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The Criteria for Redemption
by Jack Vorster
11/20/2014 / Christian Living
There are more than enough signs in the world at this point in time indicating that we are very close to the end of the present age when God will renew heaven and earth after unleashing His wrath and Judgement upon an unbelieving world.
Most of us have been taught that there will be a 7-year tribulation period before this happens. This idea is a myth - or better still a deception.
We have already entered "the beginning of sorrows" era and it will intensify and lead up to, firstly, the catching away (rapture) of the Body of Christ and, secondly, the sudden destruction of human life (those left behind) and man-made structures.
The demon-invoked, frantic frenzy of death and destruction committed by humans (terrorists and extremist religious groups) upon humans in the Middle East right now is the setting for the final scene before Jesus returns to redeem both the earth and the righteous. Right now Christians should already be in "look up" mode, expecting the rapture to happen at any time that's how close we are. "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28)
Jesus also said, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." (Matt. 24:42). It is clear that Jesus will be coming "like a thief in the night" as per His warning. The only consummate forewarning we will have of this event is when a world-wide economic crash - as never before - occurs as a result of the Middle East mayhem now playing off. Global lawlessness will follow right on the heels of the economic crash.
Some might say, "What about that human individual known as the antichrist is he not supposed to arrive on the scene before all this happens?" He has already come and he has already died, but his spirit lives on in the masses now committing atrocities under the influence of his spirit. The Bible refers to him as the "spirit of antichrist". We read in 1John 4:3, "...and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."
When this was written by the Apostle John the actual human individual known as the antichrist had not yet arrived on the scene, but the one who would set him up, the spirit of antichrist, Satan, had long been operating in the world. The actual antichrist finally arrived and started his religious movement. The masses served him before he died and they are serving him now. Their mission is world-wide domination by means of the sword.
The purpose of this article is not to render a treatise on the subject of the antichrist (perhaps in another article), but to ask ourselves this question, "Do I meet the criteria for being included in the class of the redeemed that would be raptured when the trumpet sounds?" Perhaps we could easily establish our status by rather asking, "Am I a slave (fully committed to) Jesus Christ or am I a slave to the world system which is controlled by the darkness of this world, the principalities and powers in high places?" (Eph 6:12)
How do we determine whether or not we are qualified for inclusion in that final act of redemption?
There are two classes of people who will be left behind to face God's wrath those who do not know God and those who do not obey the Gospel. "...if so be that it is righteous thing with God to recompense affliction to them that afflict you, and to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus:" (2Thess. 1:6-8)
What constitutes not knowing God and not obeying the gospel of Jesus.?
Well, let's examine ourselves and determine once and for all whether or not we will be left behind when the rapture occurs. See if one or more of the following statements fit.
My spouse and I repented and committed our lives to the Lord some time ago, but we never cease calling each other horrible names; never stop throwing insults at each other; use sarcasm in our communication with each other and never stop arguing about ridiculous things.
I frequently use foul language in front of my spouse, family members and friends, even although I am a Christian.
I am filled with self-importance and continually judge others and gossip about others, even although I am a Christian.
I throw my weight around and expect others to live to my expectations, even although I am a Christian.
I sit in front of the television set for hours watching the fares dished out by the devil, even although I am a Christian.
I partake in questionable leisure activities, even although I am a Christian.
I interfere in the affairs of family members and take sides, hoping to cause conflict and division, even although I am a Christian.
I am just too lazy to read and study the Word of God, even although I am a Christian.
The above are just a few considerations. But what did Jesus say? "If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments". (John 14:15) If we consider ourselves to be Christians, then we will know exactly what Jesus is talking about. The Word of God (Jesus) opposes every act listed in the statements above and we should know that, simply because we love reading the Bible or do we?
If we love Jesus, then surely it will show in our fruits and others will see it. Can we truly say, as per Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."?
Now here's the big test. If there are "Christians" who actually go about and successfully perform works in the Name of Jesus, but who are rejected because they had Christ on their lips, but not in their hearts, then what chance do we have if we live according to some or all of the statements listed above?
Jesus said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: " (Matt.7:21-24)
Indeed, we need to hear and do the sayings of Jesus if we expect to be taken up when the time comes and it is imminent.
Jesus said, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7)
Do the words of Jesus abide in us? Let's wait for the rapture and see.
Now retired, Jack Vorster has a background in marketing in the field of newspaper advertising. As a result of a life-changing experience he turned his attention to the study of the human make-up and the realities connected to human behaviour based on the Word of God.
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