A POSSIBLE YOU
FINDING GOD’S DESTINY FOR OUR LIFE
EVERYONE WILL BE GIVEN THE CHANCE TO EXPLAIN
“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus EVERY knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that EVERY tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8-11)
Let us continue with discussing the system of the beast, our accountability, the coming judgment and what will happen at the end of the age when all things will be fulfilled. When speaking of death and where the spirit goes, in elementary terms we can say that God’s children go to a good place and those who have never known Christ go to a bad place but the complexity of this topic finds there are many different opinions about what happens until we arrive at our final destination. Some believe that after the spirit leaves the body, it goes directly to heaven or hell and that is that. However, many Bible teachers are convinced that the spirit (whether saved or lost) proceeds to designated holding chambers or a temporary plane of existence until the final judgment. This is a huge subject and not really worth arguing over because it is truly difficult to understand it completely with the limited information we have. There is much speculation but to reduce strife, may we agree that the spirits of all saints go to be with God at death. It may not be the final heavenly abode and we may not have a final glorified body or all of our rewards yet – but it is all about who you are with – not where you are at! Amen? The lost on the other hand might not be necessarily be in the lake of fire and they may not have received their final sentence of punishment but again we can agree that wherever they are – it is dark, miserable, empty and void of God’s presence. So, even though there are libraries of opinions and commentaries of interpretations about all of this, we can say for now with a fair amount of confidence that ALL souls will stand before God and after all is said and done the final judgment and sentence will be given to every spirit that has ever lived and all things will be finally settled forever.
Before we go into more about the judgment, I wanted to mention an important aspect that is associated to our attitude about sin. It is very common in today’s world to notice more things that used to be considered shameful but now are open for everyone to know. In the past we were not so naïve that we did not suspect there were terrible sins being done behind closed doors but now the imagination is no longer needed – abominations are being done openly without humiliation for the entire world to see every day. In fact, it seems the aggressive ones are proud of their deeds and the masses have become “numb” (thanks to a relentless liberal media) to their acts. For example, becoming pregnant without being married years ago was embarrassing because it was the result of not being pure. The reason why people a few generations ago would sneak around and hide in the dark is because they hated for the light of truth to expose their depravity. I know this is alarming but I believe there is not much light being generated anymore because Christians have allowed the “basket” of lukewarm love to conceal and diminish the light of Christ within their heart. I noticed in the paper recently an article about our local gay-pride day filled with parades and festivities. I do not mean to pick on this one subject because there are many more examples that can be used, but for the sake of making a point I will continue with this illustration. I read the article to see just what in the world could be said to justify such bold arrogance and the same theme kept appearing; it was all about the concept of fairness and the right to be accepted “exactly” as they are. I was thinking about the motives behind all of the hoopla and actually there are many other political and religious views that proclaim the same battle-cry such as for example – feminism. It is time that we as Christians allow the Holy Spirit to show us the big picture of what all of this is really about. The gay rights agenda is not JUST about same sex couples no more than feminism only stands for the right for women to have abortions. These are just tentacles like that of an octopus but the brain and eyes of the beast are controlled by the spirit of anti-christ – the power and confidence of the SYSTEM of secular humanism! How else can we explain why the mainstream media has pushed the gay agenda into the living rooms of this country even though less than three percent of Americans are gay? Just as Satan manipulated Adam and Eve with trying to convince them that God was “afraid” that they could be as smart as He was, the message of aggressive rebellion has never changed. Satan knows that mankind can be brainwashed if something can be repeated and “hammered” into their conscience. (Why do you think we are “attacked” repeatedly by commercials on television)? This “New Order” is beginning to hypnotize every society and its pledge of allegiance can be summed up as the right to do whatever we want to do without anyone being negative or critical – including God! The world hates what God has to say just like they hated Jesus when He spoke the absolute truth. The carnal flesh did not want to feel guilty then and it does not want to feel His conviction now! It has come to the point where anyone that offends someone (with the truth) is guilty of a hate crime. Lies are being embraced and truth is being rejected! Selah. The innocent messengers (you and I) will be arrested just like Christ and the hatred and persecution from the masses will be focused on the very same thing – to silence the truth – (the key to salvation).
What does this have to do with sin, holiness and judgment? Everything! I have talked about many things over the years but within the pages of absolute truth I am not afraid to be a voice in the wilderness that will stand by this statement; “The Christian life is NOT thinking, saying or doing whatever we want! The old nature of our human will must die. Choosing to live according to our own desires is completely opposite of God’s will for our life and the promotion of a carnal freedom to do whatever feels good without any regard to God’s Word is a deception and lie from the pits of hell.” The message of the gospel is to receive Christ and become totally transformed not only in our spirit but also in our conscience. This renewal includes no longer obeying our old nature but following the voice of God in purity and Agape love. Fairness, tolerance, freedom, unity, respect, legalism, emotional feelings, equality, religion, worldviews, opinions, interpretations, philosophies, or any other reason to disagree with God will NOT be an excuse at the judgment. Loving God is listening and responding to Him – what else is there? Selah.
Let us continue with what we can expect to see and experience in the future. These events are not something we will watch like being at the movies but we will participate and “literally” be involved with giving an account of our life while standing face to face with God Almighty. It will not help our case to point fingers and blame our upbringing, our friends, parents, social status, false teachers or even the devil for the trespasses we have committed. If knowing this and believing it is true does not have any impact on us or cause us to be more conscious of our actions then I do not know what will! Romans chapter 14 tells us that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and that each one of us will give an account to God. “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you reduce to nothing thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue confess to God. So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God.” (Verses 10-12) Since we believe all of this is true and that we will stand before God one day – would it not be wise to live holy and be more careful how we walk? Why would anyone that has obtained the treasures of knowledge and wisdom, intentionally do things that are negative and offensive to God? Why would anyone live their life in the bondage and misery of sin and then regret these things while trying to explain why they did them? Our life is not a game and there will be nothing funny about our intentional rebellion. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and this revelation should be one of the pillars of our faith. If we desire to walk with God in eternity – it is time to start walking with Him now. “For thou art NOT a God that has pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with Thee.” (Psalm 5:4-6) It is true that God’s mercy and grace will take all things into consideration and since He has never failed (and never will) His judgments will always be perfect – without political contamination.
