DO YOU REALLY BELONG TO GOD?
IF YOU WOULD BE ASKED who do you belong to: the devil or God—what would you say?
No one in his right mind would want to be counted among the people who belong to devil. The devil is a deceiving liar who cares nothing about us, who wants people to end up destroyed on Judgment Day and eventually tossed into the lake of fire with him to be tormented forever and ever (John 8:44; I Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:9-10). Hence, one must choose to be included among the people who belong to God, for God’s word is truth, He lovingly cares for us, and He truly desires that all people be saved on Judgment Day and dwell with Him in the Holy City with a new heaven and earth (John 17:17; I Pet. 5:7; I Tim. 2:3-4; Rev. 21:1-4).
ONLY TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE
People can be classified based on their financial situation, educational attainment, nationality, and ethnic background. The apostles show us, however, that people fall or are divided only into two categories. They are either people who belong to God or people who belong to the devil. Apostle John wrote:
“We know that we belong to God and the whole world belongs to the devil.” (I John 5:19, Worldwide New Testament)
Unfortunately, there are people who belong to the devil, and the Bible refers to them as people of the world. The people of the world are those who have no connection to the Anointed, who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Apostle Paul said:
“You had absolutely no connection to the Anointed; you were strangers, separated from God’s people. You were aliens to the covenant they had with God; you were hopelessly stranded without God in a fractured world.” (Eph. 2:12, The Voice)
When a person in this world lives his life with no connection to our Lord Jesus Christ, he is counted among the people of the world, and these people belong to the devil. Those who do not truly accept Jesus Christ or, do not have faith in him by not following Him clearly have no connection to or relationship with Him, and are therefore people of the world.
Other may assert that they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Savior, that they do have faith in Him, and that they are now Christians. These persons who claim to be Christians are found scattered in different Christian-professing groups or religious organizations. They insist that they have entered into a relationship with Christ and thus belong to God and not to the devil. But have they really done it?
The people who have a connection to or union with the Lord Jesus Christ are those whom He refers as His branches, branches that are united to the vine who is Christ. He said:
“Stay united with me, as I will with you—for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can’t bear fruit apart from me. I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can’t do a thing.” (John 15:4-5, Complete Jewish Bible)
Apostle Paul spoke about the people who are united to Jesus Christ. He referred to them as individual members of the body or Church established by Jesus Christ (I Cor. 12:27; Col. 1:18). Therefore, when a person is inside the Church regarded as the body of Christ, then he is united with Christ, and is now counted among the people who belong to God. As long as a person finds himself outside of that Church, he regrettably finds himself included among the people of the world who belong to the devil. Where do we find ourselves at this very moment?
ON KNOWLEDGE, FAITH, AND ZEAL
People, however, may find it difficult to accept that there are indeed those who belong to the devil despite belonging to one of the thousands of churches and religious organizations in the world today. They talk about knowing God, having faith, and demonstrating zealousness in their religious services or activities. This must clearly show that those who say and do such things must indeed be of God, not of the devil. Is that the case?
The apostles show us that there are people who merely profess or claim to know God, but do not truly know Him, because they do not want to obey Him. Apostle Paul wrote:
“Such people claim to know God, but their actions prove that they really don’t. They are disgusting. They won’t obey God, and they are too worthless to do anything good.” (Titus 1:16, CJB)
The apostles also reveal that there are people who appear to be religious by their expressions of faith in God and in Jesus Christ, but not for real—merely an act. Apostle Paul said:
“They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.” (II Tim. 3:5, New Living Translation)
As far as their declarations of faith are concerned, the Scriptures show that the kind of faith they have is useless since their faith has no works. When a person says he has faith but does not have works, such faith is useless and does not lead to salvation. Apostle James writes:
“What use is it, my brothers, for a man to say that he has faith, if he does nothing? Will such a faith give him salvation?” (James 2:14, Bible in Basic English)
And, the apostle testify that there are those who are deeply devoted to God, and are zealous and filled with enthusiasm with regard to their religious activities, but are still not acceptable before Him. The reason is their devotion is not based on the true knowledge and they have simply tried to set up their own ways of being put right with God. Apostle Paul says:
“I can assure you that they are deeply devoted to God; but their devotion is not based on true knowledge. They have not known the way in which God puts people right with himself, and instead, they have tried to set up their own way; and so they did not submit themselves to God’s way of putting people right.” (Rom. 10:2-3, Today’s English Version)
Therefore, although there are many church groups and religious organizations in the world today whose leaders and followers talk about knowing God, in actuality they are not, for they disobey His words. There are many who say that they have faith in God and in Jesus Christ, but they do not really, because their faith is not coupled with the works that God expects. And there are many who say that they are so sincere and dedicated to their religious or spiritual life, and they may be, but they have merely established their own wrong ways to be right with God. All such churches and religions do not help people to belong to God; instead, such organizations and their members are under the power of and belong to the devil. We should stay away from them.
