Last time we looked at the gathering of the elect (some times called the rapture) at the return of Jesus Christ. We left with the question, how do I qualify for inclusion?
"For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ." (I Corinthians 15:21-23)
The key phrase here is "those who belong to Christ." But before we look at that we need to notice what was written previous. "For as by a man came death," that is Adam. But his disobedience mankind was plunged into the dark pool of sin and death. But "by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead," that is Jesus. By his obedience we have a route out of death, a resurrection of the dead. "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." It is all a question of location. Where are you?
So how does one get into Christ or belong to Christ?
"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body..." (1 Corinthians 12:13)
This "one body" is Jesus. It is also referred to in the Scriptures as "the church" and "the bride". The only way into the church is by baptism. But what baptism? "For by one Spirit we were all baptized..." Not by water, as some have been led to think...
Like wise, "In him you also... were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. Which is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:14)
When we are baptised in the Holy Spirit we are sealed. This belongs of Jesus Christ. Just like letters of old were sealed with wax to ensure their authenticity, so we are sealed by our owner.
Are you sealed? Will you be part of the gathering?