God wants us to voluntarily accept Him as Lord and God. He’s not interested in having a family He has to coerce into following Him. He’s looking at eternity. He’s not interested in an eternity of strife and disobedience. Those that gladly choose Him now, and are making a lifetime work of learning to be obedient, He will take into eternity with Him.
Judgment of The Saints
This brings us to touch on the judgement of the saints. We’re not in the great white throne judgement found in Revelation chapter twenty. But there is a judgement for us. We find it in 2 Corinthians: “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” (2 Corinthians 5:9–10). This isn’t to determine if we go to heaven or hell, but if we were good stewards of the grace of God while in the body.
I think Paul is referring to this idea when he wrote: “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:11–15).
Those things in our lives that are hindering us from perfect fellowship with the Father, God knows how to eradicate so we can go into eternity free of the burdens of this life. This may bring more light on this scripture: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20–21, emphasis mine).
Judgment for the saint and sinner is a time that God closes the books for that age. Just as a business closes out a previous year’s books and starts a new year fresh, so God will close out the past and create a new heaven and new earth and subdue all things to Himself.
The Great Decision
During this age, we all are making decisions. The most important decision is for Christ and being faithful to Him. God’s not looking for perfect people. He’s looking for the faithful and obedient. God has the sin problem covered: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:9–10). Sin becomes an issue when we practice a sin and call it, “Okay.” But if we’ll confess our sins, He’s righteous to forgive us. This give us the opportunity to “fight the good fight of faith” to take control of our lives and overcome the sin.
What God is looking for is voluntary submission. If we will submit to Him in this age, He will be able to trust us in the age to come. God doesn’t enjoy the darkness of this age: the murder, lying, deceit, theft, disobedient, strife, war, maliciousness, etc. But if someone is unwilling to submit to Him, He can’t make them “a new creation in Christ Jesus,” and their spiritual connection will always be with Satan and the dark side — ALWAYS — because that’s what they’ve chosen.
Stay strong and prepared!