Robert C. Oliver
Let us begin with some Bible facts. These are truths found in God’s word and are therefore not open for debate. God’s word is truth (John 17:17) and it is the truth that will set one free (John 8:32). Mere man has neither the right nor authority to change God’s word in any way (Deut. 4:2; Gal. 1:8-9). Now, note the following facts.
First, God has all authority. He is the creator (Gen. 1:1: Rom. 9:20-21). He has given authority to His Son (Matt. 17:5; Matt. 28:18; Heb. 1:1-2). Jesus has used Holy Spirit inspired men to pen the authoritative word of the Lord (John 14:26; 16:12-13; I Cor. 2:9-13). Therefore, the scriptures are our authority today (I Cor. 14:37; II Tim. 3:16-17).
Secondly, man is guilty of sin. Sin is the transgression of God’s word (I John 3:4). All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Sin separates man from God (Isa. 59:1-2; I Pet. 3:12). Therefore, man must be reconciled to God in order to have a home in heaven.
Thirdly, man must do what God says in order to be reconciled. What may seem right in our own eyes is likely to be nothing more than the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12). Our thoughts are not God’s thoughts and our ways are not God’s ways (Isa. 55:8-9). God has always required that one hear the truth, believe the truth and obey the truth in order to be pleasing in His sight. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).
Fourthly, most people will be lost. Yes, this is a fact that cannot be disputed. Jesus said, “…wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). One may find this hard to accept, but it is a fact nevertheless. One may simply go through the Bible and see for themselves this truth in action. It has always been the minority that faithfully followed God.
Fifthly, there will be a great day of judgment. Paul preached, “Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). Jesus said that “before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd devidedth his sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:32). Every one of us shall stand before that judgment seat and give account of ourselves to God (Rom. 14:10-12). “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). It is an appointment that must be kept. We will be judged that day according to what we have done now, in this life. Paul said that “every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Cor. 5:10). In his wisdom, Solomon wrote, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secrete thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecc. 12:14).
All these things are simply facts. Some may deny them, but they are facts nevertheless. They are the words of God and God cannot lie! This being the case, the question arises, what will you say when you stand before the judgment seat of Christ? What can you say?
It may be that you are of the number that have never even attempted to serve God. What will you say on that day? Some seem to think that in the end, God will be so gracious that He will save all, but God’s word teaches otherwise and remember, God cannot lie.
Many others seek to serve the Lord, but instead of serving Him according to His instructions, they go about it in their own way. They may well be ignorant of God’s way as were Paul’s fellow Jews of whom he said, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:2-3). Ignorance was no excuse for them; for Paul pointed out that it was his desire and prayer that they would be saved, showing that they were lost. Jesus also spoke of some who would say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:22-23).
Actually, it will not matter what you say on that day when you stand before the judgment seat of Christ. There will be no appeals, there will only be final judgment based upon your obedience or lack thereof.
(Editor’s note: Send any questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org)