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PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD

David L. Odom

ARE YOU READY TO DIE?

Amos 4:11-13

"11 I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze; yet you have not returned to Me,” declares Jehovah. 12Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel. 13 For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind and declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness and treads on the high places of the earth, Jehovah God of hosts is His name."

As God's children of old had, we also have a reckoning (give an account) with our Creator, whether we accept that Truth, or not, it is still true!

Are we preparing?

Hebrews 4:11-13

"11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

Matthew 12:36, 37

"36 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

I Peter 4:3-5

"3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. 4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead."

2 Corinthians 5:9, 10

"9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."

 

WHEN YOU DIE, IT IS ALL OVER, AS FAR AS YOU BEING ABLE TO PREPARE!

Hebrews 9:27, 28

"27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him."

Luke 16:19-31

"19 Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20 And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'"

The above is not a parable, as some teach, as Jesus does not so state, and if it were a parable, it would have to be true, as Jesus would not tell a lie, making something up concerning the afterlife!

No, there is no 'purgatory' in the Word of God, no second chance to have our works changed that we did while upon the earth!

TRUTH IS, WE WILL BE JUDGED BY OUR WORKS WHICH WE DID WHILE UPON THIS EARTH!

I Peter 1:13-19

"13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.' 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ." 

Revelation 20:11-15

"11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."

Matthew 16:24-27

"24 Then Jesus told His disciples, 'If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done."

 

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WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?

Hear, learn, and come to Jesus Christ!

John 6:44, 45

"44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me."

HOW?

By believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that He is Immanuel, the Messiah, the Word!

Matthew 1:23

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call His name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us."

John 4:25, 26

"25 The woman said to Him, 'I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.' 26 Jesus said to her, ' I who speak to you am He.' "

John 1:1, 14

"1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth"

John 8:24

"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

BUT YOU DO NOT RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS IN A MENTAL BELIEF ONLY (called Faith Only)

By repenting of our sins!

Luke 13:3

"I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Acts 2:38

"Peter said to them, ' Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.' "

Acts 17:30, 31

"30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

BUT YOU DO NOT RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS AT THIS POINT IN OBEDIENCE!

By confessing Christ before men!

Matthew 10:32, 33

"32 Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."

Romans 10:9, 10

"9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, unto righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, unto salvation."

1 Timothy 6:12-16

"12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen."

BUT YOU DO NOT RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS AT THIS POINT IN OBEDIENCE!

By being baptized into Christ!

NOTE: This is immersion in water 'INTO CHRIST'

for (UNTO, IN ORDER TO) the forgiveness, the remission of your sins!

This is NOT sprinkling or pouring!

John 3:5

"Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' "

Romans 6:1-7

 "1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin."

Acts 2:37-42

"37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brethren, what shall we do?' 38 Peter said to them, 'Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.' 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation!' 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

Notice in the above Scripture that only those who 'received his word' obeyed the gospel!

John 1:12

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

Have you yet been involved in the 'new birth' from above?

Have you yet been baptized for the correct reason?

Some are baptized today because they have been taught they have already been saved by 'faith only', and that water immersion is only an 'outward sign of an inward change'!

BUT NOTICE THAT 'PREACHING JESUS' INCLUDES WATER BAPTISM!

Acts 8:35-39

"35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, 'Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?' 37 [And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'] 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing."

Acts 10:47, 48

" 'Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?' 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days."

This is where we meet His soul saving blood (figuratively of course) which washes away our sins!

Revelation 1:5, 6

"and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood" 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."

Acts 22:16

"Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name."

I Peter 3:20-22

"20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him."

There is not any power in the water (water salvation), but it is DOING what God commands us to do, in HIS WAY , according to HIS TRUTH, which is an appeal to God for a good conscience through Christ's resurrection, by doing His will!

Also notice that is how Jesus purchased His church, with His own blood!

But why are people telling us today that the church isn't important!

Acts 20:28

"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."

Therefore we read:

1 Corinthians 12:13

"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."

Christ Jesus is the Savior of this body, the church, which is His kingdom!

Ephesians 5:23

"For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body."

Matthew 16:15-19

"15 He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' 16 Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' 17 And Jesus said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.' "

The rock upon which Christ's church was built was the Truth which Peter had just stated that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God! The Lord's church was NOT built upon Peter!

Ephesians 1:22, 23

"22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."

Ephesians 4:4-6

"4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."

Notice only one body, which is His church, His kingdom, just as there is only one baptism, which is water immersion into Christ!

This is how we put Christ on!

Galatians 3:26-29

"26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise."

YES, YOU DO RECEIVE REMISSION (FORGIVENESS) OF SINS AT THIS POINT IN OBEDIENCE!

Notice the examples of conversion in the book of Acts:

Salvation

Stairway

Are you in this church you read about in the New Testament?

Have you correctly put Christ on yet?

The churches of Christ (non-institutional)

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