Pro and Con 750

Posted 5-17-01

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Rebellion, Falling Away, or Departure? By Pastor John M. Sweigart

...The task before us is to determine the appropriate translation for the word apostasia that appears in 2 Thessalonians 2:3....

Modern versions imply that what is in view is a "departure, defection, or falling away from a previously known and believed truth of God" or a "falling away from God Himself."...

I believer it was Melville who said, "To write a mighty book, you must have a mighty theme." The theme of this paper may not be the search for the great white whale, but to attempt to overturn hundreds of years of accepted Bible translations and to contradict leading scholars who hold to the same point of view in eschatology as the author is certainly a daunting task. Further, to simply examine the evidence and exegete the appropriate passages involved while attempting to keep presuppositions from forcing the outcome, I have found to be particularly difficult.

The task before us is to determine the appropriate translation for the word apostasia that appears in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. As anyone familiar with the original language will quickly notice, the word is employed in the passage absolutely. There are no prepositional phrases or other modifiers telling the reader "from whom," or "from what" the individuals in mind are falling away.

Modern versions imply that what is in view is a "departure, defection, or falling away from a previously known and believed truth of God" or a "falling away from God Himself."...

Possible Translations of apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3

Historically, scholars have understood apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to have four possible interpretive meanings: (1) used in apposition to the man of sin (or lawlessness depending on one's understanding of the textual variant; (2) as a falling away by the body of Christ from the content of Christian truth; (It should be noted that in this author's opinion there are sufficient contextual clues to eliminate the body of Christ from consideration); (3) as a revolt and a rebellion against God by unspecified participants; or (4) the departure or translation of the body of Christ....

As stated above this writer sees little evidence in the passage for the interpretation being the church or individuals in the church falling away from the faith. Interestingly Ryrie opts for the term apostasy relating to people within the professing church.[3] Lewis Sperry Chafer identifies it as the final form of religious union and profession of non-Christians during the tribulation, and offers his understanding of the definite article with apostasia:

Here the definite article isolates this apostasy from every other (agreed). It precedes the day of Jehovah, and is evidently that final form of religious union and profession that will obtain in the tribulation AFTER (my emphasis) the true church has been removed from the earth.[4]

Now notice the internal inconsistency in Chafer's statement. "The apostasy" is a false religious union that forms AFTER the rapture. Yet it forms BEFORE the appearance of the man of sin who will be the object of worship in this false system....

We agree with the fact that apostasy occurs in 2 Thessalonians 2 but apostasy cannot occur until after the Antichrist has been revealed, not before....

In the passage under consideration, 2 Thess.2:3, we should ask, "what covenant is in place? And who is doing the rebelling?" Against whom are they rebelling? Let us look at the options.

First of all, the rebels cannot be the world of unbelievers since no covenant is in place with them other than the covenant of Noah.

Secondly, the rebels could not be members of the church the body of Christ since one of the promises included in the New Covenant is rescue from the day of the Lord/day of wrath to come. (1Thess.1: 9-10)

Thirdly, the rebels could not be non-religious Israelites since the Antichrist has not yet appeared to lead the rebellion.

Lastly, the rebellion could no be against the Man of Sin since the passage later teaches that a deluding influence would be sent upon unbelieving Israel to cause them to believe the Man of Sin rather than rebel against him....

'H' apstasia as the Rapture

This leaves us the final option that is the subject of the paper. Does the evidence show that there is sufficient justification for understanding apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as a reference to the departure of the body of Christ prior to the start of Daniel's 70th week? English has advanced this view, saying:

"This [instructed departure] is not conjecture but fact: it is the rapture of the church, described in 1 Thess.4: 13-26."...

There is sufficient evidence to view h apostasia used in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as a reference to the departure/spatial removal/rapture of the church....

"Dana and Mantey define the anaphoric article (i.e. The article denoting previous reference): 'The article may be used to point out an object the identity of which is defined by some previous reference.'"[19]

This usage is definitely the case in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Paul introduces the topic of the following verses as: "Now with reference to the parousia…(coming) and our episunagwghn (gathering together) to Him…"...

