It so happens that I’ve seen a passage in a book which explains this question thoroughly. I want to share it with you. “A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.” Though our belief in the Lord Jesus pardons our sins, and we no longer commit obvious sins, and behave quite well, yet we have not thoroughly separated ourselves from sin and become pure. We still frequently tell lies, commit sins, act greedily and have wicked thoughts when we associate with others; when we see someone who is better than us, we will envy and hate him and our hearts are filled with arrogance and trickery; we still follow worldly trends, cling to wealth, and covet glory like the unbelievers; when unfortunate things or mishaps happen in our family, we misunderstand God and complain against God. These are the facts regarding us believing in the Lord yet resisting Him. Therefore, only our sins are forgiven when we believe in the Lord, but within us remains satanic nature. It is precisely the source that always leads us to sin and to fail to practice the Lord’s words. If our sinful nature is not resolved, then we will resist and betray God. The Lord Jesus once 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” (Jhn 8:34-35). How can we, who often commit sins and resist the Lord, have the qualification to enter the kingdom?

Jesus in the cross

Seeking and Searching:

Mm. Your fellowship reminds me of the Lord’s words: “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Lev 11:45). What’s more, the book of Hebrews in the Bible also says: “Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). As we still sin often and are far from being holy, we are certainly not qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Longing for God’s Grace:

Thus we see that if our inner sinful nature is not resolved, then we will resist and betray God and make enemy with God and we will never be compatible with God, and never enter into the God’s kingdom. The consequences are too terrible! Fortunately, after listening to your fellowship, I know the Lord will express truth and do the work of judging and purifying us in the last days. Don’t we still have the chance to enter into the kingdom of heaven?

Qingxin:

Right, the Lord Jesus has forgiven our sins by His crucifixion. It is to lay a foundation for God’s work of completely saving mankind in the last days. This has just fulfilled the Lord Jesus’ prophecies, “However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (Jhn 16:13), and, “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” (Jhn 12:48). Only by accepting the truth expressed by God in the last days and experiencing His judgment work of the last days and thereby obtaining purification and transformation in our corrupt disposition can we be after God’s heart and enter into the kingdom of heaven!

Relying on God All the Time:

We are so clear through such fellowship. Now we often sin and confess and live in the midst of sin. If God did not do the work of judging and cleansing in the last days, we wouldn’t break free from the bondage of sin and be cleansed, let alone have the qualification to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Jingxin:

Thank the Lord. After listening to your fellowship, I understand that, the Lord prophesied that He would come again in the last days, and it meant He would do another stage of work. Before, we thought that what the Lord Jesus did was the work of thoroughly saving the human race. With sins pardoned, everything would be just fine. We don’t understand God’s work at all. Only the work of judging and cleansing that God does in the last days is our needs today.

Relying on God All the Time:

Brothers and sisters, we should search for the footsteps of God’s work of the last days right now. That is the key!

Seeking and Searching:

Over these years, hasn’t Eastern Lightning continued to testify that the Lord has returned and expressed truths to perform His judgment work of the last days?

The Bright Moon in My Heart:

What are we waiting for? Let’s investigate right now!

Dear brothers and sisters, if you have any understanding or enlightenment from God, you’re welcome to share with us via:1. The online chat window at the bottom right corner of the screen. 2. Send an email to info@cagnz.org.We sincerely hope we’ll grow spiritually through sharing with each other.

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