The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 13:22-28 ~ The Consequences of Rejecting or Accepting Jesus; the First Shall be Last & the Last Shall be First ~ Jesus Laments Over the People’s Rejection of Him as Savior!

Vol. 19, No. 30 – August 9, 2020


8 9 20-Consequences of Rejecting or Accepting Jesus,Pt 2;the 1st Shall be Last and the Last Shall be 1st-Jesus Laments Over People's Rejection of Him as SaviorThe Gospel of Luke
Chapter 13

b. Enter through the narrow door / gate or be rejected, vs. 22-30, (continued), paralleled in Mat 7:13-22.

Vs. 28

Luke 13:28, “In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.”

In the first half of this verse, “in that place,” we have the location as to where these unbelievers will depart to, which finally will be the Eternal Lake of Fire / Hell.

“In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” uses the Adverb of location, EKEI, “there or in that place,” that represents the Lake of Fire, along with the Future, Middle Deponent, Indicative of the Verb EIMI for “will be,” to indicate the future torment they will endure that is noted in two metaphors.

First we have, “weeping,” which is the Noun KLAUTHMOS, “weeping, lamentation, crying, bitter weeping, or wailing,” and secondly we have, “gnashing of teeth,” that uses the Nouns BRUGMOS, “grinding, gnashing, grating (of teeth),” with the Plural of HO ODOUS, “of the teeth.”

This type of weeping, KLAUTHMOS, denotes the complete absence of happiness and the absolute presence of despair. This despair, along with the rage of being condemned forever in a place of torment, produces a literal and continual gnashing of the teeth.

We noted this phrase when studying Luke 12:46, where the wicked slave, unbeliever, is “assigned a place with the unbelievers,” which is the Lake of Fire, cf. Mat 24:51.

In the parallel passage to Luke 12:42-46, the wicked slave, (i.e., unbeliever), will be condemned to the Lake of Fire along with all the hypocrites, (i.e., false teachers of a false gospel and false doctrines), where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, Mat 24:51, “And will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

In Luke 12:46, we noted that this phrase is also associated with the “outer darkness,” that is an analogy for the Lake of Fire, Mat 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; also known as the “furnace of fire,” Mat 13:42, 50. In both of these descriptions, there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” in that place.

Marveling at the faith of the Roman Centurion in comparison to the lack of faith in Israel, Jesus said in Mat 8:11-12, “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

In Mat 22:12-14, the parable of the Wedding Feast, Jesus gave an analogy of someone who was invited to the feast, but was not prepared for it, which represents he did not believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, “And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

In Mat 25:30, the parable of the Talents given for investment, for the one who did not use what was given to him, (i.e., the gospel of Jesus Christ), they will be cast into the Lake of Fire, “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

In each reference, the unbeliever will be experiencing “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” which represents great sorrow along with great anger and bitterness. It speaks to the torment and remorse of the wicked in the future life, along with their continued obstinacy towards accepting Jesus as Savior, (i.e., God’s plan for salvation). And remember, there are no second chances!

Therefore, “weeping and gnashing of teeth” are signs which express great sorrow, anguish, and rage. This negative emotion and mental attitude will be exacerbated by the fact that they will be 1) “shut out of a place where they have been openly invited to attend.” 2) Seeing their forefathers and fellow countrymen enjoying the place and fare that they now cannot.

It is an awful thing to be outside. “Outside the door of the house where patriarchs and prophets feast, shall the excluded weep and gnash their teeth, all the more because they think they have a right, as belonging to the chosen race, to be within.” (Expositor’s Greek Testament).

The second factor, “when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God,” is specifically pointing to the Jewish person’s rejection of Jesus Christ compared to their forefather’s acceptance. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are the bloodline for the people of Israel, and the prophets speak to the writers of the Hebrew Bible and God’s  people. As we have noted, the true prophets of God were many times persecuted by the religious order, Luke 11:47; Acts 7:52; Rom 11:3; 1 Thes 2:15.

Luke 11:47, “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them.”

Acts 7:52, “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.” 

Rom 11:3, “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” Cf. Elijah’s statement in 1 Kings 19:10, 14.

