By Xiao Ye
Liu Xin and Yang Yu went to Chen Li’s house to attend a class reunion at the appointed time. Walking on the road, Liu Xin reflected on herself: In this period, I always live in the condition of committing and confessing sins and can’t live out the requirements of the Lord. If this continues, can I? Recently, some of the brothers and sisters were absorbed in making money and Liu Xin had to notify them of the meetings. So she had a prejudice against and a critical view of them within. When she thought of what the says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14), “Be you holy; for I am holy” (1Pe 1:16), she felt guilty in her heart. She thought to herself, “I have believed in God for many years, but I still live in the situation of sinning each day and confessing each night. I can’t treat the brothers and sisters with love, tolerance, forbearance, or understanding. If this goes on, how can I be worthy to see the Lord’s face?” As Liu Xin was thinking, Yang Yu said, “We haven’t gathered together for a long time. I wonder whether Wu Yue has time to come.” Liu Xin nodded her head and said, “Yeah. Among our classmates, she has a solid foundation for her faith in God, and she is also a preacher in the . She has the pure understanding of the Bible and is able to communicate pure knowledge in her preaching. I’m not sure whether she has come. I just have a question to ask her.” “Oh, we’ll know it after we get there,” Yang Yu said. So they quickened their pace to walk to Chen Li’s house.
When they arrived, Liu Xin perceived at one glance Wu Yue sitting on the sofa. They took their hands and greeted each other. Liu Xin said, “Wu Yue, I have been perplexed by a problem recently. I’d like to use this opportunity to seek from you.” Wu Yue said, smiling, “Thank the Lord! My old classmate, how kind of you to say so. If you have any question, feel free to ask. We can communicate and share together.” Liu Xin bowed her head, paused for an instant and said, “We have believed in the Lord for many years and have been yearning for the Lord to return to bring us into the kingdom of heaven. The Bible says: ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Heb 12:14). ‘Be you holy; for I am holy’ (1Pe 1:16). From these two verses, we can see that God requires us to achieve holiness and that only those who have attained holiness can see the Lord. But now we still sin constantly, living in sin, and can’t act according to the Lord’s requirements. Especially when I read these words of the: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever’ (Jhn 8:34-35), my heart is filled with pain. These days the brothers and sisters didn’t want to attend the meetings. Although I have helped and supported them, they’re the same as usual. So I have a critical view of them and look down on them, unwilling to help and support them again. I have no tolerance or understanding toward brothers and sisters, nor can I live out the Lord’s love. Can I be raptured into the kingdom of heaven with such actions when the Lord comes?”
Wu Yue was about to open her mouth to speak when Yang Yu, who was near her side, said, “We have believed in the Lord for many years. Everyone knows that the Lord Jesus has sacrificed Himself for our sins and saved us. Although we still often sin, as long as we confess and repent before the Lord, He will forgive all our sins. Just as the Bible says: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit’ (Rom 8:1). God doesn’t see us as sinful, for the Lord is loving and merciful and will never forsake us. So when the Lord returns we will certainly be taken into the kingdom of heaven.” After hearing these, everyone looked puzzled and felt what Liu Xin and Yang Yu said both seemed reasonable. But they were not clear whether they could enter into the kingdom of heaven in the future if they sinned and confessed like that. Then they turned their eyes on Wu Yue and hoped to get an answer from her. Chen Li added some water to everyone’s cup and sat there to listen too.
Wu Yue looked at everyone, put down her cup, and said with a smile, “Thank the Lord! In the past, I also thought like this: Since the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross for us, personally bore our sins, He has redeemed us from sin and has forgiven our sins, and we no longer belong to sin. As long as we repent and confess before the Lord, He will surely forgive our sins. And when He returns to receive us, we still can enter the kingdom of heaven with Him. Later, I was acquainted with a sister and attended meetings with her. Through fellowshiping and reading the Lord’s words, I came to understand: The Lord Jesus will forgive our sins as long as we confess before Him after we commit sins; this is simply my imagination and conception and isn’t in accordance with the truth and the Lord’s demands. The Bible says: ‘Be you holy; for I am holy’ (1Pe 1:16). God’s words clearly tell us that only by achieving holiness can we enter into God’s kingdom and be qualified to see the Lord’s face. Although the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross for us and did the work of redemption, it doesn’t mean that we have become holy and can be raised into the kingdom of heaven.
