Predestination and Divine Election
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."
The theological theory of predestination and divine election, which is one of the basic theologies which make up Christian doctrine, has led many who want to believe in Jesus to misunderstand the word of God. This misguided theory has caused much confusion.
What the untrue theology says about predestination is that God elected the people He loves while condemning those He dislikes. This means that some who were elected are born again of water and the Spirit and accepted into heaven while the others who were not elected are destined to burn in hell.
If God in fact elects only some of us, we cannot help but agonize over the question, "Was I elected for salvation?" If we were not elected, it would be useless for us to believe in Jesus. Thus this theory has made many people more concerned with whether they were elected by God than with faith itself.
If we believe this how can we be free of doubts and believe only in God? How do we confirm that God really elected us? He would be God only to those elected, even though He says, "Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also" (Romans 3:29).
Because many people misunderstand the meaning of predestination and divine election, they fear they will be destroyed even though they believe in Jesus.
Ephesians 1:3-5 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will."
Therefore we should review the concept of theological predestination and divine election. We should first understand what the Bible says about predestination and divine election and strengthen our belief in salvation through the water and the Spirit.
What does Romans tell us? Some theologians developed the unfounded theory of "unconditional election." Is theology God, then? Theology itself is not God.
Even before the creation of the world, God chose all mankind in Jesus Christ and made up His mind to save all of us by making us righteous. Jesus loves us unconditionally. Don't make Him a discriminating God. Unbelievers have faith in their own thoughts but believers put the basis of their faith in the written word of God.
DIVINE ELECTION IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
In Genesis 25:21-26, we read about the two sons of Isaac, Esau and Jacob. God chose Jacob while the two sons of Isaac were still in their mother's womb.
Those who misunderstand the word of God take this as the basis of the theory of unconditional election. This is like mixing a god of fate into Christianity.
If we believe that God chooses us on the basis of "unconditional election" and not in Jesus Christ, then it is the same as if we worship a god of fate and idols. God is not a god of fate. If we were to believe in a god of fate, we would be denying God's plan for us and falling into Satan's trap.
If man isn't obedient to God's will, then he is like the beasts that perish. Since we believers are not beasts, we should become true believers who read and believe the truth written in the Bible. Not to think first of the written truth in the Bible is to deliver oneself over to Satan.
To have true faith, we should first think about the written truth in the Bible and follow the faith of those reborn in Christ.
Calvinism insists on limited redemption. This implies that the love of God and the redemption of the Lord do not apply to some. Can this be true?
The Bible says, "God desires all men to be saved" (1 Timothy 2:4). If the blessing of redemption only applied to some, many believers would give up believing in Jesus. After all, who would want to believe in such a narrow-minded God?
We have to have confidence that our God is not narrow-minded. He is the God of Truth, Love, and Justice. We have to believe in Jesus and the gospel of being born again of water and the Spirit and thus be saved from all our sins. Jesus is the Savior of all who are born again of water and the Spirit.
According to Calvinism, if there were ten people, some of them would be saved by God while the others would be left to be burn in the fires of hell. This is untrue.
It doesn't make any sense to say that God loves some and discards others. Imagine that God is here with us today. If He decided to elect those who are sitting on the right side while making up His mind to send all those who are sitting on the left side to hell, would we treat Him as God?
Wouldn't those who were discarded raise their voices in protest? All creatures would cry out, "How can God be so unfair?" Unconditional election is untrue because God elected all mankind in Jesus Christ.
Therefore anybody who is called by God in the name of Christ is elected. Then, who does God call to Him? He calls sinners, not the righteous. God does not call those who regard themselves as the righteous.
God's blessing of redemption is for sinners and those who are damned to hell. Election means God's calls sinners in order to make them His righteous sons.
GOD IS JUST
God is Just. He is not the God who loves only unconditionally elected ones. He called sinners in the name of Christ. Without salvation through the redemption of Jesus Christ and His forgiveness of sins, how could we know God's love and salvation? Never make Him an unjust God.
Try to find what is missing when you read Ephesians 1:3-5. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." What is missing? The missing word is "in Jesus Christ."
Unconditional election in Calvinism does not correspond with the words of the Bible. The Bible says, "He chose us in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world."
God chose all mankind in Christ to be born again of water and the Spirit. Those who cannot help but be born sinners can be redeemed of sin and become His children. He included all mankind in the list of those to be saved and elected them in Jesus Christ.
Because many theologians who insist on unconditional election say that only some are chosen, many people are trapped in the chaos of irrational doctrine. These false theologians say that God chooses some and discards the others through unconditional election, while the truth of His word is that God chose all sinners in Jesus. Many people fall victim to untrue doctrine owing to their superstitious beliefs.
But if we recognize that God decided to save all mankind in Jesus and that the remission of sin applies to everyone who believes in Jesus, we can be saved from all our sins, become children of God, become righteous men, have everlasting life, and have confidence that God is Just.
DIVINE ELECTION IN THE STORY OF JACOB AND ESAU
In Genesis 25:19-28, Esau and Jacob were struggling together within their mother Rebekah's womb. God said in Genesis 25:23, "And the Lord said to her: 'Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.'"
Sinners turned these words into the theory of theological predestination and divine election, leaving many who believe in Jesus confused as to whether they were chosen or not! When they consider themselves chosen, they think that they are saved and lose interest in being born again of water and the Spirit.
The concept of unconditional election has turned many people who believed in Jesus away from redemption and condemned them to hell. It has also made God appear unjust.
Because so many theologians teach untrue doctrine which sprang from their own thoughts, many who believe in Jesus become insecure and wonder if they were chosen, or whether their redemption was predestined.
