Matthew 25 and the fall from grace. An edited reblog.

Well, I did it. I went back to the Monday morning men’s bible study. No, nothing has changed, and, six months later, they are still on the same subject. While I have no issue with spending over a year in the book of Revelation there needs to be a pointed purpose, and, the audience should walk away with a firm and decisive grasp on the subject matter; none of those aspects exist here in the Monday morning study.

(Dr. Hugh Ross, of Reasons to Believe [www.reasons.org], recently spoke to the men’s breakfast at the church I go to. There he explained, to make a point, that he had only recently finished teaching a seven-year study on the book of Revelation. Considering the level of intelligence and depth of instruction you would get with Dr. Ross, I can understand. I do not feel that I nor you, have that kind of time.)

After 18 minutes of preliminary discussion, several of which were testimonies and checking on the health of attendees and their wives, we “dove” into Matthew 25:31-46. Since this blog already covers that subject, and I have spoken about it on a previous occasion, I will merely make this opening statement and a few minor adjustments.

I have something I need to talk about. Hopefully, I can keep it short. This has more to do with a question I have repeatedly been asked. I try to answer the question, but, because of tradition, bad teaching, or a lack of desire to pursue the answers, the question keeps coming up.

The question goes something like this, “There are obviously those that make it through the tribulation. Are they saved?”

I thought about it for a second, and then I responded with, what does it mean to be saved? He answered back with,

“You know, saved!”

No, I don’t know. If you are trying to say that these survivors by merit of merely existing to the end are similar to finding salvation in Christ, then the answer is NO. But if you were to be contrasting salvation with pulling someone out of a fire, then, YES, I think they are. How do I liken making it through the hell of the tribulation years to getting pulled out of a fire? They will both kill you.

So the essential question that needs definition is, what does salvation mean? But that is not what you are asking me, is it. You already have this crazy notion of what things look like and want me to validate your misconceptions. Well, that is not going to happen. I am going to try to get you to look at the truth, which happens to be the word of God; but there is a problem in that. The problem is that the answers to your question are not neatly packaged in one place, so this forces both of us to do our homework, and we have to have open minds about the answers we find. Lacking that, you are no better off than a rock.

When I try to respond with an answer, most remove logic from the equation and discard the truth of scripture because it conflicts with their traditions. Having attempted a reply to the question, I referred the person asking to Matthew 25. I did this because he opted to change projected history by putting the great white throne judgment immediately before the 1000 year reign.

He quickly opened the Bible program on his cell phone and with a hostile tone in his voice read,

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats”. So there it is. He gathers the nations before him and judges them.

Yep, it says that.

However, it does not tell you when that takes place, neither does it explain that this throne is the same throne that we see in Revelation 20. There is nothing in Matthew 25 to indicate that these are souls that have died from quite probably Christ’s resurrection forward, we are the ones who make the assumption that they are breathing air; and, it makes no clarification as to who they are or how they got there. The most astonishing and alarming aspect of all is, that contrary to popular belief, they are not all sent to eternal punishment (hell.)

I want you to understand the things involved in the original question: “ those that make it through the tribulation, are they saved?”

Because I told this person to look at Matthew 25, I want you to look there also. Before you jump into Matthew 25, you need to understand that there is a context to what Jesus said.

  1. What we see in Matthew 25 is a continuation of a response that started in Matthew 24:1.

  2. The things that motivated the disciple’s question actually began in Matthew 21 when they placed him upon the colt. Ask yourself why that would be significant.

  3. So what happened between them placing him on the colt and leading him into town in Matthew 21 and the end of Matthew 23, that would prompt them to say, when will these things happen and what will be the sign of your coming as the Messiah we anticipated (My version.)

In Matthew 21, at his direction, the disciples went and took the donkey, and it’s colt. This was finally it. Jesus was going to step up as the Messiah they anticipated for every king triumphantly rode into town like this, but that did not happen. After all the fanfare and adulation Jesus sees the money changers in the outer court of the temple, makes a whip of cords and drives them out. This, of course, brought the wrath of the Chief priests and elders upon him, and he battled with them verbally for two days. We seem to forget that they disciples were right there; they had no place else to go (we assume).

Jesus finally says, let’s go to the mount. It was his favorite place to rest and recover when he was in Jerusalem, and it is only a short distance away from the temple.

