What Happens When We Die?

By Reeves

As a young child I really didn’t really mind much about the “here after” or life after death question. I wasn’t concerned about this subject. Now that I become a Christian this motivate me to think about this matter all the time. My fiancé asked this question long time ago, “What happens when people dies?” Do we become unconcious while dead?” and “What happens of the souls of those who have denied Christ as their Lord and Savior?”

These questions are important and we should not neglect to ponder these questions. As an ambassadors of Christ, we ought to address questions and be able to answer (such as indicated above) to those who are seeking for the right answer.

Since I’m a Christian (protestant) I’ll only answer this question in a Christian perspective and since the only real answer to this questions can only be found in Jesus Christ’s our only redeemer.

So, “What happens when we finally die?” Once a believer in Christ dies, though his flesh or physical body remains buried, at the moment of death his spirit (or soul) undoubtedly goes right away to heaven in the presence of his Creator God.

For information, death is a temporary cessation of bodily life and a separation of the soul/spirit from the body. This means that once we ceased to live our spirits separates apart from our bodies.

Paul says, “We would rather be away from the body, and at home with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8) Jesus told the thief who was crucified and dying next to Him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

This statement contradicts the teaching of Roman Catholicism on purgatory. Jesus said, “Today” (present tense). The dogmatic doctrine on purgatory is lethal, and dangerous. Purgatory is also unbiblical. In short, to be away from the body is to be at home with our Lord.

The Bible does not allow the teachings of reincarnation (see. Is reincarnation Biblical? ). What about the doctrine of “soul sleep?” This doctrine goes, “That when a person die they immediately go into a state of unconscious existence. But this is utterly false. It is clear that the spirit of the believers go immediately into God’s presence and enjoys fellowship with Him there (read vv. 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; Luke 23:43; Heb. 12:23).

In addition to our present discussion let’s say (for the sake of arguments) that the doctrine of “soul sleep” is true. Jesus would have said, “Today you will no longer have consciousness none whatsoever!”

But “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) There really ain’t no need to place some abstract interpretation here. Jesus was very clear and precise and no nonsense (purgatory, reincarnation, soul sleep) should be added. “What happens to the souls of unbelievers?”

Contrary to the teachings of reincarnations and purgatory that people who rejected in this life Christ’s atoning death on the cross will never have a second chance to reconfess their sins. The writer of Hebrews emphasized this, “Just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgement.” (Heb. 9:27)

Yet still the Bible nowhere says that the final judgement will depend on our deeds while we were still alive, but certainly on what has occurred in this present life. Someone might protest by stating that “Eternal punishment comes only to those who consciously rejects Christ nad that anyone deserves a second change to accept Christ.”

This idea is not supported by the Scripture; we are all sinners by nature and by birth. We actually do not deserve any of God’sgrace nor do we deserve to even hear the good news of Christ.

We are already condemned not only because of a willful rejection of Christ. (John 3:18) Unbelievers bodies will not be raised until the day of The Great White Throne Judgement.

Nevertheless, they will pass into the state of eternal punishment immediately upon death. The bodies of those who rejected Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be raised and reunited with their spirits, as they stand before the great judge of mankind that is God. (see. Matt. 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15 and Rev. 20:5,12).

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Introduction

readinggirlLong time ago, before I met Christ and accepted him as Lord and personal Savior, I wasn’t really interested into reading and studying academic books. Books was an obscure, incomprehensible entity to my taste. I never even bothered to read newspapers or other novels just for curiosity. No, books was a waste of time, and so I believed. But when I became a follower of Jesus Christ almost twelve years ago, I felt the sudden hunger for knowledge. I never felt this craving for knowing and learning before in my life. And so I become a “bookworm” (a person devoted to reading and studying). While not neglecting studying my Bible, I indulge and keep indulging myself in reading books that touches the areas of epistemology, ethics, church history, metaphysics, theology and philosophy. There is not an hour or a minute that I actually have been in negligence with my studies until this very day. My passion in studies leads me to study apologetics and its discipline and reading other apologetical methodologies. So, my major part in my life is having possessions of numerous academical books and yes you can call me bibliophilia so much so, I find a quote from Erasmus rather telling of my condition: “When I have a little money I buy books, and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”

