Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Judgment Seat of Christ (the Bema)

There has been some discussion on my last post concerning my take on the Judgment Seat of Christ (the Bema). I wish to get into a few passages concerning it and give a brief exposition of them. For the purpose of this post, I will use a couple of comments from Doug who expressed objections concerning my doctrine in order to proceed with my thoughts.

Your questions to me are highly welcomed here. I will do my best to answer them fully. If you are going to bring up other Scriptures in an objection to my position, do us all a favor and do not rapid-fire proof-text. Give a scripture or two that you believe supports your objection to me with a well-reasoned exposition of it showing how the passage truly does support your interpretation of it and your objection to me.

Without further ado…

Doug writes:
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Wow that sounds like heaven to me. I thought it was a place of no tears. (By the way this is very close to Mormon doctrine) Good luck working your way to the top of heaven.
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"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying" (Rev 21:4).

Notice that this is given in the context of a period following the millennial kingdom. It is here, at the onset of the eternal state, after the millennium, after the creation of the new heavens and new earth. This is the point where God will cause to cease any and all tears that may be present.

The Judgement seat of Christ will result in deep remorse, sorrow, weeping, regret, shame, dishonor, and loss for those who will be found unfaithful. “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Cor 4:2) (See Parables in Luke and Matthew below).

But as with all grief and sorrow that is experienced in time, it will pass away naturally. Yet the loss of significant rewards will remain for eternity. And at the point of the end of the millennium, all will have any and all tears wiped away.

The grief of those who will face the dishonors and shame of a poor review at the judgment seat of Christ have much to be sorry and weep about! They are the ones who had everything needed for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3), have been blessed with all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly realms in Christ, (Eph 1:3), yet they spurned the growth in grace and wilfully resisted the familial ministry of the Father, and now they will miss out on the superlative experience of being in the tight fellowship of Christ’s co-heirs!

Doug writes:
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By the way what will they be remorsing about, their sins, I thought they were paid at calvary. So much for your free grace.
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The death of Christ fully and completly took sin out of the way as a barrier to God's acceptance. It is as far removed as the east is from the west in this sense. God now accepts any who believe in His Son for eternal life, but only those who do so. Yet all are invited to come.

Once we are saved, we step into the world of servanthood and stewardship unto the Lord.

Our works will be reviewed at the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Bema, for our faithfulness or lack therof in the steward/servant role.

"Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (2 Cor 5:9-11).

The works will be reviewed, as to whether they are good or bad; the bad will include our sins as stewards. We will then receive the wages/rewards for that which we have done in the body, whether good or bad.

Paul, the Christian, is telling the Corinthians, Christians, that he sought to be well pleasing to God, for he knew his life as a servant/steward would be reviewed by Christ at His Bema. What are his next words?

"Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men." Persuade them of what in this context? To be well pleasing to the Lord. Why? Because their stewardship and servanthood will be reviewed at Christ's Bema where they will receive their wages for their servanthood, and to be found unfaithful will be to experience the dread of coming to the master empty-handed.

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Luke 12:42-48
And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers [Greek = apistia, can be equally rendered "unfaithful"]. And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
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Notice first, this is the SAME servant with two different potentialities: "BUT IF THAT SERVANT..." not to have to mention that he is indeed a TRUE servant of the Master (he wasn't some phony pretending to be a servant of the Master!).

Whereas the first scenario with the same servant is rewarded with the inheritance and rulership over the master's goods, that same servant in the next scenario gets the portion [inheritance] of the unfaithful (which is nothing!). The “portion” of the unfaithful (Greek: apistia), is to receive no inheritance in the Kingdom of God. They will merely enter, but will not co-rule, co-reign with Christ. The glories, intimacy, honor, reign, and inheritance belongs to the faithful, overcoming Christians, who fare well at the accounting of their lives at the judgment seat of Christ.The day that the Master comes back corresponds to the assessment and review at the Bema of Christ.

