JUST WITHIN THE FIRST months of this year, the world has already been hit by many calamities—both natural and man-made. Among these were volcanic eruptions, severe earthquakes, floods, bushfires, and a pandemic disease. Though people dread these events, they should not be surprised by their occurences because they had already been foretold in the Bible (Isa. 24:19-20).
Some of the disasters that people suffer in this world serve as God’s punishment for the detestable things that they have done (Ezek. 7:5-8). Instead of obeying God’s righteousness or the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17), they choose to disobey. Ultimately, the punishment that awaits sinners or the unrighteous is destruction on Judgment Day and the eternal condemnation in the lake of fire (II Pet. 3:7, 10; Rev. 20:14).
Nevertheless, loving and merciful as He is, the Lord God Himself said, “Do you think I enjoy seeing evil people die? … No, I would rather see them repent and live” (Ezek. 18:23 Good News Bible). To repent for one’s sins is to forsake the wicked and unrighteous ways (Isa. 55:7). To leave behind unrighteous ways, he must seek “where the good way is, And walk in it” (Jer. 6:16 New King James Version). It is then that man can receive the mercy of God, be forgiven of his sins, and be saved from the eternal punishment.
Returning to the Father
The good way, in which people must walk for them to be able to return to the Father, is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’.” (John 14:6 NKJV)
People must make sure to walk in Christ for their repentance to be accepted by God. To walk in Christ is by entering through Him or coming into the fold, to which the Savior has promised salvation:
“So Jesus spoke again: ‘In very truth I tell you, I am the door of the sheepfold … I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold through me will be safe. …’” (John 10:7, 9 Revised English Bible)
The fold or flock is the Church Of Christ which He redeemed with His blood:
“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, those who have been truly cleansed from their unrighteousness and freed from the condemnation on Judgment Day are those who are inside the true Church Of Christ.
Apostle Paul taught that they are the ones who were “made righteous and brought into right relationship with God” (Rom. 5:8-9 Amplified Bible). They were forgiven of their sins and thus, are now certain that they will be saved from God’s indignation on the Day of Judgment. They are the ones who will be saved. Therefore, to be a member of this Church is a great blessing.
To remain in this grace, Church Of Christ members strive to “hold fast” or obey the gospel or God’s righteousness (I Cor. 15:1-3 NKJV). Not doing so would mean believing in vain or wasting their precious calling in the Church. Hence, they make every effort to always fulfill their sacred duties such as attend the worship service, participate in all the works of propagation and edification, give voluntary offerings, and uphold the love of brotherhood because all these are God’s commandments.
Together with these, they “Put away evil and wrong from [their] home” (Job 11:14 GNB). And so, as getting rid of evil starts in the Christian home, with parents in the Church Of Christ leading their children in living uprightly before God. This is the reason the Church Administration has launched the campaign, “Strengthen Further the Christian Family,” urging all members that, now more than ever, they must uphold the complete renewal of life.
Those who will completely obey God’s will and get rid of sin from their lives, even if they have to make sacrifices, will not be on the losing end. The Bible attests that “all [their] troubles will fade from [their] memory … [Their] life will be brighter than sunshine at noon … [They] will live secure and full of hope; God will protect [them] and give [them] rest” (Job 11:16-18 GNB).
Amid this troublous world that is full of hardships and calamities, God’s servants who completely renew their lives have nothing to fear, for the Bible assures:
“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry … The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.” (Ps. 34:15, 17-19 New International Version)
Most of all, the righteous will receive the greatest blessing which God reserves—the new heaven and the new earth, or the Holy City, where they will live a life that is perfect and free from all sufferings and pain (II Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1-4). So, blessings in this life and in the life to come await members of the Church Of Christ who live in accordance with God’s laws, for they are people who are truly righteous before God.