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Where and How

Worship & The Word / Pastor Robert Morris
The Truth Network Radio
April 3, 2022 8:00 am

Where and How

Worship & The Word / Pastor Robert Morris

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April 3, 2022 8:00 am

Pastor Robert explains that the choices we make today not only determine where you spend eternity but also how you spend eternity.

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Welcome to Worship in the Word with Pastor Robert Morris. We're in a new series called Eternity, where Pastor Robert shares that we get to choose where and how we spend eternity, and that God's character is the answer to all of our tough questions. Today's message is about how we spend eternity and the two judgments that await believers and unbelievers.

Pastor Robert has so much insight to share, so let's join him now. We're in a series called Eternity, Your Choice, and I want to emphasize to you that it is your choice where you spend eternity. God gave you a free will.

We talked about that last weekend. He's not going to override your will before you get saved or, by the way, after you get saved. Even after you come to Christ, you have a choice as to whether you're going to live for Christ or not or continue down the wrong lifestyle. The other thing I want you to know is, as I say, it is your choice, and we talked about that last weekend, whosoever will.

This weekend, I want to talk about where and how. In other words, where you spend eternity is your choice, and how you spend eternity is your choice. Now, we're saved by grace and grace alone, but there are a whole bunch of scriptures on being judged for our works in the Bible.

So how do you marry the two? Many believers think, well, once you get saved, then your works aren't judged anymore. But please hear me. Your works are still judged, but you're not saved by your works. You're saved by grace. So I'm going to show you today how to marry those two things. In order to understand this, you have to understand two words, and those words are point number one. Point number one, you have to understand belief and behavior. Belief and behavior. Your belief determines where you spend eternity. Your belief determines where you spend eternity. Your behavior determines how you spend eternity.

And I'm going to show you there are degrees of punishment in hell for unbelievers, because God is a just God, and He's going to judge righteously. And there are degrees or levels of responsibility in heaven for believers. If you remember, Jesus said to one, He's going to say, you be ruler over five cities.

To another, He said, you be ruler over 10 cities. So there are levels of responsibility in heaven dependent upon how you live. How much responsibility you take on earth would be dependent upon the responsibility you have in heaven. But I want to establish, this is the whole thing of grace and works.

Works, our behavior matters. Whether you're lost or saved, every person, unbelievers and believers, will be judged by their works. But your salvation is by grace alone.

Your belief determines where you spend eternity. Let me just remind you of this scripture, Ephesians 2, 8, and 9. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, not of yourselves. You responded to God's faith, but it's grace. It is the gift, and a gift is free, because it's already been paid for. I mean, someone paid for the gift, but to you it's free. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

I love the phrase, lest anyone should boast. No one in heaven is going to be saying, I got myself here. Everyone is going to realize, this is grace that I got here. This is the grace of God. I was lost, had no intention of coming to Christ, was going my own way and God, by his grace, intervened. And I responded in faith and accepted his free gift.

You following me? So, but there are all these scriptures, so we're saved by grace, but there are all these scriptures on works and being judged by our works. Let me show you just a few. We'll get to 1 Corinthians 3 in a little while. Ecclesiastes 12, verse 14.

For God will bring every work. Well, you know, I don't do this often, but would you mind just saying the word every? Okay, how many is every?

Okay, let's keep going. Every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. Revelation 20, 13. The sea gave up the dead who were in it and death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each. Would you mind saying the word each? Each one, according to his works. Now, you might say, well, that's talking about unbelievers.

Well, let me show you ones talking about believers. 1 Peter 1 17. And if you call on the Father, okay, let me just see by hands. How many of you call on the Father?

Can I see your hands? Okay. So this is to you. If you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear, in awe, in reverence of God. Here's Jesus' own words. Matthew 16, 27. For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each.

Would you mind saying each again? According to his works. Revelation 22, 12. This is also Jesus speaking. It was in the book of Revelation. It's him speaking to John on the island of Patmos. This is in red in your Bible. This is in the last chapter of the Bible. And behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me to give to every one according to his work. Okay. Are you in every?

Are you in each? And he said, according to his work. What I'm telling you is it matters how you live.

Now, let me say it again. Your belief determines where you spend eternity. Your behavior determines how you spend eternity. Now, all of us don't have perfect behavior. I mean, we're all still making mistakes on this earth. So don't get too hung up on perfect behavior because you'll never get there.

But let me say something. Your belief, though, determines your behavior. So there are people who say they believe in Jesus, but they've never lived for him.

Please hear me. I don't think you really believe. I really don't. Because when you believe, the Bible says God gives you a new heart and you have a desire to turn from sin and to turn to God. You have a desire to follow God. You don't want to do those things. I'm not saying that you never fall, but you don't want to. You want to go a different way. If you still want to go do those things, there's something wrong.

Your heart hasn't been changed. Your belief determines your behavior. This guy said to me one time, Pastor, I believe in tithing. I just don't do it. So I decided I would just kind of respond in kind. I said, I understand. I believe in bathing. I just don't do it.

