Will Everyone Be Happy In Heaven?
Even though the Bible says there will be tears in Heaven, we can rest assured that "eventually" everyone will be happy in Heaven. Even with the knowledge of what we may have lost at the Judgment Seat of Christ, or knowing that our unsaved loved ones may be suffering, God’s Word is trustworthy,and His Word says we'll be happy in Heaven. God assures us in Psalm that in Heaven our joy will be absolutely full. All who go to Heaven will experience “fullness of joy". We trust God, and we trust His Word!
Psalm 16:11: In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”
Revelation 21:4: God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He [God] that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.
Luke 6:23: Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.
God will require us to give an account of our witnessing, and our faithfulness in warning the lost so they can change their sinful ways. Can we make the same statement as the Apostle Paul when he said that he was innocent from the blood of all men.
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20: For what is our hope, or joy, or Crown of Rejoicing? You are that as we come into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.
Philippians 4:1: Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and Crown, stand fast in the Lord.
Proverbs 11:30: The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.
The Rewards In Scripture Are Many
Although there will be no envy or jealousy in Heaven, there will be great distinctions between the people in Heaven. There are Crowns mentioned in the Scriptures as rewards to be earned. These crowns will be awarded to qualifying believers at the Judgment. After being saved every Christian has the opportunity to win these Crowns or other rewards.
All the saved will one day stand before The Judgment Seat of Christ. The result of this judgment will be the gain or loss of Eternal Rewards. All Christians go to Heaven, but there are numerous rewards and Crowns that must be earned!
In the original Greek, the English term “Judgment Seat” is “Bema Seat”. When the Apostle Paul used this expression in the first century, every educated mind immediately knew the severity of the warning because their thinking took them to the runner's track in Athens, Greece. It was like our modern day sport stadiums, containing thousands of seats. One seat was elevated above all the rest so the judge of the games could sat there with no obstruction to view all the racing participants. He could see every movement clearly.
1 John 2:28: And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His Coming.
2 Timothy 2:20-21: In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some are for honor (noble purposes), and some for dishonor (lowly use or basic service). If a man (Christian) purge himself from these (depart from iniquity), he shall be a vessel for honor, sanctified, and meet [fit] for the Master's use, and prepared for every good work.
2 Timothy 2:4: No man (Christian) entangles himself (gets tied up) with the affairs of this life; so that he may please Him [Christ] who has chosen him to be a soldier.
Revelation 16:15: Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments (of righteousness), lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Isaiah 61:10: I will greatly rejoice in the LORD . . . for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.
Revelation 3:21: To him that overcomes, will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne.
The Crown Of Life For "Those Who Suffer For Christ"
James 1:12: Blessed is the man that endures temptation (trials): for when he is tried, he shall receive the Crown of Life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him.
Revelation 2:10: Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried..... be faithful to death, and I will give you a Crown of Life.
Under grace the character of the believer’s life and service does not affect the believer’s eternal salvation, but our life, our works, our faithfulness, or lack of faithfulness, in following the purposes God has planned for our life, will come into judgment and will affect us for eternity.
2 Corinthians 7:1 "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
So, even though the believer will not come into judgment because of sin, we will come into judgment in reference to our daily life and service for Christ. Notice that God’s Word says inRevelation 19 that the Bride made herself ready!
Why Are There Tears In Heaven?
It is understandable that there will be a tremendous amount of weeping at the Judgment Seat of Christ when many Christians realize what has been lost through their careless living for things that had no Eternal value. One minister explained that, our tears will be those of regret and shame, tears of remorse for living our lives for ourselves, instead of for Him who loved us so much that He came and gave His life to wash us from our sins with His own blood.
Revelation 1:5: Jesus Christ, who . . . loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.
Then also, at another time, there may be tears as people weep over their loved ones who did not make it. But, an important thing to notice is that God did say He would eventually wipe away all tears. The reason for using the word "eventually"is because of the timingthat is seen in these verses.
Revelation 20:5 & 7 & 11-15: The rest of the dead (unbelievers) did not live again until the thousand years were finished . . . And when the thousand years are expired . . . I saw a Great White Throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book Of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the Book Of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Romans 14 deals with how Christians should live with each other and not be judging one another when we are all going to have to stand before The Judgment Seat and give an accounting to God. Every Christian should read the entire Chapter closely.
Romans 14:10 & 12: Why do you judge your brother? For we shall all stand before The Judgment Seat of Christ. Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
In Corinthians Paul said we labor, to the point of sheer exhaustion, we labor that whether we are at home or somewhere else, if we are around people who know us or people who do not know us, that we may be accepted of Christ. For we must all appear before Christ, and will receive the things done in our body, whether it be good or bad. These things done in our body are not a sin issue, it is the opportunities we have to do things for the Lord, or not do what we should, while we are in our body.
2 Corinthians 5:9-11: Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. 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 has done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest to God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
God gave His only Son who was given at great cost to make salvation and fruitfulness possible for everyone. We will give an account at The Judgment Seat of Christ for what we have done with this gift, His Son. This verse says every believer will appear, or be manifested, before the Lord. At that time, everything in the believers life will be reviewed.
Luke 14:14: You shall be recompensed (repaid) at the resurrection of the just.
Paul is talking about winning Christ as Bridegroom. He was after the prize of the out-resurrection!
Of this, he said;
Philippians 3:8 "I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung [rubbish], that I may win Christ . . . that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection."
We too may seek for the prize of the Out-Resurrection. Christ is coming for His Bride! Paul was running the race to obtain an imperishable Crown! Paul was striving for this higher honor, to be in the Bride of Christ.
Read the sermon, "THE BRIDE OF CHRIST" by Rev. Lance Lambert, to fully understand what God revealed to Paul.
Revelation 21:18, 19, 21: The wall of the city was of jasper [diamond]: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. The [twelve] foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The twelve gateswere twelve pearls: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
But more than jewels God loves His saints. God delights in His jewels (which would be us), sparkling, brilliant, and glorifying their Creator. To God, Christians are His jewels, His own special treasure! Their holiness shines and sparkles in God’s eyes! They “shine like lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15) What a blessing to know that we are His workmanship and jewels in His Crown.
