God and sin are not friends. A person who stays away from sin has automatically positioned himself in the right spot to receive the blessings of God. A person who lives in sin will bear the consequence of his (or her) actions. A sinful activity brings some sort of enjoyment; however, once the excitement is over, the same sin leaves the person to face a bitter consequence that will follow suit.
Sin can come from any source to affect a person or a group of people. In fact, God has labeled nations as sinners in the past, and he punished them for their sins. The nation of Israel is an example. The people who should be God’s “apple eyes” turned their back against the Creator; they suffered a bitter consequence for their action.
Jeremiah, in the Bible, explained the horror that his country (Israel) faced as a result of their sins. The land of Israel that was once considered a center of attraction for their neighbors lost its value when the people sinned against God.
Israelites dropped their love for God and pursued Idolatry; therefore, God forsook them. God suspended his love for the Israelites and make them became subservient to their enemies.
The opposing nations discovered that God’s protection was missing on the Israelites and took advantage of the situation.
Realizing that God was no more in friendship with the Israelites, the enemies attacked them from every side and overpowered them. They destroyed their land and took them captive. Israelites lost their freedom and become the slaves of others.
Jeremiah who witnessed the downfall of his nation lamented,
“How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave. Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are on her cheeks. Among all her lovers there is no one to comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies. After affliction and harsh labor, Judah has gone into exile. She dwells among the nations; she finds no resting place. All who pursue her have overtaken her in the midst of her distress” (Lamentations 1:1-3 NIV).
God Loves The Sinners, But He Hates Their Sins
Does God love the sinners? Yes, he does. God loves everyone – He loves both the saints and the sinners; however, God does not love sin. The Creator can simply not cope with sin.
Jehovah hates sin. He can’t operate under a sinful atmosphere. That is, God will not be able to relate with us if we entertain sin in our lives.
Anyone who is willing to receive the prime benefit of God must steer clear of sin. Stay away!
How Serious Is The Consequence of Sin?
Sin destroys any good relationship that exists between God and a person.
God’s limit of interaction with a sinner also leads to the withdrawal of his benefits. (A sinner loses both ways).
A sinner will be vulnerable to the enemy’s attack since God’s protection will be unavailable for him.
God has an established judgment for an unrepentant sinner. (God will cast an unrepentant sinner to hellfire on the last day).
God is not partial, he will not punish a sinner and spare the other, Any Christian who lives in sin will not be exempted from God’s punishment.
Every sinner must repent – Without an exception! Everyone must understand that God is not partial; he won’t punish one sinner and leave the other; therefore, both the nominal Christian (A Christian without Christ’s attributes) and the unbeliever should await God’s imminent punishments unless due repentance is exercised.
A soul that sins shall die” says the Bible; however, some consequences are bound to follow a sinner before he dies.
The consequences of a sin on earth is not predictable since no one can second-guess God. The Creator mostly take an action that beats human’s imagination. Meanwhile, instead of wasting time on making unnecessary assumptions about God’s variety of punishment in any given situation, everyone should aspire to measure up to the standard of God and serve him in holiness.
King Rehoboam succeeded his father Solomon as a king of Israel, but he quickly followed wrong counsels and lost credibility with his citizens.
Therefore, he lost more than 70% of his kingdom to someone who had no royal blood.
The scripture reported,
“…And Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.’” (2 Chronicles 10:3-4). “So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had directed, saying, ‘Come back to me the third day.’
Then the king answered them roughly. King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders, and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, ‘My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!’”(12-14).
“Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying: ‘What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to your tents, O Israel! Now see to your own house, O David!’ So all Israel departed to their tents” (2 Chronicles 10:16)
Lesson on Association
Wrong association corrupts good people; children of God must avoid relationship that may affect their standing with God.
Ungodly people may care less about meeting God’s expectations; they may also care less about any eternal consequence that is attached with a sinful act.
Ungodly people may pursue human feelings and selfish desires. Meanwhile, we (God’s children) are obligated to put God first in whatever we do.
It is un-disputable fact to state that no one can successfully make anything happen without the help of God.
“…A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven” (John 3:27 KJV)
Christians to learn from Apostle Paul (in the bible); with the use of his personal experience, he analyzed how Satan can manipulate anyone into pride – through his personal achievements.
“…And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
Summary Lesson on Humility vs Pride
God created humanity to depend on him. He wants us to look up to him for our needed help.
God does not want us to be self-gratifying or be self-sufficient.
Satan will attempt to make anyone be obsessed of his achievements without the consciousness of glorifying God.
God wants us to gratify our success to him – Even if our personal efforts are involved.
To Be Reminded Of Christians’ Need To Take Caution
Flesh wants self-gratification. We must not allow it.