Of Jacob and Esau, whom did God elect? He chose Jacob in Jesus Christ. In Romans 9:10-11, it is said that God called Jacob instead of his brother even though they were conceived by one man, as yet unborn, and had done nothing either good or bad.
God's purpose was to elect Jacob, not because of his works but because of His election. The Bible also tells us that Jesus came to call sinners, not the those who have lived upright lives.
Men, as descendants of Adam, are born sinners. David said he was a sinner from the time he was in his mother's womb and that he was born in iniquity. "I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me" (Psalms 51:5).
Man is born a sinner because of the sins of his ancestors. So everyone who is born in this world unwittingly becomes a sinner, acts as a sinner, and bears the fruits of sin.
A child who has not yet committed any sin is already a sinner because he was born with the seed of sin. He has evil thoughts, adultery, fornication and murder in his heart. He was born with his ancestor's sins. Man is a sinner even before he is born.
The reason God made us infirm is as follows. Man is God's creation, but the Lord had plans to make us His children by saving us from sin. That is why He allowed Adam to sin.
When men became sinners as a result, God sent Jesus to this world, allowing His only begotten Son to take away all the sins of mankind through His baptism.
God's intention was to redeem mankind through the baptism of Jesus and His blood at the Cross and to give them the power to become His children by believing in Jesus. He allowed Adam to sin on the promise of washing away all sin in Christ.
Sinners who believe in false doctrine say, "Look at Jacob and Esau. He chose one and discarded the other uncon- ditionally." God didn't elect us unconditionally, but elected us in Jesus Christ. We only have to look up the written words in the Bible. Romans 9:10-12 says, "And not only this, but when Rebekah also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, 'The older shall serve the younger.'"
God chose Jacob in Jesus. Jacob was a model of sinners who are unworthy and bereft of their own righteousness. Ephesians 1:4 says God chose us in Him.
Who did God call? He called Jacob because he knew that he was sinful and unrighteous before God and he relied on God. He called Jacob in the name of His own Son Jesus and redeemed him with the gospel of the water and the blood to make him His child. So, God called Jacob and blessed him with redemption.
He called sinners to make them righteous through redemption in Jesus. That is God's plan.
THE FALSE DOCTRINE OF UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION
I recently read a book based on a story of unconditional election. A young man had a dream. An old woman appeared in the dream and told the young man to come to a certain place, and he went. Then the old woman told him that he was chosen by God.
He asked the old woman how could God have elected him when he doesn't even believe in God? She told him that God unconditionally chose him despite his faithlessness.
This is untrue. How could God arbitrarily condemn some people to hell and choose others for salvation? God elected everyone in Jesus.
Theological election theory that excludes Jesus is false. It is untrue. But many theologians insist that God chose only some of us. That is not true. God wants to save everyone in Jesus. Only those who don't believe in the redemption of the water and the Spirit in Jesus will not be saved.
God predestined all mankind for salvation through His Son, Jesus, and intended to make us His children even before He created the world. He planned to save mankind from all the sins of the world through the redemption of Jesus Christ. This is the truth as it is written in the Bible.
The righteous who are reborn in Christ are the chosen ones. But theologians insist that God chooses only some of us. They say, for example, that Buddhist monks are among those who God did not choose. But God also elected them in Jesus.
If God unconditionally elected some without Jesus, we would not need to preach the gospel. If God had planned to elect someone without Jesus, sinners would not need to believe in Jesus. How then could His words of Love, Truth and Deliverance be fulfilled?
Would there be any reason for the servants of God to preach the gospel in this world? Does it make any sense that God has already unconditionally elected the redeemed and the damned without Jesus?
The reason God chose Jacob in Jesus, the reason He loved Jacob and hated Esau is that He already knew before they were created that Jacob would believe in Jesus and Easau would not believe in Him.
There are many sinners in this world who believe in Jesus. Some of them are like Esau and the others are like Jacob.
Why did God love Jacob? Jacob was unrighteous and knew of his unworthiness. Therefore he admitted that he was a sinner before God and asked for His Grace. That is why God saved Jacob.
But Esau relied more on himself than the Lord and didn't hunger for the Grace of God. So God said He loved Jacob and hated Esau. This is the word of truth.
God predestined us all for salvation in Jesus. All sinners have to do is to believe in Jesus. Then God's Truth and Justice will be instilled in their hearts. We sinners can do nothing but believe with all our hearts in being saved through Jesus. All we have to do is believe in redemption through Jesus.
THE FALSE GRADUAL SANCTIFICATION THEORY
Satan deceives sinners with the gradual sanctification theory so that they cannot be saved from their sins. Gradual sanctification means that sinners gradually become holy after they believe in Jesus.
The theory goes like this. Sinners cannot become righteous once for all but are saved only from original sin when they believe in Jesus. Actual sins are washed away through daily prayers of repentance and man gradually becomes sanctified.
The crux of this theory is gradual sanctification. It sounds great that man can believe in Jesus and gradually become a holier Christian. This theory has deceived many Christians over the years, making them feel secure. That's the reason why there are so many holier-than-thou Christians in Christianity.
They think that one day they will simply be changed and sin no more. But they live out their lives as sinners and will be judged as sinners before God after they die.
Read the true word in the Bible. In Romans 8:30, "Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."
And in verse 29, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." At first glance it seems there are steps to becoming righteous. But the Word tells us that righteousness was granted once for all.
"Whom He called, these He also justified." Jesus called sinners and made them righteous through His baptism at the Jordan and His death at the Cross.
Therefore one who believes in redemption in Jesus becomes a glorified child of God. It is the Grace of God to redeem sinners and glorify them in this name.