Now, I do bathe. Okay. But I was just joking with him because it's ridiculous. If you believe something, you do it. So if you really believe that if you tithe, God opens the windows of heaven over your family and rebukes to devour for your sake, then you do it.

You just do it. But if you don't do it, it's because you don't believe what the Bible says. That's clear. So our belief determines our behaviors.

Okay. So now I want to show you the believer's judgment and the unbeliever's judgment. And many people don't realize why there are two judgments if it's already determined whether you're going to heaven or hell by your belief. Because at the believer's judgment, everybody's a believer. At the unbeliever's judgment, everybody's an unbeliever. So you say, well, why is there a judgment?

Because your works are being judged. It eats judgment. So point number two is the judgment seat of Christ. The judgment seat of Christ. This is the believer's judgment. Let me show you some scriptures. 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians 5, 10. For we must all, would you mind saying the word all?

We must all. This is written to believers now. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. That each, I'm not going to ask you to say it, just say it in your mind. That each one may receive the things done in the body.

In other words, when you were on this earth. According to what he has done, whether good or bad. Now, let me clarify something. We're not judged for our sins because Jesus already took our judgment. But we are judged for our works. And we will, according to the Bible, either receive a reward or lose a reward because of how we did it.

Okay, so we'll talk about that in a moment. Romans 14, 10. But why do you judge your brother?

Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 1 Corinthians 3.

This is, I told you to turn there if you want to. Verse 10. We're going to read five verses. According to the grace of God, which was given to me, this is Paul speaking, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and another builds on it. Now, he's actually referring to you or to the Corinthian church here that he wrote to, or to believers. But let each one, each believer, take heed how he builds on it.

Because these are people who've gotten saved now, accepted Christ. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. So the foundation is Jesus.

People have accepted Jesus. But watch that you can build with two different types, categories of materials, temporal or eternal. Now, if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, those would go through the fire. But watch these three, wood, hay, straw, those would be burned up, temporal. Each one's work will become clear.

For the day it's capitalized, because it's referring to the judgment day or the second coming, either way, will declare it because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test each one's work of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. Receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss. He loses the reward. Watch. But he himself, this is grace, will be saved.

Yet so as through fire. Let me give you a little bit of information of this passage. He's addressing some things because they're beginning to say, well, you know, I got saved by Apollos and Mike, so my foundation is Apollos and your foundation is Paul. And he says, nope, the foundation is Jesus. It doesn't matter who led you to Christ, the foundation is Jesus. But now you have a choice. That's my whole burden in this series is you have a choice. You have a choice whether to accept Christ and you have a choice whether you're going to live for Christ or not.

So you have a choice. It says now, I'm telling you, you have a choice because even though you have Jesus Christ as your foundation, you can do some things that are going to last for all eternity and you'll be rewarded and you can do some things in your life that will be burned up. Yet by grace, you'll be saved. But you won't have any rewards in heaven.

You won't have anything to show for your life here on this earth. Okay, so here's Jesus now saying the exact same thing almost. Matthew chapter 6, this is in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 6, verse 1, take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, watch to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward, if that's your motive, from your father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from them, from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

In other words, it's a temporal reward. It's only on this earth. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret and your father, your father who sees in secret will himself, I love the himself in the New Testament. Just read the himself when it talks about the father of Jesus or the Holy Spirit, will himself reward you openly.

Okay, let me tell you what you just read that you might have missed. You are going to get to meet the father one day personally. The father himself will reward you openly, in front of everyone else. What motivation to live a godly life and to serve our Lord on this earth, because we're going to receive rewards. Let me show you a scripture that puzzles some unless you understand about that our works matter. Okay, 1 John chapter 2 verse 28, and now little children, this is written to believers, abide in him. Obviously, unbelievers could not abide in him. Abide in him that when he appears, we may have confidence, watch this, now believers, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

That's pretty strong. How would a believer be ashamed? I can tell you how a believer would be ashamed because he's not living for Jesus.

He's not laying his life down. He might realize, I wasted my life. I could have helped other people. I could have lived for Jesus, but I lived for myself. Even though I did believe that Jesus was the son of God and I walked with God some, I never really fully gave him everything. And they would be ashamed at his coming.

So it matters how you live. So you need to understand belief and behavior, the judgment seat of Christ. And here's the third point, the great white throne judgment. The great white throne judgment is for all unbelievers. Now, I want to show you theologically why we call this the great white throne judgment. All right, Revelation chapter 20 verse 11, then I saw a great white throne. See, there's a great white throne. So we call it the great white throne judgment. Not making fun of the Bible. I just, you know, that's just all theologians come up with. Let's call it the great white throne.

Okay. Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat on it from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead small and great standing before God. Now watch carefully. Watch the tenses of these two words. And books, plural.

So more than one. Books were opened and another book, singular, was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged, watch this, according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. That tells you right there what was written in the books, works. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one according to his works.

Okay. So it's real clear to see is that the book is the book of life. And the book, if you don't know what the book has in it, it has names. And if your name is written in the book of life, you go to heaven. If it's not, you don't go to heaven. And all of us would say, well, I want my name written in the book of life. It's great, except Jesus Christ is your Savior.

