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Have You Been Translated?

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Have You Been Translated?

“Giving thanks unto the Father … Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son”

Colossians 1:13


humans translated from death to eternal life



People who are spiritually dead are like the person in the filthy rags on the left side of the above photo. They are full of sin and have no idea that they are spiritually dead. They think they are OK because, after all, they are like everybody else, or like most people anyway. Similarly, a caterpillar goes about its business every day feeling fine crawling around on its belly. It has no idea that someday – under the right circumstances – it could become a beautiful butterfly and soar through the air like no caterpillar possibly could. When a sinner becomes “saved” or “born again” by God, they go through a transformation like that shown above and like that of the caterpillar and butterfly, though the change is more of an INWARD change of the heart, than an OUTWARD change of their appearance.

So the $64,000 question is: “Have you been translated?”.


As strange as that question may sound, being “translated” refers to something absolutely essential in order for us to spend eternity in Heaven with God. Other biblical terms for being translated include being “born-again”, “born from above”, “twice-born”, “born of the Spirit”, “regenerated”, “saved”, “new birth”, “spiritually reborn” and “converted by God”.


God must translate us (convert us) into people capable of actually wanting to be around Him forever, even if we think we are good people who would have no problem getting along with God.  PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT something accomplished by MAN (be it a priest or pastor or whomever) through water baptism. It requires GOD Almighty. Unless GOD Himself translates us, we will most certainly want to flee from Him.  That is because GOD is someone we cannot possibly relate to until and unless we are translated.  God is extremely HOLY.   He is infinitely righteous.  He vehemently hates sin AND those who practice it (see Psalm 5:5 & 11:5).   He hates false worship.  He hates those who take His name in vain. His hatred is a godly, pure, holy hatred. 


As unconverted, untranslated sinful creatures, we cannot begin to comprehend the awfulness of sin nor the magnitude of the offense that sin is against our Creator.  In fact, if we are not translated by God, we cannot even recognize certain things as being sinful.  Even the act of defending our particular religion is sin if we are not defending the one and only true religion – biblical Christianity.  Without the spirit of God dwelling in us, we are that ignorant of who God is and who His true followers are.  We might even think we are doing God a service by lashing out at God’s true messengers.  And we are not guiltless of a sin just because we are ignorant of it.


“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” [Romans 10:3]


As the lawgiver and sovereign ruler of the universe and all who live in it, God has every right to demand perfect obedience to His laws at all times.  He also has every right to punish lawbreakers for violating His laws.  The crucifixion of Jesus Christ gives us a graphic picture of God’s enormous hatred for sin.  God’s only begotten Son – Jesus Christ – voluntarily came into this world, setting aside His glory and majesty to allow sinful mankind to kill their Creator.  This was all part of God’s plan so that God could have a people for Himself.   Only the perfect, sinless Son of God was capable of paying man’s monumental sin debt: taking the punishment that sinners deserve for violating God’s laws.  God won’t be comparing us to other people and letting us off the hook because we are not as bad as others. And don’t think for one minute that you can somehow help pay for your sins yourself with “meritorious works” or by suffering in this life or in the next life in some imaginary place called Purgatory.


“they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” [2Corinthians 10:12]


When God translates a sinner, He puts His spirit in that person and they receive from God, an understanding of the depth and seriousness of their sin and they receive an understanding of how holy and righteous God is.   This translation process causes a sinner to agree with God that they deserve the punishment for their sins that God says they deserve (which is eternity in HELL).   This translation process is often called being born again (John 3:3, John 3:7, 1 Peter 1:23).


“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” [John 3:3]


Nowadays, many people make the claim that they have been born again, not realizing that it takes a supernatural act of God, not an act of the person’s will.  Just as you cannot give birth to yourself physically, you cannot give birth to yourself spiritually.   A person cannot get themselves “born again” by being water baptized, by reciting some prayer, by believing some facts about Jesus and the Bible, by walking down some aisle, by belonging to the “right” church, by coming forward at a crusade, by “turning over a new leaf” or by hanging out with religious people. About all a person CAN do is throw themselves at the mercy of God as did the publican in Luke 18:13 who prayed to God “God be merciful to me a sinner”.


