“Because of the Cross of Jesus Christ”, the phrase, ‘but now’ becomes the most valuable phrase in Paul’s New Testament Scriptures.
Our salvation, hope, assurance, joy, peace, forgiveness, our eternal future all safely rests in that phrase ‘but now’.
The deeds of the Law of God could not make anyone righteous. “But now (because of the cross) the righteousness of God without the law is manifested (brought under the spotlight)” [Romans 3:20-21].
Being slaves of sin, we were unable to be partakers of God’s Righteousness.
“But now”, because of the cross we have been freed from sin, and have everlasting life” [Romans 6:20-22].
Our sinful acts, because of our indwelling sin nature, were triggered in rebellion, because of the law of God.
“But now” because of the cross, “we are delivered from the law”. We can now live and “serve in newness of spirit” [Romans 7:5-6]
All this was a mystery, hidden and “kept secret since the world began”. “But now”, because of the cross, it has been “made manifest” and brought to the light [Romans 16:25-26].
For many of us, we were steeped in legalistic religiosity. “But now”, because of the cross, we don’t need to turn to that anymore [Galatians 4:9].
What? No religion or religious tradition?
Not even a trace of a trace is now needed. God hates it and He nailed all that to the cross, just like He nailed sin to the cross.
Now that is some freedom indeed!
There was as time when we were “without Christ” and “having no hope and without God”.
“But now” because of the cross, we are “in Christ Jesus”. We “who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” [Ephesians 2:12-13].
Behold, A Mystery Revealed
“Behold, I show you a mystery”, says Paul the apostle for us in [1 Corinthians 15:51]. “We shall not all sleep (or die), but we shall be changed”.
Those who die in Christ, believing in His death, burial and resurrection, are not dead according to God’s Word. Scripture tells us that they are merely “asleep”.
However, there is one generation, who are “in Christ” that will not see or taste the natural physical death.
In the next [verse 52], he talks about, “In a moment” and “In the twinkling of an eye”. That is, in a moment of “indivisible time”, those who have died in Christ “shall be raised incorruptible”.
This physical body of ours is corrupted being subject to ageing, sickness, disease and finally death.
This buried or sown body will be raised from that corruption to an incorruptible and glorious body. It will never be subject to corruption and death any more and will be eternal [1 Corinthians 15:52-53].
So When Does All This Happen?
We are living in what the Bible calls, “The Age Of Grace”. This came into effect after the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus two thousand and twenty years ago.
God since then is calling out or taking out, “a people for His Name” [Acts 15:14]. Paul the apostle calls it “The Body Of Christ”, which is the true Church. He is doing this through the preaching of the Gospel to those who will only believe + nothing else. It is His sole purpose.
Multiple billions are already in this Body and many more being added daily.
You can be one of them too. There are no holds barred. You can walk in freely and enter this Body too by simply believing the Gospel with your heart.
This invitation is open to all irrespective of caste, colour, creed, religion, background, character and past life.
The door is open before you right now even as you read this. It is a personal choice.
The moment, the very instant that last believer walks into this “Body Of Christ”, it’s all over.
This last person could just be you.
Here is What And How It’s Going To Happen
[1 Thessalonians 4:14-17], graphically describes this:
4 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
There is a bugle waiting to be sounded from Heaven.
The moment that last believer walks into the Body Of Christ this bugle will be sounded.
That’ll be the call for Jesus Christ to come for “His Body”, which is the Church.
THIS IS “NOT” THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST.
This is called “THE RAPTURE” of the true Church, The Body Of Christ, and will be glorious.
He will not be coming to earth to set up His Kingdom. Not yet.
HE is first coming to take up all those asleep “in Christ”, and all those who are alive “in Christ”. Each one will instantly receive a brand new glorified physical body.
This will be the great “resurrection harvest” in Christ. This event will take place in the “twinkling of an eye”, in a moment of indivisible time.
All these events will wind up the Age Of Grace. The moment this happens the world will start go into the unspeakable horrors of tribulation for the next seven years.
When Somebody Dies In Christ
When we believe in the Gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we step into eternity that very moment.
Now if we die before Christ comes, we are no longer in our time zone. We are out of it.
When a person in Christ who breathes out his or her last breath on earth, the very next breath in, is instant and in Heaven.
Those who have undergone medical surgery under general anesthesia will understand this.
The moment your eyes close, after the anesthesia is administered, you are oblivious to what is going on around you. This is irrespective of the length of time the surgery takes.
When your eyes finally open, it seems only like a moment to you from the time you closed them.
So it is with the resurrection. It will be an instant closing and opening of your eyes. You will be alive and kicking in glory with everything “brand new” for all eternity.
You will be with ones who have gone on before you. Your parents, children, friends and loved ones, never to be separated again.
Truly, because of what Jesus has done for us, Scripture triumphantly declares:
“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting, O grave where is thy victory” [1 Corinthians 15: 54-55].
This is the blessed hope of the Gospel.
A Fallen People In A Fallen World
We are a fallen people living in a fallen world, which is getting worse with each passing day and moment.
“In the world ye shall have tribulation:” said Jesus in [John 16:33]. In this life we will have all the pain, heartaches, untold hardships and the list goes on.
However, in the same breath Jesus tells us, “But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”.
And overcome He has indeed. That is why He alone can give this Hope that is our desperate need.
We need not have an unbelieving heart. Sure, many of us are real victims of some nasty circumstances in our lives.
They are so hard to bear sometimes if not at most times. Yes, it is indeed a struggle to put it mildly.
We have been watching for years, the devastating poverty and wretchedness of mankind in every sphere of life.
Even though we do have a heart for so many and for so much, we feel so helpless. The problem is so mountainous. Our eyes can’t bear to look and our ears can’t bear to hear the sights and sounds of this wretchedness.
We truly are a people in despair, with a cry in the depths of our hearts, “why, when and how long O God”? It is a valid cry.
More Than Just A Light
The Gospel of Grace of Jesus Christ is much more than just a light at the end of the tunnel.
It is the very doorway, to everything brand new forever. Never again, not even for a moment will we be subject to any of this life’s corruption.
This is the “new thing” that scripture has been telling us about for so long.
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” [Isaiah 43:19].
It’s a wonderful and blessed promise of that eternal hope which is a “yes and Amen” in Christ Jesus. Scripture proclaims that infallible promise in [2 Corinthians 1:20].
This Promise of God is guaranteed in a wonderful way:
“Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” [2 Corinthians 1:22].
This why we preach this great Gospel of Hope. All need to hear it. All need to embrace it.
If you are reading this, we at Bread Basket Crumbs beseech you with just one request.
Please share this message and our site with all you can.
There is someone out there in your world desperately needing to hear the Gospel.
Their eternal destiny is at stake.
A famous preacher said it like this: “There is no point in going anywhere to preach unless you preach anywhere you go”.
JESUS CHRIST THE INDESCRIBABLE GIFT
In closing, [2 Corinthians 9:15] puts it this way:
“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift”