by Richard Drake
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
1. We are at the very end of time.
--If we are near the end, then the time of trouble will soon begin.
2. Are you afraid of the time of trouble?
--Are you ready for the time of trouble?
--Are you ready to die for Jesus if necessary?
--Are you ready for Christ's second coming?
--If you are afraid, what does that say to you or about you?
3. How can I overcome my fear?
4. What must I do to be saved?
If you have ever had a nagging fear that you are not good enough to be saved, then this sermon is for you.
I recently flew on Southwest Airlines from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Boise, Idaho. I had an extended layover in Phoenix, Arizona so I decided to kill some time by playing my guitar at a gate that was not in use. I heard an announcement come over the intercom that the final boarding for the plane that was leaving from the gate that I was now sitting at had been called and that the passenger holding the green boarding pass number 68 should board immediately. Nobody responded and so the plane left. Several minutes later a beautiful young lady in her 20's appeared carrying the green boarding pass number 68 and asked me if the plane had left already. This young lady looked like she had everything going for her, including having her boarding pass in her possession. But having a boarding pass in one's possession does not guarantee success. You must get on board the plane at the appropriate time or you will be left, regardless of how good you are or even who you are.
This story illustrates the point that we cannot let our spiritual guard down at any time or we may miss God's final call for preparing ourselves to meet Him at the second coming. We can be tithe-paying, pew-sitting, Sabbath-keeping Adventists and still miss out on heaven if we are not ready when God's final boarding call is given. Sounds a little like the story of the five foolish virgins, doesn't it?
1. We are at the end of time
The following quote from The Great Controversy page 588 is quoted by Elder Ed Reid in his book Sunday's Coming! He also quotes Maranatha page 209 in his book and puts these two quotes together, which makes a rather startling point that I had not seen before.
"The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world loves and are ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium." GC 588
Can we see this prediction taking place today? Consider the following quote from the September, 1997 issue of the Religion News Service.
"Lutherans take major steps in unity, doctrine--At its church-wide assembly in August, three Reformed churches--the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, and the Reformed Church of America--adopted overwhelmingly, 839 to 193, to unify with the Lutherans. Delegates voted 958 to 25 to adopt a statement declaring that the condemnations that the Lutherans hurled at Roman Catholics during the 16th century Reformation, no longer apply to present Catholic teaching on Justification. Roman Catholic approval seems likely, said Brother Jeffrey Gros, ecumenical spokesman for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops."
Now consider how this following quote from Maranatha page 209 fits with the Great Controversy quote that we have already read.
"I saw our people in great distress, weeping, and praying, pleading the sure promises of God, while the wicked were all around us, mocking us, and threatening to destroy us. They ridiculed our feebleness, they mocked at the smallness of our numbers, and taunted us with words calculated to cut deep. They charged us with taking an independent position from all the rest of the world. They had cut off our resources so that we could not buy nor sell, and referred to our abject poverty and stricken condition. They could not see how we could live without the world; we were dependent upon the world, and we must concede to the customs, practices, and laws of the world, or go out of it. If we were the only people in the world whom the Lord favored the appearances were awfully against us. They declared that they had the truth, that miracles were among them, that angels from heaven talked with them, and walked with them, that great power, and signs and wonders were performed among them, and this was the Temporal Millennium, which they had been expecting so long. The whole world was converted and in harmony with the Sunday law, and this little feeble people stood out in defiance of the laws of the land, and the laws of God, and claimed to be the only ones right on the earth." Mar. p. 209
Can you see the impact of looking at these two quotes together? The first quote tells us what to look for that will lead to this great millennium of peace that the world is looking for. The second quote obviously occurs during the time of trouble and it is happening during the millennium that the wicked were looking for. Ellen White says that "...the final movements will be rapid ones." LDE page 11. This shows that these 2 quotes are close together in time, putting the second quote early in the millennium. The obvious question is when will the millennium that these people are looking for begin?