Please remember, that this is parabolic language! There is no literal beating with stripes! The parable’s components correspond to spiritual truth. The unfaithful servant will have penetrating and severe consequences meted out to him at the Bema (some of which are the significant loss of superlative experience in the kingdom, which comes in the form of inheritance, rulership, and intimacy with Christ; other consequences may be discussed in other posts) (see “cut him in two” in the following discussion).

Let’s see this same parable out of the mouth of Matthew:

Matt 24:45-51

"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
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Notice the parallel passage in Matthew: one true (not phony) servant of the Master, two potentialities, two scenarios.

The first scenario again finds rulership for the faithfulness of the servant at the coming of his Master to assess his duty as a steward (The Bema Seat of Christ).

Matthew adds some things here in the assesment of the second scenario of the same servant (actions that the Master takes against the servant in parabolic form). One must remember again that this is a parable. It is a story that has correspondence to spiritual reality.

"cut him in two"

This is parabolic language. Some people think this is hell, but they do not see the clear teaching of Jesus that this happens to a true servant of Jesus when the Master returns to assess His servant’s performance in their duties. (Even in hell, no one imagines that the lost will literally be cut in two!)

The Word of God will judge each believer at the Bema of Christ. Those servants who have been found unfaithful will suffer shame being "cut in two" by the Word of God. Have you ever been rightfully confronted with a wrong you committed? Wasn't it like being cut in two? Well according to Heb 4:12, 13:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Heb 4:12-13).

The Word of God is going to be an instrument of our judgment when we give an account of ourselves at the Bema of Christ. For some it will be painful.

“There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”

It is the knee-jerk reaction of 21st century readers of the bible to import into the phrase "weeping and gnashing of teeth" as a NECESSARY allusion to hell.

This is merely an oriental expression that relates severe remorse, sorrow, and regret over a life that was wasted for Christ. The original readers of this text would not automatically import into this the idea of hell.

For sure, Jesus used this imagery referring to hell in other places. It is found 6 times in the gospels. 3 of which refer to hell, 3 of which refer to the unfaithful at the day of accounting when their MASTER returns to review their service.

Yet there is nothing inherent in that phrase that necessitates that it must be taken as a reference to hell. Jesus was under no such constaint to use it only as a reference to hell. It perfectly describes the inner shame, sorrow, and torment of the unfaithful servant who faces the judgment of the Master to whom he gives account for his performance in duty.

Paul says that at the judgment seat of Christ there will be terror for those who were not well pleasing and faithful in their duties, as the Word of God cuts them in two for their unfaithfulness, as they will receive what they have done in the body, whether good or bad (see above).

John says that there will be Christians who will have shame at Christ's coming (1 John 2:28).

Imagine this scene in heaven at Christ's judgment seat where He is reviewing the lives of Christians. In front of him is a steward (A Christian) who was not faithful and was found unfaithful at His coming.

This man was given all things that pertain to life and godliness, exceeding great and precious promises whereby he could have escaped the corruption in the world, every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies! But he spurned these things.

This man no longer has a sin nature. He can no longer rationalize his sin. When Christ using the Word of God confronts him with his wasted life, this man will feel remorse like he could have never felt it with his sin nature intact. It will produce in him severe remorse and regret, sorrow and inner torment. He was an unfaithful steward to Him who gave His EVERYTHING for him.

He will "suffer loss". GREAT loss. Yet he himself is saved, yet as through fire.

We know, though, that LATER, God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Rev 21:4).

Obedience and faithfulness are REQUIRED of a servant. The negelct of such has grave and severe consequences: temporal wrath, and eternal loss.

This is where Free Grace theology has its doctrine of accountability. The Reformed tradition says that all will basically persevere and be faithful if they are truly saved. This consequently makes the subsequent works a necessary condition for salvation.

There really is no distinctive doctrine of accountability for the regenerate ones and rewards in Reformed theology. If one does not persevere, he goes to hell, showing he was not saved. In Reformed thought, everyone who is regenerate perseveres. There really is no distinction.

