Thursday, May 31, 2012

REWARD OR LOSS?

In writing to the church in Corinth, Paul tells the members that there will be a judgment concerning Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  This judgment pertains to "the things done in the body, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).  In the sequence of events, many scholars place this judgment very shortly after The Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), before God in Heaven/Paradise.  This is so the "Beautification" or the "blemishlessness" (Ephesians 5:27) of the Bride of Christ or the Church can be complete by the burning up of any works that do not bring God glory (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
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"So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." - 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 

"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words." - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18  

 "...to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." - Ephesians 5:27

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 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. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." - 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
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In the words of Rick Renner, the Bema Seat, another name for "the judgment seat of Christ, is described in the following way (Sparkling Gems From the Greek, p.184-185) -  

"This judgment will not be in regard to our salvation, for if we are at the judgment seat of Christ, we are already eternally saved.  However, that day will determine our reward.  Those who fulfilled the assignment Jesus gave them will receive a reward (1 Corinthians 3:14).  Those who were not obedient will still be saved, but they will have no reward to show for their lives (1 Corinthians 3:15).  

Jesus expects us to do something with the gifts, talents, abilities, and assignments that He has entrusted to us.  Therefore, since we know that a day of reckoning awaits us, let's do everything we can to please Jesus.  Let's live in the constant awareness that one day we will stand before Him to answer for what we did in this life."

The Parable of the Ten Talents exemplifies this message to us well (Matthew 25:14-30).

"If you were required to stand before Jesus today and to answer for your personal record, what would the records reflect about you?"

Are you active?  Are you living out God's plan for your life?  If you don't know His plan for your life yet are you involved in some way to advance the kingdom and/or edify His Body - The Church?

The Scripture in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 says that if what a person has done does not survive the fire of testing - the person will suffer loss - "he/she will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames".  This is not a good scenario.  Find a ministry that clicks with you and the Holy Spirit and move in His power and guidance, the Scripture promises you will not regret it.