Dr. C. S. Lovett’s
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
WHY ARE CHRISTIANS JUDGED?
Keeping your faith centered in Jesus, regardless of any failures in this life, does get you into heaven. But getting into heaven is only the beginning of our life in Christ. It is like coming into this world. Being born of your mother gets you into the world but what happens to you after that, is up to you.
So it is when we are born into God's family. The birth is free, but the life ahead of us is squarely in our hands. We have to work to get ahead in Christ, as surely as one must work to get ahead in this world. Nothing is handed to us. Salvation is free, but nothing is free after that. We have to work for everything we get. That is why our works are judged.
THE OBVIOUS TRUTH
When it comes to salvation we all agree there isn't anything anyone can do to deserve such a gift. But that was not the point. Only believers appear at this judgment. That is why the redeemed have to account for their deeds done in the body as the apostle Paul explains:
"We must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10 NIV).
All Christians are going to be judged for their WORKS, their deeds done on earth. God will evaluate our lives based on whether we have lived for ourselves and our families – or for Him. It will NOT be a judgment for sin. Our sin was cared for at Calvary. The "iniquity of us all" was laid on Him there, so we will never be judged for sin.
ISN'T THAT PRECIOUS?
The cross of Jesus is the spiritual crossroad of life. Those putting their trust in Him will never suffer the penalty of sin because Jesus paid it all. But they will have to give an account for the way they have invested their lives.
But the unsaved will not be judged for sin either, only for their works. That could be a surprise. Having rejected Jesus, they are automatically condemned. Their judgment is needed only to determine their status or place or rank in hell. John 3:18 guarantees their condemnation:
"Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does NOT believe, stands condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
See how the unsaved are automatically condemned? This means the question of where they will spend eternity is also settled. Even so, they are judged for the way they have lived on earth (works) to determine the kind of life they will live in hell; just as we are judged for our works to determine the kind of life we will live in heaven. This is why there are two judgments: one for the Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and another for the unsaved at the Great White Throne.
“Then I saw a Great White Throne and Him who was seated upon it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, and the books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. (That's where our names, yours and mine, are written). The dead were judged according to what they had DONE as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it. And death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done" (Rev. 20:11-13).
Observe the following:
1. This judgment occurs after the human program is over when earth and sky are no longer needed.
2. Note how the books (plural) are very different from the one book of life containing our names. Our book is there only to show that God knew from the beginning those who were His.
3. The unsaved dead are not judged for sin, but for their works.
4. God is through with death and Hades and the earth, confirming that this judgment occurs at the end of the human program.
Heaven and hell are places where people spend eternity. What a person does with Jesus determines WHERE he will be judged and WHERE he will spend eternity. The judgment determines what life will be like for them there. These judgments create great differences between people in eternity.
If we are all going to be judged for our works and how we have lived for Jesus in this life, that will create great differences between Christians. Those working hard to get ahead in Christ will certainly fare better than those wasting their earthly lives, living only for self and family. The one who has forfeited the pleasures of this world to serve the Lord will be honored far and above those seeking only to get ahead in this world.
“BUT BROTHER LOVETT!”
A Christian friend questioned me, “I can see we are judged for our works, but Brother Lovett, I thought all Christians were perfect in Christ! How can you say there will be serious differences in heavenly rank and closeness to Jesus?"
I agree with him. All Christians are perfect in Christ. That is, perfect concerning righteousness and nature. We will all be as perfect as the Lord, for we will have His righteousness and nature. But perfect in nature doesn't mean perfect in rank!
Consider two bulbs, one with 500 watts and the other with 100 watts, both as perfect as the manufacturer can make them. Obviously, they are perfect in nature, yet very different in brilliance. While equal in nature, they certainly cannot do the same job. They do not shine with the same intensity. Spread the range from a 5-watt bulb to a 1000-watt bulb and this truth is even more obvious.
When the apostle Paul was teaching this truth, there were no light bulbs, but there were lights in the sky. He used them to show the differences between believers in the resurrection:
"There is one glory of the SUN, another glory of the MOON, and another glory for the STARS; for star differs from star in glory. So also is the RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD." (1st Cor. 15:41-42).
What determines whether a Christian will shine brightly for eternity or be a dim bulb? Surely it is the place he has given the Lord Jesus in this life. The Lord wants to be first in our lives and makes no mistake about it. "Seek first the kingdom of God" is His command. And if we don’t, we will be sorry. For you see, the most awesome fact of the Christian life is the Judgment Seat of Christ, where we must all appear.
When the Lord returns, He will assign us our eternal jobs based on how well we fair at the judgment. He puts it like this:
“Behold I come quickly, and My reward is with me to give every man according as his work [job and rank] shall be” (Rev. 22:12).
My heart aches for you to qualify for a high-ranking place close to Jesus. To help you get going and press on toward your objective, you can read my book Witnessing Made Easy. This will challenge you to move into action. Let these truths grip your spirit, and you will agree that just getting into heaven is. . .
NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
C. S. Lovett
Copyright 2021 © Personal Christianity
ENCOURAGES THE SHY: “Your WITNESSING MADE EASY book was surely written just for me! It even addresses the shy and timid in a non-demeaning, encouraging, and understanding manner. I am so grateful. I’ve learned to comfortably share a testimony of God’s working in my life and have led one soul to Christ so far.” (M.W.—KY)
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SINCE YOU ASKED
Question: “Paul says, ‘God has mercy on those who He wants to have mercy and He hardens whom he wants to harden.’ Does that mean he chooses some to be saved and some to be lost?”
Answer: “Whosoever will may come” is God’s invitation to all. It would hardly be a valid offer if some were excluded from that invitation. The Word insists, “He would that none should perish, but that all men would come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). But there are those who simply do not want Him. The decision is theirs. God never touches a person’s free will.
WITNESSING MADE EASY (2019 edition) helps motivate you to get out of your comfort zone in small easy steps such as leaving a Gospel tract in a locked restroom and then progresses gradually to handing a tract to someone with easy dialog suggestions. It also includes ideas for using your computer as a witnessing tool as well. Discover the thrill of sharing the Gospel with others in non-threatening ways. It is available for purchase on Amazon.com for $14.99 HERE.
DEALING WITH THE DEVIL has been updated and revised (2018 edition) for today’s readers. Are you tired of having Satan put dreadful things into your mind? Does he ever make you worry or get upset? Have you noticed his stepped-up activity in your life? Dr. Lovett’s best-selling book is available on Amazon.com and sells for $14.99 HERE.
THE PREPARED LIFE book is a valuable resource for you and your family that can help you be prepared to deal with today’s problems and end-times events. This book is available on Amazon.com and sells for $13.99 and is also available in Kindle form for $7.99 HERE.
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