Our Sins Are Forgiven—Will the Lord Take Us Straight Into His Kingdom When He Returns?
Disasters just keep on growing and believers are all eagerly awaiting the coming of the Savior, yearning to be lifted up into the sky in their sleep to meet with the Lord and to escape the misery of today’s intensifying disasters. Why are they so confidently waiting for the Lord Jesus to come down and rapture them up to meet Him? They believe that since their sins have been forgiven through their faith in the Lord Jesus, the Lord no longer sees them as of sin, they have everything they need, and will be taken straight into the kingdom when the Lord comes. But what’s confusing for many is that the great disasters have arrived, so why hasn’t the Lord come yet? Many have started to wonder if the Lord is really coming or not. If not, wouldn’t that mean they could fall into disaster and die at any time? Plenty of pastors now say that the Lord will come in the middle or at the end of the disasters, not knowing how else to explain it. But is that correct? The religious world hasn’t welcomed the Lord, but does that mean He hasn’t come? We all know that the Lord promised that the Philadelphia Church would be raptured before the disasters and He would protect them from suffering in the disasters. Would the Lord really break His promise? Absolutely not. It’s true the Lord hasn’t come on a cloud to take believers up into heaven like people imagined, but we all know thathas been consistently bearing witness that He has already returned as , expressing many truths, and doing the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. People from all denominations who love the truth have heard God’s voice in Almighty God’s words and turned toward Him, are brought up before God’s throne, eating and drinking God’s words every day, attending the Lamb’s wedding feast. They’ve experienced Almighty and cleansing and have resounding . They live in the presence of God, joyfully praising Him. Compared to the religious world’s never-ending state of fear over the disasters, this is night and day. Many believers are thinking, Is the Almighty God that Eastern Lightning bears witness to the Lord returned? Is the Lord really doing a step of judgment work in the last days? But many still have doubts, like, “The Lord has already forgiven my sins and He doesn’t see me as a sinner. He should take me straight into heaven when He returns. Why wouldn’t He rapture me right up, but would do a step of judgment work in the last days?” Let’s explore this topic a bit today. Does being forgiven of our sins mean we can get into the kingdom?
First, let’s see if there’s any biblical basis for the idea that those who have been forgiven can get straight into the kingdom. Are there words from the Lord to support this? When did the Lord Jesus say those whose sins are forgiven can go directly into the kingdom of heaven? The Holy Spirit didn’t say that would allow someone straight into the kingdom, either. Since there’s no biblical basis or words from the Lord as proof, why are people so dead certain they’ll be raptured when the Lord comes? It doesn’t make any sense. The Lord made this clear statement about who can get into the kingdom of heaven: “Not every one that said to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). From this, we can be certain that being forgiven on its own isn’t enough to get into the kingdom. Why isn’t that enough? Mainly, it’s that being forgiven of sins doesn’t mean you’re purified, that you submit to God, or that you carry out God’s will. We’ve all clearly seen that even believers whose sins are forgiven are constantly lying, cheating, being crooked and deceitful. They are arrogant, and won’t listen to anyone once they have a little biblical knowledge. They fight for power and profit and live in sin they can’t extricate themselves from. This clearly shows that in spite of being forgiven, people are still filthy and corrupt, and are sinning all the time. Not only do they fail to accept and submit to the truth, but they judge and resist God. They are just like the Pharisees, who condemned, judged, and blasphemed the Lord, and even crucified Him. This proves that mankind’s sins may be forgiven, but we’re still filthy and corrupt, and our corrupt essence is in opposition to God. God’s words say, “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). “Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). So, those who live in sin aren’t worthy of the kingdom—this is without a doubt, and is determined entirely by God’s righteous and holy disposition. What believer would dare claim they are free of sin, that they no longer sin and have achieved holiness? Not a single one. Even those great, famous spiritual people who have written so many spiritual works wouldn’t dare say they’ve cast off sin and become holy. In fact, all believers are the same, living in a state of sinning by day and confessing by night, bitterly struggling in sin. They all experience the incredible pain of being trapped by the bonds of sin. What does this fact demonstrate? It demonstrates that those whose sins are forgiven haven’t escaped sin and become holy, so we can say with certainty that they are not worthy of the kingdom of heaven. Just as the Lord Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the son stays ever” (John 8:34–35). We can see that there’s no biblical basis for getting into the kingdom because your sins are forgiven, but this is purely a human notion.
