It is our choice where we go and how we spend eternity. Yes, we are saved by grace, but there are many, many, Scriptures on being judged for our works. Too many believers believe that after they are saved, their works are not judged. Evidently, they haven’t read the same Bible I read.
People need to understand two words: Belief and behavior. Our belief determines where we spend eternity and our behavior determines how we spend eternity. There are degrees of punishment in hell and there are rewards in heaven according to our works while living on this earth. So, yes, works and our behavior matters while living.
Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourself; it is the gift of God, (Verse 9) not of works, lest anyone should boast. This gift of grace to us was paid for by Jesus, but what we do and how we choose to live is up to us!
Ecclesiastes 12:14 – For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
1 Peter 1:17 – And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear.
Matthew 16:27 – “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”
Don’t get too hung up on perfect behavior because we can’t be perfect, yet. However, what you believe will determine your behavior! There are people who say that they believe in Jesus but have never even tried to live for Him. I don’t think they really believe. When you truly believe, the Bible says God gives us a hew heart and we have a “desire” to turn from sin and follow Him and His ways. If a person still wants to live in sin, their heart hasn’t been changed, they just gave “lip-service” to being saved.
It is absolutely ridiculous to say you believe in Jesus but doesn’t follow any of His teachings to the point of not even reading Scripture that tells us how to live. If a person truly believes then they will do what He has commanded in His word.
There will be two judgments: The believer’s judgment and unbelievers judgment. These two judgments are separate, not mixed together.
The Judgment Seat of Christ is the believer’s judgment. 2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, whether good or bad.
We are not judged for our sins, because Jesus already took our judgment, but we are judged for our works. According to Scripture, we either receive a reward or lose a reward.
Romans 14:10 – But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:10 – According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. (Verse 11) For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
(Verse 12) Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, (Verse 13) each one’s work will become manifest for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
(Verse 14) If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. (Verse 15) If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
The foundation of the gospel is and always will be Jesus Christ. Everyone has a choice to either do works that will last through eternity or do works that will be burned up. The motive behind the works is very telling.
Matthew 6:1 – “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
In other words, Jesus said don’t do your works to be seen. This is a matter of the heart. This doesn’t mean that everything we do for others has to be hidden. It simply means to not do them in front of others to get praise from them. Your heavenly Father is the One that has the true reward. It’s the motive of why and how we do charitable things and that’s a matter of one’s heart. Did you do it to be seen so others will brag on you or did you do it out of compassion?
Matthew 6:2 – “Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. (Verse 3) “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, (Verse 4) “that your charitable deed may be in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”
One day, all believers are going to get to meet the Father! Think about that for a moment; billions of believers gathered and the Father Himself comes up to each individual and gives them their reward! Amazing! Your reward is done openly in front of all those billions of people.
Unless you fully understand that our works do matter while on this earth, this next verse will be confusing to you: 1 John 2:28 – And now, little children, abide in Him, and when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
Why would a believer be ashamed at His coming? Well, if the Christian is not living for Jesus by wasting their life on what hey wanted to do and did it their way; they were selfish in giving or just never did any chartable deeds for anyone else, and they lived for themselves, then they are going to be very ashamed. If a believer never reads God’s word and doesn’t know there are rewards for the deeds they do while living, they are going to be very disappointed come judgment day.
The other judgment is The Great White Throne Judgment. This judgment is for all unbelievers. Here is a Scripture as to why we call this the “Great White Throne Judgment.
Revelation 20:11 – Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. (Verse 12) And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
(Verse 13) The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. and they were judged each one according to his works.
This book is the Book of Life and if your name is written in this book, you go to heaven. But then there are books, plural, because its more than just names written in them, their works are there also. There will be degrees of punishment in hell according to their works for all unbelievers.
However, a person can accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord and all their sins are washed away by the blood that was shed on Calvery by Jesus Christ! How a person lives this life does matter in life after this one! Make your own choice. I suggest you choose Christ and spend eternity with the Father.