Bible Study Prophecy Seminar

Prophecy 7 – Judgement Day – Faith and Works

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Written by IvanS

Prophecy Study 7
Judgement Day – Faith and Works

Will there be a judgement day?  Notice Acts 17:31, “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”  God has “appointed a day,” now that’s significant!  In our next chapter, we will discover how close we are to that “day”.  To stir your imagination  a bit though, let’s read a fascinating scripture.  Revelation 14:6-7, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”  In other words, the everlasting gospel which is to be preached to all the world will say God’s judgement is come (present tense) before Jesus comes.

God’s Word has a court summons for all of us as we face this judgement, more serious than any summons we might receive here on earth.  2 Corinthians 5:10, “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.”  We all must appear before the judgement seat.  No one can escape it.

In the book of Daniel you will find a brief description of the judgement taking place.  Daniel 7:9-10, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”  Revelation gives a similar picture of what will take place.  Revelation 20:12-13, “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. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”

At this point there may be a sincere question in your mind.  In the last few verses in the Bible states we will be judged according to what we have done, good or bad, and judged according to our “works”.  Yet in the last chapter we read that we are saved by grace and it’s not works.  How do we reconcile that?

In the Bible there is a simple balance between faith and works.  It’s like  two oars on a row boat.  If you use the left oar of faith only you go in circles.  Or if you use the right oar or works you do the same.  But use them both and you go in a straight line.

We are not saved by works.  We’re saved alone by God’s grace.  But if we truly have been saved by grace through faith then God is in control of our life.  As we “watch and pray” the Spirit controls us and therefore our works are of God.  Our works give evidence that our faith is genuine.   So we’re not saved by works, but we are judged by our works.  Keep that balance and you are safe.  James 2:14,17, 18, 24, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”

Romans 3:28 – Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

These two verses seem to contradict each other.  Faith, the first verse says, without works is dead.  And the other says that we are justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

How does  Romans 6:14-18 help to shed light on this question?  ” For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”

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In every trial there are three phases.  1. The investigation of the evidence.  2. The decision or verdict of the court.  3.  The punishment or reward.  We already discovered that the first part, the “investigation, ” would take place before Jesus comes, because it will be preached “the hour of judgement is come” prior to His coming.  Revelation 14:7, “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

Revelation 11:18, “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”

Now how is this part of the judgement to be done?  We just read in Revelation 20 that “the books” were opened.  There are several books used in the judgement.  The first one is called the Book of Life.  It has the names of all the saved, Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

There is another book called the Book of Remembrance where the saints record.  Malachi 3:16-17, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”   From these and other books, God begins the judgement.  And, the Bible declares that God Himself will judge.  Psalm 50:4-6, “He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.  Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.  And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.”

This is serious business.

When the investigating part of the judgement ends in heaven, the second phase of the judgement begins which is the verdict.  Christ declares it in Revelation 22:11-12,  “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”  In other words, when Jesus comes, every case is already decided. All whose names are in the Book of Life have been reviewed.  And because their lives have been covered by Jesus’s blood and righteousness, they are worthy of eternal life.  This is just before the second coming of Christ.  Now that brings us to the obvious question.  The saints have been judged, they are saved.  Jesus comes at His second coming to take them to heaven.   So, when will the wicked who are not in the book of life be judged?

Revelation 20:4, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

The wicked will be judged during the 1,000 years which follows.  Therefore, you and I, if we claim the blood of Jesus and are saved, will be the ones who actually judge the wicked to see if God was fair.

Is that surprising?  Notice 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

We will judge the fallen angels.  Second Peter 2:4, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”  God has a reason for doing it this way.  Satan has accused God of not being fair, and God is going to say, “Okay, I wont judge, I will let my people judge.  Those men and women on the earth, under Satan’s program of sin and rebellion.  Those people that went through the temptation and trials of life.  Let them check and see if I was just and fair.”

The last part of the judgement will be the reward or punishment.  The punishment is found in Revelation 20:15.  “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”  The wicked are cast into a lake of fire.

In Canada, we are ideally judge by certain standard. The law.  If I break it and go to court, they will read from the book of the law. By my obedience or disobedience to that law I am guilty or not guilty.  In heaven it’s the same, God’s law will also be the standard by which we are judged. James 2:10-12, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.”  This is God’s ten-commandment law.

Why does it seem to surprise people today that God’s Ten Commandment Law is still binding?  Review each Commandment quickly to see that every command of God is reasonable and is based upon love.  Love for God, and love for your neighbor.

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Let’s read another text to establish this thought. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man, For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” God will bring all into judgment.

This brings me to an important subject.   It seems the Law of God, or the Ten Commandments are in question.

It is argued that Jesus gave us different or NEW commandments.  Some say that God’s Law was against us and Jesus came to lift the burden of the law.

Could this be possible?  Did Jesus change God’s Law of Liberty to something else?  Discuss?

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Moses Law Ten Commandments
Called “Law contained in ordinances”

EPH. 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.

Called “the Royal law”

JAMES 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

Written by Moses in a book

2 CHRON. 35:12 And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might give according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer unto the LORD, as it is written in the book of Moses. And so did they with the oxen.

Written by God on stone

EXO. 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone,written with the finger of God.

EXO. 32:16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

Placed in the side of the ark

DEUT. 31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the arkof the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

Placed inside the ark

EXO. 40:20 And he took andput the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark, and put the mercy seat above upon the ark:

Ended at the cross

EPH. 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.

Will stand forever

LUKE 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

Added because of sin

GAL. 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Points out sin

ROM. 7:7 What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
ROM. 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Contrary to us, against us

COL. 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

Not grievous

1 JOHN 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and hiscommandments are not grievous.

Judges no man

COL. 2:14-16 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Judges all men

JAM. 2:10-12 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they thatshall be judged by the law of liberty.

Carnal

HEB. 7:16 Who is made, not after thelaw of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

Spiritual

ROM. 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Made nothing perfect

HEB. 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Perfect

PSALMS 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

 

Does this distinction make sense in the context of the many other Bible verses covered?  Discuss:

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Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.”

First 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.” The moment He does that you are justified and your name is written in the Book Of Life.  And as your name comes up in the judgment, God the Father looks at you and standing before you is His Son Jesus. Jesus says, “My blood covers his sin. I present him faultless before your throne!” First John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not, And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

Revelation 12:10, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”

Jesus is our “advocate” our lawyer! Christ longs to represent you! When we look at ourselves we can’t see how we could ever be saved, but when we look at Jesus we can’t see how we could ever be lost!

When the judgment is over, and God comes for you and me, the text of Philippians 2:10-11 will be fulfilled. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Every knee will bow, and all will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Today the door of mercy, swinging on the hinges of grace is still open. Jesus lovingly invites us to let Him cover our life of sin, so when our name comes up in judgment, He can confess us before the Father.

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IvanS

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