17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead. Acts 17:28-30 (Emphasis supplied).
In Acts 17:28-30 Paul expresses 3 principles of truth that not only applied in his day but even more so for those of us that are living at this time. Those 3 principles are:
- God does not hold us accountable for truth that He has not yet revealed to us personally.
- When God does reveal the truth through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit He expects us to surrender to that conviction and repent.
- Those who do not repent will not be able to stand in God’s final judgment because He will judge the world in righteousness.
This helps us understand why the final installment to the everlasting gospel starts by saying:
… Fear God, and give glory to him;: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:7
This is the present truth gospel for this time because it tells us exactly what Jesus is doing in heaven to save this generation (see Revelation 14:6). What troubles many people is the phrase, for the hour of his judgment is come. The reason this phrase troubles many people is because they cannot see how God’s final judgment can be considered part of the everlasting gospel: Especially the part that is to be preached to every nation, kindred, tongue and people (read Revelation 14:6 again).
I too would have a serious problem with seeing how God’s final judgment could be considered part of the everlasting gospel which tells us how Jesus saves sinners from sin, not how God condemns sinners to eternal death because of their sins which is what the final judgment will do (see I Corinthians 5:10-11, Hebrews 10:26-27, II Peter 2:4&9 and Jude 1:14&15). However, the 1st angel’s message is not talking about God’s final judgment it is announcing a special work of judgment that is going on right now in heaven. Notice the phrase did not say that God’s judgment is coming or is about to come: It says that God’s judgment is come. Those 2 words make a world of difference because of the difference between the work Jesus is doing now and the work He will do in the final judgment. Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us what work Jesus is doing now. It reads as follows:
4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Emphasis supplied).
This tells us that as long as Jesus is acting as our High Priest that sinners like me can come boldly before God’s throne and receive mercy and grace to help us become more like Jesus. However, just before Jesus comes the 2nd time He will cease His work as our High Priest and make this announcement:
22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Revelation 22:11&12
This tells us that just before Jesus He will cease His work of intercession and begin the work of the final judgment: It is final because there is no longer any chance of repentance or forgiveness, those who are righteous will stay righteous and those who are unjust will stay filthy. Therefore, when Jesus comes He will be coming to do the work of final judgment. This is why we are told in II Corinthians 5:10:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.
So the fact that Jesus’ saving work of judgment is going on now makes it imperative that we do the 2 things that will allow us to benefit from this judgment and they are:
- Have unbroken fellowship with God.
- Walk in the light that comes as a result of unbroken fellowship with God.
Hopefully now you can see why God in His infinite wisdom and incomprehensible love sent the present truth gospel for this generation in the form of the 3 angel’s messages so the world would not only know about the good news of Jesus’ saving work of judgment but also know what we must do in order to benefit from Jesus’ saving work to ensure that we will be ready to meet Him in peace, without spot and blameless (see II Peter 3:9-15).
I know I said I would deal with what it means to walk in the Spirit 24/7 this week but I was impressed to show the difference between Jesus’ cleansing work of judgment that He is doing now to prepare us for His 2nd coming and Jesus’ final work of judgment that He will do after His 2nd coming: One is to cleanse His people from their sins (see Malachi 3:1-5), the other is to cleanse the universe from the presence and effects of sin and sinners (see Revelation 20:11-15 thru 21:1-5).
Next week I will begin to deal with what Jesus’ saving work of judgment has to do with causing us to walk in the Spirit 24/7. Until then I leave you with this portion of scripture to ponder and pray over:
4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. 4:16 Yet if [any man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 4:17 For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.