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Doctrines of Christ 9

Doctrines of Christ Part 9 In our final topic in the Doctrines of Christ series, we will examine what the scripture says (at least in part) about eternal judgment. Eternal judgment is not something most people, including Christians, like to discuss or consider, but it is paramount that we understand its unparalleled consequence on our eternal destiny and ultimate existence. During our life, we can often start all over or try again. If we do not like a new device, car, or house we purchased, we can sell it and buy another one. If we do not like our job, we can resign and find another one. Eternal judgment is final. There is no coming back to start all over again. You live and die once, and afterwards face the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). This is a very sobering reality. God, in His abundant mercy, has done everything possible to give us eternal life through Jesus Christ His Son. We can inherit this eternal life by repentance (Acts 2:38-39), receiving Christ as our Savior (John 1:12, 3:16-17) and confessing Him to be the Lord of our life (see Romans 10:8-13). For those who have done this and continue to walk with the Lord, the judgment they receive will be based upon their accomplishment of good works the Father has ordained them to achieve. Here are passages from the Bible to support this truth. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: "AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD." So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:10-12 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 1Corinthians 3:8 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1Corinthians 3:12-15 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2Corinthians 5:10  The above passages speak of the judgment believers will receive and should not be confused with what is called the ‘Great White Throne judgment,’ where the unsaved will receive eternal condemnation. The passage shared earlier in Romans 14 speaks about the judgment seat of Christ, which is called bēma in the Greek. It is the judgment seat where believers will receive or lose reward for their obedience to Christ and His commands. The very thought of God rewarding us is almost incomprehensible but true. Resurrection and the Judgment "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. This passage is not speaking about the judgement seat or 'bema' seat, where believers will receive reward. This is speaking about a judgement unto condemnation and eternal separation from God. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth— those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. John 5:24-29 Here we see the resurrection and judgment coinciding. When Christ returns for His people, their will be a resurrection of the Just. They will receive their rewards at His coming. Afterwards, there will be a resurrection of the wicked, and they will be sentenced to eternal damnation and separation from the Kingdom of God. This is called the second death. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Revelation 21:8 This final judgment of God is permanent. There is no parole after 25 or 30 years. There will be no freedom from the decree of righteous judgment and justice for those that refuse to accept God’s mercy and grace through Jesus Christ during their lifetime. Today is the day for salvation! We must choose where we will spend eternity. With Christ in the Kingdom of God or with Satan in the lake of fire. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, but all who follow him will share in his eternal damnation and torment. "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matthew 25:41-46 Eternal judgment is a solemn reality, and one we will all face some day. Choose to walk with Christ now and escape the judgment of hell and separation from God and all that is good. The Father is inviting us to be a part of His eternal Kingdom and family. Yes, as His children, we too will face a judgment, but not for punishment as with the lost, but as a righteous evaluation of our deeds done in Christ and the stewardship of our lives. We can rest assured that God’s judgment will be fair and righteous in every way, knowing His desire is for all His children to receive a full reward. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. 2John 1:8 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth." Revelation 11:18 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. Revelation 22:12 Based upon these truths, let us live our lives to bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ, as we lay up treasures in heaven (see Matthew 6:19-21). Let us walk the narrow path that leads to life eternal, and remain faithful and hear the Lord say: 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Matthew 25:21 This completes our series on the Doctrines of Christ. Although this has been a brief look at the topic, it hopefully whetted your appetite to do a more complete in-depth study on your own. Until next time, may God our Father richly bless and keep you! James Brown CST 05/20/2022
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