NOTE: Below the line is the original post that was supposed to be published. Thanks to the “updated,” “improved” platform it appears on, a different version of this post was published – one of the earlier versions that developed as I worked on and wrote it. I apologize for the mix-up.
This has recently become a thing on social media – “fact-checking” posts that are made. This is probably a good idea, because there is a lot of stuff floating around out there that ought not to. It does seem, however, to be done to only one side of the political spectrum.
Something that seems generally to have been overlooked or forgotten these days is that there is coming a time when “the facts” will indeed be brought out into the full light, 1 Corinthians 4:5. Although Paul is addressing a particular situation in a local church, there is an application that could be made to our situation. He wrote that there is coming a time when the Lord Jesus will return to this earth, at which time He will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the heart.
That is the application: there is coming a time when God will “fact-check” the entire history of this world and the lives of every one who has ever lived on it. Nothing will be left out, overlooked, misrepresented, forgotten or swept under the rug.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 and Revelation 20:11-15 are two Scriptures which teach this.
In 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, Paul wrote,
According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet as through fire. NKJV, emphasis added.
In Revelation 20:11-15, the Apostle John wrote,
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And everyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire, NKJV.
1 Corinthians 3 describes the judgment of believers. Revelation 20 describes the judgment of unbelievers. Regardless of the discussion that surrounds these two Scriptures, whether they are just two descriptions of the same judgment, or if they are indeed separate events, it is clear that “fact-checking” is on the way. For what it’s worth, I believe they are distinct and separate events.
There is another verse which bears on this idea, especially as it regards the first reference above. In Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV, our Lord warned, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your Name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ “
It’s for good reason that the Lord said that there will be weeping and…wailing and gnashing of teeth, Matthew 8:12; 13:42. This world has pretty much thrown out anything the Bible says. Even many churches don’t really take the Word of God seriously. One day, though, it and they will find out that the God who wrote it takes a dim view of that. In 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul wrote of believers, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Psalm 9:8 says that He shall judge the world in righteousness. In Acts 17:31, Paul quoted this verse in his teaching in Athens: “He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Our Bibles have a period at the end of that last sentence, but I don’t think Paul got to finish his thought. It seems to me that the verse should end like this: “…raising Him from the dead….” When these worldly-wise Athenians heard of this idea of resurrection, Scripture says, some mocked. The very idea! Life from the dead! It’s ridiculous! Everyone knows that when you’re dead, you’re dead! Regardless of the ridicule and chuckles from worldly-wisdom, though, a handful of folks who became believers. Paul never got to finish his message. God finished it for him.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul recognized that if the resurrection is a false hope, beside being a false witness for preaching it as truth, if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable, v. 19, or, literally, the most to be pitied.
Why is that? Because having the idea that this life isn’t all there is, that judgment is coming and there is an eternity either of happiness or hell, believers deny themselves many of the “pleasures” of this world. If there is no resurrection….
Beyond that, though, throughout the 2000 years of church history, innumerable believers have suffered or been martyred, often by those who claimed to be representatives of the true religion. And today there are those who are suffering for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, Jude 3. If there is no resurrection, then all that suffering and agony is for nothing.
If there is no resurrection, even Paul wrote, If the dead do not rise, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die, v. 32
But resurrection is a true hope for believers, and the day will come in which it will be found indeed to be true, and then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory,” v. 54.
It’s a solemn thought, this idea of dying and eternity and heaven and hell. This standing before a holy, righteous and just God to give an account for these years on this earth. Apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s an unbearable thought.
Also in Matthew 7 above, our Lord taught that the only ones who will enter heaven are those who do the will of My Father who is in heaven, v. 21.
What is that will?
In John 6:40, the Lord answers, as it were, “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
The Lord Jesus said that God’s will is for folks to believe on Him. This means to trust Him with the salvation of our eternal souls. To know that His death is the only possible payment for our sins, and that when He shed His blood on Calvary, He did so as our Substitute. He died in order that our sins would be forgiven and that we would live.
Now, we don’t physically see the Son, but we do see Him through the Scriptures. They tell us that He, and He alone, is the Savior, that one day He will return to this world as its rightful Ruler, Lord and Judge, 1 Peter 4:5; Revelation 19:11-16.
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,” Acts 16:31.