You’d be surprised what a handful of high school guys can do with a match. I spent two weeks at a camp in Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest with students from our high school. The young men enjoyed a night sleeping under the stars. Just before they retreated to their sleeping bags for the evening, we divided them in groups and had them build a campfire. They were to find all the combustible materials they could—birch bark, dried pine needles, leaves, and pieces of wood. Then each group was given a match to light a fire.
One of our students might have a future in the pyrotechnics industry. He lit his match, dropped it in the kindling, and instantly generated a large flame. The fire was so intense it consumed most of the kindling in a few moments.
After watching that flame, the thought of an impending, fiery judgment makes me shudder. I know you’re thinking, “Why would you, a Christian, fear the flames of God’s judgment?” It is not hellfire, but standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ, which concerns me. All of our works will be submitted to the consuming fire of Christ’s righteousness. I want to have eternal treasures which withstand the flames and are laid up in Heaven.
What treasures are you laying up for Judgment Day? This isn’t the judgment for the unsaved but for the saved. Those at this judgment won’t lose their salvation, but they might lose their rewards. Will the Savior’s piercing gaze consume your works of service, your conduct, and your character? Or will they remain? Live today so you will not regret the Judgment to come.
[The death of Jesus] means the verdict which God will pronounce over us on the Day of Judgment has been brought into the present. We therefore do not need to fear the Judgment Day. — Anthony Hoekema
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.