.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.            refer to

REFINER’S FIRE - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:       God as a Refining Fire, the Bema Seat,
.            God’s judgment
SCRIPTURE:   Deut.4:24, Mal., 1Cor.3:10-15,
.            Rev.1-3, 19:11-21, 20:11-15
Style:       satire/conversation: a scientist uses
.            a visual aid to show the assistant why
.            God would be called a "Consuming Fire"
Set & Props: lab coats, table, notebook, pen,
.            frying pan, long barbecue lighter,
.            black confetti, big fake gem,
.            2 paper circles
.            (each with white and black side)


(SCIENTIST walks up the table and begins to jot down
something into a notebook.  ASSISTANT walks in
with a contemplative look on his/her face.)

A     I am - perplexed.

S     What is it now?

A     Just recently, I read in the Bible,
.     that God is a “consuming fire”...
.     I’m having a big problem with that.
.     It’s kind scary for one thing.

S     We ARE TOLD in the Bible to fear nothing
.     except to fear God.

A     But God is supposed to be
.     a loving, kind, merciful, gentle,
.     patient – Father.

S     Yeees.  But God is also holy,
.     so He cannot tolerate sin.
.     And God is just, so His judgment
.     and the punishment will be fair.
.     All people who do not become Christians
.     will have to go before God
.     at the White Throne Judgment.
.                                                      2
A     That would be scary.

S     It would be.  But those people who
.     choose not to have God in their lives,
.     will face the judgment and punishment
.     for the sins that have committed, and then
.     spend eternity completely without God.

A     Will hell actually be a lake of fire?

S     Do you really think that's the real issue?
.     The real punishment will be
.     eternal life without God.
.     Remember, God is good.  Whatever is good,
.     will not be there in hell.

A     I just can’t imagine that.
.     So when are the Christians judged?

S     When we ask God to forgive our sins and
.     we become a Christian, God forgives
.     ALL our sins – past, present and future.
.     And God chooses to remember them no more.
.     So God will not judge us for our sins.
.     If He did, God would be going
.     against His own promises.

A     So Christians won’t be judged.

S     Ah!  At the Bema Seat,
.     our WORKS will be judged –
.     for how pure they are –

A     Bema Seat?  I don’t understand.

S     Let me demonstrate.
.     After the rapture, all Christians
.     will come before God at the Bema Seat.
.     God will take each of our works
.     and test them by fire.
.     Let this frying pan represent the Bema Seat.

(SCIENTIST picks up frying pan.  Already in the frying pan
is: black confetti in one pile, and fake gem – close to rim
closest to the congregation – so they cannot see it.
SCIENTIST picks up a circle showing only the white side.)
.                                                      3
S     This will represent something good
.     that you have done,
.     that did NOT have pure motives.

A     Ahhhh, I once cleaned up the entire house
.     so my parents wouldn’t notice that
.     I had a party while they were gone.

S     Okay, so God will test that by fire.
.     Cleaning the house was a good thing...

(SCIENTIST puts circle into pan with black side up
so people don’t see it.  He takes barbecue lighter,
flicks on flame and just makes it look like
he's burning the circle in the pan.
Putting down the lighter, SCIENTIST then picks up
the black confetti and lets it fall
through his fingers so the people can see.)

S     But cleaning the house
.     in order to hide a sin was wrong.
.     That was done with an impure motive.
.     So that works is burned away into nothing
.     because in God’s eyes it was nothing.
.     Now give me an example of a works
.     with a pure motive.

(ASSISTANT picks up a circle only showing the
white side to the people.)

A     Let me think. I – helped my brother
.     with his homework – just because.
.     I felt bad for him and wanted to see him
.     do better in that class.

S     Okay, good.  Helping your brother
.     with his homework was a good thing.
.     It will be tested by fire.

(ASSISTANT puts circle into the frying pan with
black side up.  SCIENTIST lights the barbecue lighter
and pretends to burn it in the pan.
Putting down the lighter, SCIENTIST picks up the gem
from the frying pan and holds it up for people to see.
You can use slight-of-hand to produce the gem,
as if it’s come from out of the burned up circle.)
.                                                      4
S     And the good works with pure motives
.     will NOT be burned away.
.     It is valuable in God’s eyes
.     and you will be rewarded for that.
.     And thus, at the Bema Seat,
.     all good works will be tested by fire.
.     The God of consuming fire
.     will burn up anything done with BAD motives,
.     but God will reward us
.     for every good work done with pure motives.

A     I see.  Because our sins are forgiven,
.     God will not judge us by our sins.
.     God will judge all our good works,
.     and reward us for anything we have done
.     for the right reasons and with the right attitudes.
.     You’re a good teacher.
.     You’ll probably get lots of rewards
.     for always answering my many questions.

S     Well, you’re welcome.  But I must admit,
.     SOMETIMES I answer your questions
.     just so you’ll stop bothering me.
.     But SOMETIMES I do it, because I enjoy teaching.
.     You’re a good student – by the way.

(SCIENTIST and ASSISTANT talk while exiting.)

S     Fortunately none of us are the judge.
.     Only God can judge our hearts and our motives.

A     Mmm, yes, I can see where
.     that would get very tricky.