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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The New Jerusalem, #8
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27)
But now we have died and are in the realm of spirits. What will God do with us? He will evaluate us ("it is appointed to men once to die, and after this the judgment") in terms of what we are, not in terms of the doctrine we profess to believe. What we are, we are, and God will place us where we belong.
We shall be judged according to the manner in which we have behaved on this earth. In the day of resurrection we shall receive the good we have practiced or the evil we have practiced (II Corinthians 5:10).
Notice it does not state, in the Book of Revelation, that we shall not enter the new Jerusalem unless we accept Christ as our Savior. Rather it declares that we shall not enter the new Jerusalem unless we are free from the works of unrighteousness and uncleanness.
Christ did not come to save us in our sins. Christ came to save us from our sins. There is a difference between being saved in our sins and being saved from our sins.
Notice also that the Scriptures do not emphasize the concept of going to Heaven. We may assume they do but they do not. A glance through a concordance will confirm that the idea of eternal residence in Heaven is not often presented.
Rather, the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, emphasize the godliness of the saints, the rule of the Kingdom of Heaven—especially in the earth.
The distinction between the rule of the Kingdom of God and going to Heaven is important. It may be true that the current deplorable condition of the Christian Church is due to the prevailing ignorance of the nature of salvation. Salvation is the Divine program for establishing the Person and rule of God in the personalities of the elect, not the transfer of unchanged human beings from the surface of the earth to an area set aside in the spirit realm, in the domain of bodiless spirits.
The Christian redemption is the transformation of people from the image of Satan to the image of Christ, not the transfer of people from the earth to Heaven. Salvation has to do with the Kingdom of Heaven, not with our removal to the place termed "Heaven," although there certainly is a place called Heaven.
If salvation is the removal of our sins and self-centeredness rather than our removal to another place, how is our cleansing accomplished?
As we have pointed out, dying and passing into the spirit realm will not accomplish our sanctification. Being in the spirit realm, in fact, in the very Presence of God, did not prevent Satan or his angels from sinning, from rebelling against God. Sin and rebellion originated in the spirit realm.
What, then, is the Divine means of transforming our personality so we can enter through the gates into the new Jerusalem?
Transformation comes only through the Lord Jesus Christ. First of all, our sins must be forgiven through His blood. If we truly receive Him in the beginning of our profession and abide in Him continually, His blood keeps on forgiving us. By the one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified, those who live in Him and walk in Him at all times. This is the normal Christian life.
To be continued.