The Confident and the Ashamed
And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (1 John 2:28). Two classes of believers will stand before Jesus when He returns; the confident, and the ashamed. The confident are those who loved not their lives to the death. They resisted the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. They kept the world at a distance by bathing themselves daily in the Word of God, and by constant communion with the Father. When they did slip up and sin, it broke their hearts and they cried out to Jesus, confessing their sin, and asking for His power to overcome the weakness and to walk in the spirit. The ashamed are those who were born again, but did not take advantage of their rights and privileges as a child of God. They were rarely found bathing in the cleansing lather of the Word. The cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust for other things overpowered their desire for God, and they mostly walked in the flesh. Church attendance was hit and miss since they did not value the power of the spoken Word of God through the ministry gift of a pastor. For the ashamed a guilt conscience was their constant companion. They knew what to do but rarely did it. They were saved so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:15). Jesus blazing eyes will look into yours and mine one day. He will look deep into our souls with His piercing gaze and immediately discern the thoughts and motives behind every word and action in our lives! General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army had a vision of the rewards seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3). He saw multitudes of believers who had arrived in heaven, and Jesus was there, going from person to person. In His hand was a torch. As Jesus approached each person, the flame from the torch would immediately consume all wood hay and stubble their earthly lives had produced (1 Corinthians 3:12). All that was left was gold, silver, and precious stones. Some people touched by the torch had nothing left when the smoke cleared. No precious stones were found. Others had a pile of beautiful gems at their feet after the fire. One other notable thing happened in General Booth’s vision. As Jesus approached each person, He heard either guttural sobs of remorse for opportunities not taken, or he heard ecstatic shouts of joy. A hymn sang in my church as a boy went; must I go and empty handed, must I meet my Savior so, must I go and empty handed, must I empty handed go. We are each day accruing by our actions and motives either gold, silver, precious stones, or wood hay and straw. What will be left at your feet to present to Jesus when the smoke clears? I want to be in the company of the confident and not be one of the ashamed when I meet Jesus. Come with me on the journey for God’s best today. Let’s consecrate ourselves to the Father. Let’s be the good ground believers found in Mark 4 who acted on the Word with all their hearts. Forget the failures of the past. Reach forward today in repentance and consecration and let’s go for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ!