Our Just Reward
The last couple of days I have been talking about the death of a family member to whom I was very close. And as part of those writings I talked about the wages we are earning while we live. In Luke 2 Jesus makes a statement to his mother and father that is profound. “Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” I know most people have never thought about Christianity being a business, but that is exactly what it is. Many of us have worldly jobs we go to each day to earn a wage to pay our bills. We work x number of hours a day and fully expect to be compensated for the hours we work. Do we not? No one works for free. Well, Christianity is a business and Christians are receiving wages for what they do in this life just the same as the factory worker, or whomever has a job to go to each day. God is in the soul saving business. That is His only business. He is not in the car wash business, the pie sale business or any other such nonsense the church concocts to raise money. As with any worldly business, God expects His business to grow and expand, or in other words, to show a profit. Jesus pointed this out to His disciples in John chapter 4 in the story of the Samaritan woman He met at a well in Samaria. Jesus explained to His disciples, the sinners of the world are always ready for harvesting and for the one who goes into God’s fields to harvest the souls of sinners receives wages for their work. Not only will they receive wages in this life time, but also in the eternal kingdom of God.
If we do not go to our worldly job to perform our duties, do we have the right to expect to receive a paycheck when payday comes? And if a Christian does not go to work in the fields (cities and nations of this world) that are always ready for harvesting, does that Christian have the right to expect to receive wages (blessings) from God? I think not. God did not save us just so we could go to a meeting twice a week, sit on a pew, listen to a few words that tickle our ears, and never do anything else for the one who saved us, while watchings His harvest rot in the fields and still have the audacity to expect to reap eternal wages for our doing nothing. If that is all Christianity is about, then we are of all people the most miserable. And we wonder why the church is sick, broke and frustrated, closing their doors or combining with other church groups. Could these things be rampant in the church because we are not taking care of God’s business on this earth? When I talk about God’s harvest rotting in the fields, I am talking about people going to hell because no one will share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. The bible teaches that if a person does not work and this includes Christians, neither should he eat or receive wages. In other words, that person does not have the right to expect to receive a working mans wages for their idleness. But they do have the right to expect to go hungry and to live in poverty both naturally and spiritually because that’s the wage a person earns for doing nothing.
My nephew was an alcoholic for the last twenty or so years of his life and he had every right to expect his body to break down at some point because the destruction of the organs of the body is the wage an alcoholic receives for pouring foreign chemicals down their digestive track. So why are people so surprised when they receive the wages due them for the works they do to themselves that destroyes their bodies? We are either working to receive wages that bless our life and support life, or we are working to receive wages that rob us of the life god intended for us to live. The bible teaches, “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23 My nephew was called to collect his wages on July 4th, 2011 just one day before he would have turned 49 years old. He didn’t have to die. He could have turned away from alcohol to serve the living God and go to work in His fields at any time in the last twenty some years, but he chose to destroy his own body and let death do its ungodly work in it rather than admit he was in rebellion against the One to whom he belonged. Thank God, he had one last chance to repent, and he did. So while he received his just wage for destroying his physical body, he received the eternal wage of everlasting life because he asked God to forgive him and repented of his sins some ten minutes before he went to meet his Maker.
My wife, and I, and the nurse who cared for him in the intensive care unit were the only ones present when he crossed over from death to life. But some thirty minutes before he died; my wife and I was in the lobby of the hospital ready to leave when the Lord impressed upon me to go by his room one last time before I left the hospital. I am glad I was obedient. To my natural eyes, my nephew was doing well enough for me to go home and return on a later date, but the Lord knew his time was at hand. If my wife and I had not returned to his room and had left the hospital as we planned because we had a 90 minute drive ahead of us, he would be in hell right now collecting the full wage for his sin. But because God loved him and desired for his soul to be with him in eternity, He impressed upon me to return to his hospital room before leaving and as we stood beside his bed, my wife led him through the sinners prayer. I had led him to the Lord when he was a 19 year old boy, and I was standing by his bedside holding his hand as he drew his last breath and entered into God’s eternal kingdom. God is so good!
Christianity is a business and God fully expects the Christian; that’s you and I, to be ready to go to work at a moments notice reaping souls for the kingdom thus receiving wages that will accompany us when we leave this world. I have decided to ‘pass’ on the wages earned for laziness, and the wages of sin. I fully expect to be blessed in this life because I fully believe in helping God expand His business on earth. God’s business is my business despite the fact that I also have a worldly business to run and a church that I pastor. DThrash