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The stark reality about life is that it ends at death. No amount of wishful thinking can change that fact without the intervention of the creator of life
The freedom of choice, which mankind cherishes, allowed Adam and Eve to disobey and flout the authority of God and to "do things their way". Because of that disobedience, the Almighty God declared...."In THE SWEAT OF THY FACE SHALT THOU EAT BREAD, TILL THOU RETURN UNTO THE GROUND; FOR OUT OF IT WAST THOU TAKEN : FOR DUST THOU ART, AND UNTO DUST SHALT THOU RETURN." (Gen 3:19)
Wise King Solomon wrote "..that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all ONE BREATH..(Ruach = Spirit or breath)..." ( Ecc 3:19). To further emphasise the finality of death, Solomon also declared in Ecclesiastes 9:5...." For the living know that they shall die...BUT THE DEAD KNOW NOT ANYTHING, neither have they any more a reward.".....What a devastating prospect! To be released from such a 'dead end' is SALVATION......WHAT THEN?
John 3:16 records Jesus' words which are so well known..."For God so loved the world , that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have...EVERLASTING LIFE." So there is introduced an alternative to perpetual death (perishing), which is EVERLASTING LIFE.
The prospect of eternal life can be the lot of all who truly believe in Jesus,THE SON OF GOD. We must beware however, for we note the words of Jesus. "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of our Father, which is in heaven."...(Math 7:21) .......HOW DOES ONE DEMONSTRATE BELIEF IN JESUS?
THE SON OF THE HIGHEST:
In an obvious reference to His death, Jesus declared..."Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." He (Jesus),then identifies his friends, saying..."Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:14) Before His birth, the angel of God confirmed Jesus' Name and mission.. "Thou shalt call His Name Jesus (margin: Saviour)...for He shall save His people from their sins.".(Matt 1:21) The writer then points out that this event was as prophesied (citing Isaiah 7:14), and that Jesus was also to bear the name "Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US" (Mat 1:23) NOTE WELL...NOT GOD, but GOD WITH US; in other words. God's representative. Luke, also writing of this event records the angel as saying...."He SHALL BE CALLED THE SON OF THE HIGHEST." (Luke 1:32), and..."...the SON OF GOD.".V.35.
JESUS THE AUTHOR OF SALVATION:
We have further scriptural evidence that the Father will "SAVE" men and women through Jesus His Son, in whom He, God, has vested HIS AUTHORITY.." We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." (Heb 2:9) The writer goes into great detail in order to reveal the humanity of Jesus and it's relevance to the salvation of mankind, and continues ... "He also himself likewise took part of the same ... (flesh and blood), that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and DELIVER THEM who through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb 2:14-15). "He, (Jesus) became the author of salvation unto all them that obey Him." (Heb 5:9)
BELIEF AND BAPTISM:
Jesus commissioned His disciples..."Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature; He that BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTISED SHALL BE SAVED." (Mark 16:16) The Gospel then is the vehicle though which the plan of SALVATION is explained and it shows that SALVATION IS AVAILABLE TO THOSE WHO, HEARING THE GOSPEL, BELIEVE AND ARE BAPTISED. The Gospel, or 'the good news', is variously referred to as ...the Gospel of the Kingdom in Math 4:23;....the Gospel of Christ, in Rom 1:16; the Gospel of YOUR SALVATION in Eph 1:13; and the Gospel of the Grace of God, in Acts 20:24.
The Apostle Peter speaks of "those great and precious promises" (2 Pet 1:4) which were made to Abraham. These will be shared by Jesus Christ and His brethren and with those "who put on Christ" (Gal 3:27), for ..."then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise", (Gal 3:29). The promise being, "IN THEE (Abraham), shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Gen.12:3)...and, "IN THY SEED (Jesus) shall all nations of the earth be blessed." (Gen.26:4). The Apostle Paul confirms that Jesus is the seed of Abraham...(Gal.3:9,16), and that those who have accepted the Gospel a0nd have been baptised.. (Gal.3:27), and "which sleep in Jesus" (1 Thess.4:14), "shall rise first." (1 Thess.4:16). The prophet Daniel, writing about resurrection declared..."..many shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."...(Dan.12:2)
CHRIST THE FIRSTFRUITS:
The Apostle Paul takes up the theme of resurrection, saying in 1 Cor 15:22-23..."For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall all be made ALIVE...Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming."
MY REWARD IS WITH ME:
We wait therefore , the imminent return of Jesus Christ and acknowledge that..."...by grace are ye saved through faith, and, that NOT of yourselves....IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD"...(Eph 2:8) Even so, Paul stressed the need for an active faith, saying in Philippians 2:12...."Work out your own SALVATION with fear and trembling", confident in the promise that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Heb 11:6) Salvation may come to you and me when Jesus returns. "BEHOLD I COME QUICKLY AND MY REWARD IS WITH ME to give every man according as his work shall be." ...(Rev 22:12)
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