JESUS AND ME
TEXT: II Cor. 5:1-21
In part 1 through 3 I discussed the subjects of “MY HOUSE”, “MY CLOTHES”, and “MY WALK”. As related to companionship and friendship with Jesus Christ, I know Jesus said that as Born-Again Christians “He will never leave us nor forsake us.” And also our clothes would be robes of righteousness. Also my walk in life would not be a lonely one.
Now as we enter into in part 4, I will speak on the topic of “MY APPEARANCE”. This appearance is a very special appearance attended by special people who stand before a very special Person. May we learn something concerning this appearance.
V. 10 MY APPEARANCE:
II Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
I have made many appearances in my life. The 1st appearance was at my birth, 2nd was at my wedding, 3rd was at a court hearing, and multiple appearances were for employment, etc. Many people were around and involved at these appearances, but the appearance identified in verse 10, that’s another story, it will be Jesus and me. Now according to this verse, and Romans 14:10, it is guaranteed that I will appear before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ.
Romans 14:10 “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
All Judgment seats have someone in authority sitting there. Let us review some scriptures concerning Judgment seats.
John 19:13, When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
Acts 18:12, And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,
Acts 25:10, Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
The Appearance at the judgment seat in II Cor. 5:10 is not an appearance to be condemned. God say’s, in Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus…” As we read Verses 7, 8, and 9 in II Cor. Chapter 5, we understand the following; Verse 7, We walk (live) by faith
Verse 8, We have confidence to be present with the Lord
Verse 9, we will work, whether here or there to please him.
Verse 11, Knowing, therefore the terror of the Lord
Adam Clarke in his commentary on II Cor. 5:10 put it in the right focus. “We labor to walk so as to please him, because we know that we shall have to give a solemn account of ourselves before the judgment seat of Christ; where he, whose religion we profess, will judge us according to its precepts, and according to the light and grace which it affords. That is what makes my appearance important to me, so that there will be less hay, wood and stubble. Read I Cor. 3:11-13
THOUGHTS TO PONDER:
A) The examination of our works will bring to light whether they were good or “bad” (kakos), meaning “worthless.” The true character of our service (1 Cor. 3:13), as well as our motives, (1 Cor. 4:5) will be revealed. This means either nothing more than a judicial appearance, as when anyone is said to appear in court before a judge; or, as Bengel explains it, ‘we must all stand revealed in our true character before the judgment-seat of Christ.’ As there can be no disguise and no deception before an omniscient judge. (Vine)
B) All works produced through self-confidence, self-conceit, and some other words that begin with the prefix self- (and there are many), will be examined at the judgment seat only to be found wood or stubble. (J V McGee)
C) The spiritual believer will build with gold, silver, and precious stones; the worldly believer will build with wood, hay, and stubble (1 Cor. 3:12-15). The gold, silver, and precious stones are a product of creation, while the wood, hay, and stubble are a result of natural growth. The former are the results of the Spirit of God working through the believer’s life, while the latter represent the fleshly works of the old nature. No one builds completely with gold, silver, precious stones, or with wood, hay, and stubble. In this life one’s achievements may seem massive and imposing, yet at the judgment seat they will be revealed for what they are: wood, hay, and stubble. “The day shall declare it” (1 Cor. 3:13). J. Vernon McGee notes:
D) 5:10 “all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” The immediate context is written to believers; even believers will stand before God (cf. Rom. 14:10; I Cor. 3:10-17). Apparently, we will be judged and rewarded for our motives, availability, and use of spiritual gifts. Sin and sins have been completely dealt with in Christ’s substitutionary death, but discipleship is an issue! (Bob Utley)
Hay is what you feed to animals; it is useful only as it is used up, and whatever isn’t finished off, is of no value. Hay can stand for the good things we started to do, but they are of no value because we didn’t finish them. God doesn’t give partial credit on His final exam. If He called you to do something, and you started but didn’t finish, will that profit you anything in eternity? What did Paul say to the Galatians in
Gal 5:7-8 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
God is not a God of incompleteness. God is a God of all or nothing. Don’t leave your good works unfinished. In the context of this message, hay is the opposite of silver, because incomplete good works are the opposite of faithfulness.
Wood is not valuable like gold or silver. But it certainly isn’t useless stuff. You can make a pulpit out of it. You can make paper out of it and print a Bible. You can warm your house in the winter with it. Or you can build a house with it. What does the Bible say about building houses?
Psalm 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh
but in vain.
Wood can remind us of the houses we’ve built, and they may be very nice houses, but the Lord didn’t build them. That is, the things that we do, that are good things to do, but aren’t what God called us to do. For instance, (I’ve used this example before) giving lots of money to missions is good, but if God called you to be a missionary and you gave lots of money instead, that was disobedience and it will be burned up as wood.
Stubble is the leftover reeds and stalks after grain has been harvested. If you’ve ever seen a corn field in late autumn, you know what stubble is. It is completely useless. Stubble would represent the time we wasted on Earth, doing things that accomplished nothing for God. I’m not talking about sin; if we are saved, our sins have been purged by the blood of Jesus, and we will not be judged for them. Stubble is empty works. Wasted time, Idle pursuits,Vanity of vanities. As an example, the time we spend on personal hobbies will probably be stubble. (J. V. McGee)
I Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Gold can remind us of faith. The only things that astonished Christ while He walked among us were great faith and great lack of faith. Do you want to astonish Jesus, and if so, how? Great faith is of great value in the sight of God. So-so faith never even gets mentioned.
But if you want that kind of faith, take careful note of one thing in this verse: your faith will be tried. If you think you have great faith, and you haven’t been through some trial that tested that faith, then there are two possibilities: either your faith isn’t ready for a sore trial, or your time of testing hasn’t come yet. Be assured, it will. It’s never anything we can look forward to. But for those who have come out the other side of that trial, their faith will bring praise and honor and glory to Jesus Christ.
Look around you and you’ll see some silver. It’s on the heads of some of the saints here, the ones who have served the Lord for a long time. Silver reminds us of faithfulness and endurance. Staying with the faith over the long haul is very important to God. Consider what Paul said about faithfulness
II Timothy 4:7-8: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8Henceforth there is laid up for me a
crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:
None of us can say that. Why not? Because none of us have finished our courses yet. Just remember, there’s a reward for those who keep on keeping on.
Malachi 3:16-17 “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. 17And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”
The precious stones represent the fruit that you bear for Jesus, especially the souls you bring to Him. God has an agenda for your life, and He has things He wants you to do, and has equipped you to do.
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should
walk in them.”
I desire for my life to be lived as a Christian faithfully pleasing the Lord. For example;
How faithfully I served Christ (1 Corinthians 9:4-27)
How well I obeyed the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
How victorious I was over sin (Romans 6:1-4)
How well I controlled my tongue. (James 3:1-9), etc. (Excerpts from J. V. McGee)