Saturday, January 13, 2018

What Will Your Excuse Be?

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)

God calls us to accountability through His word.  

The word of God is a witness unto itself.  God calls us to obedience and when we do not obey, there are consequences.  There are many accounts in the bible that lead to this conclusion.  One account in particular is the account of the result of King Saul's disobedience.  When called into account for his acts of disobedience, he had many excuses as to why he did what he did.  His correction came from Samuel, the prophet of God.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (I Samuel 15:23)

We should always seek scripture, not man, to live a life that is pleasing to God.  We absolutely can not pick and choose what we will believe and not believe, what we will like and not like, what we will do and not do.  This was the case with Saul.  He picked and chose what He would destroy and what He would not destroy despite the fact of what God said.  

Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. (1 Samuel 15:3)  

King Saul's disobedience led to this consequence from God:

And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.  And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.  And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.  1 Samuel 15:26-28

It is truly a sad thing to observe someone living according to their own righteousness; not realizing that their efforts in the end were in vain.

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

In the end, we will all be accountable to God for our thoughts and actions and will not have an excuse because His plan of salvation is clearly laid out for us in His word which He tells us to meditate on day and night.

There will be only 2 basic divisions of people who are tried in the final judgments:  Believers and unbelievers.  Let's discuss the Christian, - the body of Christ, the believers of God.  What will happen to us on judgement day? 

Believers will be judged for their works and rewarded accordingly.  

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every man may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (II Corinthians 5:10)

Believers will be judged by how they have built their lives on the foundation of God's Word:

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved... (I Corinthians 3:12-15)

In the natural world, wood, hay, and stubble all grow visibly above the ground. They burn easily. They are examples of works done by believers to be seen by man. The motive for these works was wrong.  Gold and silver are not destroyed by fire. In the natural world, these substances develop below the ground unseen by man. They are an example of works done with the right motive, not done just to be seen and praised by man. They are works which are valuable in God's Kingdom because they were done with the right motive.  

The works of true believers will be judged on the basis of obedience. The parables of the talents in Matthew 25 and the parable of the pounds in Luke 19 were told by Jesus to illustrate this truth.  In both these parables, servants were judged on the basis of what they had done with what they had been given. They were told to invest funds for their masters. Servants who were disobedient were judged unfaithful.  Just like these parables, our Master has given us a responsibility. That responsibility is known as the Great Commission:  

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:19-20)

We are to take what God has given us, the message of the Gospel, and reproduce it by sharing it with others throughout the world. As we obey this commission, we are investing what God has given us and increasing it.

Some believers have greater responsibilities than others in this commission. Some are called as pastors, evangelists, teachers, etc.

And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:   Ephesians 4:11-12

But every born-again believer has some responsibility in reaching the world with the Gospel.  Believers will be judged on the basis of their faithfulness to the responsibility God has given them:  

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
(I Corinthians 4:2)

We should be grateful to God that believers will not be judged on the basis of talents, education, or spiritual gifts. But, we all will be judged on the basis of obedience and faithfulness to what God has given us to do. The judgment of true believers is not one of condemnation. That is, the true believer cannot be condemned to eternal punishment. Through accepting Christ, being faithful and obedient, he already has passed from spiritual death to eternal life:  

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)

A true believer is one who has repented or turned from sin and shown faith toward God by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. He is one who has become and lived as a new creature in Jesus Christ. Apostle Paul confirmed:  

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

When a sinner comes to Jesus his record of former sins is erased by God. When a believer sins, he needs to be consumed with Godly sorrow that convicts to repentance and confess his sin and God erases it from the record:  

If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(I John 1:9)

The righteous are destined to eternal life in the presence of God. The presence of God is called Heaven. In the Bible it is described by several names:

*  The Father's House: Jesus described it as His Father's house, a place of home, rest, and fellowship: 

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
(John 14:2)

*     A Heavenly Country: The Bible compares Heaven to a country to which we are traveling just as Israel traveled to the Promised Land:

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He hath prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:16)

*  A City: Heaven is compared to a city:

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven...
(Revelation 21:2)

The Bible reveals some wonderful things about Heaven. It is a place of:

*    Holiness

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. (Revelation 21:27)

*     Joy

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there by any more pain; for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

*    Beauty

And the building of the wall of it was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. (Revelation 21:18)

*  Service

Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. (Revelation 7:15)

Reigning With Christ

 Jesus promised...

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne. (Revelation 3:21)


 The Bible records that those in Heaven...

...fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever. (Revelation 5:14)

Light And Glory

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: For the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  (Revelation 21:23)

A Place Of New Perspective: Being in Heaven will give us a new perspective on everything:

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
(Isaiah 65:17)

The Dwelling Place Of God

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God. (Revelation 21:3)

By whichever name you prefer to use, the true believer's goal and hope is to get there to see and reign with Jesus forever more.  
The only way to do this is in and through God's holy word!

(Biblical Studies)


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