It would so please the Lord to be able to say about each of us, “Look at My jewel, isn’t “He or She” amazing?” But what would God actually say about us concerning our last few hours or days? Having a close walk with Christ will help us use our lives in a way that will glorify Him. Someday our body shall be changed. Then we will stand in the presence of our Savior and God our Father, as trophies of grace and jewels. What a glorious day that will be!
God values the Saints so highly that He parted with His best Jewel to obtain them — Christ’s precious blood was shed to ransom these jewels!
Revelation 5:9: You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
Christians are jewels which adorn the world. Hypocrites dishonor God, but those that live a godly life bring honor.
Matthew 5:16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
1 Peter 3:4: But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
We were sinners but He made us jewels! Thank God who has brought such a change in us! From lumps of dirt and sin — He has made us into His jewels!
As one minister stated, “Of course all Christians will be perfect in Heaven, just like all light bulbs are perfect. Some are perfect 25 Watt and some are perfect 100 Watts.” We will be perfect at the level that we allowed ourselves to be brought to by the Holy Spirit."
As one minister said, “Although all Christians will be in heaven because of faith in Christ, some will receive great reward, and some will receive no reward at all. Some will enter into the joy of their Master, and some will not. Some will take hold of the life which is life indeed, and some will not. Some will wear Crowns indicative of the Father's pleasure, and some will not.
Zechariah 9:16: And the Lord their God shall save them in that day . . . for they shall be as the stones [Jewels] of a Crown.
Here God tells us that the people of Israel are to Him as valuable rare gem stones set in gold. They are precious to Him; important and beautiful in His sight. And we can apply these same words to all of the children of God. We are His jewels, and trophies of His grace. The treasures of God are the sanctified lives of His saints. He who owns the universe, cares about the souls of all of His children!
If you love Jewels, you are not alone, God has a love for the beauty of dazzling gems and minerals. This can be seen in the beauty of the New Jerusalem.
It is clear from God's Word that He does not wipe away all tears until after the Great White Throne Judgment and the ushering in of the New Heavens and New Earth. Isaiah 65:17 states, “For behold, I create New Heavens and a New Earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.” Unfortunately, until that time there are and will be tears in Heaven.
Some Christians are disturbed when they first learn that Heaven presently includes grief, remorse and tears. However, we need to understand that our happiness in Heaven is not a matter of holy amnesia or ignorance, but of perspective. We will be with Jesus, see all things accurately and live in a sinless environment. Heaven will be a splendidly happy place even with some periodic moments of sadness and tears.
The following is presented from; Randy Alcorn’s book, “Heaven : Biblical Answers for Common Questions”.
1. God is very happy and content in Heaven and He knows exactly what is happening on earth.
2. The angels are happy in Heaven and they know what is happening on earth.
3. Angels see the torment of those being held in Hades, but it does not minimize their joy in Heaven (Rev. 14:10).
4. Abraham and Lazarus saw the rich man’s agonies in Hades, but it did not cause Heaven to cease to be Heaven (Luke 16:23-26). If one can see people in Hades without ruining Heaven, surely nothing he could see on earth could ruin it.
5. The promise of no more tears or crying is after the end of this world, after the Great White Throne judgment, after “the old order of things has passed away” and there’s no more suffering on Earth (Revelation 21:1-4). This passage is not a valid argument for tearlessness in the present experiences of Heaven, but only in the New Heaven and Earth. This doesn’t mean those presently in Heaven must be unaware of what’s happening on earth. Certainly those in Heaven are not frail beings whose joy can be maintained only by sheer ignorance of what is going on in the universe. In fact, even if our knowledge did produce some sadness in Heaven (and we don’t know for sure it would), the old order hasn’t yet passed away. Heaven is not in its final state. We should not begin by defining Heaven as “no sorrow, no concern, no knowledge of suffering” and then dismiss any scriptural indications that undermine that assumption.
For instance, Jesus grieved for people on earth (Matthew 23:37-39; John 11:33-36). Does Jesus no longer do so because He’s in Heaven? Or does He still hurt for His people when they suffer? Acts 9:4-5 gives a clear answer. Jesus asked, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” When Saul asked who He was, He replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Doesn’t being persecuted with them suggest he’s currently hurting for His people? If Jesus can hurt for them, couldn’t those in Heaven do so also? It’s one thing to no longer cry because there’s nothing left to cry about. It’s something else to no longer cry when there’s ongoing suffering on earth. Going into the presence of Christ surely does not make us less compassionate, but more. Hence, it is possible that even with the predominant joy presently in Heaven, in light of the fact there is still so much evil and pain in the universe, there could be periodic expressions of sadness in Heaven until the evil and pain are permanently gone in Revelation 21.
6. Since God is continuously and powerfully at work on earth, saints in Heaven would have a great deal to praise Him for, including people’s spiritual transformations (Luke 15:7,10). If there is rejoicing in Heaven about what happens on earth, aren’t the redeemed allowed to participate in the rejoicing? How could they participate unless aware of the cause for celebration?
7. We know the Apostle John wept bitterly in Heaven. In Revelation 5:1-5 we read, “Then I saw in the right hand of Him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ And no one in Heaven or on Earth or under the Earth was able to open the scrolls or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that He can open the scroll and its seven seals.” (emphasis mine, ESV).
8. The Apostle Paul tells us that many saved people enjoying the splendor of Heaven “shall suffer loss” of reward during the Bema Seat Judgment (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). This will certainly be a cause for tears of remorse and regret.
In conclusion, we have far too long believed Heavenly happiness is based upon forgetfulness or ignorant bliss. It’s time we think more clearly and accurately as we use Scripture as our guide for life and faith.
Some Christians may not want to think about The Judgment Seat of Christ, but there is a moment of terror coming for some believers, because if works were not very important in a believer’s life, there would not be an entire judgment that’s devoted to nothing but works!
The purpose of the believer’s life is something more than getting to Heaven, having their sins forgiven, or making the Rapture, it’s being conformed to His purpose, and being useful in His service. The goal of the Christian life is servant hood and usefulness.
The Great White Throne Judgment
All the lost will one day stand before God at The Great White Throne Judgment. The Great White Throne Judgment, which is the final judgment after the thousand year Reign of Christ,is where the unsaved will be judged. The degree of their penalty will be determined by their works.
