WHAT CAN CAUSE A CHRISTIAN TO RECEIVE A LOSS OF REWARDS ON THE JUDGEMENT DAY?
Jesus Did It!
By: Norm Rasmussen
There are two distinct places in the Word
of God that address future rewards and loss of rewards for believers. Let’s look
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones - wood, hay, straw - each one’s work will become manifest; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15 NKJV)
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good (building on the foundation of Truth – emphasis mine) or bad (distorting - perverting Truth – emphasis mine). (2 Corinthians 5:9-10 NKJV)
From 1 Cor. 3:11-15, the most important question we can ask ourselves is: “What is the foundation of Jesus Christ?” The simplistic answer is the entire New Covenant – the New Testament Bible – the New Covenant Word of Truth.
For the life of me, I can’t believe that God wants true Christians ignorant of what can cause them to receive a loss of heavenly rewards; hence this writing. In fact, I believe God wants each of us to receive maximized rewards in our service to Him once we become born again believers.
LAW OR GRACE, OR A DEADLY MIXTURE OF THE TWO?
Let’s dig in now to gain better understanding. I believe it’s crucial to realize who is the one telling us about the Judgment Seat of Christ and a gain or loss of rewards to be granted at that time. It is the Apostle Paul; the one who was taken to the third heaven and given revelation about the future Bride of Christ, (the Church) among other things. (Keep in mind, this judgment-reward time is strictly for Christian believers who have adamantly trusted Jesus Christ to be the only One to pay the penalty for their sins whereby penalty for their sins can be forgiven. A second judgment will follow. This Judgment Day – called the Great White Throne Judgment Day - will come after the great tribulation, most believe. This will be a judgment - punishment - for all non-Christians; all those who refused to trust Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the cross for them as the ONLY WAY to have their sins against God and others forgiven).
If you read all the writings of the Apostle Paul in the New Covenant, one thing should pop out for the reader above all else: The very serious issue of GRACE and WORKS. Paul constantly was having to deal with Jews who refused to believe that their sins could be forgiven based on what Jesus Christ accomplished for them on the cross – hence they wanted to remain under the Old Covenant way of having God delay punishment for their sins through their attempts to obey the Law (which they couldn't), sacrifices of animals and supposed cleansing of the Priests.
The Book of Romans and book of Galatians, among other places in the Bible, reveals the demonic battle Paul faced with the Jews regarding this issue. He constantly was trying to convince everyone who would listen that forgiveness of sins: Past, Present and Future sins could now ONLY be forgiven by God the Father through what Jesus Christ His Son accomplished for them by His death, burial, and resurrection … and that the Old Covenant way of dealing with sins was now totally obsolete. Yet Satan didn’t want people believing that. He STILL doesn’t want people believing that. And better yet for his evil brainwashing ... NOT EVEN CARING!
Yet Satan has gotten more sophisticated since Paul’s time in blinding people’s comprehension of the simplicity of the Truth of the Cross: What Jesus accomplished for humanity by taking the punishment for their sins in other words and be granted freely the righteousness of God (which happens to be the ONLY righteousness God finds acceptable for any human to be in His full presence for eternity).
Satan over time has swayed Christians to believe modifications of the simplistic Truth of the Cross [Salvation – forgiveness of sins - imputation of God's righteousness - is by God’s GRACE and our FAITH (trust ALONE in what Jesus accomplished for us) plus NOTHING ELSE. There is nothing to be added to it nor taken away from it.]. Satan tries to implement modifications of God’s Grace PLUS Works if that is all he’s allowed, though he prefers a salvation of Works EXCLUSIVELY when he can get away with it within the Christian community ... nullifying the love and mercy and grace of God.
(I’ve purposely linked the above for anyone wanting greater understanding of GRACE and WORKS. It's vitally important to learn about for Christians).
Trying to better communicate this for new Christians … I’ll express it another way. If you want to offend God, link your belief that GRACE and grace ALONE of what Jesus accomplished for mankind on the cross is NOT sufficient in and of itself to please God to be in good standing with Him, and then make it one's aim to teach OTHERS the same, you are walking on “dangerously thin ice” with God.
Remember - a true Christian is not saved
by "good works." They are saved by grace and faith ALONE to DO "good works."