1 Thes 2:15, “Who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men.”

The Jews of Jesus’ day boasted about their ancestry, being descended from Abraham. They prided themselves that the prophets were their ancestors too. Yet, they did not walk in the ways of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or the prophets any more than they did in the way of Jesus and His teaching. With this backdrop, we see that this torment in the Lake of Fire, is made even worse because of the occupants’ ability to see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophets enjoying the bliss of paradise in the Kingdom of God.

Therefore, thinking that by bloodline they had a one way ticket into the Kingdom of God, yet being told they could not enter, and seeing their other relatives in the Kingdom and enjoying it, will result in great anguish and sorrow for the Jewish unbelievers, as well as all Gentile unbelievers, that is described by “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Therefore, as a result of their rejection of Jesus Christ as their Savior / Messiah / King, Jesus said, “But yourselves being thrown out,” which uses DE, the contrasting Conjunction “but,” with the Present, Middle, Participle of the Verb EKBALLO, “thrown out, driven out, or sent out,” with the Adverb EXO that once again means, “out, outside, without, etc.” As such, “thrown out outside,” is a double emphasis of the judgment of Jesus Christ upon them, as well as an indicator of the place to which they are being thrown, “outside,” (i.e., the outer darkness, Lake of Fire), that also means outside the Kingdom of God. Because they stood outside of the narrow door and did not enter through faith, vs. 25, they will be thrown outside of the Kingdom of God into the outer darkness, the Lake of Fire, where there will be perpetual mental anguish described by weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Vs. 29

Luke 13:29, “And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.”

Not only will it be mental torment to see their fellow countrymen in the Kingdom of God that they are barred from, but they will also see many Gentile peoples in the Kingdom as well.

This passage emphasizes the vastness of those who will be in the Kingdom of heaven and where they have come from. The parallel in Mat 8:11, only uses “east and west,” ANTOLE, which means, “east,” or “rising of a star, the rising of the sun,” i.e., “the morning star,”  and DUSME that means, “west,” or “the setting of the sun.” Yet, Luke takes it even further by adding, “north,” BORRHAS, and “south,” NOTOS.

In other words, people from around the globe will be gathered together in the Kingdom of God, which first emphasizes the Gentile peoples, but also includes the Jewish people, especially after the great diaspora.

The Israelites prided themselves on being the chosen race, but Jesus tells them that all the peoples of the world, Gentiles and Jews, will be in the Kingdom that they thought was their own. This would further exasperate the ones who rejected Christ to weep and gnash their teeth.

Recline at the table,” only uses the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb ANAKLINO that means, “reclining,” with the undertone of “at the Messianic banquet,” (e.g., Mat 8:11), which also gives us imagery of the marriage supper of the Lamb in Rev 19:9, 17.

Therefore, the believer has accepted the invitation to attend the wedding feast, while the unbeliever has rejected it and will be longingly viewing it without participation.

Vs. 30

Luke 13:30, “And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.”

Finally, we have one of the great principles of the faith-rest life, “Some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.” Here, we have a play on the words ESCHATOS, “last,” and PROTOS “first,” with juxtaposition.

As it is applied here, it refers to Jews as the first who become last, and to Gentiles as the last who become first. Here again, Jesus is provoking the mental attitude of the unbelieving Jews of His day who thought they had a special relationship with God and His Kingdom purely because of their bloodline. But Jesus is emphasizing that it is not bloodline that saves you, it is faith alone in Christ alone.

This is the teaching that led Paul to emphasize in Romans 9, that “true Israel,” are not those of the bloodline of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but those who are of the bloodline and who also believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior / Messiah / King.

Rom 9:6-7, “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, …”

Romans 9:30-33, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33just as it is written, “behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed”.”

This further emphasizes what Jesus just said about the Gentile peoples, as the Jews thought they were first among God’s people, yet they would be last, due to their rejection of Him. And, those who the Jews thought would be last, especially Romans, would be first in the Kingdom of God, because of their faith in Jesus as their Savior.

Therefore, the distinction between first and last is not one of degree, but absolute, (i.e., some will be within the Kingdom of God, while others will be without the Kingdom of God).

