What are some of the rewards we can lose if we live undisciplined faithless lives?
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|How will Christ examine the good and bad deeds of our life? What are the works that God prepared in advance for us to do? Will some Christians be honored more than others?
Copyright: 2000, Number of Programs: 4, Cat. No. LEM
Keywords: Eternal Security, Eternity, Eternal rewards, Approval, Matthew 25:1-46, Colossians 3:23
- Ankerberg: Well, if these are some of the rewards we as Christians can gain, what are some of the rewards the Bible says we can lose if we live undisciplined, faithless lives? First, we can lose the approval of our Lord and receive His rebuke instead. Remember, the unfaithful servant who hid his talent in the ground in Matthew 25? That man received a stinging rebuke from his master instead of approval. In that parable the lord said to his servant, “You wicked, lazy servant!” [Matt. 25:26] I wonder if the Lord will say that to any of us? In Colossians 3:24-25 we are told, “It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong and there is no favoritism.” Pastors, missionaries, Sunday School teachers, we will all be judged impartially; there will be no favorites who get by.
- That’s why, when we sin, we should confess our sins as soon as the Lord reveals them to us. First Corinthians 11:31-32 says, “But if we judged ourselves we would not come under judgment.” This means, if we judged ourself and confessed our sin to the Lord, then we wouldn’t experience the Lord’s judgment and discipline on our lives. This is speaking of Christ’s discipline of us in this life and also when we stand before His judgment seat. Maybe you ask, What if I can’t remember every sin I’ve ever done? Don’t worry. Confess those you know. Then ask God if there is anything He sees in your life that needs His forgiveness. Let the Holy Spirit guide you. As He reveals things, confess them and turn away from whatever it is. If nothing comes to mind, then be at peace. Keep in mind God’s promise in 1 John 1:9 which says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The Greek word translated “to cleanse” means “He will keep on cleansing us” from all sin. That is, God graciously cleanses our lives from that which we know and that which we don’t remember or aren’t aware of. Just walk with Him daily and He promises to cleanse us from all sin.
- The second reward we can lose at the judgment seat of Christ is, we risk seeing our reward given to another. In Matthew 25 the Lord said concerning the unfaithful servant, “Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” [Matt. 25:28-29]
- In Revelation 3:11 Christians are warned by Jesus: “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one will take your crown.” Jesus isn’t talking about losing heaven here; He is talking about our rewards. He says, Hold on, continue faithfully serving Me or another will be given your reward. The apostle John wrote to Christians and said, “Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.” [2 John 1:8]
- The third thing we can lose at the judgment seat of Christ is honor. The Bible says unfaithful Christians will be ashamed instead of honored. In 1 John 2:28 we read, “Abide in him that when he shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” Will there be tears in heaven? Yes, I believe there will be tears at the judgment seat of Christ. Many Christians will be ashamed before Christ. In Luke 9:26 Jesus said, “For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory, in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
- Are you ashamed now to identify yourself with Jesus and with His words? If so, change now or Christ will be ashamed of you later. Someone might say, if this is what is going to happen at the judgment seat of Christ, Heaven sounds like a downer. That’s not true. We need to hold what the Bible teaches in balance. At the judgment seat of Christ there will be tears and regrets. But shortly after the judgment seat of Christ the Bible says “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.” [Rev. 21:4] Also, everyone’s cup will be full; it’s just that the size cups will be different. Also, keep in mind that God will be very generous with His rewards. He promises to reward us a hundred times more than we deserve. [Matt. 19]
- In light of all that the Bible teaches about eternal rewards, how are you living your life for Christ now? If you really believe what the Bible teaches, it would be foolish to do anything else but say, “Lord, help me live for you.” He will and it will be worth it.