This Week's Sermon: Prosperity ( continued )

Just a continuing thought on 2 Corinthians 5:10;

 

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

 

Some people willfully reject the Biblical truth that we as born again christians will be judged because they only preach that we are perfect in Christ and therefore there will be no judgment.

Judgment is a negative concept and therefore nobody wants to hear about it.

Hell is rarely mentioned nowadays because it too, is a negative.

Jesus talked a lot about hell.

Why?

Because He came to try to keep us out of hell, if we would just choose to believe in Him.

 

Yes, the Bible says we are perfect and complete in Christ, as believers.

 

But the Bible also says even though we are perfect and complete in Christ we will still be judged for our works.

And as Paul said, we as believers will be judged by both the good and the bad works we did here on earth.

 

Fortunately for those of us who believe in Jesus, this judgment only has to do with our walk with the Lord...not our former life before we were saved.

Those sins are forgiven and forgotten.

Now, we must still confess our sins and ask God to forgive us as born again christians but this time it is not an issue of ending up in eternal hell as it was before.

It now has to do with rewards and treasures in Heaven...if we earn it.

Salvation cannot be earned nor can our entrance into Heaven be earned, but rewards has to be earned...according to the Bible.

 

John clearly said to those of us who are saved by our faith in Jesus;

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.   1 John 1:8-10

 

Notice John clearly said “ If “ we confess our sins, then we are cleansed from sin.

And he also said “ If “ we are walking in Christ, and not living in sin, then we are cleansed from our sins.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. “  1 John 1:7

 

We can reject these verses or we can change the interpretation of these verses to mean anything we want but the Bible still says this quite plain.

 

It is easy to understand why Paul said we as believers will be judged for our “ bad “ works but why did he say we will be judged by our “ good “ works?

 

Well, actually this is simple to understand as well.

The issue concerning our “ good “ works has to do with our motive.

Jesus clearly said;

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.“  Matthew 6:1

 

A proud, arrogant and self-exalted believer in Jesus, God resists, and as Jesus said, God will not give any rewards to a person who is like this.

Jesus said the only reward we get will be public popularity we crave and lust for and nothing more;

Therefore when thou doestthinealms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

 

But maybe for most of us, riches, wealth, prosperity and fame is what we want to have.

The problem is this life is temporary and passes quickly.

What we end up getting in Heaven, or not getting, will be permanent.

 

We can accomplish all we want in this earthly life and do good things for others but if our motive is to get rich, become famous, live in luxury, get a tax deduction from giving or for any reason other than to bring glory to God, then we will be one of those who stand at the judgment seat of Christ and watch our own works be consumed in the fire.

Paul said at that moment the born again christian will feel agony and regret as we watch our works burn up and realize we are not going to get any rewards.

As a matter of fact Paul describes that moment as ourselves barely escaping being burned along with our works, but still coming out saved...though barely.

If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.   1 Corinthians 3:14-15

 

This is why Peter said we as believers in Jesus are scarcely saved;

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 1 Peter 4:17-18

 

 

This is why our salvation and entrance into Heaven is only based on our faith, not our works.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast. “  Ephesians 2:8-9

 

Our works could never get us into Heaven.

Only Jesus can.

 

The wicked can also do good works, get rich and famous like a born again christian can but if they die while not believing in God's only flesh and blood begotten Son Jesus, they will spend eternity in hell.

Whatever we receive or not receive as believers in Jesus in Heaven, will be eternal but at least we will be there by our faith in Jesus Christ, God's only Son.

 

I had a born again christian tell me that he might not get any reward in Heaven but at least he will be there.

This unfortunately is the mentality of most believers in Jesus.

We want to lust and live for the pleasures of this present world but still hang on to Heaven because we know this life will end and Heaven will be forever but nevertheless we still want to love this world while we have it.

 

Our judgment as born again christians has to do with our relationship with the Lord.

Where is our heart?

Is it here in this world or is it with Jesus?

This is why Jesus said;

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.“  Matthew 6:19-21

 

It has to do with our relationship with the Lord.

 

Most of us do not have this mentality as Jesus spoke.

We just live for now.

 

Yes, Jesus wants us to have nice things and there is nothing wrong with that.

But Paul said, not money itself, but the love of money, is the root of all evil.

He said this to born again christians.

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. “  1 Timothy 6:3-12

 

Most of us think that gain of riches, wealth and material things is the sign of godliness.

Paul said godliness with contentment with what we have, is great gain.

 

Most of us disagree with Paul.

 

My friend, let us wake up to reality.

Jesus is coming soon whether we want Him to or not.

Whether Jesus does come in our lifetime or does not, as Paul hoped and the early christians hoped Jesus would come back in their day 2000 years ago, Jesus said we are still supposed to be watching and living in expectation of His coming.

We cannot be in love with money, wealth, luxury living and all that this world has to offer, and be wanting Jesus to come back.

 

Jesus may surprise us some day when we are not wanting Him to come back...or expecting Him.

 

Wayne Brown