Salvation by Works?
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8). Obviously, God has offered salvation by His GRACE, and through FAITH in Jesus Christ as Savior! Then WHY does the Bible say there are WORKS the Christian must accomplish? Believe it or not, WORKS are a part of salvation! James, the brother of Jesus Christ, said, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” He then wrote, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:14, 20). Is this a direct Bible contradiction? Does James mean one cannot be saved apart from WORKS? Here is the surprising answer from your own Bible!
Mention God’s law to millions of professing Christians and their pastors, and they will likely retort, “Oh, that’s LEGALISM!” Strangely, there is a pervasive animosity in the Christian-professing world against the laws of God!
The catchword “legalism” is thrown about frequently. Yet, when you really think about it, you want everything done legally. If you purchase an automobile, do you want the documents you sign; the loan agreement you arrange; the warranty you are promised; the price you agree upon to be legal? Surely you do. Legal merely means “according to law.” If you graduate from high school or college, and receive a diploma or degree, do you want it to be legal; to know that the school or college is legally constituted, and empowered to issue your degree? Of course you do. Everything in life; from your home to your insurance; from your job to your investments, you want to be handled legally! Yet, millions are deceived by religious hucksters who hate God’s laws, and who scornfully say, “That’s legalism!”
The scripture from Ephesians 2:8, 9 quoted in the drophead above is one of the most commonly used to convince biblical illiterates that there is no requirement to obey God’s law! Is God up there, sitting in His heavenly armchair or throne, saying to we human beings, “You had better not let me catch you trying to OBEY MY LAW”? Does God say to us, “TheWORST THING I CAN IMAGINE for you to do is to try to OBEY me!”? “Why, don’t you know that the law is DONE AWAY?” Is this what God is saying to Christians?
Perhaps you need to ask an anti-law pastor “Will I LOSE SALVATION if I try to OBEY GOD?” “Will God throw me into a burning hell fire if I try to keep His Ten Commandments the way Jesus did?”
According to many a professing Christian pastor, the answer is YES! You will be under a curse of some kind if you try to keep the law, they tell you.
Millions seem to imagine that once upon a time there was an old, harsh, scowling, angry God who burdened mankind with a terribly rigorous, unyielding law which was impossible for them to obey. Then, along came His Son, who overthrew and dismantled the laws His Father had handed down, and, as a Savior, unlocked mankind’s shackles; broke his bonds; gave him LIBERTY from that harsh, egregious old law! “He NAILED IT TO HIS CROSS” they say.
Every Sunday, in tens of thousands of churches, pastors inveigh against God’s laws; against any WORKS in connection with salvation. The way they tell it, the worst thing that can happen to a member of their congregation is to try to obey God’s law!
Then WHY does the very next verse following Ephesians 2:8 and 9 say this? “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Is this a direct contradiction in scripture? Certainly not! Instead, it is clear proof that grace, faith, AND WORKS are all a part of the process of salvation and receiving the rewards of greater responsibility in Christ’s soon-coming world-ruling government!
Paraphrased, this scripture tells us that we are God’s handiwork; His creation, and that, through Christ as Christians, the very purpose for which we were called, converted, baptized, and given God’s Holy Spirit as “new creatures in Christ” is to ACCOMPLISH GOOD WORKS!
Now, who was it who wrote the Ten Commandments? Was it a harsh, angry, vindictive Old Testament God?
The apostle John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word [Greek: Logos, meaning “spokesman”], and the Word was with God [Theos, the Greek equivalent of Elohim in Hebrew; Genesis 1:1], and the Word was God.
“The same was in the beginning with God.
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made [clearly, we are being told about the CREATOR of the universe, this earth, and all life upon it!].
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John [referring to John the Baptist].
“The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
“He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
“He came unto his own [the Jews], and his own received him not.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
“Which were born [Greek: gennao either born or begotten], not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [Greek: tabernacled] among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-14). Here, in your own Bible, is the clear proof that Jesus Christ, the Son of God who died for the sins of mankind, is the CREATOR who said “Let there be light…let the dry land appear…let US make man in OUR image!” The Hebrew word for “God” in Genesis 1:1 is Elohim. This word means more than one. It is a word like “family, group, or assembly.” One may attend church services for more than 40 years, and never hear that passage preached! WHY?
