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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Diversity of Destinies, #2
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:9—NIV)
And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. (Revelation 21:24)
Then he will say to those on his left, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matthew 25:41—NIV)
As soon as we enter a discussion of our topic it becomes clear that salvation is not only a case of being saved or being lost. Instead of two we have three possible destinies: being a member of the ruling priesthood—the Wife of the Lamb; being a member of the nations of saved people of the new earth; or being a member of the family of Satan and his angels.
The primary meaning of the term saved is "delivered from the Lake of Fire, from spiritual death, and brought forward to eternal life." To be saved in a fuller sense is to be brought from the image of Satan and union with Satan all the way to the image of God and union with God.
In current usage we employ the word save to mean rescue, as in saving a person from drowning. We have no idea what kind of person he will become or what type of life he will lead after being saved from drowning. All we know is, he did not die. He was brought from death to life.
Every individual who is not, at the end, cast into the Lake of Fire, will be brought forward to the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this sense, salvation is an either-or arrangement. Either we are assigned to the Lake of Fire or else we are permitted to live eternally in the Presence and blessing of God.
The problem in Christian thinking is that we do not pay enough attention to the different destinies available to those whom God saves from destruction. For those who escape the Lake of Fire there exists a wide array of roles and opportunities for service. These range in authority and glory from being seated in the throne of Christ to being "saved; yet so as by fire" (I Corinthians 3:15). There are greatest and least in the Kingdom.
We must keep two facts in mind:
The eternal destiny of people, with the exception of the members of the royal priesthood, will not be decided until the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
The Scriptures in several passages speak of a variety of rewards and punishments.
The Scriptures say little about what happens to us when we die. The emphasis is on what will take place in the Day of Christ. A brief glance through the Epistles will demonstrate this fact.
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (I Corinthians 5:5)
Not after he dies but "in the day of the Lord Jesus"!
To be continued.