(3) Regeneration comes to those who repent of sin, turn to God (Mat 3:2), and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation (see John 1:12). (4) Regeneration involves a transition from an old life of sin to a new life of loving obedience to Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Eph 4:23-24; Col 3:10). Those who are truly born again are set free from sin’s bondage (see John 8:36; Rom 6:14-23) and receive a spiritual desire and disposition to love God and follow the leading of the Spirit (Rom 8:13-14). They live righteous lives (1 John 2:29), love other believers (1 John 4:7), avoid a life of sin (1 John 3:9; 5:18) and do not love the world (1 John 2:15-16). (5) Those born of God cannot make sin a habitual practice in their lives (see 1 John 3:9). As a believer, one’s desires are changed so as to love God sincerely and endeavor from the heart to please God and to avoid evil (1 John 1:5-7). This is accomplished only through the grace given to believers by Christ (1 John 2:3-11, 15-17, 24-29; 3:6-24; 4:7-8, 20; 5:1), through a sustained relationship with Christ (see John 15:4) and through a dependence on the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:2-14). (6) Those who continue living in immorality and giving themselves to the world’s lifestyle, no matter what they profess with their lips, demonstrate that they are still unregenerate children of Satan (1 John 3:6-10). (7) Just as one can be born of the Spirit by receiving the life of God, he or she can choose to break relationship with Christ and thereby die spiritually because of ungodly choice and unrighteous living. Scripture affirms, “If you live according to the flesh, you will die” (Rom 8:13). Thus, sin and the refusal to follow the Holy Spirit extinguish the life of God in the believer’s soul and cause spiritual death and exclusion from God’s kingdom (cf. Mat 12:31-32; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21; Heb 6:4-6; 1 John 5:16). (8) The new birth cannot be equated with physical birth, for God’s relationship with the believer is a matter of spirit rather than flesh (John 3:6). Therefore, while the physical tie of a father and child can never be annulled, the father and child relationship that God desire with us is voluntary and not indissoluble during our probationary time on earth (see Rom 8:13). That relationship remains conditional and based on our faith in Christ throughout our earthly existence, a faith demonstrated by lives of sincere love and obedience (Rom 8:12-14; 2 Tim 2:12).
The Rapture: an Overview
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor 15:51,52)
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel , and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord”. (1 Thes 4:16,17)
The word “rapture” is derived from the Latin word raptu, which means “Caught away or caught up.” This Latin word is equivalent to the Greek harpazē, translated as “caught up” in 1 Thes 4:17.
10 (TEN) QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE RAPTURE (11)