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Judgment of Believer’s Works

Judgment of Believer’s Works

The Bible is very clear that our salvation is based upon the completed work done on the Cross by Jesus Christ. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6b). It is also clear that we must individually receive this salvation by repenting of our sins and trusting in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians that we are saved by grace through Faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

We then ask the question, what about works? When we look at the next verse, we see the answer. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). God has a job description for each of us and he has ordained that we should walk by faith in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Our natural gifts are enhanced, and we are equipped with special gifts at the time we are saved, and it is God’s will that we use them and let Him magnify them. We are saved from hell by accepting Jesus as our Savior but our works determine our crowns and rewards in heaven. We are not sure what this means but they could determine our roles and privileges throughout eternity. We should be very concerned about our role in eternity!

The apostle Paul tells us in Second Corinthians chapter five that each of us must stand before the judgment seat of Christ for judgment. This is not judgment applying to our salvation but judgment of our works. “Therefore, we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:9-10).

Paul also writes about the judgment of our works in First Corinthians. “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Cor. 3:11-15).

This is not the great white throne judgment where God will judge those who have not been saved. Our works will be judged in heaven to determine the crowns and rewards that we will receive. Our positions of service during the reign of Christ on the throne of David will be based upon those rewards. Works declared to be wood, hay and straw will be burned up. Therefore, the only works we are credited with in eternity are those of gold, silver and precious stones. How can we determine which is which? It behooves us to know what God expects in our works.

Only those works done through love, faith and humility will survive, but those done to gratify our own egos will be burned up. Our rewards will not necessarily be based upon our visual services, but they will be based upon what God sees in our hearts, and what motivates us to service. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required” (Luke 12:48b), and “many who are first will be last; and the last, first” (Matt. 19:30b).

Paul’s Christian walk with the Lord should be an example to each of us. He became totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit to lead His life. He told the Church at Galatia: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). Paul also admonished the new Christians to love each other. “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Eph. 5:2). “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up” (I Cor. 13:4). Paul is saying that God can have our pride under control.

For the believer, God considers pride to be the greatest of our sins.

Love seems to be the standard by which we show the world that we are children of God. However, it should not be self motivating but a reflection of the Holy Spirit living in us. The apostle John wrote much about Christian love in his first epistles – the Godly love that Jesus demonstrated. “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5). “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us” (1 John 4:12). “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2-3).

We are also told, as Christians, we will reign with Him. “If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us” (2 Tim. 2:12). “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth”(Rev. 5:10). Now this is where our potential rewards and crowns become important. What will our role be in the Kingdom of God? Will we have rewards and crowns from our works of gold, silver and precious metals or will our works be burned up as wood, hay and straw? Let us reread what Paul said, “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Cor. 3:15). This tells us that Christians will be saved from hell fire but go to heaven with few or no rewards and crowns.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).

Crowns For Believer’s

Crowns are a symbol of authority: As such, they denote the authority that will be granted to Christians during the millennial period when we reign with Christ for a thousand years. “Christians are now earning their position of service for Christ during the millennium. Our most enjoyable and profitable activities on this earth involve service for Jesus Christ. In like manner our most exciting experiences in the millennial kingdom will include administration of his program”. (Tim LaHaye)

1. Incorruptible Crown -The Victor’s Crown “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Cor. 9:25). This crown often called the ‘victor’s crown,’ – it is conferred upon those who ‘keep under control their body and bring it into subjection.'” “It is for those who have purged themselves from the inducements and pleasure of the world in order to be of profitable service for the Lord Jesus Christ” This is for everyone who completes the race for Christ.

2. Crown of Life – Martyr’s Crown “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev 2:10). This crown is for those who suffer many injustices in life for Jesus.

3. Crown of Glory – Elder’s Crown “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Pet 5:2-4). This crown is reserved for those who shepherd the flock.

4. Crown of Righteousness – For those who love His Appearing – “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing”. (2 Tim 4:8). “Reserved for those who, inspired by the imminent return of Christ have lived a very righteous and holy life. God simply lays down the major requirement: that a Christian be clean.”

5. Crown of Rejoicing – Soul Winner’s Crown – “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy” (1 Thess. 2:19-20). “This special crown is reserved for those who have devoted their primary attention to the salvation of lost souls.”

Note: Some believe Crowns can Be lost but others do not. – “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Rev. 3:11). “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward” (2 John 8). “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev 2:10).

Note: The above material was taken from Life in The Afterlife, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, By Tim LaHaye.