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What Good Are Good Deeds? | The King Is Coming #9

If Christians aren’t noticed or saved by our good deeds, why should we do them? When the King returns, everyone will receive what’s due for their deeds done in the body. Pastor Lutzer focuses on what Jesus looks for at the judgment seat. Even deeds done in obscurity can be an investment for eternity. 

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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us again today for this series of studies on the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. I have to tell you that this actually is part of a larger series entitled, “The King Is Coming.” But we’re talking about the judgment seat of Jesus Christ when everyone of us will give an account of ourselves to God. 2 Corinthians 5:10. Now the question is what will survive the fire? Last time I gave you five or six examples of what Jesus will be looking for, the gold, the silver, the precious stones. Let me give you one or two more today.

The first is loving the unlovable. Is there anyone in your life who is very unlovable? Well give praise to God. You have an opportunity to receive some rewards at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. The passage is Luke 6. I won’t read it all to you but you remember Jesus says that if you love those who love you there are no rewards. And then He says, “But love your enemies, do good and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” So what Jesus is saying is if you do good to your enemies, your reward will be great. You know, that’s difficult for us isn’t it? Because we think we have to love people and have all of these warm thoughts toward them. Well sometimes that’s difficult, more accurately, sometimes it’s impossible, but we can do good to them. We can override those emotions and say, you know, they also are human beings created in God’s image. I’m going to do them good. God says your reward will be great. I wish I could tease that out and explain it more but we must hurry on.

Another is looking for Christ’s return. The apostle Paul talked about a crown of righteousness given to him and to all those who love His appearing. Now it’s time for us to begin to apply this, though we’re going to be talking about this again next time. Do you realize that everyday is either a plus or a minus? Everyday, I’m sure, in my life and in yours there’s a mixture of gold, silver, and precious stones, and wood, hay, and stubble but everyday we can make an investment. We can make an investment for eternity.

I’ll never forget when Diane Sawyer was interviewing Billy Graham she said to Billy, “How would you like to be remembered?” And Billy really didn’t answer her question. He looked away and was very sad and he said, “You know…” he said, “I’d love to hear, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’ but I don’t think that I will.” Really? Two thoughts came immediately to my mind. One was, “Billy, humility is good but you know you are overdoing it a little bit” but the second thought that came is, “Billy, if you’re not sure that you’re going to hear ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant’ what about the rest of us?” But in this Billy was right: He’ll not be rewarded because he spoke to large crowds throughout the whole world and preached the Gospel to millions. That was his calling. He was just being obedient to Christ. And there are plenty of people who are being obedient to Christ whose names you and I know nothing about, who are going to be greatly rewarded, faithful where God planted them.

Sophie Muller, somebody told me her story, a missionary—a single missionary one of these strong individual women giving her life to some of the tribes in South America. After four or five years people said, “Don’t you want to come home and stay, beyond furlough, like all missionaries?” “Absolutely not.” She invested her life in the lives of those people, gave them the gospel, taught them, helped them, and said, “I want to die here” and apparently she did. And then—I think I have the story right—there was a memorial service for her in New York. And six people came. Sophie didn’t write a book. She was never interviewed on television. She didn’t have her own podcast. Nobody ever quoted her, that I know of. But my friend today you and I might not meet her in heaven and the reason is because she’s going to be so close to the throne and you and I are going to be so far back (of course I’m only visualizing this) maybe we won’t meet. I think that Jesus is just excited and looking forward to rewarding a woman who served in obscurity but served well.

We’re going to wrap this up next time. I sure hope that you subscribe. You can hit like and I hope also that you share it with others because we’re going to be doing some study in the next couple of times together that I think is going to be a blessing and transforming. Today, be faithful where God has planted you, and as for today, you just go with God. 

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