Belief of our Fathers: The End Times (Chapter 9)
March 1, 2020
This concludes a study on the beliefs of our forefathers, based largely on the 1632 Dordrecht Confession of Faith. This section tells about Eschatology, or the study of the end times. This has been edited for space.
To read other chapters in this series on the Beliefs of our Forefathers, click below:
The End Times
“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:42-44).
We now come to the concluding message of the Bible – the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation is the fulfilment of God’s plan for mankind which began in Genesis. Every book in the Bible is important for our spiritual growth, though Genesis is the foundation for understanding the whole Bible, and Revelation shows us where we’re headed. It is the crowning moment of joy for God the Father, when His Son receives and presents His bride, the Church, to Him. It is the glorious conclusion of salvation to all those who have responded to the call of God by repentance and faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Son.
There are many mysteries God has chosen not to tell us, yet here in Revelation, He graciously lets us know what is to come at the end of time, so we can be prepared for the future. Take a look at Psalm 103 and read the comforting promises made to those who fear God. To fear Him is to believe His every word and dedicate your life to serving Him. Fearing God in this life will give us confidence in the next.
While teaching in an Amish school, I was warned by the bishop never to mention the book of Revelation in morning devotions. Sadly, it is a book that is widely ignored by most religions because of its seemingly strange and fearful happenings which they cannot understand. It should be fearful to those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ, and it should turn them from trusting anything else for their salvation. God has revealed to us many clear signs to warn us of the coming end, which we will discuss in this chapter. He has told us what to look for so that Christians will not lose heart but will remain diligent in serving Christ until He comes. Matthew 24 says to “watch . . . and be ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
What the Anabaptists Teach
Since groups of Amish believers differ from one another, what is held as true for one group can be different for another group. However, it is interesting to note that when it comes to the end of the world, almost all Amish share the same view.
The clearest Amish viewpoint on the end times comes from the Dordrecht Confession of Faith. It is composed of eighteen articles, the last of which speaks of the end of the world, under the heading, “Of the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Last Judgment.” It states:
“Finally, concerning the resurrection of the dead, we confess with the mouth, and believe with the heart, according to Scripture, that in the last day all men who shall have died, and fallen asleep, shall be awaked and quickened [brought to life], and shall rise again, through the incomprehensible power of God; and that they, together with those who then will still be alive, and who shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trump, shall be placed before the judgment seat of Christ, and the good be separated from the wicked; that then everyone shall receive in his own body according to that he hath done, whether it be good or evil; and that the good or pious, as the blessed, shall be taken up with Christ, and shall enter into life eternal, and obtain that joy, which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, to reign and triumph with Christ forever and ever. Matthew 22:30-31; Daniel 12:12; Job 19:26-27; Matthew 25:31; John 5:28; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 15; Revelation 20:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 1 Corinthians 2:9.
“And that, on the other hand, the wicked or impious, as accursed, shall be cast into outer darkness, yea, into the everlasting pains of hell, where their worm shall not die, nor their fire be quenched, and where they, according to holy Scripture, can nevermore expect any hope, comfort, or redemption. Mark 9:44; Revelation 14:11.”
This view is common in many churches today, and while much of it is scriptural, it leaves out some issues and topics raised elsewhere in the Scriptures. It is a general view of the end times, and it behooves us to know more about what will happen in the end.
While the Dordrecht Confession of Faith does not say it specifically, history attests that the Amish view is a preterist view of the book of Revelation. That means they believe Revelation speaks mostly about events that have happened after the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the first century, and does not address much of what will happen after Christ returns for the Church. When it comes to the millennium (the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth), the historic position of the Amish has always been amillennialism, which is natural for those who believe in preterism. Millennialism is the belief that Christ will reign on earth with the saints for a thousand years prior to the final judgment. Amillennialism, on the other hand, is the rejection of that belief.
What the Scriptures Teach
We will take a broad approach that looks at what we should watch for, know about, and be ready for, relating to the return of Christ, and offer Scripture verses for further study on your own.
Be Watchful and Ready
In chapter 24 of Matthew, Jesus is talking to His disciples as they overlook Jerusalem. They pointed to the temple buildings, and He told them there would come a time when not one stone would be left upon another.
