After Jesus Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven the Holy Spirit came upon his followers and the Church was established. Immediately there was a conflict with Judaism which continued through the life of the early church. There were people who continually tried to drag the early Christians back into a system of works. The system of works says, “You must do this!” and “You must do that!” in order to be saved. The truth is we are saved by faith, trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and by nothing else.
I have heard people in the Israel Truth movement say, “I don’t know if I am good enough to enter the Kingdom of God,” or “I don’t know if I am good enough to enter the New Jerusalem.” I can tell them right away. They are not good enough. None of us are good enough. There is also a long list of people in the Bible who are not good enough to enter. Here are a few of them: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, Moses, Daniel, Elijah, John the Baptist, Mary, the mother of Jesus, Peter, Paul, James, and John. The list goes on and on and on. NONE of us are good enough to enter the Kingdom of God. There is one person good enough: Jesus Christ. We will enter the Kingdom of God by believing in and trusting in his sacrifice. His sacrifice, and his sacrifice alone will get us into the Kingdom of God.
Every religion in the world except Christianity believes in getting to a higher spiritual plane or getting to God or getting to heaven by doing works. “We must work hard to be better people!” is their cry. Yet there is only one way to be a better person. Each of us must be born again of God’s Spirit. When we are born again, we will want to follow God. When we are born again, we will have a desire to keep his commandments. When we are born again, we will want to be part of God’s family because God will be our Father. Those who try to obey his commandments without being born again will fail miserably because in their hearts they have never yielded to God. They do not trust in the blood of Jesus for salvation. They are trying to do it themselves.
God has been trying to impress this on people since the creation of Adam and Eve. Their son Cain worked hard to please God. He worked and worked and worked as a farmer and presented his harvest to God. God rejected his work. Adam and Eve’s other son Abel trusted in the blood of the sacrifice. The sacrifice was symbolic of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. God accepted his sacrifice. We know how that story turned out. Today people who try to justify themselves by their own good works still persecute those who trust in the blood.
Moses worked and worked and worked to get the children of Israel free from Egypt. He even worked by the power of God. He announced plagues of frogs, lice, flies, animal disease, water turned to blood, boils on the skin, hail, locusts, and thick darkness. None of those events were of any use in delivering the Israelites. Finally, they trusted in the blood of the lamb, symbolic of the blood of Christ. Then they were delivered.
If you are trying to gain God’s favor by doing good works, forget it! You need to get on your knees and ask God for forgiveness of your sins by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. You need to trust in His Blood sacrifice one hundred percent for your cleansing. If you trust completely in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, then you are born again. You are God’s son or daughter. End of problem. That does not mean we stop trying to obey his commandments. As I said earlier, if you are born again you will have a desire in your heart to obey his commandments. Here is a question for you: Who are more successful at keeping the commandments? The first group is the people who trust completely in the shed blood of Jesus to get into the Kingdom of God. The second group is the people who are trying to keep the commandments to get into the Kingdom of God. Answer: the first group. I encourage everyone reading this magazine to be part of the first group. “Only by the blood,” are we redeemed. (Ephesians 1:7).