The disciples discouraged, disillusioned, fatigued by the intercourse are now probably grateful to get out of harm’s way. Trudging along behind him they try to lighten the mood by pointing out how great the temple was, and at this point, they were making comments about its massive stones. Sadly, Jesus, the true temple, was standing right there and they did not yet realize it. I happen to think this understanding plays a role in how Jesus responds. Thus begins a rather lengthy discourse and the answers to some very Jewish questions.

Matthew 25:31-46 is an aspect of Jesus response, and is to be taken in context. In the context timing is everything, and the timing has everything to do with, when will you come back as the Messiah we were hoping for?

Matthew 25:31-46 ESV “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

While I did not quote the verse in rebuttal, there is no doubt that it says, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations,”. If all you ever read was this, you could build a variety of themes around it, and be rather convincing.

Here is one of the aspects that give people trouble: Before him will be gathered all the nations,”

Do you understand that there are only three people groups (as far as God is concerned) in the Bible narrative? They are:

  • The Jews – Israel

  • The nations – Also called the Gentiles. This is literally anyone outside of Christ – those who refuse to follow him.

  • And, the church. The church is the followers of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is not a gentile God, He is God, and he is Jewish. Those of us who have accepted that he paid the price for us have been adopted in; we Gentile believers were at that point grafted into the root stock – Israel. Paul explained that having accepted him, he received us and made us be in Him.

So, God calls all those outside of a relationship with Jesus the nations. (I am comfortable using the name God because in the book of Revelation we find all that happens there a revealing of Jesus.)

What we see here in Matthew 25 has nothing to do with the Bema seat judgment of the church. Considering that we are told that NO evil thing will come into the New Jerusalem, then one must assume that all that junk we tote around with us will be gone somewhere between here and the “pearly gates.” Leave your worries about that crud behind and move forward. I also strongly suggest that you stay out of the arena of judgment since the manner in which you judge is how you will be judged.

I told the person asking the question that Revelation 20 is the same story as we see in Matthew 25. There will be some obvious differences, but I will attempt to explain.

Revelation 20:1-3 ESV Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. (2) And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, (3) and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

When does this take place?

After the tribulations of the seven years (it may not be a precise seven-year period.)

Read Revelation 19: 17-21.

  • There you see Jesus coming back with a mighty army, and where all those who choose to fight against Him are slain.

  • In Ezekiel, we find that the new Jerusalem comes down out of heaven and the martyred reign with Christ during the thousand years.

    Are these seated on the thrones holding judgment over the nations as we see in Matthew’s account? No.

    With Satan bound for a thousand years, any evil that is done is entirely the creation of man’s desire, and that will continue to happen. I believe that these judges will be keeping rein over that kind of nonsense.

  • All oppression shall cease.

Revelation 20:4 ESV Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

So let’s address the major point of contention.

The idea that Jesus sets up the great white throne at the beginning of the millennial reign; judges the survivors, and sends them all off to hell.

This is not what is described in Matthew 25, nor do we find this in Revelation 20:11-15.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15 ESV)

Is that what we see here in Revelation 20:4? No.

Revelation 20:4 NASB Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Can you see why?

  • Instead of one throne, there are many.

  • Instead of one person, Jesus, all the martyred take part in the judgment.

  • In Matthew, we find a glorious throne instead of the great one we see in Revelation 20.

  • Matthew 25:32 Before him will be gathered all the nations.

    Look at how John describes those standing before him in Revelation 20, “and I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and the books were opened.

  • In Revelation 20 the crowd is separated according to their deeds found in the books.

    Matthew 25 shows the Son of Man separating them into sheep and goats. We must assume that the sheep are those whose names are found in the books, and the deeds must be expected because of the separation.

This recurring event is intentional and meant to register quickly in the mind of the Jewish reader/hearer. Why?

Because repetition is the standard pattern for prophecy to the Jews, and this book we call the Bible is a very Jewish book.

In Revelation 20:12 we see books opened, and the book of life.

Revelation 20:12 ESV And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

Catch the distinction here: The dead are judged out of the books based on what was written in the books, according to what they had done. When you contrast this to the single book of Life, the contents and impact to the goats are not revealed. However, Revelation 20:15 shows the judged thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:15 ESV And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

I realize this is hard to grasp, but God can and has shown mercy. He has done it too and for me. One of those pieces of evidence was the price His son paid on the cross.

This entry was posted in bible study, End times, false teaching, Hearing God, In Christ, Prophetic, Revelation, The supremacy of Christ, The Word was God, Thoughts on scripture and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Matthew 25 and the fall from grace. An edited reblog.

