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If Christians are Declared Righteous, Why Must We Still Face Judgement?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
January 7, 2020 1:00 am

If Christians are Declared Righteous, Why Must We Still Face Judgement?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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January 7, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 352 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Key questions answered in today's show:

1.  If you are saved why does the person that is saved have to go through a judgment? I thought being saved by the Lord's grace and blood you would be saved and live with him.

2.  In the New Jerusalem, as described in Revelation, walls and gates are surrounding the city.   As all evil will have been eradicated by that time, and God's perfect creation reigns then, from what do the walls and gates protect the New Jerusalem? Or why are the gates and walls there or needed?

3.  Does God use our trials to discipline us?

4.  Can a true Christian be led astray from the faith?

5.  How do I know if I truly believe in Jesus?

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This is core Christianity were answering your questions about the Christian life Monday through Friday. Your hosts are author and seminary professor Dr. Michael Horton and pastor atrial Sanchez call right now with your question. At 1833. The core that's 1-833-843-2673 and now here's atrial Sanchez.

Welcome back to the core.

I pastor a drill Sanchez and by my friend Prof. Michael Horton and Leo drew answering your questions about the Bible you give us a call if it is an email and we love talk about the word diving deep into the Scriptures. What you say are the top five global problems facing us today. According to Barna, 54% of practicing Christians say it's my guess it is Mike. Global problem top global problem. The Christian say is the triannual problem. I would like to think the problem being reconciled, a holy God. I know well corruption. I guess we might be able to say and in some sense. Maybe our own corruption and Artie for Sally Bettinger thinking more of other little corruption other direction you followed by extreme poverty, racism, pollution, hunger, and famines.

Pretty interesting. Among those who don't describe themselves as having faith its global climate change, pollution, corruption, extreme poverty and racism. So if are similar there by corruption, especially within the church was one of the one of the driving forces behind the Protestant Reformation was a man running wanted to reform the church and get back to the teaching of the word yeah it reminds us that we can have the same aspirations, non-Christians and Christians. We also have the same sins and just because you're part of the church doesn't mean that you escape the temptations and actual corruptions and sins of the world the flesh and the devil. That's why we need each other. We need to bind together as brothers and sisters and go back to the Scriptures, and be renewed day by day so that when those times come where the church is just especially filled with man-made religion and practices and doctrines we can kind of clean house a little bit nuts with the Reformation was elected to the Scriptures. Now the call that we received from Deborah Deborah from unburied Hampshire, about you are why not say it go to a judgment that is always been me.

Why does the person I thought they create lot that it would be saved and not be great, thank you very much. Thank you Deborah, this is really important practical question that I know we ask, we come to passages as we do, you know, Matthew 25, for example, or in the book of Revelation where we read about rewards and one of the passages people often go to to sale. This is a passage about rewards on the last day for all believers is first Corinthians 3 verses 10 through 15 according to the grace of God given to me.

Paul says, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation in someone else's building on it. Let each one take care how he builds on it, for no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones would Hayes draw each one's work will become manifest for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone is built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Now some church traditions have interpreted this as talk about purgatory. People are going to go through varying degrees of punishment in Purgatory is not hell but it's purgatory in order to sort of pay up, as it were for what they have done and they will turn first Corinthians 3 for that other Christians under princes church.

As I grew up and said will you will be saved but cinched the all you'll you'll go through this judgment for rewards and you may find this situation so terrible that basically all of your good works are burned up except for a few that's not what Paul is teaching here at all. Notice the context we always say that on the program.

Always back up get a wide enough angle on a passage not as diverse a passage to understand the context Paul here is talking about the ministry of the word.

He's talking about the ministry given to him as an apostle who is laying a foundation. Now he never tells Timothy. You know the first ordinary minister, not an apostle, he never tells Timothy help me lay a foundation.

The apostles were laying the foundation which is Jesus Christ.

Jesus had personally authorized the apostles to speak in his name. Now you had some people in the church of Corinth, who were called super apostles by Paul.

Paul did not use that term as a term of endearment he was mocking them saying you let these super apostles. In other words, they were thinking they were better than the apostles. They knew more than the apostles and pulsing well will see will see there are some people who build on the foundation that the apostles have lightning, namely, the revelation of Jesus Christ. And then there are others who say their ministers but they pretend to be laying another foundation.

Maybe they say all I have another revelation I had a dream. Jesus told me this. So what Polly told you the update about Mormonism today. Islam even more people you see on TV you know people who who may say that there Christians and yet they lead people away from the word of God, particularly the proclamation of Jesus Christ and they build their own ministry their own empire on their own teachings in their own personality. Will Paul says one day. Even those who really are Christians are going to watch their entire ministry go up in flames tested by this one question was Christ truly and faithfully and consistently proclaimed, if not to the extent that he wasn't to the extent that they built their own foundation. To that extent, the watch their whole ministry go up in flames and I'm afraid that that is a passage that we need to preach probably more today than in any any other. But Paul is saying, you can be a genuine Christian and yet not be faithful in your preaching something your heretic, but you just haven't really built on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

And when that day comes of judgment that work will be burned up and even though that minister himself will be saved.

