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Forgiven In Christ




LETíS DONíT BE "LEFT BEHIND"

By Allen Dixon

At the coming of "the Son of Man...Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left." (Read Matthew 24:39-41) "He will send his angels...and they will gather his elect from the four winds." (24:31)

"The dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." (I Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Are you in Christ? You can be one of his elect by choosing to enter into him.

You may be a good person morally, but have you claimed Godís promises to those who enter into Christ, then remain faithfully in him? You may be successful in various ways. . .You may be wealthy, but is your hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, or in God the provider? (I Timothy 6:17) Sun and rain are showered on the evil and the good, and some who are yet unrighteous feel these blessings must mean that they are righteous before God. (Matthew 5:4 )

The dead and living in Christ are those saved by grace through faith. (Read Ephesians 2: 8-9) No works of boasting nor human merit are involved. The place to look for an act of merit is the cross on which Jesus Christ shed his blood. (Ephesians 1:7) Faith in the heart and expressed in trust are at the best imperfect and on the side of receiving Godís grace.

Do you believe and understand that the perfect Savior shed his blood for your personal redemption? He was then buried, but raised on the third day. "By this gospel you are saved." (Read I Corinthians 15: 1-4.)

We can respond to this gospel of grace by faith. Believing this gospel (or "good news") our hearts are filled with love and thanksgiving. Trust in the Savior is an expression of faith.

Repentance of sins is another vital expression of faith. (Read Luke 24: 46-47 and Acts 2: 37-38) We cannot live perfectly, but can live in Christ -- following after his perfect life and trusting him for forgiveness.

Confession of faith is part of "the word of faith." Confess that "Jesus is Lord," then honor him as the Lord of your life. (Read Romans 10: 8-9.)

Be baptized into Christ Jesus and into his death. What is immersion into Christ? It is a very meaningful expression of faith, rather than being a step added to faith. It must come from sincere faith, "a good conscience toward God"; and has meaning only because of the meritorious death followed "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

(Read I Peter 3: 18-22) Also, it is part of a simple but beautiful reenactment of the gospel (the Saviorís death, burial and resurrection). Read Romans 6: 3-4.

Enter into Christ through trusting, obedient faith, then "live a new life" in him.

Let God be the judge of any who should be "left behind." His son will come again, and no man knows the day nor hour. (Matthew 24:36) Will a major earthquake strike the Memphis area sometime before the Lord comes again? Much more certain than an earthquake is the Biblical truth that, at some unknown time, our Lord will return suddenly and unexpectedly. Before then, he may come for us in the time of death.

Godís word states that "he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (II Peter 3:9) As noted in this verse, his word urges us to respond to his patience and mercy through expressions of faith as repentance.

For further information or help in any way, please call 901-372-1874. Whether you call or not, be sure to open your Bible and find all of the above scriptures.