For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10
There are many motivations in the Christian's life. One is our awareness that one day we will give an account of our lives to Christ, as He sits in judgment upon humanity. It is much more comforting to believe that Christians will be ushered into heaven with no questions asked about our faithfulness upon earth, but that is not what Scripture says will happen. Paul cautioned that in the final day of judgment, every Christian will give an account for his or her actions. This expectation terrified Paul and motivated him to strive to please God in everything he did (2 Cor. 5:9–11). Paul knew that although he might ignore the Spirit's quiet voice during His life on earth, a time of accounting would come when he would have to explain why he had rejected God's instructions. Paul never carelessly assumed that, because of all he had done for God's kingdom, God would overlook his sin. Instead, he understood that to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48). God does not force His will upon us. He will ask us to answer for the way we responded to Him. - Blackaby
It's sort of an interesting morning as far as thoughts go. I read this and as it stands out as it does, I need to bring along something from Dr. Michael Youseff's sermon from Sunday. Somehow they seem connected.
Many say oh God is a God of love, He won't really send people to Hell. Well, yes, the God of the Bible will. Judgment has to happen. Each book of the Bible tells of an aspect of Jesus. The whole Bible speaks of Jesus. Dr. Michael Youseff in his sermon from Sunday:
Genesis, He is the seed of woman
Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb
Leviticus, He is the High Priest
Numbers, He is the smitten rock
Deuteronomy, He is the Prophet
Joshua, He is the Captain of the Lord of Hosts
Judges, He is the Creator and Final Judge
Ruth, He is the Heavenly kinsman redeemer
Samuel, He is the Anointed One
Kings, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Chronicles, He is the Glory of God in the Temple
Ezra, He is the teacher that comes from God
Nehemiah, He is the rebuilder of broken lives
Esther, He is the protector of His people
Job, He is our only comforter in times of trouble
Psalms, He is our good Shepherd
Proverbs, He is the wisdom of God
Ecclesiastes, He is the Preacher of the Kingdom of God
Song of Solomon, He is the Bridegroom who is coming for his Bride the Church
Isaiah, He is the Mighty God everlasting Father Prince of Peace
Jeremiah, He is the potter who shapes our lives into the image of God
Lamentations, He is the weeping Prophet
Ezekiel, He is the wheel inside the wheel
Daniel, He is the Son of Man coming on clouds of great glory and he is the 4th person in the fiery furnace
Hosea, He is the love of God to the backslider
Joel, He is the baptism of the Holy Spirit
Amos, He is the Author of judgement and mercy
Obadiah, He is the God of Vengeance
Jonah, He is the Salvation of our Lord
Micah, He is the Great Intercessor
Nahum, He is the stronghold in the days of trouble
Habakuck, He is the God of Mercy
Zepheniah, He is the establisher of the Kingdom of God upon the Earth
Haggai, He is the desire of all nations
Zechariah, He is the branch of Jehovah
Malachi, He is the refiners fire the son of righteousness that will rise above all the world with healing in His wings.
Matthew, He is the Kingly Messiah
Mark, He is the Miracle Worker
Luke, He is the Great Physician
John, He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world
Acts, He is the risen Lord
Romans, He is our justification
Corinthians, He is our sanctification
Galatians, He is our Liberation
Ephesians, He is our Perfection
Philippians, He is our Joy
Colossians, He is the Head of the body the Church
Thessalonians, He is the coming Lord who will reign and rule forever
Timothy, He is the judge of all men
Titus, He is the redeemer of the world
Philemon, He is the friend that sticks to you closer than a brother
Hebrews, He is the Author and Finisher of our Salvation
James, He is the Healer of All Nations
Peter, He is the Chief Shepherd and the Bishop of Our Souls
John's Epistles, He is the Word of God
Jude, He is the Coming Lord with 10 thousand of his saints to execute judgment upon the world
Revelation, He is the Alpha and the Omega the Beginning and the End, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the root of Jesse, the root of David, the lamb of God, the Word of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Read that again. I heard it Sunday and had to go back and transcribe it myself. It's an awesome list. Your challenge is to find those in each book he describes.
I have thought and often told others no to certain things in my life because I said that I have enough to answer for before God. Scripture is clear that believers do not stand condemned as those who rejected Jesus. But we do have to give an account of what we have thought and done in this life.
There is a bar that is set, a standard, if you will, before God. I agree with Blackaby when he mentioned Paul's take on personal accountability towards God.
In a world that is literally Hell bent on controlling and consuming your thoughts, it's not going to be easy to follow Christ.
Satan knows the Bible better that most. He had spent his whole existence trying to thwart even 1 word of it. We have countless millions in all Earth history who have tried to help him...and many of those profess to be Christians!
What will you say before the Holy God, the Lord Jesus Christ, concerning why you did this or that. Of why you didn't do this or that. Hmm? Paul thought about it quite often evidently.
When living in this world where we face a daily barrage of sights, smells, tastes and sounds, it's hard. Very hard to keep our way pure before God.
Some just don't bother fighting it. They just go with the flow, and whatever consequences there are, there are.
It's a fight, it's a war. One of my favorite movies has a quote that's more Biblical in its thinking than it looks.
There's a war going on in this world, a world war. It's not about who has the most bullets. It's about the information. What we see, what we hear, it's all about the information.
Ironically, last year someone who works for a television news network was cornered by someone and in anger she tried lashing out at her attacker. What did she say? "Its our job to tell you what to think!"
Years ago the commissioner of the NFL was quoted as saying that Sunday used to belong to Christians. Now it belongs to the NFL.
People have been quietly giving up their rights to think for themselves all in the name of acceptance. Be a fan of this team, not that one. Be on this bandwagon and not that one. Tempers flare. Passion explodes. In the end?
Time is wasted, souls are lost, people end up in Hell because what was important was never talked about...where were they going to spend eternity. People were too caught up in celebrities, movies themes, book characters, sports, recreation that the real life altering question of do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior never gets asked or addressed.
We all have to give an account before God about our lives, those who are believers.
As its described, all our lives are put on the alter, the refiners fire is lit. What remains is what was worthy. All the wasted thoughts and actions are burned away.
For non believers there's quite a different set of judgments. The first is whether or not your name written down in the book of life. When someone comes to Christ, who is saved, He writes your name in that book. That's the book that allows people into Heaven. Not written means no entry.
The second is the refiners fire...but because of no Salvation in Christ...everything is burned up. Your works, your thoughts and deeds mean nothing.
Nobody will ever be 'good enough' on their own to enter Heaven. If it were possible at all then Jesus died needlessly.
He says that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but through Him.
So think about your life. People probably told Paul what they tell me. That he thinks too much. Have fun! Don't be so serious all the time! Don't you think about anything else?
Seriously, I will one day be standing before Jesus and you think those excuses will work? Well that Pastor said it was ok!
That Pastor will not be your lawyer before Jesus. Remember that. No so-called Priest will be your lawyer before Jesus.
You stand on your own before Jesus Christ. Nobody with you, just you.
All the sudden things are different now aren't they?