If everyone gets the rewards, then of what motivation is it? Of what significance does it hold? Paul disciplined and buffeted his body!! There was no assurance that he would persevere and thus win the prize and receive the crown. "'Everyone is special' is just another way of saying that nobody is". Jesus reserves the highly esteemed positions in His kingdom for those who have had the overcoming, faithful, obedient, lives, those who have had the intimacy with Him here and now.

"A command that everyone keeps is superfluous, and a reward that everyone receives for a virtue that everyone has is nonsense."

33 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Fantastic stuff, Antonio.

I really do get excited waiting for your latest posts.

Somebody, on the last post, asked a question about the person who turns to Christ on their death-bed. They asked what that person's position in terms of judgment will be.

I did think about this and had some thoughts, but I would be interested to know your answer, Antonio.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

January 18, 2006 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds a little like you're saying, "If I don't get to be special in the end, then why should I bother to obey God?" Or: "If there's nothing in it for me, what would motivate me to serve Christ?" I guess the Reformed Christian would say that a little thing called the glory of God is more than enough reason and more than enough motivation.

January 18, 2006 12:07 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

Antonio,

Nice Post!

Sadly many have never been taught about the Judgment Seat of Christ, which I believe is so crucial to understanding many passages in Scripture.

Keep up the good work.

PEACE,

NATE

January 18, 2006 12:13 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Anonymous, your blithe comment is very telling.

Bringing God glory stems from a heart of praise that more often then not comes from a gratefulness for God's blessings (just do a quick word study on "praise" and see the contexts).

God's glory is but one motivation to obey God. There are others that are powerful as well:

1) gratititude proceeding from certainly and absolutely knowing that one eternally and securely possess eternal life
2) obeying brings blessing, unfaithfulness brings chastening
3) eternal rewards

Here is a quick excerpt from an article by Zane Hodges (which can be found HERE)

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Another problem some Christians have with the doctrine of rewards is that this doctrine seems to them to appeal to our "selfishness." Such Christian brothers may go on to say that we do not need to be motivated this way. Instead, we ought to do all that we do [for God for His glory].

This point of view, however, confronts a serious problem of its own. Not only is a doctrine of rewards taught in Scripture, but we are actually commanded to pursue them.

Thus Jesus said:

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth... but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt 6:19-21).

We may observe here that our Lord does not present the pursuit of heavenly treasure as though it were optional. On the contrary, it is clear that He wants every disciple of His to lay up this celestial wealth.

The reason for this is also stated. Wherever our treasure happens to be, that's where our hearts will be focused. And God wants our hearts to be focused on heaven and that is why we are commanded to invest in heavenly rewards.

God knows better than we do what will captivate our hearts for Him. Evidently, rewards play a significant role in this.

It may sound pious for someone to say: "I am not interested in rewards! I serve God [for His glory alone]!" But such a person is claiming to be more loftily motivated than even the Apostle Paul himself! He wrote:

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (1 Cor 9:24-27).

Obviously Paul was not "running" to obtain his justification or his eternal salvation! Those things were already his by grace alone. It follows then that Paul is talking about the "reward"—the prize—that could be won by a person who ran a winning race.

Obviously, too, Paul is highly motivated by the thought of winning this prize. He dedicates himself to obtaining it with the same intense self-discipline that characterizes the superior athlete.

Those who disparage rewards as a powerful Christian motivation ought to read their NT again—this time, with their eyes open!
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Antonio

January 18, 2006 2:24 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

More great doctrine! I agree with Nate. It seems judgement is something being ignored and avoided by almost everyone these days. I can't help but see that as a means for avoiding the responsibility we have toward God.

January 18, 2006 2:42 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Antonio,
I just emailed my brother about the BEMA yesterday morning because we were emailing a discussion back and forth about 1 Cor. 9 & 10 . How interesting that you posted on it later the same day.

