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Amazing Works

Worship & The Word / Pastor Robert Morris
The Truth Network Radio
July 14, 2019 8:00 am

Amazing Works

Worship & The Word / Pastor Robert Morris

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July 14, 2019 8:00 am

Pastor Robert explains that even though we are saved by grace, our works and behavior still matter.

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Welcome to Worship in the Word with Pastor Robert Morris. Today, Pastor Robert is continuing his series, Amazing Grace. I'm your host, Patrick, and I'm here with my co-host, Janae.

Hello, hello. Well, Pastor Robert's message today is about works, but I think it's going to be a little bit of a surprise for those listening. I think so too, Patrick. When I first heard that he was going to be speaking on works, I thought he was going to warn us about getting caught up in works.

Yeah, well, I mean, understandably so. This is a whole series about grace. Right, but that's not the point of this message. This message is actually titled Amazing Works, and he goes into some pretty heavy theology to explain why works are amazing.

But man, I'm so glad he does. Because of the previous messages in this series, we know we're saved by the gift of grace, not works. But I always wondered about those verses in the Bible that say things like, He will reward each according to his works, or God will bring every work into judgment. I've often thought about those too, Janae. Like, how exactly do works fit into our eternity?

All good questions. I think those listening are in for a treat. Pastor Robert is going to explain so much, and I can't wait to hear it all again. We've been talking about grace, that we are saved completely and totally by God's grace through our faith, so we do have a part. Some who preach grace would preach that we don't even have a part, but that's just not true. All through Scripture, we have a part to receive God's grace. So it's by grace through faith, and it's not by works. We're going to read that verse in just a moment. But do our works matter? So I want to share with you, I've shared with you the last two weeks about how we relate to the law. So this message is called Amazing Works. I want to ask you a question, though. Are we judged by grace or by works? Now, before you answer, let me tell you the answer. It's going to shock you.

Are we judged by grace or works? Yes. It's like when they say, would you like fries or an apple pie with that? Yes. My answer is actually no. Okay. Yes.

Okay. Now, for your salvation, are you judged by grace and works? No. No. It's judged by grace. But are your works still judged, whether you're a believer or an unbeliever?

Yes. So how do we understand that? How do we understand grace and works? Well, let me give you two other words that begin with the same letter so you can remember these.

That's why I do that. That will help you understand this. We have to learn when we look at the Bible to distinguish between our belief and our behavior. Our belief and our behavior.

And let me tell you the difference, okay? Our belief determines where we will spend eternity. And our behavior determines how we will spend eternity, saved or lost. Our belief determines where we will spend eternity. You go to heaven because you believe in Jesus. You go to hell because you don't believe in Jesus. Our behavior determines how many rewards and the degrees of responsibility and the treasure that we will have in heaven. And you need treasure in heaven because Jesus said, store up for yourselves treasure in heaven. He didn't say, store up for my Father and me. You know, we decided to do the streets in gold. We're a little short, so send your money ahead. He didn't say that.

They're doing okay. So our belief determines where we go but our behavior determines, even if we're a believer, how much responsibility we're going to have in heaven. You remember in Luke 19 he talked about the 10 minas that he gave out and one got 10 more, one got 5 more. And he said to the one that got 10 more, you're faithful, be ruler or a leader over 10 cities.

To the one in 5 he said, be a ruler over 5 cities. I don't know if you ever thought about this. See, we're not going to just float around on clouds and eat grapes, okay, in heaven.

It's a perfect earth and a perfect heaven. No sin. Someone's going to get to lead 10 cities.

Someone who's faithful. Someone's going to get to be the mayor. And it's not going to be like here on earth where you get $6 a week and a lot of grief.

It's different up there. No sin. Listen, your belief determines where you spend eternity. Your behavior determines how, even if you're an unbeliever.

This may shock some of you but I'm going to show it to you in the Bible. There are degrees of punishment in hell. So we need to understand.

So here's what we need to understand. There are two judgments. Some people think there's only one judgment. There are two judgments. The judgment seat of Christ and the great white throne judgment. At the judgment seat of Christ, every person who's at the judgment seat of Christ is a believer.