His ministry will go up in smoke and I Deborah it's it's really a sobering text for pastors like myself and for you and you think about the judgment at a I think that both Mike and I would say meet one of the beautiful things about a doctrine that we often talk about on this program the doctrine of justification is that we've already passed from death to life, declared righteous been declared righteous. John talks about this in his gospel reverently Romans 81 there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. But on top of no condemnation were also going to receive rewards for the good works that we've done.

It's not that you know were going to go to purgatory or be punished for the failures but were going to receive good works on top of the grace that he's given us. And by the way, those good works that we've done are not our contribution that even the work of God's grace within us as well.

So God is really crowning his own gifts when he gives those rewards, I give one illustration here.

I often think of Corrie 10 boom some of our listeners will remember Corrie 10 boom. Her family had Jews during the Holocaust in the Netherlands just want to ministry that she had this grandma caulk around the world proclaiming Christ in her own way. Based on what she went through in her faithfulness during a time of real testing is going to be enormous. I'm in a stand up on the table in that holiday in banquet hall when their awards are given out by Jesus himself.

I'm in a stand on the table and shout top of my lungs when she gets her ward. You know that's what it's gonna be like that award ceremony is good to be grand and glorious and you know what I'm probably gonna get one of those Lola you know participant, I'm in. I will applaud when people like Corrie 10 boom dear sisters and brothers in the Lord who fought valiantly and really in times of testing came out as pure gold. I'm in a just cheer. This should be a wonderfully comforting and encouraging doctrine because everybody who is justify every believer has the same status before God in Jesus Christ declared righteous, no condemnation. The rewards are just the cherry on top of the Sunday amen Deborah, thank you for that question. Laura less than email in the new Jerusalem is described in Revelation walls and gates are surrounding the city as all evil have been eradicated by that time and God's perfect creation rains, then from what do the walls and gates protect the new Jerusalem or wire the gates and walls there or needed really good question. We would get into the book of Revelation and so here are a lot of mysterious things about this book we have to remember that revelation is apocalyptic literature throughout the book you have fascinating imagery that is meant to communicate something important to you, the reader, for example, I was just sharing with my congregation that beautiful image of Jesus in Revelation 5 is depicted as a lamb having seven horns know was that all about well in Scripture seven is the number of perfection or completion, and the horn was a symbol of strength to think about that powerful paradox at the vision of John gives us that he communicates to us. Jesus is like a slain lamb. And yet, in that he's completely and perfectly powerful. That's how he's victorious that that we have so all power all strength is not an animal with a bunch of horns exactly yeah to the walls of the new Jerusalem, whether they communicate while in one sense they're communicating a clear demarcation between the righteous and the wicked. Revelation 2127 says this nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life that you go ahead a little bit further to Revelation 2214 and 15.

Blessed are those who wash their robes so that they may have the right to the tree of life. They may enter the city by the gates outside the words on the other side of the walls are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood of the walls tell us that there are some people who are in and some people who are out and I think that that's an important point in our culture today because a lot of people outside of the tradition of assume everybody's going if there is a heaven. Everybody's going to be there tougher maybe Hitler except for maybe Hitler. Well, that's not what Revelation is telling us here and the important thing for you to know is what distinguishes the people who are in and the people who are out. It's not that the people who are in a perfectly righteous their robes were stained as well.

What distinguishes them is that those who enter in, have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb and so I think with the imagery is giving us here in the book of Revelation is pointing us to is this is the reality that were only and we make into the city through the blood of Jesus Christ and boy, that's good news. Yeah, absolutely.

They washed their robes.

The rope out of the robes become white by being dipped in the blood of the land he amuses me again what what you have. The lamb with seven horns that slain in this idea of washed white in blood to interpret and apocalyptic book like Revelation, you really have to understand other apocalyptic books in the Bible, especially the book of Daniel, but then also the minor prophets where you get this imagery and all the symbolism.

Without that we can aerate it and say this is this is the strangest thing that I've ever read my life you listening to the core and we are answering your questions about the fate if you question about the book of Revelation, or any other book of the Bible. We want to talk with you. Give us a call.

The number is 1-833-843-2673.

That's 1833 the court by way make sure you find us on Facebook.

We even have a YouTube channel. We upload helpful clips from the program here talking about your questions about the faith email us at questions at core, We will let you know about a special offer that we have for you today. We do we are really excited to share brand-new Bible study.

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Right now all of the encouragement were getting on this new Bible study.

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A great way to learn about the life and ministry of Jesus with a group of friends or by yourself. And we been getting really amazing feedback from folks are using the study. Right now it's available as a PDF download or you can request a physical copy and there's also a leaders guide to go with it. So head on over to court, to get your copy of our new Bible study on the gospel of John.

