Borrowed Truths

The Back Row

the back row
Picture of Borrowed Truths

The Back Row

No one here gets out alive.

The wise man contemplates his death, and that quite often, for by this contemplation he begins to order how he will live the days he has been given. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb. 9:27) Here then is the contemplation of that event that all must experience in relation to what comes after this life, and because we have no tangible, verifiable proof of any existence after this one, the verse stands as truth to those who have been born-again, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)

And with this, whether it be accepted in some form of fear or anticipation, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)

I will not spend much time on the wicked in this short letter to you on this subject matter, suffice it to say we should speak to them in the hope that they will heed the call of the Lord, but instead I address those who indeed are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and how you are ordering your life not just in the knowledge of your impending death, but of that account that you will in fact give.

I believe, and I could be wrong, that not one of us will enter into the Kingdom of God and His presence until we are glorified, and not one of us will be glorified until we give that account. Our memories in that moment will be perfect, none will need to be reminded of anything that occurred in their life here, and specific reasons for why they either acted or did not act in any of those given moments. Nor will any excuse be offered or accepted; we will indeed speak truth on that day.

As best as I can put it, and that is poorly, when God looks at us, He sees Jesus, but when Jesus looks at us, He sees us, and our life is to be a reflection of His. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) Unfortunately, not one of us reflect Him perfectly, which is expected, but the question is how much of Himself will He recognize in us?

Here is where the accounting begins, here is where we, in the words of the world, “Throw ourselves on the mercy of the court,” and indeed He will be merciful. But there is something else, and I have no idea where this fits into the timeline of our eternity in heaven. It is our rewards.

A life lived here for the glory of God earns rewards from the Lord, in part in the form of crowns, I will not conjecture on any other rewards. These crowns will be cast at the feet of Jesus Christ. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2) And it is all we have to offer Him, that which He has given us.

There are those who will be there who may not receive anything more than a “Welcome,” those who have been saved “yet so as by fire,” (1 Cor. 3:15) unprofitable children, born-again, but never crucified with Christ is the only way I know how to express it. And I also cannot express nor fathom what it will feel like to be in the presence of the Lamb of God with not one thing to offer Him.

In my own personal experience, I can only liken it to being at a large outdoor concert, and having a seat in the last row, so far back one can hardly see the stage, and then watching as the band throws to the crowd up front endless supplies of merchandise, while you receive nothing.

You are going to die, you will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, you will give your account of how you spent this life. These are a guarantee. Rewards are not.

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