Malachi Martin, a Jesuit priest and Vatican Insider wrote a book entitled The Keys of this Blood. The subtitle is Pope John Paul II versus Russia and the West for Control of the New World Order. Martin begins his book with the following statement.
"Willing or not, ready or not, we are all involved in an all-out, no-holds-barred, three-way global competition. Most of us are not competitors, however. We are the stakes. For the competition is about who will establish the first one-world system of government that has ever existed in the society of nations. It is about who will hold and wield the dual power of authority and control over each of us as individuals and over all of us together as a community; over the entire six billion people expected by demographers to inhabit the earth by early in the third millennium.
The competition is all-out because, now that it has started, there is no way it can be reversed or called off.
No holds are barred because, once the competition has been decided, the world and all that's in it--our way of life as individuals and as citizens of the nations; our families and our jobs; our trade and commerce and money; our educational systems and our religions and our cultures; even the badges of our national identity, which most of us have always taken for granted--all will have been powerfully and radically altered forever. No one can be exempted from its effects. No sector of our lives will remain untouched." The Keys of This Blood p. 15 by Malachi Martin
Did you catch how much of our lives will be affected by this one-world government?
The second page of the book details the time frame when this one-world government will be in place.
"Indeed, the three rivals themselves--and many more besides as time goes on--speak about this new world order not as something around a distant corner of time, but as something that is imminent. As a system that will be introduced and installed in our midst by the end of this final decade of the second millennium." Ibid p. 16
The third page outlines who plans to be in control of this government.
"It is not too much to say, in fact, that the chosen purpose of John Paul's pontificate--the engine that drives his papal grand policy and that determines his day-to-day, year-by-year strategies--is to be the victor in that competition, now well under way." Ibid p. 17
Last September Melody and I went to Cozumel, Mexico for our 20th wedding anniversary. There was a banner attached to the local Catholic church that said the following:
"The Feast of Saint Michael the Arch-angel in preparation for the advent of the third millennium. The grand jubilee of the year 2000."
Two interesting observations come from this announcement. First, the Catholic church is looking to the year 2000 for something important to occur. Second, they are announcing that 2000 is the year of the grand jubilee. This point is extremely important when understood in light of what the jubilee is defined as in Leviticus 25. The land was returned to its rightful owner during the year of jubilee. Malachi Martin and this banner are both announcing that the land will be returned to the Catholic church and they expect to have this accomplished on or before the year 2000! The timing of this fits perfectly into what Ellen White predicted a hundred years ago with her quotes that we just read. The millennium that the Catholic church is looking for begins on or around the year 2000. Could we expect that the New Agers are looking to the same time frame for the age of peace? The New Agers believe that the Age of Aquarius begins in 2000, which gives further evidence to support Ellen White's predictions.
Christ's coming is indeed imminent. Does that news send glory bumps up and down your spine or does it send a feeling of fear and foreboding through your soul? Your answer to this question may be a good barometer of where your relationship with Christ really stands.
I am a 5th generation Adventist that was raised and educated in our schools clear through college. For many years I had this nagging question in my mind. Was I good enough to be saved? The following texts and quotes are representative of what caused me to question my own saveability.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:2
"Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples..." Maranatha 240
"Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father's commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble." GC p. 623
I was taught that I must reflect Christ perfectly in order to be saved, which is a correct teaching, but I was not taught the whole story of how we will reach that condition. I looked around me and could not find anybody that reflected Christ perfectly, which immediately raised some troubling doubts about my own saveability. How could I be saved when I knew that my best efforts to reflect Christ perfectly always ended in miserable flops? If I really did have to be like Jesus, then why couldn't I find someone who did reflect Jesus perfectly? Many people have given up on God because of this very issue and have left the church in utter discouragement. Other people have stayed in the church, but have changed their definition of what perfection is. They believe that all they have to do is to accept God's grace and love one another. In the end Christ will save them in their sins, not from their sins. Some people call this cheap grace. Thankfully Jesus does provide answers to those that are willing to search for them.
