“For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” – Luke 9:24

Last week I dug deeper into the theme of “Judgment” than I ever had previously. At some points in my study, I was brought to tears, trudging through stark and vivid biblical portrayals of eternal torment, reminding me that hell-fires are literal confines of lasting punishment and not allegorical imagery spun by folktales and Hollywood mimicry. Christ spoke more of hell than any other subject. The devil and demons will be sent there. Billions of humans will be sent there. It will house eternal fires (Matthew 25:41).

The Last Battle

After the flourish of our current church age has passed and every tongue and tribe been touched, seven years of tribulation will prompt evil reign across earth. When all seems lost and the armies of earth prepare to overtake Jerusalem, Christ will end His period of gracious withholding, and will descend from heaven to step foot atop the Mount of Olives, deftly restoring heavenly order on earth. With one silent whisper, a sword of lightning will proceed from His mouth, and millions of enemies will die without so much as a fight. All the strength of planet earth reduced to simple ash and carcass. The last and famed battle not even a battle but simple annihilation. (Zechariah 14:12-15, Revelation 19:1-19)

The Millennium

For one thousand years Christ will rule planet earth. The saints who were found to be “His” during our lifetime will rule at His side and bid His justice as ordered. Those humans who survived the tribulation will be enabled to repopulate planet earth unto their own joy and Christ’s superior and evident glory. (Revelation 20:1-6)

The Great White Throne

After one thousand years, Satan will be loosed for his final coup and he, along with every earthly follower still insistent on disobedience, will be sent to judgment. The old earth will be destroyed, literally “uncreated” (an impossibility via human physics and done by God alone), and a new heaven and earth will be established without any pain, sorrow, sin, or corrupting force. Yet, between the annihilation of the old earth and the establishment of the new, a judgment will take place. A final court hearing. A trial.

Every man, woman, and child, who has ever lived and not known Jesus, will be subatomically revived to stand before the white purified throne of Jesus Christ. There, each deed they ever committed will be played back for all heavenly and human hosts to observe. And, then each deed will be compared to the perfect sacrifice that was, and is, Jesus Christ.

If each man’s deeds take but only one hour, this judgement will last some five million years. And, as the deeds are specified, Christ will show His nail scarred hands, a once offered tangible pathway between imperfect sinner and His perfect heaven, that had been rejected time and again. Man and woman. Husbands and wives. Entire families. Complete nations. All see their sin. All admitting they rejected His solution. All will forthrightly admit, “I was wrong. You are holy. Let my judgment be so.” And, then they’ll be sent to, “Springs without water and mists driven by storm, for whom black darkness has been reserved…” (Revelation 20:11-15, Mark 9:43, 2 peter 2:17)

Each sinner, facing judgment, will admit their judgment is fair…

Conclusion

Christ’s words, “For whoever wishes to save his life…” should upend our human desires for earthly gain. Do you see the word “wishes?” Please tell me you see that Christ warned it was only a “wish.” The trade-off of earthly  satisfaction as opposed to eternal satisfaction is not even a trade-off at all!

Man may “wish” to save his life here on earth but it WILL NOT happen. He will die. He will be judged. No matter how many riches, how many friends, how much sex or power, he will still remain unsatisfied and still endure judgement. Therefore he is not even jeopardizing eternity for “full” life or “fun” life. In fact, he is choosing to give up eternal joy for “nothing” at all. This life houses nothing but a vanishing greed, an empty dream, a magicians dove. Nothing on earth will satisfy. Thus, we should not trade it for our very soul.

Judgment is very real. Christ’s pathway yet remains. Do not “wish” any longer my beloved friend…

Join Church at the Mission online or in person. The current sermon series is titled “Divergent” and focuses on teaching the truths which separate true Christianity from every other world religion. Vacation Bible School begins in August for children 1 – 6th grade. Further details can be found at http://www.camtustin.org. 

 

Posted by Anthony Wood

Anthony is Pastor of Mission Bible Church in Tustin, CA, and has authored the books Defining Church & Defining Family. He’s married to Bre, and they have three children. More @AnthonyGeneWood

