The Planks of the Faith: Remembering for Re-Membering, Part 28
Thank you to each and every one of you faithful “marathoners in Christ running the good race” (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:3; Galatians 5:7; 2 Timothy 2:3-5) for staying strong as we’ve been reminded, discovered for the firs time, grown in wisdom, celebrated God’s revelation, and passed along many blessings to others by means of the 28 parts of “The Planks of the Faith: Remembering for Re-Membering”!
Before we look at our final and monumental Plank of the Faith, Article 37: The Last Judgment, please consider three things:
1) It’s well worth remembering that The Training Table serves to support the overall mission of Feast of the Heart: Reformation… we seek to abide by and serve up the true truth of the Bible. Revival… we seek to model biblical Christians living in word and deed. Constructive Revolution… we seek to spread the true gospel right where God has planted us with urgency, compassion, and radical self-abandonment.
It is my heart of the heart mission and passion to try and root, nourish, and flourish these worthy ideas wherever I am planted—until I stand face-to-face with Jesus. There’s nothing more joyous than living a purpose-driven life!
2) The concept and faithful execution of “Remembering for Re-Membering” is foundational for how, and if, the church (or any organization) will seek to recall the glory of its story, its foundations, in order to humbly yet boldly create more and more unity, mission, and urgency—by the patient yet intentional remembering the foundations of Bible faith… for the re-membering of the global and local church.
There is no more important time to keep this in mind as when any such organization, as the Western church in particular, has been so utterly dismembered and disunified in a host of ways.
Because the redeemed have not yet been perfected and are in fact a forgetful lot, “Remembering for Re-Membering” is not only a core responsibly of leadership, but is just as much in need of stewardship and tending as an orchard of trees bearing deliciously sweet fruit:
Fruitfulness in any form does not occur by happenstance or least of all by distraction or neglect, but rather the devoted care of those who unswervingly yet repentantly love God, His people, and His plan of redemption.
3) Article 37: The Last Judgment is the perfect bookend to the very first Plank of the Faith we began with a while back, Article 1: The Only God. Please bless your heart (core beliefs), spirit (emotions), and faith walk (in word and deed) by reading and meditating on the bountiful truths offered therein.
Article 1: The Only God
“We all believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that there is a single and simple spiritual being, whom we call God — eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; completely wise, just, and good, and the overflowing source of all good.”
Please note the very first word in The Last Judgment below as a reminder that there is no “final finally” until Jesus returns.
Until then, each member of T(t)he C(c)hurch (Christ’s Supernatural Body, and a local church community of Believers) should be enthralled by Jesus, and His mission to and through us, to the point of deepest gratitude, costly sacrifice, joy-filled service, redemptive light and salt!
There is only one way for any human being past, present, and future, to forsake, to forfeit, such a great salvation: “And everyone that says a word against the Son of Man, that will be forgiven; But he that blasphemes against The Holy Spirit will not be forgiven” (Matthew 12:31-32; Luke 12:10).
God can forgive ANY sin in Christ by the Holy Spirit, but cannot forgive ANY sin without Christ devoid of the Holy Spirit.
If anyone believes this Bible-based Way, Truth, and Life to be too narrow a gate, please remember God is not compelled or obliged in any way to offer any way of salvation at all. Praise Him that He has made a Way, Truth, and Life in the most infinite, intimate, sacrificial, and most “free-by-grace and yet most-costly-ever” manner of all: His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
“If there is any beloved heart and soul here who has not yet embraced Christ, may this be the day that they do that, the day that they open their life to Him, confessing Him as Lord. Father, we pray that no one will turn their back on Him.
Thank You that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose for us, that He wants to forgive our sin and save us as we come in repentance to Him. God, we pray that You will work a repentive work in the hearts of all who need Christ. Bring to the prayer room all those that You would have to come.
Thank You God for the clear word of Scripture to us, and for Your great heart of forgiveness, that when any sinner comes, desiring to repent and confess, You’ll receive that sinner no matter what the sin. Receive sinners today, Lord, and thank You for continuing to cleanse us who believe.” (John McArthur)
The Planks of the Faith: Article 37: The Last Judgment
“Finally we believe, according to God’s Word, that when the time appointed by the Lord is come (which is unknown to all creatures) and the number of the elect (saved believers) is complete, our Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven, bodily and visibly, as He ascended, with great glory and majesty, to declare Himself the judge of the living and the dead. He will burn this old world, in fire and flame, in order to cleanse it.
Then all human creatures will appear in person before the great judge—men, women, and children, who have lived from the beginning until the end of the world.
They will be summoned there by the voice of the archangel and by the sound of the divine trumpet. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
For all those who died before that time will be raised from the earth, their spirits being joined and united with their own bodies in which they lived. And as for those who are still alive, they will not die like the others but will be changed ‘in the twinkling of an eye’ from ‘corruptible to incorruptible.’ (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
Then ‘the books’ (that is, the consciences) will be opened, and the dead will be judged according to the things they did in the world, (Revelations 20:12) whether good or evil.
Indeed, all people will give account of all the idle words they have spoken, (Matthew 12:36) which the world regards as only playing games. And then the secrets and hypocrisies of men will be publicly uncovered in the sight of all.
Therefore, with good reason, the thought of this judgment is horrible and dreadful to wicked and evil people. But it is very pleasant and a great comfort to the righteous and elect, since their total redemption will then be accomplished. They will then receive the fruits of their labor and of the trouble they have suffered; their innocence will be openly recognized by all; and they will see the terrible vengeance that God will bring on the evil ones who tyrannized, oppressed, and tormented them in this world.
The evil ones will be convicted by the witness of their own consciences, and shall be made immortal—but only to be tormented in the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:14)
In contrast, the faithful and elect will be crowned with glory and honor. The Son of God will ‘confess their names’ (Matthew 10:32) before God His Father and the holy and elect angels; all tears will be ‘wiped from their eyes’; (Rev. 7:17) and their cause—at present condemned as heretical and evil by many judges and civil officers—will be acknowledged as the ‘cause of the Son of God.’
And as a gracious reward the Lord will make them possess a glory in heaven such as the heart of man could never imagine.
So we look forward to that great day with longing in order to enjoy fully the promises of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Article 37, The Belgic Confession of Faith, 1561)
I’ll see all of you awesome marathoners for Christ at The Training Table next week when we’ll partake in a most sumptuous menu, “The Roles and Goals Christians Inherit from Christ”.