Listen carefully for the next few minutes and you will discover why you do not need to fear the events that are soon to hit us and how we will be able to reflect Christ perfectly.
The following story is an allegory that illustrates some important points.
An ad was run in a national magazine offering a reward of 1 million dollars to the first person who could successfully cross the Grand Canyon without touching the bottom. Surprisingly, a number of people showed up on the appointed day to demonstrate that they could capture the reward. It soon became apparent that there were two types of people that had entered the contest. The first group was intent on building a ramp at just the right angle that would allow them to land successfully on the other side. Their ranks were made up of an interesting section of people: short, tall, fat, skinny, athletic, non-athletic, old, young, male, and female, but they all had one thing in common--their belief that under the right conditions and with the right amount of training they could jump across the canyon unassisted. A short, fat woman in her mid-fifties was the first to try. Just before she stumbled over the edge she was heard to say, "I know I can, I know I can, I know...." The next contestant was a tall, skinny teenager who had not yet been beaten down by life and who had an extraordinary belief in his physical abilities. He got a good run at the ramp and launched himself 5 feet into space. The angle that he hit the ramp and his momentum carried him out a full 17 feet before gravity caught up with him. Just as he launched himself into the air he was heard to say, "I'm the best on the team, I'm the best on the team, I'm...." This scenario repeated itself over and over all morning long. Amazingly, one young athlete actually managed to fling himself out 32 feet before gravity took care of him.
Group Two sat around all morning watching the frenzied efforts of group One. Group Two had gathered in a huddle by themselves and had formed a cheerleading squad led by a beautiful young lady from a local Christian High School. Some of the group cheered as each contestant from group One ran down the ramp, while others laughed at the poor soul that was obviously putting so much effort into such a hopeless jump. "How foolish can anyone be?", they asked. "To think that someone could actually jump 10 miles by themselves, what fools!", said another member. Group Two decided to have a good time while group One toiled away at their impossible task. Their motto soon became, "Have faith, only believe. Wait and we shall receive!"
Late that afternoon a huge helicopter landed at the sight and an announcement from a bullhorn sounded for everyone to hear. "Anyone wishing a free ride to the prize may pick up a free ticket at the concession stand. Present your ticket at the helipad and get on board the helicopter for your free ride to the million dollar prize. This is a limited time offer, but everyone is eligible. Hurry now!"
Nobody could believe their ears! A free ride to the million dollar prize! The leader from group One made a sarcastic remark that nothing in this world is free. After all, this country was founded on the protestant work ethic and everyone knows that they have to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Remember the pretty cheerleader in group Two? She told everyone who would listen that they did not need to worry about getting on this flight. Surely there would be more flights later, and besides, how could they have a better time on the other side of the canyon than they were having now? She began leading group Two in a cheer. The pilot in the helicopter thought he heard them shouting, "Have faith--we'll win, say it again, say it again, Have faith--we'll win, say it again, say it again..."
A few people from group One thought that the offer to fly over the canyon was too good to be true, but that maybe they should check it out anyway. It is hard to change old habits and thought patterns. "How can this free ride be?", one man asked the pilot. "If it is to be, it is up to me." The pilot replied, "Trust me. Give me your tickets and get on board."
A few people from group Two also decided to check out the offer for themselves. They told the pilot, "We believe that somehow, someway, someday we will get over to the other side." The pilot replied, "You seem to have lots of faith, but you need to take action now. Give me your tickets and get on board--this is the only flight and it leaves in two minutes." Ten seconds before takeoff a husband and wife rushed up and tried to jump on board without a ticket. They were told that they could not get on without the ticket. In disgust the husband turned around and began his stretching exercises that would prepare him for his turn to jump. His wife told him, "Keep up the faith, the pilot won't abandon us. You wait and see--he'll be back. Trust me, we'll make it somehow." She was heard to say, "How can a ticket be required for a free ride?"
