From an Address to the Jamaica Advent Testimony.



Grace! ’tis a charming sound, harmonious to the ear,

Heaven with the echo shall resound, and all the earth shall hear:

Twas grace that wrote my name, in Life’s eternal book:

Grace taught my wandering feet to tread the heavenly road:

Grace all the work shall crown, through everlasting days.”



Yes! no word in human vocabulary is dearer, and we can hardly over-emphasize the wonderful fact that we are saved by Grace alone through faith - free, unmerited grace - with no works of our own, and that we shall never perish; but it is possible to emphasize Grace to the exclusion of God’s infinite justice, and to attribute to Him an easy generosity which would gloss over the unconfessed and un-forgiven sins of His own people, and so deprive believers of all responsibility for their walk and life and character.  In view of such statements from the lips of our Lord Himself - “the Son of man shall come in His Glory and then shall he render to every man according to his deeds”, and, “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me to render to each man according as his work is” - it can hardly be denied that reward is according to our works, and will be awarded at the Coming of our Lord.



The question is, what are the rewards, and whether they can be lost. Undoubtedly the Millennial Kingdom is the place where our Lord will deal in reward with His Servants; and no reward is spoken of in the New Testament but in connection with crowns and reigning with Christ.  Not a single text can be quoted, nor is there a single suggestion made, that any [regenerate] believer will be a subject in the Kingdom.  The subjects in the Kingdom - but on the earth - are the Jewish Remnant, saved through “the time of Jacob’s trouble”, and also those on the right hand of Christ, when He comes in His glory and judges the Nations.  Potentially every [regenerate] believer may have a crown, but will every believer actually receive one?  Even if there is laid up one for every believer it may be lost.  Hence our Lord’s warning, “Hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown,” and Paul’s admonition, “Let no man rob you of your prize.”  Some exponents of Scripture contend that the one whose “work is burned, and is saved yet so as through fire” shall “suffer loss”, but that loss, is only one of degree - not all loss - not loss of the Kingdom.  That “reward” is one of degree no one will deny, in view of our Lord’s parable that one servant receives ten cities and another five - each in exact proportion to his work; but the disputed point is whether the “unfaithful servant”, in that, and in the corresponding parable of the talents, denotes a [regenerate] believer.  That he is not such, is hard to uphold in view of the fact that, in both parables, he is classed with the faithful servants - as the Lord’s “own servant”, in contradistinction to “his citizens which hated Him and would not have Him to reign over them”; and he is even addressed as a “servant

when sentence is pronounced against him.  Some balk at the nature of the sentence as if “the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth”, is synonymous with the Gehenna of Fire, the place of punishment of the unbelievers. … Not so, the “outer darkness” denotes an exclusion from the bright Millennial Kingdom, into some place - not defined - until the thousand years reign is ended, when they will enter the Eternal State, saved by Grace.



Stronger still is the parable of the “Faithful and wise servant whom his Lord had made ruler over his household.”  According to the exegesis of some exponents of Scripture, the servant ought to be classed as a believer when he is found doing his Lord’s will and is “set over all his goods”, but becomes an unbeliever when, not expecting his Lord’s return, he acts wrongly and is appointed his portion with the hypocrites: the word “with” showing that he is not himself a hypocrite.  Such a contention would be absurd and illogical, especially to those who hold the view of the final perseverance of the Saints.  The faithful and unfaithful servants are all judged at the same place and time - the Bema - where no unbelievers stand; therefore all are [regenerate] believers.



Many other Scriptures prove the exclusion from the Kingdom of some believers, which it would not be possible in a short paper to examine, but one outstanding one may be referred to (1 Cor. 6: 9-10); it expressly and in unequivocal terms states exclusion.  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God?” and then follows a list of sins which exclude.  Those addressed had been “washed”, “sanctified” and “justified”, but were in peril of lapsing again into these sins; and the Apostle therefore warns them of becoming foul again.  It would have been absurd and pointless if it were merely a statement that unbelievers will be excluded, as that of course would be so, without stating it.  That [regenerate] believers do fall into such sins is a fact, alas! too well known by experience; but apart from experience, the Scriptures, in the preceding chapter, explicitly state they can; and there a distinction is drawn between a “brother” guilty of such sins and those of “this world”.  That the incestuous Corinthian was a [regenerate] believer is certain, because he was “delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”. We know from the Second Epistle that he repented and was restored; but had not this been the case, which was quite possible, are we to hold that the next phase in that man’s existence would be a joyous resurrection and rapture to meet the Lord in the air and to reign with Him in His Kingdom?  Surely not.  His drastic treatment was designed to prevent the “whole lump” - the Corinthian Church - being leavened with the leaven of his sin.



Our Lord’s own promise is, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.”  It will hardly be denied that all Christians are not “overcomers”.  Even the Apostle Paul had to run, fight, and buffet his body lest that by any means after being a herald he himself should be rejected - disqualified for the Prize; and so, “forgetting those things that are behind”, he “pressed towards the mark for the Prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.  If the chief Apostle was in danger of losing his Crown, how much more we!  A gift once received from God is certain, and so eternal life: not so a prize - as the Millennial Kingdom - which can never be assured until won.