Saturday, November 22, 2014

Absolute Certainty 2

Absolutely Certain ...

Of course absolute certainty is desirable. The writer's conclusion in the photo quote above is wrong but he is right in one sense. It is impossible to be certain of anything when looking at things from a worldly point of view; but when considering the things of the Spirit ... Absolute Certainty is a promise that Jesus has given everyone who believes in Him.

The Bema judgment is for those who have already believed in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. This judgment happens at the moment we are caught up to be with the Lord.  This judgment is to determine the motives of our heart and provide rewards for any works that are deemed righteous by God. The believer's eternal life is already secure on the basis the our belief in Jesus and the Lord’s sacrificial death. The following verses explain further.

First read 2 Corinthians 5:7-10 as noted previously.

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

“According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” 1 Cor. 3:10-15

We will be separated from unbelievers at the second coming of Christ. The problem is that many confuse the consequences of God’s Bema judgment for believers with the Great White Throne Judgment. These are two different judgments. Believers are already born again and forgiven, and our Bema judgment before God will be for the purpose of receiving rewards after the believers have already been saved and united with Christ. If there are no good deeds in their life since believing in Christ, all of their works will be burned up; but they will be saved as a man running from a burning house.

On the other hand, unbelievers will be judged for their sins at the Great White Throne Judgment and without the free gift of Christ they will all perish. We all have already been judged, found guilty, and condemned for our sins. Only believing in Jesus Christ can save anyone from the consequences of this judgment.

Some people conclude that this makes no sense and that if true, this would allow people to say they believe and then do whatever they choose. But God is all knowing and has an answer to those who foolishly follow this self centered logic. Read 1 Cor. 3:16-17 Those who choose to pretend and play games with their spiritual life will suffer harsh consequences for their deception. Furthermore, God’s Truth does not need to make sense. It is the eternal Truth regardless of our feelings, thinking, and logic.

Here are three scriptures that make it clear that the names of believers in Jesus will be written in the book of life. And that God will not remove their name from the book of life. And lastly, that the judgment of non-believers has already been determined and will be rendered at the Great White Throne Judgment.

Phil 4:3 “Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.” Here the Apostle Paul makes it clear that the names of those who believe in Jesus have written in the book of Life.

In the verse below Jesus describes a church much like the churches in America today. One group of members is dead spiritually and are told to wake up and repent. Although calling themselves Christians, these people apparently do not even know Christ. If Jesus were to return at any moment they would be left behind. The second group are believers in Christ and are following the Spirit and Truth rather that the teachings and ways of the world and these will not have their name erased from the Lamb’s book of life. footnote: 1

Rev. 3:1-6 (first group - pretenders) "I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 'So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.”

(second group) - true believers) “But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

  Rev. 13:6-8 “And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.  It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

Here God explains that the devil has been given authority over all mankind. They are all worshippers of him and his evil ways. He is at war with all the saints … those who believe in Jesus. The unbelievers will worship him and follow his ways. Their names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life and will receive eternal punishment.

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15

This judgment as described is for those who were not caught up with Jesus Christ earlier at His second coming. Believer’s sins were judged at Calvary and we were justified by Christ who paid our penalty on the cross, once for all. As explained earlier Believers in Jesus Christ will have a separate judgment which is for the purpose of rewards only. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 This judgment will occur after the believers are caught up to be with God for eternity.

We who believe in Him, stand upon the Absolute Certainty of His promises.

"And to wait for his SON from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."  1 Thessalonians 1:10
"For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?  Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?  For ye are our glory and joy."   1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

"To the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before GOD, even our FATHER, at the coming of our LORD JESUS CHRIST 'with all' His saints."  1 Thessalonians3:13
"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."  1 Thessalonians 4:17.

Are You Absolutely Certain you will go to heaven for eternity when you die?

Having said all of this, I have some totally committed biblically-minded friends who do not agree on each point. I respect you greatly and pray you will read these words carefully, and please be a Berean ... correct me biblically if you believe I am misreading scripture.

God Bless you my Friends, Bob
Reference: Footsteps of the Messiah, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, pg. 61-63

No comments:

Post a Comment