December 15, 2010
Part One ended with several questions regarding God's promise to us that we will inherit His Kingdom in juxtaposition to His equally firm admonitions to overcome sin and endure to the end lest we fall short. Does this mean that God's promises are conditional? Does He judge us on an individual basis? Do His promises depend on what we do with them? Or is it a case of "once saved, always saved"? Has Christ done it all for us?
Does it really matter what wedo for the remainder of our Christian lives? Yes, it most certainly does! God is very clear on this:
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9-10)
These kinds of people will not be there! They will not inherit God's Kingdom. They will be cut out of the promise—out of the will, as it were! In Galatians 5:19-21, the apostle Paul presents another, even more detailed list of disqualifying sins:
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Our inheritance is conditional! God's promises to us are conditional! That is how a covenant works, and the New Covenant is no different. It is a two-way agreement. We must fulfill our side of the bargain, and God will most certainly fulfill His side. In fact, as we have already seen, He and Jesus Christ have already fulfilled the greater part—the hardest part—of their side of it and have set the remainder of their responsibility into inexorable motion.
God's Kingdom Will Come
Whether or not we individually fail to fulfill our side of the New Covenant "bargain"—whether or not we individually give up our crowns—Jesus Christ will return, the resurrection and the Millennium will take place, and the Kingdom of God will come. The only thing is that, if we choose to give up our crowns, we will not be there to enjoy any of these blessings!
As Jesus prayed—and His prayers are always answered: "Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Because the word "come" here is not in the Greek future tense, but in the "second aorist" tense, many modern Bible translations correctly render this as "Let your kingdom come" or "May your Kingdom come," giving the solid idea of a future certainty. God's Kingdom will come. Jesus knew that it would come, but He wants His brothers and sisters to pray relentlessly for its coming, that it will come as soon as possible!
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
These verses speak of the impossibility of our separation from the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, unless, of course, we ourselves cause it. However, we may also apply these verses to the coming of God's Kingdom. We may say, without any doubt at all, that none of these things—not death, life, angels, principalities, powers, things present, things future, height, depth, nor any other creature—absolutely nothing can prevent the coming of Jesus Christ, the resurrections, the Millennium, the Kingdom of God, and God the Father. However, as we already seen, failing to repent of our own unrighteous actions can prevent us from being there to have a part in it.
Like many, I was brought up in one of the major denominations of a professing Christian church that, as I came to discover in my mid-teens, is one of the immoral daughters of the harlot mother church. During my years in that organization, its false ministers never taught me:
» That I have the opportunity of rising in the first resurrection;
» That Jesus Christ is going to come; that is, that He will literally and personally return to this earth;
» That I have the opportunity of ruling with Him as a king and priest for a thousand years, then on into eternity;
» That the eternal Kingdom of God is coming;
» That even God the Father will ultimately come and that He too will dwell with men, or rather, with Spirit-beings that once were men.
Whether those ministers even knew any or all of these truths, I do not know. If they did, they effectively hid them from me! Either knowingly or unknowingly, they taught me a pack of lies—lies about going "up there" to heaven if I were a good boy, and going "down there" to an ever-burning hell if I were bad!
One of the biggest lies of the churches of this world—it is actually a series of big lies that are vainly repeated each Sunday at the end of each of their vainly repetitive prayers (Matthew 6:7)—is called the Doxology (also known as the "Lesser Doxology" or the Gloria Patri). Two of its three untruthful statements directly relate to the promises of God that we have been looking into. The modern Anglican version runs as follows:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
(Lie number one: that God is a Trinity)
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
(Lie number two)
world without end. Amen.
(Lie number three)
Let us concentrate on falsehoods numbers two and three. Where did the churches get these ideas? Probably from a shameless wresting (II Peter 3:16) of the intent of two scriptures, one of which is a regrettable mistranslation of Ephesians 3:21 in the King James Version: "Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
The term "world without end" in this verse is mistranslated from the Greek phrase toú aiônos tôn aiônôn. The word aion can be translated as "ever," "world," "evermore," "age," "eternal," "always," "forever," "an unbroken age," "perpetuity of time," "eternity," "the worlds," "universe," or "period of time."The doubling of the word in the phrase suggests perpetuity. The New King James Version corrects the King James Version's error quite nicely: "To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen" (our emphasis throughout).
A direct contradiction of Mark 13:19 is the second source of this false doctrine, which the Doxology twists around to say the exact opposite of what Jesus clearly states: "For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be." The Doxology, however, intimates that this world will continue "as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be."
The phrasing of the Doxology is a blatant denial of God's Word! These false ministers—like the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and the corrupt Aaronic priesthood of Jesus' human lifetime—are deceiving the professing Christian world into believing that "Our Lord is delaying His coming" (Luke 12:45) and that "Evil shall not approach, nor fall upon us" (Amos 9:10).
With such lying words, false ministers vainly set themselves up as a "dam" to try to prevent the unstoppable advance of the river of world events towards the end of this age—one that they apparently love, in barefaced contravention of God's Word (I John 2:15), because this world and age (Greek kosmos) allows them to maintain their falsely-gained rank and status.
A Major, Satanic Lie
But why should we be surprised? This idea constitutes a major deception by their father, the father of lies (John 8:44), who hates with a passion the idea of the return of Jesus Christ and the coming of the Kingdom of God. Why does he hate it so much? Because he knows quite well that, when Christ returns, he (Satan), his demons, and his false ministers will have all their power and authority stripped from them.
This world—this age or era—is not endless. It willend! Jesus said so repeatedly. Things will not forever remain the same as they have been since the beginning.
Such false ministers do not seem to care what God's holy Word says! They unashamedly twist the scriptures in their attempts to make them appear to support their false doctrines. Nevertheless, God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7)! Messing with Jesus' words is messing with the very Word of God—and doubly so: the written Word of God in the Bible and the personal Word of God, Jesus Christ Himself! To do so brings a very serious penalty:
And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. (II Peter 3:15-16)
Through the apostle John, Jesus gives the same warning:
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)
Perhaps Jesus is referring here to this same sin, the sin of trying to deceive God's people (and the world) into believing that He delays His coming, that He will not come at all, and that everything will continue forever the same as it always has been since the creation of mankind.
Why do I suggest this possibility? Because of what He tells us in the very next verse, which happens to be the second to last verse in the whole of His holy Word, thus indicating its importance: "He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen [So be it]. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (verse 20).
So let us remember that the river of time and of world events is flowing relentlessly on toward:
» the time of the end;
» the Great Tribulation;
» the resurrection of the dead;
» the change of God's people who are still living from temporary, human, chemical existence to Spirit-composed children of God;
» the return of Jesus Christ;
» the Millennium;
» the Great White Throne Judgment period;
» the New Heavens and the New Earth;
» the coming of God the Father; and
» the wonderful eternity of the Kingdom of God.
The tide is coming in! These events will take place! Nothing can stop them—certainly not a physical dam, and not even a spiritual one! Not Satan! Not the false doctrines of the false churches of this world! Nothing!
The tide is coming in! Jesus Christ is coming! He is coming quickly! And He is bringing His Kingdom with Him.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!