By Li Li, China
One day, during my spiritual devotion, I saw the words of the Lord Jesus: “I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:46–48). Pondering over this passage of scripture, I saw that the Lord’s will and demands of us are to have us follow His words in everything and do as He asked. In my mind, since the Lord Jesus has absolved our sins, we have already been saved by grace when accepting His salvation, and will be directly taken into the kingdom of heaven when He returns. But here, why did the Lord say whoever disobeyed His words would be judged in the last days? Why would the Lord judge us? I knew Sister Xiangguang was devout and received scriptures purely. She had just returned home after studying in another place. So I wanted to seek from her.
On Sunday, I went over to Xiangguang’s home and told her what confused me. Sister Xiangguang fellowshiped with me about her understanding and knowledge.
Xiangguang: I used to be puzzled about it, too. But through the discussion and fellowship with brothers and sisters, I now have some understanding and knowledge about this issue. We all know that at the end of the Age of Law, the corruption of us humans became deeper and deeper, to the extent that all people couldn’t hold to God’s laws and were in danger of being convicted by law and sentenced to death. In order to save mankind, in the Age of Grace, God was incarnated as the Lord Jesus to do the stage of work of redemption. Thus, our sins can be forgiven by confessing and repenting, we’re no longer at risk of being condemned or put to death by law, and we have the qualification to return before God, pray to Him and enjoy His grace and blessings. This is the true meaning of the redemption work. However, although we are pardoned of our sins by accepting the Lord as our Savior, we still commit sins, leading a life of sinning in the day and confessing at night. This is undeniable. Take me for example: Since I believed in the Lord Jesus, I have had some change in my conduct, not hitting or cursing others, not taking advantage of others, and not doing things that are clearly bad. However, I couldn’t obey God when losing out on my fleshly interests or losing face and position. Especially in times of bitterness and trial, I could still misunderstand and blame God, and could even distance myself from God and betray God. Through these manifestations, I see that though I have been forgiven my sins, I’m not free of sin but still often commit sins. Look at the people around us, the church friends, co-workers, preachers, pastors and elders. They also always violate the Lord’s teachings while following Him, give in to their fleshly desires to sin, tell lies, deceive others, seek fame and fortune, and so on. This shows that our sinful nature still takes root deep inside of us. If our corrupt disposition is not resolved and we can’t be free of sin and achieve purification, we are not qualified to be directly raised into the kingdom of heaven. Jehovah God said: “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45), and the Bible records: “Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). These two verses show us that we are not fit to see the Lord unless we escape from our corrupt disposition and sinful nature. So, we have to resolve our own satanic corrupt disposition, break free of sin and receive cleansing before we are qualified to be saved into the kingdom of heaven.
We cannot break free from sin and achieve purification by practicing self-control and patience; rather, we need God Himself to do a stage of work of judging and cleansing man. This is because what the Lord Jesus did in the Age of Grace is redemption work. Although our sins are forgiven, our corrupt disposition and sinful nature are not. That is to say, the Lord Jesus only did the redemption work rather than the work of eradicating sin. Only God’s judgment work of the last days can eradicate sin. There are more than 200 places in the Bible that prophesy that God will return to do the judgment work in the last days, such as: “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come” (Revelation 14:7). “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26–27). “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). And so on. From these verses, we can see that in the last days, God will return to carry out the work of judgment beginning from the house of God to resolve the problem of us being controlled and bound by sin and the root of our sins so that we can completely escape sin and be saved into God’s kingdom.
Li Li: Thank the Lord. Today, I finally know that the Lord Jesus came to do the redemption work and absolved our sins instead of our corrupt disposition and sinful nature. To be cleansed, we must wait for the Lord to return to do the judgment work of the last days. Only when we have broken free from sin and achieved purification through God’s judgment will we qualify to be raised into His kingdom. Then, how will God do the judgment work in the last days? Please fellowship more with me.
Xiangguang: As to how God does the judgment work in the last days, there are also a lot of prophecies in the Bible. Below we’ll take several examples: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:12–13). “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47–48). “And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man” (John 5:27). “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). These verses say that in the last days “the Spirit of truth” will come, and also mention “the Son” and “the Son of man.” Since only God is truth, Christ is truth, these words refer to none other than Christ in the flesh. This shows that in the last days God is incarnated in the flesh as the Son of man to appear and work, expresses truth to do the work of judgment using the identity of Christ. All those that can recognize God’s voice when hearing His utterances are the wise virgins. We should be the wise virgins and accept the judgment work God carries out. When we, by experiencing God’s judgment in the last days, have cast away our satanic corrupt dispositions such as arrogance, deceitfulness and fighting for fame and fortune, can submit to God instead of misunderstanding or complaining about Him in any circumstances or things incompatible with our notions, can never betray God, and can totally live by God’s words, we will have achieved purification and salvation and be able to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Meanwhile, through God’s work of judgment, the final outcome of each type of person is revealed. Good shall return to good, evil shall return to evil, and man shall be classified according to kind. Then God will bring down the great disasters and start to reward good and punish evil. Those who go through God’s judgment work and are cleansed and made perfect will survive through God’s salvation. But those who can’t receive God’s work of judgment will fall in the disasters and be punished. This is the judgment work God does in the last days, precisely the great white throne judgment prophesied in Revelation in the Bible.
Li Li: Thank the Lord. You said that God incarnate expresses the truth to do the work of judgment in the last days. This is completely in line with the prophecies in the Bible. When God comes to express the truth and do the work of judgment, He will certainly utter words. This reminds me of the prophecy in Revelation: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). Now is the critical time for welcoming the Lord’s appearance and work. I must listen out for what the Holy Spirit says to the churches in case I miss God’s work of judgment in the last days and the chance of going with the Lord to the feast.