Jesus confirmed that the good news of the Kingdom of God would be preached to both Jews and Gentiles alike when He said, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” John 10:16.
The Chronos Lesson: Tucked into this confirmation is a crucial truth: His sheep hear His voice. The fact that they do leads to further confirmation of a truth that is absolutely necessary for every sheep to grasp. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one” (John 10:27-30).
How do we become one of His sheep who cannot be snatched away from Him? It’s simple. Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25). Jesus goes on to explain that to believe in Him is to believe that He is God’s Anointed One, sent by God the Father, to bring salvation and eternal life. Both the dead in Christ and those who are alive when Jesus returns shall receive resurrection life and live forevermore.
We live in what has been dubbed the Information Age. On the one hand, it is useful to have access to so much information at our fingertips. On the other hand, it can result in information overload. Or maybe FOMO—fear of missing out of ear-tickling information. The problem with this accessibility is that it comes with a certain sense of anonymity, which in turn, means we don’t always know the source of the information or if that source is truthful.
But that is not what is important here. What is important is that when we publicly confess our belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior, our spirit is made new. Ephesians 1:13-14 tells us that “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
This sealing serves two purposes. First, the Spirit within is like the escrow account when purchasing a house. It is the guarantee that at the appointed time, the buyer will receive the purchased item—in this case, our inheritance with Christ and being part of Father’s household. We will experience our sonship and firstborn inheritance fully—spirit, soul, and body—at the rapture.
Second, the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead. He is the HOLY Spirit. What is holy cannot co-exist with that which is unholy. Since the Holy Spirit abides within our spirit, we are holy. Our spirit cannot sin. It is sealed so that it cannot be corrupted. We can only sin through the lust of our flesh—our unrenewed soul and body (1 John 2:16).
When a believer sins, we are not condemned because our right-standing with God is not based on what we do but on what Jesus has already done on the cross. Our righteousness is a gift from God that we receive by grace and “open up” or experience through faith. Sin or lack thereof doesn’t determine our relationship with God.
Yet sin does impact us in two ways. First, it opens the door to Satan. Once the door is ajar, you can bet that the dirty liar will insert condemnation and lies through the opening. He will likely bring a heaping helping of shame, guilt, and self-deprecation. If we don’t have a full revelation of God’s love for us, it can undermine our trust in God and make it hard for us to receive the promises that belong to us. “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Cor. 1:20-22).
Second, sin casts a shadow on our ability to be Christ’s ambassadors in this life. Like a lantern that has been dragged through the mud, the light it casts is dimmed. Sin muddies the outward container of His light in us. It makes it hard for others to see the difference that Christ makes in our lives.
The combined effect is that often times our heart—our unrenewed thoughts and emotions—condemn us. We may even wonder about our salvation and if we will be ready when the rapture comes. Or will we run and hide like Adam and Eve did?
Rest assured, for the greater One lives within us (1 John 4:4). What difference does this make? “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God” (1 John 3:20-21). Do you see this? It doesn’t matter what are flesh tells us. God knows we’ve blown it. But He is greater than all that! God knows our spirit is sealed and incorruptible. As for our sins, the blood of Jesus covers them, so God remembers them no more! In effect, God sees us through the blood-red colored glasses of Jesus.
When the Day of the Lord dawns and we see the Bright and Morning Star appear in the heavens, not one single person who will be raptured will be perfect. We have not yet received our full redemption. We are all still on our journey with Christ in renewing our minds and training our bodies to line up with God’s Word.
Yet, when it is time for our “guarantee” to be realized at the rapture, all those who are His will hear the Great Shepherd’s voice call to us, “Shine!” And we shall be instantly glorified, changed, and perfected into His perfect image in a twinkling of an eye. He knows those who are His! Every believer can be thankful for this truth.