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← What does it mean to "be saved, but only as through fire?"

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Showing Revision 5 created 10/17/2017 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. Second question: David Hopkins
  2. "Where do you draw the line between
  3. one who is a Christian,
  4. but all their things are burnt up
  5. at the Judgment Seat,
  6. and one who is living in sin
  7. and who is not a true believer?
  8. David Hopkins is referring, of course,
  9. to 1 Corinthians 3:10 and following.
  10. Let me read them to you.
  11. "According to the grace
    of God given to me..."
  12. This is Paul speaking.
    " a skilled master builder,
  13. I laid a foundation.
  14. Someone else is building upon it.
  15. Let each one take care
    how he builds upon it,
  16. for no one can lay a
    foundation other than
  17. that which was laid,
    which is Jesus Christ.
  18. Now if anyone builds
    on the foundation
  19. with gold, silver,
    precious stones,
  20. wood, hay, straw;
  21. each one's work will become manifest.
  22. For the day will disclose it.
  23. Because it will be revealed by fire
  24. and the fire will test what sort of work
  25. each one has done.
  26. If the work that anyone has built
  27. on the foundation survives,
  28. he will receive a reward.
  29. If anyone's work is burned up,
  30. he will suffer loss,
  31. though he himself will be saved,
  32. but only as through fire."
  33. Now, David Hopkins asks this question:
  34. Ok, if you've got these people
  35. who are not building
    with the right materials
  36. and not building on the right foundation,
  37. it seems like,
  38. fire is going to come,
    it's going to test it,
  39. if their work is burned up,
  40. this person's going to suffer loss,
  41. though he himself will be saved,
  42. but only as through fire.
  43. So, what David is asking,
  44. if you've got a person who goes to
  45. the Judgment Seat of God in the end,
  46. and everything gets burned up,
  47. how is that different from a lost person
  48. who shows up at Judgment Day
  49. and has no good works?
  50. Because clearly a lost person,
  51. what's true of the lost?
  52. There's none good.
  53. They're children of wrath.
  54. There's none that seeks God.
  55. Right?
  56. There's none righteous,
  57. and there's none that does good.
  58. And so, if a lost guy gets there
  59. and he's got nothing to offer,
  60. how is that any different
    than the guy over here
  61. who's a Christian and he's
    got nothing to offer?
  62. What do you think?
  63. (from the room) First of all
    I don't think everything is going
  64. to be burned up.
  65. This is basically creating a straw man.
  66. Do you know what a straw man is?
  67. A straw man is basically a man
  68. that you can construct,
  69. and then knock him down.
  70. You basically create a situation that
  71. really isn't real.
  72. And that's basically
    what we've got here.
  73. Listen to me.
  74. David is the one asking the question.
  75. What we don't want to do
  76. is decontextualize 1 Corinthians 3.
  77. What do I mean by that?
  78. Well, we don't want to forget
  79. what the context is.
  80. What is the context?
  81. What in the world's Paul talking about?
  82. What David is assuming is that
  83. this has to do with all Christians
  84. coming before the Judgment Seat
  85. and having all their works examined
  86. and potentially burned up.
  87. That cannot happen, folks.
  88. That cannot happen.
  89. And I will show you verses
  90. that absolutely show that cannot happen.
  91. What David is doing is
    he's taking this text
  92. and he's forgetting the context.
  93. He's forgetting what
    it is that's actually
  94. being spoken about here.
  95. Do you remember what was happening
  96. there at Corinth?
  97. Paul's concern is this:
  98. There are leaders at Corinth,
  99. are there not?
  100. There are leaders at the church there.
  101. Do you remember what was
    happening at the church?
  102. You had schism.
    You had division.
  103. And how were they dividing?
  104. In fact, Paul goes
    right into this chapter
  105. saying look,
  106. you've got Apollos, you've got me,
  107. you've got some watering,
  108. you've got some planting,
  109. and he says, you know what?
  110. God's the One in the midst of all this
  111. that's doing this.
  112. God is the One that gives the increase
  113. in all this.
  114. And you guys are totally wrong.
  115. You know what?
  116. Men are nothing in this.
  117. Men are nothing.
  118. But bottom line is,
  119. men's works in this ministry
  120. are going to be weighed out.
  121. What are they building with?
  122. And you know what he's talking about?
  123. He's talking about the church.
  124. He's talking about the
    foundation that was laid.
  125. There's only one
    foundation for the church.
  126. It is Jesus Christ.
  127. And we have to build the church
  128. with the proper building materials,
  129. which is what?
  130. Not wood, hay, and stubble.
  131. That's the stuff that gets burned up.
  132. We need to build
    with precious stones,
  133. with gold, with silver...
  134. the whole situation here revolves around
  135. what we're building the church with.
  136. What this edifice looks like.
  137. And here's the thing,
  138. were the men leading Corinth
  139. building with good materials?
  140. Were they?
  141. Let me tell you something.
  142. 1 Corinthians 5
  143. You know what we
    find the leaders
  144. were not doing?
  145. They were not disciplining sin.
  146. They were allowing sin there.
  147. That's some wood, hay, stubble
  148. that's going on in the church.
  149. I'll tell you something else.
  150. I'll guarantee you, it was even
  151. in the leadership there,
  152. that they were saying,
  153. well, we're after Cephas,
    we're after Apollos,
  154. we follow Paul, we're the Christ bunch.
  155. You don't think that was also
  156. infecting the leadership there?
  157. I'll guarantee you it was.
  158. It wasn't just down at
    the bottom of the ranks.
  159. It was cutting through the whole thing.
  160. And that's why he's
    saying what he is here.
  161. You know what they were doing?
  162. They were making much out of men.
  163. Rather than making
    much out of Jesus Christ.