With the word apostasia, although not predominant, Lampe sees the possibility of physical "departure, removal, or spatial separation as in divorce."[41] Sufficient evidence exists for Liddell and Scott to offer their second meaning of apostasia as "departure" or "disappearance" a physical or spatial connotation....

The history of translations of h apostasia varied little for the first fifteen centuries. Jerome's Latin Vulgate contains the word "discessio" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, meaning simply "departure".[43] Other translations up to the King James Version of 1611 use variations of "departure."...

Schlier argues that the verb can be translated "to remove" either spatially of from the context of a state or relationship or from fellowship with a person....

There is abundant lexical data to support the translation of apostasia as "the departure" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The cognate verb as well has substantial support for the translation "to physically depart."...

The first thing we notice is that Paul introduces the subject as "the coming or our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him." Since the two nouns are governed by one article it seems apparent that Paul wants to explain how "the coming and the gathering" are related. Notice that the word parousia is not mentioned until we get to 2:8. If that is the case where is our gathering together to him being discussed?...

A close examination of parallel passages leads us to understand that Paul is presenting in detail in 2 Thessalonians 2 a more detailed description of the chronology he already started in 1 Thessalonians 4 & 5. This adds to the possibility that "departure" should be the translation and not "apostasy."

In this brief study we have set out to examine the possibility that the word apostasia normally translated "falling away" or "rebellion" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 should be translated "departure. We have examined the grammatical evidence first and found that the anaphoric use of the article leans heavily to that understanding.

Next we surveyed the lexical data for both the word apostasia itself as well a its cognate verb and found that there is substantial evidence to suggest that the word had within its semantic range the notion of "physical or spatial departure"....

Lastly, we examined the two eschatological sections of the two epistles to the Thessalonians and found there was strong evidence that Paul was presenting the day of the Lord as a programmed event. He chose to mention the starting point, the midpoint, and the ending point of the seven-year tribulation period.

After all this research, we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that the word apostasia refers to the Rapture that has the effect of starting the seven-year tribulation period. (emphasis mine)

My note

I agree with his conclusion. See his URL for all the details. All Scripture is God breathed. What is taught in II Thess. 2:3 cannot disagree with verses 6-8.

II Thess. 2:6-8 (Rotherham) says, "what NOW (before the Rapture) restraineth, ye know (the Holy Spirit indwelling us), to the end he (the wicked son of perdition, the False Prophet) may be revealed in his own fitting time (the Tribulation); For, the secret, of lawlessness, already, is inwardly working itself,—ONLY, UNTIL, HE THAT RESTRAINETH AT PRESENT, SHALL BE GONE (at the Rapture), out of the midst (mesos, middle or midnight): And, then (tote, at the same time), shall be revealed the lawless one (when he confirms the covenant of Dan. 9:27),—whom, the Lord Jesus, will slay with the Spirit of his mouth."

I think the Pre-Wrath Rapture happens in the night or early morning before the asteroids of Rev. 8:8,10 strike Earth at noon (Zeph. 2:4,5) on the Day of God's Wrath. Maybe the Pre-Trib Rapture will also take place in the night before the covenant is confirmed at noon on the 1st day of the Tribulation.

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...She contends that if Jesus was really the son of God and not just a prophet, then the OT would have spoken of Him (Jesus).

I guess you have a file on the subject of Jesus in the OT because of many references in your P&C's. I've gone through about 100 of them but can't find the P&C where you list all the OT references.

If it's not too much trouble, I would appreciate your sending me what you have so I can send it to... Thanks much and give my best to Ed.

My reply

> > > I don't have such a file to copy. References are floating around in my head. I'll have to take time to catch some of them and put them on paper....

There are so many, I can only list some of them. Almost every mention of the LORD (YHVH) in the Tanakh/Old Testament is the Pre-incarnate Christ. The "angel of the LORD" is also the Pre-incarnate Christ. He is the Creator and the YHVH with whom man has had to deal from the beginning.

