1st Corinthians – Wayne Barber/Part 24

By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©1998
There are three things about the works of God that I want you to see. First of all is the grace that enables the work; second, the warning that accompanies the work; and third, the test that will determine the work.

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The Work of God – Part 2

1 Corinthians 3:13

There are three things that I want us to see about this test mentioned here in verse 13. To me, this is one of the most sobering messages that Paul has brought up. Remember, this is an infant church. They will not grow up. They have chosen to be babies in Christ. They have evidenced this by attaching themselves to men and later on attaching themselves to gifts, anything that pampers and pleases the flesh. Paul is trying to pull them back to dead center.

An Individual Test

The first thing about this test is, it is an individual test. Look at verse 13 one more time. Paul says, “Each man’s work will become evident.” It is amazing how we believe the lie that we are not going to be held accountable for what we do.

When I moved to Chattanooga, I went down to the telephone company and signed up for a telephone. I went down to the gas company and signed up for the gas. I went over to the electric company and signed up there. You know, I have enjoyed the privileges of using the telephone and the gas and the electricity all this time. But there is a strange thing. Every month I get this little thing in the mail that holds me accountable for the privilege that I am enjoying. It is a little bill that says I must pay it. Now, that is not exactly the way it is in the spiritual world, but there is the idea of accountability. You are accountable in everything in human life, but when it comes to the church, we seem to think, “Oh, great, we can do what we want and be a Christian.” No, you can’t! There is going to be an individual accounting one day before God.

The term “each man” in verse 13 should cause every believer to pay attention. It is the word hekastos. It comes from the word hekas, which means separate, an individual, each one separately from another. Paul is not going to stand there with us. Apollos is not going to stand there with us. Chuck Swindoll is not going to stand there with us. John MacArthur is not going to stand there with us. We are going to stand on our own one day before God. What Paul did as a vessel while he was there in Corinth, God working through him, is not going to help the Corinthians at all. They need now, having received the message that he brought to them, having had the foundation laid which is Christ Jesus, to be vessels through which God can do His work and so that the building in their life can be built. What Paul did, what Apollos did, what Cephas did, will not count for them.

That is why you never attach yourself to man. People are following men around as if they have something we don’t have. That is crazy. Peter himself said, “To those who have received a like faith such as ours.” We didn’t receive anything less or anything more than they did. God wants to do His work through us just like He did in them. Each man’s work will become evident.

The word for work there is ergon which, in the secular sense, is used as an employment word. If you work for somebody, it is the work you do out of necessity for that person, and at the end of the week you get a pay check. That is kind of the secular idea of the word “work.” You may be one of the most successful businessmen Chattanooga has ever known and God has blessed you. You have worked up the ladder. You are the president of your company. You have made millions. That is wonderful and there is nothing wrong with that. The world rewards you for that. However, if you are a believer, when you stand before God all that you did, all the success, will mean nothing if it has not been in response to your obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a different set of scales when God puts us to the test.

“Every man’s work” is spiritual work, that work which Paul says that grace has to enable. Every man has the same opportunity to let God work through his or her life. We have an employer, so to speak, if you want to put it in secular terms. That is the Lord Jesus. He is Lord of our life. That is not an option. He is Lord of our life.

Go back to verse 2 of chapter 1. I told you this is the grid that you have to look at 1 Corinthians through. In 1:2 he tells us very clearly that we are owned, that we are God’s possession. We work for Him. It says, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” Now, in that verse he says we have been sanctified. Sanctified means to be put in a class all by itself. It means to be separated apart unto God. It has the idea of someone who is unclean and has been washed now in the blood and has been taken out of Adam. He has been put over into Christ and has a brand new purpose. Among humanity, he has one supreme purpose, because God lives in him. He has sanctified him. He has set him apart unto Himself, and that one supreme purpose is now to live set apart unto the One who has set you apart. That is what it means to be sanctified.

What are the people called who are sanctified? Saints. The next time you look in a mirror just say, “Good morning, Saint. I have but one purpose today. Oh, yes, I have many purposes, but one purpose should dominate all the others and that is, I am a bondservant of Jesus Christ. I am a vessel today through which God wants to do His work.” That is so clear in here.

