Attaining Salvation And Eternal Life
DEATH COMES TO everyone regardless of his status in life. It knocks at the door of both the humblest and the poorest man and at the portals of the rich. Aware of this truth, some set out to enjoy life in all its comforts and pleasures, dismissing the thought of facing the consequences of their deeds in the hereafter. While nothing is wrong in enjoying life to the fullest, all of us should bear in mind that there is a day of reckoning which we should prepare for. Hence, we should not live a wicked life, but one that leads to the life in the hereafter.
Why must we seriously consider the way we live in this world? What is the characteristic of our life? The Bible answers us, thus:
“LORD, make me to know my end And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am.” (Ps. 39:4, Revised English Version)
Life is impermanent. It is fleeting. It doesn’t last forever. Whether one likes it or not, death will come as an end to his life. To what is the life of man compared? Psalm 103:15-16 states:
“As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. ” (Ibid.)
Grasses and flowers wither and dry. The same thing is true of man. So, man should not boast of his youth, his strength, his knowledge, or his riches because his life is in peril every moment. His power to ensure his safety is very limited. This truth is attested to by Apostle Paul:
“ “And why should we ourselves be continually risking our lives, facing death hour by hour? For it is fact that I face death daily; that is as true as my pride in your growth in the Lord” ” (I Cor. 15:30, 31, Ibid.)
The Book of Job proves further that:
“One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet.” (Job 21:23, King James Version)
Death claims both the old and the young. Though at the height of success and looking forward to a bright future, many young people meet their sudden death.
Not even longevity of life can guarantee eternal existence. Every person will finally go to only one place—the grave:
“Even though he should live a thousand years twice told, yet enjoy no good-do not all go to the one place?” (Ecc. 6:6, RSV)
No way out
So, even longevity of life does not free on from the worries of death. Youth and vanity cannot be relied on, either. Nobody stays young and strong forever despite modern breakthroughs in science and discoveries in the field of medicine. Besides, the freshness of life is vanity if in the days of one’s youth he walks in the ways of his heart and in the sight of his own eyes:
“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
“ Remove vexation from your mind, and put away pain from your body; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.” (Eccl. 11:9-10, Ibid.)
Does this problem of man end by the time he dies or does it extend even beyond the grave?
A more grievous problem awaits
Judgment Day is inevitable because the Bible states that the dead will be resurrected to receive either their due reward or punishment. Those who died but who had been unrighteous will be resurrected for judgment; however, those who died but had removed vexation from their minds and had been righteous will be resurrected for life everlasting. This is the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ:
“ Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.” (Jn. 5:28-29, Ibid.)
The dead, great and small, whether in the tombs or in the sea, will be judged according to their deeds on Judgment Day:
“ And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. ” (Rev. 20:12-14, Ibid.)
The blessed ones
The Book of Revelation reassures us that there are those whose death will be a fortune to them. They are the people who die in the Lord. They are the blessed ones because they will rest from their labors. This is recorded in Revelation 14:13:
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!" ” (Ibid.)
This assurance for the people who belong to Christ is written in the Bible (a voice heard by Apostle John from heaven). These words carry with them the same truth and power of God when He pronounced the creation of the world. So, those who die in the Lord are assured that they will dwell in the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, prepared for them by the Lord. They will be blessed with blissful life as stated in Revelation 21:1-4:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away. ” (Ibid.)
But, who are those that belong to the Lord Jesus Christ? Who are the blessed ones? Who are certain of a blissful life? Who are they that will surely dwell in the Holy City prepared by God and by our Lord Jesus Christ? To which Church do they belong over which death shall not prevail? The Lord Jesus Himself points out in Matthew 16:18:
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” (Ibid.)
Those who belong to our Lord Jesus Christ are found in the Church which He calls “My Church.” They are guaranteed by the Lord that the power of death shall not prevail over them. The power of death that shall not prevail over those who belong to Christ’s Church is the second death in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14). So, the members of the Church owned by Christ will be saved from eternal punishment on Judgment Day.
Which Church is this that Christ established and owns and which He referred to as “My Church”? Apostle Paul called the Church established by Christ as the Church of Christ. This is stated in Acts 20:28:
“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.” (Lamsa Translation)
Thus, joining the Church of Christ is the way by which we can be saved from death in the lake of fire. Our services to the Lord in this Church will be rewarded—we will rest from our labors in the new earth with a new heaven. In the Holy City, where there will be no more death nor tears, we will live with God and the Lord Jesus Christ forevermore.
Pamphlet/Pasugo God’s Message/July 2002/Pages 21-22
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