Our Eternity

IT’S ABOUT JUDGEMENT Judgment that brings grace 

  Christianity in many areas in America has focused much on power especially in charismatic circles. There has been an
emphasis on gaining the power to be Christian, power to
overcome sin, power over poverty, power over depression, etc. The focus has been overall on grace. Secondly, the church has largely succumbed to making Christianity fit into a “pop” mold. “Be cool,” has been the rally cry. “Don’t disrupt people’s comfort zones.” But Jesus didn’t walk
according to trends.  The straight and narrow path that few would find
signifies a sobering and largely overlooked reality. Try as it may, the Church will not bring the masses, the majority
into the ranks of the Kingdom of heaven. 
A firm and deeply ingrained faith in God’s grace is essential, but the Church has largely missed the boat in how to establish the diligent pursuit necessary to accomplish such roots. The reason is that she has failed to preach the desperate need for God’s grace. Preachers have healed people lightly. They have cried, “Peace,” before there has been a heart cry for the peace of God  “Of course, we
receive the message of peace. We deserve it!?” But the reality of the straight and narrow call of discipleship has not threatened people’s spiritual blight. They haven’t seen the spiritual famine. They haven’t tasted a desperation to seek
for God with all of their hearts because the Church has been too busy being cool, being politically correct, loving people
with a sloppy agape. Today, politically correct is akin to accepting same
sex marriages and accepting homosexuals as Christians. Miss California lost the Miss USA title because she answered a question about same sex marriage honestly. She was against it. GLBT churches are springing up all over. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender groups in mainline and evangelical churches are the latest fad to corrupt simple truth. To date, 2009, there are over 3,100 GLBT “certified
churches in America. A very few are even tongues speaking! It may very well be that, as in Canada, ministers in the U.S. will be criminally charged if they continue to condemn homosexual activity. This may be where the persecution truly comes out of the closet. 
The fact is, few will find the way to eternal life. People will struggle with their gay lives, not yielding to God when they are young, and by the time they are older they will be stuck in a lust that they will never be able to come free of. 
Many people struggle with whether God judges nations or individuals in this covenant of grace. Of course when we think of judgement as punishment, there is a good case made for the fact that Jesus bore our punishment so we do not have to. In light of judgement beginning in the house of God we must know that God judging His own certainly does not mean punishment. However the context of scripture shows clearly that God does judge to warn us, and He does judge to purify us. Both testaments bear this out, yet the further study of that is left to another lesson.  
One of the major themes that Jesus spoke about was the coming judgement. 
One of the themes that is seldom preached about is judgement. One of the few things we look to study, to seek after is judgement. Yet, by the same token, one of the prevailing themes that binds us up personally is judgement. We constantly judge ourselves as being undeserving. We misjudge our identity in Christ. We beat our self esteem into the ground. However, when it comes to judging our position before men we easily may defend ourselves. Secretly we are brutal, but openly we are sensitive. 
What is the position of God on the coming judgement? Is it intended to be our motivator? If not, what is the reason? Why did Jesus speak so much about it? Why is it so unpopular in relation to ourselves, yet so satisfying in relation to others? 
One thing is true about our perspective on
judgement. It is future, and therefore as average Americans it is to be neglected. It's like buying something on credit.  We enjoy the benefits now, putting off the consequences until later. We procrastinate. We don't plan well for the future because we have it so good now. 
What are the things in our lives right now that we will give account of someday in heaven? 
One major issue so many struggle with is self esteem. It would seem that a message of judgement would not lift self esteem, and that is exactly right. The way to deal with low self esteem is to embrace it rather than fight it. You see, if someone is to receive a new identity, become a new creation and become born again, this is the first step. 
The message of judgement is the beginning of the journey
in the new birth. Even Jesus had the forerunner - John the
Baptist. If one is to truly be born again, then he must come face to face with the coming judgement. 

In everything I teach and preach I like to relate to or
focus on grace and principles that make us free. I also
believe that Jesus’ goal was to minister freedom to us. But it is not the freedom to be whatever we want, do whatever we want, nor choose whatever we want. Freedom with no boundaries is not freedom at all. In the real world freedom means being free from sin. It means bondage doesn’t exist. Unfortunately we equate freedom with personal deity and man as supreme. We equate freedom with the right to do or be anything that we want. The protection of our freedoms as a nation has always meant that we ward off enemies of that freedom, whether it be Hitler’s armies, communism, terrorism or sin. Yet America has not identified sin as an enemy to freedom. But in the Kingdom of God, freedom
from sin, self and Satan has the boundary of God’s laws. It has consequences spelled out, and it has the judicial
stipulations that concern the violation of God’s covenant
with us. When Jesus says, “you don’t know when,” He
means that we are not to know the time of our judgement,
when we will die, or when He will come back. Yet people
still try to violate that by guessing as to when. The whole
point of it is this - live right all the time. Don’t try to
determine when so you are inclined to see how far you can go and get away with it. 

