For starters, those who are in Christ are not condemned (John 5:24, Romans 8:1). They aren’t standing before the Great White Throne Judgment which determines eternal punishment. The judgment that those who have accepted Christ’s salvation receive is the judgment at the BEMA seat. Christ’s judgment to believers is one of reward!
We all are going to appear before the judgment seat of Christ and give account for all the good and bad things we have done (2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:10-11). The Bible also talks about a book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16) which Chad talked about as being a record of our deeds. He said our deeds will be put to the test by fire as stated in these verses in 1 Corinthians 3:8-15:
“The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”
Chad illustrated this with a fire pit. He placed a large rock foundation (resembling Christ) on it and then put some “gold” (rather, gold-painted lol) bricks on it, resembling the good stuff we have done. Next, he added some hay to resemble the not so good stuff. He set it on fire, and showed that the only thing that remained was the “gold.” All that stuff is weighed and tested by these things:
Motive: 1 Corinthians 4:5 says that God will bring to light what is in the darkness and expose the motives (good or bad). If we are like the Pharisees who do what we do for the praise and approval of others, that’s not a good motive and it will be burned away.
Source: John 15:5 says that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. We can’t do anything apart from Him. Whatever we do without Him isn’t going to matter. Oprah comes to mind. All the good deeds in the world aren’t going to save her soul. She may be a “good person” in most peoples’ minds, but she isn’t doing any of it to glorify Jesus (and in fact, denies that He is the one and only way as John 14:6 states).
Risk: Matthew 25:14-28 talks about the parable of the talents. We have lots of opportunities to use our gifts and make a difference. Are we “risking” and making the most of those opportunities? How many do we miss? Those “missed” opportunities will factor in that fire test.
This was a though provoking and interesting message. It’s something that I think about a lot already because I am always wondering about what the fruit of my works is going to yield when it is judged. I know that I’ve done (and am doing) what I can to serve and glorify the Lord, but I always wondering about those three areas and if I’m falling short and taking away from my reward in heaven. I think about my motives, source, and risks a lot. One of my biggest fears has always been whether or not I am humble and pure enough and am giving the glory to God. What if I deep down am wanting approval from others. Am I wrong for liking feedback/encouragement/comments on these blogs? Maybe that’s just Satan trying to get me to doubt my motives or the fact that I screwed up and missed and opportunity to do good somehow. If it’s one thing that I still struggle with, it’s the “what if” factor. What if I had done (or not done) “that”? What if I spent too much time doing things that I thought was good, but was really apart from what God truly wanted me to do? What if I totally miss my purpose? Am I missing the mark?
I’m not sure what to think about all this sometimes, but at least I know that I’m assured heaven and that I am going to be rewarded (whether it‘s a greater or lesser reward than I think)! How about you? Do you have the same assurance?
Grace and peace to all of you!! Have a blessed week!!