What do you want people to say about you when you are gone?
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, Death, Godly living, 2 Corinthians 5:9-10, 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
- Ankerberg: Today I would like to begin with a story. I first saw this in a book by Stephen Covey. Imagine for a moment that it’s a beautiful day and you’re driving down a country road. You enter a small town and see a church by the side of the road. You park your car in the crowded parking lot and go up the steps and enter the church. Inside you see that it’s standing room only. You walk down the aisle looking for a place to sit. You can’t help but wonder, “Why are all these people here?” And then you notice that up at the front of the church there is a casket. It’s a funeral. You wonder, “Who died?” As you continue walking down the aisle looking for a place to sit, you realize you know some of the people in the audience. You see your boss from work and some of your coworkers. You notice your cousins are there. Then you’re surprised to see your brother, your sister; your mom and dad are present. As you reach the front of the church, you go by the coffin. Out of curiosity you look inside and you’re startled to find out you are in the coffin. It is your funeral. You stand off to the side and watch the proceedings. The minister asks some people to say a word about what your life meant to them. You watch as some of your coworkers come to the front and give a little speech. You listen carefully. Your boss gets up to say a word, and one by one, your neighbors, your relatives, your own brother and sister speak. Finally, your mom and dad talk about you. What would you hope to hear people say about you?
- Stephen Covey says, “The things you want to hear them say about you are really the fundamental values that you hold to.” If someday you want people to say those things, then every day you ought to live in such a way that you are not violating your deepest values. In brief, you ought to live with the end in mind. According to the Bible, that’s true. Christians are to live with the end in mind. We are to see life from the perspective of our final accountability before God.
- Another way of saying this would be to ask, “When your life is over, what do you hope to hear Jesus say about you?” That is what I want to talk with you about today. What will Jesus say about you at His judgment seat? The apostle Paul wrote, “We make it our goal to please him [talking about Christ] whether we are at home in the body or away from it [that is, whether we are alive in the body or we have died and are away from it and with Christ]. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” [2 Cor. 5:9-10] According to the Bible, the purpose of this judgment will be to evaluate our lives as Christians so that we can be properly rewarded for the way we have faithfully or unfaithfully served Christ on earth. And it does matter. There are tremendous rewards the Christian can win or lose.
- Look at 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 where we read that this judgment will be like a fire which “will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss.” Notice, he will not lose Heaven, but what he will lose is reward. Paul says in verse 10 that a Christian “should be careful how he builds.” He compares our daily Christian living to building a house. As we live for Christ, our deeds of service to Christ are likened to valuable materials, such as gold, silver and costly stones. When we live selfishly and commit sins, the Bible likens these deeds to shoddy materials, such as wood, hay and straw.
- The apostle says someday our work “will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.” [1 Cor. 3:13] In a moment we will examine more about what the Bible says about Christians losing eternal rewards and privileges.