In our last episode, we discussed the concept of a pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. What came out of that discussion was that the classic pre-tribulation rapture teaching had some serious problems with it. Apart from understanding that true Believers of Messiah will endure tribulation prior to their snatching away to be with Y’shua on the sea of fire and glass, we slightly touched upon who the believers that are raptured after undergoing terrible persecution and martyrdom would be. Contrary to fundamental churchianity teachings, Y’shua will not be returning to collect all 2.5 billion professing Christians of this world. Certainly, there is no Biblical support for everyone who claims to be a follower or believer of Messiah, that all will receive a free pass to eternity.
Yet traditionalists adamantly assert that anyone who accepts Y’shua as his or her savior through faith shall be saved. The formula that is often followed/provided is for one to attend a church service, hear the message, experience the guilt of living a sinful life, answer the call from the preacher to come to the alter; say the sinners’ prayer; accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior; the rest is pure faith and grace. Some Christian denominations will assert that the new convert to the Christian Faith must be Baptized and receive the “laying-on” of hands by denominationally certified ministers of the Gospel. Still other denominations assert that in addition to the baptism and the laying-on of hands, one must receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (ecstatic utterances).
Hey, I was right there in the midst of these beliefs and doctrines. Absolutely, all of the above to me made perfect sense, was pure, loving, and made you feel so connected to Jesus. The most famous verse of the New Testament has to be John 3:16–For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (Joh 3:16 ESV)
Growing up and well into my adult years I fully believed all that was necessary for one’s salvation was Faith/Belief and grace–nothing else was required. In fact it went further–“once saved always saved” because John records that whoever believes in Jesus Christ should not perish and will have everlasting life. It was perfectly clear to me and right there in the pages of my Bible was the proof-positive that salvation was simple and readily available to any and all who would grab onto it. The formula for salvation was fully plainly encapsulated in this one verse–and that formula for salvation could be summed up into one word: belief.
How do you perceive your salvation? Do your perceptions follow along the traditional Christian-party lines?
I must tell you: I’ve been to more than my share of worship services over the course of my 53-years, including a Billy Graham Crusade, and I’ve seen the droves of souls respond to countless invitations to salvation. Truly, I found that the driving force behind virtually everyone of these exercises of evangelical outreaches was powered by the words of Jesus in his analogous portrayal of the state of souls in the world–The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; (Mat 9:37 ESV).
Hilary over the weekend recalled to me an old Gospel hymn that was common to the church of our youth: We’ve come this far by faith…leaning on the Lord. Trust’n in His Holy Word…He’s never failed me yet... Oh! Can’t turn around…We’ve come too far by faith.
It all came down to “making it” into heaven and getting there required only that you trust in God…right? Let’s face it, Churchianity preaches that getting “into” heaven is the ultimate goal and mission of every traditional self-professing Christian. No one could ever purchase eternal life via works of any kind. Salvation was and always will be achieved via “God’s unmerited favor.”
Beloved, this is THE MOST important question you will ever have to correctly answer as a believer of the Messiah: “What must I do to be saved?” Here’s the kicker: do you answer this question using the fundamental denominational party lines or do you answer based upon what the Father, through Y’shua, through the Bible states as the right answer? Unfortunately, I have a sneaky suspicion that the vast majority of the 2.5 billion self-professing Christians in the world today have absolutely no idea as to what they must do to be saved apart from that which their denomination has shown and told them.
“So what?” many will ask, “God knows my heart and my intentions and in the end God will sort it all out.” Surely, God does know our hearts: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jer 17:9 ESV) “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jer 17:10 ESV)
Jeremiah confirms that God looks closely at our hearts, all the while realizing that it is desperately sick. Y’hoveh says that He alone searches the heart and he rewards according to the deeds of men.
Look, this is of the utmost importance. Christians are so quick to say that God knows their hearts. Nevertheless, each of us knows that we are not always who we claim that we are. Honesty demands that we bear all and surrender all to Him and not play spiritual games with the Lord, hoping that God will have mercy upon us in the end. That is nothing but a fool’s bet to the one who chooses to gamble away their part in the coming Kingdom of God.
We have seen that most believers who are alive at the end times will endure substantial persecution and most will suffer martyrdom. If not now, it will be during the end time tribulation where Satan wages direct war against the Saints of the Most High when the true Believers of Messiah will be revealed. Those who do not make it to the end times having claimed Messiah will find themselves in one of two unequal camps: the smaller camp housing the chosen and obedient of the Lord and the vastly larger camp housing the deluded and disobedient. Death is not the time to figure out what is the true route to eternal life.
