Last month I shared from Gods word regarding how He judges the world. (If you missed that letter you can read it at the website: http://www.garycarpenter.org/l-aug08.html). This month we will take a brief look at how God judges the church.
GOD'S JUDGMENT OF THE CHURCH
1 Pet 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
To understand that verse, let's answer the last part first what is the "end" of them that obey not the gospel of God? What is the end of those who never believe the gospel of Jesus Christ? Jesus said that those who did not believe in Him would "die in their sins." Unbelievers are doomed eternally out of God's presence. There it is the wages of sin is death! For the sinner, that judgment is temporally suspended while living on earth in this dispensation of grace with the hope that they may yet repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved. But if they do not, their "end" is death and eternal damnation. It is a lost world with a fallen species living on it. The whole world is "condemned already." (See last month's letter.)
The earliest example of God's judgment of the church we see carried out in the New Testament was upon Ananias and Sapphira. Here we see the judgment of two believers for lying to the Holy Spirit. What do we learn from what happened to them? Unrepentant Christians cannot escape without judgment either! Both Ananias and Sapphira were given the opportunity by God (through Peter) to repent and tell the truth before judgment was passed on them. Both of them chose to perpetuate the lie they had already set in motion. They fell dead on the spot! They refused to confess their sins and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ:
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God's standard of judgment is different for Christians than it is for the world. Another long passage to consider is 1 Cor 10:1-12. That letter is written to Christians. It is plainly warning us not to lust after evil things, commit fornication, and so forth. The warning is clear. If you are committing those things and think you will continue to stand unless you repent you will fall.
1 Cor 10:11-12 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Even regarding such things, the Lord is longsuffering with His children and gives them ample time to repent. We have all known backslidden Christians who have gotten involved with these things for years. Some of them eventually repented and their lives were turned around permanently never to backslide again.
Gods standard of judgment is different for Christians than it is for the world. Another long passage to consider is 1 Cor 10:1-12. That letter is written to Christians. It is plainly warning us not to lust after evil things, commit fornication, and so forth. The warning is clear. If you are committing those things and think you will continue to stand unless you repent you will fall.
1 Cor 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 abide 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.
In the four gospels we never see Jesus executing judgment upon anybody for their sins (like the woman caught in adultery). Why not? Because He knew that He Himself was going to die for her sins, and the sins of the whole world. The only sin that woman would truly be judged for would she reject Jesus Christ as being her Savior?
What about America? Is God about to send judgment upon America? America is filled with both saints and sinners. If He does send judgment upon America it will be because of the sins of His church, not the sins of the unbelievers. The reason I think judgment would come in that case is because the "church" has been lukewarm like the Laodicean church. We have slumbered in our prosperity and have not evangelized or discipled this nation like we should have. God forgive us of our apathy. Like never before, it is imperative that we elect godly leaders in the upcoming elections. We must pray and then vote according to the clear word of God!
Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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