Friday, May 10, 2013

Which gospel saved the Little Flock? ...continued

Continuing on...

You asked if the Little Flock was saved by the Kingdom gospel or Paul’s gospel.  Interestingly, one could say it was both.  Before the dispensation of grace they received their justification by believing the Kingdom gospel.

Matthew 4:17
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Luke 23:42
And he [the thief on the cross] said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom [he believed the gospel of the Kingdom].

But they were saved eternally (and indirectly) the moment Paul was saved (Paul’s gospel of salvation by faith alone and no works).  The content of the doctrine that they believed to be right in the eyes of God (before Paul came on the scene) was the gospel of the Kingdom.  Now looking back, we know that once the dispensation of grace began, all those members of the Little Flock in essence received eternal salvation at that moment and could then rest and cease from any more work in order to get into the Kingdom.

In Hebrews through Revelation, God calls the future Little Flock to believe on Jesus and not fall away in order to receive the Kingdom; but the unique group of Kingdom saints in Paul’s day was blessed enough to receive eternal life the moment that he was saved.

When the Little Flock was discussing at the Jerusalem council whether or not to put the gentile believers under the Law, Peter says this:

Acts 15:11
But we [Jews] believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

Isn’t that interesting?  He didn’t say that the gentiles would be saved “like we are”; he says the opposite.  He says that “we Jews shall be saved even as the gentile believers are already saved.”  He understood that the gentiles already had something that Israel was still looking forward to.  He did not yet understand what Paul wrote in Romans 11 – that because God changed the program from Law to grace, they had received that salvation the moment Paul was saved.  Anyone who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ from that moment on received the gift of eternal life – even that remnant of Jewish believers that had been justified by the Kingdom gospel.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

However, they did not become members of the body of Christ.  They will return with the Lord Jesus at his Second Coming and be resurrected into the earthly Kingdom to sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.

Luke 22:30
That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!

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