Judgment Day (ATP)
Our question for this week is: On judgement day, can God turn you away? Say He had a specific thing for you to do in your life, but you never knew or learned what His specific thing was and you never did it, but you were saved and lived for God.
It is true that one day we will all appear before the Lord and answer for the life we lived in this earthly body. Scripture tells us this. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:10, “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.” We also see this impending judgment in Romans 14:10-12, “…For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”
So from these scriptures we see that one day all humanity will stand before Jesus and give an account for the life we lived. Now my heart is reminded of Romans 12:1-2, which says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Because of the great price Jesus paid for us, that is that the Father sacrificed His only Son to buy us back from the grips of sin, the devil, and external damnation, it is our “reasonable sacrifice” to live these lives on earth for His glory and for His plan. When Jesus left, He left us with a great commission. He told us we were members of one body, His body, and we therefore needed to continue His work bringing the gospel of salvation to the ends of the earth. Living in such a way, with such a purpose, is our reasonable sacrifice. Of course we run faster and are better examples of His glory as we live free from sin and pursue righteousness.
What’s interesting here is that scripture mentions the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. That word good means upright and agreeable. Many will live a good and moral life, but there’s more to this life than just living morally. Next is that word acceptable, which means accepted and well pleasing. This is a Christian who strives to live by the Word of God, a well-pleasing life before the Father, one that honors Him. Romans 14:17, defines this acceptable life before Christ as, “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” In my experience as a pastor I would infer that this is the highest place many Christians ever go. To live by the Word, be a doer of the Word, pursuing righteousness, peace, joy and the other fruits of the Spirit is pleasing to God. But now let’s look at that word perfect, which means finished, wanting or lacking nothing necessary for completeness. This is the kind of life Jesus lived. When He declared, “it is finished” on the cross He was declaring that He fulfilled the perfect will of God for His life, nothing lacking for completeness. This is also what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote to Timothy in, 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” There’s a difference between starting and completing, with nothing lacking or nothing wanting.
I recall being a child and going to a family member’s house that was a new building. The first time I went there I remember the house wrap and fresh plywood on the outside, and unfinished fresh drywall on the inside. Year after year I’d go there and instead of getting finished the house sat as it was and slowly decayed along the way, until eventually, in my adult life, that same new house had to be torn down because it was no longer able to stand. Look at 1 Corinthians 3:10-13, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” We live this life on earth in a vapor of time, whether we like it or not. Our foundation as Christians is Jesus and the fresh start He paid for. We decide if we then are going to sit still and let the time deteriorate us without ever completing the plan or if we’re going to build with the right stuff. On the day of judgement it will be known and irreversible. Building with precious stones, silver and gold is fulfilling the perfect plan of God, finishing the task He has assigned you as a member of His body.
Now to answer the original question, look at 1 Corinthians 3:14-15, “If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” Your salvation isn’t based on works. Salvation is based on believing on, trusting in, and calling upon Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Now let’s continue in 2 Timothy 4:8, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” Finishing our course, in the perfect plan, leads to a crown of righteousness and rewards when we appear before Christ. Now, I don’t know about you, but just based on knowing how it felt to win the first place medal as a kid, I know it must be pretty amazing to stand before Jesus and be handed the prize for finishing the race and finishing it strong. I want to hear the words, “well down thou good and faithful servant.” Let’s endeavor to look at fulfilling His perfect plan as nonnegotiable, because, as the Apostle Paul said, we have loved His appearing. We love the plan of God. We love the gift of Jesus. We love this lost and dying world. Amen!?