Thursday, May 3, 2012
“First, I thank God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8 KJV).
Why does God not immediately take us home to heaven once we receive salvation in Christ? Today’s Scripture gives us a clue.
Firstly, God has temporarily left us Christians on earth because He wants to reach the world’s lost people with the Gospel of Grace (salvation). God reaches lost people (those outside of Christ) by using Christians, those who know His Word (the Bible) and are willing to share it with unsaved, hell-bound people.
For example, God saved the Apostle Paul in order to reach us pagan Gentiles with salvation (Paul did not go to heaven until 35-plus years after salvation). Paul was sent to us Gentiles “to open [our] eyes, and to turn [us] from [spiritual] darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that [we] might receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in [Christ]” (Acts 26:18).
Secondly, God has temporarily left us Christians on earth because He wants us to reach other Christians with sound dispensational Bible study. God wants all Christians to experience the grace life, or Christ living in them (Galatians 2:20), and this only happens when we understand and believe God’s Word dispensationally.
For example, in today’s Scripture, Paul commended the Roman believers, whose lives communicated sound doctrine to the whole then-known world! The Romans believed the grace message, and then, by faith, they let God’s Word work in them (1 Thessalonians 2:13) to transform their minds (Romans 12:1,2) and then their lifestyles (Romans 6:1-23). The Thessalonian believers also had lifestyles that encouraged other Christians to pursue sound doctrine and acceptable Christian service (1 Thessalonians 1:5-10).
Lost people (and sadly, even some Christians) will never read the Bible. However, when we apply sound dispensational (Pauline) Bible doctrine to our lives by faith, these individuals will see sound doctrine in practice (see Philippians 4:9; 2 Timothy 3:10). The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ will be glorified, for lost and saved will see dispensational doctrine on display.