    By studying certain subject (s) I came to understand the importance of knowledge and how we as thinking person should not waste our God given mind by not learning, thinking well and avoiding much irrationality or faulty thinking.  Besides from reading the Scripture, apologetics has been a great help to me because it involves, not only in knowing how to defend my faith, but it  has also given me much insight that apologetics as a discipline makes you more able and prepared in handling skeptics objections against your Christian faith. Being exposed to apologetics is absolutely not peripheral but essentially crucial in our Christian world and life view. It is really sad that not all Christians even seriously considers the study of apologetics. In this essay I will try to explain, in this essay what apologetics is and then we will proceed to why the discipline of apologetics is necessary. May you find this written material helpful and inspiring in your pursuit in studying apologetics.

What Is Apologetics?

I went to Wushu Kung Fu Academy in Stockholm and I studied there with my brother for five years under the instruction of Lois Lin. The training was quite rigid and uncomfortable because it requires techniques, skills, stamina as well as flexibility in your part. Timing was also important and so is balance. I was probably almost fifteen years of age when I begun training martial arts because it, not only teaches you to have self-control, it teaches you how to defend yourself against any kind of assault. Having knowledge in martial arts or self-defense can be very quite handy now a days, one must fight or defend through any kind of situations with little damage on your part as possible. While, Kung Fu is good with physical and mental training, it also teaches you how to defend yourself from anyone. Apologetics is almost the same as Kung Fu but not quite. Wushu, involves physical, muscular, balance, timing, strength etc., If there is no other way to avoid confrontation, one must engage and even damage your opponent in order for you not to be in his situation. Apologetics on the other hand need not have any physical confrontation but only verbal, logical, rational argumentation, and and so fort. Wushu is an art of defense while apologetics is also an art of defense and it has to do more in thinking logically and defending your faith.

Apologetics (Greek apologia) means defense as I have mentioned earlier. To give an “apology” does not hereby mean to apologize or showing regret. It means to give a rational defense of what or why you believe in certain things be it God, the Bible, Jesus and your world and life view as a Christian. Defending the Christian faith is not an option but a command to do apologetics and explain to whom why we believe what we believe. Peter a disciple of Jesus Christ wrote,

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:15-16)

In additional of our understanding what apologetics is, Norman Geisler wrote,

The most important reason to do apologetics is that God told us so. The classic statement of 1 Peter 3:15, which says, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” This verse tells us to be ready. We may never run across someone who asks tough questions about our faith, but we should still be ready to respond if someone does. [Normal L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, p. 37]

Thus, Christian apologetics seeks to serve God and the church by assisting fellow Christians to carry out the mandate of 1 Peter 3:15-16. This particular verse tells us to be on alert and ready if someone or somebody ask us tough questions about our faith. We may not always encounter tough questions about our faith but we should still be on the look out nevertheless. And if this happens we should not run and hide and hope the skeptics will soon vanish into thin air. Rather, we should answer him or her whatever the skeptic have in mind only with meekness and fear. I think we must keep in mind is that not all skeptics are sincere in knowing the answer of why you believe what you believe. Some, if not most skeptics are just out to win or with an axe to grind, and probably wants a simple quarrel, and if this happens, then no reason for giving him an answer in why you believe what you believe, because this will only cause unnecessary, waste of time discussion, that should not have happened in the first place. Likewise, as a martial artist, I have been told not to look for a fight nor fight if absolute necessary. If anyone challenges you to fight, as an self-defense practitioner, one is likely to ignore. The manners or code of conduct as a martial artist is to avoid trouble as much as possible and not to use the skills of fighting when one is provoked or challenged. This is true with apologetics in some sense though some challenges (debate) from skeptics should be faced head on just to demonstrate that their arguments are futile. In addition with our discussion, doing apologetics is more than just an intellectual task or having a brain tease. It actually enhances our understanding about God, Jesus, Scripture, science, philosophy and the discipline of theology. By having a greater insight in the area of apologetics, makes us more prepared in handling various objections against the Christian faith. Philosopher Greg L. Bahnsen wrote,

According to Cornelius Van Til, apologetics aims to defend the Christian faith by answering the variety of challenges leveled against it by unbelievers, thereby vindicating the Christian philosophy of life (world view) over against all non-Christian philosophies of life (world views). [Greg L Bahnsen, Van Til’s Apologetic, P&R Publishing, p.29]

