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Feb 19, 2020, 2:29 PM

“One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard, that You, O God are strong, and that You O God are loving. Surely, You will reward each person according to what He has done.” (Psalm 62:11-12)

God’s rewards are far from ordinary: “‘God will give to each person according to what he has done.’ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, He will give eternal life.” (Romans 2:6) Eternal life is a rare commodity that only those whose hearts are right, whose lives have been exemplary and who have been faithful in keeping the Word of God will enjoy. Such reward, we are reminded is not merited, earned or deserved; it is a gift. To apply the truth in God’s word to our lives is an assurance to enjoy the bliss of eternity which will spare one the torment of experiencing hell.

Isn’t ‘to everyone according to what he has done,’ a fair and just way to measure our performance at the end of this life? That is what God the Father confirms to His sons and daughters. “Behold I am coming soon. My Reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelations 22:12)

God does not mince His words on any matter for they constitute straightforward promises that every human being should pay heed to. “If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done? (Proverbs 24:12) “For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory, with His angels and then He will reward each person according to what he has done.” (Matthew 16:27)

How much do our deeds determine where we would spend eternity? The Lord Jesus told His audience a parable about a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus. He lived in abject poverty and daily appealed to the rich man’s sense of compassion for alms but received no attention. “At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.” (Luke 16:20-21) 

Then their situations changed. Lazarus died and went to heaven. The rich man also died and went to hell. Lazarus was received by father Abraham’s whilst the rich man found his way to hell, in deep torment. From a distance the rich man could recognise Lazarus, the one whom he had treated with contempt, enjoying the peace of heaven. He called to father Abraham saying: “Father Abraham please have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue because I am in agony in this fire.” (Luke 16:24)  

Read father Abraham’s reply; “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, but now he (Lazarus) is comforted here and you are in agony.”(Luke 16:25) This is ample reason why we must seek to do what is right. The apostle Paul strongly exhorted the Philippians “... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable  -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)   

That parable was recounted by our Lord Jesus to say that the Day of Judgement is not fictional. It will surely come. We cannot afford to downplay the knowledge of the hidden things of life revealed to us in the Bible. That is to say that our actions on earth will be judged. Only those who have received Jesus will not be judged because He (Jesus) has been judged, condemned and has paid the full penalty in our stead. “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s One and Only Son.” (John 3:18)

The death of Ahab and Jezebel, King and queen of Israel is well documented. The couple did such outrageous things for which they could not escape the wrath of the Lord, the just Judge. They both died awful deaths as a result of their wickedness. No one outside of the kingdom of God in Jesus Christ is exempted. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

The Bible records that after death, it is judgment. For “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) It is time we begin to think of correcting our standing with God in this regard. It is never too late to change, to turn a new leaf and seek to be reconciled with God, our Maker. Any form of kindness shown to our fellow men, is done to God, therefore God takes note. In fact, it will feature in the Lamb’s Book of life. “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” (Revelations 20:12)

These things the Bible talks about may look to the unbeliever or simpleton kind of far-fetched and unreal. But do not be fooled. The watchword is ‘Be on the alert, wake up from your slumber!’ We must be on our guard not to be caught by surprise. “So you also must be ready for the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” (Matthew 24:44) There may not be too much time left on our hands. We live in a period of grace when God is ready to wipe out all our sins if we are ready to repent of the past and start all over again.

 “Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.” (1 Peter 1:17)