By Patrick Hawthorne
A very sobering thought occurred to me. One day in the not too distant future – really, in the twinkle of an eye if we think about time as a whole – I will have to give an account of my life. So will you. It is a form of judgment for the believer. It is where we must stand before King Jesus and give an account of the life we lived. Were we faithful stewards of what God gave us, or were we selfish and self serving? Ouch!
5 So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. (1 Corinthians 4:5 NLT bold/underline mine).
For the past couple of years, I have watched the Church – the Body of Jesus Christ as a whole – join in with the world in singing, “The World Done Me Wrong” blues. We have harmonized quite nicely to where it is hard to tell whose voice is whose. Instead of singing the song of the redeemed, we have joined in the song of the dead.
9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please Him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10 NLT).
For us to lose something means that we must first have had something. For us to be able to obtain a full reward means that a partial reward or no reward also exists. Just for clarification, I am not writing of loss of salvation for the believer but of loss of reward for not living our lives to the fullest for Jesus Christ.
Truthfully, the Body of Christ – for the most part – has become so ineffective in this day and age because we have become a bunch of touchy – feely spiritual wimps. Gone are the days of us looking forward to eternity. Our focus has been primarily on the here and now. The problem with that is that it causes us to become spiritually short-sighted. Consider the words of C.S. Lewis from his book “Mere Christianity.”
“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
Let’s face an all too glaring fact. The Church of today has become comfortable in the world here and now whereas the saints of old did not give a rip about this world. Their focus was on the hereafter. Their focus was rooted and grounded in the fact that they lived as though they were aliens on foreign soil operating under diplomatic immunity. Their focus was was on King Jesus and to carry out His will. Nothing else mattered.
The good news is that it is not too late for us to change our focus. Let’s quit making excuses for why the Holy Spirit is not in full operation in our lives and ministries as it was in the earlier Church. Let our prayers be the prayers of the saint’s of old. “Lord, grant unto us that we may speak with boldness and that signs and wonders may be done in the name of Your Holy Son, Jesus Christ.” Let us begin to focus on eternity. Be blessed.