We can’t live wishing, hoping, and believing that everything will turn out okay for us at the judgment seat of Christ. Instead, Paul instructs us to run the race that God has given us with intentionality.
Many Christians believe that if they accept Christ as their Lord and Savior that when they die they go to heaven and that’s it. End of story.
But is that really all the Bible says about the afterlife?
What Happens After You Die
Yes, Christians will be granted access into heaven. They will also be judged. There will be more than just a judgment for non-believers who have not accepted Christ to save them from their sin. There will also be a judgment for those know Him. And the believer’s judgment will determine the rewards they receive in heaven.
In 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 Paul wrote, “So we make it our goal to please Him, whether in the body or out of the body. For we all must 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.”
Let that sink in. If you don’t know Christ, you will stand before your Maker. And, if you know Christ, you will also stand before your Maker. For this reason it’s important to be purposeful about how you live.
We can’t live wishing, hoping, and believing that everything will turn out okay for us at the judgment seat of Christ. Instead, Paul instructs us in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 to run the race that God has given us with intentionality.
1 Corinthians 9:24 says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, do not run like a man running aimlessly. . .” (emphasis mine)
We are to run to win with intention so that when we stand before Christ that our love for Him will be proven real. There is a whole lot more at stake than most Christians imagine!
There are eternal rewards.
Remember also that 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 states that we will each be rewarded according to what we have done. It’s totally sobering to think that no one else can earn my rewards for me. My wife can’t earn them; my friends can’t earn them, and my children can’t earn them. When it comes to this part of my eternal destiny, I alone am responsible for the outcome. So what do I do?
I run. I run hard. I run intentionally with my eye on the goal.
Rewards Are Important to God
As a parent, the things I want my children to understand are the things that I repeat most often. There is no shortage of scriptures in the Bible about heavenly rewards. God has repeated himself so we will get understand the importance of this teaching. Some people think that focusing on rewards is selfish, but if it’s important enough for God to put in His Word, it should be important to us.
Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12)
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12)
His lord said unto him, "Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:21)
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:27).
Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. (1 Corinthians 3:8)
“And everyone who gives one of these little ones a cup of cold water only to drink, in the name of a disciple, amen, I say to you, he will not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:24).
I hope that you see that knowing Jesus isn’t just about knowing Him so you can get to heaven. That’s just the beginning. Run to win.