But, is there a religion or church today that belongs to God and is in accordance with His will?
THE RELIGION IN ACCORDANCE
WITH GOD’S WILL
There is a religion that belongs to the Lord God. The apostles show us in the Scriptures that the religion that is in accordance with God’s will is that which has been delivered from this present evil world. Apostle Paul writes:
“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” (Gal. 1:4, King James Version)
Others may say that they are in the religion that belongs to God because they have stopped doing evil things. Since they have put an end to living a wild, sinful way of life, they feel as if they were already pleasing before God and had been delivered from this evil world. But is that the case?
The people who have been delivered from this evil world do not only stop doing evil things that the people of the world do but they are inside the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Apostle Paul says:
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13-14, New King James Version)
Notice the importance of Christ’s kingdom. It is where redemption through the blood of Christ the forgiveness of sins is found. And what He redeemed or purchased with His blood, His kingdom, is the Church Of Christ. Apostle Paul taught:
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation)
Therefore, for one to be among those who have been truly delivered from this present evil world and be counted among those in the true religion today and be saved on Judgment Day, he should be inside the Church Of Christ. Even Jesus Christ himself taught that for people to be saved, they must come into the fold or flock, which is the Church. Jesus said:
“I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold through me will be safe. …” (John 10:9, Revised English Bible).
It is not enough to accept Christ in one’s heart or to have faith in Him. One needs to follow Christ’s commandment to come into the fold or the Church Of Christ. So one should ask himself: have I done this? If not, it is not too late to do so.
DO NOT HESITATE TO ENTER
THE TRUE RELIGION
Some may say that they have no time yet to enter the true religion or the Church Of Christ. They point out that they are very busy with getting an education, managing their career or tending to their means of livelihood, and doing the other things in life that interest them. Right now, they are very preoccupied with things that pertain to this earthly life and feel that they will find time for God and the true religion in the future. Why should we not be like this?
Our life is fragile and temporary. Apostle James records, “How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone” (James 4:14, NLT).
We really do not know what will happen tomorrow. People take it for granted thinking that they will have a countless number of tomorrows ahead of them. They also think that their own death is still far away from them. However, the truth is, the threat of death is constantly around us (I Cor. 15:30-31, Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament).
So considering this, now is the best time for us to do what we need to do in order to be counted among the people of God and be saved. Apostle Paul wrote:
“The Holy Writings say, ‘I heard you at the right time. I helped you on that day to be saved from the punishment of sin. Now is the right time! See! Now is the day to be saved’.” (II Cor. 6:2, New Life Version)
Therefore, there are only two kinds of people in the world according to the apostles: those who belong to God and those who belong to the devil. In the Christian Era, the people who belong to God are the members of the true Church Of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo), while those who are outside the Church are the people of the world who are under the power of the evil one. Even though people may speak about knowing God, having faith, and being devoted or religious, unless they are inside the true religion they are still counted among the people of the world. If we want to be among God’s people who will inherit salvation and eternal life on the day of Christ’s imminent return, let us not delay or postpone obeying His command to come into the fold or the true Church Of Christ. THE TIME IS NOW. * (Emphasis, Admin.)
Brother JOHNNY J. MARTIN
PASUGO GOD’S MESSAGE
Brother JOHNNY J. MARTIN
PASUGO GOD’S MESSAGE