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Latest revision as of 23:02, 13 August 2019

Diversity of Destinies 3

Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. (Revelation 22:12—NIV)

It is not true that if we are saved we therefore will inherit the fullness of the Glory of God's kings and priests. It is not true that the destinies of all the saved are so similar there is not much point in examining the issue.

The doctrine that the destinies of the saved are similar has had at least two damaging effects on the believers:

The scriptural motive for running the victorious race, which is the gaining of the rewards of rulership and opportunities for eternal service, has been greatly weakened.

It confuses the simple, direct interpretation of passages of the Scriptures.

Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)

"Shall be called the least in the kingdom." "Shall be called great in the kingdom."

The differences in the destinies of people as they pass from this earth may prove to be much greater than the differences in their characters and the roles they played on the earth.

It appears there is an assumption underlying the popular Christian doctrine of salvation. It is that physical death will change what we are, bringing us from the spiritual condition we are in at present to a state of glory and blessedness. As a natural consequence we shall receive, when the Lord comes, a body like that of the glorified Jesus.

It is taught that if we "accept Jesus" we will be made like Him when we die, and go to live for eternity in a land where there is no more opportunity for sin against God. The sin question is settled by physical death. Deliverance from the bondage of sin comes through physical death. The "last enemy," physical death, has become our redeemer.

Yet there is no evidence in the Scriptures that any spiritual improvement will take place in us as a consequence of, or at the time of, our physical death. The position of the Scripture is that every individual will be rewarded in the Day of Judgment according to his behavior on the earth. The Scriptures are almost silent concerning the period of time between our physical death and the appearing of Christ in the clouds.

The assumption is that what we are in personality we are. There is no basis in Scripture for believing physical death will change what we are. When we awake in the Day of Judgment we will be unchanged in personality. In fact, what we have become during our lifetime on the earth will be revealed in that day.

The testimony of Christians who have been given insight into the spirit realm, into life after death, is that we experience no change when we die other than the relief of being shed of our earth-bound body.

To be continued. Diversity of Destinies 4