Christianity 201

June 25, 2017

An Unholy Collection

by Russell Young

The Word speaks of a collection of people that is going to take place at “the end of the age.” The gathering will be done at the command of the Son and will be carried out by his angels. In explaining the parable of the weeds Jesus said, “The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom, everything that causes sin and all who do evil.” (Mt 13:41 NIV) The collection will be of those who have defied his commands and have either caused sin to take place or have practiced sin. Only the holy will remain.

The Lord’s words should cause those who teach and those who claim his name and who presume eternal salvation to fully consider his revelation. That is, the gathering will not be according to a pardon for sin, but will be based upon one’s doings following the pardon…their causing sin or doing evil. This proclamation is consistent with the many teachings concerning the need for obedience. (Mt 7:21, 28:20; Jn 14:23; 1 Jn 2: 3─4, 3:7,24, 5:3─4; Rev 22:14 KJV)

Many accept that Christ’s righteousness was imputed to them and that obedience is a non-issue. They accept that he washed away all sin that they will ever commit. It is correct that he took the believer’s sin leaving him or her righteous through the imputation of his righteousness; however, this act was to bring them back to God so that they might gain the Holy Spirit. (Gal 3:14; Eph 1:4; Col 1:21─22; Rom 5:10) The imputation of his righteousness did not provide pardon for sinful acts beyond the point when the point of redemption unless the believer repents and seeks forgiveness. (1 Jn 1:9) If it did, the Lord would have to continue to bear any sins committed and he would remain separated from his Father due to his unholy state just as he was at the time of his crucifixion.

Further, the Word reveals that those who will be gathered will have been placed in Christ’s kingdom by the “enemy.” That is, some will be counterfeit “believers,” who have claimed faith but who have chosen to live on their own terms and according to their own purposes. 2 Peter 17─21 references these people as does the writer of Hebrews. “And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were unable to enter, because of their unbelief.” (Heb 3:18─19 NIV) The purpose of the weeds, those who cause sin and those who do evil, is to disrupt and negatively impact those who had a legitimate place in his kingdom and were endeavouring to live in the light. Such an approach by the enemy of Christ indicates that he can and desires to destroy those who are in the kingdom. These enemies can be discerned both by their incitement to cause sin and by their practice of it.

Paul taught: “For as I have often told you before and say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.” (Phil 3:18─19 NIV) They are seeking to satisfy the flesh rather than the Spirit. Even though Paul condemned the practices or doings of these people and identified their end as being destruction, many hold to the understanding that Christ expects nothing of them other that to believe-“belief” as determined by themselves; they dismiss commands to live righteously and to defeat the practice of sin because they accept that Christ has done that for them removing all concern or fear.

People will be weeded out because of their actions. Judgment will come for the things done in the body whether good or bad. (2 Cor 5:10) Those who have despised the life of Christ in them, rather than for them, will be among those who have been plucked from his righteous kingdom. Paul taught, “continue to work out your own salvation, with fear and trembling.” (Phil 2:12 NIV)

Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” (Lk 13:34) Entering through the narrow door requires effort and those who do not put forth the necessary effort will be part of the angel’s “unholy collection.”

5 Comments »

  1. so does that make a deathbed confession the only “sure” way into heaven? That doesn’t feel right