The reason I am using the KJV is so we can see that "LORD" is YHVH and "Lord" is Adonai in the Hebrew . The Complete Jewish Bible substitutes "ADONAI" (Lord) when the original said YHVH. This obscures the truth.

Proverbs 30:4 asks, "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name (YHVH), and WHAT IS HIS SON'S NAME (YHVH of hosts), if thou canst tell?

Isaiah 54:5 answers, "thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD (YHVH) OF HOSTS IS HIS NAME; AND THY REDEEMER the Holy One of Israel; THE GOD OF THE WHOLE EARTH shall he be called."

Genesis 24:3 says, "I will make thee swear by THE LORD (YHVH), THE GOD OF HEAVEN, AND THE GOD OF THE EARTH, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell."

Zechariah 4:11,14 says, " What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?...Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by THE LORD (YHVH) OF THE WHOLE EARTH."

Revelation 11:4 echoes, "These (Moses and Elijah) are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing (at the Transfiguration) before THE GOD OF THE EARTH."

Of the Transfiguration, Lu. 9:28-31 says, "it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he (Y'shua) took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were MOSES AND ELIAS: WHO APPEARED IN GLORY, AND SPAKE OF HIS (Y'SHUA'S, THE LORD OF THE WHOLE EARTH'S) DECEASE WHICH HE SHOULD ACCOMPLISH AT JERUSALEM."

Isaiah 47:4 says, "As for OUR REDEEMER, THE LORD (YHVH) OF HOSTS IS HIS NAME, the Holy One of Israel."

Psalms 2:7 says, "I will declare the decree: the LORD (YHVH) hath said unto me, THOU ART MY SON; this day have I begotten thee."

Hebrews 1:5 says, "For unto which of the angels (none) said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

Hebrews 5:5 says, "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee."

Psalms 2:12 advises, "KISS THE SON, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. BLESSED ARE ALL THEY THAT PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM."

Deuteronomy 6:4 says, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD (YHVH) our God (Elohim, plural) is one (echad, united) LORD (YHVH)."

The Hebrew "echad" (united) is used in Genesis 2:24: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one (echad, united) flesh." It is also used in II Samuel 7:33: "what one (echad, united) nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel (the United States), whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?" Echad is also used in Ezekiel 37:22: "I will make them (Israel) one (echad, united) nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all."

Isaiah 44:6,8 shows us our united YHVH. It says, "Thus saith the LORD (YHVH) the King of Israel, AND HIS REDEEMER the LORD (YHVH) of hosts; I am the first (YHVH King of Israel), AND I am the last (YHVH of hosts, the Redeemer); and BESIDE ME THERE IS NO GOD...Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any."

Isaiah 45:18,21,22 says, "thus saith the LORD (YHVH) that CREATED the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he CREATED it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD (YHVH); and there is none else....who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD (YHVH)? and THERE IS NO GOD ELSE BESIDE ME; A JUST GOD AND A SAVIOUR; there is none beside me. LOOK UNTO ME, AND BE YE SAVED, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."

Isaiah 48:12-18 says, "Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I AM THE FIRST (YHVH King of Israel), I ALSO AM THE LAST (YHVH of hosts). Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together. All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things?...hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD (1) , AND his Spirit (2) , hath sent me (3, YHVH OF HOSTS, THE REDEEMER). Thus saith the LORD (YHVH), thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. O that thou hadst hearkened to MY COMMANDMENTS! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea." It was YHVH of hosts, the Redeemer, that met Israel at Sinai when he gave them the 10 commandments.

In Isaiah 51:5, YHVH says, "My righteousness is near; my SALVATION (YESHA) is gone forth, and MINE ARMS shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on MINE ARM shall they trust." There are two arms of YHVH and two comings of YHVH of hosts. Of his first coming, Isaiah 52:10,14 says, "The LORD (YHVH) hath MADE BARE HIS HOLY ARM IN THE EYES OF ALL THE NATIONS; and all the ends of the earth shall see the SALVATION (YSHUWAH) of our God."