  1. Jo-Blogs says:

    Okay, it’s made me think. And pray. Let’s put the verses together.
    1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.”
    That would be Christ, the firstfruits, the martyrs and the survivors of the nations.
    Who are the first fruits?
    Romans 8:18-25 defines who is included as first fruits; “We in Christ have the first fruits of the Spirit.” So we’re a separate group, made alive at some point before or during the events described in Revelation.
    “Then when he comes, those who belong to him.”
    That would be those in the first resurrection:
    “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.” (The judges would probably be the Apostles, who were themselves martyred.) And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6
    So the martyrs will be the priests of God and of Christ.
    The judgment of the nations:
    The judgment of the nations which takes place when Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation appears to be for the righteous.
    I see in Mark 9:38-39, the people are judged on whether they’ve so much as given Christ “so much as a cup of water.” So it agrees with Matthew 25:31-46 – where Jesus told the disciples “whoever is not against us is for us.”
    So the righteous will have eternal life and the righteous survivors will get to live with Christ for a 1000 years in a restored Eden, “their inheritance – the Kingdom prepared since the creation of the world.” It appears they’ll be the ones who will have the right to go into the city described in Revelation 22.
    “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7
    It seems not all of the Earth is restored in the 1,000 year reign – because there will be some desolate areas according to Isaiah 19:13:22 and Isaiah 66:18-24.
    And in Revelation 22, outside the city will be those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
    Those people would have to stay outside of the city because they can’t be given access to the Tree of Life in their sinful state.
    So Christ will reign in that 1000 year period until he has subdued them all, “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:24-26
    Does it make sense?
    It doesn’t help that Revelation 21 describing the new heavens and Earth AFTER the 1,000 years is before Revelation 22, Eden restored. Why didn’t Jesus put the chapters around that way?
    This is like blind people groping around an elephant!
    Anyway, hope you can follow this. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    • remso says:

      I will work on this. Those are some good questions.

    • remso says:

      I underlined your comments and then indented my responses. It’s rather long, sorry.
      “Okay, it’s made me think. And pray. Let’s put the verses together.”
      I looked for a translation that had some similar language as the passage you used below. In this case, I threw in the NASB for a comparison. Note: Romans 8 below. I could not find a translation that matched the terminology among those on my computer, therefore reprinted the entire selection from the NIV.
      1 Corinthians 15:22, 23 “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.”
      1 Corinthians 15:22-23 NASB 22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming,”

      1 Corinthians 15:23 is telling us that Christ is the first-fruit.
      Is it possible, that since we are in Him, that we too are the first-fruits? Maybe, but if this were all I knew, then it would be a presumptuous conclusion. So let’s go on.

      “That would be Christ, the firstfruits, the martyrs and the survivors of the nations?”

      In your question, you have separated Christ from the fact that he is the first-fruit. I also see that you are trying to find some linear order to events and that is not a bad thing; it just seems logical and I do it all the time.
      I am going to assume that you are trying to understand the lineup of those who will be caught up to meet him in the air, and then the resurrections from the dead.
      You are right if you associate the body/Church as being in the Lord. If I hold a tight definition of the body as those who follow Him closely, then I would say, yes, we as first-fruits will be caught up to meet him in the air. However, if you group all the people in a congregation under the heading of followers, you might be alarmed to find that many will go through the seven years of tribulation and all its hardships, including martyrdom. I base this on Matthew 25 – the parable of the Ten Virgins. This story shows us a 50% ratio, and sadly, they were all initially headed in the same direction.
      So, Christ, the first-fruit has already risen from the dead and now sits at the right hand of the Father.
      Very soon Jesus Christ will come back for His church.
      1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 NASB 15 “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
      First the dead in Christ and then the alive in Christ. The result is, we meet Him in the air.

      My Monday morning group leader, along with some others, will tell you that there is only one chance for salvation and that is through Christ prior to the rapture. Therefore those who go through the tribulation have no hope, and that is not true. Revelation 6:9,10 and Revelation 20 proves this out.
      Revelation 6:9-10 NASB “When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?””

      These are two separate occurrences. Note how Revelation 20:4 adds, “and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand.”
      Revelation 20:4 NASB Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

      Revelation 20:5 tells us that the culmination of the martyred saints, coming back to life again, is the first resurrection.

