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Monday, April 21, 2014

Where do we rank?

Posted by Gary on March 9, 2007

Does God view all His children in the same way? I am aware that Scripture teaches that God does not show partiality (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11), that is, in regard to salvation God is willing to save any person who repents and places their faith in Christ regardless of their gender or nationality. But does this mean that God does not make distinctions between His children? As a parent it is hard for me to imagine that He doesn’t. I am constantly assessing the status and progress of my children and notice the greater obedience of one compared to the disobedience of another. I also distinguish between obedience that flows from love for my wife and me as opposed to begrudging compliance.

I fear that many Christians are heading to heaven telling themselves that God is going to regard us all equally on the Judgment Day and in eternity to follow. I have always been intrigued by the following verses:

Ezekiel 14:12-20Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. “Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. “Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

Isn’t something very plain here? God does not regard all those who bear His name the same. God does make a distinction between us regarding our obedience and faithfulness. What an interesting list. Think of all the people not mentioned on it: Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Samuel and David are not mentioned. I realize there is a certain danger in making a comparison here, who can question the Godliness or Scripture’s approval of these men? Yet, God mentions three and only three, why these three?

I will not speculate as to why God mentions Noah, Job and Daniel and not others but here is the greater point, is it not clear that God is willing to hold them up above others? Do we have any reason to believe that God does not do the same thing today? I am not advocating seeking preeminence, or competition but I am am asking us to consider that God does make an assessment of His people and some are more pleasing to Him than others.

Are we content to just be going to heaven? Is there any mark of childhood in us that seeks to honor and obey our Father and to be pleasing to Him? Do we realize that how we live toward God now will be reflected throughout eternity?

Matthew 5:19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

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