A Day of Reckoning

We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, . . . whether good or bad. -2 Corinthians 5:10, emphasis added

Just as the assembly at Pergamos faced the judgment of God for sin that was never dealt with in their lives, so will we if we don't repent. Because God hates sin, we need to flee from it and fear the holiness of God.

As a warning to everyone called to lifelong consecration to the Lord, let's look at what happened to Samson in New Testament terms. Here are some passages, which explain that there are "sins unto death."

All New Testament believers are consecrated to the Lord, like Samson was: Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Spirit is so specific. There were two words in the ancient world for "temple": we are not the hieron, which means "the whole temple building"; we are naos, which means "the most protected part," the sacred chamber where God dwelt, or "the Holy of Holies." Glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. Don't offer excuses or try to justify your sin, because God says you and I are to be consecrated.

We will each answer to God for what we did with our bodies: Each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because . . . the fire will test each one's work. . . . If anyone's work . . . endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).

Have you ever heard the term of getting into heaven "by the skin of your teeth"? There are people who are going to be in heaven, but that is all. They are going to suffer the loss of their earthly life because they were "Samsons" who lived for the lust of their eyes, the lust of their flesh, and the pride of life. The sins that God has forgiven will burn away, and anything not for God's glory, in obedience to God, will also be burned away in God's refining fire. God, therefore, wants us to redeem our time as carefully as possible. Although life is more than Bible reading and prayer, everything we do should still be done for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Make a choice to live in hope: Samson's life is a powerful reminder of God's grace. Even if you have lived like Samson, it is not too late to turn in faith, repent, and look to God. If you are a lost person, turn to Christ while you can still hear His voice, and then cling to Him. If you are a believer, you have not gone too far yet to miss God's grace; respond and cling to Him while there is still time. But if you willfully choose to continue in your sin, you can go too far: there is indeed a sin that leads to death. Sin destroys, but God beautifully restores!

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