      At this point, nothing has been said about the nations.
      It almost seems like we are getting ahead of ourselves, but since you asked, here goes. Because you read my posts, you understand that there are only three people groups in the world: the Jews, the nations, and the church. There are many Jews included in the church, and they too will be raptured, but sadly, there are many Jews that will have to go through the great tribulation. The third group is the nations. The Jews see the nations as anyone outside of Israel, but for explanation sake, let’s say they are anyone who is not a Jew and lacking a relationship with Jesus Christ. When Christ comes back to earth, He, along with the church, will come riding in on white horses to fight. We assume that this fight is inclusive of everyone among the nations, but it is not. This scenario is detailed for us in Revelation 19.

      Yes, Revelation 19:15 tells us “He has a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations,” but having a sword just in case and using indiscriminately, are two different things.

      Revelation 19:19-21 explains, “And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.” The beast and false prophet were seized, and the rest (from among the nations) were killed.”
      He only kills combatants. There is some logic to this.
      All the Jews that have stood against Christ have been continuously dealt with through the seven years of wrath, and an aspect of their punishment has been prescribed in their being handed over to the nations who, like the pirates, loot, rape and sack Jerusalem.
      Since we know that the veil is lifted from the eyes of the Jews immediately after the rapture, God (in the form of Jesus Christ,) from the point of His return, shows them nothing but mercy, and they readily accept Jesus, as the Messiah.
      The church is not included among the nations, although there are plenty in the church that are hostile to Jesus Christ.

      “Who are the first fruits?”
      I assume you have answered this question.

      “Romans 8:18-25 defines who is included as firstfruits; “We in Christ have the first fruits of the Spirit.””

      I have included the entire passage for clarity sake.
      Romans 8:18-25 NIV I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

      I still could not, with this information, call us the first-fruits. What it does say, is that we, through our adoption of sonship, have the firstfruits.
      Paul also goes on to tell how we, together with all creation, patiently await the day of our redemption. In the passages from Romans, the firstfruits are those things of the Spirit.
      The God’s Word translation says it like this, Romans 8:23 GW “However, not only creation groans. We, who have the Spirit as the first of God’s gifts, also groan inwardly. We groan as we eagerly wait for our adoption, the freeing of our bodies from sin.”
      “Romans 8:18-25 defines who is included as firstfruits; “We in Christ have the first fruits of the Spirit.” So we’re a separate group, made alive at some point before or during the events described in Revelation.”

      “Then when he comes, those who belong to him.” “That would be those in the first resurrection:”

      You have referred back to 1 Corinthians 15:23, so let’s look at it once again.
      1 Corinthians 15:22-23 NASB 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming,

      As you can see from the passage, that Adam’s transgression was far-reaching; so too will Christ’s redemption be far-reaching. The phrase, each in his own order is not that complicated. Christ was the first-fruits, has already risen. Next will be those that are His at His coming, and this is the rapture for which we long.

      The two events described in 1 Corinthians 15 have nothing to do with the first resurrection. That is strictly an event held within the book of Revelation and pertains to the martyred saints of all time and the great tribulation.

      You included Revelation 20:4-6.
      “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.” (The judges would probably be the Apostles, who were themselves martyred.) And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

      “So the martyrs will be the priests of God and of Christ.”

      We do not see the martyred being the priests of God and of Christ. But what it does say, is that they will reign with him for a thousand years. How befitting, that those abused for their testimony, lives and actions, would now reign over the nations.
      The judgment of the nations:

      I hear this spoken of frequently at the Monday morning study, and yet it is a constant barrage of confusion.
      Joel 3:1-2 NASB “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land.

      There is only one place where the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem are restored, and that is at the end of the seven years of wrath.
      We are told that God will enter into judgment with the nations he has gathered in the valley of Jehoshaphat, and yet, judgment is an integral aspect of the seven-year period. Christ’s return upon the white horse will also be an aspect of judgment. And, the martyred will sit in judgment during the thousand year reign.

      “The judgment of the nations which takes place when Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation appears to be for the righteous.”
      As I said previously there are only three people groups, the Jews, which have been undergoing God’s wrath and judgment during the seven years; the church, which is not subject to wrath, an aspect of judgment, and the nations.
      Along with scriptural examples that substantiate our not being included among the judgment of the nations. Why else would we be excluded from judgment?
      Because we are in Him, and He took all judgment upon himself on our behalf.

      Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

      1Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

      1Thessalonians 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

      In 2Peter it speaks specifically of the destruction of ungodly people (the nations.)
      2Peter 3:7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

      Since we only see the destruction of the ungodly in one place, and that is at the end of the thousand-year reign, then this passage in 2 Peter has little to do with the judgment of the nations that takes place at the end of the seven-years of wrath. It merely demonstrates that there will be a finality to the evil in the world.

