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Resurrectional Responsibility to the Judgment Seat of Christ.

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1 Resurrectional Responsibility to the Judgment Seat of Christ

2 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 1 Corinthians 15:17-18

3 And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:1-2

4 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. John 5:22 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth...And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. Isaiah 11:2-5

5 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Matthew 12:36-37...for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. Matthew 10:26... judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts (1 Corinthians 4:5)...for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ... So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:10, 12

6 Resurrectional Responsibility − (i.e., who is amenable to resurrection to judgment?)

7 “That at the return of Jesus Christ from heaven, to establish his kingdom on earth, he will, first of all, summon before him for judgment, the whole of his professing household…Faithful and unfaithful will be mustered together before his judgment seat…” A Declaration, Prop. No. XXXI “That at the appearing of Christ, his servants, faithful and unfaithful, dead and living of both classes, will be summoned before his judgment seat to be judged according to their works…” XV, D

8 In the first place there is no necessity for resurrection where hope is excluded and condemnation is final. Anastasis p. 39...three classes are indicated by Peter in the words, If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1 Peter 4:18): the enlightened sinner, who rejects the truth; the ungodly, who disgraces it; and the righteous, who do it. Anastasis p. 41 An enlightened sinner cannot evade the consequences of his illumination Anastasis p. 42 This evidently teaches their anastasis kriseos, or coming forth from sheol, for judicial condemnation and punishment, contemporarily with the establishment of the kingdom in the Holy Land. Anastasis p. 42

9 I believed that “the dead are raised incorruptible,” and taught that truth in Elpis Israel. But when I wrote that work...my attention had not been drawn to the subject in its details. Anastasis, p. 26

10 “...writing on the same subject in the Herald, Dr. Thomas says: ‘We believe that the scriptures teach the resurrection of the just and of the unjust, who have died under times of knowledge, whose knowledge they have accepted; and the resurrection a thousand years afterwards of ‘the rest of the dead’ who have intelligently rejected it... The rest of the dead are those who never come under a constitution of righteousness; not because they did not know, but because they refused to do so. Having been enlightened, but preferring darkness to light, they will arise to judgment at the end of the millennium.’ ( Vol. 5, No. 7, page 161)” But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Revelation 20:5

11  “an enlightened sinner cannot evade the consequences of his illumination”  “This evidently teaches their...coming forth...for judicial condemnation and punishment”  “they will arise to judgment at the end of the millennium”

12 As to those believing the truth but refusing to acknowledge and submit to it from sinister motives, it is not impossible these may be held responsible…Persecutors of the apostolic era would come into the “third-class” class by their rejection of the truth in the presence of miracles. Their cases will probably be dealt with at the close of the thousand years, as they form no part of the household of faith, who are to be the subjects of the judgment instituted at the coming of Christ. The Christadelphian, Volume 7, June 1, 1870, page 186 (bold and underlining added for emphasis)

13 This evidently teaches their anastasis kriseos, or coming forth from sheol, for judicial condemnation and punishment, contemporarily with the establishment of the kingdom in the Holy Land. Dr. Thomas, Anastasis, p. 42

14 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin...If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. John 15:22, 24 Persecutors of the apostolic era would come into the “third-class” class by their rejection of the truth in the presence of miracles. Their cases will probably be dealt with at the close of the thousand years, as they form no part of the household of faith, who are to be the subjects of the judgment instituted at the coming of Christ.

15 In the 1890's a very vigorous controversy arose. This controversy was principally between Robert Roberts and J. J. Andrew who discerned a drift in Robert Roberts’ writings in “The Christadelphian” magazine in 1893. The drift was away from the firmly declared teaching in the writings of R.R. from 1870 to 1883, and J.J.A. published excerpts to demonstrate this drift. He began to publish his own magazine, “The Sanctuary Keeper” and in the first issue, July 1894, he published an indictment against the teaching of “The Christadelphian.” This was pretty strong stuff and caused great resentment against J.J. Andrew among the friends and supporters of Robert Roberts. The contention was mainly about what is accomplished by baptism into Christ. A quotation is cited from “The Christadelphian” August 1893 (page 301) where R.R. says (in response to the idea that sinners have nothing to answer for beyond the sentence of death which they inherit from Adam), continued…

16 “It is overwhelming proof of the responsibility of the enlightened. On this principle a man is brought into condemnation as an actual transgressor of God’s law by knowledge before baptism. He becomes morally guilty, and it is this moral guilt that baptism atones, and not natural sin. The latter is Adamic, and is paid for by literal death.” R.R. said that this was overwhelming proof of the responsibility of the enlightened. Further to this J.J.A. cited another quotation from the Feb. 1894 issue of The Christadelphian, “There is not a present freedom... from the death inherited from Adam. The believer dies exactly as other men die.” K. G. McPhee, Christadelphian History: A Story of Division, February 24, 1996, pp. 2-3

17 I am constrained to write you on the subject matter…in which you contend for the resurrection of those who are not in Christ…you say, “that the divine purpose has been declared…that God will judge them that are without.” Now is this right? I expected better things of you…A fallacious teaching like the one you are trying to establish requires better evidence than that you have given… The Christadelphian, Vol. 21, January 1884, page 24 I can see how it may be that much that is there written might appear to limit the resurrection…to those who have actually become members of the household of Christ....If so, it is a misapplication of arguments which had no intentional bearing on the question you raise, but were wholly directed to the confutation of the orthodox idea of universal responsibility. The Christadelphian, Vol. 21, January 1884, page 25

