REVEALED BY FIRE
What I want to preach about today is the ETERANL REWARDS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD v. the UNCERTAIN RICHES of the kingdoms of the world.
There are 2 reasons I want to preach this.
- What we do in this life, determines our position in heaven.
The Bible says that we, as believers, will be judged according to our works.
Now, I’m preaching to the saved today, those of who you have already put your faith in Jesus Christ and have been granted eternal life.
In Revelation 22:12, Jesus says: “12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
This is paralleled in Jeremiah 17:10:
I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Our time to do good works is while we are here on this earth.
In John 9:4, Jesus said: “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”
Heaven will be a perpetual Sabbath of the Lord’s day.
So now is the time to work & earn eternal wages.
6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
8 Provideth her meat in the summer, [and] gathereth her food in the harvest.
9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
10 [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
We’re to work!
- There’s a serious heresy which has invaded the church of God today, which teaches that you have to ‘repent of your sins’ – that’s to turn from your sins – in order to be saved.
And you say, “What’s the big deal?”
Doesn’t Jesus say to repent?
Yes, we’re supposed to repent from every false religion to faith in Jesus Christ alone. That is Biblical repentance unto salvation.
But if you have to turn from your sins to be saved, why did Jesus die?
You have to understand, I’m talking only about the moment of salvation.
Just recently, Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, said: “All we have to do is ask for his forgiveness, turn away from our sin, and put our faith and trust in His Son Jesus Christ.”
That’s a works-based Gospel that will damn its listeners to Hell!
It can’t be both “turn from your sins” and “believe in Jesus to be saved”.
And you might think I’m splitting hairs, but that’s like saying, “Follow the Law” – because sin is transgression of the Law – AND believe in Jesus.
But the Bible says it can’t be both grace & works at the same time – for salvation.
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
So what’s happened as the body of Christ, as we’re constantly battling this great heresy, we’ve begun to de-emphasize works.
Good works are neglected in mainstream, evangelical churches. They’ve got salvation down! But it’s just all about making you feel good.
Today it’s all about the contemporary worship & the devotional time & your “RELATIONSHIP” w/ the LORD.
AND NOONE’S DOING ANY GOOD WORKS!
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
And it’s always … But I’m just not being fed … I don’t like the music …
You know what … it’s a relationship …shut up and do good works!
Ephesians 2:8-9, 10 (this is 1 of our favorite verses to use when go soulwinning).
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
- God did a work when He created us.
- The Bible says that we are HIS workmanship, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
- God has already ordained the good works that I’m going to do. He’s ordained me to do good works.
God’s seen it from the beginning to the end.
- He knew by His FOREKNOWLEDGE what good works I was going to do & He ordained me to do them & empowered me for that purpose & equipped me w/ every resource to get the job done.
Paul says in 2 Cor 5:10 that we must all appear before the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST.
Speaking to believers in Corinth, he says:
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.
Now if you’re an unbeliever your works are not going to be acceptable to God no matter how much good you think you’ve done, because you don’t have the foundation of salvation.
That’s why Paul says in 2 Cor 5:11
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men”
The judgment for unbelievers is entirely different.
JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST v. WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
In the judgment seat of Christ, believers will be judged for rewards, in the white throne judgment unbelievers will be judged for differing levels of punishment.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Unbelievers are going to stand before God & their works are going to be made manifest at the White Throne Judgment.
But all their works, all their righteousnesses are going to be as filthy rags before Jesus Christ.
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
The White Throne judgment will do two things: (1) show them that they deserve Hell (2) determine their degree of punishment.
14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s all bad. It’s all eternal fire and torment that never ends … but Hitler will have the warmer seat in Hell.
In the White Throne Judgment, ALL unbelievers will be sentenced to the second death, which is the Lake of Fire or Hell.
In the Judgment Seat of Christ, rewards are going to be meted out to Christians who have done good works.
Revelation 4:10-11 speaking of the four and twenty elders before the throne of God:
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
But people are gonna get there … they’re gonna get to heaven, Christians who are like, I just love God and that’s all that matters …. And I have a relationship with Him … they’re gonna get there, and …
They’re gonna be like … “Check out my crown …”
We have to EARN those crowns NOW … by doing good works, by winning souls, by preaching the whole counsel of God to the Saints, by volunteering our time to the work of the Gospel.
The Bible says that we have to build our good works upon the foundation of our salvation.
So unless you’re saved, this sermon means nothing to you because you can’t build good works on a faulty foundation.
- My only advice to unbelievers is to get right w/ God by accepting Jesus as your Savior!
Turn to 1 Corinthians 3:11:
11 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.
So what I want … is for a paradigm shift to occur in your minds.
It sounds mystical, but what is a paradigm? A paradigm is simply a model of something or an example … so a paradigm shift is radically changing the way that you think about something. It’s having that 180 degree moment in your life … .
… I want you to stop thinking about how you can earn treasures upon earth to how you can gain treasures in heaven.
Contrast between TREASURES UPON EARTH & TREASURES IN HEAVEN.
Treasures upon earth = corruptible (perishable), temporary, and insecure (uncertain; they can be stolen, damaged, or lost / they decline in value over time).