      “I see in Mark 9:38-39, the people are judged on whether they’ve so much as given Christ “so much as a cup of water.” So it agrees with Matthew 25:31-46 – where Jesus told the disciples “whoever is not against us is for us.””

      The telling of this event by two different authors is comparable. And, they correspond with the situation we see in Revelation 20:11-15. The difference is that in Matthew’s account Jesus is the gentle shepherd, focused solely on those He can show mercy to because of their kind acts. Whereas in Revelation 20, Jesus is seen as an ominous and angry God, who focuses strictly on those he can send off to a fiery eternity. There are noticeable differences, such as one uses the term nations, while the other calls all the dead before the throne. Books are mentioned in Revelation 20, while there are no books mentioned at all. In both instances, the damned are sent off to their punishment. These differences should not be a problem to the wise.
      Luke 9:49-50 NASB John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.”

      “So the righteous will have eternal life and the righteous survivors will get to live with Christ for a 1000 years in a restored Eden, “their inheritance – the Kingdom prepared since the creation of the world.” It appears they’ll be the ones who will have the right to go into the city described in Revelation 22.”

      Following the context of your conversation, we have moved through the judgment of the nations at the end of the tribulation, where “the righteous get judged.” A point which we should now understand to be untrue, to talking about a separation of the righteous from the unrighteous. The righteous survivors will get to live with Christ. The paragraph above has many facets to it; allow me the time to approach them all.

      As for eternal life.
      The church – those caught up in the rapture, are eternal and are in Christ. What that means and looks like, I am not sure. But, I can and do see some tremendous freedoms in that.
      The martyred saints – and John saw an innumerable quantity of martyred saints. Resurrected, they too are now eternal. However, they sit as judges over the earth.
      The Jews, who have survived the seven years, will come into the millennial reign in their natural bodies. Does that mean they will stay that way? Not at all.

      Revelation 22:2-3 NASB in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him;

      It is highly probable that those Jews entering the 1000-years will partake of the leaves of those trees and gain that eternal life. In speaking about these things with, what should be knowledgeable men, and they can’t see past the broken human nature in people. Fortunately, God can, and like us will change all who partake of the trees of life, in the twinkling of an eye. If God had not done that, we would not be there either.
      Lastly, for your consideration, is the nations.
      They will not enter the kingdom with eternal bodies. Again, the one thing that is the game changer will be the tree of life. Note how it is protected within the city, but also note how those who move freely in and out of the city take the leaves to the nations to heal them.

      Under this point of eternal life. With the veil long since lifted, and Satan, the tempter put aside, humans are still left with freedom of choice. We know this happens because there is a puzzling passage in Revelation, that should not be there under the perfect conditions we imagine. This shows that some will not change.
      Revelation 22:15 NASB Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

      “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7
      This too is peculiar, why? Because, in Christ Jesus, we are overcomers. That happens because we have accepted Him and his nature.
      Why would followers of Christ need to eat from the tree of life?
      There is another clue and it comes from the Revelation itself. Chapters 1-3 speak of the Church age, but chapter four opens with, “after these things.” So something huge has happened, and that would be the catching away of the Church. The impact of Revelation 2:7 then falls to those after Revelation 4:1.

      Keep in mind Matthew 25 and the ten virgins. 50% of so-called church people are not ready, and lacking enough oil. What that is I am not sure. I just know that I look for Him every day. These dear people will have to endure the wrath of the seven years, and yes, many will become martyrs.

      “It seems not all of the Earth is restored in the 1,000-year reign – because there will be some desolate areas according to Isaiah 19:13:22 and Isaiah 66:18-24.”
      Acts 3:20-21 NASB and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

      [restitution] Greek: apokatastasis (G605) a complete restoration or reestablishment.

      I, along with my Thursday morning group, recently read a John Eldredge book called All Things New; Heaven, Earth, and the Restoration of Everything you love. He talks repeatedly about the restoration, but in terms that are beyond my damaged scope. One of the problems I have picturing a restored earth, is the burning to which the planet must be subjected. How does God do that with humans still living on it? So my logical assumption is that none of this can happen until after the great white throne judgment. At that point, everyone will be changed and we will all be eternal, not subject to harm.

      Isaiah 13:22 NASB Hyenas will howl in their fortified towers And jackals in their luxurious palaces. Her fateful time also will soon come And her days will not be prolonged.
      The problem with Isaiah 13:22, is that it is speaking of Babylon, the captors of Israel. In time, Israel was referred to as Babylon, but that is not the case here.