Isaiah 53:1-6 says, "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is THE ARM OF THE LORD revealed (YESHA/YSHUWAH/Y'SHUA was revealed to Israel)? For he (Y'shua) shall grow up before him (YHVH) as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; A MAN (Y'shua) of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But HE (Y'SHUA) WAS WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and THE LORD (YHVH) HATH LAID ON HIM (Y'SHUA) THE INIQUITY OF US ALL." Y'shua is the Lamb of God, our Passover, sacrificed for us. For what the blood of lambs could not do, the shed blood of the Lamb of God accomplished. His was the perfect sacrifice that took sin out of the way as an issue in Salvation. It is now "WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST? WHOSE SON IS HE?" (Matthew 22:42).

Hebrews 1:1-3 says: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by (en, in) HIS SON, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, BY WHOM ALSO HE MADE THE WORLDS; Who being the brightness of his glory, and THE EXPRESS IMAGE OF HIS PERSON, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself PURGED OUR SINS, sat down on THE RIGHT HAND of the Majesty on high."

Y'shua is called the right arm and the right hand of YHVH. Psalms 98:1 says, "O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: HIS RIGHT HAND, AND HIS HOLY ARM, hath gotten him the victory." Psalms 118:15 says, "The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: THE RIGHT HAND OF THE LORD doeth valiantly." Psalms 138:7 says, "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and THY RIGHT HAND SHALL SAVE ME.

Exodus 15:6,12 says, "THY RIGHT HAND, O LORD, is become glorious in power: THY RIGHT HAND, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy....Thou stretchedst out THY RIGHT HAND, the earth swallowed them." Deuteronomy 33:2 says, "The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: FROM HIS RIGHT HAND WENT A FIERY LAW for them."

Isa. 54:5-8 says, "thy Maker (YHVH OF HOSTS) is thine husband; the LORD (YHVH) OF HOSTS IS HIS NAME; and THY REDEEMER the Holy One of Israel; THE GOD OF THE WHOLE EARTH shall he be called. For the LORD hath called thee (Israel) as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, SAITH THE LORD (YHVH) THY REDEEMER."

In II Corinthians 5:19, Paul said, "GOD WAS IN CHRIST, RECONCILING THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Isaish 9:6 says, "For unto us a child (Y'shua) is born (inheriting his human nature from his mother), unto us a son is given (inheriting his deity from his Father): and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, The Prince of Peace."

In Revelation 1:8, Y'shua said, "I am Alpha AND Omega, the beginning (YHVH) AND the ending (YHVH of hosts, the Redeemer), saith the Lord, which is (at the Rapture), and which was (at the First Advent), and which is to come (at the Second Advent), THE ALMIGHTY."

In Revelation 22:13,16, Y'shua said, "I am Alpha AND Omega, the beginning AND the end, the first (YHVH) AND the last (Y'shua)....I Jesus have sent MINE ANGEL to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root (YHVH) AND the offspring of David (Y'shua), and the bright AND morning star."

Numbers 24:17 says, "there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel." This "Star" is Y'shua, the Redeemer and Saviour of us all. When he comes the second time, it will be as King of kings and Lord of lords.

I Timothy 6:15 says, "Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords."

Gen. 18:1:1-4,20-22 says, "the LORD appeared unto him (Abraham) in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My LORD, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree...And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men (i.e., 2 angels) turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD" (the angel of the LORD, i.e., YHVH of hosts).

Some of mankind besides Abraham have seen YHVH of hosts as the angel of the LORD. Genesis 32:30 says, "Jacob called the name of the place Peniel (meaning the face of God): for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." Judges 13:22 says, "Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God," but they didn't die. John 1:18 explains that "No man hath seen God (the Father) at any time, the only begotten Son (Y'shua/Jesus), which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."

