This is a very important subject for every believer who loves the Lord and wants to please Him. It is necessary that we should understand this truth, but it is even more necessary that we should obey.
God gives to every Christian some work to do for Him. See Mark 13:34. Today many people think that only ministers or pastors can serve God, but this is not what the Bible teaches. The Word of God says the Church is like a human body with many different parts which all work together. The head directs all the parts, such as the hands, feet, ears, tongue, and all the others. Each has an important work to do which is different from that of all the other parts in the body; and each part helps the whole body. The different parts do not fight with each other, but help all the other parts. The body needs each part, and the different parts depend on one another. The right foot needs the left foot, the fingers need each other, and all the other parts also.
Read the following verses very carefully: 1 Corintians 12:12-31; Romans 12:4-8; Ephesians 1:19-23. These verses teach us at least three great facts:
Let us now consider the following:
The New Testament teaches very plainly that Christ is our Saviour and Lord. Christ is our Saviour and delivers us from the punishment of our sins. Christ is our Lord and has authority to tell us what to do; He also expects us to do it. Many people accept Christ as their Saviour, so that they will not have to go to hell. But some do not understand that He is also their Lord. Many are hypocrites because they call Him "Lord" but fail to do the things He commands them to do. Only when we understand that Christ is the Lord of our lives, will we be able to serve Him well. The apostle Paul called himself a ''slave'' of Jesus Christ, Romans 1:1, and wanted to do only His will in all things.
Read the following verses which tell very clearly that Jesus Christ is Lord: Luke 2:11; Acts 2:36; Romans 10:9; Colossians 2:6; 1 Peter 3:15. Which of these five verses say that:
We always have a reason for doing any thing, and the reason is more important than the act itself. God sees what is in our hearts and knows if we serve Him in order to please and glorify Him, or so that men might praise us. The Lord Jesus Christ condemned the Pharisees because they acted as if they wanted to serve God but their true reason was so that men might speak well of them. Their acts were often correct, but their purpose in doing them was totally wrong.
God offers a reward to anyone who gives a drink of water to a Christian, Mark 9:41. A drink of water is only a small thing, but this person does it because he wants to show his love to the Lord. His purpose is right and this is what is important.
We see this also in the life of David, 2 Chronicles 6:8,9. David wanted to build a house for God because he loved God and wanted to honor Him. God did not allow David to do this, but He praised him because he offered to do it.
It is very important for each one of us to serve God, but let us ask ourselves WHY we are serving Him. We should do everything only for God's glory, 1 Corinthians 10:31.
Only the Lord knows our thoughts and the reason why we serve Him, and we should not try to judge the reasons of others, 1 Corinthians 4:5. However, these reasons will be very important in that coming day when the Lord will examine our service.
We should not pass judgment on the service of others. The Lord Jesus will do this when He brings to light our secrets, and exposes the hidden purposes of men's hearts. All Christians must appear before Christ to be judged by Him, 2 Corinthians 5:10. At that time, every man will receive from God the praise he deserves, 1 Corinthians 4:5.
The Lord Jesus paid the price of my sins when He died on the cross, and God will never judge me for them. However, in the future, the Lord will judge my service for Him as a believer. The Lord will not decide then whether I will be saved, but whether I will receive a reward.
Our reward will depend on what the Lord thinks of our service for Him. The important thing is not how much work we do for the Lord, but what kind of work. In that day, the quality of each man's work will be tested by fire. If it passes the test, the man will receive a reward, 1 Corinthians 3:13,14. Read also Hebrews 10:35; 11:26; 2 John 1:8; Revelation 22:12.
This judgment will take place after the Lord has taken the Church to heaven.