To my pointing out that there is a difference between the great white throne judgment after the millennium and the judgment seat of Christ before the millennium, LivelyStone replies:
That's correct. So, why do you claim that believers, already fully sanctified and enjoying their reward, seated in authority over the earth with Jesus, need further maturity in Him?
Your question doesn't make good sense. You yourself have admitted that some believers before the judgment seat of Christ will lose a reward. "The work of each will become manifest, for the day will declare it, because it is revealed by fire, and the fire itself will prove each one's work, of what sort it is.
If anyone's work which he has built upon [the foundation] remains, he will receive a reward,
If anyone's work is consumed, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." ( 1 Cor. 3:13-15)
If we know that some Christians will receive a reward and some Christians will in contrast "suffer loss"
yet still be "saved"
then we know that ALL believers will NOT be enjoying their reward. The judgment seat of Christ will not result in ALL Christians enjoying a reward.
That is not my concept. That is the teaching of First Corinthians 3:13-15.
1.) Are NOT fully sanctified.
2.) Are NOT enjoying their reward (even though they are still saved)
3.) Are NOT seated in authority over the earth with Jesus
4.) Therefore DO need further maturity in Him.
That is why Paul gives a warning about the possibility of the Christian to "SUFFER LOSS"
as a result of that examination. If all Christians were enjoying their reward then the Apostle Paul would not say that some will "suffer loss"
as opposed to receiving a reward: "HE WILL RECEIVE A REWARD" (v.14)
verses "HE WILL SUFFER LOSS, BUT HE HIMSELF WILL BE SAVED..." (v.15)
Now Paul is not speaking of something which occurs in eternity after the millennial kingdom. He is talking about a reward enjoyed or a loss encured during the millennial kingdom of 1,000 years. He has to be because:
1.) The judgment seat of Christ follows the resurrection and rapture of the saints in Christ's second coming.
2.) The judgment seat of Christ closely precee
ds the millennial kingdom
3.) We know that eventually in eternity ALL saints are presented without spot or blemish before God, with no cause for blame or rebuke: "Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, predestinating us unto sonship thrugh Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." (Eph. 1:4,5a)
The Christian's destiny is to be presented in perfection as a matured son of God. God still has at least 1,000 years from the time of the judgment seat of Christ to the age of the eternal new heaven and new earth with the completed New Jerusalem.
We are assured that we all will arrive. We are not assured that we all will arrive when we are suppose to. There is no garuantee that during that 1,000 years there is no need for some tardy arrivers to have further perfecting done upon them.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Who needs further completion among those of Christ after His coming?
There is no reason why we should discard such a wonderful promise. God who has begun a good work in us will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus: "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun in you a good work will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6)
As a good and thorough student of the Bible, we not only learn what the Scripture says, but we must learn what ALSO the Scripture says.
And considering what ELSE the Bible says one has to ask:
1.) Could Paul mean that no believer will suffer loss as the result of the judgment seat of Christ ? If God has begun a good work in the believers and will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus, does that mean that the work of all believers will cause them to receive a reward ? If that is the case then WHY did Scripture say that some believers may "suffer loss"
rather than be rewarded ?
2.) When Paul says "until the day of Christ Jesus"
is he excluding the day in which God says after the millennium "Behold I make all things new ... I will be God to him and he will be a son to Me." (See Revelation 21:5,6)
This creating all things new and promise of sonship is AFTER the 1,000 year millennial kingdom. So HOW LONG does God have time to operate this good work in us which He has begun ?
Does He only have up until the time of the judgment seat of Christ ? If so then why do some of the parables of Christ indicate some amount of displeasure with His servants? If God has begun a good work and completed it on the day of our standing before the judgment seat of Christ, then WHY does the Lord take one servant and turn him over to be punished until he learned a lesson to forgive his brother from his heart ? "So also will My heavenly Father do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from your hearts." (Matt. 18:35)
What happened to this Christian BROTHER ? Why was he turned over to the torturers until a certain time ? God had begun a good work in him. Did He not ? Why was the work of a forgiving heart not perfected in this Christian BEFORE the Lord became angry with him and turned him over to some temporary discipline ?
So you see, we have to learn what the Scriptures says and what the Scriptures AGAIN say. The Apostle Paul himself who told us that God has begun a good work in us and is able to complete it voiced his own concern that he could be "disapproved"
. "I therefore run in this way, not as though without a clear aim; I box in the way; not as though beating the air; But I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest perhaps having preached to others, I myself may become disapproved." (1 Cor. 9:26,27)
Did Paul consider it impossible for him to be disapproved (not for eternal life), but for quality service unto the Lord ? Philippians 1:6
is a wonderful verse. I love it. I cling to it. But it is not an assurance that I do not need to cooperate with God's working in me. And it is not saying that I could not also "suffer loss"
instead of enjoy a reward at the judgment seat of Christ.
This passage does not concern a false Christian. It concerns a true brother in Christ who will be turned over to the torturers until he learned to forgive his fellow brother from his heart.
You misinterpret these verses.
You are not demonstrating at all where the misinterpretation is being made.
You are just asserting that I am misinterpreting it.
