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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Work of Restoration, #91
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)
We did not state that every one of God's saints will receive the same reward, the same position of authority and glory, for that is not true. There are astonishing rewards for becoming a hundredfold disciple.
Not all who profess to know Christ will arrive at the marvelous destiny to which the elect have been called. The Scriptures charge us to make our calling and election sure.
There is too much carelessness today with respect to who are the Lord's people, who actually are accepted of Him. Too much is being taken for granted.
Many who believe they are true Christians are going to hear the dreadful sentence, "Depart from me ye cursed into outer darkness." There indeed shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth as those who thought God was approving of their indifferent attitude toward salvation are dragged from the light of Christ's Presence and cast into the regions of darkness.
How can any human being insure that he or she will be permitted to remain in the Presence of the Lamb? Only by turning to Him right now in utter sincerity and seeking His Presence and His will. Assenting to the "four steps of salvation" is not enough. There must be a genuine coming before the Lord Jesus and a bowing before Him in worship and total obedience of mind and heart.
We have heard there will be deception in the last days. Even now there is much deception. Many who claim to be the Lord's ministers are proclaiming that no person who professes faith in Christ will hear any negative comment in the Day of Christ nor will be allowed to suffer tribulation.
How can this be true in the light of the Gospel accounts, and the writings of the Apostles who teach us that the righteous scarcely are saved (I Peter 4:18)?
If the righteous are being saved with difficulty, and if we are to be working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, saving ourselves by giving ourselves wholly to the things of Christ and by enduring with patience the fiery afflictions that come on us, what, then, is the source of the current casual approach to salvation?
Hear the Apostle Paul!
For we must all appear [be made manifest] before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (II Corinthians 5:10)
It appears from the above verse that the Christian's recompense will include the evil he has practiced in his body. The twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew teaches us that some of the Lord's servants will receive a punishment much more severe than merely the loss of rewards.
How will we Christians escape if we neglect our great salvation?
The teachers who are putting the believers at ease by telling them they will not be permitted to suffer great tribulation in this world are doing untold harm. They are doing untold harm to God's people because great tribulation indeed is coming and we must arm ourselves today to suffer in the flesh so we will be able to stand in the days to come.
Christ will not return until after the "tribulation of those days" (Matthew 24:29).
There will be much deception in the last days. Each of us can stand if he pays close attention to the Scriptures, watches and prays, and—above all—remains willing to take up his cross each day and follow Christ. But we definitely will be deceived if we attempt to escape our cross, to escape suffering and reproach in this world.
The elect will experience times of the greatest joy and exultation and also periods of intense anguish (made bearable by the deep peace the Lord always gives His faithful saints). But most of our discipleship consists of the minor satisfactions and frustrations each day brings. The person who makes a success of the Christian life is the one who keeps on serving Christ each day, patiently enduring to the end of his life on earth. (from The Work of Restoration)