The book of Revelation describes the final scenes of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. The entire book comes to a climax in the fourteenth chapter when we see the harvest of the earth, the second coming of Jesus, as He descends in the clouds to gather His saints from the four corners of the earth.
"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle...And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped." "For the Lord himself shall descent from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (Revelation 14:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
The second coming of Christ will be the most cataclysmic event in the history of our world. In that day, only two classes of people will exist. The first class is clearly described in Revelation 14:12. "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." They have the Father's name written in their foreheads (Revelation 14:1), a symbol of the character they possess, a character imputed and imparted to them through the precious righteousness of Christ.
During the final crisis, when the whole world wonders after the beast (Revelation 13:3), only commandment keepers who possess the faith of Jesus will overcome. This makes it critically important that we understand this subject!
What exactly constitutes the faith of Jesus? Notice this straightforward answer from the following author:
"Faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus." (Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p. 172, Ellen G. White)
Do you believe that Jesus has the ability to save you? Do you believe that He can save you just now? This definition may sound simple at first glance, and it is; but there is more than meets the eye.
Salvation is multi-layered, and should be understood in all of its aspects. The apostle Paul writes that we are "saved by grace through faith" (Ephesians 2:8). But we need to ask ourselves, "From what am I saved?" In order to answer this question, we must ask another question: "What is my current condition? What warrants the need for me to be saved?" A careful study of the Bible reveals that we need to be saved from three (3) things:
These are the three areas from which we need to be saved: Salvation from the penalty of sin, salvation from the power of sin, and salvation from the presence of sin.
Most of us have no problem accepting Christ's salvation from the penalty of sin. Who wouldn't welcome the news of someone paying off our debt? Especially a debt we could never pay ourselves! Thank God, this is exactly what Jesus did on Calvary. His death paid the debt, the eternal death sentence for every confessing, repenting believer. Likewise, most of us have no problem accepting Christ's soon deliverance from the presence of sin. When He finally comes in the clouds, who wouldn't be excited about the prospects of living eternally in a brand new world full of eternal peace? Salvation from both of these aspects of sin is generally welcomed by all. However, the last aspect of sin causes many problems for believers and non-believers alike.
Deliverance from sin's power is the main focus of Ephesians 2:8. "We are saved by grace through faith". This verse could just as easily be written as such, "We are saved from sin's controlling power by grace through the faith of Jesus". In this verse, grace is not simply unmerited favor. It is power imparted. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ imparts power to the weakest believer, enabling Him to overcome just as He overcame. The sinner who accepts this gift of Christ can then say, "I can do all things through Christ which strengths me!" (Philippians 4:13). Now, the believer, empowered by God's grace, is free to live a victorious life free from willful sin.
Believing that this victorious life is possible for you, and trusting in Jesus' ability to accomplish this in you, is the faith of Jesus.
Do you have the faith of Jesus?
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12).
Praying for you,
Pastor Derick Logan