You may think that this is a simple, far-fetched tale, but it illustrates several points. It is as impossible to get to heaven by our good works as it is to jump the Grand Canyon. Some people will jump farther than others, (perfect their characters better than others) but they will all land in the bottom of the canyon--it is an impossible task. On the other hand, having faith without some sort of action will also guarantee failure. You can have all the faith in the world that you will get across the canyon, but without some effort on your part (getting the ticket and stepping into the helicopter) you are guaranteed failure.
Points of story:
1. The two groups represent righteous by works and righteous by cheap grace--only believe.
2. You can have the best of intentions and still be left behind.
3. The ticket is prayer and bible study along with God's grace.
4. Even though the ticket is free, it must still be presented to get on board.
5. No one can work their way to heaven--across the canyon.
6. Jesus provides the only way to heaven--the helicopter--grace
7. Grace alone will not save you otherwise everybody would be saved.
8. Works and faith are the flipside of the same coin.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
Notice that Paul said that we are saved by grace, but that we are created in Christ unto good works that we should walk in them (good works).
There must be a combination of works and faith in order to enter the kingdom. One without the other will guarantee damnation. Pretty strong words, wouldn't you say? Consider the following texts:
"Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works...But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?...Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."
James 2: 18, 20, 24
We recently heard a rock-climber relate the following experience:
He was watching a group of rock-climbers scale a 30-foot cliff that had an overhang. Each of the climbers had a safety rope tied around their waist just in case they fell. Every one of the climbers fell at least once while scaling the cliff. Our rock-climber friend decided to try his expertise at climbing this cliff so he put on the safety rope and began climbing. He made it to the top without falling, but he had some interesting remarks as to the real reason he made it without falling. The safety rope gave him the security that he needed to allow him to put his full energy into actually climbing. He said that if he had not had the rope, the fear of falling would have caused him to lose his concentration on the goal and would have caused him to use up his energy on fear rather than on climbing. His sweaty hands (caused by fear) would probably have caused him to slip and fall to his death.
Several illustrations come to mind from this story. The safety rope is like God's grace. If we slip and fall He is there to catch us. We will get skinned up and bruised, but not killed. We can therefore devote our full energy into climbing without the fear of being forever damned if we sin and fall. Doesn't this knowledge make life easier knowing that God has a safety rope for us for when we do fall? However, the rope (grace) does us no good if we refuse to wear it and decide that we can do our own climbing without God's help. Also, we will never reach the top without effort on our part. The rock-climber's safety rope will not pull him to the top, but it will keep him from falling to his death when he slips and falls. God's grace acts in a similar way. Grace gives us the confidence and the ability to walk the Christian walk, but it must be combined with effort on our part in order to be any good.
"Submit yourselves therefore to God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." James 4:7, 8
This text sounds like we have an active part to play in our salvation. Submitting ourselves to God is the key, but it is also one of the most difficult things to do. We are tempted to run ahead of God (righteousness by works) or to sit back and let God do it all for us (the cheap grace side of righteousness by faith). Work alone will not save us, but lack of work will damn us. Faith alone will not save us, but lack of faith will damn us. Therefore, we must have faith, but it must be combined with a sincere effort on our part to submit ourselves to God and resist the devil.
The following 3-text Bible study will help put things into a clearer perspective.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:4-5
I believe that this text gives us the definition of a sinful nature. Adam and Eve did not have a working, experiential knowledge of sin. When they disobeyed God they got this knowledge and it has been passed down through their genes ever since. I call this knowledge a sinful nature.
Ellen White has some interesting comments on this issue.
"In the Garden of Eden was the "tree of knowledge of good and evil....And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat." Genesis 2:9-17. It was the will of God that Adam and Eve should not know evil. The knowledge of good had been freely given them; but the knowledge of evil,--of sin and its results, of wearing toil, of anxious care, of disappointment and grief, of pain and death,--this was in love withheld."
Education p. 23
“But when man disobeyed God, when he ate of the tree of knowledge, he united with the apostate leader, and separated himself from the knowledge of God.”
