By Xiaolian, South Korea
Hello, brothers and sisters! I’ve believed in the Lord for years and always been longing for the return of the Lord Jesus. Recently, I saw online that someone testified that the Lord Jesus has returned and is doing the new work of judging and purifying man. So I want to seek and investigate it. However, I’m confused by a question in my heart: Since the Lord Jesus clearly said “It is finished” upon the cross, it means that the Lord Jesus accomplished God’s work of saving mankind, and that He will directly rapture us into the kingdom of heaven when He returns. So why does He still do the work of judging and purifying man? This question has confused me for a long time. How do you understand it? I hope someone who understands this question can fellowship with me.
This question is well worth discussing. I will talk a little bit about my understanding. If the Lord Jesus saying “It is finished” meant God’s work of saving man had been entirely finished, then He would certainly not have prophesied that He would do new work when He returned. But I see that the Lord Jesus prophesied in the Bible: “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 that the prophecy in Revelation says: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2:7). From these prophecies we can know that the Lord Jesus will still utter words in the last days, that’s to say, the Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth. If the Lord Jesus has completed the work of saving mankind, how can these prophecies be fulfilled? Therefore, I think that the Lord Jesus saying “It is finished” doesn’t mean that the work of God’s salvation of man is finished. It possibly has some other meaning.
I agree with the view above. I also think of the scriptures: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Pe 1:5). “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” (Heb 9:28). “Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (2Co 1:10). These verses mention “salvation ready to be revealed in the last time,” “appear the second time without sin to salvation,” and “will yet deliver us,” from which it can be seen that the Lord will return in the last days to save us. This shows that God’s work of saving mankind still hasn’t been fully accomplished.
Through the fellowship of the brother and the sister, I also pondered: If the Lord had finished the work of saving mankind, why are we still living in the state of sinning during the day and confessing our sin at night, unable to put the Lord’s words into action? For example: When others impinge on our pride or interests, we are unable to tolerate or forgive them, but harbor hatred and want revenge. When seeing others who are superior to us, we envy them and even exalt ourselves and belittle them. When we see that some unlawful deeds occur in the church, for the sake of maintaining the relationship with other people, we dare not step up to protect the interests of the church. When disasters and trials befall, we still often misunderstand and complain against God, etc. Without being cleansed, the sinful people like us still cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, for the Bible says: “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins” (Heb 10:26).
It is very illuminating what everyone shared. I’d like to share two passages of words, which I read in a book: “For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even if the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed….”
“You only know that Jesus shall descend during the last days, but how exactly will He descend? 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.”
Our sins are forgiven because of the Lord Jesus’ redemption. The Lord saying that we are no longer of sin doesn’t mean that we won’t commit sins. It just means that the Lord no longer remembers our sins and no longer treats us as sinners. But we cannot deny that our sinful nature still exists and that we go on living lives of sinning in the daytime and confessing at night. This is our actual condition at this time, just as what the brothers and sisters said just now. The Bible says: “Be you holy; for I am holy” (1Pe 1:16). God’s disposition is righteous and holy. It is God who guards the gate of the kingdom. Now we are still living sinful lives and are filled with defilement and corruption, so we are not worthy to see our Lord’s face. Only when we cast off the binds and restraints of our sinful nature, no longer sin and resist God, and become someone who obeys, reveres, and loves God, can we be entitled to enter God’s kingdom. Therefore, the Lord Jesus saying “It is finished” means not that God’s work of saving man was finished, but that God’s work of redeeming mankind was/ accomplished.
What the brothers and sisters fellowshiped above has lots of light. When it comes to talking about our condition of committing sins during the day and then pleading guilty to them at night, this reminds me of Paul’s words: “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” (Rom 7:18). If even Paul was like this, how could we not suffer the pain of living in sins? If it were not for the Lord doing the work of purifying and transforming man when He returns, we would live in sin all the time and become the slaves of sin. Then which one of us who is filled with sin could enter the heavenly kingdom?
Thank the Lord. Everyone’s fellowship has lots of light. It’s certainly just as you say. God is righteous and holy. If the people like us who are covered in filthiness are raised into the kingdom of heaven by the Lord, how could Satan be convinced? I remember that 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” (Jhn 8:34-35). We really cannot enter the kingdom of heaven if the corrupt disposition within us is unable to be cleansed and changed. And I remember that a lot of prophecies in the Bible mention that the Lord will come again in the last days to do the work of judgment. In Peter 4:17 it says: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” And also in John 12:47-48: “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.” From this we can see that in the last days God will come again to do a stage of work of judgment, free us from sin and cleanse us. My confusion has been resolved. I am grateful for everyone’s sharing! I obtained a lot from the communication today and I look forward to the next fellowship.
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