If We Abide In Him We Will Be Fruitful
Jesus told us in John 15 that to abide in Him means to be fruitful, to have the life of the vine flowing through us. Then John warns us in 1 John 2:28 to abide in Him so that when He, Christ, appeared, we would not be ashamed before Him at His Coming. There will be Christians who will shrink away in shame from the Lord because they did not abide in Him and so have not been fruitful. Imagine the heartbreak and embarrassment of having consumed the grace of God upon oneself but having borne no fruit. The shame of never having anyone in Heaven to come and thank us because we never shared our knowledge about the Lord with them.
The Judgment Seat is obviously going to be a time of great embarrassment and shame for many Christians. There will be some people who we thought were highly favored and used of God in great ways, and we are going to see them receive little. Even though multitudes supposedly came for salvation, and so forth, this will be because their motive has reduced their work. We’re going to hear about the heroes of Heaven and some of those people are going to be people we have never heard of. But they walked in total faithfulness to the purposes that God had put before them. They were focused and Biblical in their motives and in their spirit and lived their life in complete fellowship with Christ.
Don’t be mistaken, words are powerful. With our mouths we can hurt feelings, lie, or say ungodly things. Even through Christians do not willfully practice sin, we must ask God to help us tame our tongues. The Word of God makes it clear. You will be held accountable for every idle word whether it accidently slipped out of your mouth or not.
Matthew 12:36: Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of in the day of judgment.
Jesus Will Make The Presentations
In The Biggest Awards Ceremony Ever In The History Of Mankind
All Are Saved At The Judgment Seat Of Christ
The Judgment Seat of Christ, is reserved for the judgment of Christians only. Born again believers in Christ Jesus. If a person is unsaved and dies in sin, he will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, following Christ's millennial reign on earth.
At the Judgment Seat the Lord will not be passing out punishment for sins that have been committed by the child of God. Rather, it is a place where rewards will be given, or lost, depending on how one has conducted his life for the Lord.
At The Judgment Seat of Christ, it’s not a question of are we saved or are we lost, all the people standing there are saved. The issue that will be determined is what is the degree of our reward, what is the degree of our eternal responsibilitiesthat we will enter into with our Lord, what will be our position before Him as a result of how we have faithfully carried out the commandments He gave to us.
All Christians will give account of themselves at this judgment, which will occur sometime after Christ has taken His people to Heaven. But, even though no believer will be in danger of being sent to Hell, many will suffer great loss. It will not be a heavenly family reunion, and it will absolutely not be an enjoyable experience for millions of believers. The Judgment Seat of Christ involves believers giving an account of their lives to Christ.
All Christians will be judged on the basis of their deeds and knowledge. We will answer for every word, every thought, and for every deed done in our body while on this earth. Some Christians think they will never be judged because they are saved by grace and not with works. Others believe they can live their lives holding hands with the world, and still be fully rewarded, not suffering any loss. Millions have little discernment of the Christian’s day of reckoning when every blood bought believer must stand before a Holy God for a scrutinizing examination and have their life reviewed before all of Heaven. The day is coming when every believer will find themselves standing before the Righteous God of the Universe with His eyes like flames of fire searing into the depths of their soul. Are you prepared for it?
Revelation 7:17: For the Lamb which is in the midst of the Throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Rev. 7:17 Happens near the end of the seven year tribulation. These are the Christians, gathered by the angels, who come out of the great tribulation.
Revelation 21:4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
The timing of Revelation 21:4isafter the thousand year millennial reign of Christ, after the Great White Throne Judgment for all the people who will not be going to Heaven, and after God creates the New Earth.
Revelation 3:11: Behold, I come quickly: hold on fast to what you have, so that no man can take your Crown.
Here the Coming of Christ is related to those believers who are ready to receive Crowns. Every single person who has been chosen to be part of the Bride, will be wearing a Crown! But not every believer will receive a Crown. Do you notice from the above verse, that it is possible for a Christian to lose their Crown, which the Lord had planned to give to them, before they have even made it to Heaven. This is a serious warning to HOLD FAST and not get entangled with the things of this world.
Revelation 22:17 & 20: The Spirit and the Bride say, Come . . . He which testifies these things says, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.
Crown Of Righteousness For Those Who "Love His Appearing"
2 Timothy 4:5-8: Watch in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also who Love His appearing.
Many Christians believe there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus so they won't have to account for anything when they get to heaven. They are standing on the following verses and not considering all the others.
John 3:18: He that believes on Him (Christ) is not condemned.
Romans 8:1: There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
There is no condemnation for our past sins, and the promise is no condemnation for the Christian who walks after the Spirit. But the same verse implies that there is condemnation if the individual determines to walk after the flesh. The condemnation has nothing to do with the standing of the Christian, but everything to do with his state. Just because our standing in Christ is guaranteed, it is still clear from God’s Word that we will have to give an account for our actions and how we have lived following our salvation. Paul warned us to examine and judge ourselves.
Romans 14:10 & 12: We shall all stand before The Judgment Seat of Christ. Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
1 Corinthians 11:28 & 31-32: Let a man examine himself..... For if we would judge ourselves, we will not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
We can examine our lives now against a future judgment. We can change our priorities and attitudes, review our motivations and redirect our energies toward the things that matter in God's sight. Above all, may we remain open to the Holy Spirit to guide us into a fruitful, spiritual Christian life and service.
2 Timothy 1:12: I (Paul) know Whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He (Christ) is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.
1 Corinthians 15:58: Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Either through death or the Rapture, all of us will one day soon stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to give an account of our lives. Even the longest life on earth will end abruptly and one will find themselves suddenly ushered into eternity. Time as we know it will have vanished into the past, and only the words we have spoken, the choices we have made and our deeds will have affected our Eternal Standing before Christ for Eternity. How we have lived this brief life will carry eternal consequences.
Few Christians have a real vision of eternity, while "Heaven is the place where everyone wants to go", their lives reflect the attitude of “but not yet!”
Many are too busy pursuing the temporal things of this world, wanting to finish college, get married, take that long planned for trip. For far too long, others have sung that old song, “Wait a Little Longer Please Jesus,” Just a few more days to get our loved ones in, and they don’t comprehend that while they are filled with concern about their immediate family, thousands of lost people are entering eternity daily. On an average, every day, 160,000 people will take their last breath and walk into eternity. That’s approximately 105 people every minute or 2 people every second. God hears your prayers, they will not be in vain, many of our lost loved ones will turn to the Lord during the Tribulation. Begin today to make every moment of the rest of your life count for all eternity!
