Who Cares? By Nathele Graham There are many things in life that can wear away…
Where Will You Stand?
By Nathele Graham
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” – Romans 1:18.
Life is filled with many uncertainties, but there are a few things we can count on. God’s love is always there. His forgiveness and mercy to repentant hearts is assured. Death is another thing we can be sure of.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” – Hebrews 9:27.
The writer of Hebrews points out that death will come to everyone. The question is, when it’s you who faces death, where will you stand for judgment?
We read in Revelation about the Great White Throne judgment and that can make anyone afraid to die. That will take place after the Millennium, and isn’t for Christians. God is very patient with humanity and doesn’t want anybody to face eternity in the lake of fire. Mankind is naturally rebellious; we don’t like rules. Many rules seem silly until you understand why they are in place. When we look into Scripture, we can see that God’s rules are to protect us. The Garden of Eden was given by God and all that was needed for life was there. Food, water, and fellowship with God.
“And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the Garden; and from thence it was parted and became into four heads.” – Genesis 2:9-10.
It must have been beautiful. Adam should have been content there. He had all he needed including animals, but it would be some time before they would be used for food. Death wasn’t known until after Adam made the choice to sin. There was one rule, and God gave that rule to Adam.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shat surely die.” – Genesis 2:16-17.
It doesn’t seem like a very difficult rule, but it was given to him when he was the only human around. It might be easier to keep God’s commandments when there’s no other person tempting you to sin, so be careful who you yoke yourself with. There’s no excuse for opposing God’s law.
God is never unfair. Adam was provided with all he needed, and God very clearly told Him the one rule and what the consequences would be for breaking that rule. Of all the riches available to Adam, there was only one tree forbidden for him to eat from. The restriction was for Adam’s protection. If he ate from that tree, he would die. God didn’t want that. He did want Adam to be content. God allowed Adam to name all of the animals. Adam gave them names, but there was no suitable companion for Adam amongst the animals. God decided to bless Adam with a wife. He put Adam into a deep sleep, and created woman from one of his ribs. Adam made a very profound statement when he awoke from his sleep.
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” – Genesis 2:23-24.
This is the model of marriage. One man and one woman (another simple rule that is broken daily). Adam knew that there would be children, those children would have their own children, and so on. He also knew that as the children grew up they would marry and become their own family…a husband, a wife, and the children.
Then trouble happened. Eve listened to the twisted lies of Satan. Instead of listening to what Adam had told her that God had said, she was confused by Satan’s words and listened to his lies. God had entrusted man with authority, but Eve decided to listen to Satan. Many centuries later, the Apostle Paul wrote to the young pastor, Timothy, and explained to him the structure of authority within a congregation and why.
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” – 1 Timothy 2:12-14.
As I write these commentaries, I make sure that I am under my husband’s authority. He was a man of God who held Christ in authority. He was not a man who could be deceived. I pray over what I write, and I only study the men Ron studied or those whom I’m absolutely certain he would have studied.
Unfortunately, Eve, ate the forbidden fruit, and offered it to Adam. Instead of standing firm on what he knew God had said, he joined Eve in sin. They didn’t drop dead as we think of death, but they lost their immortality and could no longer live in the Garden that God had provided for their delight. Now, instead of one simple rule, God gave many. Instead of living in Paradise with God, it was required of Adam and Eve to work for food, which wasn’t so easy to come by. They had children and anger and jealousy led to murder when Cain killed his brother, Abel. Life became more and more evil until God said enough is enough. Noah was told to build an Ark in order that his family, who were genetically pure, and certain animals could be saved through God’s judgment. God never sends judgment without much warning. Noah spent many, many years building the Ark at a time when it hadn’t even rained. He was mocked because he chose to obey God’s rules and God used him to restart life after the Judgment. People watched as Noah and his family entered the Ark, and as the animals began to enter. Still, their hearts were hardened. Then, it was too late. The rain began to fall.