This comparison also tells us that those who seem like they are losers according to the world’s standards of success and achievement will actually be exalted in the Kingdom of God. While those who seem like they are giants here on earth, will actually not even be in the Kingdom of God. Therefore, we are to take courage that even if we are not thought of as “heroes” from the world’s perspective, in God’s eye’s we are valiant warriors to be exalted, because we consistently walk in His will.

c. Lamenting over Jerusalem for her rejection of the Messiah, vs. 31-35.

Vs. 31

Luke 13:31, “Just at that time some Pharisees approached, saying to Him, “Go away, leave here, for Herod wants to kill You”.”

Just at that time,” EN AUTOS HO HORA, “in the same hour,” tells us this occurred right after the previous episode of the man asking Jesus, “Are just a few being saved,” and Jesus responding with the parable of the shut door with description of the mental anguish and suffering in the Lake of Fire for the unbeliever.

Here, “some Pharisees,” TIS PHARISAIOS, “approached,” PROSERCHOMAI, “came to, approached, etc.,” Jesus to warn Him about Herod seeking “to kill,” APOKTEINO, Him. This Herod is Herod the Tetrarch of Galilee that we noted in Luke 3:1, who killed John the Baptist, Luke 9:7-9.

In this warning, they entreated Jesus to “go away, leave here,” with the Aorist, Active, Imperative, of EXERCHOMAI, “go out, depart, etc.,” and the Present, Active, Imperative of POREUOMIA, “to go, depart,” with the Adverb ENTEUTHEN, “from here.” Luke used ENTEUTHEN, ἐντεῦθεν previously in Luke 4:9, for the third of Satan’s three temptations of Jesus.

Luke 4:9, “And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.”

This temptation tested Jesus’ relationship to His own Deity, as the first and second tested His relationship with the Holy Spirit and God the Father, respectfully.

Therefore, we see that this “warning” was a form of temptation toward Jesus to have “fear, worry, anxiety, etc.,” because of a political leader potentially threatening Him, just as in vs. 1. But Jesus would not fall for it!

Having been warned about Pilate and Herod in this chapter, it is setting the stage for what would come, leading up to His crucifixion.

We might assume that these Pharisees were part of the believing ones, because they did not want to see Jesus being persecuted at the hands of Herod. On the other hand, they might have been unbelieving ones who were already conspiring against Him, trying to get rid of Him. Maybe this was a way to do that. Some believe these who came to tell Him about Herod’s plot to kill Him were possibly envoys of Herod. Nevertheless, Jesus does not give in to their threatening warning or Herod’s threat, and instead uses it as a teaching moment.

“Jesus was in Herod’s jurisdiction since Herod had responsibility for the affairs of Galilee and Peraea. Herod lacked the courage to kill Jesus because of His popularity with the people. Herod had killed John earlier, but Jesus had a much greater following than John. Herod may have sent the Pharisees to warn Jesus to leave the area so that he would not be responsible to the Romans for any large crowd disturbances. The Pharisees themselves may have wanted Jesus to leave the area because they could not deal with Him very well in either Galilee or Peraea, but in Jerusalem they could seize Him more easily.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)

Vs. 32

Luke 13:32, “And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal’”.”

Jesus’ response to them was to “go,” POREUOMAI once again, but in the Aorist, Passive, Participle, Nominative, with “and tell,” in the Aorist, Active, Imperative of Command, “that fox,” HO ALOPEX, which is only used here and Mat 8:20; Luke 9:58, for an analogy of Jesus’ plight of not having a home to lay His head.

Mat 8:20, “Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head”.”

In those passages, it was used for a literal fox, yet in our passage, it is used metaphorically to describe Herod as a sly, crafty, and deceptive person, along with the insignificance of His power, cf. Neh 4:3. Jesus called Herod a fox because he was so sly in getting the Pharisees to do his bidding under the cover of working behind His back. Therefore, in calling Herod a “fox,” Jesus was calling him both a crooked man and a small man. This seems to be the only time Jesus used a derogatory term for a person. “That fox” also carries the connotation of contempt.

Jesus then speaks to His power and authority as He “casts out demons,” EKBALLO DAIMONION, and “performs cures,” APOTELEO, “bring to completion, perform, perfect, etc.,” with the Noun IASIS, “healing or cure,” only used here and Acts 4:22, 30. Therefore, He “performs healings.”