There are many things that are necessary for us to do simply because we live in this world, but our daily prayer should be that God would direct us in the things that we can do for Him each day. Pray that He will guide our steps, lead us in the words we speak to others during the day, and give us opportunities to show others our love for Him through our daily life. Never fail to remember that this includes how you treat your immediate family, and especially your children.
Matthew 18:10 "Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in Heaven their Angels do always behold the face of My Father."
Acts 20:26-27: Therefore I declare to you this day, that I am pure (innocent) from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned (hesitated) to declare to you all the Counsel of God.
When God Gathers His Jewels
Proverbs 9:10: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Malachi 3:16-17: Then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. They shall be Mine, said the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My Jewels.
Isaiah 62:3: You shall be a Crown of Glory in the hand of the Lord and a Royal Diadem in His hand.
• Lay tracts in convenient places or give to people you meet when you are out.
• Place a tract in everything you mail, bills, cards, letters.
• Give a tract to anyone who knocks on your door.
• Give a tract to people working near your home.
Ecclesiastes 11:3: Where the tree falls, there it shall be.
That day is going to be awesome for many and a terror for others. Each of us will stand there before the Holy Son of God and be judged for every phase of our lives - for our praying, giving, talking, and doing. There will be no rehearsal, or possibility of a do-over. Because this is the Final Judgment for Christians, where all rewards or negative consequenceswill be administered to Christians for their life’s work.
This particular passage says there is a special reward for the Christian who is blessed by standing in trial, and letting the work of test produce character in them, that will glorify the Lord. The Crown of Life is for those believers who remain faithful to the Gospel even under persecution, and who trust God in all their circumstances, and are even faithful to the point of death. The Crown of Life is for those who suffer for Christ.
So, if you are experiencing severe temptation, trials, or persecution, be encouraged and persevere through them. Just as a runner perseveres through the difficulties of the race so that he might reach the finish line and receive the reward, so also Jesus is waiting to put the Crown of Life upon your head when you reach the finish line after persevering through pain, trials, and persecution. By offering this Crown, Jesus is encouraging us to stay strong, keep the course, and remain faithful.
All Christians will rise imperishable, but . . . just like the orbs of the universe differ in glory, and just as perfectlymadelight bulbs differ greatly in brightness being 15, 25, 40, 60, 75, 100, 200 watts and up, there will be a difference between Christians that will be just as stunning as the difference between the sun and the moon!
The Crown Of Rejoicing For "The Soul Winners"
There is a special reward for those who have committed themselves to bringing others to a knowledge of the Lord. Those who have witnessed to others and lead people to Christ will receive this Crown. Telling others about Jesus and the grace of God is the greatest thing that you can do for someone while here on this earth. When you help someone find salvation, you have been used by God to help guide them away from an eternity in hell.
Luke 15:7, 10:Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.
God will judge you by your willingness and desire to be used by Him to witness to others, not on how many actually get saved, because we are to water and He gives the increase. Christians are to be used by God to tell others about the Lord. God can fit opportunities for you in your life to witness and work for Him if you allow Him to.
If we are true Christians, then we must spread the gospel. It is not an option but a commandment from Jesus. You do not have to be an evangelist or pastor to share the good news. If you really want to work for the Lord, but just don’t know what you can do or how to do it, we would greatly recommend using Gospel Tracts. If you are not quite up to face to face witnessing, Tracts can be a very effective way to share your faith!
Romans 10:13-14 says: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?”
Revelation 1:14: His eyes were as a flame of fire.
Revelation 2:18: The Son of God, who has His eyes like a flame of fire.
Revelation 19:12: His eyes were as a flame of fire.
1 Timothy 6:17-19: Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded (conceited), or trust in uncertain riches, but (they should trust) in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Luke 12:48: He that did not know, and did commit things worthy of stripes (who does something wrong), shall be beaten with few stripes (will be punished only lightly). But to whoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask even more.
Daniel 12:9: And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who lead many to righteousness, (shall shine) like the stars forever and ever.
Revelation 4:10-11: The four and twenty elders (Bride of Christ) fell down before Him that sat on the throne, and worshiped Him that lives forever and ever, and cast their Crowns before the Throne, saying, You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.
They don’t lose the Crowns they cast before the throne, because Eternal rewards will last forever, but they are acknowledging that all their righteous works are as filthy rags. The rewards they received were for things the Lord had done through them, so they realize their rewards should go to Jesus! Just as no branch can bear fruit apart from the vine, we cannot bear good fruit apart from Him. Therefore, these rewards bring continual honor to Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 64:6: All our righteousness's are as filthy rags.
In the light of The Judgment Seat of Christ, there may be things in your life you want to change. Don’t waste or misuse another day of your life. Get rid of any bitterness towards anything or anyone, change some habits, reconcile with people, write letters or make phone calls, and take full responsibility for your actions, knowing they will count for Eternity. Strive to transform your life. Make your life more effective, more fruitful, more meaningful, more joyful. Purify your motives and follow the commandments of God.
2 John 1:8: Watch yourselves, that you do not lose those things which you have accomplished, so that you may receive a full reward.
The Eternal Status Of Our Life Is Settled Forever On That Day
Our future relationship to Jesus Christ is based on our earthly record, and the Eternal Status of our life will be settled when we stand before the Lord on that day. Similar to what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes about the tree falling. Our life on this earth is the arena in which we can change for Eternity. This is the opportunity to be perfected, this is the probation period, this is the time to mature, this is the time to work for the Lord and to fulfill His purpose for our life. When this life ends, our opportunity to change things is finished. And the future position we hold in Heaven will be determined by what we are doing in our life now.
Knowing The Terror Of The Lord We Persuade Men
Paul says, we must all appear before The Judgment Seat of Christ that each one may be recompensed for his works done in the body, according to all that he has done, whether good or bad, and then he adds this warning, “Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”
Multitudes of Christians love Jesus, they fully plan to be with Him in Heaven, they consider their relationship with Him to be important, and yet the purpose God intended for them, is worthless, because carelessly, not through intention, not willfully, but many times just through carelessness, they are involved in everything else except the release of God’s purpose in their lives. Far too many Christians have not even noticed that the beginning of Eternityis upon us.
