DARE TO DISCIPLE
5/1 THRU 5/31
"WHAT WILL YOU SAY WHEN YOU KNEEL BEFORE THE KING?"
REVELATION 20: 11-15
11Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose
presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.
12And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne,
and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book
of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the
books, according to their deeds. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were
in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they
were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14Then death and
Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake
of fire. 15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he
was thrown into the lake of fire.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may
receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
And EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW BEFORE THE KING AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!!! But it goes beyond this for EVERYONE will give an account for their life, SAVED OR UNSAVED! I pray that the Holy Spirit will quicken all that hear this lesson to understand and REALIZE that NOW is the time to get themselves right before God through Jesus Christ. This lesson has a dual purpose and that is to let those who have not received Christ as their Lord and Savior that there is no time to waste, repent and receive salvation from Him and LIVE THROUGH HIM. We need to recognize also that the consequence of this decision goes beyond their understanding. This lesson is ALSO for the saved who barely make it to heaven by the free gift of salvation but who will be ashamed when they get there. This is to let them know that salvation is a gift but what you do after that will be judged and rewarded if so merited. We will be held accountable for every thought, word and action. WE WILL ALL STAND NAKED BEFORE GOD, NOTHING SHALL BE HIDDEN.
You see, today we live where men speak about wonderful, marvelous things and cry out, “Peace, peace,” but there is no peace. Sometimes we as true children of God are called upon to, in a sense, ruin everyone’s party and to say, “Stop,” to scream, to cry out, “Stop. Think for a moment about the end of your days where you are heading, what Christ really says in the totality of his Word.” How it that we are inclined just to give ourselves toward doing this when most think about nothing but pleasing the flesh and refused to look at the train that is coming? Yes, it might be a slow train, but it is a TRAIN and it is a certain train and it is coming, the day when all men will be judged by the Almighty God.
When it comes to judgment, there are some who would say that there is only one general judgment. That is, that every individual will take part in the same judgment. But according to the Scriptures, there are two judgments in which people are judged on an individual basis. One is the Judgment Seat of Christ, and the other is the Great White Throne Judgment. This Great White Throne Judgment is not to be confused with the "Judgment Seat of Christ" mentioned elsewhere in the Scriptures. The "Judgment Seat of Christ" is for those who have been saved. At that judgment, the saved will be judged according to their works. They will be judged according to the life they lived after they received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The Great White Throne Judgment on the other hand is not at all for the saved, but is reserved solely for those who die without Jesus Christ.
There are many who refuse to accept the teaching of death and hell and judgment, choosing rather to believe that God is a God of love and would not refuse any decent human being a place in heaven. To their way of thinking, God would never condemn anyone to a place of eternal torment. But the fact of the matter is, it's not God who determines a person's eternal destiny. Each of us determines our own eternal state based upon our acceptance or our rejection of Jesus Christ. Those who reject Christ condemn themselves to eternal destruction. Now then, there are those who have fallen prey to the teaching that hell is nothing more than the loss of self-esteem. In their minds, hell, with its fire and brimstone, doesn't exist. But regardless of what one may choose to teach or believe about the subject, the Bible is still the final authority, and according to the authority of the Word of God, hell is FOR REAL!!!
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT
(FOR THE UNSAVED)
PEOPLE OF ALL COLORS AND ALL RACES AND ALL CREEDS PLEASE HEAR WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY. The hour is coming when every unsaved, unregenerated sinner must meet a holy God for a detailed review of his life upon planet Earth. When God's books are opened, every offender's tongue shall be silenced. There will be no hope then, but there is now! Why? Because Christ died for our sin(1 Corinthians 15:3). This means that the guiltiest of mortals can immediately be absolved by trusting in the merits of the shed blood of Jesus. Don't procrastinate - do it today! Then you, too, will know the blessedness of (John 3:18)which declares, He that believing on [Christ] is not condemned because the believing are passed from death unto life(John 5:24). You have got to see the seriousness of rejecting Christ! On that day God himself will say, You trampled under your foot the blood of my Son. You called the blood of the covenant unclean as though it were a pig’s blood. You offended my Spirit of grace. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity.” It is going to happen. the last page. This is the final judgment of all who die lost, never having repented and never having received Christ as their Savior. This is serious, and we need to give our full attention to this matter. The Great White Throne is not easily imagined, nor is the lake of fire which follows it. Artists surely fail to bring it’s reality to our eyes.
