Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Good works done for the right reasons will be rewarded.”
As we continue to consider the consummation of our salvation, we need to understand what will happen to us at the judgment seat of Christ referred to by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:10. This judgment involves both believers and non-believers. In 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 Paul describes the proceedings for us:
“If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become obvious. For the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work that he has built up survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will experience loss, but he himself will be saved – but only as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:12-15
The first thing that will be determined at the judgment is whether or not a person’s name is written in the Lamb’s book of life. Did you place your faith in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins in this lifetime? If you didn’t then off you go to hell. If you did, then your interview continues and the examination goes further.
It is at that point that your life is examined and your conduct is evaluated. You are not punished for your sins. Jesus already took care of that on the cross. But your every word and action is evaluated by the Lord for its worthiness. Everything that is considered unworthy is tossed aside as worthless. Every thought, word, or action that brought honor to the Lord is rewarded.
When Paul writes in verse 15 of 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 that if a work is considered worthless you will “suffer loss”, he means that your efforts in that manner here on earth will have been shown to have been worthless and therefore you lost a potential eternal reward. When he writes that you will have been “saved as through fire”, he means that some people will make it into heaven, but their clothes will be smoking and their hair will be singed.
The point is that there is a direct connection between how we live now and what eternity will be like for us forever. Even as people who have placed their faith in Christ and who are therefore assured of a place in heaven, we will not all be of the same spiritual stature, nor will we all enjoy the same rewards. We will enjoy heaven for all eternity to the greatest of our personal capacity, but our capacities for spiritual appreciation and enjoyment will be different based upon how we lived and served in this life.
Good works done for the right reasons will be rewarded.