Then, Jesus added some emphasis, “today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal,” SEMERON KAI AURION KAI HO TRITOS TELEIOO.

Interestingly, Jesus has a play on words with APOTELEO, for the healings He completes/perfects and the mission of ministry, with the word TELEIOO, ελειόω that means, “make perfect, complete, finish, accomplish, bring to completion, or perfect.” It is most often used in its generic sense of “finish, complete,” or “bring to completion.” “In some texts the idea of completion means to be successful in a task such as a battle or war. In other texts the word is used biologically with the meaning to allow fruit to ripen to maturity.” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary).

Here, it is a metaphor for a reference to the completion of the work of salvation by Jesus when He would arrive in Jerusalem, vs. 33. Therefore, by identifying His important and authoritative work of completely healing people, He spoke of how that would be accomplish, when upon the Cross He would pay for the sins of the world and then be buried three days and nights, and rise on the “third day,” when the task would be completed and perfected for all time.

With the Present, Middle, Indicative of TELEIOO, Jesus is saying He will complete the mission that God sent Him to accomplish. That is much more important and authoritative than anything Herod had done, was doing, or would do.

Vs. 33

Luke 13:33, “Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.”

“Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day,” PLEN, “however, but, etc.,” DEI, “it is necessary, must, should, etc.,” SEMERON KAI AURION KAI HO ECHO, with the Present, Middle, Infinitive of POREUOMAI once again for, “to go, depart, travel, journey, etc.”

Jesus was speaking of His mission to get to Jerusalem to accomplish God’s Plan of Salvation through His death and resurrection.

Then, He throws a little dig or insult in by saying, “for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem,” HOTI OUK with the Present, Middle Deponent, Indicative of the Verb ENDECHOMAI, “be possible or allowed,” only used here in the NT, with PROPHETES APOLLUMI, “be destroyed, ruined, killed, perish, etc.,” EXO HIEROUSALEM.

With EXO, “outside,” we have a play on the word from these passages. Just as the unbeliever stood “outside” of the narrow door, (Jesus Christ), and did not enter, (believe for salvation), they will be cast “outside” the Kingdom of God into the Lake of Fire. Here, Jesus is prophesizing that He, like the prophets before Him, cannot be killed “outside” of Jerusalem by those who have rejected Him. Inside of Jerusalem the narrow door for salvation would be establish through His Cross that allows the believer entrance into the Kingdom of God and keeps the unbeliever outside of it.

As we noted above in Luke 11:47; Acts 7:52; Rom 11:3; 1 Thes 2:15, the Pharisees like there evil forefathers, killed the prophets, just as they would kill Jesus in Jerusalem. It would not be Herod who would kill Jesus, but the Pharisees.

“Jesus sent a message that put all evil forces on notice. He said, in effect, “You cannot stop, alter, interrupt, or ignore the objective God has sent Me to achieve. I will continue to battle evil during the time I have left, and I will keep My appointment with the cross in Jerusalem.” And in so doing, He intended to culminate Jerusalem’s lengthy history of killing God’s messengers. At the end of a long line of martyred prophets stood the invincible Word of God incarnate.” (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary)

Vs. 34

Luke 13:34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!”

Verses 34-35, are paralleled in Mat 23:37-38.

Here, Jesus laments over Jerusalem: HIEROUSALEM HIEROUSALEM HO APOKTEINO, “to kill,” HO PROPHETES KAI LITHOBOLEO, “to pelt with stones, kill by stoning, or stone,” HO APOSTELLO in the Perfect, Passive, Participle, Nominative, “those sent,” PROS AUTE, “to her.”

Once again, Jesus refers to the forefathers of this current generation who killed the prophets God sent to them in order to warn them to repent from their apostasy. Instead of heeding the warnings and exalting God and His prophets, they killed them and stayed in their rebellion against God.

“From the time of Solomon to the time of Christ the prophets had known rejection and met with death in Jerusalem when they stood up for God. Jesus’ Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen (Matthew 21:33-41) shows the treatment given Him by those to whom He was sent.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary).

Jesus then speaks of His desire from eternity past to save the people of Israel in this idiom, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.”