You will find no other place in the New Covenant Word where we are warned: “Let there not be many teachers, for they will give a stricter accounting.” (James 3:1)
Wanting to be a minister for God (preacher – teacher) is a very serious matter, if you don’t understand the ramifications of James 3:1. God can tolerate for a time when I’ve believed deceiving Christian doctrine. But for me to try to convince everyone who will listen to me that my deceiving Christian doctrine is correct revelation of Truth? That’s a very serious and dangerous matter. I believe this is TOPS in this matter Paul is speaking of: Building on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. We each should be fully convinced our foundational Christian doctrinal beliefs are built solidly on Holy Spirit revealed understanding of God’s Word and proper application of it … or find ourselves settling for a very possible loss of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. I believe it can be even more serious than just a loss of rewards as well -- I believe it can even be a loss of eternal SALVATION for some. I believe a person (supposed Christian) can end up in hell and not obtain Salvation if their teaching worked hand in hand with Satan’s deception to deceive others. It’s evident to me this is what Jesus is most likely getting at in this scripture:
"If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in Me--to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:6 NIV)
Anyone telling someone else who is eagerly
searching for spiritual Truth to find it any place other than the New Testament
Bible is walking on thin ice with God.
Beyond believing and teaching spiritual deception regarding Truth, I believe the next arena that needs to be talked about is SIN regarding what can cause us to have a loss of rewards and perhaps even one’s Salvation (depending on what sin/s we are guilty of), though I leave that up to God to decide on each person’s judgment day. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all our sin: Past sin, present sin, future sin. Yet Satan is doing a masterful job of convincing Christians that sin isn’t sin, (or other various lies so as to delude those practicing sin) so therefore there’s no reason to repent of it; not ask forgiveness for giving place to it (let alone getting serious about putting it to death). Homosexuality, as an example, is a good example of Satan’s tools to trap Christians in this ever-growing phenomenon that sadly isn’t going to go away until Christ returns back to earth to set things in God's order.
Before moving to another topic, it would
seem appropriate to talk a little about LEGALISM. Legalism is a modern-day
term used in Christian circles that can dovetail - blend in - with LAW and
GRACE. Rather than write about it here, I'll simply link to an expanded writing
and you can search it out as you desire:
REFUSING TO BELIEVE SIN IS SIN (And worse yet, not CARING)
Heard this lately?: “I was BORN gay! It’s not MY fault I was born this way! If God has a problem with me being born this way, why didn’t He do something about it at my birth?!”
It will be an endless debate about whether a person who openly admits to being same-sex attracted … to the point of getting into an intimate relationship whereby committing the on-going sin of fornication if they continue practicing their homosexuality: Whether they were born with that particular sin nature or they accepted the lie sometime after they were born will never be known for sure this side of eternity.
God clearly states that homosexuality is a sin against Him. To tell God He doesn’t know what He is talking about regarding homosexuality will be a tough case to sell on the Judgment Day:
Or do you not know that the
unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the
sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice
homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians
Many engaged as a lifestyle in any of the above without regard to what God thinks about their sin will quit reading at this point. But please let me say one thing more before you exit. God has grace and mercy for those who will admit sin is sin as is clearly revealed in His Word, and then admit their sin to God and ask His forgiveness for it, as 1 John 1:9 says to do, as many times as the feel they need to upon repeating that sin. Yet that isn’t what Satan wants people accepting. He’s going for the jugular. He wants people believing sin ISN’T sin … which then discredits the entire Word of Truth. That’s what Satan is REALLY after. He wants people distrusting the New Covenant Word of Truth, if he can pull it off. He can’t if we won’t let him, but he sure has his foot in the door of our house if we refuse to believe sin isn’t sin for whatever reason. (I believe most people who believe sin isn't sin truly doesn't even CARE what God thinks about the matter anyway. They have a hardened heart ... unless by God's mercy He softens it, which usually involves severe discipline/chastisement on behalf of the person prior to dying).