Simply because it would be DEVASTATING to the doctrinal stance of thousands of preachers! If they were to admit that the God of the Old Testament is the person of divine Elohimwho BECAME CHRIST, then their false portrayal of Christ as a smart-aleck young man who came to destroy everything His Father ever did would not stand up!
Notice further concrete proof: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3). So Christ was the CREATING AGENT who did the speaking; who gave the commands!
It was THIS personage of the divine Godhead, called Elohimwho said, “Let US make man in OUR image!” (Genesis 1:26). It was THIS personage of divine Elohim who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, and who said His name was “I AM.” Jesus Christ enraged the Jews by referring to His pre-human state when He told them,”Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).
The one people call “Jesus Christ” is the one who WROTE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WITH HIS OWN FINGER! He is the one who appeared to Abraham; who caused the birth of Isaac, and later spared him; who wrestled with Jacob in the dust of the earth. He is the one who inspired the prophets! He is Jesus Christ, the Son of God [the Father], who came to this earth to atone for the sins of mankind!
As the divine YHVH (whom some pronounce as Jehovah) of the Old Testament, the Logos or “Word” said, “For I am the LORD [YHVH; the one who became Christ], I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). Now, THINK! Do you honestly believe that God Almighty, as divine Elohim, who is all-knowing, perfect in every way, would think out and then deliver a law to His own creatures that was FLAWED in some way?
Did the great divine Elohim, “God” as Father and Logos, make a mistake? Was Christ sent to rectify the mistake — overturn the law, and “nail it to His cross”?
Your Bible says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday [as the Logos or Spokesman, in His pre-human state], and to day [right now!], and for ever [for all eternity!]” (Hebrews 13:8).
So much for the concept that Jesus Christ came to destroy or annul the laws of His Father! They were NOT laws which were flawed, and they are not harsh!
How many of the Ten Commandments can you recite? Which ones are so harsh, rigorous, and forbidding that they are impossible to obey? The average professing Christian cannot recite more than four or five, and even then not in the correct order.
Here they are, just as Jesus Christ Himself wrote them with His own finger, with numbers added:
(1) “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
(2) “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
(3) “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
(4) “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
(5) “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
(6) “Thou shalt not kill [Hebrew: Rawtsach meaning “do no murder”].
(7) “Thou shalt not commit adultery.
(8) “Thou shalt not steal.
(9) “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
(10) “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s” (Exodus 20:3-17).
Review these commands slowly. Which one is it you wish your neighbors would obey? Which ones would you have your neighbors breaking, and disregarding? Would you want them spreading false tales about you? Stealing? Murdering? Sitting there coveting, lusting after your husband or wife, or your car, or your property — jealous of you?
Why should so many thousands of professing Christian pastors HATE those laws? Which one is it they frantically seek to avoid? A clue: it is found somewhere between the third and the fifth commandment!
If you have access to a personal computer (you can have your librarian give you access, and she can operate it for you) by all means look into our web site at “https://www.garnertedarmstrong.org/” and download and print my major booklet The Ten Commandments. In this book, each one of the Ten Commandments are expounded, applied, and explained, along with what kind of a world it would be if even ONE of the ten were universally obeyed! It is a fascinating book, and I urge you to read it. Also, call or write for my free book, Why Would Anyone ‘Keep Saturday for Sunday’? It is a fascinating look at the Sunday-Sabbath controversy.
Now that you have seen the proof from your own Bible, you know that it was the One who became Jesus Christ of Nazareth; the Savior of mankind, who WROTE the Ten Commandments with His own finger! Now you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that He says He never changes; that He is the SAME, yesterday, today, and forever! Then what shall we do with several scriptures the Sunday-observing preachers quote which SEEM, on the surface, to do away with God’s laws?
An example: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10). Is this a contradiction? Is this telling us we are under a CURSE if we try to keep the Ten Commandments? Write or call immediately for my three sermons, given sequentially, in which I painstakingly go through the book of Galatians and expound all the relevant scriptures. The tapes are entitled “Galatians I, II and III.” In those sermons, you will see the difference between the “book of the law,” called a “schoolmaster” to lead us unto Christ, and the Ten Commandments! Also, why does it NOT say one is “under a curse” if one KEEPS the book of the law, but under a curse if one DOES NOT CONTINUE IN ALL THINGSwritten in that law?
