Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Great is your Reward | Colin D
This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on March 18th, 2018. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
In life you will find 2 kinds of teachers. One kind wants to set difficult papers and their aim is to see you falter and fail. They don’t want to see you succeed. They are trying to trip you up. On the other hand there is a teacher who wants to see you succeed exceedingly and gives you the paper at the beginning of the year, and prepares you for everything. One day we will be evaluated by God himself. In the Bible there are 7 different
Revelation 20:11- 15 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
This is happening at the end of time. Time is linear and it started in eternity past and one day Jesus will come back. Books were open- there were 2 sets of books- one was the book of life and there were other books. Every time we say something, think or do something, God records it in these books.
Like in a court of law, it will be read out. It will not be like any court on earth where justice is perverted. God cannot be cheated. If you have trusted in Jesus, this judgment is not for you. That is the Good News! If you have believed in Jesus as God who rose from the dead our name is written in the Book of Life.
Q. What about Believers?
2 Corinthians 5:10- “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” Here Paul is addressing believers. We have another judgement. We must all appear before Christ.
Romans 14:10 “You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.”
There are different judgements- Judgement of the believer and the judgment of the unbeliever.
1. The great white throne Judgement is not for us. If there is anyone who has not put their trust in Jesus, today is the day of Salvation. No one comes to the Father except through Him.
2. For those who have put their trust in Him, God has justified us. The righteousness of Jesus is credited to us. We are going to heaven because of what Jesus has done.
3. We still cannot live any which way we want to... we make it our desire to please God. God’s love for us is unconditional. But we can please him or displease him by how we live. 2 Corinthians 5:9 “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it”. Colossians 1:10 “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God”.
At the end of our lives when Jesus comes, He said Revelation 22: 12 ““Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” Our salvation is free. But our rewards are given according to what we have done.
We don’t like that word- Judgement- because we are fearful of what we have done. It is not a judging of our sins. Our sins have been judged on the cross. But this is like an appraisal and evaluation. He is going to evaluate and give bonus’ to everyone who has worked. The word of this Judgement seat “bima” is taken from the victory stand at athletics. The Good News is that we will all get our turn. Everyone will be rewarded. God wants to bless us, so we will stand before this judgement seat of Christ- not to bring up our sin, it is dealt with, but to reward us for the good things we do in obedience.
Q. If the next 24 hours of your life will determine the next 100 years, how would you live?
How we live on earth will determine our entire eternity. Jesus is the kind of teacher who wants us to succeed and so he wants to show us how we can earn our rewards. 1 Corinthians 3: 1- 4 “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?”
There are 2 kinds of Christians- baby Christians and mature Christians. Baby Christians are worldly, and can’t handle solid food.
1 Corinthians 3: 5-9 “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
Paul is asking them to be united because we are all God’s fellow workers and have a role to play. Each will be rewarded.
1 Corinthians 3:10 “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it.”
The foundation in a believers’ life is laid and each one has to be careful how he builds. The foundation of our Christian walk is Jesus. Now we have a responsibility to build well.
1 Cor 3: 12-15 “If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their 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 person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”
You are saved. Now God says, build on what I have given you. Different measure has been given to each of us. It will be revealed with fire. In our lives, that is what is going to happen. At the judgment seat, how we lived our lives will be tested by fire.
How we live our lives is being recorded. As we live, we are building a house. On that day, if it is burnt up, we will escape from the house just as one escaping the fire. Paul is encouraging them to live in such a way that we will get rewards. This is the final exam.
One day our lives will be evaluated.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”
God will judge not just our deeds but the motives of their hearts. We may even do good things, but if the motive is wrong, it is burnt up. We want to live in such a way that we are building with gold, silver and precious stones. When we stand before that throne, there is going to be a fair judgement. We will be individually judged.
1. Matthew 5:11-12 ““Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Q. Have you faced injustice?
When that happens, you are blessed, because our rewards will be great in heaven. We need to keep our perspective.
2. Hospitality- we can have friends who are similar to us. We invite them and enjoy each others company. But invite those who cannot repay you back. When you do that, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. It is so important to extend hospitality to those who cannot repay you. Even a cup of cold water, a meal, will give you eternal reward.
3. We maybe in a situation where you are not being recognised and rewarded justly. Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” You work faithfully for a horrible boss and do your job well. You may not be rewarded in the company, but one day before the judgement seat of Christ, you will be rewarded.
4. Matthew 6:6- Praying and fasting; giving
Jesus wants to reward you- that is His heart. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Our job is to ask God what are the good works he has given for you to do. There is a whole list of good works. We need to keep our eyes on the rewards. Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.”
Q. How did Paul live in view of all this?
1 Corinthians 9:24- 27 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
The Christian life is not a cake walk, it is a race. It is a thing of endurance. We have to put in effort. We have to train- not try. You will not lose your reward. For those who are weary and tires, do not lose heart. If we persevere, we will receive a reward.
I pray that our mind will be changed and we look at every opportunity to gain this reward. Let’s pray.