Summary: A look at how Christians can make sure that they're ready for judgment.
WHY DOES GOD JUDGE CHRISTIANS? Christians will be judged, not for salvation but for rewards.
- There are two judgments: one for the unsaved and one for the saved. The one for the unsaved is a judgment for heaven or hell and it doesn’t end well. The one for the saved is a judgment for rewards.
- Our salvation has been established through Christ, so we are not judged for our sins as far as earning our right to heaven. That’s been settled through Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.
- We will, however, be judged for rewards.
HOW CAN FRUIT BE REQUIRED IF SOME ENTER EMPTY-HANDED? These Christians have works – this judgment determines whether those works are lasting or not.
- The idea of the Christian who does nothing with his life is not really a Biblical idea. Over and again there is the expectation of fruitfulness in this life.
- So this judgment is not saying that some will show up empty-handed. Rather, it’s saying that what you have in your hands will be judged.
- Everyone at this judgment has something in their hands. This judgment is to determine whether what is in your hands is worthwhile or not.
- Some find what they’ve done with their lives – though it had the outward appearance of accomplishment – actually is burned away. Some find what they’ve done is solid and stands up to the fire of judgment.
MAKING SURE YOUR WORKS STAND:
1. RIGHT RESULT.
- People are what matter to God.
- Jesus died for people.
- Not buildings or degrees or books or sanctuaries or monuments or sermon CDs.
- Not power or possessions or titles or prestige.
- Our focus is on people and helping them know God and become like Him.
- America is running after financial prosperity.
- America is running after fleeting fame.
- America is running after personal comfort.
2. RIGHT MOTIVE.
- Unpack each of the above Scriptures:
a. Matthew 6:1, 5, 16.
- Doing things for a human audience and having received their reward in full.
- Woman sending cards because she liked being praised for it.
- Man giving half-million for a church building because he wants to see his name on it.
- Pastor building the church in order to feed his ego.
- Do everything you do for the glory of God, not the glory of self.
3. ACTUAL WORKER.
- Example: someone who is part of a dynamic, growing church but is just sitting. They will not get “credit” for having been at that church when they weren’t participating in the harvest.
- Example: someone who is an extended family known as big workers in the church, but how actually does next to nothing.
- It’s not sufficient that we be near work for the Kingdom or witness work for the Kingdom – we need to be actually doing work for the Kingdom.
- What’s the Spirit’s plan for a church of impact? Everyone does what they’re gifted at.
- Verse 20 tells us that there is one body. That is the body of Christ. That’s the collective efforts of the church as all the people work together.
- We talked last week about what a spiritual gift is: a divinely-chosen ability for divinely-empowered service. Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift.
- Verse 20 tells us that there are many parts but one body. That means that we’re all supposed to be working together to bring together a unified effort.
- To sum that up (as the sermon outline says): everyone does what they’re gifted at.
- “But I’m a church member!”
- The word “member” never appears in the Bible in reference to “a name on a list” but always “a part of the body.”
- “But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.” – 1 Corinthians 12:20 (NKJV)
- Some will argue against everyone doing what they’re gifted at. “I’m a church member,” they’ll say. “That’s all that’s asked of me.”
- Well, that may be what we talk sometimes like within the church, but that’s not what the Bible teaches.
- In the NIV, it uses the word “part” where some other translations use “member” (like NKJV and NASB). Both are solid, valid translations.
- Let’s talk about the word “member” for a minute though.
- When we talk about someone being a “member of the church,” we mean that that person has their “name on the roll.” They walked forward at the close of worship, expressed their desire to join, and then become a “member” of the church.