THE CHURCH OF CHRIST AND THE CASE OF CAIN AND ABEL:
“ITS GOD’S CHOICE NOT OURS”
MANY THOUGHT THAT it is enough that you believe in God and you render services to Him, and God will accept your services rendered to Him. This is because they believe that all religions are of God and all services render to God will be accepted. However, the Bible says otherwise. Let us look at the case of the brothers Cain and Abel:
“Then Adam had intercourse with his wife, and she became pregnant. She bore a son and said, ‘By the LORD's help I have gotten a son." So she named him Cain. Later she gave birth to another son, Abel. Abel became a shepherd, but Cain was a farmer. After some time Cain brought some of his harvest and gave it as an offering to the LORD. Then Abel brought the first lamb born to one of his sheep, killed it, and gave the best parts of it as an offering. The LORD was pleased with Abel and his offering, but he rejected Cain and his offering. Cain became furious, and he scowled in anger.” (Genesis 4:1-5 TEV)
Both Cain and Abel brought offerings to the Lord, but only Abel’s offering was accepted and Cain’s offering was rejected. Thus, it is not true that all services rendered to God will be accepted. Although Cain and Abel both rendered offerings to God, but not both of them were accepted. Cain was rejected.
Even in the Christian era, the Lord Jesus Christ testified that although they are calling Him “Lord,” and preaching, droving out demons and performing miracles in His name, but they will be rejected:
“Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do. When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!' Then I will say to them, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!” (Matthew 7:21-23 TEV)
Thus, not all who calls Jesus “Lord” and even preaching and performing miracles in His name will enter the Kingdom of God, but instead will be rejected. Why they are those who are also calling Jesus as Lord, deeply devoted to God, and even performing miracles in Jesus’ name, but will be rejected or will not be accepted? Apostle Paul answered this question:
“I can assure you that they are deeply devoted to God; but their devotion is not based on true knowledge. They have not known the way in which God puts people right with himself, and instead, they have tried to set up their own way; and so they did not submit themselves to God's way of putting people right.” (Romans 10:2-3 TEV)
Although they are deeply devoted to God, but they did not known the way in which God puts people right with Himself. They instead set up their own way, and did not submit themselves to God’s way of putting people right. What is God’s way of putting people right with Himself which we must submit in order for us to be accepted by God? This is what the Bible says in Psalms 4:3:
“Mark this well: The Lord has set apart the redeemed for himself. Therefore he will listen to me and answer when I call to him.” (Psalms 4:3 TLB)
The Lord “set apart the redeemed for Himself” and hears or listens when they call to Him. It is God’s choice not ours. Just like the case of Cain and Abel, that although both rendered offerings to God, but its God’s choice not them who will be accepted and who will be rejected. It is God who sets the policy or the way of putting people right with Himself and those who want to be accepted by God must submit Himself to God’s way or policy, and this is setting apart or electing those who will serve Him. Remember what the Lord Jesus Christ said to those He will reject:
“Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, BUT ONLY THOSE WHO DO WHAT MY FATHER IN HEAVEN WANTS THEM TO DO. When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!' Then I will say to them, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!'” Matthew 7:21-23 TEV
Not everyone will enter the Kingdom of heaven, BUT ONLY THOSE WHO DO WHAT THE FATHER IN HEAVEN WANTS US TO DO. Apostle Paul testified that we must submit to the God’s way of putting people right with Himself, and this is setting apart or electing those who will serve Him. Does God’s policy of election or setting apart for Himself those redeemed and will be accepted continued until the Christian era? This is answered by Apostle Peter:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” I Peter 2:9-10 NIV
God’s policy of setting apart or electing those who will serve Him continued up to the Christian era. Apostle Peter said, “you are a chosen people...a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” But, can people claim that they are the “chosen people” just by saying they accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior? Jesus said, “Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of heaven.” According to Apostle Peter, what is their proof of being the chosen people belonging to God? In I Peter 1:19 this is what Apostle Peter said:
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” II Peter 1:19 KJV
According to Apostle Peter, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy.” No one can just claim that they are the chosen people of God. Being the chosen people of God today is testified by biblical prophecy, just like the apostles and the Christians in the first century. Who are those chosen, elected or set apart by God in these last days to serve Him? In Isaiah 24:25-26, this is what we can read:
“Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: "Glory to the Righteous One...” Isaiah 24:15-16 NIV
The chosen people of God from the “ends of the earth” that will give glory to the Lord and exalt his name will come from the “east” and from the “islands of the sea.”
The “ends of the earth” is the time when the end (the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ) is near (Matthew 24:3 and 33). There will be signs when we saw all of these, the end is near, “at the very doors.” The first sign indicating the time is in the “ends of the earth” is a war that will be followed by another war of the same kind, “kingdom against kingdom, and nation against nation” (Matthew 24:6-7). These will also be followed by famines, pestilence and earthquakes (Matthew 24:7-8). Thus, the “war” referred to is the First World War that started on July 27, 1914.
The Church Of Christ (“Iglesia Ni Cristo” in Pilipino) was registered in the Philippine government on July 27, 1914, coinciding with the outbreak of the First World War. The Philippines is a country in the Far East and composed of 7,100 islands.
Thus, we firmly believe that the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) is God’s chosen people in these last days, the fulfillment of the prophecy written in Isaiah 24:15-16. It is the Church Of Christ that man must join for Him to be considered as among the chosen people of God. Remember that it is God’s choice not ours. We must only submit to God’s way of putting people right with Himself in order for God to accept us – to belong to Cod’s chosen people in these last days, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ).
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