1 Peter 4:17 — Judgment Must Begin at the House of God
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
From this verse we see, the Lord’s return in the last days is to perform the judgment work beginning with the house of God. Many brothers and sisters in the Lord might ask, will the Lord not directly rapture us into the kingdom of heaven when He returns in the last days? Why does He still need to do the judgment work? In fact, God’s judgment work in the last days is the work of purifying man and perfecting man. God once said, “Be you holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). It is obvious that only those who receive cleansing can enter the kingdom of heaven. We accept the Lord Jesus’ redemption to be forgiven of our sins and saved by His grace, this is a fact. But, as we believe in the Lord and follow the Lord, we also often betray the Lord’s teachings, and give in to our fleshly desires to sin. We do things like lie, commit fraud, deceive, engage in intrigue, seek fame and fortune, we give in to vanity, lust for wealth, and follow evil worldly trends… In times of bitterness and trial, we often misunderstand and blame God, or even leave and betray God. When God’s work doesn’t accord with the notions of man, we carelessly judge and condemn God. At the same time we follow God, we worship and follow men. We live in a cycle of sinning and repenting, that’s hard to escape. We can’t free ourselves from the binds and control of our satanic nature, this is a fact. And although the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption is done, and our sins are forgiven, and we are no longer cursed for violating God’s laws, and can come before God to pray to Him and enjoy the entirety of God’s grace, that does not mean God’s work of saving mankind is over, because the sinful nature inside us still remains. We are still compelled by our satanic nature to oppose and betray God. And without knowing God, we will never fear God and distance ourselves from evil, even less can we reach a state of complete obedience to God, the compatibility with God and sanctity. We haven’t been truly gained by God. We all know, God is holy, and righteous. If people are unsanctified, they can’t see the Lord. God won’t allow the impure or corrupt into His kingdom. This is decided by God’s righteous disposition. So, in the last days, God has, according to His management plan to save mankind, carried out His work of judgment and chastisement, to remove the shackles and restraints of sin from the corrupt mankind and the root causes of sinning and help mankind completely escape the influence of Satan, be saved by God, and enter God’s kingdom. The judgment work that God of the last days does is precisely what corrupt mankind needs. It is also the key stage of work that needs to be performed by God to save mankind.
Just as God says, “You only know that Jesus shall descend during the last days, but how exactly will He descend? A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus — you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.”
Relevant Words of God:
The work of the last days is to separate all according to their kind, and to conclude the management plan of God, for the time is near and the day of God has come. God brings all who enter His kingdom — all who are loyal to Him to the very end — into the age of God Himself. Yet prior to the arrival of the age of God Himself, God’s work is not to observe the deeds of man, or to inquire into the life of man, but to judge man’s disobedience, for God shall purify all those who come before His throne. All who have followed the footsteps of God to this day are those who come before the throne of God, and this being so, every single person who accepts God’s work in its final phase is the object of God’s purification. In other words, everyone who accepts God’s work in its final phase is the object of God’s judgment.
… At the mention of the word “judgment,” you are likely to think of the words that Jehovah spoke to all the places and the words of rebuke that Jesus spoke to the Pharisees. For all their severity, these words were not God’s judgment of man; they were but words spoken by God within different environments, that is, in different contexts. These words are unlike the words spoken by Christ as He judges man during the last days. In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the essence of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, the words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan, and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth of which man is utterly bereft. Only methods such as these can be called judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God.
Excerpted from “Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth”
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