We have heard of the Great White Throne judgment as described in Revelation chapter 20 and are the final judgment prior to the lost being cast into the lake of fire. “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, STAND BEFORE GOD; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were JUDGED every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was NOT found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” We know from Revelation chapter 20 that this judgment will take place after the millennium and after Satan, the beast, and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire. These books that are opened evidently contain records of everyone’s deeds, whether they are good or evil, because God knows everything that has ever been said, done and thought, and He will reward or punish each one according to their works. “And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Revelation 22: 12). We notice that another book is opened, called the “book of life.” It is this book that determines whether a person will inherit eternal life with God or receive everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. Although Christians are held accountable for their actions, they are forgiven in Christ and their names are written in the book of life from the creation of the world. “The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottom-less pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names WERE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” (Revelation 17: 8)
The fact that there is going to be a final judgment for all men, both believers and unbelievers, is clearly confirmed in many passages of Scripture. Every person will one day stand before Christ and be judged for his or her deeds. While it is very clear that the great white throne judgment is the final judgment, Christians disagree on how it relates to the other judgments mentioned in the Bible, specifically, who will be judged at the great white throne judgment. Some Christians believe that the scriptures reveal three different judgments to come. The first is the judgment of the sheep and the goats or a judgment of the nation’s found in Mathew chapter 25. “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered ALL NATIONS: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” (Verses 31-32) This takes place after the tribulation period but prior to the millennium; its purpose is to determine who will enter the millennial kingdom. The second is a judgment of believers’ works, often referred to as the “judgment seat [bema] of Christ.” “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (II Corinthians 5:10). At this judgment, Christians will receive degrees of reward for their works or service to God. The third is the great white throne judgment at the end of the millennium that was described earlier in Revelation chapter 20 and this is the judgment of unbelievers in which they are judged according to their works and sentenced to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. Other teachers believe that all three of these judgments speak of the same final judgment, not of three separate judgments. In other words, the great white throne judgment in Revelation chapter 20 will be the time that believers and unbelievers are all judged at the same time. Those whose names are found in the book of life will be judged for their deeds in order to determine the rewards they will receive or lose. Those whose names are not in the book of life will be judged according to their deeds to determine the degree of punishment they will receive in the lake of fire. Those who hold this view believe that Mathew chapter 25 is another description of what takes place at the great white throne judgment. They point to the fact that the result of this judgment is the same as what is seen after the great white throne judgment. The sheep (saved believers) enter into eternal life, while the goats (lost unbelievers) are cast into eternal punishment. Like I mentioned earlier, it is difficult to know the exact details of events but whichever view one holds of the judgment, it is important to never lose sight of certain things that we do know. First, Jesus Christ will be the judge, all unbelievers will be judged by Him, and they will be punished according to the works they have done. The Bible is very clear that unbelievers are storing up wrath against themselves. “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasuring up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds.” (Romans 2:5-6)
Believers will also be judged by Christ, but since Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to us and our names are written in the book of life, we will be rewarded, and not punished, according to our works. Many believe that we may lose rewards and fail to earn crowns of achievement and in this sense we could suffer “loss” but we will not be harshly dealt with or be ridiculed or considered a criminal. Those who are truly saved will walk with Him so close that they will know what is standing between them and God and their love for Him will not want “anything” to hinder or separate this intimacy. We would like to think that all Christians are walking in this level of spiritual bliss but I have often wondered about the sins of God’s children that are forgotten, ignored and where forgiveness was never asked for. Do these un-repented sins just drift into the universe and eventually disappear? Does God require that all of our sins be brought before Him in sorrow? We know that our sins were forgiven when we were born-again and also realize that His grace is extended to forgive us of our trespasses when we repent in the sorrow of brokenness but I am curious about the many sins that slip through the cracks. (If all sins were automatically forgiven there would be no need to ask forgiveness when we fail). We should ask Him to reveal to us our sins and call to remembrance thoughts and deeds that we need to make right with Him. No doubt, He would even tell us to go to other people and ask them to forgive us for what we have done. There are consequences to our sin that we may not have thought about because the old nature does not care about restoration, restitution, integrity or the refining fire of holiness. In this light, we can believe this level of maturity and sensitivity is a vital part of our personal relationship with God to stay in a state of prayer so that we can talk to Him about our shortcomings and weaknesses and continually ask Him to help us and forgive us. I can definitely see the need for “praying without ceasing” and having a constant awareness of His presence. It is one of the greatest miracles ever given when God chose to forgive our sins and to know they are gone forever and will not be charged to our account because they have been bought and paid for by the compassion and mercy of the Lord. The blood of Jesus was the highest, most valuable gift that could be offered that had the power which could purchase and redeem the spirits who were hopelessly lost. The enemy may try to tease us and condemn us for our past failures but that is his job as an accuser and liar. We can hold our head high with confidence and rest in the promises of His Word that is founded on His covenant with us. We should NOT live our life in fear or be anxious to stand before Him in the judgment. We should be inspired and motivated to live the way we “know” He wants us to live. Let us rest in the peace of His promise, “As far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)