2Cor. 5:9-10 ¶ Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Do you ever think of your death? I was recently driving by a cemetery near my house and I had a rush of strange feelings thinking about the nearness and finality of death. Those thoughts can actually be very good for us, serving as a sort of spiritual litmus test, preparing our hearts for the great day. You see it is not death itself that gets my attention, it’s what happens after death that greatly concerns me.
When Jonathan Edwards was nineteen, he wrote a long list of resolutions, determining how he would live his life. One of those resolutions was to think often of his death. Wow! Pretty shocking for a nineteen year old. Edwards had obviously been effected deeply by the various moves of God that had happened in his father’s church as he grew up. The move of God had placed a sense of eternity in young Jonathan’s heart. He recognized that life was short and how we live our life matters. It will matter for eternity.
Immediately following a Christian’s death, he will experience a judgement, or an evaluation of his Christian life. We will all stand before The Lord Jesus Christ, we will pass through the fire of God, only our good works will survive this heavenly fire. Yes, how you live your life matters. Thinking about your death can be healthy because it can effect the way you live your life. Here are some comments from the Life in the Spirit Commentary about the Christian judgement.
“Since death does not terminate our communion with Christ but will usher us into his presence, believers should have as their supreme ambition to please the Lord. This is all the more important when we realize that our earthly service (while “in the body”) will be judged after death at the judgment seat of Christ. This event brings a sober conclusion to Paul’s teaching on the believer’s hope in the resurrection: All Christians will stand before Christ’s tribunal in heaven, whereupon the true character of their works will be exposed and judged. The New Testament teaches that believers will have to give an account of both their faithfulness and unfaithfulness, receiving rewards or suffering loss accordingly.”
The day of The Lord is drawing near for each of us. If Christ returns for His church before you die, your evaluation will immediately follow. If you die before He returns, you will find yourself standing in the presence of His fire suddenly. I hope today’s devotion does two things to you. First, I hope it makes you think of your death, it just might effect the way that you live your remaining days. Secondly, I hope it produces a joyful anticipation in you. Our reward is greater than we can even imagine.