This is what God tells us. But some Christians tell us to look at Romans 8:30. "There are steps to becoming sanctified. Doesn't that mean we change gradually?" This is how they deceive. They tell people in the future tense that a sinner will become righteous with time.
But the Bible tells us not in the future tense, but in the past perfect tense that we have been made righteous once for all. There's a definite difference between the future concept and the past perfect one.
We should fully believe in the Bible. According to what is written, we can become children of God once and for all. This is totally different from the gradual sanctification theory.
The gradual sanctification theory says that only original sin is forgiven when we believe in Jesus. This suggests that we should lead a religious life and repent for our sins every day, so that when we stand before God we will become righteous.
Because many people believe in this theory, they still remain sinners even after they begin to believe in Jesus. That's why the gradual sanctification theory is untrue.
The Bible clearly tells us that we become righteous and children of God by faith. Just as babies come into the world, children of God also become sanctified as soon as they realize and believe in the redemption of Jesus. The false gradual sanctification theory sprang from lies.
THE COMPLETE DELIVERANCE FROM ALL SINS
Romans 8:1-2 says, "There is therefore now no condem- nation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." This tells us that God made all sinners righteous and delivered all who came to Jesus from the law of sin and death.
The Bible tells us about complete redemption in Hebrews 9:12. "Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once and for all, having obtained eternal redemption." This means that we who believe in Jesus are redeemed and admitted into heaven.
We heard and believed the gospel of the redemption of the water and the Spirit in Christ Jesus and were forgiven for all our sins. But sinners who believe that they were only forgiven for original sin cannot truly be saved. In order to be sanctified for sins that they commit after they come to believe in Jesus, they feel that they should repent every day.
Their misguided faith leads them to hell. Their mistaken beliefs cause them to repent every day so as to free themselves from all their iniquities. That is not the true faith that saves us from hell.
If they had believed in Jesus and been redeemed once for all time, they would have become righteous and children of God. True redemption makes believers righteous and transforms them into children of God once and for all.
Even though believers are delivered from all the sins of the world, their flesh does not change until the day they die. But their hearts are soaked with the righteousness of God. We must never misunderstand this fact.
The Bible tells us that we are sanctified and become righteous when we believe in the gospel.
Let's look at Hebrews 10:9-14 to see the true gospel. "Then He said, 'Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.' He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified."
"By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" Note that this is written in the present perfect tense and not in the future tense.
To be completely sanctified, man has to believe in the redemption of the water and the Spirit that Jesus gave us.
JESUS GRANTED ETERNAL REDEMPTION ONCE AND FOR ALL
If we believe in the eternal redemption of Jesus, we become righteous all at once. The Bible says, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Rejoice always. How can a man rejoice all the time? He who receives eternal redemption once for all time can endlessly rejoice. Because he is free of sin, he is safe in the knowledge that Jesus took away all his sins at the Jordan. He has become humble before Him and thankful for His Grace and can thus rejoice without ceasing.
"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered" (Romans 4:7). This doesn't mean that a man's sins are covered despite the fact they still exist in his heart. His heart has been cleansed. Jesus completely washed away all his sins and saved him once for all time.
This eternal redemption is referred to in the New Testament. When Jesus was baptized, He said, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15).
Just as goats or sheep took away man's sins through the laying on of hands in the Old Testament, Jesus took on all the sins of the world and purified mankind in the most proper and fitting way.
"It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness," said Jesus. Jesus was baptized in the most proper way and took on to Himself all the sins of mankind, thus saving us.
In Matthew 3:15, it is written that Jesus took away all the sins of the world. God's Justice was complete. We should not try to understand this eternal redemption. We should take it as His word of deliverance. "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Psalms 32:1).
All the sins of the heart and flesh, Jesus washed them away when He was baptized by John the Baptist at the Jordan River. He was judged for the sins we commit in this corrupt and depraved world. After He took away all our sins, He died at the Cross.
Anyone who believes in this redemption of sin can become righteous and without blemish once and for all. Because Jesus lives eternally, anyone who believes in redemption in Christ remains righteous.
We can now stand before God with confidence and say, "How are You, Lord? I believe in Your one begotten Son, Jesus Christ and I am also Your son. Thank You, Father. Thank You for accepting me as Your son. This is not through my works, but only through my faith in being born again of water and the Spirit in Jesus. You saved me from all the sins of this world. I believe what You said, "For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15). Through the baptism of Jesus and His Cross, I have become Your son. For that I am grateful to You."
Have you passed all your sins on to Jesus? Were all your sins taken away by Him? The Bible tells us that thanks to the baptism of Jesus and His death at the Cross, sinners can become sanctified just by believing in them.
THE RELATION BETWEEN THE BAPTISM OF JESUS AND REDEMPTION
Imagine a man who lives as a sinner even though he believes in Jesus and prays in church, "Dear God, please forgive me for the sins I committed last week. Forgive me for these past three days' sins. O Lord, forgive me for today's sins. I believe in Jesus."
Let's assume that this man is forgiven for his daily sins by that prayer. But afterwards, he goes back to his everyday life and sins again. Then, he will become a sinner again.
Jesus became the Lamb of God and took away the sins of all sinners through His baptism and redeemed them by being crucified at the Cross. In order to be redeemed, sinners should believe the following to be redeemed.
All sin was taken away by Jesus when He was baptized by John the Baptist, thus fulfilling God's righteousness. All the sins of the world were washed away. Whoever believes in this truth is delivered. As it is written in Matthew 3:13-17, "for thus" was Jesus baptized by John the Baptist and made the Savior of all believers.
