Bible,easter,Baptism,life

Can People Be Saved Into the Heavenly Kingdom Through Baptism?

Dear Sister Wang: Peace to you in the Lord! I’m very glad to receive your letter. In your letter you say: “I’ve always believed that we believers in the Lord have been reborn and saved and become an entirely new being because of having been baptized, so we are qualified to enter the heavenly kingdom, for the Lord once said, ‘He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned’ (Mark 16:16). But some brothers and sisters said: ‘Though we have been baptized and accepted the Lord’s salvation, we still live in sin and are unable to cast off the bondage of sin, so we must accept God’s work of judgment and purification in the last days for admission into the heavenly kingdom.’ I am very confused by this. Can people be saved and enter the heavenly kingdom through baptism? The question you have raised also puzzles many brothers and sisters in the Lord. And I was not an exception. It was not until recently when I attended a meeting—where the preacher, Sister Li, just happened to give a sermon about this aspect, which made me feel a special kind of brightness in my heart—that I came to understand the relationship between baptism and entry into the heavenly kingdom. Next I will share with you something that the sister fellowshiped that day and my gains. Sister Li said, “In Matthew 28:19-20, it says, ‘Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.’ From the verses, we can see: Baptism is just a kind of ritual of accepting the work of the Lord Jesus and it represents our formally becoming a Christian and returning before the Lord. It also represents that we can enjoy the Lord’s care and protection as well as blessings, and that we have received the sin offering. But it doesn’t mean that we have been reborn and saved and can enter into the heavenly kingdom. We have to admit the fact that we still cannot help but often commit sins though we have been pardoned for our sins. For example, we still lie and cheat in pursuit of reputation and status. When others harm our interests, we can still hate them, utterly incapable of practicing tolerance and patience as the Lord Jesus requires. When confronted with natural and manmade disasters, or trials and tribulations, we blame and betray God. When God’s work is not in accordance with our own conceptions, we deny, judge, and oppose God. These are facts for all to see. The Bible says, ‘Be you holy; for I am holy’ (1 Peter 1:16). And 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’ (John 8:34-35). Therefore, because God is holy, only those who have freed themselves of sin and have been cleansed can enter the heavenly kingdom. Although we believers in the Lord have been baptized, we still have corrupt dispositions and can still sin and resist God. We have not yet been cleansed and changed and become an entirely new being. So how can we be qualified to enter into God’s kingdom?” Then, the sister shared with us a passage of words: “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.” After listening to this passage and the sister’s fellowship, I understood: In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus only performed His redemption work. By believing in the Lord our sins are absolved and we are saved through our faith. But this saved refers to no longer being convicted by law and sentenced to death. It doesn’t mean that we are completely holy, much less does it mean that we can enter into the kingdom of heaven. This is because though our belief in the Lord Jesus pardons our sins, our sinful nature is still deeply rooted within us, and we can still resist God, betray God, and consider God as an enemy. Evidently, if our corrupt satanic dispositions are not resolved, we will be unqualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. 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” (John 16:12-13). The Lord’s words are very…

Christians wait for the Lord’s return and the rapture

How Should We Wait for the Lord’s Return and the Rapture?

Question: We believe that the return of the Lord means that believers will be raised directly up into the kingdom of heaven, for it is written in the Bible: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (1Ts 4:17). You testify that the Lord Jesus has returned, so why are we now on earth and not yet raptured? Answer: The saints’ hopes of being raptured are mainly based on the Lord Jesus’ own words: “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (Jhn 14:2-3). We interpret the Lord Jesus’ words based on our own conceptions and imaginations. We think that because the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven on a cloud, the place the Lord has prepared for mankind must be in heaven. Therefore, we have been waiting for the Lord Jesus to return and raise us into heaven. In addition, we particularly revere Paul’s words: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Therefore, we started to hope that the Lord would raise us into heaven when He returns. Different people have different understandings of the rapture. Most people think that when the Lord arrives, He will raise the saints up into heaven to meet Him. We have hoped for this kind of rapture for many years. Well, what is the rapture really? Most people aren’t quite clear about that. The mystery of the saints’ rapture was only revealed when Almighty God arrived. Almighty God says, “People imagine that ‘rapture’ means rising from below unto up high. That is utterly wrong. Rapture means selection after having been predestined by Me, and refers to all those who were predestined and are chosen, … and nothing is more at odds with the conceptions of man. All who have a share in My future household will have been taken before Me: This is the absolute truth, it is immutable, it can be refuted by no man, and it strikes back against Satan. All who were predestined by Me will be taken before Me” (from Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning). Almighty God’s words are very clear. “Being caught up” is not what we think—being taken into the air from the earth and meeting the Lord in the clouds. Nor is it being taken up to heaven. It means that when God returns to earth to speak His words and do His work, we will hear God’s voice and will be able to follow Him and obey His work in the last days. This is the true meaning of being caught up before God’s throne. All who can distinguish the Lord’s voice, find the truth in Almighty God’s words, accept the truth, and return to Almighty God are the wise virgins. They are the gold, silver and precious stones that have been “stolen” by the Lord and returned to His house because they are all of good caliber and can understand and accept the truth. They can understand God’s voice. They are the ones that have truly received the rapture. They are the overcomers who will be made when God does His work as He secretly descends to earth in the last days. Ever since Almighty God started His work of the last days, more and more of the people that truly thirst for God’s appearance have recognized His voice in Almighty God’s words. One after another, they have accepted God’s work of judgment in the last days. They have been caught up before God’s throne to meet with Him face-to-face and accepted the watering and nourishing of His words. They have gained true knowledge of God. Their corrupt dispositions have been cleansed and they have managed to live out the reality of the truth in God’s words. They have already obtained God’s abundant salvation. These people have already been made overcomers before the great catastrophes arrive. They have been obtained by God as the firstfruits. Those who hold onto their own conceptions and imaginings and blindly wait for the Lord to come and take them up to heaven, they who reject God’s work of judgment in the last days are the foolish virgins. They are the ones who will be forsaken by God. They are destined to suffer in the disasters; they will cry and gnash their teeth. This is a fact. from the movie script of Awakening from the dream   »You may be interested in reading more on our Gospel Reading page about The Rapture, or in the recommended articles below: • The Lord Jesus Redeemed Our Sin, but Does It Mean We Can Enter the Heavenly Kingdom? • What Is Being Raptured Before the Disasters? How Can We Become Overcomers? • What Kind of People Will Be Raptured Into the Kingdom of Heaven When the Lord Returns?