I am well aware of the “proof texts” used by law-hating preachers. For another example, notice Colossians 2:13 and 14: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” But are the Ten Commandments, given by Elohim (who became Christ), and called by Paul “holy, just, and good” (Romans 7:12) “contrary” to us? Are the Ten Commandments ever called a “handwriting of ordinances” in the Bible?
Notice further what this “handwriting of ordinances” really was: “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
“(Touch not; taste not; handle not;
“Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
“Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh” (Colossians 2:20-23). None of the Ten Commandments say to us “touch not, taste not, handle not,” as did the ceremonial laws of the Levitical Priesthood. None of the Ten Commandments are the “commandments and doctrines of MEN”! None of them involve “will worship” or a “show” of outward humility, asceticism, and pretended spirituality, as in the shaving of one’s head in a vow, the fasts of the Pharisees, or their boasting of circumcision.
All such “proof texts” which law-hating preachers use to deceive people into believing the Ten Commandments are done away are easily understood in their correct context, and in the light of the dozens of PLAIN scriptures upholding the law! Paul said, “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin” (Romans 7:14). And what IS sin? There is only ONE plain, straightforward scripture in the Bible which says “SIN IS…” and tells you what it is!
Notice it, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Burn that scripture into your mind and heart, and never forget it! It is absolutely axiomatic! When we repent, what is it of which we are to repent?
Why, of SIN! And what IS sin? Sin is the transgression of the LAW!
God says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Yes, ALL have failed to observe God’s righteous, holy, just and good Ten Commandments!
Now, understand what one EARNS when one fails to keep the Ten Commandments: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Here are two OPPOSITES! Death on the one hand, and eternal life on the other.
The “wages” we earn when we sin — meaning when we break God’s Ten Commandments — is DEATH! But that death is not the first death, which may come in any manner; whether accident, sickness, or old age. God says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:27, 28). The SECONDdeath is death by fire, and destruction for all eternity! “And death and hell [Greek: hades, meaning the grave] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” (Revelation 20:14).
Now let’s understand what happens when we REPENT OF SIN!
Repent Of What?
When Jesus first began His public ministry, He called out to the masses to repent, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel [good news!] of the kingdom of God,
“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel (Mark 1:14, 15). Peter, speaking under inspiration of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, called out, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Repent of what? Repent of SIN! And what IS sin? Remember, sin is the breaking of God’s Ten Commandments! The remission of sin is FORGIVENESS for having violated God’s laws!
Repentance means deep sorrow; remorse, self-revulsion! It means to be penitent, to be very sorry! Sorry for WHAT? Sorry for having broken God’s laws! Sorry for having NOTkept the Ten Commandments! Never forget this vital biblical principal! There are MILLIONS of church-going, professing Christians who have NEVER KNOWN THE MEANING OF REPENTANCE; never known the meaning of WHAT IS sin! Literally MILLIONS do not know that sin is NOT merely “something displeasing to God,” or “drinking, dancing, card-playing and honky-tonking,” or any other man-formulated series of social or religious violations or infractions, but that sin is the breaking of any point of God’s law! Of course, some of the activities referred to above are certainly contrary to the Ten Commandments, but there are sins which are sins in any amount, such as murder, adultery, theft, idolatry and cursing, and there are sins which are sins in excess, where moderation would not be a sin.
One can sin against one’s body by ingesting too much water, for example! One can eat far too much food, and be gluttonous, and be committing a sin against one’s own body, which is to be the “temple of the Holy Spirit,” as well as ruining one’s health by becoming grossly obese, while eating correctly, and in moderation is not a sin.
God does not single out any one of the Ten Commandments as being inferior to the others! Remember it is only the FOURTH commandment which most Sunday-observing preachers hate.
James said, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
“For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:10, 11).
What Is Redemption?
Now, you need to understand what “redemption” is all about. When a thing is “redeemed” (as one might redeem some article from a pawn broker by paying off the loan) it is “bought back.” It is “brought back” to its original state. When we are in sin, we are CUT OFF from God! We are under the penalty of the law, which is DEATH, in Gehenna fire!
Paul explained how we become God’s PURCHASED POSSESSION when we accept the blood sacrifice of Christ: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). This is the essence of “redemption.” You have been bought with the blood of Christ, and now you are not “your own” to do with as you please, but the purchased possession of God Himself!