General Conference Daily Bulletin 03-06-1899
Christ's goal is to bring us back to the perfect nature that Adam and Eve enjoyed when they were created. Our question is how and when is Christ going to accomplish this change? Hebrews 10:1-2 will shed more light on the subject.
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. Hebrews 10:1-2
Verse one points out that the sacrifices that were offered year by year could never make the sinner perfect. Verse two points out that if the sacrifices had made the sinner perfect, then he would not have needed to offer any more sacrifices. The second half of verse two is critical in understanding the process. Once a worshipper is purged from their sins they have no more conscience of those sins. Strong's concordance says that the word conscience can also be translated as knowledge. Can you begin to see the beauty of this point? Once Christ purges us from sin we have no more knowledge of our sins, which brings us back to the perfect condition that Adam and Eve enjoyed before sin. Acts 3:19 tells us when we will be purged from sin.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19
Our sins will be blotted out (purged) during the times of refreshing. Ellen White says that the latter rain falls during the time of trouble before the seven last plagues, which means that our sins will be purged and blotted out during this time of trouble. That is how we will be able to live a sinless life after the close of probation when Jesus is no longer interceding for us! What good news!
"The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel, are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are "the times of refreshing" to which the apostle Peter looked forward when he said, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out [in the investigative Judgment], when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus."[4 ACTS 3:19, 20.] GC p. 611
The following quote also shows that the latter rain perfects us.
"As we seek God for the Holy Spirit, it will work in us meekness, humbleness of mind, a conscious dependence upon God for the perfecting latter rain." RH 3-2-1897
Let me quickly summarize what I have said so far this morning.
1. The end is imminently near and Jesus will soon come.
2. The time of trouble will soon begin, but we have no need to fear if:
--we repent of our evil ways and are converted***this is called Justification***
--we submit to God
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:7-8
Sanctification means to be growing in Jesus--striving to become like Jesus through bible study, prayer, and witnessing.
3. If we repent and submit to God and follow where He leads us then our sins will be blotted out during the little time of trouble. When our sins are blotted out we are judged, cleansed, and sealed at the same time. Jesus gives us the perfect nature that we will have for eternity. That is how we will be able to live without our Mediator after the close of probation.
When we discovered the truth about the blotting out of sin, we got tremendously excited because we could now understand how we could perfectly reflect Jesus. This is a free gift given by Jesus to those who are striving to overcome their sins and are growing in Jesus. The only generation that will be given the new nature while they are still alive is the last generation. That is the reason that we cannot find anybody who is reflecting Jesus perfectly today--this gift is yet future, but it will be given soon. This is the reason that we must be ready every day; we don't know when our probation will close and we will be judged, purged, cleansed, and sealed.
Some of our pioneers understood this beautiful truth, but somehow it has been lost through the years. The blotting out of sin was Jones' and Waggoner's center point of their 1888 message. Why have we missed this point for so long?
The following quote is from an article in the Review & Herald, Sept. 30, 1902, by E.J. Waggoner.
"We need to be on our guard against the idea that the blotting out of sin is merely as the passing of a sponge over a slate, or an entry in a ledger to balance the account. This is not the blotting out of sin. An ignorant man who saw a thermometer for the first time thought to lessen the heat by breaking it. But how much effect did this have upon the weather? Just as much as the wiping out of the record of his sin has upon the sinner. The tearing of a leaf out of a book, or even the burning of the book containing the record, does not blot out the sin. The sin is not blotted out by blotting out the account of it, any more than throwing my Bible into the fire abolishes the Word of God. There was a time when all the Bibles that could be found were destroyed; but the Word of God--the truth--remained just the same, because truth is God Himself; it is His life...The blotting out of sin is the erasing of it from the nature, the being, of man. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. Our bodies are but the channel, the border, the sand upon the shore, of the river of life...The erasing of sin is the blotting of it from our natures, so that we shall know it no more. 'The worshipers once purged'--actually purged by the blood of Christ--have 'no more conscience of sin,' because the way of sin is gone from them. Their iniquity may be sought for, but it will not be found. It is forever gone from them,--it is foreign to their new natures, and even though they may be able to recall the fact that they have committed certain sins, they have forgotten the sin itself--they do not think of doing it any more. This is the work of Christ in the true sanctuary, which the Lord pitched, and not man--the sanctuary not made with hands, but brought into existence by the thought of God."