You see, that building is being built by the choices that we make every day in our life. A believer who won’t get serious about his calling wants to live like the Corinthian, not depending upon the Lord Jesus Christ, who would rather attach himself to man, even to the exclusion of others, will one day stand before Jesus Christ. And suddenly this truth will come back to haunt him, because he can’t go back and relive it. When salvation occurs in a person’s life, something starts and it continues, and then one day Jesus brings us up to be with Himself. Then the building that we have built, the choices that we have made, will be put to His test, not our test. It will be made manifest. That which He allowed Christ to do through us will stand the test. It will make it. But that which we have done for ourselves will not make it. So it is an individual test. No one will stand with you. It will be your work.

I like to watch Tiger Woods play golf. But you know what? I was watching one tournament that he was in and on the second day, he was like eight strokes behind. I am thinking to myself, everybody in the world sees everybody else’s scores, but everybody also sees Tiger Woods’ score. There is nothing you can do to change any of it. He has played that game. It is an individual sport. At the end of it, he is going to be rewarded, not according to how others have done, but how did he do.

Now in a similar way, in the spiritual walk every one of us, individually, will stand there and be tested according to our works. Actually it is our work. It is in the singular, not in the plural, which means that it is a house that is being built. It is all one house. Whatever is left standing at that time will see whether or not it will stand the test that God has. So, it will be an individual test.

A Revealing Test

But then secondly, it will be a revealing test. You see this in verse 13: “Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.” Now, when it says “each man’s work will become evident,” that is a deponent verb. It is always used in an active sense. In other words, of its own it will be made evident.

What that says to me is, you are not going to change this. Whether you like it or not, whatever, sad, mad or glad, it is going to be tested. That is what he is saying. Of its own caliber, of its own value, it will of necessity be tested one day. The word “evident” is the word phaneros. It means to make something apparent, to make it evident. It has the idea of shining a light on something so that it might be clearly seen. It is the idea of bringing every detail out in the presence of the light.

On one fishing program on a sports network they have cartoon characters named “Tight Line” and “Sinker.” “Tight Line” and “Sinker” are out one night fishing. Now, a nightlight is something you put in your boat, a fluorescent light, and it will help you see your line, because that is the main thing you want to see. You don’t have to see everything else in the boat. It is kind of a black light, a dark light. You can see that line when a fish is hitting your worm. You can see the line twitch and know what is happening. “Tight Line” and “Sinker” were out one night and “Tight Line” said, “Did you bring that brand new light that I got the other day?” He said, “Yeah, I got it.” He says, “How ‘bout testing it out?” And so, “Sinker” gets hold of this thing and says, “Are you ready?” And he says, “I am ready.” Now it is pitch dark and he flips the switch and all of a sudden, the birds are flying and the sun is out. It is day time. Everything is evident. They say, “Wow, what a light!”

That is the idea of phaneros. You can’t see. But one day the light is going to be brought up and you won’t have any question as to what is really real. That is what he is talking about. It will be made manifest. It will be brought to light. Nothing will be left out. You will be able to see. God says, “Each man will stand this test of his works.”

Verse 13 says, “Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it.” Now what day is he talking about? The day of Christ. Do you understand the difference in the day of Christ and the day of the Lord? First of all, the technical term is not the day of the Lord. The great day of the Lord is a technical term, the last three and a half years of the 70th Week of Daniel. The seven years, I believe, that will be that period of time when God deals with Israel specifically.

I personally think that the day of the Lord is the whole seven years, because it is the Lord Jesus Christ who takes the sealed book to start with. So why have any trouble calling the whole period the day of the Lord? Then the great day of Lord will be the last three and a half years. I just have never seen the struggle people have with those terminologies that are used.

So, what is the day of Christ then? The day of Christ is the flip side of that. The day of Christ is what we are looking forward to. You know, you dread the day of the Lord if you are not saved. It is when Jesus takes the church out of here and when tribulation comes on this earth and when He puts an end to sin down here on this earth. It takes seven years. But during the time He will bring Israel to their day of Atonement and bring them to repentance. A lot of people say, “Hey, we are spiritual Israel.” Well, I don’t agree with that.

