So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. – 2Cor. 5:9-10 NIV
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Today’s scripture is a follow up to the scripture titled “Live The Missionary Life” which has the Apostle Paul defending his call into the Ministry of Reconciliation and championing the course of the New Covenant. In Chapter five of the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians, he explains why he was willing to go through every challenge in the course of his ministry, stating without doubt that the existence of an eternal house that has been prepared for him by God makes him worry less about the destruction of the earthly tent built with human hands – 2Cor. 5:1.
Although there is a constant tussle in man as the desire to remain in this world makes him/her want to avoid the danger that the challenges of his ministry pose by back-sliding, against the greater desire of the opportunity to be clothed in immortality, that comes with successful implementation of the ministry task, preference is still for the option of being with the Lord in immortality – 2Cor. 5:2-8. That is why the Apostle Paul will prefer to do the Will of the Lord at all times because he is in no doubt that every human being will stand before the Lord someday to render account of all acts done in flesh, be it good or evil.
To the Christian today, the conflict is not different. There remains as always the attraction to act against the Will of God as it seems there is sufficient compensation for all negative acts and negative people seem to be having great time. Those who strive to do the Will of God on the other hand experience many hard times with there being no hope of a relief down forth-coming. This is not a new development though as it has always appeared that way and the faith of many is waxing cold – Matt. 24:12. The Apostle Paul however believes that the one who is in the Will of the Lord must remain faithful because according to him, there will come a day when all will have to render account of their stewardship, be it good or evil. Should the Apostle Paul be believed?
Different religious and non religious positions have been taken on this issue but all positions can be classed into two. All are in agreement that there is the body and soul parts of man just as all seem to agree on the fate of the body part of man returning to dust after death. The major area of dis-agreement seems to be the fate of the soul. Some believe that the soul returns in the form of another creature. The decision as to the form of return is said to be dependent on the kind of life lived and the works done in the previous life. The challenge with this argument is that the protagonists do not provide what the standard for determining performance is and who is the judge to determine level of performance but there is agreement that there will be some form of assessment which aligns with what Christianity and other similar religions accept as the truth. Others hold the opinion that man dies only once and what follows is an assessment of the performance of the soul part of man followed by judgement (Heb. 9:27). This group also are not in agreement as to what happens to the soul during the time between death and commencement of judgement, with regards to those who die before judgement day.
Both positions obviously are in agreement that there will be some form of assessment of the activities done in the life before death and the result of that assessment will determine what follows for the soul. Christian doctrine is in no doubt that there will be no second opportunity to live life in this realm as what follows is a decision to either send the soul to eternal condemnation in hell fire or living in a place of eternal peace and joy called Paradise.
All who live their lives according to the Will of the Almighty God and please Him will be expected to be admitted into Paradise while those who refuse His direction will be expected to make their way to Hell. The Christian today and indeed humanity in general will need to weigh their options carefully, but looked at critically, all the Christian faith is asking of all, is to recognize Jehovah God as the creator of the world and all souls in it, operate according to His laid out Will for each soul in order to please Him and acknowledge and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Not doing all these will result in an eternal life spent in Hell after departure from this world. Man may choose to believe that there is hell and quickly accept this Grace that is on offer, to save man from eternal damnation or ignore the offer believing that there is nothing like eternal judgement or places like Paradise and Hell.
Choosing to dis-believe the doctrine of paradise and Hell will produce no loss for both groups (those who believe and those who do not believe) if indeed none of the two places exist but what will be your fate if Paradise is real and Hell is real? There will be no opportunity to return to make adjustments then as it will be already too late. Is this a risk that you will want to take?
You have a decision to make and the earlier you make it, the better because delay may be very dangerous. It is a decision about your fate in eternity. Do not play games with your tomorrow to avoid regrets. Act today and fast too. May God guide you in your decision making process in Jesus name. Amen.