Posted by: missionventureministries | July 7, 2016

DO YOU BELONG TO CHRIST OR ARE YOU GOING TO YOUR OWN PLACE – Acts 1:24-25

Acts 1 vs 24-25

“And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” (Acts 1:24-25) 

Let us focus on the last three words of this passage which have profound significance. Although Judas had walked with Christ and the other apostles for three years, he was not really one with them. It took the traumatic events of the final week of Jesus’ ministry to reveal his true character which none had ever focused on and only Jesus knew about. 

At death, each of us will go to his own place, whether heaven or hell. If in this life a person does not like being in the company of believers and feels uncomfortable, and feels more at home with those who do not believe and doubt the Bible, he will be going where he belongs. Such a person would be more miserable in heaven than in “his own place.” The tragic words of the Bible’s final chapter are these: “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” (Revelation 22:11) 

A false profession of belief will not change a person’s basic character, but sooner or later, that person will be exposed just like Judas was. Yet a true transformation, through genuine faith in Christ, will change our eternal residence, because God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (Colossians 1:13) 

If you belong to Christ, you are reconciled to God, your sins are all forgiven, you can enjoy fellowship with the Lord every day, and you know that if you were to die today, you would be with Jesus in the glory of heaven forever. 

So, do you belong to Christ? You may say, “Yes, I invited Jesus into my heart in Sunday School.” Or, “Yes, I prayed the sinner’s prayer and I was told that if I prayed that prayer, I would be assured that I’m going to heaven.” Let me ask you…Where does the Bible say that praying a prayer will get you into heaven? You need to make sure that you belong to Christ based on what the Bible says. 

Jesus said it very plainly to Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish ruling council. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) And He went on to say “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.” (John 3:7) Jesus was telling Nicodemus that when we are born again, the Holy Spirit imparts new life to us and takes up residence in us. Thus it is a very serious matter to know whether the Spirit of God is dwelling in you or not. 

We must realize that if the Spirit dwells in us, we are drawn to Jesus Christ and desire to know Him and to honor Him in everything that we think, say and do.  

Here are some of the transformations that will take place in us:

  • We want to learn more about the Bible and will grow to understand it more each day.
  • We start to bear fruit, and so prove to be Jesus’ disciples. (John 15:8)
  • We walk by the Spirit, and have no desire to gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
  • We have a passion for holiness and a growing aversion of sin.
  • Our desire for prayer and intersession for others increases. (Ephesians 6:18)

If God’s Spirit dwells in us, we belong to Christ; and though our physical body will die, God will one day raise our body from the dead. (1 Corinthians 6:14)

When we trust Christ as Savior and Lord, we no longer live “according to the flesh” but “according to the Spirit.”

So remember it is never too late to have a change of heart while you are still breathing, as we see in the example of the two criminals on the cross: “Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” 43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

One of the two criminals on the cross continued in unbelief right up until the time he died, but the second repented and believed unto salvation.  

The repentant one, beholding Christ and hearing Jesus say: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34), came to believe that Jesus truly was God’s Son and that He could, indeed, grant forgiveness and salvation. 

The penitent one had no opportunity to be baptized, to change his lifestyle, or to do anything, except repent and believe that Jesus was the Son of God. 

Both criminals would die that day, and the soul of the unrepentant one would soon descend into Hades “his own place”, there to await condemnation at the future judgment day. The other, because of his trust in Christ, would go with Him to paradise. 

The tragedy is that far too many people, assuring themselves that it is never too late, keep waiting until it becomes forever too late! “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1) 

The Bible teaches us: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Please do not delay in accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior; because once you cease to breathe you will go to the place that you chosen by your actions in advance and there will be no turning back.   

Remember, there is, indeed, a wonderful “place” that Christ has gone to “prepare” for all those who truly desire to be with Him – at His place! (John 14:2)

in-my-house-there-are-many-mansions

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