Editor’s Note: Many Christians believe that we have received the salvation of the cross and it means that we have been completely obtained by God, and so when the Lord returns we will be directly raptured into the kingdom of heaven. But have we ever considered whether our receiving the salvation of the cross means that our sinful nature has been completely eliminated and that we have been completely gained by God?
The Cross was an instrument of capital punishment. Since the sinlesswas nailed to the cross as a sin offering for mankind, the cross has symbolized the redemption of the Lord Jesus. As long as believers in the Lord repent and confess their sins to the Lord, they will be forgiven of their sins and will be no longer seen as sinners by the Lord. If the Lord Jesus hadn’t done the work of crucifixion, we human beings would have forever lived under the law; at that time, although people clearly knew the laws and commandments, they still couldn’t help but violate them, so they were in the danger of being condemned and sentenced to death by the laws at any time. The salvation of the cross redeemed the believers in God from the fetters of the laws, and this is God’s great love and salvation and is the greatest honor of people who believe in the Lord.
Many Christians believe that we have received the salvation of the cross and it means that we have been completely obtained by God, and so when the Lord returns we will be directly raptured into the kingdom of heaven. But have we ever considered whether our receiving the salvation of the cross means that our sinful nature has been completely eliminated and that we will be directly raptured into the kingdom of heaven? God’s words say: “The sins of man were forgiven through the agency of the incarnate God, but this does not mean that man no longer has sin within him. The sins of man could be forgiven through the sin offering, but as for just how man can be made to sin no more, and how his sinful nature may be extirpated completely and transformed, he has no way of solving this problem. The sins of man were forgiven, and this is because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live within the corrupt satanic disposition of old. This being so, man must be completely saved from his corrupt satanic disposition, so that his sinful nature may be completely extirpated, never to develop again, thus enabling the disposition of man to be transformed. This would require man to grasp the path of growth in life, to grasp the way of life, and to grasp the way to change his disposition. Furthermore, it would require man to act in accordance with this path, so that his disposition may gradually be changed and he may live under the shining of the light, so that all that he does may be in accord with the will of God, so that he may cast away his corrupt satanic disposition, and so that he may break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation.” “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.”
God’s words make it very clear that, the Lord Jesus did a stage of work of redeeming mankind, and thus He saved people from the danger of being executed by the law, and allowed them to no longer be condemned by the law. As long as we accept the salvation of the Lord Jesus, confess our sins and repent to God, we will be forgiven of our sins, will be qualified to come before God and pray to Him, and will enjoy God’s abundant grace and blessings. This is the true meaning of the salvation of the cross. Just assays, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1–2). Though our sins are erased because of the redemption of the Lord Jesus, it doesn’t mean our sinful natures have been cleansed. Because the root of our sin has not taken away and we are still bound by corrupt satanic dispositions, we will still be able to sin against God. For instance, in our dealing with others, we always want them to listen to us, ask them to do things in accordance with our own ideas, and sometimes even exclude and belittle them; if some people excel more than we do, we will be jealous of them, cannot stop ourselves from competing with them, and unconsciously hold grudges against them; when our money, fame and gain, and status are involved, we are unable to stop ourselves from telling lies and cheating others in order to defend our own interests; when working and preaching, we can bear witness to ourselves, exalt ourselves, and bring brothers and sisters before ourselves, and we have no place for God in our hearts; when calamities befall us, either natural or man-made, we can complain about God, misunderstand God and even betray God. And so on. These expressions prove that our bodies are still filled with filth and corruption and that we still suffer the bondage of sin, and still live in the cycle of sinning and confessing. This is the fact that is openly recognized by all believers in the Lord and even more the issue all Christians are troubled by but cannot solve. 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). “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus: 45). God is holy. We often commit sins, and this represents that we are the servants of sin and can betray God, deny God and oppose God at any time and any place. So we cannot enter the holy kingdom of God.
Then, how can those who have accepted the salvation of the cross be cleansed of their sins and enter God’s kingdom? Actually, the Lord Jesus has already told us the way. He 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). “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” (John 12:47–48). And the Bible says, “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” (Hebrews 9:28). God deeply knows what we need. When the Lord returns in, He will express the truth that we have never heard before, tell us about the mysteries we have never learned of, and perform a stage of work of judgment beginning in God’s house to change our sinful nature and show us the way to transform our dispositions and eliminate our sinful nature. Only by accepting in the last days can we escape the life of sinning and confessing and be completely gained by God.
I saw another passage of God’s words: “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the essence of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, the words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan, and an enemy force against God. … What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man.”
It can be seen that the truths expressed by God in the last days will be so rich. Some of them let us know God’s disposition, God’s wisdom and what God has and is; some tell us how to live out the normal humanity; some teach us how to perform our duties faithfully and to be fit to serve God; some directly expose the essence of our satanic nature. Through the disclosure and judgment of the word of God, we will see that even though we don’t commit any great evils on the outside, all our thoughts are driven by our corrupt satanic dispositions and live by Satan’s poisons in all respects. “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” “The less trouble, the better.” “I am my own lord throughout heaven and earth.” “One’s destiny is in his own hand.” “Man will do anything to get rich.” “As a tree lives for its bark, a man lives for his face.” “Let those who comply with me thrive and those who resist me perish.” Such poisons of Satan as these cause us to be in opposition to the truth in all aspects, to rebel against God, and to oppose God, and cause us to reveal no normal humanity at all. Then we will acknowledge that we are corrupted too deeply by Satan from the bottom of our hearts, will truly hate ourselves and go so far as to curse ourselves, and thus will produce a will to pursue the truth. By then, when our corruption is revealed, we can discern our own circumstance and begin forsaking our flesh, practicing the truth to satisfy God and living by God’s words. After tasting the sweetness of practicing the truth, we will be able to see that the truths expressed by God and the judgment work done by God are in order to save us and change us and are God’s most true and real love, which will even more strengthen our resolve to persistently practice the truth to satisfy God. By the time we live completely by God’s words, our corrupt disposition will have been transformed and cleansed, and we will be able to truly obey God, will be completely gained by God, and be qualified to enter into God’s kingdom.
Only by accepting the appearance and work of God in the last days, keep pace with the footsteps of God’s work and accept the judgment and cleansing of God’s words can we people who have accepted the salvation of the cross be truly gained by God and raptured to the kingdom of heaven!
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