“The Greatest Examination” (2): 2 Corinthians 13:5

By Bob Dodson

As we continue the “Great-Test” Examination, when we stand before Christ in Judgment (2 Cor. 5: 10-11) this is the examination that we “must” have taken and passed by God’s mercy and grace (Tit. 3:3-8). Let us answer with our Bibles these “negative” questions that deserve our undivided attention. Again, let us remember that the “interrogator” is Jehovah, and He is “witness” to our every word and deed and thought (Prov. 15:3). Remember we must be truthful with God if we really care what our eternal destiny shall be . . .

Greatest Restraint

Are you buffeting your body daily in order to not become a cast-away (1 Cor. 9:27), and preserve it consecrated unto God (1 Cor. 6:13; 2 Cor. 7: 1)? Do you abstain from fleshly ‘lusts that “war” against your soul (1 Pet. 2:11)7 Are you daily laying aside the “old man” (Col. 3:5-9), and crucifying him with his affections and lusts (Gal. 5:24)? God mentions Christians whose eyes are full of adultery and who cannot cease from sin (2 Pet. 2:14), because they will not bridle their passions and evil desires (Jas. 1: 13-15). You can restrain yourself from every habit which “enslaves” you (2 Pet. 2:18-19), which harms your godly influence, or tears down your tabernacle of flesh (1 Thess. 5:23). The secret is allowing Christ to strengthen you to resist (Phil. 4:13; Jas. 4:4- 10). Are you saying Get behind me Satan and push, or “leave me alone” and let me adore my Savior?

Greatest Deception

Have you become a “stumbling block” unto your neighbors and friends and family (1 Cor. 8:9)? You have deceived yourself into thinking that “all is well with my soul” (Psa. 10:6-11), and many are following your pernicious pathways (2 Pet. 2:1-2) all the way to damnation (2 Pet. 2:9). Satan has blinders of prejudice (Jas. 2:9) over your eyes so that you do not “walk by faith” (2 Cor. 5:7) as you should. Walking in darkness you are vulnerable to every venomous bite of the Serpent (Gen. 31:1-6). You may be injecting this soul-poison into your brethren or acquaintances by your “indifference” and callous attitude about “spiritual matters” (Rev. 3:4-20). By teaching false doctrine we throw a rock of stumbling that can cause our friends and loved ones serious injury or death (Matt. 7:15-20; Acts 20:29-3 1). Often times we pat ourselves on the back and say “What a good boy am I,” while we stab our brethren with serpent-like tongues (Gal. 5:15; 1 Pet. 4:15). “Be not deceived” (Gal. 6:7)! Stop trying to mock God for you are only making a “fool” out of yourself (Matt. 7:24-27). Is it truly “well” with your soul, or would an examination by the great Physician point out that “drastic” surgery is necessary to remove diseased organs of the inner man (2 Cor. 7: 1; Rom. 7:22)? Are you deceiving yourself that “all” is well?

Greatest Mistake

To reject the gospel of Christ and turn your ear away from Him who speaks from heaven is absolute folly (Heb. 12:25). Living without God is tragic, but dying without Him is worse (Phil. 1:20-21). How many do you know who heard the gospel multiplied times and were granted golden moments to respond to the sweet invitation of Christ (Matt. 11:28-30), but procrastinated? This thief not only stole their time, but their soul (2 Cor. 6:2). Felix tremblingly made this “mistake” (Acts 24:24-29). Throughout eternity he shall have time to ponder about how he “shipwrecked” his opportunities to be saved (Acts 26:28), as well as will Agrippa. Are you making this mistake? Is it one that can never be erased “if you die in your sins” (John 8:21). Truly the cries of the lost for all eternity “I was wrong for waiting and now I am sorry” will fall upon the deaf ears of God (Rev. 14: 10-11; 21:8). Are you making the mistake of thinking that you will obey the gospel tomorrow (Jas. 4:15)?

Greatest Sorrow

Have you been born again through obedience to the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16-17; John 3:5), and have become en tangled again in the affairs of this life (2 Pet. 2:20-22)? Are you feasting upon the vomit of corruption (2 Pet. 1:4) from whence Christ has redeemed you? Have you once tasted of the “heavenly gift” (Rom. 6:23) and gone back into indulgence of the filth of Satan’s world (Heb. 6:4-6)? If so, you will experience the most terrible sorrow of all in eternity, for you will reflect on the fact that you once ate from the Father’s table as an honored Son (Gal. 4:6). Haunting you relentlessly throughout endless ages of torment will be the thought that “I was on my way to the glorious city of God” (Matt. 7:13-14), but the attractions of “Broadway” lured and enticed me away. The sorrow of the “ex” child of God will be overwhelming in contrast to those who never obeyed the gospel of Christ (Rom. 2:8-9). Like a demon this thought will vex his conscious awareness while he suffers horrible torture in a merciless hell inhabited by the Devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). It is my prayer that every wayward child of God comes back to the Father of forgiveness through repentance and prayer (2 Cor. 7: 10; Acts 8:22). Unspeakable horror awaits the child of God who dies in rebellion and disobedience (Rev. 22:15; Mark 9:43-48). Are you “fallen” from God presently?

Greatest Punishment

The nightmarish torment that awaits sinners defies description (Rev. 14: 10-11) for it is the wrath of ‘Almighty God poured out without mixture (full potency). Eternal fire that can never be quenched that burns so deeply that both body and soul are able to feel the searing bite of the flames (Matt. 10:28). The sinner will not just be tormented in flames, but will hear agonizing cries (Matt. 25:30) of others helplessly being devoured eternally by God’s anger. His nostrils will be filled with the “odor” of seared beings as they grapple with demons (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:15). Are you serving Satan for the reward he offers? If so then you have proven yourself the greatest failure. Your score is 0 (nothing). You have lost everything that is worth anything (Matt. 16:24-26)! Are you seeking to be successful in God’s eyes? If so, you can escape the “greatest punishment.”

Greatest Adversary

Satan the Devil is the worst adversary of man, but most people are befriending him while he is destroying them (Eph. 2:1-3). If you have not been honest with God and yourself while taking this test, Satan has deceived you, and you have become your own worst enemy. Lying to any question only compounds your sins before God, and cements your doom. This “examination” has been submitted to accomplish what Christ desired by the mouth of Paul (2 Tim. 2:2426). If after taking this test you see that you actually oppose yourself, please repent (Matt. 21:28-32) and become your own best friend and God’s ally.

Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 8, pp. 239-240
April 19, 1984