The church, or original Greek, ekklesia, is not an institution nor is it a proper noun that is capitalized. This informal term, ekklesia, as it applies to the people of God, is a congregation or assembly; a gathering or grouping of the called-out ones of God at any time on the earth.
In one instance, Hebrews 12:23, we read about a vision describing the assembly/church of all the saints in salvation history (OT and NT) gathered in heaven. This vision meets fulfillment in Revelation 14:1-5.
It is comprised of faith-filled believers as well as faith-less unbelievers; all who gather, also known as the church visible. The formal term for believers in our times is Christian, or, as a group, Christians.
1 Peter 4:16 “But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but glorify God that you bear that name.”
The old testament ekklesia was the nation of the twelve tribes of Israel (including sojourners and proselytes), called out of Egypt to be God’s possession; a people in covenant with God. Many in the old testament ekklesia were not saved because they were not united by faith with those who listened to the good news (Hebrews 4:2). The Object of faith for the old testament saints was the Coming One; the coming Christ who is to bruise the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). In Hebrews 11, we learn that Moses regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward (Hebrews 11:26). Continue reading “Will The Church Be Raptured?” »
Adapted From A. W. Pink’s, A Fourfold Salvation
Before Christ came into my life I didn’t really have a clear understanding of what the word “salvation” meant. I had heard of the “Salvation Army,” and recalled seeing or hearing the term in religious literature or programming, but couldn’t define what it meant if you asked me.
As Father God drew me to Lord Jesus I learned that salvation means deliverance from sin and its consequences, through faith in Christ. Continue reading “A Fourfold Salvation” »
Romans 5:1-11 give us six components to the divine guarantee of eternal salvation:
- Peace with God
- Standing in grace
- Hope of glory
- Assurance of love
- Certainty of deliverance
- Joy with God
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Continue reading “The Security Of Salvation” »