Facing our ‘ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE REVIEW’: "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (1 Cor 3:11-15)
Apostle Paul describes in this passage the ultimate performance review that we will face one day when we stand before God and when He evaluates the worth of our lives on the earth. He uses the image of metal being purified in a refining fire (vv. 13–15). God’s fire will burn away the worthless impurities, leaving only what is valuable.
Of the six types of materials mentioned, three are combustible and three are incombustible. Our service that has brought glory to God and blessing to people like teaching sound doctrine, living lives of fidelity to the truth, leading converts to spiritual maturity, etc. are comparable to gold, silver, and precious stones that will not be consumed by the fire, but actually be purified and increase in value. On the other hand, our work that has brought dishonor to God like providing inadequate/unsound teaching or compromising the truth by demonstrating a life-style that fails to model it, will be consumed by the fire and nothing will remain.
An interesting thought in connection with this verse is that the Word of God is sometimes likened to fire (Isa. 5:24, Jer. 23:29). The same Word of God which will test our service at the Judgment Seat of Christ is available to us now. If we are building in accordance with the teachings of the Bible, then our work will stand the test in that final judgment day!
The question to ask ourselves today is - when the smoke clears on that day what will be left of our lives to display? Let us build our lives on commodities that will stand the test of God’s judgment. Let us give priority to things of lasting value every day. Let us live only for His glory!
"And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." (Rev 22:12-13)