Hope in the Resurrection at Judgment
I believe the following is one of the most important encouragements for the children of God:
I had just finished writing a book about the Christian doctrine of Election and I was seeking to know and understand Exousia (the power to exercise choice), which some refer to as 'free will.' Intellectually, I knew that during the resurrection God will reward and rank all of His children according to the choices they made on the Earth, but like most everyone, I never personally experienced this moment in time. Perhaps if I did experience this moment, I will be able to help God's children understand how important our choices on this Earth are in forming our character to the likeness of Jesus, and how this character we form will determine our rank and reward at the resurrection and judgment.
Thankfully, because I was persistently asking, seeking, and knocking, God opened the door and allowed me to experience first hand all of these things through a vision. Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him! Thank you so much Lord for your faithfulness when we seek you. You are the most high and most faithful and wisdom and power is yours forever!
Presented in the form of a non-literal allegory, the dream I am about to present may seem strange, but it was entirely necessary for me completely experience the importance of the choices we make on this Earth and its effect on our character and on our future rank and reward. It was given to me in a very graphic manner that was necessary for me to personally understand the resurrection at judgment, but it was also given to me in a way that others may relate to.
Here is the explanation of my dream:
I was in a large building that had many rooms. The atmosphere was very serious. There was order to everything and I was sitting in the presence of many other people. Suddenly, me and two other people (a man and a woman) were told to walk down a hallway and enter into other rooms. I felt that it was our turn for something very special, but I did not know what. The man I walked alongside looked extraordinarily confident and awe-inspiring. He looked like a great leader. The woman who came with us was also very beautiful and confident. I was the runt of the litter. I didn't know what was going on and I was very weak and concerned. I felt that, if we were being assigned jobs where we were going, I'd receive a very lowly position. I felt that both the man and the woman thought this of me as well. They didn't think I was worthy for what was soon to come and they were bothered by my presence among them.
All three of us were each placed alone in different rooms. I walked into a dark room with the strangest of creatures on shelves and there was a computer screen nearby. The creatures alarmed me, although I knew that they were friendly, and one was very large, almost like a giant salamander with a huge mouth. I didn't know what to expect from it.
I looked at the computer screen and displayed on it was a very powerful-looking humanoid creature. Suddenly, I recognized instantly that this was soon going to be me. How could this be? I am just a frightened, confused kid who feels like I deserve the worst of the worst, and this is the rank that I was given? What joy! Yet, what was this rank? I had no idea, but I truly loved it! I was so thankful and confused at the same time! Why did I ever deserve this? I knew that the Lord had felt that I deserved it, but everyone else (and even myself) had known for certain that I was a doomed man. What grace for such a wretched man!
As I looked through the computer screen, I found that there were additional features to this creature. I did not know exactly what these additions would do for me but I knew that they were rewards that came with my rank. This rank and all of these rewards were gifts for the good choices I had made while I was a weak and feeble human on the Earth. Although not every choice I had made was good, the Lord at least felt that this rank and the rewards attached were exactly what I deserved. As I looked over the computer screen and accepted my fate, the giant salamander creature on the shelf turned its head to me, opened it's mouth, and let forth a loud, low-pitched noise. I perceived this noise to be a benediction for my future, sealing my fate.
I went out of the room and into another room where I encountered the same man and woman from earlier. The three of us were told to stand beside an old wall telephone with a bell-shaped receiver and pick it up when it ringed. I didn't know how the man and the woman felt, but I knew that they no longer had the confidence that they once did. The man, however, still felt determined to pick up the receiver first because he felt worthy to be the first. As we waited, all I could think of was the moment in time that I would receive my rank and rewards. I was so joyous that such a lowly person like me was determined to live for eternity in the form of what I thought was such an amazingly handsome, powerful, and chivalrous creature.
As I was eagerly waiting, the wall phone rang and all three of us grabbed for it. I had been the closest so I picked it up, put it to my ear with one hand, and held the hand of the man, as the man also held a hand with the woman. We were all holding hands as I listened. Suddenly from the receiver came the most beautiful voice of a woman singing. She was singing a series of pitches that were going up a scale. Do, Re, Mi, Fa, higher and higher the pitch and sound of this voice was more beautiful than anything I had ever heard. As I listened in bliss, suddenly our feet lifted off of the ground and we were surrounded by a brilliant light. We couldn't see anything because the light was so brilliant. And then, in a flash, I was immediately in a strange and beautiful new world, standing on a monument in the middle of a beautiful open area that was made out of cut stone.
It was daytime and the sky with gorgeous. As I stood on this monument surveying this new world, I overlooked the multitude of bustling creatures, all of them different in form, power, and position. They each had different ranks and rewards, and they performed different tasks. Looking down, I immediately spotted a small creature who seemed a bit upset. I knew immediately that this creature used to be the proud and confident man that I had encountered earlier. He was quite upset now though. It seems that he and the woman had already received their rank and rewards, and I was last among them. I never did see the woman in the area though, so I don't know what happened to her.
