THE BIBLE TEACHES that there are people whom God considers as His children amid an evil world:
“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” (I John 5:19 New International Version)
Thus, not all people are God’s children. To be among those whom God recognizes as His children, one should be among God’s people because they are the ones He made His children. Apostle Paul testifies:
“They are God’s people; he made them his sons and revealed his glory to them; he made his covenants with them and gave them the Law; they have the true worship; they have received God’s promises.” (Rom. 9:4 Good News Bible)
In the Christian era, God’s children, His people, are those whom He called out of darkness:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, a people claimed by God for his own, to proclaim the glorious deeds of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people at all; but now you are God’s people. Once you were outside his mercy; but now you are outside no longer.” (I Pet. 2:9-10 Revised English Bible)
Those whom God called out of darkness were brought into the kingdom of His Son:
“Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:12-14 New King James Version)
That kingdom where there is redemption through Christ’s blood is the Church Of Christ:
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation)
Therefore, the ones whom God considers His children are the members of the Church Of Christ. Blessed are they, for they received God’s mercy and the forgiveness of sins.
But being forgiven of their sins does not give God’s children the “license” to commit sin, not even being amid an evil world. Children of God are expected to live righteously:
“In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God …” (I John 3:10 NKJV).
The righteousness, which God’s children faithfully obey, is the gospel or the commandments of God (Rom. 1:16-17). Therefore, even by the way they live, those whom God considers His children should be distinguished from the people of the world.
While the people of the world strive mainly to be rich only in material wealth (Luke 12:16-21 GNB), God’s people strive to be rich in good works in order to gain eternal life:
“Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (I Tim. 6:18-19 NKJV)
The good, which God’s people fulfill, is the words of God (Rom. 7:12). In obeying the Lord’s commands, they live for the true life—the eternal life. Such obedience entails dedication in serving the Almighty, active participation in all of the Church’s works, submission to the Church Administration, love of the brotherhood, love of their fellowmen, among others. Most especially, they do not neglect the worship services (Heb. 10:25).
Because of the rampant sinfulness in the world, especially at the present time, what has Apostle Paul forewarned? He said, “… in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian” (II Tim. 3:1 Last Days Bible). Thus, the apostles instruct the following to the true Christians:
“My brothers and sisters, God called you and chose you to be his. Do your best to live in a way that shows you really are God’s called and chosen people. If you do all this, you will never fall.” (II Pet. 1:10 Easy-to-Read Version)
Members of the Church Of Christ are expected by God to lead a life as obedient children of His should. They live in accordance with His will. This is why the Church Administration unceasingly urges Church members to uphold the intensive renewal of life. This way, they will be able to show that they really are “God’s called and chosen people.” It is not impossible to live righteously in the midst of this wicked world because the apostles assured that in doing so, God’s people “will never fall.”
God Himself has made this promise to His people who will remain true to Him:
“The LORD said, They are my people; they will not deceive me.’ And so he saved them from all their suffering. It was not an angel, but the LORD himself who saved them. In his love and compassion he rescued them. He had always taken care of them in the past.” (Isa. 63:8-9 GNB)
Though life may become troublous, the Lord God will continue to rescue His people from all of their sufferings. He will not allow His children to be swayed by the wickedness that surrounds them. But they must promise Him that no matter what happens in this life, they will not betray Him. Instead, they will always obey all of His commandments and live a life that is in accordance with His will.