WHAT WILL YOU DO IN HEAVEN?
When you get to heaven, what do you expect to see? All the believers sitting around on the same cloud? Do you think there will be differences? If Christians do differ from one another, how do you think those differences will be determined?
EVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT?
For many believers, just getting to heaven is the end of the matter. What happens after that? The Bible has plenty to say about it. The fact is, getting into heaven is merely the beginning of another life. There are going to be GREAT DISTINCTIONS between people in heaven. Just as you see the poor and the rich in this life, so will you see them in heaven. This is something Christians don't like to think about or face.
Life on earth is like a qualifying run at the auto races. How well a racer does determines his position in the BIG RACE. The same is true of heaven. How well we qualify in THIS LIFE determines our future JOB AND RANK with the Lord. Salvation is free. That gets us in the door. But after that we work for everything we get, same as on earth. When this life is over, all we've done on earth will be evaluated. How do we know there'll be big differences between Christians in heaven? There's going to be a JUDGMENT!
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10 NAS).
If Christians were equal in heaven, receiving the SAME REWARD, what would be the point of a judgment? But the Bible is definite on this, "So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:12 NAS). A day is coming when every believer's life will be reviewed by God, and on the basis of that judgment, will be rewarded or penalized.
Being saved does NOT cancel our appointment. "We must all appear," WITH NO EXCEPTIONS. I consider the judgment seat of Christ the most awesome fact of Christianity. You hear very little about it. Why? It's unpopular to preach a negative side of salvation, but the hard fact remains: Every Christian is going to find his HEAVENLY FUTURE determined by what he does with his one life on earth.
THERE’S NO SECOND CHANCE
There will be no MAKE-UP CLASSES in heaven. The decision God makes that day will be FINAL. It will stand forever. That's why Paul referred to it as the "terror of the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:11). And he said more:
"Every man's work shall be made manifest, for the day (judgment day) shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abides (pass the test) he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned (judged worthless), he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved (salvation), yet so as (one escaping) by fire" (1 Cor. 3:13-15 KJV).
It’s possible for a Christian to be WIPED OUT at the judgment. He'll still be in heaven, but he'll be among heaven's poor. Believe me, poverty will be no better in heaven than it is here. In spite of all the glowing words you hear about heaven, there will still be the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS. There's no way indifferent Christians can share equally with those who HAVE put Christ ahead of everything else. And oh, will they be sorry.
POOR IN HEAVEN?
The Lord was specific about this. He made it very plain the only treasure believers would have in heaven would be that which they LAY UP FOR THEMSELVES (Matt. 6:20). Those who don’t bother will end up in heaven FLAT BROKE. Heavenly treasure has to be EARNED NOW. There is no AUTOMATIC “CASH” ACCOUNT reserved for any believer. His only wealth will be that which he acquires through serving the Lord.
The great emphasis of modern Christianity is "GET THEM SAVED!" as though salvation were the final act of the play. Not so. If being saved were all that mattered, God would take us home the moment we decided for Christ. But He leaves us on earth to prepare us for the next life, for heaven. What we do with this opportunity DETERMINES OUR RANK in heaven and WHAT WE'LL DO THERE. We enter heaven just as we are at the point of death—AND NEVER CHANGE. We also enter heaven with the treasure we've “laid up.”
When a man is saved, he does NOT "have it made." He simply has a chance to make it. He finds himself in a RACE, a race in which he competes, NOT AGAINST OTHERS, but against HIMSELF (Heb. 12:1; 1 Cor. 9:24). And when he's judged, it is on the basis of WHAT HE'S DONE—as compared with WHAT HE COULD HAVE DONE. From the moment a Christian is BORN AGAIN until he dies, he is obliged to GROW daily in the likeness of Christ and WORK HARD to qualify for a nice position in Jesus' kingdom. That's what the "rewards" are all about. All Governments?Jesus' included?have high posts and menial jobs. Yours will be assigned at the judgment, AND YOU'LL KEEP IT FOREVER! Any believer can shoot for a top job AND GET IT, since he competes against no one but himself.
PERFECT, BUT NOT EQUAL
All Christians are PERFECT IN CHRIST (2 Cor. 5:21). Perfect in nature. But perfect in nature does not mean equal in rank.
Consider LIGHT BULBS. Here's a 150-watt bulb, and a 25-watt bulb, both as PERFECT as the manufacturer can make them. Perfect in nature, yet different in brilliance. They do NOT give off the same light.
It's like that in the resurrection, says Paul. He didn't know about light bulbs, but he did know about lights in the sky. He drew the same parallel in the resurrection chapter. Note how he speaks of the differences in believers:
"There is one glory of the SUN, another glory of the MOON, and another glory of the STARS; for star DIFFERS from star in glory. SO ALSO IN THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD..." (1 Cor. 15:41- 42 NAS).
The idea that being saved AUTOMATICALLY EXALTS believers in heaven is not true. That's the devil's suggestion. He would lure Christians into EASY LIVING. He's good at it, and successful. Masses of believers are so bogged down in the THINGS of this life, they have no thought of qualifying for a good place close to Jesus. Consequently, they end up in the "ghettos" of heaven. That's what Satan wants. He deceives them into forfeiting THEIR ONE CHANCE to get ahead in the next life.
SO SHOOT FOR THE TOP
You know how athletes train. There are many things they could eat and enjoy, but they refrain. They discipline themselves. They sacrifice things which are OK in themselves, but stand in the way of WINNING. You must do the same to win in Christ. You cannot take your ease and indulge yourself in this life if you hope to win a good job near Jesus.
I mean, you can't put baby-sitting grandchildren, or hours in front of TV, or working at two jobs to acquire possessions, or going on vacations ahead of serving Jesus. You can't even put your husband or wife ahead of Him. You must become so committed that pleasing HIM is more important than pleasing yourself. He's got to be more important than money, family or even reputation. Commit yourself to Him and you won't be sorry. You'll be amazed at the RANK and POSITION you'll receive at the judgment?TO ENJOY FOREVER!
"PREPARING FOR HIS APPEARING!" is my call?my longing?to help Christians WIN THE TOP SPOTS in eternity. Those jobs will definitely be handed out when Jesus appears. He said so:
"And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Rev. 22:12 KJV).
There is the judgment at His coming. He's bringing those JOB ASSIGNMENTS with Him. That's what the rewards are. By definition, rewards are for a job well done. Once you see what the Lord is seeking to accomplish in your life, you'll be less concerned about getting ahead in this life and more concerned about what…
YOU'LL BE DOING IN HEAVEN!
C. S. Lovett
(edited by Marjorie Lovett)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20 NIV).