Hope this Monday hasn’t been to brutal for you. I know that I am sho’nuff missing my hour of sleep and will probably acclimate myself to this new schedule in about 6 months (when the time changes BACK! Uh!).
Anyway, I had a couple of questions emailed in this morning concerning something we covered toward the end of our message Sunday morning. Without preaching it again, in short, we were dealing with the judgment seat of Christ and the fact that all of those in Christ (who’ve at this point been gathered from the four corners of the earth) will stand before Him and their works will be judged. 1st Corinthians 3 describes this as a trial by fire. Our works will be tested, the refiners fire put to them, and what remains we will be rewarded for.
Now the questions I received were simply asking that I elaborate on something I said after laying all that out.
I remarked that there may be some that would say, “Who cares what remains? Who cares what I’m rewarded for? I’m in Heaven and that’s all that matters”
As we brought the message Sunday to a conclusion, I warned that if that is your thinking, I strongly suggest….actually I think I said “plead” with you to examine your heart to see if your motives are pure and actually, to see whether or not you are truly in the faith.
Allow me to explain why I used such strong language….Our hearts are deceptive and the enemy is really good at what he does.
I asked a thought provoking question that I’d read in a Piper book a long time ago, “If you could have Heaven, with its promises / glad reunions / eternality / no sickness / death / disease….but Jesus wouldn’t be there….would you still want it?”
I realize how preposterous that question is as Heaven wouldn’t be Heaven without Jesus. A Kingdom must have it’s King. I get that…but the question, I believe, is designed to provoke the hearer to think deeply upon where our affections, hopes, longings really lie.
The thing is, Gods promises are wonderful, they are beautiful and yes, they are true. So much so that if not very, very careful…..
Our longing for the promises of God can replace our longing for the God of promises.
As strange as this seems, Heaven can become an idol. A eternity of wellness and perfection and reuniting with loved ones can assume the throne in our hearts. Heaven can become what we treasure most.
Only Jesus has the right to that throne. He has made great promises but He’s even greater than those promises. He’s to be the supreme object of our deepest affections, the vast and complete treasure of our hearts. That’s why the Apostle Paul said (in our base text Sunday morning) “we make it our aim, whether here in the body or away, to be pleasing to Christ” (2nd Cor 5:9). He’s our goal.
So should we look forward to Heaven? The eternal promises of God fulfilled? Absolutely.
Should we just be content in getting there with no thought of what Jesus thinks about the lives we lived while “here in the body“, just ride this thing out till He calls us home? Absolutely not.
As we march ever surely toward that great and glorious day, may we live our lives with Jesus as our treasure, our motive, our method and our goal. Lets make it our “aim” to please Him. He’ll take care of the rest.
Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you”
Soli Deo Gloria!