Our apostle, Paul, tells us that the WHOLE BIBLE is written FOR us, but the whole Bible is not written to us. There is doctrine for the Church Age in his writings, but not all Bible doctrine can be applied to the Church Age
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:12,13 (KJV)
There are two platform Bible doctrines that the lazy Laodicean Christians in our day seem to despise more than any other. The first being the glorious doctrine of the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church, and the second being the amazing gift of eternal security given to no other dispensation in human history. We’ll start with the second one first, eternal security.
Like it or not, Christians in the Church Age cannot lose their salvation
The apostle Paul, in so many places in his writings, tells us over and over that we did nothing to earn our salvation and we do nothing to keep it. The mechanics of it are amazing, but simple. In the Church Age, when anyone becomes born again, they are SEALED IN by the Holy Spirit so they can never “fall out”. If a kind aunt or uncle gives your 5 year old child a gift card on their birthday with a $20 bill inside, do you let them be in charge of the money – or – do you “hold it for them” until they are ready to spend it? Answer – you hold it for them because you know they of their own accord would lose it. That;s what God does for me and you in the Church Age, He holds our salvation by sealing us in so we cannot “lose it” when we sin after salvation.
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:10-14 (KJV)
In Romans 8, Paul again reminds us that there is nothing we can think, say or do that can separate us from Jesus Christ after we have gotten saved.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35,37-39 (KJV)
In no other dispensation since Adam and Eve has God given the gift of being eternally secure. In the Old Testament, in any of those former dispensations, people who fell away from the LORD died and dropped straight into the pit of Hell, and sometimes for a whole lot less of an offence than you or I might commit on a fairly regular basis. Those people were NOT “sealed in” by the Holy Spirit, and there is not ONE verse anywhere in the Old Testament showing anyone had eternal security. When King David sinned with Bathsheba, David being a man after God’s own heart, he begged God not to take the Holy Spirit from him. Why? Because David knew he could lose it for what he did, and on some levels should have lost it.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12 (KJV)
So we clearly see that people in the OT did not have eternal security and were not sealed in. In the time of Jacob’s trouble this will return
The Church Age, which began in the book of Acts and will continue until the Rapture, is the only dispensation that is sealed in. In the time of Jacob’s trouble which starts on the heels of the rapture of the Church, there is a return to the Kingdom Age which was in effect until Acts 7 and the stoning of Stephen. What God had “put on pause” is once again at the top of the prophecy playlist.
For lack of a better term, let’s refer to the people who follow God in the time of Jacob’s trouble as Tribulation Saints. These end times saints are faced with enormous difficulties and challenges that you can read about in detail here. And the Scripture verses that talk about the tribulation saints have something that NONE of Paul’s writings contain, can you guess what that might be? Works connected with salvation. You cannot find me ONE verse in all the Bible where Paul connects works with the born again believer’s salvation, only to their inheritance at the Judgment Seat of Christ. But for the Tribulation saint, without maintaining works pleasing to the Lord they cannot be saved. Here are just a few to illustrate what I mean.
- “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:11-13 (KJV) Note: In the time of Jacob’s trouble, if you don’t endure to the end, you are NOT saved. Works all the way.
- “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:12,13 (KJV) Note: The people in Revelation 14 are Tribulation saints, and not only do they keep the commandments for salvation, their works follow them around. Christians in the Church Age are not required to “keep the commandments” for salvation.
- “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26 (KJV) Note: To whom is the book of James addressed? To the “12 tribes” of Israel in, and it will have it’s doctrinal application in the time of Jacob’s trouble.
- “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:12 (KJV) Note: Did you catch the time reference in this verse? The “day of visitation” is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, Peter is doctrinally addressing Tribulation saints.
Before we go further, let us address the difference between a doctrinal application versus a spiritual one
Our apostle, Paul, tells us that the WHOLE BIBLE is written FOR us, but the whole Bible is not written to us. There is doctrine for the Church Age in his writings, but not all Bible doctrine can be applied to the Church Age.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17 (KJV)
We can read books like 1&2 Peter, Hebrews and James and derive much spiritual and prophetical application from them, but almost no doctrinal application at all. Peter, Hebrews and James are Kingdom Age books doctrinally, and will be the gospel for the Tribulation saints in the the time of Jacob’s trouble. But for Christians in the Church Age, there is much from a devotional aspect we can glean from them.
