The Daily Word of Righteousness

Two Appearances of the Bride, continued

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. (Luke 16:10—NIV)

I must issue a disclaimer at this point. The fact that the major part of the Church will be perfected during the thousand-year Kingdom Age does not mean believers can live in the flesh today and then be made ready during the next age.

Each of us has a mark set before him or her. It may be to sit at the right hand of Christ in His Kingdom. It may be to perform menial tasks in the Kingdom (never menial in God's sight because He is not impressed with how great we think we are in the Kingdom, nor does He love us the more because we are so "important"!)

We will be judged according to our diligence in attaining our own mark, not the mark of another. If we are careless, not pressing forward in Jesus, wasting our time in the present world, then we will be judged as a disobedient, lazy slave. Our portion will be outer darkness. This is what the Lord warned us about in the Gospels.

If we are utterly faithful with what we have been given, but have not had opportunity to gain maturity in the present world (perhaps, as sometimes happens, we live only a short time after we come to the Lord), then we are regarded as a faithful servant and will be given a chance to grow spiritually in the next age. To those who have been faithful in the least will more be entrusted.

So we cannot put off to another time doing what God has commanded us as an individual. The penalties for not responding to God's call are severe! terrifying! God gave us Calvary and is in no mood to trifle with lazy, disobedient children.

Now here is what probably is the point of this essay. It has to do with the resurrection at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, and the resurrection at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, the time of the judgment of mankind.

The difference between the two resurrection is this: the first resurrection must be attained. The second resurrection, the one at the end of the Kingdom Age, will call forth the body of every individual who was not raised in the first resurrection. There is no attaining the second resurrection, it will happen to us whether we like it or not.

You may wonder where I get the term "first resurrection." Even though you have been serving the Lord for thirty years you may never have heard of the first resurrection.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6—NIV)

To be continued.