In his classic book, Your Eternal Reward, Dr. Lutzer asks the questions inquiring minds want to know:
- Does our behavior as Christians matter once we are assured of our salvation?
- Will eternity be the same for those believers who follow Christ faithfully and those who live a carnal life style?
According to Lutzer, "everything we do in this life matters. We all struggle with the concept of negative consequences at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Our sins have been washed away and God cannot judge us for our carnality, selfishness, and wasted lives,we think. Because we are not under condemnation, we feel secure that any loss we suffer cannot be too serious."
Not so fast. Lutzer points out that God sometimes judges His people while they are still alive even though they are forgiven and justified. Ananias and Sapphira were judged by death for their dishonesty (Acts 5:1-11). Carnal believers in Corinth died because of their disrespect for the Lord's Table (1 Corinthians 11:30).
"I can't lose my salvation," says Lutzer, "but there is something I can lose--the highest privileges available for all eternity. Let's not live in such a way that we'll be given a rebuke from Christ and have "shame at His Coming" (1 John 2:28)."
In other words, how we live our lives has eternal consequences. Charles Stanley (pastor, radio preacher and author of over 45 books) agrees:
"Will eternity be the same for everybody? Not a chance. Our God is a God of justice as well as grace. His offer of grace is continually extended to even the most vile sinner. But His justice moves Him to keep a careful record of those who remain faithful and those who do not. His grace moved Him to sacrifice His only Son to provide a way for our salvation. But His justice causes Him to take special note of those believers who are willing to sacrifice for His Son."A wise man once said: "Entrance into heaven is gained by accepting Christ's sacrifice for justification, but a person's rewards in heaven will be determined by what they did for Christ here on earth. There are consequences to a careless Christian life." -- Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, author of The Complete Word Study New Testament (With Parallel Greek)
Jesus said, "...I am the One who searches minds and hearts, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds." (Revelation 2:23)
"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done." (Revelation 22:12)
"...there are some who have not soiled their garments with evil deeds. They will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before My Father and His angels that they are Mine. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches." (Revelation 3:4-6)How To Go To Heaven...click here
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