18 If you mean by “this truth” that the resurrection which is the subject matter of the gospel is “through Jesus” only, and that only those in covenant relation are the subjects thereof, I not only recognized this when in London … Indeed, I recognized it at my immersion, and, as I told Bro. Roberts, learned it through reading “Twelve Lectures.” Advocate, Volume 21, August 1905, page 243

19 Unamended Statement of Faith – Clause 25 That at the appearing of Christ prior to the establishment of the kingdom, the responsible (faithful and unfaithful), dead and living of both classes, will be summoned before his judgment seat “to be judged according to their works;” and “receive in body according to what they have done, whether it be good or bad.” Amended Statement of Faith – Clause 24 That at the appearing of Christ prior to the establishment of the kingdom, the responsible, (namely, those who know the revealed will of God, and have been called upon to submit to it), dead and living – obedient and disobedient – will be summoned before his judgment seat “to be judged according to their works;” and “receive in body according to what they have done, whether it be good or bad.”

20 When the Statement was amended in 1898 a third class was added and defined in the BASF as “the responsible (namely those who know the revealed will of God, and have been called upon to submit to it).” This addition to the Statement of Faith did much more than expand the area of people responsible to God. It changed the basis of responsibility and the reason for responsibility to the judgment seat. Consequently it was a major change in the officially declared doctrine as set down in the previous Statements of Faith. Those responsible to resurrection and judgment were said to be all people who knew the will of God and not simply the servants in the household. This was a very significant extension of the Statement. K. G. McPhee, Christadelphian History: A Story of Division, February 24, 1996, p. 4

21  many profess that “God will” as opposed to “God may” raise some out of covenant relationship;  that “light,” and not the blood of Christ / covenant relationship, is the basis of resurrection for rejecter and saint alike; and…  that the rejecter will be brought with the household to the judgment seat of Christ – to be judged according to their works... to “receive in body according to what they have done, whether it be good or bad.” (BASF Clause 24)

22  1) approval/acceptance of the belief that “light”, and not the blood of the covenant, brings men forth from the grave for judgment;  2) that rejecters will appear before the judgment seat of Christ to be judged along with and on the same basis as the household; and...  3) promotion of the resurrection of the enlightened rejecter as a fundamental principle of faith.

23 For, if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death (baptism), we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Romans 6:5

24  Acts 24:24-25 – And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.  Acts 17:30-31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 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. continued…

25  Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  Matthew 12:42 − The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.  John 12:48 − He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

26 Acts 24:24-25 – And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. Question: Felix was a wicked man out of covenant. The subject of the discussion had been the resurrection of the dead and concerned the faith in Christ. This practically rules out the possibility of the conversation being about the judgments of A.D. 70 as it was not part of the Gospel. What reason can be provided therefore, for Felix’s trembling, other than his fear of the judgment seat of Christ?

27  That wicked men out of covenant and unrelated to him who is “the resurrection and the life” are indeed subject to resurrection from the dead  That the topic of resurrectional responsibility was discussed in this second meeting with Felix when Paul reasoned of “judgment to come”  That it was the topic of judgment to come and not Paul’s reasoning concerning righteousness and temperance that caused Felix to tremble continued…

28  That Felix understood and believed in his own personal accountability to resurrection, and that it moved him to tremble. (Note: while Felix was familiar with Jewish beliefs and ways (vs. 22), there is no evidence that he believed in Christ; his motive for his subsequent audiences with Paul are not indicative of a man who personally feared the judgment of Christ, as he sought payment as a bribe... and he left Paul in prison for two years without cause except for his own political expediency. Would one fearful of his own personal responsibility to Christ at the resurrection of the dead repeatedly engage in this kind of behavior?)

29 Scriptural evidence linking resurrection to judgment specifically to covenant relationship with Christ: 1) Romans 6:4-5 − Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death...For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. 2) 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 − For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 3) Acts 4:1-2 − And as they spake unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came unto them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

30 4) John 11:25 − Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. 5) Psalm 50:5 − Gather my saints together unto me, those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. 6) Matthew 24:31 − And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other....the “elect” are defined in Scripture as... 7) 1 Peter 1:2 − Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.

31 ...culminating in... 8) 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 − For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him. For the Lord himself shall descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.

32 The Scriptures above present resurrection to judgment specifically through Christ in direct and indisputable language. Resurrection to judgment is presented “through Jesus” and “in Christ,” addressing those who “sleep in Jesus,” are “dead in Christ” and “elect...unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” Not one of these verses addressing resurrectional responsibility hints at resurrection through any other means, and we know of no direct testimony of resurrection to judgment outside of Christ. Should the wisdom of God result in His bringing back to life a person who was not justified by the atoning work of Christ, that would be His prerogative; but that is not where the Scriptures place their teaching or their emphasis in relation to resurrectional judgment. In our proclamation of first principles, ought we not to teach the certainties of scriptural truth?


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