2 Comments

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  2. “Every man, woman, and child, who has ever lived and not known Jesus, will be subatomically revived to stand before the white purified throne of Jesus Christ. There, each deed they ever committed will be played back for all heavenly and human hosts to observe. And, then each deed will be compared to the perfect sacrifice that was, and is, Jesus Christ.” This is not true for the believer – for those who have faith in Christ Jesus – the church – the body of Christ. There is much confusion in the church about this because many pastors teach this in error.
    2 Corinthians 5:10 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. The word is: βῆμα bēma, bay’-ma; a step, i.e. foot-breath; by implication, a rostrum, i.e. a tribunal, set (foot) on, throne. And this word was incorrectly translated as “judgement seat” instead of “Throne”. We will stand before the throne of Jesus – the great I AM – El Shaddai – and to us, the believer – Abba (Father). Each one to receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. For the believer – we will receive the promise of God of eternal life because we had faith in Him who died for us. We are made righteous by faith and therefore we are above the law – righteous, holy and pure in the sight of God irregardless of our own obedience, or our works, or our sin. These things have passed away from us because of the blood.
    Gen 18:25 “Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Here we see that the righteous will not be judged with the wicked.
    Psa 7:8 “The LORD shall judge the peoples; Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, And according to my integrity within me.” For the believer we are accounted righteous by faith in Jesus and the integrity in us is the Holy Spirit who brings glory to the Lord Jesus. Through your faith in Jesus – He (Jesus) has stood in the gap for you at the cross and became a curse for us and was judged by God – therefore, you are made righteous by faith not by your works, your deeds, your doubt, your sin – God has already judged One in your place and found Him guilty so that you may be set free. God is not going to judge you again.
    Mat 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. The scripture speaks of the second coming where Christ will sit upon His rightful throne of His Kingdom through the legal lineage of King David. The good news is that we – the church – will be with Jesus in His glory as bride. When the church is called up into the air to meet Jesus – there is no judgement because we have already been judged – righteous by faith. We will judge – even judge the angels – those demonic angels who followed satan.
    Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God,and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. YOU ARE NOT DEAD – you are alive by faith – through the grace and mercy of Jesus which we know is a person and not a thing or a doctrine. Grace and mercy came through Jesus – a person. Your name is in the book of life – it has not been blotted out – therefore you are not dead to God but alive in Jesus as a member of the body of Christ – the church. Again, proof that you will not be judged. When you are called up before the 7 years of tribulation – you will get your glorified body and you will be with Christ in preparation of your wedding and to return with Jesus at the time of the second coming. Only those who have rejected Jesus for their own self works or the law of Moses will be judged – and you will be among the judges not the judged.
    1Ki 8:32 “then hear in heaven, and act, and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness. Our righteousness is by faith not by works – therefore Jesus is our righteousness and going back to 2 Corinthians 5:10, the church will receive according to their righteousness which is Jesus Christ.
    Rom 2:5 -10 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath,
    tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Look and rejoice – for those who have faith in Jesus – eternal life who by patient continuance in doing good will receive (seek) glory, honor and immortality. Remember, rest and wait – rest and wait for the return of Jesus – rest in His grace and mercy and the Holy Spirit will transform you and the transformation will produce good works in you for the glory of Jesus and through faith you are righteous and God will not – cannot judge you again because He judged His Son once and for all in our place. To think that God will judge the righteous again makes God’s promise null and void – it denies the cross – and it perpetuates the concept that God is a liar. And we know that this is not true. God’s word cannot come back void.
    Rev 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” Scary though isnt it. However, for the church through your faith in Jesus, you are now in Jesus and Jesus in you – which means you are now cleansed by the blood and so pure and holy that the Holy Spirit can dwell in you now. The Holy Spirit transforms you because we know that through Grace and Truth comes godliness – not through works – not through obedience to the law – In that transformation by the Holy Spirit now good works are produced in you as fruit is produced by the relationship of the vine and the branch. The believer produces good fruits (works) of the Holy Spirit – apart from your works – your sins – your addictions – your broken heart – your sufferings – your lost marriage – your lost years – all these things can be restored by Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in you by producing good works. Your faith in Jesus as earned you the free gift of grace and mercy and has reconciled you back to God. There is no judgement for you – but you will judge those who sought salvation through the law and for those who completely rejected the word. Those 74 disciples who rejected Christ because they did the work of God for their glory and not His – you will judge.
    2Co 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. Here is a good work produced by faith in Jesus through the Holy Spirit for our Jewish and Gentile brothers and sisters – that they become reconciled to God through faith in Jesus so that they too will not be judged by us and Jesus.
    2Co 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Through faith you are righteous and above the law – therefore you are not judged by the law which is a curse and is the power of sin. Your judgement has passed and was placed on Jesus at the cross in your place – you cannot be judged again nor will you be for those who have faith in Jesus.
    1Co 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? Who are the saints? They are the church – the Jewish and Gentile believers who are just known as believers – the bride of Christ – who will return to judge not be judged – know who you are and what place you take with Jesus.
    Rev 19:12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. Many crowns – what does this mean?
    Pro 12:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband. Jesus will wear many crowns because He will have many brides in the church – we – the church are Jesus’ excellent wife or bride – who will be with Him in His glory with the angles to rule with Him – not as subject – but as heir – to judge and rule with Him – not to be judged – even after satan and his armies have been destroyed and thrown into the lake of fire.
    You will not be judged – Christ took your judgement at the cross – rejoice in this – that it is your faith and not your works which has reconciled you to God and that regardless of your failure or your sin you are the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus that allows you to boldly approach the throne. Be are blessed not because we do not sin, but because when we do it is not imputed to us by God.
    Know who you are in Jesus and your value to God.

    Amen,
    J Arnn
    Jewish Studies for Christians

    Reply

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