Matthew 16:24-27; “Then Jesus told His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done.'”
Before anyone says that I am promoting Salvation through our works, please go to 2 Corinthians 5:10; “For we must appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
Follow this with Ephesians 2:8-9; “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
All who will appear before our Savior at His Judgment Seat will have received and accepted Him through the “ABCs” as given in Romans 10:9-13. No one at this judgment will be bound for the Lake of Fire, but because of their actions while on this earth, they will gain or lose rewards. Please remember Romans 8:1; “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” That’s a solid promise from our Heavenly Father.
On the other hand, all who end up at the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15 will not be there for any rewards – period. All the souls there would have gone against the will of God from Genesis to the Cross, and all who would not have received and accepted Jesus as their Savior from Calvary to the end of the existence of this earth. There will be no pardons, no limited sentences, and no chance to call out for forgiveness that was available while they were alive on this earth. That judgment will be to determine the degree of their forever punishment in the Lake of Fire, or hell.
Needless to say, it would stand to reason that Satan will most likely receive the absolute most severe forever punishment of all. That should dispel the cartoon drawings depicting the devil and his demons surrounded by fire, tormenting all the people there with pitchforks. They will not persecute anyone as they will be suffering their own personal misery that they “earned” for what they did up to their judgment.
According to our Savior, there will be a vast difference in the attendance at these judgments. Matthew 7:13-14 plainly states, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow, and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
It seems that the “hard” part of the narrow gate is believing that more is not required to be saved. A,B, C – Admit, Believe, Call. There are so-called man-made religions that require all kinds of deeds and works, specific monetary contributions, and just about whatever they have come up with over the years.
Jesus appeared to have the most issues with the religious leaders of His day and constantly called them out on all of their rules and regulations that the Father never intended. One of the best lines ever is recorded in Matthew 23:24; “You blind guides, straining out a gnat, and swallowing a camel.” The next verse is good as well; “(25) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”
I would never want to hear my Savior make such a declaration about me. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I know I have received and accepted Jesus as my Savior and am a part of His precious flock.
I know I have the promise of the Father that when, not if, I sin, I have 1 John 1:8-10 to rely on; “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
At this point, I would not want to be in a position of calling God a liar. Yet, that’s what is taking place in the world today with the false prophets infiltrating previously biblical evangelical churches and declaring there are many ways to Heaven without Jesus. Also, some are teaching that all the abominations in the Bible were for ancient times and don’t apply today.
Joshua 24:15 contains the statement, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Fanny Crosby wrote many hymns, and one of my favorites is “Take the World, But Give Me Jesus.” Please consider the inspiring words of this hymn.
1.) Take the world, but give me Jesus; all of its joys are but a name; but His love abides forever, through eternal years the same.
Ref.) Oh the height and depth of mercy! Oh the length and breadth of love! Oh the fulness of redemption; pledge of endless life above!
2.) Take the world, but give me Jesus, sweetest comfort of my soul. With the Savior watching over me, I can sing though thunders roll. (ref)
3.) Take the world, but give me Jesus; in His cross my trust shall be. Till with clearer brighter vision, face to face my Lord I see. (ref)
Psalm 143:8-10 states, “Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love, for in You I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. Deliver me from my enemies, Oh Lord. I have fled to You for refuge. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. Let your Good Spirit lead me on level ground.”
The so-called “many ways” are clarified as totally false in two Bible verses. First is John 14:6; “Jesus said to him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” And then there’s Acts 4:12; “And there is Salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Paul tells us in Galatians 2:16: “Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ, and not the works of the law, because by works of the law, no one is justified.”
Follow this with Galatians 2:20; “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who gave Himself for me.”
About 2,000 years ago, on a cruel Roman cross, our Jesus paid the world’s sin debt in full once and for all. His precious sacrifice that He willingly made was offered as a free gift for all who would receive and accept Him as their Savior. It was a sacrifice that no one else could ever have made, or could ever make, as it had to be a perfect, sinless blood sacrifice for the Father to be able to accept it.
At the moment that all sin was placed on Jesus, the Father would have had to be separated from Him, even if only for a moment. It was the first and only time that the Father and Son would ever be separated for any reason. In Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, Jesus cried out, “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?” This was the moment that Jesus had dreaded and, in the garden of Gethsemane, asked if that cup could be passed from him. He followed through with stating that the Father’s will be done, not His.
His blood was applied to our sin debt, and in John 19:30, Jesus said, “It Is Finished.” That signified that the ultimate sacrifice had been made, and there would be no further blood sacrifices of animals or birds acceptable ever. This was the one that replaced all the temporary sacrifices that were allowed and were regularly made for sin (Hebrews 9:11-14).
Please note, no one has sinned so greatly that the blood of our Savior cannot reach them and cleanse them of all unrighteousness. The stipulation is that each individual must accept the gift and ask Jesus to forgive them and be their Savior forever. Believing this is a stumbling block for many, but God is true to His word, and in Psalm 103:12, He promises our forgiven sins will be as far as East is from West to Him. When we confess that we have sinned and ask His forgiveness, He sees the blood of His Son that we have accepted, and His promise is true (Titus 1:2).
Unforgiven will be those who take their last breath on this earth without Jesus as their Savior, and their next appointment will be in that long line at the Great White Throne Judgment. It will be too late to repent and be saved.
Today would be an excellent time to consider where you will spend eternity. Our soul living forever is not an option, but where it will spend that eternity is definitely up to each of us. Personally, I choose my Glorious Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, as my Messiah, Redeemer and King. You can do so also. He is waiting for your call but will never force your decision.
Hope to see you at Home!
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus! Shalom!