ONFS, Acrylic on Canvas, Individual panel size: 80 cm x 80 cm (31.5cm x 31.5cm)
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“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [Jesus], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)
This painting reflects God’s precious gift of time to us before the Tribulation (End Times judgment) comes upon the world. (See “The Tribulation” (Signs of The Times Series)).
It illustrates principles in an End Times dream that God gave me on November 5, 2011. (See “Today is The Day of Salvation” (Signs of The Times Series) for the account of the dream and notes on the main lessons of the dream).
My message through this entire triptych can be summed up by the following Scripture:
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all…Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin [a sin offering] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 5:14, 17-6:2)
Because God is perfectly holy he cannot be in the presence of sin (Ezra 9:15). Sadly, because each one of us has sinned (Romans 3:23) we are all alienated from him.
Even so, God still loves us. Therefore, he provided a way for us to be reconciled to himself. He sent his Son, Jesus, to live the perfectly sinless life we all fail to live. Jesus then took upon himself all of OUR sins and bore God’s punishment for them through his death on the cross. He gave his life to ransom all of those who trust in him as their Savior (Mark 10:45, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Hebrews 9:15). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus rose from the dead three days later, making forgiveness, eternal life and reconciliation with God possible.
In order to be reconciled to God and receive salvation, you must repent (turn away) from all of your sins. Then, you must place your trust in Christ to save you, believing that he has paid the punishment for your sins.
When you accept Christ as your Savior like this, God reconciles you to himself by forgiving all of your sins (past, present and future) (1 John 1:9, Hebrews 10:10, 14). He grants you eternal life, and you enter into a personal relationship with him. As a result, you will be spared from judgments of the Tribulation and hell, for Christ has taken the full wrath of God for you in your place (1 Thessalonians 1:8-10). (See “The Tribulation” (Signs of The Times Series)).
“For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]” (Ephesians 2:8-9 AMP)
The four people in this entire triptych represent every section of humanity and how they choose to spend God’s gracious gift of time. They also represent every section of humanity in their responses towards God’s loving offer of reconciliation through faith in Christ.
The boy in the right panel represents those who have repented of their sins and have placed their faith in Christ to save them. Because they have been reconciled to God, they are safe in his hands from the wrath and judgment of the End Times, which is nearly upon them. As humble little children, they have simply believed and obeyed Jesus’ words.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:14-15)
The girl in the right panel has heard God’s message of reconciliation, and his love has touched her heart. She sees that a personal relationship with God is within her grasp. However, she still needs to appropriate salvation by turning from her sins and accepting Christ as her Savior. Her mental assent to the truth is not enough to save her. She is not safe from judgment yet. Only when her heart fully trusts and rests in Christ for salvation will she be completely safe forever in the Lord’s hands.