<<fairness, impartiality, being ‘on equal terms’>>
God’s grace is freely available to all, yet to be effective it must be accepted
and desires that all be saved as the offer of salvation is extended to everyone yet many, because of their choice, will not accept Christ’s offer (Jn 3:16; Eph 6:9; 1 Tim 2:4; Rev 22:17).
All true Christians will be in heaven, regardless of whether they have been believers for a very short time – like the thief repenting just prior to his death – or many years (Lk 23:42,43). Entrance to heaven is by God’s grace as illustrated by the workers in the vineyard parable (Mt 20:1-16). However, rewards and crowns will depend upon the quality and quantity of service for His kingdom.
While many things don’t seem fair in this life, all mankind is subject to God’s mercy by not receiving the immediate consequences of our rebellion against Him. As Christians, we receive much more than we deserve. If you consider God is allowing you to go through the ‘furnace’, be assured He has great plans for you, which can only be outworked by the situation you are in.
Philemon (as a master) and Onesimus (his slave) were brothers in Christ, irrespective of their position in society (Phm 1:16). “You are children of God through faith in Christ Jesus, and all one in Christ and parts of His body” (1 Cor 12:12,13; Gal 3:26-28). No one part is better than another – "we are alike all under sin" yet "the Lord richly blesses all who call on Him" (Rom 3:9, 10:12). As the Father offers equal opportunity for all to turn from their sins, so we should uphold equal rights for men and women, regardless of their nationality, or any other distinguishing feature.
Jesus declared some sins are greater than others, yet all wrong-doing is sin and as such needs to be confessed before the blood of Jesus can cleanse (Jn 19:11; 1 Jn 1:9).