Posts Tagged ‘judgment seat of Christ’

Our Deeds Find Us Out

March 31st, 2017

The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever. (1 Timothy 5:24-25 NIV)

Two principles in the realm of actions and morality are: (1) our thoughts will determine our actions and (2) our actions will eventually be revealed.

The influence of our thoughts: We are drawn away by our lusts and enticed to sin (James 1:14). We who have trusted in Christ for our salvation, and possess both the new nature and the presence of the Spirit in our lives, have the potential to be drawn toward the things of God and toward sacrificial service for Christ (2 Tim. 1:7). Our lives consist to a large degree of what our thoughts will make them. The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace:

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. (Rom. 8:5-6 NIV)

If we will set our hearts on Christ, our affections on Him, and if we will live in faith and commune with His Spirit daily, we will find an increasing appetite for the things of God exists and even grows in our hearts. This anonymous little poem says it well:

Two natures beat within my breast
The one is foul, the one is blessed
The one I love, the one I hate.
The one I feed will dominate.

So it begins on the inside of us. An impatient man is first impatient in his inner thoughts, and a patient man is first patient in his inner thoughts. Whether or not our thoughts are placed upon the grace and mercy of God, whether or not we dwell in our minds daily in the assurance of His acceptance of us through Christ, of His love for us, of His call upon our lives, and of His promises to us will determine what we do with our lives.

The revealing of our actions: Eventually, either here on earth or before the Judgment Seat of Christ in heaven (2 Cor. 5:10), our actions will be revealed for what they are – the thoughts and intents of our hearts. All of us live with some degree of pretense, hiding from others the lusts and pride of our hearts. We may take care of these things that are hidden from others by confessing them to God and receiving His cleansing (1 John 1:9).

But eventually, who we really are on the inside is revealed through our actions – our weaknesses, our lack of faith, our anger and fear, the impure things of our life – or the good and righteous work of the Spirit assuring us of God’s love, which will be acted out in graciousness and righteousness.

Our fears can take a verse like this above and produce a sense of dread to stand before Christ and have our lives examined. But God does not give us “a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). And when we stand to be judged by Him, we are before our Savior and our Redeemer who loves us with an eternal love – love of eternity past that stretches out into eternity future. Though there should be a healthy respect for these matters and reverence toward God – the fear of the Lord – God did not give us this teaching to create in us an insecurity about Him. We can trust Him entirely.

Notice that the good is rewarded, and that is the major focus of this passage. Even a cup of cold water given in the name of Christ is not forgotten but is rewarded (Matt. 10:42). The old adage – “Be sure that your sin will find you out” – is only half of the truth. The reality is that our good works done in humility for the sake of Christ also find us out. This is reason for you to rejoice and relax in Christ, and enjoy your Christian life. God calls us to joy.

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Giving an Account to God

January 11th, 2017

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Rom. 14:12)

The unbeliever will stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment, described in Revelation 20:11-15. The description of that judgment is that each will be judged by his works, fairly and judicially, by the fairest Judge in the universe, God Himself. People will not be judged by their nature, by their temptations, by their race, or by their occupation, but by their works – what they did with their lives. The end result of this judgment is condemnation: “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15). The only hope is found in the grace of God in Christ.

Believers in Christ, however, will not be there. We shall be taking part in a different judgment called “The Judgment Seat of Christ.” It is described in 2 Corinthians 5:10:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is not a judgment to determine salvation – only the saved are there – but to determine rewards for faithfulness. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15:

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

The questions that we should ask ourselves, as we prepare to stand before Christ and have our entire lives laid bare, is: What did we do with the opportunities that God entrusted into our hands?

Did I build on the foundation of Christ? Did what I do with my life depend on God’s grace to me in Christ. Did I trust in Him as my Savior? Did I confess and ask Him to forgive my sins? Did I believe that He would and could forgive my sins? Did I say, like Paul, “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).

Did I live and serve Him in the power He provided? Was my life lived as a trophy of His grace, based upon and empowered by God? Was it lived for me or for God? Did I die to sin and to self daily and take up my cross and follow after Christ? Can my life be described as “not I, but Christ”?

Did I use my opportunities for Him? We may only receive what is given us by God (John 3:27), that is we are only responsible to fulfill the responsibilities and opportunities that God has entrusted into our hands. When we are faithful in small areas He entrusts to us greater opportunities. Jesus said:

For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. (Mat. 25:29)

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. (Luke 16:10)

Did I live and serve for His glory and not mine? The motive is all important when we serve Christ. It is said of stage acting, “There are no small parts, only small actors,” meaning that every part in a play, no matter how few or how many lines he has, is an important part as it serves the purpose of the play itself to tell a tale. We may say something similar about Christians: There are no small parts for any Christian to play in the work of God, only small and petty Christians who are governed more by their desire for personal glory than their desire for the glory of Christ.

Brother Lawrence said:

We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.

There are roles to play in the work of God that are more strategic than others, that carry greater responsibilities than others, but yet each part is to be done in the utmost sincerity of heart, humbly, and done in the sense that it is an important work for Christ, not for ourselves.

Did I lift up and encourage others around me to serve Him faithfully? The question is not just what did I do with my opportunities, but did I help others handle their opportunities faithfully?

Did I show integrity in my daily choices? Someone said, “You take care of the small things and God will take care of the big things.” I believe he meant that we should be faithful to act in integrity in everything we do, in little conversations, in small acts of kindness, in our everyday dealings, and God will honor those things.

The best preparation to stand before God – and really that is a description of what our life consists of, preparing to stand before God – is to first, and foremost, trust utterly in His grace to you through Jesus Christ, then to simply read His Word every day, pray to Him daily, love those closest to you, seek to serve Him through your job, seek to love and serve the body of Christ, and seek to share Christ with the world. Live your life for God each day and you will not be ashamed to stand before Him.

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