Jesus exhorts us to "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven" Matthew 6:20; The Apostle Paul teaches that some of the things that we do (wood, hay and straw) will be burnt up, but other things (gold, silver and precious stones) will endure 1 Corinthians 3. We all know that life is short and that we can only live it once. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that we are involved in things that are real treasure and not activity that will not stand in the judgement. My question is this, "What should we be doing as Christians that will count as Gold, Silver and Precious stones on the judgement day?"
I think it is not what we should be doing, but about being with Christ, it is in the being with Christ that our doing will happen. Just as Jesus never did anything while He walked on this earth that the father didn't tell Him to do. He was full of the Holy Spirit & guided by the Holy Spirit, so that He knew that all He did came from the Father & the Holy Spirit. This would have to be gold, silver & precious stones.Amen
1Co 3:1-15 (1) And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. (2) I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. (3) For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (4) For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (5) Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? (6) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (8) Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. (9) For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. (10) According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. (11) For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (13) Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (14) If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (15) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
As I have continued to meditate and study this question over the last few weeks I came across a sermon of Leonard Ravenhills that has helped me considerably (I am sure I have listened to it in the past). This is what he says with regards to precious stones: - "Silver, gold, precious stones. What are the precious stones? When I read that, I think of the breastplate that was on the priests in the Old Testament. It was divided by four rows of stones - three stones in each row. Each stone was different. Each stone stood for the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. The priest wore the breastplate over his heart as he went into the Holy Place to pray for the sins of the people. How do you handle this? Do you enter the holiest place of all to make intercession for the sins of the people? Do you enter into intercession at all? This is only possible through the blood of Christ and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Intercession is our job now. We don't need to send a priest into the Holy of Holies. We can go ourselves! The New Testament tells us that we are all priests - that we are a part of the Royal Priesthood (I Peter 2:9). Do you wonder why the world is poor and sick outside? Because we really don't know how to pray, that's why! Because we're satisfied that we've left our lousy living and we don't drink or lust or damn ourselves every day. We're Christians now...and we're so content and so happy and so satisfied." May I not be content but learn to be an intercessor.
Leonard Ravenhill then gives his interpretation of silver - The silver . .. what is the silver? I guess you can interpret it in different ways. But I like to think of the scripture in the book of Proverbs that says, "The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver" (Proverbs 10:20). I believe that the silver may signify the words that we speak. I believe that God has an eternal record of every word we have spoken since we've been saved. That may be embarrassing. Oh, we won't be ashamed of the good things we've said, but what about our idle words? You know, the gossip, the slander, the criticism, the prejudice. What about the time when somebody upset you and instead of being quiet, you just spilled out everything that was on your heart at that moment? And can you think of all the awesome words we've preached to thousands of people over the years? We're going to answer for every word - and the fire is going to be put to them. Will they be wood, hay, or stubble - or will they abide the fire? This my friend is an awesome thought :)
These three things remain...faith hope and love.Without faith it is impossible to please God. "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men into destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. BUT THOUGH O MAN OF GOD, FLEE THESE THINGS AND FOLLOW AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS, GODLINESS, FAITH, LOVE, PATIENCE, MEEKNESS. Fight the good fight of faith, LAY HOLD ON ETERNAL LIFE, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." -1 Timothy 6:9-12 The way we lay hold of that which is eternal is to stop being concerned about earthly transactions. Instead our hearts become concerned with those transactions which use an eternal currency. The eternal currency is living the way that Paul here admonishes Timothy. Then and only then will we become extensions of eternity breaking into this temporal universe. This list is not entirely exhaustive, there is another one in II Peter chapter one. I Corinthians 13, (Which is sort of the conclusion to the passage originally quoted.) Each day we have the opportunity to embrace God's new mercies and live this life of faith hope and love. By walking in the Spirit and not according to the flesh. For if you walk in the Spirit you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. In all things giving thanks, rejoicing always, and quenching not the Spirit. I think the greatest way this is done is the way Andrew Murray worded it, "The condition for obtaining God's full blessing is absolute surrender to Him.""I council thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich: and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."-Revelation 3:18
Thanks Areadymind for some stimulating thoughts.Leonard Ravenhill describes the gold like this-"What is gold a sign of? I believe it's a sign of our devotion to God. If I could have a small melting pot here, I'd put your $10,000 worth of gold in it and melt it down. What happens when you burn gold? Nothing! It just changes from solid to liquid, but you don't reduce it. Can you see all the saints standing in heaven? And there's Leonard Ravenhill - standing before Christ whose eyes are filled with holiness. The whole place is breathing holiness. There in the presence and the majesty of an awesome God, the record of my poor life is read before all the saints of all the ages. And He puts the fire to my devotional life. Am I just a good showman? I sure like to preach because God called me to preach. I don't care how I preach, and I don't care whether you believe me either. I'm not responsible for that. I preach out of my heart all I believe, and I'd die for it. But say, am I just a showman? What's my secret life like? I've said it many times and I'll say it again - no man is greater than his prayer life. I don't care how big his organization is. Let me live with a man awhile and share his prayer life, and I'll tell you how tall I think he is, or how majestic I think he is in God. What's your devotional life like right now? Would you like Gabriel to hand down the book of your devotional life for the last month so it could be read out loud at church this Sunday? The gold is going to be tried through our devotional life."Another challenge - How is my devotional life??
My question is this, "What should we be doing as Christians that will count as Gold, Silver and Precious stones on the judgement day?"
1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.