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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Too Hard!, continued
I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. (Revelation 2:23—NIV)
This is where the "hardness" enters. The American believer wants to know, "even if I do not serve God as I should, will I be punished in the Day of Judgment?" The American loves to deal. He wants to know how much fun he can have in the present world and still go to Heaven when he dies. He has no love for God, he merely wants to perpetuate his comfort. This is why the unscriptural teaching of the so-called "rapture" appeals to him.
He is being told by an ignorant or money-loving ministry that he can have his cake and eat it too. "Go ahead and have fun. God loves you too much to permit you to suffer. You will never hear anything negative at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Jesus did it all for you. Rejoice in His grace and love and don't worry about the future."
Those who teach this are going to appear before Christ with their congregations and explain to Christ why they taught such unscriptural, unhistorical lies. I think they may be sent to the same places of confinement as those who, because of their teaching, failed to serve the Lord.
Paul knew what the Judgment Seat of Christ was going to be like. Paul feared the Lord! Paul spent his life persuading people to live righteously because he knew the fear of the Lord.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope we are made manifest also in your consciences. (II Corinthians 5:10,11—NIV)
"That each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body."
"According to what he has done, whether good or bad."
Paul here is referring to the resurrection. What the believer has practiced in his body he will receive in his body in the Day of Resurrection.
Let me show you a parallel passage.
If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." (I Corinthians 15:32—NIV)
Notice the above verse carefully. We would not speak this way today because the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead has been lost to us. It is being restored today.
Paul is saying, "Nothing is gained by living as I live, suffering as I suffer, if the dead are not going to be raised. I might as well eat, drink, and be merry for I will die soon enough and that's the end of it."
We of today might say, "I serve Christ because I want to escape Hell and go to Heaven" (we don't even say this today!).
We should be fearing to disobey Christ out of an awareness of having to face the consequences of our actions in the Day of Resurrection. We would be concerned about our resurrection if our doctrine were correct.
To be continued.