Jesus begins to show us that judgement is related
not only to our freedoms, it is also related to our authority and responsibilities here on earth. God has given us dominion over His creation. He has therefore made us accountable, for our purpose is to be stewards over the souls of men. We are not here to preserve the environment. We
are here to populate eternity. Now in a household there is
the need for food. Our primary purpose as shepherds is to keep the sheep alive spiritually by feeding them. God is looking for faithful people who will live to nurture the lives of others, especially in the household of God.
   Again He speaks about procrastination, living for
the moment, or living for eternity. We must realize that we will not be judged for what we think we will become some day. We are living right now in the atmosphere of our judgement. We are creating right now the record that will be read one day in heaven. We can try to rationalize it, or we can try to put grace upon it. But first we must come to terms with what is being said right here in Jesus’ own words. There is an intended effect whether we understand it or not. Trust Him with these words. 

Jesus’ words about the Kingdom of heaven is what
the Gospel really is. The Gospel is the Kingdom message. It tells us that there is going to be total vindication someday. Nothing will be left unturned. Every evil thing done to you will be answered for in eternity. Every unrepentant act will be judged. God will blot out every sin confessed to Him in faith. He will forget every sin that we turn away from. But not one word that mankind fails to cover with the blood of Jesus, not one crime, not one act will slip past the gates of
eternity undealt with. 
Heaven seeks to reinforce the dangers of procrastination. Those who willingly refuse heaven when it is offered to them by the power of the Holy Spirit live here. He says to just imagine the disappointment of the 5 foolish women who didn’t care enough to guarantee their entrance. In life we need contingency plans. If this happens, be ready by knowing how to do this. If that happens, have an extra provision to make it through.
Consider all that could go wrong and plan. Prepare. If you care enough, and if it’s important enough, make sure you have done all that you could. 
People wonder about the reality of eternal security
being a myth. “So are we saved one day, and lost the next?”
Of course not. But to have known and walked away, it
would have been better if he had not known. II Pet. 2:21.
God is going to be faithful to those who are diligent to not neglect their salvation, to those who take the time to find power over the sins that easily beset us all. 

 Very stout and very ignored are some facts here.
Foremost is that entering into the joy of the Lord is
contrasted with the clear alternative of being cast out
into darkness - hell. We look at salvation being an
issue of baptism, and faith in God’s existence, mercy
and grace. Using what we have been given is vital to
our eternity. Do we really believe it? You see, for too
long we have tried to keep people alive in Christ, all the
while ignoring that it is impossible to do so without
walking in our purpose. Purpose is crucial to eternity.
It is the establishing of God’s intent for our identity.
You can’t be a surgeon without doing surgery, an
educator without teaching, a banker without going to
work, or a lawyer without cheating someone.
Establishing who we are is intended to lead to what we
do. It’s just like the moral excellence of II Peter
1...make the commitment to let your faith produce what
it’s intended to produce. Prove out your salvation.
Also key to understanding this teaching is that
God gives to us according to our ability. It is not
something that we can not do. It is not something that
we fail in because we are inadequate or unqualified.
The reality of not engaging in our purpose is something
worthy of judgement and expulsion from heaven over.
Why is it so? Why does our work of faith carry
such importance? We know this. God judges the root
to be wickedness, sinfulness, and not mere
procrastination, ignorance or lack of confidence.
Walking in purpose is central to the visible proof that
something more than intellectual belief exists in our
soul. Faith will propel a person to action. That faith
was only born of conviction, humility and contrition.
God does not ignite faith in a proud heart. Without one
engaging in their God given gifts it can be said by the
judgment of God’s Word that faith is dead.
Finally, it is compelling to realize that this
teaching about the talents recognizes our God given
responsibility and authority. He has put us in charge of
His Kingdom on earth! Though He is sovereign, His
rule is discharged through the Church. “I will give you
the keys of the kingdom. Whatever you bind on earth
is bound in heaven. Whoever’s sins you forgive, they
are forgiven.” It is not a light thing to engage in our
God given purpose, no matter how small it may seem to
    That little child you care for in the nursery,
teach in children’s church, that diaper that you change...you don’t know but that this little one may fall on hard times some day, may die in a ditch some day, may drop dead unannounced as did Kim Kappella last week in the prime of life. One, “I love you,” as you part may be just the encouragement to overcome that last temptation before the oncoming car ends someone’s earthly existence. 

