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Revelation 14:12-13 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.
Our Works Follow Us – But Not Our Sins
In our first lesson we learned that you can work for God and still be lost (like a Pharisee). We also learned that those who love Jesus will work for Jesus. It is the nature of the Christian to shine for Christ.
The faith that never shines for Jesus is not a saving faith. The faith that does not produce someone who loves God and loves their neighbor is not a saving faith. Christian Singer Lauren Daigle (I love her music) was invited to and asked a direct question by Ellen Degeneres on “The Ellen Show”. The question was, “Do you feel that homosexuality is a sin?”.
“I can’t honestly answer on that,” Daigle responded. “In a sense, I have too many people that I love that they are homosexual. I don’t know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it. I can’t say one way or the other. I’m not God.
So when people ask questions like that…that’s what my go to is. I just say read the Bible and find out for yourself. And when you find out let me know, because I’m learning too,” she continued.
You and I know what the Bible says, but to be honest, I like her answer. Read the Bible. Seek Christ. If God is in you – if you are saved and sanctified by the Lord – then sin will be swept out of your life. We are not to be judges – and Lauren was going to be tested on the “Ellen Show” because of the nature of the host. But we are not called to judge others. A sinner is a sinner because that sinner has not met Jesus. We need to show others Jesus. If Lauren had answered otherwise, she would have been booed and ridiculed off of the show. The darkness does not like the light. So the best answer she could give was “read your Bible. Seek Christ. Let God lead you. I am not your judge, but God is.” When God comes to you, you will be both saved as well as sanctified.
Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM.
When we leave this earth “in the Lord” we then “rest from our labors”. The Christian works for Christ on this earth.
As Saints of God we live for Him. We need to know that “Our works do follow us”. I do not believe our sins follow us, for Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL SIN.
If the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from ALL sin then I do not believe that sin will ever follow us to Heaven. I believe the Bible supports this truth.
Christian, your sins will never be an issue between you and God. The Prophet said:
Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou WILT CAST ALL THEIR SINS INTO THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA.
Dwight L. Moody said:
“God has cast our confessed sins into the depths of the sea, and He’s even put a “No Fishing” sign over the spot!”
When God forgives us for Christ’s sake He casts our sins into the depths of the sea. I believe that, upon salvation, my sins were cast into the Sea of Grace. Grace like a flood covered my imperfections and inconsistencies with God. Because of Jesus I am accepted of God the Father.
Our sin is under that precious Blood of Christ.
Psalm 103:11-13 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
God casts our sin as far as the east is from the west. If you were to travel north, you would get so far before you would be going south. North turns to south. But east to west is an infinite line that never meets. If you travel west, you will always head west – forever! Our sins are covered – forgiven by God. What has God said?
Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and WILL NOT REMEMBER THY SINS.
If God does not remember our sins, then how can He ever hold them against us? He cannot, lest God be a liar. And God, dear friend, is NEVER a liar! Why does God not remember our sins? Because when we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior His sacrifice completely covers our sins. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way:
Hebrews 10:14-18 For by one offering HE HATH PERFECTED FOR EVER THEM THAT ARE SANCTIFIED. 15 [Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.
We are perfect – positionally perfect in God’s eyes – because of what Jesus did for us. We are PERFECTED FOREVER. Sin is not an issue for the Christ Child, but obedience is. We are freed from the enslavement of goodness in order to serve and glorify our Savior. Our God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Because of what Jesus did we are sanctified – Sons of God who are now becoming the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). God has:
Isaiah 38:17 … cast all my sins behind thy back.
Our sins are no longer remembered.
Sins Will Not Follow Us, But Our Works Will –
And They Will Be Judged
The Apostle chastised the Church at Rome for judging one another’s works. We as Christians are unfit to judge others. We do not judge. God is the Judge. His Word is the Judge. Here’s what was happening in Rome.
Rome was the seat of much of the pagan and idolatrous worship in the ancient world. The Jews made animal sacrifices to the Biblical God, but the idol worshipers did the same thing with their gods and goddesses. A lot of sacrifices were made in Rome to Apollo, Zeus, Venus, to Caesar … the list goes on. When an animal was sacrificed to the false gods the dead animal, after that sacrifice, was sold as meat. Many of the Christians in the Church at Rome went to the markets and bought this “meat offered to idols” because, frankly, it was cheap! This started a fight in the Church – a fight that the Apostle addressed. The Apostle said:
Romans 14:4 … Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
The Apostle told the Roman Church to stop judging one another’s service to God. He wrote:
Romans 14:7-11 .. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for WE SHALL ALL STAND BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
God has already judged sin through His Bible and on the Cross of Christ. That which is “sin” is what God has said is “sin” in the Bible. And those of us who have received Christ as Savior are saved to serve Him. Our sins are covered. But our works will follow us. There is coming a day when every believer will give an account of His WORK to God. Hear me, Christian. God saved you at a great cost. He purchased your salvation with His Son’s Blood. He gave His best for you. He sent His Spirit to indwell you. We were saved from sin sop that we can SERVE the Living God. And we will indeed give an account of our works to the Lord.
