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It is through the apostle Paul that we first learn of the mystery gospel of the grace of God through Jesus Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), and of the church the body of Christ being comprised of believers in this (Ephesians 3:1-9). Paul is informed by Christ ascended into heaven that Gentiles are now offered the free gift of salvation by faith alone in Christ and His finished work on the cross on our behalf, without the need of our own efforts (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is also through Paul we are taught that salvation is offered to Gentiles without having to go through Israel during this, the dispensation of the grace of God (Ephesians 3:2). Israel did not receive their promised earthly kingdom of priesthood because of the rejection of Christ their Messiah (Romans 11:25), and the rejection of the holy Spirit at the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:54-60). The church the body of Christ is not appointed to God's wrath, but to God's grace (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11), and will therefore be 'caught away' with all other members of the church which is His body prior to the outpouring of God's wrath on unbelievers (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4). Paul shares with us that members of the church the body of Christ are sealed with the holy Spirit of promise until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30)! 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18: "14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
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