PUNISHMENT IN THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM
The Bible says that many children of God will have specific punishment. Many Christians have improper walks. They do not live in a godly way. They love the world and walk according to their will. They worship God according to man’s way. They have not obeyed God’s Word in taking care of God’s work, but have instead done what they themselves like to do. They try to please men. They seek man’s glory rather than God’s glory and are not willing to stand in the same place of shame that the Lord stood in. They commit many mistakes and many sins. They have not been disciplined by God in this age. After they die and are resurrected on that day, can they reign with the Lord? The Bible says that we have to suffer and bear reproach with Him first before we can reign and be glorified with Him (2 Tim. 2:12). Not only have many believers never suffered, they have many sins. They love the world and walk according to the flesh. When they leave the world, they will still have much unrighteousness and many sins that were not dealt with. The Bible shows us that such believers will have specific and definite chastisement.
Matthew 18:23-35 speaks of a slave being forgiven of his debts by the master. Another slave owed this first one a debt. But the slave who was forgiven of his debt would not forgive his fellow slave. The first slave definitely represents a saved person, because he pleaded for the master’s forgiveness, and the master, who was moved with compassion, released him and forgave his debt. We are all helpless persons coming to the Lord to seek grace. The Lord has forgiven our debt and has let us go. If this one represents a Christian, then whatever this one faces represents what we will face. The way the master deals with this slave will be the way the Lord deals with us.
Verses 28-30 say, "But that slave went out." He went out because he was now a free man. "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii, and he took hold of him and began to choke him, saying, Repay me what you owe. Then his fellow slave fell down and begged him, saying, Be patient with me and I will repay you. But he would not; instead, he went away and threw him into prison until he would repay what was owed." This passage is about one Christian not forgiving the sin of another. You are a forgiven person. But you are not willing to be forgiving. The Lord has forgiven you of ten thousand talents. Now your brother owes you a mere one hundred denarii, but you say in your heart that he must repay. He must repay you even the last cent. What will the result be then? Verses 31-33 continue, "Then his fellow slaves, seeing what had taken place, were greatly grieved and came and explained fully to their master all that had taken place. Then his master called him to him and said to him, Evil slave, all that debt I forgave you, because you begged me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave even as I had mercy on you?" That this person represents a saved one is again proved by the fact that the Lord had mercy on him. The Lord said, Should you not have mercy on your fellow slave as I have had mercy on you? Should you not forgive your fellow slave as I have forgiven you? This proves that this one represents one who has received God’s mercy and forgiveness. He must be one that has life already. But he will not forgive other Christians. "And his master became angry and delivered him to the torturers until he would repay all that was owed" (v. 34). This one, who had been shown mercy and who had been forgiven, was put back into the hand of the torturers until he repaid all that was owed to the Lord. Whether he could repay all that he owed is another matter. The fact is, he would have to suffer. This shows us that if a Christian will not forgive another, on that day the Lord will deal with him in the same way that he has dealt with others. If you would not forgive your brother, the Lord will deal with you according to your unforgiving attitude.
(Gospel of God, The (2 volume set), Chapter 23, by Watchman Nee)