Thursday, November 15, 2018
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” Revelation 20:12
In my lifetime I have heard preachers who made the judgment scene so real that you could almost hear the crackling of the fire as Jesus stated, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” Matthew 25:41.
Preachers spoke of that book that contained every sin you and I have committed. They announced how all our sins were exposed in the hearing of all. Nothing was glossed over. Nothing was left out. Every detail was examined and uncovered. Embarrassment prevailed. Jesus stripped you naked for all to see. Every friend, every relative, every classmate, every coworker, every church member, and every stranger were exposed to sins you thought were unknown or had been forgiven. Every single one, was revealed, whether you considered it big or little. Excuses were not relevant. Repentance was too late. Reasons? Not valid. They were yours. You committed them. Take responsibility!
Several years ago a preacher friend told me about a revival he preached in Oklahoma. On the second row was a young mother with her three-year-old son standing at her side listening to his sermon. He was building toward a climax using the story of Moses and the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea. God had provided a path through it. Israel was being pursued by revenge seeking Egyptian soldiers. The last Israelite had reached the far shore, but pursuing soldiers were a hair’s breadth behind. My friend announced, in a loud, dramatic voice, that the water, being held back by God, was released and all the Egyptians were drowned. The three-year-old made his presence known with a loud, “I DON’T BELIEVE A WORD OF IT!” My friend lost his audience.
Isn’t that three-year old’s opinion shared by many? Isn’t the judgement where everyone will have ALL his sins exposed? Won’t both saint and sinner have his sins broadcasted? Really? Have we not read . . .?
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” Hebrews 10:16-17?
“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him” Romans 4:7-8.
Paul writes to believers in Rome and reminds them of a blessing they received when they responded to the Good News.
“How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Romans 6:2.
In Romans 6 Paul tells saints that they have died to sin. He continues by showing that they were buried with Jesus into his death when they were immersed. When they were raised up from that immersion, they entered His new life. Because they were united with Him in death, they were also united with Him in his resurrection. In verse 7 Paul informs them,
“For he who has died has been freed from sin.”
1 John 1:6-10 informs us that we are sinners and should confess it. In Romans 7 Paul, knowing that fact informs saints about that deliverance from the deadly reward of the flesh. He excitedly tells every believer, “Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Messiah our Lord. He has set me free” Romans 7:25.
There is no sin in Jesus Hebrews 4:15. Christians are in the body of Jesus 1 Corinthians 12:27. Yet, none of the added are perfect 1 John 1:8, 10. Why do our imperfection not stain the perfection of Jesus? Are we not members of his sinless body? God answers our “Why”! Our sins are not counted. Our sins are cleansed. Our sins are not remembered. We are not condemned if we recognize our total dependency for His “all spiritual blessings” Ephesians 1:3. Paul found his sin problem was taken care of by Jesus. His conclusion was, “There is therefore now NO condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1ff.
Those who are not “in” Jesus continue to own their sins! Believers have had theirs cleansed – “God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins. Then in exchange, he poured God’s goodness (righteousness) into us” 2 Corinthians 5:21!
Despite that Good News, are there not some who are like that three-year-old? “I DON’T BELIEVE A WORD OF IT?”