Believers will be required to give an account for – and will be judged on – the deeds they have done or not done while on earth (1 Cor 3:12- 15; 2 Cor 5:10). We are not saved by our works, as we have already studied. However, each believer in Christ will be judged as to the use made of the life and possessions God gave him or her.
Believers will be judged in the following areas:
- “As stewards of the mysteries of God ” that are now revealed (which are the Gospel and the plan of salvation). What did we do with what we knew and understood of Christ? (Col 1:24-29). Were we faithful to His revelation? (1 Cor 4:1-5).
- The use of the gifts, talents, abilities and opportunities given by God.Were these used to build up the Body of Christ and reach out to the world? (Matt 5:14-30; Luke 19:11-27).
- The use of the material resource that God gives. Did our money and possessions help to further God’s Kingdom purposes, or were they used only for satisfying our own desires? (Matt 6:19-21; 2 Cor 8:8-15; 9:6-15).
- The use of every opportunity to preach the Gospel and thereby fulfill Christ’s last command – the Great Commission. Did you freely share your faith and testimony with anyone who would listen? Did you do your best to support and assist with evangelism and missions? (Matt 28:18-20; Rom 10:14; Col 1:28; 2 Tim 4:1,2).
- The use of every resource available to reach out to a needy world around. Did we: “do good to all people” (Gal 6:10); show hospitality (Matt 25:35; Heb 13:2); care for the sick and imprisoned (Matt 25:34-40); take care of widows and orphans (Jas 1:27)? Even a cup of cold water given in Jesus’ name has its reward (Matt 10:42).
- The enduring of suffering and tribulation that comes to believers because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Did we remain faithful to Jesus Christ and His Gospel message in spite of hardship or persecution? There will be reward in this life and in eternity for those who endure and remain faithful (Matt 5:11,12; Luke 6:22,23; 2 Tim 2:3,12; Jas 1:12; 1 Pet 2:20; 3:14,17; 4:15-19).
Stricter Judgment For Leaders
Leaders in the Body of Christ will receive a stricter judgment because they have a greater privilege and therefore a greater responsibility to lead the flock of God.
- A leader’s teaching will be judged (Eccl 5: 1-3; Jas 3:1).
- A leader ‘s life is to be an example of Christlikeness and godliness (Phil 3:17; 1 Tim 3:1-13; 4:12-16 ;Titus 2:7,8).
- A leader ‘s obedience to the Word and to the promptings and conviction of the Holy Spirit is of utmost importance. God is not as interested in our great programs, buildings or self-efforts as He is in our obedience to all He asks and requires (1Sam 15:22,23).
This is by no means a complete list of biblical standards for church leaders. But it serves as a reminder that, as His word attests, God is VERY concerned about our character. He cares more about what we are becoming in our obedience to Him, than about any works we might do (Matt 7:22). God desires that we be shaped more and more into the image of Christ, growing in discipleship and obedience, and serving as a good example to those we lead (2 Cor 3:18; Phil 3:12; 2Thess 3:6-9; 1 Tim 4:12 ; 1 Pet 5:2,3).