Ephesians 2:5: By grace you are saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9: By grace are you saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest anyone should boast.
2 Timothy 1:9: Be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord… Who has saved us, and called us to a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace.
Colossians 2:14: (Christ) Blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it (sin) out of the way, nailing it (our sin) to His cross.
Imagine our God elevated upon His Throne watching the Christian's Race of Life. God is watching His people and keeping records for the day when we must all appear before The Judgment Seat Of Christ, and we will all be judged and receive rewards or loss of rewards from those things that are written in the books, according to our works. We are in a battle for Christ, we are running a race.
Philippians 3:14: I (Paul) press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
2 Chronicles 16:9: For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth.
Salvation was freely given to Paul as a gift, but only works of hardship, suffering, and perhaps even death could bring him the prize of a Crown to lay before the Throne.
Revelation 4:10: The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the Throne, and worship Him that lives forever and ever, and cast their Crowns before the Throne.
John 3:18: He that believes on Him (Christ) is not condemned.
Titus 2:11: For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.
Hebrews 8:12: Their sins and their iniquities will I [God] remember no more.
God's Word teaches that the lukewarm, carnal, idle, slacking Christian with his careless living, his every neglected opportunity, every forfeited privilege, and every forgotten duty will have all these things taken into account when he stands before Christ. That Christian will not receive the same rewardsin Heaven as the Spiritual, active Christian who is living a dedicated life serving God?
Romans 2:6: God will give to every man according to his deeds.
Remember, this judgment is not a place where the believer's salvation is being questioned, it is a place of scrutiny, assessment, and being rewarded or having loss based on what one did with their life in Christ. The Bema could also be compared with the raised platform at a county fair where the sheep are passed over, and they are declared good, better, best. It is a place of evaluation, as seen at the Olympics, where people are brought forth and awarded according to their accomplishments, first place, second place, third place, and some not even finishing.
A statement A. W. Tozer made to Leonard Ravenhill. He said, "You know, we'll hardly get our feet out of time into eternity that we'll bow our heads in shame and humiliation. We'll gaze on eternity and say, Look at all the riches there were in Jesus Christ, and I've come to the Judgment Seat almost a pauper.'" For God had not only given us Jesus Christ - He has with Him freely given us all things (Romans 8:32).
1 Corinthians 4:5: Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
2 Timothy 4:8: There is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.
His Plan For Me
When I stand at The Judgment Seat of Christ and He shows me His plan for me,
The plan of my life as it might have been had He had His way,
And I see how I blocked Him here and I checked Him there, and I would not yield my will,
Will there be grief in my Savior's eyes? Grief, though He loves me still?
He would have made me rich, and I stand there poor, stripped of all but His grace
While memory runs like a hunted thing down the paths I cannot retrace.
Then my desolate heart will well-nigh break with tears that I cannot shed;
I shall cover my face with my empty hands, I shall bow my uncrowned head.
Lord, of the years that are left me, I give them to Thy hand;
Take me and break me, mold me to the pattern Thou has planned.
Martha Snell Nicholson
A false doctrine being taught by many today says that the worst thing that can happen to a Christian at the Judgment Seat is simply the loss of rewards. Those that claim that Christians need only be concerned with a loss of rewards never consider that the Bible clearly points out that we will receive for the bad and the wrongs we do too.
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.
Ephesians 6:6-8: Not ... as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, do the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatever good thing any man does, the same shall he receive of the Lord.
Colossians 3:23-25: And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men; Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward . . . But he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done.
The wrong being spoken of here is not sin. It’s that which we have done in using our life which has implicated the gospel in a negative sense. Something to disturb the unity of the body of Christ. Christians don’t mind talking about the good they will receive, but it’s upsetting to hear that the believer who has used his influence wrongly will receive that also. Some Christians are astonished to learn that God also keeps that record.
These verses show that whatever we do, we should do it for the Lord. It’s the motive, we are not doing it to be seen, or to be popular and receive recognition from men. Our God is faithful to keep a perfect record of all accounts.
Paul says in Romans 12 to the believers, don’t try to take vengeance yourself, vengeance is God’s, He will repay. When other believers have been offensive, when they have not controlled their speech and have caused harm to others, God says don’t take personal vengeance, I have that in account, believers will receive the wrong which they have done at.
Romans 12:19: Avenge not yourselves… for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.
2 Peter 1:10-11: Therefore, my brothers, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you will never fall: And so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly (You will receive a rich welcome) into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Those who have borne the heat of the battle following their Lord, will not stand on the same plane as those who avoided the battle. Every prayer, every tear, every trial suffered, every service rendered, every tract passed out, every time you spoke to someone about the Lord, all these things will all be taken into account at The Judgment.
1 Corinthians 3:8: Each will be rewarded according to his own labor.
Speaking about Ripple Effects, consider the following . . .
You can never recover . . . The Stone . . . after it's thrown.
You can never recover . . . The Word . . . after it's said.
You can never recover . . . The Occasion . . . after it's missed.
You can never recover . . . The Time . . . after it's gone.
Daniel 12:9: And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who lead many to righteousness, (shall shine) like the stars forever and ever.
The Ripple Effect
You can toss a stone into a pond and watch as the little circle of ever expanding ripples upon the water became larger as they spread out, away from the point of contact, finally touching the edges of the pond? This is the Ripple Effect and it is a great image of how we as God’s people should be making a difference and sending ripples throughout our homes, communities, workplaces, and churches.
The Ripple Effect. starts when you do something for the Lord, helping others, or sowing the seeds, such as passing out tracts, that lead other people to the Lord. Those people then touch the lives of others, and the Ripple Effectwill continue on and on, from one person to another, until we all stand before Christ.
John 15:1-2, 4-8, 10, 12: I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that bears not fruit He takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.
If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done for you. Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit . . .
If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love . . . This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.
2 Timothy 4:8: There is laid up for me [Paul] a Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but also unto all them that love His appearing.
Luke 6:23: Behold, your reward is great in heaven.
Matthew 16:27: The Son ... shall reward every man according to his works.
Luke 6:35: Love your enemies, do good, lend ... and your reward shall be great.
Matthew 5:12: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.
1 Corinthians 3:8: Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.
Revelation 22:12: My reward is with Me,to give every man according as his work shall be.
