God wants everyone to know the truth because rewards in the future Kingdom will be based on works. When a person knows the truth, then he knows what God desires for his life. He is in a position to obey the Lord and earn rewards in the Kingdom. There are some traditions that run at cross-purposes to the Bible. Wise Christians make sure that the traditions they follow help reinforce the true teachings of the Bible. Christ specifically said that adherence to manmade tradition can prevent a person from obeying the true commandments in the Word.
Tradition is not the only thing that can stand in the way of obedience to the truth. Inaccurate beliefs about what the Bible really says can also cause people to disobey God.
The Steps of Salvation
The Pharisees would not heal on the Sabbath because they believed it was sin. Their intentions were good, but because their information about the Bible was wrong, they were outside the will of God. Christ warned about doing the wrong thing, even in ignorance. Christians should desire to receive rewards in the future Kingdom, and that means living a godly and obedient lifestyle.
It is much easier to do that if you know what the Bible actually says. Before going any further into the subject of rewards or losses at the Judgment, it should be noted that, although the Bible contains verses that speak of loss, shame, and even punishment at the Judgment, there are far, far more verses that speak of the wonderful life available in the future. God loves people. His desire for each person is obedience to Him because of His kindness and His promises of blessings. Therefore, God, through the Scriptures, speaks frequently of the blessings that will be awarded to those who are obedient to Him.
When God does speak of losses, He never threatens. He gives factual information so people can make informed choices.
There is no threat, just information that allows people to decide on a path and a future, making each one accountable for his own actions. That a Christian can experience loss of rewards at the Judgment is not commonly taught in Christendom today. If you are hearing about losses at the Judgment for the very first time, you may be shocked at what you read in this article, but the verses quoted are in the Word of God.
From Pastor Colin S. Smith
We need to be thankful that God is loving and just and has spoken of these things so that we can make informed choices about our day-to-day behavior now, before we reach the Judgment, because then it will be too late to change. The Bible repeatedly declares that people will eventually get what they deserve. The following verse from Jeremiah is a good example. Jeremiah I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.
Other verses that speak the same truth almost word-for-word are: Job ; Psalms ; Proverbs ; Jeremiah ; Ezekiel ; Matthew ; Romans , and 1 Corinthians I knew salvation was not attained or affected by good works, but our reward and position in heaven would be. Obviously, all Christians would not have the same station in heaven.
When believers stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ at His coming, they will be judged according to their works; according to the fruitfulness of their lives. This judgment will in no way reflect on whether they are saved or lost. The Judgment Seat of Christ determines the reward or loss of reward for the service of each believer. Those standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ are not only saved and safe; they will already be in heaven!
Grace is free, but works are not—and free grace is not cheap. We are born again to have purpose and be useful. God expects certain things from you after you become a Christian. Howard is correct when he says that, in the future, not all believers will have the same station.
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His position is supported by many clear verses that address the future Judgment and the rewards or losses each person will receive. Among those verses are:. Luke If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Colossians —25 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. This recognition may also bring with it a genuine sense of remorse for ungodly behavior.
How do I know I’m saved?
In contrast to Peter, some Christians will experience shame for their selfishness when they stand at the Judgment Seat and face the Christ they ignored or denied throughout life. With regard to this, John writes:. For most Christians, it is a new concept that some believers will experience shame when Christ comes. Scripture is silent on how long the feeling of shame will last, and surely there will be joy and blessings on the future earth.
However, there are more verses that mention shame than the two quoted here, so some degree of shame will be a real experience for people who have lived selfish lives. It can be very upsetting to think that carnal and disobedient Christians will be reproved at the Judgment, but it is an undeniable part of Scripture. We should live our lives in such a way that we do not have to feel shame when we give an account of ourselves at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Joseph Dillow noted that it is distasteful to explain the consequence of carnal Christian living.
Equally distasteful is the task of explaining the consequences of carnality, and they are severe indeed. No tragedy could be greater for someone who is saved than the realization on Judgment Day that selfishness, self-focus, and failure to obey God has resulted in the loss of everlasting rewards and a position of authority in the Kingdom. The book of Ezekiel contains one of the most graphic portrayals of this kind of loss.
Ezekiel —16 10 The Levites who went far from me when Israel went astray and who wandered from me after their idols must bear the consequences of their sin. The Bible makes it very plain that Christ is not interested in ministering together with Levites and priests who were idolaters in their first life.
God says so!
That is the basis of your belief. That's the source of your certainty. Isn't it better to have God's Word than Adrian's or your neighbor's or your opinions, emotions, wishes, or whims? In addition to the root of our belief, we need only look at the fruit of our behavior to know whether or not we are truly saved.
C. H. Spurgeon :: Salvation by Knowing the Truth
What has Jesus done in me? Is this all just some intellectual exercise, or has there been a change? The Apostle John is very practical here. He shows us how our salvation ought to show up in our behavior, and he gives three tests. I wonder if John had been in a testimony meeting where somebody was bragging about being saved—saying he was, but his walk and his talk did not get together. If you say you are saved, it is absolutely going to show up in your life. You are going to be keeping the commandments of God.
KNOWING THE TRUTH ABOUT SALVATION
You do not keep the commandments of God in order to be saved; you keep the commandments of God because you are saved. This presents a serious problem, because not one of us has always kept all of God's commandments. I haven't since I've been saved, and you haven't since you've been saved. Yet the Bible says that we know we are in Him in that we keep His commandments.
Both the problem and the solution are found in the word keep. It is actually a mariner's word. In the apostles' day, sailors navigated by the stars. And a sailor setting his course by the stars was said to be "keeping the stars. To keep God's commandments, then, means to use the Word of God as the Guide for our lives. It is the desire of every child of God to live by His Word.
While we may be blown off course, distracted, or confused, the goal of our lives is to keep the commandments of God. Ever since I gave my heart to Jesus, there has been a deep, divine, radical change; and there is in me a burning desire to live for God. And there should be in you, too, if you are saved. This is not to say that I don't sin anymore. The difference is that before I got saved I was running to sin; now I am running from it. And if I fail, I turn right around and start running away again.
The commandment test says: if you can willfully and knowingly sin against the will of God with no conviction, no compunction, and no remorse, you need to get saved. A lot of people say, "Well, I walked down an aisle somewhere, and I got saved. I know I'm just an old backslider now, but I'm still saved and going to heaven.