By Elizabeth Prata
When you go to the bank, or grocery store and you see the lines, you wonder which line to pick. If I go in this line will it go faster? Or will that line end up being faster? I always pick the wrong line. If I see that it was moving faster, the moment I get in it, suddenly the cashier runs out of receipt paper and has to reload…or the customer starts writing a check…or the clerks end their shift and swap over. Something, lol.
Being in the wrong line is part of the daily condition and sometimes makes us chuckle with the absurdity of life. Ending up in the wrong checkout line doesn’t have eternal consequences.
There are two lines in heaven. When prophecy ends and God’s plan is completely fulfilled, there will be two lines at judgment. Being in the wrong line does have eternal consequences. There will be a line to His left, the goats. There will be a line at His right, the sheep.
But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left. (Matthew 25:31-33).
The sheep will be ushered into eternal, joyful glory. The goats will be thrown into eternal tormenting judgment.
So, prophecy has a point. It has an end. It is not just for titillating the casual Bible reader. It is the actual framework of God’s plan for all time, for His earth, and mainly- for His people.
The only thing that will put the person in the sheep line and not the goat line is the Gospel. It’s the Gospel that fuels our actions, fuels His prophetic plans, fuels the engine of time that we are hurtling toward the end of.
The work of Jesus on earth, then on the cross, then in heaven is to minister to lost people. He gave us the charge to make disciples and baptize in His name (Matthew 28:19). He said we should be “teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20).
You see that? The age will END.
Am I saved?
#1 piece of business- The first thing we need to check is our own salvation. Am I saved? We can do no good for God and His glory if we are not saved. We would be a goat and will end up in the wrong line. Here is John MacArthur answering the question: How do I know if I’m really saved? The clip is 7 minutes long.
Know the true Gospel
#2 is to make sure you understand the Gospel. I know this is a fundamental doctrine but I have heard many people say things like ‘I’ve been in church for X-amount of years and never heard the actual Gospel’ and so on. Sharing the Gospel is not using the word ‘gospel’ in conversation. It isn’t saying to your new neighbor ‘you are welcome at our church’. It is telling the person that our position before Christ is as depraved sinner, lost and hopeless. It is knowing why Jesus came to seek sinners and to atone for their sins on the cross, absorbing God’s wrath for our sins, though He was sinless. He died as God’s sacrifice for sin, then rose again and ascended to heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father. Now, any person who has heard the Gospel and understands the dire situation in which his sins have placed him can repent of their sins and fall on Jesus. He is the door to heaven, and the only way. (John 14:6).
#3 Prophecy has a point
#3 is that prophecy is God’s overall plan from beginning to end. He has a purpose for everything He does. Some of these things we do not know.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
However, some of God’s plans, He tells us beforehand.
Certainly the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret plan To His servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7).
Providence is the blank spaces between the lines of the Bible. Providence is the ongoing work of God that we cannot see. His work in some cases is visible (as when someone is regenerated). Sometimes it is obvious, as when a city like Sodom was judged with brimstone. Sometimes His work is silent, as I noted yesterday about the worm and the moth. And sometimes His work toward drawing all prophecy to fulfillment is hidden from us. Yet His sovereignty means that all things are working together for His glory and believers’ good. It’s in the blank spaces and the silence we must trust Him.
The end of the age will come. We as believers will stand before Jesus. It will not be in judgment, for He took our judgment while on the cross. It will be to sort out what we did in our flesh and what we did for Him for His glory. This is known as the Bema Seat Rewards Ceremony (alternately and sadly translated as ‘The Judgment Seat of Christ). It is the Doctrine of Rewards.
When we stand before Him, will we cry and mourn because we squandered time?…failed to be vigorous for Him in our work?…curled up in a ball with our hands over our eyes?…skipped church too often?
Or will be stand and hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant?” Whatever we did in our flesh will be burned as wood, hay and stubble. Whatever remains as work done for His glory will be diamonds and silver and precious stones.
“Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each one’s work.” (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).
It is a prophecy that in the end, we will be rewarded for how well we shared the Gospel, was faithful, and gave God glory. Prophecy has a purpose and the Gospel is intertwined with it. We need to make sure we’re saved, that we are faithful to make disciples and baptize in the Holy Trinity’s name, and that we fuel our actions with the knowledge that all we see and know will end one day and the earth will be melted in a fervent heat and remade anew.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be discovered. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, (2 Peter 3:10-11).