This is the last installment in this series on what we are praying for when we pray “Your kingdom come” in the Lord’s Prayer. This post will address what will happen after Jesus returns, and what lies ahead for those who are His followers. These scriptures speak for themselves. The fact that most of us haven’t heard about them, talked about them, or even thought about them should be a matter of repentance and prayer.
Let’s start with a very obvious passage. Well, from my point of view, these will all be obvious.
After Paul had instructed the Corinthians that he had laid a foundation—Jesus Christ—he told the believers that they should be careful how they built upon that foundation.
“Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12–15).1
Paul makes it very clear that some will receive rewards in the “Day”—and some will not.
Is this important to us? We’re talking about eternity here.
“So then each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).
“So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:9–10).
Please note that Paul “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” Yes, if you claim to be a Christian, that means you and Jesus will have a face-to-face.
Is what you’re doing in your Christian life here on earth preparing you for this?
Because it will happen.
It is very clear that this topic was important to Paul.
But is it important to us?
However, more will be going on after Jesus returns than having your works evaluated. Paul makes these startling statements:
“When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! (1 Corinthians 6:1–3).
Jesus talked about this, as well. Read the startling promises He made in the Book of Revelation:
“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father” (Revelation 2:26–27).
“The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:21–22).
Finally, here is something that John wrote that should add to our concern about that Day:
“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming” (1 John 2:28).
I contend that there is a profound ignorance in the Church about the day of rewards, judgment, and future rulership. I earnestly ask you to read, think about, and study these Scriptures and consider the real-life implications for you and your eternal life. Because Jesus is returning. He promised He would. And once He does, there will be no chance to turn back and make amends. What we’ve done—or not done—has all been written down.
Please, if you have not considered the truth of this reality, repent and pray for His help and mercy. He is a merciful God. He will help you.
May the Lord bless and strengthen you.
1All Scripture references from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.