to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,Hebrews 12:23(NASB)
Jesus is the perfect example of how to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord, and in these closing chapters of the epistle to the Hebrews, the maturing believer is encouraged to live a life of worshipful praise to our heavenly Father.
We are exhorted to hope in the Lord and to walk in spirit and in truth - looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our life and our faith. We are also reminded that as children of God, we are to recognise that the Lord chastens those that He loves.. and that the pain of discipline, will blossom into the fruit of righteousness, for those who have been trained by it.
We are reminded that we are strangers in an alien land, and our citizenship is in heaven. We can therefore rejoice, because we are members of the general assembly and church of the firstborn.. for we are part of Christ's Body, who are been imputed with His righteousness, and will one day be clothed in resurrected bodies, like unto His own, glorious Body.
We, who have been born from above, will not face the second death.. nor will we stand before the great white judgement throne of God, like those who have no hope, but will participate in the first resurrection - the resurrection of all-believers.
As members of Christ's body, we were not only identified with His death, when we died to sin at salvation, but we are also identified with His resurrected body and eternal life.. so we will not be hurt by the second death - for we have been raised with Christ, and our names have been enrolled in heaven - and by God's grace, we have been promised a great reward.
Members of the body and bride of Christ, who have fallen asleep since the birth of the Church at Pentecost, are today, consciously enjoying the company of the lovely Lord Jesus in heavenly places. They are awaiting that great day, when the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, the Lord will come to take us to be with Himself forever - and we will be united with our resurrected and glorified bodies - to His praise and glory.
The coming judgement seat of Christ is not to be feared, for Jesus paid the punishment for our sin on Calvary's cross. Our spirit was made new at salvation and our soul will continue to be progressively sanctified - as we walk in spirit and truth. Let us anticipate with joy, that wonderful day, when we shall see Him as He is, and be like Him.. for then we will be fully and finally sanctified - spirit soul and body - for in Christ we are the spirits of the righteous, made perfect, in HIM - praise His holy name.
But until that glorious day - let us occupy!
Heavenly Father, thank You that in Christ I am a member of His body.. His bride, and part of the church of the firstborn, who will never have to face the second death. Thank You that my citizenship is in heaven, and that my name is enrolled in the Book of Life. Thank You that Christ was judged for my sin at Calvary, and that by faith, I am clothed in His righteousness. I pray that when I stand before the judgement seat of Christ I may hear Him say, well done, good and faithful servant - to His praise and glory, AMEN