The Necessity Of Apologetics

The world is never a safe place whether you a an expert of martial arts or not. Likewise, the Christian faith is never safe or accepted in the market of ideas but is constantly marginalized. Hostility, antagonism, mocking, and persecution towards the Christian faith is common and is unlikely to refrain. Our Lord Jesus warned us that,

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you (Jn. 15:18-19)

The beloved apostles faced similar hostility and persecution yet did not commence to witness and boldly defended their faith even unto their death of martyrdom. Though martyrdom for having the faith in Jesus Christ is uncommon in the Western hemisphere, the mocking, hostility and some form of persecution against Christians is prevalent. News media, Hollywood filmmakers, politicians , teachers, professors, etc., are united in one common agenda and this is to destroy Christianity once and for all. Why? The as the apostle Paul said, “The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Rom. 8:7). What this mean is that, the mind of the flesh is hostile to God and can never submit itself to the law of God. Becoming a faithful follower of Christ is to renew our thinking and not have the same mind of the carnal mind of the unbeliever because it is hostile to God. Again Paul wrote,

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 (Rom. 12:2).

The Christian mind should not be conformed (be similar) to the way of the rest of the world (“age” or “era”). The enmity against God, and its sinful, dehumanizing values should not be entwined by the believer, instead, the believer should be transformed (Gk. metamorphoo, “change”) by the renewing of the mind. Godly transformation starts in the mind and heart. In his two great commandments, Jesus Christ thought this to his disciples namely to, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mk. 12:30). Followers of Christ who are steadfastly allured by the philosophy of the world are unlikely to love their Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Doing apologetics is one of the means by loving God with all our minds, strengths, soul and heart. The Christian mind who is in accord with his faith in Jesus Christ are likely to be able to distinguish falsity and irrational arguments augmented by the carnal minds of the world. The enmity of the world against God and its false pretensions (atheism, nihilism, evolutionism, communism, homosexuality, false religions etc.,) contradicts the Christian mind. The Christian mind, by correctly being discerned (between coherent and incoherent in thinking) do not stand in common ground with the unbelieving mind, nor does he be neutral. Paul warns Christians in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Bahnsen as quoted earlier commented,

By attempting to be neutral in your thought you are a prime target for being robbed– by “vain philosophy” of all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” which are deposited in Christ alone (cf. v.3). Paul explains that vain philosophy is that which follows the world and not Christ; it is thinking which subsuppositionally committed to Christ in all of our thinking. [Greg L Bahnsen, Always Ready, Covenant Media Foundation, p.5]

Not only that Christians should transform their minds and not to conform with the philosophy of the world, Christian apologists might strive also in defending the Gospel of Christ against those who ridicule, and mock it. Paul said, “Inasmuch as both in my bonds (prisoned), and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.” (Phil. 1:7) What Paul is telling us is that he defended and confirmed the gospel against opponents’ assault and were not silence even while in prison. Not only that Christians ought to defend the Gospel from the claws of its enemies, iy should also be advanced by witnessing to unbelieving mind. To many arguments has been advanced by atheists, and Muslims alike, for instance, the historical reliability of the Gospel, the true deity of Christ, the existence of God and so forth, yet the Scripture reminds us to “let God be true, but every man a liar.” (Rom 3:4) The Christian soldier have the obligation to devastate the skeptics prideful objection of God, His Son etc.,

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ ( II Cor. 10:3-5).

Paul reminds his fellow believers in Christ that they are at war in the world of ideologies against the unbelieving mind–the carnal mind. The Christian apologists cannot afford being neutral and carnally minded. The loyal servant of Jesus Christ should cast down the arguments that exalts itself against the knowledge of the Creator and Savior which is God. The strong holds of neo-atheism and its false pretension of arguments should be demolished by confronting it with cogent, logical, Christ-centered apologetics, yet with love and respect. The “strong holds” of the 21st century that we should be busy engaging in demolishing against their false pretenses are the neo-atheists such as Dawkins, Hitchen, Harris, Dennet and story teller and author of the Golden Compass, Philip Pullman. These infidels are not only anti-God but also anti-Christian. You don’t have to take my word for it, all you have to do is read the literatures of these fundamentalist atheists. If these militant atheists mentioned above were granted political power, Christians would probably end up similar to Hitler’s concentration camp probably for brain examination, because belief in God, Jesus, angels, hell and heaven, according to them, is a sign of having brain damage. These men as well as other secularists out there are not you average atheists. Their intentions is no longer to befriend Christians and convert them to atheism but sees us as disillusioned, fanatical sponges worthy of desolation.