“How often,” is the interrogative Adverb POSAKIS, “How often? or How many times?” It is only used here and in the parallel verse of Mat 23:37, and in Mat 18:21 for Peter’s question of “how often do we forgive those who sin against us?”

Next, Jesus indicates His great “desire,” THELO, “to gather together,” EPISUNAGO, “your children,” HO TEKNON. God Jesus always desired to have all the people of Israel saved and in Heaven with Him, rather than having them toil sinfully here on earth.

The analogy to this gathering is, “just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,” HOS TROPOS, “character, conduct, manner, way, etc.,” ORNIS, “hen,” AUTE, “her,” HO NOSSIA, “brood of young birds or chicks,” only used here, HUPO HO PTERUX, “under the wing.”

Even though this was God’s / Jesus’ desire for the people of Israel, by offering them the Kingdom of God, over and over again, due to their unbelief, Jesus states, “And you would not have it!” KAI OUK THELO in the Aorist, Active, Indicative in the emphatic use. In other words, “they would not wish or desire it.”

This is their rejection of God’s plan of salvation for their lives; the rejection of His offer to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. “The people of Jerusalem stubbornly resisted the pleading of God. Samuel, the prophet, in rebuking King Saul for his stubbornness, likened the sin of stubbornness to idolatry (1 Samuel 15:23). Stubbornness is a sin that sets self up as God. For this reason God would destroy even the city where His temple stood as a portrayal of His presence.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)

Vs. 35

Luke 13:35, “Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, “BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’”

Due to their rejection of the Messiah / Savior, Jesus prophesizes a judgment upon them, “Behold, your house is left to you desolate,” EIDON, HUMEIS HO OIKOS, “your house,” APHIEMO, “let go, leave behind, or left,” which is also the word used for the “forgiveness” of sins, which they did not accept, HUMEIS in the Dative case, “to you.”

Desolate,” EREMOS, is actually not in the Greek of this passage, but is in Matthew’s so it should be in italics. It means, “desolate, abandoned, desert, or solitary (place).” It speaks of the destruction Jerusalem would face in 70 A.D.

Then, Jesus predicts His triumphal entry and Second Advent, “I say to you, you will not see Me” that uses a double negative OUK ME, for “absolutely not,” with EIDON for “see Me.”

“Until the time comes when you say, “BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” that quotes Psa 118. EULOGEO HO ERCHOMAI EN ONOMA KURIOS

The last part is a quote from Psa 118:26, that shows us the people of Israel knowing this prophecy, when the people of Jerusalem shouted these words during our Lord’s Triumphal entry into the city on “Palm Sunday,” Mat 21:9; Luke 19:38, only to shout “crucify Him,” several days later. Matthew adds “Hosanna to the Son of David” before it, and “Hosanna in the highest after it.

Judaism of Jesus’ day had adopted hosanna as a cultic cry, and it had messianic/eschatological overtones. When the people cried “Hosanna!” to Jesus (“he who comes in the name of  the Lord” [Matthew 23:39, NIV]) as He entered Jerusalem, this was a messianic proclamation. The “Coming One” was already recognized as a messianic title (Zechariah 9:9).” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

As such, in order to be blessed, they had to truly believe in Jesus as the promised Messiah / Savior. Even though they shouted the words, they truly did not believe them in their heart for salvation. As a result, they rejected their Messiah, as sent by God, and remained in their rebellion and apostasy. Therefore, in Divine judgment for their apostasy, God would destroy the temple in 70 A.D. and disperse the chosen people, while moving to the Gentiles to carry on His salvation work.

This is why it is stated about Jesus upon His arrival in Jerusalem on “Palm Sunday,” in Luke 19:41, “When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it.” He lamented with a heavy heart over the people whom He came for as one of their own, because He was being rejected by them, and knowing God’s judgment towards them as a result.

Yet, knowing all this, Jesus was not frightened, scared, or wavering from fulfilling the mission that God the Father had set out for Him, because He also knew that many in Israel and throughout the world would believe upon Him for salvation and enter into the Kingdom of God. We too, must have this type of fortitude and perseverance when facing the challenges of witnessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because the end results will far outweigh the difficulties endured along the way.

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#20-080 & 20-081

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If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.

Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.

So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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