bible,christinity,cross

Does Forgiving Sins Mean That We Can Enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

Question: People are sinful, but the sin offering of the Lord Jesus is forever effective. As long as we confess our sins to the Lord, He will forgive us. We are sinless in the Lord’s eyes, so we can enter the kingdom of heaven! Answer: Lord Jesus absolves mankind’s sins, but that doesn’t mean we don’t sin. That doesn’t mean we have been freed from the control of our sins or have been cleansed. Lord Jesus absolves our sins. What does “sin” really refer to in this context? We all know adultery, theft, etc. Anything that violates laws, commandments or God’s words is a sin. Any action that resists, condemns or judges God is also a sin. Any blasphemy against God is a sin, a sin that cannot be absolved! In the Age of Grace, Lord Jesus martyred himself for our sins. Only those that pray to the Lord and repent will not be condemned or sentenced to death. That is to say, God will no longer see them as sinners. People who are absolved of their sins can pray directly to God and share in His grace. That is the true meaning of “absolution”. Although our sins were absolved by Lord Jesus, that doesn’t mean we have stopped sinning and resisting God. Because sinning is in our nature, we are still able to resist and betray God and take Him as our enemy. How can people like that be qualified to enter the heavenly kingdom? It’s just as Almighty God said, “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” (“Concerning Appellations and Identity” ). Lord Jesus’s work of absolution only absolved our sins; it didn’t resolve our corrupt nature. Our inner arrogance, selfishness, deceitfulness, and other aspects of our satanic nature still remain. This corruption is deeper than sin; it is much more tenacious than sin. It is the source of our resistance of God. If these satanic temperaments are not resolved, people will continue to sin, resist God and judge and condemn Him according to their own conceptions. When they suffer and are persecuted, they can deny God and betray Him as Judas did. When they hold positions of power, they establish independent kingdoms in resistance to God. Some people steal God’s offerings and offend His disposition; they will be condemned and extinguished by God. Now most pastors and leaders in the religious community do not implement the words of Lord Jesus. They interpret the Bible based on their own conceptions. They treat the words of biblical people as if they’re the words of God. They exalt people’s words instead of testifying about Lord Jesus’s words. This makes the faithful revere people and follow people. They have no place for Lord Jesus in their hearts. They become trapped and controlled by their religious leaders’ dominion. This is especially true when Lord Jesus returns to do His works. Those priests and leaders do not pursue or study God’s works. Instead, they condemn His works, judge Him and blaspheme against Him. They spread lies to trick their believers and lock them in the church. They publicly take God as their enemy and offend God’s disposition. This is the most serious resistance of God that there is. This is a sin that cannot be absolved! Their evil behavior in resistance to Lord Jesus is even more egregious than the Pharisees’ was! Therefore, if people’s nature, their resistance of God, is not resolved, if their satanic corruption is not cleansed, they’ll be capable of any evil behavior in resistance of God. How can these kinds of people enter the heavenly kingdom? Therefore, according to His management plan to save mankind and the actual requirements of corrupt humanity, God expresses many different aspects of the truth in the last days, and carries out His work which fulfills the prophecy in the Bible, “Judgment must begin at the house of God,” and is to resolve the key problem that corrupt mankind is controlled by their satanic nature. That is the way that man will gradually free themselves from their corrupt satanic disposition, stop rebelling against and resisting God, become able to truly obey and revere God. Only then will they be cleansed and enter the kingdom of heaven. from the movie script of Stinging Memories » Further reading on Sermons on Sin page, or in the recommended articles below: • Does Sinning After Being Saved Mean Being Born Again? • Does Forgiveness of Sins Mean Being Purified: How Can We Escape Sin? • Does Having Our Sins Forgiven Mean We Can Be Raised Up Into the Heavenly Kingdom?

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