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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Judaic-Christian Salvation, #17
Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:23)
It has pleased God to give the authority of judgment to those in whom obedience has been perfected. The saints to whom the authority of judgment is entrusted will open the door of the Kingdom of God to many people and close the door of the Kingdom to many people. They will decide who goes to destruction and who is permitted to eat of the tree of life.
The Apostles of the Lamb will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28).
All men, whether of the elect or of the nations, must be judged as to their obedience to God and then rewarded accordingly.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12)
In the Day of the Lord the saints will be busily engaged in the work of judgment, either administering it or else experiencing it.
Because the Judaic-Christian salvation is concerned with solving the problem of disobedience, the concept of judgment is of extreme importance. Every act of disobedience will be punished (unless forgiven—and it is the business of the judges to determine whose sins will be retained and whose will be forgiven); and every act of obedience will be rewarded, unless the judges determine that the overall behavior of the individual is worthy of lashes or banishment.
The reward of the righteous, of the obedient, is to partake of the Lord Jesus, of eternal life. The reward of the wicked, of the disobedient, is eternal death: existence apart from the Presence of God.
Either we shall rule or we shall be ruled. The Kingdom of God is a government, a hierarchy of rulers. God is supreme. Under God is the Lord Jesus. Under Jesus there will be a hierarchy of rulers, their rank in the hierarchy depending on two factors: (1) their calling, which is by predestination; and (2) their diligence in laying hold on their calling.
We can think of the rule of the Kingdom of God as extending outward in concentric circles, with God in Christ at the center. Each saint is in the circle that represents his closeness to the Lord. There are ranks in the Kingdom. There are those who are great in the Kingdom. There are those who are least in the Kingdom. But all are loved of God.
Each of us, regardless of his predestined rank, will be ruled by external forces until the Kingdom, the rule of God, has been created in him.
Can you see how the Kingdom of God is a solution to the original problem of disobedience, the disobedience of people, and the disobedience of the angels as well? For the saints will judge even the angels.
Know ye not that we shall judge angels? . . . . (I Corinthians 6:3).
What role does our Lord Jesus play in the overcoming of disobedience?
The Lord Jesus obeyed God through trials so difficult that no other person could have endured them. Being made perfect in obedience, Jesus of Nazareth was able to pay the price of redemption for those who have disobeyed God.
To be continued.