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The Daily Word of Righteousness
When a Christian Dies, #37
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)
The Christians who are unwilling to remain faithful to death in their imprisonments will not receive the crown of life in the Day of Christ. Rather, they will receive the results of their lack of patience and faithfulness.
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; (Hebrews 2:3)
But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:8)
The ninefold salvation we have just described will come to the diligent Christian when the Lord appears, not when he dies physically. Each Christian will be raised into the consequences of what he has practiced in his body while on the earth.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12)
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:4,5)
"Ready to be revealed in the last time."
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (I Peter 1:7)
"At the appearing of Jesus Christ."
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (I Peter 1:13)
"At the revelation of Jesus Christ."
The New Testament writings do not emphasize our dying and going to Heaven, as wonderful as that may prove to be, but our being raised from the dead and receiving the rewards for our behavior when the Lord Jesus returns to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.
When the seventh trumpet sounds we shall be raised from the dead and shall ascend to meet the Lord Jesus in the air (not in Paradise). There we shall receive a substantial part of our ninefold salvation, although the fullness of our destiny, of what we shall become and receive, will continue to grow throughout the Kingdom Age into the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
What happens to the Christian after he or she dies? Little is stated in the Old or New Testaments concerning this. We know after death comes judgment. Beyond this we understand little. No doubt those who live righteously will experience pleasurable circumstances in the Presence of the Lord, and those who practice wickedness will experience torment.
To be continued.