And WHY did Christ die? He died because mankind has been breaking God’s Ten Commandments! Remember, Christ LIFTED the Ten Commandments to a much higher, SPIRITUAL plane! He said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17,18). To fulfill means “to do or perform.” It is not synonymous with “destroy”! Christ explained how the Ten Commandments reach into every nuance of human thought and action: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire (Matthew 5:21, 22). Obviously, Christ is applying the Ten Commandments in the broadest possible sense, showing how God’s law reaches into all human thought. He said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27, 28).
Thus, while the LETTER of the law certainly defines sin, it is the spiritual INTENT of the law which also defines sin in a much broader way! Where it required ACTION under the Old Covenant, it only requires THOUGHT under the new! Therefore, the Ten Commandments are INFINITELY MORE BINDING than before! Far from being “done away,” they are made much more BINDING!
Jesus Christ gave HIS flawless, perfect, sin-free life for the commandment-breaking of all mankind! The “favorite text” of all preachers says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16, 17). The false preachers make people believe that scripture says that “whosoever believeth in him should not live forever in hell fire…” But the Bible nowhere says there is an EVER BURNING hell fire! Instead, it portrays Gehennafire, which will BURN UP those who are cast into it: “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
“And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashesunder the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 4:1-3). No Sunday-observing, law-hating preacher who believes in and preaches an ever-burning hell fire and the “immortality of the soul” would DARE quote and expound that scripture! It shows the true fate of unrepentant sinners — that of total DESTRUCTIONin Gehenna fire!
The OPPOSITE of eternal death is eternal life! God gave His only begotten Son that we might not PERISH — and perish in Gehenna fire — but have eternal life!
Jesus Christ came as our REDEEMER! When we were lost in sin, which is the breaking of God’s Ten Commandments, we were under the DEATH penalty, for the “wages of sin is death!” Jesus Christ PAID that penalty with His one PERFECTlife — the very life of God in the flesh — His one life being worth more than all human life put together!
Think of the analogy of a bond servant. Many early arrivals to the original thirteen colonies in the United States were “indentured servants.” They came here as a bond servant to an employer; sometimes accepting the rigors of such work in lieu of debtor’s prison in England.
But if a kindly man should come along and pay off the bondby giving the employer the full amount he is owed, then the bond servant is no longer beholden to his debtor, but is FREE.
When we were under sin, we OWED OUR LIVES!
Jesus Christ came to set us FREE — not from the obligation to obey God, but free from the penalty of sin, which is death! Paul explained, “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death [by being “buried” in the “watery grave” of baptism], we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
“Knowing this, that our old man [the old sinful man, who was living in disobedience to the Ten Commandments] is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin [remember: sin is the transgression of the law!].
“For he that is dead is freed from sin.
“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
“Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
“For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin [through Christ’s death in our stead], but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Romans 6:5-12). Indeed! Let NOT SIN REIGN in your mortal body! And WHAT IS SIN? Sin is the breaking of God’s Ten Commandments! Clearly, Paul shows that water baptism is a type of our death; that Christ’s death has PAID THE DEBT; that not only has He conquered death through the resurrection, but we are now ALIVE unto God through Christ. When Paul said we are not to let sin have dominion over us, he clearly shows we are to LIVE WITHIN the Ten Commandments, not in disobedience to them!
Had Christ’s death been the only necessary part of salvation; if we are “once saved, always saved” by His DEATH, then why was Christ resurrected? Notice, “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:7-10).
You need to study this beautiful, meaningful passage slowly and carefully, and come to throughly understand its terms. Notice that we are RECONCILED to God by Christ’s sacrifice!
We are then “redeemed.” We are a “purchased possession” of God, having been bought as if from slavery by the life’s blood of Jesus Christ. Reconciliation, or redemption, has to do with SINS THAT ARE PAST! Reconciliation means restoration; bringing back to an original state. An estranged couple who reconcile is a couple who forget those things which have divided them, and commence anew. Reconciliation is FREE! It is God’s free, loving gift!
Remember, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” But if Christ’s DEATH is the ONLY ingredient for salvation, then why did Jesus Christ need to be RESURRECTED from the dead? Notice the fabulous truth, so little understood by millions of professing Christians, “…much more BEING RECONCILED, we shall be saved BY HIS LIFE!”
