Genuine love never wears a mask.
Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites for appearing to be righteous when they were not.
But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? —Matthew 22:18
They looked good on the outside but were fake on the inside.
so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. —Matthew 23:35
We can go through the motions of trying to look good, say the right thing, do what we think is worthy, but if we don’t have genuine agape love from God, we’re no different than the Pharisees.
. . . the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit . . . —Romans 5:5
As believers, our daily conduct should reflect God’s genuine agape love. His love loves at all times, in all situations. It loves the believers and the non-believers alike, the rich and the poor. It loves whether or not we understand. If we fail to have genuine love, we cast doubt on our profession to love God above all else.
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. —1 John 4:8
If we allow God’s love to shine through us, He can use us mightily in the lives of those around us today.
As a pastor, I must admit that I was most intrigued with the eight temples you found in the Bible. So, since I am in the middle of a study of “divine judgments,” do you find any more than the Judgment Seat of Christ, The Great White Throne Judgment, and the Judgment of Angels?
Glad to help with your sermon! We think you could make a case for at least seven divine judgments (we think you can really hammer ’em on point #2 :-):
- The judgment of the CROSS—Jesus bore the punishment for our sins on Calvary (Isaiah 53; 1 Peter 2:24). Romans 8:1 says, There is now no condemnation [literally “judgment to damnation”] for those who are in Christ Jesus.
- The disciplining judgment of the believers’ WALK—God may apply divine correction and chastisement to Christians if they stay in unrepentant sin (1 Corinthians 11:29-32; 5:5; 1 John 5:16,17; Romans 6:16).
- The judgment of the believers’ WORKS—We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).
- The judgment of ISRAEL—Jesus will judge Israel when He returns before setting up His 1000-year reign (Ezekiel 20:33-44; Malachi 3:2-6).
- The judgment of the NATIONS—This is composed of two groups: Those nations who had united under the antichrist against Israel (Joel 3:12-16; Zechariah 12:2, 9) and those people in the nations who are alive at the end of the tribulation/Second Coming of Christ (Matthew 25:31-46). Non-believers permitted into the 1000-year reign will immediately repent and accept Jesus—thus going into life eternal.
- The judgment of the WICKED—This is the infamous Great White Throne Judgment. All here are judged on their works—which can’t save anyone—and cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
- The judgment of ANGELS—Christians have a part in this one (1 Corinthians 6:3; Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4). It probably will occur along with the Great White Throne Judgment.
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