Whosoever will. You can accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and your name is written in the book of life. But then there are books, plural, because it's more than just names.

It's works. And you're judged at the great white throne judgment by the works, by what's written in the books. It's very important to understand this. So am I saying then that there are degrees of punishment in hell?

Yes, I am. In the same way that there are levels of responsibility in heaven. So let me ask you a question because God's a righteous judge. Will a man, a believer, let's talk a believer, will a believer who is saved but doesn't tithe, doesn't witness, doesn't serve, doesn't really do anything to build the kingdom on this earth, will he receive the same rewards as the believer who tithes, loves, serves, wins people to Christ? Will he receive the same rewards?

No, of course not. Then we wouldn't have a righteous God. So he gives to each according to his works. Are y'all following this?

It's really easy. He gives to each according to his works. That's God. But we're saved by grace.

Okay. So I asked you about believers. Let's talk about unbelievers a minute. Well, an unbeliever, an unbelieving man, let's say, who is, he's a good guy. I mean, he doesn't do all these big, huge sinful things, but he just obstinately and defiantly says, I'm not going to give my life to Jesus Christ. I don't believe in religion. I'm an atheist or an agnostic, and people share with him. He says, no, I'm a self-made man. Religion's a crutch. I don't need Jesus.

Okay. So he goes to hell. He's going to go to hell without Christ. But will he receive the same punishment as Adolf Hitler?

No. Adolf Hitler killed six million Jews. And God's a just God. And Adolf Hitler will be recompensed, repaid for the deeds he did. That's a just God. Now, you might say, well, you mean the believer just gets off scot-free? How can God, how's that just?

It's simple. Because God repaid Jesus Christ for all of your sins. Jesus took your sins on the cross. If you believe, because if you're sitting there thinking, well, that's not fair. It is fair, because you can accept Jesus.

It's completely just. You can accept Jesus Christ. So let me show you degrees of judgment, degrees of torment for those who don't accept Christ.

All right. Romans 2, verse 5. But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart, this means not repentant, you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous. It's a righteous judgment of God. In other words, I'm going to judge righteously. But he said, let me tell you what you're doing. You are treasuring up for yourself wrath.

By the way, do you remember what he told believers? Treasure up, store up for yourself treasure for yourself. In other words, he's saying, you're going to need it in heaven.

We don't need it because our asphalt is gold. We don't need your treasure. But when you get to heaven, you're going to need your treasure. You realize some of you aren't going to have any money when you get to heaven because you put more in your IRA than your ERA, your eternal retirement account. You don't carry any of what you have on this earth to heaven, but you can send it on ahead. And Jesus actually said, you better send it on ahead because you're going to need it when you get there because there are cities. We're going to do business in heaven.

It's pretty amazing. But in the same way that believers can store up treasure, unbelievers can store up wrath because God comes to them over and over and over again, and they refuse Jesus Christ. So this is all through Scripture. By the way, this is a tough Scripture. Will some believers, I don't know if you ever thought about this, but will some believers receive a stricter judgment?

Yes. And let me tell you one that you know that will receive a stricter judgment. I will. And I think about this all the time. Not for my salvation, but for what I teach. James 3 verse 1. My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a what?

A stricter judgment. Hopefully not you're thinking, you know, I was thinking about volunteering to be a teacher. So when I was a kid, I hung out at the skating rink. Hey, y'all are laughing, but how many of you hung out at the skating rink?

See, look at all the old people. Okay. So my father took me to the skating rink. I was 13 years old or something, 12, 13, 14, I don't know.

That's about when I started kind of going astray. He knew that I was starting to hang out with the wrong crowd. So he drops me off, then he circles back around, sneaks into that dark skating rink and sets in the corner and watches me all night. So when he picks me up, he says to me, did you smoke any cigarettes tonight?

I said, no, sir. I said, I was around people smoke. So you probably smell it on me, but I didn't smoke.

So he said, well, I drove around, snuck in and watch you. And I saw you smoke a cigarette. I said, I remember now. I remember. I tried one, but I didn't like it then.

I didn't like it. He said, I watched you smoke two cigarettes. Yep. I remember it now. You're jogging my memory. I remember. Another time they kind of dared me.

You know how you've told me to, you know, not run away from a fight, stand up and you know, and so they were calling me a coward and all. And so that was the only reason though, that I smoked two tonight. He said, I watched you smoke seven.

And then he punished me for every cigarette I smoked and for lying. If I had known that the father was watching me, are you hearing me? According to the Bible, the father is watching and he's going to reward and he's going to punish. But now listen to me, two judgments.

Here's the great news. You get to choose which judgment you attend. Well, we want you to just take a moment to think about what Pastor Robert shared today and really listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. If you want to connect with us or check out some of Pastor Robert's other messages, visit And if you haven't already, go follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so we can be a part of your community. We hope you found this message encouraging. Next time, Pastor Robert is going to share how God's character is the answer to all of life's tough questions. Until then, have a blessed day.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-12 21:33:22 / 2023-05-12 21:42:37 / 9

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