Posts Tagged ‘Good works’

02

Recently I have been having a conversation with an individual who did not believe in the freeness of the Gospel.  This gentleman tried to tell me that while salvation is initially free (meaning we had to just believe), in order to keep or have it we also had to Remain in Christ, obey, love Him.  All of these conditions were necessary in order to go to heaven.  It was as if he wanted it both ways.  He wanted to merit his salvation.  We are not required to prove to God that Jesus did not wasted His blood for us.  All Christ asks us to do is believe in Him (John 3:16, 6:57).   I have no problem with the things his man proposed for Christians to do, they are things Christians should be doing.  However, our eternal destination is not based upon them, rather it is the finished work of Christ.  To add a list to Christ’s work is to say what He did on the cross was not enough.  John wrote his Gospel so that people would believe in Jesus and that by believing we have life (John 20:31).  If other conditions were necessary then when the jailor asks Paul in Acts 16:30 what must he do to be saved, the response should be “Well believe, but then if you must remain in Christ, obey and love Him.  If you fail in these things then may be you never really believed to begin with or you needed to strive harder to merit eternal salvation.”  It was a simple, straightforward question Paul was asked and he gave a direct answer.  Believe in Jesus, that was all he had to do.  For the jailor this was different than what he grew up with there in Philippi.  There he had to please and appease the gods.  He was used to continually doing something in order to stay in good favor with the gods.  Nothing was free.  Yet salvation is.  Still today man strives to do something for his salvation.  All Jesus asks is to simply believe.

The gentleman I spoke with also referenced the Gospel I spoke of as “Cheap Grace.”  I thought it was interesting he used the term because it is “cheap grace,” because it is Free!  Jesus died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) and all the world has to do is believe in Him.  It is simple and easy.

Some might say, “Hey where is the accountability here?”  I’m glad you asked the question because we will judged according to our works the things done in our bodies (2 Corinthians 5, 1 Corinthians 3:12-15).  We are accountable for how we live.  We should be laying for ourselves treasures in heaven.  Our focus should be on eternal things, not the here and now.  The things of this earth will pass away.

Salvation is free.  There is nothing I can do to merit it.  Nothing I can do to prove to God I am worthy enough.  He has done the work, all He asks is for us to believe.  In a world where religions and churches demand so much from people.  True Christianity stands in stark contrast.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  I like the use of the word “have” in this passage because it implies that we “have” everlasting life the moment we believe.  It’s free.  Will you believe in Jesus today?

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Today is the first game of the year for my freshman football team.  They are all excited and pumped I’m sure.  This will be my fifth year coaching football, and I have enjoyed it thoroughly.  However, I have seen a pattern in players over my five years that I believe is very important as it relates to the Judgment Seat of Christ.  What is that pattern?  Well first let’s look at what the Judgment Seat of Christ is.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:10 give us good information on what it is.  The main point in both passages is that believers will have to give an account for the way they have lived their lives.  Essentially our works will be judged not our salvation.  This is important to remember especially when it comes to salvation.  It can be easy to front-load a Gospel presentation to a person, but that it is not our works or our willingness to give up that saves us.  It is believing in the Jesus, who died for our sins and rose again that saves us.  If I personally relied on my good works then I would be not be going to heaven.   I could never really be good enough.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is a judgment for believers that is separate from The Great White Throne Judgment.  While the scripture is silent on exactly when the Judgement Seat will take place, it is assumed that it could take place sometime before the Millennial Kingdom that Christ will set up.  I write that because believers have the opportunity to rule and reign with Christ during this 1,000 year reign on earth.  That opportunity is based on the way we lived for Him (Matthew 25:14-30; Revelation 2:26,27; 3:21).

Judgment Seat of Christ or The Bema Seat as it is often referred to, is actually not a time to be afraid, but a time to rejoice.  All the times people stood up for the Lord or made a sacrifice for Him, He will reward that (Hebrews 11:6).  However, those who didn’t use their time, talents, or money for the Lord will have much regret.  The Judgment Seat is about God holding us accountable for the way we lived our lives.

Football is just a game.  However, you receive what you put into it.  If you try and make the effort then you will receive playing time.  If you do not care and miss practices then the coach keeps you on the sidelines.  Every year I have students who give little to no effort and they stay on the sidelines.  Through hard work and determination others see the field and rewarded for it at the end of the year with an award.  The same can be said of the Christian life.  The question now is what will you do with the time, talent, and money that God has given you?  Hopefully you will use it to glorify the Lord.  In turn you will be rewarded for it.  It is not about today but the eternal.