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It was June 2006. I was in Northern China as a missionary and thinking about two fellow missionaries who had gotten themselves in a heap of trouble in the mission field where I’d previously served. They had ruined the reputations of several of God’s servants and their church had broken up.
The Great White Throne Judgment
In what the Bible calls “the twinkling of an eye” I was transported to the Great White Throne Judgment. It was a sea of billions of people. It seemed as though I was on the back row but what God was saying to this pair was clearly heard by all.
He was publicly exposing their sins. My only emotion was sheer horror. Even today when I think of that, it comes back to me just as clearly as the day it happened. When God says vengeance is His, I know what it means. Whatever revenge we mortals might have imagined for them was nothing compared to this public humiliation.
Now, twelve years later I have my explanation. There are several texts in the scriptures about “saved” people going to hell. Some denominations refuse to believe that it is biblical, others misunderstand it and use it to terrify their membership. Neither of these is the purpose or the meaning.
There are passages in Hebrews 10: 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. “These things” the writer is referring to are the blessings of greater knowledge of the spiritual world and therefore accountability. There is more in Hebrews 6:1-6
6 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Clearly this group of leaders were given special knowledge of the holy which makes them more accountable.
Then there is the Old Testament reference to the Curse of Eli in 1 Samuel 4. Eli’s two sons were in charge of the priestly duties of the temple in their generation. They used those gifts and opportunities for indulgence of the flesh and open, unrepentant sin. Eli’s sons stole the donations to the ministry and also had sex with the women who came to the priests to “learn about God and be forgiven.” Eli was an enabler and allowed them to do this.
The Bible again says there is NO sacrifice for this kind of sin, that is the sin of using the ministry for one’s own profit and enjoyment. God gives this kind of authority to people who are supposed to handle it just as Jesus Himself would, and if they turn their back on God, then yes, they were saved once but now but there is no more blood of Jesus available to them. This is not a command to refuse a salary from a church; these things are needed in a modern society. The sin is not profit, but the carnal evils done in the name of the Lord.
Ministry is a Heavy Responsibility
Sometimes I am frustrated by people who are unwilling to learn more about God. They are indifferent and say, “My church is just fine. I don’t need to know anything more than that.” But then I remember those who have learned so much and now are responsible for every line of information and anointing they received and yet refuse to obey the word of God. Better for them to be ignorant than hell-bound.
Being outside the revelation of God and his ministries they are spared from knowing the kind of information that could ruin them. It is way too easy to make a list, like an anti-Santa, of just whom you think is damned for defiling the sanctuary. Don’t bother.
Accusers of the Brethern
We are not appointed to be accusers of the brethren. We do have a responsibility to stay far, far away from churches that preach sexual license and a rejection of God’s word, but we are to keep ourselves free from judging individuals. The Bible says to “flee evil,” not hang around watching others indulge themselves. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. If they turned Him down, He moved on. He didn’t hang around begging them to believe.
God may yet pull them from the fire. God waits until people die to do His judging. Peter said, “We are barely saved.” Let us be on our guard against involving ourselves with accusing or judging. We must judge ourselves first.
All people have many bosses – husbands, wives, employers, even children. But in the end, you have one person you answer to. That is God. Keep your books with Him straight each day. It is the road to confident living.