But during that period of time, the day of Christ is the other side of that. In other words, we look forward to the day of Christ. The flip side, the day of the Lord, that seven year period of time, the 70th Week of Daniel, involved in which will be the great day of the Lord, Jacob’s distress.

Let’s look at this in Scripture and see if we can see it. Sometimes it says the day of our Lord Jesus. Sometimes it says the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. And then other places, the day of Christ. But the context will show you whether it is something to look forward to or something to dread. You can tell the difference. We look forward to the day of Christ.

Look over in 1 Corinthians 5:5 and we will just walk through some scriptures here. “I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” May be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. You can tell immediately which one you are talking about. Look at 2 Corinthians 1:14: “Just as you also partially did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.” You are going to be proud in the day of the Lord Jesus. Obviously, that is not talking about the other day that has to deal with the wrath of God.

Look in Philippians 1:6. He speaks of it. It is something to look forward to. You don’t look forward to the day of the Lord. You do look forward to the day of Christ. He says, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Drop down to Philippians 1:10: “So that you may approve the things are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.” Look in Philippians 2:16. He says, “Holding fast the word of life so that in the day of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” So the day of Christ could be one day, it could be a time period, we are not worried about that, but it is an event that is going to take place, I believe, when Christ comes for His church.

Look over in 1 Thessalonians 4:1618. We read these from time to time, but just to help remember that there is such a thing as a rapture to the church. People say, “No, that word is never used.” Well, the word harpazo is, and it is not a noun, it is a verb. Which would you rather it be? I would rather it be a verb because it is action. It means to snatch up, imminently, suddenly snatch up. In secular Greek it was used of a wolf that would go into a flock of sheep and suddenly, out of nowhere, snatch up a lamb and go out. It is the same word. It is a catching up. Rapture is a good way to translate it, but the word harpazo simply means a catching up. It is imminent, sudden.

Look at verse 16: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” Those are the dead bodies. That was the problem in writing 1 Thessalonians. They thought the day of the Lord had come. The other thing was that they were worried about the dead, the righteous dead. What happened to their bodies?

Verse 17 continues, “Then we who are alive [there will be those alive at that time] and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.” And look at verse 18: “Therefore comfort one another with these words.” You don’t comfort somebody with the day of the Lord. You comfort them with the day of Christ. We look forward to the day of Christ. And when Christ takes us up to be with Him, immediately there is no more building on that house that we started building when we received Jesus in our life. There is no more way to go back and change a wall here and a board there. There is no more time to change anything. The house that we have built by faith or by flesh, whatever it is, will have to stand the test that God has for it one day.

Now Paul continues to explain. Look back at 1 Corinthians 3:13. He says it will be made evident. Now he chooses to use another word that says basically the same thing. “Each man’s work will become evident; for the day [the day of Christ] will show it.” The word “show it” is the word deloo, which means to make something plain for all to see. The same word is translated in 1 Corinthians 1:11 as “informed.” “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.”

In Colossians 1:8 we have the same word: “And he also informed us of your love in the spirit.” There is going to be information given on the day when we stand before Christ sometime in the future that nobody down here possibly had. Have you ever wondered if the people you think are doing so much for God are doing it according to the flesh or according to the Spirit? We don’t know down here. Down here it is hard to know. But when you stand before God one day, buddy, you will know. It will be made manifest and evident to everyone. Now that doesn’t make me your judge. That makes me my own judge. I examine my own self. I get in my closet and work it out in my own self. I walk with God so that my building will stand the test. It may surprise some of us what is going to stand and what is going to burn one day at the testing of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the light of His presence on that day when we see Him face to face, what we have done down here will be shown and everyone will see.

Paul goes on to say “because it is to be revealed with fire.” Now the actual test is fire, not the light. The light will show up things. But the test of fire will prove it out. So actually, I think the light is the secondary cause. The fire tests, then the light comes on as to what was and what really wasn’t. He said, “It will be revealed by fire.”