The "Judgment Seat Of Christ" Has Nothing To Do With Salvation
This judgment has nothing to do with salvation, because the security of the believer is not a question in the Word of God. The scriptures are very clear that the child of God under grace will never come under judgment for sin. We are made righteous in our standing before Godbecause the penalty for all our sin past, present, and future, has been paid; bore for us by Jesus Christ who is the perfect substitute, and so by being in Jesus Christ, the believer is accepted in standing before the Father as perfect. It is very important to understand that the believer is loved of God as Christ is loved of God.
We are notsaved on the merit of our works, but on the grounds of the divine grace of God that has been revealed through Jesus Christ. And we are saved, we are secure, we will be taken into Heaven on the basis of what God has done through us.
You may think you're just a drop in the ocean . . .
But take a look at the Ripple Effect ONE drop can make!
Some of the Scriptures which speak about these Eternal Rewards
Luke 6:23: Behold, your reward is great in heaven.
2 Timothy 4:8: There is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness.
Matthew 16:27: The Son ... shall reward every man according to his works.
Luke 6:35: Love your enemies, do good, lend ... and your reward shall be great.
Matthew 5:12: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.
1 Corinthians 3:8: Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.
1 Peter 5:4: When the Chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a Crown of Glory.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25: They who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run,
that you may obtain... They do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible [Crown].
James 1:12: Blessed is the man that endures temptation... he shall receive the Crown of Life.
Revelation 22:12: My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
After being saved every Christian has the opportunity to win these rewards, which will be presented sometime after the Rapture and before Christ returns with His saints to rule on Earth.
All Christians Will Be Perfect, Yet Differ Greatly In Glory
Some believers may question, “But, aren’t all Christians going to be perfect in Heaven?
2 Corinthians 5:10-11: 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 has done, whether it be goodor bad. Knowing therefore the terror [fear] of the Lord, we persuade men.
Ecclesiastes 12:14: God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
It Is Our Responsibility To Study God’s Word
Many Christians have gone for years with a complete lack of understanding and are totally unprepared for this judgment, having no knowledge of even what is required. Few ministers preach on The Judgment Seat of Christ, and most Christians don’t study the subject for themselves.
We owe it to ourselves and our children to Study God’s Word and learn what the Bible says, and to be Biblical Christians! God’s Holy Spirit will teach us and we will grow and mature as we feed on the Word of God. This is our responsibility. In America, we have churches and Bibles in abundance, but God’s people are still being destroyed for lack of knowledge. On judgment day Christians in this country will have no excuse with all the resources available to us.
Hosea 4:6: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
II Timothy 2:15: Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly (accurately) dividing (understanding) the Word of truth.
Hebrews 5:12: (By this time) You ought to be teachers, but you have need that someone teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you … have need of milk, and not strong meat. (Comparable to a baby who needs milk and cannot eat solid food.)
Psalm 119:130: The entrance (revelation) of Your Words gives light (wisdom); it gives understanding (discernment) to the simple (straightforward person).
1 John 2:27-28: But the anointing (Holy Spirit) which you have received of Him abides in you, and you do not need any man to teach you: because the same Anointing (Holy Spirit) teaches you about all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in Him. And now, little children, abide in Him; so that when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His Coming.
Would you want to stand before Christ and give an account for your life as you are now? If not, there is still time to change!
Philippians 1:21: For to me to live is (to live for) Christ, and to die is gain.
The quote, "Only One Life, 'Twill Soon Be Past. Only What's Done For Christ Will Last," is from a poem by Charles Studd, Missionary to China, India, and Africa. He demonstrated what it meant to follow Christ without counting the cost and without looking back.
1 Corinthians 15:41-42: There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption (perishable); it is raised in incorruption (imperishable).
Those who are placed in a position of authority and responsibility in earthly life must exhibit love and humility, carefully watching over those with whom they have been entrusted. Their motives and hearts must be pure, focused on serving God rather than serving themselves. Those who lead others by example will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.
If you want to win this crown, make sure to be a good example to others, especially those who look to you for guidance. And be a good and faithful steward of those God has entrusted to your care.
Luke 8:5 & 11: A sower went out to sow his seed . . . The seed is the Word of God.
Are you doing any sowing? Jesus said we are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world. Light wherever it shines, defeats darkness. We are to make an impact and difference, we are to send forth a Ripple Effect everywhere we go, we should not leave places the same way we found them. We are not to do this for our own glory, but to glorify our Father who is in Heaven!
Matthew 5:13-14, 16: You are the salt of the earth . . . You are the light of the world . . . Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.
Galatians 6:7-8: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
2 Corinthians 9:6: He who sows sparingly shall reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall reap bountifully.
We are told that if we sow sparingly that’s the way we will reap, if we sow bountifully that’s the way we will reap, and Galatians 6 has the same image when it says, God is not mocked, whatsoever you sow, that you will reap. This has nothing to do with unbelievers, it’s to Christians, and he says if we sow to the flesh, of the flesh we reap that which is corruptible. If we sow to the spirit, we reap that which is Eternal. That’s very simple if we think it through. Flesh simply means that which has to do with our own desires, our own self. If we sow to self, then the harvest is stuff that perishes with this earth. If we sow to the spirit, the harvest is that which is Eternal. Our focus is on the wrong thing, we are concentrating on things that are temporary, they won’t even survive in most instances in our own lifetimes, let alone in Eternity. These verses state that the believer will receive or reap Eternally the result of their sowing (witnessing) here, during their time on earth.
Paul and Apollos sowed bountifully . . . but only God can make the seeds grow. In Isaiah, God said that His Word would not return to Him empty, but it would accomplish what He desired and achieve the purpose for which He had sent it forth to do. He has given us the privilege of being a part of His great work.
1 Corinthians 3:6-10: I (Paul) have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then he that plants is not anything, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase. Now he that plants and he that waters are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are laborers together with God: you are God's husbandry (you are God’s field under cultivation), you are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given to me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds upon (the foundation which is Jesus Christ).
Isaiah 55:11: So shall My Word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void (empty), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing where I sent it.
Let's make ripples for the Lord everywhere we go!
There will be degrees of reward in heavenin the same way that there are degrees of punishment in Hell, and what happens at the Judgment Seat will have permanent consequences. We will not all have the same privileges, responsibilities, or position, because the way we live and the things we do after our salvation, will have a Ripple Effect that will affect our lives for Eternity.