BTW, I think this is the second time you have used this quote in your posts or comments:
"'Everyone is special' is just another way of saying that nobody is".
Have you been watching "The Incredibles" with your kids? ;~)

This teaching is good for me. Thank you for the reminder and the challenge.

January 19, 2006 8:29 AM  
Blogger nothingnothingnothing said...

Can you define "works"? And is there a difference between "works" and "bearing fruit"?

Thanks,
Ten Cent

January 19, 2006 10:39 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Antonio,

Excellent post! I think you nailed down very well the implications for living a slothful christian life. God is not partial but eagerly rewards his faithful servants.

What a sober warning to live righteously and humbly before our God.

January 19, 2006 10:53 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Matthew, thanks again for your encouraging words. It seems that most people don't have anything to say on this post, for I believe that it is very clear.

As for your question i would say this: the man who believes in Jesus on his death bed for eternal life did not have the time to build up wealth in the life to come, this is true. But go ahead and read the parable in Matthew 20:1-16 and see how the last laborers fared.

This parable ought to give us a bit of an idea of what to expect for them. Remember as you read that there are two different kinds of rewards.

There are many variables that will be taken into account, I believe, at each person's assessment. God will do that which is right, and what He desires according to His grace.

There are principles that we all should be developing in light of our most certain assessment at the Bema of Christ. Maybe I will do some posts on them.

Thanks for the question, I hope I gave you some ideas and help with it!

Antonio

January 19, 2006 5:34 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Nate,
thanks for your continued support. I hope you are able to get to Dallas for the GES conference!

Antonio

K.C.
you make a good point. I think that the lack of a doctrine of rewards in the Reformed tradition is very unfortunate.

You see, once they get some evidence from their works that they can get their uncertain assurance that they are elect, they can just continue with their nominalism.

Joseph Dillow in the Reign of the Servant Kings said:
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In the Experimental Predestinarian (Reformed/Calvinist; meaning predestinarians who can only know they are elect by experimentation with introspection) view, all who are Christians will be rewarded, and some more than others. Thus, they have created a version of Christianity where complete commitment is optional and not necessary. All that can be lost is a higher degree of blessedness, but all will be blessed. Could it be that this happy ending has lulled many into thinking they can continue their lukewarmness with no eternal consequences to pay?
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Antonio

January 19, 2006 5:54 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Rose,

How is it going with your brother? You should have him come and read this new post.

I did take that line from the Incredibles. We own it on DVD. I that that it was apropo.

Ten Cent,

Could you tell me in what context you want me to define works? And in what context do we find "bearing fruit"? I want to answer your question but it seems vague to me.

Antonio

January 19, 2006 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Bobby Grow said...

nice post!

January 19, 2006 7:11 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Bobby!

Nice to hear from you! How is your wrists, was it your wrists?

God bless you man! I am glad you dropped by!

agdarosa@cox.net

Antonio

January 19, 2006 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Bobby Grow said...

Yeah,

I have tendonitis in my arms, elbow to hands--I start physical therapy next week.

I also have a chronic sinus infection which most likely will require surgery in the next month or so--I would appreciate your prayers.

I havent blogged for a couple mos now--and this will be the extent of my blogging for awhile yet--I thought I would say hi though. Keep up the good posts!

January 19, 2006 7:58 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I thought about that question.

It occurred to me that while a deathbed convert might not have more rewards than a really carnal believer, he would probably view his position differently.

This person would have passed from a life of sin with no hope of escape from destruction and the eternal consequences of sin into eternal life and the joy of being with Christ forever and in His heavenly company.

If you invited a homeless beggar to spend Christmas day with your family, would he be that bothered that he did not get the presents that your family received? His joy would be in spending Christmas in good company and comfort as opposed to a cold day in misery.

On the other hand, a carnal Christian would have years of his life reviewed and found wanting. He would be conscious of so much wasted opportunity, so much ingratitude.

While both indiivduals would be saved by grace, theri position would be quite different, depsite the possible equality of their rewards.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

January 20, 2006 12:51 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

OK, this is reaching critical mass. I find myself agreeing with far too much of what you write. Why it's almost embarrasing.