Every person. See, that's already been determined. And every person who's at the great white throne judgment is an unbeliever.

That's already been determined. It's not determined at your judgment whether you go to heaven or hell. You determine that on this earth. It's appointed unto man once to die after that, the judgment. You get to determine which judgment you attend.

But only while you're alive. If you walk out of here and you're killed in a car wreck and you haven't believed in Jesus, you've determined which judgment you're going to attend. You have a chance right now while you're on this earth.

Once your life is over, you have no other chances. You need to know that. So there's the judgment seat of Christ and the great white throne judgment. And believers are at one and unbelievers are at the other. And at each judgment, listen, this is going to shock some of you, but at each judgment, your works are judged. Your works are judged. And I'm going to show you in Scripture, all right?

So here, those are the two points I want to cover. Number one, the judgment seat of Christ. I want to show you what happens at the judgment seat of Christ. Now, are you in 1 Corinthians 3?

Hello? Okay. I'm not there yet.

Okay. 1 Corinthians 3, verse 10. According to the grace of God, which was given to me as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and another builds on it.

Now, listen to me for a moment. Some people would think that the other would be Apollos. That's not true.

Apollos was laying foundations too. The other that builds on it is you. I'll show you that. You'll see that in Scripture, but you need to understand that, all right? Now, watch. And another builds on it, but let each one, you're in each, remember?

We determined that. Take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, Jesus Christ. So he's talking to believers.

They're building on Jesus Christ. Now, if anyone, if anyone, see, if anyone, that's us today, builds on this foundation, that's Jesus, so these are believers, with gold, silver, precious stones, now watch the next three he names, wood, hay, straw. Now, let me just make one comment on wood, hay, straw.

They're flammable. That's important because there's a fire coming, even for believers. Wood, hay, straw, watch verse 13, each one's work will become clear, for the day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test each one's work.

I don't need to remind us where each is, right, okay, of what sort it is. If anyone's work, which he's built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss. He'll lose his reward. Now, watch this though, he doesn't lose his salvation though, it's very clear, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire, because we're saved by grace, but our works matter. You can be a believer and do eternal works or temporal works, and the things you do for eternity will last, and the things you don't do for eternity will be burned up, and you'll receive a reward for the things you did with eternal value, but you won't receive a reward for the things you did for temporal value. As a matter of fact, there's a real famous passage on being rewarded and even losing rewards that many people just don't seem to tie into this whole context that we're talking about here.

It's in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 6, verse 1, Jesus said, Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men. Now, here's the key, to be seen by them, it's your motive.

In other words, somebody might know that you do it, but you didn't do it to be seen. Otherwise, you have no reward. You have no reward 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 for men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 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, who sees in secret, will Himself reward you openly.

You'll either get rewards or lose your reward, depending on how you do the good deed. But, I do want you to notice this word, Himself. I will never forget the first time, you know, the Holy Spirit will kind of make words in the Bible, just jump off the page at you and give you revelation. I'll never forget the first time I saw that, I was a new believer, and I was reading through and I saw Himself. And I remember thinking, I'm going to get to meet the Father. Personally, the Father Himself is going to give me rewards Himself.

It's not going to be like, you know, there's like a billion people out there, you know. And this old guy with white hair comes out and says, y'all done good. And you know, someone in the back, you know, will say, this happens all the time, what did he say?

And the guy beside him will say, I think he said they need more wood. No, the Father Himself will reward you personally. Welcome back. For those of you just tuning in, you're listening to Worship in the Word with Pastor Robert Morris. If you've missed the first few messages in this Amazing Grace series, you can find them and many other messages online at Pastor Robert is talking about works today, and I love what he just said, that the Father is going to reward us for our good works personally.

That is a cool moment to look forward to. You know, that's definitely a new revelation, Jenae. I don't think I knew there were two judgments either. There's the judgment seat of Christ, and then there's the great white throne judgment.