There are countless professing Christians who believe in a catch-phrase, “once saved, always saved.” This is tantamount to proclaiming that Christ’s death gives the Christian blanket approval; blanket permission to live life in a “saved” condition, apart from the need for any further repentance!
But this attitude utterly ignores Christ’s PRESENT function as the HIGH PRIEST in heaven, at the right hand of the Father, to MAKE INTERCESSION on a daily basis for those who have repented, been baptized, and who have received the begettal of the Holy Spirit.
This is why Paul wrote “we shall be saved BY HIS LIFE!”
The Book of Hebrews is the book about the present High Priesthood of Jesus Christ. It clearly sets forth Christ’s DAILY function as our High Priest in heaven, who makes daily intercession before His Father for the failings of stumbling, struggling human beings.
Notice, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
“And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
“For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
“For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:14-18). Christ’s EXPERIENCE in battling Satan, the world, and His own human nature is what QUALIFIED Him to become our living High Priest! The ministry of God’s true church are not priests! They are fellow servants; men and women who SERVE the brethren in various functions. There are no RANKSin the ministry, only different functions.
This is how we “shall be saved BY HIS LIFE!” Now, review what you have learned:
(1) All of us have sinned.
(2) Sin is the breaking of any one of God’s Ten Commandments.
(3) Christ shed His life’s blood to REDEEM us from sin!
(4) We are forgiven (reconciled to God) for PAST SINS!
(5) God’s GRACE is His free compassion and forgiveness, unmerited, unearned by us.
(6) Christ’s death atoned for sins that are past.
(7) Christ was resurrected to become our High Priest in heaven.
(8) Now that we have been FORGIVEN of past sins (the breaking of God’s Ten Commandments), we are commanded to LIVE WITHIN THEM with the help of the Holy Spirit, and Christ’s daily intercessory work!
Since Salvation is FREE, Then What Of WORKS?
You could never EARN salvation! Should you live to be one thousand years of age, and keep God’s laws perfectly, you could never “EARN” salvation, for salvation is God’s free, loving GIFT! God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son!
Are you a legal citizen of the country in which you live? (Mostly, those of you reading this will be U.S. citizens, but many are Canadians, Australians, Britons, French, or citizens of other countries). Paul claimed to be a “free born” Roman! As such, he was able to avail himself of his Roman rights, to exercise his franchise, and thus to appeal to Caesar for a hearing.
As a free-born American citizen, I did NOTHING to “earn” my citizenship!
It was “earned” FOR me by others. Hundreds of thousands of others! From the founding fathers to the “Minutemen” of colonial days, there have fallen in battles hundreds of thousands of men and women who gave their lives for liberty. From the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 to the Spanish-American war, World War I and World War II — from Korea to Vietnam, and from Grenada to the Gulf, thousands have died to give ME my FREEDOM!
I did not buy it. I did not work for it. I did not “earn” it. It has been GIVEN to me by the sacrifices of all those who went before!
My country is founded upon LAW! While our criminal justice system is not perfect (while God’s system IS), nevertheless, assumedly, if I BREAK the laws of my land, I am subject to whatever PENALTY the law requires. In many states, murder requires the DEATH penalty!
In the case of God’s laws, any infraction of His righteous, perfect Ten Commandments demands the DEATH penalty.
Now, suppose you were to break the law; commit a felony. Suppose that, when your case came to trial, as the attorney for the prosecution was spelling out all the heinous things you allegedly did, and demanding that you pay a million dollars in fines, the counsel for your defense introduces a kindly intercessor, a benefactor, who offers to pay your fine for you!
When the judge rules that you are free to go; that your fine has been paid, are you now free to GO OUT AND COMMIT A FELONY? Of course not!
But this is PRECISELY what the Sunday-observing preachers teach! In effect, by boasting they are “once saved, always saved,” they say you have “license” to BREAK THE TEN COMMANDMENTS EVERY WEEK! Because, whether millions want to believe it or not, Sabbath-breaking is on an exact par with MURDER! Just because you are “redeemed,” or “reconciled” to society by the payment of a fine, you are not now under license to live outside of the laws of the land! Now, suppose you begin to rigorously live WITHIN the laws of the land. Does that mean you have EARNED the monstrous amount of money your merciful and generous benefactor gave you? Of course not!
