Paul’s Footsteps #169

Footsteps #169

2Cor5:10 concluded. It appears that some will receive a “great reward in heaven” (Luke.6:23.) There are however, good reasons why there will be tears in heaven, and not just for loved ones who didn’t make it. When we reflect on how we lived for Christ, who purchased us at such high cost, well might we weep on the other side of the metaphorical celestial gates. Our tears will be those of regret and shame, tears of remorse for lives lived for ourselves rather than for Him who “loved us, and released us from our sins by His blood” (Rev.1:5). Perhaps we would never cease crying in heaven if God Himself did not come and “wipe the tears from our eyes.” (Rev.21:4). What I struggled with as I prepared these last few devotionals is how do I maintain our attention on the joy and blessed hope of the Second Coming, while being honest about the seriousness of the believer’s judgment. How do I keep the focus on the fact that our entry into heaven is by grace through faith alone, not by works, while conveying that our privilege and responsibility in heaven are directly related to our works? How do I motivate us to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord without being legalistic? Let me give you an analogy. Graduation ceremonies are one of those milestones everyone looks forward to. Everyone who graduates is glad to get out of school–there are few tears at graduations other than tears of joy. Those who have studied hard and have done their best will receive commendations and awards. Athletes get trophies. Everyone at graduation is happy to be there, but some are happier than others. Some may have remorse at the knowledge they frittered away their time and barely graduated. They may feel even more remorse when they see other students receiving responsible jobs at excellent pay, while they go to work in a fast-food place.  No analogy is perfect. The criterion at the Judgment Seat of Christ will have nothing to do with IQ or academic achievement or natural physical gifts. It will be faithfulness to the work God has assigned each of us.

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