I was shaken by a message recently. Yes, I was shaken. We need to be shaken from time to time (or whenever we need to be shaken). When we are shaken, God gets our undivided attention. When we are shaken, we sharpen our focus on eternity. After all, we are eternal creatures. Our focus should be on things that deal with eternity long after we leave this life. This means what we do while living this life should be with a view of the eternal. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11: 25-26) Jesus said this with eternity in mind. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. To serve Him means we take on eternal significance. Remember, eternity is forever.
What was it that shook me? It was a message on the judgment seat of Christ. I've heard numerous messages on this subject. I've studied it extensively. It has always been a reality to me. But hearing this message recently made it even more real. It shook me.
Jesus made it clear He did not come to judge the world, but that the world would be saved through Him. (See John 3: 16-17). There will come a day however, in which those who rejected Jesus will stand before the Great White Throne and be judged guilty for not accepting Jesus and His work on the cross. The Bible makes this clear. But the Bible also says "today is the day of salvation"; meaning we can surrender to Him right now...before it is too late. He has made it a reality for all who will call upon Him.
According to the Apostle Paul, there will also come a day in which ALL Christians come under judgement. Paul called it the judgment seat of Christ. This is how he states it in 2 Corinthians 5:10, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." This is Scripture. We will ALL be judged by Jesus Himself. It will not be a judgment to condemn those who reject Jesus. Then why will we appear before Jesus' judgment seat? To be recompensed for our deeds in the body.
The word "body" has several applications in the Greek language. It can mean a human body. In this case we will be judged for our deeds while alive as believers on the earth. The word "body" could also be applied as the body of Christ. Either way, what we do (or don't do) matters while we are alive on the earth. We will be recompensed for our deeds as believers in Jesus.
Paul explains it another way in 1 Corinthians 2: 11-15, "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." The part that shook me was the part in which Paul says, "...he will suffer loss..." I don't know about you, but I don't want to go to heaven and suffer loss! I want to hear Jesus say to me "Well done, good and faithful servant"!
According to the above passage one whose works (wood, hay, and straw) are totally consumed by fire will be saved by that fire. They will enter heaven, but with loss. Those whose works are equal to gold, silver, and precious stones will be rewarded with even more! And it is those very works that protect them from the fire. They enter heaven with a boat-load of rewards. It is clear from the Scripture there will be various levels of existence in heaven. These are determined by our works as believers on the earth. No.....we don't perform works to be saved. It is totally by grace. But once saved we serve Him. How we serve Him matters now and in eternity.
Lately I've been asking myself, "Which of my works as a Christian would be burned up on Judgment Seat Day?" "For which of my works will I receive a reward?" "Which of my deeds (good or bad) will cause me to suffer loss because they didn't survive the fire of the Judgment Seat of Christ'? Questions like this can cause one to be shaken? I was shaken.
And finally, when we honestly study the Bible we clearly see that salvation is more than a quick prayer, prayed in order for one to go to heaven. It is more than a prayer prayed to keep one out of hell. Salvation is serving Jesus (and others) in the here and now while storing up treasures in heaven to be revealed to us at the judgment seat of Christ. The greatest treasure will be the words of Jesus saying, "Well done good and faithful servant. Enter now into the Joy of your Master." Shake us Father with your Words.