Tag Archives: 1 Corinthians 4:5

How You Get Your Rewards in Heaven

Most people ignore the issue of rewards in heaven, thinking being good gets them there in the first place.  Some also think that heaven is a static place where everyone is the same.  To both assumptions – Not so.

Salvation deals with your sins on this side of the grave and yes, you are rewarded by going to heaven.  But when you get there your level of obedience is the basis for your future rewards. We have a picture in the Bible of angels going up and down ladders keeping records on very single person.  What is this?

It’s a list of the obedience level.  Billy Graham was asked what is the one question God will ask you when you get to heaven?

His answer:”Did you obey my son?” You can immediately see how this poses a problem.  If you were saved at age 50 your level of understanding and accountability to God and to His Son are more limited than the person saved as a teenager. The teenager also might be limited by a screamingly bad home life; the middle aged man might be aided by a generous income or a superior training in some area.  We are also products of our generation, our nation and our parents. All these factors we cannot use as excuses – in fact heaven will be re-markedly free of excuses, but they are factors affecting how much we know or could know, and how much we were able to do.

I wonder about Christians in Syria, under terrible persecution, their children snatched and murdered, with no one to help and no place to go.  And if they have a chance to leave, will they be persecuted at the nation where they are refugees?

I have many Chinese contacts; they have very little to help them grow in grace of God where they live. They are surrounded by people who claim to be atheists and who live their beliefs. Their world is more hostile than mine.  I am free to write this post; they are not.

All these factors simply tell me this; we’d be foolish to try to guess what happens to them after they face their Maker. The older I get the less I am interested in making judgments about people as individuals.  I do feel free to make judgments about how God is working in the world.

John in Revelation 20 said this:

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

This is perhaps the best scripture describing life after death for every single person who ever lived.  Notice that they had legs; it’s nice to know I will have a spiritual body that resembles the one I am in now.

The word “works” in this passage refers to trusting in God.  And yes, it is real work. You are faced with a decision – Do you marry this person? God seems to say no.  Your heart says yes.  What do you do?  Now you can see how much work it is to say no; it costs you everything you wanted. Only time will tell if you made the right decision.

Notice that the books are opened.  They have heretofore been closed.  God doesn’t want me judging before the time. (I Corinthians 4:5)

The Bible advises us to look to our own things.  2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. There are no rewards for being a busybody.

If you have not been obeying God so far – not a problem.  You can start today.

 

 

Angels at the Employment Agency

Angels unemployment agency

Angels at an unemployment agency

Here is how prayer works. You are a member of the Family of God.  This helps, because if not God wants you to go through forgiveness and repentance as it says in the Bible.  But His family comes first of course. When Jesus hears your prayer He can get into see the Father on your behalf. The book of Hebrews tells us that we should be bold.  (Hebrews 4:16)

Jesus presents your request to His Father and then the Father sends some angels on their way to do the job, in addition of course to their daily routine of being your guardian.  Your prayer sets an agenda for angels.

Those unemployed angels hanging around an employment agency waiting for prayers, thumbing through magazines, sitting bored and underutilized, snacking and talking with each other, or looking out the window.

There are billions of angels so there is a good sized staff to meet men’s needs.  But what happens is we are lazy.  We think, “Oh, I won’t bother God with this.  It is such a small thing, I know He must work on bigger things, like world peace.” So you try to solve the problem on your own and things get a little worse.

Then you redouble your efforts, call a prayer line, or a group of friends. Hummm. Not much is happening.

First off, you are wrong.  God is interested in the smallest detail.  You are not bothering him.  Sometimes a problem tavkled in the early stages does not escalate into something much worse.  Second, your prayer life will impact the rest of your life. Those who learn to seek God for all needs will soon find that He is involved in making everything in your life better.  Third, as you grow in God you will get smarter about your prayers.

General stuff is not a good prayer; be focused.  We can pray “God, please protect our police force here in town.”  Ok, that will work, but how much better to say, “Lord, I want you to protect Captain Jim and Patrolman Wally and make them effective in their work with kids in the barrios.”  That tells God you are interested in the people in those areas, and identifies the men (and women) on the force doing a specific job.

Fourth, you will eventually learn to pray the Bible.  If God said it in His word He has a special interest in it.   If He made a promise, remind Him.  My favorite prayer is that he expose all evil publicly.  That has been my chief prayer throughout this political campaign, mostly because I saw that there was so much covered up.  And it has happened over and over this year, even more than I had expected.

Here is the reference. 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

We all have money needs. Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

But be specific.  Right now I need 2 cartridges for my printer, $35.  That is my prayer for God to make this available as I so not have enough on hand.

And remember to thank Him ahead of time. 1 Thessalonians 5:18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

You are not thanking God for all things – a lot of life is trouble.  But you must learn that He will use all things for your benefit.  Gratitude is one of the virtues in the short supply in our society. But for the very, very poor, gratitude is the focus of their lives.

Read the Bible looking for prayers you know God will answer, especially Proverbs.  But whatever you pray, give the angels something to do.