Personally, I HOPE God has mercy on Christians practicing any of the 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 sin/s at the time of their death. God has a lot to say about fornication and adultery in His Word. We are very wise to soberly pray about these two sins if we are engaged in either of them. (For the unknowing, these two sins is sexual activity with a single person or with a married person other than one's legal spouse). [I'm not fully persuaded two people living together - having sexual gratification with each other - and believe they don't have to get "legally married" under the law of their land when possible - is acceptable to God]. I also hope God has mercy on Christians who are full blown alcoholics – drunkards – at the time of their death, or drug addicts, etc. Yet these are matters we leave in God’s hands, isn’t it? Nevertheless, to posture ourselves to receive maximized rewards, it seems to me God would want to grant maximized rewards to those who diligently strive to conquer sin rather than constantly be conquered by it … instead of just giving into those temptations as their normal lifestyle and somehow rationalize they aren’t matters worth being concerned with in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
God’s New Covenant Word exhorts Christians to “Walk in the Spirit, so we don’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” Walking in the Spirit is a daily discipline we each must work diligently at. It doesn’t just happen because we hope it will happen. It’s up to US to MAKE it happen. God wills it to happen, but we have to WILL to do God’s will in the matter, and the flesh absolutely HATES to cooperate! Anyone who makes covenant with God: “Lord, I will go anywhere; do anything you ask of me,” are those who most easily “Walk daily in the Spirit,” assuming they mean it. “Do anything” implies that I will acknowledge sin in my life and work diligently with the Holy Spirit to do everything He reveals to me to put it to DEATH … not constantly give in to it. That’s called TRUE repentance and sanctification: Turning from one’s sin and trusting God to help you not continuously keep engaging in it.
ADDING OR TAKING AWAY FROM THE WORD OF GOD (New Covenant - New Testament Bible)
God gives a clear warning to anyone or any group of religious people who claim to have religious writings that are on equal or superior trustworthiness to the modern day accepted translations of the Old and New Testament Bible. Jesus gives this warning in Revelation 22: 18-19: For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, “God will add to him the plagues that are written in the book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, “God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
If you need an obvious example, look no
further than the Mormons (LDS - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).
Though they try to convince the world that they are not only the TRUE “restored
Church” of Jesus Christ, which gets them off on the wrong foot right out of the
gate (because individual born again members of the Body of Christ are the TRUE
universal worldwide Church – not some religious organization or denomination claiming such). What caused
them to believe, however, that they ARE who they teach they are. Read the
Satanically inspired book of Mormon. It will tell
you all about it.
Mormon scholar James Talmage said:
“The Latter-day Saints believe the original records to be the word of
God unto man, and, as far as these records have been translated correctly, the
translations are regarded as equally authentic. The English Bible professes to
be a translation made through the wisdom of man; in its preparation the most
scholarly men have been enlisted, yet not a version has been published in which
errors are not admitted. However, an impartial investigator has cause to wonder
more at the paucity of errors than that mistakes are to be found at all.”
(Articles of Faith, pp. 236-237).
A little later, however, Talmage makes this comment:
“The New Testament must be accepted for what it claims to be; and
though, perhaps, many precious parts have been suppressed or lost, while some
corruptions of the texts may have crept in, and errors have been inadvertently
introduced through the incapacity of translators, the volume as a whole must be
admitted as authentic and credible, and as an essential part of the Holy
Scriptures.” (p. 248)
Does Satan’s weapon of DOUBT come to mind as you read what Talmage wrote? I sure HOPE so. Doubt is just one molecule away from unbelief, if given place to for very long. So the conclusion Satan wants a person to come to is that it is doubtful the Old and New Testament Bible can be fully trusted … ‘but be SURE the Book Of Mormon can be trusted and the other two “sacred writings” the Mormons tout. (1: Doctrines And Covenants; 2: Pearl Of Great Price).
True - Modern day accepted translations of
the Bible may use words that can confuse the reader in certain places ... but
when a serious Bible reader reads a questionable passage of scripture and wants
to know exactly what God wants them to know ... reading a few other accepted
translations of the Bible will provide them the answer. (If you have
access to the Internet, a website like:
PRICELESS in doing a quick search on what a various passage of scripture means,
because it lists many different acceptable translations of a scripture passage
all in one quick glance).
ANY ONE RELIGIOUS GROUP OF PEOPLE OR PERSON/S WHO VEHEMENTLY DENIES THAT JESUS IS AND ALWAYS WAS ONE OF THE THREE PERSON’S OF THE ETERNAL GODHEAD (Father, Word [AKA: Son], Holy Spirit) AND TEACH SUCH ARE WALKING ON DANGEROUS GROUND WITH GOD COME THEIR JUDGMENT DAY.
