4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
We do not believe in or practice "coercion."
Submission to the truth is an affair of enlightened free will on all hands. Individually, we claim and exercise the right only that every man claims and exercises (our opponents most of all) - the right of deciding for ourselves and ourselves alone what it is our duty to do or refrain from doing. If others for themselves agree with us this is not our crime, but a happy coincidence which only muddy-mindedness can lay to our charge.
We make no profession to have more ability than others to decide such questions. We are what we are, making no professions one way or other. If others make professions for us, we can only regret the unwisdom, and endure it with many other embarrassments incident to the present headless condition of affairs.
TC Feb 1887
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
This relation of experiences will consume time; and one would conclude no little time. Some will doubtless be very brief, having little to say, while others will be even "speechless;" but some will have a longer account to give, as in the case of Paul and others like him.
Then there will be the verdicts with all their attendant circumstances; for after the accounts given, come the personal recompenses; for they appear at the tribunal that they may
"receive in body the things according to that they have done whether good or bad."
For what a man sows in body he must reap in body --
"he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
Saints who have sown to the flesh, and there have been many such, will, in this "time of the dead," be left in the body recently created from the dust; and of that body they will reap corruption that will utterly and finally destroy it.
"This is the Second Death."
In this there is an element of terror to those who are obnoxious to that judgment seat; but who are they? The disobedient and the unforgiven. The friends of Christ are not disobedient; it is their obedience that constitutes them his friends. Their life, as a whole, is a life of obedience.
There may be slips, and faults, and frailties, and shortcomings, but for these there is forgiveness, where there is love. This is one of the elements of the Gospel, that if any man in submission to the Gospel sin thus, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.
The obedient friends of Christ do not feel that these frailties stand between them and the friendship of Christ. The frailties belong to the weak flesh of which they are at present constituted. They themselves remember what is written, that "He knoweth our frame, and remembereth that we are dust." Also, "If thou Lord shouldest mark iniquity, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared;" that is, in the selection of sons for everlasting life, God proceeds upon the principle of forgiveness, that they may be humbled in the sense of benefaction conferred and He exalted, in the exercise of merciful prerogative.
Exhort 276 The Christadelphian, April 1896.
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
There is a present life in true discipleship which contrasts strikingly with the state of mind which lives only on the sensations of expectation. We see the features of this life reflected in all the writings of Paul and David by the Spirit. God is an every-day fact in such a life.
To thank Him and praise Him and trust Him are its every-day exercises and luxuries. Christ is a reality in such a life, as the priest who ever liveth to make intercession for us, and who is able to save to the uttermost all those who come unto God by him. His mastership is recognized every moment, and wisdom sought in doing his commandments.
Joy is experienced in the contemplation of his excellence, and sobriety and purification acquired in the realization of his holiness. Prayer and meditation in solitude are the natural reliefs of a life based on these foundations; and the benefit of others in temporal ministration and the work of the truth, its congenial expression.
All pleasure following, and politician-mongering are alike foreign to its vital bent. It finds adequate sphere in the jog-trot monotony of everyday life, enduring as seeing Him who is invisible, and
"choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season."
The signs of the times, to a mind modelled thus after the image of the new man in Christ, afford gratification, but do not supply motive. The motive exists independently of them. It is drawn from the fact of God's proprietorship of all things, and His purpose disclosed in the Gospel, to glorify His name on the earth and abolish all curse by Christ.
Indications of the near approach of the fulfilment of this purpose are reviving and stimulating to those who are the subjects of this motive; but they are not essential to its life or continuance. Abraham and all the prophets walked acceptably before God under its power, while seeing the day afar off; consequently, their true children are everywhere characterized by a patient and warm-hearted continuance in well-doing, without respect to the tokens in the political sky.
Bro Roberts - Signs and traditions, Seasons 37.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Live much in the Bible, and you will not be troubled much at the confusions that prevail among men-whether those men are called brethren or not. These confusions have existed from the very beginning, and they are not going to end till Christ himself arrive to put things in order. So you must not look for hope of rest in that direction.
Reading, prayer, and kind deeds will bring you peace in the strifes that destroy many. Remember the quietus that is waiting every hot human tongue a short way ahead, and it will help you to bear and to "follow the things that make for peace."