Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897, William J. Kirkpatrick, music. Refrain:
“Oh, to be like Thee; Oh, to be like Thee; Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art. Come in Thy sweetness; come in Thy fullness; stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.”
In today’s society, to try to be “Christ-like” is an invitation to be ridiculed; and in some places in the world, to become a Christian is most likely to be martyred. This will be the absolute case during the 7-year reign of the final antichrist, as Jews and Christians will not be tolerated. (any emphasis mine)
John 6:35-40, “Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you, that you have seen me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes [calls out] to Me, I will never cast out. For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day! For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day.”
The “raising up” is described by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, “For this we declare to you who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord [Rapture], will not precede those who have fallen asleep. [died]. For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the Trumpet of God. And the dead, In Christ, will rise first. Then, we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
Going to 1 John 3:2-3, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him, purifies himself/herself as He is pure.”
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God.”
Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this; that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
And the list of verses that tells us to be more like Jesus goes on and on. We will never be perfect as long as we’re in these sinful human bodies, and having a sin nature inbred within us. God knows our weaknesses even better than we do, and that’s why He has given us a pathway to forgiveness (1 John 1:8-10). As long as we have truly called out to our Jesus to save us, we become a part of His flock, having the Holy Spirit within us. God’s promise is that all who truly call out will be saved (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13).
Once the Rapture takes place, every true believer worldwide will be taken up to meet the Savior, and be kept from the coming 7-year tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10). At that moment, we will be changed forever. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:52-53, “in a moment; in the twinkling of an eye [less than 1 second]; at the last trumpet; for the trumpet [1 Thessalonians 4:16] will sound, and the dead shall be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and the mortal body must put on immortality.”
We will be given a brand new forever imperishable body and a renewed mindset that is not subject to our previous sin nature. We will be like Christ, our Savior and our Creator. Never again will we be like an old “Dennis the Menace” cartoon picture. He is kneeling bedside, and the caption is, “Well God, I goofed again!” And yes, this Dennis [Me] has had to say this to the Father many times. I am comforted that He means what He says, and will forgive us if we confess and ask His forgiveness.
It’s sad and unfortunate that so many people worldwide will be lost forever. All who refused to obey God and do His will prior to Calvary are currently in a holding place until the White Throne Judgment takes place (Revelation 20:11-15). The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus describes this in Luke 16:19-31. The final hell was prepared for the devil and his angels (demons) a long time ago, and currently is not occupied (Matthew 25:41). The first two residents will be the final antichrist and his false prophet, as given in Revelation 19:20. The devil himself will be next to be cast in at the end of the millennial reign of Jesus on earth. Then the White Throne Judgment takes place, and all the lost are “sentenced” to their own personal suffering – forever!
Everyone from Calvary to the end of the millennial reign of our Savior, who will not have received and accepted His gift of eternal Salvation, will be in the line that will be formed right after Satan and his demons are cast into the Lake of Fire. There are no pardons for anyone at this judgment. It’s real, and it’s forever.
Jesus knew the majority of all who would be on earth would not accept Him, but would rather “enjoy” what this earth supposedly offers (Matthew 7:13-14). They will have accepted Satan’s lies and may actually believe this is all there will be. They will listen to the false prophets and antichrists who tell them there are many ways to eternal life without Jesus. There is an obvious turning away in many “evangelical religions” that are getting away from, or are twisting the true word of God. This is done to meet selfish motives, and these false prophets and antichrists will receive their just punishment on that last day. Sadly, all who refuse the truth and follow these unbiblical teachings will be punished as well.
We don’t know the day or hour or even minute when Jesus will call for His Church (all true believers) to be removed from this earth. He gave signs for us to watch for, and so did Paul, John, Peter and others. Reading these prophecies is like watching world news today. Jesus said when all these signs are present, look up; He will be here soon (Luke 21:28). Every one is taking place today for the first time ever.
Our Heavenly Father does not want anyone to fail (2 Peter 3:9), and loves us all in ways we can never fully comprehend (John 3:16-18; Romans 5:8). He made the pathway simple, but Satan twists everything, trying to make it seem impossible.
Believe Jesus is truly our Savior; He paid all our sin debt at Calvary; we need to call out to Him and confess we’re sinners in need of His gift; have faith that His word is true; and understand we cannot buy or earn our Salvation. Jesus is the only way to the Father, as plainly stated in John 14:6 and Acts 4:12. All who call on Him will be saved (Acts 2:21; Romans 8:11 and Romans 10:9-13).
Finally, today would not be too early to call on Jesus, as He could come for us at any moment. When the shout and trumpet sounds, the Rapture will be over in less than a second. And yes, God is able to do this. He will not force anyone, but will accept all who seek Him. You have not sinned so badly that He cannot forgive you. The only unforgiveable sin is to take your last breath on this earth without having Jesus in your heart.
Take a moment to consider Jesus’ offer compared to forever without Him. Your choice should be obvious.
Shalom! Come, Lord Jesus.