Waggoner refers here to Hebrews 10:2.
Revelation 22:11 applies after every person has made their final choice and either their sins or their names are blotted out of God's Book of Life.
He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. Revelation 22:11
"None who have had the light of truth will enter the city of God as commandment breakers. His law lies at the foundation of His government in earth and in heaven. If they have knowingly trampled upon and despised His law on the earth, they will not be taken to heaven to do the same work there; there is no change of character when Christ comes." RH Aug. 25, 1885
"When Jesus leaves the sanctuary, then they who are holy and righteous will be holy and righteous still; for all their sins will then be blotted out, and they will be sealed with the seal of the living God."
Early Writings p. 48
"Angels are hastening to and fro in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received 'the seal of the living God.' Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above...Christ has made the atonement for His people, and blotted out their sins."
Last Day Events p. 254
"When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God's remembrance..."
The Faith I Live By p. 212
"...in the time of trouble, if the people of God had unconfessed sins to appear before them while tortured with fear and anguish, they would be overwhelmed; despair would cut off their faith, and they could not have confidence to plead with God for deliverance. But while they have a deep sense of their unworthiness, they will have no concealed wrongs to reveal. Their sins will have been blotted out by the atoning blood of Christ, and they cannot bring them to remembrance...." Conflict and Courage p. 69
"Jesus is in His holy temple and will now accept our sacrifices, our prayers, and our confessions of faults and sins and will pardon all the transgressions of Israel, that they may be blotted out before He leaves the sanctuary. When Jesus leaves the sanctuary, then they who are holy and righteous will be holy and righteous still; for all their sins will then be blotted out, and they will be sealed with the seal of the living God. But those that are unjust and filthy will be unjust and filthy still; for then there will be no Priest in the sanctuary to offer their sacrifices, their confessions, and their prayers before the Father's throne. Therefore what is done to rescue souls from the coming storm of wrath must be done before Jesus leaves the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary."
Early Writings p. 48
The following texts take on their true meaning when Christ blots out our sins--not before.
"The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7
"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, thay shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
"I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." Isaiah 43:25
"Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. Ezekiel 36:26, 27
One final review of the evidence and its chronology is in order.
1. We are justified when we repent and confess our sins.
2. We are sanctified over our lifetime as we walk with Jesus and come closer to Him through the daily process of justification along with bible study, prayer, and witnessing.
3. We are purified when our sins are blotted out during the "times of refreshing." This is the final goal of sanctification, but it is only given to the last generation while they are still alive. People that have died in Christ will be given this gift at the resurrection when Christ comes.
4. The fourth step is called glorification and it is described in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55.
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1 Corinthians 15:51-55
So we are glorified when we are given our immortal bodies that will go along with our new, perfect natures.
What a tremendous plan Jesus has for our salvation! Do you comprehend what He has done for you and the price that He paid for your salvation?
National Geographic recently had an article that said that the Hubble telescope was focused on a point the size of a pin-head in the darkest part of the sky. The scientists were amazed to see galaxy after galaxy stacked up one after the other through that tiny portion of the sky that they had focused on. Does that give you a sense as to how awesome our God is? Just think that He gave up all of the universe in order to save me by dying on a cross! The amazing point is that our King of Kings and Lord of Lords would have died for you or me if we had been the only sinners in the universe! What a price He paid! All He asks in return is that we give Him our all. Would you join me in recommitting your life to Jesus--not just for today, but for the rest of your life? Have No Fear. Jesus is coming soon! Maranatha.
This is a sermon preached by Richard at the Gem State Academy Home Coming in 1998. For more information contact:
Richard and Melody Drake