The word “fire” in the Old Testament so often is used of the revealed presence of God. When we stand in His presence, there is going to be a revealing of things, but it is going to be tested by fire. Now, why does God use the term “fire?” Well, it consumes. You have seen earlier that the three things on one side are the gold, silver and precious stones. And on the other side are the wood, hay and straw. One is consumable, the other is not. One is of the Spirit, the other is of the flesh.

How have we built our house? Are we living by faith? Down here, like I say, we can’t always tell. Up there, everybody will know. Look over in Exodus 3:2. These are passages where God revealed Himself in fire or as fire. God is appearing to Moses here. Exodus 3:2 says, “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.” We see the fire of God’s presence.

When Moses brought forth the Israelites out of the camp to meet with God at the foot of Mt. Sinai in Exodus 19:18, again, God is revealed as fire. Exodus 19:18 says, “Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently.”

Then I want you to go to the New Testament, to Revelation 1:14. John is on the island of Patmos. I have been there. It is a desolate place. But God chose to speak to him. It had been 65 years since John had heard Jesus’ voice, and that was back during the time He was on this earth. He heard His voice and recognized His voice, but when he turned, what he saw caused him to faint dead away. I want you to see what he saw there. Jesus, in His glorified state, appeared to John on the island of Patmos. In verse 14 it says, “And His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.”

In Hebrews 12:29 it says, “For our God is a consuming fire.” When you think of something being tested and you realize that there are two kinds of materials, one is consumable and the other is not, then it makes all the sense in the world that only fire could be that test. It may be instantaneous. It may be that when we see Him and we stand in His presence, that everything about us that was the flesh falls away and all that remains is that which God has been able to do through us as a result of our willingness to trust Him and walk by faith.

Fire puts things to the truest test. I have been quoting from 1 Corinthians 3:12 about different kind of materials. He says, “Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw.” That is the verse that we are building off of. Now, fire is going to reveal the most intimate secrets of man, the things that we hide down here and don’t want anybody to know about.

In Luke 8:17 it says, “For nothing is hidden that shall not become evident nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.” You know, it is the fire of God’s presence that reveals this.

Years ago, I was working in the gift shop at a summer camp. Right behind the gift shop was a cliff and there was a road down at the bottom of that cliff, maybe 60 feet down. There was a drop off on the other side with a foot bridge that connected the two sides of those banks over that road. On the other side of that foot bridge was some trails that our kids could hike on.

There was a house, precious people, who lived right there in the corner, right there as you go across the foot bridge. It was a beautiful old house. It had a balcony above the front porch. It was one of those houses that you drive by and say, “Boy, that is really nice.” It was a darker wood, you know, and it was in just a beautiful mountain setting there.

One day the lady who lived there came over and she was just weeping and distraught. She said, “Hurry, help me.” I said, “What is wrong?” She said, “My house is on fire and my two children are in the house.” Well, I told the lady that was working with me, “Go get all the other guys and call the fire department.” I went running across the bridge. It had just started. When I got up the house, the smoke was billowing out. My uncle was a captain of the fire department in Roanoke, Virginia, and he told me some things about being in a fire. One of the things he always told me was, “Wayne, if you are ever in a fire, get on the floor. Stay on the floor because there is a pocket of air that runs along the floor if it hadn’t been burning too long.” Another thing he told me was, “If you hit a door and the handle is hot, don’t open it because if you do that oxygen will blow that whole thing.” So there were a few things I knew, but not much.

I went running in the house. They said the bedrooms were upstairs. I got up the steps but the smoke was so heavy. The smoke is what is the problem. You can’t breathe, you can’t see, your eyes are watering. I got down on the floor like I was supposed to. I could barely see. I got to one door and pushed it open. I crawled over and there was a bed there and there was nobody in the bed. I went to the next room, the next room. There were four bedrooms. I got to the fourth one but it was so hot, my hands almost burned as I tried to touch the door. I remembered, “Don’t go in that door because if you open it, it is going to blow.” So I said to myself, “Maybe I can go around the back and kick a window in, which wasn’t real smart. I got out the window on the roof and as I worked my way around, I was just getting ready to kick in a window when somebody down on the bottom said, “Get off the roof, Wayne! Get off the roof, quick, quick, get off the roof! It is about to blow!”

Well, I remember cutting myself up trying to get off that roof. I got down and sure enough, it blew. I mean, it almost took the whole upstairs off. I don’t know what caused that, but something just erupted inside. I stood there and waited and waited for hours because I was so distraught that I couldn’t find those two little boys. Well, we found one of them. He was down the street. He had set the fire. He was only five years old and he had been playing with matches in the bed. His little two year old brother burned to death in that fire. I never will forget when we found that little body.

You know, inside that fire, something overwhelmed me. That beautiful house that I had always looked at and thought to myself I would love to have one like that someday, had so burned down that the only thing that was left standing was a stone fireplace and the places where they had built up around the hearth there. Everything else was ashes. That beautiful house and that is all that was left. That is exactly the picture that Paul is trying to draw. It is the fire that consumes. You see, you may build a house for somebody and say, “This is a stone house.” Is there any wood in it? “No sir, buddy. Everything is made of stone.” But maybe you lied. Maybe some of the stone was really veneer and there were wooden beams but you didn’t tell anybody about it. One day that house catches on fire and immediately everybody knows that you had lied. What you had hidden and thought nobody else saw, the fire consumed. And the only thing that is left are those things which are not consumable. That is the test.

We are going to stand before God one day. You say, “What is it going to be like?” I don’t know. All I know is what is in here. It may be instantaneous. We will probably be so overwhelmed at the glory of God as we stand in His presence and the fire and the light. Everything about us that we didn’t trust God in, that we didn’t come to the altar and repent of and confess and rebuild under the grace of God, all of a sudden just disappears. And what is left is that which only was done as a result of faith and trusting the grace of God.

Let me throw something in here. When you die, you can’t do anything about the house. As long as you are living, you can. Where does confession and repentance down here in this life come in? If you are building a house and you have a wall that is crooked and the architect tells you that wall is crooked, you repent, which means you change your mind, and tear that wall out and build it the way it ought to be built. You have time to do those things now, folks. But one day, that time is going to be taken away. No way are you going to go back and correct anything. The fire is going to consume everything the flesh did down here.

Men on this earth may have rewarded you and applauded you, but it was flesh. And standing before God, you may feel very embarrassed if you are not living a life that Paul was trying to get the Corinthians to live. That is his whole point. Why attach yourself to men? You are going to stand. He is going to stand. You better just attach yourself to Christ and trust Him and walk in His Word and be what He wants you to be. It is an individual test. It is a revealing test. The fire will reveal it. It is a consuming fire.

A Quality Test

The third thing is a quality test. And oh, this just hit me right between the eyes. Look again at verse 13: “Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire.” This is interesting. It will become evident. It will show it. It will be revealed. So we know that. The fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work, not the quantity, but the quality of each man’s work.

Billy Graham was on one of these talk show programs one time. They asked him, “What would you do if you could go back and do it all over again?” He said, “Less.” They asked him, “What limitations did you have?” He said, “My own self, my own flesh all those years.” The humility of the man just blesses me.

You see, it is going to be the quality, not the quantity. Now, it doesn’t mean there is not going to be any quantity, no, no, no. But that quantity has the quality of trusting God. They will be works of faith, believing God. “God, I can’t; you never said I could. You can, and you always said you would.” You need to be living as a surrendered vessel so that God through you can do those works. That is quality works. That is those works that no man could reproduce, only God could do. The quality of that work, not the quantity. Quality is a good translation.

James uses that word in James 1. You know the passage there in 2125 it talks about how you are supposed to be a doer of the word and not just a hearer. In verse 24 he says, “For once he has looked at himself and gone away [he has looked in the mirror and God has shown him what He wants to show him], he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” It is the same word. What the makeup of his life really is, whether it is flesh or whether it is of the Spirit. The same exact word.

I don’t know how many times you preach on this, and people just sit there and squirm: “Oh, good grief. Why does he have to preach on this? I am scared to death. I don’t want to hear this.” Now, folks, I want to tell you something. That is a shame if you have that thought in your mind, because this test is not to prove what is wrong about you, it is to prove what is right about you. Now why in the world would that scare you? I will tell you why it would scare you. If you are living like the Corinthians, that ought to scare you half to death, because you are not living like God wants you to live and you know that and you know God knows that. That ought to put the fear of God in your heart. But it is for you, not against you.