They both sound pretty epic. I didn't know that either. I thought everyone went to the same judgment, so that was enlightening. Yeah, and you know, I was looking up some different verses about works and thinking about today's message in our conversation, and I came across Ephesians 2 10 that says, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. I've heard that verse a lot, but with the inside of this message, a couple things really start to pop out.

Yes, two things pop out to me, and I wonder if they're the same that you're thinking about. One is that we are made into a new creation when we accept Christ. And two, it says that we were made into that new creation for good works, not by good works.

Exactly, that's what I was thinking too. That one little word, for, makes all the difference. Well, Pastor Robert has a great illustration for us next, so let's tune back in. 1 John 2 28 says, And now little children, now he's talking to believers again, abide in him. Now watch this carefully. This could shock you. That when he appears, we may have confidence, now watch this, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

What? And not be ashamed, and he's talking to believers? Why would a believer be ashamed when Jesus comes?

Well, it's real simple, because he realizes he's wasted his life. And he said, we need to abide in Him because otherwise you're going to be ashamed. As a believer, you're going to be ashamed.

You follow me? So there's the judgment seat of Christ. Here's the second judgment I want to cover, the great white throne judgment. The great white throne judgment. Now every person with the great white throne judgment is an unbeliever. And I want to show you how we as pastors and leaders and theologians came up with the name, the great white throne judgment, alright? Revelation 20, verse 11, then I saw a great white throne.

That was all we could think of, so. 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 the grammatical tenses of these next few words, because they're important. And books, plural, books were opened. And another book, singular, was opened, which is the book of life.

Listen, right there you just saw it, belief and behavior. If you believe in Jesus, your name is written in the Lamb's book of life. But there are books that are recording our works, books. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

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. Now, I told you a moment ago there are degrees of rewards and there are degrees of punishment.

Let me ask you a question. Well the guy who believes in Jesus, he really truly accepts Christ and gets saved, but he never witnesses, never wins anyone to Christ, he never really shares his faith, he never really spends time in prayer reading the Bible, he never tithes, he never gives generously. Will he receive the same rewards of the guy that witnesses, shares his faith, prays, spends time in the Word, tithes, gives over and above his tithes, will they receive the same rewards? No.

No. Okay, so, will the guy who does not believe in Jesus, and let's say he seems to be a fairly good guy, seems to be a good guy but he obstinately and defiantly says, no I will not give my life to Jesus Christ, I do not believe in God, I'm agnostic, and I'm not going to believe in God, but he lives a fairly good life, goes to work and has a family and, you know, provides for them, does that, but he says no, I'm not going to. And let's say that his family are believers, but he never accepts Christ. He goes to hell. He's separated from his family that are believers and friends that are believers, separated from God for all eternity, but will he receive the same torment, the same punishment that Hitler will, who killed six million Jews, and five million other people, by the way, eleven million people.

Listen to me. No, he won't receive the same, because God's a just God. It's a righteous judgment. He's going to judge every person, every, I just, I read you those scriptures.

Go back and listen to it again. He's going to judge each and every person according to his works. It matters how you live.

It matters. But we go to heaven because we believe. We go to hell because we don't believe. Let me show you degrees of torment, okay, degrees of judgment.

Watch this. Matthew 11, look at verse 20. It says, then he began to teach the cities in which most of his mighty works had been done.

I want you to notice this. This is the Bible. Most of his mighty works had been done because they did not repent.

Woe to you, Chorazin. Woe to you, Bethsaida. For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Tyre and Sidon were very, very well known for tormenting the prophets and for idol worship. Verse 22, but I say to you, it will be, watch this. This is Jesus talking, more tolerable.

Do you know what those words mean in the Greek? Less suffering. There will be less suffering. It will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.

And the guy that's talking here probably knows what he's talking about. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, remember Sodom and Gomorrah?

Now, watch this. This is one of the most amazing phrases you'll ever read in the Bible, and Jesus makes it. It would have remained until this day. That's amazing.

You know what he's saying? They would have repented, and my father and I would not have destroyed it. Sodom would still be here today if they had seen the mighty works that you saw. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.

