We ended our last article by saying obedience proceeds from belief. It’s not so much a focus on obedience that produces obedience, but a focus on belief. As @JosephPrince says, “right believing produces right living.”
That said, how you live your life as a believer matters, and, when you are in heaven, you will find out how much it mattered! Positions of authority in Heaven will be based on how we live our lives here on earth. As believers, we will never be judged before the White Throne Judgment (where people’s righteousness is judged based on their own works). The White Throne Judgment is for those who by reason of choice (rejecting Christ) have picked their own works as the metric for God to use to measure their righteousness. We, as believers, on the other hand, will sit before the Judgment Seat of Christ. (Rom 14:10-12)
Before the Judgment Seat of Christ, “fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which 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.” (2 Cor 3:13b-15). Three points about this section of scripture:
Rewards in Heaven? Some believers balk at this thinking it is less holy to want to be rewarded, or something like that. So, let’s get something straight . . . it is GOOD to want to be rewarded in Heaven! Obviously, it is almost hard to imagine what could be better than being in Heaven, but if GOD SAYS IT IS A REWARD, you want it! So, don’t feel bad being motivated by eternal rewards. God wants us to be motivated by the things of Heaven. (Col 3:1-4)
As believers WE will never be burned up by the fire that proceeds from the judgment seat of Christ because we are HIS workmanship (Eph 2:10). Since Christ made us, His work will stand in the testing fire, but our works may remain, or they may be burned up. I am sure we will all suffer some loss on that day, but how do we build so as to be rewarded in heaven? More on that below . . .
Finally, the “it” that we can build on is the foundation of Jesus Christ! “For no other foundation can anyone lay that than which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor 3:11). So, it is on the foundation of grace, that we do works – not for righteousness, but for love! We love God by obeying His commands (1 Jn 5). We also produce lasting Kingdom fruit by obeying His commands. Obedience to His Word, out of the love He has shed abroad in our hearts produces works that should remain after tested by fire. Said a different way, works that were “by the Spirit” will remain whereas works that were “by the flesh” will be consumed. We are the prime example of that ourselves. Because we have been made by the Spirit of God, we, as believers, will survive that fire. Hopefully a lot of our works will too. But I guess that part is up to me, and well, to you.
How about you?
What about you? Do you think about heavenly rewards? Do they motivate you? Post a comment below to let us know.