The gospel of truth tells us that Jesus took away the sins of the world once and for all. But the false theology tells us that we are redeemed every day. Which should we believe? Are we redeemed once and for all, or are we redeemed every day?
It is obvious that Jesus delivered us once and for all. The true belief is faith in the redemption of the water and the Spirit once and for all. Those who believe that we must be redeemed every day will never be delivered.
They should know that real redemption comes from believing that Jesus delivered us once and for all through His baptism and death at the Cross. All we have to do is give thanks to God and believe in this true gospel.
But those who are misguided in their faith say that we are only delivered of original sin, that we should be redeemed every day from actual sins, and that we can "gradually" become righteous. That is wrong.
The baptism of Jesus and His death at the Cross accomplished the forgiveness of sin once and for all. This is the truth. Our sins had to be passed on to Jesus through John the Baptist and Jesus had to die at the Cross in order for us to be saved.
Saying "forgive me" after we sin does not fit the Justice of God. The law of God says that the wages of sin is death. We should know that God is Just and Holy.
Those who pray to God, "I am sorry, please forgive me" after they sin do not know the Justice of God. They pray for forgiveness, but only to assuage their own conscience. Is it right that one sins everyday and consoles one's conscience by repeatedly repenting for his transgressions? The only way to be delivered is by believing in the baptism of Jesus and His blood at the Cross. We should believe it in our hearts. It is the only way we can avoid the judgment of God.
Let's think more about deliverance from sin. Hebrews 9:22 says, "And according to the Law almost all things are purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission."
According to the just Law of God, sins should be purged with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission. This is the just Law of God. Without paying the wages of sin, there can never be remission.
The law of God is just. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and bled at the Cross to deliver us sinners. He took away all our trespasses through His baptism and bled at the Cross to pay for all our sins. He paid the wages of sin for us.
In Matthew 3:15, when Jesus was baptized in the most fitting way, He washed away all sin through His baptism and died at the Cross to deliver us from all the sins of the world.
To ask for forgiveness every day would be the same as asking Him to take away our sins and die all over again. We should truly understand the just law of God. Jesus doesn't have to die over and over again to deliver us from our sins.
God considers it most insolent for those who believe in Jesus to ask again and again for the forgiveness of actual sins. "These insolent fools! They are asking My Son, Jesus, to be baptized for a second time and die again at the Cross! They believe in the redemption in Jesus and still call themselves sinners! I will judge them with My just Law and send all of them to burning hell. Are you willing to kill your own begotten son twice? You are asking Me to kill My Son again because of your actual sins. I have already killed My own Son to save you once from all the sins of the world. So don't raise my ire by asking me to forgive your actual sins again and again, just believe in the gospel of the redemption of the water and the Spirit."
Jesus tells those who remain sinners that they should go to a church where true gospel is preached, abandon false belief and receive redemption by overcoming untruth with faith.
Now is the time for you to be saved by believing in your heart. Do you believe?
THE RESULT OF FAITH NOT IN TRUTH, BUT IN WORKS
Even sinners who believe in Jesus but are not delivered may shine brightly for 3-5 years. They are enthusiastic in the beginning, but their faith diminishes with time. If you believe in Jesus through your works, your enthusiasm will soon disappear, too.
The blind cannot see. So they rely on their other senses and accumulate knowledge in this way. When they feel tears welling up, they mistake it for a sign of remission. True remission is not a feeling.
The spiritually blind seek to regain their first love by vainly attending revival meetings, but they cannot recover the feeling. Remission of sin is similarly impossible to achieve. If they had believed accurately from the beginning, remission and His Grace would shine more brightly as days go by.
But untrue remission only shines in the beginning and loses its luster from then on. The glow of enthusiasm soon disappears because the spiritually blind failed to listen to the true gospel from the beginning.
Hypocritical scribes and Pharisees carry Bibles under their arms, memorize the Lord's Prayer and the Apostle's Creed, and pray all the time. They get promoted in the church and emotionally charged up but their sins accumulate and they are finally dismissed by God. Outside they are covered with the white plaster of religious fervor, but inside their minds are rotting with sin. This is the result of faith not in truth but in a religion based on works.
WE BECOME RIGHTEOUS BY FAITH
Let's read Hebrews 10:16-18. "'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,' then He adds, 'Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.'"
Now that we are redeemed through the water of Jesus' baptism and His blood at the Cross, we no longer need to atone for sin. It might sound strange when you first hear it, but it is in accordance with the words of the Bible. Are those the words of man? The Bible is the bench mark and the plumb line for measuring everything.
"After those days, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them." How do you feel after being redeemed? Now that your heart is free of sin, you feel refreshed. You have become a righteous person and can live in the light.
And the Lord says in Hebrews 10:17 "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." He tells us that He will not remember the sins and lawless deeds of the redeemed. Why? Because Jesus was baptized in the most fitting way, "for thus." After taking away all sin, Jesus was judged on behalf of those who believe in Him.
Now that He has paid for all our sins, we may remember them but we need not feel guilty about them. We no longer have to die for our sins because Jesus washed away all sin and bled at the Cross for us.
Hebrews 10:18 says, "Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin." This means that He blotted out all the sins of the world. It also means that those who are reborn in Jesus no longer need to make any offering for sin.
"O God, please forgive me. The reason I believe in Jesus and yet still live in misery is that I have not yet been redeemed. I am a Christian, but my mind is completely rotten with sin." We don't need to pray like that.
Sinners commit sin without recognizing it as such. They do not know what sin is because they do not know God's Law of Truth. They only know that they should not sin in their conscience but they don't know what it is to sin before God. God pointed out to us that it is a sin not to believe in Jesus.
