I believe that the gospel preached by man has certain limitations. I do not believe that the gospel preached by man has any effect on either increasing or decreasing the number of the elect who will be finally in heaven. I do believe that the true gospel can bring joy and happiness and assurance to a child of God while he lives in this earth. I do not believe that a child of God who has heard the truth of the gospel preached by a God-called and God-sent minister will have more joys in eternal heaven than one who did not have that opportunity of hearing a human blessed to declare the gospel in this life. The benefits and losses relative to the hearing or not hearing of the gospel preached by a human will be realized entirely in this world. Brother, can you find any agreement with this teaching? I call attention to a lesson that is taught in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Each of these writers, under inspiration, discusses the same subject. While there are slightly different wordings employed, the same lesson is taught in all three places. Please take the time read the lesson at each place:

Matthew 19:29 - And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Mark 10:29-30 - And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

Luke 18:29-30 - And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Having listed these three passages, I will make comments on portions of them. Thomas Commentaries: Please notice the strong word INHERIT in Matthew that governs the entrance into the life everlasting. This word would mean that one must be an heir in order to inherit. To be an heir in this respect would simply mean that one would have to be a member of the family of God in order to inherit. And a part of the activity that was to be done was the preaching of the gospel. Much had to be done also in preparation for preaching which can be read in the body of these verses.

All the activities which did include for his name's sake, for my sake, and the gospel's, and for the kingdom of God's sake were to be finalized in this world and all the benefits that were to be gained by what was done would also be realized in this world. Please notice that the pay-off for all that was done was in this life--in this world. This has to do with the gospel (as preached by humans) and the end result achieved by the gospel. It strictly applies to this life and this world. The lesson plainly teaches that all works done in these categories are paid off in this world. There is no carry-over to heaven. Receiving the 100-fold in this present time means that a full 100 per cent pay- off comes in time. This also teaches in a most positive way that works do not have any thing to do with gaining heaven. The works are already paid off 100 per cent in this life. This means a most amazing thing—Heaven is granted on the basis of mere GRACE. It cannot be for works—because the works have been taken care of in this life. The life to come (eternal life in heaven) has to be by grace alone.

Now having beaten around this bush at length, one ought to be able to realize that the ordinary preaching of the gospel with its benefits are for time only and not for heaven. If the preaching of the gospel by humans has any pay-off in heaven, then a part of heaven will be involved with works and not grace. I do not believe that any works of human merit will be regarded in heaven. All of heaven will have regard to the AMAZING GRACE of the ONLY SOVEREIGN that exists. Brother, can you agree with this too? Can you stand with me on this common ground? Does this qualify as solid ground? Can you stand on it without sliding off? If I know my poor heart, I have a great desire to uphold the truth…

Please remember me in your prayers and I remain as,

Your little brother,
Gene Thomas

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The Gospel Pay-Off - Gene Thomas