The great Mark of the Beast conundrum
When I debated Kent Hovind last year on our radio show, he came on to try and defend the ridiculous Pre-Wrath Rapture position held by apostates like Steven Anderson, Texe Marrs and others. He presented his arguments and I present mine without either side conceding much ground. Then the bomb dropped.
I asked Dr. Hovind if he believed in the Bible doctrine of eternal security that we have been discussing in this article. To my joy and surprise, he said that he “absolutely believed” that Christians in the Church Age are eternally “sealed” until the “day of redemption”. Just for fun, I asked him again if he truly believed what he had just stated, and he reaffirmed he did. 100%.
With his now-stated belief in eternal security for Christians in the Church Age confirmed, I took him to Revelation 14 where is says this:
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:9-11 (KJV)
I thought I could hear him either gulp or gasp when those words sunk in on him. Then, without allowing him to catch his breath, I took him to Revelation 20:
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4 (KJV)
Now Bro. Kent was in stunned disbelief. Why? Because I had just showed him two places in the Bible where God says there is a sin that is absolutely unforgivable, the sin of taking the Mark of the Beast. If Christians were in the time of Jacob’s trouble, with eternal security, and one took the Mark what would happen? Unless God had some hidden verses to account for it, that Christian would NOT lose their salvation by taking the Mark, but in so doing, it would be in grievous violation of the two verses I just showed you.
So now we are presented with an unsolvable Bible contradiction….unless…unless…unless the Church is removed in the Rapture before the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble. Which we are – yay!
Now you need to do some thinking here, but hopefully it’s starting to sink in. If the TAKING of the Mark is the unforgivable sin in the Tribulation, and it is, then the NOT TAKING of the Mark would be a WORK connected with keeping or maintaining your salvation. Do you get it? Does it make sense now?
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
Our apostle Paul commands us to “rightly divide” the Bible, thus proving that divisions or dispensations exist. And when we do that, like a magic decoder ring in the cereal boxes of yesteryear, we begin to see what is doctrine for us, and what is doctrine for those who come after us.
One reason why Paul is so despised by many “christian” splinter groups like the Hebrew Roots Movement, Sacred Name, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and so many others is because it is in his writings we learn of the Pretrib Rapture, Eternal Security, Salvation by grace through faith, and so many others. Why would those groups not like those doctrines?
In a word – pride.
The lazy Laodicean “christians” and the various cultists all have this fantasy of “working their way” through the Tribulation. Many have told me when discussing it that they want to “pay Jesus back” for His FREE GIFT of salvation. Imagine such a thing, paying Jesus back! First of all, if you somehow could “pay Jesus back” in the Church Age, you would immediately lose your salvation because it would stop being a free gift. But they don’t stop to consider finer points like that.
Secondly, cultists love to trap their followers in a system of works because that’s how they exercise control over them. It makes me laugh when people tell me they are “Torah observant” and they are “keeping the Sabbath”. No such commands were ever given to any Christian ever, and never will be. Paul says we are FREED from the keeping of the Law for salvation.
“Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?” Galatians 4:21 (KJV)
I hope this study of Scripture has helped to shed some light on how works are connected with salvation in the time of Jacob’s trouble, and why that is not the case in the Church Age we are currently in. Please click on the links below and read the studies found there to further amplify what has been taught here.
- IF YOU’RE LEFT BEHIND AFTER THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, YOU MAY NEVER GET ANOTHER CHANCE TO GET SAVED
- 10 MORE AMAZING PROOFS FOR THE PRETRIBULATION RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
- TEACHING THAT THE CHURCH WILL GO THROUGH THE TRIBULATION IS ANTISEMITIC REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY
- ARE CHRISTIANS REQUIRED TO KEEP THE JEWISH SABBATH DAY?
- WHAT IS THE POINT OF PUTTING THE BODY OF CHRIST INTO THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE?
- ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE DOCTRINE OF ETERNAL SECURITY
May the Lord richly bless YOUR study of His glorious word!
NTEB is run by end times author and editor-in-chief Geoffrey Grider. Geoffrey runs a successful web design company, and is a full-time minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to running NOW THE END BEGINS, he has a dynamic street preaching outreach and tract ministry team in Saint Augustine, FL.