It is not easy to preach about this awesome and final judgment. I take absolutely no pleasure whatsoever in even thinking about ANYONE being thrown alive into a lake of fire for all eternity. Also God takes no pleasure in it either. God never made hell for people. Hell was created for the devil and his angels, and the people who end up in hell will be those who reject God’s way of escape, and never get saved. God doesn’t send people to hell; sin does and so we must accept His salvation from sin!
If we say no to God’s provision, then the only alternative is hell. We cannot remain neutral. God is love, and He loves us so much that He took our hell for us if we’ll repent of those sins for which He died and receive His payment. But He is holy and perfect, and if we don’t accept His payment for our sins then we have to pay for them ourselves. What we now look at is the darkest hour of human history. This is the supreme court of the universe! All the lost will be judged, and after the verdict is read, it is final. There will be no appeals. The sentence is a life/death sentence—a death row and torture chamber wrapped up in one, with no end for all eternity.
This is not politically correct, and some simply won’t believe it but their argument will be with God, not with me. If I’ve ever taught a Bible study direct from God’s Word, then this is it.The lost standing before this throne will be overcome with the incredible sense of power, awe, and fear. Some talk with craziness about what they’re gonna tell God when they see Him face to face…oh no they won’t! The person who never got saved will not be able to do anything but weep and tremble. Their mind may go back to each time they took His Name in vain, but they won’t be able to use it in vain on this occasion. They may think of jokes they told about hell, but there will be no joking on this day. They may remember the way they used to think about hell, but the reality of what it’s really like will now sink in.
FOUR GROUPS AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE
- the ones who hate God and don’t mind speaking out…they hate the Church, don’t believe the Bible.
- who think they will go to heaven because they live a good life. They think the gospel is for perverts, thieves, murderers, and don’t see themselves as the real sinners. Pharisee and publican…both prayed at the same altar. The Pharisee said, thank you God that I’m a good person and not like this sinner, the Publican said, I’m a sinner, forgive me! And only he got saved that day. There are no big and little sins…it takes only one sin to send to hell! No one can get to heaven by good works. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
- they know they need to get saved, they want to get saved, and they’re “gonna” get saved…someday. But they keep putting it off. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” But the Bible makes it plain how important it is to deal with this immediately.
Hebrews 3:15 "Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts…"
2 Corinthians 6:2 "…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
The slow deciders need to know there’s no second chance at the Great White Throne. Just as in Noah’s day there was years of warning and preaching…yet suddenly the door slammed shut, and the sky began to fall, and it was too late!
This very well could be the last sermon you ever hear. “Ahh, you’re just trying to scare me!” Yes, I’d rather scare you into heaven than lull you into hell.
- the ones who have their name on the church roll but not in the Lamb’s Book of Life. They’ll go to hell with a Bible in their hand, so to speak. And the devil doesn’t mind that at all…he’d just as soon send you to hell from the church house as the whore house! They may have a fancy suit or nice dresses, a s.s. attendance pin or an offering statement, but they never truly accepted Christ for themselves! “Ye must be born again.” I suppose the only thing worse than going to hell is going to hell, thinking you are going to heaven!
How about you? Do you fit into one of these groups? You can be saved today and avoid this scene at the Great White Throne and all that follows it. You see, ultimately, there’s only one sin that will send to hell…the sin of unbelief…the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, rejecting the promptings of the Spirit to put your faith in Christ for Salvation! If you fail to get saved, your name isn’t written there, and in that day it will be way too late.
JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST
(FOR THOSE WHO ARE JUST SAVED)
You have taken Christ to yourself sort of in a nonchalant fashion, just enough Jesus to make you religious. But you don’t understand. In the way you view Jesus right now you are judging Him. In the way you serve Jesus you are judging Him. It is not just about disobedience. It is the way you look at Christ and the way you treat Christ. Yes, salvation is only by faith. It is blasphemous to say that salvation is through any work, but my brothers and sisters in Christ if any man be in Christ he is a new creature and new creatures live different ways. So the test is: Are you a new creature? Millions of God's children, internationally, think that they can live nominal Christian lives and still be fully rewarded. They think that they can play "fast and loose" with the world without suffering loss. This is but wishful thinking! The day is coming when every blood bought believer must stand before a holy God for a scrutinizing investigation.
