The Daily Word of Righteousness

Three Aspects of the Rest of God, #2

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also love his appearing. (II Timothy 4:8)

Here is an interesting concept and one that needs to be brought clearly and forcefully to the attention of the Christian churches of our day. Our salvation is not assured until we have finished the course.

What if the Apostle Paul, after having such a wonderful start in the Lord, had, after several years, gone back to Tarsus, got married, and had children and grandchildren?

Here is the question: would Paul or would he not receive a crown of righteousness when the Lord returns? Would he continue as a member of the house of Christ? Would he be a partaker of Christ?

The teachers of today say, "Yes he would, because we are saved by grace and not by works of righteousness we have done."

The Scriptures say, "No."

What do you say?

One thing is certain. If Saul had gone back to Tarsus we would not be able to quote from him in this booklet because there would not be any epistles to quote from. The history of the world for two thousand years would have been different had there been no Pauline Epistles.

Just how seriously does the Lord view His plan of salvation and His Word?

The Lord told us that he who endures to the end shall be saved. The writer of Hebrews warns that we partake of Christ only if we maintain our confidence to the end of our course.

This means introducing people to Christ and then working with them until they are finally and completely saved. We may not be paying nearly enough attention today to the need for the believers to go on to maturity. It is as though medical science put all of its resources toward giving birth to babies and almost completely ignored them after they were born. There were no practitioners and workers in any field of medicine except that having to do with childbirth.

Perhaps this preoccupation with an initial experience of salvation to the neglect of bringing the believers to maturity is coming from Satan. Satan knows that a spiritual baby presents no threat to his kingdom. It takes many years of experience and spiritual maturity before a person becomes a real threat to Satan's control of mankind. It may be of Satan that the resources of the denominations are poured into efforts to "reach the lost" while those of the churches (of whom there are unnumbered millions) are still lost to the purposes of God and pose no threat to Satan's empire.

The record of military history will reveal that there are numerous ways in which to fight a war. The best way is the one the enemy does not expect and is not prepared for. Satan is the master of deception, ruse, feint. He is more than willing to permit some victories if in doing so he will win the war.

To be continued.