The Apostle continues the teaching of the Judgment Seat of Christ in ..
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
In verse 9 the Apostle explains why we labor. He writes, we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be ACCEPTED of him. The word translated “accepted” is the Greek (εὐάρεστος euárestos, pronounced yoo-ar’-es-tos) which means “to be well pleasing to”. If we have been saved by Jesus, we want to be “well pleasing” to Jesus. The Judgment Seat of Christ is a time when we as believers “give an account” to Jesus. We will “receive the things done in the body, whether good or bad”. There are good works, and there are bad works. At the Judgment Seat of Christ our works – not our sins, but our works – will be judged.
The Christian labors for the Lord because we love the Lord. One day the works we do for Him will one day be judged by the One we love, Jesus Christ. Sin is not judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Sin is judged at the Great White Throne Judgment – a terrifying ordeal spoken of in Revelation 20:11-15. But sin for the Christian was judged on the Cross. Our sins are not in view at the Judgment Seat, but our works. I say again, our sins are not judged by Jesus, but our works, the works we do on this earth.
God saved us and left us on this earth so that we could live for Him.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, BUT UNTO HIM WHICH DIED FOR THEM, and rose again.
The Christian who is constantly trying to do good works in order to be saved is, in fact, working for himself. If my every moment of every day is filled with dread lest I “lose my salvation”, then I am constantly
living for myself.
This is not salvation but slavery, SELF slavery.
By receiving Christ as Lord and Savior and believing that His death and resurrection are sufficient to cover my sins, I am now freed so that I might serve – lovingly serve – my Jesus. I no longer yield myself to sin – but to my Savior. This is why the Apostle said:
Romans 6:12-18 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 BEING THEN MADE FREE FROM SIN, YE BECAME THE SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
The person who receives Justification from God but never participates in Sanctification with God is “receiving the Grace of God in vain”.
2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
To “receive the Grace of God in vain” is to be possessed of Christ, but never allowing Him to work through your life.
You were saved so that POSITIONALLY you could become a son of God.
You are saved also so that you PRACTICALLY can be a son of God.
There is joy found by all those who work for the Savior. God has chosen us to be world changers, light, and salt. We are to be …
1 Corinthians 15:58 … always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Christ will examine the works that we as Christians did, and we shall give an account unto Him (1 Peter 4:5). We who are saved are not to judge our brother or sister in the Lord, for Christ shall judge us all. The Pastor at Moody Bible Church, Erwin Lutzer writes:
“We should not look at the judgment seat of Christ as God judging our sins, but rather as God rewarding us for our lives. Yes, as the Bible says, we will have to give an account of ourselves.”
At the Judgment Seat of Christ the believer is rewarded based on how faithfully we served Jesus. The works we do for Jesus are judged. We read:
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
The Christian is saved by faith in Christ. Upon this foundation of faith the believer does good works, glorifying God and imitating Christ. We love as God tells us to love. We live lifestyles compatible with that which the Scripture reveals as righteous. As we who are saved and sanctified live for the Lord Who saved and sanctified us, we do works which God takes note of. Every work that the believer does will be classified in one of six ways:
gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble
The Lord knows them that are His (2 Timothy 2:19). It is fitting that we who are the sons of God by adoption will have our works judged by Him Who is the Only Begotten Son of God. How closely did we imitate our Savior and Lord? How obedient were we to His directives? How much light did our lives impart to this dark old world? Our works – not our sins, but our works – will be judged.
When the lost stand before the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) fire shall bind them, and keep them separated from Heaven and God’s people forever. However for the Christian whose work is judged, fire is not a curse, nor a binder, but a blessing. The Apostle said:
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire
Again, sin is not that which is in view at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Works are. If our works endure the Fire of Christ’s love then the Scripture says we shall receive a reward.
God Will Reward The Faithful Son With Crowns
While we who are believers are on this earth, we are to work for our Jesus. When we get to Heaven our works will follow us – and be rewarded. The Bible speaks of “crowns” for the believer. Some of the Scriptures are:
2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
1 Peter 5:3-4 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
If we as Christians are “Kings and Priests unto God” (Revelation 1:5) then it is expected that we will have marks of our heritage. I pray that we all as Christians pursue righteous works for the glory of God. You cannot out give God. Dear believers, my heart’s desire is to lay whatever reward He may bestow upon me down at the feet of my Messiah – blessed be the Name of Jesus forever! Let us all live for Him!