Correspondence: Heaven Immediately?; Iniquity/Transgressions/Sin; Genealogies

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Ques. Is the soul, in every case of conversion, as immediately fitted for heaven as in the case of a penitent thief on the cross?
Ans. Surely it is. The standing of the believer in Christ, and his title to heaven, are the same from the first.
In the preaching of the gospel, the sinner is invited to come to Christ just as he is. No matter what may be his state of mind at the time, or his past history, he is entreated where he is, and as he is, to believe God's testimony concerning His beloved Son, to look in faith to Christ, to come in heart to Him; and with this assurance from Christ Himself,
“Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:3737All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37). All that come are received. None are rejected. But they are received when they come, and never cast out.
There is no thought in the gospel of the sinner needing to do anything, feel anything, or be anything, to fit him for the Savior. The sinner is addressed as lost. There can be nothing lower than this. There may be many degrees in sin but there can be none in that awful word "Lost." In this condition he is invited, entreated, besought, to look to Jesus, and be saved.
“Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." Isa. 45:2222Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:22).
Salvation meets the sinner, not for looking, or after looking, but in looking.
Was it the first, second, or third look at the brazen serpent that was new life to the dying Israelite? We all know it was the first. When he looked he lived (Num. 21:99And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (Numbers 21:9)).
And so must it ever be with the perishing sinner. When he looks to Jesus he is saved. And let us not forget, that what meets him is "the salvation of God"; which includes every spiritual blessing.
Ques. What is the difference between "iniquity," "transgression" and "sin"? Have we all iniquity?
Ans. Iniquity is self-will and unrighteousness. Transgression is breaking the law. Sin is offense against God.
We have all sinned against God, but we may say, as in Isa. 53:66All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6), "Jehovah hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Ques. Why are the genealogies in Matthew and Luke different?
Ans. The difference will be better understood by considering the subject of each gospel.
Matthew presents the Lord Jesus as heir of the promises and heir of the throne of Israel. To be this he must have a legal title by His birth through Joseph, who was the natural heir to the throne. So Matthew's gospel gives Joseph's genealogy, who was the husband of Mary; this gave Jesus the title as Joseph's Son.
In Luke the Lord is presented as Son of man. Jesus was of the royal lineage of David, but was only supposed to be the Son of Joseph. Matt. 1:2020But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 1:20) and Luke 1:3535And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35) show His miraculous conception by the Holy Ghost. We must find therefore the actual genealogy in Luke. Mary, therefore, was of David's line, but through Nathan, not Solomon; from there the line is different. Now Joseph, the supposed father of Jesus, was not the son of Heli, but was the son of Jacob (Matt. 1:1616And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. (Matthew 1:16)). So we must leave out the words in Italics and read: Jesus... was of Heli, of Matthat, of Levi (etc.),... of Adam, of God. Jesus was of all these.
From David's sons the line varies because the one is Joseph's and the other Mary's genealogy. Mark presents the Lord as the Son of God as Servant, so begins when His service begins, with no genealogy. John presents Him as Son of God, the eternal Word, who was with God and was God. God has no beginning, no parentage.