[b]Judgment seat of Christ by John Wesley[/b]
"For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that each one may be rewarded for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Cor. 5: 10).
The Judge of all the earth will ask on that day: "Give an account of your stewardship" (Lk. 16:2).
[b]"How did you use your soul?"[/b]
I endowed you with various powers and faculties, with understanding, imagination, memory, will and affections. I also gave you clear directions as to how all these were to be used. Did you use your understanding in the knowledge of yourself and Me, My nature. My attributes, My works of creation, providence and grace, in acquainting yourself with My word, in using every means to increase your knowledge of it, in meditating on it day and night? Did you use your memory in storing up what knowledge you had acquired that would be to My glory, to your own salvation and to the good of others? Did you store up therein not things of no value but whatever instruction you had learned from My Word, and whatever experience you had gained of My wisdom, truth, power and mercy? Was your imagination used, not in painting empty images, much less those which nourished "foolish and hurtful desires" (I Tim 6:9), but in representing whatever would profit your soul and awaken your pursuit of wisdom and holiness? Did you follow My directions with regard to your will? Was it wholly given up to Me? Was it swallowed up in Mine, so as never to oppose, but always run parallel with it? Were your affections placed and regulated in such a way as I appointed in My Word? Did you give Me your heart? Did you hate the world and the things of the world?
Was I the object of your love? Was all your desire unto Me and unto the remembrance of My Name? Was I the Joy of your heart, the delight of your soul, the chiefest among ten thousand? Did you sorrow for nothing but what grieved My Spirit? Did you fear and hate nothing but sin? Were your thoughts employed according to My will, not in wandering to the ends of the earth, not on folly or sin, but on whatever things were pure, whatever things were holy, on whatever was conducive to My glory and to peace and goodwill among men?
[b]How did you use the body which I entrusted to you?[/b]
I gave you a tongue to praise Me with. Did you use it to the end for which it was given? Did you use it, not in evil-speaking, not in unloving or unprofitable conversation, but in such as was good, as was necessary or useful to yourself or others, such as always tended, directly or indirectly, to minister grace to the hearers? I also gave you together with other senses, sight and hearing. Were these employed in bringing you more instruction in righteousness and true holiness? I gave you hands and feet, and various members, wherewith to perform the works which were prepared for you. Were they employed, not in doing the will of the flesh or the things to which your reason and fancy led you, but the will of Him who sent you into the world? Did you present all your members, not to sin as instruments of unrighteousness but to Me alone, as instruments of righteousness?
[b]How did you use the worldly goods which I placed in your Hands?[/b]
Did you use your food, not so as to end your happiness therein, but so as to preserve your body in health, and in strength, as a fit instrument for Me? Did you use clothing, not to nourish and all other conveniences, with a single eye to My glory, in every point seeking not your own honor, but Mine, being careful to please not yourself, but Me? In what manner did you use your money? Not in gratifying the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes or the pride of life? Not squandering it away in vain expenses (which are the same as throwing it into the sea)? Not hoarding it up to leave behind you (which is the same as burying it in the earth)? But, first providing for the reasonable wants of yourself and your family; then the remainder to Me, through the poor, whom I had appointed to receive it; looking upon yourself as only one of that number of the poor, whose wants were to be supplied out of that part of My wealth which I had placed In your hands for this purpose: leaving you the right of being supplied first and the blessedness of giving rather than receiving? Were you then a servant of your brothers and sisters, feeding those who were hungry, clothing the naked, comforting the sick, assisting the stranger and relieving the afflicted, according to their various necessities? Were you the eyes to the blind and feet to the lame, a father to the fatherless, and a helper of the widows? And did you seek to use your outward works of mercy as means of saving souls from eternal death?
Did you use whatever was pleasing in your personality, whatever advantages you had by your education. Whatever knowl¬edge of things or men that was committed to you, for the promoting of godliness in the world and for the extension of My kingdom? Did you use whatever power you had and whatever influence, over others, by the love or esteem that they had for you, for the increase of their wisdom and holiness? Did you use that inestimable talent of time, with carefulness, weighing the value of every moment, and knowing that all were numbered In eternity?
Above all, were you a good steward of My grace? Did you carefully observe and develop all the influences of My Spirit, every good desire, every measure of light and His sharp and gentle reproofs? Did you present your soul and. body and all your thoughts, words and actions, in one flame of love, as a holy sacrifice glorifying Me with your body and your spirit?
Then, Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!"
What will remain then to the faithful or unfaithful steward? Nothing but the execution of that sentence which has been passed by the Righteous Judge, fixing you in a state that cannot change throughout everlasting ages.
[u]And to all eternity you will be rewarded according to your works.[/u]