"Then I saw 'a new heaven and a new earth.' For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no more sea. I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev. 21:1-2).
In Revelation 21 when the angel showed John the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ (that's the consecrated and surrendered people of God), some of the construction of the city had been finished. The wall and its foundations were named after the apostles.
The apostles suffered great persecution and martyrdom to take the Lord's love to the nations. Their motives purified their works, and their works were translated into materials to help construct the foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem. Glory to God!
Here is a revelation: The New Jerusalem is called the bride of Christ because the city is furnished with building materials that were translated from our works on the earth.
Every trial, every difficulty, every sacrifice you've made, every word and deed you've done in love and for the honor and glory of God is being translated into construction materials to furnish your heavenly home. Even the heavenly clothing of the saints will be furnished from their righteous acts (Rev. 19:8). That is a tremendous truth.
That is such a motivating factor to keep on pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. Our goal, though, must be like the apostle Paul's, to know Him (Phil. 3:10). We do not necessarily serve the Lord for the rewards only, but out of a passion and love for Him who first loved us (1 John 4:19).
All that is done with pure motives will get the Lord's reward. When your motives are pure your love is pure. And pure love will not be ashamed in the day when His holy fire will test our works.
Understand that Jesus did not preach the gospel and heal the sick because He was trying to earn points from the Father. He didn't lay down His life and forgive His enemies so He could earn wages from the Father and make it back to heaven. He never did anything for money, popularity or to gain a name or an advantage for Himself. Simply put, everything Jesus said and did was out of love and for the glory of God alone regardless of public opinion.
Many profess belief in the Bible but don't really believe that its words will have any bearing on their eternal destiny. The Bible has much to say about works. Certainly we aren't saved by works, but they shall determine our eternal reward. After all, it is written that faith without works is dead. Works are the way we prove the sincerity of our faith. But I've met so many people in my years of walking with the Lord who seem confident that no matter how they live their lives on the earth they will somehow make it to heaven and even receive their eternal reward.
"Now if anyone build on this foundation with gold, silver and precious stones, wood, hay and straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:12-15).
What will make each of our individual works clear is the fire of God's holiness. It will take holy fire to reveal the motives behind our works. Our motives play a big part in determining if our works are gold, silver and precious stones or wood, hay and stubble. Some believer's works shall be burned, and he will suffer loss. Yes, the Bible says loss. We don't often think that there will be any loss for the believer who makes it to heaven, but the Word of God tells us differently. I don't know about you, but I don't want that to be my lot and portion.
Every believer needs to live with a daily consciousness of finishing his race and fulfilling God's plan for his life. I sort of have this picture in my mind of two graphs in heaven—one represents what I actually did with my life in God, and the other tells me what the fullness of God's plan was for me. And my constant pressing is to shorten the gap between the two.
At this point certain people may be thinking, "That's alright if I lose my reward because I'll still make it to heaven, and that's what's important." I'll be plain here and tell you that this is a loser's mentality. A wise man considers the afterlife and his eternal reward, but a fool does not.
A wise man realizes that his life on earth is very temporal, but eternity is forever. The issue in not just one of salvation, but of your personal love for Jesus and your standing throughout eternity. Will you have a seat close to Jesus for all of eternity?
There's a reason why the mother of James and John requested that they sit on the right and left hand of Jesus (Matt. 20:20-23). There's a reason why Jesus promised His disciples thrones where they would be judges (Matt. 19:28). To those who overcome He grants a seat with Him on His throne (Rev. 3:21).
There's a reason why Jesus promised more authority to him who is faithful both here and the hereafter (Luke 16:10-12). Paul spoke of crowns being laid up for him (2 Tim. 4:8). He spoke of attaining unto a certain resurrection (Phil. 3:11) that included more than just the general resurrection of the righteous.
Heaven is for the saved. No one without the new nature can enter into the holy atmosphere of heaven. But rewards are for the sanctified and for those who refused to deviate from the pursuit of their first love.
On the other hand, hell is for the devil and his demons and for all those who chose to live independently of God.
Let's live like these things are true.
Pockets of true revival are breaking out across the nation. Want to know more about the next great move of God? Click here to see Jennifer LeClaire's new book, featuring Dutch Sheets, Reinhard Bonnke, Jonathan Cahn, Billy Graham and others.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, is the author of several books including The Real Spirit of Revival: Preparing The Church For The Glory Of The Lord, The Harvest, And His Soon Return and the newly released My Son, My Son – a beautiful father-son book co-written with his son Daniel for the purpose of training up a holy generation. He and his wife also host The Holy Ghost Forum – a school of the Spirit. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook or @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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