“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven opened.” – Genesis 7:11.
God’s judgment had come. God never acts without warning. Adam had been told, Eve had been told, the pre-flood people had been warned, but only Noah heeded God’s warning.
After the flood, people began to multiply, and they also began to sin. Instead of loving God, many worshipped idols and participated in pagan rituals…which are all satanic and filled with sinful practices. God called Abraham out of a very pagan culture and through him he established the Jewish nation. Eventually, Moses was given the Law, and the Jewish people were expected to live separate from the pagan world around them God always makes it clear how to live life in order to please Him. We all have a choice. The entire creation is evidence that there is a Creator, and only those people who are intent upon rejecting God are blind to His truth. There’s no excuse for rejecting God.
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” – Romans 1:20.
We see the result of ignoring God. Every day we are appalled at headlines telling of murder, abortion, perverted sexual lifestyles and much more. Why does this all happen?
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” – Romans 1:21-22.
Today, God is rejected and replaced by the lie of evolution. His rules of marriage are mocked by people who prefer one-night-stands, living together without marriage, and same sex relationships instead of the beautiful love between a godly man and a godly woman who honor God with their lives. God is patient, but will not allow corruption to continue.
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their woman did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” – Romans 1:26-27.
When God is rejected, evil prevails. God will judge.
Is there any hope? Yes, there is. We all have a choice of following God’s rules or living life on our own terms. We have Scripture to give us the facts we need to make a wise decision. We can dig into God’s word and see that when Adam chose to reject God’s rule, death became real. We can see that when evil ruled men’s hearts instead of God’s truth, judgment was sent in the form of a world-wide flood, destroying all who opposed God. God has always made a way for mankind to find salvation, and in this dark world filled with evil, God has made a way for us to live eternally.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:16-18.
We make our own choice. We live once, and judgment comes after death. No second chance and no reincarnation.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” – Hebrews 9:27.
The choice to accept Christ must be made while living in this world.
All who have rejected Jesus Christ will face judgment at the White Throne of God. They will be judged by their works, and there are no works you can do that are enough to save you. The final judgment will be at the end of the Millennium after Satan has deceived many during the Tribulation and they’ve taken his mark. This judgment will be for all people of all time who have rejected God. Remember, creation shows the evidence of a Creator. Job had gone through much suffering and sorrow, but never lost faith in God. He made the proclamation:
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” – Job 19:25.
We are in those latter days and judgment is coming.
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” – Revelation 19:20.
Not only are the Beast and the False prophet spending eternity in the lake of fire, but the devil will be there too.
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” – Revelation 20:10.
Still, there’s more. If you haven’t accepted Christ and your name isn’t written in the Book of Life, you will be there too.
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” – Revelation 20:11-12.
Nobody can be saved by works. Only faith in Jesus can bring salvation.
Faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will keep you from the seven years of the Great Tribulation and from the Great White Throne judgment.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8.
All who truly believe will be judged, not at the White Throne, but at the Judgment (Bema) Seat of Christ.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10.
Works matter for rewards, but they won’t save us. We lay a foundation in life and build on that foundation with works.
“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 abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” – 1 Corinthians 3:12-14.
Anything that was not done for the glory of God is wood, hay, and stubble and will be burned.
“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:15.
When standing before Christ, who gave His life for your salvation, you will want to have rewards instead of a pile of ashes. This judgment will happen after the Rapture. Christians will not go through God’s final judgment. God won’t hold His judgment forever. Those of us who yearn for the Rapture can see many signs that point to it happening soon. God doesn’t want anyone to face eternity in the lake of fire.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness: but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9.
God is patient, but there will come a time when He won’t wait any longer.
So, the question is, where will you stand on the day of judgment? Will you stand before Jesus at the Bema Seat because you’ve accepted His free gift of salvation? Or will you stand before the Great White Throne being judged by your works alone and looking at eternity in the lake of fire that burns for ever and ever? Make your decision for Christ now.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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