God created this universe including you and I but most of us doesn’t want God to be our ruler and King in our lives. We prefer our own selfish, sinful way of life and so we tend to suppress God and worship the things that the Creator created more than Himself. Amongst the things we adore and worship which God made is our minds. We repress the Creator who created our mind by using it in denying His existence. The very mind that God endowed upon us has become the primary weapon in denying His existence. The is exactly what the prideful, militant, fundamentalist neo-atheist has been doing for all eons. They denied their Creator and even insults Him with their arrogance and consuming hate. The neo-atheists are the “sage” of this world. They call themselves the “Brights” or “wise men.” They are the Enlightened of the 21st century since the Renaissance. But, these wise men has been confounded by God as fools. “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Cor. 1:20).

Christians who engages in apologetics on the other hand doesn’t need to fear the arguments made by fools because God grants him understanding in all things (II Tim. 2:7). Should Christian be intimidated by atheists ridicule and hostility? No, because God has not given the Christian spirit of fear but with a sound mind (II Tim. 1:7). Before taking stand by defending our faith against infidels we must learn that wisdom and knowledge can only be located in Christ. True knowledge (of God) cannot be found in realm of atheism and also in the realm of world religions. “In whom [Christ] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:3 ) [emphasis mine]. The Christian mind cannot adopt the carnal mind way of thinking because the believer can only have full access of the true wisdom and knowledge in none other but Christ Jesus. The Christian world and life view is far more rational and realistic than any other kind of anti-Christian world view combined. If the God of the Bible exist, and that he came into the world by entering time and space and became in the person of Jesus and lived with us for a moment then crucified and died for our sin, and then rose back to life three days later and ascended back to heaven really is true (which it is!), then why should we fear antagonistic philosophies that undermines the Christian faith? We have no reason to fear in reasoning by defending the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of Christianity.

Is apologetics necessary? I already given you my answer. The discipline of apologetics is mandated by God. Apologetics is needed today as it was needed two thousand years ago. By doing apologetics in different areas of human enterprise (epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, logic etc.,) can be divided in three ways. Apologetics can be used as proof, as defense and as offense. More about this later in my The Discipline of Apologetics article.

By Reeves

God’s Holiness

Mosaic window Too much pressures upon our teens today seen in our television commercials, popular teen magazines that teaches them what to wear, what to think, and how to become popular among their peers is quite daunting to say the least. No wonder that living a holy, righteous life is not so popular among teenagers today.

The modern mind superficially believes that life of righteousness of today’s generations is outmoded, and even out of touched with “reality.” Sadly, Christians are not exempted and have been deceived from the popular motto of being in touched with the modern world, and live and let live kind of philosophy. But what does the Scripture tells us about living a life of holiness? What does God tells us when it comes to live a life with/in Him? We will try to answer these questions.

Christians are unaware of the fact that God calls His children to sanctify themselves and live a holy life. Before we embark with out Bible study, we should first and foremost understand God as a holy being quite briefly. The idea of holy (kadosh) implies differentiation: entirely set apart  from the common, habitual, or the profane. The holy God, is awe-inspiring even terrible or dreadful (Neh. 1:5; Psa. 68:35).

The psalmist wrote, “The LORD our God is holy,” Similarly, Joshua said to the people, “Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.” (Josh. 24:19) And prophet Isaiah wrote, “But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.” (Isa.5:16) God is utterly holy, and this is what the biblical writers tells us about Him.

God Hates Sin!

What Christians sometimes fail to realise is that God is more than just a “God of Love,” HE is also holy. Yes, God is love, and this is true, but it is equally true that God is pure and holy, and therefore hates sin! God’s purity and holiness are not confined behind his love. To think of God nothing else but love is a false view about God. God is love, God is just, God is holy, these are His attributes (that ascribes His being as a whole) that neither confines or excludes the rest of His attributes.