Following this, His disciples came to Him privately to ask when these things would take place and “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). Before He got into the details, He told them to take heed that no man deceive you, because many would be deceived (Matthew 24:4). The disciples wanted to know what to watch for, and Jesus warned them not to be deceived. This is also a warning for us to be watchful and to carefully search the Scriptures so as not to be deceived.
We Live in the End Times
Often people tend to limit their concept of “end times” to the end of the world, but humanity has actually lived in the end times for almost 2,000 years. Hebrews 1:2 confirms this: “[God] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” While we don’t know the exact time the book of Hebrews was written, we do know it was sometime after Christ’s ascension and sometime before the destruction of Jerusalem (AD 70), because the temple was still standing. Here are some more signs the apostles were told to watch for in Matthew 24:
“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places” (Matthew 24:5-7).
Luke 21:11 also mentions earthquakes and says that “fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”
While we could easily compile a book on this verse alone, let’s just use earthquakes to put things into perspective. The United States Geological Survey estimates “several million earthquakes occur in the world each year. Many go undetected because they hit remote areas or have very small magnitudes. The National Earthquake Information Center now locates about 50 earthquakes each day or about 20,000 a year.” In a 2014 interview with Live Science, Thorne Lay, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, pointed out an increase in larger quakes saying, “Between 1900 and 2004, the average yearly rate of quakes of magnitude 8 and larger was 0.65. In the past 10 years, that rate jumped to 1.8 – an increase of almost a factor of 3. But only the biggest quakes are becoming more frequent. There isn’t a similar rise in smaller earthquakes.”
Matthew 24:8 says that “all these are the beginning of sorrows,” and John 16:21 further compares all of these things to birth pangs: “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” Just as a woman in labor knows the baby is on the way, when Christians see these things come about with growing intensity, we know the Lord’s coming is nearer. And just like birth pangs end when the baby is born and the mother welcomes her child with joy, we will be filled with joy when He arrives.
Descriptions and signs of the end times are sprinkled throughout Scripture. Luke 21:25 states: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.” But the signs of the end times aren’t limited to natural events and happenings. Signs will also be evident in society.
In the end times people will become evil like in the days of Noah, when “they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark” (Mtt 24:37-38). In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, the apostle Paul says people will “be lovers of their own selves, covetous [lovers of money] . . . lovers of pleasures, and will be boasters, proud, and unholy.” Children will be disobedient to parents. In 1 Timothy 4:1, we learn “that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” These earthly catastrophes and behaviors of people will be common in the end times.
Not all Christians believe there will be a rapture, but many do. The rapture idea was popularized in the 1830s. The term refers to a snatching up to heaven of true Christians while they are still alive, along with those who have already died. In the rapture, it is said that Jesus will come in the air and catch up the Church from the earth. Those in Christ will be physically raised into the skies, given new bodies free of aging, disease, and sin and taken home to heaven as they are. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus said no one will know the day or the hour – not even the angels. Only God knows. Views on the timing of the rapture differ, but the one thing they have in common is that they are believed to happen around the time of the Great Tribulation.
Pre-tribulation rapture: The pre-tribulation view places the rapture before the seven years of the Great Tribulation. In Revelation 4:1, John sees an open door in heaven and hears a voice like a trumpet, which says, “Come up hither.” After this point, the church is not mentioned.
Mid-tribulation rapture: This view says the rapture occurs midway through the seven years of Great Tribulation, when the two prophets ascend to heaven (Revelation 11:11-12).
Post-tribulation rapture: This view places the rapture at the end of the seven vial judgments (Revelation 16:17-21).
The rapture theory is based on the following Scriptures:
“And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
The Great Tribulation
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).
The Bible clearly speaks of a great tribulation. This time of trouble and distress will occur just prior to the return of Christ for His 1,000-year reign on earth. Based on the forty-two months mentioned in Revelation 13:5 “and a time and times and the dividing of time” in the prophecy found in Daniel 7:25, the tribulation will last for seven years. For those who want to do the math, plenty of information is available to help you reach the same conclusion. This seven-year period will be a time so severe that “except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
The book of Revelation describes this as a time when God’s wrath is poured out on the world that has rejected Him. Judgments are depicted in the seven seals (Revelation 6:1-17), seven trumpets (Revelation 8:6-13; 11:15-19), and seven bowls/vials (Revelation 16:1-21). All this culminates in what is known as the battle of Armageddon, when the Lord returns and comes against those who have rejected Him.
The following are other Bible verses that relate to the great tribulation:
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (Daniel 12:1).