If we are talking, as I believe, about Matthew 18:21-35
then look what you ar doing. You say this is not an exhortation to Christian brothers. "So also will My heavenly Father do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from your hearts." (v.35)
The impact of your denial
that the teaching concerns a Christian, is to change the Lord's meaning to "So ... My heavenly Father will [NOT] do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from your hearts."
You nullify the Lord's warning. You deny the Lord's teaching that the Father will do to us Christians as the parable teaches will happen to the unforgiving servant
The Lord teaches us a warning of His dealing with an unforgiving Chritian brother. And you come along and deny His warning saying that it is not concerning a Christian. But Peter has given rise to the whole teaching by asking the Lord HOW MANY TIMES should he forgive his brother who sins against him: "Then Peter came and said to Him, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him. Up to seven times ?
Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, Up to seven times, but, Up to seventy times seven. For this reason the kingdom of the heavens has become like a king who decided to settle accounts with his slaves .... etc" (Matt, 18:21-23 and 24 - 35)
Can't you see that Jesus is teaching His disciples about the boundlessness of their capacity to forgive ? That is why He gives the teaching AND the warning. Something unpleasant and disciplinary can happen in the kingdom of the heavens to the unforgiving servant.
Your teaching is nullifying the impact of the Lord's warning.
There is no mention of eternal damnation of the redeemed.
I never said there was such a mention. We are not talking about eternal damnation of the redeemed. We are talking about dispensational and temporary punishment of some redeemed during the millennial kingdom.
And you are not able to demonstrate that the servants dealt with in a disciplinary way in a few parable of Christ, are speaking of ones NOT redeemed. All evidence points to the fact that these servants of the Lord ARE redeemed.
The kingdom teaching is of responsibility. This is not the milk of the word of God. This is the meat for the more mature. And you have not shown that a servant cast by the Lord into the outer darkness is a unbeliever or false Christian.
To defeat the interpretation I have presented, that is what you have to do. But I suggest that you change your concept and accept that the Lord's believer may suffer loss
at the judgment seat of Christ. And that suffering of loss, accoding to His teachings in the Gospels, could take on a number of manifestations.
One of which manifestations of suffering loss would be to be cast temporarily into "the outer darkness"
where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
What ? Did you not hear what the Lord said in THIS instance: "The master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, And will cut him asunder and appoint his portion with the hypocrits. In that place there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 24:51)
I REPEAT to you. The scope of the possibilities, both positively as well as negatively, as to how the Lord would recompense His servants, is wide. I am presenting to you a couple of instances of severity. I do not mean that ALL discipines from the Lord at His judgment seat will be this severe.
What does it mean to you for the Lord to cut a servant asunder and appoint his portion with the hypocrits ?
Are you sure that such a one could not possibly be one of those Christians Paul said would be saved, yet so as through fire ?
Our sanctification is COMPLETE upon death, or resurrection, whichever comes first.
In the Bible and in the history of God's dealing with His people, there is often a differenfe in what SHOULD be and what actually HAPPENS to be in some instances.
Paul said he ran the Chritians race. Paul said that he fought the good fight. Paul said that there was laid up for him a crown of righteousness which the Righteous Judge would award him.
That is a crown of righhteousness
. That is not a crown of grace but of righteousness.
Of course the Lord is full of grace and has the throne of grace. But in this passage it is the Lord as the righteous Judge
not the merciful Savior, who will award Paul.
Suppose he decided to NOT rum the Chritian race ? Do all believers run the Christian race? Smetimes we meet Christians who do not want to treat the Christian life as a race to be run. Some do not want to treat the Christian life as a good fight to be fought.
Paul is a good model and representative of what the Christian's attitude should be. "I have fought the good fight; I have finished the course; I have kept the faith.
Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteusness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will recompense me in that day, and not only to me but also all those who have loved His appearing." ( 2 Timothy 4:7,8)
1.) The reward here is not a gift but RECOMPENSE.
That is a repayment for work.
2.) If it is RECOMPENSE then the passage is not about eternal redemption which is NOT recompense but GIFT.
3.) It is not a crown of redemption or a crown of mercy or a crown of grace. He awaits a crown of righteousness
for righteous Christian living.
4.) It is not a crown of Justification by Faith. It is a crown of RIGHTEOUSNESS for the way Paul lived and loved the coming of the Lord Jesus.
5.) The awarder of this recompense is not the merciful Savior but the righteous Judge.
Of course Christ is the merciful Savior. But in THIS passage the emphasis is on His recompense for Paul's righteous living since he received mercy to be saved.
6.) The recompense is not for any elite group. It is also assured to all who have loved the Lord's appearing. That certainly includes any of us who likewise walk so as to love the Lord's appearing.
7.) Suppose we do NOT love the Lord's appearing because we are preoccupied with loving the world or our sins instead? Shouldn't we repent of such living and turn to run the race and fight the good fight with Paul ? Certainly we should.
8.) We are foolish to think that if we love something above the Lord Jesus that we will love His appearing.
What ? You know Christians who perhaps love their bed of adultery or fornication more than the Lord's appearing ? CAn we be that naive to believe no such cases of backsliding exist such as this ?
So we have to watch and repent and run the race - get back into the Spirit filled good fight being washed in the blood of Jesus.
Then we may say that we eagerly love His appearing and await also the crown of righteousness from the righteous Judge at the judgment seat of Christ.