“♫♪Made like him, like him we rise!♫♪“ So goes this great old hymn. What a promise! The Bible says everyone will get up, but not at the same time, and not to the same end. Which group a person rises with depends on which BOOK they are found in. Crank up the video and join in the singing and celebrating, then come back and we’ll look at THREE BOOKS everyone should know about. You don’t want to miss this one!
Books everyone should know about
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
This verse speaks of a vision of the future final judgement. It will be THE final exam of final exams.
Notice there are two kinds of books in this verse:
1. “The books”
2. “Another book – the book of life”
The verse says “The books” were opened … and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books.
These books contain works of the people being judged.
“ANOTHER BOOK – THE BOOK OF LIFE”
Revelation 3 says The Book of Life contains names of the saved.
“Works” group and “Names” group
It appears that everyone’s works will get judged at the end of time.
But for people whose names ARE in the book of life and those whose names are NOT, there is a HUGE difference in how the works are judged.
If a person’s name is NOT in the book of life, the book of their works is opened, and they are confronted and judged by everything found written there. I am certain — I am VERY certain — I do NOT want to be in that group. And I am very certain Jesus Christ is faithful to his promise and has rescued me from that group.
For those whose name IS in the book of life,
I Thessalonians 4 describes the time they rise, and
I Corinthians 3 paints a much brighter picture for judgement:
The good works get saved and added to the person’s reward account.
The bad works get burned up and forgotten.
This one who was saved enters the kingdom with gladness.
How is that possible? I quote a line from our song:
“Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!”
Everlasting life and rewards
Everlasting life is the promise of Jesus Christ to those who have made him Lord and have believed God raised him from the dead.
No works will get anyone into heaven — it is the gift of God. So do works matter?
YES! Though we might think everlasting life is enough, God makes it clear in the Bible that we will be rewarded for good works we do here and now AND bad works will be burned up and forgotten.
Is it okay to work for rewards now to be spent in the life to come? God says YES! So what are we waiting for? The clock is ticking!
Just to get us thinking, here are five “crowns” mentioned in the Bible. These are not ALL the good works the Bible says will be rewarded, but its a start.
1. Crown of Righteousness — Loved The Lord’s Appearing [2 Tim 4:8]
2. Incorruptible Crown — Disciplined Bodies / Self-Control [1 Cor 9:25-27]
3. Crown of Life — Endured Patiently Through Trials [Matthew 5:12, James 1:12, Revelation 2:10]
4. Crown of Glory — Godly Leaders Who Were Examples to Flock [1 Pet 5:2-4]
5. Crown of Rejoicing — Soul Winners [1 Thessalonians 2:19, Daniel 12:3]
♫♪ Christ The Lord Is Risen Today ♫♪
This great old hymn was written by Charles Wesley, brother of famous evangelist John Wesley. Charles is credited with writing 8,989 hymns!!! No other hymn writer even comes close. He is less well-remembered than his more famous brother, John Wesley, but was a powerful partner and contributed mightily to the work.
What inspired the Wesley brothers to live and serve the Lord with such love and devotion? I’m confident they understood how short this life is and how large Jesus Christ’s gift of life is to mankind, and so they invested all they had in following Jesus and helping with “kingdom” work. What an example! What an inspiration.
Three books we should know about:
1. The Book of Life,
2. The book(s) of works, and, of course
3. The Bible
God bless you lots!
LYRICS: Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
Text: Charles Wesley, 1739
Tune: Lyra Davidica, 1708
1. Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of God and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and Earth reply, Alleluia!
2. Lives again the glorious king, Alleluia!
Where, O death, will be thy sting? Alleluia!
Dying once, he all does save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
3. Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the victory’s won, Alleluia!
Death has met its own demise, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
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