On 29 March, Day By Day published an article by Richard White, a member of Nottingham Grace Communion, as follows:
Slain Before the Foundation of the World
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
Revelation 13:8 (KJV)
From this verse we see that Jesus Christ was slain before the foundation of the world. In other words our sins are forgiven even before we commit them. We are actually born in a saved condition and true freedom comes from this realization.
So if we are born in a saved condition why is there a Day of Judgment? Is there a Day of Judgment? The Bible clearly tells us there is, but even this brings with it its own rewards: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12).
What will that reward be? “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
The man whose works are burned up will suffer loss—yet his salvation is secure because our salvation is not based on our own works (our good words are a response to God’s grace), but on God’s works and these works happened before the Universe was created. They originated outside space and time. They are Eternal.
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28). No man can take away our salvation because salvation is a gift from God. We can never lose it unless we choose to reject it. That is our choice but as C S Lewis states “The Gates of Hell are locked from the inside” (from the book “The Problem of Pain”).
Christ actually kept these truths from the general populace. That’s why He spoke in parables. The Pharisees and Sadducees were not to fully understand the plan that was about to be fulfilled. That plan included His own Death and Resurrection as we read in Matthew13:35, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.”
Father, we thank you that eternal life does not depend in any way on our own works or righteousness. We are grateful that salvation is your free gift to us, which you desire for all people to partake of. We give you praise through the one who has made this so, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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