So you are "Saved", "Born Again", a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.....a Christian. Now what? "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:13) "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." (Romans 6:22) "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) But Wait There's More!
Scripture portrays God not only as a judge but as a rewarder. "...anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6) For all Believers in Christ since Pentecost, there is coming a time when we will stand before the Bema Seat or Judgement Seat of Christ - "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 5:10). This is a review of and reward for "the things done while in the body, whether good or bad". As I stated in the beginning, you are saved and the work of Christ is a Finished work. There is no judgement concerning our salvation - "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)
"Second Corinthians 5:10 says every believer must face judgment 'according to what he has done, whether good or bad.' But what does Paul mean by 'good or bad'? What are these 'bad' works? The word bad is the Greek word phaulos, which refers to 'bad' in the sense of worthless, or inferior in quality, not in the sense of evil. They are what we might call bad good works. What makes these things bad or worthless? They are done with the wrong motive (1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 4:13). They are good things in themselves, but done for selfish reasons. Such motives are not worthy of reward, despite the good that results from them. (They are probably parallel to the'wood, hay, or straw' in 1 Corinthians 3:12)." [p.209, THE END, by Mark Hitchcock]
This is a challenging word for living a quality life now and seeing a great reward from Christ Jesus later. Someone who builds his/her character with eternal values, manages life with faithfulness, and displays discipline, focus, and dedication - will certainly not lose their great reward. To imagine 1 Corinthians 4:5 is mind-blowing - "At that time each will receive his praise from God." Among other rewards Jesus might have for us, Scripture mentions Five Crowns.
- The Incorruptible Crown (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) - to the self-disciplined and self-controlled
- The Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8) - to those looking and living for His coming
- The Crown of Life (James 1:2; Revelation 2:10) - to those who suffer and faithfully endure for Christ
- The Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19) - soul winners crown
- The Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:1-4) - those who oversee God's people (pastors, elders, teachers, etc)
The next time you are in an evaluation, remember there is a Heavenly one coming that will place all of our actions, words, and attitudes into God's Holy Furnace of purification. Christ warns us in Matthew 6:1-2, 5, 16 - "that if we serve God to receive praise and notoriety from others, we had better enjoy whatever accolades we receive, because that is all we will ever get. Remember Jesus' words in Matthew 20:16: 'Those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.' Jesus judges our motives. He sees it all." [p.210, THE END, Mark Hitchcock] What we do now counts toward an eternal reward that we get personally praised for by Christ, but that we immediately place back at His feet because He re-created us for His purposes. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17) The ultimate evaluation will happen one day....are you ready? Will Jesus be able to say to you, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" ?