Judgement, Part 3 – deeds count

Judgment at the Great Day of the Lord will be based on one’s deeds,

‘The dead were judged according to what they had done.’  Revelation 20:12b

Why not be judged on our faith?

It is because faith is invisible.  My neighbor cannot see my faith.  But he can see how I live and what I do based upon my faith.  Faith is very important.  Jesus recommended the faith of the centurion,

‘I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.’  Matthew 8:10b

Also, 

‘And without faith it is impossible to please God…’  Hebrews 11:6a

Faith leads to deeds, how one lives.  That is what is recorded.  That is what is important,  

”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven [God], but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.'” Matthew 7:21

Jesus, as the fair Judge, knows that all people will be satisfied by judgment based on deeds and not on a person’s thoughts, ideas, ideals or even faith.

The Untouchable Bible

The age of the earth remains a contentious issue in the Church. Bible barrierBefore we can discuss it, there is a principle we need to look at: the Bible is untouchable. That means nobody, but nobody, has the right to add to or take away from it. Outside data like the old age of the earth, evolution, or even ‘lost’ gospels cannot be imposed on Scripture.

The reason is that the Bible is like a timeless map to a great treasure. All the information on the map is very important. No one is allowed to tamper with it and change the directions. At the universal Great White Throne Judgement, where the eternal destination of all people who ever lived on earth will be decided,1 the following principles will apply:

  • The same data (the unchangeable Bible) was available to all people, whether they lived in 500  or 2050 AD (for those without Scripture, nature and conscience was the guide).
  • If there is not one clear map that shows the Way to God’s glorious kingdom, people will have the right to complain to God. Think of it, anybody facing the very real possibility of an eternity in the lake of burning sulphur, will grasp at the smallest legal straw to escape punishment.

So we can deduct that fair judgement will only be possible in the presence of a clear, fixed, universal set of rules, or ‘constitution’ (the unchangeable Bible).

Jesus tells us, ‘I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.’ 3

Although this verse applies to the book of Revelation, we find the same principle in Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32 (‘..do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it…’). Proverbs 30:6 says, ‘Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.’  We can accept that the principle applies to the whole Bible.

Conclusion

Nobody can add outside information to the Bible that people from other times did not have (no one may change the universal, timeless directions on the treasure map). All information about God’s Kingdom must come from Scripture. If people want to argue about the age of the earth, all references must come from the Bible, the ultimate authority. To repeat, ‘outside’ information cannot be forced in, or Biblical information removed.

References

  1. Revelation 20:11-15
  2. Revelation 22:18-19

4 Bible truths about a local or world wide flood

The film, ‘Noah,’ once again drew people’s attention to the Genesis flood. Local floodThe Bible says the water covered the whole earth, but some people canvas that it was a local flood. That leaves us with the following perplexing questions:

  • Why did the animals board the ark? In a local flood, they could have migrated to safe places.
  • Why does Scripture affirm that all life outside the ark perished. It is impossible with a local flood.
  • Why did God give the rainbow as a sign that He will never again destroy the whole earth by water? Surely He didn’t mean a local flood, because that happens often.

 

If you chop and change parts of the Bible it affects other parts. It is called The Domino Principle: the 66 books of the Bible are interconnected; they don’t stand in isolation; if you scrap one Bible truth, others begin to crumble. By the universal flood God demonstrated His intention to judge all people, not only a certain group.If the flood was local, 3 Bible truths must go:

  1. The White Throne Judgement must go. There is a connection between the judgement by water in the past, and judgement in the future by fire, ‘By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgement and the destruction of ungodly men.’ 1  If God’s judgement by water was local, why will His judgement by fire be universal?  If the fire judgement will be local, many people will still be alive after the fire. The Bible says ‘the dead great and small stood before God’s throne to be judged.2 So all those who will be alive will not appear at the judgement. That means judgement cannot take place. Scrap the judgement.
  2. The hope of a new heaven and earth must go. If the flood was local and the fire will be local, how will the heavens and earth be totally renewed? God will bring the new out of the ashes of the old, ‘…But in keeping with His Word, we are looking forward to a new heaven and earth.’ 3 This will happen after the earth is destroyed by fire.  A local flood means a local fire. Scrap the hope of an a new heaven and earth.
  3. Jesus as the Truth must go. Jesus said, ‘Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.’ 4 According to Jesus, all life perished, except life forms on the ark.  Did Jesus lie? If He lied here, why do you expect that He talked the truth at all other times? He said He came to testify to the truth. 5 A lier cannot testify to the truth. Scrap Jesus.
  4. If you scrap Jesus, you scrap Him as the Creator.That means, scrap the Bible.

Denying the universal flood eventually leads to scrapping the whole Bible. That demonstrates the extreme danger of changing God’s Word.

 

Conclusion

Some people believe they can chop and change Scripture, but God gave us His revelation as a ‘fixed’ body of facts. He does not ask us to ‘improve’ it or ‘improvise.’ Scripture stands despite educated people’s opinions. The flood covered all the high mountains under the entire heavens. 7  The fire will also be universal. It will engulf everything and afterwards God will renew it all, beautifully prepared for His faithful, chosen followers.

 

References

  1. 2 Peter 3:6-7
  2. Revelation 20:12
  3. 2 Peter 3:13
  4. Luke 17:26-27
  5. John 18:37
  6. John 1:3, Hebrews 1:2, Colossians 1:16
  7. Genesis 7:19-20

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