In John 16:9 He says what it is to sin before God. "Of sin, because they do not believe in Me." It is a sin before God not to believe in Him. John 16:10 says what righteousness is. "Of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more." In other words, Jesus has already delivered this world from all sin, and thus He does not have to deliver us again with a second baptism and death at the Cross.
He called those who believe in redemption to sanctify and make them righteous. Redemption in this world was completed through His baptism and death at the Cross. No other redemption is needed to deliver sinners.
"For there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Jesus came down to this world, was baptized by John the Baptist, and bled at the Cross to deliver all sinners. Believe this in your heart and be saved. Jesus sanctified you with the water and the Spirit.
Jesus swept away all sins from our flesh through the water and the Spirit. We are saved with faith. If we believe in the truth, if we believe in the gospel through Jesus Christ, we become righteous once and for all. The baptism of Jesus and His death at the Cross, these two are the fundamental truth.
VERSES THAT SINNERS USE AS THEIR SHELTER
1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrigh- teousness."
It would be nice if we only needed to confess our sins to be forgiven. With this in mind, some theologians came up with a great idea for a new doctrine. They insist that every time someone confesses his sins he can be forgiven. Isn't that convenient? But Jesus never said that we would be forgiven every time we confessed ourselves to God.
Can we really be forgiven by simply confessing our sins, or have we already been redeemed? Which do you believe? People who advocate this false doctrine believe that they are forgiven every time they confess their sins, but in fact, sin remains in their hearts because they do not know the true words of redemption. It makes no sense that sinners who believe in Jesus are forgiven whenever they pray for the forgiveness of actual sins.
For this reason, we ought to heed His Words on redemption and discriminate between truth and falsehood, regardless of what we may have been told.
Sinners misunderstand 1 John 1:9. They mistakenly think it concerns the forgiveness of daily sins. Let's read the teachings carefully. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Do you think that we are only saved from original sin and that we must confess our actual sins for Him to be Faithful and Just and forgive them? These are only misguided thoughts which owe to the weakness of our flesh.
We realize that this is not true when we believe in the baptism and blood of Jesus. All sin was already washed away with His baptism and blood at the Cross a long, long time ago.
To believe according to the Spirit and to believe according to misguided thoughts are two quite different things. Those who believe according to their own thoughts feel the need to wash away their sins every day, but those who believe in the redemption of the water and the blood know that they were delivered once and for all through the baptism and blood of Jesus Christ.
Those who believe that they should confess every day to be redeemed anew are in fact committing the sin of not believing in redemption through the baptism and blood of Jesus.
Have you been redeemed once and for all through the baptism and blood of Jesus? Those who are not redeemed try to win salvation by confessing their sins every day. This still leaves the problem of what to do about the actual sins they will commit in the future.
They may try to confess in advance for their future sins. But in so doing they show a lack of belief in Jesus. These people are blind to the gospel of redemption. Jesus delivered us from sin once and for all with His baptism and blood, taking the judgment upon Himself. We are delivered simply by believing in Him.
If you think you must confess even your future sins to be saved, you are no different from unbelievers who know nothing of being born again of water and the Spirit. Sinners cannot be redeemed through confession.
Therefore if you confess honestly, "I am a sinner who is not yet redeemed," and then if you listen and believe in the gospel of His baptism and death at the Cross, God will deliver you from all your sins.
But if you don't believe in the gospel of redemption and only hide under repentant prayer, you will face terrible judgment when Jesus comes again to this world as the Just Judge.
Those who do not believe in the gospel of redemption of the water and the Spirit will be judged. If they hide behind their confessions, they will face the judgment. So, don't wait for Judgment day. Believe now in the blessed gospel of the water and the Spirit.
THE PROPER CONFESSION AND THE TRUE FAITH
God redeemed us once and for all. Here's a real-life example to illustrate what I'm trying to say. Let's suppose that a North Korean spy comes down to the South. He sees how prosperous we are, realizes that he has been deceived, and decides to give himself up.
After he going to the nearest police station, he could confess like this, saying, "I am a spy from the North," or "I came to the South to assassinate so and so, and blow up this and that, and I have already blown up this, but now I am giving myself up. Therefore I am not really a spy any more."
Is this a proper confession? If he really wanted to confess, all he would have to say is "I am a spy." This simple statement implies everything: that he is a bad person and has to be judged. With that simple statement, regardless of the mission he was assigned, he would be pardoned.
Just like that, if a sinner confesses before God, "I am a sinner not yet redeemed. I am destined to be thrown into hell and to be judged. Please save me" and believes in Jesus, he will be redeemed. Jesus was baptized and shed blood for us, and all we have to do is believe in salvation through Him to be saved.
Revelation 2:17 says, "I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it." The Bible says that only he who receives the true gospel will know the name of Jesus. Only one who is redeemed once and for all knows the secret of becoming righteous.
He who doesn't know it will still be a sinner despite repentant daily prayers. To confess doesn't mean to pray for forgiveness every day. Even if someone had been a Christian for 10 years, he would still be a sinner if he asked for God's forgiveness every day. He would not yet be a son of God.
To be saved he would have to confess that he is a sinner and believe in the redemption of Jesus. This is the true faith.
TO LIST ONE'S SINS IS NOT WHAT 1 JOHN 1:9 TELLS US ABOUT CONFESSION
Can a thief and a murderer confess his deeds and be redeemed? Sinners are not redeemed just by confessing their sins. They can only be redeemed through the blessed gospel of being born again of water and the Spirit in Jesus. Some misguided Christians make confessions like this.
"Dear God, I quarreled with someone again today. I sinned. I deceived someone. I stole something."
If he went on like that God would say, "Be quiet, you sinner! So what?"