If some of my loved ones are not in heaven, I will still joyfully worship God for all of eternity! No absence of a beloved person, will reduce the bliss we will experience in heaven. Our joy will come from being in the presence of God and the completely sinless state in which we enjoy His fellowship. There will be no tears on the New Earth, not even for those who have not joined us there. Our joy in the presence of our Lord and Savior will be complete for all eternity.
We will be rewarded differently depending upon what we have or have not done, but everyone will be fully happy on the New Earth. There will be no frustration over any of these differences. And with those differences there will be no envy, or boasting. Kindness from the ones that have higher positions and humility will be perfect in both so there will be no resentment, no jealousy, no arrogance, no demeaning of anybody. Extremely important is that we all stand on common ground at the foot of the cross totally dependent on grace.
Think about the guys who witnessed to Mark Cahill. Check out the Ripple Effect heis making in this world! When Mark reaches out to sinners, the guys who led him to the Lord receive a portion of the blessings. Mark wrote the book “One Thing You Can't Do In Heaven” which has inspired every Christian who reads it. As Mark says, “Three-hundred-million years from now the only thing that will matter is who is in Heaven and who is in Hell. What are you doing of significance today that will matter then?”
Other Crowns are designated for those who have served well and suffered much for Christ, but the Crown of Righteousness is especially designated as the reward for those who have "Loved His appearing". For those who anxiously wait and look forward to the day when He will return for His saints.
The mark of Loving His Appearance is living in such a purity and holiness of personal life that you welcome Him at any moment to step into your life, you live with your books open, you live with the light on, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Loving His Appearing means you love His presence, you are open to His presence, your life is one of constantly saying "Come on in and look at everything". I want you to tell me if anything’s wrong, I want you to talk to me about it, and I want you to deal with me. That’s the Crown of Righteousness.
Receiving a Crown has nothing to do with salvation, it is a reward. How many Christians have taken notice of the verse in Revelation 3:11 that clearly states that it is possible that you have already won a Crownand then by your own actions you could lose that Crown to another person.
Revelation 3:11: Hold that fast which you have, so that no man can take your Crown.
1 Corinthians 3:15: If any man's work be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved.
Revelation 19:7: Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the Marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife (the Bride) has made herself ready.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
We are his workmanship saved by His grace, created for good works so that after salvation we are to abound in good works. We are not saved by our good works, but we are created to do good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. This means that God has marked out for each of us His purposes beforehand, the particular good works He has chosen for us and also the time and way in which He sees best. God makes ready by His providence the opportunities for us to do the works, and if we abide in Christ, we will be made ready to perform them. Works do not justify us, but the justified Christian is called to do good works. Just think, God not only provides the works for us, but He loves us so much that He then rewards us for doing them!
The Crown of Glory For "The Shepherd’s and Leaders"
1 Peter 5:1, 2 & 4: (To) The elders which are among you... Feed the flock of God... And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a Crown of Glory that fades not away.
The greatest need in the church today is for Shepherd’s, Pastors, Elders, Teachers, Leaders who are Godly Examples to the Flock of Believers that are entrusted and assigned to their care. But, not just those who are the anointed God appointed leaders over a local body of believers. God also has raised others up in the body who have the love of Pastoring. Pastoring means to shepherd, to love the sheep, to care for them, to have that affection, it doesn’t just mean full time ministers, it also means people who love the sheep! Christians with this love are needed, particularly for the new lambs of God.
We Shall All Give An Account Of Ourselves
Christians will give an account for every careless, thoughtless, foolish word spoken. Often we complain too quickly and talk about things without knowing the full facts. We should think and consider the effects our words may have, before we speak.
The Incorruptible Crown For "The Victors"
1 Corinthians 9: 24-27: Do you not know that they who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain it. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate (self controlled) in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we to obtain an incorruptible [Crown]. I (Paul) therefore so run, not as uncertainly; I fight, not as one who beats the air: But I discipline my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).
This is very severe talk. There is a prize, there is a race to be run, there is a discipline to be exercised, and there is a possibility of being disqualified. This has nothing to do with salvation, but it has to do with the end of the Law, the inheritance, the goal of the Lord.
Paul has finished the course, he has fought the fight, and he has kept the faith. There is a race to be run and a course to be finished, there is a prize to be won, and apparently not everybody obtains the prize.
We most discipline ourselves and not let our body become the enemy to the purposes that God has for us! God says there’s a unique and special reward for the man who brings his body under, and who disciplines himself to finish the course.
"You" Lay Up Treasure In Heaven
The Judgment Seat of Christ closes your opportunity to accumulate any of the commodities of Heaven. Jesus made it clear; you lay up treasure in Heaven. Christians read over these verses so quickly, barely noticing that the person being spoken about is themselves! "You lay up treasure for yourself."
Matthew 6:20: Lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Some Christians have came up with the idea that they can live their lives as carelessly as they want, consuming, and wasting, and never fulfilling the purposes God had planned for their life, and then when we all get to Heaven, they believe that suddenly God’s going to magically change us and we’re all going to become mature and we’ll all have the exact same privileges and rewards in Eternal life that every other believer has. But, God is very clear in His Word, you are going to have in Heaven what you have laid up, and there will definitely be believers in Heaven who have laid up nothing in Eternal Treasures.
The most significant treasure we can lay up in Heaven are the people we take with us. You will create friendships that will last for Eternity with every person you have invited to Heaven or to the Wedding Feast! Jesus said . . .
Luke 16:9: And I say to you, Make for yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness (your worldly wealth); that, when you fail (your life on earth ends), they may receive you into everlasting habitations. (The people who have preceded you will be there to welcome you to your Heavenly home)
Matthew 22: 1-5 & 8-9: Jesus... said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain King, which made a marriage for His Son, And sent forth His servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, He sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner... all things are ready: come to the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways... Then said He to His servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go you therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, bid (invite) to the marriage.
Luke 14:23: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.
Various ways that you can build up treasure in Heaven are by praying for others, providing for the poor, helping the sick, being a friend to lonely people, forgiving everyone who has hurt you and saying you're sorry when you hurt someone. Evangelize, give pamphlets filled with God’s Word out to people. Keep tracts near your door, in your purse, in your shirt or pants pockets, and . . . . .