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. . . . Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (Matthew 24:21, 29).
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light” (Mark 13:24).
The Antichrist and
Mark of the Beast
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (1 John 2:18).
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed; and all the earth wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear” (Revelation 13:2-9).
The definition of antichrist is a person or force seen as opposing Christ or the Christian Church. And while today, just as in John’s day, we have many antichrists in the world, the Bible tells us of one man who will rise to power as an irresistible leader. He will be the Antichrist – a fine speaking, delightful, persuasive, and easy-to-like man with much military know-how who will say he brings peace, but it will be a false peace. Even though the Bible doesn’t tell us exactly who the Antichrist is, the Scriptures are very clear regarding his traits and characteristics, as well as what he will do once he has the power.
In Revelation 13:3, we see that people will follow this Antichrist, and Daniel 8:23-24 tells us more about the man to whom people will be flocking: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” The dark sentences refer to his involvement with occult mysteries. In short, he will be filled with satanic power and will be able to do the works of Satan “with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
Scripture also tells us where the Antichrist comes from. Unlike the true Christ, he is a Gentile who rises from the old Roman Empire. In Daniel 9:26, the Antichrist is referred to as “the prince that shall come”, and he will require people to worship him and to take the mark on their hand or forehead as his follower. Without this mark, “no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:17).
However, God’s Word warns that “if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb” (Revelation 14:9-10). Those who won’t accept the mark of the beast will face martyrdom. “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).
The following are other Bible verses that describe the Antichrist:
“And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Dan 7:24-25).
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:27).
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Revelation 13:1-2).
Return of Christ
At the end of Revelation 19, we see that Jesus comes, riding a white horse. Verse 11 says the rider’s name is “Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” When he returns, the armies of heaven follow Him upon white horses, clothed in fine, white linen (verse 14). A sharp sword comes from his mouth (verse 15). A sword is an instrument that divides, and this is the judgment of the nations (verse 15). John gave us the big picture, while Jesus gave us specifics regarding this judgment in the parable of the sheep and the goats. “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:32). He separates the sheep from the goats. The sheep enter the thousand-year kingdom where Jesus reigns from Jerusalem as King. The goats are killed by the sword that comes from His mouth. When the Jews see Him, “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10). This is also the time when the Antichrist (also known as the beast) and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire, and Satan is bound and thrown into the bottomless pit for a thousand years.
This judgment is also depicted in Christ’s parable of the wheat and the tares, showing that at the end of the tribulation all unbelievers will be judged for their sin and unbelief. They will be removed from the presence of God, while believers will reign with Him in His earthly kingdom. “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:30). The disciples did not understand this parable, so after Jesus sent the multitudes away, they asked Him to explain:
“He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:37-43).
The Thousand-Year Reign (Messianic Kingdom)
Following the battle of Armageddon, Christ will set up His kingdom here on earth and occupy the throne of David (Acts 2:29-30). The messianic kingdom is populated by the Lord’s people. In Revelation 20:4, we see them seated on thrones and judgment is given to them. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Over the thousand years, the people living in the kingdom will still have a choice of whether or not to believe in their King. Even though He reigns here on earth from Jerusalem, some people will still choose to reject Him and will come against Him at the end of the thousand years, when Satan is let out of the pit for one last time to gather the nations against Him:
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,
where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:7-10).
Satan will gather a large army and surround the city of God, but fire will come down and consume them, and the devil who deceived them will be thrown into the lake of fire to be tormented forever.
Great White Throne Judgment
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it. . . . And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:11–12).
The great white throne judgment is the judgment of the unbelieving dead, meaning they have not been regenerated with the life God offered them through Jesus. Their works will mean nothing to God, because Christ was not in them (Matthew 7:21–23). In fact, it appears that the lost will be judged based on their evil works, and a worse damnation given to the worst.
This is the destruction of everything corrupted by sin. Even the earth and the heaven will flee from His presence, because at the end of this judgment, there is a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 20:11; 21:1).
“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:24–26).
Judgment Seat of Christ
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
The judgment seat of Christ is different from the great white throne judgment. The judgment seat is for rewards, much like we see at the Olympic games as participants are judged on their performance and rewarded for how well they do. In this case, only those in the body of Christ are judged. This is the judgment of the believers’ works, not to determine where they spend eternity, but whether they receive rewards for their works. Good works refer to what we do for Christ under the Holy Spirit’s power. First Corinthians 3:13–15 says that our works will be shown for what they are. If what has been built withstands the test of fire, it will be rewarded.
