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Page 571




God graciously rewards in heaven (in glorification) that which He has graciously given to His people on earth (in regeneration and sanctification) based upon that which He has graciously determined from all eternity (in election). God the Father's gracious reward of the true believer's state in glory is based upon God's gracious work for him by Christ Jesus; his degree of glory is determined by the fruit, the good works which were produced by God's gracious work within him by the Holy Spirit. Is it any wonder that the saints in heaven shall "cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, 0 Lord, to receive glory and honor and power"? (Revelation 4:10b-11a).

Not only are there degrees of holiness on earth and corresponding degrees of glory in heaven, but there are also degrees of wickedness on earth and corresponding degrees of punishment in hell. These degrees shall also be judged according to privilege. Those who have received the great blessing of hearing the gospel and have rejected it shall be punished more severely than those who did not. "And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12:47-48). "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city" (Mark 6:11).

    In the cities in which He most frequently preached and performed miracles, Jesus seriously warned the people of God's judgment according to privileges.

      Then began He to upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not:
      Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.





 

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

-John 3:19

Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

-John 9:41

If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

-John 15:22


 

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