The Commendations For Discipleship
“THE COMMENDATIONS FOR DISCIPLESHIP”
Part 3 of 3-part series on discipleship
2 Corinthians 5:9. Series – discipleship (it’s not about hearing or knowing, but about DOING). We’ve looked at the call to discipleship, the cost of discipleship, and today the commendations for discipleship.
Every person in this room, as well as every person ever born, is going to stand before the Lord Jesus Christ one day. The question for you today is not if, but when and for what purpose. (Explain – 2 separate judgments).
2 Corinthians 5:1-4 Paul is referring to the resurrection of the believer...when the trump of God will sound and the dead in Christ will rise from the grave, and those who are alive and remain shall be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air! The Judgment Seat of Christ will take place immediately following the rapture and resurrection.
I. THE PLACE 2 Corinthians 5: 6-10a At the “judgment seat”—
A raised platform around the throne where the called stood to be questioned and judged. Pilate called Jesus to sit at the judgment seat for questioning. Paul was called to the judgment seat to be questioned by Festus.
And so at this judgment, we will stand before the very throne of God...
II. THE PURPOSE 2 Corinthians 5:10-11 — “to give an account”
It will NOT be a judgment to determine salvation. Nor will it be a judgment to judge sin (our sins were judged on the cross). This judgment will have a two-fold purpose--To judge our stewardship, and to judge the character of our works…whether good or bad (“worthless”).
Stewardship—Every believer is a steward of all that God has given us. We are stewards of our time (86,400 seconds every day), we are stewards of the gifts and abilities God has given us (it is poor stewardship, and a sin, not to use them to the glory of God), we are stewards of the financial resources that God allows us to have (give to Him first), we are stewards of God’s Word, and we are stewards of God’s church.
“It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful” (not good-intentioned). God desires / expects nothing less than
faithfulness! If you let pride or self-pleasure come before obedience, that’s not faithfulness.
--Parable of the talents – “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…” “Thou wicked and slothful servant”.
Which are YOU? A faithful servant, or a slothful servant. There’s really no in between.
The apostle Paul, who often used athletic analogies, says that while others work and strive to obtain a corruptible crown, WE serve in order to obtain an incorruptible crown. We are in a battle for Christ, we are running a race. Sadly, too many Christians are content to sit on the sidelines (criticizing the ones in the game and telling the referee about all the bad calls he makes).
Excuses--“Well, I was injured one time” OR “The coach made me mad, so I’ll never join another team again…”
When we get to Heaven, we’re not going to have to answer to the pastor, or to the church...or to any other earthly authority, but to Christ! If you thought it was hard thinking up excuses to tell the preacher, just wait...
The Character of our Works 1 Corinthians 3:9-13
Gold, silver, precious stones—things of value that last. Wood, hay, stubble—things of little worth and which decay.
“Tried by fire”--to see what “sort” it is--whether the works we have done are acceptable or worthless to the Glory of God. (fire’s effect on gold, etc.)
Paul says it’s possible to be saved and heaven bound, yet have nothing to show for it – to have lived a wasted life. I am afraid that there will be a lot of Christians who may have a long list of accomplishments, who will be left empty-handed because everything they did was done in pride or for some self-serving purpose. In everything we do, we either seek to honor God or we seek to honor self (marriage, work, our service in the church, and even our hobbies or leisure time).
That’s why God’s Word instructs us that “Whether ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, we are to do all to the glory of God”
III. THE PRODUCT (results) 1 Corinthians 3:14-15
A.) Reward--V. 14 The degree to which I obey God & live like Christ will
determine the degree to which I will one day be rewarded by the Lord.
There will be many rewards—5 are mentioned specifically:
a.) Incorruptible Crown (1 Cor. 9) for those who faithfully and unselfishly run the race.
b.) Crown of Life (James 1:12) to those who faithfully endure trials and temptations.
c.) Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8) for those who love His appearing.
d.) Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thess. 2:19) soul-winners
e.) Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:4) for those who faithfully feed the flock of God (“pastor’s crown”)
--Crowns are for HIS glory, not ours! We will cast them at His feet.
B.) Loss – V. 15 It will not just be the feeling of loss, but the shame of standing empty handed before our Lord and Savior Who
gave His ALL that we might be delivered from an eternal damnation!
Closing: Every believer will stand before their Lord to give an account concerning the life they lived (or did not live) for Him. 1 John 2:28, “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”