Two Sons 6
Two Sons 6
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. (John 15:9)
The Christian who is not bearing the fruit of good works will be cut out of the Vine by the Father.
Something has gone wrong with the Gospel of the Kingdom. The results of the error can be seen in Christianity's loss of testimony—loss of the only testimony that glorifies God, which is the testimony of good works.
Is the Kingdom of God primarily a set of doctrines that brings us exemption from the eternal moral laws of God—from the Kingdom law of sowing and reaping? We do not think so.
Is the Christian Church actually a favored group of Gentiles who, because of their statement of belief in the facts of the atonement and resurrection, are released from the rules that govern all other men? Are these people destined to be whisked away to do nothing in Heaven forever, while a Jewish Kingdom of God proceeds to establish righteousness and praise among the nations of the earth? We do not believe such to be the case.
How shall God respond to His two sons?
God answered the first son and said, "My son, My son, how I rejoiced over you in My love! You were quick to receive correction. You employed your time wisely and well. Your sins were those of ignorance, and through My grace you outgrew them. When you stumbled and fell you repented, confessed your sins, and with My assistance took up your cross and marched forward.
"I noted very carefully and was deeply gratified when you made those extremely difficult decisions. I saw you give up the desires of your soul to the point of death. This is the kind of sacrifice I accept—the sacrifice that is selfless, being as a whole burnt offering to the Lord.
"Indeed, you did set aside your own life. At times your cross was heavy and cruel but you guarded and observed the precious words of My beloved Son. You did what He said to do. You followed Him every mile of the way as He revealed Himself (and Me) to you.
"I was with you in your prayers. I opened the Scriptures to you. I gave you a love for the saints, and a breadth of soul so you were able to overlook their shortcomings as I overlook their shortcomings (and your shortcomings).
"You were loyal to your wife, your family, and your friends. Now you have their love and respect—that which could not be purchased with a king's treasure.
"Although some have wounded you, you have found the virtue needed to forgive them, through the body and blood of My Son.
"You have been diligent and conscientious in the ministry Christ has given to you and have placed the work of the Kingdom ahead of your own interests. As a result, a multitude of people have been helped and strengthened in their attempts to find God. You have no idea how many have been blessed, for the influence of one righteous person spreads across humanity as the waves across the ocean. The Body of Christ is nearer to My standard of perfection because of your faithfulness.
"No person on the earth or in Heaven can speak against you. I am He who justifies you. You have kept your relationships with people holy to the best of your ability, always looking to Me for guidance and strength.
"I know you stand ready to do My will by My grace because your life has trained you to do that. I now am ready to reveal to you the pleasure of a grateful Father and God."
Then the Father spoke a powerful word. Before the astonished view of His son there opened up a scene of wonder and glory. He gazed on the glorious and huge kingdom being given to him—that already had become part of his personality although he did not realize it until now. He saw many people whom he knew. (I cannot speak further of his reward because it belongs to another age.)
To be continued.Two Sons 7