God has the power to make a creature that only loves Him and never turns away in rebellion. But the very notion of true love involves choice, if we buy a new Artificial Intelligence robot that continuously reassures us of its love, is that meaningful to us? If that’s all we want to hear in our pride and narcissism, I suppose that is all we are willing to tolerate.
But angels and men were created with the capacity for choice. They were subject to temptations to disobey their Creator, and when they did, they lost their connection to a perfect, holy and just God and His Kingdom that permits no evil anywhere in the territory.
Ever notice that we seem to have three kinds of people among us? A group that builds up, adds to the overall well-being of earth and life, shows compassion for others, and serves rather than is self-serving?
A second group tears down. They soil the nest they were born in, pollute and harm, while also harming animals and mankind as a result of both selfish motivations, and a lack of caring for others around them. This group goes further than criminals and violent people. It includes those wrapped up in themselves and lacking empathy and compassion for others. They take but they don’t give.
In the middle are many people who could best be described as neutral overall, somewhere in the middle They live a life later having a lot of regrets, having made selfish choices and bad decisions, but along the way performed some good works that they see as justifying themselves and the lives they chose to live.
ONE THIRD /// ONE THIRD /// ONE THIRD
This is not mathematically nor historically a calculation anyone could defend. But throughout Scripture you see the distinction and separation in many places. A few examples follow:
A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths.
“It will come about in all the land,”
Declares the Lord,
“That two parts in it will be cut off and perish;
But the third will be left in it.
One third you shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.
One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.
“And I will bring the third part through the fire,
Refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are My people,’
And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
John writes, “His [Satan’s] tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth” (Rev. 12:4).
“many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
Which of the three groups are you a member of? The “OVERCOMERS?”
This is the third that remain steadfast through trials. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (John 5).
Overcomers are followers of Christ who successfully resist the power and temptation of the world’s system. An overcomer is not sinless, but holds fast to faith in Christ until the end. He does not turn away when times get difficult or become an apostate. Overcoming requires complete dependence upon God for direction, purpose, fulfillment, and strength to follow His plan for our lives (Proverbs 3, 2 Corinthians 12).
Christians must recognize that the world is a battleground, not a playground designed for entertainment and our pleasure. Our ability comes from His power, the Holy Spirit that dwells in our hearts and sparks the Word whenever we are facing problems with temptation. The Word, the Holy Spirit, and prayer are weapons against the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life, the world system, and the devil. “Apart from Him we can do nothing.”
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8).
Overcoming is enduring. Jesus encouraged us to “endure to the end” (Matthew 24:13). Jesus promises rewards to those who overcome. Those are not the rewards offered by the world, but rewards that will be your treasure in heaven.
The destroyer group will be cutoff and cast out, along with Satan and a third of the angels that went with him. They will be relegated to a place where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” This will be an eternal sentence, for “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God.”
The middle or neutral group will be judged according to whether they received forgiveness of sins through the gift of faith in Christ. If so they will be citizens of heaven as the blood of Jesus Christ will have been a sufficient ransom paid for all their sins. Most of these people will have struggled on the fence as double-minded, serving both God and themselves at various times and in different ways.
But many will have rejected Christ while clinging to their own alternate ideology, whether a manmade religion or some other philosophy that was the invention that came from the imaginations of men throughout history. These people will be judged according to their works, and a great many will find that their works will not stand up to divine examination and scrutiny.
Examined closely they will be shown that the good that they would was done for the adoration of the public, the praise and the accolades were their reward, and they have therefore no more reward beyond these self-serving and self-righteous acts of charity and philanthropy.
Search yourself and take personal inventory. If you have hardened your heart against God, your destination is fixed and certain — it won’t be heaven. If you are counting on your ‘good works’ to justify yourself you may experience this when you make your appointment with death and arrive at the Judgment:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7).