In our previous the question was raised as to whom the “good” of the world were who would survive Armageddon, we had alluded to this in Parts 12 and 16 of this study intending to come back to it later. The question we had asked in Part 16 was:
Who exactly are the “good” (not just the innocent, babes, little children and etc.), but the rest of the good who would pass through the great time of trouble?
We know insofar as Israel is concerned that the “good” are they those whom the Lord designates as the “holy remnant”, but what about the world? We understand who the “bad” are, but who are the “good”?
We know these cannot be the “righteous” because the only ones declared to be righteous at this time (during the Gospel age) are those begotten of the Lord’s spirit the fully consecrated (the Church and the great company class), and these were all taken from the earth during the initial stages of the great time of trouble.
So who are these so-called “good” individuals and how and in what way are they determined to be good?
There is a difference between what we (i.e. the world) refers to as the “good” and what the Lord refers to as the “good”. We tend to measure the goodness of an individual on a marginal scale from white to black, whereas the Lord sees only that which is good (as perfect) and that which is evil (as imperfect), that which is just (upright, righteous) and that which is unjust (wrong, corrupt, blameworthy).
The Scriptures make this abundantly clear for us when we compare the statements of our Lord and that of the Apostles when speaking of the resurrection. What the Apostle calls the just and the unjust (Acts 24:14, 15) our Lord calls the good and the evil (John 5:29).
“Having clearly before our minds the two classes, and that a resurrection has been provided for both in accordance with the divine plan, let us examine particularly the Apostle Paul's expression in Acts 24, "the resurrection of the just," which corresponds with our Lord's expression "those that have done good."
Who are these?
We reply, that in the absolute sense there is none righteous, no not one (Rom 3:10). There is none just.
We must therefore understand these expressions "those who have done good" and "the just" in the relative sense in which they are uniformly used in the Bible. As the apostle says, "The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit." (Rom 8:4) Fortunately for us, it does not say walking up to the spirit of the divine law, for then none of us would be acceptable, but it does say walking after the spirit of the divine law, and this may include all who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit, but it could not include any one else.” (1H230 edited)
Thus we associate the “good” (the righteous) with those who are just or justified.
“Those who have done evil” To whom does this apply?
This includes ALL those who have not come up to the divine standard of worthiness for the resurrection of life. That would include all of the remainder of the world, all who have not been approved by God; NOT ONLY the heathen, non-believers, but also including the majority of the professed church, as the scriptures clearly show.
“These people draw near to me with their mouths, and honor me with their lips; but their hearts are far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matt 15:8, 9)
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (2 Tim 3:5).
“Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven (the heavenly phase of the kingdom); but he who does the will of my Father which is in heaven. MANY (Not only a few, but “MANY”) will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you who practice iniquity (unrighteousness).” Matt 7:21-23 compare with Isa 66:15,16
Although the majority of these have professed faith in Christ nevertheless they have never fully responded to the privileges afforded them, not having consecrated themselves fully and completely to God, as the apostle Paul so admonished them in Rom 12:1.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren (fellow believers in Christ), by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, (consecrated unto God, See Psa 50:5) holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
We will conclude our study with our next post.
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