Work Out Your Own Salvation
In Philippians 2:12, Paul writes:
“Therefore, my beloved as you have always obeyed, not in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;”
God expects those He calls to put forth an individual effort to become part of His ruling family.
“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of Holy Spirit.”
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness . . .” (Matt. 6:33a)
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” (II Cor. 13:5)
“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,” (II Tim. 3:14)
Jesus Christ indicts Laodicean Christians for not be putting forth the effort necessary to be in God’s Kingdom.
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:14a, 17)
It’s sad in these dangerous times before Christ’s return, that many in God’s Church are not working out their own salvation with fear and trembling.
Do Christ’s words apply to you?
Christ says Laodiceans “do not know” what their spiritual condition really is. (Rev. 3:17)
Many in this final era think their effort is pleasing to God, but in reality their lack of effort is making Christ sick. (Rev. 3:16)
Paul dealt with brethren unaware of their spiritual condition at Corinth.
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, And you are puffed up and have not rather mourned, Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” (I Cor. 5:1a, 2a, 6)
Paul is describing Corinthians as “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” for not dealing with this sin in their midst. These brethren viewed themselves as righteous, but Paul understood they were self-righteous.
What can a person do to change a “lukewarm” condition? REPENT!
Christ says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be[come] zealous and repent.” (Rev. 3:19)
It is important to realize God’s plan of taking the gospel to the world “as a witness” is over. (Matt 24:14)
God is moving forward and the next phase of His plan to occur is the Great Tribulation combined with the work of the two witnesses. Laodiceans will go into Great Tribulation for being “lukewarm.” (Rev. 3:18, 6:9-11)
During the final six months of Great Tribulation, God will test the commitment of Laodiceans. To be part of the first resurrection these brethren will have to give up their lives. (Rev. 12:17, 20:4)
But why go through such testing when putting forth the right effort can be done NOW?
The Bible shows during this final era of God’s Church, there are people whose effort does please God. (Rev. 3:7a, 10-11) Because God is pleased, He will protect them during Great Tribulation (Luke 21:36, Rev. 12:14).
Mr. Armstrong said in the Preface on page 5 in Mystery of the Ages the following:
“The most difficult thing for any human seems to be to admit being wrong—to confess error of belief and conviction—to unlearn false knowledge as well as to learn true knowledge.”
Nothing could be more important now than admitting one is “lukewarm.” To do this shows a person who is working out their own salvation with fear and trembling during the final era of God’s Church.