For those of you who are envisioning God as some white-haired, grandfatherly type who just loves you so much no matter what, I am afraid that you are in for a big surprise.
In the first place, all judgment is in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, and He always does the will of the Father, and He does not change, so if you are still living the life of a haphazard Christian who thinks that close enough is good enough, you may soon find yourself in a position that you were not expecting, and one that may not go anything like you thought.
As of late, you have heard me use this verse many times, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12) That is because not only is it true, not only is it going to happen, but because I fear that not nearly enough people contemplate this verse enough. This is your day of excuses, this is the moment in time where you will find out if you will receive any rewards, any crowns, and whether or not you have any treasure laying in wait for you in our eternal home, and you know what, once you get there, that’s it. No more opportunities to gain any of these items. This is it, this is the place, this life, no second chances, no more opportunities, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb. 9:27)
As they say, once you get home, game over.
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” (1 Cor. 9:24) I do not know what second place looks like in heaven, I only know that it is not first place, and I also know that first place, the winner of the race, receives a greater prize than all others. Everyone in heaven will have finished the course, but not all ran the race well, and far too many are expecting to receive that which they did not earn, what they would not strive for, they expect the Lord to in essence say, “Oh, that’s alright, don’t worry about it.” Not going to happen my friend, if you do all that was commanded of you, you are to consider yourself unprofitable. (Luke 17:10)
The inverse must be true; we must strive to do more then what we have been commanded to do for His glory. And here is the crux of the matter, you have to ask. If you want to be profitable for the kingdom, if you want to serve to glorify God in the highest, you have to ask the Lord two simple words, two of the most difficult words that you will ever utter, if you truly mean them. Use me.
Do you understand what it means to say these words? They mean kill me, if it brings glory to Your name, take everything I own away from me, show me my secret sins, (Psalm 19:12) make everything in my past seem as dung to me. (Phil 3:8) And He will know, He will know if you are serious. The Lord has no need of men like this, He is quite capable on His own, but if you are honest about this path, you will indeed receive rewards, and you will not understand why, you will have treasures in heaven, that you cannot comprehend as to why they were given to you, and you will receive crowns, and willingly and with great joy cast them back at the feet of Him who is the only One worthy of them.
And my friends, that grandfatherly type figure that you have been envisioning will disappear and be replaced with the Sovereign Lord of all creation, righteous, holy and true.
So then, if this letter has struck a note in you, count the cost first. Either way you will be loved, eternally and immensely, but consider these men. “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” (James 2:23) “And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. (Daniel 10:19) “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” (Acts 13:22) “My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.” (Numb. 12:7)
All of these said, “Use me.”