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In or Out?

ATP Blog #54

In or Out?

John 8:21-24

Think back to when someone gave you the low-down on how things were going to work for the next adventure, then asked, ‘Are you in or out?’ For me, it was a description of what it was like to work at camp. Was I interested in the adventure, with all the risks and blessings that come with? Every adventure comes with risks or challenges, along with blessings or benefits. Jesus Christ came to present to the world a grand adventure: a personal relationship with the Almighty Creator God!

Introduction: Christ is Immanuel, God with us, who came for the purpose of introducing us to the adventure (that is, helping us get to know God better, and what the adventure of living for Him looks like). The introduction is not the adventure, although for the disciples, those two to three years was quite the adventure in itself, but is a stage that must have a beginning and an end. Those who loved Jesus did not want an end to the adventure of having God in the Flesh in their midst, but, as Jesus described, it was necessary for Him to leave so that the Holy Spirit (God’s Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ) could come.

Transition: A transition is the end of one stage, and the beginning of the next. You cannot have one foot in each stage. This change requires a leap with both feet; you are either all in, or all out. Jesus Christ had predicted His own death, and resurrection. Now He was letting the people know that He was soon to leave this earth. ‘I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.’ (v21) So, here is the transition: there is a fork in the road. If you are following Jesus Christ, then you will have life. If you are not, there will come a time when you will look for Him, but it will be too late, and the result is that you will die in your sin! In other words, those who follow Christ will not die in their sin!!

Stages: The first transition took place when Christ ascended into Heaven (Acts 1). This was the fulfillment of this prophecy in John 8. After that, those who sought Christ (the physical presence of God) would not find Him. This transition moved the world into the stage where salvation was offered to any individual based on their decision regarding Jesus Christ. The nation of Israel (whose religious leaders Jesus was talking to here) had rejected Him, bringing Israel to a stage where they were no longer leaders in introducing the world to God (yet they still have a purpose in God’s big plan). The next transition will take place upon Christ’s physical return to the world, as He takes over as King of Kings (Revelation). There will then be one millennium for humanity to make its final decision before eternity sets in, led by final judgment.

Destination: ‘Where I go you cannot come.’ Jesus is headed back to the Father’s side, and those who reject Him will never get to go there ... ever! Jesus explains further, saying, ‘You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.’ (v23) So, the key to our eternal destination is our decision regarding the identity of Jesus Christ. ‘If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.’ (v24) Notice that those who reject Christ die in their sins (not for)! The consequence of a sin is death. The consequence of a life in sin, is a life in death (eternity in Hell, however you understand the description).

Decision: So, just like with the religious leaders, you have a decision to make! There is a transition coming at an unknown time: either your physical death, or the rapture of the church, followed by Christ’s physical return. Before any of those happens, you need to choose whether you are In or Out for this adventure. Do not delay! If you need help with making this decision, or have more questions, please reach out to someone today. It is the most important decision you will ever make, and leads to the greatest adventure you could ever ask for.

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