"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega,... 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, ... have right to the tree of life, and... enter ... the city."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
Every religion talks about God and eternity in its own way. We Christians define God as the one and only Omnipotent Spirit, who exists from eternal past and will exist unto the eternal future, and who has created all things that has come to existence. He is the only God, and there is no other God. This God determines and provides eternal destinies to every soul. They are heaven and hell. "Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Unjust and filthy people will be cast into hell. Righteous and holy people will inherit heaven. Jesus Christ says that we will receive our rewards according to our work shall be. There are four levels of rewards in heaven, for different levels of works that we do. If we do works as a baby, we will be as a child of God. So also there are servants of God, Sons of God, and bride of Christ. The bride is also described as the city New Jerusalem. The children of God will go to Paradise, which is new earth. The tabernacle of God will be on new earth. The servants of God will be in the tabernacle serving God. They rule the children of God, and guide them in worship. The sons of God will be in new heavens. New Jerusalem is the bride, and she will be with Christ. Let us see them in details.
The first level that inherit the kingdom of God is, the children of God. How do I become a child of God? Let us look at the scripture. We have to be careful in one thing that sons are also children. So, we are looking for the child, who is a baby child of God, since sons are adult child. The Lord Jesus Christ says in, "Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." So, not only we live in peace with others, but we also try to bring peace among others, then we will be children of God. "Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;" If we follow the ways of Jesus Christ in our life, we will be his children. "1 John 5:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." If we live in righteousness with our brethren in the Lord, then it is proof that we are the children of God. However, the work of the children are not as heavy as the adult children, who are the sons of God. Let me give an example with the commandments of Jesus Christ.
Sin is transgression or disobeying the law. "1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." If there is no law, then there is no sin."Romans 5:13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." However, Christians have the commandments of Jesus Christ in the place of the law of Moses. So, if we disobey Jesus Christ, it is sin. Jesus Christ has given us his commandments and abridged them into two. They are: 'love God' and 'love your neighbor'. If we say we love God, prove it by obeying his commandments. "John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments." So, if we love God, we will obey him. But, how to love our neighbors? Romans 13 says, "8 he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Verses 8 and 9 are the commandments in a nut shell. Now, please pay attention to verse 10. It says, if we do not do any ill (harm or hurt) to our neighbors, we have fulfilled the commandments. That is all, what God expects of us, to do by this commandment. God does not tell us to take care of our neighbors as brother's keeper, but not hurt them. It is not hard. 1 John 5:3 says, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." So, his commandments are not hard to obey. It is the basic level of obedience. If we obey God in the first level, we are children of God and we will inherit the mansions in Paradise, which is new earth.
If we are children, then the next step is to grow as a Son. "Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." If we are born of the spirit, we are children. And if we suffer with him, we will be adult children, who will be joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Adult children are sons of God. The commandments are given to us in details as well as in short form. We may obey them basically in low level, as well as in detailed way meticulously. The basic level performers may be the baby children and the high level performers may the adult children, who are sons, may be even the bride, and they will inherit heaven accordingly. Let us see it by a few examples.
Jesus told his disciples in "Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." Jesus told his disciples to pick up their cross to follow him. The reward is not an equal grab bag to everyone called heaven, but it is reward to every man according to what they have done. Those who laid their life for them get the high status. They have dedicated and spent their entire life for Jesus. It is the status of the bride. They will be with Jesus, and rule with Jesus. "John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Verse 2 says, that there are mansions already done, which is paradise or new earth, that is for Children. Notice the language in verse 3. Jesus Christ will be preparing a place for them. Jesus will receive the disciples unto himself. Figuratively, it is the bride. It is the reward for the high calling. The rewards for the Servants, who serve God here in the ministry with gifts, and the Sons will be those between the children and the bride.
Christians believe the story of his life, death, and resurrection. They get nothing. But those who receive him, receive power. "John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Who are they? They were born of the spirit, that is, they have received the Holy Spirit. And, they believed on his name. His name is Lord, and so he is the master to them. Only those received the power to become sons. No other person can become a son of God. "Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." That is, receiving the Spirit and power is good, but if they do not mortify the deeds of the body, they cannot become the sons. "Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" They may be living among the crooked people, but they will not be crooked, and that is the proof of them being the sons of God. "1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Every son of God will naturally will purify themselves to be like Jesus Christ, that is to become the bride. "Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." This verse also says the same. That is, everybody who is perfect will naturally respond to the high calling of God, which is to be the bride.
Jesus Christ told his disciples in Acts 1: "4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." So, the disciples with about 120 people waited and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and the power of God. It was the ordination from Jesus Christ to his ministry in this world. The Holy Ghost has given them many gifts to them to do the ministry. Those who do good service to the Lord in their ministry will also serve God in heaven, in the temple of God, which is in paradise, that is new earth, "Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." So, the tabernacle of God will be on new earth and his servants will serve God in the tabernacle.