Today you should read: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
Have you ever met one of those Christians who constantly complain about the world they live in and eagerly await Jesus’ second coming? Facebook posts that quote “Come Jesus Come.” “There’s something in the air” on repeat at their home and the creepy campy tribulation movie “A Thief in the Night” is the pick for family movie night every Friday night. One might even think that the above passages, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 could possibly justify such actions. Paul says in verse 2 that “we groan and long for our heavenly body” and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that was true for me every time I visit someone who is sick or witness someone who is in deep suffering because of some type of consequences of this fallen world and our fleshly sin. A Christian should long for the time that there will be no more tears and our glorified, resurrected body will be worshiping Jesus forever and ever. In verse 5, Paul shares with us that the Holy Spirit is a gift from God to guarantee us this great promise of victory over sin, Satan and death.
However, as much as we should long for Jesus’ second coming we should also be reminded that Jesus PUT us on this earth and in our earthly vessels for a purpose while we are here. He didn’t put us here just to condemn the earth and the people around us as from our little protective bubble with our end times, “please come” mindset. We are to be missionaries out to redeem the world we live in through the Gospel, making wise use of the time God has given us by trying to save everyone we can and glorifying God living the lives God has given us. In verse 6, Paul says we are to always be of good courage and verse 9 encourages us to please God with our lives whether we are at home in Heaven or away on earth. I honestly doubt that it pleases God when we complain and seclude ourselves from the very people God has sent us to and the mission He has sent us on. Let’s be Christians known for redeeming the world instead of ones who constantly just condemn it.
Posted by: Erik Koliser
7 thoughts on “February 15, 2013”
Thanks for your commentary today Erik. I have a friend who is Catholic and he has a very “works based” theology and view of salvation. I have discussed Ephesians 2:8-9 with him and explained that we are saved by grace & faith and “not by works, so that no one can boast”. How would you explain the passage from II Corinthians 5:10 which may give the appearance that we will be judged on our works and “we will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body”? Thanks and I will look forward to your response.
II Corinthians 5:10
10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
Ephesians 2: 8-9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Mike, I think that your catholic friend has taken that passage out of context concerning the rest of Scripture in 2 Cor. & even more specifically the rest of the Bible. I do believe there are rewards & consequences based on our “works” at the judgment throne but like you had mentioned to your friend “our works” doesn’t have any type of eternal significance on our salvation because according to “our works” we are all condemned as sinners & not good enough outside of our faith through grace. To receive a clearer picture of how we can be rewarded or suffer consequences at that judgment based off of our works but know that it doesn’t effect our eternal state with God at the judgment throne here is what the ESV study bible says about the 2 most common views (warning: it’s a little long)…
“so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done … whether good or evil.”
This underscores the principle that present-day actions have eternal consequences. All Christians will appear before the eternal judgment seat of Christ, to receive “what is due” to them for the deeds that they have done in their earthly life. It is debated, however, (1) whether the aim of this judgment is to determine the measure of reward that the Christian will receive in the age to come; or (2) whether the aim is to provide demonstrative evidence regarding who is lost and who is saved. Because the context of Paul’s statement refers back to both the believer’s hope for the resurrection (see 2 Cor. 5:1, 4) and to the reward of “glory beyond all comparison” (see 4:16–18), it would seem that both aims are in view. Thus, with regard to the first case, many interpreters hold that the believer’s deeds will provide public evidence to indicate the measure of rewards that the believer will receive, corresponding to the believer’s “obedience of faith” (acts of service, love, and righteousness; cf. Rom. 1:5; 16:26). In the second case, some interpreters hold that the believer’s deeds will also provide public evidence brought forth before the judgment seat of Christ to demonstrate that one’s faith is real—that is, public evidence, not as the basis for salvation, but as a demonstration of the genuineness of one’s faith. Paul therefore makes it his aim to “please” Christ (2 Cor. 5:5–9), because the extent to which one does this corresponds to the measure of rewards that one will receive (see Matt. 6:20; Luke 19:17, 19; 1 Cor. 3:12–15; 1 Tim. 6:19; Rev. 22:12), likewise giving evidence for the genuineness of one’s faith. Paul is confident that genuine believers will pass Christ’s judgment, since the new covenant ministry of reconciliation has brought them under the life-transforming power of the Spirit—based on the forgiveness of their sins through faith in Christ alone, all of which is the result of God’s grace alone”
Thanks for your thought provoking response. I’ve heard the following expression for years but have no idea the origin:
“I’d rather have a lean-to in Heaven than a mansion in Hell”
It’s a crude expression but it speaks truth. Regardless of my level of reward in Heaven, being with Jesus for eternity is going to be AMAZING! Amen!
I can relate to both Erik! But the latter is SO important….we want to be radiant lights of Christ his love, grace, and mercy….in this dark world. I’m grateful for your words of wisdom this morning and so appreciative for the gospel impact you are having on our kids!!
Tina, I know I was a little hard on the “come Lord Jesus” side on my commentary above but please believe me.. I am just as much on that side when I see how much our world has fallen from what God had originally created for & long for restoration. I believe every Christian should groan for the new creation & return of Christ. However, I personally meet a lot more Christians who take that view to an unhealthy extreme where they neglect the Great Commission in order to protect themselves from this depraved world in hopes that Jesus will rapture them from their christians, safe, bubble. Come Lord Jesus but let me bring as many people as I can with me while I’m here is more of my view.
Thank you Erik for this great commentary! I am so thankful for those who work at doing good for others and serving others. I have known people that refuse to have faith, refuse to believe and receive the wonderful gift of Jesus Christ BUT most certainly are doing good deeds for others on a regular basis. I know this because they are sure to tell me all the good things they are doing. Our purpose to do good should always be solely for God’s glory and God’s purpose and in God’s way…with humility.
Well said, Jenny!