It is only by having God in their lives that people will enjoy His blessings. Indeed, it is exceedingly important to have God with us.
BY AND LARGE, people would certainly say yes if asked if they want our Lord God’s blessings, more so now that they go through problems, sorrows, and troubles take place either simultaneously or successively.
Certainly, it is only by having God in their lives that they will enjoy His blessings. This is not mere opinion but based on God’s truth written in the Bible. Indeed, it is exceedingly important to have God with us.
The evil of not having God
Apostle Paul described the evil of not having God in people’s lives, thus:
“Remember that in those days you were living utterly apart from Christ; you were enemies of God’s children, and he had promised you no help. You were lost, without God, without hope.” (Eph. 2:12 Living Bible)
To be without God is to live without hope of His promised help. Hence, people in such condition will certainly not benefit from God’s blessings. Worse, they are considered His enemies. Apostle Paul identified them as the people “living utterly apart from Christ.” They do not have any relationship with Him. And so, they cannot “confidently expect to go to heaven” (Eph. 2:12 Translation for Translators) or be saved because they do not belong to the people whom God have chosen—the ones to whom He has given the right to serve Him—and with whom God made a covenant or agreement. Hence, there is “nothing good to hope for” if people are not counted among those God has chosen (Eph. 2:12 EasyEnglish Bible).
In just one body
On a positive note, Apostle Paul described how good it is to be among God’s chosen people. He said of them: “God loves you” and “you were all called together in one body [the church as the body of Christ] to have peace” (Col. 3:12, 15 Expanded Bible).
God’s chosen people are called together in one body or organization, not many—they are not scattered or divided into different sects or denominations. That one body is our Lord Jesus Christ’s Church. There is no other church wherein people must be gathered to be counted among God’s chosen people and to be recipients of His blessings except the Church that is the body of Christ. People in this Church are loved by God. They have peace with Him and the confidence of being saved. The body of Christ, which He called “my church” (Matt. 16:18 Today’s New International Version) is what the apostles called the Church Of Christ (Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation).
People really need to be in the Church Of Christ—the flock in which Christ commands them to come or enter to be saved (John 10:9, 16; Acts 20:28 Lamsa). Refusal to join it means turning down the opportunity to receive God’s blessings and the promised salvation.
For this reason, Church Of Christ members have further intensified their efforts in the work of sharing their faith, patiently convincing their fellowmen to believe that it is not enough to be in just any religion of their own liking to be recognized, be blessed, and be saved by God—they have to be in the true Church Of Christ.
The true Church Of Christ
For their part, members of the Church Of Christ will never separate from the Church because they have been assured of receiving salvation and entrance to heaven, as Apostle Paul states, thus:
“But you have come into the reality (of which the symbols only pointed to), to Mount Zion, the New Jerusalem—the heavenly city of the living God—and you are part of that city. You have come to join millions upon millions of angels rejoicing in God’s presence, into the heavenly sanctuary—the true church of Christ—whose identities are stored in heaven …” (Heb. 12:22–23 Remedy New Testament)
The verses mention about Mount Zion which is also called the New Jerusalem, the heavenly city of the living God. He Himself is there as well as the millions upon millions of angels and the heavenly sanctuary or the true Church Of Christ. Hence, the Bible itself proves that the Church Of Christ will go to heaven.
Inspired by the great reward it brings—salvation and eternal life—Church members heed God’s instruction not to “throw away [their] confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens” (Heb. 10:35–36 New Living Translation). Church Of Christ members have more confidence knowing that what God lays in store for them is not just a source of living but, most importantly, salvation.
Although life here on earth is filled with troubles, sorrows, trials, and problems, God’s servants firmly believe that all these will be things of the past—to be replaced with pure joy which no one can take away from them. Hence, they believe that reaching the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, will put an end to all their problems especially the grave ones. That is why they heed the call of the apostles not to throw away their confident trust in the Lord no matter what happens. As they focus their attention on the great reward brought by their divine election, they patiently endure, striving to overcome sufferings just so they can obey God’s will—dedicating themselves to attending the worship service, helping in the work of propagation, and renewing their life, to name a few.
‘Where will my help really come from?’
Knowing that life’s problems, sorrows, and troubles come whether simultaneously or successively, members of the Church Of Christ turn to the only One Who can help them—the Almighty God. Psalms 121:1–3 state, thus:
“I look up to the hills, but where will my help really come from? My help will come from the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth. He will not let you fall. Your Protector will not fall asleep.” (Easy-to-Read Version)
God’s true servants firmly believe that the Creator of heaven and earth will not let them fall. He is always there to help them with their needs. They receive the much-needed help when they “look up to the hills,” referring to the hills surrounding Zion where the temple was (Ps. 121:1–3 EXB)—the place where God’s chosen servants conduct their worship. Hence, the worship service is the best time for God’s chosen to ask Him for help. When they ask for God’s help, especially in the worship service, He will not fail them. God will remove the disappointments from their lives. That is why they do not forsake their worship services.
So, when Church members have problems, they conduct devotional prayers in the place of worship. They know that God will all the more listen to them in that place which He has consecrated for His Name and glory to dwell.
Although to live in this world is becoming more difficult nowadays because of the many things to endure—problems, trials, and poverty which remains unsolved no matter what people do—nevertheless, true Iglesia Ni Cristo members who expect God’s help will never lose hope (Ps. 119:81–83, 114). That is the conviction of God’s servants. They may have problems that make them feel weak, but they do not lose their hope in God’s help, for He has promised it.
At times, God allows His people to go through trials so they can prove that they are worthy of receiving His blessings. Though they encounter heavy problems and get afflicted with illnesses, they remain obedient to God’s commandments and cling to His promise that He will not fail them. He is helping them go through those things. They might have been heavily burdened in life, but they beg the Father in heaven to make them strong through His power they feel most especially during the worship service. He is their refuge and shield and His promises are their only source of hope. When they kneel and pray to God to ask for His help, they beg Him to reach out to them. They implore Him not to allow even one member of their family to be excluded from being saved on Judgment Day.
This article was originally published in the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine, February 2020 Issue.