We all know that in the Age of Law, Jehovah issued the laws and commandments to tell people how to worship God and how to live on earth. At that time, people who lived under the law broke the law and commandments issued by Jehovah, and thus they would be condemned and put to death by the law. God is merciful. He did not have the heart to see them die under the law, so the Lord Jesus personally became flesh to open the Age of Grace and did the work of redemption. He offered up Himself on the cross for mankind, redeemed them from under the law and saved them from Satan’s domain. Thereupon, as long as we pray, confess and repent to the Lord, we will be forgiven our sins and will not be condemned or put to death by the law. That is to say, God was nailed to the cross for mankind and had borne all the sins of mankind. God no longer treats us mankind as sinners and we are redeemed from our sins because of God’s salvation. Therefore, we can directly pray to the Lord and enjoy His grace and are no longer accused by Satan. This is the genuine meaning of the sins being forgiven. Although the Lord Jesus becomes man’s sin offering and we gain pardon of sin, our nature of sinning and resisting God has not been resolved. We will still reveal such corrupt dispositions as selfishness and baseness, arrogance and self-importance, and do something to resist God that would make Him feel disgust and hatred. How could people like us who are filled with such defilement and corruption be qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven? About this question, let’s look at the words of God.” Liu Xin and the others nodded their approval to each other. With that, Wu Yue took out a book of God’s word from her bag. She handed it to Liu Xin and said, “Liu Xin, please read.”
Liu Xin took the book and read: “A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus-you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.”
After Liu Xin finished reading God’s words, Wu Yue fellowshiped, “From God’s words, we can clearly see that the Lord Jesus is man’s sin offering and has just forgiven our sins, but our internal sinful nature still remains and has not been purified. Therefore, we still need God to do a stage of purification work to purify and change our internal satanic nature and disposition of resisting Him. Only thus can we become compatible with Him and be qualified to see His face. If our inner corrupt disposition is not resolved, we will still do something that resists God. For example, after putting faith in the Lord, because of lusting after empty glories, we always lie and cheat and cannot put His words into practice to be an honest person. In our sermons and fellowship, we still lift ourselves up and testify what we have suffered. When we associate with our brothers and sisters, due to our arrogant disposition, we often look down upon them and sometimes even criticize them with a condescending attitude; what we reveal is all corruption and ugliness—we do not have God in our hearts and treat all others with contempt. When confronted with natural and manmade disasters or something that doesn’t conform to our expectations, we still will misunderstand, complain against and even betray God. If we don’t change these behaviors, we will offend God’s disposition. It is clear that if we haven’t dealt with our nature of resisting God, if our satanic disposition isn’t purified, we will be unlikely to enter the kingdom of heaven. What we said previously all comes out of our notions and imaginations and does not hold with God, such as if we commit sins, as long as we confess and repent before the Lord, He will forgive our sins and no longer see us as sinners; the Lord is love, so He will never abandon us; and so on. Just as the Bible says: ‘For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins’ (Heb 10:26). From this we can see God’s righteous disposition and holy substance. If we always live in the vicious cycle of committing sins and then confessing them, and don’t resolve our corrupt disposition, in the end we will be loathed and eliminated by God and never receive the Lord Jesus’ approval, much less enter the kingdom of heaven. Just as Revelation 21:27 says: ‘And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatever works abomination, or makes a lie.’”
What Wu Yue fellowshiped thoroughly resolved the question that baffled Liu Xin. She said, “Thank the Lord! Now, I have understood that although the Lord Jesus offered up Himself for our sins, forgave our sins, and saved us from the domain of Satan, our root of sins has not yet been resolved. Our nature still will direct us to commit sins and resist God. If we don’t resolve our corrupt problems, we certainly cannot get into the kingdom of heaven.” At this moment, Yang Yu scratched her head and said with a bit of embarrassment, “Alas! I had thought that although we commit sins every day, as long as we repent before the Lord, we will be forgiven by Him. But, after hearing what Wu Yue fellowshiped, I realized that my view is wrong.”
Wu Yue looked around at everyone and said, “Thank the Lord! Now we still have corrupt disposition and cannot enter the kingdom of heaven; however, when the Lord returns in the last days, He will express truth to save us, purify and change our corruption. I wonder if you all remember these verses of scriptures: ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come’ (Jhn 16:12-13); ‘He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (Jhn 12:48); ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1Pe 4:17); ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation’ (Heb 9:28). From these verses we can see that when the Lord descends in the last days He will do a stage of work of judgment and chastisement. Only when our corrupt dispositions are cast away through experiencing God’s judgment and purification, can we enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Liu Xin said happily, “Thank the Lord! Your fellowship is in line with the Bible. This way, we will have a path to enter the kingdom of heaven. Wu Yue, is it Ok for me to read your book?”
“Yes, of course.” As she said that, she handed Liu Xin the book of God’s word. Yang Yu and the other classmates also came close to read it with curiosity.
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