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Where Livest Thou?

Where Livest Thou?

        We all live somewhere.   God created this planet so we could have a place to abide as we prepare for eternity.   While we all come from various locations on Earth, and while we may all slightly differ in shape, size and appearance, we all have something in common.   We all possess a soul.   The animals which God created also live on this earth, yet when they die, they are simply dead. Man lives here now, but each has a choice where they will spend eternity.
      The title of the article this week is also the title of a song written in 1948 by L.O. Sanderson.   This song affirms these choices in the realms of physical as well as the mental aspects of life.   The song concludes with where God wants us to live.   This is not a specific town or city, but God does want us to live in a particular state. This is not necessarily a “state” in this country as God’s people live all over the world.   That state is “in Christ”. Ephesians 1:3 tells us that “in Christ” is where all spiritual blessings exist.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
        Most who live in the world are confused as to how to become “in Christ”. John 1:12 shows that one must first “receive Him” before they can access the “power” He offers for one to become a child of God. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Then verse 13 tells us what we are to do to “live” in the kingdom for which He died. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
      This is what Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3.   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Verse 4 shows Nicodemus failed to fully understand. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
     It seems that even today there still is confusion as to how to be “born again” as some want to claim such while refusing to be “baptized into” Christ. This is a result of man-made teaching and practice that has become accepted over the years. Unfortunately, those who follow this will not only be NOT IN Christ, and will be outside of the kingdom, but also await an eternal fate of condemnation.   We are told in Galatians 3:27: For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Does it not stand to reason that if one has NOT been baptized “into Christ”, they are NOT IN CHRIST?   That being the case, all who are NOT IN CHRIST, are not in the “state” God desires that all be in. They are not in the kingdom, not in Christ, not saved and have not made sufficient preparation for eternity.  
      There is another cause for concern found in Luke 13:27 as was voiced by Christ Himself to the “people of God” under the Law God that had given them. God’s people were the Jews, and were being called to repentance so they would be ready when the kingdom was established following the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.   If God’s people then were in jeopardy, do we not think the same thing could be the case today? Jesus, predicted what would be said to the disobedient and unfaithful. He said: I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.   I know you not whence ye are” simply means: In the state you have allowed yourselves to be, because you refuse to follow my Word, I can no longer accept you.  
     Now let’s apply that to true “Christianity”.   In Romans 12:2 the brethren of that congregation were told: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.   In other words, remain in the “state” into which you were baptized (in Christ), and do not allow the things of the world to “shape you”. The way to become in Christ is to be baptized into Christ.   But that alone will not keep one “in Christ”.
      I am afraid that many “modern day Christians” have fallen into the trap of thinking that being baptized into Christ is all that is necessary. If this is the ideology they hold and follow, then “once saved – always saved” is what they are practicing.   The Bible nowhere teaches this foolish man-made doctrine. True, “baptism into Christ” is what makes one a Christian, but it alone doesn’t keep one “in that state”.   This is why the Spirit had the apostle Paul pen the Words in Philippians 2:12 which apply to all Christians. He wrote: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.   One cannot “work out their salvation” by just sitting around waiting to die or waiting for the Lord to return.  
      In the closing verses of 1John chapter 2, the beloved apostle was directed to pen these appropriate words: And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. (1John 2:28-29)
       Where livest thou?   Great question. That’s completely up to you. God has shown us where in His Word.   He’s provided the means through His Son.   Don’t live in such a way that at your sentencing you’ll hear: “I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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