The opportunity that is presented to those who are called to the first resurrection is almost beyond comprehension. God the Father offers not only eternal life to those he calls to salvation in this age but also immortal life and great rewards and positions of service in his Family and Kingdom.
The quality of life promised by the Father is comparable to that which he has himself. The Father is a spirit-being who inherently possesses the highest form of life: immortality on a divine plane of existence. Immortality is life that springs forth from itself and it is not dependent on any other source to sustain it because it is self-sustaining. The acquisition of immortality allows a person to pass beyond this physical existence into the Family of God. See 1.Cor.15:51-54; Rom.2:7; 2.Tim.1:9-10; 1. Pet.4: 6; Rev.20:6.
Although immortality represents the highest reward that is granted for faithfulness to God, there is much more to immortality than floating around heaven playing harp music for eternity. God the Father has something far more spectacular in store for those who are found worthy to take part in the first resurrection. Some of the things that he has reserved for his firstborn sons of his new creation include becoming joint-heirs and co-rulers with Christ, becoming Kings and Priests, and inheriting the Kingdom of God. These are only a few of the enormous and awesome rewards that the Father has promised to those he calls to salvation today:
"But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for his Spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God" (1.Cor.2:9-10 KJV).
Commitment and Loyalty
Because the magnitude of the opportunity for eternal rewards in the Family and Kingdom of God during the Gospel age is so great, the Father and Jesus Christ require total commitment and loyalty from those who will become the first of the Father's new creation. No one who is unwilling to be obedient to his way of life will be allowed to enter his Family and Kingdom.
The Call to Salvation
The call to salvation and immortality during this age is a unique opportunity that has been carefully planned and directed by God the Father. Those called to enter the Father's Family and Kingdom at the first resurrection have an opportunity for glory, honor, and unimaginable benefits as the Father's firstborn sons. However, those who are called and refuse to grow toward spiritual maturity and treat this great and awesome calling in a casual manner are in danger of losing the rewards that are promised for faithful service and their opportunity to live forever.
Although there are many scriptures that speak of the opportunities that the Father offers to those he has specifically called to salvation from the foundation of the world, there are also many that give serious warnings to those who forsake their calling. There are also many scriptures that give encouragement to those who are willing to make a diligent effort to secure eternal and immortal life.
Three of the major prophecies that contain both serious warnings and great encouragement are found in the Books of Matthew, Luke, and Revelation. These three books speak of the opportunities that the Father offers to those he has specifically called to salvation from the foundation of the world, and they warn of the terror that awaits those who forsake their calling. Within these prophecies are the keys to overcoming the greatest obstacles that confront the elect of God. They are keys to obtaining spiritual knowledge, understanding, and strength to overcome one's self and the world in order to secure the eternal and immortal life that has been offered by God the Father.
A WARNING AND AN OPPORTUNITY
Although some of the information contained in these prophecies is shocking, painful, terrifying, and even discouraging at times, these prophecies contain a bigger picture of hope and encouragement to those who read and heed these serious warnings.
All the elect face trials, persecution, and correction by Jesus Christ in varying degrees, God the Father and Jesus Christ give tremendous support in order for us to successfully obtain salvation and participate in the first resurrection.
Notice what the Father and Jesus want for those called to salvation:
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise—,but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2.Pet.3:9 Para.).
Below are a few of the many encouraging promises God the Father and Jesus Christ have made to the elect of God who take the time and make the effort to diligently and faithfully pursue a life of righteousness, service to God, and spiritual growth.
Trials of Life
"God is faithful, who will not try you above what you are able to endure, but will, with the trial, make a way to escape, so that you may be able to endure it" (1.Cor.10:13 Para.).
"Who comforts us in all our trials, that we may be able to comfort them who are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God" (2.Cor.1:4 Para.).
No Fear in Love
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. . ." (1.Jn.4:18 Para.).
"For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2.Tim.1:7 KJV).
Do all Through Jesus
"For I have learned, in whatever state I am, in this to be content. I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound;—I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me" (Phil.4:11-13 Para.).
We Shall Reign With Jesus
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us" (2.Tim 2:12 KJV).
"If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil.3:11,13-14 KJV).
The Father and Jesus Will Never Forsake Us
"For he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do to me" (Heb.13:5-6 Para.).
"Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb.4:16 KJV).
Though severe trials and persecution may be required, God the Father and Jesus Christ will provide the strength one needs to come through them victoriously. It is their love that makes this possible. Claim that love and take action! As you study these prophetic warnings to the elect of God, remember the following scripture:
"All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works" (2.Tim.3:16-17 KJV).
By B.L. Cocherell and Charles.E. Barrett b2w9a