I love it.

January 20, 2006 3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

antonio;
rewards on the bema seat for believers are an obvious and definite part of scripture. however, i have several issues with your entire piece:
1. please list all the passages concerning "weeping and gnashing of teeth." this is THE pivotal point in your assesment. i wish you would have listed them instead of assuming we would all agree.
2. how do you square your assesment of "weeping and gnashing" with passages like these:
· Romans 6:15-16-“15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

you will say death is only physical death, but can you be a slave to sin and a child of God?

· 1 Corinthians 6:9-13-“9 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, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

you will say inheriting the kingdom means ruling in it and that some (unfaithful and unrighteous) can exist there with no rewards. but,...the passage below say the unrighteous are the sons of the devil. can the sons of the devil be in the kingdom?

1 John 3:9-10-“ Whoever has been born of God does not sin (deliberately, habitually, knowingly), for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.”

you will say that "death" in the passage below again refers to physical death. but, it says if you are led by the Spirit of God you are sons of God. conversely, can you be led by the flesh or satan or be a "son of disobedience" (col 3:6) and be a son of God?

Romans 8:13-14-“ 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
you will say the prize paul strives for are crowns and priveledges in the kingdom, but in the passage below paul indentifies the "upward call of God" as the prize. that doesnt sound like priveledges to me. that sounds like ADMITTANCE. would not the opposite be the downward fall to hell?
· Philippians 3:12-15-“12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.
also, when paul says there are many who "walk" is he fefering to one who walks with us (as a believer?) i think so. he calls them enemies of the cross and their end is "destruction." can an enemy of the cross be a citizen of the kingdom?is "destruction" loss of rewards?

does not "satan" mean adversary? if so, how do you read the following?

Hebrews 10:26-29-“26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain, fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
TO willfully sin after rec. the knowledge is to suffer worse punishement than the "adversaries?"
i do hope my questions sound sincere in the hope of an adequate explanation as i am asking as much to help me formulate an opinion as to challenge your assumptions. your opinions have challenged mine and i am better off for it.
a. dude

January 20, 2006 8:24 AM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Excellent post Antonio!

An elaborate doctrine of rewards is essential to making Jesus Lord of our doctrine.

The fact that this doctrine bothers the conscience of some Christians doesn't always lead to the questioning of the conscience, as it would seem to be called for.

God bless you,

Jodie

January 20, 2006 9:26 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Anonymous. I know you are Pat Ruah. From your other correspondences with me you have used the same verses (I read your word document) and also the fact that you do not capitalize your "i"'s.

I will review your comment and respond as I see fit maybe sometime tonight.

I notice, however, that you have really not responded to the texts to which I gave.

You say the pivotal point is the common phrase "weeping and gnashing of teeth"...

I say the pivotal point is that Jesus is talking about his TRUE and not phony servant who has two potentials.

Re-read the parables. Jesus is fond of using a demonstrative pronoun referring to the servant: "that servant" multiple times. It is the fact of the matter, sir, that Jesus is talking about the same servant with a range of potentialities resulting in two different scenarios.

"But He just can't be saying that!"

Well He did and your contention is with Him.

Antonio

January 20, 2006 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know any "pat ruah" i am sorry to spoil your sleuthing. lack of punctuation and using lower case letters throughout correspondence is a result of the email age and not consigned to any particular individual! that is pretty funny! antonio, do not take me wrong. i do not claim to know everything, but am busy studying the bible with every spare second. on this point, you may well be correct! and i stand corrected! i am grateful to you and God and for expanding my understanding. i am not 100%. i do not contend He is talking about the same servant. i need to be convinced "weeping and gnashing" and (luke 12:46) being assigned a place with the unbelievers is not a description of hell. luke 19:26-27 seems to separate unbelievers and "worthless servants" and unbelievers. matthew 25:30 sens the worthles slave into "the outer darkness" in that place where there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth." this certainly sounds like hell to me. outer implies outside the kingdom and darkness implies a place far away from the light of the world. as far as the other passages i mentioned, they pertain to the same overall issue and thus are just as worthy for consideration when looking for the truth. the truth of any issue must satisfy all scrippture. i am looking for answers, antonio, and not really providing any. i have laid out my questions which i see as weaknesses in your theology. if you can answer them in a way that satisfies my mind, your theology will be my theology-on this issue. we are in disagreement elsewhere, but one day at a time. thank you again for your time and effort and insight. i truly appreciate it. a.d.

