One of my reads over the last few weeks has been “Kingdom, Power and Glory” by Chuck and Nancy Missler. I have often read Chuck’s books and I have also listened to much of his verse-by-verse studies and they have been very helpful in my walk with Christ. However, I am troubled by this most recent book because it seems to suggest a) that a works righteousness will save you b) that salvation is for reigning with Christ in the Millennial reign, not for … well … salvation. What follows is my critique of some of the aspects of the book.
It’s grievous that the church today seems to be relying upon the illusion that being born again and bringing others to Christ is the ultimate preaching of the gospel. It’s not! this is just the beginning. Working alongside Christ in the coming kingdom is the final and ultimate goal Philippians 3:14 tells us that it’s the prize of the “high calling” of God. p.30
Is Philippians 3:14 really about the Millennial Reign of Christ and our part of it? I don’t think so! Wesley says that it’s about forgetting the things that are left behind, even that part of the race which is already run. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary makes reference to the fact that the high calling is literally “the calling that is above” (Galatians 4:26; Colossians 3:1). It’s not an earthly inheritance but a heavenly one. Hebrews 3:1 makes reference to this idea, that we have a “heavenly calling”. Paul goes on to say that there is a prize. Missler states that this prize is reigning with Christ during the Millennial Reign. However, the prize that Paul writes about in Philippians 3:14 is the “the crown of righteousness” which he also writes to the Corinthians (1 Cor 9:24) and Timothy about (2 Tim 4:8). This is the same crown as the “crown of life (Rev 2:10) which does not fade away (1 Pet 5:4). Surely this calling then is not, as Missler states, “working alongside Christ in the coming kingdom” but the call of all Christians to salvation in Christ, which coming from heaven invites us to heaven.
The Judgment seat of Christ will be for revealing and rewarding the kind of Christian life the believer has lived – the spiritual life with fruits of righteousness or a carnal life with no good deeds. this Judgement will be on the basis of our works only p.110
This seems to suggest that fruit is the same as works whereas I would suggest that fruit leads to work. We are created to good works (Eph 2:10) but Galatians 5 suggests that these are an outworking of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives as we take on more Christlikeness. i.e. the fruit of the Spirit. This fruit is love, manifested in peace, joy and longsuffering whereas works are acts of service like hospitality and evangelism.
On p119 Missler tries to add credibility to his view by listing five crowns that are found in Scripture. This is a minor point, but minor points help to establish major points. One crown he mentions is “an incorruptible crown” – as a designation of crowns that are available to Christians (based on previous works based reward). However, the passage that Missler is quoting 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 which actually talks about “a crown incorruptible” which is different from an incorruptible crown. He then goes on to list a “crown of rejoicing” – again as a designation of crowns that are available to Christians. However, again Missler misapplies the text (1 Thessalonians 2:19) which says “what is the hope or joy or crown of rejoicing” and actually refers to other people, not a crown!
All this to say: beware of Misslers latest book/dvd/video. Chuck is clearly mistaken in his attempt to suggest that there are two classes of Christians, one who rule and reign with Christ and one who are cast out into outer darkness.
For more reading, Dave Hunt also has some concerns: http://www.thebereancall.org/node/8167