Being ready for the return of Christ is a command to His bride. If He is to come back for her, the individuals who believe to make up this bride must, in fact, be His bride.
We become His bride (accept His proposal, if you will) when we receive the salvation of Christ. Throughout the whole world, we have thousands of religions, many individuals claiming that they are God’s children by them. But there is only one way to righteousness; only one way to truth; only one way eternal life; only one way to God the Father’s heart, and that is by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is by His sacrifice that we are saved, it is by His blood that we are His bride.
The first part of the “Rapture Ready” message is then evident.
1. Repentance and Forgiveness
We cannot be the bride of Christ without Christ as our personal Savior. We will not be raptured without having repented for our sin and pardoned by His mercy.
But we knew this already. So need I to continue writing this since it is already plainly laid out in scripture?
Saved by Christ Alone
I do. Some of the churches seem to have habit of cut and pasting the scriptures they like, preferably those which don’t state the laying down of man’s sins and self-denial.
So many people in the church environment assume that they can serve God and go to heaven just by good works. If we believe that by attending church and participating religious activities we’ll be His servants; if we trust that by abiding in good morals and posting bible verses to our social media we’ll be made righteous; if we think that by going on a mission’s trip every couple of years will give us a wink from God and free ticket into heaven’s doors… then we do not yet know the truth.
The truth is that it is by the sacrifice of Christ that we are saved and set free. Saved from what? The wrath and judgment of God. Freed from what? The clutch of satan and the power of sin.
Understanding the above then makes it very clear on who are the religious and the wicked vs. the righteous of God. Men and women must come to the cross of Christ and surrender their life and will to it. Only then can we be pardoned from sin and transformed into the new creature we must become to inherit the hope and promise of eternal life.
But today’s preaching offers a new notion for churchgoers, teaching congregations that they can live before God however they see fit with no need to lay down sin and change.
“God knows you’re a sinner and you can’t be perfect… but He’s cheering you on anyhow!” – Anonymous
The eternal consequences for the sinner has been cut out of the picture; the conquering power of the Lamb’s blood deserted; the Gospel perverted to a feel-good, easy-going message; and the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ stripped down to nothing more than a benevolent “softy” honoring sinful lifestyle and behavior.
Such a distortion can only lead it’s defenders to the pits of hell as they have not only missed the Good News, but have horribly degraded it. These do not belong to Jesus Christ. It is at the cross that we are saved and set free; at the cross that men and women become righteous.
Go Back and Do
In only lightly touching on this sad reality, it’s plainly clear that these will not be collected when Jesus returns. It doesn’t matter if they are churchgoers; it doesn’t matter if they do good things and believe in the concepts of God and so forth: if that man or woman has not yet been cleansed from sin, they are the enemies of the cross.
These are only separated from God if they do not, by His enabling grace, deal with the sinfulness of their nature and turn away from it as He so commands. When one commits sin and does ungodly things, they are destined to perish by God’s law. Sinners are guilty, subject to the righteous judgment of God and already condemned to eternal punishment. Hence, our need of salvation – our deep need for a way of escape out of this eternal punishment and that One way is Jesus Christ.
We must go to the cross in which the Son of God bore and died on, and bow. Sin, unrighteousness, darkness has got to go in order to be saved! We must let go of the horrible baggage in which we carry and cast it down at His feet. Repentance is what we are called to do – we are guilty, filthy offenders to a Holy God, in deep need of His mercy and forgiveness. We must realize this. Total surrender is needed as we can only find life if we give up our own. By drawing near and taking His outstretched scarred hand, He will redeem and revive us to the new life as He so promises. We cannot do it on our own – it is by His grace that we are saved, which He so provides when we come to Him.
Our debt is then paid. Our sins are cleansed. What stood in the way of us serving God is done away. We now belong to Jesus Christ, and are made joint-heirs of His kingdom.
So, are we converted from the old man into the new? Are we surrendered at the cross? Does Jesus Christ have claim on our souls? If not, we must go back and do.