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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Diversity of Destinies, #8
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2—NIV)
We always must keep in mind, however, that the bulk of our traditions concerning Heaven and what happens to us after we die, stem from the unfortunate use of the term "mansions," in the King James translation of John 14:2—a usage that cannot be defended lexically, contextually, or by any other principle of Scripture interpretation. Our traditions concerning "dying and going to Heaven to live in a mansion" are not based solidly on the Scriptures.
The Apostle Paul speaks of some who are "saved; yet so as by fire" (I Corinthians 3:15). If this expression is referring to Lot being dragged out of Sodom, we are speaking here of a massive loss of inheritance. Lot, a wealthy man, entered Sodom with much livestock. He left a widower and a pauper.
The incestuous relationship of Lot's two daughters with him produced Moab and Ammon. God said, "An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter the congregation of the Lord for ever" (Deuteronomy 23:3).
The Moabites and the Ammonites were a thorn in the side of the people of Israel. It was the king of Moab who hired Balaam to curse Israel and who seduced the Israelite warriors to sin.
Is this what we want, to be saved as was Lot with no inheritance, our fruit causing anger on the part of the Lord? Compare the inheritance of Lot with the inheritance of Abraham.
The reason so many Christians use the concept of being saved by fire as proof that once having professed Jesus they never can be lost, is they do not understand the diversity of destinies possible in the Kingdom of God. Their assumption is that if they are "saved" their troubles are over. When the Lord comes they will be transformed into a spiritual giant, will sit in the throne with Jesus, and will govern the nations with a rod of iron.
If it is true, as we are maintaining, that being saved as by fire indicates the loss of our birthright as sons of God so that we enter blind, deaf, and naked into the spirit realm, there to await the scathing rebuke of the Lord in the Day of Judgment, then being saved as by fire is not such a blessed prospect.
The believers of today who expect a "rapture" to take place momentarily have no conception of what it would be like to be brought into the Presence of the Lord in their sins, foolishness, and disobedience to God.
The Lord Jesus warned us clearly in the Gospels that when He returns He will hold His servants to strict account for their behavior. This is the teaching of the Scripture and it ought to be emphasized.
Those who claim we can never be lost after once having professed Christ employ I Corinthians 3:15 to support their argument. Their idea of being saved as by fire seems to be that careless, disobedient believers will inherit a two-story mansion instead of a three-story mansion.
Have they never experienced a fiery trial from the Lord?
Do they think being saved as by fire will be a pleasant experience? Do they imagine that the "stripes" administered to the Lord's disobedient servants will be slaps on the wrist?
To be continued.