You are merely doing that which was required of you in the first place! Jesus Christ said, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10). When you see many soldiers in the uniform of their country, with the markings of their nation, their unit, and their service, but bereft of medals, you are seeing men who have done their duty. But when you see a solider with medals, such as the Congressional Medal of Honor, or the Silver Star, you are seeing a soldier who has gone FAR BEYOND his duty!
All are expected to do their duty. The REWARD which follows heroic action may be not only a medal, but even promotion! Herein is an important analogy to the process of entering into the Kingdom of God!
Remember, the scripture the false anti-law preachers IGNOREis the following passage to Ephesians 2:8 and 9! It is verse 10 which says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them!
James said it is our good WORKS which DEMONSTRATE our faith!
Now, notice the example of Abraham: “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
“For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
“Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
“Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Romans 4:1-8). It was Abraham’s FAITH in God; His stolid, dogged, unrelenting BELIEF that whatsoever God had promised He was able to accomplish, that pleased God! Never forget the biblical meaning of the term “justified.” Remember, to be “justified” means to be “rectified,” or “redeemed.” It has to do with SINS THAT ARE PAST, and not with a blanket approval to continue in sin!
Yes, BLESSED are we when God will not impute sin to us, but instead, allow the precious and holy blood of Jesus Christ to cover our sins! John wrote to fellow Christians, including HIMSELF, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 John 1:8-10; 2:1-4).
Clearly, SALVATION, being forgiven for SIN is GOD’S FREE,LOVING GIFT! You could never earn it, for “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” But once receiving salvation are there any WORKS to be accomplished?
Remember, James wrote, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
“And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone [but the TWO TOGETHER are alive!].
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works! (James 2:14-18). Here, then, is a simple truth which is IGNORED by the preachers of licentiousness and permissiveness. Either they KNOW this, and deliberately ignore it, or they are themselves deceived, and do not know the truth.
Suppose you are a community-minded, service-oriented person. You have your free, undeserved, unearned citizenship. In addition, you contribute to charity; you help out by giving food and clothing to the needy. You show your love to those facing surgery, or who are ill by visits, cards, flowers, letters, phone calls. You volunteer your time when disaster strikes your neighbors. Perhaps a neighbor’s house burns down — will you help all you can, by donating clothing, food, even some pieces of furniture, or money? These things are called GOOD WORKS! Do they EARN you your citizenship? Of course not! But they earn you a great deal of respect; of honor; of high regard!
In the same way, once you have repented of breaking God’s Ten Commandments, and once you have been RECONCILEDto God by the blood of Christ, you must now not only live WITHIN the laws of God, but you must go BEYOND by producing GOOD FRUIT if you wish to receive any reward in God’s kingdom.
Here is an important analogy, backed up by an important scripture: Suppose someone GIVES you a building! But the building consists of a firm foundation, with a beautiful, solid, perfectly level concrete slab, with all the raw electrical conduits and plumbing in place. There, lying beside the slab, is a large pile of building materials. The materials consist of steel beams, joists, girders, studs, side and roof panels; all the materials needed to complete a beautiful building.
Your benefactor says to you, “See, I have GIVEN you this beautiful foundation. You did nothing to earn it. But it is YOURS. Now, I want to see you BUILD A BUILDING atop this foundation!
Perhaps one person is given a foundation with only enough building materials for a modest home. Another is given materials for a large, commercial building. Still another enough for a whole complex of buildings. Not only is the slab free, but so are the materials!
But then, there is WORK to be done! Does that WORK ever PAY FOR THE ORIGINAL SLAB, OR THE BUILDING MATERIALS? Of course not!
Now, notice the biblical analogy: “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, whichis Jesus Christ.
“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire [symbol of trials; tribulation]; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:9-17).
Your foundation is JESUS CHRIST. That means His sacrifice; His life, freely given as atonement for your sins in your place! Now, the death penalty has been REMOVED from you. Now, your fine has been PAID. Now, you have been REDEEMED. Now, you begin ANEW, making a fresh start, with no sin to your account!
There is the foundation. And there, beside it, are several kinds of building materials.
Notice there are six kinds: gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble. Each is of a different degree of hardness; each reacts differently to fire.