Satan wants us to choose pathway of pride to trip and fall. We must not allow him.
God dislike any gratification that voids the praise of his name. We must give God his due honor.
Christians must yield to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and refuse to satisfy desires of self.
Don’t get confused about Pride
It is important to note there is nothing bad in taking pride in an achievement if due honor is given to God.
Pride of an achievement is only considered erratic when a person pretends he has earned his success without God’s help.
God wants to take pride out of us to bless us more.
God wants to demonstrate to everyone around that he is the brain behind our success.
Paul encouraged Corinthian Christians to maintain purity, and abstain from activities that can trap them into sexual immorality.
The apostle also encouraged people who are ripe for marriage to do so, in order to avoid sexual sins.
Any adult who chooses to remain single must maintain body purity and abstain from sexuality.
“I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress—that it is good for a man to remain as he is: Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned….” (1 Corinthians 7:26-28).
Lesson on Purity
Humans are comprised of spirit, soul, and body – which are necessary for normal functioning.
All three elements, except human soul will transition after death. Human body is corruptible and will decay after death.
(Christians who are alive during rapture would see their body transformed).
The spirit that keeps a person alive will also return to God after death.
However, human soul will survive natural death to face God’s judgment at the end.
The second coming of Jesus Christ is also known as Rapture, and it is not a question of “what if,” but a question of “when it will happen.”
The rapture of saints is imminent.
It will surely occur as the scripture foretold.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Jesus Christ asked his disciples to diligently tarry for his second coming and said,
“Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them also, blessed are those servants.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Luke 12:37-40).
What Qualifies A Person For Rapture?
Rapture is imminent.
Christ will soon come, and his coming may be sooner than later. People who considered themselves as followers of Jesus Christ – that is, Christians should remain steadfast in their commitments to their Lord because their basis of faith will be evaluated before they can be qualified.
Christians who are courageous to steadfastly serve Christ and wait for the Messiah’s second coming will be ultimately rewarded.
Christ – the Savior – will use the standard of the bible to either accept or reject anyone from his Father’s kingdom.
His main qualifying criteria is a person’s choice of deity.
That is, Jesus will only transport people who have confessed their faith in him to heaven.
Those people who have personally identified themselves with him as their personal Lord and Savior will qualify. As the scripture stated,
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved” (Romans 10:9-10 NLT).
Not just a confession of faith that saves a person, but the lifestyle that he or she has lived on earth that will determine if he/she will qualify for heaven or not.
Believers who have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and remain consistent in their faith by keeping his testimony will be regarded as “Just” and be counted worthy to inherit the kingdom of God.
It is stated,
“I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:50-54 NIV)
If Rapture Is Real, Then What Stake Does It Offer Christians?
The reward of Christian faithfulness is far reaching.
Christ will rapture his saints and call them home from the trouble and trauma of the world.
The Savior will wipe off tears of affliction and persecution from the faces of his saints.
He will also award them his gift of imperishable eternal crown of glory.
Perhaps the best of all gifts the saints will receive in heaven is the of gift of eternal life of peace (tranquility).
Believers will be permanently stationed with God in heaven to rejoice in his loving arms. Sin and pain won’t be mentioned in heaven.
Sickness will be found wanting there also!
All that saints of God will enjoy in heaven is everlasting life of perfect peace and joy.
Not much of some anticipated benefits that should excite anyone about qualifying for rapture, but the actual tasks that are required.
Christians are saved by grace, but they must be fully committed and be serious with their faith and practices to qualify for God’s well advertised kingdom.
To actually qualify for God’s kingdom, believers must daily make conscious efforts to serve God with faithfulness.
That is, whether a Christian still struggles to comply with God’s laws in one area of his/her life or not, he/she is still required to preach God’s truth at all times – without any dilution or over-simplicity.
God’s righteous standard remains irrevocable; therefore, believers have to preach it always.
We must learn from Jesus whose preaching throughout the scripture laid emphasis on holiness – as the only requirement that qualifies anyone for God’s kingdom.
Christ even stated,
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
In addition, for any Christian to adequately comply with God’s righteous standard and preach it, he/she must have been empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Without him (Holy Spirit) in control, it is absolutely impossible for anyone to please God.
He will also help us to live by example and preach undiluted word of God.
Prayer of Holiness
Dear Jesus Christ, please help me to be an honest Christian who will live according to the scripture and also preached the truth of your kingdom.
Empower me with your Holy Spirit to live holy and acceptable life before you; let your divine Spirit give me a contrite heart “To talk the talk and walk the walk” for the purpose of benefitting your kingdom.
When my earthly race is over, please count me worthy in your eternal kingdom to rejoice in your presence forever!
For in the name of Jesus Christ I make my requests. Amen.