Eternal Rewards and Judgement in Christ
1 Timothy 5:24-25: “Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.” Have you ever felt that people get away with the sin that they have committed? While it may seem that way, it is simply not the case. God is in charge; and at the end of time all will stand in judgment over heaven and earth. Justice will prevail. God will give a man full measure for what they did for him, or against him. His justice is certain. There will be no escaping the hand and justice of God. I am not condemning anyone with these thoughts, but I rather suggest that we need to be more aware of how God’s economy works. The person that you think is getting away with murder really is not going to get away with murder. There is no escaping the justice of God. The Lord will deal with their sin; but what we need to pray is that he will deal with it with his grace and not his punishment. Our prayer always for those captured in sin is that they will be set free. We must pray that God’s grace will wash away their deepest sins. I am not sure that some Christians understand God’s heart on this. Even the worse dictators - the people that we may think deserve punishment more than grace - we must still pray they receive grace. Eternity without the goodness of the Lord is not something we wish on anyone. We Christians need to get this into our hearts. We never rejoice in the death of someone who does not have Christ. At the same time, we do not believe that everyone will make it to heaven. God’s grace is greater than our understanding of it; and yet it is true that some people will not make it. However, I think we will be surprised by who does make it. I had a dream recently where I was in heaven. There were people in that room that I thought did not deserve to be there. When I noticed them, the words that came from my mouth surprised me. I said that God’s grace is greater than all sin, and there is nothing that he can’t forgive us from. I declared that in the coming harvest, there would be souls who many would have written off into hell; but yet God saved them, nonetheless. Let’s look at another part of this scripture: “The good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.” I don’t know about you, but there are times that I need to remind myself of this truth. There are some folks in the Kingdom, who seem to get more honour than others. Perhaps you have done many good works that have not been seen. This is not something to get discouraged about. God sees you and he knows what you have done. Nothing that you truly do for the Lord will escape his sight. There will come a reward for your diligence in the Kingdom. Perhaps people have even gone out of their way to look better than you in the eyes of various leaders or employers. Perhaps they have spoken against you, or they have overlooked you. Perhaps you deserved to be promoted, but they decided that you are not the one at this time. Perhaps they favour others more than you. I am here to declare that it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter what man thinks of you. You just have to continue to pursue the Lord with abandon. Do not let the criticism or disrespect of others stop you from loving them or even accomplishing that great vision in your heart. Just continue to pursue the Lord and in due time you shall receive the just reward. Ultimately, our reward is simply the presence of Jesus in our heart. We must be content with his peace inside of us. When it is absent, we need to pursue him more. We must lay aside all the trappings of man’s thoughts and enter into only the thoughts of God for our lives. This past weekend, I spoke to a friend who is wise. I told him how I felt that I had been overlooked by another man’s ministry, and that he used me to accomplish his own ambition. My friend gently reminded me that this person probably didn’t even know what they were doing. Then he went further and rebuked me for my own ambition in wanting to be remembered by man. He was right of course. I heard someone say once, that God hides the righteousness of his friends from them. This is just another way of saying “forgetting what is behind, and looking toward the prize (Philippians 3:13-14). We must dare to be forgotten. I preach on this all the time, because I am preaching mostly to myself. I have not yet arrived to this selfless place, but it is my great desire to arrive there. I want to be able to lay down my life, so that the Kingdom is established gloriously. Another friend of mine once likened the kingdom to a smaller battle in a larger war. He said, “Darren, I would gladly lay my life down upon the barbed-wire fence, in order for you to run across my back into the enemies’ camp - where you would bring the victory in Jesus’ name.” I have tried to live this way the best I can since I have heard this truth. Yet, it is a process in which I have further to go. I pray for you today, that you will also be inspired by these words. These two thoughts of reward and judgement might not seem to flow together, and yet they do. I pray that you will have the grace to love those that seem evil in the world’s eyes, and I pray that you will have the patience to wait for your own eternal reward.