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Questions & Answers > General concepts > Does the grace Jesus displayed in the gospels still apply today?

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Question:  Jesus demonstrated an abundant supply of grace to sinners, eg the woman caught in adultery, and Mary Magdalene.  Does this same measure of grace apply to us in this era of his kingdom?  (Nina)

Graham answers:  Yes indeed!  Jesus told his disciples to take all his teachings into the nations and he'd be with them to the end of the age (Mt 28:16-20), and he said his word/message would never pass away (Mt 24:35), so I don't think any aspect of Jesus' gospel has been cancelled or expired over the last 2000 years.

God and Jesus are as much into loving us, helping us, delivering us and forgiving us as ever in the past. Jesus' teachings require a lot of us if we are to enter the Kingdom, but God does a great deal to help us in that --  forgiveness, kindness, truth, patience, and the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us.  He's on our side and wants us to succeed!  This is important to remember, because otherwise Jesus' teachings can seem like a daunting or impossible task if we think we have to accomplish them by ourselves while a demanding and uncaring God looks on, waiting to jump on us as soon as we look like we aren't making it. 

On the other hand, we must bear in mind that a positive experience from Jesus (or God) is not necessarily a guarantee of eternal life.  People sometimes assume that because Jesus was kind or accepting or forgiving to someone in the gospels (or someone today), therefore they must surely have eternal life, but this is not so, and Jesus specifically warned against this assumption (Lk 13:22-29, Mt 7:21-23).  The fact that God helps me with a step along the way doesn't necessarily mean I've arrived at my destination.

Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery, which was wonderful (Jn 8) -- but he didn't guarantee her eternal life, and he did warn her to change her behaviour (Jn 8:11).  He helped her along the path to eternal life, but didn't promise her that she had arrived.

Jesus delivered Mary Magdalene from 7 demons which must have been a great blessing and help to her, but he didn't guarantee her eternal life.  Elsewhere, he warned that it is possible for a person to have a demon driven out, and then get even worse problems later on if they fail to repent and do what God wants (Mt 12:38-45, Lk 11:24-28).

Jesus healed one crippled man but also warned him, "Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you" (Jn 5:1-15).  That's kind and helpful, but not a guarantee of eternal life.

Jesus helped his 12 disciples in many ways for 3 years and then sent the Holy Spirit to keep helping them, but his parting words to them included a warning to remain in him and to make sure his words remained in them -- otherwise they would be like a branch that withers, is thrown away, and picked up and put in the fire, which is not a picture of eternal life (Jn 15:4-10).

God continues to help people today in a variety of kind and gracious and miraculous ways, and we've all heard numerous stories of these, and they're great -- but we should not assume that a "touch from the Lord" is necessarily a guarantee of eternal life.

There's a longer explanation about this aspect in response to someone's "Claim: God saves people BEFORE they change".

As an aside, as I don't think it's your main question, I wouldn't call today the era of the Kingdom. The full Kingdom of God as described by Jesus and the prophets before him will be a Kingdom in which the Messiah rules in supernatural glory in Zion, Jerusalem, Israel;  and Israel will be peaceful and prosperous and righteous and dominate the world and be served by the other nations;  and this has yet to happen, when Jesus returns. Israel in the main rejected Jesus in 30 AD and so the Kingdom was taken away from them then (Mt 21:43), but it will come again (Lk 21:31).  It's true that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are important parts of the Kingdom, but they're not the whole completed Kingdom;  the Holy Spirit today is more like a beach-head.  This is all covered in my powerpoint talks A09 The History of Israel and A10 Israel and the Kingdom which I'll put up for downloading in the next few months.

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