I agree whole heartedly with your conclusion that the real issue is whether a person is responding to all the revelation that God is giving them. That is the first and only step that CAN be taken and no other steps or revelation can be offered because it seems to me that God only gives us what we are capable of completing to begin with. Then and only then will we have the tools to receive and understand the NEXT step or revelation God gives us. In my own experience, I was in the position of working out my salvation by own steam not understanding that in Jesus alone was all the power I needed to accomplish God's will for my life. It took many, many years for me to let go of my need for the approval of people and do the first works as in Revelation 2:5 which is simply surrender to God. Satan is very adept at planting thoughts that sway us away from God's will and I was not bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Anyway, receiving and obeying the revelation of God is so important but so easily missed when a person has never had it taught or exampled for them. How can we better hear or understand that it is God who is speaking to us or is that only something God can make known? How can we help others along these lines. Waiting on God to work seems to be the first thing and how do we listen better? People who know me would probably say I need to slow down!;-).
One other question not related exactly; if the goal of salvation isn't heaven what is? Relief from having to walk this earth in our own wisdom and power but by Jesus? If so, then at the judgement seat of Christ are we all punished for the sins we committed in the flesh whether believer or unbeliever? I have been confused for so long that to unravel all of this takes a bit of effort. Thanks for your help! Susan Lumen
Learning about the Christian life is not an easy thing since so few really understand it. I went to two of the best seminaries in the country (at that time), but never had one hour of classroom teaching on the spiritual life. If I had not learned about it before going to seminary, I would have been out of luck entirely. So, if it isn't being taught to the preachers, how are the congregants going to get it? Only through other means: books, para-church ministries, etc. The authors that I would highly recommend to begin with are: Hannah Whithall Smith's The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life, Watchman Nee's The Life that Wins and The Normal Christian Life (and then the rest of his books), and Stephen Olford's Not I, but Christ. Lots of Books by CLC (formerly the Christian Literature Crusade). Stay with the classics! :)
The goal of salvation is our transformation into the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:29) step by step (2Cor. 3:18) by trusting the Spirit for the life of Jesus within (Eph. 3:16-17; see also John 16:12-15) FOR an intimate, moment by moment fellowship with the living God (1John 1:6-7). Or as you say in your comments: "relief from having to walk this earth in our own wisdom and power, but by Jesus! When He becomes "our life" (Col. 3:4; cf., Gal. 2:20), everything changes!
The judgment that all must endure does not have to be a terrible experience. If you are experiencing the love and care and protection and leading of God now, why would you expect your relationship to Him to suddenly change into a wrathful Judge? He won't (cf., 1John 4:16-18). And God's judgment won't be what "we image it to be." God is not like us. He does not see things like we do. He won't be judging us like anyone of us would. Rest in the fact that God is YOUR heavenly Father. Now walk with Him every day. Your judgment will take care of itself and it won't be something to fear (1John 4:16-18 again).
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