The word dokimazo is the word used there for test. What does that mean? Dokimazo is a different word than peirazo, which is another word for test. Peirazo can be used in a good sense, but it is always to bring about a negative quality. In John 6 when Jesus was sitting there and all these people were there that were hungry, He says, “What are you going to do to feed them? You feed them.” He says He did this to test them, peirazo. He is doing something there to point out something that is unworthy about them that they couldn’t do, but it was a good thing. They needed to know this.

Well, let me explain it this way. Let’s say I walk up to you one day and say, “I was digging the other day for worms in my backyard and found some pure gold. I want you to have it. I just want to give it to you. God put it on my heart to give it to you.” I walk away and you are sitting there thinking, “He doesn’t know gold from dirt. I am going to prove to him that this isn’t gold.” You put it to the test, not to prove that it is good but to prove that it is bad.

That is exactly what Jesus was doing in John 6. He did this to test them, to show them what their flesh was incapable of doing and the evil of their flesh, to show them the difference of what He could do. So peirazo has the idea of proving something, to show you what is wrong with it.

Dokimazo is a totally different word. It is never used except in the following way. I go to you and say, “I found some metal in my backyard while I was digging for worms. I don’t know what is in it, but I will give it to you.” I walk away and you say, “Gracious sakes, I think there is gold in there.” So you put it to the test to prove what is right about it, what is good and pure about it. Lo and behold, it is gold.

Any time God is testing you and me, in trials or whatever, it is dokimazo. He is not just making us genuine. In a sense that is correct, because He burns off the dross, but in a bigger sense, He is proving us to be genuine. We were genuine when we entered the trial, we will be genuine when we come out of the trial. We will be particularly seen to be that because all the dross has been burned off, and people can see the pure gold of His presence that is in our life. That is why trials come our way, never to hurt us. It is always a word that is for us, not against us.

So this test that we are going to have by fire one day when we stand before God; it is not going to be a test to prove what is wrong about us, but a test to reveal what is right about what we have done while we have lived on this earth.

I am going to stand, and you are going to stand. Go on and have that attitude of doubt. You can get by with it in America. Why, you can go to church and tell everybody you are a Christian and live like you want to, like the devil during the week, and they will still think that you are okay. But you can’t get by with it with God one day. You will stand in His presence. I mean, that is absolute, folks. There is no if’s, and’s or but’s about it.

Paul goes on to say, if, after tested by fire, your works remains, there will be a reward. But if it doesn’t remain after being tested by fire, you will suffer loss. Let me explain that to you. Remember a while ago, it said saved so as by fire. That is all. We talked about that passage. Let me just explain it this way.

If there were a group of sailors and a man hired them and said, “Listen, I have a cargo ship, and there is a reward if you can get that ship with its cargo from here to there, but you must bring that cargo with you. If you don’t, there will be no reward.” Let’s just say some of the sailors decided to bring a few things on board that weren’t supposed to be brought on. Some of them bring whiskey or something and they all get drunk on the ship one night, just having a great time and their perception is clouded and they get into a storm. Because they were in a storm and because they had been subjecting themselves to things that clouded their mind, they wrecked that cargo ship on rocks. Helicopters were flown in and all of them were rescued. But the cargo was lost. But with the loss of the cargo goes the loss of the reward. They are saved, but they suffered loss.

Christ said, “Hey, I put My Spirit within you, in Paul, in Cephas and Apollos. I put My Spirit within you.” Peter says, “I have given you everything for life and godliness and I have set you on a trip and you are building a house. Now when you get there, we will find out how you did it because I want to brag to everybody and show them what is right about you.” The only reason you would be ashamed is if you had never taken your Christianity seriously. That ought to scare you half to death, to stand there amongst others with nothing to show for what God has done. That would be the epitome of agony. In heaven it has nothing to do with our salvation. It has everything to do with our reward in heaven. Not proving the man, but proving the work.

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