Nan has asked me to share some thought this month about The Kingdom, Power and Glory from a pastoral point of view...
I’m Tim Tyler, one of the staff members with Nan at The King’s High Way Ministries. Providing that “pastoral point of view” is one of the things God has given me to do here.
After The Kingdom, Power & Glory was published, we began to hear some people say things like, “God would never do that!” or “I’ve never seen that before.”
This is also what people say when they hear some-thing different, or odd, or new about someone they know. The information is so contrary to the image they had of that person that they can’t quite believe the information is true.
We all need to be careful in situations like this, especially when it’s about the Lord. We have to start with the belief that we may not know as much about God as we thought we knew. Even if the new information seems to contradict the viewpoint that we held in the past, we must prayerfully look at it.
Similar comments were made when Jesus was presented as the Messiah. What He said and what He did were not at all matching up with the expectations of the Jewish leadership, and that caused much trouble. Those who believed what Jesus was saying, even though it was new to them, were the ones who benefited from His fresh insights into Scripture.
All of us need to be humble when new ideas come to us. We need to go to God, through the Scriptures, and find out what is really true. If the ideas are from the Lord and we refuse to do this, we will end up missing what He is trying to teach us, and quenching the Holy Spirit. (1 John 1:9-10)
That’s why Paul exhorts us in Acts 17:11: “to receive the Word with all readiness of mind” and then, search the Scriptures to see if these things be so.”
Is God So Harsh?
One of the most unsettling things about The Kingdom, Power & Glory book has to do with the “rewards” that Christ Jesus will either bestow or deny to each believer at the Bema Seat. It’s unsettling because the Scriptures tell us how people are going to react when they lose their reward; they will be completely undone.
This picture is in sharp contrast to what many believers think today. We have an “I can take it or leave it” kind of attitude about these rewards. We don’t really understand what it’s about.
The Apostle Paul, however, understood exactly what was at stake. In 1 Corinthians 9 and 10, he mentions the issue. The last verse in Chapter 9 shows that Paul was focused and serious about running the race and winning the prize; i.e., having the approval of Jesus. He said, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
As the Misslers’ book points out, Paul is not talking about “justification” here, but “sanctification” (staying a clean and open vessel that the Lord can use to produce “fruit”). Receiving the reward, the prize, and inheriting the coming kingdom was Paul’s goal. He was deter-mined that whatever it took, he did not want to be disqualified, or cast aside as Moses was for his disobedience when he struck the rock in Numbers 20.
Take a look at Strong’s definition of the word, “disqualified”:
G96 adokimos, ad-ok’-ee-mos. From G1 (as a negative particle) and G1384; unapproved, that is, rejected; by implication worthless (literally or morally): castaway, rejected, reprobate.
Castaway? Rejected? Paul wrote that he was after the prize, but he knew he could be rejected if he did not follow Jesus wholeheartedly. Jesus will not approve those who have continually grieved His Spirit and not repented of it. He will see their lifetime of activity as nearly worthless, and reject them as unworthy of the inheritance. They are still His; they are not lost. How-ever, they will not be considered for rewards or inheritance.
I’m writing this for those who have read The Kingdom, Power & Glory, or at least have read previous articles here by Nancy. This topic really needs serious study in order to avoid misunderstandings. If this is all new to you, it will prompt many questions. I want to en-courage you to get a copy of the book and study it. If you have questions after that, you can send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply as quickly as possible.
Most of us have assumed that after the Rapture, we will experience only God’s richest blessings. That is not correct. Scripture reveals that our God is serious and that He has much work for us to do here and in the Millennium. If we are unwilling to serve Him here and now, there will be consequences in the future.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
God is not harsh, but He is definitely serious about His people and about His purposes. We need to be as determined as Paul in order not to be rejected, dis-qualified or unworthy. 1 John 1:9 is a good place to start in order to get back in the Spirit!
Is God So Loving?
I’ve been pretty straightforward about God’s judgment of His household, the church. It’s critically important for us to keep this judgment in perspective. This is much like a good parent holding his children account-able, but still loving them with every fiber of his being. God’s Love for every believer is immense.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
It’s His Love that reached out to us when we were His enemies. That Love, along with His New Covenant, guarantees that He will never disown us, no matter what we do or fail to do.
He has given us the Holy Spirit so that we can represent Him well in this world. Whether we are living the quiet life described in 1 Thessalonians 4, or put into a place of martyrdom, or something between those two, He has equipped us to be able to display His Love to all. He has designed it that way; it is His purpose.
Jesus made this clear when He gave us the great commandments. He told us that the most important thing for us to do is to love God with all that is within us: all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). The second commandment, as well as the New Commandment, is also about love. Love is what God wants us to reflect to all we come in contact with. God is marshaling all who will follow Him to be His ambassadors. Through our words and our deeds, He wants us to display His Love to a dying world. Our mes-sage will bring them hope and peace and real life. This is Love in action.
Love is shown in a myriad of ways, but each of these “good works” must be led by the Holy Spirit. The key is that we must walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5) to accomplish all that God has for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Imagine the day that Jesus chose the Twelve. Think of one of those men waiting and wondering; will He speak my name?
When his ears heard his name called, he must have caught his breath, as his heart leapt for joy. He had been chosen to walk with Jesus and serve in His minis-try!
For three and a half years, the disciples listened, watched, questioned, and learned. They also obeyed. At the right time, they were thrust into the spotlight to serve with the power of God.
But what if they hadn’t stayed close to Him? What if they had walked in the flesh? What if they had become disobedient? Would they have been able to do what the Lord wanted when the spotlight turned onto them?
Jesus has called your name, and chosen you to walk close to Him. You are in your training period right now. After the Rapture, those who are experienced and ready will be given such a great reward that their hearts will leap and they, too, will have to catch their breath.
In contrast to that outcome, you may wonder about the saved ones who are not ready and who are not walking with the Lord here and now. God’s love ex-tends to them as well.
While they cannot do the work God has planned for them (they haven’t learned how to walk in the Spirit) God still greatly loves them. He will lead them and help them mature. He has predestined them to be “con-formed to the image of Christ.” They will not be forgot-ten (Romans 8:29).
In closing, let me ask you about God. Do you know Him well? Some of the things you have read here may have caused you some concern. If that’s the case, don’t miss this opportunity to get better acquainted with the Lord. Be a detective and investigate these new things.
The Apostle Paul will have the last word. He admonishes all of us about the prize that God will grant to some. This is what he says: “Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”