It is really a great study to go through x-ray can give us a call as well at 1-833-843-2673 to get your hands on that Bible study and this might be a good resource to send your pastor or small group leaders in planning the next Bible study for your church. Absolutely wonderful, so use it for devotions to with your family and of the kids are old enough yet really rich study. Thanks Mike have an email here from Laura and someone 1971 it says it is good for me that I was afflicted that I might learn your statutes.

I have two questions. Does this mean that God uses trials and pain to discipline us and it does God discipline us for past sins or only present sins while yes to both Laura God does use trials to draw us closer to himself and sometimes uses them as disciplines to correct us as any good father does discipline the children he loves. But we can't know in any given trial. What exactly God is up to. We can only know what he tells us Romans 828 reminds us that God works all things together for good for his people. He doesn't say all things are good or that trials are always disciplinary. Sometimes it just the result of living in a fallen world.

But God still has a purpose, even for that. So, God weaves even the darker threads of our life into a beautiful tapestry even takes our sins and twist them around into something that he can actually use to our profit.

So the main thing here is that were looking forward ultimately to our salvation.

That's the ultimate good toward which God works all things according to his purpose. A lot of things that happen to us, like sickness, disease, prolonged battles of various kinds are really just the result of living in a fallen world.

But it's so comforting to know that these are not random accidents. God never allows any trial in our life that he hasn't already figured out how to turn to our ultimate salvation.

So, two major takeaways here. Laura first, God has a purpose for every trial that comes your way and he's gonna make sure that somehow it serves your salvation and to neither you nor anybody else can figure out what that purpose is in the moment and maybe never isn't good to know that we have a father who is powerful enough to control every circumstance in our lives, and good enough to turn even tragedies into triumphs of his grace, and I'd love to close that answer with a passage that comes to mind from Romans five, the first five verses.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. That's the big one that settled through him.

We also have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us God's love you. It's so interesting that you would that TechStep without thinking about this subject of discipline. It's really easy for us to as we consider discipline to think this is God upset and angry with what I do, yeah, but Scripture always ties the discipline of the Lord to his love. I think about Hebrews 12 where it says my son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when you are reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves that I did want to ask just a quick follow-up question though.

It's sort of jarring when we think about trials and even sin being used for good. How does God use our sin for good. Well, again, it doesn't mean that sin is good.

James reminds us that God never tempts anyone to sin, but we do pray in the Lord's prayer. Lead us not into temptation because the Lord does put us in position sometimes where he tests us where you know he takes us to the gym for a workout. He does not cause us to sin. But in his wise purposes. He allows us to walk into rooms that tests are metal is so to speak.

In those moments, God often purposes.

Humility. You know sometimes we get on our high horse about how holy we are about how we have victory or how you know and God will allow us okay fine getting cocky here. This is what you would do without me and we fall not for one moment could I stand unless I could pray father leave me not into temptation but deliver me from evil yeah, thank you for that question. There's an email question we received from Elizabeth can true believers be deceived and led astray. Will this happen in the tribulation. Elizabeth true believers can't be so led astray that they finally abandon Christ that puts it all on us as if we could stand for one moment unless Christ were constantly interceding for us and the spirit had united us to him, indwelling us as the security deposit on our final redemption. There's that marvelous promise and fit Philippians 16. I am convinced of this, that he who began a good work and you will complete it to the day of Christ Jesus. The key is God finishes what he starts.

It's I'm not the one who started it. He did and he will finish it in Mark 13 Jesus speaks of the tribulation that will come to the church until he returns their tribulations that involve persecution from without and heresies from within. Verses 19 to 23 Mark 13 for in those days there will be such tribulation is has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now and never will be. And if the Lord had not cut short the days no human being would be saved but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose. He shortened the days. And then if anyone says you look, here is the Christ, or look, there he is, do not believe it. For false Christ's and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible.

The elect be on your guard. I have told you all things before hand. Notice here, Jesus says that the days of persecution will be shortened for the sake of the elect and that the widespread apostasy of professing Christians will lead all but the elect astray so you have both mentioned here persecution from without and heresy from within. Paul also said in the second Timothy 219. But God's firm foundation stands bearing the seal, the Lord knows those who are his. So on one hand, Jesus says when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth. Luke 18. Eight but on the other hand, he promises, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. My sheep hear my voice, and they will never perish, his chosen. He will bring to the safe harbor of his eternal home.

There will be none lost really comforting words Mike you just said no one who truly believes in Jesus is in a be led astray. What about the person listening right now is asking how do I know I truly believe in Jesus. See that's the thing we always bring it back to us look to Christ not to you how firmly am I really holding on to Jesus and Jesus is holding on to you. Do you believe that if your answer is yes, you believe in Christ. Fix your eyes on him and not on your faith. We are going to stumble. Christians can be led astray in doctrine and in life. Every moment we will be led astray were it not for the intercession of Christ at the father's right hand in the indwelling Holy Spirit that would be normal for us prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the one I love, but our confidence is that even though sometimes he does allow us to wonder and realize that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Sometimes we need that he will always bring us back. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit and click on offers in the menu for or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33, the court when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time.

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