THE LORD’S REFINING FIRE
Jeremiah 9:7 “...Behold, I will refine them and try them…”
One of the most misunderstood subjects for both secular and Christian people, revolves around the events that precede the return of our Lord Jesus to set up His kingdom age upon the earth and over its inhabitants.
From our perspective we see our Lord returning to the earth to punish all the evil doers for all the evil that they perpetrate, and then we ask ourselves, why now? I mean, the evil doers basically never left, they were here back then and they are still here now, and they have never stopped doing their evil deeds. So in a way we ask ourselves what is it that changes? So that we need to understand how God’s timing works.
Genesis 15:16 “But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
We need to understand that God sees sin, which includes iniquity and transgression, as a debt, we also need to comprehend that judgment, which is inflicting punishment upon the debtors, cannot be executed until the agency that is in charge of collecting the payment for the debt, has exhausted all its allotted time for collecting the debt.
Then and only then, can the judgment, repossession of the property that is indebted, is allowed to take place.
In the case of us humans, we are all indebted to God with a debt of sin that not a single one of us could ever repay. Our personal time for repaying our own debt of sin runs out when we die, as it is written: It is appointed unto men once to die and then comes the judgment.
John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
Notice how a believer, one who heard the Gospel, hears My word, and believes on Jesus as his/her savior, even though alive at present, God considers such a person already dead and judged, his/her personal debt of sin is marked paid in full by the work of redemption that Jesus accomplished after He died on the cross, and when that person dies, they just go straight into the presence of the Lord, as it is written:
John 11:26 “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Every person has been allotted a lifetime, most of us do not know how much time we have before we die, to deal with our sin debt problem, regardless of how much time the world has left before it is judged for its debt of sin to God.
If we have not personally dealt with our sin debt when the time comes for the world to be judged, then we will be judged when the world is judged along with the rest of mankind, if we have already accepted Jesus as our personal savior, then we are spared the judgment, for we have already been judged in Jesus, and we will be removed from this world before it is judged, no matter how much lifetime we had left.
Revelation 3:10 “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test (try, refine) those who dwell on the earth.”
When Jesus was born the angels proclaimed: Peace on earth, and good will toward men. God introduced into the world a grace period that would allow the earth to deal with its sin debt before the final judgment of God is executed upon the earth.
We have been living under that grace period for the last two thousand years, the good news has to be preached, and has been preached, to all the world and its inhabitants before the final judgment comes, but there is a time limit. How will we know that we are approaching the limit?
Jeremiah 9:6 “Your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me, says the Lord.”
The time of refining comes after the inhabitants of the earth willingly refuse to acknowledge the pardon freely offered to them by God.
2 Peter 3:5 “For this they willfully forget…(willingly ignorant)”
We are clearly living in the days when both of the above prophecies are being fulfilled. Science has reached the point where the theory of evolution is untenable, there is clearly no monkey DNA in any of us, everything screams out the truth of an intelligent Creator behind the creation. Yet, through deceit they refuse to know Me, the Lord told us, and that is exactly what is going on today.
Now from the Lord’s perspective we see a refining that is taking, and has taken place, all over the earth through different epochs of time. There were, and there are times, when God deals with men’s debt problem through the spectrum of innocence, at other times through their conscience, but always through the prism of His promised redemption in His covenant of law and grace with Abraham, the man of faith who found favor and fellowship with God.
But God who is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, He is always at work in whatever circumstance history finds men, to save them from their debt of sin.
Once the present grace period runs out, it will be collection time, and since it is appointed unto men once to die and then comes the judgment, collection time will mean the death of billions of earthlings.
Revelation 9:15 “So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.”
A third of mankind are killed, and that is just during the beginning of the first half of the seven years of God’s wrath upon the earth. By the time you get to the end there are not many humans left on the earth.
Now these seven years are like a refining fire poured upon the earth to redeem the souls of the sinful men who refused the grace period they were given. These judgments are brought upon them because they willingly refused to know God at first, and before they die God gives them another chance to repent now that their deceit has been exposed and they no longer have any excuse to ignore God.
Basically they will be told, you are all going to die, who will you die for, the devil or God? Who will you give your soul to?
Now isn’t it a lot easier to live for Him now during the age of His grace?
Or will you continue to deceive yourself?
Jeremiah 8:20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!”
We are not saved, will this be your epithet?
If you think it is hard to be saved right now, do you think that you will have what it takes to be saved when your salvation will have to be proven by your death as a martyr?
Jeremiah 9:12 “Who is the wise man who may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? Why does the land perish and burn up like a wilderness, so that no one can pass through?”
There is nothing here in this world worth missing heaven for! We are being prepared for a new reality, an eternal physical reality that consists of peace and harmony, where obedience to God’s righteous laws is inscribed within the soul of every newly recreated man.
Never again will we struggle with righteousness, doing what is right will be such a delight.
But we have to pass the test of faith here first, where there is opposition, for if we dare to believe in the face of opposition and reproach, in all the wonderful promises of God for those who love Him, them He will not hesitate to invest in us freely the reward of eternal perfect life.
I do not belong to this world, I’m of the generation that will fly without wings, I will soar through the galaxies, I will explore the wonders of the universe while glorifying the Creator that enables me to marbled at all His wonders, will you come and join me?