      Isaiah 66:18-24 does not speak to desolation. What it does talk to is, “the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues.” And how “they shall come and see My glory.” It speaks of surviving Jews going to the nations. Verse 21 tells us, “I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites.” This also is speaking of the Jews. In verse 24 we learn that “All mankind will come to bow down before Me.”And, to make a point, verse 24 also tells us how those who refuse to worship God during the 1000 years, will remain as grizzly signs to those who choose not to bow.

      The earth, having endured an onslaught of events as part of God’s wrath, will probably be in various states of destruction. During the 1000 years, humans will learn to grow crops once again, and uprisings will be squelched rapidly.

      “And in Revelation 22, outside the city will be those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”
      I made mention of this already. Most believe that Christ’s return will purge the earth, leaving nothing but happy followers of Christ. Obviously, that is not the case.
      Those people would have to stay outside of the city because they can’t be given access to the Tree of Life in their sinful state.
      The nations, living under a mandate to bow before the Lord on a yearly basis, are still free to walk away with their hatred and animosity intact. Many, not giving due credence to the Word of God, will not buy into that idea. But there it is. Now, how do they make the transition into a real worshiper, worthy of obtaining a leaf from the tree of life? I suppose, at least at this point, that only God would know the answer to that. But I forget, how vast the changes we will go through.
      So Christ will reign in that 1000 year period until he has subdued them all, “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:24-26

      “until he has subdued them all.”
      That idea is a rather pervasive problem, and another concept I hear regularly. God has been relatively straightforward since time began. With Adam, He told him to not eat of the fruit of one tree; the reason being, you will die.
      God’s contract with Adam was unquestionably laid out, and all Adam had to do was to follow it.
      With Abram, God shows him what the plan is via an incredibly vivid dream. God merely has to say, “as for me.” You could count on His word coming to pass. In some cases, such as the destruction of Nineveh, it was postponed for a time, but inevitably it came.
      The end of time or more specifically the last thousand years are not so different from God’s previous communications with man. Therefore there is no need to subdue people, as God has simply laid out the rules that will be followed. The nations must come every year and bow before Him. Non-compliance gets your rain removed from you for the first offense; the second offense brings instant death. If that comes to all within that nation, I am not sure. I just know that the idea of subduing people has a chase, and hiding involved. By now we should know that there is no hiding from God.

      “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.”
      “It is fit, or proper (δει dei), that he should reign until this is accomplished. It is proper that the mediatorial kingdom should continue until this great work is effected.” Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

      There is no struggle, what is to come to pass will, and then perhaps, we will walk as one into eternity.

      Does it make sense?
      Yes, although it has always been necessary for me to tear things apart so that I could understand what is being asked. If I have insulted you, that was not my intent. I was merely trying to analyze and clarify. In Bible study context is everything, so I decided to find the context in your questions.
      It doesn’t help that Revelation 21 describing the new heavens and Earth AFTER the 1,000 years is before Revelation 22, Eden restored. Why didn’t Jesus put the chapters around that way?
      I have no idea why they did that. As I groped, as many do, to understand the Revelation, I began to realize that there are several chapters that informative and repetitive. I suppose it is like telling the story from another angle.
      This is like blind people groping around an elephant! Anyway, hope you can follow this.
      I’d love to hear your thoughts.
      I told my wife that in responding back to you, I just could not answer yes or no. Some of your questions sound just like the 80-year-old men I sit with on Mondays. These men are indeed the pillars of the church, and yet, the pillars are crumbling or broken. Not because of age, but because they have spent far too much time listening without challenging the false teachings they hear and therefore have come to believe the garbage. One of those broken themes is that God is an ominous and vindictive God who is willing to send virtually everyone to hell. When exactly the opposite is true. All you have to do is to look at the Son, find his nature, which is love, and ascribe those attributes to the Father, for the Son, is an exacting image.

      • Jo-Blogs says:

        Thanks so much for getting back to me. I’m a busy IT professional so I’ll look at it thoroughly when I get time. But please don’t compare me to the old men in your Monday group. They’ve got time to chew the fat I don’t have. Life a Berean I question everything. Life is too short to be around false teachers. My top gift is discernment, I’m trained to analyze and logic things out. I employ those gifts and talents when I read the Bible. When I ask questions it’s just showing my thought processes while I’m reasoning things out. I agree with you about God and judgment, that’s why I read your post with interest. I’ll get back to you after I’ve read what you’ve written.
        God bless, Jo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.