    Comment by RandyCalvert — June 26, 2017 @ 11:01 am | Reply

  2. *conversion not confession

    Comment by RandyCalvert — June 26, 2017 @ 11:38 am | Reply

  3. The issue of a deathbed confession is not referenced in the Word. There are some things to keep in mind, however. It is not our confession that results in our salvation; it is God’s response to our confession that allows for our salvation and only he knows the heart of any of us.
    We should not be confused between “salvation” and “eternal salvation.” The misunderstanding has resulted in a great deal of confusion in teaching the Word. The salvation that comes from confession of faith is from the sins committed while under the jurisdiction of the first or Old Covenant. (Heb 9:15) so that we might be freed from the penalty of the sins that we carried while under the law. Following that, the believer is given right to the New Covenant which is a covenant of the Spirit. (2 Cor 3:6) We are told that “eternal” salvation comes through “obedience.”
    Where does that leave a person who makes a deathbed confession? We will “all” be judged for the things done in the flesh, believers and non-believers. (2 Cor 5:10) However, it is not just a pardon from past sins that we need; we need to be conformed to the likeness of the Son of God. (Rom 8:29) and a death bed confession does not accomplish that transformation which takes time. We know that Christ holds the keys to death and Hades. (Rev 1:18) Consequently he will determine one’s fate.
    Revelation 11:18 speaks of a time of judgment or an era of judgment; this era is the Millennium. It is my conviction that those who Christ does not “know” even though they have claimed faith, will have opportunity to confirm their profession. (The reader should take time to gain understanding of the Millennial period.) Christ told those who had claimed ministry in his name that he never knew them and that they were to be cast from him.(Mt 7:23) To be cast from him during his rule on earth is to be cast outside of Jerusalem where they will be ruled by a rod of iron–harsh judgment for the development of righteous practices. “Knew” is translated from the Greek ‘ginosko’ which means to know in the sense of being certain of their commitment.It is for this reason that believers need to demonstrate proof of their faith through obedience.
    Since a deathbed confession does not prove or deny faith, it may be that such proof and transformation will be required during Christ’s rule.
    There will be some who object to such understanding since they accept that belief, according to their acceptance of belief, results in eternal salvation, but it must be remembered that God works according to his definitions.The Word reveals that “belief” requires obedience. (Heb 3:18-19) It is appealing to accept that the pronouncement of a few words is all that is required to gain entrance into God’s heavenly kingdom; however, such acceptance requires the dismissal of much of the teaching of the New Testament concerning judgment, transformation, obedience to the Spirit, continued faith, etc. It even negates James’ teaching about justification. “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” (Jas 2:24 NIV)
    The question that you ask is important and deserves careful thought. Many put a lot of hope in deathbed confessions, but the outcome may not be what is hoped for.
    The writing on “An Unholy Collection” must be taken for its truths as revealed and referenced. They cannot be denied. There is not clear teaching on the outcome of deathbed confessions other than the hope that is rested in Romans 10:9-10; “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.” (NIV) This “salvation” refers to being rescued from past sins and from the Old Covenant and it is so that you can get the Holy Spirit (Gal 3:14) who saves (2 Thess 2:13; Titus 3:5-6) by making you a sacrifice acceptable to God (Rom 15:16) through obedience (Heb 5:9) to the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor 3:17, 18).

    Comment by Russell A. Young — June 26, 2017 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  4. A further comment to the post of “An Unholy Collection.”

    You ask whether or not a deathbed confession is the only sure way to get into heaven. Although I commented on the issue of a deathbed confession, I didn’t comment on a sure means of getting into heaven.
    Contrary to what people may teach, the only sure way to get into God’s heavenly kingdom is through a full, loving and obedient commitment. In this age of computers we expect specific actions to produce certain results. The Word does not produce such action-response solutions. According to the Lord a person must prove faithful “to the end.” (Mt 10:22; 24:13 Mk 13:13; Rev 2:26) If this is the case, a person’s hope cannot be assured until “the end.” In a previous writing “The Signs of Hope for Eternal Salvation,” I identified the signs by which a person can have confidence in an eternal hope. Those who want to play church and live a lukewarm relationship (Rev 3:16) with the Lord will be ‘spit out of his mouth.’ It is time the church took the Lord and a relationship with him seriously. Humankind is to “fear” the Lord enough to recognize that hope lays in the determination of Christ and that he has set forth his expectations and that failing to honor him or his Word has consequences.
    Please understand that those who have enjoined a close relationship do not fear him, but enjoy his presence and authority and find comfort in his sovereignty and in the assurances of his Word. Believers are to walk circumspectly and in obedience to the Spirit and to confess and repent of sin (1 Jn 1:9) when convicted. God is for us, not against us and strives for us but we must also honor him and be committed to him. The Word says that we are to die to self and that we must be prepared to give up all in order to be his disciple. The truth has become strange because humankind has been taught that it is okay to claim right to their own lives and to remain hopeful. The sense of commitment has been lost and the church has been weakened by teachings allowing “cheap grace” to prevail. The believer is called to love God with all of his or mind, body, heart, soul, and strength. This kind of commitment needs to be proclaimed and encouraged. The Lord has not set a line by which slipping past specific minimum requirements will produce an eternal hope.

    Comment by Russell A. Young — June 26, 2017 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for taking the time and effort to reply

      Comment by RandyCalvert — June 27, 2017 @ 1:30 am | Reply


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