The Daily Word of Righteousness

A Giant Step Forward, #5

They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire." (Nehemiah 1:3)

The fundamental story of mankind is that of the prodigal son. We cannot maintain that which is given to us freely, and so we lose it. We must gain it back through the most arduous labor. But when we do get it back it is ours to keep; for now we know what it is like to lose it. Things that come easily go easily.

In the process of judgment and deliverance the sons of God are formed. The sons of God will know by experience what it is like to live in a cursed environment; what it is like to be bound by sin. They will appreciate their deliverance once they have been set free and Paradise has returned to the earth.

It sometimes is taught that after we are caught up in a "rapture" we will return to Heaven and there stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ.

First of all, there is no scriptural basis whatsoever for the idea that after having been caught up to meet the Lord in the air we then will return to Heaven with Him.

The real problem, however, has to do with the Judgment Seat of Christ.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (II Corinthians 5:10)

Although the current Evangelical doctrine is that no believer will receive what is due him for bad things done in his body, the unchanging Word of God states that we shall, when we are revealed before the Judgment Seat of Christ, receive what is due us for bad things done while living in our body on the earth.

To say this is not so is to go against a clear scriptural statement.

Now, think. We cannot be raised from the dead, be glorified, be caught up to be forever with the Lord, and then receive what is due us for bad things done in the body. It is true rather that our being caught up in glorified form to meet the Lord in the air is the sentence proceeding from the time when we were judged previously. We have been sentenced to eternal life in the Presence of the Lord.

In other words, we have to pass before the Judgment Seat of Christ before, not after, the Lord returns, if we are to receive immortality at His coming. This is true whether we are deceased or alive on earth when He returns.

I do not believe logic or the Scriptures point toward deliverance from sin by "reckoning ourselves dead," by dying physically, or by the return of the Lord to the earth (except under circumstances different from those ordinarily presented).

It is my point of view that the Scriptures look toward a "season" when God will direct the Lord Jesus to begin the work of removing sin from His Church, that this work has begun now, that it will continue throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age, and that it is the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish Day of Atonement.

To be continued.