A Critical Look at Our Everlasting Eternal Lifeline
After being saved, we’re given the span between the last two ‘Xs’ as foundational time to join God in His work of turning others to Himself. He doesn’t force us to work with Him, but continually invites us. When we respond, by performing good works that pass through the fire, He prepares heavenly rewards for us. Seems simple, no?
The problem is us. It takes time to do good works, and we often selfishly devote our time to things described by Paul “as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2Corinthians 4:18) as temporary (seen) as opposed to eternal (unseen). Temporal things will burn, while eternal things are fireproof in God’s eternal economy. Yet some temporal activities are necessary, such as sleeping, which, unfortunately, isn’t described in the Bible as ministry. Still, to be good stewards of this body and life, we need to spend time on such activities as sleeping, eating, and hydrating. Our Creator God knows that. He doesn’t ask us to be foolish in serving Him. It’s our discretionary time that gives us an opportunity to obey Him by sharing in His work or, alternatively, choosing to do something else. When we choose His work, there’s a reward. If we choose something else…anything else…we suffer eternal loss.
There’s one more ‘X’. It’s a point in time, just as specific as any other, that occurs on our eternal lifelines following physical death. Place another ‘X’ on your line a little past physical death. This is the time we’ve just spoken about, when all our works are tested by fire. It will happen for us just as surely as our conception, birth, and death happened. This is the Bema, or judgment seat of Christ, where the works of the saved are judged by our King. Paul writes, “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” 2Cor 5:10; see also “For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” Mt 16:27; “He will render to each one according to his works:” Ro 2:6; “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.” Rev 20:12 and “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.” Rev. 22:12). Though our salvation is secure, our eternal rewards hang in the balance.
Imagine standing alongside Jesus, His arm around your shoulders, as you gaze into the mouth of a fiery blast furnace with a conveyor belt running through it. All your earthly activities and possessions are placed on the belt. There might be houses, stock certificates, precious metals, jewelry, cars, boats, prestigious titles and degrees, piles of money, your company, reputation, clothes, fine food and wines, club memberships, movies, and hobbies. They’ll never survive this fire… not even an ash!
What will pass through the fire, you ask? Consider the neighbor you helped find God, the widow you helped to know His love, the kids you taught in Sunday school and led to Christ, the co-worker you shared the Gospel with, the suppliers you encouraged to grow in their faith, the children and other family members you prayed into Jesus’ hands, the customers you sent Bibles to who were saved, and all the other things done at the prompting of our guide and counselor, the Holy Spirit, in obedience to God. These works will survive! They all pass through the fire, without being scorched or scratched, and are integral to our eternal rewards.
Is it important that we understand what the time between “new birth” and physical death represents? After our salvation, nothing else is as important! Our eternity is shaped by our understanding and application of this truth “For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” Mt 16:27; “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Gal 6:7-8).
How does this relate to you? Business leaders typically spend more time at work than in any other single waking activity in our time between the ‘Xs’. Work provides our broadest ministry reach based on God’s specific calling and provision in our lives.
As a ministry priority, the workplace is typically second only to our families. When we fail to grasp our Kingdom purpose and potential, we can squander it and suffer tragic eternal loss. We all need people around us who will continue to remind us that our lives are precious – with enormous eternal value – and encourage each other to capitalize on the opportunities God provides. We should strive to push back the noise the world throws at us while holding up God’s calling on our lives as the only really worthy thing among so many things. Truly, we should make the focus of our existence the commitment of finishing strong in our God-ordained ministries and help each other to one day hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!”(Mt 25:21).
How does your “Eternal Lifeline” currently translate into actions in the “here and now”? What would you hope might be said by those who know you best during your ‘home-going’ celebration? Please share your thoughts and comments.
Jim is President of the Hard Facts – Soft Skills company. He is a former Texas state trooper, entrepreneur, and corporate executive, and brings a uniquely powerful perspective and incredible resume to improving performance, productivity and profitability in organizations. Jim has been coaching and mentoring leaders, professionals and business owners for many years. He is licensed and certified as an Executive Leadership Coach with the Leadership Coach Academy and he is an active member of the International Coach Federation.
To contact Jim, please call: (210) 494-HFSS (4377); send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org; or go to the
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