Here Comes the Judge
Okay, onward in our quest to know the true God.
The second attribute that God tells us about Himself in Jeremiah, chapter 9, is that He is a God of judgment. Because we live in a time of grace through the blood of Christ, many forget that there will still come a time when God will judge the works of believers in Christ. In the end, the unsaved will be judged to eternal damnation, and the works of the saved will be judged and either burned or rewarded.
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his 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. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (1 Cor. 3:11-15)
We, who are in Christ, have been given a foundation for our lives, which is Jesus Christ Himself. And it is on the basis of His lordship, and the extent to which we acknowledge it as such, that we choose the materials with which we build upon the foundation of faith the service of good works. Will we build with the beauty of God’s will and strength which will be proved by the fire of judgment, or will we build according to our own will, our own desires and in our own strength, which in the end, will be burned?
So how do we know what constitutes a good work and a bad one?
“For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12)
Let us not be lulled by the commonplace occurrence of owning one, two, three or even more bibles and so forget that the bible is not just another book. It is the very word of God. He spoke it into existence and by His words we will be judged. (Not for salvation if we have received Christ, but the works that we do as Christians.) He has shown us His will in His word and it is up to us whether we are going to build with that perfect will, or if we are going to live apart from it. It is our choice: either the works that will last that are compared to gold, silver and costly stones, or the works that will be burned like wood, hay and straw.
Yes, by God’s grace and mercy we have received salvation through Christ. But we are not done! Now each day we must choose how we will build on the sure foundation of Christ. What does your spiritual structure look like? Will it stand in the fire? How much of it will be burned away? Praise God that He gives us all we need to build, through our service to Him, a legacy of glory to God that will last for eternity.
I find it interesting that the description given in Revelation of the new and eternal city of Jerusalem coming out of heaven is made of all costly stones, pearls and streets of gold.
Could it be?
Could it just be that those works which we build on the foundation of Christ, those godly works that are described as being as gold, silver and costly stones..could it be that those works we do in Christ which bring Him all glory and eternal praise are what make up the gates, the walls and the streets of the eternal city in which we will soon live?
“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven from God, having the glory of God. And its light was like a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. And it had a great and high wall, with twelve gates. And on the gates were twelve angels, and having names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel:
“From the east three gates, from the north three gates, from the south three gates, and from the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
And he who talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city and its gates and its wall. And the city lies four-square, and the length is as large as the breadth. And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand stadia. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.
And the foundation of its wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city had been adorned with every precious stone. The first foundation, jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, hyacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls. Respectively, each one of the gates was one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, as transparent glass.
And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty is its temple, even the Lamb.”