Paul had three major motives and they were
(1) The love of God and of Christ, “shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 5.5 says… Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
2 Corinthians 5.14 says… For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus; that if one died for all, then all died.
(2) The terror of the Lord, even for Christians
2 Corinthians 5:10 & 11 says… For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.
Hebrews 10:31 says… It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.
Hebrews 12:28 & 29 says… Therefore since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptably with reverance and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
(3) The goal of reigning with Christ in His glorious kingdom
2 Timothy 2:12 says… If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will also deny us.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 & 18 says… For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also all who have loved his appearing. 18 – And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for his Heavenly Kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
If Christians today had even one of these powerful motives, in the same degree of intensity that Paul had all three, they might be able to face every circustance of life victoriously! I believe the very goal of his life was to reign with Christ! He was so filled with such passionate love for his Savior and his heart was so fearful of displeasing the Lord Jesus, that he could have no other goal. He, as he penned it, was a slave of the Lord Jesus.
Where is the fear of the Lord these days? Something to consider is the absence of this teaching in so many churches. As you can see from the verses above that the New Testament is very clear about the coming day of judgment for the believer. We say we love Jesus… yeah right. If we really loved him we would live his love language… we would keep his commandments. Striving to live holy and blameless in this world.
Grasping the fact that, as good a Christian as Paul was, he still thought himself to be the worst sinner of them all, should cause us to stop and think a minute. How good am I? Really? How much time am I going to waste before I finally wake up and smell the coffee?
We stand and sing “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!” Really? What does the scripture really say about eternity? I know one thing… sometime in the beginning (I think, during the Tribulation) The Body of Christ will be judged at the Bema. Sobering isn’t it? If your concept of eternity is angel wings and harps and dancing on streets of gold you may be badly mistaken… I’m just saying.
Listen to the words of our Lord in these several verses… “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness…Well done, thou good and faithful servant (Greek, “slave”): thou has been faithful over few things, I will make thee ruler over many things… To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” (Matt. 6:19,20 & 33; 25:21; Rev. 3:21)
Hmmm… kind of makes me think that the way I live down here matters. I heard a great preacher say one time, “Performance down here, determines position up there”. Where is your treasure?
I wish I had realized this sooner… like a year ago.