Gold is more precious than silver, and has a different melting point. Yet, fire, or intense heat, only REFINES gold, burning out impurities. Silver, while of less value, is the same, in that fire only purifies it. Perhaps the precious stones are changed in color by the intense heat, but nevertheless, while less in value to gold, are able to survive the fire, and retain their beauty.
But wood, hay, and stubble, or chaff, are all destroyed! The stubble has such a low flash point that when fire is applied, it bursts instantly into flame, and quickly burns. The hay takes just a little longer, but will burn rapidly. Wood requires even more fire, and has a higher flash point than stubble or hay, but will eventually burn, and be destroyed.
So, HALF of the building materials, when the fire is applied, are destroyed! Some instantly, some a little later, and all eventually! But the other half, the gold, silver and precious stones SURVIVE THE FIRE! There they are, still atop the foundation, not only having survived, but rendered even purer, more beautiful by the fire!
Now, understand Christ’s parables of the pounds and talents, both of which are units of British or Roman money. For brevity, since both demonstrate the same point, I will print the parable of the pounds here, and expound it: “He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
“But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
“And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
“Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
“And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
“And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
“And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
“And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
“For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
“And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
“Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
“And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
“(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
“For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
“But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me” (Luke 19:12-27). Jesus Christ is the young nobleman. The “far country” is heaven itself. The pound is symbolic of God’s forgiveness; His free SALVATION through Christ. Don’t fail to notice that Christ called TEN servants! But ONLY THREE OF THEM SHOWED UP! The other seven said “we WILL NOT SUBMIT TO THIS MAN’S RULE! We will not have him ruling over us!” This is precisely the attitude of the anti-law preachers and their duped congregations! They refuse to OBEY God! Notice that each one of the three is given the same amount!
But one is very hard-working and industrious, and increases tenfold! Another is also hard-working, but not quite so successful, and increases five-fold! But the other is suspicious; imputes wrong motives to his benefactor. In the analogy of the slab and the building materials, this one would build a barbed wire fence around the slab, then sit there and guard it with a shotgun until the benefactor came back to see what kind of structure he had completed.
The REWARD is that of RULE or AUTHORITY over TEN CITIESfor the one who overcame the most! ELEVEN cities, or even more, for Christ takes away the pound from the suspicious, lazy dolt, and gives it to the most successful one. No telling how many more pounds he would gain with it, as he had in the first instance.
Here is a clear reference to the REWARD for WORKS in the kingdom of God!
Rulership In The Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God is going to be established on this earth in the near future! You can read all about it if you get three of my books on the subject, one entitled, Here Is The BEST NEWS You Could Ever Hear, another entitled, Heaven On Earth? and another entitled, Coming Soon — An INVASION From SPACE! All are FREE of charge of course, and I urge you to read them!
Slowly read and study Isaiah the 11th chapter, which describes conditions to become extant on this earth following Christ’s return. Then read Revelation 19, verse 12 to the end of the chapter for the description of the second coming of Christ.
Remember, Christ promised positions of RULERSHIP in His kingdom! The archangel, when he announced the impending birth of Christ, said, “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
“And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:30-33). David’s throne is ON THIS EARTH! David has been promised eternal RULERSHIP over the whole House of Israel! “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
“For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:
“But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them” (Jeremiah 30:7-9). David’s REWARD in the Kingdom of God on this earth will be RULERSHIP over the entire twelve tribes of Israel — thirteen in all, because Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, comprised two of the largest tribes.
Jesus Christ promises those who OVERCOME, depending on the DEGREE of their overcoming, RULERSHIP OVER THE NATIONS! Notice, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
“And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father” (Revelation 2:26, 27). Notice that Christ did not say “He that ‘loves’ me; that becomes smarmy, sticky, sentimental over me; that sings love songs to me; that continually indulges in praise worship toward me!” No, He said “he that overcometh, and KEEPS MY WORKS unto the end!” Christ produced WORKS! He said “My Father WORKETH hitherto, and I WORK!” (John 5:17).
There is a WORK to be done by God’s church! The very purpose for the church is to accomplish the COMMISSIONJesus Christ gave to its early apostles, and all those who have followed after; “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20). When the disciples asked Jesus Christ if He would restore the kingdom to Israel, notice what Christ said: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:6-8). Millions do not know that Christ’s disciples were like young, would-be revolutionaries! They fully expected Jesus Christ to overthrow the corrupt Herodian kingdom, abolish the Sanhedrin, and expel the Romans! Their question on the occasion of seeing Him as He departed this earth proves it! If you have not heard it, by all means call or write for my sermon tape about the “Young Revolutionaries.”