"Please keep listening to me. God, You told us to confess our sins. I beg for Your mercy."
This kind of praying is not what God wants to hear. He wants to hear the prayers of those who believe in the redemption of the water and the Spirit: Those who admit their sins and believe in the gospel of truly being born again.
Augustine said that he repented having suckled on his mother's breast. He thought that kind of confession would lead him to the kingdom of heaven. We can only laugh at this. Just confessing one's sins won't do.
God says, "Be quiet and just tell Me if you have sinned. If you have, then stop talking about it. You have believed wrongly until now, so go to a church where the truth is taught. Believe in the gospel of redemption in the proper way and be redeemed. If not, I will come and judge you."
Repentant prayers for forgiveness and any other attempts to be saved through confession indicate misguided and untrue belief.
It is written in 1 John 1:9 that when we admit all our sins, the gospel of the water and the blood will deliver us from all sin.
"DEPART FROM ME"
Christian sinners have misguided faith, practicing lawlessness before Jesus. "Many will say to Me in that day,'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them,'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:22-23)
Imagine that one who believes in untruth dies, comes to stand before God, and says, "How have You been, Lord? You seemed so beautiful when I was thinking about You down there, but You look even more beautiful up here. Thank you, Lord. You saved me. I believe that You look upon me as sinless even though I have sin in my heart. I came here since You promised to take me to heaven. Now I will go over there where the flowers are in full bloom. Good-bye and I hope to see You around."
He starts toward the garden, but Jesus stops him. "Wait! Let's see if this man has sin in his heart. Are you a sinner?"
"Of course I have sin. But haven't I believed in You?"
"Do you have sin even though you believe in Me?"
"Sure, I have sin."
"What? You have sin? Bring me the Book of Life. And bring the Book of Works, too. Look up his name. See which book his name is in."
To be sure, his name is in the Book of Works.
"Now, confess the sins you have committed on earth."
The man tries not to, but God forces him to open his mouth and confess his sins.
"Yes, I committed such and such sins . . . "
He is all confused and cannot keep his mouth shut.
"All right, that's enough! He has done enough to be admitted to hell. He is more than qualified! Send him to that burning place."
He is not sent to the place where flowers are in full bloom, but to the place which is filled with fire and brimstone. He grinds his teeth while being taken to hell.
"I believed in You, prophesied in Your name, preached in Your name, sold my house to serve You, helped orphans, endured so much in Your name, prayed at dawn, treated the sick... I deserve to go to heaven."
He grinds his teeth so much that he wears them down to nothing. When he arrives in hell, he sees all the Christians who didn't know the true meaning of redemption in Jesus. Those who misunderstand the gospel of redemption are discarded by Him.
SINS OF FALSE BELIEVERS ARE RECORDED IN THE BOOK OF WORKS
Whether we believe in Jesus or not, God destroys those who have sin in their hearts. If He finds even a speck of sin in someone's heart, that person is condemned to hell on Judgment day. God urges sinners who have not yet been redeemed to confess that they have not been delivered if they wish to achieve redemption.
The sins of a sinner are recorded in his heart. Those who are born again of water and the Spirit may remember their sin, but it is erased from their hearts. They are the righteous.
But those who are not reborn have sin in their hearts. Therefore they are sinners before God. Whenever they kneel to pray, their sins separate them from God and prevent Him from hearing their prayers. They are praying for this and that, but their sins remain. They end up confessing their sins, repenting for transgressions committed 10 years ago, 11 years ago, even 20 years ago.
Do they really have to repent again and again in their prayers? Why do they do it? They do not want to do so, but whenever they begin to pray, they remember that they are guilty before God. So they feel they have to atone for their sins before praying in earnest.
God wrote their sins with a pen of iron on the tablets of their hearts so that their sins could never be erased. As a result, they feel they have to confess their sins every time they come before God. So those who believe in only half of the complete gospel of Jesus have to live in misery as sinners and end up in hell.
In Jeremiah 17:1, it is written, "The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with the point of a diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars."
Judah is the name of the royal tribe of the people of Israel. The Bible holds up Judah to represent all mankind, so Judah means all people.
The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron and engraved with the point of a diamond which can cut through steel. Diamond is the strongest material in the world. With a pen of iron with the point of diamond our sins are recorded.
Once they are engraved, they cannot be erased. They won't be erased unless we believe in the truth of the water and the Spirit.
It is of no use to be redeemed in their thoughts, to believe in Christian doctrines, to memorize theology, and to devote themselves to church if sin remains in their hearts.
As their sins can never be erased without the baptism of Jesus, sinners keep remembering them, saying, "Lord, I am a sinner," whenever they pray. They still have sin in their hearts however much they may try to have fellowship with God, taking on a lot of responsibility in church, and studying theology and doctrine.
So they go into the mountains, try in vain to speak in tongues and seek visions of burning flames, but it is all useless. If sin remains in your heart, you will never be at peace.
Our sin, as written in Jeremiah 17:1, is engraved on the horns of our altars. In heaven, there is the Book of Life and the Book of Works. The sins of sinners are recorded in the Book of Works and thus people can never escape their trespasses. God records them in the Book of Works and the tablets of our consciences and shows them to us through His Law.
We should wipe these records clean by believing in the baptism of Jesus and the blood He shed for us and be saved. Then we will be ready for everlasting life, and our names will be written in the Book of Life.
IS YOUR NAME IN THE BOOK OF LIFE?
It is important to have your name listed in the Book of Life. If your name is not listed therein, what is the use of believing in Jesus? To be truly redeemed, you have to believe in being born again of water and the Spirit.