Again – the Mormon’s core teaching is that Jesus Christ was NEVER God initially, but has now become God. He was a mere created angel. A cult or para-cult is called such who deny that Jesus Christ always WAS and is fully one of the eternal persons of the Godhead: Always was – always will be. Refusing to dig in with God to get the revelation of who Jesus Christ fully WAS and IS and FOREVER WILL BE can cause one to completely lose their salvation, if they ever had it in the first place. Forget being saved “as by fire” in my firm opinion, though it’s God’s call of course for each individual. To me, wisdom asks, “Why RISK it?! Make your Christian doctrinal beliefs as close to God’s clearly written Truth as you possibly can. Make it your life’s aim.” What could be more IMPORTANT? It’s YOUR eternity we are talking about: Possibly losing one's salvation; rewards and loss of rewards for those saved as by fire. Who would want to settle for less than what God has available for them at the Judgment Seat of Christ? (Some other more commonly known religious groups are Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, The Way International, and the Unity School of Christianity)
A person practicing one or more sins ... showing no regard as to what God thinks about it, should ponder deeply the ramifications of this scripture passage:
It is actually reported that
there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist
even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife
(Having sexual relations with her). You have become arrogant and
have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be
removed from your midst.
For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:1-5)
There is forgiveness for all our sins against God (with the exceptions of blasphemy, properly understood, and anyone worshiping the beast and his image, and taking the mark of the beast that aligns oneself with the coming [this is being written in 2016] end-times Satanic Antichrist and the False Prophet. See: Revelation 14:9-10). It is when we stop having any regard as to what God thinks about the practicing of on-going sin and we stop (or never start) asking forgiveness for it and certainty showing God no sorrow for offending Him by doing so, let alone diligently turning away from it ... we walk on dangerously thin ice with God. Our practicing sin is critically important matter to God. So critically important that He came from heaven to earth to die so we might be certain we will be forgiven for it when we ask forgiveness and show Him our willingness to repent (turn AWAY from our sin, with His help of course when we trust and KEEP TRUSTING Him for it).
Yet let us never forget: None of us will attain sinless perfection indefinitely as a Christian prior to dying. If attaining sinless perfection indefinitely was attainable ... then we are deceiving ourselves in believing that Jesus is the Only way to be pleasing to God the Father regarding Him finding us faultless - "sin slate CLEANED and SPOTLESS and FULLY RIGHTEOUS!" - in regards to our sins. Nevertheless, God wants us constantly working at saying "No!" to sin when we're tempted. We'll be rewarded for it at the Judgment Seat (Bema Seat) of Christ.
There can be no greater reward for any of us than being in favor with God for all eternity through our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet while we're alive on this planet, let's each make certain we don't push God's grace to the point where God turns us over to hardness of our heart before we die, because once that happens, there will no longer be forgiveness for our sins/s if we don't seriously repent (Meaning: Change the way we think so we can begin changing our actions when temptation comes) to God before dying:
For the wrath of God is
revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who
suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is
evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of
the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have
been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are
without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or
give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish
heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the
glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and
of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. (Romans 1:18-24)
There can be pleasure in sin for a season, but the eventual wages of it is death. Possible physical death before our allotted time on earth (whereby robbing one of the ability to keep laying up treasures in heaven for themselves) often accompanied by needless sickness and/or disease and loss of God's favor, and after dying ... total separation from the unspeakable joy forgiven, repentant sinners will have for all eternity.
Continuing in on-going sin without repentance almost always causes a hardness of heart (spirit) that puts a barrier between the sinner and God. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT. It doesn't cause God to love us any less; it causes US to love God less, which hinges on our being disobedient to the first commandment:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.'"
"If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)
"If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)
In closing, consider the implications of this scripture passage:
In closing, consider the implications of this scripture passage:
“In all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Rom. 8:28)
As a sidebar, I would highly recommend readers listen to the following
video to gain greater understanding about the gain and loss of eternal rewards:
As a sidebar, I would highly recommend readers listen to the following video to gain greater understanding about the gain and loss of eternal rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krIHViu3K0g
In addition, a highly recommended writing on this
topic of "eternal rewards" can be found at this link:
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