January 20, 2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Anonymous, you are Rose Cole's brother.

Are you going to lie to me?

You wrote this in an email to me only a few days ago:
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1 John 3:9-10-" Whoever has been born of God does not sin (deliberately, habitually, knowingly), for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother."

Is it only coincidence that some stray anonymous person puts in parenthesis the exact words in the exact location of the exact same verse: "(deliberately, habitually, knowingly)"

Your scriptures come with bullets, the same as Rose Cole's brother, and with a hyphen/dash after the reference and before the text in both your comment here and your emails to me.

Not to mention the lack of capitalization.

Why are you playing this game? You are found out yet you still do not wish to come clean on who you are?

Why would I further the conversation if you are openly lying to me?

Remember, liars don't have any inheritance in the kingdom of God.

Antonio

January 20, 2006 8:51 PM  
Anonymous missJO said...

"thank u mister.. although i don't understand what u mean but serving God is a good thing & i think we'll meet in heaven" (:

January 21, 2006 9:51 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

You're kidding, is that really Pat? Pat, is that you? Why not enter your name?

January 21, 2006 11:51 AM  
Anonymous pat said...

antonio,
this is pat, rose coles brother. she just called me and let me know of the activity/confusion on your blog. this is quite interesting! first of all, the thing i sent u was a first take for me on many passages of related topic from scripture. you and rosie and a friend of mine are the only 3 people to read it. i have since backed off of that posotion because i found a passage that clarifies it. 1 corinthians 10: 12-13 which says "let he who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall..." a believer can certainly fall. the anonymous dude might want to take note of that passage. also, i had stumbled across an article concerning the parable from luke you list in your post and it seems to butress this fact. i am still learning and i guess i am no longer a Lordship theology person. i really dont even know what that is. your take on what "inheriting the kingdom of heaven" means is something i havent considered or your take on "death" in scriptures. i reread my thing in light of these new takes and i think you may be on to something. but anyway, the question then is a believer can fall, but how far? will God let a believer fall all the into complete dissipation? i have a hard time believing that. in light of 1 john 3:9-10 it is hard to believe. will not the Spirit convict him to turn around and repent? i copy and paste my passages from an internet site and that was from an amplified bible which listed those 3 words in parenthesis and i assume the dude did same)also, james 2 seems pretty clear to me. the whole chapter makes a pretty clear point. anyway, i thought i would weigh in in person. adios amigo-pat, rose cole's brother.

January 21, 2006 2:05 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey last anonymous, your post is deleted for you speak out of ignorance of the Free Grace position. I would love to answer your questions concerning "the darkness outside". Your tripe does not even resemble my take on Free Grace theology, nor Zane Hodges, nor the Grace Evangelical Society. Go take your tripe to Joey Faust and company.

the management

January 21, 2006 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear antonio;
i am sorry you have become upset due to my questions. perhaps my e mail tone came across harsher than i intended, i can only guess. i was asking sincere questions and do not understand a reaction like yours from a brother, if indeed you are. my apologies for having offended you. i will take my questions somewhere where there are answers. anonymous dude

January 22, 2006 6:50 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi Antonio,
I see my brother came and made a comment here on your blog, how great! I am glad he has read your article and I hope he will be able to read the article on the parable of the sower. Will you answer anything he has said in the comment above signed in his name? Help us out here, buddy!