Here is why the word, nation, is defined first of all
by its faith. This mostly ignored reality is reality still,
whether society acknowledges it or not. A nation by
primary definition finds its existence, protection, and
provision by the hand of its god. Who it serves will
determine its state of well being. And just as we
individually will stand before God one day, so will the
nations answer for the gods that they have chosen.
“If you did it to the least of these, you did it to me.”
Here is another determination of eternity. You may say, “I was born again. I gave my heart to the Lord. I prayed the sinner’s prayer. I went to church. I was baptized.”
If my daughter is ever found by the side of the road,
lonely, afraid, desperate for a kind act of consideration and support, if you just drive by, how should I see you? But if
you would stop, take her in, house her, cloth her, protect
her....if you’ve done this to her, you have done it to me. For she is my life, my joy, the one whom I am constantly
thinking of. If you know me, you’ll know my love for her. Care for her and you will be my best friend. Care for one of God’s creation and you will be His best friend.
The heart of the righteous cares for those in prison
as a father would care for his child in prison. You would
look beyond the fault to see the need for love. Why?
Because only those who know they deserve a prison
sentence themselves are the ones granted the faith, the light, the revelation to see and possess God’s grace for
themselves. They know that but for the grace of God they too should be jailed. 
If you’re they’re Father and you see them leave your
child to die, to suffer, to be left alone, would you accept the excuse, “But I was baptized?” It takes no faith in that child to be baptized. It takes no repentance. It takes no
conviction of sin, no humble acknowledgment of needed
mercy, no knowledge of God, no bowing before his
sovereign Lord. No. We don’t carry ‘get out of jail free’
cards issued by some religious organization.
Salvation is about us being destitute by the side of
the road, aware that we have become empty, broken by the mess that we have made out of our lives, convicted by the sin that has no ability to love others rightly. It is about God coming to us, often in the form of another human being, and showing compassion on us, and our knowing that we need it. It is about taking down the barrier of needing someone’s
approval of our looks or our performance, or our goodness, and accepting us as a mess - all the while knowing that often
have had people come to us like that, but we have been too busy trying to impress someone to notice that SOME
JUST LOVE YOU. And if you can ever just let someone
love you without having to prove yourself as being
somebody, can just get over your preoccupation with your self esteem, then you just may find God. But some people won’t let you love them. They want you to love some imaginary figure that they have created, that doesn’t exist in the storms, in the dark, and in their desperation.
Matt 7:13-14
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which
leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Matt 25:30-32 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into
outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
31 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: 32 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:
ENTERING HEAVEN, Matt 5:20-22 For I say unto you,
That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no
case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
AVOIDING HELL, 22 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.
Matt 24:36-25:46
No One Knows the Day or Hour
(Mark 13:32-37; Luke 17:26,27,34,35; 21:34-36) 36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of  the Son of Man be.
38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.
41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and
not allowed his house to be broken into.
44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant (Luke 12:41- 48) 45 "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them
food in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,'
49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and  drink with the drunkards,
50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,
51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins Matt 25:1-13 "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 Those who were foolish (dull, heedless, moral blockhead)
took their lamps and took no oil with them,
4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered
and slept.
6 "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming;* go out to meet him!'
7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
9 But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell,
and buy for yourselves.'
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying,'Lord, Lord, open to us!'
12 But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I
do not know you.'
13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour* in which the Son of Man is coming.
The Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14-30)
14 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country,
who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.
15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability;
and immediately he went on a journey.
16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.
18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.'
21 His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of
your lord.'
22 He also who had received two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.'
23 His lord said to him,'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
24 "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not
scattered seed.
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.'
26 "But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.
27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.
28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 'For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.
30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations 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.
32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and
He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was
thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and
you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'
37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and
come to You?'
40 And the King will answer and say to them,
'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
41 "Then He will also say to those on the left
hand,'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the
everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;
43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'
44 "Then they also will answer Him,* saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?'
45 Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Things Jesus Said About Eternal Life and Judgement.
 Descipleship 1
Cornerstone Magazine
Living Life on Purpose