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The Final Exam

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:5-15

  1. Introduction: Students often feel a sense of relief when their finals are over at the end of a term. But did you know that all of us have one more test to face? This ultimate exam will evaluate the quality of the work we’ve done for the Lord.

  2. God’s Plan is to reward His followers.

    1. Old Testament examples: Abraham is promised a great reward (Gen. 15:1). And the psalmist speaks of the benefits reaped by keeping God’s commands (Ps. 19:7-8, 11).

    2. New Testament examples: Persecution will earn us a great reward (Matt. 5:10-12). Jesus warned that if we do our works to be praised by men, we will have no reward from God the Father. Because of wrong motivation, the honor we get on earth is our full reward (Matt. 6:1-4).

  3. God’s plan is to reward us individually.

    1. Paul knew that although he and Apollos had worked towards the same goal, each man would be rewarded according to the work he had done.

    2. God will not recognize the work of churches as a whole but rather will honor the members individually. Every time we perform a righteous deed with a godly motive, we earn heavenly rewards (1 Cor. 4:5). Rewards for ministry are not reserved for those in full-time Christian service.

  4. God’s plan is for us to build a life worthy of reward.

    1. The foundation of our life is salvation in Christ (1 Cor. 3:11). Examples: the steel piles of a high rise; a strong theological foundation for ministry.

    2. The structure is built with our deeds.

    3. The building materials can vary in quality (Heb. 9:27). Worthy deeds are like gold, silver, and precious stones. These are actions that are part of a godly Christian life. Worthless deeds are like wood, hay, and stubble. These include sinful choices, missed opportunities to be kind, and acts done with an impure motive.

  5. God’s plan is to test our works (Rev. 1:12-17, 2:18-23).

    1. Our salvation is secure, but our deeds will be evaluated (1 Cor. 3:13-15). We will stand before the Lord and give an account of our lives.

    2. Jesus will judge us in light of three things:
      • How much truth did we know?
      • How much opportunity did we have?
      • What did we do with what God gave us?
    3. The purpose for divine fire is to destroy our worthless deeds. Then God will wipe the tears from our eyes and reward us for good works.

  6. Closing: Most people know the importance of planning for the future. Unfortunately, many fail to store up the heavenly treasures that godly living would produce. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Ask God to direct your thoughts and actions on a daily basis. Seek to honor Him in all you do. Then, on the day of that ultimate exam, you will pass the test and receive eternal rewards.

Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

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