God is watching His people and keeping records for the day when we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in His body, whether it be good or bad(2 Corinthians 5:10). Therefore, it behooves each one of us to place Christ first in our daily walk and talk. We cannot live for the flesh and self and hear Christ say in that day, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” There must be a battle fought and won. There must be scars traded for crowns. Rewards must be earned. Philippians 3:1 Paul who [bore] in [his] body the marks [scars] of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 6:17)was [pressing] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Salvation was his as a gift but only works of hardship, suffering, and perhaps death could bring him the prize or crown to lay at Jesus' feet (Revelation 4:10,11). It is also true for you, dear Christian. You, too, must know the fellowship of his sufferings to receive the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 10, 14).
Know this that the lukewarm, the indifferent, and the careless Christian shall be present in the JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. They do not miss heaven because of their faults! Instead, they shall be saved as by fire - by the skin of their teeth! They made heaven only to sorrow over waywardness for a millennium of time as we shall presently see. Their loss was not of salvation, but of rewards. They suffered loss (rewards), but they themselves were saved as by fire. It is obvious then that the wayward lose out with God. Yet the loss is not of eternal life but of rewards. Eternal life is freely bestowed upon all who believe as a gift apart from works (see Romans 6:23),and cannot be forfeited, but crowns can be earned and lost, accumulated and liquidated. 1 John 2:28 declares "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ASHAMED before him at his coming."
Notice carefully that when Christ returns, all believers are summoned into His presence - the confident and the ashamed. The confident appear before the tribunal with "good works" whereas the ashamed have naught but "bad works" (2 Corinthians 5:10). This is exceedingly important to understand because multitudes today think that one sin can keep a child of God out of heaven. The text plainly states that the "ashamed" meet Christ at His appearing. At the sound of the trumpet, when the dead in Christ rise first and living believers join the dead to meet Christ in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:16), the "ashamed" also enter heaven, but the abundant entrance is reserved for those who earned it upon Earth (2 Peter 1:11).
Multitudes of God's people could do so much more for Christ if they would, but the flesh stands in the way. When they do serve, it is often with selfish motives. Their hue and cry is, "What will I get out of this? What is in it for me?" The result? Modern Christianity has become big business. Religious performers today charge exorbitant rates. Some receive $1,000 to $2,500 for a performance. What a judgment of terror awaits these mercenary "gospel entertainers." Though saved by fire, their works will dissolve into incinerated ashes. The wood, hay, and stubble will disintegrate because they had their reward. About face, Christian!
Then again, there are those who have little or no time for spiritual exercises. They seldom read God's Holy Word, seldom attend God's house. Seldom give their tithes, and never win souls. This is sin! James 4:17 states, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” These sins of omission - failing to do God's will - also produce remorse in that day. Friend, if I am describing you, it is not too late to change. As long as one has the breath of life, he can decide to do the will of God. Confess your sins, seek again your first love for Christ, and rekindle the flames of devotion to the Lord Jesus immediately. Then use your opportunities to serve Him wisely.
Christian, your heavenly mansion will only be as beautiful as you build it now. Jesus said in John 14:2, “In my Father's house are many mansions.” The literal rendering should state; "In my Father's house are numerous and differing kinds of dwelling places." Not all mansions will be identical. Building blocks for one's eternal home are being sent ahead from earth. Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19, 20). If one's earthly treasure is piled up in stocks and bonds and banks, he has his reward.
On the other hand, if the treasure is sent ahead, it awaits the believers with added and fantastic dividends. Take your choice, Christian. You can have it here for seventy years, die and leave it for the ungodly to spend or you may send it ahead for eternal blessing. Hang on and lose it, or let go and retain it forever. *It is up to you!* Oh, what weeping, what wailing, what travail, what heartache, and heartbreak as they meet Jesus face to face. Their entrance into God's presence will not be abundant (2 Peter 1:11). They shall be tremendously ashamed (1 John 2:28). The terror of the Lord will be meted out in judgment (2 Corinthians 3:15). No wonder the lukewarm are weeping. They blew it all. They suffered the loss of all things except salvation.
JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST
(FOR HIS FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS)
We are just beginning to explore the depths of this judgment. As we dive further into this subject, we discover that God also will investigate the motives behind one's works. In other words, the question will be: "Why did you hold the office of deacon, elder, or Sunday school teacher? Why did you sing or perform solos? What was your motive in being a counselor, and usher, a bus driver? What purpose was there in desiring to be a full-time Christian worker? Was it for power, prestige, or pride? Was it to be noticed, to be lauded, and applauded?" Christian, will you answer this question in your heart at this very moment? Why are you doing what you are doing when you are doing it? If there is an iota of self-glorification behind any act of service, the rewards will be sparse - if any!!
1 Corinthians 4:5 states, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels [or motives] of the hearts.” This teaching is also propounded in(1 Corinthians 3:11-15): 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. If any man's work abides 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. Again, there is no doubt about the explicit teaching within this portion of scripture. It states, The fire shall try every man's work of what SORT it is!
Quality works, consisting of gold, silver, and precious stones, performed for the glory of God to win the souls of men, when tested and found genuine, will earn crowns for the faithful for all eternity.* These crowns will then be placed at the feet of Christ as an eternal memorial of one's love for a lifetime of service. The scene is portrayed in (Revelation 4:10-11). The twenty four elders pictured in the text are the representatives of all of God's people in both testaments- the twelve patriarchs of Israel same twenty four stalwarts of both eras have their names combined upon the fates and foundations of the future Holy City in (Revelation 21:12-14).
So there is no doubt as to who they are. They represent all the faithful blood-bought people of God down through the ages. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, do you long to lay a crown at the feet of the Saviour on the Coronation Day? Or will you be off in the background ashamed (1 John 2:28),having experienced a humiliating entrance into the presence of God (see 2 Peter 1:11)? It need not be so. A change can be made today. Confession of failure is longingly desired by your Heavenly Father (see 1John 1:9). Re-dedication and redirection can be your experience this very moment. Utter that prayer of confession today and make a new start immediately so that you, too, may hear from the precious lips of Jesus, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
You have to be careful also about losing your rewards, through foolish living, rewards previously earned through years of spiritual service. God has a system of addition and subtraction, pluses and minuses, on His books. Therefore, one's accumulation of "good works" can be wiped out swiftly through disobedient living. You do not believe it? Here is proof: Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward (2 John 1:8). God says, "Be careful how you live, where you go, how you serve, if you want a full reward." Again Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown (Revelation 3:11).
In simpler terminology, God says, "Hang on to your earned crown and do not let anyone entice you, mislead you, drag you down, or destroy the good works already accumulated or you will suffer loss."
THE WATCHERS CROWN
Paul declares in 2 Timothy 4:8 "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." Imagine, God gives a special crown to believers who fix their eyes and hearts heavenward in watchfulness of Christ's return. This is reasonable when one realizes that "expectancy" and "purity" are closely related. One cannot longingly look for Christ's return and practice abominable sins. The two never coexist in a rational mind. That is why 1 John 3:2,3 states,"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope [of His appearing] in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
THE RUNNER'S CROWN
The crown is only for victors, for winners who have battered the cravings of the body into submission. This explains Paul's words in 1Corinthians 9 verses 26,27:I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. "If God's people batter their fleshly wants into submission, they shall receive an incorruptible crown that endures for eternity." Child of God, it will be worth it all when we see Jesus.
THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN
This award is mentioned in 1Peter 5:1-4 and is undoubtedly reserved for faithful ministers. In the text, the Apostle Peter says,"The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." Peter in writing to the elders or spiritual shepherds, exhorts his fellow minister's to "feed the flock." God so loves His precious people that He wants the pastors to meet the nutritious needs of His children, spiritually. Hence, the shepherds are to feast on the Word of God daily in order to meet the needs of the hungry. This takes discipline and perseverance.
