Take the Good with the Bad

May 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Posted in Common Expressions, II Corinthians | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It is commonly said that we often have to “take the good with the bad,” meaning that some things are so enjoyable, that, while they are not perfect or ideal, they are still worth the trouble that comes with them.

facts of life

Most people certainly do NOT enjoy being painfully injected with a vaccine, but they are willing to put up with it in exchange for crossing some deadly disease off their list of concerns. I abhor waiting a long time outside a restaurant for a table to become available, but I am willing to endure it if the food is delicious enough when it is finally served to me.

Biblically speaking, we find this principle having various applications, one of which is:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

II Corinthians 10:5 (emphasis added)

This is what some theologians have called “The Great Assize,” more commonly referred to as “The Final Judgment.” One day (and it could be today!), after Christ has returned to this world to claim His rightful ownership of it, and to assert His absolute authority over it, all the people who have ever lived will stand before Him in some sort of judgment. For Christians, whose sins have been forgiven, the judgment seat of Christ will be a place where our works, words, thoughts, and motives are judged. There will be rewards and there will be loss of rewards. For non-Christians, there will be a Great White Throne Judgment. There, sins WILL be judged. The Book of Life will be opened, and those who have not trusted Christ unto salvation will find that their names are not therein written, and they will be cast into the lake of fire forever.

So, while different judgments will occur for the two most important categories of people – saved vs. lost; born again vs. born once; saints vs. sinners; children of God vs. enemies of God; Christians vs. non-Christians; true believers vs. unbelievers; sheep vs. goats; wheat vs. tares; justified vs. unjustified – it is still true that everyone will be judged in some sense according to the things he or she has done during his or her earthly life.

This should be a powerfully bracing reminder to us that what we do each and every moment of our lives MATTERS. God is watching. He is keeping records. He sees our most secret deeds, hears all our words, and even knows our deepest, darkest, and dearest thoughts. We will truly, one day (much, much sooner than we think), take the good with the bad, and, let’s face it, as good as we think our good might be, our bad would far outweigh it on the scales of God’s perfect divine justice.

This is why it is vitally important to have an “alien” good (meaning a “goodness” or “righteousness” that comes from somewhere outside of ourselves) imputed to our account, and just as vitally important that our “bad” gets fully removed by someone who could pay the price for it in our stead. That’s where our Heavenly Advocate comes in. Only Christ can accomplish both of these gargantuan and eternal tasks for us.

When we have to cushion the blow of some disturbing information, we sometimes ask the recipient of the information, “I have bad news and I have good news: Which do you want to hear first?” You’ve already heard the bad news: All people come into this world condemned before God Almighty, the Judge of all the earth. Now, please, hear the Good News: Christ will remove your condemnation, pardon your crimes, justify you before the Judge, and give you eternal life, if you will believe, repent, turn to Him in faith, and ask Him to rescue you.

What the Knows Have and What the Know-Nots Have Not

November 28, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Posted in I Corinthians | 16 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

In a previous lesson I discussed how “ministers,” including all believers, will have their building materials judged. This is known as the Bema seat judgment.

If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

I Corinthians 3:15

This verse is not a reference to purgatory, although the Roman Catholic Church used it to attempt to bolster its unbiblical tradition. It is actually in the context of Christians having their works, doctrine, and motives judged, not their sins. Christians will be at this judgment. Unregenerate sinners will not.

If you are a Christian without an official ministry title, in what way are you still a “minister?” Hopefully, you are ministering to your spouse, children, parents, friends, fellow church members, fellow Sunday School class members, or whoever finds his way into your sphere of influence. Remember, there is no “secular” versus “sacred” distinction in true Christianity and in true Christian living.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

I Corinthians 3:16

Know-Nots do not know that this world, and all our lives, are about God – and specifically about Christ. The Knows know that God designed them to be a temple – a dwelling-place for His presence on earth. In the Old Testament when the profane touched the holy, the holy was defiled, and, in the case of the Tabernacle, the holy destroyed the profane (worldly) in order to preserve its holiness.

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

I Corinthians 3:17

This goes all the way to our motives. In the church at Corinth the Knows were acting like Know-Nots. They were being childish, forming factions, and feuding over the leaders with which they aligned themselves. To have our “works” judged will be one thing; to have our “doctrine” judged will be another; but to have our “motives” judged, this will truly be a consuming fire. Our motive is revealed – this side of eternity – by cooperation (working together for God’s glory), rather than by competition (outdoing others for my own glory).

Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

I Corinthians 3:21

What can the world give you? Nothing, really, because you have everything good in Christ. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” What can the world take from you? Nothing, really, because you don’t truly own anything. Christ owns it all. The Knows have everything and nothing, which is perfect freedom. The Knows-Nots seek everything and are never able to find it, which is utter bondage.

Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

I Corinthians 3:22-23

All things are ours = Christian liberty
You are Christ’s = Christian responsibility

The Ultimate Confession

July 5, 2016 at 9:58 am | Posted in Matthew | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Matthew Chapter 24 explains end-times prophecy concerning Israel. It is talking about Christ’s return after the Tribulation – for Israel – not His return for His Church. At the end of Chapter 24, and on into Chapter 25, the Lord’s discourse changes from Israel to the Church.

There will be loss of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We have a treasure, which is the Gospel, and we should defend it. However, in defending it, we must not fail to put it to use. Our lights must be kept burning, but they must also be used to shine light.

But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

Matthew 25:18

We live in the period of time between this verse and the next one.

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

Matthew 25:19

The faithful servants entered into joy, and their joy was not retirement. It was more service. The unfaithful servant didn’t know who his lord was.

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

Matthew 25:24

In his mind he made a lord he wanted to follow and be like. The deceitful leaders of the false charismatic prosperity movement are leading those who want to be deceived. They serve their preachers, not the Lord. They want to be like their preachers and not like the Lord.

We don’t use our talents because the talents are worthy. We use them because the Lord is worthy. He is worthy to be served. He will judge the nations – by judging the individuals who make up the nations. He will judge both the saved and the lost – but in different ways. The saved will yield willingly in acknowledgment of His power. The lost will yield unwillingly when their knees are broken by a rod of iron. The cup of wrath will open their mouths and they will confess Him as Lord. The most pagan ungodly devilish unbeliever knows deep down inside that Jesus Christ is the true King, but he is restraining that truth with all his might. The drinking of the cup of wrath will let the truth out. This confession will not be like a bully twisting a kid’s arm on the playground and making him say “uncle.” The victim is not really the bully’s nephew. The ungodly will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and it will be 100% true.

The Things that Will Last

February 19, 2010 at 9:02 am | Posted in Eternity | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Those who have been once saved by Christ Jesus will not be judged for their sins, but all men will one day stand before the Lord in judgment. If not for sins, then for what shall true Christians be judged? They shall be judged for their works. (See I Corinthians 3:13 and II Corinthians 5:10).

Knowing that this day is coming, we who are the children of God through the new birth would be very wise to watch how we live, and what we do.

Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

II John, Verse 8

Earthly, temporal works earn earthly, temporal rewards. But faithful works which promote and build the Kingdom of God bring about full and eternal rewards.


Entries and comments feeds.