I'm not sure what comment was deleted, but if it was from my brother, you are right, he doesn't know anything about Free Grace teaching, Zane Hodges, John MacArthur or much else of popular Christian writing. He is kind of new to Bible study.

January 22, 2006 8:01 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Pat you are welcomed here. I am willing to answer your questions.

Ask away.

The only thing I ask is that if you suppose a certain scripture has a particular interpretation, I would ask that you support that with a well reasoned expotition of it from within its context.

Anonymous dude, aka Pat, I did not delete any of your comments.

I deleted someone who only wrote a sentence.

Anonymoust dude, listen. It may more incline me to communicate with you if you quit the childish accusations and come clean with an identity.

Remaining anonymous is, well, how could I put it nicely: objectionable.

I feel no need to communicate with you when you are offensive and remain unidentified.

Pat, you are welcomed here. Stay in your identity and I will answer anything that you wish to ask, within certain peramaters, which we can discuss. I will not answer a post of rapid-fire prooftexting, is just an example.

I wish you growth, spirituality, and knowledge.

Antonio

January 22, 2006 8:30 PM  
Blogger nothingnothingnothing said...

Antonio,

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I agree, my question was a little vague. It was two or three points into my thought process. Here's what I'm getting at in my question regarding good works vs. fruit.

You say:
"We will then receive the wages/rewards for that which we have done in the body, whether good or bad." In regards to the Bema Seat of Christ. So my questions then are:

1.) What are these works? What are some examples of good and bad works?

Because if the bad works are sin and we receive the wages for sin, then is that not death according to Romans 6:23? Which would be impossible if I am a child of God, right?

So if the bad works aren't sin, then maybe they're in some gray area, just not "good works"?


2.) Are the good works something that we do or something the Spirit does through us?

Ephesians 2:10 says "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." Which makes me think that the good works are something that God does through us. He already prepared them for us to do.

The next question hinges on the answer to #2.

3.) So if, in fact, the good works are something the Spirit does through us, then why would Jesus reward us for them, and some more rewards than others?

That's probably enough questions for now. Answers to these questions may negate any need for a discussion about works vs. fruit.

Thanks for considering the questions. Hopefully, I've given you enough insight to see where I'm going with these questions. Because your reasoning about the Bema seems plausible, but it doesn't jive with what I believe to be truth as I see it in scripture. So I'm trying to figure out if I'm not thinking about things in the right way.

Ten Cent

January 24, 2006 10:31 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ten Cent-

Good questions!

1) The works are those works that we did in the role of the servant/steward of Christ. They will contain sins, but they are not assessed as sins, but as negative works in the role of a steward of Christ.

The assessment is of our stweardship of the opportunities, potentials, and gifts that God gave us to serve Him.

2) The good works we do are the works we ourselves do by our volition yet in the strength of Christ and the grace of God.

God does not drag anyone down the path of obedience nor does he make us robots and irresistably impose on us a love and dedication to Him.

3) Jesus commanded that we seek rewards "provide for youselves treasures in heaven...for where your treasure is their your heart is also."

We work in cooperation with Christ to do the works that are required of us as stewards.

I hope this helps. If you need anymore references just ask.

Do a search on my blog (there is a search field on the side-bar menu) for subjects, words, or issues that you want to read about. I have around 35 articles on this blog that will answer your questions!

Grace to you sister!

Antonio

January 30, 2006 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Vasile said...

Antonio,

What about Matthew 25:31-46?

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:" Matthew 25:41

Who are these men?
Are they the "unfaithful servants" mentioned in the above parables?

The faithful ones will inherit the "kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:" Matthew 25:34

Contrary, those on the left hand "will go away into everlasting punishment" Matthew 25:46

Kingdom <> Everlasting Fire


----------

Vasile

April 20, 2006 1:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Christians be judged for our works right after the rapture in Heaven or at the great white throne judgment with unbelievers and if so, where will this take place?

July 31, 2007 4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just read your Bible answers and they are quite informative. Thank you and God bless you.

July 31, 2007 4:45 PM  

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