September 04 2022
Today, Sunday September 04
Present Performance Determines Future Position
“And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.".
Years ago, at a pastor’s conference at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville Florida, I heard Dr. John Phillips preach a great message on Genesis 49, that he entitled, “The Judgment Seat of Jacob”. This chapter in Genesis is about Jacob blessing his twelve sons from his death bed. In his message, Dr. Phillips made the statement, “Present performance determines future position in the kingdom.” His point was that how we serve the Lord now, in our time on earth, will determine what position of service we will have in the future Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Over the years as I have studied the Bible and have taught about what it means, that we as believers, will rule and reign with Jesus, I only thought it only meant this was during the Millennium, the thousand-year reign of Christ, we read about in Revelation 20. But now as we look at Revelation 22, which is speaking of our eternal home after the Millennium, I believe that our position of service and reigning with Christ will extend throughout all eternity. Who knows, we might be given the opportunity to rule over other universes for Christ!
If this is the case, and I think it is, then it becomes a tremendous motivation to faithfully serve the Lord Jesus Christ now! There are so many passages in the New Testament that speak of how we as believers will one day give an account of our present service at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10).
The Apostle Paul was definitely motivated on serving the Lord faithfully by keeping focused by the reality of eternity. He refused to “faint”, to give up, despite the hardships and persecutions he faced. In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, he put it this way: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Moses desired to see the face of God in Exodus 33-34. But was only able to see His back parts or he would have died from the Glory! But even then, Moses’ face shone with a heavenly glow at just the sight of God’s shoulders! Here in Revelation 22, we are told that we will be able to see the face of God for all eternity and have His name written in our foreheads. We will not only dwell with God, not only will we serve God, but we will belong to God for all eternity! As we rule over the universe, we willingly serve Christ in recognition of His majesty, His power, and His love!
A.T. Pierson, the great Bible teacher and expositor wrote this about the above verses: “And there shall be no more curse” – perfect restoration. “But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it” – perfect administration. “His servants shall serve Him” – perfect subordination. “And they shall see His face” – perfect transformation. “And His name shall be in their foreheads” – perfect identification. “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord giveth them light” – perfect illumination. “And they shall reign forever and ever” – perfect exultation.
It is my prayer that today we will be motivated and encouraged to faithfully serve the Lord in this present life as we prepare for our future position in eternity!