In Proposition 135, George Peters states:
“The doctrine of the Kingdom in full accord with the Scriptural doctrine of the judgment of believers.”
Judgment of believers? Aren’t the wicked the ones who will be judged? For some, the idea of a judgment of believers might be shocking. As believers, aren’t we good to go? While the outcome of the judgment of believers will be different than the judgment of the wicked, given one will result in eternal life and the other in eternal destruction, we must not overlook the importance of understanding this judgment of believers and its relation to the doctrine of the kingdom.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 135 is the following:
“It is in virtue of this future judgment according to works, that believers are so urgently pressed to good works. God sees how largely their future glory and honor depend upon the character now formed, that repeatedly and perseveringly, yea constantly, this is brought to their attention. Take e.g. Col. 3:4-5, 8-9, 24; 1 Thess 3:12-13, and 5:4-8; Titus 2:12-13; 1 Pet. 1:7-15; 2 Pet. 3:11-12, and many others, and they show God’s deep interest in our future welfare, that as “little children, we may abide in Christ, that when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed at His Coming” (1 John 2:8); that “our love may be made perfect, so that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment” (1 John 4:17). Good works now glorify God (Matt. 5:16), qualify for usefulness and happiness (2 Tim. 2:21; Titus 3:8, etc., and they do not lose these essentials in the world to come; for, sanctifying unto honor and making us the more meet for the Master’s use, they contribute to glorify the Father, Son, and Spirit. And no one can plead inability to perform them, since “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” 2 Cor. 9:8 (comp. Phil. 2:12; 2 Thess. 2:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 13:20-21; Eph. 2:10, etc.). We may rest assured that “God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and labor of love” (Heb. 6:10), but will abundantly, through His wonderful grace, verify His promises, “glory, honor, and peace to every man that worketh good” (Rom. 2:10). Therefore, Gal. 6:9, “Let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not;” 2 John 8, “Look to yourselves, that we lost not those things which we have wrought (gained), but that we receive a full reward.”
I very much appreciate Peters sharing this observation. While it certainly expounds on the judgment of believers as a vital element of the doctrine of the kingdom, in reality, this observation is a declaration for the need of good works in the life of the believer to the glory of God. We are commanded to be obedient children of God. In fact, being obedient demonstrates our love for God. Now of course no amount of good works can earn salvation. Those who reject the need for works under the guise that even mentioning works is evidence for a desire to earn something we cannot earn on our own accord, quite frankly overlook the plethora of Scriptures that speak of glorifying God in all we do (i.e. our actions, works, etc.). Peters shares a number of relevant passages on this subject that I believe are far too often skipped over as we race to the grace verses.
Do you love the Father? Then keep His commandments.