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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Doing Away With Sin, #11
And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. (Romans 13:11—NIV)
We usually don't think of salvation coming in the future. But it is a fact that there is a past salvation (when we received the Lord), a present salvation which we are to work out with fear and trembling, and a future salvation. The future salvation is a judgment against the evil in God's people so they may be delivered from worldliness, lust, and self-will in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ to the world.
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27,28—NIV)
The above passage would seem to be speaking of the Lord's return in the clouds of glory. But a close look will show that it is speaking of His coming only to those who are waiting for Him.
The Lord's historical coming is described as follows:
Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. (Revelation 1:7—NIV)
In the Lord's historical coming (above), every eye will see Him. But in the coming mentioned in Hebrews 9:28 (above), He is coming to those who are waiting for Him.
Thus we see there shall be a coming to the believers prior to Jesus' coming to the world. This is affirmed as follows:
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. (John 14:21—NIV)
The verse above speaks of a revealing of the Lord Jesus to those who keep His commandments. We think the Lord comes to His true disciples and drives the sin from them in preparation for His historical second coming to the world.
The New Testament clearly speaks of a future salvation, which we maintain is salvation in the sense of removing sin from His Kingdom.
Who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5—NIV)
We Christians through faith are shielded from the penalty of the Lake of Fire until such time as the Lord decides to come and deliver us from those behaviors over which the Lake of Fire always retain authority. This is a salvation that is to be revealed in the last time.
Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:14—NIV)
God's possession, which is our personality, especially our body, shall be redeemed from the hand of Satan. The Holy Spirit we have now is a deposit on the day when our mortal body is made alive by the Spirit of God. Since our body is dead because of sin, the sin must be dealt with in some manner before the Holy Spirit can make it alive.
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23—NIV)
To be continued.