Are there WORKS required for positions of responsibility in God’s kingdom? YES, there are! But those good WORKS to be accomplished have nothing to do with God’s FREE,LOVING GIFT of salvation! Instead, they have to do with REWARD, over and above salvation!
Salvation is GIVEN to us through the wonderful sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ! Notice that we HAVE that gift; that it is a PAST ACTION by the Eternal God: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:11).
God’s GIFT is like that perfect foundation! Notice how it is configured: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22). Notice that the PROPHETS are included, along with the apostles, as a part of the FOUNDATION of the church! Imagine a foundation of large, perfectly hewn slabs of white marble. They are labeled “Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Zedekiah, Bartholomew, Andrew, James, John, Peter, Matthias,” and include all the names of the prophets and original apostles. But at the corner, as a large, imposing, chief corner stone, is the perfectly formed white rock with the name of Christ! But this is a DIFFERENT kind of a building, for Christ is at once the “chief corner stone,” AND He is the CAPSTONE, or the HEADSTONE: “Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it” (Zechariah 4:7). The only structure in which the headstone is also the chief “corner” stone is the PYRAMID!
This clearly shows Christ as the HEAD; the Ruler; the King of kings and Lord of lords.
The analogy shows that salvation is our foundation! It is God’s free gift! We could never in a million years of merely doing our duty, and living within God’s laws, “earn” it. But God intends that we BUILD RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER on that foundation. Depending upon how well we build — whether with gold, silver, or precious stones, or whether with wood, hay, or stubble, our work will either merit great REWARD; great RESPONSIBILITY in the coming world-ruling government, or our work will NOT SURVIVE the tribulation, though we ourselves are SAVED, even if through fiery trial. God gives us, according to our natural, individual abilities, a JOB to do! He tasks us with OVERCOMING our evil, carnal human natures; with overcoming the rotten, filthy, sin-sick, crime-ridden, war-torn, drug-drunk world around us, and overcoming our adversary, who ACCUSES us day and night before God — Satan, the “accuser of the brethren.”
Many make little strides here and there with their personal character. Many devote themselves to others. Many are generous; helpful toward those in need. But many of those same people, while “good Christians” in some ways, have hatred and animosity toward others! Many are UNFORGIVING! Many harbor decades-long feelings of rejection and contempt toward others who are also striving toward God’s kingdom.
Notice what Christ said, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
“And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
“For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
“Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
“When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
“Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
“For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
“I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
“Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:31-46). Are not each of these GOOD WORKS?
It is WORK which produces food and drink. WORK to drive to a distant prison and take the time to visit an inmate who needs spiritual help. WORK produces clothing to give to those in desperate need.
But there is even more that is required: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 25:14, 15). This is VITAL to your salvation! There are THOUSANDS of individuals who, when God’s church broke up into dozens of scattered little organizations, harbored resentments, anger, contempt toward others! Peter was SHOCKED when Jesus Christ told him just how DEEPLY forgiveness is required: “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
“Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
“Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
“And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents [a huge sum!].
“But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
“The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
“Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
“But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
“And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
“And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
“So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
“Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
“Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
“And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
“So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (Matthew 18:21-35).
If you have never read my book entitled Buried Sins and Spiritual Graves’ Robbers, I urge you to do so! This principle transcends all they arguments, excuses, accusations, and explanations put forth by those who are self-righteous, and who SHUN others who should be their brethren in Christ! SHUNNING — avoiding any contact with those who had once been loving brethren, is COMMONamong many today! Do such people assume they will have a joyous reunion when they meet one another in the air over the Mount of Olives? Do they assume it is God’s will, and RIGHTEOUS on their part to SHUN their own brothers and sisters in the meantime? What Bible is it they have been reading? It CANNOT be the true word of God!
JUDGING one another is one of the most common sins! It is the omission of just this one point which may result in many being cast into a lake of fire, while they had ASSUMED for years, and even decades, that they were going to be in God’s kingdom! There may be JUST ONE MORE WORK God is waiting for YOU to accomplish in YOUR life!
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