Here is where we find the word “translated” in the Bible:


“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [fit] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” [Colossians 1:12-14]


The above passage from Colossians chapter one indicates that the translation process occurs to those who are still living.  It is not something that happens at death or after death.  This process is the same thing as being “born again”, assuming we understand that God is the author and finisher of this process and not we ourselves and not another person or some church. It is a process whereby God TRANSFERS a person from one world into another, from one spiritual kingdom (the Kingdom of Darkness) into another spiritual kingdom (the Kingdom of Heaven). It is also at the point in time when God adopts a person into His family.  And anyone whom God truly “translates” will indeed talk and act and even think differently than they did before.


“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” [Ephesians 1:5]


Contrary to what many people think, not all people are members of God’s family.


We are all God’s creatures but we are NOT all God’s children.[1]


Certainly you would not say that Adolph Hitler was one of God’s children would you? But, compared to God’s perfect holiness, infinite righteousness, and perfect sinlessness, we are essentially no better than Adolf Hitler.[2]  God does not compare us to the worst among the human race.  He compares us to his perfect sinless Son, Jesus Christ.  And since we fall so horribly short of the mark, we desperately need a savior, the only savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And we need a new nature in order to be happy in heaven and to be truly at home there, hence the need to be spiritually “born again” or translated – by God – into the kind of person whom the world thinks is too “religious” for their liking.

People who have been truly translated by God will live lives of thankful service to Him.  That means they will have a great desire to do their best to live their lives in obedience to what God says is good and right and just in the Holy Bible.


Do you have that kind of desire?

People who have been translated by God will no longer live for themselves but for God and others.  God will give them a great concern for the eternal spiritual welfare of others.


Do you have that kind of concern?

People who have been translated by God will acknowledge that Jesus is the only way to heaven and that every other way is a false way and every other god is a false god.  They will acknowledge that only the death of Jesus Christ could pay for their sins and that no other payment for sin on the part of the sinner (good works, penance, sacraments, prayers, fasting, pilgrimages, sufferings, etc.) could ever be an acceptable offering to God for a person’s sins.


Do you have that kind of perspective?

People who have been translated by God will know that their salvation is by the grace of God alone… that we are all at the mercy of God as to whether or not He will save us from hell. These people understand that we cannot do a single thing to merit heaven or to escape hell or to contribute towards our salvation.  We are all ENTIRELY at God’s mercy.


Do you know and believe this critical fact about salvation?

People who have been translated by God will have a hatred for sin. They will hate the sins they used to love to commit.  They will love God’s commandments and they will love the Christians whom they used to mock or feel uncomfortable around.  They will want to be obedient to God even regarding little things and even if obedience costs them something. These people will be anxious to avoid sinful activities even if people make fun of them. They will not wish to do or say anything that might offend the holy God whom they love and serve.

Do you look at sin that way?

People who have been translated by God will enjoy thanking God for His many blessings instead of complaining about the problems and hardships in their lives.  These people will believe that God has their best interest at heart, even if circumstances seem to indicate otherwise.

Do you have that kind of positive opinion of God?


So if a person is truly translated by God, his or her friends and family will notice a definite change.  They probably won’t like the change.  They may want the old sinful friend or relative to “come back”, especially if the translated person was someone who liked to hang around with them and drink, smoke, do drugs, curse, gossip, slander, lie, cheat, steal, commit sexual sins and waste time and money on themselves and on things that have no eternal value.  Most likely, they will not like this translated person to care about their souls or to talk to them about sin, hell, holiness, Jesus or the Bible.


In Conclusion


I urge you to keep in mind that if you have not been translated by a supernatural act of God, then you are not fit for heaven, so you cannot expect to go to heaven when you die.  You will not want to be there.  You will hate it there.  The degree of holiness there will be repulsive to you.  Also, you will have a tremendous fear of meeting the God whose commandments you took so lightly in this life.  You will not be happy in hell either, but that is where you will go and that is where you will reside for ever and ever, wishing for all eternity that you had never been born.


“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Matthew 16:26]






[1] “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” (John 8:44)


[2] “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matthew 5:22) and “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)



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