  164. And he's saying, when it
    comes to your ministry,
  165. if you're in the ministry,
  166. if you're involved in the
    building of this church,
  167. he's sending a warning.
  168. You guys are building
    with wrong materials.
  169. Remember, Paul doesn't just
    come out of the blue
  170. when he talks about things.
  171. He speaks based on the errors,
  172. based on the problems,
  173. based on the weaknesses,
  174. based on the sin that
    was evident right there.
  175. You can believe it.
  176. He's saying this because
    there were leaders
  177. in that church that were not building
  178. with the proper building materials.
  179. And so what we don't want to do
  180. is make this an overall
    evaluation for all Christians.
  181. And you know what?
  182. I don't believe at the same time,
  183. that if you ask Paul,
  184. Paul, do you really believe
    that a God-called man
  185. in the leadership of the church
  186. is going to get to the end
  187. and every single thing is
    going to be burned up?
  188. I think what you have here
  189. is a severe warning that's meant to throw
  190. and cast fear upon those men who are
  191. in those leadership positions.
  192. And his understanding is
  193. that when he wrote inspired
    letters to God's people
  194. who were erring,
  195. that the Spirit of God
    would take that word
  196. and correct the people.
  197. And when you get to 2 Corinthians,
  198. you see correction
    was definitely taking place.
  199. So I really don't believe
    that if you ask Paul,
  200. do you really believe that there
  201. are going to be people there
  202. that are God-called men,
  203. God-gifted men that are going to have
  204. absolutely everything incinerated.
  205. I think he would say, no,
  206. by the grace of God, there won't
  207. absolutely be people in that situation.
  208. But I'll guarantee what he's teaching
  209. is that you can build in certain ways,
  210. and that these
    Corinthians had been
  211. building in certain
    ways that it was
  212. going to get burned up.
  213. It was no good.
  214. There were a lot of
    things happening there.
  215. They were putting a lot of emphasis
  216. on spiritual gifts in a
    way that he had to correct.
  217. There were so many errors there.
  218. Things he had to deal with.
  219. When he says that they were acting carnal,
  220. I believe that he was
    talking from the very top
  221. all the way down.
  222. They were building
    with carnal materials,
  223. they were building
    with wood, hay, and stubble.
  224. They weren't really
    laying Christ out
  225. as the foundation.
  226. They were putting emphasis on things
  227. where emphasis was not at all proper.
  228. Emphasis on gifts,
    emphasis on certain men.
  229. They were allowing sin to go unchecked.
  230. There certainly wasn't
    an emphasis on purity.
  231. When you're letting a
    man continue in the church
  232. living with his father's wife.
  233. You've got people in the church
  234. suing one another.
  235. The rich people coming together
  236. and not waiting for the poor
  237. in the Lord's Supper.
  238. They're not building on foundations
  239. of love and humility and graciousness
  240. and Christ-likeness.
  241. They're not building with Christ.
  242. Remember what Christ said,
  243. many are going to say to Him that day,
  244. Lord, Lord...
  245. And what's He say?
  246. It's not everybody that
    says to me, "Lord, Lord."
  247. Isn't it amazing how often
    we come back to this text.
  248. He said, it's not everybody that says,
  249. "Lord, Lord," that inherits
    the Kingdom of Heaven;
  250. it's those that do the will of the Father.
  251. Now look, I guarantee you this,
  252. nobody's over here inheriting
    the Kingdom of Heaven
  253. who didn't live a life that was consistent
  254. with doing the will of the Father.
  255. Right?
  256. And so, there is no pastor,
  257. truly God-called and truly God-saved,
  258. that's going to get
    to the end of his life,
  259. and he's going to come there
  260. and the fire's going to hit him
  261. and nothing in his life is going to be
  262. according to the will of the Father.
  263. That's an impossibility, right?
  264. Clearly impossible.
  265. John 15:16
  266. "You did not choose Me, but I chose you.
  267. And appointed you that
    you should go and bear fruit,
  268. and that your fruit should abide."
  269. You know what?
  270. Jesus chooses people.
  271. He's got a certain people for
    His own personal possession
  272. to be zealous of good works.
  273. We are His workmanship.
  274. How many of you know Ephesians 2:10?
  275. Who can quote it?
  276. "...God prepared beforehand
  277. that we should walk in them."
  278. Is that not what it says?
  279. Does the Scripture not say
  280. that God has specific
    works, specific fruit
  281. for the life of every one of His children,
  282. and He's prepared them beforehand that
  283. you would walk in them.
  284. Does He not say that?
  285. And so there's nobody
    that's going to get there
  286. that's going to be truly saved
  287. that did not have works
  288. that were appointed to them
  289. that God's going to
    make absolutely certain
  290. that they carry out.
  291. Listen to this.
  292. John 15:18
  293. "By this My Father is glorified,
  294. that you bear much fruit,
  295. and so prove to be My disciples."
  296. So, if you don't bear much fruit,
  297. then what?
  298. You don't prove to be His disciple.
  299. How do you prove to be His disciple?
  300. By bearing much fruit.
  301. I guarantee you this,
  302. there's going to be nobody there
  303. that didn't bear fruit.
  304. Do you believe that?
  305. So basically, what happens with
  306. 1 Corinthians 3 passage
  307. is that people take it out of context.
  308. Saved so as by fire.
  309. And they immediately see
  310. this pathetic Christian come there
  311. and gets hit by this fire.
  312. And he's totally incinerated.
  313. It's all gone.
  314. But that just simply conflicts
  315. with so many other texts
  316. in the Scriptures.
  317. So many others.
  318. And so 1 Corinthians 3 read in context
  319. is definitely dealing with men
  320. who are building the church.
  321. And I think it needs to
    be taken in that context.