When God is love but He is also just. When God is just, He is also mercy. When God is mercy, He is Also holy. Thus God is love, just, mercy, perfect, and holy with all His being. In addition, God’s love does not over ride his holiness nor his mercy over ride his perfection so on and so fort. Christians who has been chosen by God according to His will should know that God is holy and hates sin. We cannot ignore the fact that God cannot stand against sin and tolerate any kind of sin prophet Habakkuk wrote;

Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?” (Habakkuk 1:12-13)

 

Judah was chosen by God but because of their wickedness, because God cannot look at sin, He punished them severely by handing the ruthless Babylonian armies into them. What we can learn through out the Bible, is that God will still punish justly those who violates His holy precepts and commandments even those who He has chosen. No doubt, Israel was God’s chosen nation yet God punished His disobedient people several times. I do not think that God Has change since the Fall. He is still pretty the same as He was towards Adam and Eve. Speaking of Adam and Eve, God did not spared them after they committed sin, they died (spiritually) and driven away from the wonderful place of the Garden of Eden for all time. Never to return again. This was so because Adam violated God’s holiness, and obviously underestimated his Creator.

I can sometimes be under the deception that God favors me, and if I do commit sin here and there, He would not punish me. This is nothing but sophistry! The fact is God cannot stand sin. God’s judgment follows after committing sin, and it does not really matter who commits the sin, He will righteously judge believer or not. By sin, God punished, beside Noah and his family, the entire earth inhabitants by sending the Flood.

By sin, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah by sending fire and burning the whole city. By sin, God send plague upon the great Egypt, By sin, Moses was restricted to enter the Promise Land. By sin, Samson with all his strength died with those he sought to kill, by sin, David’s favorite son, Absalom died under pursuit by Davids own emperial army, by sin, God gave His life and died on the cross. These and many other examples that demonstrates God’s hate towards sin. God’s judgment against sin fell upon men who He himself has chosen to serve Him, yet because of their disobedience, God did not spare them from His righteous judgment.

Are we to think God would just somehow close His eyes while defiling ourselves with the things that God hates? God did not close His eyes when David committed adultery with Bathsheba the wife of his loyal general, Uriah. Nor did God told David___ by gone be by gone! No, God judge king David through prophet Nathan by telling him that the consequences of his sin will never depart from his house. David, did asked forgiveness unto his Lord Jehovah, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” (Psa. 51:1) 

Be Ye Holy!

There are two basic aspects to God’s holiness. One aspect is related to the eminence, exaltedness, and splendor of God as seen in Isaiah 6:1-4, where Isaiah saw God “high and lifted up,” and the seraphims cried “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.” The second feature of God’s holiness is the absolute purity of His goodness. God is untouched and unstained by the evil of the world. God’s holiness is the standard for our moral character, and the motivation for the way we are to live our lives.

Moses wrote, Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? (Ex.15:11). God is absolutely perfect in all His ways. There is not a single blemish or flaw in God’s character. God is never partial; He is never unfair; He never plays favorites. God’s perfection and holiness is emphasized by the kings, prophets and apostles. God told us that He is holy, but He also exhorted us to be sanctified, and holy. In the Old Testament, book of Leviticus 11:44 reads,

For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy…”

 

The Lord God of Israel commanded the Jews to sanctify themselves, (which means to “consecrate,”) and live holy (to be holy means “to be separated”) lives because He Himself, their Creator, is holy. God is holy, this means God is completely separated from anyone and from all not just from evil, and is therefore completely other. It is of significance to read correctly the commands of the holy God in being holy.

The Scripture does not command us to “merely look holy,” or “try to be holy” but emphatically commands His follower to, “Ye Be Holy.” Being holy includes everything in mind, heart, spirit, body and action. He or she cannot be holy only some part of his or her own being but the whole being must be sanctified and holy. “Ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves…and ye shall be holy,” edicted God of Israel to His chosen people of Israel.

Likewise, we read several passages in the New Testament of the holy Bible commanding the saints to sanctify and be holy. Apostle Peter wrote,

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter. 1:15-16)

 

What Peter is trying to tell us is this, since God has called us to Him who is holy, we ought to be holy in all manner. Christians are holy unto God by consecration (declare sacred). And since we are consecrated by God, we must also be holy outward in all manners.

