I received the following question:

I would like to get your thoughts on what you feel are the consequences for those that will not accept the Acts 28:28 position and that won’t accept the truth about His appearing and His Kingdom. I understand that only those who love his appearing will receive the crown of righteousness in that day. However, do you believe that all of those who are saved in this dispensation are members of the church, which is His body? Or, do you believe that acknowledging these truths after that one has been saved is what members them into that body far above all?

You can listen to my audio studies on Ephesians and learn more about my beliefs regarding some of these specific things that relate to dispensational truth.

http://preceptsaudio.wordpress.com/category/ephesians/

My studies of Ephesians have led me to believe that the truths set forth there are universal for all those to whom the book is written. I believe a better translation of the second half of the first verse of Ephesians would be, “to all the saints, the ones being and believing in Christ Jesus.” Thus, I believe that all the glorious truths set forth in Ephesians apply to all who are in Christ Jesus, that is, all those who are believing in Christ Jesus. I do not believe that “faithful” is the proper translation here. This book is not just to “faithful” saints versus unfaithful ones, but it is to all who believe in Christ Jesus in our day. Thus, the glorious blessings of Ephesians are given to all today who believe.

The matter of rewards for service do not come in until we look at Colossians, the great companion book to Ephesians, as you no doubt know. There, God warns us, “Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.” I do not think this is a great translation, but clearly the element of rewards comes in here. Whatever these rewards are, however, I do not believe that they are the glorious truths of Ephesians, for these are granted to all who are believing, whether they are walking worthy of a reward or not.

The matter of rewards is again taken up by Paul in his last book, and, I believe, the last book written of the Bible, the book of II Timothy. There, in chapter 2 verses 11-12a, he says, ” This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.” Here, the reward is promised on the basis of endurance. We need to endure in holding the Head. We need to endure in walking worthy. We need to endure in the faith. We need to endure in giving Him the proper place in our lives and in our hearts. That, I believe, is the criteria for receiving rewards.

As you correctly point out from II Timothy 4:8, certain rewards are given based on certain kinds of faithfulness. Certainly, there is a reward for those who know and love the truth. However, I do not believe that there is really a hint of rewards in the book of Ephesians. The glorious truths there are set forth on the basis of what Christ has done for us who believe, not on the basis of what we who believe have done for Christ.

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