The Teachings of
and the extreme teachings of J. D. Faust
Two Distinct Classes of Believers
As we have discussed throughout this paper, Hodges and Dillow place all believers into two distinct classes:
|Those who inherit the kingdom||do not inherit the kingdom|
|The overcomers||do not overcome|
|The partakers||do not partake|
|Those who reign with Christ||do not reign with Christ|
|The spiritual ones||The carnal ones|
|Those who suffer with Christ||do not suffer with Christ|
|Those who are joint-heirs with Christ||… are not joint-heirs|
|Those who persevere in the faith||do not persevere in the faith|
This categorizing of believers into two groups raises some interesting questions. How carnal does a saved person need to be in order to be placed in Group 2? Certainly there is some carnality in the life of every believer. How much does a saved person need to suffer in order to qualify for Group 1? How faithful must a saint be in order to inherit the kingdom? There are varying degrees of faithfulness among Gods people. At what point does one qualify as a "partaker of Christ"?
Some believers (according to Hodge/Dillow) might be thoroughly carnal and wicked and unfaithful and it would be evident to all that they belong to Group 2. Other believers live for Christ faithfully and consistently from the day they are saved to the day they go home to be with Christ. They obviously belong to Group 1. But what about those inconsistent believers who are in the "grey area" in the middle, sometimes serving the Lord well, at other times walking in the flesh; sometimes walking in the path of obedience, at other times being disobedient. Theoretically it seems that there could be two believers who both have inconsistent walks with Christ. One barely qualifies for Group 1 (he inherits the kingdom by the "skin of his teeth") and the other ends up in Group 2, almost but not quite qualifying for Group 1 (he was not quite faithful enough and did not quite suffer for Christ enough). It seems unfair that the person in Group 2 should be grouped with other believers who lived such wretched and unfaithful lives and suffer serious consequences at the judgment seat, in the kingdom and even beyond. It seems unfair that the person in Group 1 should share such bliss in reigning with Christ when he just barely missed the weeping and gnashing of teeth that his slightly more unfaithful brother must experience.
A much better solution is to allow the LORD to take care of all the gradations that exist in Christian character and conduct. This involves the Biblical doctrine of rewards. God will reward each and every believer according to perfect justice and will render to every believer according to his works. Every believer will be dealt with individually and there will be no problem dealing with inconsistent believers and all the gradations and degrees of faithfulness that are involved. The judgment seat of Christ will put everything in order: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:9).
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