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The Requirements to Spend Eternity with God; What it is and isn’t.

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The Requirements to Spend Eternity with God

(What is wasn’t and what was isn’t)

What is for today was not necessarily for yesterday nor will it be for tomorrow!

Today we have jet planes, fast automobiles, HD Television, computers that do complex math calculations, modern day appliances that wash our dishes, cook our food, vacuum our floors, curl our hair and alert us for potential intruders.

Yesterday we had no planes, no automobiles, no television, no computers, and no state of the art appliances and if we were expecting intruders we posted a sentry or slept with one ear open.

Most of the modern day household conveniences we have today did not even exist before 1950.  While we had planes and automobiles in the 50’s, even they did not exist until the 1800’s or early 1900’s. All these things that we take for granted today were only dreamed about yesterday.

The younger generation thinks the things they have today have always been available to them and they cannot envision a world without iPods, MP3 players, cell phones that take pictures and send text messages or video streaming. Unless they are extremely interested in history they are completely ignorant of what existed in the past.

Most of us cannot imagine the changes that might occur 10-20 years from now. They may be wonderful and yet they could be catastrophic. Ever since 9/11/2001, most Americans realized that what we took for granted for so long was in jeopardy. Yesterday, 10/11/2006, a light plane crashed into a high-rise building inManhattanand for hours there was uncertainty whether or not this was another attack on the American people from those who have promised they would do everything in their power to destroyAmerica. It was not, but it was an eye opener for many who take liberty for granted.

The same scenario is true about things concerning Biblical history and God’s requirement to spend eternity with Him.  People living in the 21st century do not fully understand God’s requirements for man outlined in:

  1. Genesis through the Gospel of John,
  2. The requirements for today as seen in Romans through Philemon, and
  3. The requirements that will take place outlined in Hebrews through Revelation.

Like American history, the Bible instructs us about things that were past, the things that are now and the things that will be.

Where salvation is concerned, that which guarantees our place with God eternally, we in the 21st century have been spoiled.  We have a liberty in Christ that the people living during the times outlined in Genesis through the Gospel of John did not have, nor will the people living in the times of Hebrew through Revelation have.

Modern day Christians are familiar with:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5: 1

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. Ephesians 2: 8-9.

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Colossians 2: 13.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4.

However, most Christians are uncertain what other passages say concerning the requirements of salvation in time past and time future, for instance:

Adam and Eve in the beginning knew they had transgressed against God when the ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Look at Genesis 3: 7: And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. They attempted to make themselves right before God, but God did not accept what they did.  Instead “…did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” God thus established the first animal sacrifice for a transgression against the command of God.

Abel:

“And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” Genesis 4: 4-7.

God required an animal sacrifice, as we have seen with Adam and Eve.  Abel brought one and God had respect for his sacrifice. Cain did not bring an animal sacrifice and God had no respect for the fruit he brought.  When God said, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?”  He was saying bring what I require, an animal sacrifice, and I will have respect for your offering; do not bring one and you will serve sin and the god of this world, Satan. So you can see that sacrifices were required before the Law came into existence.

Noah:

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. Hebrew 11: 7.

God told Noah to build an ark and He would save him and his family.  Noah did as the Lord required and God saved he and his family but destroyed all others who would not come on the ark.

Abraham:

God required Abraham to leave his country of origin (Hebrews 11: 8) and to offer his son Isaac for a sacrifice (Hebrews 11: 17-19). Abraham was rewarded for his faithfulness because he did as God instructed him.

Sacrifices were a requirement for salvation under the Law.

For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Hebrews 5: 1.

It is obvious that sacrifices were made for sins, all of which are patterned after the sin of Adam.  If one brought the required sacrifice, as outlined by God, God respected that sacrifice and the person who brought it. Bringing the sacrifice was a work that one could do and God in turn would respect the effort.

Most Christians are familiar with the passage known as the great commission: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  Matthew 28: 19-20.

In his great Pentecostal Address, Peter delivered God’s requirement for salvation: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38.

We see from the two passages above that baptism was a requirement of God for salvation at one point in time past.  If a person would repent and be baptized God would have respect for their doing so. Baptism, like an animal sacrifice, was a work that man must perform in order to have temporary remission of sins.

But the blood sacrices of animals under the Law and the water baptism of Acts could never blot out man’s sin.  They were both temporal requirements that if done, would show man’s faithfulness. But the blood of Jesus Christ, for those who lived in the past, will not be applied to their account until Christ returns to earth the second time.  It is at that time man’s sins will be blotted out and remembered no more. Look at this:

Acts 3: 19: “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; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

What about the security of the believer in time past?  They had none. If they failed to perform the annual sacrifice on the Day of Atonement, their sins from the year past were not atoned for.  In the parable of the sower in Luke 8, look at verse 13: They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. Eternal Security is only assured in this present time period.  In the time of the above passage a person could loose his salvation.

Eternal security is not even guaranteed in time future. Look at Hebrews 6: 4-6: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.  I believe this is in reference to those who take the mark of the beast.  They said they believed in Christ but when temptation came they fell away.

Man has always had the respect of God if man would simply do what God asked of him during the time period in which he lived. What most people do not understand, or will not try to understand, is that God’s requirement for man today is that he does not perform any work. Jesus did the work for him. He gave His life and shed his blood for sins.  It is the faith of Christ that saves in the 21st century. Man can do nothing or add anything to the completed work of salvation performed by Jesus Christ.

What was required yesterday has been supplanted by the work of Christ. But people today do not fully understand the significance. Why? Because of, 1) misinformation, 2) false teaching or, 3) limited knowledge or 4) stubbornness.

Modern day, so called Christians are victims of their own complacency.  They have limited their knowledge of Biblical truth based upon what they grew up under. If they were raised in a Baptist home, they most likely are Baptist today.  If they grew up in a Catholic home they are probably still Catholic, and so on and so forth. “And what is wrong with that,” you ask? Nothing if you listened to what the preacher said and checked him out by reading what Scripture says.

Look at Acts 17: 11: These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Do you do that?  If you do not then you are foolish to believe everything you hear.  Every time I teach, I challenge the people who listen to check me out.  If they find what I say conflicts with Scripture then they should quite coming to my classes.

The Jews were chosen of God to evangelize the world, they failed in that effort and God raised up the Apostle Paul and gave him a message of grace, which we if the 21st century are under to this day, 2006-07. What was past, repent and be baptized, is no longer the requirement for salvation.  A new dispensation has been ushered in and the dispensation of the law has been phased out. Today it is Ephesians 2: 8-9: 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.

Do not misunderstand me.  I believe what 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 say: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: However, I also believe that there are some Scriptures that are specifically to us while all are not for us. The books of Genesis through the Gospel of God and the books of Hebrews through Revelation are for us but were not written specifically to as, as were the Pauline Epistles:  the books of Romans through Philemon.

The gospel committed unto Peter and the 12 is called the gospel of the Circumcision in Galatians 2: 7-9, whereas the Gospel of the Uncircumcision is committed unto Paul.