(John 3:18-19,36, Rom. 1:18, II Cor. 2:15-16, 3:10-11)
God is faithful and just to forgive those who acknowledge their sin and walk in His light. Some will not receive the love of the truth. Loving the truth and walking in it go hand in hand. Walk means to progress. We have a destination in mind. God has an intention for each one of us. If we ask Him to lead us, He will do it. We all together have a common destination. He Himself is the destination. No one escapes this. He will hold each one of us accountable for what we have done. Along the way, we can meet Him whenever we hear Him and we turn aside to see and listen. Are we listening, or are we so distracted with this earthly existence. We find that once we have begun the journey with and toward Him, we become hungry for more and more of the truth.
Jesus said the wrath of God remains on those who do not believe on Him. This statement taken alone, apart from the love of God displayed through Jesus Christ seems harsh, severe, and downright mean. It is important to always remember the free gift of grace revealed at the cross. God has shown us His love. Refusal of it is a cause for fear. We have seen that the Lord is gracious and gives opportunity and time for repentance. But a limit exists. The span of our life is limited but we ought not focus on that. Rather, realize that we have a lifetime of opportunities to respond to His love.
At the end of time, the end of this age, we will give account for what we have done with our lives. The religious mind, which is self-centered, has misrepresented this accounting. Jesus said plainly we would receive rewards, or recompense, based on what we have done. He did not say what we believe, what we think, what we say, but what we have done. This is said regarding reward, for those who gain an audience with Him in that eternal moment. If we have not known His presence in this life, we will not have that audience. There is a judgement before a great, white throne but we are not addressing that here except to say we will be held accountable.
Now what we think, and what we say also matter very much for out of the heart we speak. Our words originate from within based on what we think, what we ponder, what we meditate on. If we meditate on a problem, it will be magnified and we will talk about that problem, often missing the solution which the Spirit would give us. Our personal, internal belief system is the foundation of our lives and from that inner person will issue our words, and then ultimately our actions. When we quiet all the negative thoughts words and actions and allow the Holy Spirit to speak faith into us we can recover. Faith comes by hearing, by listening to the Spirit of truth. No empty despair should rule us. It is very simple, if we sin in thought, word, or action, go to the throne of grace and find help, restoration, healing for our souls. As we practice these things we come to an abiding presence. We never have to leave that place. He will never leave us or forsake us. He ever lives to make intercession for us.
In Revelation 21, before Jesus words about reward are recorded for us, He also said of the heavenly city that the fearful, or cowardly, and unbelieving are outside the city. Not only are they outside but they are assigned to the lake of fire. Nothing impure or shameful will enter the city. We might despair at this. Which one of us has never done anything impure or shameful? Yes, some may have avoided such as they have known Jesus from a very young age. But who has never known a moment of fear or of unbelief. Those are the first two sins that Jesus mentions here. Consider that these are the first two. It brings us back to the importance of our thoughts, our beliefs, and our doubts. We progress in this way of learning to bring every thought, every failure to Him and let it go.
God is a righteous judge. This way of salvation, of becoming all that He intends for us to be, includes His judgements. We need to accept and agree with Him. This is our confession of sin, of anything that we see is short of His glory. This is an intensely personal matter. Intense because our God searches out every part of us. Nothing escapes His view. It is not for us to shift responsibility for our own actions. To be sure, the actions of others have an effect on us, but we learn to lose offenses and stay focused on the One who can help us, and also help the offender. In this way, we can bless our enemy. We learn that when we see another offending the Holy Spirit, and us with Him, we can pray for them and not look to retaliate.
We live at an awesome, wonderful, and yet fearful time in history. The cosmos, the world, is approaching a critical mass. We are more than 2000 years from the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. He sits in an eternal dimension on a throne of authority. This throne is a throne of grace and mercy. He sits as the Lamb of God freshly slain. We can live in this place. We may have written before, the Lord said to Abraham, “Walk before me and be blameless.” Jesus did this perfectly. Now He says to us to do the same. No, we don’t despair at this. We say with God all things are possible, only believe. The blood of the Lamb is enough. We are all, each of us, a work in progress. Stay in the light. Grow in the love of the truth. We may falter, and even fall but He is ever faithful to lift us back on our feet and say, “Don’t stop now, keep going.”