Restart has taught Spiritual Warfare against the Fruit of the Spirit for over 12 weeks. So What of it? We examined each of the Nine powerful segments of the Unified Fruit of the Most High God. We sought knowledge together and discovered it wise for each to examine themself; pausing long enough to look close. Those on the Jesus Path hold certain that Christ and He alone is the beginning and end of all wisdom and power. Therefore all meaningful self-assessment must be viewed through the lens of Christ. Only in this way are we directly faced with the consequences of our depravity and shame – that the Son of God would be executed to account for our self-indulgences. All the stuff we did in secret; or so we thought.
- For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light – Luke 8:17
- Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops – Luke 12:3
Make no mistake all your ongoing crud is being accounted for – even today; the stuff you do in secret. But as I will soon emphasize; once again the King of Glory stands for us and records the good as well. . It is all recorded. HOW ELSE to assure the final purity of complete Communion with God? The last of it must be tested – for ALL human beings. The Day of Accounting is Coming. A time when all will face either
- The Judgment seat of Christ or
- The Great White Throne Judgement.
To be clear, those on the Jesus Path understand they will face the Judgement Seat of Christ. This is not the fate of those who fail to respond to the Good News; to those who neglected the Presence of God shown to them; to those driven by demons into deep self-deceptions – who shook their fists at the Almighty – at the Very One who reaches out equally and cognitively to all peoples (Mash this link to Brother Peter).
It is interesting then, it is not…
…to consider the sum total of the works we accomplish in our entire lifetime. There they stand; all piled before you. Piled high and deep on a wide open place. The place is called the Bema. At the center of this expansive arena stands a throne, and upon that throne sits Jesus. Your stuff sits there. It sits there before you with the Son of God as Witness. The comes the final test; the final test is fire. Fire descending from Truth upon everything you did; every act; all of it.
the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work – 1 Corinthians 3:13
The object of setting fire to your pile of accomplishments is to burn off the crud. The stuff we liked to indulge in. That has to go. There is no self-indulgence in the Kingdom.
- Man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw – 1 Cor 3:11
The fire permits you and I to discover what remains once the terrible flash and heat of Righteous Judgement burns up what we made of ourselves. Yet even at this point, the Righteous One shows mercy.
- If any man’s work which he has built on *it* remains, he will receive a reward (*works built upon Christ the Foundation) – 1 Corinthians 3:14
This is an astounding thing. Rewards. Even though we deliberately defied the Way – doing wicked things but knowing better – even though we gorged ourselves with ourselves; He bends to examine those works left after the fire – those works where you put others first and acted like a servant. And of all things remarkable: it is Jesus who faces you with your reward. The Lord Himself will reward you for those works of lasting value; those things you did which were out of reach of moth or rust.
- Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done – Revelation 22:12
But then, of a sudden, it dawns on you. You are faced with how much of the pile was burned up. How much of the heap you spent on your own interests – on your selfish indulgences. Make no mistake, there will be tears of regret.
- If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss – 1 Cor 3:15
The screwy stuff we did has been accounted for – but we are left with the shame of them. It is at this point – the point where we stand in naked guilt – that one of the most wonderful, most powerful and unforgettable moments of our individual existence takes place…
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes – Revelation 21:4
Jesus Himself will approach and console you. He will personally touch your person; He will draw you away from the terrible letdown and into perfect harmony with Him. For the first time in your entire existence you will not be dogged by guilt or shame. All things of distress from our past will be gone. From this point forward and forever – you will only live in the present; before the Presence. As the verse above continues…
the first things have passed away…
The purpose of this instruction is not to freak you out about facing Christ with how bad your stuff has been. We all have bad stuff – and it will get burned up – and we will suffer loss from the experience. The purpose of this instruction is to lift our heads towards how we to live from this point forward. Let’s go out with our hair on fire! Let’s unite with others to serve those in our Community – to make ourselves and our communal resources available to meet needs of others. This then is our aim at Restart. Come join us! Contact Pastor Bob (Mash Here) and let’s see what we can do!
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world – James 1:27