Jesus came down to this world, was baptized when He was 30 years old to wash away all the sins of the world, and died at the Cross to deliver us. As recorded in Matthew 3:15, Jesus was "for thus" baptized and crucified at the Cross. We have to believe this to have our names recorded in the Book of Life.
When people die and stand before God, God says, "See if this man's name is in the Book of Life."
"It is, Lord."
"Yes, you have suffered and shed tears on earth for Me, now I shall make it so that you will never have to do so again."
God bestows on him a crown of righteousness as a reward.
"Thank you, Lord. I am forever grateful."
"Angels, put a crown on this man."
"Lord, it is more than enough that You have saved me. The crown would be just too much for me. Thank you. I am so grateful that You saved me. I am more than satisfied just to live in Your presence."
"Angels, kneel down and take this 10,000th son of Mine on your back."
The angels answer, "Yes, Sir."
"Please get on my back."
"It's so comfortable. Am I doing this right? Let's get going."
The angel takes careful steps.
"Would you like to go for a walk?"
"Wow, it is so beautiful here. How big is this place?"
"I have been going all over the place for several billion years, but I have yet to find its end."
"Is that true? I must be getting heavy for you. You can put me down now."
"We never run out of energy up here."
"Thank you, but I want to stand on the ground of the kingdom of heaven. Now where are all the righteous who arrived before me?"
"They are over there."
"Let's go over."
Hallelujah! They hug each other and smile and live happily ever after.
Now imagine that a man who believes in Jesus but is still a sinner dies and stands before God. He also says that he believes in Jesus and admits that he is a sinner.
God says, "See if this man's name is written in the Book of Life."
"It is not in the Book, Lord."
"Then look in the Book of Works."
"His name and his sins are in here."
"Then send this man to the place where he will never have to worry about the cost of fuel, and let him live there forever."
"Oh, Lord, it is so unfair ..."
He says it is unfair. Why should he be sent to hell even though he believed in Jesus so fervently?
The reason is that he was deceived by Satan and he only listened to half the truth of the gospel. If we misunderstand the true meaning of the redemption of Jesus, we will end up in hell, too.
This man believed in Jesus, yet he was deceived by Satan and thought he was a sinner. If he had heard the true gospel, he would have realized that his belief was wrong. But he failed to believe due to his egotistical attachment to his own mistaken beliefs.
If you want to go to the kingdom of heaven, you must believe in being born again of water and the Spirit. As it is written in Matthew 3:15, "for thus" Jesus took away all the sins of the world. You must believe in the salvation of the water and the blood.
If you choose to believe anything, like a good-natured person who never refuses another's request, you may end up in hell. There are many good-natured people in hell, but in heaven, there are true fighters who fought for what they believe in.
Those who are in heaven knew that they were sinners who were destined to go to hell and gratefully believed that their sins were washed away through the baptism and the blood of Jesus.
It is said that there are mounds of ears and mouths in heaven. Because many people believe in the redemption of Jesus with only their mouths or ears, God throws the rest of their bodies into the burning fires of sulphur.
Imagine that one who believes in Jesus but still has sin in his heart stands before God and says, "Lord, people called me righteous because I believed in Jesus, even though I still had sin in my heart. I believed that You would also look on me as sinless. That is what I learned and what I believed. I only believed as many people do. It was the most widely accepted belief where I come from."
The Lord replies. "I cannot forgive those who have sin in their hearts. I washed away all your sins with the blessing of being born again of water and the Spirit. But you refused to believe in it. Angels! Put this insolent man into the fires of hell."
Anyone who believes in Jesus but still thinks he has sin in his heart will end up in hell. Listen to the true gospel of redemption and be delivered from all sin. Otherwise, you will burn in hell.
To say that you are sinless when you have sin in your heart is to deceive God. We can see how much difference there is between sinners and the righteous in the end. You will realize why I implore you to be redeemed.
You will see the difference between those who believe in complete redemption (the baptism of Jesus and His death at the Cross) and those who do not when you stand at the Crossroads to heaven and hell. It will make a big difference. Some will enter into the kingdom of heaven but others will go to hell.
Do you believe in Jesus but still remain a sinner? Then you should realize that you ought to be born again of water and the Spirit. God sends those who have sin in their hearts to hell. Only those who believe in the complete forgiveness of sin can enter the kingdom of heaven.
Do it right now. If you put it off, it may be too late. Be ready in advance. Before you end up in hell, believe in the redemption of the water and the Spirit and become sanctified.
Glory be to our Lord Jesus! We thank Him for His graciousness in making us sinners righteous. Hallelujah!
JESUS: THE ADVOCATE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS
Let's read 1 John 2:1-2. "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world."
See this? Is there anyone who believes but still has sin in his heart? If you have sin in your heart but tell God that you do not, you are deceiving Him. And you are deceiving yourself, too.
But if you truly understand Jesus and believe what He did to wash away all sins at the Jordan, you will be completely free of sin. You can then say, "Lord, I was born again with water and the Spirit in You. I have no sin. I can stand before You without shame."
Then the Lord will reply. "Yes, you are right. As Abraham believed in Me and believed himself to be righteous, you are also righteous because I washed away all your sins."
But consider a man who still has sin in his heart even though he believes in Jesus. He says, "Because I believe in Jesus, I will go to heaven even if I have a little sin in my heart."
He wants so much to be admitted to heaven that he tries to resist while standing before the judgment seat, but he will still end up in hell. Why? He didn't know the blessed gospel of being born again of water and the Spirit.
Everyone should confess that he is a sinner during his days on earth. "I am a sinner. I will go to hell. Please save me." A sinner is not redeemed with repentant prayers. Rather, he has to admit that he is a sinner and accept the redemption of the water and the Spirit to be delivered. He can only become righteous through the redemption of the water and the Spirit.
