Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Will It Survive the Fire?

But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, He will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. (2 Peter 3:10-12 NLT)

How many things do we work toward that will simply end up as kindling.  Do you have a beautiful house?  It will be kindling.  A boat?  Kindling.  How about your first, second, or third car?  It doesn't matter how nice a finish it has or how well you've washed and waxed it, the entire car will still "melt away in the flames."

I like to imagine standing before God on the final day of judgement.  I won't be able to bring anything with me to go with Him into heaven.  As we discussed yesterday, I will have to leave everything behind on earth when I go.  So, I should spend my time here preparing for there.

But there's more to the picture.  I envision being able to see everything I left behind - the results of all my hard work in this life.  When the final judgement arrives, I will be looking over my lifetime of actions and they will be judged.  The flames will come down from heaven, and everything that I left behind will be tested.

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15 NLT)

On that day, I will see first hand whether my work had any value or not.  On that day, all of my useless work will be burned up.  All of my valuable work will survive the flames and, as a result, be with me in heaven.

The same is true with you.  You will not be able to bring anything with you.  The results of your work will be left behind and tested by the flames.  Everything useless will be burned up.  Your eternal work will survive and bring you a reward.

Our priorities look different we are only working for this life.

But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth He has promised, a world filled with God's righteousness. (2 Peter 3:13 NLT)