The Second Question
What happens after death? Our lives here are so brief. Ask anyone that you consider to be old.
One of the things I want to do is to get you ready for a life that is coming. I want to help you with this life here on earth but I want you to live with eternity in mind. In some ways we are taking you on a spiritual journey here to prepare you for an ultimate experience in heaven.
(Romans 14:10-12) You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ ” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
Interesting how he warns us to not be too hard on others but at the same time we aren’t to ignore how others live and the decisions they make because they have lasting, eternal consequences.
You will and everyone you know will have your day in court. You will stand before God.
The Bible quotes the Bible and says, Every knee will bow and acknowledge God. There will be a moment that you will want to get ready for! It will be a happy and sad moment. There will be people there that say it was all worth it to serve God. There will be people there that will say – Oh my goodness, there is a God and Jesus is who he said he was.
Get ready to give an account of your life to God. I want to get you ready for that moment.
I want to be the teacher that tells you the questions that will be on the test and gives you the answers. All you have to do is learn the answers and live accordingly.
Do you like tests? I don’t think I have met many people that look forward to a test. But it helps a lot to be prepared. You ask one guy if the test was hard and he says no. But he knew all the answers. You ask another guy was it a hard test and he says it was horrible. He didn’t know the answers.
I want you to know the answers. One of the things I feel responsible for is to prepare you for the moment when you stand before God. In fact, the Bible says I am judged harder for my role. You will give an account of your life and in some ways I will give an account for your lives too. Because I am supposed to prepare you. Let you know what is coming.
So I want to give you a gift today. I want to give you the questions on the test and the answers as well.
There are two main questions. The first one has to do with Jesus. But there is a second question.
The first one is the one you expect if you have been around church very long.
The first one is the Great White Throne judgement. The everybody judgement. The one that determines whether you go to heaven or not. The not is hell.
We all have sinned. At the moment we stand before God, at that moment the sin you have done requires justice. At that moment, you can’t just be sorry for it, you can’t ask for forgiveness for it, you can’t go church for it, you can’t do good works for it, and you can’t get baptized for it. God didn’t want for you to have to pay the penalty for your sin so he came as the God/man Jesus to pay the penalty for your sin for you. What did you do with the offer?
Some wrong answers are I went to church and sang about Jesus. That is a good thing to do but that is the wrong answer. I had a Bible and I read about Jesus. That is a good thing to do but that is the wrong answer. Some people think they are a Christian because they go to church.
So the right answer is I just didn’t sing about him and go to church and read the Bible, I trusted Jesus to forgive me and lead me. I have a personal relationship. Remember, God is not looking for perfection.
An authentic Christian life isn’t marked by perfection; it’s marked by transformation – positive life change.
When you accept Jesus, it comes free. You don’t pay for it because he paid it all for you. It is grace. You don’t earn it.
You are not saved by good works but you are saved to do good works.
Hell is not a place where God sends people he is mad at. Hell is a place where people pay for their own sin. Don’t! Jesus paid that for you. He gave his life and we give our lives back to him.
The first question is – What did you do with my Son Jesus?
(Revelation 20:11-12) Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
There is a second question is – What did you do with what I gave you?
A second judgement. It is a works judgement. It is all about how you lived your life. What you did and did not do matters at that moment.
When you read the Bible it can be confusing if you don’t understand this. You will read about grace and unearned forgiveness. Then you read about all of the stuff about how you are to live and rewards. How you live matters. You are to help others. You say I thought it was grace but now it sounds like works. You earn it. That is because these are two different things.
The second one does not determine whether you are in heaven or not. It is a reward judgment.
This question redefines how you live your life in every way.
God has blessed us with abilities, time, money, everything that is part of your life. What did you do with all of that? What did you do with your life?
The reason the question matters is because how you live your life matters. Your whole life before Jesus is about beginning a relationship with Jesus. Once you find that relationship, your whole life gets redefined. You live in view of the second judgment. We are to live in such a way that our lives make a difference in the lives of others and for God.
It is not only the mandate on the church, it is the privilege of the church – you and me – to live our lives in such a way that our lives matter.
Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Originally he said the highest need was self-actualization. When you achieve your potential and you win. They now say there is one higher need. Transcendence – my life impacting the lives of others. God put that desire in you already. You want your life to matter.
(2 Corinthians 5:10) 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.
Jesus is excited about rewarding you.
(Matthew 16:27) For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
That is not salvation. That is not earning your way to heaven by being good and doing good. The Bible makes it plain that you cannot earn forgiveness and a right relationship with God. It is a gift of grace.
Are you with me? This is huge!
I took what you gave me God. I took the abilities and the job and the money and the time and the health and I gave my life away. I lived to make a difference with my life.
You have never lived life until you have done it. The highest level of human emotion and satisfaction comes from knowing that you did something that made a difference.