As I looked on in amazement at that man's new form, I noticed that there was a very wise old man beside me. I knew that he was there to help explain to me what was going on. He was very kind and seemed like a man of great power and position. He acted like a father to me as we both watched all of the exotic-looking creatures go to and fro. All of these creatures used to be God's human children and their new forms represent their different ranks and rewards.
However, I was still a human. I was not the tall and handsome creature that I had seen on the computer screen. I was still the same as I had always been, but there was a mirror nearby and I had noticed that my once abnormal or misaligned facial features were all aligned and in order. I recognized at that time that I was in spirit and my spirit looked like a cleaned up version of me when I was on the Earth, and I did not have a new form yet like everyone else.
The old man nearby pointed out toward the distance and I looked to where he was trying to tell me to look. A short distance away, there was a round door coming up from the ground and it was filled with light. The old man told me that this is where my new form (rank and reward) was going to arrive and that I should go to meet it. Hurriedly I jumped off the monument and raced towards the door. As I got close to it, that tall, handsome, and chivalrous creature walked out and stood before me. I was scared and joyous at the same time. This was going to be me? It mechanically looked down at me and I looked up at it. This was my new body? Was this my rank? What this my position for eternity?
As I stared at it, suddenly my spirit twisted around and melded with the body. I had received my rank and rewards! I blinked my eyes and looked around from a height that I had never known before. I looked over myself. I was now really this new creature! The Lord really recompensed me according to my deeds and He believed that I deserved this form for all eternity! I was so joyous there were no words to describe what I was feeling. Even my inner character felt so much more clear and confident. I truly knew who I was and had no inhibitions or doubts about my rank and reward, because they were given to me by the Lord and determined good in His sight, so I could approve of them with endless praise of His works, gratitude for His righteousness, and confidence in Him as Lord Jesus, King over everything.
Step by step I moved around. I was infinitely energetic and for the first time felt very privileged. The other creatures around me knew my position immediately and I knew theirs'. I knew their ranks and rewards and they knew mine. I jumped up to the top of the monument with ease as the old man asked me what I thought. I indicated that it was wonderful and he understood my joy. However, at that time, this old man also gave me a bit of bad news. A time line appeared in the sky above his head like there was a computer screen hovering above him. It was my own time line and it showed every choice I had made while I was alive on the Earth. The word 'bible' was also below the time line, indicating that everything on my time line was measured against my pursuit to know my relationship to God and courageously honor Him by being loyal to Jesus and walking out my preordained works.
Although the old man was happy about my rank and rewards, he still wanted to let me know that since I had also made some choices in my life that weren't so good, I wasn't allowed to join in one particular event. Although I was upset about this, I understood this and I knew that Jesus' decisions were just and righteous. I knew that my rank and rewards were different than the rank and rewards of everyone else, and that there were others who had a rank and rewards that were much higher than mine, and that those people were given certain privileges or rewards that I wasn't.
And that was my dream. It was so vivid and real and so convincing that when I woke up, I felt like a completely new person. I knew that every word I said and every choice I made would have an everlasting outcome. I knew that my character would be formed by every choice I made, and that at judgment I will receive a rank and reward according to how well my character is likened to His. Will I maintain my loyalty to Jesus while I am here on the Earth? Will I persevere in my pursuit to honor and obey Him? Will I do the best I can for Him? I only hope that under every circumstance we can all confidently shout, "Yes Lord Jesus! Anything for my King!"
Again, this particular dream was a non-literal allegory with a spiritual significance, indicating only the extreme importance of our Exousia (power to exercise choices) and the implications that the choices of God's children will have on their future rank and reward. There will likely be no strange salamander, no computer screen, no wall phone, and we will not literally all receive different physical forms in the resurrection.
Only those whose names are in the Book of Life will have any part in what I had experienced. Only they will belong to Jesus' kingdom on the New Earth. We live once and die once, and there is only one judgment at the end. The importance of my dream was in what I experienced and felt and how these things convinced me of how important our choices are on this Earth. Our choices will never have some existential karmic effect, because this present world is one where the wicked tend to prosper and the righteous tend to suffer. In other words, while we are alive on this Earth, we don't always get what we deserve. Instead, the consequences of our choices are being held and reserved until the resurrection and judgment, where they will be dispensed to us. And each of us - as stars differ from glory to glory - will at the resurrection receive a different rank and rewards according to our choices.
So honor the Lord! Serve the King! Do the best you can for Him! Pray to Him! Seek wisdom and understanding! Read your bibles! Proclaim His name throughout the nations! Love your neighbors! And remain loyal to Him under every circumstance. Be ready at every moment to give an account of His everlasting glory and power and honor. And even under the threat of death, never reject your King! Holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!
"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done." - Jesus (Relevation 22:12, NASB)
Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15, NASB)
"Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." (Daniel 12:1-3, NASB)Back