The decisions that are made at the Judgment Seat are "Eternal Judgments". That means that the decisions that are made at the Judgment will never, never, ever be changed!You can never go back and repeal it! For the believer, it's not where we will spend eternity, it's how we will spend eternity. The rewards you receive or the loss you suffer, will endure forever, and ever, and ever. Many believers are going to be shocked at the Judgment.
Whether a person receives great reward or no reward at all, the verdict at The Judgment Seat is unchangeable and it is going to happen! As already mentioned, the position of service we will hold in eternity, and how we will serve God forever will be determined by the choices we make and how we live in this life now!
Matthew 25:21 & 23: Well done, thou good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your lord.
Luke 19:17: He said to him, Well (done), thou good servant: because you have been faithful in a very little, you are to be in authority over ten cities.
God’s rewards show His approval that our life on earth has been useful and pleasing to Him. The fire will reveal what has real value and what is worthless. Christians who are useful to God here will be given greater opportunities to be useful to Him throughout Eternity. God promises them who have been “faithful in little” will be given “authority over much”, so, let God use you to bless other people. Those who will be rich in heaven are those who do not live to impress people, but they live to bless others here on earth, and in so doing they delight the heart of God.
Romans 1:20: They are without excuse.
The hour is coming when every unsaved person must stand before a Holy God for a complete examination of their entire life. When the books are opened listing every detail, there will be no excuses. There will be no hope then, the time for salvation will be gone, this will be the Judgment Day!
Romans 14:10: For we shall all stand before The Judgment Seat Of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:10: 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 has done, whether it be good or bad [worthless].
When Paul said we, he was talking about himself as well as all other Christians.
Ecclesiastes 12:14: For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
The purpose of this judgment is not to determine the moral goodness or evil of our earthly deeds, but whether each deed is acceptable or worthless to the Kingdom and Glory of God. That is why 1 Corinthians 3:13 says that: "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." What is deemed worthless by Jesus will be burned up in that fire. The works that survive the fire are the deeds for which believers will be rewarded.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15: For no other foundation can man lay than that laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Paul clearly says in this passage, there is only one foundation for the believer which is Jesus Christ. After salvation, all Christians begin to build with an identical beginning, on the foundation which is Christ. Our salvation has set us on the rock which is Christ!
Paul says, The Judgment Seat of Christ will reveal our work by fire, and the fire shall try every man’s work, what sort it is, and if any man’s work shall abide which he has built upon the foundation (Christ), he shall receive a reward, but if any man’s work shall be burned up, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, so as by fire. Paul is not talking about salvation, remember everyone at The Judgment Seat of Christ is saved, but some will suffer the loss of everything. Nothing will remain, except the foundation which is their standing in Jesus Christ.
We can build carelessly or carefully. And notice that Paul compares our building in two ways, one is the quality (value) of our workmanship, and two is the quality (value) of the materials we choose to use, and it is the materials which becomes the most important, because he says some Christians choose to build out of wood, hay, and stubble, which is consumed by fire and only leaves a blackened circle and smoke. Others choose to build with gold, silver, and precious stones, fire only purifies these. Paul said, "...the fire itself will test the quality (value) of each man's work." God is going to put our motives and our ministry on the fire, if it was pure, it will be purified and glorified. If it was self serving, to be seen by men, we will only receive our reward here, with the admiration of men.
The "good works" done to be seen by other people will be burned up that day. The wasted hours watching endless television shows and pleasure pursuits will be burned up. Only things actually done for Jesus Himself will not be burned at the Bema Judgment. Many will be saved as if "by fire", with all their works burned up?
The Word is clear about what we will be judged on, our building materials are our doctrine, attitudes, choices, priorities, maturity, carnal traits in our life, conduct to other people, our words, broken promises, wrong dealings, slander, quarrels, foolishness, dishonesty, use of our finances, our giving, praying, use of our possessions, use of our time, the quality of our Christian service, our witnessing, did we abide in Christ, walk in His steps, and obey His commandments, did we even try to reach out to a lost and dying world for Him. These are the standards the Word speaks about. We will even be judged by how we have affected our own lives in effectiveness by the things we have done to ourselves.
For some Christians, it will be as though they had never lived past their salvation. Every follower of Jesus will give an account for his life’s work and his deeds before all of Heaven. Our life's work can be wood, hay, or straw - or it can be silver, gold, or costly stones. And on that day, the fire will put it to the final test. The Bible tells us that God is love, but it also tells us that He is a consuming fire.
Deuteronomy 4:24: For the LORD your God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:29: For our God is a consuming fire.
Our entire Christian life, from the first moment we begin to witness for Christ, including all our service and labor for Him, is going to be tested by fire. We must be careful to make wise investments, or in the end, only ashes will be left. All ministries will pass through the fire. Many public ministries will go up in flames at the Judgment.
Matthew 16:27: For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.
What are we laying or building upon the foundation of Christ? WHEN it is tested by His holy fire, what will our works show? Endless hours of watching television, reading meaningless books, playing time-consuming phone or computer games, and various other pursuits will be burned up that day and will cause us to lose rewards. Our "good works" which we did to be seen by other people will all be burned up as well. Only what we actually did for Jesus Himself will not be burned at the Bema Judgment. After the "wood, hay, and stubble" are burned, prayerfully we will then see gold, silver, and precious stones!
Remember our works are not to secure or maintain our salvation. Our Salvation is by grace ALONE.
Ephesians 2:8-10 "For by grace are you saved through faith . . . it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God had before ordained that we should walk in them.
Few Christians see the importance of spending time in daily prayer and in the study of God's Word, or in finding ways to serve Jesus, but when they stand before Christ, they will see how unimportant, unnecessary, and meaningless so many of their other seemingly important things were. As a Christian, we need to ask ourselves, "Am I bearing fruit for Jesus by doing this, is this pleasing to the Lord, will Christ say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant?”
For most Christians, the idea of "knowing the terror of the Lord" sounds strange, some Christians have never taken notice of this passage of scripture, while the genuine Christians of the past and present know of this terror of the Lord. They work hard for Christ because they love Him and because they know that they will stand before Christ at the Bema Judgment to give an account of those things they do or do not do for Christ in this life.