By M.L. Dye
JESUS TAUGHT THAT THERE WILL BE A GREAT SEPARATION
Jesus clearly definitely and repeated declared that a time is coming when "before Him shall be gathered the nations of the world and He shall separate them as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats." Their destiny? "These shall go into everlasting punishment but the righteous into Life Eternal" (Matt 25).
Beyond all questions, two classes shall go in opposite directions when God's eternal justice is melted out. The great question is not when or how this will take place, but which side am I on now, and which side will I be on when this great separation comes?
Let us look at how often the Lord Jesus repeated the fact of this separation.
He said, "The hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear His Voice and shall come forth; They that have done good unto the resurrection of Life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29)
Hear His Words, "Woe unto thee Chorazin and, woe to thee Bethsaida, for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sack-cloth and ashes. But I say unto you it shall before tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the Day of judgment than for you." "And thou Capernaum, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for thee." Jesus said. "The men of Ninevah shall rise in Judgment--The queen of the South shall rise up in the judgment (Matt 11 and 12).
Also "Every idle word that men shall speak they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment" (Matt. 12:36)
In interpreting "the parable of the tares," Jesus said, "In the end of this world, the Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father" (Matt. 13:41-43).
Note again how Christ explains the parable of the net and fishes. "At the end of the world, the angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just; and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt 13:49-50).
From the words of the Son of God, we know there will be a separation of the "just" and the "wicked"--the--"righteous" and the "unrighteous"-the "good" and the "bad" and that separation will effect every mortal who ever traveled the short road from birth to death on this earth.
FROM THE STATEMENTS OF CHRIST. IT IS ALSO ESTABLISHED THAT THE WICKED WILL GO INTO HELL, AND THE RIGHTEOUS INTO HEAVEN.
Now since the scriptures declare that all have sinned and since this is also proven by universal human experience, the question which follows logically is, "How can the wicked person become righteous?" or "How can the sinner become a saint?" "How can the bad be made good, before it is too late? The answer to these questions is found in true and genuine repentance and in faith in Christ.
Jesus said it is by faith, i.e., "Whosoever believeth on Him hath everlasting life." But with equal emphasis, Jesus taught that repentance is essential to genuine, saving faith. For the every first words of Christ's own preaching were, "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17).
Likewise He instructed all His disciples, for we read that the disciples "went out and preached that men should repent" (Mark 6:12).
Jesus repeatedly emphasized, "Except ye repent ye shall perish," and "there is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repenteth."
In the presence of most church members there is joy when a man or woman joins the church, but the angels rejoice only when he or she repents of sin. Are the angels blind? Or are the pastors and church members blind who do not require genuine repentance?
Jesus closed His ministry with a final emphasis on repentance in the words, "It behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name, among all nations" (Luke 24:46).
Anyone who loves Christ, and who really knows what He taught about repentance, cannot help feeling horrified by the modern spectacle of multitudes being exhorted to "believe on Christ" without any clear instructions concerning repentance.
Of course the "father of lies" is delighted by this procedure which in Heaven's sight is merely turning sinners into hypocrites!
Certainly those who have joined the churches without repentance are not on their way to Heaven, for Jesus said, "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven but He that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven." (Matt 7:21).
When Jesus was "in the days of His flesh" He constantly instructed His disciples as they followed Him. Then on the night of His crucifixion He gathered them around Him in the upper room. There, He not only established the Lord's supper for our observance, but emphasized again the spiritual cleansing which Heaven requires of all the Redeemed.
In deepest humility He girded Himself with a towel and began to wash the disciples' feet. Peter drew back in amazement, exclaiming, "Lord, doest Thou wash my feet? (John 13:6). Christ, in replying made a statement which is Eternally vital to every believer. If I wash thee not thou hast no part with Me" (John 13:8).
Lest they should think He was merely concerned with the Judean dust on their sandaled feet. He hastened to explain, "He that is washed needeth not but to was his feet, but is clean every whit. And ye are clean, but not all. For He knew who should betray Him. Therefore He said, "Ye are not all clean" (John 13:11).
Thus Jesus explained that He was not talking about the dust from the road, but was stressing the need for being cleansed from the domination of demons such as swarmed around Judas, and such as direct the actions of everyone who sins, For let us remember, "Every one that sinneth is a slave (John 8:34---Century Translation).
When Jesus said, "If I wash thee not thou hast no part with Me. He was placing a final emphasis on the fact that true repentance from all sin, or saying "No!" to the devil is essential to the salvation of our immortal souls.
This same thought is re-emphasized again in the prayer of Christ (John 17:16). "They are not of the world even as I am not of the world." (In verse 20, Christ explains that this applies to all believers).
What could He mean but that real Christians are not dominated by evil forces--they are not slaves to the Satanic power which impels to sin. "My sheep follow Me", said Christ, "and a stranger will they not follow" (John 10:5).
If like Peter under terrific pressure they swerve and deny their Lord: like Peter, they will also hasten to repent in bitter tears and they follow him as Peter did until they see His face; for history tells us that through Peter's determined loyalty to Christ, He was finally crucified with his head downward.
The true sheep of Christ are ever encouraged by their Shepherd's words, "To him that overcometh will I give to sit with me upon my throne". And above all, they cherish to hear the Master say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant;... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt 25:21).
The true servants of Christ seek a city that is made without hands, "whose builder and maker is God" where there is no need of the sun to shine by day, for the Lamb of God is the Light thereof; nor the moon by night, for there is no night: and where God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away; and where ages on ages they will serve the Father, and delight in the glories of His creation. There they will rejoice in knowing Him as our Savior knew Him, while He walked on earth. They now eagerly look forward to the Eternal Day of divine joy in which to worship and love and exalt the Savior Who hath redeemed us, by His own blood, from the clutches of all the infernal powers of Hell! Praise be to Him through endless ages!!!
"THE UNPARDONABLE SIN"
Because confusing interpretations are given about "the unpardonable sin" or "blaspheming against the Holy Ghost", we pause to remark that wherever Christ speaks of an unforgivable sin, in the context of that same passage, a definite case illustrates exactly what he means. In each case false religious leaders had accused the Son of God of casting out demons by Satan's power. Therefore, unless he has done exactly this, no one has scriptural grounds for believing he has committed the unpardonable sin of which Christ spoke.