My sister was arrested this week for two felonies. All week I have grappled with how I am going to approach the very difficult phone call I need to make to her.
I thought quite a bit about the stupidity of her actions and the evil behind them. Of course, you know where that led my Christian heart, right back to my own. I can’t cast a stone, in the past I’ve done similar things and was lucky enough not to have been caught. Which made me start wondering if I really got away with it. Of course God knows my sin, I didn’t get away with it in that sense. I have confessed the old and try to keep a short account of the new, repented of the whole lot, and I am fully convinced I am forgiven. Condemnation for it is removed from me because of the sacrifice of Christ and my sin is removed from me as far as the East is from the West. Because of my repentant faith in Him, I am unquestionably forgiven.
My sister’s arrest was in the news. Her alleged wrong doing is common knowledge if you happen to live where she does. My dirty laundry never made it to the papers or the local TV news. So in that sense, did I get away with it? Will it never be brought up again? Will I get through eternity without anyone but God and I seeing the real me?
David, you’re worse than I thought.
David acted like a big cad in the whole Bathsheba story, no news flash there. The Biblical ‘papers’ detailed all the trash there is to know-right?
I was reading 2 Samuel 23 when I noticed something new to me. That always amazes me although I don’t know why it would anymore.
I knew you were messed up, but, wow, not that much.
If people only knew. If people only knew what was really in my heart. If they knew the depth of my sin they would judge me, they would have to. It’s that ugly. Someday, they will know. Or will they?
After scouring the Bible, books and articles, I believe you will eventually know everything there is to know about me someday. As glorious as it will be to stand in front of Christ accepted and forgiven, there will be that naked part I need to endure. There will be a moment when I stand before all of creation, both earthly and heavenly, and be revealed.
Not to humiliate me. No. The purpose won’t even be to expose me. Really, it will be about exposing Him.
There is a current thought circulating in my circles that goes something like this: because I am forgiven, God removes my sins entirely and will not bring them up again. Since the judgement of my sin has already been pronounced and remedied in Christ the issue is over. Due to that, the Christian will not be present for the Great White Throne Judgement but only before the Bema Seat of Christ where Christ will weigh each believer’s works and burn up all that was not done through the Spirit. My sin will not be exposed because the believer can’t be held liable for that anymore because of Christ. The emphasis is on which works will stand the test. The idea is that our sins will never be brought up again, indeed, CAN’T be brought up again.
It is with great trepidation that I say I see something entirely different happening. I deeply respect (even admire) some of the people I am about to disagree with. However, I believe we will have to give an account for every word, deed and motive even though we have been forgiven of all that is unseemly, past, present or future. I believe each Christian will be fully exposed.
In Matthew 25 Jesus describes what will happen when he divides the sheep from the goats. This whole process tells me that at some point all of mankind will be assembled together, saved and unsaved. How will He separate them? By going through their works (Ps 90:8; Ecc 12:14; Lk 12:2). This ferreting happens I believe, before the Great White Throne Judgement (Revelation 20) and it is not a private conference. In Rev. 20:12, the dead, great and small stand before Him and the books are opened. Each man’s deeds are exposed. There is also another book opened, the Book of Life.
After giving an account of one’s deeds, the moment of decision comes. Will one go to the left or to the right? “If anyone’s name was not found in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15 cf. Mt. 25:46) If one is found in Christ, the punishment has been paid, their sins are not counted against them, they are not condemned. They exit stage RIGHT. Their sins are forgiven. Those who are sent left (Mt 25), are sent there because their name was not found in the Book of Life (Rev 20:14). I can’t say for sure, but I think the last book to be looked at in each instance will be the Book of Life.
In honesty, when the Bema seat judgement happens still confuses me. Do we go through the whole process again? Is the Bema seat reference necessarily a separate occurrence? Not sure….sorry folks, you stumbled upon a not-all-knowing saint.
So back to David. We all know he took another man’s wife, tried to cover it up and that led to Urriah’s murder. What I never realized before was that Urriah was one of David’s BFF’s, he was one of the Thirty Mighty Men, his Round Table. (2 Samuel 23:39) I think I never realized that before because it required reading a list of names which, gets old, so I, like you, tend to skip it.
The list of the 30 Mighty Men (actually 37) goes on and on and then the last one is Urriah. I’m pretty sure he was placed last on this list to get our attention, kind of a sigh. Here’s all of the exploits of these great men, this and that, name after name and then of course, the end, Urriah, you remember what happened with him. “Et tu Brute?”
I thought I knew David pretty well. I guess I didn’t. I probably still don’t and when it is his turn to face the crowd I’ll probably learn more. When I hear his failings I know I won’t have that curious ear, eager to hear the dirt, I’ll have the praise of God in my heart for God will be exposing Himself. And this you forgave! And yes, Lord, this too! You are an amazing God!