By Meihao, Japan
Bound by Sin, I Worried About Whether I Could Enter the Heavenly Kingdom
“As girls, if you don’t know how to cook, in the future you will not even be able to make food for yourself. Come here and learn to cook!”
“Look at your messy room. Does it look like a girl’s room? Tidy it up right now!”
I angrily said over and over again.
“Do I have to do as you said? Do I have to listen to you?” One of my daughters was not convinced, and said in a loud voice.
“I’m your mother. If my words are right, then you must listen. I’m doing all this for your own good!” I retorted angrily.
I am a Christian who has believed in the Lord for more than twenty years and has two daughters. In order to teach them to do household chores, whenever I had time I would ask them to learn from me how to cook and clean the house. But when I saw the look of irritation on their faces, I would lose my patience and start to get angry and scold them. I knew becoming hot-headed and losing my temper with others were not in accordance with the Lord’s intentions, but I just couldn’t control myself. Therefore, I often suffered because I felt I was living sinfully.
I couldn’t help but think, “I’m not even tolerant or patient with my own daughters. So will I, who sin so frequently, be able to get into the kingdom of heaven in the future?” I reached out to my pastor about this. He told me, “There are such matters in every family. You only need to entrust everything to the Lord because it says in the Bible, ‘That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation’ (Romans 10:9–10). The Lord Jesus was crucified upon the cross to redeem us. As long as we believe in Him, pray to Him and confess, He will forgive our sins and we’ll be saved. Then we’ll be able to in the future.” After hearing this, I could have some peace of mind at that time. But when I returned home, and after a few days, I found that nothing changed between me and my daughters. This was very painful for me. Every time this happened, I would pray to the Lord and confess, the pastor and some brothers and sisters would also often pray together with me, but nothing came of it. So I could only struggle in the agony of sin.
I Understood the True Meaning of “Being Saved” Because of an Encounter
In July 2018, I met a preacher, Brother Fang, in the Sister Yuanyuan’s house. He looked very modest and we became familiar with each other very quickly and discussed Bible verses together. He gave us fellowship on the root cause of mankind’s fall and also told us that, in order to save mankind from sin, God carries out His management work to save mankind with a plan and in steps. In the Age of Law, God took the name Jehovah, and He issued the laws through Moses, guiding mankind through their lives on earth and enabling them to know their sins. In the Age of Grace, God became flesh and took the name Jesus; He did the work of being crucified to redeem mankind and forgave their sins so that they could live before God and enjoy God’s abundant grace. Only after hearing this fellowship did I know that the works God did on us humans were filled with so many of God’s painstaking efforts. I felt that I gained more in these few days than I had in over 20 years of going to the religious church. My heart became filled with light and excitement. Thus, I earnestly listened and really wanted to gain more sustenance from Brother Fang.
Yuanyuan’s house is more than 50 kilometers away from mine but I did not at all feel it was far. On the third day, I took a quick shower and drove one and a half hours to her home in a hurry to listen to sermons. This time, Brother Fang asked me, “Sister, do you know what work will be done when the Lord returns in the last days?”
I answered, “Surely the Lord will raise us up into the heavenly kingdom.”
Then he said, “It says in the Bible, ‘Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). Now we’re constantly sinning and have not achieved purification. Do you think people like us who are living in sin are qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven?”
Hearing this left me stunned. Then I said, “It’s true that we often sin, but the Lord was nailed to the cross as a sin offering for our sake and absolved all our sins, so if we believe in the Lord Jesus then we are saved. It is clearly stated in the Bible, ‘That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation’ (Romans 10:9–10). Our pastor also says that as long as we believe in the Lord in our hearts and acknowledge Him with our mouths, then we are saved. When the Lord returns, He will bring us up into the kingdom of heaven.”
After I finished, Brother Fang said, “Many people think that we who believe in the Lord have been graced and saved and will be directly raptured into the kingdom of heaven. Is this perspective correct? Did the Lord Jesus ever say such a thing? Let’s seek what ‘being saved’ really refers to. First let’s read two passages of words.”
Then he took out a book and read, “At the time Jesus’ work was the redemption of all mankind. The sins of all who believed in Him were forgiven; as long as you believed in Him, He would redeem you; if you believed in Him, you were no longer a sinner, you were relieved of your sins. This is what it meant to be saved, and to be justified by faith. Yet in those who believed, there remained that which was rebellious and opposed God, and which still had to be slowly removed. Salvation did not mean man had been completely gained by Jesus, but that man was no longer of sin, that he had been forgiven his sins: Provided you believed, you would never more be of sin.” “For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even if the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed….”
After finishing reading, he continued, “From these two passages we can know that ‘being saved’ only means that we won’t be condemned or punished by the law. As we all know, in the later period of the Age of Law, because people grew far from God and couldn’t keep the law, they became more and more sinful to the extent that no offering could redeem their sins; some people went so far as to deceive Jehovah God by offering lame sacrifices to Him. According to the law, all people should be subject to being condemned and sentenced to death. But God took mercy on mankind and couldn’t bear to see them be put to death, so God Himself became flesh, was nailed to the cross for mankind’s sake and did a step of redemptive work, thus redeeming all mankind from sins. To all those who accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior and could confess their sins to the Lord and repent, the Lord would not remember their transgressions, and they would no longer be condemned or punished by the law. This is the true meaning of ‘being saved.’ But the Lord Jesus only forgave our sins. The Lord did not forgive our satanic dispositions such as arrogance, selfishness and deceit. All kinds of corrupt dispositions still remain deeply rooted within us and have made us become arrogant and conceited, selfish and despicable, crooked and deceitful, and evil and greedy. And they also cause us to often lose our temper, argue with people and guard against each other. Though we often pray and confess, we are never able to cast off the shackles and strictures of sin, and thus we always live within the cycle of sinning and confessing and can’t find release. How could people as sinful as we are enter the kingdom of heaven? Just as the Lord, ‘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’ (John 8:34–35). ‘Be you holy; for I am holy’ (1 Peter 1:16). God is holy and His kingdom is holy, too. So, those who live often in the midst of sin and resist God are not qualified to see the face of God and certainly will not be able to enter God’s kingdom. This is decided by God’s righteous and holy disposition. Therefore, being saved by the Lord’s grace in our belief in Him does not mean we’re qualified to enter the heavenly kingdom. Only when we are able to escape our sinful natures and no longer sin or resist God can we enter God’s kingdom!”
When I heard Brother Fang’s fellowship, I suddenly saw the light: “It turns out that the Lord Jesus only absolved us of our sins and no longer looked upon us as sinners, but our sinful nature hasn’t been gotten rid of and we still often sin in spite of ourselves. Therefore, the fact that we are saved by faith does not mean that we no longer have sin within us, and it certainly doesn’t represent that we can enter the kingdom of heaven. I quarrel with my daughters every day. Even though I pray and confess to the Lord, afterward the same problems occur again. I still cannot help sinning and offending the Lord. People like me who are filthy and corrupt are indeed unworthy of entering the kingdom of heaven and seeing the Lord’s face. It turns out that I have always based my belief in the Lord on my own notions and imaginings in these past years.” When thinking that I was living in sin and thereby was unable to enter the heavenly kingdom at all, I couldn’t help but feel concerned and really wanted to know how I could rid myself of sin.
To be continue…
Source From: find the shepherd