Those who are in Christ Jesus are declared sacred by God and therefore holy. So, if Christians are holy (by the very meaning of it), they ought to separated themselves from any sort of uncleanness. The world is fill with uncleanness that defiles both mind and action such as, pornography, adultery, promiscuity, thief, cussing, homosexuality, drunkenness, disobedient to parents, and so fort.

These uncleanness of both mind and action ought not to be practiced by Christians who are consecrated and separated from it. In Ephesians 1:4 states, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” This verse is quite interesting. It says that “God chosen us out for Himself (in Christ) i.e. out of this world. Why would God chose us out of this world if there is nothing wrong with it?

If the world weren’t defiled, He would not have “pick” us out of it. Nay, Christians are not of this world, nor belongs to the world’s sinfulness. “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the worldhateth you.” (Jn. 15:19)

The saints in Christ was once a slave, and in bondage of sin, but has been transferred into the kingdom of God’s Son freed from the shackles and bondage of Satan and sin, has different joy, purpose, hope and love. This is so because God have chosen Christians out of the world system by Christ and now belongs to Him who is holy. Christians no longer belongs to this world, and because not only that Christians belongs to Christ’s kingdom, they no longer think, and conform to this world’s sinful system and therefore, due to their apparent differences between the set of mind of the world (carnal) and the set of mind of Christians: the world hates them.

Separation from the sinful system of the dying world is not enough. Christians who are chosen by God should separate themselves from the rest and live a holy lives and should no longer conform after the thinking pattern of this world. Apostle in his letter to the Romans wrote,

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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.” (12:1-2)

Paul exhorts believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifice which means to say that believers should use their bodies whole heartedly to serve and obey God unconditionally since they have the newness of life, and set apart for the Lord’s use and pleasing to Him. In addition, Paul told his fellow believers not to conform or mold after this world’s (usually undertood as “age” or “era”) worldly, lustful and sinful values of this age. Christians, since they no longer belong to this world and is been set apart by God, they should also transform or better yet change by the renewing of the mind. Spiritual transformation starts in the mind and heart.

A Christian mind who continually conforms after the ideas or philosophy of this present ungodly world and its concern can easily fall prey back to his former miserable self. A self of ungodliness and lawlessness, and probably no hope for spiritual recovery. Christians who live a life of compromise usually end up worse than they were before. But the worst part is that they are not aware of their backsliding nature. They believe in their own deception that they are actually more holier than anybody else. However, if a Christian truly transform his mind and dedicate all his mind by focusing only to Christ, he or she will produce a life that can stand the test of time. Mind conformed after Christ stands stronger against the attack of the devil and will powerfully resist the temptations of this ungodly culture.

God commanded Israelites to be holy because He himself is holy. If Christians worships the same God as worship by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, and David who is separated from all, then it is only adviseable that those who worship Him should live a life of holiness. Not only God is holy, He demanded those who believe in Him to be holy.

God requires perfection, the new mind, the new heart, the new man, righteousness, purity, and holiness; and then you will start searching for how to arrive at what He requires from you: repentance, your bodies as a living sacrifice, crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, your sinful nature dead, and Christ’ spirit completely replacing the sinful nature in your bodies, to live in union with He and God in the Kingdom within, while on the earth, and then forever as a son of God. God sternly warns that, “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” (Ephesians 5:5-7)

The of message Ephesians qouted above is a solemn warning, and shows  that purity and a sinless state are required. Christians should strive in aiming to live sinless, and unblemish regenerated of God through Christ Jesus and establish Him in His rightful place which is in our heart and mind. An obedient, holy life in God, should make Him be our Ruler and King within our lives. He should be our foremost Comforter, Teacher, Guide, Government, Chancellor, Counselour, Judge, so on and so fort. As long as we live in our sinful nature, we are unruly and incapable of being ruled, governed, or led by a Lord or King. So, if you want Jesus to be your Lord and King, you must put to death the sinful nature by repentance to holiness. It is only by grace that we can become sinless and holy, but we have to go to Christ to receive his grace.  ___ Amen