In regards to Paul’s statement at the beginning of the article, remember yesterday I pointed out that yes, we will all stand before Jesus in the end.
But only the non-believers and those that abuse the name of God (Ex 20:7) will be punished.
The believers will be rewarded:
“And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be” (Rev 22:12).
Tomorrow we’ll look at the last set of lost cities, we’ll begin with…
2 Corinthians 6
A Suffering Ministry
1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
“Receive not the grace of God in vain” – To live with oneself is one way to do this (see 5:15).
2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
“The accepted time…the day of salvation” – as affirmation that is true in a general sense of all God’s saving acts in the history of His people, but that finds its particular fulfillment in this present age of grace between the two comings of Christ.
This understanding does not exclude from grace and salvation those who lived before Christ’s coming, for the believers of the Old Testament period received the promises that in due course were fulfilled in Christ (1:20) and they saw and welcomed their fulfillment from a distance (see Jn 8:56; Heb 11:13).
3 Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed:
“Giving no offense in anything” – Paul is concerned that he live an exemplary life because he does not want the ministry discredited.
A believer must be very careful of what he or she does or says in front of non-believers, as not to accidentally sway them further away from God.
For example, if a believer swears or expresses a bad attitude in front of a non-believer then it would be difficult for them to believe anything else a believer says because God is very clear on not swearing (Eph 4:29, Col 3:8). As Paul points out in the next few scriptures.
4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings;
6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8 By honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
“Making many rich” – in Christ, True wealth does not consist in worldly possessions but in being “rich toward God.” The believer, even if he has nothing of this world’s goods, nevertheless has everything in Him who is Lord of all.
11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.
13 Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” – doubtless Paul has in mind the Old Testament prohibition of “mixtures” as in Deut 22:10.
For the Corinthian believer to cooperate with false teachers, who are in reality servants of Satan, notwithstanding their charming and persuasive ways is to become unequally yoked, destroying the harmony and fellowship that unite them in Christ.
Being unequally yoked also pertains to being too closely involved with a non-believer. In Chapter 11, Paul speaks of his fears of people being tricked, or “beguiled like Eve” ( Gen 3:13), and fall away from God.
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Yesterday I had shown you the confused mind of Marianne Williamson and the above scripture, aside from others, makes it quite clear that she is off her rocker when she said:
“…Mary symbolizes the feminine within us, which is impregnated by God. . . . Through a mystical connection between the human and divine, we give birth to our Higher self.”
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
The Judgment Seat
“We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor 5:10 – also see Rom 14:10).
The Greek word translated “judgment seat” is bema, referred to numerous times in classical literature, was a raised speaker’s platform from which proclamations were read and on which citizens stood to appear before officials.
Three bemas are referred to in the New Testament:
* Pilate tried Jesus at the bema in Jerusalem (Matt 27:19; Jn 19:13).
* King Herod Agrippa I was struck by an angel of the Lord while making a speech at the bema in Caesarea (Acts 12:21-23), and Paul later appeared before Governor Porcius Festus there (Acts 25:1-12).
* The Jews of Corinth brought Paul to the bema to be tried by Governor Gallio (Acts 18:12-17).
The Corinthian bema where Paul was tried has been excavated. It is a large stone structure at the side of the agora, or public market, rising some 7.5 feet above the pavement and originally covered with beautifully carved marble.
A partially reconstructed Latin inscription found nearby reads,
“He revetted the rostra and paid personally the expense of making all its marble.” (The word rostra is the Latin equivalent of bema.)
There is no higher-self, or if you choose to believe there is one know that it is the Trinity within us.