The apostle Paul reassured the believers of their just reward when he said: “Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free” (Ephesians 6:8). He also made this point as he was encouraging the Roman believers not to judge one another: “But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. . . . So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God“ (Romans 14:10, 12).
A New Heaven and a New Earth
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17).
Following the great white throne judgment, God will create a new heaven and a new earth. There will be no more death, and Jesus will give up the throne to God the Father. The new Jerusalem will come down from heaven, and everything will be changed. There will no longer be day and night in the new Jerusalem, because the Lamb is the light. “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Revelation 21:23). “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4). And those who enter are they who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
While the end times scenario feels overwhelmingly bleak for the world, that is not the case for true believers, because those who follow the beast “make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).
As believers, we should be ready to meet our Savior. This isn’t an event we should fear. As His children, the thought should elate us and fill us with hope and confidence. After all, we know the end of the story. As we wait for Him, we should have within us a deep longing to be found faithful when He returns. We should also be filled with compassion for unbelievers, because we understand the consequences.
This chapter only begins to scratch the surface regarding the information the Lord has provided us about end times. As you study further, remember that as history unfolds, we are working toward the completion of God’s eternal purposes and His triumphant return as the risen Lord.
Our Father in heaven, Your Son has declared that He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. His revelation to the apostle John gives us a clear understanding of the future. Lord, let us accept and love these commandments, for You have said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Lord, we love You with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. We thank You for sharing these visions of the future so we understand the seasons ahead, understand heaven and hell, and understand the gracious love and justice You will bestow upon believers and unbelievers alike. Let us not be divided, but unified, on our understanding of the end times, so we are better prepared to respond to the times in which we live. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
One Man’s Story
In my story of being lost and found, I had to ask the questions: Where was I in my spiritual journey? Had I trusted in Christ by faith for the forgiveness of my sins? I had to make a choice, for there are only two. I was already on my own selfish path, but it didn’t bring me any satisfaction. The only other choice was God’s path – according to His Word, and not according to Amish tradition.
Jesus said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). What did that mean? I already felt sorry for my sins, and it just made me feel more ashamed and unhappy. I learned that repentance means to change your mind about something or to change directions. I had to turn from the teachings I grew up with that were contrary to Scripture and turn to Christ’s teachings in the Bible. I couldn’t do this until I understood God’s view of sin. I thought that much of what I was doing was okay, until I compared myself with God’s law—”to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). God commands “all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30). I was a selfish, proud, lying, lustful man in God’s eyes, and I willfully chose to agree with Him and go His direction.
My next step in life was to place my faith in Jesus Christ—not just to say, “Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” but to believe it. Do you know what that requires? First let me say that faith only comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). How can we come to faith if we have to read the Bible in a language we hardly understand? It is defeating the purpose. Philippians 2:10 says to bow the knee to the name of Jesus. That means a surrender of our will to do His. I not only agreed with God about my sinfulness, but I also believed that He took the guilt and shame of my sin onto Himself and died in my place on the cross. That means that I am free from the punishment of my sin – free from the wrath of God to come (Romans 5:9). Because of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection I am justified – cleared of my guilt. My so-called good works had nothing to do with it (Romans 5:1).
As a result of the shed blood of Christ, I, through repentance and faith, was born again (John 3:3, 5). My inner man was regenerated, made new! I now have a new way of seeing things – new thoughts, new words, and new actions (2 Corinthians 5:17). I am now a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). God has written His law of love on my heart (Hebrews 8:10). I no longer have to obey God’s law because I’m required to do so. I obey Him because I want to! I love Him, because He first loved me.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross so our sins could be forgiven. Thank You for providing the gift of eternal life and making it available to all who place their trust in Jesus Christ.
Many people on earth are living a lie. They trust in their own works for salvation, and they hardly read their Bible or talk about You to anyone. They don’t fully grasp the fact that You want a real relationship with them, and that they must be born again.
Father, I don’t want them to miss out on the amazingness of heaven. Please show them that You are real. Draw them to Yourself and open their blind eyes and deaf ears. Help them understand the truth about Jesus Christ and the finished work on the cross. May today be the day of salvation for many people. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
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Chapter Nine: The End Times
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