As a Coroner’s Investigator, I know better than most that death is a certainty and more times than not, it strikes without warning. Death is merciless and relentless. It chooses the young, old and all in between as victims. The vast majority of cases that come across my desk provide no indication whatsoever that the individual is bound for eternal life. Most proclamations of a Faith in Messiah are muted and never make it to the ears of my investigators. Yet more times than not again, a common soothing condolence delivered to the next-of-kin is that the decedent is now in a better place or that he or she is no longer suffering. Certainly the grave will offer relief to the many suffering Believers in the end times. Such expressed sympathies may be true for the time being for those who are not True Believers of Messiah, but when Y’shua gathers His elect from the 4-corners of the world, it will be a shame to not be named among the gathered elect.
I get that this post will turn many off. Granted, there is nothing on this earth more personal than one’s profession of Faith and their belief in their eternal destiny. Challenges to common denominationally based beliefs about salvation usually lead to hurt feelings and confrontation. However, two primary passages of the Word of God are driving me to produce this content:
2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman,
3 and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people,
4 then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life.
6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.
7 “So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. (Eze 33:2-7 ESV)
By default my friends, I am a Watchman and it is my responsibility to relay to you the danger that faces all who have been misled about the one true Faith. As freely as the Father gave to me when I came to the True Faith of Messiah, it rests upon me to reciprocate. This applies to all who come to the true faith once delivered to the Saints. Failure to do the duties of a watchman can only result in the blood of all those whom we could have helped being required of us. Thus, we have a responsibility to one another to warn those who are misled and uninformed to heed the warning, take corrective action immediately and seek the truth.
The second verse takes on a different tone altogether and that has to do with the reality of the matter involving eternal life and those who are the chosen of the Lord:
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
(Mat 7:13-14 ESV)
I came to the knowledge of the True Messiah and the Kingdom of God after tremendous inward struggle and family upheaval. It was not an easy path to the truth for me, nor will it be for any who would seek her. Unfortunately, most self-professing Christians will refuse to heed this warning and seek after the narrow gate and the hard way that leads to life, instead opting for the fleeting comfort of the pagan based religion known today as Christianity, which sadly leads to destruction. As Y’shua so beautifully put it, the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the path smooth, attracting millions. Let’s face it, it is human nature to take the path of least resistance for most everything in life. Those who defy this natural tendency are singled out and often castigated unfairly. When it comes to Christianity, those who seek to follow the tenets of the Faith through obedience to the Laws and God’s way for man to live are often ostracized and labeled heretics and fanatics, because their actions seem to defy the whole concept of grace which traditionalism contends nullifies the necessity for obedience to God’s Word. In other words, eternal life is free to all who would seek after it and thus there are no requirements to obtain it despite that which the Bible clearly teaches otherwise.
Clearly, there is a reason why the truth as it relates to eternal life is not understood by the majority of self-professing Christians in this world. The reason is found in the pages of our Bibles:
9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world– he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Rev 12:9 ESV)
Saints in Training, the deception is SO heavy, to the point that delivery from it requires full-on intervention by the Holy Spirit. I do not believe you can reason your way out of it; nor read your way out of it; nor trust your way out of it. Truth may be diligently preached and taught, but it cannot be fully grasped without the leading and interpretation by the Holy Spirit and an accepting and desirous heart for the Truth.
Once one enters that perfect door to Truth, he or she finds themselves pelted with one new Truth after the other. Before you know it you find yourself having to deal with the onslaught of truths so much so that you could never in your life time exhaust the fullness therein. It just keeps coming and you find that you can never get enough. You seek for more and more, turning over this and rolling over that. Then you return to look at those truths that you’ve gone over in the past and you start discovering Truths within the Truths you’ve already received.
Indeed, it is time for the Church of the Most High to fire their useless teachers and pastors, gird their loins for the battle ahead, get prayed up, and with a right mind and heart seek after the Truth with all vigor and earnest. It is when the one True Church finally embraces the true Faith once delivered to the first century Saints then the Church will emerge into its fullest state of being.
But there is the problem of the overwhelming delusion that clouds and hides the Truth from the vast majority of self-professing Christians today. How do we combat that? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that we, as individuals, have a responsibility to arm ourselves with the Truth, be obedient and obey His commandments, become bondservants of the Most High while never forsaking He who authored our salvation. We must present ourselves Holy as He is Holy and then make ourselves available for use in the fields and warn the nations over and over of the impending judgment to come upon this earth and also proclaim the soon coming Kingdom of God to one and all.