It is false gospel to insist that only original sin is forgiven in Jesus and we should repent our actual sins to obtain salvation. This leads us straight to hell. So many believers doom themselves to hell by believing this false gospel and this tendency is even more prevalent these days.
Would you know it if you had fallen into false gospel? Can you still be a debtor even after paying all your debts? Think about it. If you still consider yourself a sinner while believing in Jesus, can it be said that you believe in Him properly? Are you a believer and sinner, or are you a believer and a righteous man?
You can choose for yourself. You can either believe that all your sins are forgiven, or you can believe that you should repent every day for your transgressions. Your choice will determine whether you go to heaven or hell. You have to heed the evangelist who tells you the true gospel.
Those who believe in false gospel still pray for the forgiveness of sins at every dawn prayer meeting, every Wednesday service, every Friday all-night prayer in a bid to wash away their sins.
"Lord, I have sinned. I have sinned this week," they say. Then they remember the sins of years ago and pray again for His forgiveness. That is defying the blessed gospel of being born again of water and the Spirit.
Our sins must be paid for with blood. Hebrews 9:22 says, "Without shedding of blood there is no remission." If you think you have sin, then are you asking Him to bleed for you again? Those who don't believe in the complete redemption are guilty of turning the redemption of Jesus into a lie. They are in fact insisting that Jesus did not deliver us once and for all and that He is a liar.
To be redeemed in Jesus, you have to believe in the truth of the redemption of the water and the Spirit. Can you really be forgiven for sins with hundreds, thousands, millions of prayers? The true gospel redeems us once and for all. Become righteous, go to the kingdom of heaven, and live a righteous life for all time.
I live a new life in Jesus. The past is over and I have become a new creature. The wasted past has gone away. O, Jesus is my true life. I live a new life in Jesus.
You live a new life in Jesus. Regardless of whether you do not look as handsome as you would like to, whether you are too short, or a little too thick around the middle, those who are blessed with the gospel of being born again of water and the Spirit live a happy life. What does it matter that your nose isn't the ideal shape, or that you are a little short? Because we are not perfect, we are saved by believing in being born again of water and the Spirit in Jesus. But those who are conceited will end up in hell.
Thank you, Lord. I always give thanks to the Lord. Because we believe in being born again of water and the Spirit, we will be welcomed in heaven.
THE UNTRUTH LEADS US TO HELL
The untruth tells us that we have to repent every day to be forgiven, but the gospel of the water and the Spirit tells us that we are already completely forgiven and all we have to do is believe it.
Which is the truth? Do we have to repent every day? Or is it right to believe that Jesus delivered us when He was baptized in the most fitting manner to take away all our sins? The truth is that Jesus took away our sins once and for all and in this proper way offered us salvation.
We have to triumph over the untruth in the spiritual war. Many people follow the untruth. "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ' These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is'" (Revelation 2:12-13).
"To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it" (Revelation 2:17).
Where numerous evil spirits dwell and untruth stands pretending to be truth, Satan appears as if he were a bright angel. God cannot help anyone who hears and knows the truth of salvation of the water and the Spirit but doesn't believe it. He will end up in hell.
Everyone has to decide for himself whether to believe in the salvation of Jesus. Nobody kneels before you, begging you to believe and be delivered.
If you want to be saved from sin, then believe in the salvation of the water and the Spirit. If you feel thankful for His love in salvation and His grace in saving us, then believe it. If you are a sinner destined to go to hell, then believe in the water and the Spirit, the baptism of Jesus and His death at the Cross. Then you will become righteous.
If you think you are not a sinner, you don't have to be redeemed by believing in Jesus. Only sinners are delivered from all sins by believing in the gospel of being born again of water and the Spirit. Jesus is the Savior of sinners and Consoler of the troubled. He is the Creator. He is the Master of Love.
I sincerely urge you to believe in the gospel of being born again of water and the Spirit. Believe it. You can be sure that Jesus will be Savior, Friend, Shepherd and God to you. Sinners should believe in Jesus. If you don't want to end up in hell, you must believe it. God does not beg us to believe the gospel of salvation.
Do you want to be admitted to heaven? Then believe in the gospel of being born again of water and the Spirit. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. Believe in Me." Are you saying that you want to be thrown into hell? Then do not believe. He says He has already prepared a place in hell for you.
God does not beg. A merchant welcomes people indiscriminately in a bid to sell his wares, but God gives the kingdom of heaven for free only to those who are redeemed. God is Just.
People say that the end of the world is near. Yes, I also think so. And it is foolish not to believe in the true gospel of being born again of water and the Spirit.
Believe in the salvation of the blessed gospel of being born again of water and the Spirit. Let's go together to the kingdom of heaven. Won't you go with me to the dwelling place of Jesus?
Let's read Romans 8:1-2. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."
Jesus took away all our sins through His baptism and His death at the Cross. He saved all sinners who had to be judged for their sins.
God's salvation consists of two things. One is the Law and the other is His Love. The Law teaches us that we are sinners. According to the Law, the wages of sin is death. We can't be saved by the Law. It only teaches us our sinful nature and fate. It lets us know that we are sinners.
To pay the wages of sin, Jesus came down to this world, took away all our sins and paid for them with his life to save us from judgment. It is the love of God that saved us from all sin.
We must triumph over the untruth. God gives the blessing of being born again of water and the Spirit to those who overcome the untruth.
We are saved by believing in Jesus. By believing in His words, we achieve righteousness and understand the truth. Believe in the truth of being born again of water and the Spirit in your hearts, and you will be saved.