How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!
and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! Proverbs 16:16
It's time you knew what's really going on.
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father
With his angels:
And then he shall reward every man according to his works.
When Works Matter
(The Post-Justification Phase)
Receiving justification before God is the wholly free gift given to us by Christ, requiring only our faith & belief that his promises are true.
For by grace are ye saved through faith;
& that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God.
9Not of works,
lest any man should boast.
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law,
But by the faith of Jesus Christ,
Even we have believed in Jesus Christ,
that we might be justified by the faith of Christ,
& not by the works of the law:
for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
However, what follows justification is the opportunity to earn our reward for good stewardship &, yes, it is wholly works-based. Some have tried to make the case that faith is a stand-alone commitment to God that somehow trumps the work requirement, that having faith is a complete ‘work’ unto itself. Granted, faith is indeed scripturally counted as a work, but alone it can be insufficient to satisfy the works requirement. How can having faith that God will send the help needed to save lives be sufficient if you are the body on the ground that is needed to complete the task & you fail to do the rest of the ‘work’?
James, brother of Christ, answers this false interpretation of what it means to have faith with pointed clarity, stating that faith & works are not to be thought of as mere complements of one another, but as aspects of an inseparable psychological & behavioral whole.
17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, & I have works:
shew me thy faith without thy works,
& I will shew thee my faith by my works.
20….wilt thou know, O vain man,
that faith without works is dead?
24 ….by works a man is justified,
& not by faith only.
26For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also.
James 2: 17-18,20,24,26
Christ himself was no-nonsense about the works requirement.
This is the story about the 3 stewards:
….A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom,
& to return
And he called his ten servants,
& delivered them ten pounds,
& said, Occupy till I come.
15And it came to pass,
that when he was returned,
having received the kingdom,
then he commanded these servants to be called unto him,
to whom he had given the money
that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16Then came the first, saying,
Lord, thy pound hat gained ten pounds.
17And he said unto him,
Well, thou good servant:
because thou hast been faithful in a very little,
have thou authority over ten cities.
18And the second came, saying,
Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19And he said likewise to him,
Be thou also over five cities.
20And another came, saying,
Lord, behold, here is thy pound,
which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21For I feared thee,
because thou are an austere man:
thou takest up that thou layedst not down,
& reapest that thou didst not sow.
22And he saith unto him,
Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee,
thou wicked servant.
Thou knewest that I was an austere man,
taking up that I laid not down,
& reaping that I did not sow:
23Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank,
that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24And he said unto them that stood by,
Take from him the pound,
& give it to him that hath ten pounds.
26For I say unto you,
26That unto every one which hath shall be given;
& from him that hath not,
even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
With so much at stake for so many, everything you think, speak & do should revolve around the need to prepare those with whom you share your path for the coming judgment. Think of what you stand to regret if you lose this last opportunity to do the very best you can for your fellow man.
The shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins,
Which took their lamps,
& went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2And five of them were wise,
& five were foolish.
3They that were foolish took their lamps,
& took no oil with them:
4But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5While the bridegroom tarried,
they all slumbered and slept.
6And at midnight there was a cry made,
Behold, the bridegroom cometh;
Go ye out to meet him.
7Then all those virgins arose,
& trimmed their lamps.
8And the foolish said unto the wise,
Give us of your oil;
For our lamps are gone out.
9But the wise answered, saying,
Lest there be not enough for us & you:
But go ye rather to them that sell,
& buy for yourselves.
10And while they went to buy,
the bridegroom came:
& they that were ready went in with him to the marriage:
& the door was shut
11Afterward came also the other virgins, saying,
Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered & said,
Verily I say unto you,
I know you not.
for ye know neither the day nor the hour
wherein the Son of Man cometh.