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The Coming Redemption of Your Mind
When Jesus returns, the way you think will be instantly transformed
A few years ago, I delivered a series of sermons under the title I Changed My Mind, which was later developed into a short book. God wants us to change our minds. The most important things for us to change are what we think and what we do as a result of our thinking.
God gave us a free will, which mean we can think and behave according to our own choices. But the Bible tells us what we ought to choose to do:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.—Romans 12:1-2
The apostle Paul is telling us not to follow the world’s pattern. He is saying we should not become identical to the world and act the way people do who are not believers. We cannot follow the world’s ways of behaving. We are to allow God to transform us into new people by being “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
The Greek word translated “transform” in this passage is metamorpoo, from which we get the word metamorphosis. A metamorphosis is a complete change, like a caterpillar that enters a cocoon and emerges as a butterfly. It is still the same creature, but it has gone through a complete change and has a new beginning.
God wants us to have that kind of dramatic change in what we think, feel, and do.
How does God want us to change? Paul says God wants to transform the ways we think. If you are a believer, then God did a great work in you when you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. People probably noticed the transformation. Of course, not everything about you changed in an instant. Some people may have a dramatic conversion like Paul on the road to Damascus, but that’s not the way most people are converted to the gospel.
God is always changing us. Every day you walk with the Lord, you know more what He wills, and He transforms you by the Holy Spirit more into His image. But at the same time, you are still living in a world tainted by sin. God is changing you, but you are not yet completely changed.
That day is still coming. When the Rapture comes, the transformation will be complete:
For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.—1 Corinthians 13:9-12
But if that’s the case—complete transformation of the mind—why do we need to concern ourselves with how we think and feel right now? If we are going to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” in an instant with the Rapture, then you might decide you don’t need to be concerned about it in the present.
That would be a mistake.
Created to Obey
Remember, Paul doesn’t just say that our minds will be transformed in the future. He also says God created us for good works today.
When we become followers of Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins to transform us into the likeness of Christ. God created humans in His image, but sin marred our likeness to Him. As God renews our minds, we become more and more the people He designed us to be. The apostle John wrote, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6). In other words, we need to be living our lives as Jesus did.
You might be thinking, “Jimmy, I think I’m good right now. I’ve been saved by grace. I’m not really going to worry about living like Jesus. When the Rapture comes, He will fix everything about me anyway.”
There’s a tiny nugget of truth in there—you may have been saved by grace—but most of that statement is a lie. Saved people act like saved people. If you have no desire to live like Jesus, then you don’t really know Him. I’m sorry if that disappoints you, but it’s true. Matthew 7:20 says we are known by our fruits.
Imagine someone trying to join the military and saying, “I just want to wear a cool uniform and carry a gun. I’m not really interested in going to boot camp, taking orders, preparing for battle, or doing anything dangerous. Just let me do the really fun stuff.”
How long do you think that person would last in basic training?
If you have no desire to obey God, then I’m not sure what happened when you believe you were saved, but something must have been missing. I’m not God, so I can’t tell you whether you will make it to heaven. I can tell you I wouldn’t want to count on making it on a thin thread of once having said a sinner’s prayer—but then never doing anything to actually follow Jesus. If you have no desire to obey, then you may not have meant it when you told Jesus you wanted Him to be your Savior and Lord. He is either your Lord or He is not.
Faith Makes a Difference
If you want to live like Jesus, then read God’s Word and do what He did. Keep His commands. We can live like Jesus when we begin to identify with how He thinks and feels, when we seek His guidance and understanding, and when we respond in the ways He responds. You can do this if you stay in the Word, prayer, and Christian fellowship, which are all essential for transforming your mind.
Choose consciously to think and live like Jesus today. That means you will have to stop and listen for the Spirit’s guidance. You really can do all things through Christ’s strength, but you still have to listen and obey. Transformation is a process that is different for every believer. In every case, however, you are the one who will have to commit to the transformation of your mind. God will do the work, but you have to allow Him to do it.
I do not believe your mind will reach perfection in a world tainted by sin. You will still need the Holy Spirit to help you define success. You will still have to cast your cares on Jesus and submit your fears to God.
But when Jesus returns, your mind will be completely transformed. You will know that you are a success because the riches of God’s grace will be real and present for you. All fear and anxiety will disappear. You will never worry again about your security because you will be held in the arms of your Savior. All fear will cease as you join the resurrected Lord in the air.
Until then, be prepared. Be a witness to the world around you. Others are watching how you respond to situations and stresses in your life. They need to know that faith makes a difference, and God wants you to be that difference. Look up because your redemption is drawing near!
Look up! His redemption is at hand!
I write much more about the total transformation of our minds, bodies and more in my new book, Look Up! Awaiting the Rapture and Our Final Redemption.