By: Martin Cisneros
I've been rethinking the whole Christian faith, as to what are it's essentials. There are many things that are not essential that many have tried to dogmatically say were essential, just as there are things ignored by some that are actually more essential than what they so confidently profess!
What is Christianity? Is it a belief in a particular view of Bible prophecy, or is it an acknowledgement of Who is the Only genuine Saviour from anything any of us ever have or ever will need saving from? If you don't believe in eternal punishment in Hell, are you a heretic? Or is belief in the virgin born Son of God, the Blood of the Cross, the Resurrection of the Saviour, faith in His power to Save, and commitment to live both a holy and a loving life all of the orthodoxy that you or anyone could ever need?
Some preachers have been more sure of Hell than they have been of His cleansing Blood. Is this heresy? What is essential Christianity? Is it a particular belief in how things will turn out, or is it a belief in the only Name under heaven given among men by which we MUST be saved?
What are we to do with those who have more faith in the results of the first Adam than of the last Adam?
Must we all repent of our sins and embrace the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Absolutely and without a doubt. Must we command everyone everywhere to repent, entrust their souls to the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and prove their repentance by their sexual purity, compassion, generosity, and pointing other people to the Lord that's so powerfully saved them? Absolutely! Genuine salvation is by grace through faith. And it's a Biblical principle that real Christianity takes up it's cross daily and follows Christ. It might even be said, based on some Scriptures, that Christ is more concerned by what you're doing with your life than by what you're claiming about your religious life.
Some have tried to say that if there is no eternal punishment, then there is no revealed religion. People are saved by the Saviour from their sins and from their infirmities, from their poor self-image and from their filthy habits. Faith is faith in the Blood that came from the holy Son of God, His power to keep them forever, and faith in His ability to empower them to reach every sinner on earth with the saving message of His cleansing Blood and saving compassions. Faith is in the broken Bread and overflowing Cup of His Testament. Faith is faith in His power, His provision, His wisdom, His love, His faithfulness, His chastening power, and His pleasures which He's prepared for those who obey Him. He's given His holy Spirit to those who obey Him, but He is the Ransom for all that's to be testified in due time by all Christians. All Christians will testify - at the appointed hour - that He's the Saviour of all, especially of those who believe.
If He could bring you to repent, do you genuinely lack faith in His ability and determination to bring everyone to repent at the hour He's chosen to confront them? Yes, He'll punish many for their unbelief and disregard for His claims upon their lives. But His Kingdom rules over all. All are His. None are the devil's. Have you come to believe the devil's lie, "hath God said that His Kingdom rules over all?" Is "good and evil" such a plank in your eye that you can't see the plainest statements of Scripture that none of the Lord's judgments set aside His covenant with Abraham, that in his seed all of the families and peoples of the earth will be blessed?
When His judgments are in the earth, then will the world learn righteousness.
From Him, through Him, and to Him are all things.
He hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all.
Is Christ the last Adam? Does His work cancel out the work of first Adam? If a righteous and compassionate man conquers death and is appointed as King over the dead, then what can this mean for the dead other than their salvation? If the Scriptures say that He's the Saviour of the world, and we're preaching that He's only the Saviour of the religious, then are we denying a part of the testimony that God has given of His Son? He'll have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. To me, that's a Blood sworn oath. The grace of God that brings salvation to all men has appeared, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and righteously in this present age as we eagerly await the return of our Lord Jesus Christ Who will judge the quick and the dead at His appearing. St. Paul called it HOPE that there would be a resurrection of BOTH the righteous and of the wicked.
Will He not plead with all flesh and not put up His sword so long as there's a single rebel left in the cosmos? Will the slain of the Lord not be many? Will He not execute His judgments, as He told Ezekiel the prophet, so that the heathen will KNOW that He's Jehovah? Is there not more than reason to hope for those who have the knowledge of the Lord PROMISED TO THEM? Yes, they'll come up to the city year by year in shame and everlasting contempt, and all of the punishments that befell Egypt will come upon them to the last letter and to the last measure of their sins, but though they be recompensed double for all of their sins, is He not the One Who has said to the stout hearted and to those who are far from righteousness that His righteousness will not hold back or be restrained. Will not every knee bow and every tongue confess that in the Lord Jesus Christ they have righteousness and strength? Have you read the law and the prophets and not understood the things written in them about the different times and seasons appointed for cleansing and for atonement? All of the years of release that belonged to the people of God were just that, only for the people of God. That corresponds with this age. But what does it say about the seven times seven years when liberty was to be proclaimed throughout the land? What was the 50th year to be to ALL of the inhabitants in the land? The years of release at each 7th year corresponded with the ages that God has been restoring David's fallen tabernacle, so that what was left of mankind, that hadn't yet been caught up into David's fallen tabernacle, would return and remember the Lord. The Jubilee corresponds to the "ages of ages" of the New Testament. What does the book of Daniel say about the time period after the "ages of ages;" the 70 times 7 years?
Blessed liberty! all things made new!!
What is there in the preaching of the Gospel, as it's generally understood today in the mainstream of Christendom, that in any way answers to these different times appointed by the Lord for liberty, making an ending of all sin, and bringing in everlasting righteousness for all of the inhabitants of the land? If nothing, then aren't these "shadows of good things to come" that were meant to "make the man of God perfect" full of things that are overlooked (as through a glass darkly) if not purposefully ignored?
I've studied this far enough, having read some of the greatest studies on this since the time of the Reformation. Books by Charles Chauncy, Elhanan Winchester, Paul Seigvolk, Andrew Jukes, A. E. Knoch, George MacDonald, James Riley, Jeremiah White, Thomas Whittemore, and a few other authors whose books the church world has not been worthy of, having blasphemed the things that they didn't understand in ignorance and unbelief. I'm here to tell you, that even if you don't have all of your end-times doctrines worked out and if you don't understand the "final judgments" as thoroughly as you've felt like the Lord has wanted you to: you can rest tonight in the knowledge that ALL IS WELL. Jesus Christ DID overcome the world with His faith. He paid it ALL. Yes, people aren't saved until they're actually saved, but you already know Whose Hands that they're in! You can rest in hope, like Paul did, that there will come a resurrection of BOTH the righteous and of the wicked. You know Him, even if your theology doesn't yet agree with where I'm going with this. Will He honestly do the kinds of things to people for their disobedience that you've heard preached all of your life that He would?
As you sow your offerings for the furtherance of the Gospel this month, whether you sow them with this ministry or through some other ministry, before it leaves your hands and again when it leaves your hands, lift your hands to the Lord and let the tears flow, if you're so inclined, and praise the Lord saying:
"Lord, I'm so glad that I have a chance to sow into the flow of a Gospel that is genuine good news to every creature. I don't serve a defeated Lord and High Priest. Therefore, my seed isn't defeated. As I sow my seed this month, it's as sure of resurrection into my life as Your resurrection was 2000 years ago when You said it. You are the fulness of Him that filleth all in all. Lord cleanse my mouth and my heart of anything that's still in my heart and in my mouth that limits the holy One of Israel. Lord, Your hand is not too short to save. You are the God of all flesh and there is nothing impossible to You. You've revealed to me by Your Spirit the things that no eye has seen and no ear has heard. I give this offering as a thank offering, knowing that IT IS FINISHED!"