Micah 5:2 reveals the Saviour's duel nature. Y'shua would be born in Bethlehem, but he actually existed "from everlasting." It says, "thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

In John 1:1-3,14, John explains the Godhead. He said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." I John 2:23 says, "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." Agape

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Hello and God Bless You. I have been reading items from your site for a couple of years now. Having read the many Pros and Cons this year I am familiar with many of the reasons you think the Rapture may be at Pentacost this year. How likley is it? Many events in my life are centering around dates that just follow that May 28 & 29th date. I understand we are to occupy until He returns for us but my current way of supporting myself and my family is in jepordy. I want to believe we are outta here but I also recognize the danger of not dealing with the possiblity of it not happening this year. I have a meeting scheduled with my Pastor next week, I feel that I am comming apart at the seams and it all focuses on that May 28 & 29th date. Shortly after that, 30th and beyond, major events will be determined in my life one way or the other. What amazes me is the coinciding dates, Its like God is testing my faith in Him about this. Please pray for me, thanks

My reply

I think this Pentecost is the most likely date we have, but since we are to occupy until he comes, we need to be prepared, either way.

We are all tested one way or another too, and have to stand firm in our faith. To have inner peace in the middle of chaos, we have to give the problems to the Lord and trust Him to help us make the right decisions as we walk the Christian walk. I prayed for you. Agape

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My name is --- --- and I wanted to ask you a question. Are you sure that the beginning of the end is to start on May 28, 2001? That is only a few weeks away. I heard today that the Israelis and Palestinians have made some sort of agreement to go ahead with peace. That doesn't sound good. Right now I'm reading the Christian book series Left Behind. In the book the 7 years of the Tribulation was to start with the signing of a treaty between Israel and the U.N. If the Israelis and the Palestinians have agreed to something, then this could be it. Another question for you: How do I know if I am saved? I never attended church that often, but did receive my first holy communion. I have a Bible that I read from time to time. I talk to the Lord out loud sometimes not sure if he is listening to me or if I'm even doing it right. Maybe you can point me in the correct direction. I'll stop rambling right now and give you time to reply. Thanks for your time. God Bless.

My reply

> > Are you sure that the beginning of the end is to start on May 28, 2001?

Seeing as I am a Bible student and not a prophet, I cannot be sure. However, I think it is the most likely date.

> > If the Israelis and the Palestinians have agreed to something, then this could be it.

Yes, this could be it. All it would take is for two men, The Beast and False Prophet of Rev. 13, to "confirm (gabar, strengthen, make stronger)" the Oslo Accords. That could happen any time now. Watch the Pope, the leaders in Israel and the One World Government/UN and United Religions (UR).

Here is Dan. 9:27 with Strong's Concordance numbers, and the Hebrew words:
|1396| And he (the prince that will come) will confirm (gabar, strengthen, make stronger)
|1285| a covenant (briyth, league, in the sense of cutting a deal, a confederacy)
|7227| with the many (rab, an abundance of captains, officers, i.e., rulers of the united nations)
|7620| {for} week (shabuwa, sevened)
|0259| one (echad, united, one, i.e., one united week of years, the 7-year Tribulation)

> > Another question for you: How do I know if I am saved?

Don't let grass grow under your feet on this one. You want to be certain that you get in before the "open door" of Rev. 3:8 closes. Rom. 9:10,11 says, "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."

Going to church, taking communion, and reading the Bible are good, but they won't save you. They could lead up to one being saved though.

Praying can accomplish what these other things can't, if you pray right and mean it. If you tell the Father in Heaven that you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal Saviour, you will be saved. You don't have to walk down the aisle to the front of the church to be saved, but in most churches I have been in, it is a good idea. You are making a definite statement that you are accepting Christ by getting up and walking down the aisle to the front. You are confessing that you believe in Christ to the person that meets you in the front. Whoever meets with you should be able to answer questions and pray with you afterward in another room.

That person may ask you if you want to be baptized. Know that baptism does not save you, but it is a public confession that you accept Christ and associate with him in his death and are raised up to live a new life.

Please write back and tell me that you have accepted Christ. That is what we were put on Earth for--to make the decision for or against Christ. Our eternal destiny depends on that decision. Nothing is as important as that. When we accept Christ as our own personal Saviour, Christ baptizes us with the Holy Spirit. At that point, we are sealed as one of God's adopted sons forever. We can't get unborn from God's family any more than we can get unborn from our earthly family.

God Bless you abundantly. Agape

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