Originally Posted by The Mighty Sword, post #1
Originally Posted by The Mighty Sword, post #4
TMS, your question deserves a balanced Scriptural answer.
Originally Posted by Quickened
It is clear that Jesus, in talking to His Disciples, spoke to them of judgment, and instructed them to ask for forgiveness daily.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses ...Peter's remark
[T]he 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? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:17 f.)suggests that believers face judgment and are held to account, and that even for those who are Christ's the process of final judgment and salvation is not necessarily easy. Paul tells the believers in Corinth
[W]e 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." (2 Cor 5:10)Again, Paul writes to the believers at Rome saying
[W]hy do you set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Rom 14:10-12)
Again Paul says in I Cor. 3:11-13, 14-17
[O]ther foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy
These Scriptures suggest to many earnest Biblical believers that there will be a good deal of difficult facing up to who we are, and to the thorny problems of our own rebelliousness and sinfulness, and to the wicked deeds we have done, which will accompany God's gracious and free salvation. For salvation does not mean, mainly, going to some place called heaven, but coming into the presence of God, and being transformed to be like Him. For us who are messed-up sinners, there is every reason to suppose that that might be difficult. Note that righteous Isaiah, when he has a vision of God, is utterly dismayed:
I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. ... Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. These intuitions, Scriptural and logical, seem to me to lie behind the kind of idea that the process of our entering into God's presence, and being made like Christ, may be arduous or painful to those whose lives and habits are ungodly, even if they have trusted in Christ and given themselves to God.
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.(Isaiah 6:1-7)
You can get a vivid narative sense of such a perspective from C.S. Lewis's tale The Great Divorce or JRR Tolkien's tale "Leaf by Niggle". Tolkien was a Catholic Christian, Lewis a protestant.
Jesus makes it quite clear in John 15 that there are two types of purging which take place: that by which those who are not found in the true vine are cut out, and ultimately separated and burned up; and that by which those who remain in the true vine are further purified, and pruned, to be more fruitful. Hebrews, similarly, says that God disciplines those He loves, and that this discipline is often painful. This is a point made by most of the NT writers. That God does not, upon our turning to Him, instantly and painlessly remove from our lives, or correct, all that is amiss is made clear in Scripture, and is our common experience as Christians. This does not mean that Christ’s cross is insufficient; it simply means that the power of the cross working is not necessarily instantaneous, easy, or painless for us.
The idea, arguably set out I Cor. 3, II Cor. 5, I Peter 4, Romans 14, and elsewhere, that entry into God’s presence involves judgment, and possible difficulty, pain, or loss even for those whom God adjudges or deems righteous seems to cohere with this idea.