"Be still and know that I am God." God ~ Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Guaranteed Salvation or Judgment ~ Which Is It?

The Bible teaches us that if we believe in Jesus as the son of God and that he died on the cross for our eternal salvation, we will have eternal life with him in heaven. That is God’s promise to use. It is written:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16

This is God’s grace; it’s given to us freely. It is only through our belief in Jesus, that he is the Way, the Truth, and Life that we can redeem his promise. Nothing else we do can get us to heaven.

Okay, we might get that, but then what about this verse:

“We will stand in judgment before God.” Romans 14:10-12,

 and this one:

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

If you are like me, you might find what appears to be a contradiction in these verses a bit confusing. So are our sins forgiven when we turn to God and confess our sins and our love for him? Or is he going to bring them up again when we die, standing before him in this “judgment”. Is he going to bring up these old sins, or is it going to be about the sins we didn’t really know we committed, but maybe we should have known if we were following Christ ~ but being mere mortals, didn’t get the melon-size clue the holy spirit threw at us?

Digging into this a bit further, I found this verse:

“Jesus said, ‘Son of man...will reward each person according to what he has done.’” Matthew 16:27

This suggests that for those of us who believed and signed on for this program and all of its rewards will be sitting in heaven because we got there through God’s grace and that alone. If we hadn’t done well in this regard, we wouldn’t be there talking with Jesus, who is now going to reward us for what we have done ~ or what we have failed to do. To me this means that through God’s grace, our destiny is secure, but perhaps how great our heavenly reward is, is not.

God looks at how well we’ve led our lives; did we help and serve the needy, the orphans, and the widows? How well did we handle the gifts and responsibilities that he’d given us? Did we use the gifts, develop them, and let them shine a guiding light for others. Did we handle our responsibilities well ~ if we were in a position of leadership, did we lead with love and kindness? Even the burdens of addiction, disease, fear and shame, how did we get on with these ~ did we seek God in all things?

So we are sitting in heaven, discussing our life with God, and it seems to me that any feeble attempt at excuses will not be highly regarded. The good news is that Jesus will intercede for us, speak for us! You have to admit, we are going to need his help, especially if we haven’t done so hot in some areas of our life. So, I’d like to thank him in advance for that. Still, this takes me back to why I write this blog in the first place. I write it because I love that God chose me for his very own. And in choosing me for his very own, he asks that I go forth and bear fruit:

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last...this is my command: Love each other. ~ John 15: 16-17

We must believe; that will get us to heaven’s door. But we must also do well; do the loving, Christ-centered thing in all regards so that when we sit before God on our judgment day, we might know that we did the best we could do. To which, God might say, “Come on in, your rewards are awaiting you.”

It’s difficult to have any idea what our heavenly rewards might be ~ I don’t think our mortal minds can think in such magnificence ~ but I do believe that God expects us to do well, to follow his teachings, his promptings by the holy spirit.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment and share your insights that they might be a light for others. God Bless you for reading this!


  1. Hi Rita,
    I believe scripture is best lived through one's own experience, not a head thing but a heart thing. I believe that's why we have so many wars over religion because people are looking at scripture as a head trip, not from their own experience which is where humility comes in. I would never assume to interpret anyone's experience of the divine because their experience may be very different than mine and not up to me to interpret for them. It's very personal and up to each individual to make that connection if he/she chooses, yet available to all.

  2. Hey Vera, thanks for commenting. You are absolutely right that everyone's journey is unique. As a Christian I look for guidance in the Bible, and try to live my life with the love, joy and direction with which I'm led.