Ten qualifications for the rapture – Part 3
The ‘body of sin’ is not the human body, but our rebellious sin-loving nature inherited from Adam. Though our body willingly cooperates with our sinful nature, we must not regard the body as evil. It is the power of sin at work in our body that is defeated. Paul has already stated that through faith in Christ, we stand acquitted, ‘not guilty’ before God. Here, Paul emphasises that we need no longer live under sin’s power. God does not take us out of the world or make us robots — we will still feel like sinning, and sometimes we will sin. The difference is that before we were saved, we were slaves to our sinful nature, but now we can choose to live for Christ (see Galatians 2:20)
‘Be Christ’s’(1 Cor 15:23; Gal 5:24)
“But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Cor15:23). “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal 5:24)
In order to accept Christ as Saviour, we need to turn from our sins and willingly nail our sinful nature to the cross. This does not mean, however, that we will never see traces of its evil desires again. As Christians, we still have the capacity to sin, but we have been set free from sin’s power over us and no longer have to give in to it. We must daily commit our sinful tendencies to God’s control, daily crucify them, and moment by moment draw on the Spirit’s power to overcome them.
2. ‘Be Blessed And Holy’ (Rev 20:4-6; Heb. 12:14)
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is he who has a part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years,” Rev. 20:4-6.
‘His mark.’ The antichrist will seek to gain total economic control of the world. All people must worship him and receive a mark on their hands or foreheads in order to buy or sell (v. 16-17). This economic pressure will help identify the followers of the world religion promoted by the antichrist. Those who refuse to take the mark would be hunted down to be killed (v.15). This mark of the beast is designed to mock the seal that God places on His followers, 7:2,3. Just as God marks His people to save them, so, Satan’s beast marks his people to save them from the persecution that Satan will inflict upon God’s followers. Those who accept it show their allegiances to Satan, their willingness to operate within the economic system he promotes, and their rebellion against God. To refuse the mark means to commit oneself entirely to God, preferring death to compromising one’s faith in Christ.
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