GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Ponderings on a book

on June 12, 2006

I have been reading The Rapture: In The Twinkling of an Eye by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins and have some concerns.  I wanted to post them here so I can remember them as I want to bring them up to my Pastor and his wife but also to get anyone who happens along ideas on what is being read by me in this book.  The stuff in the book is in red and my commentary or feelings (whatever they may be) are in blue.  I have put page numbers as citations and I am not taking any of the book parts as my own creation, I want to avoid any problems with plagarizing or anything thereof.

 

This may or may not be a spoiler for some of you so please be cautioned before continuing on :wink

” “But Pator Billings was not finished. He also told of the judgement seat of Christ, where the deeds of believers would be tested and rewarded–or not. “Just as our works cannot save us, neither can they cause us to lose our salvation. But it is clear from Scripture that they will determine the level and extent of our heavenly reward. So for those who say they have believed in Jesus just for fire insurance, just to stay out of hell, they would be wise to consider that everything they have ever done will be revealed in that judgement.” ”  page 132

 

I do not believe in OSAS, I know do but that isn't what I am wanting to discuss :) although I do feel that that is what the authors are trying to get across here. What I am curious about is why they are talking about “the level and extent of our heavenly award”. I have never at any church been taught that there are levels to heaven (I know Mormons teach this) I have also been taught that if you believe in Christ and accept Him as your Lord and Savior and you live according to the Bible and His desire for your life then you will be in Heaven with Him when you die or upon the end of the earth, if you have truly repented of any sin in your life and worked to remain free of that sin and temptation then you are no longer held accountable for that sin, so to speak and you will have made it to Heaven. It sounds a lot like what I have been learning as I read about the Catholic faith and I have to say I disagree with much of it unless there is Biblical KJV Scripture to back up the summation that there are levels and different rewards for different people (aren't we all the same in His eyes anyway so how can any of be different than the next?).

The next part I came to also talks about levels:

” Irene was aware of blinking, and in the next instant she had been transported into outer space and then into what Pastor Billings had called the third heaven, into the presence of a vast and beautiful crystal city so overwhelming that she could scarcely take it in.” page 182 “The Rapture” by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

 

I have come across some other references in the book as well that have disturbed me today.

“Anytime Irene was moved to communicate with God through Christ, she merely thought what she wanted to say, and God was in her and she was in Him, the conversation direct and instantaneous.” “The Rapture” page 195

And this one also:

“So this was what Pastor Billings had been teaching about recently. While salvation was free and granted by grace through faith, still the works of the righteous would be tested. God looked at sinful people through His perfect Son and saw only His perfection, so their salvation was secure, regardless of how their individual works were judged. But their rewards, their various crowns for service to Christ, would be determined wether the fire exposed precious gems and metals or resulted in ash from the wood, hay, or stubble of bad works or even good deeds done with bad motives.” The Rapture page 213

Okay I agree with the grace through faith obviously and that yes even if we have accepted Christ as our Saviour and live the life He wants us to live as outlined in the Bible and through prayer we still have to answer for anything unconfessed, etc. I still don't get how Biblical it is for each of us to get “various crowns” depending on how we lived because like I said in my previous post aren't we all the same in God's eyes as our sins the same lying is no greater than adultery and murder is no greater than lying, etc so how would He give each of a different “crown” based on that? If also what this says then the sinners are garunteed salvation too despite them accepting Christ. How can this be if they do not accept Christ and continue to sin then how are they secure in their salvation. I am starting to feel this book could really lead people astray in their walk. I just keep getting more irritated the more I read but want to see what else they claim in this book.

 

God bless.

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One response to “Ponderings on a book

  1. Beth Ann says:

    Sarah,
    I would have worded things a bit differently if I was writing that book. I can see where it could cause confusion. My background is dispensationalist and pre-trib which is the same background as Tim LaHaye. So I’ll take a stab at representing what he’s trying to say. First of all, here’s a Scripture that he’s basing this on:

    1 Corinthians 3:10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

    What I believe this Scripture is saying is that our works are stored in heaven as reward. Depending on our motivation, our works will either burn up at the judgment seat or come through as precious metal. In other Scriptures these are referred to as various crowns. And these are laid at Jesus’ feet as acts of worship. There aren’t any “levels” of heaven. All who are saved enter in. But there will be differences in what we’re able to lay at Jesus’ feet. I don’t believe any of us will be loved more or elevated more than another. I think we will be equally grateful and equally unworthy in His presence. Because any crown we enter eternity with will be because of Jesus at work in our lives, not because of ourselves.

    The “third heaven” reference is to the Jewish view of “heaven”. The first heaven is our atmosphere, the 2nd heaven is our universe, the 3rd heaven is God’s presence. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:2 that he was caught up into the 3rd heaven. I don’t believe this is a reference to any “levels” in eternity, but just a reference to this same Jewish look at the “heavens”.

    Some references to crowns:
    1 Corinthians 9:25 – running the race for a crown that endures forever
    2 Timothy 2:5 – Victor’s crown
    2 Timothy 4:8 – Crown of Righteousness
    James 1:12 – Crown of Life bestowed on one who perseveres trial
    1 Peter 5:4 – Crown of Glory
    Revelation 2:10 – Martyr’s Crown
    Revelation 4:10 – laying crown’s at Jesus’ feet

    I hope these Scriptures help you, Sarah. I hope I don’t come across know-it-all or anything! I just enjoy digging in the Scripture a bit and your comments got me digging again. :) I enjoy reading the series but have found the writing leaving something to be desired. If you want to discuss it further – feel free to drop me a line at T2CHK! Blessings to you!

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