Examination by Fire

Posted on May 1, 2018 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters

“Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.” – 2 John 8 (NASB)

So, how does the idea of standing before Jesus at a judgment seat make ya feel? I hope you are not thinking that this isn’t going happen to you…’cause it’s gonna happen!! You might be content with where you are with the principles of heaven but I’m tellin’ ya, you are gonna stand before, like it or not, in front of, what is known as “The Bema.” Now before you get yourself in an uproar with me starting your reading off like this, you need to understand that there is Scripture backing me up. And it goes a little something like this…

“Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the Day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

I think it is plausible to believe that our adversary, although uncomfortable with the idea, is good with us living in the notion that once we are saved we’re good with God. We don’t have to do anything for God’s Kingdom, besides saying “YES” to Jesus, then all we gotta do is sit and wait to die to see the reward of heaven. HA-HA!! Saved and satisfied is like living in a house with fire insurance. Once the house burns down, the cost of its rebuild is covered but all that went into it is gone. So, as it will be at the Judgement Seat of Christ where those responsibilities we were given and those opportunities afforded us will need to be reckoned with. But do not lose heart yet because if there is one thing Jesus takes great joy in, it is in the giving of rewards.

Albert Barnes said, “It is the property of fire to test the qualities of objects” and it’ll be in this that your works, at the bema, will be tested by fire. Wood, hay and straw kinda represent the stuff that Cain presented to God as a sacrifice. That may be a stretch for you but think about it, Cain brought what was easier to sacrifice than what Able brought. In a New Testament way, we think writing checks to causes, helping old ladies cross the street or tossing change to the poor gets it done and over with. But if you work at stuff that took time and effort in doing, kinda like raising a lamb for sacrifice in the way Abel would have had to, and you’re good with being separated from it, like Abel was with Barnabas, that stuff is like gold, silver and precious stone.

And please don’t get all of this stuff wrong. The one thing that isn’t at stake when you’re at the bema is your salvation. Paul kinda says it like this, “But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.” (1 Cor 3:15) So you may smell a little smoky as you walk away but at least the elevator isn’t going straight down with you in it. However, do you really wanna live your Christian life that way? Having a right heart with God but not really ever allowing it to be challenged? Remember this from Peter…”Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” (Luke 22:33) How did that one work out?

In closing today, allow me to encourage you to take the opening verse from 2 John to heart and understand a few things this day. Enduring works are done in God’s power (John 15:5), there are done for God’s glory (Matt 6:3-5) and they should be done according to God’s will (John 5:30). If you are pursuing stuff that isn’t within these criteria you are, in effect, throwing paper into a fire…. POOF!! What will last is the stuff that doesn’t come so easy. They gotta dig the gold, silver and precious stone outta the earth don’t they and we never know who actually does that do we? That’s the kinda stuff ya gotta do. Ya gotta mine, refine and polish that stuff in a way that will endure the fire so that in that Day, you will receive the rewards that a Risen Savior takes great joy in giving to you. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two grown children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 5: 1-10 , 1 Chronicles 11-12 |You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

Unleashing Hope Banner

Daily Quote: “The believer has his foundation in Jesus Christ. Now we are to build upon this foundation, and the work we have done must stand the ultimate test; final exams come at the Judgment Seat of Christ when we receive our rewards.” — Billy Graham

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Those who fear You will be glad when they see me, Because I have hoped in Your word. Psalm 119:74

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


Recent Posts