So long as we are in flesh bodies that 7th trump has not yet sounded. That concept that flesh age has a shelf life is not taught by many Christian preacher/teachers/priests. And the lack of this instruction leaves open the door for the greatest deception/tribulation ever to take place
Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (This beginning of the world is akin to Paul's lesson in Ephesians 1:4 'before the foundation of this world... both are referring to the casting down - overthrow of that first rebel... The elect were chosen between the events of Genesis 1:1 and 1:2... Christ said time would be shortened for the elects sake, as only they would not fall for the tribulation of deception... Got to know what the deception is to avoid that first tribulation. What would make God fearing Christians so filled with shame they would pray for mountains to fall on them? (Luke 23:29-30) Verse 29 is describing a wedding out of season. Might be better understood in the 'spiritual' comparison of Jeremiah 3:8
And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
Paul said Now all these thing that happened to them (ICorinthians 10:11) for ensamples: (examples) and they are written for out admonition, upon whom the ends of the world (age) are come.
“Many people believe God will accept them just as they are. But Scripture nowhere supports this idea. God expects His true followers to grow, mature and bear fruit. What kind of fruit does God expect? And how do we produce it?”
Gal 5:1-5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. (3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. (4) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (5) For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Note verse five especially, “we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” While it is true that good works are a fruit of the Spirit, we must not get confused about what is producing these works, and how righteousness is actually imputed on man, so as not to come under the influence of men who would like to put a yoke on your shoulders. The moment you find yourself being told that you must follow dietary laws, or attend a particular church to get Jesus, or keep someone’s pet doctrine to be saved, it’s time to run for the hills. Or, better yet, run to your Bible.
Jesus Christ, far from giving us any heavy yoke to bare, asks us to lay upon Him our heavy burdens:
Mat 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
This is an offer of rest for all those burdened by their sins, their imperfections, and their trembling fears. We are not commanded here to live in fear, but in peace by trusting in the power and promises of Jesus Christ.
Joh 11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
It is by the righteousness of Christ that we will be judged, and not by our own personal failures:
Rom 4:3-8 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (5) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (6) Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (7) Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (8) Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
While faith is indeed made perfect with works, the works themselves are not done to earn points with God or even with yourself. It is by grace that we are saved by faith, and even our faith itself is the work of God’s grace revealing to us that He is indeed the Christ.
Mat_16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Joh_15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Rom_11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
The scripture in John is the most important to our topic. He has “ordained us that we should go and bring forth fruit... and that your fruit should remain.” Another scripture to add on to this:
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
This “work” begun by Christ is, according to Barnes’ commentary, “can be no other than religion, or true piety. This is called the work of God; the work of the Lord; or the work of Christ”. If it was started by man, there would be good reason to fear it, and to be troubled at the idea that it could be impermanent. We are flighty things, and left to ourselves we can do nothing except die. But because it is by God, who ordained us so that we would produce fruit, we can be confident that it will ultimately prevail. If it is by man, how can we be sure “it shall remain?” It should be understood, then, that it remains because it was determined by God that we would produce it, and that there is nothing in us that we do not receive from the Father.
Work, work! Because we are to be Holy, and he who does not show his faith by his works is likely damned. At the same time, that man who is damned is very unlikely to be worried about his salvation to begin with. If YOU feel that fear, if you feel that sin weighing on you and warring against you, be of good cheer, and rest in Christ who has defeated sin and death already:
Rom 7:19-25 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (20) Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (21) I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
If a man says to you that you must obey his religion, look at these commandments and compare them to what he wants you to do:
Mat 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? (37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Rom_13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Gal_5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Jas_2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Anything more than this is not prescribed by the scripture, so do not fear those who would demand you bow and scrape before their altars or follow their carnal ordinances that in no way can make you perfect.
Rest in Christ, and do not boast of your works, nor hope in them. Hope in Christ, who works in you and for you.
Another fine post DouglasKC. You should take it as a compliment that newbies like GPH feel it necessary to heckle you.
Where does your church meet? Is it open to the general public?
For education and edification
Ladies and gentlemen, take with great caution any education and edification offered by members of the United Church of God. They are a polytheistic religious group who believe that the works that are expected by God include holding to the Jewish festival days and dietary laws, as well as receiving the Holy Spirit from the laying on of hands by right believing UCG-believers. (You dont have the Holy Spirit until someone from their church gives it to you. They also disbelieve that the Holy Spirit is God, and argue that He is a mere force as well.)
The following anti-Trinitarian thread has more information on the UCG in response to the OP, documenting their polytheistic position.