As Christians, if God held our past against us we would ALL surely be damned for all eternity. I’ll take it a step further. If God held some of the things we currently do, as individual Christians, against us to give us a pass/fail grade most, if not all, of us would fail that test.
Now don’t get me wrong. Even though God doesn’t send us to hell for our slip ups as Christians, we will have to answer for them and pay for them in a major way. Just not the way most of you would think.
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 tells us we will suffer loss at the Judgement seat…
“…their 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 person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”I Corinthians 3:13-15 NIV
…but what is that loss?
My grandfather used to say “as long as I’m in Heaven nothing else matters.” I admit, as a child, those were words of wisdom to me but as I grew older and studied and learned more and more about God’s word and what being a Christian truly means I realized that is not all that matters.
On that glorious day when we finally get to Heaven the way we think, feel, and understand will all change…dramatically. What mattered on earth will no longer matter at the Judgement Seat. You will no longer just be satisfied with being there. Your whole life will be brought before you. All of the things you did to further the kingdom and all of the missed opportunities as well.
We will each stand before the Judgement Seat of God and He will recount all of our good deeds and indeed say “Good job My good and faithful servant”. Then he will recount all the opportunities we had to share the gospel, help a person in need, minister to the broken, and further Kingdom. This, my dear friends, is where true loss will come in.
Now let me stop there for a moment. I want to first preface this by talking to you about the crowns that we receive in Heaven. Here are just a few of the many verses on the subject…
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”James 1:12 NKJV
“And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.”1 Corinthians 9:25 NKJV
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”2 Timothy 4:8 NKJV
“…and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”1 Peter 5:3 NKJV
Now many Christians read this and say “Ah yes my rewards in Heaven for being a Good Christian.” Well…yes and no. They are rewards but not in the way we think of rewards here on earth. Keep in mind that our sole purpose in Heaven will be to worship and fellowship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Try to think deeper than that. If that is our only want and need what would a reward such as this matter?
For a moment let’s put on our earthly thinking cap. What is a crown? A status symbol. And what does a status symbol fill us with? Pride. Well what does The Bible say about pride?
“When pride comes, then comes shame;Proverbs 11:2 NKJV
But with the humble is wisdom.”
“A man’s pride will bring him low,Proverbs 29:23 NKJV
But the humble in spirit will retain honor.”
“…God resists the proud,James 4:6 NKJV
But gives grace to the humble.”
So then what are these crowns for? Ahh I’m so glad you asked. For the answer we have to put on our Heavenly thinking cap. They are not for a show of status they are actually for a show of worship. The crowns are not to be worn. They are to lay at the feet of Jesus in a show of worship.
Now imagine if you will. You are now in Heaven standing before the Judgement Seat. Before you is God Almighty, Jesus the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit. You have waited your entire Christian life for this very moment. Thoughts of earthy things long gone from your mind. The only thoughts you have now are of awe and wonder. Your only goal…your only want and need now is to worship and praise Those who sit before you. Just then you hear every deed you have every done being called out from the Judgement Seat.
“March 3, 1995 you came across a homeless man and you gave him food. Here is your crown of mercy”.
“September 9, 1995 you were at an office party and while everyone was telling crude jokes you began telling everyone about the Christian getaway you attended the prior week. Here is your crown of righteousness.”
December 18, 1995 you saw a young man crying alone at a table next to you at the coffee shop. He had just lost his wife and child in a car wreck. I had put you there in that very moment to minister to him and give him hope but you could not be bothered. He committed suicide that very night. For this you do not receive the crown of compassion”
Your life and every opportunity that was given to you is called out to you one by one from the moment of your salvation till the moment of your death until finally you hear…
“I gave you the opportunity to earn 7,856 crowns to lay at the feet of Jesus in worship but you only received 4,824. Now you may show your worship and gratitude, with all that you have, to my Son who bled and died for you on the cross so that you may stand before Us.”
That my friend is true loss. Knowing that you could have given so much more in worship to the King of Kings. The Son of God who became a man and was beaten, ridiculed, spat upon, and then crucified on a cross so that you could enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and fellowship with Him for all eternity.
Are you seeing things a little differently now? I hope so. Don’t miss the opportunities to minister and help your fellow brothers and sisters. It may not mean much to you now but on the day you stand before the Judgement Seat it will mean EVERYTHING!