That's amazing. I want you to think about this. Here's what he's saying. You live in the buckle of the Bible belt, and you don't accept Christ. There are people who don't live here. They live in a very dark place. It's going to be more tolerable for them in the day of judgment than it will be for you, because you heard the message.

You had good Bible-believing, Spirit-filled churches on nearly every block. It's more tolerable. I'll show you another one. Watch this carefully. This is written now to unbelievers. Even though it's written to the church in Rome, he begins to talk about unbelievers. Romans 2, verse 5 says, But in accordance, in accordance, or to the degree, in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart, you are treasuring up... What an amazing term to use. Treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God. There again shows that every person will be judged according to his orders because God's a righteous judge. He's going to judge righteously.

But notice this. You're treasuring up. Remember Jesus said you ought to store up treasure to believers? Unbelievers are treasuring up wrath. That's what we just saw.

You're treasuring up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath. Now listen to me. I know what I'm saying is strong.

I know that. Listen. I'm not trying to scare you. I'm not trying to scare you. I feel like a doctor who's giving you a factual report.

I am giving you a factual report. I'm telling you if you believe in Jesus, you're going to go to heaven. If you don't, you're going to go to hell. And listen to me. Listen very carefully. If you have the thought, well if I go to heaven because my belief and my behavior means I get more rewards, well what I'm going to do is I'm going to believe in Jesus but I'm still going to live like I won't. Listen to me. If you have that thought, if you go down that thought and continue and that's the way you live your life, you're not saved.

You're not saved. Someone needs to tell you the facts. So I'm not trying to scare you. I feel like that doctor who's just giving you the facts and saying, listen, you have a deadly disease. You're going to die from this disease. But we have a cure. And I want you to know every one of us have a deadly disease. It's called sin. But I want you to know we have a cure. It's Jesus Christ.

It's Jesus Christ and His blood and His blood alone. We have a cure. Okay, remember I told you a moment ago about the awards at the baseball camp and I said if I had known, if I had known that I would have received awards.

Okay. Now we're talking about degrees of punishment. When I was young, I hate to admit this, where I used to hang out because it's going to reveal my age. But I used to hang out at the skating rink. Oh yeah, oh yeah. So one night my dad dropped me off at the skating rink.

I couldn't even drive. I was about 14 probably. I'd started smoking because I thought it made me tough and cool and hang in with the right crowd, you know. And so he drops me off, he pulls out of the parking lot and he pulls back around and he comes back and he hides. He's a very crafty father. And he hides and he watches me. And he counts how many cigarettes I smoke. And so when I get home he confronts me when he comes to quote, unquote, pick me up, although he's been there the whole night. And he confronts me. And I try to lie and say, you know, he said, I saw you smoking.

I said, yeah, I tried one but, you know, I didn't like it. And, you know, he said, I watched you smoke seven. And he grounded me for every, a week for every cigarette I'd smoked. The degree of punishment matched the degree of my offense. And I remember thinking again, if I had known, I had that thought a lot growing up, if I had known he was watching, the father is watching. He's going to reward and he's going to punish. Well, I mean, that's really sobering to hear, but so, so good. Janae, I think we all need to come to that realization and have that moment with God, that we've been saved by grace for good works and that he will be judging those works when we see him face to face. Well, I don't want to be caught wasting my life, Patrick. I want to be storing up treasures in heaven.

Yeah, me too. Well, for everyone listening, we encourage you to take a moment to think about what Pastor Robert shared today and really listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. You know, we have one more week in this Amazing Grace series. If you would like to get a copy of this message or any of the messages in this series, visit or call 833-933-WORD. You can get the complete eight-part series for yourself or to share with a friend or family member. So be sure to visit or call 833-933-WORD. You can also follow Pastor Robert on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Next time, we're concluding this Amazing Grace series with a message about our need for an amazing Savior. Thanks for listening and for your continued support. We pray God's richest blessings on you this week.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-06 17:22:09 / 2023-05-06 17:32:13 / 10

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