The Good News of the Judgment

The Perfect Church in the Judgment Hour
William Diehl

"And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. .. and upon this Rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

God has always had His church (Greek—ekklesia:"called-out ones") in the earth.

Beginning in Genesis, the line of patriarchs who believed the promises of God were called the "sons of God". After Adam, this lineage began with repentant Abel as he, by faith in the coming Savior, offered a lamb upon a simple stone altar. He was one of the first of many in a long line of those who would trust in the imputed righteousness of the Sinless Lamb of God who would offer Himself upon the altar of Calvary to crush the head of the serpent (see Genesis 3:15).

Thus began the long procession of "righteous" ones who as repentant sinners were accounted sinless and clothed with the "white linen" of Christ's imputed righteousness. They were the "ungodly" ones like Rahab the prostitute, Samson the unfaithful Nazarite, David the adulterer, Noah the drunkard, and Jacob the deceiver who would repent and, with Job, could say

"I know my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand in the latter days".

They were our "forerunners" whose simple act of faith in offering of a gentle lamb would one day be made "perfect" by the one Offering which has forever "perfected" Christ's church when He, the Son of the living God, laid down His life as a sin offering for the lost "sons of God". They, like us, are those who are "righteous by faith" and who, like us, joyously proclaim that

this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world?, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ. Not by water only, but by water and blood. 1 John 5:4-6

Jesus is the One who has "worked the works" of God

I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.John 9:4

and has fulfilled perfect righteousness for us.

And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:15-17

He began His work in water and ended His work in blood; and the Spirit testified, and still is testifying, that He is the Son of God with whom God is well pleased. Because He is pleasing, we are pleasing in Him. Because He is complete, we are complete in Him. From beginning to end, His life is the life by which we are accepted as "sons of God".

For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory. 5 And the ones who win this battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. 6 And Jesus Christ was revealed as God's Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross-- not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit also gives us the testimony that this is true. 7 So we have these three witnesses-- 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood-- and all three agree. 9 Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. 10 All who believe in the Son of God know that this is true. Those who don't believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don't believe what God has testified about his Son. 11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 So whoever has God's Son has life; whoever does not have his Son does not have life. 1 John 5:4-12 NLT

Christ' s church is built upon His shed blood. Because He died, all repentant sinners who trust in Him are reckoned to have died in Him. He is now the head of the Church. In Him, we live and move and have our being. In Him we are reckoned to have been brought to perfection and we can find our Sabbath rest in His completed work. His flesh is food indeed and His blood is drink indeed. By His stripes, we who are of faith have been healed. Our confidence and boldness and hope and enthusiasm are not in what we are but in what He is. Though we may stumble seventy times seven, we rise up again because as we pray the prayer of faith, He assures us, "Be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee."

Be of good cheer, brothers! Christ has overcome the world. Faint not! Now we can begin to be a dim reflection of His life, for "as He is, so are we in this world."

We have been forgiven, we can be forgiving,

He has been patient with our foolishness, we can be patient with the foolishness in others.

He has been kind to us who have been so unkind, we can be kind to others.

He reached out to us when we were hopeless, we can reach out to the hopeless.

He warned us of the wrath to come, we can warn others of the wrath to come.

He pointed us to Calvary, we can point others to Calvary.

Those who are forgiven much, will love much!

He, the giver of every good and perfect Gift, gives to us so that we may give to others.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below! Praise Him above, all ye heavenly host! Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

The church of God, though clothed in sack cloth and living in this wilderness below, is built upon the sinless life and atoning death of the Son of the living God and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it! Amen!!

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