If any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident.
–1 Corinthians 3:12-13
Not everything we do in life is either morally good or morally bad. For example, there is nothing morally good or bad about going to the mall. There is nothing morally good or bad about purchasing a suit of clothes or buying a car. A lot of things we do in life are not morally good or bad, but that is not the standard used to determine our rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The standard God will use to evaluate our good works after salvation is this: Is it worthless in the big scheme of things? Will your life be judged as having substance, being invested in growing God’s kingdom, or will your life be judged as being inconsequential and worthless?
In 1 Corinthians 3:12, Paul described a life that endures as one that is built with “gold, silver, precious stones.” A life that is worthless is one that is constructed with “wood, hay, straw.” Now, there is nothing wrong with wood, hay, and straw. They are useful for some purposes, but ultimately, they blow away. Paul said that is the judgment Christians will face: How did we invest our time? How did we invest our money? It is not that we invested in bad things, but were they worthless things compared to the kingdom of God? That is the Judgment Seat of Christ.
When I think about God’s evaluation of our lives, I think about an embarrassing evaluation I had some years ago at my annual physical exam at a clinic in Dallas. Part of that exam involved me standing in my birthday suit before the physician. As I stood there, he took this little torture device and started pinching various parts of my body to measure my body fat. That was humiliating. As I stood there, I was filled with regrets. I regretted every chocolate chip cookie I had ever eaten. I regretted every time I rolled over in bed instead of getting on the treadmill. I regretted those midnight trips to the freezer to get Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Everything I had done was on view to that doctor.
But the worst part was putting my clothes back on and sitting down for the evaluation. He brought in his folder and said, “Now we’re going to talk about your health.” He started on a positive note. He commended me for the good things I was doing: my exercise, the bran flakes that I gagged on every morning. Then his smile turned to a frown as he said, “You need to shave some points off your cholesterol. Your blood pressure isn’t exactly where we would like it.” He gave a critique and evaluation of my life.
That is what the Judgment Seat of Christ is going to be like. The Judgment Seat of Christ is going to be an honest evaluation of everything we have done, whether it is good, lasting, eternal, or worthless. In Luke 8:17, Jesus said, “Nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Will Heaven Be The Same For Everyone?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)