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Monday, August 15, 2011

Who will be in heaven?

 

    Do you realize that only Christians are going to Heaven? The Bible no where even hits that one who is accountable will go to Heaven unless that person is a Christian.

    Do you realize that every Christian is in the "family of God?" Since God adds the saved to His church (Acts 2:47), and the church is His family (1Timothy 3:15), then every single individual who is in the family of God will also be in His church.

            Are you saved? That is, are you a Christian? If you were living in the first century with your current loyalty to God, would you be considered a Christian?

            What it meant to be a Christian in the first century was clear and unmistakable.  There was no arguing about how one must be baptized; no arguing about whether or not one needed to worship in spirit and truth; no argument about whether one needed to "seek His kingdom and His righteousness first" in order to be saved (Matthew 6:33).  Does this describe you?

            In Acts 11:26, the disciples were called "Christians" - - no one else, only disciples wore that name.  If you were a disciple of Jesus Christ in the first century, then you were a Christian. A disciple of Christ is a "follower" of Christ.  Does this describe you? Are you a follower?

            Based on Matthew 7:20 ("by their fruits ye shall know them"), it seems that many, if not most, think that Jesus follows THEM.  They have the idea that being a Christian simply means to have Jesus "handy" in case they might need Him for some reason.  What about you? Do you follow Jesus, or do you expect Jesus to follow you?

            Do you think that when you're too tired to get out of bed and worship that Jesus will stay there with you? Do you think it is Jesus who has led you to be inactive in His church? Do you think that when there's a major sporting event, a huge sale at the Mall, or even a county Fair and you decide to skip worship and attend one of these events, do you think Jesus will follow you there?  Jesus did not allow even the Cross to deter Him from doing His Father's will (Philippians 2:8) -- do you think a sporting event, a sale at the Mall, or a county Fair would deter Him?

            Being a Christian means being a *servant* of Jesus Christ. But, like many things, Satan has cleverly "flip-flopped" our understanding of this, causing us to think Jesus is OUR servant. Analyze your prayers sometime, whether public or private, and note how many things you are "telling" Jesus what He needs to be doing: "Heal the sick, comfort the afflicted, make the church grow, bring us back at the next appointed time" etc., etc.

            Since the church is depicted as the "Bride of Christ," let me ask the men something: What if your wife treated you like you treat the church? What if she was as loyal to you as you are to the Lord's church?  Would you even consider marrying someone who showed the same amount of love toward you as you do toward the church?   Little wonder that Paul encourages us to "Examine yourselves and see whether you are in The Faith" (2Corinthians 13:5).  Sometimes the truth hurts, but it only hurts when it needs to hurt.        

Toby Miller

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