September 17, 2015
Jesus is God the Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. He is worthy of all honor, glory, and praise. He humbled Himself in obedience and entered His creation to give mankind the only way to become reconciled to God. Sin separates us from God and only the shed blood of Jesus allows reconciliation. If you have accepted this truth and asked Christ to forgive your sins then bow before Him in obedience, praise, and thankfulness. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth and things under the earth; and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11.
Too often Christians grab hold of the forgiveness part of Christ’s love, but fail to be thankful. We forget that He is God and salvation is available only because the Creator of the universe loves us. We need to set aside our pride, bow before Him, and honor Him with our life out of gratitude for what He did. Salvation is freely offered to us. When we admit that we are sinners and know we need Him for salvation, we are forgiven and the Holy Spirit is sealed within us. From the moment we truly believe we are saved by grace. Remember that every gift has a cost. Though this gift is free to us, God Himself paid a huge price. He left Heaven and took on human form. He sacrificed Himself on the cross to be the once for all atonement for our sin. Christians should be overwhelmed with gratitude, yet we think we deserve His grace and mercy. Like spoiled children, we act as if God owed it to us. “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.“Matthew 10:38. Are you worthy of Him? Do you take up your cross and follow Him? Christ spoke these words to His twelve disciples and they truly understood what taking up a cross meant. It meant death. Jesus had just told them that if they loved anybody more than Him, they denied Him. Following Jesus may mean that your family turns on you or that friendships must be terminated, but nothing in your life can come before Jesus…you must take up your cross and nail your old self there. If you are willing to deny Christ in order to hold onto friends or lifestyles then you are not taking up your cross to follow Him. You are like a baby who never matures. “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33. We are not saved by works, but by grace. We cannot earn salvation, but if you deny Christ by living contrary to His ways you deny Him and may not truly have accepted His grace. Eternity is a long to spend thinking “Oops”.
Every person who has ever lived faces judgment from God. The Great White Throne judgment is where those who have rejected Christ will be judged for their works. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.” Revelation 20:11. You don’t want your worst enemy to face this judgment. God is love, but those who face this judgment will be judged according to their works and not through the blood of the Lamb which takes away our sin. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12. Let me tell you right now, there are no works you can do that will make you worthy of salvation. Nothing. You can’t help enough little old ladies cross the street or serve in enough soup kitchens to make you worthy. The people who face this judgment have all rejected Christ and are judged solely by their works. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14-15. There are no second chances after death. If you have rejected Christ in this life, this is the eternity you will face. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19. There will be many people who face this judgment who claim to believe in one god, but they all will have condemned themselves because they don’t believe in God Almighty. Muslims and Mormons say there is one god, but they don’t worship God Almighty. Even many who claim to be Christians don’t worship God Almighty. You can say there is one god, but if you haven’t humbly bowed before God Almighty and confessed Christ as the only way of salvation, then you haven’t placed your faith in Him. If you haven’t taken up your cross to follow Jesus, then you deny Him.
The White Throne judgment is for those who have rejected Christ. Christians will also face judgment. It will not be the same type as the White Throne judgment, but is still a judgment. “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.“2 Corinthians 5:10. There, all secrets will be revealed. You may think nobody knows about the hidden sins in your life, but Christ knows. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is 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; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” 1 Corinthians 3:11-13. It’s clear that works matter in this judgment, but only those done for Christ will not burn. “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.” 1 Corinthians 3:14-15. No matter how good a work you do, if it isn’t done for Christ it will be burned up in the fire of this judgment. Only works done for God will remain. Will you be left bare when those hidden sins are burned up because you have done nothing for Christ? “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 3:16-17. Don’t defile the temple with worldly pursuits, yoking yourself with non-believers who will drag you into sin, or anything that will burn up in the judgment. Gold, silver, and precious stones are the things done for God and will not burn. Take up your cross and follow Jesus.
“And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!” Matthew 27:29. Even the Roman soldiers bowed before Jesus, but like many people today they only mocked Him. So-called Christians who don’t take up their cross to deny self and follow Him, also mock Him. They engage in fornication, accept sin as a way of life, yoke themselves with unbelievers, and generally disrespect the God they claim to serve. Those who mocked Him in times past are now well aware Who it was they laughed at and mocked. Don’t laugh at Jesus. Don’t mock God by bowing before Him as a joke. Honor Him. When you stand before Him in judgment, whether the White Throne or the Bema Seat, your life will be laid bare. You will look upon the Lamb of God who was slain for your salvation. Will you be ashamed of how you served Him?
Brothers and sisters, we are living in the end times. If you pay attention to the news headlines you know without a doubt that the wars, pestilence, earthquakes, and other birth pains which Jesus spoke of in the Olivet Discourse are growing in intensity. The dry bones of Ezekiel chapter 37 have come together in the rebirth of the nation of Israel. Israel is now surrounded by enemies who are trying to eliminate them from the face of the earth (another sign). As war rages in Syria, we can see that the destruction of Damascus, as prophesied in Isaiah 17, is on the brink of being fulfilled. Sin is fully embraced by every nation. There is a push for a one world religion, a one world government, and a one world currency. Study prophecy and compare it to what is happening around the world right now and you will understand how close Daniel’s 70th week is. Many educated men who love the Lord look for a major event to take place within a few weeks. Could this event be the Rapture? Maybe. Nobody can know for sure, but we can look to the clues in Scripture. It will happen prior to the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. Time is short and today is not the time to put off taking up your cross to follow Jesus; bow before Him and be grateful for His sacrifice. Study God’s word to know His ways. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy2:15. No matter your age you are just one heartbeat away from eternity. You may die from heart attack, cancer, or a car accident. A better scenario would be for the Rapture to take all Christians to be with our Lord. Right now, put aside your pride and arrogance and give yourself entirely to Christ.
“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Isaiah 45:22-23. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah recorded this, and it is repeated in the New Testament. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God“. Romans 14:11. Look to Him for salvation. Bow your knee before Him, confess Him before men, take up your cross and follow Him. Don’t face the White Throne judgment and be sure you won’t be ashamed to meet Jesus at the Bema seat.
One day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Which throne will you bow before?
God bless you all,
Ron Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.