Gospel Age

Chart of the Ages

The Gospel Age (F on the above chart) began in AD 29 with Jesus’ ministry. The apostle Paul writes in 2 Tim. 1:9,10 (NASB): “[God] who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace … (10)  but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Jesus ministry and death secured and brought to light the two opportunities for salvation promised in the Abrahamic covenant: (1) spiritual salvation for the “stars of the heavens” seed and (2) earthy salvation for the “sand which is on the seashore” seed. (Gen. 22:16-18)

The spiritual salvation opened to the followers of Jesus at Pentecost when the gift of the holy spirit came upon Peter and the other apostles showing that Jesus’ sacrifice had been accepted by divine justice and the way into heaven had been opened. (Acts 2:32,33; Heb. 6:19,20)The opportunity is to become part of the church elsewhere described as the bride, the lamb’s wife. (Eph. 5:23-27; 1 Cor. 12:28; Rev. 21:2,9) The church is also described as the body of Christ. (Eph. 1:22,23; 4:12)

The opportunity for salvation is described by the apostle Paul in Rom. 12:1,2 (NASB): “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:1,2 describes  what happens when we accept Jesus as our personal savior and dedicate our lives to following in his footsteps. Verse 1 describes what happens to our flesh. God applies the merit of Jesus’ sacrifice to flesh so He can accept it as an acceptable (“holy”) sacrifice. Verse 2 explains that God then begets us with His holy spirit beginning a new mind or new creature in us. (2 Cor. 5:17) This new mind is to grow in the likeness of Jesus and become fully developed in love. (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 13:1-13) If it is fully developed, it will receive a spiritual body in the first resurrection – “glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.” (Rom. 2:7 NASB)

This process of sacrificing our flesh or earthly lives and living spiritual is described by the apostle Paul in Rom. 6:3,4 (NASB): “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? (4) Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

This putting away of the flesh and putting on the new spiritual mind is described by Paul in Eph. 4:22-24 (NASB): “That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, (23) and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, (24) and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” We lay aside or strip off the fleshly life and way of thinking and put on the new mind, the mind of Christ Jesus. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5 NASB)

To receive the promised reward, the follower of Jesus must be called, chosen and faithful – unto death. (Rev. 17:4; 2:10) Only then will they receive the crown of life – immortality, the divine nature. Because the standards of Christ-likeness are so high, only 144,000 become fully developed, are faithful unto death and are rewarded. The glorified church is shown standing on Mt. Zion with the Lord’s and Father’s name written in their foreheads. (Rev. 14:1-5)

Their reward is not just to be in heaven as sons of God and part of the divine family. (1 John 3:1-2) Together with our Lord, they will kings and priests in Christ’s kingdom, judging men, angels and the 12 tribes of Israel. (1 Pet. 2:9,10; 1 Cor. 6:2,3; Matt. 19:28)They will be part of that great Melchizadek priesthood that will bless all the families of the earth.

The church is glorified during our Lord’s second advent. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” When the Lord returns, the dead in Christ are resurrected first and then those who are alive during our Lord’s return are resurrected when they finish their sacrifice in death. (1 Cor. 15:50-57)

For additional information please see our related booklets and videos below.

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