At this point, the first question on many people’s minds is, since that doesn’t get us into the kingdom of heaven, what will? What’s the path to the kingdom? The Lord Jesus said, “But he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven” This is what is required, without a doubt. So how can we achieve doing the will of God and entering the kingdom? In fact, the Lord Jesus pointed us toward the path a long time ago. Let’s look at the Lord Jesus’ prophecies for a better understanding. The Lord Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:12–13). “Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth” (John 17:17). “If any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47–48). “The Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). The Lord Jesus prophesied His return many times, and these verses are His prophecies for the work He’d do when He returns, which is expressing many truths to do the work of judgment, leading people into all truths, fully saving mankind from sin and from Satan’s forces, and ultimately taking us into His kingdom so we have a beautiful destination. That’s why we absolutely have to accept the Lord’s work of judgment when He returns. Until we gain the truth, we can’t be fully cleansed of corruption and our sinful nature can’t be resolved. That’s the only way to cast off sin and become holy, and be worthy of entering God’s kingdom. Our corrupt dispositions have to be cleansed to completely resolve our sinful nature. We have to cast off our corrupt dispositions to be freed from Satan’s forces and submit to God and do His will. Otherwise, we’ll have no right to the kingdom. So we can be sure that only those cleansed through God’s judgment and chastisement in the last days can become those who do God’s will. This proves that accepting God’s judgment and cleansing in the last days is the only path to enter the kingdom. Let’s read a few passages of God’s words about this. “A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of theof God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but you have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. You, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are therefore incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance” (“Concerning Appellations and Identity” in ). “Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering; He did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to become the sin offering and bear the sins of man, but it also required God to do even greater work to rid man completely of his satanically corrupted disposition. And so, now that man has been forgiven of his sins, God has returned to the flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment. This work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and they shall gain the truth, the way, and the life” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words are perfectly clear. The Lord Jesus did the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. This was just to forgive man’s sins and only completed half the work of salvation. Only Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days can fully cleanse and save mankind. People must accept the truths expressed by Almighty God and His judgment and chastisement, then their corruption can be cleansed and transformed and they can be people who and do His will, and are worthy of His kingdom. In other words, they’ll have a passport to get into the kingdom of heaven. We can say that Almighty God’s work of judgment is the most crucial, most important step of God’s work to save mankind, and it’s the step that will determine a person’s entry into the kingdom. Missing the most important step, missing out on Almighty God’s judgment and being cleansed, means total failure in your faith. No matter how long you’ve believed, how hard you’ve worked or how much you’ve given up, if you reject Almighty God, it was all for nothing, and it’s giving up halfway. You won’t get into the kingdom. That will be a lifelong regret!
So how does God work to judge, cleanse, and save mankind to bring us into His kingdom? Let’s read Almighty God’s words: “Christ of the last days uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the substance of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the substance of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, the words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan, and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes over the long term. All these different methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth of which man is utterly bereft. Only methods such as these can be called judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced about God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). All who have experienced God’s judgment and chastisement deeply understand that without God’s words exposing our corruption and essence, we’ll never see how deeply corrupted we are, how serious our corruption is. Without being judged, chastised, pruned, dealt with, and disciplined by God, we’d never cast off our corrupt dispositions and we’d even struggle to truly know ourselves. No wonder so many believers can’t help but always sin and confess, then confess and sin again without seeing that the root of their sin entirely lies in being so deeply corrupted by Satan. They still mistakenly believe that they can go straight up to heaven because they’re forgiven. This is truly blind and foolish, and totally lacking self-awareness. True repentance only comes through Almighty God’s judgment and chastisement, and fearing God and shunning evil only comes through knowing God’s righteous disposition. Only then can we worship and submit to God, and become people who do His will. You can only truly know this after experiencing God’s judgment in the last days and being cleansed.
Now I think we’re all clear that the route into the kingdom is very concrete, very practical, that it’s not just being forgiven and waiting for the Lord to rapture us, then being taken straight up into heaven. That’s not realistic—that’s wishful thinking. If we want to enter the kingdom of heaven, what’s most important is accepting Almighty God’s judgment and chastisement so our corruption can be cleansed and we can do God’s will. Then we’ll be worthy of receiving God’s promises and blessings, and taken into His kingdom. If we refuse to accept Almighty God’s work of judgment, we’ll never gain the truth and life or have our corruption cleansed. Just longing for the Lord to take us into heaven this way is a fool’s errand, and those people are the foolish virgins who will fall into the disasters, weeping and gnashing their teeth. We can say that accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days is being lifted up before His throne. We still have to accept the truths He expresses and His judgment and chastisement, cast off corruption and be cleansed, so that we can ultimately be protected and kept by God through the disasters, and enter the beautiful destination He’s prepared. Giving lip service to accepting Almighty God without accepting the truth, not submitting to His judgment and chastisement, isn’t true faith, and it’s not being someone who really loves the truth. They will end up exposed and eliminated. Let’s wrap up with another passage from Almighty God. “Those who wish to gain life without relying on the truth spoken by Christ are the most ridiculous people on earth, and those who do not accept the way of life brought by Christ are lost in fantasy. And so I say that those who do not accept Christ of the last days shall forever be loathed by God. Christ is man’s gateway to the kingdom during the last days, and there are none who can go around Him. None may be perfected by God except through Christ. You, and so you must accept His words and obey His way. You cannot only think of gaining blessings while being incapable of receiving the truth and incapable of accepting the provision of life. Christ comes during the last days so that all those who truly believe in Him may be provided with life. His work is for the sake of concluding the old age and entering the new one, and His work is the path that must be taken by all those who would enter the new age. If you are incapable of acknowledging Him, and instead condemn, blaspheme, or even persecute Him, then you are bound to burn for eternity and shall never enter the kingdom of God. For this Christ is Himself the expression of the Holy Spirit, the expression of God, the One whom God has entrusted to do His work on earth. And so I say that if you cannot accept all that is done by Christ of the last days, then you blaspheme the Holy Spirit. The retribution to be had by those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit is self-evident to all” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).