Treasures in Heaven = incorruptible (imperishable), permanent (eternal), and secure
(they can’t be lost, stolen, damaged, and will never lose their initial value), they remain constant throughout all eternity.
- Treasures Upon Earth
The Bible tells us repeatedly not to trust in “uncertain riches”:
1 Timothy 6:17-18:
17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
The Bible calls Treasures Upon Earth, “UNCERTAIN RICHES”. One day you’re rich, the next day you’re poor, sometimes you have an abundance, sometimes you’re just barely scraping by.
In our time, there’s always talk of a coming economic crash … we’re always anticipating when the economy is going to just completely bottom out.
And people are contemplating running to the mountains and living off the grid out in no man’s lands.
But we’re not supposed to do that yet.
Matthew 24:6: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
And there are people and corporations and organizations and elite, secret groups who are manipulating the markets to profit off of you!
There’s are the TREASURES UPON EARTH.
There was the 2008 housing-bubble crash. And we had to bail out the banks w/ our hard-earned money.
The bank gave; and the bank hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the bank!
That’s the global religion of unrighteous mammon!
No cursed be the name of the bank!
The US national debt is over $18 trillion dollars!
That equals to $56,0000 per citizen.
That means just by being alive today, no matter what you think you own, you are already in debt over $56,000 to the federal govt &
Foreign nations like China & Japan who own that debt.
Investors and corporations own that debt.
Oil conglomerates own that debt.
The Federal Reserve owns that debt.
Insurance companies own that debt.
Our federal government owns some of that debt, in social security, military pensions, government programs, and so on.
You say I came to hear the Bible this morning. Why are you giving me a lesson in modern economics?
Because these ARE the TREASURES UPON EARTH. And they’re mostly comprised of debt.
You’re working in America to pay off that debt!
You’re working in America to get out from under being an economic slave to the banks & the government.
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The Bible says those who make it their life’s goal to become rich in this world have erred from the faith. That means they’re in error when it comes to what it means to be a Christian. They’ve got it completely wrong …
Now I’m not saying that you should forsake everything and stop working!
2 Thess 3:10
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
1 Timothy 5:8
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
An infidel is someone who denies their own faith.
So what should our attitude be towards TREASURES UPON EARTH?
7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:
8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
Further down in Matthew 6, it says:
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
So you hear this list preached sometimes:
- You have to love God
- You have to love your family, which includes working a secular job to provide for them.
- Down in #3, in your spare time, Preach the Gospel
But here’s the thing, it’s a false trichotomy.
Yes, God comes first. Yes, we have to take care of our family. Yes, we have to work!
But we can do it all at the same time, while making preaching the priority.
e can walk and chew gum at the same time.
We put God first, but Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”.
What are God’s commandments? “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations …” (Matthew 28:19).
“Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.” Matthew 22:9
“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23
Jesus said: “…My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” In John 5:17
Jesus said: “Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?” John 10:32 Gold Crosses. People who preach a works-based salvation love to quote James 2:18, but James is speaking to already saved Christians! He’s rebuking them, telling them to get to work!
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
He’s saying their faith is worthless, they’re saved, but it’s not doing anyone any good.
Romans 2:6 says God “will render to every man according to his deeds…”
Paul says to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:17:
“That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
Galatians 6:9-10 says: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Paul repeats his admonition in 2 Thess 3:17: “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”
The Bible uses the phrase, “fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God” to describe Christians, “not fellowbelievers”.
The Bible also uses the word “labourers”.
The Bible almost begs us to work, because the labourers are few! And so there’s actually going to be few who receive eternal rewards.
Jesus said unto his disciples, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38).
1 Corinthians 3:9: “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”
“Husbandry” is what a farmer does. It’s tilling the ground, managing the livestock, it’s milking the cow, it’s practical management.
Philippians 4:3: “And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.”
Paul knew that their names were written in the book of life, because he saw their labor, he knew that they preached the right Gospel.
In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul compares good works to running in a race:
And people love to use this verse to say that salvation is a combination of works & faith, but this is talking about earning eternal rewards, in the form of an incorruptible crown:
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
· And remember, we’re not going to be judged based on our knowledge, but on our works.
The Bible says that we should search for wisdom as we would for silver and hid treasures, but ultimately, we’re not gonna be judged on how much Bible knowledge we have, but what we did with it.
And obviously, the more Bible you know, the more diligent you can be in doing good works.
But having knowledge isn’t going to earn you rewards, unless you put it to use, and work!
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Think about how long we have on this earth …
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
The average life expectancy in the U.S.: 78.7 years.
Little better for women in the US at 81.2 & than for men at 74.4 years
And even so, if you work all your life and heap to yourself riches and amass wealth, first of all … the government is going to tax almost half of it anyway one way or another.
And then they’re going to spend the sweat of your face to fund abortion and promote the sodomite agenda around the globe.
We fund $4.5 billion dollars every year to Israel to promote Zionism, the religion of Anti-Christ, $1.5 billion to Egypt to Israel’s enemies, half a billion dollars to Syria under the guise of “Aide” to fight ISIS– and I’m sure we funded ISIS at some point too.
So we’re funding all sides of every war and creating global instability.
So you’re going to have to give unto Caesar …
Proverbs 11:30: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.