Tag Archives: redemption

What Does Eternity Hold for You?

One of my favorite Easter songs is “They Could Not”. This song was written and sung by Sandi Patty in 1982. This song summarizes Jesus ministry on this earth. People just did not understand who Jesus was or what he was up to.

Since they could not understand Jesus, they decided to kill him. They tortured him hoping they could find out who he was. Even though God allowed Jesus to suffer, He did not allow the people to interfere with God’s plan for salvation. They could not keep Jesus in the grave.

In the last stanza of “They Could Not”, Sandy Patty says:

They could not, They could not….Praise God, they could not ….And when at last they took from Him what willingly He gave…. Could they keep Him in the grave, could they keep Him in the grave, ….Could they keep Him in the grave, They could not!

Jesus was raised to life! They could not stop him!

God allowed Jesus to be tortured by the people, just as God allowed Job to be physically tortured by Satan. As I thought about this truth, I was reminded of Romans 12:19(NIV) where it records the words of the Lord: Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

God gets the final word. He is the one who is ultimately in charge. He is the one who will take revenge.  In Revelation 20 the writer is telling about the judgment of Satan after he had been in prison for a thousand years.

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelation 20:7-10(NIV)

Talk about revenge! Jesus was tormented for a short period but Satan and his followers will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

When we come to the end of our physical life, our spirit continues to exist. We have two options. We will live (have fellowship with the Lord) forever, or we will die (have no fellowship with the Lord and be tormented) forever! Just as Christians live forever with God, the false teachers and followers of Satan will be tormented forever.

The people could not prevent Jesus from being raised from the dead, and they will not be able to stop the tormenting!

We have a choice. We can accept Jesus for who he is and follow His leading, or we can continue being deceived by Satan and follow his leading. These are your options. What option are you going to choose? The choice is yours. However, the choice you make must be made before you die. Once your body dies, it is too late to change your mind.

The default choice is eternal torment.

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:22-24(NIV)

The only way we can have eternal life is by accepting the redemption that Jesus has to offer. By faith in Jesus Christ you can accept redemption that leads to eternal life.

What will your choice be?

 

NOTE:  All scripture quoted in this blog was downloaded from: www.biblegateway.com

Salvation: Faith or Works

For a believer in Christ, Salvation means that a person is redeemed, justified, and will live eternally with the Lord.

  • Redemption: From the beginning of time, God has required the shedding of blood for the cleansing (forgiveness) of our sin. When a person sinned, they were required to offer a blood sacrifice for the ‘redemption’ of their sin. When Jesus became the blood sacrifice for our sin, He redeemed us. He paid the price for our sin.
  • Justification: when the offering was accepted by God, He justified the person. In other words, God’s eyes the person had not sinned. Because Jesus paid the price for our sin, in God’s eyes we become sinless.
  • Grace: when Christians sin, God overlooks our sin. We remain justified. In other words our behavior does not affect our salvation.
  • Eternal life: was made possible when God caused Jesus to be victorious over death. Because of this victory, Christians will also share that victory and spend eternity with God

Salvation is accepted by faith. Faith is believing that God has, or will cause something to happen even though it has never happened before. The Message Bible says it this way:

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. Hebrews 11:1-2(MSG)

Salvation is not dependent on what we do or not do, it is dependent on our faith in God. It is possible that a Christian could commits a sin and not lose his/her salvation. That sin may even be murder, lust, improper sexual activity, etc. but the truth is that they have not lost their salvation because of those acts, even though many Christians wish it were otherwise…which by the way, is also sin.

Works refers to the activities that we do in our lives whether good or bad. You may ask: “What is the importance of works?”

The works that a Christian does determines the rewards they will receive when they get to heaven.  In fact, the Bible tells of two books used in determining rewards.

The one book is list of the names of the people who, by faith accepted the gift of salvation. The second book is the list of things that Christians have done. Because of God’s grace, only the good things a Christian has done are recorded in this book.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second deathAnyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15(NIV)

The second book is used to determine the rewards that a Christian will receive when he/she gets to heaven. This is what the writer of Hebrews telling about when he tells about faith in Hebrews 11.

 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6(NIV)

A person can do every good deed conceivable and never receive a reward because they do not have faith in God.  In other words, not everyone that does good deeds will receive a reward in heaven unless their name is recorded in the Lambs book of life.  However, they have already received their reward on earth.

Matthew 6 gives several examples of people who have already received their rewards. Some of these people are people who are:

  • practicing your righteous acts so you can be seen by others (v.1)
  • giving to the needy to get attention for themselves. (v.2)
  • praying to impress others. (v.5)
  • make a big issue out of fasting, so other people will see them. (v.16)

People who do good deeds for the purpose of bring attention to themselves, have already received their rewards, albeit temporary. Those who do good deeds so God is glorified, will receive an eternal reward.

Doing good deeds does not make one a Christian but being a Christian will cause one to do good deeds.

 

NOTE: All scripture in this blog were downloaded from Biblegateway.com