Around 2005 the Lord dealt with me about preaching and writing on what he called “lost” or discarded themes. For example, He told me that there had been a diabolical silence on holiness in the Church that had allowed Satan to take advantage of many as they gave place to sin, carnality, complacency, and compromise. Other themes such as the return of the Lord, heaven, hell, God’s judgments, etc. have also been understated or totally absent from many pulpits across America (My book, The Real Spirit Of Revival, is the book that deals most with these themes).
This is one of the reasons I have emphasized judgment here at the turn of the New Year. The Lord gave me a recent dream about it, it’s a part of my assignment, and it is the season for it. The time of judgment is at hand and 2018 is a new beginning on God’s calendar, so to speak, for His stronger dealings with His people. He’s getting us ready, and many of my consecrated fellow ministers are sensing the same thing.
We’ve been guilty of accentuating the blessings of God at the expense of His judgments. We often hear Romans 2:4 quoted that says the goodness of God leads us to repentance. This is true, but most fail to note that this verse is sandwiched inbetween verses on wrath and judgment. In order to fully appreciate His goodness we must also understand His wrath, His severity, and His judgments. Furthermore, understanding these other elements of God’s nature is also a safeguard against deception.
We must also understand that the believer’s sins have already been judged. God will not remember our sins and iniquities any more (Heb. 10:17). Hallelujah! Praise God that once we’ve repented and surrendered to Jesus our sins are blotted out (Acts 3:19). Additionally, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 Jn. 2:1), that when we sin after our conversion we can ask God to forgive us and cleanse us, and He will most certainly do so (1 Jn. 1:9). The believer’s judgment is a judgment of eternal rewards that we gain or forfeit based on our works in this life. Many believers will be rewarded but many will also suffer loss and regret, eternal rankings/positions, crowns, and high eternal privileges. This judgment is called the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is a fearful judgment that Paul referred to as the terror of the Lord (2 Cor. 5:11).
Where many believers have fallen short is in not judging or examining themselves so they won’t be judged and condemned with the world in this life (1 Cor. 11:31-32), and miss out on eternal rewards in the next life . We’ve failed to visit and walk before the Judgment Seat here on earth. How do you do that? By visiting it over and over again in your heart and living before it. The prophets coined a phrase, “as the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand” (1 Kings 17:2), and the apostle Paul said something similar that “by the manifestation of the truth he commended himself to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Cor. 4:2). This is a form of walking before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
In our walk with God every thought, word, motive, and deed must be held up to the light of this judgment. Here are some things to remember:
- We must remember the importance of being rich in good works that glorify God (1 Tim. 6:18).
- We must remember what the Word of God says concerning the dangers of the tongue (Mt. 12:36-37), and that we are to minister edification and grace to those who hear us, and let no corrupt communication come out of our mouths (Eph. 4:29-31).
- We must beware of craftiness and hypocrisy, knowing that our motives are the bedrock of all God’s judgments, and that there are rewards for all labor done in secret, and which we receive no earthly recognition or accolades for (Mt. 6:1-7; 16-21).
- We must be careful to do all things in love and for the glory of God lest our works be revealed as wood, hay, and stubble to be burned up (1 Cor. 3:12-15) and we suffer loss.
- We must remember that there are rewards and a glory for the soul winner that even certain prophets of the Old Testament foresaw (Dan. 12:2-3).
- We must remember that there are rewards for those who due to their uncompromising stand for Jesus, suffer for righteousness sake (Mt. 5:10-12).
And we haven’t even scratched the service of all the Word says concerning this Judgment. Are you beginning to see how much is contained within the Word of God concerning judgments and rewards? Can you also see how we’ve fallen short of giving attention to these things?
THE FINAL QUEST BOOK
I remember years ago when I first read one of my all time favorite books, The Final Quest, by Rick Joyner. I have read it, meditated on it, and referred to it many times since. In my humble opinion, it is a classic.
In one part of the book brother Joyner mentions how he was allowed to visit the Judgment Seat of Christ. He called the door that led to it as “terrible”, “fearful”, and “dark”. Unlike the other doors representing truths he had visited, this door was surrounded and enveloped in great darkness. When he asked why it was so dark, the voice responded:
“The darkness reflects how little attention the Church is presently giving to the truths of eternal judgment.”
The darkness also reflected how difficult it was to pass through the Judgment Seat of Christ door because it is a hard truth with greater terror than we’ve ever known.
On the positive side the voice also stated these things:
- “The door of judgment would not be so dark and foreboding if we had just given more attention to this truth.”
- “To those who choose to pay attention to this truth now they will find it much easier for them later on and they will not suffer loss.”
- “The greatest glory and the greatest wisdom men will ever know in this life or the next, is found at the door of this judgment.”
- “The greatest authority that men can receive will be entrusted only to those who go through this door.”
- “If men knew the glory that is revealed behind the door of the Judgment Seat of Christ it would be the most brilliant.”
- “We must be familiar with not only the kindness of the Lord, but His severity that is revealed in judgment. If we don’t possess a balance of both we will fall to deception.”
Wow! Those statements alone are worth careful study of this most important but discarded theme.
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