THE SOUL WINNER'S CROWN
Is it any wonder that Proverbs 11:30states,"He that winneth souls is wise."The inference here is: “He who does not win souls is foolish." Why? He cast aside eternal rewards as though they were bubble gum wrappers. Wise men have more sense than this. They do not trample on God's commands. Instead, they longingly obey (Matthew 28:19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations. (Mark 16:15) Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Luke 14:21) Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in. (Acts 1:8) Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. They love God and will not allow business or pleasure to stand in the way of the highest calling in the world - the winning of souls for eternity.
They heed the warning of Jesus about the bushel of business and the bed of relaxation and pleasure as hindrances to the candle's flame (Mark 4:21). Their love for Christ and the souls of men make them press forward for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). They want to present their converts in that day saying, for what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (1 Thessalonians 2:19). At this great roll call, will *you* be able to make a presentation to the Saviour? Will *you* have any spiritual children? Will *you* receive a crown that shines like the brightness of the firmament? Don't procrastinate, become a soul winner today! Then and *only then* will you be coronated with heaven’s glittering"Oscar."
THE SUFFERER'S CROWN
The fifth and final crown is presented to those who have suffered for the sake of Christ and the gospel. James 1:12 states, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the CROWN OF LIFE, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him (emphasis mine)." Some will receive this glorious reward for having experienced the taunts and jeers of sinners. Jesus said, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven" (Matthew 5:10-12). The reward will also be presented to those who bore illness and infirmity with a smile believing that all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28).
“Listen, ye unbelieving men, ye dishonest men, ye profane men, ye lewd men and women, ye slaves of lust and appetite, ye scoffers at the truth of God, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Ye men of business, ye whose souls are absorbed with the pursuit of gain, ye people of wealth without riches toward God, ye passengers on the voyage of life without prayer, without church relations, without concern for your immortal soul, hear what the word of God is saying. Hell hath enlarged herself and opened her mouth without measure and your glory and your multitude and your pomp and your rejoicing shall descend into it. Listen, you almost Christians lingering these many years on the margins of the kingdom, looking in through the gates, but never quite ready to enter them, intending but never performing, often wishing, but never... but still postponing, hoping but without right to hope, the appeal is to you. How shall ye escape if ye neglect so great a salvation? And you who call yourselves Christians, but have forgotten your covenant promises, you are like Lot’s wife. You have stated out of the place of sin and death, but you have hesitated half way and stayed to look back. You are a baptized Judas. You through coveting and dirty words, you make merchandise of the grace of God."
We as men and women of God will not lose sleep at night because we don’t have self-esteem. We will lose sleep at night because our checkbook isn’t balanced or because we can’t keep up with the Joneses. But we should be restless when it comes to knowing this certainty, that many out there are blinded by the wicked one and they have no idea of what the reality of ALL of this. This transcends reality of anything that they can taste or touch or smell or feel. THIS IS THE UNQUESTIONABLE TRUTH OF THE END OF LIFE AND THE BEGINNING OF AFTERLIFE. Where and how you spend it will be up to you and your understanding of what really transpires after we die, but more importantly what did we do while we were alive. Did we give our ALL to Jesus? Could we have done more for Him? Did we become complacent and lukewarm? Are we truly saved? What did we do after receiving our free gift of salvation? Should we have given more time, money and attention in our love for JESUS? ARE WE EXCITED TO SEE OUR KING? Did we give Him everything or did we hold back? Are you going to heaven by the skin of your teeth? Will you have crowns of glory to throw at Jesus' feet? Or will you be the ASHAMED ONES who will say ''WHY DIDN'T I DO MORE?" My brothers and sisters in Christ NOW IS THE TIME TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR LIFE, LOVE AND SERVICE FOR JESUS!!! Don't let another day go by without dying daily to Him and being filled with His Holy Spirit, surrendering your all to be formed into that man or woman of Him, so that God will use you to do mighty things for Him and thru Him. Those questions that I asked need to be answered NOW and not in that line waiting to kneel before the KING! God Bless us all!
Ptr. Jeff Queen
(*Scriptures cited are taken from the NIV, Amplified and NKJV)