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In Apostle Paul’s theology there is a line of thought that we as believers will be judged one day, when we meet God, and give account of how we lived our lives as believers. This judgment however is not one unto damnation, but more of a determination as to what we will take to the after life with us.
2 Corinthians 5
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Paul further explains in 1 Corinthians 3 that there is a kind of fire, symbolic of God’s judgment, that will test our works. Though as a believer in Christ you will make it to heaven, yet depending on how you live your life on earth, you may have nothing of eternal value to show for yourself when you stand before God. In Paul’s mind, it’s as if one has just escaped a major fire, and barely got out with their lives.
I am reminded of a Christian pastor who had a difficult week, a few years ago, as the secular news in Georgia reported. On Monday his wife clothes caught on fire, and she received 2nd degree burns. While at the hospital, they received a phone call that their house was half burned down. It so happened that in her haste, she had put her smoldering clothing on the dresser, which subsequently caught on fire, and triggered the whole event. By the time they had got home, the entire house was burned down. The next evening, as they were dealing with the traumatic events from the past night, they received a call, that their church, had been struck by a tornado, and the steeple and half the church with it had been blown off. This was indeed a challenging week. Later when being interviewed, to the reporter’s surprise, both the Pastor and his wife, were optimistic, as they expressed that their strength and hope came from God.
This couple’s escape from fire left something of eternal value. They had a secure faith in Christ, that withstood the loss of earthly belongings. I imagine when they get to heaven, their faith is something that can be presented to God.
So how can one ensure we have built ourselves up spiritually, so that we will please God when we face him in eternity to come. According to Paul below, it all starts with the foundation.
1 Corinthians 3
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.
A house built to last must have a secure foundation. In fact the taller the house, the deeper the foundation must be. For us as believers, our foundation is on a rock that is unshakeable, despite the fears, insecurities, and trials of this life, Christ our savior must truly be the foundation of our lives.
But it doesn’t stop with just the foundation, the rest of the house must be strong. This strength is provided from the appropriate materials used to build up the house. The more durable the materials, the longer lasting the structure.
Let me ask you; how are you building your spiritual house? Are you being spiritually provided with the right foundation from the church you attend? But not only that, are you involved in church community, serving, giving, growing? Do you find you are growing in your faith and trust in Christ daily? What gives meaning and joy to you daily, is it spiritual things or simply earthly things?
Depending on how you answer these questions will determine the quality of house that you are building. I pray that it is a house that is built to last
– Pastor Olu Jegede