No, I’m not saying, with this heading, that works saves us – only grace can do that (Eph 2:8). Works, however, is what we are saved for. In fact, these precious works have been prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:2-10)!
These ‘works’ relate directly or indirectly to the completion of the Great Commission – this commission must be our highest priority (2Co 5:18).
Each and every believer has been given a work to do (Mk 13:34), in the context of the Great Commission and gifts/talents/resources to accomplish that work (Mt 25:15, 1Pe 4:10).
How we steward those gifts; how we undertake our work; our diligence; fruitfulness; the attitudes of the heart expressed in the actions of our lives, will determine our eternity.
The Evangelical Church has long had this fascination with salvation theology – a ‘ticket to heaven’ theology! This has often been at the expense of not fully comprehending the reason why we were saved – not to bring us to heaven, but to bring us to God – to be connected to his lordship and begin to live for the reason why we were made in his likeness and image in the first place.
We do God’s people a HUGE disservice, and we have a lot to answer for, by not teaching and mobilizing for WORKS!
Works are glorious – they are wonderful! We have degraded, belittled, debased, disparaged, glorious works! Works glorify God! We have focused so much on believers not falling and have forgotten entirely about assuring they get a rich welcome into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2Pe 1:10-11).
There is, in the eternal Kingdom of God, rewards and degrees of rewards:
Jesus taught that faithfulness with what He has entrusted to us will be rewarded – and a lack of faithfulness will be punished (Lk 19:12-27)
The scriptures affirm that Jesus, when he returns, will “repay each person according to what he has done” (Mt 16:27 ESV)
Paul was convinced he would receive both joy and glory in eternal ages due to the fruitfulness of his labors (1Thes 2:19-20). He also issued a severe warning to those who treated, with contempt, the work of the Lord (1Co 3:10-15).
The lost, forgotten, hidden, misunderstood ministry of the Prophet, the mobilizer, in my view, is the reason why not all God’s people are gainfully employed in the growth and expansion of the world Christian movement!
God is changing this! The prophetic ministry is about to emerge, big time! A ministry that will encourage God’s people back to God – to devotion, sacrifice and service. A ministry that helps to prepare ‘a people for the Lord,’ that gives believers their best chance of glorifying God in their life time and ensuring they get a rich welcome into Christ’s eternal Kingdom!