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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

May 26, 2017

God's firstfruits

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

The feast of Pentecost, a feast of firstfruits, symbolizes an important step in God's plan of salvation for mankind. The firstfruits of God's plan are those who are called now, in this age, and are having their minds and attitudes changed to become like Jesus Christ through God’s Spirit working within them. The apostle James noted that God "chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created" (James 1:18, NIV).

The firstfruits of God’s plan, those who are called now, find themselves in a vastly different situation from that of those who will follow in the later harvest. Jesus said that those who are His followers in this age are not to be "of the world, just as I am not of the world" (John 17:16). They are called out of the world and are expected to develop the character of Christ, while the rest of mankind is deceived (Revelation 12:9) and following values that contradict Christ's standards (1 John 2:15-17).

It should come as no surprise that the current harvest of firstfruits is small, because at this time relatively few will accept God’s calling, repent, be converted and remain faithful to God's way of life. That is why Jesus said, "Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:14).

Those who have not conformed to the world (Romans 12:2) will be those who assist Christ in bringing all nations to His truth (Revelation 20:4). God enables His people to fulfill His purpose for them and God chose the Day of Pentecost to begin His Church by sending the holy spirit to His few faithful disciples (Acts 1:15; 2:1-4). With God's help, the firstfruits will overcome the world just as Jesus overcame the world, and Christ will use them in bringing all other people to serve Him (Revelation 2:26; 3:21).

We are living in the age of the firstfruits, the time during which God is preparing a special, chosen people to reign with Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:9). We are blessed to be part of that group. We should heed the counsel of the apostle Peter who admonished us to "be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure" (2 Peter 1:10). God's great gift – the holy spirit – helps us to do that. With God's help we have committed ourselves to obedience to His holy and righteous laws. We are committed to be willing to give up everything to remain faithful to Jesus Christ (Luke 14:33).

Our great future lies ahead in the kingdom of God. Let's look forward to our responsibility in helping Jesus bring the rest of mankind to salvation, because He has called us today to be His firstfruits.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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