Judging and Judgment
The Second Coming of Christ by Dave Brown
Are You Ready? by Bryan Gibson
Judging Those who are "Outside" by Bryan Gibson
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The Second Coming of Christ
by Dave Brown
One sure sign of false teachers is that they start with some of the most difficult passages in the bible and play on the ignorance of their students. (Please be watching for this ploy.) Then, once they have their students convinced, they twist simple passages on the same subject to mean things that are not at all reasonable. One overriding rule of biblical exegesis is to allow simple passages to interpret the meaning of the more complicated, not vice versa. And, never allow the possible meaning of a complex passage to dictate an unreasonable interpretation of a simple passage. Click here for an article on the milk and the meat of God’s word.
This approach is definitely applied when it comes to the attempts to justify the many false doctrines surrounding the second coming of Christ. One of their favorite passages in this regard is Revelation 20. This is a very difficult passage, and it is not our objective to discuss it here. Click here if you are interested in seeing a commentary on Revelation 20. In any event, please read Revelation 20 over, and see if you can find any reference to its even mentioning the second coming of Christ. There is nothing in the passage that definitively states that this is the subject. Click here for a commentary on Revelation 20.
On the contrary, there are many very simple passages that quite clearly describe Jesus’ second coming. Here are a few of them:
- John 14:3: “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
- Acts 1:11: “… Jesus … shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
- 1 Cor. 15:23-24: “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
- 2 Peter 3:10: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
We urge you to read the context of these verses. They are crystal clear and quite definitive. Ask yourself: where are all of the details of the doctrine of “the rapture?” Then consider 2 John 9: “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.”
Click here for a more comprehensive article on end times.
Are You Ready?
by Bryan Gibson
Most of us understand the importance of being ready, of being prepared. In the workplace, if one is not ready to do his job, he’s going to be in trouble with the boss. In school, if a student is not ready to work hard, he’s going to fall behind in his grades. If the players on a ball team are not ready to play, they’re probably going to get beat. Doesn’t the same principle apply to our service to God? 2 Corinthians 8:19 speaks of those who had a “ready mind.” Is that what we have? If we’re not ready, if we’re not prepared to do the things that please Him, then the consequences will be far more serious. Take the following test to see just how ready you are.
1. Are you ready to receive God’s word? “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
2. Are you ready for every good work? “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work” (Titus 3:1).
3. Are you ready to give, to share the material things you have? “Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:18).
4. Are you ready to sacrifice for the Lord, even your own life if necessary? “Then Paul answered, ‘What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus’” (Acts 21:13).
5. Are you ready to give a defense, a reason for the hope that is in you? “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
6. Are you ready to teach others the word of God? “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).
7. Are you ready for the Lord’s return? “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Luke 12:40).
Judging Those Who Are “Outside”
by Bryan Gibson
“For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13).
The word “judging” and other forms of the word can have a variety of meanings, depending on the context. So how is it used in the above passage? When Paul asks the question, “What have I do with judging those also who are outside?” what kind of judging was he talking about?
A careful reading of the entire chapter reveals that Paul, by inspiration, is writing about church discipline (v. 4) of unruly members—that we should withdraw ourselves, or not keep company with any brother who continues in sin (v. 11). In fact, in the church at Corinth, there was a particular member who needed such action (vv. 1-8). Paul had written to them previously on this matter (v. 9), but evidently some had misunderstood. To clear things up, Paul tells them plainly that he did not mean that we should take this action toward the sinful people of this world. If we did this, and did so consistently, we would “need to go out of the world” (v. 10). So when Paul concludes the chapter with the comments about not judging those who are outside, is he not talking about this particular kind of judgment, that is, church discipline?
We do know this for sure. These two verses cannot contradict other passages. Consider Romans 1:18-32, where Paul at least in one sense of the word “judges” the Gentile world. He goes into great detail about their sins, and then says that those who practice such things are deserving of death. Consider also the sermons addressed to “outsiders” in the Book of Acts (chs. 2, 3, 7, 17, etc.). Several things stand out when you put all these examples together. In dealing with those outside, we should clearly point out where they are wrong, warn them of the dire consequences, and above all, show them exactly what they need to do to be saved from both the guilt and the consequences of their sins. The very fact that God will judge these people (1 Cor. 5:13) should motivate us to do something before they fall into His hands.
Yes, there are dangers involved in this work. We can get so caught up in pointing out the sins of others that we forget about our own. After all, we’re subject to the same standard of God’s word that they are. We must address the sins of those who are “outside,” but those who are lacking in either humility or sincerity should leave the work to others.
Click here for a more comprehensive article on judging.
Adapted from an article by David Sain
On graduation night, a father asked, “Son, what are your plans?”
The boy answered, “Dad, you know that I’m going to college.”
The dad said, “That’s right, but what then?” The boy replied, “Well, I want to get a good job, and hopefully get married.”
The dad said, “That’s fine, but what then?” The boy answered, “I want to have kids.
“Great,” the dad said, “but what then?”
“Well, when I’ve put in enough years on the job, I’ll retire,” the son said.
The father nodded his approval and said, “That’s good, but what then?”
The boy said, “Well...uh...I don’t know...I guess I’ll get old and die.”
The dad said, “That’s right, when then?”
The boy dropped his head, realizing that he had plans for life on earth, but no plans for the life beyond.
Think about this: Of all of the answers that the boy gave, this is only one of them that responds to an event that is inevitable.
The Bible teaches that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). What then?
What are the conditions of salvation given by Jesus?
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